User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 30

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Archive 29 | Archive 30 | Archive 31


The need for General User Survey

Jimbo, I know you are busy and this page is overloaded with crap but please take a moment to read this. I am an experienced Wikipedian (User:Piotrus with 62k edits on English Wikipedia and the 47th Most Active Wikipedian) and a PhD candidate with 1 paper on Wikipedia published, another one in review process and two more in draft stages.

I am writing to you with regards to an issue of what I and many of my collegues (scholars of Wikipedia) believe is of utmost urgency. To be brief, we need to prioritize General User Survey (a project of Wikimedia Research Network) and launch it as soon as possible.

GUS, as it is known, is described on meta here. The goal is to survey editors (not users, although if needed this could be changed), and collect basic demographic data (gender, country of residence, age, education level, income). We could also ask questions about editor's experience with Wikipedia, community involvement and so on. The survey could be advertised over a period of a week or so via the same announcement system that the fundraiser or ArbCom / Board elections are (at the top of Wikipedia). It could be easily expanded to other Wikimedia Foundation projects, and via translation, to other wikis (German and Hebrew Wikipedias have done such surveys in the past, links are at the GUS page).

We have preliminary questions ready at the above address, but with no support from developers - or anybody with software skills - we are stuck in more or less the same place since 2005. I believe that a tiny nudge from the Board that would encourage some of the developers to finish the survey and launch it is all we need.

The need for GUS has been raised on every Wikimania, at Wiki-research-l, in recent Wikipedia Weekly podcast, and several research papers. Even you yourself cannot truthfully answer in interviews 'who' edits Wikipedia, because we don't know - and each day we are losing data of immense value on our groundbreaking project/community. We should have done this survey years ago, and it should be a yearly event. Once the survey is completed, it will surely generate much interest in academia and media.

I love the topic, however, it is not appropriate for here and now. Suffice it to say that I believe WP is not a place where anyone can edit everything...ever; never has been; never will be. For good reasons and a possible "Sea change" someday, I have a vision of things being different at WP.....someday. My opinions only, for now. Cheers, it's been Nice (talk) 00:53, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

The survey, being done online, should be cheap (if it will cost as at all). A time of a few developers is all we need; unless we decide to use an external service like we have done for the Board elections or use one of the services suggested at the GUS page - but the costs, if any, should be a tiny fraction of current Wikimedia budget - and the benefits will be huge.

The survey will benefit everyone - scholars will understand the unique rise of Wikipedia better; reliability of the project and wikis in general will improve as more research is done in that area; we - the editors - will understand ourselves better, media will have something to report, additional awareness will generate more funds, and so on.

Your sincerely

-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 01:21, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I am not sure what the benefits of the survey are supposed to be, notwithstanding the list above, which is largely unconvincing (to me) generalities. However, a survey's principal weakness will be an inability to "prove" anything, as there is no way either to compel or to check truthfulness. Given much of what I have read on en.WP, there might well even be an underground movement to maintain the privacy (anonymity) aspect of the project by willfully and purposefully giving incorrect information. As soon as some entity wants to include me in a survey, my experience has been that somewhere, sometime, that information will be used to try to sell me something. I can understand why many individuals (be they scholars such as Piotrus, marketers or journalists) would want to take such a survey, and to have access to its results, but I can't see what benefit it is to the average editor to give out this information. Count me out. Bielle (talk) 03:22, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Wikimedia Foundations doesn't sell anything. There are no ads on the site. Academic surveys guarantee anonymity. General public doesn't understand science - for example, by confusing academia surveys with marketing ones. Wikipedia is here to educate people. Educating people about Wikipedia, and an occasional editor about what an academic survey is, fits the fundation goals. If you are not curious who your fellow editors are, that's fine. Many others are, and the foundation can use this information to make our editing experience better for all of us.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 04:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I am sure a lot of people are very curious about a lot of things. If all Wikipedians are given full access to the survey results, then the nature of Wikipedia is such that so will everyone else on the Net be given access. How that will be used, I don't know, but someone out there is thinking about it even as we exchange comments. Most of us in the "general public" know that almost any survey (academic, scientific, marketing, census, or what-have-you) includes "identifying" questions, not usually of the respondent as an individual, that is true, but as a member of any number of groups in which the surveyor has an interest. The information then gathered is carefully analysed for the key attributes to which efforts can be geared better to "sell" something to me, as a member of one of those groups. What is being sold are products usually, but also ideas, like "Vote XX" or "Donate to XX Charity" or "Spend More Time Writing for Wikipedia". I am not sure how knowing X, Y or Z about me will help the Foundation "make our editing experience better for all of us". Would it eliminate, for example, everyone who has a nationalist agenda, or all those who think that "mine" is the NPOV and all those who disagree with me are "POV pushers"? (In spite of the flip tone to the last two sentences, I would really like to know how you see the survey improving our editing experience. I'd be happy to see a response on my talk page if it is not appropriate for this one.) My caution persists, however. To draw any valid conclusions from the results of the survey, you need to have some way, statistical or otherwise, to verify the data. Even the simplest telephone surveyer has postal codes, voices, language use, accent, along with all the data collected from the vast sources of the Internet, mailing lists and research companies against which to measure the reasonableness of the responses. What does Wikipedia have, absent checkuser: a whois location? You are a researcher with a vested interest in collecting this kind of information; I am not. And, indeed, mine is just one opinion. So is yours. It is out of many such that consensus arises. Bielle (talk) 05:03, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
Surely any survey would badly suffer from selection bias - surely a better, fairer, way of doing a survey would be to find users of Wikipedia and survey them that way? Surely /users/ of Wikipedia are more interesting for research than editors anyhow, and it shouldn't be hard to find people considering it's the 8th most popular site on the internet according to Alexa, and contacting them shouldn't be a problem particularly if you are legitimate researchers and scholars and the resources that brings. I also really doubt any benefits of such a survey, and, as a developer myself, your expectation for other people to do software development for you for free to further your cause really made my eyes roll. Perhaps if you feel it's so essential you should find a way of funding or doing the development within the team rather than expecting development time to be handed to you on a plate? Perhaps there is a damn good reason why it's taken 2 years and you've got no progress, as Wikipedia has expanded by over a million articles in that time? -Halo (talk) 06:46, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

The University of Minnesota is also doing quite a bit of research on WP. Good luck to all scholars that want to help this place! Nice (talk) 14:50, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

Bottom line is that scholars see the need for such a survey. That non-scholars don't is not a surprise. General public knows little about what science is, and this will never change. Letting scholars research what they want usually works better than listening to general public and directing research based on that.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 21:11, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

As long as the Foundation isn't spending much money on this, it seems fine. It doesn't seem very Wikimedia-ish however. I was under the impression that the goal was to spread free knowledge around the world, not conduct social experiments. Mr.Z-man 21:15, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I hope the Foundation will not need to spend a single cent; all we need is a bit of developer attention - people who are involved with the survey are social, not computer, scientist. Setting aside the fact that Jimbo himself said "We *are* a grand social experiment of course", I would think that the need to document the rise of Wikipedia, not only as itself but as a likely model for the many future organizations on the net, would be quite evident to many editors, who after all often struggle with finding referenced studies for their articles. Wikipedia is becoming quite a notable subject for study and encyclopedic subject, and if we can generate some data for that, it would be great. Finally, study of the project would benefit editors - not only satisfying curiosity of some, but allowing us to more easily understand current troubles with the project, solve them, and foresee the future ones.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 21:32, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
  • If there is an increase in the scope and quality of expert opinions for the content herein because of work like yours, then it will surely be a worthy cause. Content providers, and more specifically, experts in nearly every topic known to mankind should actually be paid to add to this project. Someday I would hope to see the makings of permanent articles with qualified experts doing the finishing touches and occasional tweaking of same, with protection from vandals pretty much a locked up deal. I spoke briefly about this in the "Pump." It was off of a topic that JzG had started. Good luck with your Thesis. Nice (talk) 22:15, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
And then how will Wikipedia still be the "encyclopedia that anyone can edit"? We already have Citizendium and Wikipedia editors drumming up support for the for-profit site Veropedia. If what you want are permanent articles and qualified experts, then perhaps Wikipedia is just not for you. Bielle (talk) 23:14, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I love the topic, however, it is not appropriate for here and now. Suffice it to say that I believe WP is not a place where anyone can edit everything...ever; never has been; never will be. For good reasons and a possible "Sea change" someday, I have a vision of things being different at WP.....someday. My opinions only, for now. Cheers, it's been Nice (talk) 00:53, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
A critical problem with survey research of this sort is that your data won't reveal any similarities in those who decline to answer. You call a thousand people: a third are voting liberal, a third conservative, and a third decline. Does the last group have anything in common? Probably. Perhaps they're older people who are more strongly of the opinion "I don't discuss my politics." Perhaps older people are more likely to vote conservative and thus you have sample bias. In actual research firms, the coding will include demographic questions that help avoid the problem: 15% of the population is over 65, say, and you close the group when it reaches that percentage of the target. (Of course, there may be other similarities amongst declinees that you're not asking about: perhaps conservatives of all ages amd backgrounds are more inclined to decline.)
With this survey, we have no way around that problem. Are people with advanced degrees more or less likely to reveal their educational attainment? Are the substantial body of teenagers on site more or less likely to answer a survey? (Probably more, which will skew the data in favour of what is already a young demographic.) The only way to avoid it is to force your cohort to answer and obviously that won't fly. Marskell (talk) 11:54, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
That's of course true of any survey. The proverb about small lies, big lies and statistics comes to mind :) Nonetheless surveys are more useful than not, and there are ways to adjust the results for missing data over under- or over-represented populations.-- Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus | talk 02:51, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

What a bureaucratic nightmare !

(cross posted from Wikipedia talk: Articles for creation)

I am an experienced wikipedian with several thousand edits, but I just wanted to quickly add a redirect, and didn't want to compromise my account by logging in from an insecure computer that I am using. After all, wikipedia is a new kind of encyclopaedia that anyone can edit, RIGHT? Well, it's a SHAME, SHAME, SHAME what kind of non-sense one had to go through to create a new article as an anon user, even if it be a paltry redirect. Disgusting how I had to go through all this you are not going to promote yourself, you can submit your IDEA for an article, blah, blah, blah ad infinitum. Well, that'll serve me right: I'll know now how discriminating and intimidating can wikipedia be for new users. Thanks a lot! 09:20, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Before I ever edited, I got a username. I've been consistently using it since. If I want to make an edit while I'm using a computer that I don't consider secure, I just wait till I'm using a different computer. Just about anyone can do this; ergo this encyclopedia is one that anyone can edit. Where's the beef? Why the disgust? -- Hoary 14:53, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I totally totally agree with -- (AKA Kim Bruning 18:31, 3 December 2007 (UTC))

Given, Kim, that you almost never edit in article space, I don't know why people should find your comments on it of note. Marskell 19:09, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
The flip answer would be to say that it's due to cheery attitudes like yours ;-)
More in depth: For all kinds of reasons I often edited as an anon user, and still do so whenever I can. I haven't done it much lately because it's becoming harder and harder for folks to edit as an anon. It's gotten to the point where I've finally decided to spend time on other projects (such as coding for Omegawiki) this past year.
--Kim Bruning 19:56, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
Given that I didn't ask a question, I don't know what you're answering, flip or otherwise.
I don't find my attitude cheery or the opposite. It was an observation. You don't edit article space, so I don't see that the opinion presented has more salience than any random opinion would. In fact, it would be more relevant if you were actually a new, anon user looking to improve articles. But you're not. Marskell 20:27, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand? Actually I did edit article space in the past, on some very tricky articles, and that's how I learned to understand how wikipedia works. Then I mediated between people, and they were the ones doing the editing and I was showing them how to do so without fighting. Now I'm off doing other stuff, and I only just comment from time to time to help people understand how things work. Are you saying that my experience is out of date, or what is your claim? --Kim Bruning 22:04, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

It strikes me that many administrators and a few other longtime contributors maintain a fully registered alternate account, listed on their usual talk page, for this specific set of circumstances. Perhaps the editor posting as an anon might want to consider that. (This suggestion is predicated on the theory that, by the time the group editing WP:SOCK finishes, it will still be an acceptable use of an alternate account.) Risker 19:18, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

If you've seen the quality of 95% of the content suggested on WP:AFC, you'd realize that without those rules, the page would be totally unusable. Mr.Z-man 19:29, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Short Interview

Hello, Mr Wales. I am an IB Diploma student from Bosnia and Herzegovina, a Wikipedia fan and occasional contributor. In my course of ITGS, I have worked on a portfolio regarding Wikipedia. Now I have a task of extending this portfolio where I need to interview someone with a deeper understanding of Wikipedia, so I thought, who could have better understanding of it than its founder? I would be really grateful if you could consider answering on no more than ten questions regarding Wikipedia for my project.Bwanaunsignedhype 22:44, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Your Awesome Invention

Hey Jimbo, just wanted to stop by to say what an awesome thing it is you've created. "Esto perpetua" Mbisanz 09:21, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Devil's advocate as a necessary aspect of evaluating something

I tried to talk to Durova (see User talk:Durova/Archive 38#Devil's advocate) about what went wrong; and her inability to assume good faith prevented her from getting my point. Or maybe it was the hubris she has mentioned. Or maybe it was something else. We all see the world though our subjective-colored glasses. I do. You, Jimmy, do too.

Society has a long history of trying to perfect its ability to ascertain right/wrong truth/fiction. Logical argument based on evidence between opposing sides has been established by science and modern society as the best that can be achieved. The opposite of that is a one-sided star-chamber evaluation where group-think reigns unopposed.

I noticed that the Wikipedia Foundation paid an expert to help tutor the board members (I forget on what) to improve their ability to perform their unpaid jobs as board members. That was a very good idea. Maybe something similar could be arranged to help you with your unpaid job of liaison between the Foundation and the flagship English language Wikipedia's community. You have been making a lot of mistakes lately, and there no one available even remotely qualified to replace you in this role. WAS 4.250 (talk) 05:42, 25 November 2007 (UTC)

You are here, you can advise me. What mistakes have I made lately? What would you have done differently? --Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:17, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, I wasn't going to get into that; but since you ask, I'll put together a list of a few items that will illustrate what I think you could improve at. Probably today. A comprehensive list of errors would be a lot of work and to no good end, so I won't go there. Further, just because I think it would be an improvement, does not mean that it would be, so please check with many others for feedback (I'm sure you know this, I'm just letting you know that I also know this). WAS 4.250 (talk) 06:45, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi Jimbo. Quick introduction since we haven't directly talked before: I very much admire your values and what you've done here, and I enjoy being a Wikipedian. Since you welcome constructive criticism, however, I can point to one recent statement of yours that I think was in error. One of the things you said was, "No one is attempting to suppress discussion, look at the ridiculous length of this page." Before you made that comment, Jehochman had closed the discussion (he was quickly reverted), and Mercury had protected the page (he was reverted half an hour later). And of course a nontrivial amount of the page consists of people arguing over whether discussion should continue. So I think you were mistaken there -- some people were obviously attempting to suppress discussion. Cheers, Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 08:09, 26 November 2007 (UTC)


The below suggestions, if implemented, would in my opinion: decrease drama at Wikipedia, increase confidence in the administration of Wikipedia, decrease time wasted at Wikipedia in responding to drama, and increase confidence in your judgement.

  1. Don't edit Wikipedia articles (but go ahead and talk on the talk pages). Your edits at BonziBUDDY and Mzoli's show why. Ask any Wikipedia prolific editor about it if you don't believe me.
  2. Don't desyop, block or ban anyone yourself; or threaten that one will occur. Stick to higher level action like asking others to do that and being a final check on who is a member of arbcom. Your block of Miltopia, desyop of Zscout370, and threat to Giano all created unnecessary drama.[1]
  3. Increase separation between Wikia and Wikipedia. See Essjay and used in the Durova incident
  4. Increase transparency. Foundation members using the rules to oversight a work document that was used to indef block a model Wikipedian claiming copyright on an email when fair use is obvious is actively decreasing needed transparency and just plain stupid when it forces people to go to Wikipedia Review to see it. See Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Durova and Jehochman/Evidence.
  5. Refocus your friends. Tell your loyal friendly admins: "Ignore teasing. Try letting it go. Don't make stuff a big deal. Stop acting like we are at war." Example: Ask User:JzG about Swalwell, Alberta and then compare [2]. (Also Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#User:Daniel Brandt Posting Anonymously? for an example of how acting like we are at war with the bad guys is just causing pointless drama and wasted time.)
  6. Set a better example of no personal attacks. Calling someone a troll is a personal attack. And "Will no one rid me of these socks from Wikipedia Review?" seems to capture some of what is going on. (I'm not saying you said that; I'm saying the atmosphere around here is as if you did.)
  7. Increase accountability. Ask some experts about this and take their advice.

WAS 4.250 (talk) 11:05, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

We could ask Wikipedians in general to comment on these suggestions at a Request For Comment; but I really think you are better off bouncing these off experts. WAS 4.250 (talk) 11:05, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps some DONATE NOW could be set aside for some expert advice? Just thinking out loud. sNkrSnee | t.p. 11:26, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
I'd like to add to Number 5 - b) Expand your friends; find a few people on WP you disagree with and try to engage with them. You may not convince them and they you, but you might find that some of those whose viewpoints differ from you actually really do care about the encyclopedia, want it to thrive, and are quite happy to let your tastes and ideas inform your contributions providing that theirs are given equal space. End result, a more comprehensive and NPOV resource. LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:41, 27 November 2007 (UTC) (...and, no, I ain't volunteering!)
Hey Jimbo, I confess that I was thinking about posting something similar here (but probably wouldn't have considering that my comments here rarely elicit a response from anyone...sigh) after having seen your comment about Giano II (As far as I can tell, the author of more than 10 FA's and not contentious until the !! thing). But I see WAS beat me to it and did a far better job than I could have outlining the material. I do have one additional suggestion however. Why don't you create a legitimate sockpuppet account for when you edit "as an editor." This way you could avoid the drama that surrounds every edit that this account makes as mentioned in WAS's number 1. Also I am pretty sure that I am not the only editor that has concerns about some of the actions you have taken recently. I realize that you are in a tough position, but it would be good to know that you will at least take some of these comments under consideration. —Cronholm144 00:45, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

I can't believe more people aren't endorsing the above suggestions. This is damn good advice, but without people chiming in and saying so, nobody -- not even an objectivist -- is likely to be able to overcome the subjective knee-jerk reaction, and see the good in these suggestion. I also agree with the modification that "Don't edit articles" should be "Use an anonymous sockpuppet to edit articles."

Remember the last episode of The Prisoner where Number Six goes in front of the assembly that dissolves into pandemonium in response to everything Number Six says? There's truth there. You could be the best contributor in the whole project, but people are going to try to shoot you down because you're the BMOC. That means even the most well-meaning action can result in a lot more than "unnecessary drama" -- hurt feelings, bad publicity, and worse are more and more likely as time goes by.

Jimbo, I urge you to take the advice above, and I hope others will join in to help convince you. MilesAgain 15:18, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

Whew! I've been on an extended semi-break, and it'll probably continue a bit longer, but I wonder what brought all this on. Jimbo's edits in the past have almost always struck me as sensible interventions. I wouldn't like him to stop making them. Metamagician3000 11:39, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
His talk page edits have always seemed to help Wikipedia, but article space edits done in his own name have lately seemed to me to be causing unneeded problems. His creation of Mzoli's created unnecessary disruption at the English Wikipedia, the German Wikipedia, and other places for all I know. If he has done that with a pseudonym he would have learned a few things about the current state of affairs at wikipedia and avoided the controversy to boot. But the edit that makes me shake my head sadly and say, "just don't edit the articles" is [3]. He changed accurate NPOV sourced claims into mis-representations of the sources and introduced original research using unsourced weaselly phrased additions such as "most or all major reporting sites today classify it as adware rather than spyware" when sources in the article call it spyware. WAS 4.250 12:39, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Look, I'm going to disagree here. I regret that I've been snowed under with my other projects lately and I've missed the excitement, but I think Jimbo has as much right as anyone else to create an article on a venue that seems notable, and there's always the AfD process if it's thought such a place doesn't meet notability requirements for restaurants or the like. It seems clear that it did, and I think that any well-respected editor should be cut some slack if he or she creates a stub and asks for a chance to improve it. This looks more to me like someone was trying to make a point about Jimbo not being above the rules, or some such thing. As for the adware/spyware issue, it's obvious from the edit summary that there was a particular sensitivity that had come to Jimbo's attention - he was open to editing the article but had some reason for making the change with a degree of urgency. He has to have that kind of power, and I don't know why anyone would want to frustrate his use of it. For Zeus's sake, there's a bigger picture that he has to worry about. I think that people should cut Jimbo some slack with these sorts of things. I can't talk about any of the other issues, so maybe he has made recent mistakes somewhere for all I know, but I can't see anything bad with either of these cases. Metamagician3000 13:44, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I thought just what you are saying at first. But the conversation on the German Wikipedia was enlightening as was subsequent comments and behavior by Jimbo concerning the BonziBUDDY article that make it plain to me that even he considers his edit to be a mistake. I think Jimbo is a hell of a nice guy and someone we can trust making the big decisions; but his article space edits suck. WAS 4.250 16:30, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, if that's what you thought at first it's probably right - because it's how it looks on the surface. I am starting to think that some people - I don't mean you - are more concerned about how to put Jimbo in his place, whatever place that is supposed to be, than in cooperating with his efforts. I think it's those people who need to take a look at themselves. I have no idea about the German wikipedia, but I'm pretty unimpressed by the smart-arse response on the English wikipedia to the Mzoli's article. Really, if Jimbo, of all people, has been to a place in South Africa, says it's notable, creates the beginnings of an article and asks for a chance to develop it, what sort of idiot is not going to take him at his word? There are people around here who, on the most charitable reading, have no common sense. Metamagician3000 00:18, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

You are missing the point about "how it looks on the surface". I changed my opinion not based on additional thinking about prior evidence, I changed my opinion based on much new evidence that showed what it looks like on the surface differs from what it looks like with additional information. But you are right about too many people wanting to "put others in their place". There is way too much power tripping going on and way too much unneeded inciting of drama and way too much not taking into account that we all have our opinions colored by our POV so we need to run ideas past others who disagree with us (see title of section). WAS 4.250 15:03, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
WAS, I'm not missing your point at all. I'm disagreeing with your point. And of course I think it's legitimate for you to express your views for whatever they're worth. It's also legitimate for people to say they disagree with them. Because I've had to be semi-inactive for a few months - just making rare edits in article space - I've missed out on a huge amount of (the usual sort of) drama. I must say that I realise how draining all this drama can be when you're even on the far fringe of it. As I've been trying to catch up lately with what's been happening "behind" article space I see a lot of people carying on as if they're bigger than the project - and I don't mean Jimbo, who is self-effacing and patient to a fault, if anything. That's just my impression, but of course I'm quite entitled to offer mine as you're entitled to offer yours. Oh well, I'll be away completely for another week by which time things will have moved on, so that's probably my last word on this particular issue. Metamagician3000 21:59, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
WAS, I would say that some of your advice is quite good, but I strongly defend all the article space edits that I have made recently. I most particularly defend my edit to Mzoli's, and the creation of that article, the growth of it into a good article, is something that I take great pride in. Can we start with that? Can you explain why it was wrong for me to create that article?
Regarding BonziBUDDY, the article has quite frequently been a hatchet job, and I helped enormously with that. Were there some errors in what I wrote? Perhaps, but overall I think I did a good job. You may not appreciate how difficult it is to write about such subject matter in a fair way.
My block of Miltopia was a good block, widely supported. And my desysop of ZScout, while controversial, was the right thing to do as well, controversial or not. I am on a campaign to improve the level of respect that admins have for the blocks of problem users, and to try to illustrate that Wikipedia is not a free speech zone, and it is not ok to unblock people in that fashion.
There was other advice you gave, and if I get the time, I respond (more favorably) to that, but I wanted to go on record saying that I am very proud of Mzoli's, very proud of blocking Miltopia, and very proud of my work in assisting with difficult BLPs.--Jimbo Wales 06:36, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
1 Well, I'm trying to take a wiki-break, but when I take a break I still lurk a little. This is important enough to have a wiki-break-break :) . WAS 4.250 16:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
2 Thank you for saying "WAS, I would say that some of your advice is quite good". I appreciate that. It is very important that the community act in ways that decease the drama and we all need to help in whatever way we can. I did my best to point out ways that I thought you could help. I'm sure I'm wrong about some of them as I, like everyone else, am less than perfect. WAS 4.250 16:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
3 About Mzoli's. The drama creating part that could have avoided is two-fold. First, you did not have to have the article created and improved with your own name. You can use an alternate account to avoid drama, you can create an article elsewhere and have someone else to add it to wikipedia. But that causes less transparency, and so causing less immediate possible drama has to be weighed against the drama of backroom-article-creation-gate. Which brings up the second drama creating thing you did, and may perhaps be the only legitimate criticism of you in regard to Mzoli's. That second thing has to do with how wikipedia has changed over the last two years from being all about content creation in an encyclopedia-in-the-making to being all about content accuracy in an existing encyclopedia that people are relying on today. I know you know of this change, you are an important part causing the change. Perhaps you are less familiar with the day to day article level behaviors that implement this. One of those behaviors lies in being quick about weeding out articles we should not have because they are unsourced and perhaps unsourceable. Reliable studies show we weed out vandalism almost immediately most of the time, but when we don't catch it in the first couple days, if can easily linger for months. This means there is a lot of effort put into deleting unsourced new articles that don't claim a reason for being notable which some take as shorthand for "probably unsourceable". You talk a lot about equality and such and some people take this to mean to treat edits equally regardless of who made the edit; which while partly true is not especially clueful when used as a bright-line rule - but the problem is that we have a lot of not especially clueful people in a non-paid pseudonym work space and that must be taken into account. The end result is that by editing the way you did, people trying to keep crap out of wikipedia made predictable mistakes, and because it was about your edits, it resulted in drama. The drama could have been avoided by creating the article in user subspace and not moving it to main space until it was a decent sourced article of the type unlikely to cause an issue with our less clueful volunteers. Most people who are regulars at creating articles make sure their initial article edit claims notability from a published reliable secondary source at the very least. This might even be a good thing. If you insist on creating articles, please do so in a way that minimizes drama - use your user subspace and ask seasoned editors to help. WAS 4.250 16:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
4 I agree that "Regarding BonziBUDDY [...] overall [you] did a good job" referring to all the work you did on that article and in its talk space before my edit. My objection was to your removal of NPOV (e.g. I more accurately described what a source was claiming in that "ad-ware" included spy-ware and was not a separate and distinct category), insertion of unsourced claims and weasel words, and an edit summary that I read as indicating that it was ok to use secret information as a reason for adding claims to an article. Secret/Private information can certainly be a valid reason to remove claims, but can never be a valid reason to add claims if this project is to credible. WAS 4.250 16:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
5 We are well rid of Miltopia but it could have been done with less drama if you had worked with arbcom or (for transparency) the community about it. Perhaps I'm wrong about that. Perhaps however it was done it would have caused drama. WAS 4.250 16:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
6 While perhaps ZScout should have been desyoped, you should not have been the one to do it. The drama there was breaking the fundamental understanding that uninvolved people should do the deed. This is sound practice for practical and theoretical reasons. Separation of powers and conflict of interest and appearance of bias are all theoretical issues helped by this standard practice that by breaking caused drama and set a bad example. WAS 4.250 16:23, 4 December 2007 (UTC)


This is purely a curiosity question, Jimbo: What's on your watchlist? - Chardish 06:40, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

A motley assortment of random crap. Mostly problematic WP:BLP's that I try to help keep an eye on. :) --Jimbo Wales 17:18, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Register Article

I just read the Register article on Wikipedia's "Secret Mailing List." It seems to me that Wikipedia's business model consists of lying to people to get free work out of them, combined with scamming donations out of other people to buy bandwidth to serve the content the first set of people produce. Content, I might add, whose factual accuracy rivals that of Usenet. Wikipedia publicly represents itself as this fuzzy egalitarian organization which does everything by "consensus," but that's a far cry from how it's really run. New people arrive, having bought into the PR, edit for a while, and then either align with the ruling Cabal or get disgusted and leave. Anyone who dissents is accused of trolling, disruption, or not being here to write an encyclopedia. People get banned all the time, their talk pages are locked, with no discussion permitted within the community, and appeals only to Arbcom. Given the number of sites critical of Wikipedia that currently exist, and the number of irate ex-editors who feel they were treated unfairly, do you still maintain that they are all wrong, and only you are right?

At the very least, you should update the fluffy public description of Wikipedia's inner workings to better coincide with reality, even if you have no intention of modifying your behavior. The lackluster response to the current fundraiser is a good indication of how Wikipedia's reputation is declining. 16:16, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your interest and concern. I would recommend that getting one's new from the Register may not be the most effective way to learn about reality. Indeed, people do get banned all the time. Thank goodness. Some of our critics have some things right. Others have most things wrong. I sometimes make mistakes myself. Thanks for asking. --Jimbo Wales 17:22, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Giano again

Hi. I hate to bring this up again, but as a user who's only been truly active for a relatively short period, trying to do a bit of voluntary work here and there, I was quite shocked to stumble upon this[4] and this[5]. First of all, you appear to use chilling effect against a certifiably good editor. Also, you take sides in a dispute caused by another editor making it her mission to systematically not assume Good Faith, and to embroil others in that game in a non-transparent and backhanded way. Isn't the loss of one excellent editor (at the very start of all this) sufficient? Frankly, I feel you owe Giano an apology. athinaios 17:48, 4 December 2007 (UTC)



I think it is very rude to leave some comments unresponded to. I have seen a question on this page that remains unreplied to when it was posted over a year ago. And this is your own user page!!!

I am sorry if I seem rude myself.

Jake the Editor Man (talk) 19:10, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

I am sorry, but I am a little confused. What question do you want me to answer?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:49, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

2007 ArbCom Elections

Hi Jimbo, and sorry if this has been asked before, but: how many people will be elected to ArbCom as a result of these elections? The confusion is over the fact that 'Tranche Alpha' currently consists of five people, but also briefly included Essjay making six; from what I can tell, it's essentially your prerogative how many arbitrators are created, so what I'm asking is, what are your current intentions? Do you plan to make five people arbitrators, or six, or more; or will you only decide once you've seen what levels of support they've got? Thanks in advance. Terraxos (talk) 21:50, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, out of curiosity: do you intend to vote in the elections yourself? Terraxos (talk) 21:52, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
I normally decide in consultation with the existing ArbCom after the election totals are complete. In general, I think that an expansion of the size of ArbCom is warranted, in the interests of having more hands to do the work. But I have not really thought it through completely. I take my responsibility in appointing the ArbCom extremely seriously, and in particular because of errors made by me in the past. So I focus a lot of attention on each candidate, and talk to a lot of people. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:51, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

disclosure shows the public why you're right

great job on everrything you've done with wikipedia. it's a gathering place of great minds. However, perhaps more (read: full, or nearly full) disclosure over issues such as those related to the recent press would help everyone keep a cool head? more public information should, if you're persuing things truthfully, show everyone that what your doing is correct and just. Aformalevent (talk) 01:41, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, of course. What do you want to know? Full disclosure of what? There is a huge ton of misinformation being thrown around, from the very notion that there was a "secret mailing list" to the further idea that the cyberstalking mailing list was or is premised on trying to seek out enemies of wikipedia. This is all complete and total nonsense.

The cyberstalking mailing list is a mailing list started by a handful of users on an ad hoc basis to discuss their own experiences with being cyberstalked, and to discuss the experiences of others being cyberstalked. Period. There is nothing wrong with that. The idea put forward by the Register that this constitutes some kind of sinister conspiracy is abject nonsense, which we should by now completely expect from them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:54, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

hmmm... it seems that if the process of dealing with suspected malicious users was more open from the beginning this could have been avoided. Regardless, I'll be reading Wikipedia regularly, contributing a bit, and recommending it to my friends as I always have. Aformalevent (talk) 02:11, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Problem with a MedCab admin

I think an admin User:SebastianHelm has engaged on a very wasteful crusade that is nonproductive and just taking up the time of several users. He is making lots of accusations and calling his opinions "facts". Here is the link: I think that he needs a reality check.--Fahrenheit451 (talk) 04:22, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

A Error+Need of Protection

Hello, I want to report an error on Wikipedia: Perhaps it's just on my Computer, but sometimes when I put my mouse pointer on the area where there is the username of the user and link to it and the talk page link and all, it weirdely shifts to the left! And the other thing is I say the Wikipedia Intro page definetely needs Protection so only admins can edit as lot's of people vanderlise it and put ad's or usless info and such on it, and it's very effectful if it's an ad becuase almost every new user goes there. So please look into these two matters. Thank You very much!--Kushan I.A.K.J (talk) 11:38, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmmmmmmmmmmm........ well, the user toolbar problem seems to be over...--Kushan I.A.K.J (talk) 11:55, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Our IRC conversation today: no references to Hitler.

Hi, Jimbo. I took a look at the bit on Giano's page that you thought was Giano calling Durova Hitler. It really is nothing like that. (I knew it couldn't be. It's a ludicrous suggestion, to anybody who knows Giano.) I hope whoever told you that that little lot had to do with Hitler was in good faith... If it was Durova herself, I don't doubt that she was, I don't figure her for a fan of British sitcoms. And maybe it's only in Europe that these sitcoms are famous and beloved.

Anyway, that dialogue is a mix of references to 'Allo 'Allo!, Dad's Army, Blackadder, and (the immortal) Fawlty Towers with John Cleese. You must have some fans of these series among your friends. Please show the dialogue to such a person. To somebody you trust. Show them the thread "About Durova's evidence" and to the end of the page here. Please. Bishonen | talk 22:49, 4 December 2007 (UTC).

OK, I wasn't in on any IRC chat obviously, but this has GOT TO STOP!!! That exact same conversation has been misrepresented AT LEAST 3 TIMES since its posting - Durova has accused me & Giano of being bigots, Fred Bauder included it as "evidence" of Giano's incivility, and now you are (apparently) misinterpreting it as some sort of NAZI reference. I have corrected Durova on her talk page (she insulted me and archived without apology) [[6]] and on my own (see Colditz Salad Capers [[7]]), Fred Bauder in this thread[[8]], and now you here. This is somewhere between hilarious and pathetic, and if this sort of BS is continuing on IRC where I can't see it, that's pretty damn serious. I can understand that not everyone knows about Fawlty Towers, but this is an online encyclopedia - can't people do a quick search before leaping to insane conclusions?
To quote John Cleese, you people have absolutely no sense of humour! Please do us all a favour and go watch the episode here[[9]]. You can laugh at it and yourself at the same time. I am. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 23:18, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
ps the above was intended to address only Jimbo Wales, and not Bishonen, who has only my appreciation. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 00:49, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Please see Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Durova/Evidence#Evidence presented by Newyorkbrad. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:52, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, Bishonen, I intended that to be a private conversation where you help me to understand, not an accusation I wanted to make public. I have reviewed the links in question and I agree with your analysis. Snickersnee, I do have a sense of humor, man. :) I just needed help reviewing the diffs. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:23, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm just grateful that, in my instance, you asked the right person, and took time to look at the diffs. Other times this hasn't been the case, with much ensuing drama and tragedy. I don't know you or Bishonen, but I consider what she did a great service. Why did this ever need to be private? You could have just, say, asked either me or Giano, neither of us is all that shy. It's unnerving to have to keep stamping out the same bizarre interpretations over and over. But I am glad you have a sense of humour, because it would be sad to think no one else got how funny this is. Thanks for setting the record straight, I'm sure I'll probably have to quote you on it. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 04:00, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
As I am reading this I have in front of me a copy of THE Complete FAWLTY TOWERS by John Cleese and Connie Booth (ISBN 0-413-18390-4), which are the unexpurgated scripts of said sit-com... Anybody want to mention a problem quote, and I'll confirm and give you the page number. LessHeard vanU (talk) 11:59, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
...said the spider to the fly. I'm not falling for that again. But it is a small comfort to know that my inevitable block-log epitaph will be scrupulously footnoted. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 13:23, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh lol, lol, lol, I hope you have a sense of humour Jimbo, cos' just look who is referred to as the Fuhrer here [10] - don't ban him, he does not mean any harm, it just amused me to see what can slip through the net. Giano (talk) 19:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


I'm simply saddened and frustrated by the entire situation regarding Durova, !!, Giano, and the "private" mailing lists. I like Durova, but Giano is also well regarded in my books, not only as an excellent writer, but someone committed to the project, not bound by "groupthink". I feel like it's poisonous for me to even comment on the situation. The one comment I did make, regarding WP:COI edits was blanked along with an entire section on AN. [11] It's a waste of my time, I suppose to weigh in on matters. Also, I look at my deleted contributions and noticed that edits I made on SlimVirgin's talk page (regarding policy pages, where she is highly active) were deleted. I know there was a mass deletion on her pages (and highly regret and saddened by the harassment she has dealt with), but it's bothersome to me that my comments were deleted.

The mailing lists are also troublesome. What other private mailing lists are there? I like to assume good faith, but it's difficult at the moment to maintain trust in other admins who are on those lists. I just wonder if there is private discussion regarding policy, that I'm not privy too. I have found it very frustrating to engage SlimVirgin, Jossi, et al on policy talk pages. My suspicions are likely unfounded, but it just makes me very uncomfortable and find it difficult to create a welcoming, cordial editing atmosphere. At the moment, I am discouraged from editing and have not done much editing lately. (for multiple reasons) Maybe it would help if private lists were listed on Wikipedia:Mailing_lists. Obviously I can't be on arbcom-l, the oversight list, but at least aware they exist and accept them as legitimate. More transparency would be a good thing, to help dispell suspicions.

I have also felt very uncomfortable with how we have tolerated users who are not here to help the project. That has affected me, as well. However, I am concerned about the methods that Durova used to "identify" !!, that they were entirely inadequate. There are much better ways to get it right, when it comes to identifying sockpuppets. And, I think bringing cases before arbcom is a good idea (or having some official means, with legitimacy). There should be some due process. An ethical and fair means of dealing with sockpuppets is important for the community to maintain trust and faith in the project.

I'm not ready to give up on the project. Like Giano, I'll stick with it, but it's difficult to do article editing (and be positive about the project) with a cloud of suspicions hanging over the project. [for saying anything here, I may regret hitting the save button] --Aude (talk) 05:24, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Aude, just to answer your question about policy, the only discussions on the cyberstalking list about policy have been about whether the civility or NPA policies are adequate, how to strengthen them, and issues like that. We've never discussed the core content policies, if that's what you're thinking. As for my talk page, what happened was that a harassing post was deleted a few months ago, and in the course of doing that, the whole page was inadvertently undeleted, which meant that some old harassing posts were visible again — it's a feature of the software that, when you undelete a page after deleting some edits, you can't easily see what was previously deleted so that it stays that way. So two other admins helped out by deleting everything, then beginning the job of slowing undeleting and moving the posts to archives. It's just been a slow business because there are thousands of edits to go through (from memory, it was close to 10,000), and it's a boring job. If you can identify when yours were, even roughly, I'll find them for you and restore them. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 06:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
You are an admin. You can view my deleted contributions. As for the lists, we need to be more open about them that they exists (though understandably private). What other lists exist? Who knows, had I known about them, maybe I could have been some help to you. If you look at my userpage and see which articles I edit, it may give you an idea what kind of real life experience I have regarding investigations and dealing with people who have been victimized. At this point, I'm soured on the whole idea of "secret" lists and not sure I would be interested in them. Had they been merely "private", I (and others) should have been aware of them. Like arbcom-l and other private lists, I would be okay with that. We need more transparency on these matters, to dispel suspicions that others have and restore trust. --Aude (talk) 13:44, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
@Aude, thanks for your thoughtful contribution here. I agree with it by and large, except for your appreciation of Giano. I didn't follow any of the drama surrounding this person, nor did I encounter this person while editing. In that case I tend to accept Jimbo's appreciation, which happened to be "trolling" (or another word might have been used but I thought that was the thrust). Even Bishonen (whom I appreciate very much, having run into her in her early months here at Wikipedia where we collaborated on solving a sticky problemref) didn't convince me otherwise. Well, I might go on diff hunt and form my own opinion. Let's say that Jimbo's appreciation isn't weighty enough for me to go vote either way on Giano's ArbCom candidacy.
@SlimVirgin, re. "We've never discussed the core content policies [on the cyberstalking list]": strangely enough that's what I suspected since I knew about the existence of such lists. IMHO that's a weakness, not something to be proud about. It's a discomforting example of groupthink: the list (or its predecessors if there were any) weighed on the core content policies (WP:ATT and WP:RS being stalled currently was unthinkable without such lists), and then you have the audacity to tell you didn't even discuss the content of the actions you were taking as a group w.r.t. core content policy? Let me tell you this again "When there are disagreements, they are resolved through polite reasoning, cooperation, and if necessary, negotiation on talk pages (...)" (from the second paragraph of Wikipedia:Consensus). One of the downsides of these lists (as I experienced them) was that its participants were cutting corners w.r.t. polite discussion on core content policies. I hope I made myself understandable without needing to give detailed examples. --Francis Schonken (talk) 19:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Giano to Jimbo

I'm glad Bishonen raised this point here. (see "Our IRC conversation today: no references to Hitler" above) Too much is said behind the scenes that could be said here. This secretive discussion of editors by admins (and above) fuels the problems here. Let's have a more open and honest site. I think Jimbo instead of blaming everybody else in this matter. If you had instantly grasped the bull by the horns, and de-sysoped Durova immediately. This could all have been avoided. I cannot believe that you and those two dozen plus Arbs and checkusers on the list did not immediately check in your inboxes and begin emailing each other the second the shit hit the fan, which was a long time before I posted Durova's "evidence". Yet even after I posted it, and you had undoubtedly read it, you chose to threaten me rather than address the true matter. Is it any wonder people thought what the hell is going on?

My second point is to those who claim I did not need to post it, because others already had it. Why if others had it did they only act after I posted it on ANI? Either they did have it and were choosing to ignore it, of they did not have it until I posted it.

Finally. I advise editors against speaking to the press, let's air all our points openly and honestly and without fear on this site and deal with issues here. I am sick of seeing people being called Trolls etc. because they are trying to sort Wikipedia's problems this catcalling will only drive people to other off-site forums. Mistakes have been made, hopefully lessons learnt. Let's now move on now, the wiser for it. Giano (talk) 08:10, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

JzG is quick to block and quick to archive something that might help clear up much of what transpired when Durova was allowed to pursue her career as a sleuth. If things are left to discuss, then that is wonderful. If they are thrown under a rug, then it must go to the authorities. I am for open free speech. I think you are too. What do you think of quick blocks and quick deletions? Nice (talk) 22:00, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

This is Jimbo's space to answer questions mine is here [12]. Giano (talk) 22:24, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


I never seen your pic till now, but I know people with beards chill hard. You should probably vote (or moo) for me.--EndlessDan 14:49, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

See Beard Liberation Front. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:28, 5 December 2007 (UTC)


Hello, I would like to permenantly leave Wikipedia.

Can you please delete my accounts (Ricardo-Quaresma, and my two "sock-puppet" accounts JJGD and JJGD220, I have put '==JJGD==' on my user talk page to prove that they are my accounts)

Ricardo-Quaresma (talk) 18:44, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

It is not possible to delete accounts, because edits need to be attributed to the person who made them in order to satisfy the GFDL. See m:Right to vanish for information on the steps you can take. Hut 8.5 18:50, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

BLP Request

Hi Jimbo,

Could you please include your two cents on this request for comment regarding a BLP. I would very much appreciate your thoughts and input on the subject.

Talk:Peter Yarrow#RfC: Conviction and pardon.

Thank you --Jkp212 (talk) 04:53, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

About privacy

I joined wiki this year, but really surprised to see privacy level here. I have some concerns and suggestions.

Especially in a shared ip address privacy is a big problem. Whenever someone is autoblocked it shows user who is blocked to everyone on that shared ip. Instead it should say only "you are autoblocked", not "you are blocked because of UserX", which is nothing but disclosing one's ip. Also unblock procedure for autoblock requires one to disclose their ip, all these are clear violation of policy. Sites by Google or Yahoo etc don't give up ip unless asked by court of law, not even to the police.

Another is checkuser log. My suggestion is that every month, a list of users(registered users only) who are checkusered should be released to public in alphabetical order, so that users will know if they are checkusered. This will be transparent without compromising with privacy.

This may be a non-commercial project, but strict copyright-policy and privacy-policy are essential to be called professional. Tabled sign (talk) 04:59, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Jan Matejko Bilder


ich weiß es nicht, ob du mein posting gerne überliest oder was? ich brauche zu dem Thema eine Antwort. Du bist doch der Chef hier, oder etwa nicht? Ist es in Ordnung, dass die Nutzung von Bildern des Malers Jan Matejko in der deutschen Wikipedia verboten ist (siehe die Reverts), ist dieses Vorgehen Wikipedia konform? Ich brauche hierzu eine Stellungnahme!--Interrex (talk) 21:26, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Bekomme ich noch eine Antwort oder kann ich es vergessen? :-( --Interrex 17:37, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo, ich brauche hier eine Stellungnahme, warum die Verwendung von Jan Matejko Bildern in der deutschen Wikipedia verboten ist (why is the use of jan matejko pictures in the german wikipedia prohibited (?), see the reverts). Ich wurde, da ich die Bilder verteidigt habe, sogar für einen Tag gesperrt, nur aufgrund von Bildern, die in den Commons frei und legal zugänglich sind. Das was auf der deutschen Wikipedia in Bezug auf Matejko abläuft ist Admin-Willkür (Admin-arbitrariness) in ihrer Reinform.--Interrex (talk) 10:00, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

ich bin ein user in der deutschen wikipedia version. ich möchte dich in kenntnis setzen, dass es seit dieser woche in der deutschen wikipedia auf basis der [[13]] verboten ist Jan Matejko Bilder zu nutzen. Alle Jan Matejko Bilder wurden aus der deutschen Wikipedia entfernt (!), siehe z. B. hier [[14]] oder auch hier [[15]] Ist das ok? Warum ist die Nutzung von Jan Matjeko Bildern in der englischen, französischen, polnischen Wikipedia erlaubt, aber in der deutschen plötzlich verboten? Ich hatte hier [[16]] versucht einen Ausgelich zu finden, komme aber mit meiner Argumentation bedingt durch die Solidarisierung der Admins untereinander nicht mehr durch, hoffe dass du ein Machtwort sprechen kannst--Interrex (talk) 17:21, 21 November 2007 (UTC)


I don't know whether you like to ignore my postings or what's the matter? I need an answer about the subject. You are the boss around here, aren't you? Is it ok, that the use of images of the painter Jan Matejko is forbidden on German Wikipedia (see reverts), is this course of action conform to Wikipedia? I need a statement about this!--Interrex (talk) 21:26, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Will I still get an answer or may I forget about it? :-( --Interrex 17:37, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo, I need a statement right now, why the use of pictures of Jan Matejko is forbidden in German Wikipedia (why is the use of jan matejko pictures in the german wikipedia prohibited (?), see the reverts). Because I did defend the pictures, I even became banned for one day, only because of pictures, which are accessible free and legally at Commons. What happens on German Wikipedia with regard to Matejko is Admin-arbitrariness in it's clearest form. --Interrex (talk) 10:00, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I am a user of German Wikipedia. I want to inform you, that, since this week, on base of [[17]] it is forbidden, to use the pictures of Jan Matejko on German Wikipedia. All pictures from Jan Matejko were removed(!), for example, look here [[18]] or here [[19]]. Is this ok? Why is the use of pictures from Jan Matjeko permitted on English, French and Polish Wikipedia, but suddenly forbidden on German Wikipedia. Here [[20]] I tried to find a compromise, but, because of the solidarity among the admins, my arguments don't come through, hope that you can put your foot down--Interrex (talk) 17:21, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Translated by --Thw1309 (talk) 23:25, 7 December 2007 (UTC) (Do you know the feeling to be so "proud" about your fellow citizens)

BLP Question

HI Jimbo,

Do you have any thoughts on an issue like this (undue weight in a BLP) as a matter of principle? :

Thanks, --Jkp212 04:17, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

It looks like a tough case. The version that I looked at quickly just now was certainly problematic, in that it cited only the negative accusation against this fellow, without mentioning his response. Until it all shakes out in court, at a bare minimum we need to withhold judgment. Surely one thing we might all learn from the Duke Lacrosse team case is that sometimes there are political prosecutions that don't pan out...

But additionally, I would join those who question the undue weight when this matter is overemphasized in the biography. The problem we have here is that the fellow in question is not particularly famous otherwise, and so there may be very little information about him in general. So what we have here could be viewed as a guy who is only notable for one incident, but that one incident does not give the reader a proper non-tabloid overview of his life.

My view here, and those who are following the case more carefully could easily persuade me otherwise, because I may not have all the facts needed to assess this particular case, is that the current removal of the negative information from the biography is a bit overstrong, but acceptable as a temporary measure. If it is reincorporated, it needs to be firmly balanced with a fair presentation of his own side of the story.

I think the most important thing for people to realize in cases like this (and it looks like there has been general calm and reasoned discussion here, which makes me very happy) is that there is plenty of time. It's ok for Wikipedia to be incomplete for a while. It may take time for editors to gather more information and be able to write a proper biography, and in the meantime, there is no need to rush to judgment.--Jimbo Wales 06:47, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for responding. I just wonder if there should be more direct wording on BLP policy about undue weight (that goes beyond "cover the event, not the person"), because one incident does not make a man, and therefore undue weight (where one negative incident sticks out) becomes particularly problematic with living subjects who have had some sort of negative incident throughout the course of their lifetime. I think it's ok to sometimes mention the incident, but not if it's done in such a way that it's not balanced out by a truly balanced article. I also believe the onus of having a truly balanced article should be given to the individual who wants to include the negative info. Something like, "do not add negative incidents into BLP's unless the article is thorough enough that the negative incident isn't given undue weight." --Jkp212 15:12, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Not exactly the solution you proposed, but see:
Does this help? --Francis Schonken (talk) 13:14, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Just mentioning that the solution I had proposed via talk page discussion has been reverted in the mean while: --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:35, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


hi there- I read that you were strongly influenced by Objectivism in your youth. Could you tell me what you think of objectivism today? What do you think of "the rabid atheism" of Ayn Rand? What do you think of the current article on Objectivism?--Keerllston 12:30, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

Still strongly influenced. I haven't read our current article, but you have awakened my curiosity and perhaps I will find the time soon...--Jimbo Wales 17:20, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

It would be interesting to learn something about the specific nature of that influence. BCST2001 (talk) 23:17, 6 December 2007 (UTC)


I would appreciate it greatly if you did so, perhaps writing an "official review" on that article and on the article on what I believe is the main work of objectivism - Atlas Shrugged.
If you are truly interested I'm sure wikipedians would like your input and would like to know what you consider to be quality.
--Keerllston 00:29, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Another Register article with comments from me

This new article in the Register [21] also contains comments from me that I stand by. I invite you to discuss them with me, either here or by email. Your choice. Cla68 (talk) 00:45, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I have emailed you at the yahoo address I have for you.--Jimbo Wales 19:13, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Re: Rfc: Can statements challanged for a long time and not cited be removed on a biography?

You might want to take a look at D. James Kennedy regarding a group of editors who are insisting on keeping unverified (and challanged for a few months via the {{fact}} tag) in the article in contradiction to WP:Verifiability. Thanks for your time and interest. Swarm Internationale (talk) 14:55, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Since I initially posted this, one reference has been produced, but you still might find the discussion, and the protection of remaining unverified but challanged statements, interesting. Swarm Internationale (talk) 14:55, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
All disputed statements have been cited. Thanks. (The motivational power of simply posting to this page is amazing, but I will try not to bother you again.) 15:23, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Veropedia and Wikipedia

Dear Jimbo,

I don't know where else to post to get a relatively "official" position on the relationship between Veropedia and Wikipedia. I'd like to start with the "facts", if you will:

  • Veropedia is described as a "for-profit" encyclopedia web site in its Wikipedia article.
  • The owner of Veropedia appears to be sponsoring or co-sponsoring a contest to improve wikipedia articles, with cash prizes. I removed a sentence from that contest page that implied to me that the purpose of the contest was essentially to move improved articles over to Veropedia.
  • The owner of Veropedia is a former employee of the Wikimedia Foundation.
  • Veropedia user boxes and templates appear on many user pages. Unlike other "branded" userboxes, the users who place them on their pages seem in a fundamentally different position—they are affiliated with the company; or, if they are not, they appear to be affiliated because of the unclear position of Veropedia with respect to Wikipedia.
  • One user has a link in his or her signature that brings the reader to a promotion of Veropedia: See User:Moreschi/If. The page was nominated for deletion, and deleted by the closer in spite of the many Keep votes because the closer felt it to be simple advertising. (Was it simple advertising?—Well, that link is how I found out about Veropedia.) It has since been the subject of a Deletion Review and has been reinstated.
  • In general, plenty of linking and discussion about Veropedia has taken place over the last month on Wikipedia.

In trying to understand how this is an appropriate use of Wikipedia, I have so far posted twice on User:Danny's talk page, and I have received a few responses from related parties, which stress that Veropedia will give back to Wikipedia, and that the two organizations have compatible goals. Nobody has yet addressed my question as to the ethicality of this relationship: I am concerned that this for-profit organization is attempting to embed itself here as a casual, informal extension of Wikipedia; that it will gain through the obviously valuable halo effect that it will receive from Wikipedia links and activities; and that this, in the view of society's consensus views on profit/non-profit business ethics is, indeed, unethical. Compare any other GFDL-compliant "mirror": none of them receive this benefit. Thus, to be clear, the re-use of open content is not the issue at all; the issue is that Wikipedia appears to be the ground for the sowing of a for-profit organization's seeds. What other organization has ever been permitted this (spam attempts notwithstanding)?

Your talk page is a busy place, and I wish to state that I am not a trollish editor flying by to create a fuss. I have contributed to the wiki positively for some time and have about 9000 edits. I am not writing because I am "anti-mirror" or have had some bothersome realization about GFDL licensing—such ideas simply distort the key issue I'm raising. Further, I have had no prior dealings with Veropedia or its owner, and have no reason to spend my time examining this issue other than its ethical bearing on whether I can in good conscience continue to contribute here.

Thus, I am here to ask, in earnest, if the Foundation considers this an issue worth examining, or has it already accepted this promotional activity? Of course, Veropedia's activities here are nascent. If the current amount of Veropedia cross-pollination is OK, how much Veropedia promotion would have to be in place, scattered about Wikipedia, before it became a concern? Has Wikimedia considered that the organization appears to be affiliated with Veropedia, or "not at arm's length", because of Veropedia's similarities, because of its presence on Wikipedia, and because its owner is a former Foundation employee? I hope you would agree that now is the time to clearly state—for the benefit of Wikipedia's volunteers and for proactivity in public relations—what is the official position on for-profit website promotion on Wikipedia. If this promotional activity is permitted, it's good to know. I have an affiliate account that I may start linking to on-site—it too will benefit Wikipedia, because I plan to send 40% of the proceeds to the Foundation, and I'll sponsor some contests too.

My apologies if this issue has been formally discussed elsewhere; I haven't seen anything. Thank you for your time. –Outriggr § 22:16, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

You might want to consider going to #veropedia on IRC where it can be explained to you by people familiar with the way Veropedia works, or wait until you contact Danny before you make up your mind on Veropedia. SWATJester Son of the Defender 01:30, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
I think this is a fair question. KnightLago 14:22, 3 December 2007 (UTC)
See also

E kala mai. ;-) --Ali'i 14:42, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

Alright, I see where the project stands on this. Thanks. –Outriggr § 00:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clearer, for posterity (who else is listening?), my above one-sentence post should have been more direct. Here's the new version:
I regret that no one will provide a thoughtful response on this topic. I'd like to be shown wrong here. One could say, for example, "Thank you for writing Outriggr. I understand your concern, but I don't see this as an ethical issue or presenting a conflict of interest for Wikipedia because... [argument]". I might have stayed with the project had anyone, not just Jimbo, ever approached me in that manner. If I'm wrong, tell me why; if I'm way off base, the reply should be easy. But all I've received so far are bromides and silence, bringing to mind that old saying "the silence is deafening". I am leaving Wikipedia, a culmination of factors: partly because of my original concern, partly because nobody will actually present a counter-argument to it [a treatment usually not reserved for the worst drama-mongerers], and certainly in protest of the recent issues surrounding sockpuppet hunts and non-transparent activities. Apparently we regular Wikipedia editors are to pretend that these issues have no bearing on us—but they do. The most productive editors are often the ones who, quietly, go away. There are ways to stop this cycle. Regretfully, –Outriggr § 01:06, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
The saying brought to my mind is attributed to Edmund Burke. --JayHenry (talk) 05:37, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Your quote in The Register

"'I believe that Jimbo's credibility has been greatly damaged because of his open support for these people,' says Charles Ainsworth."

Open support for which people?

--Jimbo Wales 14:39, 4 December 2007 (UTC)

The people involved in those secret email lists. In addition to your comments in the ANI thread and on Giano's talk page in which you appeared to criticize Giano much more harshly than Durova, there are also these comments on the Wikien board: [22], [23], [24] that show your support. Do you want some names? SlimVirgin organized and administered the CyberStalking list, and Moreschi and Krimpet have pointed out that she was active in discussions on that list in spite of her claims that she wasn't. JzG has stated that he was involved in that list and also organized and administered the "investigations" list. For other names, all you need to do is look at discussions, threads, RfCs, and RfAs where SlimVirgin, Durova, Jayjg, and/or JzG have gotten involved and suddenly 10 to 20 other editors, mostly admins, have suddenly appeared within a few hours, but often within minutes, of each other to support whatever cause or issue that any of those four have taken a stand on. Cla68 (talk) 23:19, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
Why on earth would any of that damage my reputation? I have no idea where or when Slim Virgin claimed not to be active in discussions on that list, can you prove this astounding charge? Slim Virgin was by any reasonable account one of the primary participants in the list, and no wonder, since she has been the victim of really astounding stalking up to and including published nonsense that she is a spy!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:56, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Cla, please check what was said. I said I was never an active participant in the investigations list, which was created by others to move discussions about sockpuppetry away from the cyberstalking list. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:45, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Here you go [25]. SlimVirgin states that she posted "once" to that list, and Moreschi then points out that she is straight-up lying. SlimVirgin then amends her statement [26] saying that she may have participated in a "technical" discussion and that this was the "extent" of her involvement. Krimpet points out that this is also a lie [27].
I'll assert plainly here that SlimVirgin has an established record of having problems with the truth and others know this. Doc Glasgow just pointed out another incident of lying by her in a chat room discussion you recently participated in. This is why it damages your reputation to support "these people". As obvious as these issues are, I wonder how you couldn't be aware of them. Cla68 (talk) 02:46, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Cla68, this is really important, so I am bolding it. Do you acknowledge the confusion here? SlimVirgin did not lie at all here as far as I can see, and you owe her an apology on this point. She talked about the wpinvestigations mailing list, which she did not at all or only barely participated in, not about the cyberstalking list, where she was and is a very active participant. Please acknowledge your mistake.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:27, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
You're right, she was talking about the investigations list, so I apologize to SlimVirgin for stating that she was talking about the Cyberstalking list. But, Moreschi did catch her in a lie about the extent of her involvement in the investigations list and Krimpet stated that SlimVirgin hasn't been truthful about what really went on on the Cyberstalking list, which that link to Allison's page confirms. Someone has pointed out to me that there have probably been other victims of harrassment on Wikipedia that didn't know about that list that would have been interested in participating but couldn't, because it wasn't advertised anywhere. If the list was used for victims of harrassment, it seems that it was only open to a select few of them. And it also appears that it was used for other purposes, such as Durova's sleuthing seminars and other vitriol against good faith editors. Cla68 (talk) 03:39, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
SlimVirgin would most likely agree with Alison's summary. There is no question that the list has been noisy and at times a place for people to vent steam. That's very far from the characterization you have been making of a secret list for the purpose of cabalism or whatever. Durova posted only that one message there of the "cybersleuthing seminar type" and I believe it got no response at all. It's a mailing list. You say that Moreschi "did catch her in a lie"... that is a very strong statement, can you point me to the proof of it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Remember the line from Durova's email, "They don't know that this list exists"? Krimpet's statement supports that the list was used for much more than talking about harrassment. Now, the second link I provided above shows that SlimVirgin had to amend her first statement from "one post" to "eight times" to the investigations list. Perhaps not a big lie, but a lie. Anyway, are you asking for more evidence that she has ever lied? Cla68 (talk) 04:06, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
You may want to review WP:NPA. Why do you assume that "one post" versus "eight times" constitutes a lie, rather than an error. I was not and am not a member of the investigations list, but I can easily imagine it being quite easy to misremember the exact participation on a list. I am happy to let SlimVirgin answer for herself, but on the other hand, I can hardly blame her if she just wants to ignore you... the assumption of bad faith and unwillingness to engage her in a sincere dialog in an attempt to understand strikes me as something you might want to drop. Remember, assumption of bad faith is exactly what got Durova going down the wrong path. Don't follow.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't mean this sarcastically, but did I answer your original question? Cla68 (talk) 03:45, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Not really, no. It seems that you are continuing to assume bad faith in a completely unfair way. Do you have any additional factual questions? It might help you to understand how far off track you have gotten here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Cla, your attack on SV is a clear violation of WP:NPA. Please stop attacking your fellow editors, or you will lose the ability to edit on this site. Thanks, Crum375 (talk) 03:00, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Cla, it just isn't reasonable to jump straight to the conclusion that a person is lying. These are the facts, and there's no point in having a discussion unless it's based on facts:
I am a regular participant in the cyberstalking list. I was subscribed to the investigations list on or around November 10 without being asked whether I wanted to be on it (and I unsubscribed on or around November 26). My memory when I wrote to wikiEN-l was that I'd posted to the investigations list once or thereabouts. Then I looked through my e-mail archives and found eight posts I'd forgotten about, where I'd contributed to a thread about headers in e-mails. So I posted an immediate correction to wikiEN-l. Between my first and second post, Moreschi had already implied that I was lying. I didn't see his post at the time because I wasn't subscribed to wikiEN-l, and indeed my own posts were taking some time to arrive because I was having to ask David Gerard to forward them for me. But really, whether it's one post or eight, the point is that I was subscribed for only around 16 days, and I participated every little during that time. In future, please assume bad memory or confusion or misunderstanding when you see inconsistencies, at least to begin with, instead of immediately assuming that a person is lying. As for your other claim, I do not have "an established record of having problems with the truth": that really is a serious and unjustified slur. Please tell me what Doc Glasgow is supposed to have said so I can respond to it; otherwise, it's left hanging on this page as an attack I can't defend myself against. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 06:23, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
This one really, really bothered me, especially the drama comment. [28] (talk) 23:43, 4 December 2007 (UTC)
The very idea that there were "secret email lists" is absurd. The rest of what follows from that assumption is mistaken.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:42, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Why were the lists invitation-only then? I would be interested in knowing about any actual stalking or harrassment going on, because some of the articles I edit are probably embarrassing to some very powerful people and institutions. But I wasn't aware of that forum because it was kept well-hidden, and since I became aware of it a week ago I requested admission and haven't heard anything back. User:Alison, an admin respected enough to be one of the few to recently be entrusted with Checkuser privileges, describes what really went on on that list here [29], and it exactly describes how that list was characterized in the Register article.
Now, you say the rest is mistaken, but, I could easily find several examples to support my assertion, because I observed them firsthand. Do you want to see them? Cla68 (talk) 02:15, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Alison's comments do not match what The Register said very much at all. I am happy to explain to you the key differences if you are interested. I would love to have examples to support your assertion, but in the interests of minimizing on-wiki drama, please send them to me in email so I can review it privately.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:31, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Here's the quote from the Register I was referring to, "a rogue editor revealed that the site's top administrators are using a secret insider mailing list to crackdown on perceived threats to their power." Durova's email was actually the evidence that this was occurring on that list (remember she also said, "they don't know that this list exists"), Allison's post confirms that the list was being used to complain about other editors. Now, do you really need more evidence than that? Cla68 (talk) 03:52, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
First, calling Giano, a widely respected if often difficult editor, a "rogue editor" is nonsense. Durova's email is not evidence for the list being secret, nor evidence for the list being used for a "crackdown on perceived threats to power". Both of those things are just astoundingly false. Durova's email is evidence that Durova wrote something up quite out of character for her and the list, and sent it. Nothing more, nothing else. Of course the list was being used to talk about problem editors, and editors who tend to have a knee jerk reaction in favor of "radical free speech" instead of our traditional policies of removing personal attacks and blocking people who engage in them. And, yes, people who are hurting sometimes say things about other people that are unfair, mistakes are made. None of those potential criticisms of the list in any way support the rampant paranoia of the Register piece.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:11, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Can you state with certainty, that that particular list was never used to canvass support for any issues under discussion anywhere on Wikipedia? Cla68 (talk) 04:14, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I can state with absolute certainty that the cyberstalking list was and is absolutely used to discuss proposals for change to Wikipedia in order to deal with the very difficult issue of cyberstalking. This includes people discussing things like possible policy changes, and other people saying that those policy changes are unworkable, or unwise. In short, like every discussion I have ever seen of Wikipedians in any place, for example, private meetups, public mailing lists, public irc channels, private irc channels, coffeeshops, wiki workshops, etc., the list absolutely was used to canvass support for issues under discussion in Wikipedia. I can't imagine that anyone could imagine that any discussion could be otherwise.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
The list was never a secret. It's just a private list with a closed membership. People who've been victims of cyberstalking or serious harassment because of their participation in Wikipedia are invited, as are others who've expressed an interest in finding ways to deal with it. The discussions are often very personal, with victims explaining what happened to them and what the harassment made them feel like. Alison was a member for only a very brief period — from memory, it was just over a week, though I'd have to check that. We go through periods where mostly one thing is discussed, then we change to something else, so you need to have been a member for some time to get an overall picture. The reason for the privacy is so that victims have a safe place to discuss what happened to them. For obvious reasons, no support group with an open membership could offer this. SlimVirgin (talk)(contribs) 02:55, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Being familiar with the stalking and trolling that eminates from Wikipedia Review, I must say that I am certainly sympathetic to the creation of a private discussion board to counter-act it. That said, I am deeply concerned that we are allowing paranoia to take over the upper echelons of the Wikipedia Community. Some of the arguments I have seen concerning BADSITES and related matters coming from respected, established admins (and even ArbCom members) are honestly quite unbelievable. And now this. Frankly, it seems that Giano called a spade a spade and was punished becuase of it. The fact that the establishment (including Jimbo) came down on him so harshly unfortunately leaves egg on the face of the entire Wikipedia project. Of course what's done is done, and it seems most everyone is in agreement that the whole thing was an over-reaction and blown out of proportion. The only thing we can do now is ask how do we keep this rampant paranoia from getting out of hand? Clearly much of it is justified, but that doesn't change the fact that it is hurting Wikipedia. Kaldari (talk) 03:30, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

The purpose of the email list was not about Wikipedia Review, nor about "counter-acting" it. The purpose of the email list was to allow cyberstalking victims a safe place with my support to talk about their pain, to talk about what happened to them, and to begin to think about how Wikipedia might change for the better. Of course some of that discussion would naturally mention WR and also mention people who have been supportive of the "radical free speech" culture that allows bad behavior to thrive. There is nothing paranoid about that. I have never supported WP:BADSITES as it was written and rejected, and indeed said so publicly. But we do need to grapple in a mature way with the serious issue of people making hurtful attacks off-site that would get people banned on-site. Giano got in trouble with a lot of people because he made a huge drama out of something that need not have been a drama. Rather than violating a basic rule of civility by posting a private email publicly, he could have forwarded it to the ArbCom and/or me for review. And if we refused to do anything about it, or if there was any kind of "coverup" of Durova's errors, then and ONLY THEN, he might be justified in going public as a "whistleblower". But as it is, he should not be thought of as a brave whistleblower in the face of repression and paranoia, but rather as someone who made a pretty serious error of judgment in what was already a difficult situation. (A bad block, an admin apologizing, ArbCom investigating, and people freaking out.)
The first step in eliminating rampant paranoia, I think, is to step back and take a look at where the paranoia really lies. We have all this stuff about "secret mailing lists", facts be damned. We have this idea that some secret top cabal is orchestrating whatever whatever. When what we really have is a lot of people freaking out over routine errors that could be solved with a bit of good faith and loving discussion. I really strongly support that people should relax and get over the paranoia driven by various trolling conspiracy theories...--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:07, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
When Giano posted the email ArbCom wasn't, to anyone's knowledge, doing anything at all, let alone "investigating". The only action to that point which carried any vestige of authority was your statement that "a 75 minute hardly worth all that drama." Far from indicating that our community leadership is attending to the problem you basically indicated that you felt the problem was solved and that we should stop talking about it. Of course you are welcome to have an personal opinion on the issue, but I think many people regarded your statement as dismissive of any concerns that the situation wasn't really resolved. The point is, I think you need to be more careful about making "pronouncements from on high" in your leadership role. Because for you to say that Giano should have brought the issue to you for review, when you had already made a prominent statement downplaying the seriousness of the issue, strikes me as a bit unreasonable: you can't expect people to see you as a neutral party when you've already taken a position. Christopher Parham (talk) 05:31, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Harassment can be serious business; real-life stalking always is. While I support the idea of Wikipedia developing an official program for victims of Wikipedia-related harassment and cyberstalking (which I can attest personally does occur), I am concerned that Wikipedia needs to know its limits in this matter. Some sympathy and practical assistance is at the top of the list. Consideration needs to be given to whether or not the Foundation will release the collected information on the alleged harasser/stalker to police at the request of the victim; as the policy is a Foundation one, there may be value in discussing a comprehensive response process with other projects.

I will also add that I am somewhat concerned that, while the members of this group include individuals who have experienced stalking and real-life harassment, it is unlikely that any of them have any training in the skills required to assist victims most effectively. Support groups are good, but they are usually led by professionals or at minimum well trained volunteers. Risker (talk) 03:58, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

I agree with your concern, and it is important to understand that this was an ad hoc spontaneous email group formed by a group of people who were hurting. A big part of what came out of it was exactly what you are saying: we contacted a professional and got some first advice, we formed a task force led by a psychologist to work on proposals, etc. This is an ongoing work in progress of course. And it is not being helped, sadly, by the rampant paranoia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:07, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, geez, Jimbo...thanks for telling us NOW. There was no way that this could have been mentioned on-wiki any earlier? You make it sound as though this planning has been going on for months. Instead of giving people hope and showing that this was an identified problem that was being taken seriously, the silence has been deafening. Risker (talk) 04:13, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I have talked about it openly for a long time. I am not sure what piece of what I just said was new for you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:21, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
Where exactly have you said on-wiki that you/the Foundation were establishing a professionally developed program to address Wikipedia-related harassment and stalking? Was there something from the Foundation Board that got posted there and never disseminated to Wikipedians? Something in the Signpost? And irrespective of how this information was or was not disseminated to the community, what does this program entail - big picture, I understand that details may not be finalized. Risker (talk) 04:26, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
I didn't even say that now, I am sorry if this is unclear. I think we will move in that direction in the near future, but for now, there is just what I said above... I would consider this the first step in a process. What does the program entail? No clue, details are not even really started, much less finalized. This is not a cabal list that is going to hand down policy to us out of the blue, this is a discussion group to get ideas. Anyone can start a similar group, or join any of the multiple places that similar discussions are being carried out everywhere on the wiki. :-) We can start talking about proposals right here if you like.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:51, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
As pointed out on the wikipedia mail list by David G, has some useful insights into where the Wikipedia community has been and clues about where it should go. "Any group of people of whatever nature coming together for any length of time, for any purpose, will inevitably structure itself in some fashion. [...] 'structurelessness' does not prevent the formation of informal structures, but only formal ones. [...] The rules of how decisions are made are known only to a few and awareness of power is curtailed by those who know the rules, as long as the structure of the group is informal. Those who do not know the rules and are not chosen for initiation must remain in confusion, or suffer from paranoid delusions that something is happening of which they are not quite aware. [...] It is this informal structure, particularly in unstructured groups, which forms the basis for elites. [...] Elites are not conspiracies. Seldom does a small group of people get together and try to take over a larger group for its own ends. Elites are nothing more and nothing less than a group of friends who also happen to participate in the same political activities. [...] In a structured group, two or more such friendship networks usually compete with each other for formal power. This is often the healthiest situation. The other members are in a position to arbitrate between the two competitors for power and thus are able to make demands of the group to whom they give their temporary allegiance. [...] there are some principles we can keep in mind that are essential to democratic structuring and are politically effective also: 1 Delegation of specific authority to specific individuals for specific tasks by democratic procedures. [...] 2 Requiring all those to whom authority has been delegated to be responsible to all those who selected them. [...] 3 Distribution of authority among as many people as is reasonably possible. [...] 4 Rotation of tasks among individuals. [...] 5 Allocation of tasks along rational criteria. [...] 6 Diffusion of information to everyone as frequently as possible. [...] 7 Equal access to resources needed by the group. [...] When these principles are applied, they ensure that whatever structures are developed by different movement groups will be controlled by and be responsible to the group. The group of people in positions of authority will be diffuse, flexible, open and temporary. They will not be in such an easy position to institutionalise their power because ultimate decisions will be made by the group at large. The group will have the power to determine who shall exercise authority within it." WAS 4.250 (talk) 09:57, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Clarification Since Cla has said that I "pointed out" SlimVirgin was lying, I'd like to be clear. I did not, and do not, accuse anyone of lying, and I rather resent being misrepresented. Slim made accusations about arbcom members leaking. I have no idea whether they are true or not. My comlaint, which Slim has graciously accepted, is that she should not have publicly implied that JamesF leaked, and that she disbelieved his assurances, without providing evidence. She should have discussed the matter privately with James and if dissatisfied gone to Jimbo, Arbcom, of the foundation. People should not make unsubstantiated allegation. And people should not accuse others of lying, or of calling people liars. Some of my own talk has been careless and open to misunderstanding, and for that I apologise to all parties. But, again, I have no reason to believe that Slim is lying.--Docg 09:06, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Your words were, "jwales: you really /should/ review this vile thread. In which JamesF is accused of being a liar by slimvirgin. The thread is blatantly libellous and involves senior wikipedians. But make up your own mind:". Now, I interpreted the word "libel" as lying. I just looked it up the word libel, and it doesn't quite mean lying, although it's close [30]. So, I apologize for mischaracterizing your remarks and will be more careful in future. Cla68 (talk) 12:32, 5 December 2007 (UTC)
OK. My words on IRC were fastly typed and badly phrased - sorry. It's best not to use IRC transcripts to understand what someone is saying - you could have asked me. What I meant to say is that very serious allegations were being made, which *if* untrue could amount to defamation. The "vileness" was in the heated tempers and inappropriate remarks being made by a number of users in that thread. That's what I did say on the talk page of the thread in question. Perhaps, next time ask me for clarification. Sorry if my words caused false impression - I offer an apology to you and to SlimVirgin. My punishment for loose talk will be a self-imposed ban from #wikipedia.--Docg 13:06, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

calling Giano, a widely respected if often difficult editor, a "rogue editor" is nonsense. No more nonsensical than calling him a troll [31] . Here's another recent example of this troll at work [32].--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 12:55, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Praise for Jimbo Wales

Although I tend to consider Durova's email more ill-considered than Mr Wales seems to consider it (which does not mean I feel there should be any greater consequences for Durova than have already unfolded), I feel compelled to write that I believe all of Jimbo's recent actions are entirely admirable, thoughtful, and wise. There is no doubt in my mind that the role he is playing is the right one, and that attempts to remove or curb that role will not benefit Wikipedia. In my opinion it is quite remarkable that there is somebody so judicious at the head of this project, and I hope that he intends to continue playing the role that he does at present. If anything, that role should be expanded, and his wish to protect living people from their biographical entries enforced more tightly. Thanks Jimbo. BCST2001 (talk) 23:42, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree. Good leadership is rare. Jimbo is the leader of these various projects, and everyone else should follow his vision, or feel free to start their own projects. It's not like the software and content are all not free to use by all. I am embarrassed by the constant disrespect that is shoveled on Jimbo on a daily basis. If people think they can do better, then prove it, and do it. - Crockspot (talk) 23:59, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
And I have to say I'm embarrassed by the constant abject flattery that's heaped on Jimbo on a daily basis. When Jimbo comes to, say, the en-admins IRC channel to ask for feedback and advice, as he did the other day, what kind of use do you think, say "admirable, thoughtful, and wise... quite remarkable that there is somebody so judicious" etc etc is to him then? Seriously? Bishonen | talk 00:12, 7 December 2007 (UTC).
I'm not sure who you are replying to, as my post contains no abject flattery, other than to imply that he gives good leadership. So may we expect to see a Bishowiki opening up soon? I have chosen to work on another project, not because of Jimbo's vision, but because of the refusal of much of the community to follow that vision. The leader of my new project does things a little differently, so rather than argue with him about it, I am adjusting and following, like a good team member should. - Crockspot (talk) 00:21, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't understand the question. BCST2001 (talk) 00:15, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I hope that Jimbo also talks with serious critics, such as Seth Finkelstein. More can be learned from critics than adoring fans. - Jehochman Talk 00:55, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
I wish Jimbo would take my analyses seriously, but I fear there's just an unbridgeable gulf. If nothing else, money changes everything. And I have to be careful what I write on-wiki. Though I believe I try to be honest and fair (recognizing that of course almost everyone thingk of themselves as honest and fair), it's been made very clear to me that being personally banished as a troll is well within the realm of possibility. I suspect I only survive better than other critics because, as someone else put it a while back, "if he didn't speak fluent geek (with a decided received high USENET tone), most of wikipedians wouldn't give him the time of day" -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 02:14, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Critics? Flattery? Sheesh. How about discussions among equals, where dissent is measured not in absolutes and agreement is always conditional? Isn't that actually what life is like? Neither the American myth of the CEO nor the slavish slavering over a Great Man nor the serf calling out for a departed master is becoming to a project that set out to prove that the many are always superior to the one, that all men are created equal (and behave less so). Geogre (talk) 01:17, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
"But gushing supplicants debase the higher purpose of this place..." sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 03:21, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
My assessment is that Mr Wales has been wrongly criticized for his recent decisions, and my observation is that these decisions are correct and wise. Calling that assessment and that observation "abject flattery" or "gushing supplication" seems to me to be rather forced and melodramatic. BCST2001 (talk) 04:14, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
You offer an assessment and an observation, but no analysis. Which decision did you like best? What was the most wise? You said "all" of them, do you really think so? How about accusing Giano of "trolling" and being a "drama monger", with a warning that he's already on borrowed time[[33]], all in the runup to Giano's ArbCom "election"? I think the only thing he said about Durova was that we need to love each other and chill.
Giano helped illuminate an incident that a lot of us think needed it, and his reward is a poisoned well. He was also made the star attraction at the misnamed Durova RfA. There are still unanswered questions, and now the press has its nose wet, and you can't just ban them. In retrospect, does this all seem like the optimal strategy to you? Admirably optimal?
My earlier quote wasn't addressed to you specifically, but to the general culture of demural and opacity that I and others dislike. If anything, it was melopoetic. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 08:07, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

The decisions I was referring to were those which Jimbo mentioned here. In relation to Giano, I feel your comments are, again, rather hyperbolic. The essence of any "decision" Jimbo took about Giano would seem to be to take no action. And, again, a good decision. BCST2001 (talk) 10:57, 7 December 2007 (UTC)



This there any way to put two images into one because Collectonian is always bugging me about only one image deserve to be on one article and not two, three, or four images. I think Collectonian is going to far about this image issue. Can you please help me because I am getting very upset about this issue and I want to finish it. Bye.--Stco23 (talk) 20:02, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

I suggest you Google for some image software, there is plenty about with which one can do many things, but check to make sure you are not breaking copyright before uploading here. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:04, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo, I have been a user for 2 years now and Collectonian put something on the Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents page about me and is there a way to say something bad about someone and then change your mind by saying something else on wikipedia or can I put that and have to say the right thing instead. I am different for everyone else and you can see that in my user page. I think she doesn't like the way I act. I was uncivil to her a couple of times before because I tried to be nice, but she only ends up ruining it and I get upset. I put two images into one to make her happy, but she still reported me about my conduct. Is there any other way to talk to her or do I have to leave her alone. I know the rules now about images because I got blocked at one time for harassing people and I looked up the rules to find out. I don't think I can become an adminstor now because I got blocked before. I don't want to be blocked again. I do think that some of the things she does is wrong, but I don't know if you think they are right or not. I am trying to be a good editor, but I don't think I can be. I know this a encyclopia site and not a site that you can put many images on one article. I think it would be best if I backed off wikipedia for a while and just look at articles and not edit them. I try my best, but I don't think my best is good enough. Should I quit or should I still edit on wikipedia. Please let me know on my talk page. Thank You.--Stco23 (talk) 21:46, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't need help now, I think it has been settled between Collectonian and me. You don't need to answer my question now. I just wanted you to help that's all. Thanks anyway. I am going to bed now. Good night.--Stco23 (talk) 08:12, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Citing Wikipedia - Comment on your London speech

It's ashame I missed you in London (only heard about it when I read the media report). I would like to comment/ask you about your point that teachers/lecturers should allow pupils/students cite Wikipedia. During the time you didn't support the idea, I did. Now, I don't. This has nothing to do with me thinking the opposite of what you do, rather with me understanding more of the Wikipedia nature and policy. Of course, in the past I have used -as most students do- Wikipedia for essay writing and general studies related research. However, I have never cited it. Instead, I use Wikipedia as a starting point, as it introduces the subject at hand in a manner that is easy to understand and because of current policy, Wikipedia offers enough sources that will allow me to verify the fact and read more in depth. Do you not believe that citing Wikipedia would just be making life easy for lazy students who either don't follow the links or don't want to find the sourced book in the library? And any thing that isn't sourced on Wikipedia, we must admit, should not be trusted when it is academically important to anybody. Edit: I read your above comments and agree.

Further, are you considering making a verified version of Wikipedia? Would it not be a good idea to fork Wikipedia into a stable version instead of letting other independent and often commercial products do this? I believe this would - considering the amount of people involved here at the moment - a relatively simple task.

I hope to hear from you -and others- on my comment soon, all the best,Poeloq (talk) 02:06, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi! How to desysop an admin in the German section of the wikipedia who misused his sysop-status and broke even more rules?

As I didn'T find the appropriate section neither in the German nro the English section of though it is a topic that should be decided quickly, I just summon up some key facts about what happened.
The admin broke rules.
The admin used an arrogant, inappropriate reasoning for deleting parts of an article.
The admin was involed in deleting these parts and protecting the page in a changed status.
The cause for changing the article was not only a legal threat, but actually an user who comlained about the article and additionally filed an action very fast.
The admin, though he addressed an user in an answer on the discussion-page of that article as the complainant, didn'T block or delete that user as far as I know.
That entry which was answered by the admin did neither have an IP-adress or the user name: Unusual for my knowledge is, that even in the old versions of the discussion-page no IP-adress or user-name could be found, but only in the history-overview the user was to be seen. In the contributions-page of that user that entry could then be found.
The admin twice deleted entries of the discussion-page, that I had written as answers to entries from this admin(!), though they were neither intended nor unintended insulting. (That deletion of my entries to the discussion page is what really bothers me, followed by the next point.)
After the second deletion the admin blocked my IP-address.
As reason for blocking he stated that I would have written that I "don't want to write anymore" on wikipedia: This citation is a lie! I *never* wrote *that*!
The blocking must not have been done by that admin as he was involved in the discussion: From an old desysop-decision I know that this alone is enough of a reason to desysop that admin. (If I remember right it was even you yourself who wrote, that such in inaceptable.)

My question: How could I help you and wikipedia to prevent this admin of further breaking and bending the wikipedia rules? Please answer here!

With best regards (talk) 22:47, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Hello again! After I informed the admin that I will initiate an Arbitration to Desysop him, he removed that entry and the second entry that he deleted and I put back again. That way of course it will be more difficult to find more people who were blocked by him and/or pointed out how and when he broke rules alone on that discussion page and the related article.
After that within only hours he moved links on his userpage that pointed to former complaints against him to him being desysoped from top of his page to a not so prominent place. Actually maybe because only of that moving of the links I only have become aware of that links. (So that really backfire. I now know by these same links where to find the right page on the German wikipedia-section, to start a movment to desysop him.) These arbitrations were caused by rule-breaking blocks performed by the admin. One complainant said: 'This admin is known to use his admin-privileges to try to make other users who are in discussion with *him* "mundtot"'. (mundtot: to silence) The admin on the same page wrote, he deliberatly considered that his actions could result in him being desysoped, but he would do it again in the same situation.
As you maybe know, the situation in the German section of wikipedia is far worse regarding the cameraderia of the admins, supporting each other whatever topic and action is discussed or decided.
After seeing the old movements to desysop him, and now seeing him rule-breaking by blocking and deleting entries on discussion pages, I really wonder if you, Mr Wales, really could stood by watching. With best regard, and still hoping for an answer from you (talk) 19:51, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Hello again! I could understand that you don't want to comment on a topic that is in any way related to the filed suit i mentioned above.
But why don'T you show interest that it seems the user who filed the suit was not banned or blocked? With best regards (talk) 17:48, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Apparently this relates to this Agathoclea (talk) 22:47, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

A message from a disillusioned Wiipedian.

The Politics of Wikipedia

When I discovered Wikipedia a few years ago, I almost immediately become enthralled. I got so into it after a while that I decided to "be bold" and contribute.

Over the course of the past year I've become rather discouraged as I've discovered that just like any big corporation, Wikipedia has it's share of "bigwig Pinheads" as well.

Common sense is thrown out the window here far to often.

Unless you happen to "have the right connections", then being a Wikipeian can't amount to much more than correcting spelling errors and punctuation.

Start a new article on what common sense dictates should, be a "notable" subject and the wikiclique will deem it "not notable" (while not applying the same standards to other similar articles). I guess it's about who you know. :(

After that, your optons are arbitration. And you know what? Most people have better things to do with their lives than jump through (what seem to any rational person to be) needlessly unnecessary "hoops" to get anything corrected here.

And if all this weren't bad enough, I come across this and this today.

What is wrong with this place? I thought Wikipedia was supposed to be "open"? --angrykeyboarder (a/k/a:Scott) (talk) 01:13, 8 December 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo, please note that this is further evidence that others have noticed some of the same issues that I've noticed. Have you reached out to this edtor to ask him why he/she feels this way? Perhaps you, or somebody with some authority and a good faith reason to be here, should. Cla68 (talk) 13:34, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
It looks like part of why he feels this way is that he read the news stories that you contributed to which spread this nonsense about "secret mailing lists" and similar stuff. The other thing he seems upset about is an AfD for "zorpia". I will try to find the time to look that up but the google link he gives does not seem very helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:36, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo, how can you call the "secret mailing list" stuff "nonsense" when you yourself admonished Giano for posting private emails from it on the wiki? If the "secret mailing list" wasn't a secret mailing list (judging by your quotes around the term), then since those e-mails were licenced under the GDFL (including the ability to "copy and distribute the Document in any medium, either commercially or noncommercially"), distributing them should have been no problem. If, however, there e-mails were supposed to have been kept private, then referring to it as "nonsense about 'secret mailing lists'" can't be accurate, right? Firsfron of Ronchester 21:41, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
"Secret" and "private" mean completely different things. And the list is not GFDL licensed. So I really do not understand your comment at all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:42, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo, even a cursorial search for the definition of secret turns up "secret - not open or public; kept private or not revealed", "secret - not expressed; "secret (or private) thoughts", etc. The words "secret" and "private" don't entirely have completely different meanings: there's a lot of overlap. terms of use state "Wikia's content is made freely accessible for informational or entertainment purposes to anyone with a connection to the World Wide Web." and "All Wikia are available under the GNU Free Documentation License." The list even contains the GNU logo at the bottom of the page. While I can appreciate that you don't feel the content is licensed, it's not at all clear that that is the case, and could use some rewording on the Wikia Terms of Use page. At the very least, the Gnu logo on the bottom of the page should absolutely be removed, because it is the logo of the GDFL. Yours, Firsfron of Ronchester 14:38, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
The GNU logo is part of the default installation of the mailing list software, and it is not the logo of the GFDL. The mailing lists are not GFDL. (Indeed, not all Wikia are GFDL, so I will ask someone to correct that. Some are under various Creative Commons licenses.) If you don't know the difference between "secret" and "private" I really don't know what to tell you. Here are a couple of sample sentences to help you. "There are many private clubs in New York, but only some of them are secret." "My son attends a private school in New York, you can look it up on the web if you want to know more about it." --Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:06, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate that you have corrected the Wikia Terms of Use page, Jimbo. That makes it a bit clearer. Wikipedia's article on the GNU Free Documentation Licence has shown the GNU logo on the page for the past three years. I understand there is a difference between the GNU and GFDL, but even the official GFDL text contains the logo. Wikipedia tags which reference the license also use the GNU logo. As far as "secret" vs. "private" goes, I've already linked above to the definitions. There clearly is a difference between a private school and a secret school. Not so much when we're talking about secrets on a mailing list, though: it's all about context, Jimbo. Best wishes and happy editing, Firsfron of Ronchester 01:21, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

SpecialBarnstar.png The Special Barnstar
I herewith award you, Jimbo Wales, the Special barnstar for your contribution to humanity, by creating Wikipedia! Thank you--Octavian history (talk) 23:24, 8 December 2007 (UTC)


Sure, the item has been on my watchlist for some time and the article has been under my attention since the AN/I thread and subsecuent protection. I am under the impression that this situation may be related to the creation of a new version of Menudo, maybe as some kind of negative propaganda towards the group since the page's webmaster has claimed that he promoted the original version of the group once in his now deleted article. - Caribbean~H.Q. 17:22, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I think it is something in that general area. The former participants in that battle all apparently have some kind of legal dispute with each other. In any event, none of them should be editing the articles in question, that's for sure.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:02, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


Dear Jimbo, I can use the layout of its profile in this Wikipedia to place it in my page of profile of user of the Wikipedia in Portuguese, of which I am part? Forgives me the bad translation.. :) ONE I hug. I wait its reply,

FERNANDO  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:43, 9 December 2007 (UTC) 
Fernado, to answer your question: Yes, you can! All userpages must be licensed under the GFDL, which means you are free to use anything you see! For more information: Wikipedia:Userpage#Ownership_and_editing_of_pages_in_the_user_space Poeloq (talk) 03:40, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikia is a completely separate organization

Jimbo, your User page says "Wikia is a completely separate organization." But there's a page on Wikia that says "Wikia, Inc. and The Wikimedia Foundation are independent companies, though there are some relationships between them, as described below." Is your definition of the word "completely" flexible in some way? If so, please elaborate. -- ZD Netman (talk) 04:23, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

There was an extensive discussion about this here a while ago. Hut 8.5 21:05, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Completely separate companies often have relationships with each other. For example, Steve Jobs is on the board of both Disney and Apple. Presumably, Disney buys some Apple Computers. And I believe that Apple sells some Disney movies on iTunes. Nevertheless, Disney and Apple are completely separate companies. I should think this is obvious.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:56, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Jimbo's edits

Got no time to do this myself, but one of Jimbo's edits to the talk page seems to have inadvertantly erased someone else's edits. [34] Can someone bring them back? — Ravikiran (talk)` —Preceding comment was added at 13:43, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Done. Hell, I never thought I'd be reverting Jimbo, but it seems like an honest mistake since Jimbo didn't leave a message about it and there was nothing particularly offensive in what got deleted. - Chardish (talk) 20:30, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Good call.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:53, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Barnstar from Shankbone

Real Life Barnstar.jpg The Real Life Barnstar
For the work you do in keeping a communal feel on Wikipedia, and for your recent support and help with my pending Wiki trip to Israel. David Shankbone 21:11, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Question about Merkey

I have no clue whether or not I'm stepping into a landmine here...

I'm a brand new admin and in trying to clean up pages that have been "semi" protected, I ran across Jeff V. Merkey. From what I can tell, there seem to have been several bouts of COI, BLP, harassment, etc around the article. But most if not all of that seems to have happened last year (late 2006), so I was wondering if the page should still be protected, or if it can be unprotected. Since you protected it back in Oct. 2006, I bring it to you to decide :) -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 02:01, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I would recommend keeping it semi-protected for now. It could be unprotected at some point in the future.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:58, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks :) -- SatyrTN (talk | contribs) 17:05, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

New Wikipedia User

Hello, I am Marianian, a user of one of the Wikimedia projects, NSWiki. It is nice to see you on somewhat a very chilly day here in Britain. How are you doing today?

See you later,

--Marianian (talk) 19:11, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Fund raising header and coordinates in en.Wikipedia - a major problem

I can understand the need to use a fundraising header from time to time; but I can not understand why it can not be created in such a way as to display properly on pages that use the coordiates template in en.Wikipedia. I realize that the problem is the absolute location of the coordinate entry, but why no one with the power to do something about it is willing to invested in the programing costs to fix the problem escapes me. The following page is a good example of the problem which displays differently dependant upon that status of the fund raising header (hidden or fully displayed) both create problems. Note: the smaller the window the worse the problem becomes.

Also see the discussion related to the issue in greater detail at

Also posted at

These document some of my attempts to address the problem over the past 40 days

Would you be willing to forward this to someone with the tallent to fix the problem? Dbiel (Talk) 04:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Your sockpuppet

Jimbo Whales.

Sorry, Jimbo. I had to spill the beans. People have been hounding me for The Great Secret. Please change the password. I've been operating your sockpuppet long enough. The full confession is here. DurovaCharge! 08:36, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

A small group can control a large group

I've edited WP for a while, and I've noticed that small, dedicated groups of editors can control large groups of less dedicated editors. Is this how it should be? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) 11:47, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

In general, it is a good thing, yes. In cases where the small, dedicated group is a group of serious Wikipedians who care about quality and neutrality, it is a great thing indeed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:57, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Providing that that small group is willing to grow with the increasing interest and membership, and to take comment from outside of the group and consider it on its merits (and not its non-internal origin) and evolve, then, yes, it is great. It however may become problematic when the small grouping begins to believe that its purpose is to exist, and not to provide guidance, and stifle the growth and development of the larger faction. Therein lies the inherent problem of a small group controlling the larger, to whose benefit does it exercise its influence. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

A Respectful Challenge to Jimbo Wales

“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.” – Mark Twain

Jimbo & Wikipedians:

You inhabit one reality. I will posit an alternative reality.

Imagine a world where a massive financial crime is ruining our market. Imagine that the past head of the SEC, various economists and finance professors, journalists at financial publications such as Bloomberg, and now even the current head of the SEC, have confirmed that this problem is real.

Imagine also that the crooks perpetrating the crime have a shill whom they unleash upon Wikipedia to doctor certain pages to reflect only half-truths and negatives to keep the cover-up in place, to run an attack site smearing anyone who tries to reveal the truth.

Into this world steps Judd Bagley who, through technical knowledge and patience, discovers how they are running the cover-up. He posts his results to Wikipedia, but his posts are expunged and he is banned. He posts them on his own site, but any discussion of his site (even its name) become a Wikipedian thought-crime under the Orwellian moniker of "attack site." Ironically, they accuse him of running a smear campaign, apparently hoping that none will check for themselves and see he has written well-documented exposes of their smear campaigns.

In addition, imagine that an investigative journalist gets interested, reviews the evidence, and writes a story connecting the dots. His story gets expunged within Wikipedia, the publication for which he writes ( gets banned, and all concerned pages are locked down so no evidence of these other points of view exist. Does this sound like people committed to free discourse in a market-place of ideas ruled by "the wisdom of crowds"? Does it sound like "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit"? Or does it sound like North Korea?

I respectfully assert, Wikipedians, that your entire worldview is as distorted as those of North Koreans who are never exposed to an idea that contradicts the opinion of Great Leader. You are living in The Matrix, and your reality on the subjects of naked shorting, Overstock, and myself, is fabricated and manipulated by just such arrangements.

You will scoff, I know. One will write more “Patrick Byrne is so nuts” blogs. Perhaps he will add quotes from those blogs to his Wiki-page here (citing his blogs as evidence), and then friends of his will quote it in their stories, then he will cite them, and so on and so forth in a self-referential cover-up. While those pages remain locked under the control of people who stand accused, you Wikipedians cannot tell which reality you inhabit, and you lose your right to count yourselves among those committed to free thought. In addition, if he remains unwilling to let subjects in which he has personal interest be discussed by the same set of rules by which other Wikipedia articles exist, Jim Wales will be a hypocrite. In fact, I challenge Jim Wales to expose the following two statements to the normal Wikipedia processes, and if he will not, then he should abandon all his claims about the virtues of Wikipedia:

a) JzG and Samiharris cannot produce evidence for the claims they make about Judd. Repeating a lie many times does not make it true.

b) Jim claims that “Overstock launched an ‘attack site’ against Weiss..." This is false.

Jim, you always sounded so confident about Wikipedia’s virtues, until now.

Respectfully submitted,
Patrick M. Byrne
CEO, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Regarding item (b), I have responded on Talk:Gary_Weiss. I do not really understand what you are claiming to be false about it, but I have given an expanded version. Can you take a look at that and see if you can agree that it is accurate? Just how is that different? Are you claiming, for example, that although Bagley created the attack site, he did so on his own, not as part of his job at Overstock?
Regarding item (a), please be specific about which parts of Judd Bagley are wrong?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:30, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
I am not sure I understand what you are talking about. How does this relate to The Matrix and North Korea? Thank you. - Jehochman Talk 04:56, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
It is for that very reason we have administrators, bureaucrats, overseers, and the allmighty "revert" button to revert massive amounts of doctored edits; such a method was proved in the past when someone changed every appearance of the word "abortion" to read "murder", our stewards, administrators, and pretty much everyone else started exercising their rollback fingers, and the administrators started exercising their ban buttons. In addition, Jimbo is not the all-powerful person many people see him as (sorry, Jimbo). Should something happen to his account and he would start doing this, or any other account for that matter, a bureaucrats would immediately de-sysop (remove administrator privileges) the offending account, and initiate a block. Wikipedia is a encyclopedia anyone can edit with checks and balances, read 29,383,213 registered users of Wikipedia who constantly patrol the community. We really are a lot more reliable than you think. --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 05:02, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
And as for "alternate reality", why does it apply to us if it isn't going to happen? It may appply someday when there is a starship named the USS Enterprise orbiting the Earth, but it dosen't now. --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 05:04, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Fastlizard: the mechanisms that generate reliability are absent while those pages remain under the control of a few. All that they are then is an exercise in mass mind control.
"'And as for 'alternate reality', why does it apply to us if it isn't going to happen?" Because maybe it already has and you don't see it yet. PatrickByrne (talk) 05:18, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

I'll put it this way: [citation needed]. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 05:46, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
In addition, I have extremely serious doubts about you being the CEO of Again, [citation needed]. --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 05:48, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, based on this evidence gathered from your IP address data:
  1. WHOIS
  3. Multi RBL
  4. Traceroute
  5. TOR NODE checker
  6. ARIN North America

I am futher convivced that you are not the CEO of Overstock. The data indicates that you are operating out of a AT&T/Comcast DSL/Cable proxy server, not a corporate proxy, which an exec would probably have in most cases. However, data seems to indicate that the data is coming from Utah, which is the only supportative evidence on your behalf. However, that can be ruled out since you are operating from a dynamic IP, which could just mean that the server broadcasting your IP is in Utah. --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 06:02, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not in the business of investigative journalism. It is an encyclopedia whose mandate is to neutrally summarize reliable sources. Bagley can go to the Washington Post and maybe help someone get a Pulitzer, but here he's barking up the wrong tree. Crum375 (talk) 05:50, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Wouldn't he be better off keeping his business afloat? DurovaCharge! 06:25, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
It's consistent with Byrne in this one important respect: the only person I have never seen Byrne blame for his company's dismal performance is himself. He's blamed sinister cabals, Wall Street journalists, Wikipedia and MI5, but never himself. Guy (Help!) 08:08, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
It's also consistent with Byrne to make intemperate public statements that later get him into trouble, as in his remarks on CNBC on Friday that had to be "clarified" by his lawyers, which sent his stock plunging 21%.[35]. --Samiharris (talk) 13:29, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

First, on whether this is or is not Patrick Byrne: yes I could enter through a corporate IP, but since those are blocked, as is discussed in's article "Wikipedia's Black Helicopters Circle Utah's Traverse Mountain" (which I hope is not a thought-crime to mention), I chose not to enter from a corporate IP.

Second, "He's blamed sinister cabals, Wall Street journalists, Wikipedia and MI5, but never himself" is just part of the clogging that forms the cover-up. In fact, I have repeatedly taken responsibility for any and all operating mishaps at Overstock. I also want to talk about a major financial crime that I believe is harming America, and when I do, the knee-jerk response is, "Byrne's just blaming" blah blah blah. Let me reverse it: now that Overstock is back generating pretty good cash flow again, does that make me right about the subjects of naked shorting, regulatory and journalistic capture, and systemic risk? Because when we were losing money some folks were sure insistent it made me wrong about these subjects.

Third, Fastlizard says that "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Agreed. I can post the evidence here, but it will all be deleted immediately. So I'll just post the places where you can read it and decide for yourself. If I do so, and those citations are deleted, then I think you will concede my point: you cannot simultaneously call for citations, and then delete any citations that I adduce as being "attack sites" or otherwise Haraam. I provide them at the end of this post.

Fourth, Jimbo asks, "Are you claiming, for example, that although Bagley created the attack site, he did so on his own, not as part of his job at Overstock?" To which I respond: It was definitely not "part of his job at Overstock" (in fact, I did not know about it until later, or that he was behind it, until even later), and moreover, it is not an "attack site," it is a site which documents abuses within Wikipedia which are expunged from the record other Wikipedians are allowed to consider.

Fifth, you folks have devoted a lot of time and attention to the discussion of how awful Judd Bagley (WordBomb) is, and given that, how this and that must be forbidden, and how someone posted something that read like WordBomb may have written it so they must be banned, and so on and so forth. In all that discussion of how bad Judd Bagley is and all that flows from it, there is precisely one person excluded from the conversation, and that is, Judd Bagley. He is the Goldstein in your 1984.

Here are citations for places where you can explore the fact that you are inhabiting a hermetically-sealed self-referential alternate reality:'s"Wikipedia Black Helicopters Circle Utah's Traverse Mountain" and
PatrickByrne (talk) 15:07, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

TheRegister isn't exactly known for fact checking and accuracy in journalism. Perhaps you should take your story to the New York Times or Wall Street Journal and ask them to publish it. As a tertiary source, Wikipedia is happy to use reliable secondary sources as references. Please understand we're generally not going to rely upon material from The National Enquirer, or somebody's blog to support a controversial statement. - Jehochman Talk 17:34, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Unless, of course, TheRegister publishes a story that supports the Party Line, or Gary writes a blog that can then cited as the source for Gary's page, right? No one here seems too fastidious in those cases. It is only when the Party Line is offended that such rules are invoked, apparently. PatrickByrne (talk) 01:52, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia has no "Party Line" about you, Weiss, Overstock, naked short selling, etc. I think that The Register is not a very good source for anything, and particularly not for any controversial claims. I encourage all editors to review all the related articles to ensure that there is no "double standard" in play regarding sourcing, particularly for negative claims about living people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:16, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Which brings up an interesting question: given the extremely sensivitive reputational nature of common stock corporations, should they not be extended at least some of the courtesies extended to BLP on wikipedia? And if the answer is "no," then consider the double standard operating between wikipedia coverage of Overstock vs. (say) Wikia, as corporations. It's not that there's no WP:V sourceable negative material available about Wikia. Rather, it would quickly be removed from the article, if inserted. Which I believe I could demonstate, if it didn't violate WP:POINT.

    For that matter, there's an even larger problem in that Wikipedia's zeal against things which would "disrupt it" have outlawed (via POINT and WP:SOCK) all experimentation to discover how it works sociologically-- that is, to discover its biases with any kind of prospective test like the one just mentioned. Which, as you know, is the only sure way to find out how anything REALLY works (as opposed to how it's supposed to work, or how everybody thinks it works as a matter of personal opinion). That's not good, for it leaves us forever in the dark as to what biases exist, except as we guess about them epidemiologically. Even medicine performs controlled prospective trials with ill patients, and Wikipedia is not in the most perfect health imaginable. Any "disruption" in experimentation to find out Wikipedia's biases, should repay itself many times over, in smoother and less biased function down the line. SBHarris 19:45, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

He has already received coverage in the Times. Here is a passage from a February 2006 article by Joseph Nocera entitled "Overstock's Campaign of Menace":

"This is what Mr. Bryne does: along with Mr. O'Brien, he bullies and taunts and goads the small handful of reporters who dare to write about Overstock, making it clear that there will be a price to be paid for tackling the company or its chief executive. And as a result, financial reporters have become very chary of taking him on." [36]/

In his obsession with this project, and his ham handed effort to influence the article on a non-notable reporter, we see this "campaign of menace" in its full ugliness.--Samiharris (talk) 18:40, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
If he's a "non-notable reporter" reporter as you say Sami, why is there even an article on him? It should be deleted immediately per WP:BLP. (talk) 01:15, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I misspoke. I meant an WP:NPF reporter. --Samiharris (talk) 13:24, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

The Register named me in two stories, including the one mentioned here, without ever attempting to contact me and check the facts. DurovaCharge! 19:43, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Maybe he just read your emails. PatrickByrne (talk) 01:44, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

You guys could be talking to the real Byrne, you know. But Judd Bagley with his is Overstock's Director of Communications, not some independent reporter, and wasn't exactly forthcoming about that until "outed", recently. [37]. Furthermore, he doesn't exactly look like Mr. NiceGuy. [38] So there are undoubtedly two sides to this story. As for Overstock itself, they've claimed they're victims of naked short sale behavior: (proof [39]) by large Hedge Funds and others, which is something I have to take Jim Cramer's word actually happens in the Real Financial World, even though Cramer never said it happened to Overstock. So it's also possible that the SEC are a bunch of doofuses. Do you know any branch of the fed government that really is up to snuff recently? They've had their hands sort of full, halfway around the world. SBHarris 02:29, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Take a good look at this type headline:

A government like that of the U.S. will defend itself against a “Lord of the flies” type wiki environment where and when innocent citizens fall victim to a group of kids that can make up their own version of the truth, at will. The WMF may be in for a rude awakening in the not too distant future, albeit it will not happen soon enough to help many people that have already been hurt by this nonsense. I suspect laws will change and privacy issues will be flying in the face of every one of the administrators herein. The age issue will also be a trump card that the government will use to act against WP. It will not be games as usual and “free speech will bow to laws. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:03, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I fail to see what vandalization of Wikipedia by a bunch of bored troops at GITMO has to do with this entire issue. And say, I didn't know Fidel Castro WAS a "transexual"! SBHarris 03:24, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
failing to see what is happening here is not an unusual phenom, i fear —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:34, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Honestly, I doubt the corporate IPs of Overstock are blocked. We don't block for no reason. Also, what would we gain from doctoring the pages? I pose an alternate reality to you: You are living in the dumbed down Orwellian society in your mind, proven by your questionable comments on TV and in newspapers, one excellent example is that stink on CNBC, which caused your stock to drop 21%. We live in America, a democratic country, it dosen't matter whether I like or dislike President Bush, the important thing is that we live in a democracy. You are effectively accusing us of being the new USSR, a Orwellian society of geeks who pretend they would like to make the world a better place. In fact, we really do want to make the world a better place, because ideas want to be free. How would you like it if I went on a rant in public claiming that gets it's products from sweatshops and hidden slave labor camps, perhaps even accusing them of being communist. You are essentially doing the same thing to us, as proud editors of Wikipedia. We actually believe in democracy and the benefits we bring, that is why the USSR fell! That is why we fought the Nazis in World War II, in the fight against communism and fascism, and you accuse other people in your own country of being so. In my opinion, noting could be so anti-American, accusing your fellow countrymen of being communist. --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 06:04, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
David Gerard blocked Overstock's ip range himself, as to the rest of what you said you might want to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. (talk) 06:35, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I do not understand you comment; what does LSD-laced Kool-Aid have to do with this? Besides, when was the last time you actually seen a Wikipedia netgeek actually drink Kool-Aid? --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 20:57, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
"Don't drink the Kool-aide" is a Jim Jones reference that means "Don't trust charismatic leaders." Our article says "Some followers obeyed Jones' instructions to commit "revolutionary suicide" by drinking cyanide-laced grape flavored Flavor Aid (often misidentified as Kool-aid)." WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:17, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Consensus v. NPOV

Hi, I am not sure if this is something that you will have any interest in addressing, but I figured that I would run it by you anyway just in case. There where two discussions at about the same time on Wikipedia talk:Verifiability concerning WP:V Exceptional claims require exceptional sources, and a second conversation that touched upon consensus.

Often times “…there is not a clear line between reliability and questionability…” concerning sources, especially when the material being discuses is controversial, and editors are left to use their best judgment. I had proposed the following sentence be added to the Exceptional claims section:

Such claims may only be included when there is a consensus amongst editors that the sources cited are reliable for the claims made.

This following well founded argument was given: “too easy to circumvent NPOV with this too: a single editor declaring a source "unreliable for the claims made" (with or without giving a foundation for his/her declaration) leads to a no-consensus situation that would exclude the material from the encyclopedia. Of course consensus is the best way, but lack of consensus on the sources should not be used as an excuse to delete, nor, of course, as warranty for inclusion.[40]

The inclusion argument goes something like this:

If someone removes questionable material that supports your side of an argument, an effective means of maintaining that material against policy or the opinions of other editors is to revert, and add an edit summery stating “rv deletion of text without consensus” or similar. This gives the outward appearance of being civil while at the same time maintaining material that you know or should know is not supported by policy.

This argument was made by one editor: “…there was not "consensus" to delete, as WP:CON describes it…”

To which I replied: “There was not consensus to delete.” I might point out that you have inverted consensus here, there is no such thing as consensus to remove questionable material, simply a lack of consensus to retain it. Anyone restoring questionable material on the claim that there is “a lack of consensus to remove” is being disingenuous."

So here is the problem, Consensus is written in such a way that agreement amongst all the editors involved is implied. “Consensus does not mean that everyone agrees with the outcome; instead, it means that everyone agrees to abide by the outcome.” Commonsense would seem to indicate that if 10 editors where involved in an effort to reach consensus on a controversial topic, the best anyone could hope for would be that six or seven would agree, two or three would still disagree but abide by the will of the majority, and that with luck no more than one would stick firmly to their position come hell or high-water. So at best your breakdown would be 7/2/1; the one alone throwing any hope of reaching a consensus beyond reach. I would have to say that having multiple editors agree on any subject is a challenge, and on controversial subjects it is unrealistic. If you compare this to a civil trial, unlike a criminal trial, there are few jurisdictions that would require unanimous consent of all jurors before returning a verdict. And that’s based upon “preponderance of the evidence”, one side's case must simply be considered more provable than the other's. Or again drawing upon the judicial system; how often do the 9 Justices of the Supreme Court reach unanimous agreement? If they can not, why should there be any hope for the rest of us?

I would say that 7/10 agreement is sufficient meet consensus and move forward. But as I look through CON, and what others have written concerning CON, I would say that WP seems to be shooting for 10/10. The higher the requirement for agreement, the easier it is to block material that is contrary to your POV, or block the removal of material that is contrary to your POV; thus the higher that the bar is set for CON, the easier it is to undermine NPOV. I wonder if CON is not written so tightly that it has become in some ways self-defeating. On the other hand I am not sure how you write 7/10ths into policy (my figure, 7/10 could just as easily be 2/3 or 6/10, or even 51/49 -but hopefully not that low.) And maybe I will read CON again tomorrow and wonder why I wrote this;) Thanks, Brimba (talk) 06:19, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Nice to be quoted. Even nicer with a reference, which I inserted above.
I'd like to start with a general thought (not a direct answer to your question, but needs to be understood as general framework of thought): "NPOV is [...] non-negotiable." (from the second sentence of Wikipedia:Neutral point of view) - this means that even if 10 editors would reach consensus on a talk page on how to "bend" NPOV, such consensus should immediately be overturned. Consensus can't outdo NPOV. Seeking consensus w.r.t. NPOV is in practice limited to seeking consensus on how to best apply the NPOV policy/principle.
Other than that I see no limitations to promoting consensus as the best mechanism to settle all sorts of differences in Wikipedia. The point I tried to make in what you quoted from me above is that content policies should not include prescriptions in the vein of: "in case of non-consensus party X wins the content dispute". It really makes no difference whether in such prescription "party X" is the inclusionist or the deletionist... the important point is that one should avoid to create a party who would actually gain from a state of non-consensus. If a party benefits from a state of non-consensus, that party would most naturally strive for non-consensus. The practical result would be that such policy prescription would undermine consensus-seeking processes. So, I promote "consensus" as a most important principle for Wikipedia, and for that reason I likewise try to avoid policy or guideline regulations that would undermine consensus dynamics by allocating advantages to a "non-consensus" escape route.
Now, someone who undeletes with "there was not consensus to delete" (my bolding added) tries that very same "non-consensus" escape route. Re-deleting with "no consensus te keep" would be a similar attempt at "non-consensus" escape route. Repeat the cycle a few times and another policy kicks in: WP:3RR. Well, you'd be blind not to see that all these policies work towards the same: discuss on talk page until you reach consensus (compare also: WP:BRD). Then, policies are also there to help you in sorting out content disputes: if the source is unreliable then the material shouldn't be included (WP:V). If the reliability of the source for the particular case is at the heart of the dispute, try Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard: this might help in finding a durable consensus, etc. But be aware that in most cases content disputes can't be resolved as if they were mathematical equations. --Francis Schonken (talk) 20:58, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
“be aware that in most cases content disputes can't be resolved as if they were mathematical equations.” That is probably correct. I do find however that once someone invokes the "non-consensus" escape route, most involved editors decide that they have better things to do with their time. After all the editor invoking "non-consensus" has basically let everyone involved know that he/she is digging in and is unlikely to have their mind changed, so most people go someplace else where their time and effort could be better spent. For example the Illegal immigration to the United States still maintains material sourced to Madeleine Cosman after almost a year and a half (I think its been that long) discussion, and segments on both 60 Minutes and the New York Times challenging both her claims and her credentials for making such claims. As with so much on that page, its been discussed multiple times, and always the hardcore Nativist element has basically driven off anyone with a differing opinion; there are no minds to be changed there, so people leave. Anyway, thanks for what you wrote above, you are somewhat more hopeful than I am at this moment (which is not to say that I find the situation hopeless :) Brimba (talk) 23:16, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

WikiReview of Menudo Scandal

This site has alot of comments by readers regards this controversy WikiRevew in Menudo Scandal

== Jimbo Please Respond ==

I found this quote regards this Menudo mess on a message board and it makes some sense people comment below :

"Well, for all of you people who still think that there are still articles on WP which can be edited without WWIII taking place, I present for your examination : Menudo (band).

On the talk page, it seems that the nexus of conflict is an alleged "Menudo drugs and gay sex" scandal which was covered in tabloids about seventeen years ago. The usual argument about WP:RS, WP:COI and WP:POINT has raged for the past few days and yesterday, the GodKing took the bull by the horns and issued an edict of article banning to the two editors who seem to be at the center of this, alleging that one of them owned a pseudo-"official" fansite which was pushing a certain POV agenda, but said POV agenda includes sources in reputable newspapers (NYTimes, Miami Herald, the NY Daily News), Police reports, official bankruptcy reports, Department of justice letters. This person certainly seems to have documented all of this and it certainly doesn't look like original research.

Now, what I find interesting is this:

QUOTE Admins are recommended to be quite firm about not letting the two sides of this fight carry on their fight within Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not the place for external fights to be re-enacted. We are writing an encyclopedia. This is our project, not a free speech zone for people to engage in public spats.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:01, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Now, it would seem to me that WP:RS has more than been covered here and this just amounts to censorship to avoid legal problems for WP, since probably there's a record co. exec. who is threatening to sue them even if it's all true (that's SOP in the Pop music biz...).

But given current events, don't you think that it would be to solve others large-scale site issues rather than putting out these small fires by spouting policy issues which are not enforced elsewhere?

I guess that Jimbo can't just send in the Durova/SV Bucket brigade anymore to clean things up..."

-- (talk) 17:18, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

This is a really silly comment. There is no legal threat from any record company. There is just a routine dispute. Try not to get so excited.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:41, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Jimbo why is this person attacking me I only made comment on Lou Pearlman talk page and not in article?
Stop hand nuvola.svg

This is the last warning you will receive for your disruptive edits.
The next time you vandalize Wikipedia, you will be blocked from editing. Michaelbusch (talk) 23:05, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

never vandalized anything only making comments on talk pages-- (talk) 23:09, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

-- (talk) 23:09, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

There is nothing interesting about run-of-the-mill protecting the project from those that would make it a battlefield and a web hosting service (both of which Wikipedia is NOT). Trying to describe that type of protection as censorship is disingenuous at best; calling it that is quite charitable indeed. Everything that follows is just a still-beating-your-wife fallacy. And the last comment is blatantly contradicted by the very quote you bring; he was implying permission for bucket brigades of all persuasions to be on the ball. So there is nothing to see here. Move along. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 18:12, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

I apologize for's posting here. This editor has a history of disruptive talk page posts, and has been blocked twice before. I suspect that this page gets an astronomical number of spurious posts, but I would prefer that the number say as low as possible. Michaelbusch (talk) 23:20, 12 December 2007 (UTC)


Section deleted under WP:VANISH

Unwarranted block of a user

Hi Jimbo. Pleas take a look at this.

On 6 December, User:EVula blocked User:Goodshoped35110s without warning or evidence and proceeded to vote canvass his unblock discussion. Is this not a violation of admin guidelines? Sure, Goodshoped was a little blunt with his username warnings, but let the record show that all of his edits have been in good faith. As far as I see, this was uncalled for and deserves immediate attention. --Gp75motorsports (talk) 23:02, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

WP:ANI is a much better venue for this sort of thing. Cheers—Cronholm144 23:16, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
Went there. --Gp75motorsports (talk) 23:18, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
For the record, consensus endorsed the block for a second time (the first being here). Daniel 04:54, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


COGden has filed an ArbCom case concerning WP:NOR here. I am letting you know because the heart of his complaint is this:

Wikipedia's WP:NOR policy was created in 2003, after consultation with Jimbo, to ensure editors "stick to those sources". It's a simple rule. However, over the course of the NOR article's recent history, a few editors have gradually replaced this simple rule with a complicated framework derived from historiography

(By the way, I happen not to agree with the reference to "historigraphy," I am not at all sure why GOGden thinks this. An alternate account of the history of the policy - which I drafted, and which was commented on for about a week before there was consensus to add it to the article, is here: Wikipedia:No original research/history)

The reason I call this to your attention is that some people could construe COGden's argument to be that only you dictate Wikipedia policy, or that any change to Wikipedia must have your consent.

Anyway, he brought your name into the argument, so I thought you should know if you aren't already aware, Slrubenstein | Talk 15:01, 13 December 2007 (UTC)


I am really sorry if i dont know what im doing here and i dont... but you guys should have a forums (if you do plz give me the url) but i mean if you guys are too busy, i could make it as long as you finance the forums... It would also keep vandalism down... the main reason there is vandalism is because people are bored and have nothing to do... so plz check this out.. im also going to make this a help topic under my talk... so thanks for the help and WIKI ROCKS

--Mr kc (talk) 15:33, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Interesting Article - "Wiki-government"

[41] called "Wiki-government". It mentions Wikipedia among other sites to promote the idea that "laity" can really participate directly in making decsions without utter chaos. Seems like an intersting article. Any thoughts?Thelmadatter (talk) 15:48, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Fund raising header and coordinates in en.Wikipedia - a major problem

Copied back from Archive 30 I think that this is an important enough topic to at least deserve a reply before being archived into a hidden archive file. - I created entries to archive 29 and 30 during my search to find this post. Whoever is maintaining this page is doing a very poor job.

I can understand the need to use a fundraising header from time to time; but I can not understand why it can not be created in such a way as to display properly on pages that use the coordiates template in en.Wikipedia. I realize that the problem is the absolute location of the coordinate entry, but why no one with the power to do something about it is willing to invested in the programing costs to fix the problem escapes me. The following page is a good example of the problem which displays differently dependant upon that status of the fund raising header (hidden or fully displayed) both create problems. Note: the smaller the window the worse the problem becomes.

Also see the discussion related to the issue in greater detail at

Also posted at

These document some of my attempts to address the problem over the past 40 days

Would you be willing to forward this to someone with the tallent to fix the problem? Dbiel (Talk) 04:00, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Aktion gegen Wikipedia

Und wieder wurde eine klassische österreichiche Speise von Deutschen gelöscht, irgendwann ist Schluss, wir pfeifen in Österreich auf die Deutsche Wikipedia jetzt gibt es eine Aktion gegen Wikipedia. Das ist kein Scherz. Es geht nicht nur um Fleischknödel, sondern um österreichische Artikel im allgemein, wir lassen uns das von den Deutschen und dir nicht länger gefallen. Es reicht! Du wist noch von uns in den Medien hören, jetzt ist Schluss mit lustig, und Geld willst du auch aus Österreich? Wikipedia ist einfach nur peinlich, lächerlich und falsch! Du hast jetzt Feinde in Österreich, also besuche es nie wieder! -- (talk) 02:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Why would we want to visit Austria, anyway? Certainly not for the food!
In die USA fährt aber auch niemand wegen des Essens ;) Achjee, arme unterdrückte Ösis...-- (talk) 13:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Hier in der USA essen wir Hamburger und Frankfurter als Mittagessen, und manchmal auch Wiener. ;) DurovaCharge! 13:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Essen Sie häufig Weiner?
Ich mag Würste beißen. DurovaCharge! 22:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Barbaren! -- (talk) 14:04, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Waren die Barbaren auch Kannibalen? Ihr Vandalen! ;) Achates (talk) 14:12, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
In Australien haben wir viel besser schmecken, die "Kanga Bangers und Mash". :) Orderinchaos 17:16, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Please, all of you, enough of this obscene trolling. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 22:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Advice for Jimbo

Jimbo, please be careful about how you handle issues. For example, the secret mailing lists. Many are worried that the secret mailing list will be abused. Just like how Giano and others get blocked because of discussions on IRC and !! get blocked because of Durova's secret evidence. Don't just say their worries are "nonsense". Check that there is no abuse of the secret mailing list. At least if there is no abuse, you can tell them "I checked and there is no abuse".

It is bad that many Wikipedians worry about this, even if their worries are "nonsense". Because of this, they lose faith in Wikipedia. They also lose faith in ArbCom. You can see the ArbCom elections this year and compare the support percent with last year. Last year at least 6 candidates have at least 80% support, this year only 2 candidates.

Remember when you said about Essjay, "I regard it as a pseudonym and I don’t really have a problem with it." That comment made a lot of people who don't know much about Wikipedia think that you let people lie about their degrees. Wikipedians also lose faith in you and Wikipedia. Then when somebody wrote on Slashdot that SlimVirgin is a spy, and you wrote there "Slashdot, you have been trolled." You should read the angry replies by others. They also said that Jayjg used Checkuser to hide info about SlimVirgin. Did you check whether what they say is true? At least if you check, and if it is nonsense, you can tell everyone "I checked and Jayjg did not do anything wrong". Of course, if it is true that SlimVirgin is a spy or Jayjg used Checkuser to hide info, then you can ban them to stop them from doing more damage to Wikipedia.

You must also be careful about comments and decisions you make as the leader of Wikipedia. Zoe and Jaranda left Wikipedia because your comments offend them. When you make sudden decisions, Wikipedians may think you abuse your power or don't care about their views. Cedars left Wikipedia because of one of your sudden decisions. Last week, you called Giano, who writes a lot of FAs, a troll. Those who write a lot of GAs and FAs are the best and most important Wikipedians and you cannot just drive them away like that.

Of course you are a good leader and that is why Wikipedia is one of the biggest websites in the world. But criticism helps you improve.

--Kaypoh (talk) 14:02, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

I did not call Giano a troll, nor do I think he is a troll. But even an excellent and much appreciated author like Giano can behave badly, and in that instance I think it pretty clear that he was behaving badly. The whole myth of an alleged "secret mailing list" used by a "cabal" of "elite admins" is not true, by the way. On the SlimVirgin "spy" allegation, and Jayjg using oversight (not checkuser), I am not the only one who looked at it: it was thoroughly investigated by multiple people. I agree with you completely that I should be careful, but let me stand up and firmly say that people should really really be careful about what sources of information they accept. There are a lot of lies and misunderstandings that go unchecked when people do not engage in simple questioning and critical thinking.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:05, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
No, you didn't call Giano "a troll", you just said: "Giano was trolling (i.e. doing something he knew to be disruptive), he knew he was trolling, and I doubt if he will last much longer at Wikipedia because of it." I'm sure there's a fine existential distinction in there someplace. Seriously, you could make a rabbit schizophrenic, 'cause way to split hares. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 20:00, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
"On the SlimVirgin "spy" allegation, and Jayjg using oversight (not checkuser)," I have never made eiter of those allegations, what are you trying to imply now? Giano (talk) 23:31, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
It is good that you check whether Jayjg used Oversight and whether SlimVirgin is a spy. About the secret mailing list, when article writers like Giano, Badlydrawnjeff and !! (like I said, they are the best and most important Wikipedians) get blocked because of discussions on IRC and the "secret mailing list", Wikipedians have a good reason to be worried. Instead of saying their worries are "nonsense", you should check that nobody abuses the "secret mailing list" (and I know there is more than one list). And if you check and there is no abuse, gently talk to the worried Wikipedians so they will trust you and Wikipedia, and try to make sure things like blocking of editors because of IRC/"secret mailing list discussions" don't happen again. Of course, if there is abuse, you must deal with it.
If things like the "SlimVirgin is a spy" and the "secret mailing list" get into the news, even if they are not true, it is bad for Wikipedia. Like I said above, if Wikipedians are worried about the "secret mailing list", even if there is no abuse, it is a bad sign. Can you see this year's ArbCom elections? Wikipedians ask the candidates about "secret evidence" and only 2 candidates have over 80% support, meaning that because of this, they lose faith in ArbCom. By the way, I agree that "people should really really be careful about what sources of information they accept" and if you tell them nicely, I think they will agree with you. (Can someone with better English make a list of my points so it is easier to discuss?) --Kaypoh (talk) 04:44, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Or maybe he's a bad leader and Wikipedia is one of the biggest websites despite rather than because of him. It is interesting that he threatened Giano with a ban by saying "You have caused too much harm to justify us putting up with this kind of behavior much longer." I wonder who the "us" is here - is he using pluralis majestatis or does he speak for the cabal? Because the community at large not only puts up with Giano but even supports him for the Arbcom, where he stands at 58% (and Jimbo has previously appointed people to the Arbcom who had less than 50% support). Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 14:46, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Bramlet, I don't mind you being critical of me, but at least get your facts straight. I have never appointed anyone to ArbCom with less than 50% support.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:05, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I suppose you temporarily abdicated during the December 2004 election then? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 19:34, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2004 says that the results were:

  1. Theresa Knott 265 (51%) (term ends 31 December 2006)
  2. Raul654 216 (42%) (term ends 31 December 2007)
  3. Ambi 203 (39%) (term ends 31 December 2007)
  4. Sannse 187 (36%) (term ends 31 December 2007)
  5. Neutrality 171 (33%) (term ends 31 December 2007)
  6. David Gerard 166 (32%) (term ends 31 December 2005)
  7. Grunt 162 (31%) (term ends 31 December 2006)

WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:55, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Oh, goodness. I had forgotten that. That was under the old system, which I had completely forgotten. Under the new system, people are not eligible to be elected unless they get 50% support. I apologize for the error.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:23, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

As I understand it, under the old system (which predates my time on-wiki), voters either endorsed a candidate or did not. For purposes of these percentages, this would mean that if a voter didn't have an opinion about the person one way or the other, it would be tantamount to opposing him or her. Virtually no one is ever going to exceed 50% under that methodology and those results really aren't comparable to those under the current support/oppose system. Newyorkbrad (talk) 21:59, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
NYB is right. That election used the system that was set up for Wikimedia Board elections. 51% percent of everybody who voted voted for Theresa, 42% of everybody who voted voted for Raul, etc. Not really comparable at all. Mike R (talk) 22:46, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
It's true that the numbers aren't quite comparable, but I think 50% should have been required under the old system too; the candidates in 2004 were just bad. If they couldn't get 50% that means a majority were either opposed to or indifferent about them (or didn't know them at all, but that was hardly much the case for Raul etc.), and I think a trustable Arbcom candidate should have the active wholehearted support of a majority. Another important difference, by the way, was that the voting was secret under the old system. With open voting, some people may refrain from opposing certain people to avoid getting on their bad side. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:07, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Thanks for all you for supportive comments but quite frankly whether Jimbo thinks I'm a troll or an asset to the project is neither here nor there (unless you are Jimbo - incidentally, it was the first time he had ever spoken to me, and I took it as a threat and an insult) as I said earlier here [42] and [43] I think many are becoming very tired of these gossiping people, we need Jimbo to be in touch with those actually writing the encyclopedia not those who are here to achieve rank and position, if one wants a uniform and to give orders go and become a traffic warden. I am sick of seeing the same people shouting and ranting about from page to page, problem to problem, always with an amazing opinion or view yet never stopping to write a page. Is this an encyclopedia or a sycophantic pseudo-royal court in terminal decline? Giano (talk) 23:04, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Well as an active contributor to this encyclopedia, Giano, I am not impressed (with your whole attitude, and especially towards Jimbo, good contributors contribute, they don't use past contributions in order to try and demonstrate leverage). Thanks, SqueakBox 23:35, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I bet you are! Well find a diff to prove Jombo's latest accusation clearly stated by him above - "On the SlimVirgin "spy" allegation, and Jayjg using oversight (not checkuser)," I have never made either of those daft allegations - so why is he using them in reference to me. Giano (talk) 23:39, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
The original poster to this thread brought up those allegations. And, I agree with Giano's "traffic warden" comment. Cla68 (talk) 23:45, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
(ecx2)To be fair Giano, I think Jimbo was talking about Slim and Jay *after* having talked about you; I don't think he was trying to associate you with them or allegations about them. —Cronholm144 23:47, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
So he did nor call me a Troll either? Giano (talk) 23:49, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't even wanna go there. It would probably be best if that topic died its natural death. (It has been discussed ad naseum on this page, arbcom, and arbcom elctions). —Cronholm144 23:52, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
  • It is ironic that someone who has nominated himself for arbcom and is running a strong campaign for election should speak contemptuously of those who are "here to achieve rank and position." Raymond Arritt (talk) 02:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
    Not really. He's seeking rank and position, but that's not why he's here. --Carnildo (talk) 05:44, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
  • I think you wil find this is Jimbo's page and you will also find it is the first time I have raised the subject here. Seeing as I am the most concerned, if you don't "wanna go there" I suggest you go some place else. Giano (talk) 23:55, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
Let me put it another way, I don't think that bring this up here, in this particular forum, will shed any light on an already messed up situation. The community has been polarized by the goings on of the past month and I don't think that my answer to your question would be in any way productive.—Cronholm144 00:00, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Giano, its because this is Jimbo's page that you find people like me responding to you here, and your response to Cronholm typifies the real problem here. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:07, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Look guys, Giano has a right to feel the way he does about Jimbo's comments and a right to express his feelings to Jimbo on Jimbo's talk page. Jimbo is a signficant leader in this project to the extent that remarks that he has made in the past have become de facto policy. So, if he accuses a productive editor of trolling, then that editor has a right to seek clarification and further discussion if he wants to. If you want to find a "real" problem, look at the post that started this thread. Cla68 (talk) 00:15, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I fully agree that Giano has a right to his opinion and would not dream of telling him to shut up, but I have a right to my opinion too, as do you Cla, as does Cronholm. Jimbo certainly is a significant leader, and our leader as voluntary wikipedian workers, which is why I am here contributing to this discussion. Perhaps Giano would care to address his concerns directly to Jimbo via e-mail, chat or any of the other off-wikipedia tools available to us all, but if he is going to address these concerns in this public forum, and given Jimbo is our boss, he must expect the likes of Cronholm and myself to publicly disagree with him. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:25, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
(ec) Are you saying that that post is a problem or describes a problem? In any case I never said Giano didn't have the right to bring up his issues here. By the same token, I have the right to speak my mind without being belittled or told to leave. Just FYI, I voted for Giano in the arbcom election and I have followed this whole debacle very closely. I also have strong feelings about this entire fiasco. However, I feel that posting on Jimbo's talkpage, especially on a topic as emotionally charged as this, never helps that situation move towards a peaceable resolution. If Giano really wants to discuss this with Jimbo then he should email him and discuss this one on one. Jimbo can't really post here without his words becoming fodder. This isn't to say that Critsism of Jimbo isn't possible if done in the right way (see WAS's "Devil's advocate" post in the latest archive of this page), but I don't see that happening here. —Cronholm144 00:29, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The problem from the original post appears that the community is concerned about the way that Jimbo handles certain issues, and his remarks to Giano are related to that question. A lot of people are concerned about Jimbo's remarks to Giano, so I don't think it's inappropriate for Giano to bring it up here. Jimbo also could have chosen email to make those remarks to Giano, but he didn't, instead choosing a public forum to make them in. So, Giano can also seek further clarification in a public forum, especially because others besides him are probably concerned enough about it to want to view the resulting discussion. Cla68 (talk) 00:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Cla, I am not sure what you mean by the community and lots of people, both would equally apply to Giano. WAS made some very good comments earlier here about how Jimbo is basically now in the position where he needs supporters to help him (paid or otherwise) and to advise him. That is not a criticism of Jimbo's behaviour but a reality of being famous in 2007. And Jimbo is in a much harder position than Giano in all this, precisely because he is the successful innovator and leader of wikipedia so lets see some maturity from Giano (I bet he is capable of it). Thanks, SqueakBox 00:42, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't being nosistic by using the words "lots" because I have seen Jimbo's remarks to Giano discussed by more than a few editors. Yes, I understand that Jimbo's position is difficult. But, we rely on him for leadership because of the position that he has chosen to take in the project, and it isn't inappropriate to ask him for clarification. I think you're defending your involvement in this discussion. I don't personally mind you adding your opinion, I'm just responding that I don't think Giano is acting inappropriately here. Cla68 (talk) 00:56, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Here is the thread. Cla I am one of those people (people with concerns) you mention, as you can see from my post in that thread, but I didn't pursue the issue in a way that IMO could possibly be disruptive to an already disrupted page and community. —Cronholm144 00:52, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Folks, I don't want to discourage you too much, but the information content in the crisis-management algorithm used by Jimbo could be replaced by a shell script. A small shell script. You're about to see a command performance in the latest scandal. It's laudable to raise your concerns about the lack of openness and transparency. But you have essentially zero ability to affect it. If you leave, you will simply be replaced. I often get flack for being critical of Wikipedia. The sort of disempowerment demonstrated in this thread is one of the reasons for my views. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:46, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

It does not matter that a so called valuable editor leaves here and there because someone or something pissed them off. After all this projects transcends all of us and our life times as well and somebody else will take their place in due course. People dropping off and on are part of the process but that is not the fundamental issue facing wikipedia. It is as a project that mirrors the entire humanities collective effort at refinement it also has the same pitfalls. Any anthropologist will tell you that humanity always starts any project, process or idea at it s basic level as simple endeavor and then will refine it and make it really a complex structure only to bring it down to its it’s basic elements once again. This process is not always pretty or even straightforward. Take a look at Iraq, people there began their quest as simple farmers only to give us everything that we cherish today writing, governance, religion, cities etc but today it is back to being caveman’s barbarism. Take a language for example, a simple dialect of cattle rising, horse racing, and quarrelsome nomads becomes refined as Sanskrit only to break down in to 800 languages. Wikipedai’ s basic problem is that, articles starts from a stub then to become refined if they are lucky to be picked up by someone or some ones only to loose their refinement with time. There might be thousands of exceptions to that but you cannot deny the nagging feeling most of us have about our contributions, that unless some one or some ones guard them like a hawk, the witling down of the quality is a continuous never ending process. How to do you prevent this or is it even possible to prevent that? Or will Wikipedia go the way of Iraq and Sanskrit like all collective human endeavors just a bunch of wasted work few hundred years from now ? Taprobanus (talk) 20:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Professional PR help

Get professional PR help. The responses thus far do not inspire confidence. Don't flame Seth. He's doing a great service to Wikipedia by pointing these things out while you still have time to do something about them. - Jehochman Talk 18:00, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Aktion gegen Wikipedia

Und wieder wurde eine klassische österreichiche Speise von Deutschen gelöscht, irgendwann ist Schluss, wir pfeifen in Österreich auf die Deutsche Wikipedia jetzt gibt es eine Aktion gegen Wikipedia. Das ist kein Scherz. Es geht nicht nur um Fleischknödel, sondern um österreichische Artikel im allgemein, wir lassen uns das von den Deutschen und dir nicht länger gefallen. Es reicht! Du wist noch von uns in den Medien hören, jetzt ist Schluss mit lustig, und Geld willst du auch aus Österreich? Wikipedia ist einfach nur peinlich, lächerlich und falsch! Du hast jetzt Feinde in Österreich, also besuche es nie wieder! -- (talk) 02:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Why would we want to visit Austria, anyway? Certainly not for the food!
In die USA fährt aber auch niemand wegen des Essens ;) Achjee, arme unterdrückte Ösis...-- (talk) 13:50, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Hier in der USA essen wir Hamburger und Frankfurter als Mittagessen, und manchmal auch Wiener. ;) DurovaCharge! 13:53, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Essen Sie häufig Weiner?
Ich mag Würste beißen. DurovaCharge! 22:37, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Barbaren! -- (talk) 14:04, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Waren die Barbaren auch Kannibalen? Ihr Vandalen! ;) Achates (talk) 14:12, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
In Australien haben wir viel besser schmecken, die "Kanga Bangers und Mash". :) Orderinchaos 17:16, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Please, all of you, enough of this obscene trolling. sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 22:38, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
FWIW this user calls his statement a joke in the edit summary.[44] To Wikipedians who don't speak German, this is friendly banter about luncheon meats and is not obscene. DurovaCharge! 23:39, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I was asked by this user to clarify my statement, so: yes, this was a joke, as I would hope all rational people understand it's very wrong to accuse someone of obscene trolling just because they knows German. Thank you for the opportunity to explain. We have meat here in the building! sNkrSnee | ¿qué? 23:47, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

For the curious people. This topic was about "Fleischknödel", see deletion candidates (in German of course ;-): [45]. The article was "unterirdisch schlecht" and thus was deleted... I love people that can't even name they topic they are complaining about. ;-) Arnomane (talk) 03:28, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

New Cade Metz article in The Register

I assume you've already heard about this, but thought I'd post it just in case [46]. Joshdboz (talk) 02:57, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

His muck-raking is beneath contempt. Did you steal Cade Metz's wife or something, Jimbo? Rockpocket 05:08, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry to disagree with you, Rockpocket. While the first two El Reg articles were tabloidesque and somewhat over the top, this article is written pretty straight. The links all work to real articles in reliable sources. There were unanswered questions back in the summer when Doran left the Foundation. At the end of the day, we have a convicted felon whose list of convictions included financial crimes, handling the finances of an important non-profit organization. At the least, it calls into question the employment and management policies of the WMF (anyone handling money needs to be bondable, at least). At worst, there may actually be a financial problem related to her employment. The audit promised for the end of September has still not materialized.

On the other hand, I do not think this is really a problem for Jimbo to have to explain. I believe this is the problem of the WMF Board of Directors, who are directly responsible for hiring staff and maintaining fiduciary control of the Foundation's finances. Risker (talk) 05:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Assuming he has got his facts right (and that is an assumption not particularly supported by his record) this article in particular does raise some valid concerns. However, its clear that this isn't the work of a neutral journalist, this is the work of someone with a axe to grind. I would suggest we all treat it as such. Rockpocket 05:35, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I would say the essence of the story has been in practice confirmed by the evasive and distancing response from the higher-ups. Please also note that flaming Wikipedia is one thing, but accusing a specific living person of criminal conduct, in the UK, is covered by STRICT libel laws. So even if you think the journalist has a axe to grind, you can't rightly dismiss the content on that basis -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 05:57, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Evasive and distancing? In what way? I see nothing evasive or distancing at all in saying the plain truth. The plain truth is, if true, the article presents information that I knew nothing about before this. It's a sad story, if true, but fortunately not of much consequence.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:39, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I was tempted to make a subtle joke in reply, but irony and dry remarks don't travel well on the Net. So, to be tedious, look what I wrote "... in practice confirmed by the evasive and distancing response from the higher-ups". And what does Jimmy Wales reply? "The plain truth is, if true, the article presents information that I knew nothing about before this.". That's funny, in a gallows-humor kind of way. Yes, that's evasive and distancing! In this context, responses along the lines of almost literally "I know nothing! Nothing!", mean the story is basically correct and people are running for cover. Given how the reporter has been treating Wikipedia, if there was serious error in the charges, the higher-ups would be at the very least be flaming him into cinders, and likely talking libel lawsuit. Note, Jimmy, pre-emptively, please don't say I'm trolling for point this out, it's barkingly obvious. Your problem is the mass media explosion of this in the next few days, not my minor observations on it. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:22, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
As usual, Seth, you make no sense whatsoever. There is nothing evasive about saying, gee, how about that story, that was a shock to me. The story contained a ton of new information which, if true, was completely unknown to me before. Somehow you take that to be a confirmation of the story? How could it be? What can I say about it? If you ask me if I think the Register story is true, I would have to say "I think it probably is" for all the reasons that others have articulated. The Register is a trashy tabloid, but as others have pointed out, if this story is not true, then it would be a clearcut and egregious case of libel. At the same time, I can only repeat in a totally NON-evasive and NON-distancing manner that the revelations in the Register story were in fact revelations, not something I knew about beforehand.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, c'mon Jimmy. It's one thing to say there was information in the story that was new to you. But given the circumstances of her departure, you almost certainly knew whether or not the story was likely true. If the story wasn't true, the higher-ups would have defended her character strongly. Nobody did. You didn't. Hence, in practice, the story was true. Inference by damning with no praise. That's all I'm saying, against the people who doubted it because of the past history with _The Register_. I understand now that there's a confidentiality agreement that limits what you can say. But I don't think it obligates you to pretend nobody notices what's going on. Sorry, if I'm doing something wrong here, remember, I'm bad at politics. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 20:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Of course, because the "higher-ups" don't wish to indulge the attack-journo with the chip on his shoulder, that means he must be right, right? I'm not dismissing his content because of his bias, I'm dismissing him because his obvious bias has led to gross misrepresentation in the recent past. For example, its pretty obvious you have a serious axe to grind, Seth, but your content is generally accurate enough so I wouldn't dismiss your columns on that basis. Rockpocket 06:23, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the compliment, Rockpocket. I believe the bit of knowledge of journalism that you're missing is that while the rules of journalism allow for all sort of workaday distortion and misrepresentation, criminal convictions are a whole different matter. Again, especially in the UK, that is subject to tough libel law in a way the average sensationalist article is not -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 07:22, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
You are welcome ;) On the face of it our wiki-bashing friend at The Register would appear unlikely to risk a lawsuit by making such libelous unsubstantiated claims, but he has been moving in circles that have a history of some pretty awful behaviour, so you'll excuse me if I remain suspicious until a respectable source confirms it. Rockpocket 07:59, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Once more, I'd say the higher-ups have in essence confirmed it. Another tip-off you may not have caught is when they start talking in specific about not having personal knowledge. That's a big red flag right there. Don't confuse this with the typical wikidrama, which ordinarily involves personal nastiness, but not the legal system. When an organization has someone as COO who allegedly had "convictions for passing bad checks, theft, petty larceny," - that's major scandal. I suspect you're not grasping how serious this matter is, how it's orders of magnitude beyond the past months' events. Jimmy will probably get very mad at me if I start outlining all the implications, so I'll forbear. I'll just stress, don't think of this as the standard flamefest, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 08:40, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how it is a major scandal, given that as far as we know right now, there were no crimes committed at the foundation. It is not a good story, obviously. :) We have no confirmation or disconfirmation that the story is true or not, although I personally see no reason to think it is not true. It's a sad story.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm not going there. Not worth it. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 20:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I guess if enough people declare its a major scandal then it becomes a major scandal. Thats how those scandal things tend to work. Personally, I don't see it, though I'm sure those who want it to be one, will. I don't know Jimbo, but he seems like a nice guy and his comments have always appeared to be balanced and sincere (I don't know Cade Metz either, but I can't say the same about my experience of him). Call me naive, but when otherwise decent folks tell me they don't have personal knowledge it crosses my mind that they don't have personal knowledge, rather than that they are being evasive and distant. I guess WP:AGF isn't taught at journalism 101. Rockpocket 08:58, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Thank you, Rockpock. I think it is important that I not be in any way evasive or distancing. I think it important to confront the story directly and with simple and open honesty. And the simple fact is, I was shocked when I read the story in The Register. Seth wants to imply all kinds of dark things but that's because Seth is Seth.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Or maybe it's because of the inexplicable secrecy that was made about her departure. Maybe you can start with the honesty and explain why, if you didn't know of any scandal, the relevant Board resolution was not published? There must be something strange in there. If she just simply resigned for unspecified personal reasons, surely this would not have been hidden like that. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 19:54, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you are unaware of the legal constraints that an organization may face in situations like this. Suffice to say, I have been quite clear and not evasive here. There were allegations in The Register story which shocked me, shocked the board, and which were never imagined or contemplated at all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:06, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
What do you mean with "situations like this"? The present situation - the things that you say you only know now - can't have been the reason for the secrecy at the time. And a normal resignation of an employee isn't a "situation" with such legal constraints. Indeed, other resignations have been noted in openly published Board resolutions. So, there must have been something fishy, and it looks like you're again playing with words. There may have been details you didn't know in the Register story - but you must have known there was some problem with Doran. That's why apparently some non-disclosure agreement was made at the time, to hide the fact that some absurdly bad hiring decision had been made. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 11:43, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
I'd take issue with the word "wants". Yes, I think unhappy thoughts. -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 20:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Regretably, the last time I did any extensive public analysis of an issue, which ironically I thought was pound-for-pound favorable to Jimbo, he was extremely displeased. So I'll just have to repeat that I'm not going to go there right now, it's not worth it. The legal matters will almost certainly be explored fully in the next few days in many media sources. The status of the person involved and the nature of the charges means such issues exist. And indeed, ideally journalists practice the exact opposite of WP:AGF - one saying is "If your mother says she loves you, check it out" (yeah, yeah, I know, more honored in the breach than in the observance, but that's the theory). -- Seth Finkelstein (talk) 09:30, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I don't know what "COO" means, but the post seems at least moderately important. And a fair number of people around here seem to think that WMF is at least moderately important. Thus the idea that a COO of WMF is worth an article isn't obviously unreasonable to me, though I can't get worked up about it. Anybody interested in her articleworthiness can read a rapid discussion of this matter (or a closely related one) here. A lot of sensible stuff seems to be said within it, though I find the rather feverish tone (or so it appears) rather surprising. -- Hoary (talk) 09:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

She isn't notable as far as I can tell. Chief Operating Officer--->(COO).--MONGO (talk) 09:31, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
At the very least, this makes the Foundation's legal counsel look like he doesn't even bother showing up for work, as unknowledgeable as he appeared to be in the article. At the worst, it makes the Foundation look like they were engaged in a cover-up to try to hide the story. If so, how are we supposed to trust the Foundation's "investigations" of other issues, like the Jayjg Oversight abuse allegations? Cla68 (talk) 11:03, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
  • One should be very cautious of discussing this here until there is some sort official statement of where the WF stand on this - or that the very serious allegations against this woman are/are not proven founded. It may be that Jimbo and the WF did indeed no nothing of these allegations until this article was published. The truth will undoubtedly come out but it will not be instantaneous or hurried by speculation here. We try not to mention legal threats at Wikipedia, bit this is one of those rare occasions when the real world and its legal processes could become linked with our nice safe world here. So I advise extreme caution in anything anyone says in print here. Giano (talk) 11:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

LOL, chaps. This is all completely true. The woman's in prison - the Register have got their facts absolutely correct. I've known about this for yonks but didn't tell anyone.

The really amazing thing is that nobody from WMF seems to have known. I remember obliquely quizzing Anthere about this on IRC one merry evening - she either genuinely did not know what had happened or she lied through her teeth to me. What was passing through her mind, I don't know. Someone must have known though...Sue Gardner? She basically seems to have got Carolyn's job. The jail records are pretty much all available on the web, though...hell, I've even got them still bookmarked AFAIK. Cheers, Moreschi If you've written a quality article... 14:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Moreschi, somehow I sincerely doubt that. SWATJester Son of the Defender 15:43, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Moreschi, if you knew about this, I regret that you never told me about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:24, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
As do I. I realise now that I should have done so. Apologies. I'm still baffled as to how nobody did tell you - surely the WMF staff of the time must have known, and I can't believe the Board were in total ignorance. Your COO gets dragged off to the clink and no one knows nor thinks to tell the boss. My word, the oddness never does stop at Wikipedia! (And to Swat - don't take my word for it, check the wikinews article). Moreschi If you've written a quality article... 11:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Mistakes are made everyday. People get over it and move on. Simple; not painless, but KISS. Like a Rainbow (talk) 16:46, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Yet another public black eye for Wikipedia.↔NMajdantalk 19:09, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Success makes so many people hate you. I wish it wasn't that way. It would be wonderful to enjoy success without seeing envy in the eyes of those around you. - Marilyn Monroe DurovaCharge! 20:10, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I wouldn't have posted the article if it was an unsubstantiated attack or "envy". This is a serious issue that should be addressed, and quotes like that do not improve the situation. Joshdboz (talk) 22:41, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
No disrespect intended toward you. Yet when has the Register run a sympathetic story about Wikipedia? DurovaCharge! 23:07, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Fortunately, that is besides the point. Perhaps they are biased, but that doesn't change the underlying issue. Joshdboz (talk) 23:15, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, perhaps not. But perspective, here. This is not exactly Wikipedia damaging the world or really anybody, except maybe itself. Then so what? I've generally found that overly-trustful people may be naïve, but are themselves usually trustworthy (think about it and you'll see why). If that's Wikipedia, it's not a huge stigma, and they'll soon get over it, at this rate!

I'm actually more bothered by the woman's editing, and the way power is abused at Wikipedia, rather than the way it's doled out. For example, I don't care if they give the keys of the kingdom to an Essjay, so long as he's not an ass. But I myself got indef-blocked by him for no good reason, so I'm afraid his power was abused (another editor rescued me but was so annoyed by other things that he's no longer around--- that's how attrition works here).

In the case of the Duran woman, we had her editing badly and politically, which is never a good sign. She first managed to get moved from a temp position to COO by a board vote of 6 to 1 (and who do you have to *&^% for that to happen to you, we wonder?) without a background check (wups). But she acted as a typical administrator from the beginning, because among her first acts as COO appears to have been to delete, wholesale, sourced criticism from the article on Free Republic [47], after changing from "user:Seand59" to her Carolyn-WMF admin address. Which would have got her into hot water, but as you see, got her a free pass due to her rank. [48] Supposedly she was removing a third-hand report of a threat to the president from an article on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation. Today, most of what she cut out has been returned, so I guess it didn't bring the secret service down on Wikipedia.

That's the kind of stuff I hate to see. IOW, I don't care if she shot her boyfriend, and killed somebody while driving drunk. It's editorial abuse that pisses me off! SBHarris 23:34, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

I have had many enemies in my time. I am very successful and immensely rich, and riches, if I may inflict another of my aphorisms upon you, may not make you friends but they greatly increase the class and variety of your enemies. Auric Goldfinger, from the Fleming novel. SBHarris 21:56, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

If we are quoting, then:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt

Jimmy, I know this whole thing is not pleasant, but keep the chin up... There is enough greatness in this project to overcome these setbacks. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 03:42, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Ah, good old Teethadore. Am reading a bio of him now, and that was apt. For all his energy and guts (he was a kind of American version of Churchill) TR-the-last-romantic didn't achieve much self-insight till after he was out of office. Mostly he was congenitally unable ever to give those with opposing views a break, figuring that anybody who disagreed with him must be venal, stupid, immoral, or (worst of all) cowardly. And yes, I see TR in Wikipedia-- the same rather eternally 60's-ish juvenile spirit of daring anything, assuming the worst of all opposition, leading cavalry charges long past the proper age of cavalry charges (Churchill again). It's endearing and exasperating. That kind of spirit gets people to the moon (JFK had it) but it also make people do things like decide to regularize the spelling of the English language (TR again-- I think in an over-the-top fit of mania). Anyway, I'm hoping that eventually Wikipedia will figure out that you don't really dare leave organizations to be run by get-a-life kids (superannuated or not), or else you will eventually find you have created the Maoist Cultural Revolution of the students (see Lord of the Flies). SBHarris 06:22, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Cool customer

Hi Jimbo, I just have to chime in that I find you to be a very cool customer. Nothing seems to phase or ruffle your feathers at all. With all the "goings on" around here I guess you have to be :) . Anyways, cheers and happy holidays, --Tom 20:12, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Due dilligence in placing Carolyn Doran in charge of WikiMedia finances

"I know nothing about this" is the wrong answer, Jimbo. "I will investigate the due diligence in placing Carolyn Doran in charge of WikiMedia finances and will get back to you on that. I am sure we hired a reputable firm to do a background check, but I'll have to ask Sue to get the actual facts. Also, the current audit so far has uncovered no fiscal irregularities." would have been the right answer if it were true. Can you give that answer, Jimbo? WAS 4.250 (talk) 16:55, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Of course that's my answer. All I am telling you is that the Register article contained information that shocked me. Of course we are looking into it carefully. And currently, the Wikimedia Foundation does background checks on employees, etc. And the current audit so far has uncovered no missing money, etc., etc.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:12, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Wow. Thank you. I feel such a sense of relief. Really. I just read that Goodwin said "the WMF is unable to comment any further because of continuing legal constraints" and "There are legal constraints that apply to the Board, to staff, and to anyone acting formally on the Foundation's behalf."[49] which is better than "I know nothing about it" and was coming here to amend my comment to say so; thinking that maybe you could not say what you just did for legal reasons. I am so very happy that the current audit so far has uncovered no missing money. To me that is the key thing that will make this an "Ops, we should have done a background check, but in the end it was just an embarrassment from before we had people who knew what they were doing running things but now we are in capable hands" story versus a major scandal - which is what it would be if you were not able to say the current audit so far has uncovered no missing money. Thanks for clearing that up. I feel so much better. WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:52, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I will go even further. If the audit uncovers any evidence of theft, I will personally donate out of my own pocket to cover whatever is missing. I feel pretty confident doing that even though the audit is still underway.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:13, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure that's reassuring to all of the editors and, in particular, to all of the donors. Thank you. Dekimasuよ! 03:02, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
You could probably place a fairly firm limit on any potential problems by asking the tech team how much they had spent in the relivant time period and it is fairly safe to assume the tech team would notice any odities between what they ordered and what they got.Geni 15:57, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Regardless of this latest scandal's magnitude one thing is certain;Trying to cover it up with oversight or office or other means will only make it worse.(Sunlight is the best disinfectant)--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 03:37, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Oversight hasn't been used on the page titled "Carolyn Doran" at all. Whoever led you to believe that was in error. --Deskana (talk) 15:39, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
Oversight hasn't been used YET. And it is important for Jimmy to expressly forbid it in this case. Otherwise the appearance, if not the reality, of impropriety will only be made worse. You can't kill the truth by oversighting it.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 18:44, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Please stop assuming bad faith. Why on earth do you think the first thing the Foundation is going to do when negative news pops up is try to "kill the truth?" Mr.Z-man 19:03, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Because it has in the past...most notably with the Essjay controversy. Faith, good or otherwise, won't get you out of this situation. It will require leadership, openness, honesty and full disclosure. I HOPE and TRUST Mr. Wales understands this.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 21:04, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

I read all three articles in the Register, and was underwhelmed. It did make me interested in Wikipedia, while I had only been a spectator. I don't view any of this as a scandal outside of the small circle of people obsessed with Wikipedia. Just my two cents.