User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 34

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Archive 33 | Archive 34 | Archive 35

Service Award Problem

Dear Mr. Wales. I hope you could help me Here is a problem with the service awards. I hope you could change this. Thank you so much for your time. :) --Nothing444 (talk) 23:19, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Dear Jimbo

You know, I read everywhere (outside Wikipedia of course) that Wikipedia is a terrible source! My school teachers here in England told me that they would do horrible things to me if I used Wikipedia as a source, and you actually get marked down if you footnote Wikipedia here at university (I suspect).

To be honest with you? I think Wikipedia has saved my academic career. Not because it I use it as a source in the sense of referencing it in my essays (I am doing history, by the way) but because writing for Wikipedia as I have done, with the few featured articles I have written, has really taught me something about writing essays. It has taught me to take my time, to keep things neutral and well referenced. I even use (fact) tags in my plans to illustrate where I need verification!

Frankly, Mr. Wales when the end of my university career comes around, I think I will owe my final diploma in a small way to Wikipedia. I was a terrible essay writer before I started writing here during year, and now... 5 FAs and one successful RFA later I am here, getting some of the highest marks of my year. THEREFORE, I would like to give you this:

.

That is the full stop that will sit on the end of my diploma. Perhaps you can add it to your userpage somewhere, though it will undoubtedly get reverted because people won't know why you have ended a sentence with two full stops..

Regards, SGGH speak! 23:52, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Collaboration and selfishness

"Wikipedia is an encyclopedia collaboratively written by many of its readers" says the welcoming page as I create my account. Your user page on the other hand categorizes you with the Randian Objectivists. How does Randian Objectivism go with Wikipedian Collectivism? Your generic Random Thinker (talk) 12:52, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

What is the issue exactly. We welcome editors of any all beliefs. Thanks, SqueakBox 12:59, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Except those who believe Wikipedia is mismanaged. - CitationMonger (talk) 13:19, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
That is not a belief, it is an opinion. Thanks, SqueakBox 13:21, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Hello

Hello, Jimbo!Kitty53 (talk) 02:12, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Hi! How are you? Ich kenne Deutsch. :D --HoopoeBaijiKite 19:47, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

This picture injure feelings We Muslims

Hello Gentlemen supervisors That picture is false and inaccurate As there is no real images Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him

This picture injure feelings We Muslims Please remove

Link photos

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Mohammed_kaaba_1315.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Siyer-i_Nebi_298a.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Maome.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Siyer-i_Nebi_151b.jpg

and we would like to becarfule with adding any photo for Sensitive subjects... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Fayez.sa (talkcontribs) 06:08, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Please understand that Wikipedia is not censored and may contain images that you find objectionable. This policy has been debated repeatedly and is not likely to change. If you do not wish to view particular images, please click here for more information. - Chardish (talk) 06:25, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Are you concerned abut people seeing the picture or with seeing the picture yourself? Cause if it's the former, you're not helping by posting links here. If you're just concerned about yourself, there are ways to hide photos in Wikipedia while you browse it yourself, as the comment above shows. Equazcion /C 07:06, 1 Mar 2008 (UTC)
On the issue of images of Muhammad, my position is to provide the readers with the option of not seeing the images. A note at the top page of Muhammad informing them of the existence of images and possibly a link explaining how to disable the images seems reasonable to me. Or alternatively, show the images by a click. See reasons. A new reader who googles Muhammad and clicks on the first link is not aware of Wikiepdia's disclaimers (I wasn't aware of it before this dispute) nor with a knowledge of how to disable the images unless he visits the talk page in the aftermath.--Be happy!! (talk) 07:27, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
And your position has been rejected again and again and again and again by the community - you are flogging a dead horse. --Fredrick day (talk) 11:33, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps your complaint is better raised with Google, then, who has direct control over the output of search results. We build an encyclopedia based on our principles and guidelines and are not influenced by how high we appear on search results. Chardish (talk) 16:46, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Just a Little Joke

I'm sorry for doing this. I just thought it would give Jimbo a few laughs. But if it will offend him, I am definetly taking it off! Nothing444 02:11, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

A bit more lighthearted than leaving him, say, {{uw-vandalism4}} ; ) - Chardish (talk) 21:17, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

I would never do that to Mr. Wales. Nothing444 23:48, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

How does someone with over 750 edits suddenly think that the above waste of time and space is a contribution to the encyclopedia? Yet, my important question that tries to shed light on a serious conflict-of-policy issue... that gets deleted, posthaste. Besides, Jimbo's not "the" founder of Wikipedia. Try "a" or "co-", and we're all fine. - CitationMonger (talk) 01:30, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Forcing People to Sin - Images of Muhammad

Hi Mr. Wales,

While there is nothing wrong with having the pictures there, but I firmly believe that the readers should be given the option of not seeing the images. A note at the top page of Muhammad informing them of the existence of images and possibly a link explaining how to disable the images seems reasonable to me. Not doing that is like "forcing someone to do what he considers breaking God's commandment". Currently people are systematically trapped; their free will is taken away from them. If people are told about existence of those images, they can of course decide whether they want to see them or not. How many people are really aware of the Wikiepdia's special disclaimers? ; they just come here through google; Or do you know of any other scientific encyclopedia that has unveiled images? Is Wikipedia going to set a precedent here? Doesn't it sound like some form of Original Research? This is not an encyclopedic thing, it is a moral issue. Why not granting people to have the freedom of practicing their religion? --Be happy!! (talk) 01:21, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Users haven't lost "their free will" as you suggest. Their free will is in action when they decide to log on to Wikipedia. I don't think that any one of us is forcing these users to look at the article. There should be a reasonable expectations for these users that possibly, just possibly, there could be photos on this article. Metros (talk) 01:30, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
When a random person sees "Muhammad - Wikipedia Encyclopedia" in google and enters it, he expects to see an encyclopedia (a source that is committed only and only to provide information). Texts, figures and speech is not merely a medium of providing information but also a channel for action. For example, when I say to someone "I apologize", I am not only saying something, but I am also doing something. Philosophers carefully make a distinction between these two aspects of speech. One aspect should not be used as a pretext to cover the other aspect. And it is only the providing information part that wikipedia is concerned about. If people are told in words that there are such images, part of the information is conveyed and nobody is forced to sin. People would now have the choice to see the images or not. So, we are still providing information but are careful to avoid the unwanted functionality of speech and to avoid what the reader does not expect wikipedia to do. I have seen people bring up the "censorship" issue all the time which I think is simply out of place. Censorship or anything of that kind occurs when people have no way of getting access to information with a reasonable amount of effort. --Be happy!! (talk) 01:44, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
your forum shopping is really getting out of hand and the contempt you show for your fellow editors is astonishing. You've got your proposal being discussed here and yet you want to circuvent normal process and try to get Jimbo to weigh in on your behalf. Would you like him to also jump in and rule in favour of the POV page that you recently created in article space related to this matter? --Fredrick day (talk) 02:04, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Could you clarify "forum shopping"? Aminz is day after day trying hard to keep the IPs/SPAs from deleting images, and is undoubtedly feeling the strain. There seems to be much in the way of 'nuance' missing... Shenme (talk) 06:11, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course I respect the current consensus (examples of me restoring the images after their removal by the IPs [1],[2], [3]). I even, myself, uploaded an unveiled image of Muhammad with his face uncovered way back and added it to Muhammad article when the issue wasn't yet hot. I hope these can show that I have no personal benefit in the matter. On the other hand, after reading through some of the philosophical literature available on the freedom of speech and thinking about the issue, I came into conviction that though on the face of it, asking for removal of images altogether is not acceptable, there is a valid point hidden there. So, my posts here and elsewhere came out of that conviction. I didn't actively participate in the mediation on the images because I really didn't care. Were it not because of that conviction, I wouldn't have felt compelled to raise my voice here and there. And by doing so I am fully aware of what I am sacrificing; I am aware that I am making enemies for myself or make some neutral editors get a negative impression about me. And I have been around wikipedia long enough to know and experience how this reveals itself in the general reaction in discussion of the later issues I will be involved in, and that may be irrelevant to the image issue. Anyways, I have decided to leave the image issue altogether. I am out.--Be happy!! (talk) 10:13, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

BLP COI by you

Without mentioning any other names, I understand that within the last month you emailed to a select mailing list that you felt unable, because of COI reasons, to participate in the BLP of certain Canadian journalist. The BLP of said journalist was subsequently edited by some Wikepedia.en administrators, including JoshuaZ and JzG. Based on increased Internet conversation on this topic, including mentions in Danny Wool's and Kelly Martin's blogs, is there anything that you would like to say to the project as a whole, openly and in public, about the situation? Cla68 (talk) 14:59, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

If accurate negative material that properly reflected high quality sources had not been removed from at least two articles numerous times; and removed merely because it was negative and not at all questionable in accuracy or balance (except in the minds of some people who without evidence simply assumed she could not actually be that bad); then Jimbo might have had a better idea of who he was dealing with. The same sad tale is now being replayed with Gary W. (but without the sex). NPOV should not be hijacked. And it is, over and over; but none the less Wikipedia keeps getting better; it is simply too open and too big for censorship to win in the end. WAS 4.250 (talk) 16:32, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
One of the biggest problems we have with notable BLP's is the fact that people constantly violate SYNTH in order to get the latest gossip and mediocre reporting in front and center. Even when gossip rag reporting is neutralized either by elimination or by adding more reliable sourcing, the innuendo remains, casting many figures in a less favorable light than they deserve.--MONGO 16:55, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely true. And further when we err, (and everyone makes mistakes) it is better to err on the side of not having a claim, rather than having a mistaken claim. But if you take that to the extreme you wind up with no encyclopedia at all. As usual, the solution is thoughtful informed balance. WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:50, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Even with the worst possible interpretation it doesn't look like Jimbo did anything wrong. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:51, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I saw Jimbo applying AGF to a person whose past history would indicate a different assumption would be more prudent. WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:50, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
My point is that if he is applying AGF then that should be that, surely we can't say that he should be doing anything other than this. And while I can see Jimbo having a COI re his article, articles on wikipedia, wikipedia foundation and wikia or articles that mention these topics I cant see him having any COI around a Canadian journalist, even if he knows her well, and that to ask admins to help a BLP violation at that article, even if true, is nothing for anyone to worry about. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:13, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there is no evidence here of Jimbo misusing Wikipedia in this case, although arbcom and some admins have in my opinion made mistakes in deleting material that should not have been deleted (but we all make mistakes). The issue about "nothing for anyone to worry about" misses several aspects though:
  1. This is juicy gossip that will be repeated in the blogosphere and tabloids and Jimbo needs a better response than "no comment" (I recommend a good joke as a response).
  2. The incident highlights our ongoing BLP and COI issues and we need to be very very upfront that we are trying hard but are far from perfect on those issues.
  3. Personally, I think it highlights the "Jimbo problem" at wikipedia, which I would detail as the sum of the issues I raised with Jimbo when he asked me on this page what I thought he was doing wrong. Some progress has been made in the areas I outlined. Lack of transparency in content decision making caused by use of private mailing lists to organize admin behavior is a key issue that this case highlights. WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:47, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
WAS, I find myself in agreement with your first 2 points but not your third though I do think Jimbo should listen to your advices. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:02, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Is there any evidence that any Wikihours have been wasted here? Frankly I think this was more than any of us needed or wanted to know about Jimbo :) EconomicsGuy (talk) 20:16, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Considering the sources involved, I would change "know" to "hear". As for wiki-hours, well, I'm refunding 100% of my wiki-paycheck for all hours spent on unapproved activities. :) WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:57, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
He he good reply! As for wiki-hours I'll try hard not to create Category:Users willing to refund their non-existent wiki-paycheck :) EconomicsGuy (talk) 21:03, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
If there wasn't a trail of edits by assumably mailing list editors like JohuaZ and JzG then there would't be an issue here. Now, would you all get out of the way and let Jimbo reply on his talk page? Cla68 (talk) 21:19, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
I think if you want a straight reply from Jimbo you have come to the wrong place. that may not be a good thing but it is so. And to be honest I dint revert your original post because it was you,w ith your record, and you posted nicely. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:26, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Speaking for myself Jimbo never asked me to do anything, I simply stuck my nose into something that wasn't my business. I do that quite frequently. I suspect JzG may have had a similar motivation. The topic is interesting and prominent; it doesn't require Jimbo's intervention to make editors care about an interesting BLP. JoshuaZ (talk) 21:41, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Josh, I only heard about this yesterday (through what I considered a trolling comment on this page, and which I reverted) and of course immediately put this CJ on my watchlist, because BLp issues involving Jimbo are high priority in my voluntary work here (which is why I responded to your thread,Cla). I checked the history and saw guy had been editing there and my reaction was, great, at least this one is being watched by an admin who is also interested in our BLP and NPOV policies 9and whom I trust) so seeing your thread, Cla, my response was immediately that this sounded positive and not negative. anyway, if Jimbo wants to reply here he will and you will catch it, there is, after all, a link to his contribs on this very page. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:56, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

These sorts of tabloid rumors have no place being on Wikipedia anyway. Even if it is all true, so what? It only becomes interesting if it leads to something more notable. Otherwise, it is a big yawn as far as I am concerned.--Filll (talk) 23:40, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

For the record, I don't believe that JoshuaZ was asked by Jimbo to fiddle with the article. Cla68 (talk) 06:01, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
For the record, I trust JoshuaZ not to make unwarrented changes to the either article in question, even if Jimbo did ask him to. (ok, who will provide the next "For the record" comment? This could be fun.) WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:11, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Osama bin Laden image - public domain?

Hi Mr. Wales; though I have a ridiculous amount of edits, on this account and one other (legal one), I have never contacted you before. However, I would be terribly interested if you could comment on a deletion request occurring at commons:Commons:Deletion requests/Image:Osama Bin Laden.jpg; it deals with a photo that can also be found here. The discussion has become quite an issue on commons, and is in fact quite dear to me, and I am quite interested to hear your opinion on the matter. I thank you in advance for your response. I would be interested in either your opinion, and if you think good responsible community members can disagree on the matter. The Evil Spartan (talk) 21:59, 2 March 2008 (UTC)


Email

Jimbo,

I sent you an email to your jwales address regarding a semi-personal Wikipedia-related issue. This is just a heads up, as I wouldn't want your spam filter to turn my email into a tasty snack. Thanks --Sharkface217 23:16, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

No story!

I hope no one reverts me here because this is very pertinent to Wikipedia's current affairs, and I'm posting as I want this to be widely read,both inside and outside Wikipedia. I think I am the person with the Wiki-knowledge and standing to say this. I have been asked by the press for my views, so I thought it would be honest, and correct, to publish them here.

Over the last few days like many others I have smiled at J Wales discomfort, and as you all know I don't have a huge amount of respect for him, so bearing that in mind, I hope you will all take to heart what I'm about to say, I have read all the gossip both the titilatious and the libellous - and in my opinion: There is no story. I first heard the rumours concerning his marriage and finances before Christmas, and the fact I dismissed them should tell you all something. I also have heard that many close to him would like to stick a knife in his back, so perhaps that should be born in mind too. An awful lot of emails do seem to go astray don't they? In fact, I have never seen such a badly organized, ham fisted and amateur assassination attempt in my life, and I've seen a few. Let's look at the facts:

He's been caught with his trousers down looking stupid, if that was an impeachable and serious offence the world would be devoid of half its leaders. In my opinion it's a huge pity she is not selling all his clothes, he's a scruffy looking bastard, and the prestige of Wikipedia would be improved if he invested in a couple of Italian suits, and you see, it is the prestige of Wikipedia that brings me to the details of the expense account - again no impeachable story. For the benefit of those who don't have huge expense accounts let me spell out a few unsavoury truths.

When on company business, if your expenditure improves (in your opinion) the prestige and value of the company - you can spend what you like, if your dining with an important client you give him Montrachet to drink not Australian, or Californian, chardonnay. Similarly, if on tour and you have back pain, one can justify a massage on company expenses to keep the tour going. It matters not, that some of us may think he could have been more frugal, and that massage has connotations, if he says the expenses were justified that is the end of the story. You can spend what you like, so long as you believe that expenditure will benefit in some way the company. That is all he has to say - and he will say that. He has not been caught with his fingers in the cash box.

There is not an Chief Executive alive, of any major company, who has not been berated by the Finance Secretary for losing receipts, when you are busy you shove them in pockets, then the suit (or those scruffy jeans) goes to the dry cleaners etc. etc. etc. - you get out of a taxi in a hurry and don't even pick the receipt up - for some daft reason I store them in hotel ash trays and then the chambermaid throws them away... this whole business is ludicrous.

Has he influenced the content of the Marsden page, in my opinion, yes, he probably has. However, I don't see any concrete evidence of it. and even if he has, it is not a serious enough crime for the torrents of abuse and publicity he is receiving - a warning from the Arbcom on his page is sufficient if that is ever proved.

I have not read or heard of one word, that would stand up in any court against him. If people want to get rid of Jimbo, they are going to have to find something more concrete than this - being a very poor judge of character is all he is guilty of, and that is not enough. The many millions of words written on this subject amount to nothing. Those that seek to be rid of him, have overplayed their cards - they did not even have enough points for an opening bid.

He may feel he has to resign over this, if he does not, and in my view, he need not, and people still want to be rid of J Wales, or curb his powers, it has to be done in an open, honest and frank way. The current state of affairs demeans the whole encyclopedia. Giano (talk) 14:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Dammit, Giano, you are too good for ArbCom... LessHeard vanU (talk) 14:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Who knew I'd be agreeing with Giano? Fortunately embarrassment is a non-fatal illness. Chin up. AKAF (talk) 14:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, that makes no sense at all. Whoever said there was, or had to be, something "that would stand up in any court against him"? Any unethical behaviour is fine so long as it's legal? There are many issues here that need more, not less, discussion. "You can spend what you like" may be accepted practice at big companies, but surely not for a donation-funded foundation. Given that people may well ask what Jimbo's expensive travelling is supposed to be good for in the first place, donors will surely not like him to buy $300 bottles of wine and try to pass the cost to the foundation - which, apparently, he didn't get away with but tried (if this accusation wasn't true, he could, and probably would, sue Danny for libel, but his deafening silence on the whole affair speaks for itself). The COI on Marsden is another issue. He didn't edit the article himself, but told her how he usually has other people fix things for him and sure enough he notified (through a secret mailing list) people who he knows will do his bidding. In isolation, any of those things might be forgivable, especially if he were admitting to it. But if you consider his entire history of dishonesty - from the "sole founder" nonsense to the bizarre contradictions about his own birth date - you just get a pattern. As Florence Devouard told him: "I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past... Get a grip!" Yes, this should all be discussed in an open, honest and frank way - I don't know who you're accusing of doing it in a dishonest way. I think it's Jimbo himself, not the discussion about him, that's demeaning the whole project. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 16:21, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The OTRS mailing list is not a "secret mailing list". It's discussed openly on numerous pages including on the OTRS pages. [4] Just because you don't know about something or haven't bothered to investigate it does not make it "secret". People on OTRS have very wide-ranging opinions about Jimmy, same as on Wikipedia, and your claim that they are people he knows will do his "bidding" is really insulting. Sarah 16:39, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The existence of the OTRS list is not secret, but its contents are secret. What Jimbo tells people there is not on the public record but has a strong influence because no one will dare go against Jimbo (given that he can ban, and has banned, people without being accountable to anyone). It's enough that some will do his bidding; the others will simply do nothing. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 17:23, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The contents are not public due to the privacy policy and the banning argument is a straw man, what would he do, ban the whole OTRS team if no one responded the way he liked? Mr.Z-man 18:14, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Someone will always respond, there are plenty who treat him like a cult leader. He doesn't ban those who do nothing, but he might well ban those who'd do the opposite of what he says. The whole privacy and BLP policy was largely pushed by Wales and shows his priorities. The overall accuracy problem of Wikipedia is not an issue for him. And it's OK to slander dead people - they can't sue. But there has to be a special policy for living people - for the sole reason of avoiding lawsuits, while otherwise maintaining the fiction of Wikipedia's splendidly-working "openness". Strange how biographies of living people need a special policy to remain free of major bullshit, whereas all other articles somehow by themselves, according to "studies" Wales will happily tout, remain as accurate as Britannica's. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Please point me to one instance where he's banned someone for not doing what he said. I would hope he would ban someone for doing the opposite though in this case. If he asked it to be cleaned up per WP:BLP, the opposite would be to make it more defamatory, again, your argument about him using his power as leverage does not hold water. Heaven forbid his priorities should be protecting people's privacy, protecting the foundation from lawsuits, and protecting people from defamation - that's far too un-internet. I would suggest you actually read Wikipedia's policies before trying to use them in arguments like this. It's not okay to slander anyone and all facts in articles must be verifiable and written from a neutral point of view. Which type of article subject is more likely to be the victim of actual defamation (and yes, sue people): a living celebrity, a dead celebrity, or an inanimate object? Mr.Z-man 19:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Funny how you just assume when he says there's a BLP issue, that there must be actual defamation, as opposed to some perfectly true and well-sourced facts which just happen to reflect negatively on a person, as is often the case when some people cry "BLP!" So the opposite I referred to would be to reinstate such material when Wales called for its removal. Usually it doesn't come to a ban, because people know the game. Even if he just "politely requests" something, people understand that it is an order. Once when some people, including admins, refused to do what he wanted, he was wheel-warring with them and finally desysopped them - for "wheel warring" no less. Accused of hypocrisy, he explained that "it is simply not possible for me to wheel war" presumably because his unique power allows him always to prevail. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet Abercrombie, has he been unethical? Is there any proof, he has been unethical? - I think not. He can be a serial adulterer and philanderer, but quite frankly that's none of our business, our concern is what he does with Wikipedia not his willy. It's his expense account, he gets to choose how to expend. The source of the company's income is inconsequental, so long as his expenditure is for the benefit of the company. You may think the way he spends is odd, I don't, if you are wining and dining clients, especially in Europe, it has to be done with style and panache. Regarding Danny, I think you have to read what Danny said exactly and precisely, Danny was merely detailing fact, I am explaining how those facts, I suspect, came to be, and putting them in context. And yes, we do seem to know a lot about all these internal emails don't we. This is all looking like a boardroom squabble, and power game. If someone thinks it's time for us to have a new leader, then let's see an honest selection process, not a new leader emerging from the boardroom already on suspicion of underhand and devious behaviour.Giano (talk) 16:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't care about his philandering, but to say "it's his expense account" is ridiculous and obviously Florence and others at the Foundation disagreed with the notion that he can choose how to expend. I certainly don't think his expenditures benefit the "company". And I would like to see an honest selection process, but that would require Jimbo to abdicate the role first - or be deposed. The very problem here is that he never took an adequate title, instead making it seem that his authority was just one naturally flowing from being "the founder" - when in fact it was based for the longest time on the hard legal authority he had by controlling the Board which he had stacked with his business partners. Only when his position seemed entrenched enough, he allowed the Board to get somewhat more representative. But even Florence will probably resist the idea of declaring the leadership position vacant, fearing the bad PR. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 17:23, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • It is very much his expense account, the board are perfectly entitled to question his expenses, but when he is away on business he legitimately decides how to use that account. I have seen no proof that he used that account for any non-legitimate purposes - have you? The fact that you would have used the account in a different fashion is neither here nor there. What you think of his expenditure is equally meaningless, you were not there. I expect that someone somewhere is clearly hoping Jimbo will abdicate/resign over all this, and then they can step neatly into his shoes. I'm afraid, stacking a board with allies is very common business practice, and often good sense, his mistake seems to have been feeling entrenched enough to let others in. whatever you and others think, Jimbo has done nothing wrong legally or ethically wrong - That is a fact, and no amount of word play, or puritanical philosophy is going to alter that. Giano (talk) 17:36, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
That is not a fact. Ethics are debatable. Obviously you think he did nothing wrong ethically; well, I think he did. I don't think "common business practice" (i.e. pursuing one's self-interest to the legal limit, without any ethical constraints except where they coincide with PR concerns) should be the yardstick for nonprofit foundations. Your argument boils down to "he was the founder, he could do what he wanted." Perhaps you even want to repeat the curious argument I've seen Erik make - commending Wales for even setting up the Foundation, as if he could just have kept Wikipedia running under Bomis. The fact is it was losing him money, no one would have donated to a private company, and ads would have prompted an early fork. So what he did is set up the foundation, get relieved of the financial burden, but still keep authority and then convert his Wikipedia clout into financial gain elsewhere (speaking fees, Wikia, and, apparently, trying to dip into foundation funds when he needed a new washing machine). It is plain to me that Wales' main driving force (obvious enough for a Randian) is pure self-interest (which his ideology allows him to somehow define as "enlightened" and good etc. and so pass by his conscience). I for one don't think that's the appropriate mindset for a leader of something that calls itself a charity. But that may well be just my "puritanical philosophy" - so you are free to disagree. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I think Giano is clearly correct in his arguments here. Happy editing, SqueakBox 17:46, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for this profound contribution, SqueakBox. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Only made after reading the whole thread, Bramlet. Happy editing, SqueakBox 18:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Happy editing! Because of Jimbo and the Arbonauts I'm not editing. However, I am clarifying a few obvious facts that nobobody else seems to be capable of doing here. I'm quite happy for people to get a good kicking, but only when it's justified. Giano (talk) 17:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Giano, you mention "I have not read or heard of one word, that would stand up in any court against him". This is about quality of leadership, not courts of law. But sure, this story is "no story at all" and is getting play outside of Wikipedia only because of its titillating nature.

But here, on the wiki, there is a fair question of leadership. Neutrality is one of our core principals, so influencing the RM article in an unseemly way by our leader is a big thing to me, much as using the admin-only irc chat room to run down Larry Sanger, behind his back, and influencing that article for what seemed to be petty, selfish reasons. Jimbo, are these logs accurate? [5], [6]

Danny claims that $7,000 of reimbursement was re-labeled as "donations". Jimbo, is that accurate and did you deduct that $7,000 on your income tax as a Donation? That could be very serious for the Foundation.

Giano, you mention "assassination". In my experience character assassinations are done behind a persons back, so they don't get a chance to defend themselves or even hear the charges, at which point grains of truth become wildly exaggerated and outright lies begin. The current circus may be a ham fisted hatchet job, but it's in the open and Jimbo is part of the discussion, not excluded from it. There are legitimate questions here. --Duk 18:24, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

This is so healthy to have this conversation here on Wikipedia, and it's long overdue. To Duk - No, assassinations are often carried out in full public view, it is the assassin who is cloaked, in fact often the man who pulls the trigger is the hired help. For all we know, that may be the case here. I'm no great admirer of J Wales, but (a) fiddling with his mistresses biography has not been proved, and even of it were, in the great scheme of things, it only demands a slapped wrist, I do think he has done more good for the project than harm. He's hardly likely to repeat the error - is he? (b) More importantly, never get rid of something, until you have decided what to put in its place. Giano (talk) 18:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
often the man who pulls the trigger is the hired help Good point, but I suppose this isn't the place to speculate about the hatchet man's motives, who's behind him and what deals might have been cut. Maybe the future will tell. --Duk 19:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The point is not did Jimbo do something illegal, but instead what does all this say about Wikipedia governance. The issues raised are not merely illegality and immorality; but also the issues of trustworthiness and leadership based on competence and truthfulness. Secrecy/openness ; lies/truthfulness ; competent/incompetent ; trustworthy/untrustworthy ; good leadership/poor leadership . Jimbo's behavior has generated the belief in some that he is part of the governance problem that the English language Wikipedia has. Are other language Wikipedias better governed? Better Wikipedia governance is the goal here. How do we get there? WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Jimbo, has been operating in a tough world. On of the hardest facts of life is realising that big businesses are not donating money to charitable foundations because they want to help poor little black kiddies in the third world - they are donating their companies profits because it gives them a huge tax break, and makes them look good. Those in charge of donations are not giving away their own money, but they like to be wined and dined and encouraged. I have heard of prospective donors being taken to lap dancing clubs on expenses, as an incentive to donate - and that makes Jimbo's tactics look quite mild, so don't judge him without understanding a little the circus in which he is expected to perform. It's a cruel place, and charity is often the last thing on people's minds, as far as the charity is concerned (Wikipedia) he gets the money in, we have no right to criticise him for the way he has to do it. Giano (talk) 18:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
He gets the money in? The bulk of the money comes from small donations. I wonder if he even raises more money from big businesses than he spends on his travels. Are there any numbers about donations attributable to Wales? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Thing is, sometimes it takes time to cultivate the relationships with big companies to encourage them to spend that money with you. In my line of work, that's how it goes - my boss wines and dines lavishly on the company card while always trying to entice those big corporations to spend their money with us. It's his company, so it's fine for him to do it, but if we're in a position to shmooze someone into a big buy of some sort, we've got carte blanche to do the same thing. That's how the upper levels of corporate life operate, and if Jimbo wants to bring that kind of money in, he's got to work on the same level as the people being shmoozed. Tony Fox (arf!) 19:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
How many years is it supposed to take? So far, he doesn't seem to have been very successful. I can hardly imagine anyone being worse at it. With a leader of a different moral and intellectual caliber, Wikipedia could be in a vastly better position in every respect. But for Wales the measure of success is if the site is ranked high on Alexa, not if it's actually accurate or respected intellectually. He has no credibility whatsoever when he talks about "the child in Africa". In private he is more honest about what he really cares about: "creating a Google killing search engine so I can buy a jet". Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
That kind of information is simply not quantifiable, though given his recognition worldwide as the founder and leader of wikipedia I imagine it will far outweigh what appear to be minor expenses. The NYT said Jimbo was staying in a fleapit in New York while working for the foundation/wikipedia (and was almost certainly the only Time magazine Top 100 influencers who would be seen dead in such a place. I found this far more disturbing than any expenses controversy here. Happy editing, SqueakBox 19:01, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Wil you please stop saying: "happy editing" it's deeply irritating. Giano (talk) 19:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Err its in my automatic signature but I have changed it as you asked so nicely. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:18, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

What matters is pattern, not single incidents: If Mr. Wales has once spent money for wine at an expensive place or getting massage on company expenses, it proves nothing, because you don't really know what the circumstances were at that one time. If however it becomes a pattern and many instances of it are found, it would start telling something about the person. If someone is not competent about his responsibilities, over time, this must show itself again and again. For example, if I am not in general good in finding my way, I get lost often enough. On the other hand, if I get lost once, it does not say anything... Regarding Madrasan matter, I don't know the details so I can not make a judgment. But I'd like to mention some things one has to bear in mind when discussing this: 1. One should not interpret an event at a certain time in the light of later developments. 2. In my personal life, I may casually say things to another person just to be cool. Many discussions, by their nature, are not serious and people say things within the framework defined by that conversation. This does not mean that when the matter becomes serious they would behave the same. If you go out and have a cup of tea with an scholar about his research, he might even exaggerate about it but when it comes to writing the paper, the person will try to be more careful and more serious. 3. Since BLP is an important issue, Jimbo's advice in this instance should be compared with that of his in other instances rather than taken in isolation and criticized. What we are looking here for is double standards rather than correctness. --Be happy!! (talk) 18:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

every free website has an owner. the owner by definition has the keys, the codes, the program access, etc, etc, meaning he can basically do whatever he pleases. if the website does follow some lines of equitability, that is a tribute to the owener's diligence. so in this case, we should not make a big set of rolling critiques, but just let things be. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 18:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

removed BLP concerns --Fredrick day (talk) 21:35, 5 March 2008 (UTC)--MONGO 19:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Giano makes some excellent points here (particularly some of his thoughts on expense accounts and his call for openness regarding the issues), however I do not think there is "no story" from our perspective at the encyclopedia. The press is almost certainly making far too much of this on scant evidence as Giano implies, but that is only to be expected. The world is not fair, and unfortunately for Wikipedia in this case the appearance of impropriety matters nearly as much as any actual impropriety. Fair or not, these press reports make Mr. Wales, and by extension the encyclopedia with which he is so directly associated, look a bit ridiculous. It is entirely possible that they could even have a negative effect on future fundraising efforts both on and off wiki (let's hope not, but it is a possibility - I would also note that the response of Wales and the Foundation to all of this negative press has been inadequate in my opinion, and that needs to change).
Even if there are some strong elements of unfairness and outright inaccuracy in these press reports (and though the facts remain very sketchy at this point that strikes me as incredibly likely), I think it is indisputable that Jimmy made certain choices which directly contributed to this whole brouhaha. He exhibited poor judgment on one or more occasions. Now we all make poor judgments all the time (particularly when it comes to sex and relationships, though for most of us those kind of mistakes thankfully remain fairly private as they should) and as Giano rightly points out "Jimbo has been operating in a tough world." However he is essentially the face of this encyclopedia and as a result must be held to a higher standard in terms of behavior as would any leader (again there might be an element of unfairness to that, but with public notoriety comes much unfairness, among other things).
I could not care less about JW's personal peccadillos in and of them self. We all have them and I'm hardly one to cast the first stone. They only matter inasmuch as they affect the project. In this case there appears to have been at least some short term harm to the project and we need to be honest about that. Jimmy Wales did a wonderful thing by laying the groundwork for Wikipedia and then helping to bring it to where it is today - I think few of us would dispute that. But it is perfectly reasonable for the community to ask questions about his role here given recent events because of course the project is bigger than any of us. We need a lot more concrete information first, but it is possible (indeed likely) that we will need to talk about this more in the immediate and perhaps more distant future. If so we should, as Giano suggests, do so "in an open, honest and frank way," but also in a way which shows at least as much respect for Jimmy Wales and his privacy as we would hope others would show for us in a similar situation. There's no need to personalize any of this or linger on salacious details, all that matters is the good of the encyclopedia going forward.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:39, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Giano is correct that there appears to be no story here regarding Jimmy Wales. The only story is that regarding the Wikipedia community. We have seen, largely: (a) editors working themselves into a tizz of excitement in their enthusiasm for descending into the gutter of tabloid sensationalism; (b) editors thrashing about in the water with the taste of blood in their mouths; (c) faux gnashing of teeth about "governance" and related matters. This is not a comment on individual editors, but on the generally poor reaction of the community insofar as they have responded to this "issue." It would be totally understandable were Mr Wales tempted to throw in the towel in such circumstances: who would wish to subject themselves to this kind of unpleasantness? But such an outcome would be the worst possible for Wikipedia. BCST2001 (talk) 20:56, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Giano - this is not a story..... about Jimbo. Since the audit came out, there has been a discussion on WikBack about the surprisingly large amount that the foundation has spent on travel. I think this points to a problem with the foundation's culture, more than to a problem with Jimbo personally. —Random832 21:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Large travel expenses are not themselves to be the source of controversy especially if they are only using business class flights etc, ie not going first class and staying only in the best suites in the plushest hotels. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
From what I've seen, I think the board's problem was lack of professional knowledge; which is now being solved with the hiring of Sue etc. Also remember that Wikipedia is an innovative new thing, an unexpected huge success. It was supposed to be just an experiment, a white-board for stuff that would go on Nupedia. This has been a wild unexpected ride from the start. It is not surprising that it has taken time to get things squared away. That Wikipedia works at all is what is so surprising. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • There is a lot of sense in what Was is saying. From what I can see, and I'm getting tired of telling them this, they need better public relations people, this whole non-story could have, and should have, been solved before it hit the press big time. It's time to kick out the amateurs and hire some professionals, the project seems to function on the premise that because it relies on charitable donations it has to act in a parsimonious way, this is crap. It may impress the little people, but the big donors will not be impressed by Jimbo arriving on a bicycle wearing that disgusting soiled T-shirt, (thank God she's sold it) and looking "ever so humble." I think there a lot of lessons to be learn from the last few days, but there's a great deal of truth in the expression "better the devil you know" people here would do well to remember that, especially when looking at the way the "alternatives" have behaved recently. Giano (talk) 22:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
WAS has long called for a higher level of professionalism and I heartily endorse this. WAS suggested once Jimbo get paid advisers re his reputation and while Jimbo rejected the idea if my memory serves me correctly I still think it is an excellent idea. "Jimbo's reputation affects the encyclopedia" is unquestionably a truism, more now than ever. I would like to see WF money spent on this kind of thing, professionalism is essential when you are running something as successful as wikipedia. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
"Paid advisers re his reputation" to whitewash his defects? How about, instead, having a leader who is beyond reproach in the first place? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:46, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, if he really was a God-King then perhaps. I am not talking about whitewashing and I realise that as humans we are limited. But I would add that IMO Jimbo has created a wonderfvul project using his own cash and we should in no way punish him for this by demanding impossible to meet standards. Your idea smacks to me of the kind of amateurishness that is simply no longer acceptable. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The limited amount of cash he put in (so long as he paid, there was only a single server) he has recouped many times over, by the means I mentioned above. There is no debt of gratitude for anything. And if the standards that can be expected of his position are impossible for him to meet, he should just make way for someone else, I don't see any "punishment" there (nor do I see what "amateurishness" you talk about). Since he wasn't chosen by anyone, pretty much anyone who would be deliberately selected for the post would be better. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet, when I was young I was idealistic too, but sadly that aint he way the world works, Wikipedia is big international business, if it lags in this department it will undoubtedly fail. All big companies need a little help with their image, and ours is no exception. There have been too many mistakes lately, all of which were avoidable, it's easy to blame the most visible person, but that is not often the fairest option. In my experience someone only allows themselves to be made a fool of once. Time to move on. Giano (talk) 23:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet, people of whom the highest standards are expected right now are McCain, Clinton and Obama. And they are surrounded by advisers, to be perfect and have no advisers is simply unrealistic. I couldn't advise Jimbo professionally but I know what being professional means in the context of wikipedia and now is the time to move up a gear and get more professional. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:NOT the United States. We don't need someone who's perfect, but to suggest that with anyone other than Wales there would be the same issues is a cynical view that I don't share. A decent leader can make honest mistakes, and those won't be a problem, but certain other things just won't happen. I don't see why Wikipedia would "undoubtedly fail" without image advisers. This would just add more to the secrecy and dishonesty which there is already too much of. Just think of the ridiculous embarrassment caused by Florence's attempt to whitewash the money issue toward the AP, only to proceed to berate Wales in private (and tell how she persuaded the AP that "the money story was a no story"), which of course was leaked back to AP. This way you don't get a good reputation. You can't "PR" yourself out of everything. Have decent people in charge, and then there won't be such issues in the first place and you can be open and honest about everything. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Giano extinguished this thread when he started it. No story. It's up to the board, per the three comments immediately above (by DTM stamp). Franamax (talk) 22:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • What Giano said. Only louder, of course, being me. Guy (Help!) 23:10, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Echoing Giano, JzG and others, I think we should reserve judgement on Jimbo for now and see how he and the rest of the board handles this, i.e. what lessons they learn from it and how they correct anything that needs correcting. Cla68 (talk) 23:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Not quite that simple! I want to know who is leaking the dirt, Florence's emails etc. and then they need firing! Jimbo has been a fool, but the incontinent one has deliberatly tried to cause trouble and bring the project into disrepute - and with some success. That was a deliberate act of malice, they need the boot and they need it fast, they will always have their simering resentment looking for the next opportunity. Giano (talk) 23:45, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, on that issue there has been some commentary about it in someone's blog: [7] (scroll down to "On Leaks"). Cla68 (talk) 00:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Welcome to corporate life. The knives will always be flashing in the background. This is a board responsibility. Us shareholders can only decide whether to hold or sell. We can also make our views loudly known, as we are doing here. This is the place to make the board aware of the dissatisfaction, I'm sure by now they have gotten the message. Franamax (talk) 00:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh well, this is something Jimbo has to sort out for himself, first rule of business is know your enemies, if after all this has not sussed them, and determined to be rid of them, there is little anyone can do for him. This story should now die a death very soon, it has now been thoroughly aired here, where it should have been in the first place. No doubt Madame Marsden will ramble on an around the internet with some more lurid details for a few more days, but we are a cosmopolitan bunch, I'm sure we won't be shocked - the rest of the story is just hype, misunderstanding and ignorance. Now I'm gong to bed - to sleep! Giano (talk) 00:33, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Don't you think discussing someone's sex life on their own talk page is incredibly rude? What are you expecting to achieve, that they join in and discuss their sex life with you?
  • If someone is accused of misuse of expenses, why don't you go and formally ask the board or the person that deals with expenses to investigate it, rather than having a long discussion about it on their talk page. That would be the fair thing to do wouldn't it, both for the people that donated the money and the person being accused?
  • If someone has been accused of exerting their influence on an article when they have a conflict of interest, why don't you just use the policies that were designed to deal with that? If you believe the policies are there for a reason shouldn't you make sure they are used to investigated the alleged conflict of interest in the appropriate forum so they can be dismissed as just an allegation or accepted as a genuine conflict of interest. Wouldn't that be fairer than having long conversations on the person's talk page? AntHolnes (talk) 02:17, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Hey! I have an idea. Instead of blathering on and on about the "ethics" or "legality" or "story" surrounding this, why don't we just let the donors decide? Later this year, there will be another annual fund campaign. Let's see if the 14 of you who think that this was no big deal can pony up the $1.4 million to match last year's campaign, because there sure as hell won't be any donors among the millions of people who are coming to a different conclusion about this. And then we can all get some shut-eye? - SHeEpIsHlY i NaP (talk) 02:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
This section, being started and populated by Jimbo's most vocal critics, is little more than cheap shots and trolling under the guise of "community concern." The feigned lack of interest shown by its source is belied by its the rush to create this section, its length and the palpable schadenfreude oozing out here. The discussion serves no legitimate purpose; there is nothing it can resolve or cast new light upon. This being so, I'm archiving it and notifying the responsible parties here to move along and limit their discussion on this topic to fora off the project and not stir up any more drama here. FeloniousMonk (talk) 05:00, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
You know what, FeloniousMonk - I find your statement quite absurd. This is a matter that affects Wikipedia, and it should indeed be discussed on Wikipedia rather than some indirectly related forum. When the people you refer to as "Jimbo's most vocal critics" are willing to show good faith to the man, even more good faith than many of the people who have been closely associated with him for many years, perhaps it is a sign that even his critics know when it is time to put aside the hurtful words and to stand with him when he's having mud thrown at him unjustifiably. It is telling that this is the single most supportive thread on Wikipedia, Wikback or wiki-en-L, and recognizes Jimbo's contributions for what they are. It is a lot harder for Jimbo's critics to write in support of Jimbo than it has been for many people to take potshots at him over the last few days. Risker (talk) 05:11, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Marsden statement

I have decided to make a public statement about this issue. - (2:49, 2 March 2008 Jimbo Wales)

above signing added by WAS 4.250 (talk) 03:24, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Just as a suggestion, you might want to turn OTRS into a link for anyone unfamiliar with their role. --Fredrick day (talk) 03:08, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Or you could just do it here. WP:OTRS ~Kylu (u|t) 04:26, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
About the wording of the statement: It doesn't appear "gentlemanly" to me for you to mention a woman's name and a statement about your "sex life" in the same sentence unless the woman has revealed the details first and usually not even then. Using "personal life", "love life", "private life", "romantic life", "dating life", etc can convey the same meaning, but they all sound more respectful and let other women know that you're not a blabber mouth. What woman wants to have sex with a man if she suspects that he's going to come out and talk about his sex life, (and use her name) on Wikipedia? Uncle uncle uncle (talk) 06:35, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Deleting comment per WP:BLP. BCST2001 (talk) 23:17, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Actually she hasn't been in court cases spanning her entire adult life. Of the five people who have claimed publicly that Marsden has harassed them, only one case went to court. (I am not counting Jimbo among the five). Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 03:22, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
We disagree. I invite anyone who wishes to know more to google her name. It's all on the web. From her years at university to fall of 2007. WAS 4.250 (talk) 08:05, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
"Friends With Benefits life, perhaps?--70.185.113.212 (talk) 14:03, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
Aye, I would hope that Jimmy checked with the women in question, before announcing details about everyone's private lives in a public fashion. Generally the best way to deal with tabloid journalism is to just ignore it, not to dignify it with a response. :/ --Elonka 06:53, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
See my comment above. WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:22, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
(in response to Kylu) Indeed, and that will help for the people who access it via this page, and who read the comments below the link, but many people (particularly news organisations) may well be linked directly to it, or linked to it via another page, and not realise what OTRS is, and we all know how dangerous it is when tabloid-esque media sources do stories about Wikipedia without proper research. The sentence introducing them in the statement almost makes it sound like some secretive backstage group that noone knows about. Of course, it's entirely up to Jimbo if he thinks a link is necessary or not. Dreaded Walrus t c 09:18, 2 March 2008 (UTC)
I would remind Jimmy that WP:NOT#BLOG 78.86.18.55 (talk) 20:25, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
This controversy has effects on Wikipedia, so WP:NOT#BLOG does not apply. Hut 8.5 21:31, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
It shouldn't have effects on wikipedia - it should be treated as any other occurence of this sort would. In any case, tongue was somewhere in the interior of the jowls. 78.86.18.55 (talk) 00:16, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
In any case, it has been moved off the 'pedia to a personal blog - where it belongs. 78.86.18.55 (talk) 00:18, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Quite a few comments on this page have been removed without a history or trace. 64.230.108.48 (talk) 21:27, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia isn't censored for taste, but it is for trolling. Mr.Z-man 23:19, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

A Question

I've got a question: what do you think of this? Basketball110 what famous people say ♣ 18:05, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Hmm, I only glanced at it but I don't have a really strong opinion. Do whatever is usually done in similar cases, would be my general (and probably useless) advice.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:54, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

It's not useless, it just doesn't help. But anyway, I finally spoke to Jimbo Wales, and that's what matters. :) Basketball110 what famous people say ♣ 01:40, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

BLP Issue - Peter Yarrow

Could you take a look at the Peter Yarrow article. There is a editor who has been trying to include negative info about him regarding a 1-time incident that happened nearly 40 years ago. I asked an admin to protect the page, and instead of protecting the page without the neg stuff, he protected it with the negative stuff in the article (including sex offender category even though he should be not labeled as such), and the admin suggested that I not worry about details such as that in the meantime. --Jkp212 (talk) 05:27, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, pages are often protected on The Wrong Version. Dreaded Walrus t c 10:19, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that kind of dismissive response is really appropriate for a BLP issue. —Random832 16:08, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
Apologies. I didn't intend to respond to the entire issue (it's much beyond my scope as an editor and as a person, I feel), just the bit about the version it was protected on. Apologies again if it came off as dismissive, or as a bad-faith response. Mastering the correct tone isn't a strong point of mine, especially over the internet. Dreaded Walrus t c 16:32, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
As I understand it, part of an administrator's job is to weed out unsourced, controversial information on biographies of living people (including on protected pages). In this case, however, the multiple sources cited in the article back up the claim in question, which means the information about his prison time satisfies the requirements of the policy on biographies on living persons.
With regard to his categorization as a sexual offender, I suggest you request an edit on the article's talk page using this template, citing the policy linked above in your argument for the edit. An unrelated administrator will soon be by to handle your request. I can't guarantee that they'll remove it, but that is probably the most effective way to solicit an outside opinion on the matter. --jonny-mt 16:57, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I have taken your advice and requested that edit. Thank you. --Jkp212 (talk) 17:35, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
I reviewed the edit request and determined the underlying material was sufficiently sourced and a sufficiently small part of the article that BLP doesn't require immediate removal over page protection and a discussion. It was clarified that the real concern is about the categories that were added related to the incident. User:Sarcasticidealist didn't see the categories as requiring immediate removal. Best, --Shirahadasha (talk) 19:16, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
This guy is placed under the category of American criminals and American sex offenders. I am not familiar with the case but don't think he should not to be singled out as a notable criminal or a sex offender. --Be happy!! (talk) 22:15, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Questions on your on-wiki handling of the Marsden case

Jimbo,

I am sorry that you are having what must be a difficult week for yourself and your family. You will emerge from this, I think, a better leader of our community. However, I need to ask you some tough questions. I apologize in advance if these come across as curt; I have had a long day. I am posting this because I still believe in Wikipedia. I love this community and I believe there is an real and needed opportunity for healing to take place.

1) Your interventions in 2006

Rachel Marsden first approached me via email two years ago with complaints about her bio. We had never met. I subsequently reviewed her bio and I found it not to be up to our standards. My involvement in cases like this is completely routine, and I am proud of it."[8]

Jimbo, I have a lot of questions about your review of her bio and your involvement in this case. My experience is that it was, by far, the most horrible and inept handling of a case I have ever seen on Wikipedia. See my summary here.

1a) When you reviewed her bio and found it not up to our standards, to what extent did you review the reliable sources on the subject? There are hundreds of top-quality sources, originating in at least eight of the past ten years. Your actions in your personal life, while none of my business in and of themselves, make me wonder if you read the sources. Did you read them?

1b) What exactly was your "involvement" in this case? Did you, for example, advise the Arbitration Commitee on their ruling in 2006?

2) Your edit on January 20 to Talk:Rachel Marsden

Regarding your edit here beginning with "I have concerns about WP:UNDUE in this article..."

2a) This came just three weeks before your one-time meeting with Marsden, on the same date that one of Marsden's friends said that you and Marsden were close friends.[9] Did you have a COI that you should have declared when making this post?

Your post came when the article looked like this, some hours after Rainmaker2005 (talk · contribs), whom I suspect is Mardsen, had attempted to remove sourced material that was unflattering to her.

2b) Regarding your post itself: By what process are editors supposed to determine due weight for this article? By looking at what facts are most emphasized by reliable third-party sources? Or by reference to... what?

3) Banned user

Beginning in late December 2007, there was a resurgence of activity from community-banned user Arthur Ellis, who is a friend of Rachel Marsden. I had never had any difficulty getting his sockpuppets blocked in the past, however on Dec 30 I had to beg on AN/I for over two days to have his IP blocked, during which time Moreschi and Thatcher made several posts about Arthur Ellis's good work on the Rachel Marsden article. [10] I e-mailed FloNight and asked why Arthur Ellis was seemingly not being treated like an ordinary banned user. I emphasized that I believed Arthur Ellis's sockpuppets were responsible for posting obscene vandalism to my userspace and that I wanted us to send an unequivocal message to this creep that he is not welcome here. FloNight she said she would look into it. We exchanged some messages and she asked me if she could forward my messages to the Arbitration Committee mailing list, which of course you belong to. I agreed on January 5. I never heard back from any of you.

Over the next few weeks Arthur Ellis's IPs and socks kept up their presence here,[11] voting in Rachel Marsden-related deletion discussions, editing the Simon Fraser University 1997 harassment controversy article, creating hoax articles,[12] stalking User:Victoriagirl and undoing her edits,[13] vandalizing Victoriagirl's userpage, vandalizing my userpage, and following me to the Sea otter article I was working on and vandalizing our article on sea otters.

I imagined that someone from the Arbitration Commitee might post a note on one of the admin noticeboards to the effect of, "In case anyone's wondering, yes Arthur Ellis is hardbanned," but I didn't see any of that. What I did see is Arthur Ellis saying on January 1 that "I know Jimbo is taking a personal interest in this."[14] and saying on January 20 that "I"m also talking to Jimbo via Facebook. Apparently he and Marsden are close friends."[15]

Jimbo, have you had off-wiki discussions with Rachel Marsden's friend Arthur Ellis, and if yes, what was the nature of those discussions? Have you ever given anything that could be construed as a signal that edits from this community-banned troll might be tolerated?

Yours respectfully, Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 08:52, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Clayoquot's Marsden Obsession

Before taking the above interogation seriously, Jimbo and everyone else should take a long trip through Clayoquot's editing record and her blog to see her POV pushing regarding Marsden and her crying wolf re: Ellis 64.230.101.115 (talk)

No story!

I hope no one reverts me here because this is very pertinent to Wikipedia's current affairs, and I'm posting as I want this to be widely read,both inside and outside Wikipedia. I think I am the person with the Wiki-knowledge and standing to say this. I have been asked by the press for my views, so I thought it would be honest, and correct, to publish them here.

Over the last few days like many others I have smiled at J Wales discomfort, and as you all know I don't have a huge amount of respect for him, so bearing that in mind, I hope you will all take to heart what I'm about to say, I have read all the gossip both the titilatious and the libellous - and in my opinion: There is no story. I first heard the rumours concerning his marriage and finances before Christmas, and the fact I dismissed them should tell you all something. I also have heard that many close to him would like to stick a knife in his back, so perhaps that should be born in mind too. An awful lot of emails do seem to go astray don't they? In fact, I have never seen such a badly organized, ham fisted and amateur assassination attempt in my life, and I've seen a few. Let's look at the facts:

He's been caught with his trousers down looking stupid, if that was an impeachable and serious offence the world would be devoid of half its leaders. In my opinion it's a huge pity she is not selling all his clothes, he's a scruffy looking bastard, and the prestige of Wikipedia would be improved if he invested in a couple of Italian suits, and you see, it is the prestige of Wikipedia that brings me to the details of the expense account - again no impeachable story. For the benefit of those who don't have huge expense accounts let me spell out a few unsavoury truths.

When on company business, if your expenditure improves (in your opinion) the prestige and value of the company - you can spend what you like, if your dining with an important client you give him Montrachet to drink not Australian, or Californian, chardonnay. Similarly, if on tour and you have back pain, one can justify a massage on company expenses to keep the tour going. It matters not, that some of us may think he could have been more frugal, and that massage has connotations, if he says the expenses were justified that is the end of the story. You can spend what you like, so long as you believe that expenditure will benefit in some way the company. That is all he has to say - and he will say that. He has not been caught with his fingers in the cash box.

There is not an Chief Executive alive, of any major company, who has not been berated by the Finance Secretary for losing receipts, when you are busy you shove them in pockets, then the suit (or those scruffy jeans) goes to the dry cleaners etc. etc. etc. - you get out of a taxi in a hurry and don't even pick the receipt up - for some daft reason I store them in hotel ash trays and then the chambermaid throws them away... this whole business is ludicrous.

Has he influenced the content of the Marsden page, in my opinion, yes, he probably has. However, I don't see any concrete evidence of it. and even if he has, it is not a serious enough crime for the torrents of abuse and publicity he is receiving - a warning from the Arbcom on his page is sufficient if that is ever proved.

I have not read or heard of one word, that would stand up in any court against him. If people want to get rid of Jimbo, they are going to have to find something more concrete than this - being a very poor judge of character is all he is guilty of, and that is not enough. The many millions of words written on this subject amount to nothing. Those that seek to be rid of him, have overplayed their cards - they did not even have enough points for an opening bid.

He may feel he has to resign over this, if he does not, and in my view, he need not, and people still want to be rid of J Wales, or curb his powers, it has to be done in an open, honest and frank way. The current state of affairs demeans the whole encyclopedia. Giano (talk) 14:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Dammit, Giano, you are too good for ArbCom... LessHeard vanU (talk) 14:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Who knew I'd be agreeing with Giano? Fortunately embarrassment is a non-fatal illness. Chin up. AKAF (talk) 14:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, that makes no sense at all. Whoever said there was, or had to be, something "that would stand up in any court against him"? Any unethical behaviour is fine so long as it's legal? There are many issues here that need more, not less, discussion. "You can spend what you like" may be accepted practice at big companies, but surely not for a donation-funded foundation. Given that people may well ask what Jimbo's expensive travelling is supposed to be good for in the first place, donors will surely not like him to buy $300 bottles of wine and try to pass the cost to the foundation - which, apparently, he didn't get away with but tried (if this accusation wasn't true, he could, and probably would, sue Danny for libel, but his deafening silence on the whole affair speaks for itself). The COI on Marsden is another issue. He didn't edit the article himself, but told her how he usually has other people fix things for him and sure enough he notified (through a secret mailing list) people who he knows will do his bidding. In isolation, any of those things might be forgivable, especially if he were admitting to it. But if you consider his entire history of dishonesty - from the "sole founder" nonsense to the bizarre contradictions about his own birth date - you just get a pattern. As Florence Devouard told him: "I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past... Get a grip!" Yes, this should all be discussed in an open, honest and frank way - I don't know who you're accusing of doing it in a dishonest way. I think it's Jimbo himself, not the discussion about him, that's demeaning the whole project. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 16:21, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The OTRS mailing list is not a "secret mailing list". It's discussed openly on numerous pages including on the OTRS pages. [16] Just because you don't know about something or haven't bothered to investigate it does not make it "secret". People on OTRS have very wide-ranging opinions about Jimmy, same as on Wikipedia, and your claim that they are people he knows will do his "bidding" is really insulting. Sarah 16:39, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The existence of the OTRS list is not secret, but its contents are secret. What Jimbo tells people there is not on the public record but has a strong influence because no one will dare go against Jimbo (given that he can ban, and has banned, people without being accountable to anyone). It's enough that some will do his bidding; the others will simply do nothing. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 17:23, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The contents are not public due to the privacy policy and the banning argument is a straw man, what would he do, ban the whole OTRS team if no one responded the way he liked? Mr.Z-man 18:14, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Someone will always respond, there are plenty who treat him like a cult leader. He doesn't ban those who do nothing, but he might well ban those who'd do the opposite of what he says. The whole privacy and BLP policy was largely pushed by Wales and shows his priorities. The overall accuracy problem of Wikipedia is not an issue for him. And it's OK to slander dead people - they can't sue. But there has to be a special policy for living people - for the sole reason of avoiding lawsuits, while otherwise maintaining the fiction of Wikipedia's splendidly-working "openness". Strange how biographies of living people need a special policy to remain free of major bullshit, whereas all other articles somehow by themselves, according to "studies" Wales will happily tout, remain as accurate as Britannica's. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Please point me to one instance where he's banned someone for not doing what he said. I would hope he would ban someone for doing the opposite though in this case. If he asked it to be cleaned up per WP:BLP, the opposite would be to make it more defamatory, again, your argument about him using his power as leverage does not hold water. Heaven forbid his priorities should be protecting people's privacy, protecting the foundation from lawsuits, and protecting people from defamation - that's far too un-internet. I would suggest you actually read Wikipedia's policies before trying to use them in arguments like this. It's not okay to slander anyone and all facts in articles must be verifiable and written from a neutral point of view. Which type of article subject is more likely to be the victim of actual defamation (and yes, sue people): a living celebrity, a dead celebrity, or an inanimate object? Mr.Z-man 19:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Funny how you just assume when he says there's a BLP issue, that there must be actual defamation, as opposed to some perfectly true and well-sourced facts which just happen to reflect negatively on a person, as is often the case when some people cry "BLP!" So the opposite I referred to would be to reinstate such material when Wales called for its removal. Usually it doesn't come to a ban, because people know the game. Even if he just "politely requests" something, people understand that it is an order. Once when some people, including admins, refused to do what he wanted, he was wheel-warring with them and finally desysopped them - for "wheel warring" no less. Accused of hypocrisy, he explained that "it is simply not possible for me to wheel war" presumably because his unique power allows him always to prevail. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet Abercrombie, has he been unethical? Is there any proof, he has been unethical? - I think not. He can be a serial adulterer and philanderer, but quite frankly that's none of our business, our concern is what he does with Wikipedia not his willy. It's his expense account, he gets to choose how to expend. The source of the company's income is inconsequental, so long as his expenditure is for the benefit of the company. You may think the way he spends is odd, I don't, if you are wining and dining clients, especially in Europe, it has to be done with style and panache. Regarding Danny, I think you have to read what Danny said exactly and precisely, Danny was merely detailing fact, I am explaining how those facts, I suspect, came to be, and putting them in context. And yes, we do seem to know a lot about all these internal emails don't we. This is all looking like a boardroom squabble, and power game. If someone thinks it's time for us to have a new leader, then let's see an honest selection process, not a new leader emerging from the boardroom already on suspicion of underhand and devious behaviour.Giano (talk) 16:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't care about his philandering, but to say "it's his expense account" is ridiculous and obviously Florence and others at the Foundation disagreed with the notion that he can choose how to expend. I certainly don't think his expenditures benefit the "company". And I would like to see an honest selection process, but that would require Jimbo to abdicate the role first - or be deposed. The very problem here is that he never took an adequate title, instead making it seem that his authority was just one naturally flowing from being "the founder" - when in fact it was based for the longest time on the hard legal authority he had by controlling the Board which he had stacked with his business partners. Only when his position seemed entrenched enough, he allowed the Board to get somewhat more representative. But even Florence will probably resist the idea of declaring the leadership position vacant, fearing the bad PR. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 17:23, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • It is very much his expense account, the board are perfectly entitled to question his expenses, but when he is away on business he legitimately decides how to use that account. I have seen no proof that he used that account for any non-legitimate purposes - have you? The fact that you would have used the account in a different fashion is neither here nor there. What you think of his expenditure is equally meaningless, you were not there. I expect that someone somewhere is clearly hoping Jimbo will abdicate/resign over all this, and then they can step neatly into his shoes. I'm afraid, stacking a board with allies is very common business practice, and often good sense, his mistake seems to have been feeling entrenched enough to let others in. whatever you and others think, Jimbo has done nothing wrong legally or ethically wrong - That is a fact, and no amount of word play, or puritanical philosophy is going to alter that. Giano (talk) 17:36, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
That is not a fact. Ethics are debatable. Obviously you think he did nothing wrong ethically; well, I think he did. I don't think "common business practice" (i.e. pursuing one's self-interest to the legal limit, without any ethical constraints except where they coincide with PR concerns) should be the yardstick for nonprofit foundations. Your argument boils down to "he was the founder, he could do what he wanted." Perhaps you even want to repeat the curious argument I've seen Erik make - commending Wales for even setting up the Foundation, as if he could just have kept Wikipedia running under Bomis. The fact is it was losing him money, no one would have donated to a private company, and ads would have prompted an early fork. So what he did is set up the foundation, get relieved of the financial burden, but still keep authority and then convert his Wikipedia clout into financial gain elsewhere (speaking fees, Wikia, and, apparently, trying to dip into foundation funds when he needed a new washing machine). It is plain to me that Wales' main driving force (obvious enough for a Randian) is pure self-interest (which his ideology allows him to somehow define as "enlightened" and good etc. and so pass by his conscience). I for one don't think that's the appropriate mindset for a leader of something that calls itself a charity. But that may well be just my "puritanical philosophy" - so you are free to disagree. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I think Giano is clearly correct in his arguments here. Happy editing, SqueakBox 17:46, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for this profound contribution, SqueakBox. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Only made after reading the whole thread, Bramlet. Happy editing, SqueakBox 18:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Happy editing! Because of Jimbo and the Arbonauts I'm not editing. However, I am clarifying a few obvious facts that nobobody else seems to be capable of doing here. I'm quite happy for people to get a good kicking, but only when it's justified. Giano (talk) 17:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Giano, you mention "I have not read or heard of one word, that would stand up in any court against him". This is about quality of leadership, not courts of law. But sure, this story is "no story at all" and is getting play outside of Wikipedia only because of its titillating nature.

But here, on the wiki, there is a fair question of leadership. Neutrality is one of our core principals, so influencing the RM article in an unseemly way by our leader is a big thing to me, much as using the admin-only irc chat room to run down Larry Sanger, behind his back, and influencing that article for what seemed to be petty, selfish reasons. Jimbo, are these logs accurate? [17], [18]

Danny claims that $7,000 of reimbursement was re-labeled as "donations". Jimbo, is that accurate and did you deduct that $7,000 on your income tax as a Donation? That could be very serious for the Foundation.

Giano, you mention "assassination". In my experience character assassinations are done behind a persons back, so they don't get a chance to defend themselves or even hear the charges, at which point grains of truth become wildly exaggerated and outright lies begin. The current circus may be a ham fisted hatchet job, but it's in the open and Jimbo is part of the discussion, not excluded from it. There are legitimate questions here. --Duk 18:24, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

This is so healthy to have this conversation here on Wikipedia, and it's long overdue. To Duk - No, assassinations are often carried out in full public view, it is the assassin who is cloaked, in fact often the man who pulls the trigger is the hired help. For all we know, that may be the case here. I'm no great admirer of J Wales, but (a) fiddling with his mistresses biography has not been proved, and even of it were, in the great scheme of things, it only demands a slapped wrist, I do think he has done more good for the project than harm. He's hardly likely to repeat the error - is he? (b) More importantly, never get rid of something, until you have decided what to put in its place. Giano (talk) 18:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
often the man who pulls the trigger is the hired help Good point, but I suppose this isn't the place to speculate about the hatchet man's motives, who's behind him and what deals might have been cut. Maybe the future will tell. --Duk 19:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The point is not did Jimbo do something illegal, but instead what does all this say about Wikipedia governance. The issues raised are not merely illegality and immorality; but also the issues of trustworthiness and leadership based on competence and truthfulness. Secrecy/openness ; lies/truthfulness ; competent/incompetent ; trustworthy/untrustworthy ; good leadership/poor leadership . Jimbo's behavior has generated the belief in some that he is part of the governance problem that the English language Wikipedia has. Are other language Wikipedias better governed? Better Wikipedia governance is the goal here. How do we get there? WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Jimbo, has been operating in a tough world. On of the hardest facts of life is realising that big businesses are not donating money to charitable foundations because they want to help poor little black kiddies in the third world - they are donating their companies profits because it gives them a huge tax break, and makes them look good. Those in charge of donations are not giving away their own money, but they like to be wined and dined and encouraged. I have heard of prospective donors being taken to lap dancing clubs on expenses, as an incentive to donate - and that makes Jimbo's tactics look quite mild, so don't judge him without understanding a little the circus in which he is expected to perform. It's a cruel place, and charity is often the last thing on people's minds, as far as the charity is concerned (Wikipedia) he gets the money in, we have no right to criticise him for the way he has to do it. Giano (talk) 18:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
He gets the money in? The bulk of the money comes from small donations. I wonder if he even raises more money from big businesses than he spends on his travels. Are there any numbers about donations attributable to Wales? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Thing is, sometimes it takes time to cultivate the relationships with big companies to encourage them to spend that money with you. In my line of work, that's how it goes - my boss wines and dines lavishly on the company card while always trying to entice those big corporations to spend their money with us. It's his company, so it's fine for him to do it, but if we're in a position to shmooze someone into a big buy of some sort, we've got carte blanche to do the same thing. That's how the upper levels of corporate life operate, and if Jimbo wants to bring that kind of money in, he's got to work on the same level as the people being shmoozed. Tony Fox (arf!) 19:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
How many years is it supposed to take? So far, he doesn't seem to have been very successful. I can hardly imagine anyone being worse at it. With a leader of a different moral and intellectual caliber, Wikipedia could be in a vastly better position in every respect. But for Wales the measure of success is if the site is ranked high on Alexa, not if it's actually accurate or respected intellectually. He has no credibility whatsoever when he talks about "the child in Africa". In private he is more honest about what he really cares about: "creating a Google killing search engine so I can buy a jet". Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
That kind of information is simply not quantifiable, though given his recognition worldwide as the founder and leader of wikipedia I imagine it will far outweigh what appear to be minor expenses. The NYT said Jimbo was staying in a fleapit in New York while working for the foundation/wikipedia (and was almost certainly the only Time magazine Top 100 influencers who would be seen dead in such a place. I found this far more disturbing than any expenses controversy here. Happy editing, SqueakBox 19:01, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Wil you please stop saying: "happy editing" it's deeply irritating. Giano (talk) 19:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Err its in my automatic signature but I have changed it as you asked so nicely. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:18, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

What matters is pattern, not single incidents: If Mr. Wales has once spent money for wine at an expensive place or getting massage on company expenses, it proves nothing, because you don't really know what the circumstances were at that one time. If however it becomes a pattern and many instances of it are found, it would start telling something about the person. If someone is not competent about his responsibilities, over time, this must show itself again and again. For example, if I am not in general good in finding my way, I get lost often enough. On the other hand, if I get lost once, it does not say anything... Regarding Madrasan matter, I don't know the details so I can not make a judgment. But I'd like to mention some things one has to bear in mind when discussing this: 1. One should not interpret an event at a certain time in the light of later developments. 2. In my personal life, I may casually say things to another person just to be cool. Many discussions, by their nature, are not serious and people say things within the framework defined by that conversation. This does not mean that when the matter becomes serious they would behave the same. If you go out and have a cup of tea with an scholar about his research, he might even exaggerate about it but when it comes to writing the paper, the person will try to be more careful and more serious. 3. Since BLP is an important issue, Jimbo's advice in this instance should be compared with that of his in other instances rather than taken in isolation and criticized. What we are looking here for is double standards rather than correctness. --Be happy!! (talk) 18:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

every free website has an owner. the owner by definition has the keys, the codes, the program access, etc, etc, meaning he can basically do whatever he pleases. if the website does follow some lines of equitability, that is a tribute to the owener's diligence. so in this case, we should not make a big set of rolling critiques, but just let things be. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 18:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

removed BLP concerns --Fredrick day (talk) 21:35, 5 March 2008 (UTC)--MONGO 19:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Giano makes some excellent points here (particularly some of his thoughts on expense accounts and his call for openness regarding the issues), however I do not think there is "no story" from our perspective at the encyclopedia. The press is almost certainly making far too much of this on scant evidence as Giano implies, but that is only to be expected. The world is not fair, and unfortunately for Wikipedia in this case the appearance of impropriety matters nearly as much as any actual impropriety. Fair or not, these press reports make Mr. Wales, and by extension the encyclopedia with which he is so directly associated, look a bit ridiculous. It is entirely possible that they could even have a negative effect on future fundraising efforts both on and off wiki (let's hope not, but it is a possibility - I would also note that the response of Wales and the Foundation to all of this negative press has been inadequate in my opinion, and that needs to change).
Even if there are some strong elements of unfairness and outright inaccuracy in these press reports (and though the facts remain very sketchy at this point that strikes me as incredibly likely), I think it is indisputable that Jimmy made certain choices which directly contributed to this whole brouhaha. He exhibited poor judgment on one or more occasions. Now we all make poor judgments all the time (particularly when it comes to sex and relationships, though for most of us those kind of mistakes thankfully remain fairly private as they should) and as Giano rightly points out "Jimbo has been operating in a tough world." However he is essentially the face of this encyclopedia and as a result must be held to a higher standard in terms of behavior as would any leader (again there might be an element of unfairness to that, but with public notoriety comes much unfairness, among other things).
I could not care less about JW's personal peccadillos in and of them self. We all have them and I'm hardly one to cast the first stone. They only matter inasmuch as they affect the project. In this case there appears to have been at least some short term harm to the project and we need to be honest about that. Jimmy Wales did a wonderful thing by laying the groundwork for Wikipedia and then helping to bring it to where it is today - I think few of us would dispute that. But it is perfectly reasonable for the community to ask questions about his role here given recent events because of course the project is bigger than any of us. We need a lot more concrete information first, but it is possible (indeed likely) that we will need to talk about this more in the immediate and perhaps more distant future. If so we should, as Giano suggests, do so "in an open, honest and frank way," but also in a way which shows at least as much respect for Jimmy Wales and his privacy as we would hope others would show for us in a similar situation. There's no need to personalize any of this or linger on salacious details, all that matters is the good of the encyclopedia going forward.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:39, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Giano is correct that there appears to be no story here regarding Jimmy Wales. The only story is that regarding the Wikipedia community. We have seen, largely: (a) editors working themselves into a tizz of excitement in their enthusiasm for descending into the gutter of tabloid sensationalism; (b) editors thrashing about in the water with the taste of blood in their mouths; (c) faux gnashing of teeth about "governance" and related matters. This is not a comment on individual editors, but on the generally poor reaction of the community insofar as they have responded to this "issue." It would be totally understandable were Mr Wales tempted to throw in the towel in such circumstances: who would wish to subject themselves to this kind of unpleasantness? But such an outcome would be the worst possible for Wikipedia. BCST2001 (talk) 20:56, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Giano - this is not a story..... about Jimbo. Since the audit came out, there has been a discussion on WikBack about the surprisingly large amount that the foundation has spent on travel. I think this points to a problem with the foundation's culture, more than to a problem with Jimbo personally. —Random832 21:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Large travel expenses are not themselves to be the source of controversy especially if they are only using business class flights etc, ie not going first class and staying only in the best suites in the plushest hotels. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
From what I've seen, I think the board's problem was lack of professional knowledge; which is now being solved with the hiring of Sue etc. Also remember that Wikipedia is an innovative new thing, an unexpected huge success. It was supposed to be just an experiment, a white-board for stuff that would go on Nupedia. This has been a wild unexpected ride from the start. It is not surprising that it has taken time to get things squared away. That Wikipedia works at all is what is so surprising. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • There is a lot of sense in what Was is saying. From what I can see, and I'm getting tired of telling them this, they need better public relations people, this whole non-story could have, and should have, been solved before it hit the press big time. It's time to kick out the amateurs and hire some professionals, the project seems to function on the premise that because it relies on charitable donations it has to act in a parsimonious way, this is crap. It may impress the little people, but the big donors will not be impressed by Jimbo arriving on a bicycle wearing that disgusting soiled T-shirt, (thank God she's sold it) and looking "ever so humble." I think there a lot of lessons to be learn from the last few days, but there's a great deal of truth in the expression "better the devil you know" people here would do well to remember that, especially when looking at the way the "alternatives" have behaved recently. Giano (talk) 22:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
WAS has long called for a higher level of professionalism and I heartily endorse this. WAS suggested once Jimbo get paid advisers re his reputation and while Jimbo rejected the idea if my memory serves me correctly I still think it is an excellent idea. "Jimbo's reputation affects the encyclopedia" is unquestionably a truism, more now than ever. I would like to see WF money spent on this kind of thing, professionalism is essential when you are running something as successful as wikipedia. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
"Paid advisers re his reputation" to whitewash his defects? How about, instead, having a leader who is beyond reproach in the first place? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:46, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, if he really was a God-King then perhaps. I am not talking about whitewashing and I realise that as humans we are limited. But I would add that IMO Jimbo has created a wonderfvul project using his own cash and we should in no way punish him for this by demanding impossible to meet standards. Your idea smacks to me of the kind of amateurishness that is simply no longer acceptable. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The limited amount of cash he put in (so long as he paid, there was only a single server) he has recouped many times over, by the means I mentioned above. There is no debt of gratitude for anything. And if the standards that can be expected of his position are impossible for him to meet, he should just make way for someone else, I don't see any "punishment" there (nor do I see what "amateurishness" you talk about). Since he wasn't chosen by anyone, pretty much anyone who would be deliberately selected for the post would be better. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet, when I was young I was idealistic too, but sadly that aint he way the world works, Wikipedia is big international business, if it lags in this department it will undoubtedly fail. All big companies need a little help with their image, and ours is no exception. There have been too many mistakes lately, all of which were avoidable, it's easy to blame the most visible person, but that is not often the fairest option. In my experience someone only allows themselves to be made a fool of once. Time to move on. Giano (talk) 23:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet, people of whom the highest standards are expected right now are McCain, Clinton and Obama. And they are surrounded by advisers, to be perfect and have no advisers is simply unrealistic. I couldn't advise Jimbo professionally but I know what being professional means in the context of wikipedia and now is the time to move up a gear and get more professional. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:NOT the United States. We don't need someone who's perfect, but to suggest that with anyone other than Wales there would be the same issues is a cynical view that I don't share. A decent leader can make honest mistakes, and those won't be a problem, but certain other things just won't happen. I don't see why Wikipedia would "undoubtedly fail" without image advisers. This would just add more to the secrecy and dishonesty which there is already too much of. Just think of the ridiculous embarrassment caused by Florence's attempt to whitewash the money issue toward the AP, only to proceed to berate Wales in private (and tell how she persuaded the AP that "the money story was a no story"), which of course was leaked back to AP. This way you don't get a good reputation. You can't "PR" yourself out of everything. Have decent people in charge, and then there won't be such issues in the first place and you can be open and honest about everything. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Giano extinguished this thread when he started it. No story. It's up to the board, per the three comments immediately above (by DTM stamp). Franamax (talk) 22:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • What Giano said. Only louder, of course, being me. Guy (Help!) 23:10, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Echoing Giano, JzG and others, I think we should reserve judgement on Jimbo for now and see how he and the rest of the board handles this, i.e. what lessons they learn from it and how they correct anything that needs correcting. Cla68 (talk) 23:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Not quite that simple! I want to know who is leaking the dirt, Florence's emails etc. and then they need firing! Jimbo has been a fool, but the incontinent one has deliberatly tried to cause trouble and bring the project into disrepute - and with some success. That was a deliberate act of malice, they need the boot and they need it fast, they will always have their simering resentment looking for the next opportunity. Giano (talk) 23:45, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, on that issue there has been some commentary about it in someone's blog: [19] (scroll down to "On Leaks"). Cla68 (talk) 00:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Welcome to corporate life. The knives will always be flashing in the background. This is a board responsibility. Us shareholders can only decide whether to hold or sell. We can also make our views loudly known, as we are doing here. This is the place to make the board aware of the dissatisfaction, I'm sure by now they have gotten the message. Franamax (talk) 00:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh well, this is something Jimbo has to sort out for himself, first rule of business is know your enemies, if after all this has not sussed them, and determined to be rid of them, there is little anyone can do for him. This story should now die a death very soon, it has now been thoroughly aired here, where it should have been in the first place. No doubt Madame Marsden will ramble on an around the internet with some more lurid details for a few more days, but we are a cosmopolitan bunch, I'm sure we won't be shocked - the rest of the story is just hype, misunderstanding and ignorance. Now I'm gong to bed - to sleep! Giano (talk) 00:33, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Don't you think discussing someone's sex life on their own talk page is incredibly rude? What are you expecting to achieve, that they join in and discuss their sex life with you?
  • If someone is accused of misuse of expenses, why don't you go and formally ask the board or the person that deals with expenses to investigate it, rather than having a long discussion about it on their talk page. That would be the fair thing to do wouldn't it, both for the people that donated the money and the person being accused?
  • If someone has been accused of exerting their influence on an article when they have a conflict of interest, why don't you just use the policies that were designed to deal with that? If you believe the policies are there for a reason shouldn't you make sure they are used to investigated the alleged conflict of interest in the appropriate forum so they can be dismissed as just an allegation or accepted as a genuine conflict of interest. Wouldn't that be fairer than having long conversations on the person's talk page? AntHolnes (talk) 02:17, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Hey! I have an idea. Instead of blathering on and on about the "ethics" or "legality" or "story" surrounding this, why don't we just let the donors decide? Later this year, there will be another annual fund campaign. Let's see if the 14 of you who think that this was no big deal can pony up the $1.4 million to match last year's campaign, because there sure as hell won't be any donors among the millions of people who are coming to a different conclusion about this. And then we can all get some shut-eye? - SHeEpIsHlY i NaP (talk) 02:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
This section, being started and populated by Jimbo's most vocal critics, is little more than cheap shots and trolling under the guise of "community concern." The feigned lack of interest shown by its source is belied by its the rush to create this section, its length and the palpable schadenfreude oozing out here. The discussion serves no legitimate purpose; there is nothing it can resolve or cast new light upon. This being so, I'm archiving it and notifying the responsible parties here to move along and limit their discussion on this topic to fora off the project and not stir up any more drama here. FeloniousMonk (talk) 05:00, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
You know what, FeloniousMonk - I find your statement quite absurd. This is a matter that affects Wikipedia, and it should indeed be discussed on Wikipedia rather than some indirectly related forum. When the people you refer to as "Jimbo's most vocal critics" are willing to show good faith to the man, even more good faith than many of the people who have been closely associated with him for many years, perhaps it is a sign that even his critics know when it is time to put aside the hurtful words and to stand with him when he's having mud thrown at him unjustifiably. It is telling that this is the single most supportive thread on Wikipedia, Wikback or wiki-en-L, and recognizes Jimbo's contributions for what they are. It is a lot harder for Jimbo's critics to write in support of Jimbo than it has been for many people to take potshots at him over the last few days. Risker (talk) 05:11, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • There has been far too much off site activity. Lets have this in the open. It is genuine attempt to clear the air, and also show things are never as bad when properly aired as when fragmented to a 100 off wiki sites of varying reliability. Giano (talk) 07:24, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
To FeloniousMonk. Above I asked a question with a couple of links. Do you agree that that question is a serious one? an important one? If that question had been asked a year ago by a new user, do you think it would have immediately been removed as 'trolling'? Do you think this example helps explain the 'burst dam' nature of editor's feelings on this page?
Sure, the news stories about RM are a media circus and not much more. But a lot of serious and important complaints have been impounded for a long time, waiting to be aired. More times than I can count, when Jimbo was asked an important but tough question, the answer was 'quit trolling me'. Well, here's the consequence. --Duk 14:39, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
what are we arguing about ? that the world was denied information on this whole little episode? so what. that an entry on Wikipedia was edited to take out some personal details, by the person who owns the whole website? so what? big deal. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:45, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Dear Mr Wales

Dear friend After reading this [20] story I am very sad and have lost faith in you as a father figure and role model. Good wikipedians do use such WP:BAD language and would value editing wikipedia over any kind of other social activity what so ever. An inspirational wikipedian want anything more then to make wikipedia as great as possible instead of getting a jet. As the role model and figurehead you are, I am deeply disappointed and don't know what to believe in anymore.

Mr wales remember that many people look up to you as the wikipope. Culverin? 08:52, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Not sure how much the link you provided [21] is reliable. At least not the sentence "In response to Wales's statement denying their relationship, Marsden began placing his clothes..." --Be happy!! (talk) 09:02, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I must admit Jimbo has such great fashion sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Culverin (talkcontribs) 09:07, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
(after 2 ecs)He's not the "wikipope" or your "father figure" - he's a man, a regular man. Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with using the word "fuck" in what he considered was the context of a private conversation. Please get a life. Seriously, of all the things people have to be upset with Jimmy over, his using the word "fuck" in private is nothing. Also, I think you should check what WP:BAD links to as I suspect it isn't what you think it is. At the end of the day this is just a website, it's not meant to be the greatest thing any of us ever do in our lives and it should not take precedence over "any other social activity". Sarah 09:08, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. The private conversation is none of our business. One thing that bothers me though is where the author of the article says "In an alleged conversation between the pair leaked to Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag, Wales suggested they work together on editing the entry before having sex."
But of course the reliability of this link is questionable. --Be happy!! (talk) 09:12, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that looks bad but I don't think it really is as it appears. I still have the OTRS emails from that period and what they were discussing on that chat transcript with regard to the article content were things that Jimmy was passing back to OTRS as her complaints about the article - with the clear statement that he was acting as a friend of a BLP and not as "Jimbo" and his emails should be read accordingly. He also told us at least twice that he had developed a personal relationship with her and that he considered himself to now have a COI with regard to that article. I think Jimmy was foolish to even meet her knowing her background and to be honest, I thought that when he emailed to say he was going to meet her to discuss her website but it's his life and he's a grown man so he can do as he wants. Sarah 09:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
But his the figurehead of wikipedia. It tarnishes our image. Culverin? 09:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Jimmy is the founder of a project that we all love but the reality is he has little to do with the day to day running of Wikipedia. Most of his Wikipedia work is at the Foundation level. If you love this project then you should thank the people who made it what it is - the thousands of admins and editors around the world who have built this site. Personally I think this idea that Jimmy is some kind of "Pope" or "Godking" is the root of most of the current problems he is facing. It's a shame that so much of the community, even Jimmy himself, have bought into it for so long. If there's any good that comes from this I hope it is a universal realisation that Jimmy is just a man, no better, no more inspired and no more of a spiritual leader than anyone else. Sarah 09:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
mAN I wish I got half as much lovin as he does. Culverin? 09:20, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Please grow up. If you can't discuss this maturely then please don't discuss it. Sarah 09:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Maybe your image of him not mine. I respect Jimmy for his role in creation of Wikipedia, that's a fact. Much of what that link says are probably heresies, not facts. Marsden has motivation to allege whatever she wants to Jimmy. --Be happy!! (talk) 09:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Clayquot's Marsden Obsession

As you can see here [22] Clayquot has an ongoing obsession with Marsden and anyone who defended her. 64.26.147.18 (talk) 23:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

WikiProject Invitation

Hi Jimbo. Would you mind joining Homeschooling WikiProject, a WikiProject dedicated to improving all articles associated with Homeschooling? We are a new WikiProject and are in need of members. We would all love to have you!!! Smile.png Cheers! DiligentTerrier and friends 19:48, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Suggestions for changes in the WMF privacy policy.

Dear Mr Wales, I would like to draw your attention to some suggestions for changes in the WMF privacy policy posted that I posted today at the WMF site: [23]. Since the WMF Board of Trustees actually decides on any changes in the privacy policy, I hope that you, as a Board member, will take a look at these suggestions. The main gist of the suggested changes is to require some form of notification of those registered users whose identifying info is being sought by subpoenas in third-party lawsuits. These suggestions are motivated in large part by a discussion that took place in January 2008 at the Wikipedia Village Pump (Policy) page [24] in relation to an incident where identifying IP data of sixteen Wikipedia users was released in response to such a subpoena. Of course, anyone else reading this is also welcome to participate in the discussion on this proposal. Regards, Nsk92 (talk) 21:15, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Dear Mr Wales

Dear friend After reading this [25] story I am very sad and have lost faith in you as a father figure and role model. Good wikipedians dont use such WP:BAD language and would value editing wikipedia over any kind of other social activity what so ever. An inspirational wikipedian wouldnt want anything more then to make wikipedia as great as possible instead of getting a jet. As the role model and figurehead you are, I am deeply disappointed and don't know what to believe in anymore.

Mr wales remember that many people look up to you as the wikipope. Culverin? 08:52, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Not sure how much the link you provided [26] is reliable. At least not the sentence "In response to Wales's statement denying their relationship, Marsden began placing his clothes..." --Be happy!! (talk) 09:02, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I must admit Jimbo has such great fashion sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Culverin (talkcontribs) 09:07, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
(after 2 ecs)He's not the "wikipope" or your "father figure" - he's a man, a regular man. Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with using the word "fuck" in what he considered was the context of a private conversation. Please get a life. Seriously, of all the things people have to be upset with Jimmy over, his using the word "fuck" in private is nothing. Also, I think you should check what WP:BAD links to as I suspect it isn't what you think it is. At the end of the day this is just a website, it's not meant to be the greatest thing any of us ever do in our lives and it should not take precedence over "any other social activity". Sarah 09:08, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. The private conversation is none of our business. One thing that bothers me though is where the author of the article says "In an alleged conversation between the pair leaked to Silicon Valley gossip blog Valleywag, Wales suggested they work together on editing the entry before having sex."
But of course the reliability of this link is questionable. --Be happy!! (talk) 09:12, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that looks bad but I don't think it really is as it appears. I still have the OTRS emails from that period and what they were discussing on that chat transcript with regard to the article content were things that Jimmy was passing back to OTRS as her complaints about the article - with the clear statement that he was acting as a friend of a BLP and not as "Jimbo" and his emails should be read accordingly. He also told us at least twice that he had developed a personal relationship with her and that he considered himself to now have a COI with regard to that article. I think Jimmy was foolish to even meet her knowing her background and to be honest, I thought that when he emailed to say he was going to meet her to discuss her website but it's his life and he's a grown man so he can do as he wants. Sarah 09:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
But his the figurehead of wikipedia. It tarnishes our image. Culverin? 09:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Jimmy is the founder of a project that we all love but the reality is he has little to do with the day to day running of Wikipedia. Most of his Wikipedia work is at the Foundation level. If you love this project then you should thank the people who made it what it is - the thousands of admins and editors around the world who have built this site. Personally I think this idea that Jimmy is some kind of "Pope" or "Godking" is the root of most of the current problems he is facing. It's a shame that so much of the community, even Jimmy himself, have bought into it for so long. If there's any good that comes from this I hope it is a universal realisation that Jimmy is just a man, no better, no more inspired and no more of a spiritual leader than anyone else. Sarah 09:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
mAN I wish I got half as much lovin as he does. Culverin? 09:20, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Please grow up. If you can't discuss this maturely then please don't discuss it. Sarah 09:47, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Maybe your image of him not mine. I respect Jimmy for his role in creation of Wikipedia, that's a fact. Much of what that link says are probably heresies, not facts. Marsden has motivation to allege whatever she wants to Jimmy. --Be happy!! (talk) 09:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

"Ignore all rules." What does it mean?

Could you please clarify, for the sake of building consensus at WP:IAR and various debates in several different languages, what exactly does "ignore all rules," really mean?

There's a long-term edit war in the English version of WP:IAR. In French Wikipedia, the rule is very detailed and very strongly worded, saying that the rule is actually unchangeable. Is that possible in a wiki? In Italian Wikipedia, again, it's more clear than the concise English version. In Portugese, the rule doesn't exist at all and a user who tried to introduce it was actually accused of disruptive editing!

For examples of clarification of this rule, there is:

And what did you mean when you supposedly said that IAR has "always been" a rule on Wikipedia? By that, do you mean that it is somehow transcendental?   Zenwhat (talk) 02:10, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Also, I just read what you wrote here.   Zenwhat (talk) 03:25, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

What it means to me is very deeply tied to WP:BOLD and the nature of good rules making in an open social community. First, we want people to take bold action to improve the encyclopedia no matter what. The encyclopedia is the result of discussion, dialogue, consensus, common sense... and rules can be helpful to that, but rules should never get in the way of that. To me it means that newbies are not required to spend 2 months reading policy documents before they roll up their sleeves and get to work. If they misunderstand something, they can be helped. If they are producing mostly quality work, but which is odd in some way, it can be fixed. And so on. To make this works, rules should be written in such a fashion that anyone can more or less guess what the rules are without having to look them up. (So for example, WP:NPA is pretty transparently obviously a social rule people ought to follow as best they can, and it should not be written in such a way that most people would find it astounding in some fashion.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:27, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


Per [27]...

I imagine that's what IAR means.. - ALLSTAR echo 05:36, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Actually, that has very little to do with IAR.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:27, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

No story!

I hope no one reverts me here because this is very pertinent to Wikipedia's current affairs, and I'm posting as I want this to be widely read,both inside and outside Wikipedia. I think I am the person with the Wiki-knowledge and standing to say this. I have been asked by the press for my views, so I thought it would be honest, and correct, to publish them here.

Over the last few days like many others I have smiled at J Wales discomfort, and as you all know I don't have a huge amount of respect for him, so bearing that in mind, I hope you will all take to heart what I'm about to say, I have read all the gossip both the titilatious and the libellous - and in my opinion: There is no story. I first heard the rumours concerning his marriage and finances before Christmas, and the fact I dismissed them should tell you all something. I also have heard that many close to him would like to stick a knife in his back, so perhaps that should be born in mind too. An awful lot of emails do seem to go astray don't they? In fact, I have never seen such a badly organized, ham fisted and amateur assassination attempt in my life, and I've seen a few. Let's look at the facts:

He's been caught with his trousers down looking stupid, if that was an impeachable and serious offence the world would be devoid of half its leaders. In my opinion it's a huge pity she is not selling all his clothes, he's a scruffy looking bastard, and the prestige of Wikipedia would be improved if he invested in a couple of Italian suits, and you see, it is the prestige of Wikipedia that brings me to the details of the expense account - again no impeachable story. For the benefit of those who don't have huge expense accounts let me spell out a few unsavoury truths.

When on company business, if your expenditure improves (in your opinion) the prestige and value of the company - you can spend what you like, if your dining with an important client you give him Montrachet to drink not Australian, or Californian, chardonnay. Similarly, if on tour and you have back pain, one can justify a massage on company expenses to keep the tour going. It matters not, that some of us may think he could have been more frugal, and that massage has connotations, if he says the expenses were justified that is the end of the story. You can spend what you like, so long as you believe that expenditure will benefit in some way the company. That is all he has to say - and he will say that. He has not been caught with his fingers in the cash box.

There is not an Chief Executive alive, of any major company, who has not been berated by the Finance Secretary for losing receipts, when you are busy you shove them in pockets, then the suit (or those scruffy jeans) goes to the dry cleaners etc. etc. etc. - you get out of a taxi in a hurry and don't even pick the receipt up - for some daft reason I store them in hotel ash trays and then the chambermaid throws them away... this whole business is ludicrous.

Has he influenced the content of the Marsden page, in my opinion, yes, he probably has. However, I don't see any concrete evidence of it. and even if he has, it is not a serious enough crime for the torrents of abuse and publicity he is receiving - a warning from the Arbcom on his page is sufficient if that is ever proved.

I have not read or heard of one word, that would stand up in any court against him. If people want to get rid of Jimbo, they are going to have to find something more concrete than this - being a very poor judge of character is all he is guilty of, and that is not enough. The many millions of words written on this subject amount to nothing. Those that seek to be rid of him, have overplayed their cards - they did not even have enough points for an opening bid.

He may feel he has to resign over this, if he does not, and in my view, he need not, and people still want to be rid of J Wales, or curb his powers, it has to be done in an open, honest and frank way. The current state of affairs demeans the whole encyclopedia. Giano (talk) 14:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Dammit, Giano, you are too good for ArbCom... LessHeard vanU (talk) 14:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Who knew I'd be agreeing with Giano? Fortunately embarrassment is a non-fatal illness. Chin up. AKAF (talk) 14:51, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, that makes no sense at all. Whoever said there was, or had to be, something "that would stand up in any court against him"? Any unethical behaviour is fine so long as it's legal? There are many issues here that need more, not less, discussion. "You can spend what you like" may be accepted practice at big companies, but surely not for a donation-funded foundation. Given that people may well ask what Jimbo's expensive travelling is supposed to be good for in the first place, donors will surely not like him to buy $300 bottles of wine and try to pass the cost to the foundation - which, apparently, he didn't get away with but tried (if this accusation wasn't true, he could, and probably would, sue Danny for libel, but his deafening silence on the whole affair speaks for itself). The COI on Marsden is another issue. He didn't edit the article himself, but told her how he usually has other people fix things for him and sure enough he notified (through a secret mailing list) people who he knows will do his bidding. In isolation, any of those things might be forgivable, especially if he were admitting to it. But if you consider his entire history of dishonesty - from the "sole founder" nonsense to the bizarre contradictions about his own birth date - you just get a pattern. As Florence Devouard told him: "I find (it) tiring to see how you are constantly trying to rewrite the past... Get a grip!" Yes, this should all be discussed in an open, honest and frank way - I don't know who you're accusing of doing it in a dishonest way. I think it's Jimbo himself, not the discussion about him, that's demeaning the whole project. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 16:21, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The OTRS mailing list is not a "secret mailing list". It's discussed openly on numerous pages including on the OTRS pages. [28] Just because you don't know about something or haven't bothered to investigate it does not make it "secret". People on OTRS have very wide-ranging opinions about Jimmy, same as on Wikipedia, and your claim that they are people he knows will do his "bidding" is really insulting. Sarah 16:39, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The existence of the OTRS list is not secret, but its contents are secret. What Jimbo tells people there is not on the public record but has a strong influence because no one will dare go against Jimbo (given that he can ban, and has banned, people without being accountable to anyone). It's enough that some will do his bidding; the others will simply do nothing. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 17:23, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The contents are not public due to the privacy policy and the banning argument is a straw man, what would he do, ban the whole OTRS team if no one responded the way he liked? Mr.Z-man 18:14, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Someone will always respond, there are plenty who treat him like a cult leader. He doesn't ban those who do nothing, but he might well ban those who'd do the opposite of what he says. The whole privacy and BLP policy was largely pushed by Wales and shows his priorities. The overall accuracy problem of Wikipedia is not an issue for him. And it's OK to slander dead people - they can't sue. But there has to be a special policy for living people - for the sole reason of avoiding lawsuits, while otherwise maintaining the fiction of Wikipedia's splendidly-working "openness". Strange how biographies of living people need a special policy to remain free of major bullshit, whereas all other articles somehow by themselves, according to "studies" Wales will happily tout, remain as accurate as Britannica's. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Please point me to one instance where he's banned someone for not doing what he said. I would hope he would ban someone for doing the opposite though in this case. If he asked it to be cleaned up per WP:BLP, the opposite would be to make it more defamatory, again, your argument about him using his power as leverage does not hold water. Heaven forbid his priorities should be protecting people's privacy, protecting the foundation from lawsuits, and protecting people from defamation - that's far too un-internet. I would suggest you actually read Wikipedia's policies before trying to use them in arguments like this. It's not okay to slander anyone and all facts in articles must be verifiable and written from a neutral point of view. Which type of article subject is more likely to be the victim of actual defamation (and yes, sue people): a living celebrity, a dead celebrity, or an inanimate object? Mr.Z-man 19:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Funny how you just assume when he says there's a BLP issue, that there must be actual defamation, as opposed to some perfectly true and well-sourced facts which just happen to reflect negatively on a person, as is often the case when some people cry "BLP!" So the opposite I referred to would be to reinstate such material when Wales called for its removal. Usually it doesn't come to a ban, because people know the game. Even if he just "politely requests" something, people understand that it is an order. Once when some people, including admins, refused to do what he wanted, he was wheel-warring with them and finally desysopped them - for "wheel warring" no less. Accused of hypocrisy, he explained that "it is simply not possible for me to wheel war" presumably because his unique power allows him always to prevail. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet Abercrombie, has he been unethical? Is there any proof, he has been unethical? - I think not. He can be a serial adulterer and philanderer, but quite frankly that's none of our business, our concern is what he does with Wikipedia not his willy. It's his expense account, he gets to choose how to expend. The source of the company's income is inconsequental, so long as his expenditure is for the benefit of the company. You may think the way he spends is odd, I don't, if you are wining and dining clients, especially in Europe, it has to be done with style and panache. Regarding Danny, I think you have to read what Danny said exactly and precisely, Danny was merely detailing fact, I am explaining how those facts, I suspect, came to be, and putting them in context. And yes, we do seem to know a lot about all these internal emails don't we. This is all looking like a boardroom squabble, and power game. If someone thinks it's time for us to have a new leader, then let's see an honest selection process, not a new leader emerging from the boardroom already on suspicion of underhand and devious behaviour.Giano (talk) 16:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I don't care about his philandering, but to say "it's his expense account" is ridiculous and obviously Florence and others at the Foundation disagreed with the notion that he can choose how to expend. I certainly don't think his expenditures benefit the "company". And I would like to see an honest selection process, but that would require Jimbo to abdicate the role first - or be deposed. The very problem here is that he never took an adequate title, instead making it seem that his authority was just one naturally flowing from being "the founder" - when in fact it was based for the longest time on the hard legal authority he had by controlling the Board which he had stacked with his business partners. Only when his position seemed entrenched enough, he allowed the Board to get somewhat more representative. But even Florence will probably resist the idea of declaring the leadership position vacant, fearing the bad PR. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 17:23, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • It is very much his expense account, the board are perfectly entitled to question his expenses, but when he is away on business he legitimately decides how to use that account. I have seen no proof that he used that account for any non-legitimate purposes - have you? The fact that you would have used the account in a different fashion is neither here nor there. What you think of his expenditure is equally meaningless, you were not there. I expect that someone somewhere is clearly hoping Jimbo will abdicate/resign over all this, and then they can step neatly into his shoes. I'm afraid, stacking a board with allies is very common business practice, and often good sense, his mistake seems to have been feeling entrenched enough to let others in. whatever you and others think, Jimbo has done nothing wrong legally or ethically wrong - That is a fact, and no amount of word play, or puritanical philosophy is going to alter that. Giano (talk) 17:36, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
That is not a fact. Ethics are debatable. Obviously you think he did nothing wrong ethically; well, I think he did. I don't think "common business practice" (i.e. pursuing one's self-interest to the legal limit, without any ethical constraints except where they coincide with PR concerns) should be the yardstick for nonprofit foundations. Your argument boils down to "he was the founder, he could do what he wanted." Perhaps you even want to repeat the curious argument I've seen Erik make - commending Wales for even setting up the Foundation, as if he could just have kept Wikipedia running under Bomis. The fact is it was losing him money, no one would have donated to a private company, and ads would have prompted an early fork. So what he did is set up the foundation, get relieved of the financial burden, but still keep authority and then convert his Wikipedia clout into financial gain elsewhere (speaking fees, Wikia, and, apparently, trying to dip into foundation funds when he needed a new washing machine). It is plain to me that Wales' main driving force (obvious enough for a Randian) is pure self-interest (which his ideology allows him to somehow define as "enlightened" and good etc. and so pass by his conscience). I for one don't think that's the appropriate mindset for a leader of something that calls itself a charity. But that may well be just my "puritanical philosophy" - so you are free to disagree. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
I think Giano is clearly correct in his arguments here. Happy editing, SqueakBox 17:46, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for this profound contribution, SqueakBox. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Only made after reading the whole thread, Bramlet. Happy editing, SqueakBox 18:44, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Happy editing! Because of Jimbo and the Arbonauts I'm not editing. However, I am clarifying a few obvious facts that nobobody else seems to be capable of doing here. I'm quite happy for people to get a good kicking, but only when it's justified. Giano (talk) 17:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Giano, you mention "I have not read or heard of one word, that would stand up in any court against him". This is about quality of leadership, not courts of law. But sure, this story is "no story at all" and is getting play outside of Wikipedia only because of its titillating nature.

But here, on the wiki, there is a fair question of leadership. Neutrality is one of our core principals, so influencing the RM article in an unseemly way by our leader is a big thing to me, much as using the admin-only irc chat room to run down Larry Sanger, behind his back, and influencing that article for what seemed to be petty, selfish reasons. Jimbo, are these logs accurate? [29], [30]

Danny claims that $7,000 of reimbursement was re-labeled as "donations". Jimbo, is that accurate and did you deduct that $7,000 on your income tax as a Donation? That could be very serious for the Foundation.

Giano, you mention "assassination". In my experience character assassinations are done behind a persons back, so they don't get a chance to defend themselves or even hear the charges, at which point grains of truth become wildly exaggerated and outright lies begin. The current circus may be a ham fisted hatchet job, but it's in the open and Jimbo is part of the discussion, not excluded from it. There are legitimate questions here. --Duk 18:24, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

This is so healthy to have this conversation here on Wikipedia, and it's long overdue. To Duk - No, assassinations are often carried out in full public view, it is the assassin who is cloaked, in fact often the man who pulls the trigger is the hired help. For all we know, that may be the case here. I'm no great admirer of J Wales, but (a) fiddling with his mistresses biography has not been proved, and even of it were, in the great scheme of things, it only demands a slapped wrist, I do think he has done more good for the project than harm. He's hardly likely to repeat the error - is he? (b) More importantly, never get rid of something, until you have decided what to put in its place. Giano (talk) 18:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
often the man who pulls the trigger is the hired help Good point, but I suppose this isn't the place to speculate about the hatchet man's motives, who's behind him and what deals might have been cut. Maybe the future will tell. --Duk 19:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

The point is not did Jimbo do something illegal, but instead what does all this say about Wikipedia governance. The issues raised are not merely illegality and immorality; but also the issues of trustworthiness and leadership based on competence and truthfulness. Secrecy/openness ; lies/truthfulness ; competent/incompetent ; trustworthy/untrustworthy ; good leadership/poor leadership . Jimbo's behavior has generated the belief in some that he is part of the governance problem that the English language Wikipedia has. Are other language Wikipedias better governed? Better Wikipedia governance is the goal here. How do we get there? WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Jimbo, has been operating in a tough world. On of the hardest facts of life is realising that big businesses are not donating money to charitable foundations because they want to help poor little black kiddies in the third world - they are donating their companies profits because it gives them a huge tax break, and makes them look good. Those in charge of donations are not giving away their own money, but they like to be wined and dined and encouraged. I have heard of prospective donors being taken to lap dancing clubs on expenses, as an incentive to donate - and that makes Jimbo's tactics look quite mild, so don't judge him without understanding a little the circus in which he is expected to perform. It's a cruel place, and charity is often the last thing on people's minds, as far as the charity is concerned (Wikipedia) he gets the money in, we have no right to criticise him for the way he has to do it. Giano (talk) 18:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
He gets the money in? The bulk of the money comes from small donations. I wonder if he even raises more money from big businesses than he spends on his travels. Are there any numbers about donations attributable to Wales? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 18:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Thing is, sometimes it takes time to cultivate the relationships with big companies to encourage them to spend that money with you. In my line of work, that's how it goes - my boss wines and dines lavishly on the company card while always trying to entice those big corporations to spend their money with us. It's his company, so it's fine for him to do it, but if we're in a position to shmooze someone into a big buy of some sort, we've got carte blanche to do the same thing. That's how the upper levels of corporate life operate, and if Jimbo wants to bring that kind of money in, he's got to work on the same level as the people being shmoozed. Tony Fox (arf!) 19:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
How many years is it supposed to take? So far, he doesn't seem to have been very successful. I can hardly imagine anyone being worse at it. With a leader of a different moral and intellectual caliber, Wikipedia could be in a vastly better position in every respect. But for Wales the measure of success is if the site is ranked high on Alexa, not if it's actually accurate or respected intellectually. He has no credibility whatsoever when he talks about "the child in Africa". In private he is more honest about what he really cares about: "creating a Google killing search engine so I can buy a jet". Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:26, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
That kind of information is simply not quantifiable, though given his recognition worldwide as the founder and leader of wikipedia I imagine it will far outweigh what appear to be minor expenses. The NYT said Jimbo was staying in a fleapit in New York while working for the foundation/wikipedia (and was almost certainly the only Time magazine Top 100 influencers who would be seen dead in such a place. I found this far more disturbing than any expenses controversy here. Happy editing, SqueakBox 19:01, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Wil you please stop saying: "happy editing" it's deeply irritating. Giano (talk) 19:04, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Err its in my automatic signature but I have changed it as you asked so nicely. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:18, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

What matters is pattern, not single incidents: If Mr. Wales has once spent money for wine at an expensive place or getting massage on company expenses, it proves nothing, because you don't really know what the circumstances were at that one time. If however it becomes a pattern and many instances of it are found, it would start telling something about the person. If someone is not competent about his responsibilities, over time, this must show itself again and again. For example, if I am not in general good in finding my way, I get lost often enough. On the other hand, if I get lost once, it does not say anything... Regarding Madrasan matter, I don't know the details so I can not make a judgment. But I'd like to mention some things one has to bear in mind when discussing this: 1. One should not interpret an event at a certain time in the light of later developments. 2. In my personal life, I may casually say things to another person just to be cool. Many discussions, by their nature, are not serious and people say things within the framework defined by that conversation. This does not mean that when the matter becomes serious they would behave the same. If you go out and have a cup of tea with an scholar about his research, he might even exaggerate about it but when it comes to writing the paper, the person will try to be more careful and more serious. 3. Since BLP is an important issue, Jimbo's advice in this instance should be compared with that of his in other instances rather than taken in isolation and criticized. What we are looking here for is double standards rather than correctness. --Be happy!! (talk) 18:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

every free website has an owner. the owner by definition has the keys, the codes, the program access, etc, etc, meaning he can basically do whatever he pleases. if the website does follow some lines of equitability, that is a tribute to the owener's diligence. so in this case, we should not make a big set of rolling critiques, but just let things be. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 18:57, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

removed BLP concerns --Fredrick day (talk) 21:35, 5 March 2008 (UTC)--MONGO 19:28, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Giano makes some excellent points here (particularly some of his thoughts on expense accounts and his call for openness regarding the issues), however I do not think there is "no story" from our perspective at the encyclopedia. The press is almost certainly making far too much of this on scant evidence as Giano implies, but that is only to be expected. The world is not fair, and unfortunately for Wikipedia in this case the appearance of impropriety matters nearly as much as any actual impropriety. Fair or not, these press reports make Mr. Wales, and by extension the encyclopedia with which he is so directly associated, look a bit ridiculous. It is entirely possible that they could even have a negative effect on future fundraising efforts both on and off wiki (let's hope not, but it is a possibility - I would also note that the response of Wales and the Foundation to all of this negative press has been inadequate in my opinion, and that needs to change).
Even if there are some strong elements of unfairness and outright inaccuracy in these press reports (and though the facts remain very sketchy at this point that strikes me as incredibly likely), I think it is indisputable that Jimmy made certain choices which directly contributed to this whole brouhaha. He exhibited poor judgment on one or more occasions. Now we all make poor judgments all the time (particularly when it comes to sex and relationships, though for most of us those kind of mistakes thankfully remain fairly private as they should) and as Giano rightly points out "Jimbo has been operating in a tough world." However he is essentially the face of this encyclopedia and as a result must be held to a higher standard in terms of behavior as would any leader (again there might be an element of unfairness to that, but with public notoriety comes much unfairness, among other things).
I could not care less about JW's personal peccadillos in and of them self. We all have them and I'm hardly one to cast the first stone. They only matter inasmuch as they affect the project. In this case there appears to have been at least some short term harm to the project and we need to be honest about that. Jimmy Wales did a wonderful thing by laying the groundwork for Wikipedia and then helping to bring it to where it is today - I think few of us would dispute that. But it is perfectly reasonable for the community to ask questions about his role here given recent events because of course the project is bigger than any of us. We need a lot more concrete information first, but it is possible (indeed likely) that we will need to talk about this more in the immediate and perhaps more distant future. If so we should, as Giano suggests, do so "in an open, honest and frank way," but also in a way which shows at least as much respect for Jimmy Wales and his privacy as we would hope others would show for us in a similar situation. There's no need to personalize any of this or linger on salacious details, all that matters is the good of the encyclopedia going forward.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:39, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Giano is correct that there appears to be no story here regarding Jimmy Wales. The only story is that regarding the Wikipedia community. We have seen, largely: (a) editors working themselves into a tizz of excitement in their enthusiasm for descending into the gutter of tabloid sensationalism; (b) editors thrashing about in the water with the taste of blood in their mouths; (c) faux gnashing of teeth about "governance" and related matters. This is not a comment on individual editors, but on the generally poor reaction of the community insofar as they have responded to this "issue." It would be totally understandable were Mr Wales tempted to throw in the towel in such circumstances: who would wish to subject themselves to this kind of unpleasantness? But such an outcome would be the worst possible for Wikipedia. BCST2001 (talk) 20:56, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree with Giano - this is not a story..... about Jimbo. Since the audit came out, there has been a discussion on WikBack about the surprisingly large amount that the foundation has spent on travel. I think this points to a problem with the foundation's culture, more than to a problem with Jimbo personally. —Random832 21:52, 5 March 2008 (UTC)

Large travel expenses are not themselves to be the source of controversy especially if they are only using business class flights etc, ie not going first class and staying only in the best suites in the plushest hotels. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
From what I've seen, I think the board's problem was lack of professional knowledge; which is now being solved with the hiring of Sue etc. Also remember that Wikipedia is an innovative new thing, an unexpected huge success. It was supposed to be just an experiment, a white-board for stuff that would go on Nupedia. This has been a wild unexpected ride from the start. It is not surprising that it has taken time to get things squared away. That Wikipedia works at all is what is so surprising. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:03, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • There is a lot of sense in what Was is saying. From what I can see, and I'm getting tired of telling them this, they need better public relations people, this whole non-story could have, and should have, been solved before it hit the press big time. It's time to kick out the amateurs and hire some professionals, the project seems to function on the premise that because it relies on charitable donations it has to act in a parsimonious way, this is crap. It may impress the little people, but the big donors will not be impressed by Jimbo arriving on a bicycle wearing that disgusting soiled T-shirt, (thank God she's sold it) and looking "ever so humble." I think there a lot of lessons to be learn from the last few days, but there's a great deal of truth in the expression "better the devil you know" people here would do well to remember that, especially when looking at the way the "alternatives" have behaved recently. Giano (talk) 22:33, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
WAS has long called for a higher level of professionalism and I heartily endorse this. WAS suggested once Jimbo get paid advisers re his reputation and while Jimbo rejected the idea if my memory serves me correctly I still think it is an excellent idea. "Jimbo's reputation affects the encyclopedia" is unquestionably a truism, more now than ever. I would like to see WF money spent on this kind of thing, professionalism is essential when you are running something as successful as wikipedia. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:40, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
"Paid advisers re his reputation" to whitewash his defects? How about, instead, having a leader who is beyond reproach in the first place? Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:46, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, if he really was a God-King then perhaps. I am not talking about whitewashing and I realise that as humans we are limited. But I would add that IMO Jimbo has created a wonderfvul project using his own cash and we should in no way punish him for this by demanding impossible to meet standards. Your idea smacks to me of the kind of amateurishness that is simply no longer acceptable. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:49, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
The limited amount of cash he put in (so long as he paid, there was only a single server) he has recouped many times over, by the means I mentioned above. There is no debt of gratitude for anything. And if the standards that can be expected of his position are impossible for him to meet, he should just make way for someone else, I don't see any "punishment" there (nor do I see what "amateurishness" you talk about). Since he wasn't chosen by anyone, pretty much anyone who would be deliberately selected for the post would be better. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:59, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet, when I was young I was idealistic too, but sadly that aint he way the world works, Wikipedia is big international business, if it lags in this department it will undoubtedly fail. All big companies need a little help with their image, and ours is no exception. There have been too many mistakes lately, all of which were avoidable, it's easy to blame the most visible person, but that is not often the fairest option. In my experience someone only allows themselves to be made a fool of once. Time to move on. Giano (talk) 23:05, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet, people of whom the highest standards are expected right now are McCain, Clinton and Obama. And they are surrounded by advisers, to be perfect and have no advisers is simply unrealistic. I couldn't advise Jimbo professionally but I know what being professional means in the context of wikipedia and now is the time to move up a gear and get more professional. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:08, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
WP:NOT the United States. We don't need someone who's perfect, but to suggest that with anyone other than Wales there would be the same issues is a cynical view that I don't share. A decent leader can make honest mistakes, and those won't be a problem, but certain other things just won't happen. I don't see why Wikipedia would "undoubtedly fail" without image advisers. This would just add more to the secrecy and dishonesty which there is already too much of. Just think of the ridiculous embarrassment caused by Florence's attempt to whitewash the money issue toward the AP, only to proceed to berate Wales in private (and tell how she persuaded the AP that "the money story was a no story"), which of course was leaked back to AP. This way you don't get a good reputation. You can't "PR" yourself out of everything. Have decent people in charge, and then there won't be such issues in the first place and you can be open and honest about everything. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:58, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Giano extinguished this thread when he started it. No story. It's up to the board, per the three comments immediately above (by DTM stamp). Franamax (talk) 22:30, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • What Giano said. Only louder, of course, being me. Guy (Help!) 23:10, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Echoing Giano, JzG and others, I think we should reserve judgement on Jimbo for now and see how he and the rest of the board handles this, i.e. what lessons they learn from it and how they correct anything that needs correcting. Cla68 (talk) 23:38, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Not quite that simple! I want to know who is leaking the dirt, Florence's emails etc. and then they need firing! Jimbo has been a fool, but the incontinent one has deliberatly tried to cause trouble and bring the project into disrepute - and with some success. That was a deliberate act of malice, they need the boot and they need it fast, they will always have their simering resentment looking for the next opportunity. Giano (talk) 23:45, 5 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, on that issue there has been some commentary about it in someone's blog: [31] (scroll down to "On Leaks"). Cla68 (talk) 00:14, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Welcome to corporate life. The knives will always be flashing in the background. This is a board responsibility. Us shareholders can only decide whether to hold or sell. We can also make our views loudly known, as we are doing here. This is the place to make the board aware of the dissatisfaction, I'm sure by now they have gotten the message. Franamax (talk) 00:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh well, this is something Jimbo has to sort out for himself, first rule of business is know your enemies, if after all this has not sussed them, and determined to be rid of them, there is little anyone can do for him. This story should now die a death very soon, it has now been thoroughly aired here, where it should have been in the first place. No doubt Madame Marsden will ramble on an around the internet with some more lurid details for a few more days, but we are a cosmopolitan bunch, I'm sure we won't be shocked - the rest of the story is just hype, misunderstanding and ignorance. Now I'm gong to bed - to sleep! Giano (talk) 00:33, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Don't you think discussing someone's sex life on their own talk page is incredibly rude? What are you expecting to achieve, that they join in and discuss their sex life with you?
  • If someone is accused of misuse of expenses, why don't you go and formally ask the board or the person that deals with expenses to investigate it, rather than having a long discussion about it on their talk page. That would be the fair thing to do wouldn't it, both for the people that donated the money and the person being accused?
  • If someone has been accused of exerting their influence on an article when they have a conflict of interest, why don't you just use the policies that were designed to deal with that? If you believe the policies are there for a reason shouldn't you make sure they are used to investigated the alleged conflict of interest in the appropriate forum so they can be dismissed as just an allegation or accepted as a genuine conflict of interest. Wouldn't that be fairer than having long conversations on the person's talk page? AntHolnes (talk) 02:17, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Hey! I have an idea. Instead of blathering on and on about the "ethics" or "legality" or "story" surrounding this, why don't we just let the donors decide? Later this year, there will be another annual fund campaign. Let's see if the 14 of you who think that this was no big deal can pony up the $1.4 million to match last year's campaign, because there sure as hell won't be any donors among the millions of people who are coming to a different conclusion about this. And then we can all get some shut-eye? - SHeEpIsHlY i NaP (talk) 02:58, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
This section, being started and populated by Jimbo's most vocal critics, is little more than cheap shots and trolling under the guise of "community concern." The feigned lack of interest shown by its source is belied by its the rush to create this section, its length and the palpable schadenfreude oozing out here. The discussion serves no legitimate purpose; there is nothing it can resolve or cast new light upon. This being so, I'm archiving it and notifying the responsible parties here to move along and limit their discussion on this topic to fora off the project and not stir up any more drama here. FeloniousMonk (talk) 05:00, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
You know what, FeloniousMonk - I find your statement quite absurd. This is a matter that affects Wikipedia, and it should indeed be discussed on Wikipedia rather than some indirectly related forum. When the people you refer to as "Jimbo's most vocal critics" are willing to show good faith to the man, even more good faith than many of the people who have been closely associated with him for many years, perhaps it is a sign that even his critics know when it is time to put aside the hurtful words and to stand with him when he's having mud thrown at him unjustifiably. It is telling that this is the single most supportive thread on Wikipedia, Wikback or wiki-en-L, and recognizes Jimbo's contributions for what they are. It is a lot harder for Jimbo's critics to write in support of Jimbo than it has been for many people to take potshots at him over the last few days. Risker (talk) 05:11, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
  • There has been far too much off site activity. Lets have this in the open. It is genuine attempt to clear the air, and also show things are never as bad when properly aired as when fragmented to a 100 off wiki sites of varying reliability. Giano (talk) 07:24, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
To FeloniousMonk. Above I asked a question with a couple of links. Do you agree that that question is a serious one? an important one? If that question had been asked a year ago by a new user, do you think it would have immediately been removed as 'trolling'? Do you think this example helps explain the 'burst dam' nature of editor's feelings on this page?
Sure, the news stories about RM are a media circus and not much more. But a lot of serious and important complaints have been impounded for a long time, waiting to be aired. More times than I can count, when Jimbo was asked an important but tough question, the answer was 'quit trolling me'. Well, here's the consequence. --Duk 14:39, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
what are we arguing about ? that the world was denied information on this whole little episode? so what. that an entry on Wikipedia was edited to take out some personal details, by the person who owns the whole website? so what? big deal. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 14:45, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Look, the media wants to have a field day because Wikipedia is a fun target. And the media loves sex scandals. So we have a sort of perfect storm of attention here. That doesn't mean there's any serious issues here at all. Giano is spot on. Now, I suggest that people return to editing and instead of bugging Jimbo about a non-issue deal with much more pertinent things like how to cover this at Rachel Marsden and Jimbo Wales. Or even better if you are unable to remain calm and focused, go work on something else. JoshuaZ (talk) 17:22, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Agree: No story. All this is just a media frenzy with the right ingredients for bad journalism that sells papers (or increase on-line ad impressions). And based on what? An affair with a woman with a recurring pattern of certain strange behaviors, and some innuendo by a a disgruntled ex-employee.... ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 21:45, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

"In so many cases, these well-connected folk are free to use the site as a means of pushing their own point of view. And that includes Jimmy Wales. Forget Rachel Marsden tossing his dirty washing onto eBay. The point of the Willypedia Affair is that he ordered his minions to edit her online bio. They pull favors for him. And he pulls favors for them."

[1]

Tit for tat?--70.185.113.212 (talk) 22:10, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
I see. And the reason this has not been covered in most newspapers (or, in a few cases, has not remained, after one brief article) such as the new york times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Newsweek and ABC News is...what, exactly? Is it because Wales controls them too? could it be that this story isn;t that important, and the only reason it was even placed here at Wikipedia to begin with is that he is the one who runs the site? So he removed something, using his higher role, which was only here because of his role here in the first place. just my opinion, but that's sort of how I see this. --Steve, Sm8900 (talk) 22:55, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
From my dealings with Jimmy, this accusation of untoward editing of Marsden's biography is particularly absurd. He has always demanded great care that WP:BLP is followed with care, and when a subject of an article has raised concerns has gone out of his way to make sure that everything is correct and above board. It's unfortunate that he had this brief involvement with her, and I'm sad to hear of it, but it's essentially a non-issue and no excuse for dragging old grievances out again. .. dave souza, talk 23:39, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Support

I can't claim to know you, but I want to let you know that I feel recent events are being blown out of all proportion. I hope things calm down soon and I do not think you have anything to answer for. Stifle (talk) 11:40, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Ask not for whom the bell tolls. Any gay man will have at least one story to match yours, either of their own or a friend's situation. Best of luck! Bearian (talk) 17:13, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

Hang in there, Jimmy. It'll be okay. The nightmare will be over soon.

Now, you see, why obscurity is so much better than fame.

Also, I have to say: In western culture, male promiscuity is practically considered a virtue, while female promiscuity is considered a vice. In the process of trying to mess with you, Rachel makes herself look like a crazy trollop.

Oh well. Live and learn. Never date another Fox news employee again.

In the end, the lawsuit should be fun and Rachel will fade away into obscurity.   Zenwhat (talk) 02:36, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I haven't opined, and I don't plan to until Jimbo has had time to respond to my questions here: User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_34#Questions_on_your_on-wiki_handling_of_the_Marsden_case. They are specific questions and not rhetorical. Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 08:52, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Editor review?

I was wanting to check in and see if you have had a chance to see my editor review yet, or do you read your talk page? Just wondering! Dustitalk to me 18:29, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

He does read his talkpage, but it just depends on whether he has the time to do all the things that keep getting thrown at him. He is, after all, a very busy man. Lradrama 09:45, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Jimbo Wales, I need your opinion

Removing spam. Would an admin please just blank the section altogether?

Whaaa? Just remove it! Joshuarooney2008 (talk) 08:09, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Note to Jimbo regarding articles on JW and RM

Hi. I just wanted to let you know that I believe the material relating to RM and yourself which has been included in the respective Wikipedia articles on these two subjects violates several Wikipedia policies, including WP:UNDUE and WP:BLP. I consider the matter trivial, sensationalistic, and non-encylopaedic. I don't believe inclusion of this material represents conservative, neutral, responsible editing of entries about living people. I believe it invades privacy and does not respect the living people it involves. I have raised these concerns on the talk pages of these articles, however I appear to be in the distinct minority in believing this material should be expunged from the articles in question. In such circumstances, it is not possible for me to take the lead and remove the material, but I wanted to let you know I think inclusion of this material is very unfortunate, and if the matter could be remedied, it would be to Wikipedia's benefit I am sure, not to mention the people involved in this matter. BCST2001 (talk) 03:40, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Of course you just want him to know. It's inconcievable that you're petitioning for him to come in and forcibly change his own article, because that'd be a clearly stupid move. -Amarkov moo! 03:42, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure what made you think I might be "petitioning" Jimbo to alter his entry, and I'm not sure why you felt it necessary to adopt that aggressive tone, but thanks, Amarkov, for your thoughts. BCST2001 (talk) 03:49, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, no, I didn't mean to be aggressive. I know you wouldn't actually ask for Jimbo to do that; I was just pointing out that you couldn't be. -Amarkov moo! 03:53, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Here we go....OK, BCST2001, you have no current blocks, which means you can edit and make those changes yourself, Amarkov, fix up your attitude, not appropriate and not civil. Joshuarooney2008 (talk) 08:02, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Regarding Blogs and notability

Sorry to bother you, as I'm pretty sure you're a busy man. So I'll cut to the chase too. I've been working extensively on Final Fantasy VII (Famicom), an article which I'm trying to make a good one out of. The problem is it's only really seen large scale coverage starting on the 22nd of February, and much of the information from there has appeared in online blogs. The problem is coming up that regardless of which blog in question, they're being treated on the whole as 'non-notable'. However if I may to argue the notability of the ones I'm using as cornerstones for the article until a later time when better references become available: -Kotaku not too long ago had an incident with Sony, which shows Kotaku and Sony have a professional relationship with each other, including Kotaku representatives being at Sony press releases. -Joystiq itself has interviewed many key figures in the gaming industry, including Ryan Payton, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. If the site wasn't corporately notably to any of these companies why would they have bothered? -InsertCredit.com additionally was present at the GDC event, and interviewed Hudson Soft as well amongst others. All three of these are cited also often in wikipedia. I'm hoping all of this can make a case for these three to be considered valid sources to confirm the notability of the game enough as well as their own notability for other articles.

Anyway thank you for your time.--Kung Fu Man (talk) 05:15, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

BLP philosophy

Hey there.

Mind taking a look at E.O. Green School shooting? There is a simmering war about whether it is appropriate or not to include the name of the minor suspect in the article, and while the BLP policy doesn't forbid it specifically I was on the "err on the side of caution" side but I'd like a philosophical double check from you if you have a minute.

I think we could use some Words of Reason on the article talk page and/or on the related AN/I thread. — Coren (talk) 13:47, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Hey! This is my first Appeal to Jimbo! Do I get a souvenir keychain or something?  :-) — Coren (talk) 13:47, 4 March 2008 (UTC)
In general I think we should "err on the side of caution" in all cases of BLP. And it looks like, by raising and considering the question thoughtfully, the community has done that. In the end, names (esp. of juveniles, of the victims of some kinds of crimes, suspects, etc.) which are not widely known or confirmed can be tastefully omitted. On the other hand, once a suspects name is widely confirmed by the media, once the person is actually charged with a crime, etc., it seems sensible to include the name. There are never going to be simple formulas for this sort of thing, I suppose.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:15, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I suppose not; I can't say I agree with the end result of that consideration, but I can live by it (hey! Consensus!) I just worry about what I feel is a increasing tendency to "run after the press", if you will. I my book, "they did it" is never a good justification.  :-) — Coren (talk) 14:28, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Response To Giano

Giano, with all due respect to your legal knowledge and experience, this is not a court of law. The only court that matters here is the court of public opinion, and in this venue Mr. Wales is guilty by his own admission. The "Sex" aspect should not be dismissed so lightly as Moral prudery, Salacious hype or Jimbo's private life. If nothing else it shows poor judgment and character flaws which raise questions about his leadership abilities. Worse still, it adversely effects his repuation and thus his ability as a fundraiser. Especially among the many small donors who can ill afford $400 flashlights[32], $300 bottles of wine, the finest hotel suites in DC and massages in Moscow.

Not least of all, it is also a severe public embarrassment to the foundation, the project and the community. As Wikipedia's very visible public face, "sole" founder and self-proclaimed spiritual leader, what he does reflects upon the whole wide Wikiworld for better or, in this case, worse. So he owes, at least, a sincere apology to all Wikimedians, even to those who think he should not be held accountable.

The other, more serious, charges of financial impropriety and Conflict of Interest (or COItus as some wags have dubbed it), may or may not stick depending on how credible one thinks Ms Marsden and Mr Wool are (or whether Mr Wool has saved copies of those receipts). But irregardless, they also raise serious doubts about the man's leadership. Nor are they isolated incidents, but part of a long, well established pattern. I need not provide a laundry list of this to you, as a long established Wikipedian you are well aware of the history. At one time, yes, Wales was an asset to the project, but now he has become a liability.

Giacomo, you are Wikipedia's good conscious. As I have stated[33], so many follies could be avoided by heeding your sage words. That you would come to Wales' defense now, after all the abuse he and his minions have publically heaped upon you, tells volumes of your charachter...and theirs. I'm sure you are familiar with the original Italian story of Pinocchio by Carlo Lorenzini Collodi? [34] You know what happens to the cricket, who represents Pinocchio's conscious, in that version, right? Such, I fear, will be your reward for coming to Wales' defense. If you think not, then it is you, my friend, who is guilty of being an idealist here too.

But there is nothing wrong with that! Wikipedia, at its core, is about ideas and idealists. It is about boldly changing the world for the better rather than meekly accepting it as is. It is about openness and transparency...or at least it SHOULD be (sunlight is the best disinfectant even for dirty laundry:) . The world is indeed a cruel place, which is why, Sir, we must endeavour to improve upon it. And a big step in doing so is by demanding better accountability from our leaders. By demanding that they lead us by example and not simply by word or fiat. By demanding that they walk the walk and not simply talk the talk (while netting exorbitant speaking fees in the process). This devil we know argument no longer holds. We MUST do better, we can do better, but only if we, first, demand better....not only of our leaders but of ourselves.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 21:28, 6 March 2008 (UTC)

You appear to have lead a very sheltered life Ghost, no one seems particularly embarrassed. Jimbo's sexual reputation is his problem certainly not mine or yours - all this "walk the walk " is complete crap, we shall Durova's proverbial moccasins thrown at us next, he needs to walk nowhere, and not many people seem to want him to, apart from the predictable few.
Regarding the laundry you mention, the most horrendous new charge I read today, I'm surprised your not quoting it, delicate readers avert your eyes and ears now, is that he left a hired dinner jacket in a hotel room! That really is a sin, in my book a serious crime - what sort of man wears a hired dinner jacket? I'm sure the crime will be compounded soon with the evidence that he also wore a wing collar and clip on bow tie with it. Poor Jimbo, he really has to learn that one of the reasons men travel with their wives (usually on expenses), is that they know how to tie a bow, and pack clothes, and not leave them behind. Wales is a complete shit to have hired a jacket, and then left it behind. I certainly have never left anything behind in a hotel room. We shall be told next that he take his boxers off off, screws them up and throws them into a corner of the bathroom and forgets them, or leaves them for someone else to pick up. I'm just horrified. You are right to have your concerns Ghost. I expect, as you say, it is a well established pattern, but please not the laundry list, let us use our imaginations.
As you say, Wales and I have had our moments, but are you seriously suggesting we leave an innocent man to hang, because he was rude to me three months ago? Half the traffic wardens in London seem to have an obvious agenda where I'm concerned, but so far I have resisted the temptation to go out and machine gun them, although there is one with a horrible little moustache...but I digress.
Regarding these bloody boring expenses, people seem to have a problem with the cost of wine etc. Let me give you an example: You and I decide to give a fund raising ball in Palermo to raise $1 million for Wikipedia, we invite the cream of Palermo Society at $750 a ticket (yes, they will pay this - some will even fly in from NY) so we organize our ball - the obvious place is the Palazzo Gangii, but it's expensive to hire, so we'll go to a hall in the suburbs, we need a band, we could fly in La Scala, but again it's expensive, and it is for charity, so lets have the local school orchestra - they are good, they have been playing together for three months, and they are free. we need the Italian national anthem to be sung and the American (for those from NY) the Cathedral choir are good, but well my son, once was a chorister, his voice is in the throws of breaking, but he and his mates are not doing anything that evening. Now to the food. Lobster is what the guests will expect but tinned tuna is much cheaper (we are a charity) and as for the Dom Perignon 94 (normally served at such functions) well there is some nice carbonated Australian chardonnay on special offer (yes there is such a thing) - so our guests arrive, tiaras glittering, tailcoats gleaming (we don't hire in Palermo - Jimbo take note) so Ghost! How much are these people now going to donate, what will their impression of the Wikipedia Ball be? I will tell you what, they will want their money back and will donate nothing. If you are entertaining people with money, you have to spend money, if you can't see that, then don't ever try to raise any.
Reading your comments, I think I'll stick with the devil I know, I suspect your devil will be a parsimonious little shit who will bankrupt the encyclopedia in five minutes,while encouraging us to lead good clean wholesome lives. Life's too short, Wales has his faults, but he also has the experience and the know how. Believe it or not, this whole business may be the best thing that ever happened to Wikipedia and him (yeah, he probably isn't to sure about that one, right now) he's had a good kicking from a lot of people, now lets put some trust and faith in him, and let him get on with bringing the money in Giano (talk) 22:34, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
True, I doubt I am as worldly as you, Giano. I have not seen nearly as much of fair Europa, nor have had the privilege to live or work in swinging London, baby yeah! But I am far from being a country mouse. I've seen my fair share of the world, I'd like to see more, maybe I will...if not such is life. Much of mine has been spent in a college town amongst students and professors of modest means. Right now our university is in the midst of a budget crunch, so parsimony is much on my mind. But I suppose there are less pleasant things to have on one's mind, such as Durova's moccasins, PLEASE let us not mention those again (Talk about dirty laundry that needed airing!:). However, it is doubtful both of us combined are as well travelled as our globetrotter.
But all that is beside my point, which is; It is not the few fat cats with deep pockets that should concern us here, but rather the many small donors with shallow pockets...those who contribute $10, $20, $50. The schoolkids who give up their lunch money and videogames for the cause. That is where the bulk of the foundation's donations comes from. And to a lesser extent, we should also be concerned about the grand donors too, who chipped in $1K or more apiece...I seriously doubt most of them were wined and dined beforehand, read some of their comments. These are the people whose trust has been betrayed. Not your decadent, spoiled snots and snobs, who you have to spend a fortune on to try and impress in the faint hope of obtaining some big bucks.
Likewise, it is not Wales' lost rented tux, that outrages me, so much as the laptop with the German keyboard he lost...the one he got, when he was in Mexico City, instead of possibly thousands in much needed grant money, he could have obtained if he'd just kept his mouth shut[35]. This is only one example of Wales costing the foundation money. If he were making good use of the foundation's money to impress the rich bitches, then why did they see fit to take his credit card away?[36] That is a rather drastic action on the board's part, yes? It suggests there was a drastic problem that needed to be dealt with. The devil who leads to bankruptcy is not the parsimonious shit, but the jet setting playboy who preaches charity while trying to live like a rockstar.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:09, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I think you have arrived at the party too late, and your grand entrance is ostentatious. You are also making very serious allegations based on malcious, unproven and unfounded heresay. I would strongly advise you to withdraw your comments. I've said below I'm not commenting further, I shall not. Giano (talk) 13:15, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Advise duly noted. As always, you are free to do as you think you must. I, likewise, shall not withdraw my comments. Who whould have thought a year, or even a month, ago you and I would be at odds with Danny and I on the same side? Strange world we live in, mate. Good day--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 13:36, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


This is silly stuff, I never thought that Jimmy Wales was here as a saintly monk. He's used his gifts to make this whole remarkable phenomenon happen, the community is here to act responsibly and keep making it better. When he's in the news, a disgruntled nobody brings out two year old accusations that he wasn't parsimonious enough for them, and had expenses claims refused. Big deal. As Giano says, that can be a normal part of doing business successfully, and Jimmy's success in business was a necessary part of making all this happen. Different standards apply to a charity, within reason, and the expenses have been rightly dealt with and put on a proper basis. They'll continue to be properly scrutinised, and where spending is needed to bring in funding that can be justified. I'm sure that Jimmy and the foundation will do all that's needed, and hope they'll continue to enable the community to make this all happen. .. dave souza, talk 23:55, 6 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes. My first take after I read about this was, "So what?" Wales is a widely noted public figure whose travels are often linked with advocacy for Wikipedia. Expense account claims are routinely refused in many businesses (that's what expense accounting is all about) and sometimes it can take awhile for these things to be reviewed. Wales' publicity/promotional value to the project is so high, the foundation is more than justified in reimbursing these kinds of expenses. Both mistakes and disagreements about his expense accounts were bound to happen in a fast-growing organization like this one and fixing them is not hard to do. Even the publicity on this seems to have been fleeting. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:33, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
That's one way of looking at it. The other is that the reason Jimbo won't let Wikipedia go is because it provides him with wonderful free publicity for Wikia (in the eyes of many journalists they're pretty much one and the same anyway). --kingboyk (talk) 15:09, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
You would not dream of placing an unreferenced fact, that is POV, in an article, so why state them here. Giano (talk) 17:16, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Just asking...

Sir, is this edit[37] acceptable? By that time, I erased foul language on that page. Alexius08 (talk) 08:50, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

We have a longstanding rule of No Personal Attacks, and so yes, I agree with you if you are asking if the foul language was not ok, and I am glad it was removed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:59, 9 March 2008 (UTC)


Giano has convinced me. Keep up the fight! Spoonkymonkey (talk) 14:20, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Hello there!

Hi there Jimbo! I was just wondering why you indefinitely semi-protected this, and if you'd mind me unprotecting it; the reasons you cited aren't in the protection policy, and I don't think it is necessary for the page to stay protected forever. Cheers, Master of Puppets Call me MoP! 04:13, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Nevermind, FT2 overheard and unprotected. :P Cheers, Master of Puppets Call me MoP! 04:20, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you

For obvious reasons, I won't be commenting publicly anytime soon about any of the recent gossip. I just wanted to put a note of thanks here for those who have supported me, and for those who have honestly questioned me. (Those who assume the worst and just attack me, well.... thanks I guess to you too for speaking your mind.)

Wikipedia is a remarkable and ever growing phenomenon. The values that brought us all together are real, and Wikipedia is real. Yes, we will have problems, and yes, I am just a man and not perfect. But I always have put my passionate heart into our work, and I will continue to do so. I believe in NPOV, and I believe that our processes are working to get things right in the long run. We are strong and getting stronger.

The Wikimedia Foundation is growing, becoming more professional, finally becoming able to execute on more than just simply continuing to keep the servers running. I am here standing beside you, as I always have been, a volunteer pouring myself into my work to make our dreams come true.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:47, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Well put. BCST2001 (talk) 11:16, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Hardly an answer to very serious and important questions. I think at this stage a string of platitudes is not enough. Giano's suggestion of letting this blow over is hardly workable either. Spoonkymonkey (talk) 16:42, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Nothing I could say personally would satisfy some critics, of course. They will continue this nonsense no matter who says what. But honest critics must surely take into account the direct statement of Brad Patrick, the ED who went through the relevant expenses line by line with me to review them. "Regarding the issue of the expenses at issue here, Jimmy and I worked through them very carefully line by line. For every expense, we either documented it with a receipt, or Jimmy paid it personally. As confirmed by the successful audit, there is no reason to speculate about financial impropriety."--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:18, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Nice strawman. Of course the books will have to be OK in the end - although the delay in the audit indicates that this was difficult enough. The allegation is that you have tried to use foundation funds for personal expenses. Did you or did you not say in connection with a money dispute with the foundation that your wife needed a washing machine? Did you or did you not try to get a massage parlour visit funded? And what, in your view, caused Danny, whom you apparently worked with well for some time, to make this stuff up if it's not true? And, while we're at it, have you or have you not read any of the Wikipedia press releases describing you as co-founder before 2004, and if so, why didn't you say or do anything about it before 2004? You know, answering questions like these could satisfy critics. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 14:06, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Bramlet Abercrombie, don't you think the crimes you are alleging are petty if not laughable?--Be happy!! (talk) 21:56, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I am not alleging crimes but actual or possible unethical behaviour. And no, I don't think attempting to use foundation funds as a personal piggy bank is laughable. So far the official line only seems to be that in the end the foundation paid only for legitimate expenses, which only means he didn't succeed in any attempt to misuse foundation money. I'd like to know if there was such an attempt, as alleged by Danny and confirmed in leaked mails by Florence too. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 00:58, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
I am here standing beside you, as I always have been, a volunteer pouring myself into my work to make our dreams come true. For the better part of a whole week your sole act of "standing beside us" was posting a breakup notice on wiki, an act of such stupidity that I still fail to understand what drove you to conclude that you were fixing this by doing that. This despite the fact that you were clearly online enough time the other night to exchange e-mails with JzG yet you couldn't spend the 10 minutes or so it took you write the above. You may think people like me, who have donated and contributed thousands of edits, are attacking you and criticizing you dishonestly. Therein lies the problem Jimbo. You fail to understand that not all criticism is dishonest. If you truly want to fix this then hire a PR company and at least for the time being disassociate yourself from the running of enwiki. As for Giano's comment below... I have been putting my money where my mouth was for 3 years... so shut up. EconomicsGuy (talk) 13:43, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Just let it go. Everyone can draw their own conclusions just as I have. Nothing here will change. You can keep believing that but it won't. Then again you are free to believe that no change was needed in the first place. If Jimbo believes that constitutes an attack despite significant donations and almost 3 years of contributions (counting the time as an anon) then that's how it is. It is, after all, just a website. There is no holy mission. If anything, this goes to show that reality applies to Wikipedia too. Maybe we needed that wakeup call to put things in perspective. Unfortunately the above statement does very little to show that this is understood. Oh well. Time to move on or as Jimbo would say it get a new hobby. Take care. EconomicsGuy (talk) 17:08, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
It's unfortunate that the R.M. fiasco and the financial allegations appeared in the same week. If I were Jimbo I would wait until his clothes were off eBay before commenting on the R.M. fiasco. He shouldn't put it off much beyond that though. One thing that the press got right is that articles relating to R.M. have been a war zone for two years; there are some lessons for Jimbo and for our culture here and we need to figure out what they are. I have no opinion on when he should comment on the financial stuff. Kla’quot (talk | contribs) 17:40, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
I would assume that "antime soon" would mean not until his divorce is finalized. That's probably more important than the eBay drama in the long run. Your questions were good ones though. I hope you get an answer. ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 18:30, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the useful insight, Kla’quot, there are lessons for us as a community to take on board, and I'm sure Jimbo will help out in due course, but of course has other priorities to deal with first. .. dave souza, talk 22:53, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Thank you too, Jimbo, for all the good things you've done to help Wikipedia. We all need to look at this an an opportunity for growth and positive change. Wikipedia is useful and every year more useful than the last. Wikipedia governance changes every year too, as it must to adapt. So, what can be done to further improve Wikipedia governance? Increased transparency? An academic-based content-arbcom? Outside evaluation of articles that have been identified as suspect due to Wikipedia COI? Professional public relations management? Every problem is an opportunity. WAS 4.250 (talk) 17:48, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Half and half here.. indeed, your sex life is your business - although I would just say you should have known better getting involved with a FOX News Channel person. However, the issue of questionable financial happenings needs to be responded to, and not just with lip service. It may boil down to a he said/he said type situation but until you prove otherwise, you'll always have the stigma that you can't be trusted with the Foundation's money. Financial issues deserve more than "I'm sorry", regardless of what Giano says. - ALLSTAR echo 17:57, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

You have my sympathy. I'm divorced and have also been through the other thing too (though that was before eBay, so it wasn't exactly the same). There are obviously some financial and COI questions that need to be answered (and at this point, at least based on what has been made public, they are still questions), but I trust that you and the Board will answer them in good time. ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 18:45, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

  • [38] and comment from Wikimedia. Giano (talk) 19:57, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
So we should take the word of a paid spokesmodelperson/current employee, over that of a disgruntled former employee?--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 21:42, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Of course. You can't take criticism seriously when it comes from someone who's disgruntled. He must be on some vendetta. Not worth wondering why he's disgruntled. This, however, settles the matter: "Jimmy is a good guy, a modest guy, he has never done anything wrong." Well put. And she must know, since she was appointed (one-fourth) by Jimmy. Reminds me of how Nixon put all those malicious rumours to rest when he clarified that he was not a crook, or how Clinton cleared away those unsubstantiated allegations when he explained that he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 22:18, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
So you're disgruntled and want to have a moan instead of waiting to get full and proper information from a proper source. You're on the wrong page, here. .. dave souza, talk 22:58, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
What proper source would that be? The Foundation? Sue Gardner already decided explicitly against this: "Over the past few days, I've been struggling a little with how to respond to this. I don't want to get drawn into a long back-and-forth in which Danny makes an ongoing series of loose insinuations, and the Foundation then needs to painstakingly reconstruct past events in order to refute him point by point. So I'm going to make one simple statement: Jimmy has never used Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures." Yes, that's so much easier than having to reconstruct past events (which indeed Sue would have to do to know the truth herself, since she wasn't there when the events in question occurred), especially when it might turn out that those won't serve to refute Danny. So let's just make a diversionary statement which actually leaves open the possibility that Wales tried to use Wikimedia money to subsidize his personal expenditures. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:40, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Jimbo, your commitment and the treasure you've done so much to create for all of us is very much appreciated. As you say, the Wikimedia Foundation is growing and becoming more professional, and that's very much necessary as Wikipedia grows and inevitably changes. Ways of working have changed and developed, not always for the better, and we're all going to have to review the lessons from this case to consider how we can get things working better and more professionally, without losing that fine and friendly spirit of working together that's done so much to build this project. .. dave souza, talk 23:04, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

According to who the former employee is disgruntled? Is that the spin of the Wikimedia Foundation or fact? I think it is a fact that Wales used the foundation's credit cards. We can get to the truth if the credit card bills were reviewed in detail. Financial issues (the Wikimedia Foundation's money) has not been completely addressed here. QuackGuru (talk) 23:14, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Why, of course he must be disgruntled, or else he wouldn't criticize Wales. But you don't have to bother with his criticism, because he's just disgruntled! Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:40, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
And evidently you're disgruntled or you would be doing something productive instead of girning here. Durova is right, proper accounting and audit is needed, and will assuredly be done. .. dave souza, talk 00:06, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

The COI/financial issues should have digital and/or paper trails. As a working assumption, until evidence demonstrates otherwise, I'll suppose this is a good faith misunderstanding that got out of hand. These matters don't resolve themselves instantaneously: years-old files do take a while to locate and review and people have other obligations on their schedules that can't be ignored. DurovaCharge! 23:24, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Most likely, there is a paper trail. Hopefully, the Wikimedia Foundation will release it to the public to clear the air and for everybody to move forward. QuackGuru (talk) 23:42, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Some of the comments here are now bordering on the extreme ignorant.Almost all senior executives get to use a company credit card, in almost all companies. The credit card bills are all audited and reviewed in minute detail by accountants - have you any idea what you are talking about? It is one of the most secure ways of handling expenses, that is why it is done. It is very common to have a claim rejected by the company finance department, as some expenses fall into grey areas, depending on differing company policy. If there was anything concerning I would be the first to point it out, there is not. This is just a bog standard list of claims and sundries that has been placed in the public eye (and we can all imagine why - what coincidental timing) with a nasty spin, even the massage parlour will, doubtless, boil down to something as dull as a bad back, lap tops were made to be stolen and lost, it is hardly an unusual happening. This is just a list of run of the mill business-traveling happenings that has been spun out of all proportion and seized on by an all too willing group of people. If people want a change, and want rid of him then be honest and say so, but this manufactured character shredding, leaping on the bandwagon, witch hunt of the last week is wrong. Giano (talk) 23:49, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
Doubtless boil down to nothing? Manufactured character shredding? You know, you would be credible if you were merely arguing that the allegations were unproven and he should be considered innocent until proven guilty - but how can you possibly pretend to positively know he's innocent? And if so, what's your theory as to why people are "manufacturing" all this? They want to be rid of him - sure, but why? You make it sound as if there's some contradiction between criticizing him and wanting to be rid of him. Or rather you confuse cause and effect, as if people out of the blue decided they want to be rid of him and then would make up fake reasons for that. Instead, they have reasons and therefore they want to be rid of him. I will say quite openly I think he should be gone - and I'm giving my honest reasons for that. I assume the same goes for Danny. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 00:25, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Give it a rest Bramlet. If anyone has credibility here, it is surely Giano. Take a look at his history on this project and explain what particular ax Giano is grinding. He's just bringing clarity to the storm. You're bringing clarity too, you say you want Jimbo gone - hopefully you've got more than expense accounts and personal life to base your argument on, 'cause that ain't gonna cut it. Good luck. Franamax (talk) 03:10, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I can only speculate about Giano's motives, but ultimately they don't matter. I deal with what he says without regard to his history. And he's not bringing clarity, he's bringing a blind defense of Wales that makes little sense (he just "knows" there was nothing unusual about the expenses, he "knows" that in any case Wales' expenditures are worthwhile because he brings in big donations, for which he can't provide evidence). But maybe you can explain what particular ax Danny is grinding that allows you to simply dismiss what he says. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 03:45, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Have you ever represented an organization where you are expected to promote that organization? Nothing of what Giano has said is "blind", nor is it a "defense", it makes great sense because it is a simple statement of reality. Giano has only said that there is nothing unusual in incurring expenses to promote your organization, he has further said that expenses are always scrutinized, approved and sometimes denied. He has also said that expenses have a certain scale, i.e. you don't win people over by buying them hot-dogs (my wording) and I see nowhere that Giano has said that Wales has brought in big donations, whereas I have seen a few people say that there is a strategic and tactical basis to obtaining donations over a long-ish timeframe, and buying hot-dogs isn't part of that. I appreciate your turn of question in lieu of an answer, all I can say about Danny is that he is evidently no longer part of the organization; denied expenses are in no way unusual in corporate life; and even having your company credit-card taken away isn't a big huge deal. Sometimes it means that you are really lame at keeping receipts and filing expense reports on time. Been there, done that, personal experience (I kept the card though - nyaa, nyaa). Franamax (talk) 07:43, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Inasmuch as Giano has stated facts, they are irrelevant and miss the point, since the allegations clearly go beyond routine denied expenses. Trying to use the foundation as your personal piggy bank is not usual business; those are allegations that need to be investigated. What does the fact that Danny is no longer part of the organization have to do with anything? He doesn't have a reputation of being loose with the truth, unlike "sole founder" Wales. Giano is also strangely not questioning for a moment whether Wales' expenses (even where following normal business practice) are worthwhile, since there's no evidence so far that big donations attributable to Wales exceed the excessive travel budgets he spent. Not to mention that fundraising is clearly not his main activity on his travels, and the foundation hardly benefits from him travelling around the world just to hold speeches, for which he pockets the fees and which he also uses to promote Wikia. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 13:22, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I need to clarify: I have mixed feelings on this, so it's difficult for me to leave a consistent remark here.

You seem to mostly have two groups here:

  • People who don't seem to have any regard for your feelings, Jimmy, given the fact that extremely personal information has just been revealed to the world, and who aren't going to question Marsden's or Wool's credibility at all and that "there's no story here."
  • People who do have a strong regard for your feelings, but believe all of the evidence here should be totally ignored.

Both positions are untenable. On the one hand, I feel really sorry for all of the attacks against you over your sex life, because I've had similar experiences with women in the past (specifically, a stripper\ex-girlfriend who revealed extremely embarrassing secrets to friends). If I were you, I'd be totally freaking out right now and I hope you're doing okay.

However, Marsden's remarks, the chat logs, and Danny Wool's remarks are all circumstantial evidence, which corroborate one another. They're very disturbing and (removed another BLP violation Fram (talk) 10:38, 10 March 2008 (UTC) ) it's difficult to completely dismiss Marsden and Wool as both liars, and the chat logs as fake.

Furthermore, as others have noted, this kind of thing could easily be dismissed by more thorough financial disclosure than the very brief summaries in the Foundation's financial reports. Publishing idividual salaries (possibly left anonymous, for privacy reasons) and more detailed individual expenses is a reasonable request.

Keep in mind: There were rumors of financial impropriety (beyond the typical "Wikipedia=Wikia" nonsense) before this story broke. A person connected to the Foundation accidentally revealed to me, a couple weeks before the financial report was released, that the financial report was released several months late precisely because the figures looked bad, so it took more time for the auditors to dig through all of their records very carefully.   Zenwhat (talk) 00:49, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Also, Sue Gardner's remarks here are a bit condescending to the Wikipedia Community[39]:
"We want to disseminate Wikipedia to people off the Internet."
So, the intelligence of internet-users is somehow sub-par?
Furthermore, it's difficult to characterize Wool as merely a "disgruntled, former employee" because he blogged that Jimmy's abuse of the credit stopped in 2006. [40] If he had an agenda, there's not much need to clarify that, as he could just make it up and say, "Jimmy's still doing it!"   Zenwhat (talk) 01:20, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
You lost me there, Zenwhat. How on earth does "We want to disseminate Wikipedia to people off the Internet" imply anything remotely like what you are suggesting?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:22, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Zenwhat, Certainly the finances need to be fully and properly audited, but just publishing the information isn't going to calm the feeding frenzy in the press and gossip blogs or prevent more wild distortions. Care is needed, and that inevitably takes time. As for the point about disseminating Wikipedia off the internet, I think it's a simple misunderstanding as that's the explicit aim of various initiatives including the CD version and a recent funraiser, trying to spread Wikipedia's usefulness to people who don't have internet access. Wool's accusations of misdeeds which ended more than a year ago have to be taken seriously, and knee-jerk reactions can do more harm than good. As Jimbo said at the start of this thread, he won't be commenting publicly anytime soon about the gossip, and I think that's wise. .. dave souza, talk 09:22, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Dave, thank you for your comments. It is important to note that the finances have already been fully and properly audited, a long time ago.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:22, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
A fair point, Jimbo. If any substantive points are raised they need to be dealt with carefully, but essentially the complaints seem to be lurid but vague gripes about some claims which were turned down, and the matter fully resolved in 2006. . .. dave souza, talk 23:13, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I should think this thread is music to the ears of Wales' enemies, who have orchestrated this. They must be reading it with the same salacious, salivating delight as they did at seeing that tatty T Shirt in ebay, which prompted them into action. Has it occurred to any of you, to wonder why instead of popping and hinting away in blogs, none of these people who hate him so, seem to want to do their duty as responsible citizens and pick up the telephone and report him to the relevant authorities. Could it be they know that the authorities would tell them to fuck off, and take their rubbish with them? Just look at this story, headlines: Heterosexual man bonks a woman. He dumps her, woman is cross. Man loses laptop. Man leaves dinner jacket in hotel. Man gets told his expenses are too high. Four people drink two bottles of expensive wine.... Wow! Hold the front page - do you really want me to go on? Now put all this in a pair of scales, weigh these things up against what Wales has achieved, the Wikipedia success story etc., and you want to bring him down for that? If the accountants audit the books, and pass them then there is no irregularity. People demanding that he explain to them personally every bill, is just a cringe making attempt to humiliate him,and it's vile to read. If you want to humiliate him go and bid for his T shirt on ebay, put your money where your mouths are. The only thing this story has proved, is that the higher you climb, the more people love to see you fall all the way down. People are crawling over him at the moment like maggots in wound - and some of the above is shameful to read. Giano (talk) 09:46, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Has it occurred to you that no one is accusing him of illegal behaviour that could be reported to authorities? It is about his ethics and character. And the bonking is just a distraction here; if that was all there was, I don't think it should be anyone's concern and I would feel sorry for him if it were exploited by tabloids. But as things are, it's good if it helps to bring the real issues to the fore. Man uses charitable foundation as personal piggy bank - that is a front page story, and if such an allegation is made by an ex-employee who's not known as a kook, it's not something to be dismissed as "no story". And as to the scales - maybe you can explain exactly what Wales has achieved. In other words, what do you think would be different if Wales had never existed? Do you seriously want to suggest there would be no wiki encyclopedia project today? The idea is trivial. His lucky stumbling into a first-mover position deserves about as much praise as someone making a "first post" on some Internet forum. And, once in that position, how did he handle it? You speak of a success story, well if you measure success by creating a hyped website which is ultimately more comparable to Myspace than to Britannica, then it's a success. As an encyclopedia, it clearly isn't, seeing how its use is banned in many places of learning. (And here yet again can be seen Wales' dishonest evasiveness: he invariably replies to this that such bans are fine because students should not use any encyclopedia - even though one rarely hears of a university banning Britannica, or encyclopedias in general.) Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 14:06, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo's founding of Wikipedia is very far from a lucky "being there at the right time." The concept of a wiki encyclopedia, open to contribution from all, with content and behavior filtered by evolved community policies, was and is revolutionary. There is no equivalent effort in breadth and scope anywhere. That some people, including educators, issue an outright ban on its use as a resource, reflects on their lack of understanding. Wikipedia's strength is in presenting relevant reliable sources for each topic, along with some descriptive text, in a reasonably neutral fashion. We are the librarian at a library, providing a client with a suggested reading list and a hopefully neutral overview of the topic. When used properly, this is a powerful resource, complementing Google or other search engines. Jimbo had the vision to bring this forward, and the personality to push it along, to where people have voted it as the ninth most popular site on the Internet, and number one general informational site. This is an accomplishment that nothing and no one can take away from Jimbo, and the world owes him its gratitude. Crum375 (talk) 18:17, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
You may consider it revolutionary in terms of its impact, but it was still an obvious idea whose time simply had come (it wasn't technically feasible much earlier) and which, if it weren't for him, someone else would have picked up not much later. And he didn't even have that obvious idea. He admitted as much. Originally he only came up with the non-starter Nupedia. He was told about wikis (1) by Larry and (2), so he claims, by some Jeremy Rosenfeld. That there is now no equivalent effort in addition to Wikipedia has to do with the prime-mover advantage I mentioned, since this is a natural monopoly with network effect. To compete against such a thing is like competing against Windows or Ebay. And by God everyone knows Windows is not in its dominant position because it's so good. Now if you want to argue that Wikipedia is mainly providing reading lists, then that's not what an encyclopedia is. An encyclopedia is supposed to provide directly reliable information. Others have suggested before that Wikipedia should just call itself "Jimbo's Big Bag o' Trivia", then no one would be misled. Because guess what, websites where anyone could write about anything have existed before Wikipedia - such as Everything2. The crucial difference is simply that they did not call themselves, or adopt any of the outward trappings of, an encyclopedia. Accordingly, even the most clueless students figured out that those were not reliable sources. But when they see Wikipedia, which calls itself an encyclopedia, and looks like an encyclopedia, they'll assume it is one, even if it fails the test in the foremost criterion, the reliability of its content (otherwise you might as well call the Web-as-a-whole an encyclopedia). Furthermore, an encyclopedia is pretty much by definition a publication, yet Wales can't trust Wikipedia enough to take responsibility for its content and therefore considers it in legal terms as a kind of "service provider". How can such a thing be an encyclopedia? To be clear, when used properly, Wikipedia has its uses. But not everyone can use it properly, and in that way it also causes a good deal of harm by spreading misinformation. The designation of encyclopedia is rather fraudulent. Finally, you say Wales had the "personality to push it along"? What exactly is that supposed to mean? Larry Sanger actually got it going in the beginning, until it pretty much ran itself. Wales acted as a completely superfluous figurehead, wasting six-figure sums on travel, failing to provide actually meaningful leadership that would have improved Wikipedia's quality, and intervening in some governance processes (e.g. appointing arbitrators) which would work just fine (indeed much better) without him, if he had allowed representative government instead of fostering a cult of personality around him. The truth is, the emperor has no clothes (and I'm not talking about his missing shirt and sweater). Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 20:18, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, possibly if you were there at the right time, and an apple fell on your head, you would have thought "gravity", too. But in fact, virtually all great ideas and inventions appear "obvious" after the fact. Specifically, even today, with all the countless wikis about, there is nothing that comes anywhere close to Wikipedia in quality and utility, as evidenced by its popularity. You are also quite wrong about what an encyclopedia (or a tertiary source) is. The idea is to give the interested reader a reasonably balanced overview, and a reliable reading list. That should be enough to either say, "no, that's not what I wanted," or, "yes, that's the topic I want, let me research this some more." An encyclopedia is never enough as a sole reference for a serious paper or work on its own. The concept of availability to everyone to edit is what drove WP's success. It has also attracted a lot of trolls, POV pushers and vandals, and this is where Jimbo's balanced guidance has been crucial. Sanger himself admitted that the free wiki encyclopedia idea was Jimbo's alone, and that he (Sanger) just helped implement it, so Jimbo's role as founder is clear. The recent issues have nothing to do with Jimbo's overall vision and personal guidance of the project. Where I come from, we measure results by bottom line, and the fact that our work product is generally Google's number one find, and that there is no other open general information source anywhere close to us, speaks for itself. That there are a lot of envious detractors is only further proof. Crum375 (talk) 20:42, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but putting the existing concept of a wiki and the existing concept of an encyclopedia together does not require a genius. You must not have read what I said, since I addressed the "nothing comes close" argument before. And as to "utility, as evidenced by its popularity" - well, that obtains only if you use "utility" and "popularity" synonymously. By that standard, porn is also of greater utility than mathematics, since it's undoubtedly more popular. I thought the idea was to become an encyclopedia, not "Google's number one find", but you never learn out. And no, it's you who's clearly wrong about what an encyclopedia is. Look at all the great encyclopedias in history. Reading lists have never been very important parts of them. Britannica's Micropaedia part has barely any references at all. It is itself a "ready reference" and directly gives the reader the answer he wants; he doesn't have to "research this some more" to verify it, only if he requires greater depth. And the latter is also the sole reason why most "serious papers" won't have encyclopedia references - the papers will simply be about more specific topics than are covered by encyclopedias. It has nothing to do with a lack of reliability. This hogwash about "encyclopedias in general can't be references" is another of those myths propounded by Jimbo which you have nicely swallowed. It is probably futile to ask you how "Jimbo's balanced guidance" was crucial in regard to vandals, or what kind of "imbalanced guidance" you think others might have taken in contrast. You are wrong again about Sanger. He did not say the free wiki encyclopedia was Jimbo's idea, only the even more broad and banal concept of "an open source, collaborative encyclopedia" (pretty much every encyclopedia nowadays is collaborative, not written by a single person). And his attempt at that before he was introduced to the crucial wiki technology was an utter failure. It is not disputed that Jimbo is the sole founder of Nupedia, but I don't think he wants to brag with that very much. Bramlet Abercrombie (talk) 23:44, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Crum375, please read the references. QuackGuru (talk) 21:00, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
According to the reference: But if you look back at an old email Sanger sent to those working on Nupedia, Wikipedia's predecessor, you can see that if anyone is the sole founder of Wikipedia, it's Larry Sanger. "Let's make a wiki," Sanger wrote. "No, this is not an indecent proposal. It's an idea to add a little feature to Nupedia. Jimmy Wales thinks that many people might find the idea objectionable, but I think not." QuackGuru (talk) 21:00, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Wales wrote in October 2001: "Larry had the idea to use Wiki software." QuackGuru (talk) 21:07, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
This is what Sanger himself said:[41]
To be clear, the idea of an open source, collaborative encyclopedia, open to contribution by ordinary people, was entirely Jimmy's, not mine, and the funding was entirely by Bomis. ... The actual development of this encyclopedia was the task he gave me to work on.
Crum375 (talk) 21:12, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

This is what Sanger additionally said:[42]

So I arrived in San Diego in early February, 2000, to get to work. One of the first things I asked Jimmy is how free a rein I had in designing the project. What were my constraints, and in what areas was I free to exercise my own creativity? He replied, as I clearly recall, that most of the decisions should be mine; and in most respects, as a manager, Jimmy was indeed very hands-off. Nevertheless, I always did consult with him about important decisions, and moreover, I wanted his advice. Now, Jimmy was quite clear that he wanted the project to be in principle open to everyone to develop, just as open source software is (to an extent). Beyond this, however, I believe I was given a pretty free rein. So I spent the first month or so thinking very broadly about different possibilities. I wrote quite a bit (that writing is now all lost--that will teach me not to back up my hard drives) and discussed quite a bit with both Jimmy and one of the other Bomis partners, Tim Shell. I maintained from the start that something really could not be a credible encyclopedia without oversight by experts. I reasoned that, if the project is open to all, it would require both management by experts and an unusually rigorous process. I now think I was right about the former requirement, but wrong about the latter, which was redundant; I think that the subsequent development of Wikipedia has borne out this assessment. But I fully realize that all of this is a matter of debate. Some will claim that the experience of Wikipedia refuted my original judgment that expert oversight is necessary for a very credible encyclopedia; but I disagree with them. More on this below. Also, I am fairly sure that one of the first policies that Jimmy and I agreed upon was a "nonbias" or neutrality policy. I know I was extremely insistent upon it from the beginning, because neutrality has been a hobby-horse of mine for a very long time, and one of my guiding principles in writing "Sanger's Review." Neutrality, we agreed, required that articles should not represent any one point of view on controversial subjects, but instead fairly represent all sides. We also agreed in rejecting an alternative that (for a time) Tim and some early Nupedians plugged for: the development, for each encyclopedia topic, of a series of different articles, each written from a different point of view. I believed, moreover, that a strongly collaborative and open project could not survive if its contributors were not "personally invested" in the project, and that this required some input and management by its users. So I think it was very early on that I decided that Nupedia should have an Advisory Board--editors, and peer reviewers, who would together agree to project policy--and that the public should have a say in the formulation of policy.

Sanger had a different vision for Nupedia and Wikipedia. Wales ascribed the broader idea that non-experts can contribute to Wikipedia. Sanger wanted expert oversight to Wikipedia. Sanger did not want Wikipedia to be open to POV-warriors. See the chiropractic article and its differences in the history for a clearly POV article. He wanted an expert-guided wiki. Now the world has Citizendium. QuackGuru (talk) 22:04, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

For factual information Google etc do not begin to touch wikipedia. I can't even read a paepr newspaper any more because I read about somebody I haven't heard of and I want to find out about them from wikipedia. While it clearly is an idea of its time that does nott ake away from its brilliance as an idea, so Thank You, Jimbo. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:22, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Wale's efforts in creation of Wikipedia is indeed very very praiseworthy. --Be happy!! (talk) 10:07, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Jimmy, it's possible I was reading too much into Sue's comments. i.e., She could've just said, "We want to disseminate Wikipedia to people off the Internet," not (emphasis added), "We want to disseminate Wikipedia to people off the Internet!"

Still, I saw her interview on C-NET and it didn't seem very sincere. But then, that might just be because she's in business. All people in business are like that.   Zenwhat (talk) 18:00, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo, your personal life is your own business - I don't think many of us on Wikipedia have any real intention to pry. What we are concerned about is the expenses thing, the suggestion from Danny Wool (echoed on This Week in Tech) of an attempt to make Wikipedia into a for-profit: these are the things that I for one am concerned about. Given his abrasive nature when he worked on Wikipedia I'm not willing to automatically take Danny's word over yours - but nor am I simply willing to accept 'there is no story here' Cynical (talk) 11:46, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

WP:BLP

Hi. I know that you do not often get involved in the intricacies of policy debates, however if you are interested in knowing what is going on with the collective Wikipedia psyche in relation to WP:BLP, I believe the following debate, if read thoroughly and carefully, may offer some clues: Wikipedia_talk:Biographies_of_living_persons#Why_not_just_have_notability_for_facts_in_BLPs.3F. This is, of course, not to suggest how you should interpret the disagreement. BCST2001 (talk) 03:35, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

Right thing

I think since you're so big on being fair and doing what is right, you should step in and overturn this decision: User:Riana's Request for bureaucratship was closed as unsuccessful even though the final tally was 237 Support (a record level of support I might add), 39 Oppose and 4 Neutral. It's rather ridiculous to rate successful/unsuccessful on a percentage that isn't guideline or policy. For that discussion, see Wikipedia talk:Requests for bureaucratship/Riana/Bureaucrat discussion#Disturbing reliance on "90% Rule". As was noted in that discussion:

Starting on 1 November 2005, the published guidelines to promote admins were: "one rule of thumb is that below 70% support compared to oppose generally fails, above 80% generally passes, and you should use discretion in between."
That was changed on 14 January 2006 to read: "the rule of thumb is that nominees with a 75% support:oppose ratio are not promoted without a reason good reason, such as elimination of sockpuppets or bogus votes. Similarly those with more than 80% support generally are, and you should use discretion in between - In the case of bureaucracy be aware that, in a year and a half, no one has become a bureaucrat without at least 90% support and only two have been made bureaucrat with more than two opposes. - If you make a promotion or deny one outside of the above guidelines, or in the area between 75% and 80%, be prepared to make an explanation to any editors who asks in a civil manner."
The percentage guidelines were removed on 3 April 2006 and remain absent from the official guidelines.

The overwhelming consensus - again 237 supported her (a record for supports), 39 opposed her, and 4 were neutral - and the excellent adminship and editorship of Riana already displayed and in the history books further proves her ability to be a bureaucrat. I'll also refer you to the outpouring of support after the RfB at User_talk:Riana#Half Congrats.

So I'd ask you to use your infallible power and overturn this "unsuccessful" close of Riana's RfB. I'd hate to lose such a great admin over something that isn't policy. - ALLSTAR echo 21:58, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Ever consider that those 39+4 people, plus the person closing the RfB, might know something you don't?--Filll (talk) 22:29, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but if they don't upload it, it's irrelevant. Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. If WBJscribe wants to ignore all rules, the least he can do is say, "I'm ignoring all rules," when he does it, instead of saying, "I'm sorry... I feel bad... It's appropriate... BUT..." There is no but. If he's already apologized, if he feels so bad, and if it's inappropriate, his mistake can easily be undone.   Zenwhat (talk) 23:37, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I really recommend that you read WJBscribes excellent and honest Bureaucrat Discussion. I know that you have not, because of the erroneous claims you have made on his behalf. Whatever you may feel about the result, do not lay your dismay at the door of someone who had the painful task of closing a procedure where they felt the decision was wrong. LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:47, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Raina is such an excellent admin and devoted Wikipedian that I seriously doubt that the failure to be promoted will engender her leaving the encyclopedia. Is the bar to high for 'crats? Possibly. Is it too high for Riana? NO. I would like to think that Riana would agree that she shouldn't be treated any differently than anyone else in her position. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:36, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Which is exately why this should be overturned. Others have had less percentage than hers.. but as I said, percentages isn't a policy so it shouldn't be used. 237/39 is a big consensus. - ALLSTAR echo 22:39, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Are you saying that different criteria were used? While it may be difficult quantifying it, it is a serious accusation that needs looking at if true. However, if all applicants were put to the same standard and one failed where another didn't then there is nothing to argue about. I would also note that I didn't mention percentages in my earlier comment. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:55, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
As was pointed out at Wikipedia talk:Requests for bureaucratship/Riana/Bureaucrat discussion#Disturbing reliance on "90% Rule". consensus by silence has very much been that RfBs pass with 85+ percentage of support, and yet this decision seems to operate counter to this. Yes, I'd very much say different criteria were used. - ALLSTAR echo 12:03, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Allstar. Much as I wish Riana had been promoted, have you even begun to consider the ramifications of Jimbo stepping in and unilaterally overturning this decision? There is enough discussion on this matter across WP, and yet another thread does nothing to help. Pedro :  Chat  23:08, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
Considering there's no review process like there is for deletions and such, I felt this was the only other alternative. A wrong must be righted. - ALLSTAR echo 23:34, 8 March 2008 (UTC)
I agree that running to Jimbo less than one day after the RFB was rejected is a bit much.   Zenwhat (talk) 23:37, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

(a) I am not running again, but this does not mean I am leaving. (b) I would find it totally inappropriate for Jimbo to unilaterally overturn anything here, and I highly doubt Jimbo would even take such a suggestion seriously. I have also been reasonably vocal about unilateral Jimboisms in the past, believe them to be destructive, and would be hypocritical to take it on in my own case. (c) Join in the discussions on WP:BN and WT:RFA. Jimbo has bigger things on his mind right now. ~ Riana 00:02, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

  • And this is why I find this b'crat decision wrongheaded to the point of disruptiveness. Such a reliance on a non-existant standard has deprived us (for good, it seems) of a potentially outstanding 'crat. And then we have some 'crats (who shall remain nameless) who seem to never be able to get off their WikiAss to do anything leaving all the "dirty work" of 'cratship to the good guys like WjB. Bellwether BC 00:53, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
I see no-and I emphasize no- reason not to have promoted Riana at RfB. Go ahead and tell me to do a modicum of research before commenting. I have, and if someone gets 237 for votes to 39 oppose and 4 neutral, the thing should be SNOWed and said user should be made buro. I'm not saying WjB is a bad guy/girl, I'm just saying that the decision was a little off. Support Riana being made buro pst-incident. --Gp75motorsports REV LIMITER 14:45, 9 March 2008 (UTC)
And this support expressed for Riana is why we should all heed her words just above and stop talking about this here. But Riana please do think about another run for buro-ship. We'll do it better next time ;) Franamax (talk) 02:09, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
You really should do your research, Gp75, because WJB in fact supported making Riana a bureaucrat. Daniel (talk) 05:17, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
It's worth noting that there's no real precedent here - every RfB that's failed has had a lower percentage support, and every RfB that's passed has had a higher percentage support. So while the 90% rule is a fiction, the "strict vote counting line" could've been on either side of Riana. WilyD 15:21, 10 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to make a comment on this as someone who neither participaed in the RfB nor has seen it until a few minutes ago. The main problem that I see here is that in the crat's discussion they seem to have misdirected themselves (and no I'm not wikilawyering).
In the crat's separate discussion which they held over a day and a half there were many, many references to whether or not Riana passed the 90% golden mark which would would automatically establish a positive consensus (the rights and wrongs of this I make no comment on). There was also comments made as to how fair allowing Riana's AfB to pass would be on three other users who had failed previous RfBs. Feel free to criticise my opinion but I believe the results of a previous RfB should have no relevance on a later one when separate people are involved, unless a substantial change to either policy or process is included in one, and having read them I can't see either.
I can make no comment on the merits of the decision in terms of whether or not Riana would make a good crat as that it not what I have read here. I am merely concerned that in a decision that the crats took they did not determine consensus based on the facts of what was before them, but generally on two points (the 90% mark and previous discussions) made arbitrary decisions on numbers alone. It is worth pointing out that alost half (19 as I counted them so plus or minus two depending on opinon) of the oppose noms were as "per FM" (Fellacious Monk) or per another user without adding any further rationale, which did not help to determine consensus and added nothing to the discussion. Searching the same way in the support section (via control + F and users whose only comments wer per above or per another user or similar) I found 11 similar edits which contributed nothing to consensus other than a support or oppose.
One of the crats said "Riana has tremendous support, but does not come close to the 90% gauge set for RfB nominations. Therefore, there is not a community consensus in this case. 90% is the bar and we need to stick to it." I will not name them as that is not fair but I don't believe that a consensus is reached when 90% of people agree with it. A consensus should be a consensus regardless of number, either it is or it isn't. Admittedly for something like cratship a stronger consensus should be needed but nonetheless a glance at WP:CONSENSUS would not seem to eleminate Riana on a consensus basis; WP is not a deomcracy. If someone with 5 times more votes for them than against is not a consensus (even if we do ignore numbers ignoring numbers) then seriously what is? BigHairRef | Talk 14:25, 11 March 2008 (UTC)