User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 215

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What happens when you violate the orthodoxy

Hear ye, hear ye, the burning will be later today. Whosoever dares to state observations contrary to the Orthodoxopedia, they shall be banned forever as an example to all other editors who may be considering voicing their observations.

For editing with respect to policy and reliable sources, for discussing content on talk pages, and for voicing general observations about Wikipedia on this Jimbo's talk page, one editor who refuses to shut up will probably be banned from editing.

This is how one constructs a "consensus" reality. Stop those from speaking who do not share the desired opinions. These meta-issues need some examination, but when those who examine them are banned (first for 5 days, then one month, and now probably for one year) then you see what that is? It's a purging of dissent. It's an inquisition mentality. It's a McCarthyism. And it's so Kafka-esque that even saying these things is held to be a crime. Sort of like "What are you arresting me for, officer?" "For resisting arrest!"

You are all invited to the burning to witness the purging. And they will even say that my speaking this is heresy. Observe and think for yourselves. They desire subservience. You know what happened to Galileo.

SageRad (talk) 15:46, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Are you thinking of Giordano Bruno? Brunton (talk) 15:54, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Ah, either one, Brunton. Thank you for the new knowledge! SageRad (talk) 16:27, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for posting this note here SageRad. I am following your case for the reasons mentioned, though I have nothing to add since you and I have never crossed paths (though I've met many of those trying to get you banned). Good luck, (and congratulations), I hope you'll educate your child well concerning Wikipedia and will be able to tell him/her that Wikipedia was able to change without lopping off the heads of everyone who dares oppose Henry VIII. (to understand this reference you have to read the case) SashiRolls (talk) 16:06, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Just want to add that it's kids that often make us realize our own mortality, and start to make us think about what things will become after we're gone. Wikipedia looks like it's here to say with its excellent SEO (search-engine optimization): and I've read JW saying that he doesn't want Wikipedia to become a univocal monolith. I also notice that one of the people trying to get you banned has on their user-page a proud reference to being the last admin that he ... well, never mind. Not my onions. SashiRolls (talk) 16:30, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Onions? Please speak out, User:SashiRolls, don't mumble. I didn't put the note on my page (my talkpage actually), another editor did as a barnstar, but I'm well enough pleased with it. See also WP:BLOCKABDICATE. Bishonen | talk 19:10, 27 November 2016 (UTC).
Sorry that is a bit obscure. "pas mes oignons" is an expression meaning "pas mes affaires" (none of my bidness). I appreciate your transparency. As I said below "smear s(m)ells," this is not a smear attack. I just think it's important to identify the actors, and I think you are the person proposing the sentence. As a newbie (yes, relatively speaking), I'm just learning to identify the actors. SashiRolls (talk) 19:30, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Never mind the onions, SashiRolls, they're not the point, the sentence "one of the people trying to get you banned has on their user-page a proud reference to being the last admin that he ... well, never mind" is the point. Please don't peter out into a mumble, and don't sidetrack to the onions. My point was that when you attack people, the least you can do is name them. Even ping them, if you're feeling really transparent today. Didn't care for me to see this, perhaps? Bishonen | talk 19:48, 27 November 2016 (UTC).
You can view things that way if you like, the truth is that I assumed you would see it and was worried I would walk into some odd trap or another, because some names can not be uttered (outered, etc.), as you know. This is why many who propose non-"mainstream" RS from time to time have learned to mumble, it is a Wikipedia-induced speech impediment. Sometimes. Peace.SashiRolls (talk) 19:58, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Why would Jimbo ever have to ban any editor ever again, when any one of his several hundred best friends among the sysops can take care of it for him with little if any oversight, in any controversial topic covered by AE? JerryRussell (talk) 21:22, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, good editor. I predict that my head will be lopped for speaking the unspeakable. I strongly think that to go on a good path, editors need to clearly define what is and what is not a "personal attack" and to ensure that it is possible to speak to patterns of content editing that are harmful to the encyclopedia, without getting beheaded for doing so. There is definitely an asymmetry in this regard, because there is a specific group who clearly do this with impunity to uphold the orthodoxy, but to speak even a whit about non-ideal editing patterns in the "other direction" proves to be grounds for pillory. This must be remedied. One must be able to say that an article appears to be owned or that there appears to be ongoing disruptive editing to distort content away from neutrality, without having their head lopped. The nature of power is thus, however. Raw power enforcing ideology always converges to these similar strategies, whether they are a royal/religious rule of a territory, or ideological control of a cyber domain. It's not so different in any case. I did experience firsthand ideological control of a country in Nepal, when the last king shut down the Internet and the Royal Army occupied the news media. And i saw the overthrow of this king, and even helped that process along through making things transparent. Would my effort on Wikipedia have a similar effect, i would be happy to "die" for the cause. We do need more people to speak instead of cowering, and we need solidarity regarding integrity at all levels to red-flag and punish impunity. SageRad (talk) 16:38, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
SageRad and SashiRolls, Holy guacamoly, are you two aware of the similarity in your names? --Bob K31416 (talk) 16:54, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Bob, your trivialization of the issues here is not the least bit funny.

Regarding Wikipedia's modality of solving content disputes by banning editors, the case of William Connolley and the Global Warming articles is very instructive. According to articles by Lawrence Solomon at Canada's National Post, Connolley was able to get some 2,000 editors blocked or banned from Wiki. (See Epoch Times for RS secondary sourcing.) The fact that I happen to agree with Connolley that global warming is a serious problem, is completely beside the point. The point is that there is real disagreement among reputable scientists and reputable sources. If you read Wikipedia, you're only getting one side of the story.

Well, Solomon lies and you should have done some very basic fact-checking before repeating the lie. WMC, during his time as admin, was a strict and neutral enforcer of WP:3RR (which back then was very much a mechanical process). Very few if any of the editors he blocked were banned, and most of the blocks were the standard 24h blocks. These blocks had nothing at all to do with global warming (except for the fact that WMC, as an expert, also edited articles on global warming, and that Solomon used them to smear him). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:50, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Stephan Schulz, thanks for that information. However, your characterization of Solomon as a "liar" may or may not be correct. "Lying" requires an intent to deceive. Solomon may have not understood the 24-hour mechanical nature of most of those blocks. I unfortunately haven't been able to locate a copy of Solomon's original article, thus my use of a secondary review source. So I don't know what else he might have said to qualify his statements. I wasn't intending to mislead anyone, either: we all know that bans and blocks at Wiki are often temporary, with varying time limits.
And as to the problem at hand, the effect of bans or blocks to influence Wikipedia content and create an artificial consensus -- does anybody know of any better or more objective studies? Because it sure looks like a problem to me. JerryRussell (talk) 16:59, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
You might want to take a look at hearsay. I have read all of Solomon's series of articles at the time, and I stand by my characterisation, per Stephen Jay Gould's criterion. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:27, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

And it may be complained that these head-chopping metaphors are inappropriate; Wikipedia is only a website. Fair enough. But neither should the consequences of these bans be underestimated. There's an argument that these bans protect the project, and save time for volunteers who no longer have to slog through debates. But as SageRad points out, the effect is to create the appearance of a consensus, where really there is no consensus in the world at large. The real loser is the encyclopedia: thousands of editors banned means thousands of editors whose contributions are forfeited. And more importantly, real neutrality is lost. If the situation gets bad enough, Wikipedia becomes nothing more than damaged goods on the Internet. Or worse, Wiki could contribute to a situation like Nepal. Certainly it is possible for anti-democratic forces to attempt to damage sources such as Wikipedia as part of an overall plan to seize ideological control. Among those who are trying to block SageRad, I see a drumbeat asserting that Wikipedia is a "mainstream" encyclopedia. Actually, WP:MAINSTREAM and WP:SPOV were failed proposals which were never supported by consensus. What is policy is that Wikipedia is not censored. If Wikipedia is nothing more than another mainstream voice, I see no reason to volunteer to support it. The mainstream has enormous resources and does not need my help. JerryRussell (talk) 17:16, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Ah, a slight variation in the name pattern. Possibly eschewing the more conforming SherryRussell, etc.? --Bob K31416 (talk) 17:31, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Dear Bob, thanks for your input on the RfC here. Sad that nobody has been willing to close that long expired and much debated thread neutrally. This election season on Wikipedia has made me realize with some amusement that RosaShills is an anagram of my user name. Names are not the point, though it's true that smear s(m)ells. SashiRolls (talk) 18:13, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Ah, the Galileo gambit. Of which it is said:

It is not enough to wear the mantle of Galileo: that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment. You must also be right.

Sage, your problem is that you refuse to allow the possibility that any conclusion other than yours could be right, or that anybody could come to a different conclusion other then through corruption or stupidity. That is why yo are probably going to end up banninated. Nothing to do with having an unpopular or non-mainstream opinion, and everything to do with your own behaviour. Guy (Help!) 18:19, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
The above is absolutely wrong, because I do NOT have a line on "The Truth" nor EVER claim to be so special. The only thing I hold fiercely is that many points of view have potential validity which can be discussed in dialog with integrity.
Nice try, Guy, but your straw man doesn't resemble me enough to fool the audience who may know me enough to discern. Reliable sources and integrity of dialog are the only things I require. I do not hold to know what's true. I trouble others who do that, and that's why I am on the executioner's list. You know it. SageRad (talk) 18:47, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
And once again you use the word "integrity" as a synonym for giving you what you want. There's really nothing more to say. Guy (Help!) 20:52, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Guy, all he's asking for is not to be slandered and banned. JerryRussell (talk) 21:15, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
If you have read the AE discussion and still think that, then you are naive to a very remarkable degree. Guy (Help!) 21:51, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
How is your preceding comment not a personal attack to push your point of view, Guy? How about speaking to the content without nasty words about the editor? SageRad (talk) 14:35, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
How is it a personal attack? The AE discussion shows very clear agreement among a number of long-term Wikipedians, including people completely uninvolved in your long history of disputes, that the problem is your inability to accept any POV other than your own as being valid or grounded in truth. Your relentless use of the word "integrity" as a synonym for giving you what you want is absolutely emblematic of this. Your long rants about how terrible Wikipedia is, invoking the title of the banned user Tumbleman's website, and promoting other sites where nutters like Radin and Sheldrake castigate science for heartlessly rejecting their piffle, is a strong indication that you do not accept the norms used in Wikipedia content about scientific subjects, but there are loads of people who do that perfectly peacefully because they accept that the reality-based POV is at least as valid as theirs, so they can work with reality-based editors. And then there are those who get banninated because they accuse everyone of being a pharma shill and the like. And the only reason - literally the only reason - you are not yourself banned by now, is that most of us think you're a decent, intelligent, articulate, and if you could just drop your m:MPOV you might even be good to have around. The more you make statements like the one currently above your name at AE, the more this view is undermined. You are the author of your problems here, nobody else. Guy (Help!) 22:34, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
How is it not a personal attack to call me "naive to a very remarkable degree"? JerryRussell (talk) 02:11, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
SageRad, isn't this a better forum for your arguments? Count Iblis (talk) 18:38, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Don't understand your meaning. Please be straightforward. SageRad (talk) 14:35, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
This is Jimbo's talk page, and Guy's essay Wikipedia:Lunatic_charlatans is, therefore, highly relevant. A petition signed by >10,000 supporters at called for fair treatment of alternative health providers at Wikipedia. Jimbo answered: If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals - that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately. What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of "true scientific discourse". It isn't. The top comment at's website in reply to Jimbo was from Debby Vajda, LCSW, DCEP, President ACEP; and she said:
The editors responsible have offered an arcane and ever-changing list of excuses why peer-reviewed research published in American Psychological Association and other professional journals simply isn't good enough for Wikipedia. ty
The prestigious, peer-reviewed journal of the American Psychological Association, Review of General Psychology, published a review of the research related to energy psychology in 2012 which included the following summary: "A literature search identified 51 peer-reviewed papers that report or investigate clinical outcomes following the tapping of acupuncture points to address psychological issues. The 18 randomized controlled trials in this sample were critically evaluated for design quality, leading to the conclusion that they consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions. Criteria for evidence-based treatments proposed by Division 12 of the American Psychological Association were also applied and found to be met for a number of conditions, including PTSD and depression."
Additional research has appeared in the following professional journals: the Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Primary Care and Community Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, the Review of General Psychology, and Traumatology.
So what's going on here? Does Jimbo stand by his statement that practitioners such as Vajda are "Lunatic Charlatans", regardless of how much peer reviewed research she can point to? Or is Jimbo really the core problem here at Wikipedia? If this is his example of civility and NPOV, I suppose it shouldn't be a surprise that the rest of the organization follows his example. JerryRussell (talk) 19:35, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Vajda is an "energy psychotherapist" so... pretty much, yes. And she's taking that review wildly out of context as is par for the course in fringe circles. Capeo (talk) 20:48, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Capeo, the review article is here: Acupoint_Stimulation_Research_Review.pdf. I don't see any misrepresentation at all in Vajda's quote. It's taken straight from the abstract, which accurately represents the content of the paper and its conclusions as far as I can see. JerryRussell (talk) 21:07, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
That 2012 review article by Feinstein was mentioned in Wikipedia in the last paragraph of section Emotional Freedom Techniques#Reception and here's the excerpt:
"Feinstein published another review in 2012, concluding that energy psychology techniques "consistently demonstrated strong effect sizes and other positive statistical results that far exceed chance after relatively few treatment sessions".[1] This review was also criticized, where again it was noted that Feinstein dismissed higher quality studies which showed no effects of EFT, in favor of methodologically weaker studies which did show a positive effect.[2]"


  1. ^ Feinstein, David (December 2012). "Acupoint stimulation in treating psychological disorders: Evidence of efficacy". Review of General Psychology. 16 (4): 364–380. doi:10.1037/a0028602.
  2. ^ Bakker, Gary M. (November 2013). "The current status of energy psychology: Extraordinary claims with less than ordinary evidence". Clinical Psychologist. 17 (3): 91–99. doi:10.1111/cp.12020.
--Bob K31416 (talk) 21:52, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
That sounds fair enough. So I can't fault Wiki's coverage in this case. A methodological disagreement. But, what ever happened to "lunatic charlatans"? JerryRussell (talk) 21:58, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Whatever one wants to call them, my glimpse here into that world doesn't look good. --Bob K31416 (talk) 22:32, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
I looked at the edit history on that page and found that the Feinstein reference was introduced into the article in April 2014, right after the public exchange between Jimbo and Vajda. So, Vajda's criticism would have been valid as of the date she raised it. Yeah, I wouldn't hire an EFT therapist. I can't bring myself to believe, so no placebo effect or "faith healing" for me. JerryRussell (talk) 22:52, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
I looked at the archives from March 2014 and was amazed to find that not a single editor at the time called Jimbo out for a lack of civility. Now, it might very well be that sources such as those cited by Vajda don't meet MEDRS. I also understand that placebo effects might be the entire explanation for the apparent successes described in those sources. If that's the mainstream point of view, of course Wikipedia articles should say so. But if MEDRS is preventing any citation of sources such as Vajda listed from even being mentioned in Wiki articles, then MEDRS is a big problem here. Wikipedia is only discrediting itself by trumpeting its reliance on peer-reviewed science, and then selectively rejecting results from that literature in a way that's obvious to anyone who takes the time to research. And no matter what the truth is, the phrase "Lunatic Charlatans" is an obvious attack on the personal integrity as well as the intelligence of practitioners, and is obviously incompatible with BLP.
Jimbo, any response?? JerryRussell (talk) 20:56, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
"Energy psychology" is bullshit. EFT is just distraction therapy, there is no evidence whatsoever that the location of magic tapping makes any difference whatsoever, and even less evidence that so-called acupoints have any connection to the real world. That's the reality-based consensus view, which Wikipedia follows. Of course True Believers will engage in endless pseudoscience to try to prove their beliefs true, but it is pseudoscience precisely because they are trying to validate a belief rather than test it. Guy (Help!) 21:15, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
The only thing I would argue with is "lunatic". People who have worked out effective methods of making money from the sick by "prescribing" nonsense therapies that do not work are clearly not mentally deranged. They are, however, a lot of other things, including "charlatans". The very definition of the word shows its accuracy - "a person falsely claiming to have a special knowledge or skill". Black Kite (talk) 21:16, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
So what if EFT is just another form of "distraction therapy"? The paper cited above doesn't make any claims about the location of the magic tapping points. All it says is that empirically, the therapy works. (It does speculate that there could be a neural mechanism, but has very little to say about any specifics.)
Maybe psychotherapy (and alternative medicine), in general, is the art of inducing a placebo effect? And maybe it works better if the practitioners also believe it works? Is that any different from religion, and would you dismiss all religious feelings as "bullshit"? JerryRussell (talk) 21:36, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but such an effect can be put to the test. Count Iblis (talk) 21:42, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict) "Religious feelings" is not a synonym for "faith healing." Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:45, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
I think most religious people would accept the idea that it's a good idea to breathe oxygen from the air regularly. Not all religious people believe in faith healing, but some do. And maybe EFT is just another form of that. I'm not sure if Vajda or Feinstein would be insulted if someone said so. But I doubt if insults like "lunatic charlatan" or "bullshit" are going to convince anyone. JerryRussell (talk) 22:08, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
EP advocates claim it is a marvellous and new thing. It's not. It's bullshit. They oinvoke appeals to ancient wisdom, meridians and acupoints, all of which are bullshit. They publish papers that are credulous bullshit, and when reality-based psychologists review them, they find them to be bullshit. Charging money for a thing that is not what you pretend it to be, is a scam. EP vendors have entirely failed to persuade the relevant academic community of the merits of their arguments, so they tried to exert pressure on Wikipedia to change our content to reflect their marketing goals instead of the reality-based consensus. Jimbo's response was: no. If the real world thinks you're a charlatan, Wikipedia is not the place to fix that. End of. Guy (Help!) 00:31, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Guy, what you're saying here is that the JAPA, Journal of Clinical Psychology, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Primary Care and Community Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, the Review of General Psychology, and Traumatology all publish papers that are "credulous bullshit". And I took a look at the abstract of the rebuttal paper by Bakker, and I didn't see the words "Lunatic Charlatan" there. Is it possible that the real-world consensus is not as solid as you think? More importantly, our job as Wiki editors is not to resolve these real-world disputes, it's to describe them in an encyclopedic tone.
Why do scientific papers avoid describing EFT practitioners as "Lunatic Charlatans"? Well, "Lunatic" is not a precise DSM-IV diagnosis. What exactly do we mean by that? I submit that at worst, it boils down to a "spiritually based" view of reality, combined with a confirmation bias in interpretation of attempted scientific experiments. Maybe it's pseudo-science, but if so, it's good enough to get past the editors and reviewers of some pretty good journals. Is that really lunacy, or just a fairly typical aspect of the human condition?
And by "charlatans" we mean purveyors of a fraud? Doesn't it imply criminal intent to deceive? In this case, the practitioners and patients are true believers, so it's hard to impute mens rea. And if the practitioners persuade their customers to spend a few dollars in pursuit of what's really a placebo effect, rather than spend far greater amounts on pharmaceutical products that are often just as questionable, where's the crime in that?
The phrase "Lunatic Charlatan" does have the advantage of clearly conveying a personal insult. So when called on the carpet for vituperative personal attacks, the defense is "Truth"? Shall we allow all sorts of personal attacks on talk pages, and then similar personal attacks in the encyclopedia, on the basis of "Truth"? Or should we insist on a precise and encyclopedic tone, regardless of what the "Truth" is? JerryRussell (talk) 17:51, 29 November 2016 (UTC)


All this talk of climate change denial and such other things is a bit distracting. A thing like Misophonia seems to be what triggered Jytdog to bring this request, and there on the talk page I presented the latest MEDRS sources (recent review articles) and Jytdog seemed unbelievably to not want the article to use the word "condition" to describe misophonia (which is a condition). That went on unbearably long, and I did NOT force it in the article or edit war, but kept on with dialog to get the content right (our main mission here).

That is the sort of thing that I think keeps the encyclopaedia from reaching optimal goodness, and in many cases keeps content stuck in local maximums that are not NPOV.

Please see the nuance of what I am saying! This is not about climate change denial or quackery. This is about integrity in representing excellent sources properly, and without ideology or bias. SageRad (talk) 23:09, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Sorry SageRad, I didn't mean to put you in the same bucket with those others. But I do think Wiki's treatment of literally thousands of dissenting editors, as well as the lack of civility towards "quackery", is entirely relevant to the discussion. Yes, Wiki does need some mechanism for dealing with problem editors. But, I suspect that you're not the only good-faith editor who has ever been threatened with a ban for being a dissenting voice from the "consensus". JerryRussell (talk) 00:09, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia serves a very useful purpose as the place to get a quick overview of complex topics, with much more in-depth material if wanted. However, I would not want to spend time reading an article and find out later that it promoted the views of a dissenting voice from the consensus. I can use Google to find the opinions of random people—if I want to learn something about a topic, I want to know the current mainstream view—the boring view that is based on evidence. It is interesting to read about notable pseudoscientific topics or non-orthodox views, but they must be clearly identified as not being part of evidence-based knowledge. Johnuniq (talk) 01:18, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
"However, I would not want to spend time reading an article and find out later that it promoted the views of a dissenting voice from the consensus."
Consensus changes and can be manufactured. Take a media studies class. NPOV is supposed to resist any attempt to pressure Wikipedia toward a consensus. We are supposed to explain the dissenting point of view. This is a pillar of wikipedia and should not be a point of debate here.
I personally believe that acupuncture is bullshit. I want the page about acupuncture to say what acupuncturists believe along with a section about the lack of success in trials. It should not be a stub that says "acupuncture is bullshit" with opinions of people repeating "acupuncture is bullshit." People should not be banned for suggesting that we explain what acupuncturists believe from a neutral point of view. Even something as fringe as Zecharia Sitchin's beliefs should be explained in a neutral manner. A neutral article does not say "Sitchin is a fraud." A neutral article says there is no evidence for his beliefs and shows the evidence contradicting him.
American Civil War revisionists are making progress convincing the public in denying that the civil war was about slavery. What happens if their view becomes consensus in the future? "Oh, you quoted the Confederacy itself saying it was about slavery? That is primary research. You're banned." "You quoted a secondary source from the 20th century? That is outside of the current academic consensus. You're banned." This is where the worship of consensus leads. We need an accurate and neutral hearing of all sides. (talk) 19:16, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
  • User:JerryRussell you have missed the point; SageRad's POV is irrelevant. He could be an industry shill and if he behaved the same way, he would be just as disruptive. The problem is the behavior, not the content he has been advocating for. Many, many people have told him this over the last year and a half. He can't hear that, and frames it instead as being martyred for speaking Truth. Many disruptive editors have come and gone under the same self-delusion; there is nothing new under the sun here. Look at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement/Archive189#Beautifulpeoplelikeyou and the contribs of that user and their userpage as they left it; the trajectory is the same as SageRad, only much more compressed and focused. Both came to WP to speak Truth, scorned advice from others, had their edits rejected over and over, bludgeoned talk pages, and blamed "false consensus" for their own failures to understand WP. It is hard to watch. Jytdog (talk) 07:09, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
and as for SageRad's claim that all he wants to do is represent refs accurately, I presented several diffs (of the many times he has done it) of SageRad misrepresenting refs in pursuit of his agenda and not backing off that, even when shown it. The claim is part of the self-delusion. Jytdog (talk) 07:17, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
I can show many diffs of that behavior from Jytdog, and i can show diffs of myself seeing that i'm wrong in some cases and acknowledging that, thereby disproving Jytdog's claim in the preceding comment and accompanying personal attack of saying i'm in a "self-delusion". If i show that his claim is wrong and that the attack is unjustified, doesn't that erode his case against me? I'll take a few minutes and find some diffs before work right now. SageRad (talk) 14:35, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Ok, so here is a discussion in which i am citing MEDRS sources with the very simple point that they call misophonia a "condition" and therefore so should the article. Simple. Yet Jytdog refuses to accede this, and instead goes into an argument about nosology here and then here i point out that he is incorrect' in his argument and that he's also doing WP:OR and WP:SYN as well as contradicting the most recent MEDRS sources on this very simple question... and still he has not acceded this point nor produced better arguments or sources to support his position. He is doing exactly what he's accused me of here. Stubbornly sticking to a point that he seems to want so very badly to shape the article even when it's not supported by sources, and pushing SYN and OR. SageRad (talk) 14:41, 28 November 2016 (UTC)


Now to prove the other side of Jytdog's claims wrong... He claims that i never back off when shown to be wrong. Well, here is Jytdog's reversion of my edit to Polychlorinated biphenyl. I saw that he is actually correct, and went investigating review articles on the subject. Then i wrote on his talk page here to say:

Jytdog, i hope you will not mind me posting here to say that i agree with your edit where you corrected my edit. I was mistaken to think that this source satisfies the WP:MEDRS requirement of being a secondary source (review article). I will be more careful in the future regarding this.

And so i have lived by these words. I've never made that mistake again, and i admitted when i was wrong.

He replied "great, thanks" showing that he saw what i wrote. Therefore for him to say that i never admit to being wrong is either a memory failure or misrepresentation. SageRad (talk) 14:46, 28 November 2016 (UTC)

you admitted you were wrong once and then you want everyone to cheer for you. that's pathetic. Jytdog (talk) 18:44, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Regarding the Sept 17, 2016 incident at Polychlorinated biphenyl mentioned above, Jytdog's opening comments at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#SageRad mentioned a SageRad incident about a week later on Sept 25.
"* On Sept 25 he joined a discussion at Talk:Detoxification (alternative medicine) in a section entitled "Truth of Toxins" where he helpfully brought a new ref but then misrepresented it here and again here arguing that we should include more positive content about detox diets (the conclusion presented in the source is the opposite as pointed out to him here."
I didn't see a response there from SageRad about this particular incident. Was Sept 25 a repeat of the problem behavior, but without an admission of a mistake? --Bob K31416 (talk) 20:45, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
Because i didn't misrepresent the article. This is a case where Jytdog is assuming he's automatically right about something, and most editors assume it too. Well, i did not misrepresent the article. For one thing, i quoted the entire abstract of the article and then i summarized it as "There is little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets. That's true. That is lack of crucial evidence. However, there is some evidence that certain foods have detoxification properties. This is an area that needs more research, according to the above review article."
In order to say that i was wrong and didn't admit it, you have to prove that i was wrong. In this case, i don't think i was.
You'll see that after i cited the MEDRS source (recent review article in relevant discipline), another edtor wrote "If you want to make a medical claim for us to assess, or make arguments based upon such claims, point out the MEDRS sources. The entire idea of "detoxification" in the context here is pseudoscience. FRINGE (and the associated ArbCom decisions) place a very high bar on presenting pseudoscience as something else."
Then i replied, "That which I quoted is a MEDRS source."
Then Jytdog wrote, "you have starkly mischaracterized the conclusion of the source," and quoted from the source. And i didn't misrepresent the source. I said other things that the source said, accurately. There was no contradiction.
I replied with "I didn't misrepresent the ref. I quoted the entire abstract."
The Jytdog, instead of pursuing this or acknowledging it, replied with "Please read and follow the guidance in WP:NOABSTRACT."
And that's one single example of how Jytdog misrepresents what happened. I didn't misrepresent the source and i also didn't use it to add anything to the article. I commented on the talk page to show that the 100% demonization of the concept was going too far. That is all. SageRad (talk) 00:48, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Yes, you actually did. But I have given up hope of you ever developing any talent for self-criticism. Guy (Help!) 01:29, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog wrote above, you admitted you were wrong once and then you want everyone to cheer for you. that's pathetic. Well, Jytdog, you are the one bringing a huge wall of accusations against me with potential to block me for a year. So, i take it seriously to show that your accusations are not wholly true. Forgive me for that, eh? Maybe you can understand why i may be annoyed by having to dig up diffs to show that your slanders are not true. So no, i'm not expecting everyone to cheer for me. But i do expect you to acknowledge that you're not 100% correct when you say i never admit i'm wrong. I've proven it. And there are a number of other cases, with you and with others, where i've been shown to be wrong and admitted it. Another case of me admitting to be wrong. Probably could find more if i spent some time digging through the past.
Here is a diff in which i urge everyone to slow down and return to good sourcing. And here is a comment in which i actually did admit to you that the sources do seem to categorize the Whole30 diet as a "fad diet" and i did not oppose its categorization as such. I looked to the sources and saw that you were correct, and admitted it. SageRad (talk) 02:19, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
you are so fiercely fixed on defending and the more you do that, the deeper the hole you dig. Several people gave you very good advice on your talk page about how you should proceed, which - as is typical with you - you have ignored. And why you were so surprised by the AE case, when I signalled extremely clearly what I was going to do well ahead of time .... is just baffling to me. And two of the admins have remarked on how you are bludgeoning the AE itself. The AE itself. You are just terrible at this "community" thing -- at listening -- SageRad. I am done here, anyway. Jytdog (talk) 02:32, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Jytdog says, you are so fiercely fixed on defending and the more you do that, the deeper the hole you dig --- and i say NO:
  • You attempt to frame it such that my speaking is wrong and "digging me deeper" -- but that's an imposed framing. It's a bully move. It's typical of your mode.
  • I am "defending" because you're attacking. Obviously... you've brought a hostile action against me. Not the other way around. So... own that. That's the situation. I didn't attack you buddy. Therefore defending is what a reasonable person does.
  • Almost everything you do, Jytdog, is in a hostile mode of attack against others. YOU are the one who has trouble with this community thing. You need to own up to your behavioral problems. Others see it clearly. Lots of people speak about the onerous problems you cause on Wikipedia. Only a small handful who seem to always be your allies and frequent traveling companions speak about me in such a way. Which is likely to be more accurate? You are not God. I feel that must be repeated to you many times. SageRad (talk) 15:52, 29 November 2016 (UTC)


It seems like what the disagreement regarding "orthodoxy" boils down to is giving significance to questionable evidence in a medical-related article. I think giving significance to such evidence would be avoided whether it was about alternative medicine or mainstream medicine. --Bob K31416 (talk) 13:27, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

As you boil down the debate, I think you're missing something. I think the disagreement is most immediately regarding what "medicine" (or alternative to "medicine") should be administered in order to solve the problem of AE and JW's talk page becoming rainy muddy pits as people struggle for a right (orthogonal) to express an opinion (doxical) on talk pages without being categorically shut down by "nothing burgers" or smears of fringe. To state the obvious, in peer review, who your peers are matters. SashiRolls (talk) 13:53, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
When you start using word (soup) alternative (definitions) for common words, you come across as a crank and will be ignored.
Fact 1: There is no such thing as a meridian, outside of fiction. Fact 2: There is no such thing as an acupoint, outside of fiction. Fact 3: There is no credible evidence that manipulating thse non-existent things has any effect. Fact 4: EFT proponents nonetheless claim to do just that. Fact 5: Their claims have been reviewed by the relevant professional community and found to be baseless. Fact 6: Proponents, such as those identified above, continue to publish "research", such as that cited above, in an attempt to validate their beliefs. Fact 7: There is a well trodden path from fringe science to pathological science to pseudoscience, and they are a long way down it. Guy (Help!) 14:15, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
I understand there are other issues. I tried to address just one aspect but it may be an aspect that resulted in the acrimony and other issues. --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:17, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Speaking of acrimony, I just dug up a bone from the much publicized "gamergate" epoch in the List of Greek and Roman roots starting with E page, & thought I'd bring it back HERE, see where it winds up next time. ^^. A shame the GMO ArbCom consensus –of what? – 30 editors at most? – hasn't been as carefully studied as gamergate, since the former seems to lead to so many "thought crimes". There's another example still not archived on the AE page, But I'd have to IAR to talk about it. That's tough, I admit, and leads you to think that if the soup needs a crank for stirring, you'd better put a motor in your piano. I'll get off my litterbox, maybe I'm wrong, maybe everything is OK -- after all, there is certainly no cabal on the 2015-2016 Haitian Presidential elections pages, and it appears there won't even be a recount. (21% voter turnout...Jovenel Moïse won.) meanwhile, thanks to SageRad for talking about McCarthy, it reminded me about the story on The reliable old WaPo citing PropOrNot.[1] SashiRolls (talk) 22:12, 29 November 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Ben Norton; Glenn Greenwald (26 November 2016), "Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group", The Intercept, retrieved 27 November 2016
@Bob K31416:, i would like to to this discussion on the misophonia article talk page as a better example. This is not about questionable evidence, but rather about a very simple interpretation of the best MEDRS sourcing. Jytdog here is unexplainably (to me) opposed to calling misophonia a "condition" as it is called in multiple recent MEDRS sources. This is not fringe and it's hardly questionable. The sourcing is good, and the interpretation is so very direct (simply what word do the sources use?) That is a good example of the dynamic. I think the "orthodoxy" or content desired by the establishment power base here is to not call things of this sort a "condition" so to not reify anything that may not be in the DSM or some such attitude. But Wikipeda policy is very clear. MEDRS sources are clear on this question. It's a condition despite being idiopathic at present. So why shouldn't the article say that reflecting sources, and why does my speaking to that (and things like this) result in building up to Jytdog bringing a case against me with ideological grounds? It's really obvious to me that it's an ideological thing, not a behavioral thing, and that should not be given ground to stand on within Wikipedia. SageRad (talk) 16:00, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
SageRad - I am not "attacking". I and others have brought your disruptive behavior to your attention many times over the past year and a half. You have refused to listen and persisted, and as you do below, instead frame it as "censoring" or "McCarthyism".
Please hear this - the AE action is intended to bring the issues with your behavior to the community's attention, to have the community verify there is a problem and if they agree, to take action.
The general approach if there is agreement that there is a problem, is to restrict editing privileges to a) stop the disruption and b) make it clear to the user being discussed that yes, they have to take the issues seriously. Many people do listen, change their behavior, and get privileges back. On the other hand, many don't, and continually lose privileges until they are completely banned.
You keep framing this like a legal thing and an "attack" and it is the wrong approach to this aspect of WP. You were explicitly advised not to treat it that way on your talk page.
but you keep acting like WP is some kind of "free speech" platform, and it isn't. We are here to build articles per the policies and guidelines, in a community, not serve as a platform for anybody to change the world or go on and on about their world views, whatever they may be.
OK, really done now. Jytdog (talk) 16:02, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Your framing always places you in a superior position of judgment, and often speaking of what "everyone" thinks when it's so untrue in reality. There is not such consensus. Only some people think like you and a great many others think differently. And it is a matter of jurisprudence. It's not a brick-and-mortar courthouse, but it most certainly is a matter of systematized judgment with real consequences.
  • Please realize that i do take criticism. I hear criticism. I learn. I have definitely learned through time, from you and from others. But, since your word is the word of a human, it is not absolutely correct all the time. Like any other human, i hear your words as coming from your own point of view. I take it with the appropriate grain of salt, and very healthily, i do not automatically accept and obey you. You need to get used to that. You are a good contributor here, in many ways, but you are not God and this is not your encyclopedia. Please get on the ground with everyone else.
  • People have different points of view. I listen to all points of view. My own is based on millions of inputs and weighing of evidence and triangulations, confirmations, rethinkings, etc.... like any good human. You have affected my thinking, in good ways, but not by uncritical integration. When you say something with merit in my view, then i will integrate it. I often have -- regarding MEDRS sourcing, for instance.
  • I take these issues seriously, but i don't accept that the issues are all my own behavioral issues -- rather, the context and culture here are issues too. Perhaps bigger issues than my own and perhaps i am an irritant to those external issues because i drive dialog to completion and integrity.
Shall i knock down your straw men there? Here goes: I don't think this is a "free speech platform" but rather that there is a need for open expression within guidelines to get good content. So that last paragraph of yours is moot. SageRad (talk) 16:15, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
It seems obvious to me that what's going on here is indeed a protracted content dispute between two highly articulate, good faith, (and dare I say verbose?) editors. And by putting SageRad on trial: by the boomerang principle, isn't Jytdog also on trial? Have all the effected community members been suitably notified that both persons are on trial?
In my eyes as a relatively new editor, it's the Wikipedia Arbcom system that's on trial here, just as much as either of these two proponents. After all this verbose debate, any single admin can summarily enter the verdict. That is, SageRad has to earn 100% approval of all the admins (among those who look into the case) in order to survive. No matter how much community support SageRad gets (and he's gotten a surprising amount, considering the chilling effects of the system) -- even a single admin with a grudge against Sage can implement the block. That single admin could easily be an industry shill, Wiki has little ability to prevent participation of COI individuals. Where is the justice in that? How is this not a kangaroo court?? JerryRussell (talk) 17:10, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
In a common-law jury trial system, a consensus of the jurors is required to bring a conviction, based on evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Here, basically, a consensus of admins is required to acquit. Such a system could only evolve if there's a need to eliminate a lot of thought-crime. JerryRussell (talk) 17:27, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

This case is going on at the arb enforcement board, as well as here. Complaints are coming in from the admins, that this case is becoming a time sink, therefore it's necessary to issue the block and get it over with. Wouldn't it be equally just as easy to end the time sink with a "not guilty" finding? And that would have the advantage of taking the wind out of SageRad's "McCarthyite" charges.

I just noticed that user:Jytdog has a COI statement at his user page. He says he works for a small startup pharmaceutical company. He promises not to edit articles directly related to his company or its products, or anything to do with acute neurological disorders. He says that should draw a fence around his COI. But, does it really? Obviously, as a person who works in the industry, he must have other friends who also work in the industry. According to WP:COI, one should avoid editing in areas related to one's friends. Could this have anything to do with the very powerful POV displayed in Jytdog's conflict with SageRad?

And, why aren't the admins asking any of these questions? JerryRussell (talk) 21:15, 29 November 2016 (UTC) tweaked per Bishonen's request at my talk page JerryRussell (talk) 02:36, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Ah, the shill gambit. Took you longer than I thought it would. AE isn't a trial. There is no justice on WP. If you simply can't get along with people you're voted off the island. There's a point when the time sink is not worth whatever positives may be involved. SageRad has already been sanctioned by ArbCom itself after a very lengthy case and has been blocked at least once, that I remember, at AE since then.Capeo (talk) 21:50, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Capeo, do you claim to speak for Jimbo? Would he agree that there is no justice on WP? Isn't it reasonable that admins should be asking questions about Jytdog's possible COI, considering that SageRad has asked for a boomerang? What is it supposed to prove that SageRad has been on trial before? I've looked at that Arbcom case, and the sins SageRad was convicted for look pretty trivial to me. JerryRussell (talk) 22:29, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
To be accurate, JerryRussell, i haven't "asked for a boomerang" though i would think a boomerang would be the result of such an onerous case in a more just world but an admin could impose one. I simply want to be released to edit a couple times per week as a hobby. I can't believe this hullaballoo. Anyone with one eye and half a brain in a good world would see that it's a takedown attempt motivated by ideological dislike, and would say "Hey, don't do this! Cut the crap!" -- and yet i'm having to defend myself against a 1,500 word thing with many "Yes men" backing him up as they always do... It's a spectacle worthy of a Kafka treatment. SageRad (talk) 22:38, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
JerryRussell, I've made no claim to speaking for Jimbo. That said, whatever he would happen to say is of no consequence. WP is run by the community, not Jimbo, and NOJUSTICE is a well regarded essay. Jytdog's COI is old news and has been properly declared. Sage, is it your contention now that the all the admins that have found fault in your behavior in the last couple years, at ArbCom, at AE, at ANI, are all being fooled and are not actually looking at the evidence? All these uninvolved admins are so easily swayed? Or could it simply be that your behavior is often wildly suboptimal and it's obvious to the admins that actually look into it? The admins at AE gave you a month long reprieve for Christ's sake. I've never seen that before. You come back and just start ranting about conspiracies and injustice again. Like you have whenever you've been sanctioned or faced with possible sanction. You claim you don't have time to respond to the AE point by point (even though you said you would during the month off) yet you've blugeoned WP with thousands of words in the last few days. Capeo (talk) 23:48, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Capeo, I'm amazed that the Wiki community feels it's OK that there is "No Justice" in these proceedings. What specific kind of "no justice" are we talking about here? SageRad describes it as "fascist" and "Kafka-esque". What sort of adjectives would you prefer for the system that exists here, where Jytdog's obvious COI is of no consequence, but SageRad's choice of adjectives is such anathema? JerryRussell (talk) 01:22, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm just going to assume you didn't actually read WP:NOJUSTICE. I'm also going to assume you have no clue in regard to the history of conflicts regarding SageRad given that they have nothing to do with Jytdog's declared COI. By the way, if one has a COI they're expected to declare it. I'm sure the vast majority of editors don't so somehow trying to demonize an editor for doing what is expected, and dare I say showing integrity, is particularly unsavory. Capeo (talk) 06:16, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

user:Jimbo Wales, where are you? Does Guy speak for you, as per the "friendly talk page stalker" note? JerryRussell (talk) 21:19, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

Indeed, it seems to be the jurisprudence system here is deeply flawed. It's so arbitrary in a case like this. One admin might clear the request with no action and a few warnings, another might boomerang back at Jytdog for the nuisance of the request, or another might ban me for life. It's so arbitrary as well as apt to be captured. SageRad (talk) 21:45, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
I see that the admins are trying to develop some sort of consensus among themselves. Who knows if that has any real effect on the outcome, or if it's just for show. They don't seem motivated to really delve into the arguments, nor have I seen any acknowledgement of the support you've been getting from the community, SageRad. It's interesting to see that it's becoming more important to get it over with, than to get it right.
Perhaps the root of it is the idea that the system exists only for the good of the encyclopedia, so there's no need for justice for individuals to be any part of the procedure. Also, it seems to be a fundamental principle that single editors are dispensable.
But if nothing else, for the good of the encyclopedia it's important that the system not be captured by special interests. JerryRussell (talk) 22:09, 29 November 2016 (UTC)
Special interests is one thing. Ideology is another.
What concerns me is that the policies and sources don't seem to matter as much as a cliquish party line. There's the "house POV" which is not what Wikipedia should be about.
Also concerning is how bullying and slandering is the norm... how it's become acceptable to demonize someone despite facts. Like you can go to the misophonia article talk page and read the dialog there. You will see there is not a "consensus" but there is instead a rich dialog (would have been richer if Jytdog's response hadn't been to bring me to AE instead of continuing to discuss and clarify there). But now, though it's so easily verifiable that i was not "going against consensus" but rather talking to establish consensus if possible, an editor is mischaracterizing this here as reason for my elimination from Wikipedia.
This is the sort of thing that i mean by integrity.
It's "clever" in a way, very lawyerly rather, to twist things in that way, but it's not accurate or right. And yet, it'll probably not be examined with enough rigor, and i'll be gone when some admin finally pushes a button.
If this were not "just a website" but physical capture as well, it really would be like the Reign of Terror.
People keep faulting me for using words like McCarthyism, but other than the triviality because it's not "real life" like actually not execution or jail, it's still that same dynamic. And it's supposed to be the method by which a great reference work is edited? It's laughable. It's a joke. And yet it's unexamined by most people. SageRad (talk) 12:26, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm mischaracterizing? Newsflash: When multiple editors revert your edit your edit is against consensus. When you near instantly throw a NPOV tag up and start claiming OR and SYNTH just as fast you're not "engaging". It comes across as a tantrum to be honest. I also never said your editing there was a sole reason for your "elimination". It's just one incident in an ever lengthening list.Capeo (talk) 15:36, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Newsflash : Ever hear of tag team reverting? Yeah, it's real. Second newsflash : only Jytdog and myself were substantially in dialog on the talk page and we disagreed. Therefore there was no consensus. QED. Test of your rhetoric: whatever man. SageRad (talk) 15:59, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
The only thing there wasn't consensus for was your edit. On WP the default consensus is the status quo. The multiple editors reverting to the status quo should display to you that that is the current consensus. A single editor can't show up at an article, get reverted by multiple users then suddenly claim there is no consensus just because they don't like it. Immediately tagging the article and making accusations of OR and SYNTH is particularly battleground-ish. Capeo (talk) 17:17, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

SageRad, I looked at the Misophonia Talk page regarding your discussion with Jytdog about the issue of using the term "condition" vs "disorder" in the first sentence of the article, and it looks like there is a considerable miscommunication between the two of you. You both seem to think that "condition" is the correct term but Jytdog seems to be disputing something else and is not aware that the term "disorder" is being used in the first sentence of the article. --Bob K31416 (talk) 16:53, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for looking. I agree, there was considerable miscommunication. I think a bit more effort could have gone a long way. Others in dialog in a good way could have helped. But I don't see how is fodder for saying that I am a bad editor. Couldn't it equally be said that Jytdog dropped the communication ball there? SageRad (talk) 17:33, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Re "But I don't see how is fodder for saying that I am a bad editor." – I'm not saying that and I'm not blaming you for anything in that particular incident. Also, as far as I can tell it was a good faith mistake by Jytdog who seemed to misunderstand what you were trying to do regarding "condition" vs "disorder". --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:11, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Also note that I just made an edit over there. [1] --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:52, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
It was reverted and I addressed the reverter's edit summary with a subsequent edit. [2] --Bob K31416 (talk) 19:09, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
And then my new edit was reverted with an edit summary that seemed irrational. [3] So I'm not inclined to spend more time on this and just write it off as a part of Wikipedia that contains misinformation. --Bob K31416 (talk) 19:19, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
If i'd seen this, I probably would have used a less confusing edit summary, something like "revert meatpuppetry" for example. Roxy the dog. bark 13:34, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you, Bob. You're not using it against me but others are and I might be blocked for a year today. It's bad. SageRad (talk) 19:30, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
If you're blocked, the Misophonia part would seem to be a relatively small part of the reason. --Bob K31416 (talk) 20:53, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I don't know how much is this or how much is that, but most of the arguments suffer from similar lack of truthiness. And they're vague interpretive things, like "he wrote too much text on the paleo diet article" and similar claims that i've been "bad" in so many baggie interpretive ways. I was there. I knew what it was actually about. But unless someone dedicates themselves to study for hours they can't know that Jytdog's assertions are highly biased interpretations. So it's bad. SageRad (talk) 21:25, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Anyhow, I commented over there on the Misophonia incident and my attempt at editing the article [4].
There was another criticism mentioned regarding your activity on the article Detoxification (alternative medicine). To me it looked like a case where you were giving significance to questionable evidence in a medical-related article. I commented above that giving significance to such evidence would be avoided whether it was about alternative medicine or mainstream medicine. --Bob K31416 (talk) 21:44, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
I didn't even edit the detox article regarding that. It was solely citing a MEDRS source on the talk page and quoing the abstract.
Thanks for commenting about misphonia. I think you may have misunderstood the question. I think Jytdog opposed calling it a "condition" and yet he just edited it to return the word to "condition".
I appreciate you caring. SageRad (talk) 22:32, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Re "It was solely citing a MEDRS source on the talk page and quoing the abstract. " – Here's a couple of excerpts of what you wrote.
"I am surprised to not find this review article by Klein and Kiat (2015) in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics used in this article. General sense is that there are some indications that some things work in some ways but in general there is 'very little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets'."[5]
"There is little clinical evidence to support the use of these diets. That's true. That is lack of crucial evidence. However, there is some evidence that certain foods have detoxification properties. This is an area that needs more research, according to the above review article. It doesn't automatically conclude that it is 100% complete bunk. And i do sense that bent in this article in agreement with the original comment in this section, to a degree. A likely problem with NPOV is what i'd call it."[6]
This is what I was going by when I wrote, "To me it looked like a case where you were giving significance to questionable evidence in a medical-related article." --Bob K31416 (talk) 03:46, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Ok, but i wasn't "giving significance" to it any more than the article itself did. I was remedying the absolute lack of nuance around that article. Do you think it was wrong and if so, why? Do you think that passage on the talk page is worthy of being a plank in the "evidence against me"? Because it's pretty typical of the "evidence" being used to run me out of here other than the fact that i spoke here at Jimbo's page about "Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia" and such things. SageRad (talk) 12:39, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
You were considering putting the questionable evidence in the article, which is what I meant by giving it significance. Just because some information appears in a reliable source, doesn't mean it should be included in a Wikipedia article. I think that just giving it significance alone should not be a plank in the evidence against you because I think it is a good faith mistake, as long as it isn't a repeat of the mistake after being corrected previously, either on the same article talk page or others. If you had been persistent about it against consensus, then I think it would be a plank because it would be disruptive to continue a discussion when the consensus has been established, rightly or wrongly. Now I don't mean consensus in a formal RfC way, but rather where there is virtually no chance of convincing other editors in the discussion to accept your position. --Bob K31416 (talk) 12:55, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

SR, you've come to this point not because of your views, or that anyone's got it in for you, just that you're more of a problem than an asset. Quit arguing, accept that Wikipedia is a joint effort, find some way of getting along with others. Instead of taking the advice a great many experienced editors have offered, you have instead argued and complained at great length in every possible forum. And you wonder why people think you're a pain in the bum. We're here to build an encyclopaedia - a task which seems to be going very well - not to discuss your place in the world. Thanks. --Pete (talk) 21:49, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
Some would disagree. SageRad (talk) 22:32, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
SageRad, some last words for now, maybe.
When you arrived, I tried to teach you how this place works; what its assumptions are, how the policies and guidelines fit together, and above all, how this place works as a community. (e.g diff, diff, this one, really this one, really, really this one). I could tell you are smart and motivated, it was clear that we had similar topic interests, and it was also obvious that you had some serious misconceptions about this place (and you have acknowledged at AE and elsewhere that you have learned over the past year, eg diff) I spent a shitload of time trying to help you, so you could be productive and happy here. I was hoping you could become a productive partner in the topics we both edit in, as I mentioned in one of those diffs above.
I state things bluntly and it is pretty clear that you have interpreted my efforts to help you as fascist, ideologically motivated, or whatever. Or I rub you the wrong way. In any case you ignored me and more importantly, you ignored everybody else who tried to help you. And not just ignored, but insulted etc.
But whatever. You persisted in the behaviors. Recently, I warned you I would be filing an AE, and then I did it.
But try to hear this -- I didn't anticipate the AE would go this way. You were given perfect advice by Tryptofish and DennisBrown on your Talk page after I filed the AE. I mean dead on perfect. If you had listened and done as they advised, I don't know if you would be facing a yearlong block. I really don't know.
But given your reaction and your block history, this outcome became pretty inevitable. That is not "gaslighting". Look at what the admins have written - all of them cite all of this hysteria from you. That is how this place works. You were told that by Trypto and Dennis.
And this what I mean. You don't listen. You didn't listen to me or others for the past year and a half, and you didn't listen to the most important pieces of advice you could have gotten, delivered at exactly the right time. And you were shocked by the AE filing, but I could not have been more transparent about what I was going to do.
There is no "false consensus". There is no "evil cabal." You are not a bad person. This has nothing to do with "ideology." There is just you not understanding WP and refusing to learn for a year and a half, and being disruptive, and the community closing the door to you for a while, to end the disruption and in the hope that this will help you wake up and listen, finally.
At the AE Tryptofish said that they thought you could be a valuable editor, and expressed a sense of failure at not being able to help you. This may surprise you, but I feel similarly.
I warned you way back when you first started, that by approaching WP as you were, and refusing to learn, you were driving over a cliff. It has taken a year and a half. But here we are. I hope you can own this eventually.
That's it. I wish you well. Jytdog (talk) 23:38, 30 November 2016 (UTC)
And... no, man. It's not "the community" closing its doors -- it's a rather small subset of the community -- if that happens. Secondly,yeah you taught me some things. I thank you. I remember some of your first comments to me. But i also remember your pushy arrogance. I took the good and rejected the bad from you. That which is pushiness disguised as "advice" i ignored or called it out. You have personality issues that make it really hard for you to work with others. This place could do just as well to block you for a year, Jytdog.
This place has come to be ruled by fear. There are people who've told me they admire what i stand for, and wish that they could dare to make a statement on my behalf.
When you build up a system of intimidation, smearing, arrogant pushiness, bullying, etc... then you get this polarization. Those who would oppose it unfortunately don't all have the cajones to even speak given the already-existing atmosphere of repression.
And this case is about repression of speech. I've spoken things you do not want to ever see spoken here. Something about the "Skeptic" movement which has literally created a formal movement called "Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia" and is quite evident in the editing -- and yet to say that was grounds for my 5-day block then 1-month block and now perhaps 1-year block.
What you and a few others are seeking is subservience. Your "you've been offered advice" is such ideological claptrap of the highest order. A fascist regime also seeks for people to "simply show their patriotism" and "be quiet about certain things" and when accused "You will have the best chance to do well if you admit your mistakes" or in brief "You can live if you say that 2+2=5."
Those who refuse to say that 2+2=5 will be shot. That's what's happened here.
It's not about my manners or my behavior in any genuine sense. I'm a good editor. I know sourcing. I know civility. I do better than you and most of your friends, Jytdog, in this regard if judged neutrally.
This IS about ideological clash.
The sad thing is that i like you, when you're not being a bully or overly arrogant. Your perspective is valuable in Wikipedia. It is one of many, and it's valuable. But it's harmful when you impose your perspective in these insidious ways.
SageRad (talk) 12:36, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
well hm. Yes you have been talking about this "submission" stuff since you arrived here. A couple of levels to that, which are mushed together. On one level, you arrived there seeing WP as some kind of free speech platform where you could add any content you wanted to articles (sourced or not) and where you could say anything you wanted on article Talk pages; you have learned somewhat that it is nothing like that but you still haven't let go of that. On another level, learning and internalizing community norms is ~kind~ of like "submission"... but not really. It is normal and how communities function; it is vital to WP actually functioning. I think this is what folks are talking about, when they say you and WP are not a good fit for each other. Again it is not a matter of intent or evil or anything on anybody's part. Jytdog (talk) 16:09, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales, we need a Joe Welch to stand up to ideological purity trials. SageRad (talk) 13:34, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

This whole thing is beginning to remind me of a couple lines from a movie trailer[7], with a little paraphrasing.
It's our Wikipedia. It's their war.
Whoever wins, we lose.
--Bob K31416 (talk) 16:30, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
and the more you do and write, the more you remind me of Greg Kohs. To be clear, I am not saying you are Kohs; you just remind me of him. Jytdog (talk) 17:10, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
Someone put him out of his misery William M. Connolley (talk) 17:03, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Those who refuse to say that 2+2=5 will be shot. I don't claim to know much about this case saga, but I do take a negative view of editors who equate their positions to undisputed and indisputable mathematical equations (or otherwise frame things in black-and-white absolutes). That could very well be at the root of the problem here. There's my 2¢, which is about all I have to spend on this. ―Mandruss  20:17, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

No, it's really not. Guy (Help!) 13:10, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

See Emily play

...whereas the people who are probably capable of it keep getting blocked for being pointy. [Curious, that.] SashiRolls (talk) 18:09, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Here's the thing. There are a lot of people who strongly think Wikipedia would be better off without Jytdog. But myself and the rest who think so aren't the kind who stay up late scheming about how to do that, or to accrete power, or inclined to kick people out. It's a personality type who are more inclined to doing that, and is correlated to ideology as well.

Wikipedia would be better off with only civil people who are truly here with integrity. SageRad (talk) 18:54, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Impractical. With just you and me left here, do you think we could improve the encyclopaedia on our own? Roxy the dog. bark 19:01, 1 December 2016 (UTC)
I think you've recognized a profound point regarding Wikipedia and the need to be practical in order to be productive.
But also I think there is reason to be optimistic regarding the incidence of conflicts. Awhile back on this talk page there were discussions regarding civility. My impression is that since then there has been a significant improvement on this talk page regarding civility. --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:53, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Given Sage's definition of integrity (which is synonymous with uncritical acceptance of his POV) I sincerely hope that will never happen. Guy (Help!) 15:01, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Without naming anyone, I think there are some editors on Wikipedia who have significant deficiencies in parts of their spectrum of intellectual abilities when it comes to discussions, which they try to cover up with aggression. A person who unknowingly encounters one of these editors may keep trying to make a point with someone who is not thinking or communicating straight and this can lead to long, frustrating and unproductive discussions. --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:08, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

You are talking about me, obviously, and your incompetent parachuting into that article, trying to raise a stink on the basis of your incompetence at the AE, and then not addressing your own edits and instead trying to play head games on the Talk page of the article, says volumes about whether you are WP:HERE to build an encyclopedia. What a waste of time. "see emily play" is about right. Jytdog (talk) 08:08, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Getting some credit for my work

I don't know whether anyone knows it, but I was the one who suggested the use of the sentences like "If everyone reading this gave $___, then our fundraiser would be over within an hour" and so on. I suggested the use of the sentence "If every reader contributed $1, the fundraising will be over within 4 hours." The information itself was from Sue Gardner's appeal, which was also being run as an banner, that users could access by clicking on the banner. Afterwards, trials were run on my suggestion, and it became a permanent feature of banners used in Wikimedia project banners, and even other fundraisers, such an Mozilla Firefox's.

Take a look at original suggestion.


Logos112 (talk) 19:28, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

It became a permanent feature of banners used in Wikimedia project banners, and even other fundraisers, such an Mozilla Firefox's is stretching things a bit. "If each of you gave foo it would fund us for another year" is a standard fundraising plea dating back centuries (here's an example from 1936). ‑ Iridescent 19:41, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
That's a good catch. No one used it though before I suggested it. [8]
Someone even thanked me for it. [9]
Logos112 (talk) 19:52, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, anyway, a belated thank you to λόγος, for (re-)inventing the if-every-reader-gave phrasing back in December 2010. I still think it is a great idea, regardless of whoever else might also have used it in 1936 or earlier. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:57, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
What I'm thankful about is that it served the Wikimedia Foundation well, and even those other projects, like Mozilla Fierefox.
Sue Gardner also deserves credit because without her, this wouldn't have been possible.
This was truly an innovation because before this, the only things that were being run were personal appeals.
I'm sure it served Wikimedia Foundation well because I don't think the fundraisers would have been as effective without it. The benefits I highlighted in my original suggestion still hold.
Thanks for it all.
Peace and light,
Logos112 (talk) 20:17, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
You should note though that my original suggestion had $1 and the appeal found in 1936 used £1. I tried to suggest it in the 2010 and 2011 [10] fundraisers, but it wasn't run. It at least deserves a trial. I think $1 encourages people to donate more. It is something humble. Let's keep it to "1"s, such as 100 Yen. Thanks. Logos112 (talk) 20:42, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, unless I imagined it, we used to run the annual fund-raiser until we had reached the target then stop. We no longer do this.

Why then, does a banner come up saying "If we all donated £2 the fund-raiser would be over in an hour?"

Of course this is the WMF putting the banner up, so the community can argue is not our responsibility, and yet Wikipedia is seen as an indivisible whole - many people think they are funding the creation and maintenance of articles.

And yes, of course we want to see the Foundation properly funded. That desire is cannot be the reason, or the excuse, that every year we have morally dubious fund-raising messages.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 20:25, 1 December 2016 (UTC).

We would still stop the fundraiser if enough money were raised in shorter than the planned time. So I don't see what your concern is about.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:09, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Define "enough." There is no "enough" for WMF, and you know it. Carrite (talk) 16:56, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
That is a transparently obviously false claim. We could raise far far more money than we do, simply by asking more aggressively and more often throughout the year. And you know it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:28, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
I never said WMF is currently engaged in attempting to raise the mega-max; only that their thirst for money is limitless and that there is no such thing as "enough." So if I am making a transparently false claim that "enough" is undefined and undefinable — prove me wrong, WMF Board Member for life. What is "enough" in terms of the WMF 2016 Fundraising Drive??? What is the number which, when reached, will cause WMF to shut down their deceptive begging for the "cost of a cup of coffee" to "keep the servers running"??? It is a simple question... Try answering it instead of deflecting it... Carrite (talk) 08:23, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
Budget and planning documents are published, I think. So, if anyone is really interested you can look at those to see what, and at what level, these things are funded by the donations. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:43, 3 December 2016 (UTC)
I went ahead and dug up the 2016-17 WMF annual plan, which states a goal of raising $57 million from fundraising campaigns. Jimbo, can the WMF officially state whether the fundraiser will end if that amount is reached? Is your earlier statement formally on behalf of the Board or WMF? -- (talk) 00:28, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
"Time is running out in 2016 .... "
Well I think it is clear. If you can tell me what the target is for this year, I might be persuaded that this is not a dubious message. Previous years fundraisers have outstripped expectations, and yet not been stopped early. You will be aware of the issues that charities have had recently with the ethics of fundraising.
I'm not against the annual fundraiser, far from it. I am simply surprised that we do not listen to the reasonable concerns of the community that it be not only legal but ethical - which it seems to me are raised every year. I'm sure we could get a university ethics class to review our messages as a project, if we are incapable of doing so ourselves.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 23:15, 2 December 2016 (UTC).
I took "Time is running out in 2016" to be the really ordinary year end charity plea in the US. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:44, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

RfC about cartoon of Supreme Court Justice Thomas

Just using this page to provide wider notice of an RfC,

Talk:Alice_Corp._v._CLS_Bank_International#RfC_Keep_or_remove_cartoon.3F, and the associated image deletion discussion here. Jytdog (talk) 03:46, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Whitewashing the article and downfall of national icon and cross-country skier and self-admitted doping-substance user

The article about a cross-country skier who was caught in a doping test, and admitted taking a doping substance, has not been updated (in part because IPs can't edit). Please pass on, that one sub-organization (or organization) has recommended that she gets a 14-month ban [11].

A different link says that Sports association, NIF, in email: - Totally necessary (or decisive, in regard to the outcome) that no one comments on the Johaug case. NIF has promtpted their stewards and employees thruout Norway, about not commenting on the Johaug case to the press or on social media.

Would it be best for now that the article only mentions the current two month ban, without mentioning the other developments including the flight of sponsors? I don't know if there is such a thing as a wikipedia whitewash violation, but that article seems to be setting a standard, in that regard. Are there any references saying that she should be indefinetely banned? If you support indefinetly banning whitewashing on wikipedia, then a good start might be to have the article opended for IP-edits. Have a nice day! (talk) 18:15, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

I stedet, hvorfor ikke registrere deg for en Wikipedia-konto? --Bob K31416 (talk) 19:29, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Kowalczyk: - Thank you for all the «fuck» (-remarks being shouted to Kowalczyk, around the ski track during competition) and the booing along the track. Justyna Kowalczyk is getting tired of Norwegian sportsfans who she feels are doing the utmost to mess with her during competitions.
I don't mind at all, contributing as an IP. I know that I can counter whitewashing of the fallen national icon's article - as an IP.
Will Bob K31416 be happy if the article only mentions the two month ban, without telling the rest of the story about the skier's fall from grace with sponsors, Norwegian sports authorities, and majorities within groups outside Norway? I am not fine with that, and I am asking how Jimbo Wales feels about the current whitewash. (talk) 20:01, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
The article about Johaug indicates that her ban will be over on 19 December this year. In reality one Norwegian sports authority has jammed her up for another 12 months; a second sports authority will either confirm the recommendation or make a different recommendation, while an international sports authority is waiting to get in on the action if Johaug does not accept the verdict of "the second Norwegian sports authority in this case"; the international sports authority can also intervene if it finds the verdict too light (in regard to "the second Norwegian sports authority in this case"). (talk) 20:25, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Sarah Brown

There's a move request at Sarah Jane Brown (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views). Yet again. You've previously expressed an opinion so might be interested in the rise of the zombie corpse of the various previously rejected parenthetical disambiguations. Yes, people are genuinely advocating moving this back tot he incredibly sexist and belittling Sarah Brown (wife of Gordon Brown). I have not the words. Guy (Help!) 10:21, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Reviewing those archives, Jimbo's reaction seems predictable enough. So educate me, how is this not a WP:CANVASS violation? Not just any CANVASS violation, but one notifying the most prominent and influential editor in the project. And from an admin, no less. ―Mandruss  10:52, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Per WP:CANVASS - Appropriate notification "Editors who have participated in previous discussions on the same topic (or closely related topics)". Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:04, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Inappropriate notification: "Posting messages to users selected based on their known opinions (which may be made known by a userbox, user category, or prior statement)." Given the context it is not unreasonable to assume that Jimbo's opinion was known to Guy. And it supports Guy's position. Short of mind-reading ability, we have everything that any assertion of CANVASS has. FTR, I have no grudge against Guy or admins, I simply ask that he apply the same caution that I regularly do against my own interest. ―Mandruss  11:06, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Completely irrelevant as once an editor has already opined/participated on a subject, their views are obviously already known. Otherwise you wouldnt be able to notify them for previously participating on the subject. Once someone has participated in a discussion, they are open to be reinvited if it should raise its head again per WP:CANVASS. The part you have cited is for (example) I invited Jimbo to an RFC on a subject on which I know he agrees with me, despite his never previously being involved in a discussion about it. Either through my knowledge of his personal politics, or userbox/userpage info etc. Only in death does duty end (talk) 11:15, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't see that reasoning in the guideline, and I find that problematic. But it gives me more freedom than I thought I had, so I'll live with it and refer to this thread in the archives if necessary. ―Mandruss  11:22, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Jimmy and I collaborated on biography issues before there was even a BLP policy, and this has been discussed on this talk page several times before (check the archives). Also, JIMBOTALK is as close to WP:CENT as you get. I'm not a mind reader, I don't know what Jimmy's current view is. I do know that he has an opinion on the quixotic idea of Notable Woman (Mainly Known As Wife Of Much More Famous Man) as a title, but that is so unlikely to fly that it's not an issue here. Guy (Help!) 11:14, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
According to WP:CANVASS, such notifications should be neutrally worded to be appropriate and are inappropriate if they are biased. --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:05, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Everything is "biased". Anyone who thinks they have no bias, is delusional. Guy (Help!) 23:58, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Re "Everything is 'biased'. " – For an example of an unbiased notification that is appropriate per WP:CANVASS, see the previous section RfC about cartoon of Supreme Court Justice Thomas. --Bob K31416 (talk) 09:44, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
(The previous section may be shortly archived, so here's a permalink to it [12]. --Bob K31416 (talk) 10:38, 7 December 2016 (UTC) )

Regarding wikipedia policies

Sir, I am Mriduls.sharma now i came here to please assign bollywood articles indian editors because they are getting vandalized . I have mailed wikipedia volunteer team as Ranvir Ojha they told me you should make an account. I am not allowed to make an account because wikipedia has blocked me for socketpuppetry and personal attacks. As an reader please assign these bollywood articles to an indian cinema task force team so that they can also reach Featured Article Someday. The article's are: Arjun Kapoor, Boney Kapoor, Ranvir Shorey, Disha Patani, Ileana D'Cruz, Befikre, Ranveer Singh, Vani Kapoor, Kapil Sharma(Comedian), Sushant Singh Rajput, Saif Ali Khan, Shahid Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Paresh Rawal,Kriti Sanon, Jaqueline Fernandez, Ms Dhoni : The untold story. Please make all these articles to turn into as good quality articles and please don't revert this conversation. I want to suggest you that please make this encyclopedia as a source of paid editing because in paid their will much accuracy in the subjects the people will be more specialized in their subject and please change your wikipedia policy from a donation site to advertisement site so that the site become self sufficient to have it's own funds and make all accounts as unregistered and build this site to a more professional encyclopedia like britannica which is edited by professionals through job application. Regards (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:10, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Absolutely not. Having paid editing is no guarantee of accuracy; in fact if recent events are any indication it would jeopardise our neutrality policy (which is NOT negotiable) and would result in articles with absolutely horrid or useless sources being passed as the standard on Wikipedia, which would damage its reputation. You may also want to bear in mind that much of the issue with India-related topics is the paucity of sources that are useful; India has no covert advertising laws and a MASSIVE chunk of the sources I see Indian users attempt to use on #wikipedia-en-help are in fact poorly-disguised ad copy masquerading as legitimate news. —Jeremy v^_^v Bori! 09:36, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
I understand your situation against paid editing but can please find suitable team of indian cinema task force editors who can undertake the above mentioned articles. Regards (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 10:49, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
If you're blocked, you need to request and be granted an unblock before you edit, not edit via yet another sock. We certainly want all articles to be of good quality, and there already is a WikiProject that focuses on Bollywood and Indian cinema. But we don't "assign" articles, and no one, including WikiProjects, owns an article. Seraphimblade Talk to me 14:57, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

Cult of personality

Would you agree that a cult of personality exists around you on Wikipedia? --Wintereichengaarden (talk) 07:36, 2 December 2016 (UTC)

Not even close.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:08, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
How would you know if there was? I'm certain that there is, and you can't know for the same reasons that executives are blind when surrounded by yes-men. What is a scientifically falsifiable statement pertaining to whether your CATO Institute colleague to whom you referred last month as a mentor shares views with you which are represented as mainstream in Wikipedia even though they are fringe in the reliable sources, and how much data do you have with which to evaluate such a statement? (talk) 01:10, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Re "represented as mainstream in Wikipedia even though they are fringe in the reliable sources" – Could you give an example of such a view? --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:42, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, but I don't think it's necessary or wise. I think Jimbo is aware of exactly the sort of biases which those who admire him have perpetuated across Wikipedia, and getting bogged down in specific details would not be helpful. Rejecting the possibility out of hand shows a state of denial about it. History will not be kind to Jimbo if he remains in denial on this topic. (talk) 09:39, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Too bad that you couldn't give an example as requested. That blows your credibility. --Bob K31416 (talk) 11:10, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
Did you check my edit history? This holiday season, fight systemic bias by giving the gift of PDF files about women in science.
Seriously. (talk) 17:27, 4 December 2016 (UTC),
Best wishes to you. --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:54, 4 December 2016 (UTC)
"idealized, heroic, and at times worshipful image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise." Yeah, that´s funny. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 12:32, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Around here, Jimbo seems to be more the target of unfair criticism than anything else. What's the opposite of a cult of personality? Deli nk (talk) 12:57, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
Occult of personality? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 13:02, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
 :) Deli nk (talk) 13:04, 2 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Further clarification: @Wintereich...: over the past years, Jimbo has tried to lead (or encourage) various reform efforts, to balance articles or improve policies (which eventually succeeded in many cases); however the initial response to Jimbo's requests, rather than causing "the cult" to follow his personality, has had relatively modest responses to help, but also, many people (from the "cult of individuals"?) have posted, "tyrant!" or similar attacks for days, even posting insults onto other websites because Jimbo is a public personality, rather than an anonymous username unknown on other sites. And thus, the pun above, as an "Occult of personality" which hides Jimbo's true demeanor behind the various false insults.

    Meanwhile, the harm caused by stirring those false insults often seems to outweigh Jimbo's leadership with extra work to "prove Jimbo was right" amid a flurry of rambling wp:TL;DR rants while trying to implement Jimbo's suggestions. Hence, Jimbo's leadership is still effective but must be implemented in longer-term, quieter efforts. Plus definitely, not like a cult leader who rallies a crowd into immediate action, as not a cult of personality instantly supporting him. Perhaps Jimbo leads a "silent majority" on Wikipedia, but it doesn't act like a cult to wield instant power. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:34, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

Beware cult of individuals

I think a major problem of enwiki Wikipedia is not Jimbo, but rather the larger "cult of individuals" where some people have gained immense power, perhaps as wp:TAGTEAMs in XfD or policy discussions, rather than resign after a few years and let other people make decisions. Similar actions have been a long-term problem for many years, as Albert Einstein warned 95 years ago (source: 1921, "Einstein on The Cult of Individuals"). That issue, along with others, was contained in Einstein's famous essay "My First Impression of the U.S.A." later re-published as title "Some Notes on My American Impressions" in the book The World As I See It (1949). Unfortunately, such ideas often require quoting from esteemed individuals (as Einstein would have probably disliked), but otherwise Wikipedia would have redlinks on major topics well-known in society for over 100 years.

For Wikipedia, we find many intense individuals who almost never go on wp:wikibreak, never leave for 1-2 years, or who quickly return, in full-power mode, to continue to dominate the landscape. Meanwhile, there are numerous problems, such as severe design flaws in the wp:MediaWiki software, or poorly written templates (with sparse documentation & no examples of usage), or out-dated policies which cannot cope with current society. The general user base of Wikipedians should encourage resignations of key people, such as admin term limits adopted by Swedish Wikipedia in 2006, or even 1-year wikibreaks to let others sort out priorities. However, many active admins have opposed such reforms, as apparently unwilling to even consider alternate forms of term limits, such as perhaps 3-year terms, or earning long-term "admin tenure" (rather than instant after RfA), but overall Wikipedia seems to have stagnated on whatever methods to reduce the cult of individuals. -Wikid77 (talk) 19:41, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Find that User:Wikid77 comment about the lack of Wikibreaks ring bells with me (a concofany no less). For some years, have noticed that the time-stamps of hyperactive editors show that they are online some 12 hours or more a day and always quick to revert anything that they don't agree with within minutes of it being posted and before other editors have had a chance to review those edits. My question is, if they have proper jobs, how 'can' they devote so much time to perpetuating this level of Wikipedia censorship? How do they maintain a balanced-life-style whilst POV pushing 12 hours a day to swamp out other contributions? Law enforcement agencies and those that track down potential terrorists have software widgets that can detect patterns of malfeasance activity. Why can we not have bots to identify possible cult behaviour amongst our many, many editors, many of whom are quite frankly getting fed up with this?!!--Aspro (talk) 14:58, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, I would have redesigned WP with various edit-limits, such as total edits-per-week or hours-per-week (counting close edit times), while encouraging more editors to join efforts. Unfortunately, we now rely on hundreds of "hyperactive editors" (I like that phrase) because we ignored, for years, the need to staff Wikipedia with thousands of part-time editors, all dividing and sharing the workload(s), to avoid the need for double-time editors updating pages for 12~20 hours per day. Also, a major source of errors comes from Bot edits, intended to help fix thousands of minor problems, but instead turn minor trivial (pettifogging) issues into glaring redflag errors or other problems, all because WP was not geared to encourage thousands of users to share the work, as with crowd-sourced websites which ask people to each perform small, simple tasks ("update 50 of 6,000 talk-pages for template Wikiproject Xxx"). Instead WP is almost entirely "community-sourced" to fix "crowd-hacked" pages based on cumbersome policies and complex wp:noticeboards, and has few simple "edit-this-line" crowd-source activities, such as updating team name or score totals (apps/goals) of 50,000 active footballers. Meanwhile, population totals are outdated in like 50,000(?) town articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:12, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Another problem is that the three revert rule being abused constantly. Some articles attract a social clique with defiant POV's. They have become a state within a state on WP. If one of the clique of editors approaches going over the 3 revert rule, another will step in and revert. I share other peoples concerns about the broadening of surveillance over all our live, but the point that I wish to make, is that this some of this software is very good at exposing a patterns of behaviours of whom is in cahoots with whom to gain unfair advantages. A bot that exposes these pattern of editing would be very useful. WP thrives on the wisdom of the crowds and yet we are getting sidelined and stone walled by a few hyperactive editors whose influence grows by year to year as they get more proficient at wikilawering. J.W. may be aware of this but but what can he do? WP is so vast now that it it up to us (the majority) to find a solution.--Aspro (talk) 13:34, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
A bot to better assess the prevalence of Wikipedia:Tag team behavior could be requested at Wikipedia:Bot requests. We already have the Editor Interaction Analyzer but it isn't automated. Wikpedia edits are public, and editors can choose anonymity, so increased surveillance shouldn't be a major concern.Dialectric (talk) 17:39, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

BBC 100 Women international edit-a-thon

Great initiative. But as @Kudpung: noted in some of his notifications (see here) it does lead to a considerable stream of AfC's. To illustrate, here it one article that suffered copyright violations and notability issues, see here. I did a bit of house keeping on that one, but I wonder, how are these things organised? Are admins and experienced Wikipedians on hand to assist? Karst (talk) 17:36, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Don't know if there where any experienced Wikipeidans @ 100 Women (BBC) guiding them but the BBC did interview some guy called Jimmy Wales (?) who was present at the London edit-a-thon and gave the impression that even girls are welcome on Wikipedia! Women take over Wikipedia Well why not. They have already taken over my house, bank account, kitchen, car, caravan, computer, etc. So they might as well take over WP ;¬ ) --Aspro (talk) 19:15, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Oldest vandalism reversion of the week

Yesterday the community decided, per this discussion that Native Americans was an ambiguous term, so today I've been working on disambiguation of the ~280 links to that. Over the course of that work, I ran across the "Farewell Letter to the American People" by George W. Harkins, and curious about the man, I clicked through to his biography. There I noticed an inconsistency – while "Farewell Letter" said he died in 1890, his bio said he died in 1861. As a result of researching the discrepancy, I reverted this edit (diff) – you can tell it's vandalism and not an honest mistake because the edit also changed his occupation to "Slave Owner". So, by reverting this 8 years, 111 days old vandalism by a one-time IP editor, I hereby stake my claim to Jimbo's prize for the oldest vandalism reversion of the week (is that one of your edits, Kohser?) I also wonder why, as the vandal left [[Category:1890 deaths]] unchanged at the bottom of the page, no Wikidata anti-vandalism bots have yet noticed that discrepancy and reported it (or have they reported it to an obscure page that nobody patrols?). So as this year's fundraiser is again exceeding expectations, or so I hear, and given that people share a common thirst for high-quality, neutral information, I was hoping you might find some resources to increase the amount of the award for oldest vandalism detection of the week (was hoping that it would be at least enough to keep my coffee pot full for a month), and fund development of a bot that detects and reports discrepancies between birth and death dates in article leads, infoboxes and categories. Thank you. wbm1058 (talk) 22:27, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

I trust that not too many have been mislead by my rhetoric into believing that there actually is such a prize. There isn't, as far as I know. wbm1058 (talk) 22:43, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
There can be a new page, Wikipedia:Superlatives, with section headings such as "Articles", "Edits", "Editors", and "WikiProjects". Your edit can be listed under "Edits". Under "Articles", there can be "List of Hillary Clinton presidential campaign non-political endorsements, 2016", for the number of references listed. (I found that article in a recent version of User:AlexNewArtBot/ClimateSearchResult.) Other possible entries can be found by an examination of some of the results listed at Special pages and Wikipedia:Database reports. Wikipedia:Superlatives can be listed at Wikipedia:Statistics.
Wavelength (talk) 17:03, 9 December 2016 (UTC) and 17:11, 9 December 2016 (UTC) and 17:18, 9 December 2016 (UTC) 17:40, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Wikipedia records § Deletion:
Dang! If I'd quietly let it run for another six months, I could have had a new record!
I don't like the feeling that Jimbo makes a sales pitch with the premise that this is a non-issue or a solved problem, then uses some of their money for political lobbying. Feels like bait-and-switch to me. wbm1058 (talk) 17:55, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
To provide some context for this, what I suppose may seem like a bit of a rant, I'm feeling a bit starved for love from the Foundation. They've never once thanked me for any of my independently initiated projects to improve the encyclopedia. The only thanks I've ever gotten was when I helped with one of their projects (VisualEditor). You would think they would have noticed me and expressed some appreciation by now. The impersonal form letter I got from Jimbo the other day asking me to renew my contribution just rubs salt in the wounds. I'm restraining myself from responding line-by-line to the assertions he made in that letter. +1 to Carrite's statement in the above section. I think I'm gonna take the rest of the year off; I've already donated enough. wbm1058 (talk) 18:30, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

Safe space

Connecting this issue to the recent Statement on Healthy Community Culture, Inclusivity, and Safe Spaces, we need to be aware of the potential for harassment of living persons via vandalism of their Wikipedia biographies that is not quickly detected and reverted. Safe Space should not just be about protecting Wikipedia volunteers, it should also include protecting the subjects of Wikipedia articles. California enacted a law requiring IMDb to remove actor ages on request – is Wikipedia harassing aging actors if it refuses to remove their dates of birth upon request? There is an inherent conflict between "not censored" and "safe space" that needs to be resolved. wbm1058 (talk) 19:37, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Is that what all this slapping yourself on the back is all about? You don't like the board's statement on Statement on Healthy Community Culture, Inclusivity, and Safe Spaces? You think that "there is an inherent conflict between "not censored" and "safe space" "? I disagree.
All communities have a few strict rules defining what is unacceptable behavior, we're no different. If editor 1 is threatening editor 2 with violence, rape, murder, etc. if they express views that editor 1 doesn't like, then it is editor 1 who is doing the censoring. If the WMF (or others) put a stop to editor 1's threats, it is not the WMF (or others) who are doing the censoring. Rather they are stopping the censorship of editor 2 by editor 1. Having a safe space is a prerequisite to a truly censorship-free community. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:41, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
The board's statement is fine; I have no issues with it. Except perhaps the statement We request management to dedicate appropriate resources to this end. As the board has not defined "appropriate resources", we have no idea what management might do with this "blank check" for action.
The Internet is inherently not a safe space, because the Internet was not designed to keep anybody out. It was designed to be universally accessible.
What's going to stop Garwood Green from sending me an "important message" every single day, under different pseudonyms and IPs, if he can't be censored? I'm thankful this was just a one-time message I received. The Foundation might be able to censor (aka "block") him in Wikimedia-controlled space, but how do you censor him on the rest of the Internet? If you can't censor him, then you don't have a safe space. The Internet is not a safe space, though hopefully the walled gardens where we conduct financial transactions are safe. Maybe you can negotiate with Garwood, find out why he is threatening you, address his concerns and convince him to stop? That seems like the best you can do; get Garwood to voluntarily stop doing that. Maybe you can track him down if he leaves tracks that can be followed, but if you find him, then what do you do? I don't know the answer. wbm1058 (talk) 18:30, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
I certainly don't mean to defend the California law, but we should note that it applies only to sites that take money from subscribers, and applies only when that subscriber makes a request about his own coverage.
The benefits of banning threats seem nebulous, since doing so only makes them more believable, and makes threats mildly worded to avoid official action seem more serious. Regardless, it is quite a leap (triple axel, triple toe, I'd say) to argue that accurately covering a subject is like committing vandalism is like a threat of violence. Wnt (talk) 02:54, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
Point taken. wbm1058 (talk) 18:30, 10 December 2016 (UTC)

RfC: does WP want to expand its userbase?

The show trials continue over at WP:AE too. :/ By the way, I was wrong about removing gamergate from the -erg section of the Greek and Latin prefixes page. (urgent that I 'fess up, sorry.) It appears that I had forgotten about ants. Google has too. The previous discussion seems to me untoward on this page.

Which leads me to what I wanted to ask those who stalk this page. ("scoundrels" I've read us called in a text that does sort of "gaslight" such people, which is itself woven into the CoP (cult-o-personality) question asked earlier I suppose since I read it on WP).

The population of the world has more than tripled in your life Jimbo. Facebook is going to soon be available via drone even in the most remote or ill-served parts of Africa. Our interface doesn't play that well on smartish-phones I imagine. Do we want to expand our userbase, or is that politically dangerous (losing soft power, etc.)?

ps. Apache Ant. SashiRolls (talk) 20:22, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

This looks like a meltdown. --Bob K31416 (talk) 20:49, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, I suppose it does. ^^ What do you think then, do we want more editors? SashiRolls (talk) 21:02, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
There's actually a good point in there. With the expanding use of smart phones and tablets worldwide and the corresponding decrease in use of traditional computers, and keeping in mind how garbage the mobile Wikipedia experience is, what is the plan to enhance the mobile editing experience? I know several prolific editors mainly edit solely on mobile devices, but I wager this is done in the somewhat clunky desktop view. It would be really nice to have some smart and easy tools right in the interface. Mr Ernie (talk) 23:03, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I think we are conflating at least three different things here.
Yes much of the growth in internet traffic is via smartphones, Our interface apparently works OK on such devices if all you want is to read. So in terms of the mission, making the sum of all knowledge available to all humanity great progress has been made, we are close to 500 million visitors a month and that is close to 10% of that part of the human population that is capable of using Wikipedia - kudos to the WMF's mobile team for that (there is some hyperbole about our mission being to serve all humankind, but in reality there will always be those who are far too young and unless we get a cure for alzheimers another group who are no longer capable of using it).
Our editing community has been broadly stable for several years. It stopped growing in tandem with increasing readership circa a decade ago, and while there are many partial explanations about this, one of the three main ones is that we are basically read only for the smartphone generation and little better for tablet users. No one knows whether this is a temporary situation and we will be rescued by better hardware, better editing software, AI editors or a generation of smartphone users hitting adulthood; or a semipermanent situation where for decades to come we will be dependent on PC users to actually write content. In the meantime this certainly doesn't help our geographic skews.
Not everyone is ready to contribute neutrally and some people's idea of civility is other people's idea of a Derek and Clive sketch. There is a theory that much like a village pub the best way to maximise the community is to have a firm but fair landlady who bars the trouble makers who need to be barred for as long as they need to be barred. There is another theory that creativity thrives on bile and conflict. I haven't looked at the current cases but generally I ascribe to the former theory, if we want to expand our editorship we need to make the site "nicer". ϢereSpielChequers 23:34, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
Loving the reference to Derek & Clive :-) The problem editors are mainly active on articles around American politics, I think. There are two classes of people who might edit those articles: people who want to work together to create neutral content, and partisans. The partisans all think their views are neutral, and anyone holding different views is nekulturny, a liar, evil and must be driven away for the good of the "integrity" of Wikipedia. This is complicated by the fact that Wikipedia typically skews slightly liberal due to its roots in and long time links to the free-as-in-speech software community. Bluntly, Wikipedia will never be a comfortable place for the alt-right, because their bullshit will be challenged. It will also never be a comfortable place for the far left, for the same reason, but in my experience at the moment the alt-right are the ones most zealous in pushing their ideology (hence, for example, setting up an entire fork of Wikipedia just so they can have an article saying GamerGate was about ethics in videogame journalism). Redux: we are going to end up topic banning a number of alt-right supporters and a smaller number of Bernie-bots. Guy (Help!) 23:56, 6 December 2016 (UTC)
I certainly agree that WP needs to be nicer, but I think the more fundamental problem we have is that Wikipedia is inherently deceptive to newcomers editing in controversial areas (which is a HUGE proportion of newcomers). The bait and switch we seem to offer is: "anyone can edit" (bait) "unless, as is almost certainly the case, you don't understand the many labyrinthine policies, procedures, and requirements surrounding these topics" (switch). One natural solution to this is to insist, and possibly require, that editors who want to edit in these areas read through the relevant policies first so they can be careful not to violate them. Everymorning (talk) 00:35, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Re "read through the relevant policies first so they can be careful not to violate them" – I have the impression that the majority of experienced editors are unable to understand the policy pages or don't care to take the time to learn them well enough to apply them properly. --Bob K31416 (talk) 10:01, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes I find the WMF messaging to be disconnected from the reality of editing. The encyclopedia is mature in many spots and is actually hard to edit in them and folks in WMF communications don't seem to understand that.
I work mostly on articles about health and it is hard to edit those topics. You have to learn what a reliable source is, and get access to those reliable sources (which is not easy) and then read a bunch in order to master complicated material and then summarize it well, giving appropriate WEIGHT etc. etc. etc. It is hard.
In addition things have been particularly difficult with student editing this semester. Same kinds of issues but made worse as students feel compelled to make their edits "stick" so they can be graded and they often just get annoyed by the community as they are in a "this is my homework why are you getting in my way" bubble.
There is a disconnect between the reality of editing and the messaging and it leads to disappointment/frustration for some new editors and some difficulties for established editors.
All that said, of course we want to the editing community to grow. It isn't easy to figure out how to do that well. Jytdog (talk) 02:55, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
Hmm, "anyone can edit" does not promise that one will be good at it, nor that one will enjoy it. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:55, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

───────────────────────── As a teacher I'm also intrigued by the user's experience of "anyone can edit" which is that "anyone could have edited". I've never asked my students to edit Wikipedia as an assignment, though we have edited a local wiki. I don't want to think about the battlegrounds at AE, where more than checkers get spilt wrong. Is it just post-election meltdown? Who knows? Things are stormy from Paris (Sciences Po) to Singapore, and none of that is on AE, but a whole host of folks are in the pillory over there, getting rocks thrown at us. Sometimes they miss. Sometimes they don't, and we can sit down and have a pint. Raspbery Pi can run mediawiki, no? Thanks for responding and mentioning templates (actually, you said "better editing software" and "AI", so I started thinking of the template work I need to do on my wiki :)User:WereSpielChequers, I agree with User:Jytdog, my students shouldn't be writing Wikipedia (at least not without having drafted carefully locally, which for lots of local reasons won't be happening soon. ^^) Thanks for all the coherent responses to a poorly worded RfC. :) SashiRolls (talk) 21:47, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

I've had several conversations in recent years with people who had edits rejected. The most useful first question I now ask is what were your sources? If people aren't ready to cite sources then their potential roles in the English language Wikipedia are much more limited than they once were. But they do include User:WereSpielChequers/image adding. My second question is what was the topic, and I then explain that everything that can be contentious in real life will be contentious on wiki. But that still leaves over 5 million articles that you can work on. ϢereSpielChequers 21:58, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
I disagree with @Jytdog:'s idea that the encyclopedia is mature. It's not. Look up any given scientific concept, and the article will almost always be woefully incomplete, and probably is really not teaching the idea very well. Oh, to be sure, we have tons of interesting stuff, stuff I wouldn't have thought of, but there are so many dimensions to every topic that there are always more. And though it's easy to fill in one or another, it is certainly hard to cover them all - but that doesn't mean "editing is hard" in a way that should discourage new editors. Wnt (talk) 19:49, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Wnt I most emphatically did not say the encyclopedia is mature. I said it is mature in spots. It is also empty in spots and has piles of stinky garbage in spots and has just kind of meh spots. Some topics have been well worked-over, and it is destructive both to new editors and the encyclopedia for new editors not to be given fair warning of that. And WP:CIR is a reality especially in some subject areas. Jytdog (talk) 01:54, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, the number of spots where it's immature give an indication that new editors should have many easy tasks available. And I think they're far more likely to blunder into a war zone or an AE minefield than a genuinely complete article. Then again, I admit my opinion is that an article can only seem complete if one has an insufficient imagination, curiosity, or understanding of the topic. :) Wnt (talk) 01:51, 10 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I've long thought that the "Encyclopedia Anyone Can Edit" line is a mistake — or at least a slogan long past its expiration date. No, anyone can NOT edit Wikipedia. To do so requires at least some modicum of subject expertise, some degree of skill in manipulating the (fairly easy) markup language that we use, some willingness to absorb and understand and adhere to the essential elements of site doctrine (thinking particularly of NPOV, which is as important to Wikipedia as The Force is to the Star Wars franchise). That doesn't even touch the requirement of decent grammar and the ability to write at least semi-coherent prose, the necessity of access to free time (which not everyone has) and reputable source material (which not everyone has) and on and on and on. Quite frankly, it is a minor miracle that there are 10,000 or 20,000 people across all projects willing to pull at the oars to make the ship move forward.
What does it all mean? One thing for sure: core volunteers are a valuable and finite resource. Newbies are not made in classrooms or at one day Super Spectacular Edit-a-Thons, they are won one at a time. It takes a mother an hour or two to give birth to a nerd or a geek and a lifetime to raise them. Establishing the lowest possible barriers so that any Joe or Sally can begin editing as an IP isn't the way to get where we need to go, nor should we be overly concerned about the churn of newcoming and outgoing editors anxious to put a few lines of factual or non-factual graffiti in to Donald Trump or any other piece about some hot issue of the day. Those aren't are longterm, true Wikipedians. Never were. They must be found and developed one at a time, elsewhere, and once won over to the project they must be cultivated and preserved with such things as The Wikipedia Library and microgrants to obtain essential source materials or with new, effective tools to make maintenance work easier. Carrite (talk) 16:36, 10 December 2016 (UTC) Last edit: Carrite (talk) 03:17, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
The issue of new editors hitting frustrating obstacles here, and our slogan "The free encyclopedia that anyone can edit", reminds me of this quote from Ratatouille:
  • "Gusteau: What do I always say? Anyone can cook!
  • Remy: Well, yeah, anyone *can*, that doesn't mean that anyone *should*." [13] Everymorning (talk) 00:12, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Also relevant, I think, is that "anyone lived in a pretty how town" or so sez the e.e. cummings cabal ps: isn't Rémy pretty drunk when he says that? pps (you'd have to check prior to the last revert, now... ^^). Also ht:Prezidan & ht:Jovenel Moïse and ht:Elèksyon san frod , se koubouyon san piman (an election without fraud is like a court-bouillon without hot peppers) being the top result for "Elèksyon" would suggest that Wikipedia hasn't quite caught on yet in Haiti. SashiRolls (talk) 00:25, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
I think that for newbies, the slogan "that anyone can edit " is fine, something like "be bold". And in most cases the slogan can be, "that anyone can edit and improve". There's more to gain by encouraging new editors than not. Also, new editors tend to be cooperative and usually defer to experienced editors. If you want to look for problem editors, you'll find them more amongst the experienced ones. --Bob K31416 (talk) 15:27, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

BLP violation at Serbo-Croation Wikipedia

Clean your mess at SH.Wikipedia.Едгар Алан По (talk) 23:38, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

I have to guess that you are making a complaint about the Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia (SH =SerboHorvatsky?) I believe Jimmy has great difficulty reading and following all the goings on there, like most of us English speakers do. Could you politely and briefly list the articles of concern and what you think that Jimmy can do about them? Thanks in advance for your understanding. Smallbones(smalltalk) 01:17, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Sigh. The original poster above is another sock of Operahome (talk · contribs), aka the "Igor Janev spammer", who will no doubt continue to swamp this page with more socking rants shortly. The problem is: in this particular matter, he has a point, and it would be good if Jimbo (or the Foundation) could deal with it. Background: Operahome's single-purpose activity on Wikipedia has been to push promotional articles about a guy called Igor Janev, a (just-below-notable) academic from Macedonia. We don't know if Operahome is Janev himself or somebody close to him (could be a family member or something; definitely somebody with close real-life contacts though). Somebody pissed off by Operahome's disruption on sh-wiki then wrote a satirical piece about Janev (in user space, but with a redirect from article space), presenting Macedonia as "Janevistan" (sh:Korisnik:Orijentolog/Janevistan. Operahome wants it deleted – rightly. It is quite clearly a serious BLP violation, and just because Wikipedians are rightly pissed off about Operahome's antics doesn't justify those. Since administrators on sh are apparently unwilling to delete the page, it would be good if the Foundation stepped in and deleted it as an office action.
(Please, people, help keep this section clean from more socking: delete any contribution by new suspect IPs on sight. And, Operahome: if you want anything done about this, then please, please, for the love of god, do one thing: stay out of here.) Fut.Perf. 06:04, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Just by the way, the various IPs that have been disrupting this section today were probably not Operahome, but one or two other banned users piggybacking on the case (Vote (X) for Change and probably Wikinger). Fut.Perf. 12:46, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom election results live

Hi Jimbo (and watchers!),

Just a note to say that the results are in for this years ArbCom elections, and can be found and reviewed here.

Thanks, Mdann52 (talk) 22:46, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Systematic problems at US-Russia articles

My first post to this talk, after editing here for over five years.

A new article, Russian influence on the 2016 United States presidential election, is one of a number that addresses recent, apparent conflicts between the United States and Russia. The article begins,

"The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded Russia influenced the United States 2016 election to help elect Donald Trump as President of the United States."

It is sourced to articles from the Washington Post and NPR [14][15], both of which state that anonymous U.S. officials have told the media that the CIA concluded as much. Here is the Washington Post quote, which is typical of media statements on this issue more broadly:

"The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter."

Again, these statements are attributed, anonymously, to U.S. officials who say they are familiar with the intelligence and can speak authoritatively, if not officially, on the CIA's behalf. In our article, there are no officials, attribution, anonymity: we write the CIA has concluded XYZ as a fact.

I've edited on a number of articles that involve recent deaths and BLP issues, that this kind of editing, where attributed statements become fact, doesn't fly in that editing crowd. In U.S.-Russia articles however, despite hard work any many good contributions from editors on all sides, it is far more common. This is especially problematic for anyone with even a modicum of historical knowledge about intelligence agencies: officials may speak on their behalf, they may produce reports, etc., but what an agency has actually concluded on a given incident may remain unknown even decades after it has occurred (if any comprehensive conclusion is reached). I think the stakes are high: the U.S. and Russia are two major nuclear armed powers, and we have a responsibility to write our articles on U.S-Russia issues with neutrality and caution. We need to get it right.

I'm making a post here because I think this deserves community discussion. I'm pinging a number of people: Mandruss and TheRedPenOfDoom who have often corrected me at BLP articles, TheTimesAreAChanging, The Four Deuces and Kingsindian who I've seen provide plenty of commentary on historical articles here, and Ocaasi and SlimVirgin, who have disagreed in the past, but who I think care about careful editing. If any of you think others might have insight, I would very much appreciate your asking them. -Darouet (talk) 19:59, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

In my opinion, this is not a good venue to have a content discussion. Our policies seem pretty clear on how we treat information from reliable sources. As to the anonymous sources used by reliable sources for assertions of fact, I refer you to Watergate scandal.- MrX 20:52, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks MrX for your comment. I think this is larger than a content question, though content is what suffers in the end if we don't research and write these articles with the utmost caution. I'm bringing this here because I think it's been an issue for years, and I see it getting worse every month. -Darouet (talk) 23:29, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree that articles should distinguish between facts and opinions and should be clear on whose opinions they are expressing and whether those opinions have been expressed publicly or are being filtered through anonymous sources. And when opinions are mentioned, we need to explain the degree of their acceptance. I think though the problem is wider than Darouet says. During the recent U.S. presidential election campaign, there has been a group of experienced editors who have been active among all the articles who have in my opinion injected a pro-Clinton bias into them to the detriment of all her opponents. Many of these editors have histories of involvement in controversies on GMOs, Eastern European issues, libertarian-related articles and the 2012 election. They even insisted on using a 2009 picture of her, which of course makes her look younger than she actually is. A group run by David Brock called "Correct the Record" has coordinated people to influence discussions at a number of websites, and I think it would be a good idea to see whether it has happened here. TFD (talk) 22:03, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
There's also been no shortage of very aggressive pro-Trump editors. In other words, there are editors on both sides promoting their views just like most other controversial topics. Shock Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 22:12, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
@Shock Brigade Harvester Boris: I've seen editors who are presumably coming from all perspectives edit productively (pro/anti-Clinton/Trump/US/Russia), and others edit disruptively. Ideally, everyone leaves their opinions behind and edits neutrally. But this is not working at US-Russia articles, and is the point of my post: many articles are overwhelmed by edits and editors that fail to distinguish between accusation, allegation, innuendo, and fact - and are even hostile to these distinctions. For me, who has zero allegiance to the geopolitical interests or political legitimacy of either the U.S. or Russian governments, it is practically impossible to edit on these articles unless I want to adopt a partisan approach. This hurts Wikipedia, and does a disservice to our readers. -Darouet (talk) 23:39, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
As expected, there were pro-Trump editors. But they did not show any evidence of sophistication or coordination and were mostly new editors who managed to get themselves blocked or banned. Although they provided disruption, they were not effective in influencing the articles. TFD (talk) 22:33, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm not aware that we have a policy or guideline that turns a fact ("officials concluded...") into an opinion because the reliable source relied on information from anonymous sources. The Washington Post and The New York Times did not offer their opinion; they reported facts about what government officials have concluded. Whether the government officials' conclusions are actually true are outside of the scope of our role as encyclopedia editors.- MrX 23:30, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
That "also" is much appreciated, Shock. :) I suppose it's frowned upon to post pictures on Jimbo's talk page, but I must say I made SageRad (or was it another sage?) cross trying to add a photo of artwork representing Putin from the Abode of Chaos on any of the "oh no, the Russians are coming!" pages. I don't think it's been deleted from the PropOrNot page in the end... but it did get booted from Fake news website, which, of course, has been another "lively" page. ^^ If you've never seen the Demeure du Chaos, Mr. Wales, I hope you'll take the time next time you're in SE France. SashiRolls (talk) 01:57, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I note that you had already started a discussion on this topic on the article Talk page [16]. I think you made a mistake by opening up the same discussion here. You should go back there and respond to Neutrality's message, which I thought was well put. If you wanted more opinions, I think you should have posted only a short neutral request here for more editors to participate over there. Per WP:APPNOTE, "Notifications must be polite, neutrally worded with a neutral title, clear in presentation, and brief..." --Bob K31416 (talk) 22:20, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
For a recent example of an appropriate notification here per WP:APPNOTE, see User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 215#RfC about cartoon of Supreme Court Justice Thomas. --Bob K31416 (talk) 01:04, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Deep Throat was anonymous. Any further questions? Guy (Help!) 00:32, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
    • I don't see the bearing of your comment on this discussion Guy. The Watergate scandal revealed that the US government itself illegally tried to influence an American election, "and attempts to cover it up, led deeply into the upper reaches of the Justice Department, FBI, CIA, and the White House." Darouet (talk) 01:37, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
When Woodward and Bernstein published, their source was anonymous. The name of t he source was not revealeed until decades later. The source's anonymity is being used as a pretext to reject the article. The same argument would have led to us rejecting the legendary Watergate articles. As an outsider (I'm British), the parallels seem obvious to me. Guy (Help!) 01:09, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
    • How did our Wikipedia article cover the Deepthroat event while it was breaking? And yes, I have a lot of questions, but I certainly won't be wanting any of your input. Frankly User:JzG that's a very unhelpful comment. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mr Ernie (talkcontribs) 14:00, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Let me try to set out something that I think will be very close to something that everyone can agree upon. In many cases the provenance of some information is relevant to the readers understanding of the degree of trust that should be placed in that information. It is almost always good writing for Wikipedia to add things like "According to the New York Times, citing anonymous sources at the CIA..."--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:52, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

This works well but only when it's one source, maybe two, reporting on something. Once you have a dozen or so sources saying the same thing, it becomes impractical to list all the "According to's". In this case, the relevant "according to" is "the CIA".Volunteer Marek (talk) 15:26, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
That's not necessarily true at all. The statement, "The CIA has concluded that Russia..." is very different from saying "U.S. officials state that the CIA has concluded that Russia...", for two important reasons. First, because this is how almost all reliable sources report the news. Second, there's a reason those sources attribute the statement: pretending that anybody knows what "The CIA has concluded" is a hopeless exercise. -Darouet (talk) 15:51, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
"because this is how almost all reliable sources report the news" - that's just not true. In fact, pretty much the opposite of what you claim: [17], [18] etc. Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:22, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Agree with Darouet. "The CIA" means you can read it at , and that you can ask any CIA official what the position of the agency is, and they will tell you. See plausible deniability and also Iraqi WMDs. When anonymous sources are quoted, we need to specifically say either "according to anonymous CIA officials" or if it is only being sourced from a single media outlet then instead the phrase would be as Jimbo put it (i.e. mention NYT specifically as getting the scoop). When you have independently-confirmed reports from multiple major newsmedia talking to *different* and preferably multiple anonymous sources within the government, then you can drop back to "according to some officials within the CIA" or the like. When you have an official and officially-public opinion of some CIA bigwig at a press conference, which is VERY different from anonymous leaks (whether intentional leaks or the more usual sort), then and only then can wikipedia say in wikipedia's voice that "The CIA said X." Words have meaning, and wikipedia needs to have better control of ourselves than other organizations that begin with the letter W, methinks. (talk) 16:01, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for your comment. I agree that in almost all cases, and especially in contentious political articles, rigorously attributing and sourcing information can only help readers. I have learned things when other editors critiqued my writing by demanding attribution, and wish this were more common practice, above all at the U.S.-Russia articles I've referenced. -Darouet (talk) 07:12, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I went over there and started to implement some attribution to unnamed U.S. officials, but on reading this article cited there [19] it may be that the reports, not necessarily the validity of their conclusions, are being confirmed by named officials and Trump. However, it's not clear whether the named officials and Trump are commenting on news reports or government reports. The news situation on this is a bit unclear for now as it is breaking news and will probably clarify as the story develops. --Bob K31416 (talk) 13:39, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
The reports are also contested in the US intelligence community. For instance this NYT piece, "C.I.A. Judgment on Russia Built on Swell of Evidence," reports not one piece of evidence but states, "The C.I.A.’s conclusion does not appear to be the product of specific new intelligence obtained since the election, several American officials, including some who had read the agency’s briefing, said on Sunday. Rather, it was an analysis of what many believe is overwhelming circumstantial evidence — evidence that others feel does not support firm judgments — that the Russians put a thumb on the scale for Mr. Trump, and got their desired outcome." -Darouet (talk) 15:54, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
You are once again misrepresenting the source. The disagreement (this "firm judgments" thing) is NOT about whether the interference happened or whether it was only "alleged". There's agreement that it happened. What the disagreement is about is whether the *goal* was to help Trump or just to discredit American democracy. This has been pointed out to you like a dozen times yet you keep WP:IDIDN'THEARTHAT pretending otherwise and keep misrepresenting what the sources say.16:01, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
You should actually quote from sources. In contrast to "circumstantial evidence," you are aware of proof that Russia intervened in the election? -Darouet (talk) 16:37, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
I also don't see the release of the report to government officials (e.g. leaders of the Senate and Congress) as being anonymous. These named leaders have confirmed that they've been told about the report and they've given a very short summary - the CIA believes that Russia hacked to interfere in the US election. The CIA officials who confirmed the existence of the report were anonymous, but I think we can trust the NY Times, WaPo, NPR, CNN, senators and congressmen etc. when they say that there was a report. As far as I know the details haven't been published. So the claims about this incomplete report/conclusion being anonymous strike me as being misleading. It's incomplete, nobody at the CIA has publicly put their name on it (what else is new?) but the existence of the report has been confirmed by the best sources we know of. Let's try not to muddy the waters. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:25, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
You did not read my post carefully. My concern isn't just anonymous sources, it's sourcing on Wikipedia. If the NYT, WaPo, NPR and CNN say, "According to US officials, the CIA has drafted a report concluding that Russia," this attribution should not be dropped here on Wikipedia. Similarly, if newspapers write that the CIA has concluded Russia interfered in the US election, our article title should not be "Russian interference in the US election." @Smallbones: do you think that departure from allegation or attribution into declared fact, in either of these instances, is defensible scholarship? -Darouet (talk) 05:50, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Agree that an encyclopedic entry should meet the "There was" test. "There was a US Civil War", "There was an American Civil War". "There was PropOrNot." and should not be responding to crystallballing questions, such as the hypothetical "Is there PropOrNot?", or "Was there Russian influence on the 2016 United States presidential election?" SashiRolls (talk) 06:05, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
There are various good points being brought up in the above discussions, but I would note that it's a new article about a controversial developing story. So there's going to be some chaos in the story and in editing the Wikipedia article, which I think will be mostly sorted out as time goes by. --Bob K31416 (talk) 14:51, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
For now, the article has largely adopted a reckless approach, assuming that allegations are true unless evidence, if it is ever released, demonstrates otherwise (the article title itself declares the allegations a fact). One of the article's main contributors, who insists on this approach, was a participant in the famous WP:EEML case. EEML "members coordinat[ed] in order to protect each other and their point of view in articles against a perceived 'Russian cabal'... [and] further displayed a battleground mentality, encouraging each other to fight editors perceived as being "opponents" and generally assuming bad faith from editors editing from a Russian or against the prevalent Western European point of view." A review of discrepancies between our article text what is actually known via sources, and the talk page declarations, show that a similar mentality remains present not just at 2016 United States election interference by Russia, but at related articles. These issues require effort: as with most problems, they are solved via hard work, and good scholarship. -Darouet (talk) 17:59, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Actually, for now the article has largely adopted the approach of following reliable sources. Which is what it's suppose to do. The fact that you don't like what reliable sources say isn't a problem with the article but rather with your own approach to editing.Volunteer Marek (talk) 15:58, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
@Volunteer Marek: your insistence on converting allegation into encyclopedic fact is damaging to Wikipedia, and consistent with your participation in WP:EEML. Unfortunately real life prevents me from being more involved at 2016 United States election interference by Russia, but what you've helped produce there is a travesty. -Darouet (talk) 16:35, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
WTF? Sorry, you've gone way past the WP:BATTLEGROUND territory here. It's going to be really hard for me to assume good faith towards you or take you seriously from now on.Volunteer Marek (talk) 16:43, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
You two aren't fooling me. I see a budding romance here. [20] --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:27, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
It's always important to say what the source says. It's equally important to say what the source says. That means that if a source says that an anonymous source near the CIA told them the CIA thinks that the Russians influenced the election, that's exactly what you say - no more, no less. You don't say they did it, nor do you cut out the source and its assertion based on some ad hoc personal argument. It is often very, very difficult to determine the degree to which foreign powers exert pressure on political processes, but they do it all the time and have strong motive to continue; there's no null hypothesis here. Wnt (talk) 20:28, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Alright, now we have a problem!!! Apparently, according to something just posted on that talk page, the Arbcom has just imposed a censorship regime on all "highly visible" American politics articles. The way it works is that anyone who wants to patrol the article can revert one edit a day, and nothing is allowed to go back in until there is consensus. As anyone who has read a thing or two about American politics in the past decade and a half knows, there is not, and can never be, consensus. So over time any highly visible article is going to lose its facts and we're not going to be allowed to put any of them back in. Someone needs to stop Arbcom, or Wikipedia's coverage of American politics is going to become dominated by patrolling Wikilawyers. Wnt (talk) 21:07, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
    • @Wnt: Neither endorsing nor condemning the Arbcom decision, your statement implies that rampant falsification on the page prior to Arbcom's decision - declaring Russia's intervention in the U.S. to be a known fact - was not a problem. If that's your conclusion you are neither appraised of what reliable sources have reported regarding these allegations, nor editing in a manner consistent with them. -Darouet (talk) 21:25, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
      • @Wnt: Arbcom just made placing page restrictions possible. user:Coffee actually came up with the restriction. See my comment here.- MrX 21:39, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
        • User:Coffee's last visit was on September 9th. Quite a parting gift. (1RR, plus any challenged material must remain out of the article until consensus is achieved on the battlepage talk page). The requesting admin wants to "slow down the battling" after this article was shaped out of nothing by named users (no IPs obviously need apply on the page in question) with the usual intensive editing sprees. Cyroxymandias: "Look on my words, ye doubters, and despair..." SashiRolls (talk) 22:57, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
          • My comment shouldn't be viewed a s criticism of Coffee's action. It's done much more good than harm, and it's better than doing nothing at all.- MrX 23:03, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
            • A maximum number of edits per week (or per hour) per editor (talk + article space) would probably work better for developing consensus, and for getting people like me to use the preview button to make sure their word salads are properly dressed. And I've used mine up here, so... :)SashiRolls (talk) 23:24, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Note my concern is not just about this page. See the text at top: "The article 2016 United States election interference by Russia, along with other highly visible articles relating to post-1932 politics of the United States and closely related people" -- that's the difference between an infection and an epidemic! Wnt (talk) 00:08, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I'm not exactly a suspicious person - and I'm not usually active on U.S. politics articles other than New Mexico state politics to a limited extent - but everywhere I turn lately there is a group of freshly minted accounts doing things one normally doesn't see freshly minted accounts doing, like !voting in AfDs (all the same way), voting in RfCs (all the same way), etc. I literally can't take two steps forward without tripping over a dozen new accounts trying to purge some articles, massage others, and change the titles of others to reflect high-probability Google search terms rather than encyclopedia article titles; like this latest one - 5 !delete votes, three of which are from accounts less than 10 months old (one a month old, and another a freshly minted two weeks). That one isn't even U.S. politics related other than it apparently shows the U.S. in a negative like so gots to go! Maybe I'm being overly suspicious and there just happen to be a lot of new people signing-up to WP this month, which of course would be great. BlueSalix (talk) 00:14, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
    • @BlueSalix: User:SMcCandlish was interested in this problem. You might consider contacting him about it. -Darouet (talk) 05:00, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Archiving threatened information

This is to apprise watchers of this page that there is an initiative to archive environmental data.

Wavelength (talk) 21:16, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

The web page to which I linked has been archived at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Wavelength (talk) 21:30, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Additional information is at
Wavelength (talk) 22:06, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Well, that didn't last long

Did it? - (talk) 05:56, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Improvements to Wikipedia are often fast. Does this surprise you?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:38, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
It's all about ethics in computing journalism... Guy (Help!) 22:22, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Maybe in the future, instead of Jimbo just being a lazy deletionist, he could actually help Wikipedia by finding the easily-obtained references and cite the content. Nah, easier to just wipe it away, jet off, and wait for some volunteer to actually do the work. - (talk) 22:54, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
Nothing says classy like a childish cheap shot. Deli nk (talk) 23:07, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

From the history [21] of the page, Jimbo's removal was reverted 2 hours later on Dec 13 and sources were added. --Bob K31416 (talk) 23:30, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Well, more accurately, Jimbo's removal was reverted-and-redone as selected removal of unsourced negative comments plus adding sources for remaining phrases. Otherwise, it's like saying, "The first doctor's decision to remove cancerous tissue was reverted by a 2nd doctor to restore the tumor and cite charts" while the reality is more like saying, "...reverted by a 2nd doctor to keep the tissue but remove tumors and use immunotherapy to target the remaining cancer cells". Immensely huge difference, huh? -Wikid77 (talk) 11:32, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

There are details that I didn't care to elaborate on, so in my previous message I tried to keep it simple. Here are some of them.

  • After I looked at the page history on that article, the opening message here seemed inappropriate because the item was already restored a day and a half earlier, worked on as usual, sources added, and material for which sources were not found was removed. In other words, just the way Wikipedia is supposed to work. So why the message here?
[On a second look, the part that was removed a day after the restore, should've been removed sooner, or not restored at all, when no source was immediately found. But this may be Monday morning quarterbacking on my part.]
  • The discussion here didn't seem to be aware of the above.
  • Regarding the first removal by Jimbo, that's consistent with WP:BLP which says, "Contentious material about living persons (or, in some cases, recently deceased) that is unsourced or poorly sourced – whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable – should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion."
  • Personally, I would first quickly look for sources before deleting material because it is unsourced, including material in BLPs, since a minute or so shouldn't matter. (Note the qualifier "quickly".) Also note that this doesn't mean that I would necessarily go through the trouble of making citiations at that time, but just see if the item is verifiable. However, I understand that a lot of editors don't look for sources before deleting.

--Bob K31416 (talk) 16:55, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Your CHANGE statement from two years ago. A modification or qualification?

Jimmy, you seem like a great guy and very reasonable person. A couple of years ago you were criticized by some people in the community when you said:

No, you have to be kidding me. Every single person who signed this petition needs to go back to check their premises and think harder about what it means to be honest, factual, truthful.

Wikipedia's policies around this kind of thing are exactly spot-on and correct. If you can get your work published in respectable scientific journals—that is to say, if you can produce evidence through replicable scientific experiments, then Wikipedia will cover it appropriately.

What we won't do is pretend that the work of lunatic charlatans is the equivalent of “true scientific discourse”. It isn't'.

As I understand it, your response was to a petition by activists promoting a type of energy psychology who were frustrated by the Wikipedia community's characterization of their modality (which apparently did not have solid scientific backing.) If I have my facts straight, I must say, as an editor of Wikipedia, I agree with your response. Wikipedia, after all, is not a puff piece or whitewash service that fly in the face of science. People read Wikipedia in order to know unbiased facts.

And yet I can't help but wonder if your strong and necessary response to some pseudoscience pushers has, unwittingly, emboldened a group of editors who see it as their mission to disparage all fields they deem pseudoscience. Take a look at the Acupuncture article, for instance. In the lede it says that "acupuncture is a pseudoscience", definitively as if it came from the Mouth of God (and not merely the opinions of a couple of scientific authors.) Since there are numerous Cochrane Reviews which show acupuncture's efficacy for various conditions, as well as WHO, NHS and NIH consensus statements about acupuncture's efficacy for certain conditions, how can such a statement fall within our neutrality guidelines? Of course the entire scientific community hasn't established the consensus that acupuncture is pseudoscience. States don't have licensing boards for obvious pseudoscience, nor do scientists publish hundreds if not thousands of studies on obvious pseudoscience each year like they do with acupuncture. Anyway, impartial statements and biased statements are given prominence throughout the acupuncture article. Whenever neutrality tags are placed, they are summarily removed within hours and a team of POV pushing editors keeps them away, no doubt to keep third-party editors from seeing the dispute on the talk page. Whenever high-quality systematic reviews or meta-analyses show acupuncture in a positive light, they are rejected or deleted by these same editors who cherry-pick their own reviews and give them prominence. I make it a practice to always assume good faith, so I don't think these are necessarily bad editors; but I do believe they may have been emboldened by your statement a couple of years ago. Anywho, I'm curious if, after articles like this have turned into blatantly biased hit pieces, you would be willing to qualify your statement from two years ago? Do you believe articles like Acupuncture, which give QuackWatch more prominence than the NIH, fall within the spirit of this project? LesVegas (talk) 01:09, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

It can be both true that acupuncture is pseudoscience and that it is effective for treating some types of pain. The lead of the article should (and does) say both things, and that's good. Almost every other aspect of the lead is problematic, but not this. --JBL (talk) 02:19, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, JBL, it could be true that acupuncture could be both a pseudoscience and effective, but we would need sources that state that. As it stands, we can't say definitively, in Wikipedia's voice, it's absolutely a pseudoscience no ifs ands or buts, unless we had sources representing the scientific community at-large that come to that conclusion. We don't. Further, acupuncture isn't a science either, although there may be effects measurable by science. Acupuncture is an alternative medical practice. Unfortunately, a group of editors on a crusade prefer to slime something than make a reasonable, readable, and accurate article.LesVegas (talk) 03:33, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
"unless we had sources representing the scientific community at-large" ⟵ a cunning plan: invent an impossible-to-satisfy policy to try and remove facts you don't like from Wikipedia. We have excellent sourcing telling us about acupuncture and pseudoscience and it's very clear, as (in WP:PSCI) is our obligation to be up-front about it. Understandably, acupuncturists don't like this. Alexbrn (talk) 04:18, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
No, we do it with other articles like climate change. Here's your problem: you find one or two sources that represent your tiny little group's opinion, and then treat them like they're the Word of God, writing in Wikipedia's voice, even though you know those sources don't represent the scientific community at large. Further, you ignore consensus statements from NHS, NIH, WHO, conclusions by Cochrane, well published research, etc, all because you don't like it and because you think Jimbo's statement empowers you make articles like this into a mockery. Honestly, I shouldn't even care. The Acupuncture article is so over the top, so obvious a hit piece masquerading as a Wikipedia article, that it discredits it. Any reasonable person reading it would know it's been hijacked by editors with an agenda. I just hate seeing articles like this give Wikipedia a bad name. LesVegas (talk) 15:27, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes wikipedia is a disaster, a cabal is ruining all the most important articles, everything is terrible, etc. Please go find something better to do with your time. --JBL (talk) 00:36, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Here's what we know about acupuncture at this point:
  1. It doesn't matter where you put the needles.
  2. It doesn't matter if you put the needles in or not.
  3. The usual claimed mechanism - manipulation of qi in meridians - is bullshit as neither of those things exist.
  4. There is no plausible mechanism (pace the attempts to co-opt purinergic signalling, basically the equivalent of Chopra saying "quantum!").
  5. For most conditions the evidence shows acupuncture doesn't work.
  6. For the small number of conditions where there is currently net positive evidence,
    1. Measures are always subjective;
    2. Outcomes are always consistent with the null hypothesis;
    3. No reason is advanced why it might work for these and not similar conditions for which there is net negative evidence;
    4. Effect size is always small.
  7. Many studies come out of China and these are never negative (
  8. Popularity of acupuncture owes a great deal to a propaganda coup played on Nixon's party during their visit to Maoist China. Much of "traditional" Chinese medicine is in fact a creation of Mao.

P=0.05 means a 5% false positive rate is expected. Guess what? About one in twenty frequently investigated conditions has a small net positive evidence base.

Acupuncture itself is an archaic practice based on the refuted doctrine of humours, like purging and bloodletting. It has risks, it has zero proven benefit for the vast majority of applications, and the apparent benefit in the small number of remaining applications is almost certainly a statistical artifact. Most acupuncture research is classical pseudoscience, designed to validate a belief rather than test it. The genuinely open and honest research, for example using stage dagger needles (, shows no benefit at all.
The definition of pseudoscience is adopting the trappings of science while holding on to a belief in the face of refutation. It's easy to see why so many reliable sources characterise acupuncture research as pseudoscience. I personally draw a distinction between a refuted belief and the pseudoscience that underpins it, but not all sources do. Guy (Help!) 12:50, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Hahaha, well it looks like one of the skeptic editors most adamant about sliming the article just tried cleaning their mess up a bit, but only once he saw I posted here. Look at his time stamp above. I guess he knows they've gone too far and doesn't want to be embarrassed now that far more reasonable eyes will be on their article. It's still a hole for them to go pee and poo in, not an article, but at least the giant turd on the entrance to the hole has now been buried. LesVegas (talk) 15:08, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Actually, a check of the history will show I've made such edits before. It's silly to say "pseudoscience" twice in as many sentences. Otherwise I think your contribution above is most revealing of where the real problem is here ... Alexbrn (talk) 15:13, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Indeed, as recently as a week ago. --JBL (talk) 16:04, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
To set the silliness on which this thread is based aside, though, here's a sentence from the lead: "The conclusions of many trials and numerous systematic reviews of acupuncture are largely inconsistent." Can anyone tell me what this means? I think it is extremely difficult to decipher. The article would probably be improved by deleting the current lead, putting all citations that are in the lead into the body in an appropriate way, and then writing a summary of the existing body from scratch. --JBL (talk) 16:11, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
That would normally be a great idea but special considerations apply, namely that acupuncture is a highly contentious topic with proponents wanting to use Wikipedia to present it as an accepted and effective treatment for many ailments, while others want the opposite. I once went through the article in great detail and found it has many clumsy sentences. However, the clumsy wording is the result of following a good source, and attempting variations of the wording wanders into original research by unduly promoting or opposing acupuncture. The particular sentence you highlight is well sourced and is pointing out the unfortunate fact, namely that there are papers claiming acupuncture is wonderful, while others say the opposite. The clumsy sentence is possibly better than having the lead say something like "X thinks acupuncture alleviates back pain and tinnitus, while Y says it doesn't". The "X vs. Y" approach is a magnet for cherry-picked news-of-the-day boosterism with paper after paper being added to point the reader towards one conclusion or another. Johnuniq (talk) 23:59, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi Johnuniq, thanks for the response. To be clear, I did not literally mean that anyone should follow my suggestion; as long as the forces that have made the lead terrible still exist, something bold like that is doomed to failure. I disagree that attempting to vary the wording [necessarily] wanders into OR or promoting a point; for example, your sentence ("there are papers claiming acupuncture is wonderful, while others say the opposite") is much more straightforward than the one that's there. (I am also not literally suggesting that we should replace one with the other.) I do not think the sourcing of a sentence in the lead is important: what should matter is whether the body is well-sourced, and whether the lead accurately reflects the body. (The tendency to add lots of sources reflects back on the forces making it a total mess.) TL;DR: mostly agree with you, but it still could be better. --JBL (talk) 00:37, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
In principle what you say is correct, however my point is that I once tried to reduce the clumsiness of many of the sentences and it is not easy due to the points I mentioned. When I tried some variation (without saving) I could see that by straying from what the sources said I was coloring the point (aka original research). Johnuniq (talk) 01:27, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
LesVegas, you are entitled to your own opinions but not to your own facts. Those are facts. They have been established by diligent scientific inquiry. Guy (Help!) 10:52, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Since it is clear that acupuncture can only work via the placebo/nocebo effect, you need to consider the science that has been done in that field. A lot is known today that wasn't know just a few years ago. This also has bearing on clinical trials where one tests a conventional drug against a placebo, because the placebo matters as pointed out here: "These findings show that different placebos may use different mechanisms to reduce high altitude headache, depending on the therapeutic ritual and the route of administration. In clinical trials, placebos and outcome measures should be selected very carefully in order not to incur in wrong interpretations." Count Iblis (talk) 06:17, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

A π for you!

A very beautiful Nectarine Pie.jpg 3.14 times the love! Bell 602 (talk) 07:05, 18 December 2016 (UTC)


Thanks. Lourdes 08:12, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment 2016

Hello. I like to invite you to the discussion that I relisted. Feel free to comment there. By the way, I have another message to tell you. --George Ho (talk) 10:26, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Season's Greetings

Spread the WikiLove; use {{subst:Season's Greetings1}} to send this message

Merry Christmas!

Spread the WikiLove; use {{subst:Season's Greetings1}} to send this message

Wikipedia:Discussion review

I drafted the proposal page and then tagged it as "brainstorming". You can notify whoever else deserves to be notified, and you can go to whichever venue you like to go to. Also, you can contribute to this draft process. --George Ho (talk) 10:28, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

A good start would be: which recent discussions do you think could not be reviewed due to lack of an appropriate venue? They would, byt definition, be non-admin closures, normally those are just brought to the admin boards anyway. Guy (Help!) 17:52, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Private Vices, Public Benefits and the German arbitration Comittee scandal

Dear Jimbo Wales, as far as I could see from the archive, the scandal currently rocking the the German Wikipedia has not been discussed here. Three members of the German arbitration comittee stepped down in October after they have been told internally that one of the longstanding arbiters is - in RL - an activist of Alternative für Deutschland, a right wing populist party with strong antiimmigrant leanings. Now recently, WP:ANON has been compromised after one arbiter mentioned the issue to an outsider. The whole thing escalated last week. We now have various press articles about WP being compromised or undermined by AfD and a large and heated discussion on de Arbcom talkpage. [22][23] and the deWP Kurier.

The conclusions out of the case are far from positive. The arbiter in question, [24], has been an member in good standing of this project and the ArbCom for years. It might have been due to group pressure or personal integrity, or both (compare Bernard Mandeville's bee fable), that his political leanings did not impair his work as an author and arbiter. At least at first sight. After being outed as an AfD activist in RL, he is sorta being put to the stake. There are various contributors asking to have any future candidate for Arbcom being screened along political party lines. That said, both the principle of authors being judged on contributions rather than credentials and WP:ANON is in danger of being compromised. Most of the German authors seem not to be aware of possible implications - if you screen the CVs of German WP arbiters to avoid AfD allegiances, why not screen Chinese WP authors on Falun Gong? But if you do nothing, you end with a rather bad press about the German:WP in danger of being compromised by right wing members.

I personally think the WMDE could or should play a more active role here - third party arbiters would be better than an internal process with a sort of prescreen in breach of WP:ANON. But, as said, the role of the community would be weaker then. I welcome your feedback on the issue.

That said, nevertheless seasonal greetings respectively Fröhliche Weihnachten.

Polentarion Talk 22:31, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

P.S.: After Sebastian Wallroth stepped back today, the German Arbcom is not longer able to work currently.

PD talking books for the blind?

Just wondering whether anyone has ever made any sort of effort to see if there are many such talking books out there we might be able to help make more available by either hosting or linking to them. John Carter (talk) 15:24, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Spoken version of Wikipedia's article on LibraVox, 2007
Libravox "Acoustical liberation of books in the public domain" specializes in public domain recordings for the blind, and they seem to start each recording with a statement that the recording is public domain. Also at the bottom of each catalog listing, they have a PD declaration (looks like CC-0, but isn't linked there). [25] Finding appropriate recordings for our articles might be a challenge however. See, Mark Twain's "How to tell a story." [26]
Sounds like a nice Christmas present for somebody. [27] Thanks for the reminder. Smallbones(smalltalk) 16:33, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
This doesn't need to be limited just to our articles, however. Wikisource deals with all sorts of PD texts, but I don't know whether they would be the best place to put full-text sound recordings of PD books, though. I'll drop a note there linking to discussion here. John Carter (talk) 16:49, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Good idea. A related question. The files are in MP3 format. Our MP3 article says that it is a free format outside the US, but in the US there are 3 relevant patents, 2 expiring in February 2017, and 1 expiring in April 2017. Can we upload these to Commons (or en:WP) in MP3 format, or do we have to convert them to OGG? Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:19, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Gospel according to St. Luke Chapter 2, v 1-20.
(LibraVox recording)
I succeeded in converting a file and uploading it to Commons. Hopefully they won't delete this because of questions about the public domain status. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:43, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Coordination of bibliographic data at Wikidata for each audiobook would be very helpful. But I'm not even sure that Wiidata has a property that will allow for the addition of audio books. They might need to be added as separate data items with recording information, then linked to the data item for the work as an "edition". Wikidata bibliographic information is now being shared with VIAF, and the LoC is likely to follow before long. This would provide the greatest access, but only if the full data entry is added to Wikidata. --EncycloPetey (talk) 22:38, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
{Weird place for such a discussion} Normal processes would a apply ... files to Commons wherever possible. Works at the respective Wikisources. English Wikisource already has paired audio and text. Biggest issue is matching editions. I would encourage anyone interested in such a project to discuss at s:Wikisource:Scriptorium. As EncycloPetey says all these works have handles everywhere, though where is your presentation space, and what is the best presentation space for those who need them, that is the bigger issue as most of our sites are designed for the sighted. Our biggest need is the direction on how to get best accessibility. — billinghurst sDrewth 00:58, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

There is no "Enough" because WMF's appetite for money is inexhaustible

Any comment, Board Member for Life Jimmy Wales, on why the WMF Board feels an expenditure of $2.5 million donor dollars for a "Strategy Process Budget" is in any way an appropriate use of funds? Who cashes these checks and what are they for? Carrite (talk) 18:57, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Just putting this in perspective — $2.5 million would fund $250 microgrants for each of the 10,000 core volunteers across all projects. Yet we're locked out of resources like's second tier paywall because they're not giving Wikipedia Library access as a tax writeoff/freebie. Burn money on bureaucracy or support the actual development of the encyclopedia — it really is a choice being made. Carrite (talk) 19:06, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Good point about the second tier of I would add on to that the various tiers of ProQuest, which, taken together, would likewise be a good use of Foundation funds. Coretheapple (talk) 19:28, 20 December 2016 (UTC)This may be the only time I've ever agreed with Carrite so please pay heed to this, Jimbo. Coretheapple (talk) 19:30, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
That idea has definite merit IMO. A process of editor selection by community consensus, granting access to a small number of paid-for accounts on ProQuest and similar sources, could be a boon. Guy (Help!) 15:32, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

Fundraiser will continue although target has been met

On December 2, you stated, "We would still stop the fundraiser if enough money were raised in shorter than the planned time." Today, the WMF announced that the fundraiser target has been reached, but the fundraiser will not be stopped early. I can think of only two possibilities here:

  1. You stated something you believed to be true, without a formal confirmation or commitment from the Foundation;
  2. You lied.

Assuming good faith, I will assume possibility #1 is the case. If so, I advise you in the future to be more circumspect in making statements about Foundation matters. You may feel you are simply making an offhand statement as a private individual, but, as a member of the Board of Trustees, many people give your words on such matters the weight of authority. I note that I asked you whether your statement was official, but did not receive a response. -- (talk) 01:55, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

There is a third possibility: you are trolling again, and this section should be removed. Johnuniq (talk) 02:17, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
I'd go for that third possibility. As the letter clearly explains, the fundraiser will be stopped early just as I said it would. Banners are coming down over the Christmas holiday - they would have run then. Then there will be one last push because we know that historically, those last couple of days are when a lot of people do their charitable giving for the year.
If you were to ask me what I'd like to see done differently going forward, that's easy. I'd like to see the various options spelled out more clearly up front. The reason that didn't happen this year is that this year was really unprecedented in terms of how well the fundraiser meant. For some (who like to troll about it) this is an opportunity to try to cause trouble, but for most this is a reason to rejoice: we can raise money that we need to accomplish things that are community priorities, while at the same time having a less aggressive banner schedule over the coming months. That's a good thing.
The fact remains: if enough money were raised, we would stop the fundraiser. The stopping point is not hard and fast at the minimum goal, obviously. I think it would be better if we spelled out the exact options on the upper end as well, even though we never expect to get all the way there. Something on the order of "We must raise $X, and if we hit that we scale back over the holidays until we hit at least $Y in which case we stop completely." We don't need to raise infinite money, but neither do we need to guess a priori how well the fundraiser will go down to the last dollar.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:57, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
I resent the accusation that I am trolling. Paring back the fundraiser during a portion of its remaining period does not count as "stop[ping] the fundraiser", in my opinion. I think the average person would regard reaching the stated goal as raising "enough money". If I am wrong, I would appreciate others saying so. Of course, your statement was comfortably vague; without hard numbers, you can always argue that the WMF hasn't raised "enough" money. But to me this is slippery politican-speak and should be avoided by an organization that espouses transparency as one of its guiding principles. And the thing is, while I can't speak for everyone, I'm not unconditionally opposed to the WMF trying to raise more money. The proposals in the aforementioned e-mail sound at least reasonable. What I don't like is the lack of forthrightness and honesty. I've given to various Kickstarter campaigns, where it's standard to have "stretch goals". Why can't the WMF do something similar? "We'd like to open a new caching center in Asia, but we need X amount of money to do so. Would you be willing to help out?" I actually think this could possibly increase fundraising, by giving donors concrete examples of where their money is going. If the campaign is successful, keep them in the loop with updates on the progress (which can also serve as gentle encouragement for future donations). -- (talk) 07:17, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
I rather like the idea of an extra caching centre in east asia to speed up Wikipedia user's response times in east asia. I may never go to that area myself; But I've heard complaints about response times there from people I know and I think this could be a worthwhile project. I'm certainly not aware of any arguments as to how it could possibly be out of scope to make such investments in giving our readers and editors a better user experience. Maybe one day the main pipes of the Internet will have so much capacity that one data centre in one part of the world could support the whole planet. But that day is not today. ϢereSpielChequers 18:00, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Register article

Will Wikipedia honour Jimbo's promise to STOP chugging? by Orlowski, and Slashdot It's never been clear to me what the Foundation actually does. I suspect it costs well below $10m a year to run the servers and all the other costs of keeping the lights on. And as we all agree, Wikipedia itself is completely written and maintained by volunteers. So what does the Foundation do? Peter Damian (talk) 10:40, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Peter, you're a Wikipedian, albeit one who has spent a significant portion of your career here rightfully banned from editing. If you want to know what the Foundation does, I should think you'd know that The Register is a satirical rag rather than a valid source. Perhaps you have forgotten or never knew that they once ran an article calling us "Khmer Rouge in Diapers", etc. That was Orlowski in 2004 - 12 years later, and we've still not committed genocide. I'm sure Orlowski is disappointed.
As I say, you're a Wikipedian. You know how to do research. I recommend doing so. Here are a few links to start: Financial reports, Wikimedia Grants (lots of good reading there).
I suspect I am not alone when I lose respect for you when you offer such ill-informed opinion. If you have some ideas about how the movement might better make use of resources, then the best place to start is by getting informed, not just trolling by here with an ill-informed "it has never been clear to me" (presumably because you've not bothered to learn) but "I suspect it only costs $10 million".--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:06, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
As an aside: Would like to point out historical observations. Any organization that can survive for three human generations or more, has done so, because they have built up a layer of fat to see themselves through the lean times and still have the financial resources to continue innovate. The WPF is only in its teenage years but already it has taken its mothers advice to build up funds for a rainy-day. Just having enough funds for today doesn't mean that next year or the year after your chief accountant will still be smiling. The WMF is now a very large and influential source of knowledge. For this resource to be still be available for the next generation(s), the long-term financial planing cosiderations need to be put into place now. Think JW may agree with me that whilst transparency is important, they are very difficult to put into words, because nit-pickers will take issue over things that they have no understanding of. Oh Gosh, feeling like a JW apologist, when all I'm pointing out is the realities of keeping an organization like the WMF on an even and level keel.--Aspro (talk) 17:29, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Some of the blame for why nit-pickers may have no understanding of something about how the Wikimedia Foundation is spending money, is that when the nit-pickers ask questions to get better informed about that something, the questions are either ignored or erased from view. As an example, there once were some questions about how a company called Q2 Consulting was selected by the WMF to run a survey of donors, in 2010. The company seemed to have been selected without a competitive bid, had little experience in running surveys, drew some clumsy conclusions in its report, and happened to be the former employer of the WMF staff member who selected them for the job. When the question was asked about the dollar value of the contract, the question was erased. When it was asked again by someone else, it was ignored, then ignored again, then ignored a third time, then finally answered with "we don't remember, it's not important, stop worrying about it". You can figure out for yourself whether the nit-pickers there were the problem, or whether it was the WMF policy of wagon-circling that was the problem. A couple of years later, the Foundation teed up a paid editor for the Belfer Center, with the editor working directly for the husband of the woman who granted the Foundation the money to pay for the editor. Questions about that fiasco also were erased, then ignored, ignored some more, then finally responded to with "oops, we kind of messed up on that one, and since you caught us, we won't do that again, we promise". Again, decide for yourself whether that was a nit-picker problem or a wagon-circling problem. - 2001:558:1404:102:0:0:0:868 (talk) 20:51, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
A very good inquisition (rather than a question) but as-it is well past my bed time- will answer later. Will just say though, I can remember discussions about WFM appointees being paid oodles of money. A far higher salary than many a Wikiipedia editors earn in in their day job.... but ask you, have you been in that position of responsibly? Pay peanuts you get monkeys. Who can cope with a multinational PR men threatening one's origination with litigation whilst at the same time that a key worker that has been tasked to it, starts to suffer from a UTI from a IUD (whatever that is?) (but another trusted member of staff informs one) and you have to make the on the spot decision to rush them to hospital, leaving one in the position where one suddenly has to be in three places at once? Do you begrudge those that can keep level head in those situations a fair remittance? Or can you perform at that level? If you can – even Donald Trump may be eager to sign you up. Yet, I think your asking about more about transparency. JW reads these posts and maybe he will answer, because it is (I think) a fair inquisition. For when one is in control of a budget as large as WMF one also has to look at the broad issues as well, at the same time when everything else that is coming -at-you-all-once. Oh Gosh, feeling like a JW apologist -again. Yet, you are right to ask ask such questions and state your point of view. P.S. I too... have many questions... about the way that the WMF runs -but run it does...and very well. --Aspro (talk) 02:06, 18 December 2016 (UTC)--Aspro (talk) 02:06, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Statutory financial reports rarely break down the expenses in ways that are meaningful. ‘Hosting’ is given as about $2m, but I do not know whether that is just the hosting, or whether it includes staff costs for maintenance. When I look at staff costs, this is given as around $32m, but that presumably includes all sorts of other activities. ‘Awards and grants’ at $11m is clear at one level, but what are these awards and grants for? Peter Damian (talk) 14:34, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Of course, El Reg has a long history of publishing anti-Wikipedia diatribes spoon fed by griefers within the community, so we should take that with a grain of salt. Guy (Help!) 10:51, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Orlowski quotes a WMF staffer: "The urgency and alarm of the copy is not commensurate with my [admittedly limited] understanding of our financial situation", and he claims that each year, the Foundation raises far more than it costs to operate the site. Are you saying these claims are false? Peter Damian (talk) 11:17, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm saying that El Reg has a history of spinning stories from people with grudges and incomplete information. Don't believe what you read, check the accounts, which must, by law, show both income and expenditure, and are properly certified. Guy (Help!) 00:00, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Remember wp:Office actions: The WMF also handles wp:OFFICE actions, which could be numerous when the next U.S. president takes power in late January 2017. Recall how the popular band Dixie Chicks, at a concert in Paris, said they were ashamed President George W. Bush was also from Texas, and their careers went into blackout within days. Also, Whoopi Goldberg made a joke (about W.), was immediately dropped by corporate sponsors, and noted she could not get work for months afterward. Donald Trump is currently on a multi-city, self-congratulatory tour, and hears the vast crowds cheering for him. The event organizers have been phoning Americans several times per week, to overbook the stadiums, and ensure vast crowds inside, and outside, can cheer rabidly. Beware, there's a storm coming, folks. You might not see it, I do. -Wikid77 (talk) 12:23, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Wikid77, I must say, you are speaking nonsense and I mean that literally. Perhaps you are just being cryptic. But why exactly do you think the election of Donald Trump will lead to more wp:OFFICE actions?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:12, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
I think there will be increased pressure to alter WP content both positive and negative, through whatever means, such as discredit by repeated innuendo. But that is still cryptic, so perhaps let's just see how events unfold in 2017. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:10, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Zakat is one of the 5P. I've always wondered why Wikipedia chose Islam as its noosphere architecture metaphor. wikizakat... :) SashiRolls (talk) 13:24, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
It´s part of a long-term plan we have with the Missile Defense Agency: [28] Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 17:12, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Probably not. [29] --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:23, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Five pillars seems like an appropriate symbol, regardless of where it originally came from. I think very few in Wikipedia who aren't Muslim are aware of the Five Pillars of Islam, although there may be more after this discussion. --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:19, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Just the usual trolls doing their usual "don't donate to Wikipedia because I hate them" act. Frankly I think anybody who doesn't want to donate to Wikipedia, should just not donate to Wikipedia. And if they hate Wikipedia so much they should just leave. Somewhat hidden here is the accusation that the WMF wastes money. My response is: can you name any organization the does as much or more good with the same or smaller amount of money? If they can't answer that, they are just (jerks). Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:30, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Indeed. I think there is always room for a legitimate discussion and debate about the priorities of the Foundation - we want to make sure that spending is neither too cautious nor too bold. By too cautious I mean that if we never have any experiments that fail, we are not being creative enough. By too bold I mean if we are wildly trying things that don't work, we aren't being focussed enough. But I have found from long experience that the same people who complain about the Foundation raising money are the same people who complain that the Foundation doesn't do enough. Those positions are difficult to reconcile!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:25, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Actually, Smallbones, why don't you show us a charity that has done less with $70 million (granted that it does take about $2 million per year to actually run the Wikipedia show)? And tell us about another paid bureaucracy growing at the same cancerous rate as WMF while you are at it. Carrite (talk) 06:35, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Legitimate discussion and debate is fine. We are not getting discussion here. The replies to my question above include (1) The Register is a satirical rag, has long history of publishing anti-Wikipedia diatribes etc, (2) is spoon fed by 'griefers' – what is a 'griefer' (3) I was banned for a long time (4) anyone who asks questions is 'the usual trolling'. See ad hominem. "A debater commits the Ad Hominem Fallacy when he introduces irrelevant personal premisses about his opponent. Such red herrings may successfully distract the opponent or the audience from the topic of the debate." You suggested I was misinformed and that I look at financial reports. I just did so and replied that breaking down expenses into 'salaries' e.g. does not tell us anything meaningful. Note that I also discussed budgeting in 2012 with Garfield Byrd who was very helpful. At that time it cost $6m just to keep the site up and running which included salaries, benefits, internet hosting, capital expenditures and other costs. However, he pointed out that 'no technical operations team operates without administrative, legal and HR, etc.. support and space,so this number would be a material understatement of core operating cost of Wikipedia and its other sites'. So we are still missing a number that tells us the cost of running Wikipedia with 'lights on', and all development of the encyclopedia supported, as it already is, by volunteers. I can't imagine it would be materially higher than the $10m I suggested. For example in 2012 legal expenses were $800k. Peter Damian (talk) 09:15, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
I just wanted to make clear that in no way was my comment about zakat meant to be a negative comment. (Just as I have nothing against Wikipedia asking for money for its projects I also have nothing against Islam as a religion, though I am personally not religious). Since it turns out I have interacted with the page creator of WP:5P, I asked him about the coincidence. I should have checked the talk page instead of going back to the beginning of Wikipedia time... (the correlation is mentioned in the FAQ on the talk page): it is indeed a coincidence (though, I would argue, an interesting and potentially fruitful one). SashiRolls (talk) 09:28, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
FWIW, I think your previous message was just an example of how some of us have an innate drive to express our creativity, etc., and I thought it was a pretty good message in that regard. BTW, I think I know who you are and I'm not talking. (On second thought, I probably don't.) --Bob K31416 (talk) 13:42, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm curious about something. Is there any nonprofit enterprise out there that can be said to have "too much money"? Is there any nonprofit enterprise that stops fundraising in order to avoid that horrible fate? I'm not saying that the WMF is spending all that money properly. I have no idea. But the notion that somehow having money creates a burden or an obligation to stop raising funds strikes me as utterly insane. If the press wants to do something useful, it should examine how the money is spent, not take a stupid position like that. Coretheapple (talk) 14:14, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
    • That's a good point. Every non-profit would like to spend less money than that they receive. Why? To fund financial endowment, and basically live off the interest from savings, making fundraising less critical or unneeded. Unfortunately this is the likely criticism they will receive if they attempt to do this from normal contributions, viz. "why raise non-critical funding?". --Jules (Mrjulesd) 14:28, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Harvard and Yale undoubtedly have too much money, and no one should donate money to them, but they still do lots of fundraising. I have heard it argued that certain advocacy groups (I don't think it is fruitful to name specific ones) fundraise in a way that is counterproductive to their stated goals, by out-competing other organizations that would be more effective at certain tasks. --JBL (talk) 14:48, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't know about Harvard, but I do know that Yale is very expensive to attend but due to its wealth is able to make sure that they can ensure that finances need not be a barrier to students. Doug Weller talk 14:53, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
A bit like not being a barrier to read/write/participate in global projects, except Yale is not for everyone and it does charge for services. (Here, of course, unlike Yale, everyone gets to decide what they want to pay on their own, or whether they want to pay, at all.) Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:18, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
It's actually prudent for the WMF to have a substantial reserve in the event of litigation. We're entering a new era, there may be efforts to reduce protections for websites and libel law changes. Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is part of the rationale for fundraising aggressively, except that all nonprofits fundraise aggressively. Asking them to stop fundraising is like asking Exxon to stop selling gas because they're making "too much money." Coretheapple (talk) 15:34, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps, it's a cultural thing (or just an individual 'feeling' thing)? Sure, in some sense, one could say all fundraising is annoying (and perhaps it depends how much you are around fundraising). I don't happen to think the banner is particularly "aggressive", either personally or, in part, because of its success -- if people thought it "too" aggressive, they would be turned off and not contribute, just as anyone asking for money has to decide how aggressive to be, you want to be assertive but not too much, and most definitely not too little. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:32, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Such banners are annoying. The solution, which I employ, is to not give money. Coretheapple (talk) 18:16, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Precisely. Alanscottwalker (talk) 23:55, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Doug Weller, no, it's not close. Yale has between 5 and 6 thousand undergraduate students; sticker price is about $65 thousand per year (including room and board). That's total nominal tuition of about $350 million per year. This is about 1.5 percent of the Yale endowment. In other words, if Yale stuck its entire endowment in a long-term certificate of deposit, the interest would be more than enough to cover all the tuition paid by all its students forever. Of course funds with $25 billion get much better returns that CDs in the long run, the actual amount brought in by tuition is much smaller than the nominal amount, so a more accurate comparison would be less favorable towards Yale. (One could also remark that Yale tuition is not connected in any sensible way to the cost of educating a Yale student, making this kind of computation less favorable to Yale.) The computation for Harvard is worse because the endowment is larger. On the other hand, endowments around $5 billion for universities of this size are definitely defensible (at least by these measures). --JBL (talk) 20:23, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Season's Greetings!

Spread the WikiLove; use {{subst:Season's Greetings}} to send this message

The Signpost: 22 December 2016

Merry Christmas

--Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 19:33, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Wiki Ed


I started a new section because the conversations above became a bit heated.

I am not a troll but also not a fanboy. I am a potato.

As you are well aware the people behind have been supporting the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada since 2010.

You wrote: "If you have some ideas about how the movement might better make use of resources, then the best place to start is by getting informed".

Someone explained to me that the WMF does not financially support Wiki Ed, which was a surprise to me.

What do you think about the idea to give Wiki Ed an one-time donation? Their funds are quite limited. Even a relatively small amount would be a big deal to them.

Of course money doesn't magically solve all problems, but I think it might give them a boost.

I think we can all agree that the basic idea behind is pretty solid.

Maybe you'll think my idea is stupid, please tell me gently, I am here to learn stuff and fix typos.

I am not in any way affiliated with Wiki Ed or any other Wiki-related organization.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 22:43, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Wiki Ed


I started a new section because the conversations above became a bit heated.

I am not a troll but also not a fanboy. I am a potato.

As you are well aware the people behind have been supporting the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada since 2010.

You wrote: "If you have some ideas about how the movement might better make use of resources, then the best place to start is by getting informed".

Someone explained to me that the WMF does not financially support Wiki Ed, which was a surprise to me.

What do you think about the idea to give Wiki Ed an one-time donation? Their funds are quite limited. Even a relatively small amount would be a big deal to them.

Of course money doesn't magically solve all problems, but I think it might give them a boost.

I think we can all agree that the basic idea behind is pretty solid.

Maybe you'll think my idea is stupid, please tell me gently, I am here to learn stuff and fix typos.

I am not in any way affiliated with Wiki Ed or any other Wiki-related organization.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 22:43, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Comparisons to other organizations

A couple of sections above I asked those folks who are campaigning against donating to the WMF, "Can you name any organization the does as much or more good with the same or smaller amount of money?" Nobody has bothered to answer that question but @Carrite: has responded

"why don't you show us a charity that has done less with $70 million (granted that it does take about $2 million per year to actually run the Wikipedia show)? And tell us about another paid bureaucracy growing at the same cancerous rate as WMF while you are at it."

Apparently Carrite feels that his ignorance is justification for campaigning against a non-profit that clearly is a leader in spreading knowledge to the world, a website that has invited him in and published his work (but which he doesn't have to contribute to). He also seems to believe that just paying for the web hosting will keep Wikipedia online and growing. Pure nonsense.

I would like to demonstrate that, with a couple hours of work, he could come up with a few facts that could shed some light on the topic he is ignorantly blathering about. I'll also suggest that, for next year, the WMF could come up with some comparisons that can shed some light on its effectiveness as an organization. My comparisons here are very incomplete and any numbers should be checked, but this is just a demonstration of what could be done. I don't mean to criticize any of the organizations below, but I do think that in comparison to Wikipedia, Wikipedia looks to be in the same ballpark in terms of effectiveness, or perhaps better in some cases.

The comparisons should be to other organizations that are in the field of education, broadly defined. I'll use:

  • The Barnes Foundation, a small but world-class art museum (small audience, working almost entirely off-line)
  • a bit about colleges and universities (small audience, mostly offline)
  • NPR/PBS public broadcasting stations (very large audience with lots of online material)
  • edX a non-profit MOOC provider working with universities (mass online audience)
  • Khan Academy, probably the most comparable organization we'll be able to find.

Offline comparisons

The Barnes Foundation, in its small collection houses some of the very best of early modern and impressionist art. They reach less than 400,000 people per year at the museum. Total assets, including the building and endowment are about $200 million (for some reason the art is only valued at about $6 million). Total revenues and expenses are about $20-$25 million. [30]

  • Conclusion:while they are difficult to compare directly offline educational organization can spend similar amounts of money to online organizations, but have much smaller reach.

Colleges and universities - if you look at US higher ed institutions with enrollments of 5,000-10,000 students you should be able to find some with a similar budget to the WMFs. They obviously educate these few students to a greater depth than Wikipedia ever could be expected to, and they offer degrees. Some even offer online material. But I think you'll find that their high cost to students and limited reach (a few thousand graduates per year), put them at a great disadvantage compared to Wikipedia in many ways.

  • Conclusion:while they are difficult to compare directly, bricks-and-mortar (and ivy) educational organizations can spend similar amounts of money to online organizations, but have much smaller reach.

NPR/PBS (radio/TV) public broadcasting stations. A very few of these have larger budgets than the WMF. A few have budgets in the $20-$50 million range. They mostly offer in-depth information and are usually reliable sources, and have a very loyal audience, but even the largest probably don't reach a million people. The intrusiveness of their donation campaigns is several orders of magnitude higher than anything the WMF does. They have been adding online resources, but these don't come close to Wikipedia's reach.

  • Conclusion:though they are well established, high quality information providers who reach for a mass audience, individual stations with similar budgets can't come close to Wikipedia's reach.

So perhaps I've just demonstrated the obvious so far. Offline educational institutions can have similar budgets to the WMF, but their reach is orders of magnitude smaller. Quality differences, which are hard to judge or quantify, make comparisons difficult.

Online comparisons

edX a MOOC provider, giving universities access to their platform giving online university level courses for free (extra for certificates) plus some course aimed a businesses for pay.

7,250,000 students signed up for courses in their first 4 years [31], though typically MOOCs have a 90% drop out rate. They offer about 700 courses. Much of the expense is probably paid by the universities using the platform, but, as of June 2014, their annual expenses and contributions were about $22 million. Assets about $35 million. [32], See also

  • Conclusion:Even “Massive Open Online Course” providers with roughly similar costs have a smaller reach and don’t offer the breadth of information as Wikipedia. Again quality comparisons are difficult to make.

Khan Academy - Sometimes considered a MOOC, Khan Academy offers short videos in multiple subjects to students at multiple levels. Students don’t need to enter an organized course, but can view the video and other material whenever they’d like. Probably Wikipedia's closest comparison to an online knowledge provider. Reaches “With fewer than 100 employees, Khan Academy serves more than 15 million users each month with over 100,000 videos and exercises” and has a donation pitch remarkably similar to ours [ see video for donation pitch]. Total revenue (2014) about $34 million [33], total assets about $60 million. With the “number of videos and exercises” of 100,000, it has something like 1/50th the material the En:Wikipedia has. And 15 million users per month - something like 1/30th the viewers (on all Wikipedias). While we have 100s of language editions, they translate their videos into about 10 languages (check please). Of course those number aren’t directly comparable, but it seems they are somewhat smaller than Wikipedia.

IMHO we can even roughly compare the quality of our articles versus their videos. KA offers more organized sequences of material, to a wider variety of learning levels. They are probably better on math and technology material (aimed at the majority of the world’s non-math grad students and non-techies) than our similar material. But for a wide range af not-purely-academic material, our articles are probably better. And of course we have much more material, more languages, and greater reach.

I think Khan Academy is great, but if they did twice as much material at twice the cost, they’d have about the same budget as the WMF, and IMHO wouldn’t be offering as much as Wikipedia does.

  • Conclusion: even given my biases, it’s easy to say that Wikipedia is pretty close to or better than an outstanding program such as Khan Academy in terms of cost effectiveness, reach and material.

Now this is just a first pass. I do hope that the WMF goes through similar comparisons to see what they (we!) are accomplishing, and where we might do better. If folks want to criticize the WMF donation campaign, they should be able to do at least as much, rather than argue from pure ignorance with claims such as it " take about $2 million per year to actually run the Wikipedia show”.

Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:55, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

I appreciate all the research you did to create this post, but I don't think it's relevant to compare any of those to the WMF. Wikipedia content is completely created by volunteers, so the only requirement from the WMF would be to keep the servers up and running, which you could do with a small team and a much smaller budget. I'm hard pressed to find really any great tools or features that weren't existent in the early days. There have definitely been quality of life improvements, but nothing so great to justify the vast budget. It is also surprising to see the $2.5mil proposed for a new long term strategy. Shouldn't that already be the exact job of the many people already employed by the WMF? User:Carrite's idea to help Wikipedians access high quality sourcing would certainly be a more tangible benefit than developing a new strategy for an already mature, successful organization. Mr Ernie (talk) 21:48, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
So the WMF is an incomparably valuable tool that nobody has anything anywhere near as useful. Is that what you mean to say? I just thought of another organization that does roughly the same thing, TED (conference). If other people can think of other large organizations which have goals to disseminate knowledge online, please include them below. If I have time before Christmas, I may be able to take a quick look at them.
There haven't been any improvements since the early days? Puff! We can run on $2 million annually? come on now. Smallbones(smalltalk) 22:29, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
The growth of WMF's cash intake and it's highly correlated mass expansion of its employee base on the one hand, and the degrees of failure of things like Visual Editor, Flow, and the New Page curation tool on the other speaks for itself. The actual tools we use on a daily basis have changed only minimally since I came here in 2008, with virtually every vaunted "improvement" actually being a disimprovement. We do manage to fund festivals in Italian skiing villages with very, very inclusive travel grants for needy middle-class vacationers from around the world, and so forth, which adds next to bupkis in terms of content or curation ability... Carrite (talk) 01:57, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Right. WMF has done nothing in the last 10 years. All their tech projects have been complete failures. And Wikipedia itself is a complete failure. Right.
I'm still waiting to hear your response to "Can you name any organization that does as much or more good with the same or smaller amount of money?" Can you come up with any comparison to any organization that disseminates knowledge online (or off) where Wikipedia looks significantly less effective? Don't try to bs your way out of the question. Smallbones(smalltalk) 02:31, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia is the best at what it does does not mean editors can't be critical about how the money is used. You willfully misrepresented most of my comment above, and I do not understand why. Wikipedia is awesome. I love it, and so do countless others. But let's be honest with ourselves about how the vast resources are used. Mr Ernie (talk) 02:44, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
"Because Wikipedia is the best at what it does does not mean editors can't be critical about how the money is used," we're making some progress. If I misunderstood that you are part of the group that is campaigning against people making donations to Wikipedia, then I apologize. Sure, you can criticize spending. Better yet, participate in all the forums where spending is decided (small grants, FDC feedback, etc.) But please don't make the mistake of saying that all the WMF needs to do is keep the servers on. And please don't cross the line to campaigning against donations to Wikipedia. Donations are crucial to keeping Wikipedia open in the long run. It's just offensive to campaign against donations. It comes across like "Wikipedia doesn't do everything the way I'd like it done, so let's shut it down." If you ever feel that way, please just relax, and keep it to yourself. Or just leave. Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:25, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't understand this conversation. I don't care whether the WMF is well-managed or not. I don't give money so it's no concern of mine. However, as a volunteer I would like to see more resources devoted to making volunteering a more useful undertaking, and the best way to do that, to help all concerned, is to put money into databases: the premium, Lexis/Nexis and ProQuest. If they're over-staffed I don't really give a damn, except that it diverts money from the most important participant in the process, which is me. Coretheapple (talk) 03:09, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The general argument is not that they are 'overstaffed' its that the staff are ineffective and bad value for money. The second would not be a huge problem if they were *effective* and bad value for money. At least some serious improvements might appear. Either way, that would still not be an issue if significant amounts of the money they were raising were actually visibly budgeted and trackable towards tangible benefits to improving wikipedia. No one really cares if they spent 1 million on office chairs if they spend 30 million on editing improvements. In the last ten years there have been hardware upgrades, backroom improvements and so on, but these are just incremental changes that you would naturally expect in a tech organisation over time. The actual 'projects' the WMF has attempted have almost all fallen well below expected standards. Only in death does duty end (talk) 10:44, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • OK, well, whatever the area of waste, if money is being flushed down the toilet, then I'd suggest that volunteers should focus on specific ideas for alternative spending. Databases, as suggested above, is one area. Coretheapple (talk) 15:03, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Coretheapple - WMF is running a more or less deceptive "donate to us to keep the servers running" campaign backed by the goodwill generated by the content freely given by hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the globe, so you should be concerned with what they are doing with the money raised on our backs and in our name. You should care about a paid bureaucracy that now approaches 10% of the size of the volunteer core of English WP and the political implications of that — and what things will be like five years hence given the current pace of hiring growth. You should care that WMF's paid staff, many of them at least, see themselves not as the legal guardians of a volunteer encyclopedia project, but as the owners and decision-makers of such a project. Whether Jimmy Wales wants to talk about the bloated WMF budget or their track record of engineering failure or whether he wants to dodge the issues and tusk tusk his critics for not being happy, smiling, friendly disciples of some sort of kumbaya cult is neither here nor there — you should be concerned by what goes on in our name. Take some ownership, for god's sakes... Carrite (talk) 16:55, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
The premises of your speech are silly: Wikipedia writers (including me) are actually here, in fact, to give-up ownership freely. As for the rest, your attempt at a guilt trip is just odd. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:03, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Please don't play word games. I am clearly and obviously speaking about "ownership" in the commonly-used, colloquial sense — not in terms of legalism. Carrite (talk) 17:16, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
What I'm suggesting is not inconsistent with your position. All I'm suggesting is that volunteers push for specific things so as to make volunteering better for the project. The way you framed it above - why spend on X when we need Y - has much more chance of working and getting wide support. Coretheapple (talk) 18:03, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Well then what's the point of the WMF raising $70+mil when the volunteers create the content and improve the structure of the project? That's what I understand this issue to be about. Where is the accountability for how exactly all of this money is used? Mr Ernie (talk) 18:11, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Good question. I'm not defending the WMF. I just feel that volunteers have their own agenda - databases, and possibly also an "umbrella" of a formal kind to prevent personal liability. Tangible stuff, short of getting paid to edit, God forbid. Coretheapple (talk) 22:14, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
Just wanted to reinforce what I said above: the more I think about it, the more I believe that concerns regarding the WMF spending are valid from a volunteer perspective. I would caution my colleagues not to dismiss such criticism and concerns as "[a certain off-site website] griping." It is that, but it is also valid. WMF does raise a lot of money and it is perfectly understandable to complain about why [fill in the blanks] are not taking place with that money. I don't view the WMF as a particularly warm and fuzzy operation and while the kneejerk criticism annoys me, so does reflexive defense. Coretheapple (talk) 14:09, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps some are valid, its also repetitive, useless, pointy, sometimes trolling, to whine about them, here. If you actually want to discuss it, go to the WMF budget areas, review the published documents, and the people who write and review the budget and campaign and discuss it. And this, 'everyone, must take this moral crusade tone' is senseless, perhaps, especially when your message is 'I want people to lose their jobs.' -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:46, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree. The tone of much of the criticism is personal and sometimes reflects a conspiracy-theory agenda. Coretheapple (talk) 16:17, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Only $2.5m?

@Jimbo Wales: you pour scorn on my estimate of 'well under $10m', and you poison the well by adding that I have been banned in the past. But substantially the same claim is made by a Wikipedian in good standing here. He writes ' As I recall, the $2 million (now $2.5 million) figure came from discussions with technical staff about what it would cost to keep the site running for a year and an examination of relevant Wikimedia-related budget breakdowns that were split out between non-technical staff costs, overhead costs, etc. However, following Cunningham's Law, if you have a better figure, please share. :-) We can certainly say it's far less than $35 million to only keep the sites up and running (barebones hosting support and related tech staff costs), the question is how much less.' As for what the rest is spent on, I have already pointed out that the financial reports you linked do not break down the expenses in a way that is meaningful. Peter Damian (talk) 13:14, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

Note also Erik Moeller's estimate here, of around $10m, which includes the additional costs of legal defence and other costs such as backup data centres that would ensure 'not only bare survival, but actual sustainability of Wikimedia's mission'. Which is exactly what I said, no? Peter Damian (talk) 13:18, 21 December 2016 (UTC)

I find it interesting that you come here to badger Jimmy when you know perfectly well that he wants nothing to do with you. Your questions are better addressed to the foundation itself. Guy (Help!) 15:30, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales: is this true that you want nothing to do with these questions? Please say so, and I will ask elsewhere. Peter Damian (talk) 16:11, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
JzG - You say "badger," I say "raise uncomfortable questions in a pointed manner during the annual fundraising cycle." If those questions are being avoided or dismissed by obvious ad hominem diversions — oh, Bad Peter, he can't be asking good questions — maybe you should ask yourself why these questions are so uncomfortable and why they aren't being addressed. We've seen the routine before: stay mum, the discussion will flag, and the uncomfortable questions will spool away to the nether-regions... So, here are some questions again, in new form: WHY is WMF aggressively fundraising to generate tens of millions of dollars when the actual cost of operations should be far less? What is that actual cost of operation? Where is all that surplus money going? What are all those people in SF actually doing? Why are so many engineering initiatives failing? When are we going to see some real economic support for the content of the encyclopedia? Carrite (talk) 17:09, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
I think Guy's point is that You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic. Peter Damian (talk) 18:47, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
No, my point is much simpler. You are, metaphorically, standing in front of Jimbo and hectoring him to his face, when you are perfectly well aware that he would very much prefer to have nothing whatsoever to do with you. You are sealioning. You should really stop doing that. Guy (Help!) 21:20, 21 December 2016 (UTC)
That's the problem with these discussions. They tend to degenerate so that any valuable points are submerged. Way above Carrite made a valid comment about how some of the spending would be better used for databases. It was immediately overshadowed and I imagine will be archived pretty soon. Coretheapple (talk) 16:20, 23 December 2016 (UTC) Correction: it has already been archived. Coretheapple (talk) 16:22, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Better-targeted spending

A few days ago, the results of the 2016 community wishlist survey were published. [34] The process is: active Wikimedia contributors from all languages and projects propose technical changes that will improve our curation and moderation tool kits, and then vote on them, and then Wikimedia's community tech team works on them.

Here you can see the tech team's response to last year's survey. They've completed five of the top ten proposals, are working on three, and have declined the other two (for what seems to me to be good reasons). They've also taken up a number of proposals that fell outside the top ten and have either completed or are making good progress on them. And they've taken up a few from a list generated by the German community, who run their own annual wishlist survey. (Their survey inspired this global survey.)

I believe those responsible for bringing this process into being deserve to be highly and publicly commended. I'd love to know who they are. Also, those managing and implementing the program (I think Ryan Kaldari is leading?) deserve a huge thank you, too.

Judging by how many proposals were addressed in 2016 (from the 2015 global survey and the German language community's survey), and bearing in mind some of those 2015 projects will be ongoing in 2017, I don't expect the community tech team to be able to comfortably address more than a handful from the 2016 list. This isn't a criticism of the team. It's just that there are limits to what one team can do. Neither is it a criticism of the process, which seems to me to be just fine.

Please take a good, long, hard look at the list of 265 proposals in the 2016 survey results. There are scores of proposals there that I believe are uncontroversially beneficial, albeit some may only affect a smaller group of volunteers (but in an important way), and some may only improve the reader experience, so will never get into the top ten.

It will be imperfect, of course, because a lot of people didn't engage with the survey, but let's take that list (or at least the reasonable, well supported proposals in that list) as a description of what the community wants/needs from you, the WMF. And look at what you're presently doing about it: you're taking a handful per year.

I'd like the WMF to look at that list and address all the proposals that you deem feasible and reasonable. And spend whatever money it takes to get it done as a matter of urgency. That is, take our clearly-expressed needs seriously. Not just a handful of them. Judging by the number of 2015 proposals that got resolved in 2016, I guess you'll need to multiply the community tech team by at least five, maybe ten, but I can't think why you wouldn't, and I can't think of a more appropriate use for our donations. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 18:09, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Twas the Night before Christmas

A Visit from St. Nicholas

Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:10, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Merry Xmas!

Snowman drawing.svgHappy Yuletide! Snowflake.svg

Merry Yuletide to you! (And a happy new year!) )--5 albert square (talk) 20:11, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Question for Jimbo re paid editing and WMF

Hi Jimbo

I am interested to learn if the WMF board has discussed taking legal action against companies that offer services to edit Wikipedia and that have no on-Wiki presence disclosing their edits here, per the Terms of Use. We all know the companies and their websites, where they use the Wikipedia name, etc. I have looked and never found disclosure by any of those companies in WP. I have looked and found no public evidence of WMF legal engaging with these companies, other than Wiki-PR.

Two questions:

Has this been discussed, and if so, what has/have the outcomes been?

Also, is there budget for WMF legal to take action against such companies?

What can you tell me? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 08:13, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

It's a good question, following what appears to have been a big bust at WP:AN/I. Some outfits are basically just taking the piss, and the result is a big time sink for the legit. portions of the community. Alexbrn (talk) 08:33, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
For context, the editor I discovered this week has 45k edits and has created/rewritten hundreds of articles. I have doubts whether all of the could be written by one person. Over time, undisclosed paid editors become more and more sophisticated and it gets harder to identify them. We need to try something new. SmartSE (talk) 09:30, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
As a minimum, articles created by undisclosed paid editors should be nuked, regardless of any discussion of the subject's notability, and substantial edits should be rolled back. When Kohs started out, a number of editors went to extraordinary lengths to protect the articles he created, just to make a point. We're past that now, I think. Spam is spam and should be nuked. Guy (Help!) 14:25, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
JzG, might you then begin your nuking of spam articles with the removal of The People's Operator? That article was created by a marketing consultant for The People's Operator, and that is a fact reliably sourced to The Guardian. - Truth about MVNOs (talk) 14:12, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
You have the wrong admin. My reflex when confronted by any editor with "truth" in the name is to block per WP:NOTHERE. Guy (Help!) 14:46, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I see, an ad hominem rebuttal when presented with an uncomfortable fact. I'm getting very accustomed to the culture of Wikipedia leadership. Thank you for this valuable training. - Truth about MVNOs (talk) 15:03, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
Not really, no. You came here to troll and try to crowbar your off-wiki agenda into a discussion that is completely unrelated. Now would be a really great time to go away. Guy (Help!) 20:39, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Proposed at WT:CSD, addition of a G14 for material created in violation of the terms of use. Guy (Help!) 15:56, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
  • question to jimbo is outstanding. he hasn't edited since the 18th. Jytdog (talk) 05:36, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

Merry Christmas!

18:18, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

Merry Christmas!

Comparison: Wikimedia Foundation and Jehovah's Witnesses

Let's agree to close this thread. This is not a helpful discussion and shows no sign of leading to one. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:54, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

At 22:29, 20 December 2016 (UTC), Smallbones posted this request: "If other people can think of other large organizations which have goals to disseminate knowledge online, please include them below."

The Wikimedia Foundation manages at least 16 websites, which can be considered to be 16 branches of one website. Jehovah's Witnesses manage three websites, which can be considered to be three branches of one website.

The Wikimedia Foundation surpasses Jehovah's Witnesses by at least two measures: the total number of webpages, and the diversity of topics. On the other hand, has, at the present time, information in 874 languages, including sign languages.

I have selected some other features for comparison and possibly imitation.

Wavelength (talk) 01:53, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

It doesn't look like the goal of Jehovah's Witnesses is to disseminate knowledge online, but rather to disseminate information as a means to their goal of converting people to their religion. --Bob K31416 (talk) 03:29, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
My request was "can you name any organization that does as much or more good with the same or smaller amount of money?" to those folks who claim that the WMF raises too much money. I'd find it very hard to say how much good the Jehovah's Witnesses do - it's not really a knowledge or education provider in the normal sense. It's a church. As a church they don't report donations to the IRS. They also have multiple overlapping organizations and international operations, so even if I found the money raised by one of their organizations, I'd have no idea about the total raised. That said, I'll guess the total raised each year is over $100 million. So my question is "what do you want to compare the WMF and Jehovah's Witnesses for?" and just "What's your point?" Smallbones(smalltalk) 04:43, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
@Smallbones: People[who?] claim[citation needed] that these kids all died as a result of their (parents) refusal to have a blood transfusion, based on the misinformation that "god" doesn't want you to accept blood transfusions. Probably not a good candidate for an "organization that does as much or more good with the same or smaller amount of money". This is even more depressing if you consider that it seems that they've somewhat changed their minds, so "god" is OK with blood transfusions now... (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 05:21, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
@Wavelength: Sorry I forgot to ping you. If you do a reverse image search on the picture I linked to above you'll find plenty of sources. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 05:30, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
The Quixotic Potato, the magazine in the picture has the date of May 22, 1994, and is beyond the scope of the Watchtower Online Library ( For more recent information, you can use these links.
Wavelength (talk) 01:55, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Smallbones, my answer to both of your questions is the same: "It appears to me that Jehovah's Witnesses are performing valuable works that are not performed by the Wikimedia Foundation." However, I understand that some things are somewhat subjective, and people may differ in their evaluation of things such as literacy and disaster relief. On the question of money received, I have been searching for information online, but without success, although I understand that costs are very much reduced because of a large amount of volunteer work. Here are links to some information about expenses.
These links are related to some of your comments.
Wavelength (talk) 01:55, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
@Wavelength: Thanks for the links but I own several Watchtower Library CD's (I think they release one every year). I wish more religions would publish their beliefs on CDROM. It is fun to compare the different versions. My local Kingdom Hall is about 25 meters away. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 03:01, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Oh shit, those asshats are still claiming that god doesn't like blood transfusions. That is sad. The WMF is not perfect, but it isn't responsible for the death of several children as far as I am aware. The WMF seems to be a WP:NETPOSITIVE, unlike the Watch Tower Society. Also, stuff like Jehovah's Witnesses' handling of child sex abuse just doesn't happen at the WMF. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 03:15, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
The comparison here isn't nearly as preposterous as it seems. For some it may be easy to forget, but Wikipedia is based on faith, and it is a faith that not everyone shares. For believers like me, it is obvious that it is a good thing for "everyone to have access to the sum of all human knowledge". But there are others who look at humanity with the eye of a farmer for his herd, and think, maybe it would be better if people couldn't figure out how to beat a lie detector or make MDMA or see what Wikileaks published or look at ISIS source documents for themselves, or any of a thousand other things you can easily think of. And that's a matter of faith, belief that a free people will do more good than ill with any given font of data, even if it is buttressed by the successes of free societies and the failures of others. And this faith, indeed, is part of a Western culture of individual revelation and inspiration that has also given rise to Jehovah's Witnesses and many other religious groups. Ultimately all the faiths are tested, and sometimes found wanting, when we look deeply into their source and put forth our understanding, honestly and voluntarily, an expression of heart and mind and soul, truth as best as we can presently know it; and from that we might take new inspiration and build new things, whatever they may be. We are here because we believe, they are there because they believe; let us look into our hearts and see we can affirm that our belief is the most resolute. Wnt (talk) 03:28, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, I am not gonna lie, that is BS. It is a very insulting comparison. Spreading free knowledge is good; the Watch Tower Society is a net negative and they spread misinformation and propaganda. Big big difference. But.... watch this video. When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up, and join in. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 03:55, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Wnt, When you brought up the idea of faith when comparing Wikipedia to Jehovah's Witnesses, it brought to mind another comparison regarding faith. Wikipedia is based on verifiability, rather than faith that something is true. Whereas, the truths of Jehovah's Witnesses are based on faith, rather than verifiability. But in fairness to Jehovah's Witnesses, that organization isn't alone in that regard when it comes to religious and other human activities. --Bob K31416 (talk) 04:55, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
It would make far more sense to argue that Wikipedia is the opposite of religious beliefs. We (try to) spread knowledge here, not "beliefs". (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 04:59, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I would have thought that 2016 had taught us the inherent merit of a high profile educational and informational project that is unashamedly based on empirically verifiable fact. Guy (Help!) 12:16, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Some folks here are offended by comparing Wikipedia, or science, to a faith. Yet how can empirically verifiable fact prove that empirically verifiable fact is the way to prove something? Natural science is embedded within a broader context of philosophy. Deny that context, and it can start to seem unjustifiable. There are axioms, "truths we hold to be self-evident," there is faith in those axioms, and as I explained in my comment above, there are those who question that faith, doubt that knowledge is really a good thing but think of it only as a tool to be used or withheld by whatever they think is good, doubt that an informed discussion itself is a good thing and so on. I did not mean to suggest the JW are a perfect group, not even close, but they draw from some of the same underlying trends and beliefs. Wnt (talk) 14:57, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
@Wnt: Again, BS. Please read Strawman argument. I said the comparison is insulting. I didn't say I was personally offended. I am a potato. And making a real comparison between faith-based indoctrination and the scientific method isn't offensive. But it is offensive to claim that a group that is responsible for so much human suffering and unnecessary deaths is a good candidate for an "organization that does as much or more good with the same or smaller amount of money" as the WMF. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 17:12, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
@The Quixotic Potato: I said that the "comparison wasn't as preposterous as it seems", without commenting on the amount of good done. If you want to argue about whether a group that lets you look up celebrities is better than a group that reliably prevents its members from fighting in wars, feel free, but I didn't offer an opinion on the subject. (The above is not an opinion, just a reminder that you can spin either group way up or way down as you see fit. This is philosophy, not science. Wnt (talk) 19:37, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Well, we've sort-of reached the Mike Godwin-point in the discussion (he worked for the WMF). Your attempt at spin does not make any sense; if you read for example Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Nazi Germany or Religion_in_Nazi_Germany#Jehovah.27s_Witnesses or Purple triangle or even World War II then you will discover that it would've been better if they would've fought against the nazis. I think this concludes this discussion. The article Criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses is quite interesting. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 20:56, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
I indeed agree that those two articles (persecution vs. criticism) are worth reading. I am not at risk of converting to their sect, but I cannot see what those people did, standing strong in the worst of times, and not feel a deep respect for them. Wnt (talk) 00:59, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
Would it be fair to characterize your opinion as saying that both science and religion are based on faith? --Bob K31416 (talk) 16:22, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Ultimately yes. But science is typically based on faith in a few very broad principles that can be implemented in a standardized way, while religions are sometimes based on faith in a great many very narrow principles. Wnt (talk) 16:26, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
...........for which no verification is either necessary nor even desired. Carrite (talk) 16:51, 26 December 2016 (UTC)
Here's a definition of faith that may be relevant here, "Confident or unquestioning belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing."[35] That's true to some extent for both science and religion, but I think much less so for science because it relies on verifiability through experiment or discovery, whereas religion doesn't. Wikipedia tries to rely on verifiability too, although it is through what Wikipedia defines as reliable sources. --Bob K31416 (talk) 16:57, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Man goes mad from reading Wikipedia (talk) 08:44, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Here is the link to (although I prefer this article). (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 08:58, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
This paper is more useful for diagnosing a society than a patient. If someone spends his days learning, is that a disease? If he was editing for the public good, is that a problem? Let's be clear: if Wikipedia were paying him, this would not be a problem; this would be an easy and fun lifestyle for someone in India. If he had a check coming in from wherever, ditto. So what we see here is actually a projection of the once-rare and now universally unquestioned belief that the purpose of education is strictly to get a job and help the major corporations establish a totalitarian dystopia on Earth. The psychological measurement of the man is whether he serves them. Imagine if these psychologists had a chance to diagnose a nun! Now to be sure, I'm not suggesting that it is wrong for people to reevaluate their goals and look for different methods, or even that psychological exploration can't help them to do this, but the habitual smug tone of the psychiatric establishment whenever it has found a safe market niche to preach from can be annoying. Wnt (talk) 14:31, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Perhaps it's wrong to equate "reading Wikipedia" with "learning". But what a shame he never did any editing? The SHUT Clinic sure sounds like lots of fun though, doesn't it? Martinevans123 (talk) 14:51, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
The paper is not very specific on that topic. Honestly, I was assuming by now the local stalkers would have a candidate username. Wnt (talk) 15:21, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The argument that heavy Wikipedia editing is a manifestation of addictive behavior is an old one on Wikipediocracy. There is some truth to it, I am sure, I have no doubt that endorphins come into the equation at some level — but then again, about 50% of the population are smart phone junkies, so there would be nothing novel or worthy of condemnation about the related phenomenon of WP editing being addictive behavior... At least there is a social good being created by WP editing vs. your run-of-the-mill texting or web browsing... Carrite (talk) 20:39, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Manual of Style

Some editors may find the beginning of the year to be a convenient time for beginning a first- or second- or third-time study of Wikipedia:Manual of Style. They can pace their progress with Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Reading schedule. For a less ambitious but still useful study, there is Wikipedia:Simplified Manual of Style. Other resources are Wikipedia:Styletips and User:Tony1/Beginners' guide to the Manual of Style.
Wavelength (talk) 00:34, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Allow FFD discussions to be closed as delete via NAC

Hello, Jimbo. There is an ongoing proposal to allow non-admins to close FFD discussions. I invite you to comment. --George Ho (talk) 03:11, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Tip of the day

This is to inform or remind editors that they can use Wikipedia:Tip of the day to learn or re-learn "daily advice about how to use or develop Wikipedia more effectively".
Wavelength (talk) 05:23, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Happy New Year, Jimbo Wales!

   Send New Year cheer by adding {{subst:Happy New Year fireworks}} to user talk pages.

Happy New Year, Jimbo Wales!

   Send New Year cheer by adding {{subst:Happy New Year fireworks}} to user talk pages.

--5 albert square (talk) 14:33, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Happy New Year, Jimbo Wales!

   Send New Year cheer by adding {{subst:Happy New Year fireworks}} to user talk pages.

Happy New Year, Jimbo Wales!

   Send New Year cheer by adding {{subst:Happy New Year fireworks}} to user talk pages.

Ordinal numbers in dates: No

Formerly Consistency?

MOS:BADDATE admonishes us that we should not use ordinal numbers in dates on here. So February 5th is out, and February 5 is fine. So why then am I getting a watchlist notice saying: "The 2017 WikiCup begins on January 1, 2017. Signups are open until February 5th." ?? Not the first time I've seen stuff like this. Kinda hard to enforce an MOS when Wikipedia powers violate it, no? So what's it to be : cardinal numbers only or cardinal and ordinal numbers? Numerous wikignome pedants are eagerly awaiting your guidance in these dark and troubling post-Solstice times. Valenciano (talk) 01:49, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

I am revising the heading of this section from Consistency? to Ordinal numbers in dates: No, in harmony with WP:TPOC (point 11: Section headings). Please see Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines. The new heading facilitates recognition of the topic in links and watchlists and tables of contents. (Please see also the fifth point listed at WP:MOS#Article titles, headings, and sections.)
Wavelength (talk) 03:22, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
At 00:47, 25 June 2014 (UTC), I posted these comments: "Also, I suggest that other editors copyedit pages in non-article namespaces. Those pages have a more official nature, and a mistake there can mislead editors to imitating the same mistake." (User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 166#Copyediting is tedious but lasts)
Wavelength (talk) 03:23, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
I hope that no one misinterprets the word "No" in the new heading as indicating an imperious tone on my part. I added that word because I wanted to avoid the possibility of a half-attentive reader misinterpreting the heading as indicating that they were required. In retrospect, I wish that I had omitted it, but I do not wish to change the heading again. I was not trying to boss anyone around (which can be counterproductive).
Wavelength (talk) 04:14, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
The watchlist notice now uses the form "February 5".
Wavelength (talk) 21:34, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
For discussing Wikipedia:Watchlist notices (and maybe watchlist notices themselves), there is Wikipedia talk:Watchlist notices.
Wavelength (talk) 01:26, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@Valenciano: I guess you were right about the 'wikignome pedants' eh :) O Fortuna!...Imperatrix mundi. 11:45, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
I have started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style#Scope of application (permanent link).
Wavelength (talk) 02:02, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Happy New Year Jimbo Wales!

Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 10:37, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

Wiki Ed


As you are well aware the people behind have been supporting the Wikipedia Education Program in the United States and Canada since 2010.

You wrote: "If you have some ideas about how the movement might better make use of resources, then the best place to start is by getting informed".

Someone explained to me that the WMF does not financially support Wiki Ed, which was a surprise to me.

What do you think about the idea to give Wiki Ed an one-time donation? Their funds are quite limited. Even a relatively small amount would be a big deal to them.

Of course money doesn't magically solve all problems, but I think it might give them a boost.

I think we can all agree that the basic idea behind is pretty solid.

Maybe you'll think my idea is stupid, please tell me gently, I am here to learn stuff and fix typos.

I am not in any way affiliated with Wiki Ed or any other Wiki-related organization.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year, (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 22:43, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

Note: this message was copied by The Quixotic Potato on 08:56, 24 December 2016 (UTC) and again on 07:20, 25 December 2016 (UTC) Graham87 10:57, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
@Graham87: I do not want to have to post the same message every day. I've set the archiving period to 7 days now. I hope you'll find that more reasonable. The maxarchivesize parameter ensures that this page won't get too long. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 15:30, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
@The Quixotic Potato: Nope, that's far too long, especially when this page gets busy. Please use {{Do not archive until}} for threads you don't want archived. Or just respect the fact that as time goes on, this thread will become less and less relevant ... perhaps use email if you really want to get Jimmy's attention. The maxarchivesize parameter controls the size of the archives, not that of the main talk page. Graham87 15:53, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
@Graham87: Thank you, that is a far better solution. I was not aware of the existence of that template. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 16:50, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
Hi, I've been on a rare true vacation for several days - didn't even open my computer for a week. Sorry about that. I'm a fan of WikiEd and would be broadly supportive of a grant, but there is a process that has nothing to do with me so my liking the idea doesn't really mean much. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:43, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Nothing to be sorry for, it's a very healthy thing to do Jimbo! A lot of the editors here would benefit from the same thing.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:06, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

Comparisons of Wikipedia to other organizations

I agree with NewYork Brad that the above discussion about Jehovah's Witnesses doesn't look like it will contribute much to do with Wikipedia's goals. But to get back to the original question of whether there are reasonable comparisons to be made of Wikipedia to other organizations (good done vs. amount spent), I should say something about the TED (conference) folks, supported by the Sapling Foundation.

The Sapling Foundation has about the same budget as WMF, $62 million in 2014 [36]. They also rely heavily on volunteer labor, e.g. the presenters. They have 2,000+ of their shorter-than-18-minute videos on their website. But they have something like 20,000 videos on YouTube, plus another 80,000 or so on TEDx talks on YouTube (all this should be checked). Altogether it looks like an interesting comparison could be made, after carefully checking the facts.

So there are at least 3 comparisons that look pretty reasonable to make. edX, Khan Academy, and Ted (conference). Can anybody think of another? Somehow a group of 5 non-profits would make a more convincing group to compare among. The only other I can think of is a for-profit Quora. Not that the efficiency of non-profits and for-profits can't be compared, but ....

Smallbones(smalltalk) 23:44, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

You might want to look for other websites or organizations in Category:Educational websites. Also, the group of websites or organizations being compared might be suitable for a new article in Category:Online services comparisons.
Wavelength (talk) 16:11, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
You might want to consider these websites.
Wavelength (talk) 01:26, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Here are some other websites for consideration.
Wavelength (talk) 18:10, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
WebCite is quite similar to the Wayback Machine. (((The Quixotic Potato))) (talk) 19:28, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
A lot of these websites will generate a significant amount of revenues via advertisements, e.g. on YouTube where the videos start after a commercial, and there are typically always indirect links to other commercial activities for these so-called "non-profit organizations". Count Iblis (talk) 19:41, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
Someone has compiled a list of the "top 100 nonprofit organizations" at
Wavelength (talk) 21:49, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks to all of you. I'm slogging through looking at most of these websites and hadn't imagined there's so much stuff (good and bad) on the internet. Keep more suggestions coming, especially if they are about large websites that distribute educational material (broadly defined), are nonprofits, and reach a mass audience. Budgets between $10-$100 million wouldn't hurt either. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:17, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
You can cast a wider net with these links, and then you can use your own methods for narrowing down your search.
(Incidentally, some editors may find that editing articles about non-profit organizations can be more satisfying than editing articles about big corporations.)
Wavelength (talk) 20:19, 30 December 2016 (UTC) and 00:26, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
DuckDuckGo has search results for "most cost-efficient nonprofit organizations".
Wavelength (talk) 02:49, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
DuckDuckGo has search results for "most cost-effective nonprofit organizations".
Wavelength (talk) 02:56, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
Also, you can try variations of the two aforementioned searches, by using different search engines (Category:Internet search engines) or different search terms (for example, "most good for your charitable dollar", "most beneficial charitable organizations", "charities that give the most value for money").
Wavelength (talk) 05:16, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
You can investigate microfinance and related topics and categories.
Wavelength (talk) 00:16, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
The company iFixit (, archived at*/ provides free online manuals for fixing things, so it has economic and environmental benefits. (Maybe the Wikimedia Foundation can use some of its money-saving, earth-saving manuals. Maybe it has done so already.) The article "iFixit" is categorized in categories where you can search for other organizations.
Wavelength (talk) 23:48, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
This article discusses comparisons of altruistic organizations.
Which parts of Wikipedia do the most good to society, and how can the Wikipedia community encourage editors to concentrate their efforts on those parts? How can the Wikimedia Foundation promote the aspects of other Wikimedia projects that do the most good to society?
Wavelength (talk) 02:37, 3 January 2017 (UTC) and 17:02, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
Here are some additional leads.
Wavelength (talk) 20:09, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
Comparing charities for different causes is like comparing apples and oranges. An apple farmer and an orange farmer might have a friendly discussion about the relative values of an apple and an orange of equal weight. In comparing Save the Arctic, Save the Children, Save the Elephants, and Save the Rhino, we need to identify the goals of each organization and the amount of good accomplished in the pursuit of those goals. Then we need to decide the relative values of the different accomplishments. For example, if one elephant has the same value as two rhinos, and if each respective organization saves 1,000 members of the species each year, then Save the Elephants has accomplished twice as much good as Save the Rhinos. If the annual revenue of Save the Elephants is twice the annual revenue of Save the Rhinos, then we might decide that the two organizations are equivalent to each other in the amount of good they accomplish in proportion to the money they receive.
Wavelength (talk) 21:11, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
Here are some additional links.
Wavelength (talk) 20:56, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
Lose Your Wikipedia Crutch: 100 Places to Go for Good Answers Online | Distance is inactive, but is archived at Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
Wavelength (talk) 21:57, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Smallbones, you posted at 17:17, 30 December 2016 (UTC) in this discussion "Keep more suggestions coming, ...", and I have continued to post links and comments. Are you continuing to plod through, looking at most of the websites? How well have you been able to keep pace with my postings? I am interested in reading about your observations and conclusions, preferably in this discussion before it is archived.
Wavelength (talk) 18:26, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
@Wavelength: thanks for al the input - I was on vacation 2 weeks ago and barely managed to almost keep up with the reading you suggested (but not really doing anything with it). Last week I pretty much gave up and just said "I'll see how far he takes it." I appreciate your effort, but you may have put too much faith in me if you think I can adequately follow it up with the same enthusiasm as you've shown. I'll copy this all to a user page - say User:Smallbones/Wikicomparisons and deal with it all as I have time.
My main point - that we should have good comparisons between the WMF and other organizations before we make judgements like "the WMF wastes money" - that stands, and the main comparisons I'd use (for now) would be TED (conference), the Khan Academy, and EdX. It would be very nice to have a few more, but the closest organizations I see have something else going on that would get in the way of a good comparison, e.g. PBS/NPR stations, C-SPAN, maybe a few museums or universities. I would still welcome *specific* suggestions for comparisons (at User:Smallbones/Wikicomparisons).
Thanks again. Smallbones(smalltalk) 20:34, 8 January 2017 (UTC)

Scientology tax status history

Formerly Just a question as a reader

I am revising the heading of this section from Just a question as a reader (attitudinal information) to Scientology tax status history (topical information), in harmony with WP:TPOC (• Section headings). This discussion is about Scientology tax status history. Please see Microcontent: How to Write Headlines, Page Titles, and Subject Lines. The new heading facilitates recognition of the topic in links and watchlists and tables of contents.
Wavelength (talk) 22:09, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

I'm watching Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath and got curious about the history of Scientology and their tax status with the IRS. Looking in Google under various plausible search terms and clicking around some apparently relevant Wikipedia entries, I don't find the history cleanly laid out anywhere. I haven't done a thorough search yet so I'm still convinced that it's here somewhere.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:48, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

This may need to be pieced together, as there have been multiple court and regulatory cases dealing with different incorporation of the church, and differences between state and federal taxing authorities. Here are some references that your talk page watchers may be able to start incorporating to an article. <ref>{{cite web|last1=Franz|first1=Douglas|title=Scientology's Puzzling Journey From Tax Rebel to Tax Exempt|url=|publisher=The New York Times|accessdate=6 January 2017}}</ref> <ref>{{cite web|title=Mo. Church of Scientology v. State Tax Comm.|url=|website=Justia Law|accessdate=6 January 2017}}</ref>. — xaosflux Talk 04:45, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
DuckDuckGo has search results for scientology tax history. The snippets from appear to be especially relevant to your curiosity.
Wavelength (talk) 22:23, 6 January 2017 (UTC) and 22:33, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
  • I am always staggered that people genuinely believe in this cult, given the incredibly cynical reasons that Hubbard created it. I mean, if you basically tell the world that the way to get rich is to found a religion, then you found a religion, that's pretty blatant. Especially when it is an open secret that the whole rationale was to provide Free Exercise protection for his quack e-meters. Jim Humble has tried the same with far less success, of course, and Serge Benhayon too. Guy (Help!) 01:15, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't know if this is available yet in the UK, but you should watch it. It seems like the sort of thing you would enjoy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:16, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I odn't think it is, but I have read a number of books that cover this. My current favourite book on the Scientology cult is "Church Of Fear". Did you see the Panorama documentary by John Sweeney? It's uncanny how closely their methods parallel the alt-right - they repeat bullshit as if it is true, they completely ignore refutation, and they accuse people of bigotry and bias if the challenge the bullshit. It really messes with Sweeney's head (which is, of course, precisely their intent). Guy (Help!) 22:33, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
I think it is worth taking seriously various allegations about "new religious movements" and spy agencies. For example, the Unification Church in Koreagate was accused of working closely with South Korean intelligence [37], and in general was long known as a hard core "anticommunist" political player, even when it came to backing the Contras. So when you consider how Scientology was able to break into IRS offices to steal its own files, then get a tax exemption, or consider the Stargate Project, where Scientologists worked their way into the project both as subjects and experimenters in bringing, it is claimed, real intelligence observations to the project (via claimed remote viewing), I think it is worth bearing in mind that L. Ron Hubbard always claimed to have worked in naval intelligence. There would have been some pretty obvious advantages in having a NRM with a global mission and a "Sea Org" in international waters when it comes time to infil and exfil agents; if their sacred services tend to closely resemble interrogations under a lie detector with archived transcripts of all sessions, well, that has some obvious applications as well. Wnt (talk) 02:32, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
You know, I never even thought of that, and I am pretty fucking cynical! Fascinating, and very plausible. Guy (Help!) 22:35, 8 January 2017 (UTC)
OTOH, if you ran a quack cult that made blatantly outrageous claims and conducted sacred services that closely resemble interrogations under a lie detector with archived transcripts of all sessions, it might be very convenient if someone started rumours about your connections to naval intelligence. GoldenRing (talk) 12:49, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
And this is why I dont bother with most of these discussions over motives, preferring to stick to the basically understandable and universal 'they did it for the money'. Sooner or later you run out of hands... Only in death does duty end (talk) 13:15, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Our top editor on this subject (User:Cirt) has, perhaps regrettably, been topic banned from it for some time, although I personally would welcome seeing him back. I remember going through a few books relating to this topic some years ago, including those by Urban and Reitman, and, at this point, so far as I can remember, this is far from being a really straightforward matter. As I remember, there were serious allegations that the church had, basically, acted perhaps inappropriately and somehow applied unusual pressure (I forget how at this point) in getting the government to go their way. The Suffolk Transnational Law Review mentioned here seems to discuss the topic. John Carter (talk) 21:57, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Although I'm only familiar with the more clandestine tactics used to achieve their 501(c)3 status, and whilst I'm aware that this in and of itself isn't a reliable source - for those who understand these things, there is a very useful list of court cases at the bottom of this blog post. PanydThe muffin is not subtle 12:55, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
@Jimbo Wales:, I think this is what you're looking for: Scientology vs the IRS. It's not been updated in a long time (I really should get round to summarising it on Wikipedia) but it contains all the key info in one place. See in particular the timeline.
Summary version: Scientology had tax exemption briefly but lost it in 1967 due to L. Ron Hubbard's profligate looting of the Church of Scientology's assets. Thereafter the CoS refused to pay the taxes it owed and mounted a major campaign in the 1970s to try to defeat the IRS. This ultimately involved a huge espionage operation that led to Hubbard's wife and other Scientologists being jailed (see Operation Snow White). In the late 1980s/early 1990s there was another big campaign in which the CoS inundated the IRS with over 2,000 lawsuits brought (ostensibly) by individual Scientologists against individual IRS officials (think Peter Thiel's funding of Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker times 2,000). They also used private investigators to dig into the personal lives of IRS officials to obtain as much kompromat as they could and used front groups to make life politically difficult for the IRS.
In 1991 Scientology leader David Miscavige offered the IRS a deal: forgive the estimated $1 billion in taxes owed (which would have wiped out the CoS, which had only about $200 million in assets at the time) in exchange for calling off the PIs, stopping the lawsuits and making a token payment of $20 million. A secret agreement was signed in 1993 and was made public by the New York Times in 1997. One odd consequence of the agreement is that Scientologists are now the only religious group in the US permitted to make tax deductions for religious education. A Jewish couple in LA sought to force the IRS to allow them the same privilege and got a court to agree giving it solely to Scientologists is iniquitous, but were unable to get the courts to do anything about it. Taxes remain a vulnerability for the CoS, which is why many critics have called for the IRS agreement to be overturned, particularly as the CoS appears to be flagrantly in breach of its provisions. But so far there has been no appetite from the IRS to have another go at Scientology. Prioryman (talk) 22:08, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
That link is an excellent resource. Thanks. --Anthonyhcole (talk · contribs · email) 11:04, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Unvalued request

  • As an IP address since spying terror is not simply the digestive. I am sure that here exist the real, and visionary ones too, who wear the neutrality and honesty beyond from the monopoly in any shape. All kinds of notice-boards display in the influence of monopoly and collaboration within the agendas. It will be honest, neutral and unbiased if the native ones do the justice, whatever its result is. If one read this and is a native one, just perform neutrality beyond linking or courtesy, thanks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:31, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
Hi, thanks for your message. Unfortunately, I find myself unable to understanding the meaning of it. It might be better to ask someone who is fluent in both English and in your mother tongue to assist you with the translation into English.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:27, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

President Obama's beliefs

Re: the above section on individuals' beliefs, and on the cynicism sometimes shown on this page. Here is a section of the President's farewell speech that struck me as being especially relevant to Wikipedia:

"It falls to each of us to be those those anxious, jealous guardians of our democracy; to embrace the joyous task we've been given to continually try to improve this great nation of ours. Because for all our outward differences, we, in fact, all share the same proud title, the most important office in a democracy: Citizen. (Applause.) Citizen.

"So, you see, that's what our democracy demands. It needs you. Not just when there's an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you're tired of arguing with strangers on the Internet, try talking with one of them in real life. (Applause.)

"If something needs fixing, then lace up your shoes and do some organizing. (Applause.) If you're disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. (Applause.) Show up. Dive in. Stay at it.

"Sometimes you'll win. Sometimes you'll lose. Presuming a reservoir of goodness in other people, that can be a risk, and there will be times when the process will disappoint you. But for those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of this work, and to see it up close, let me tell you, it can energize and inspire. And more often than not, your faith in America — and in Americans — will be confirmed."

President Obama, January 10, 2017

Smallbones(smalltalk) 03:54, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

With a stand-alone article about it in Wikipedia, and a document in Wikisource, his speech can be categorized with these others.
Wavelength (talk) 15:36, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
A transcript of the speech is now at
Wavelength (talk) 03:16, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
I've updated the text from the official transcript. Smallbones(smalltalk) 17:12, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Beliefs and values of influential people

Wikipedia has 31 articles in Category:Religious views by individual, but I have not found a parallel category for philosophical views by individual. To help readers to understand the human motivations behind past and present events in the world, there can be additional stand-alone articles like those 31 articles. There can be such an article for each person who has ever been listed in the Time 100 (The 100 Most Influential People) or in any of the lists of the most influential people in Category:Top people lists. Also, there can be such articles for other leaders in commerce and entertainment and politics and science.

For each influential man of the present time, the central question is this: "What are the beliefs and values (especially the dominant ones) which direct and drive his decisions?" For each influential woman of the present time, the central question is this: "What are the beliefs and values (especially the dominant ones) which direct and drive her decisions?" For influential people of the past, "direct and drive" becomes "directed and drove" or "have directed and driven".

Other questions are the following: "What book(s) considered to be sacred does this person believe to be true? What philosophical book(s) does this person value? How has this person expressed his or her beliefs and values in speeches and writings? Does this person claim originality for any of his or her beliefs and values?"

Each article can describe the history of the person's religious status (which may include periods of atheism and agnosticism) or philosophical status. There can also be lists of people, of the type "List of _____s by religious or philosophical status". Journalists can help by asking about beliefs and values in interviewing influential people who are willing to be interviewed.
Wavelength (talk) 01:45, 11 January 2017 (UTC) and 01:55, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

  • Can cover quotes/actions but not ascribe beliefs: It is problematic to imagine a person's actual beliefs, inside their "true mind" (or "post-truth" mindset), and all WP could do is to quote a person's stated views about a topic, as interpreted or published by perhaps expert witnesses. For example in the U.S., people are still allowed to tell lies in many situations, except under oath in official settings as maybe punished for perjury. We also get people who "love God" but "hate religion". Some people have claimed "spiritual enlightenment" or "received visions" or even actual "premonitions" when taking drugs, but others claim those drugs caused hallucinations of future events which became true by accident, or as "retro-memory" which altered prior memories to match the "predicted" events. Still others conclude some actual premonitions were received because the use of drugs would act as a disguise to allow spirits to warn people but also be dismissed as drug-induced hallucinations to excuse actual predictions as if rare coincidence. For WP, the coverage is limited to published views about quotes or actions, but cannot ascribe internal beliefs or values to people. However, I think the general concept is sound and would help reduce bio-page size while expand coverage beyond wp:UNDUE details in a philosophical-views subpage. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:22, 11 January 2017 (UTC)
Also, people with different beliefs sometimes seem to have different definitions.
(1) "That person claims to be anarchist, but no true anarchist would do those things or teach those things."
(2) "That person claims to be Christian, but no true Christian would do those things or teach those things."
(3) "That person claims to be Muslim, but no true Muslim would do those things or teach those things."
(4) "That person claims to be Wiccan, but no true Wiccan would do those things or teach those things."
Wavelength (talk) 22:10, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
  • Not every notable persons fundamental beliefs and values are notable independently - We have articles like Religious views of the Beatles because there is a lot of notable third party coverage in reliable sources on the topic. We don't have an article on my religious views because they aren't independently notable, and as you will see from a Google search the main speculation seems to be in various spammy or trolly websites as to whether or not I'm Jewish. There's not much to actually be said about it that can be covered by reference to reliable sources.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:44, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
If enough journalists reading this talk page offer to interview you, and if you accept the offers, then eventually there might be enough coverage about enough details to support a stand-alone article.
Wavelength (talk) 22:10, 12 January 2017 (UTC)