User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 40

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Archive 39 | Archive 40 | Archive 41


Unprotection request

Can you take a look at this? Apparently the article was protected at your request, so I wanted your approval before acting. Thanks. J.delanoygabsadds 02:37, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

See a couple sections below. Tan | 39 01:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Saying hello

Heloo man, Thanks for making the world easier by doing such site as wikipedia, I really appreciate it, hope u can leave a reply to my user talk page here :) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Megahmad (talkcontribs) 19:05, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo!

I just want to say hi to the person who started wikipedia. I have a problem;some say my userspace is a bit too my-spacey. I dunno how should I make a good user-page that is also allowed. I really need some help, PrincessClown 00:39, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm not Jimbo, but I have a suggestion: How about working on the articles instead? You know, the encyclopedia portion of this site, where people contribute knowledge? There's a lot of stuff on Wikipedia that isn't finished yet, and putting work into your user page doesn't help fill in the gaps. (Then again, maybe I shouldn't talk; National Register of Historic Places listings in Hennepin County, Minnesota isn't done yet.) --Elkman (Elkspeak) 01:48, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
People can do as they wish. Don't force people to edit the main space.--Jakezing (talk) 00:39, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, pushing people into the encyclopaedia-space who have no interest in it probably is not in the best interests of the encyclopaedia. WilyD 03:31, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Elizabeth Morgan unprotection

Hey Jimbo. I unprotected Elizabeth Morgan per a strange but amusing RFUP request. This page had previously been indefinitely sysop protected by Alison, with a "per Jimbo" edit summary. Since protection was lifted, there has been immediate action on the article. If I screwed the beagle on this one, please feel free to revert/reprotect. Tan | 39 01:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Uh, yep, I screwed the pooch. News at eleven; admin steps on landmine. Page reverted and reprotected, user indef blocked as sock of banned user. Sorry... Tan | 39 01:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

BLP issue involving you

Hi Jimmy, I’m writing over an issue that has gotten some press coverage, on which I was hoping you could shed some light.

On 22 October Cindy Adams, a gossip journalist for the New York Post, wrote a column criticising Wikipedia for inaccuracy in her own biography, and for being unresponsive when she pointed it out. She claimed to have had a conversation with you that went as follows:[1]

I told [Jimmy Wales] my own personal listed information is factually incorrect and I can substantiate its inaccuracies with legal documentation.

Totally unfazed, he said, "People should use it for background - not as their primary source."
I explained the misinformation on my site is not only outrageous but hurtful.
Even more totally unfazed, he said, "Sometimes those sorts of things can be posted by someone who doesn't like you."
He ultimately agreed to a re-edit.
That was two months ago. He did nothing.

There was no further reference to what the contentious material was, so as a result all biographical material in the article was removed. Then, on 11 November, she returned to the issue with more specifics:[2]

I'm told recently The Observer incorrectly observed I'm an octogenarian. That stems from garbage which Wikipedia's founder won't correct despite proof to the contrary. This founder - now looking to stick his icky Wiki into global marketing although the thing fosters lies - said to me only: "Untrue stuff about you might've been posted by someone who doesn't like you." So fix it?! No.

I removed any references to her age or d.o.b in the article. I know you’re very concerned with issues of WP:BLP, and this is now being picked up by other news sources:[3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8]. It’s not exactly a potential Siegenthaler incident, but it might as well be dealt with right away. I was hoping you might be able to shed some more light on the situation, since allegedly you’ve been personally in contact with the subject? Lampman (talk) 16:11, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Sure, I can try. (I rewrote this several times in order to be diplomatic.) I met her briefly at a conference. I offered quite clearly to her that she should email me - I gave her my email address - or email to OTRS (I told her the email address) - and that we would be eager to correct any errors. Her claim that I have refused to correct errors in Wikipedia is - let me be generous here - mistaken. She did not inform me at the time of what the errors were in her entry. My email to her to request clarification has gone unanswered. I applaud your efforts, which are of course very much our standard and in spirit with our quest for the highest possible quality.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:57, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Followup. I just called her on the phone, and she has promised to send me an email. I would recommend that the article be protected or at least semi-protected, (because, due to her column and this discussion on my talk page, trolling is likely) and indeed that the offending revisions (the ones with an incorrect date of birth) be courtesy-deleted.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:05, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. As I expressed on the article talk page - knowing how concerned you are with WP:BLP - I found her version of the story hard to believe. Anyway, any BLP issue like this is likely to provide fodder for idiots who have no idea about how WP works, so the sooner we get it worked out the better. Thanks! Lampman (talk) 23:47, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Cindy Adams

I will, of course, respect your wishes on this subject. As the issue on Talk:Rush Limbaugh shows, I'm just at my wit's end with public people not telling the truth to their followers. But, my respect for you outweighs that. On an unrelated note, could you e-mail me regarding the Africa issues in the e-mail I sent you and Erik? I would be grateful. --David Shankbone 23:17, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

In my experience, which unfortunately I have sometimes learned from all too slowly, when we are at our wit's end about something, this is the best time not to write. :-) I can give this advice, which I consider good, even when I know that I have in the past and will in the future sometimes forget it. I will email you, yes. I am a bit behind on email but I hope to catch up this week, I have a solid block of time allocated for it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:31, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Just because you rock

Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
Well, for founding the most wonderful project in the world. The idea is beautiful, not only for the US, but especially for developing countries where knowledge is needed. Great idea! DavidWS (contribs) 00:09, 16 November 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for trusting me enough with the mop for a whole year now. I try to avoid politics on Wikipedia, so we don't generally interact all that much, but there's always a cup of tea and a warm chair available for you on IRC, should you get too stressed with the whole project. Thanks again for the past year - it's been great. Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry (talk) 00:59, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

I here by award you sir with this barnstar

GoodHeartBarnstar.png The have a Good HeartBarnstar
You have a good heart.". Wiki is always a better place when you are on duty! -- Danger^Mouse (talk) 04:24, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Lucky Penny

United States penny, obverse, 2002.jpg A Lucky Penny
In the spirit of "See a penny, pick it up. All the day you'll have good luck", this penny is offered to Jimbo Wales as Thanks for creating WikiPedia...--Buster7 (talk) 06:46, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Some help

I sent you an email regarding this, but in case you don't read it:

Do you think that edit summaries like this, this, and things like this should be used by an admin? And isn't it standard procedure to add Template:Block when blocking a user? Have a look into Scarian blocking User:SlayerXT and the Category:Wikipedia sockpuppets of SlayerXT. And i'm not sure, but is it standard place to revert every single one of a blocked users edits no matter what? because Scarian reverted every single one of the edits, with no explanation. Alot of times, Scarian's reverts constituted vandalism because it removed portions of artilces (such as infoboxes) that the banned user added in. Any thoughts? I can provide examples of reverts that messed up stuff if needed. - -' The Spook (TALK) (Share the Love with Barnstars) 23:22, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

I have no opinion about the the SlayerXT puppetry issue. From his anger, I have to suppose that he found this so blindingly obvious that it outraged him that anyone would disagree. So, probably he was right about that. But no admin should ever behave in that way with the screaming and cursing. That's just not what we do around here. So I have desysopped him. However, I hold forth some hope that this was a compromised account or similar.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:25, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

No, no compromised account, just melodramatic irritation. I have apologised to Luke here. I quite agree that desysopping me was the correct route as my behaviour was without reason and completely illogical. Sorry for taking up your time! ScarianCall me Pat! 00:32, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
'Done.' Thanks for the quick and responsible response. I recommend a bit of a wikivacation next time something starts to cause you to get that riled up. Or take pleasure in an absurdly civilized response to a difficult situation. Instead of "This guy is a fucking cock and he is pissing me off right now" try "I am sorry, kind sir, but I remain unpersuaded by your comments. I am quite sure the fault is all mine, and yet in good conscience I cannot follow the course of action you recommend." :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:28, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
On the other hand, I regard Scarian as one of the good guys here, and am fully aware of the frustrations and burnouts that can occur here. It's easy to step away from all this, unless it's actually become an act of faith to seek to protect Wikipedia. Is this a permanent desysop or will it be reviewed by time-limitation, reference to ArbCom or a further RfA? --Rodhullandemu 00:54, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll bet that Jimbo, the big softie, gives back Scarian's tools once there has been time for introspection and an understanding that gross incivility is contrary to the values of this project. Being rude to trolls or perceived trolls is not helpful at all. Jehochman Talk 00:58, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Hey Jimbo. I did not see that this was being discussed here as well as ANI, so I will avoid cross-posting. I would, however, like to encourage you to look at my comments on ANI, since I feel that this desysopping may be a bit harsh, considering Scarian's reaction - admitting fault and apologizing for his actions. J.delanoygabsadds 01:03, 17 November 2008 (UTC)


When you desysopped Scarian was this a "Jimbo as constitutional monarch" action, or "Jimbo as a steward/founder" action? To put it another way, can Scarian be resysopped through normal means later?--Tznkai (talk) 03:12, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

This is moot now, but I'd just like to say that clear guidance on any similar incidents would be nice.--Tznkai (talk) 23:22, 17 November 2008 (UTC)


Hello Mr. Wales. With all the respect, i have some doubts about the project

  1. Why wikipedia have some articles with pedophilia? Examples: The article of virgin killer (in whose article did controversy) and in the article of Lina Medina. Was necesary the pedophilia?
  2. Why the only users that have the right to write in the article Israel defenses the sionism? Wikipedia is controlled by sionists?
  3. In the case of jewish holocaust, many articles (example: the doctor Mengele) confirmed things that still dont know with accuracy?

Thanks for the responses.

PD: My english is very bad, i hope that you understand

--Unviejoenemigo (talk) 19:23, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Let me answer those:
  1. Wikipedia is not censored.
  2. Provided the statements made in an article are verifiable by reference to reliable sources it meets Wikipedia's guidelines for inclusion.
  3. See 2.
I will post a welcome message on your talk page with lots of links for you to read about how WP works. – ukexpat (talk) 20:52, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Unviejoenemigo, the project is useful and every year more useful. That said we do have problems that people are working on to help make Wikipedia better. Wikipedia contains information about pedophilia; but does not contain any illegal pornography. Nudity is not sexuality. There is nothing in itself wrong or illegal with non-sexualized nudity. Children play nude at many European nude beaches for example. It is not true that "the only users that have the right to write in the article Israel defenses the sionism". Wikipedia is not controlled by sionists (Zionists); but English speaking people generally have a favorable opinion of Israel so one would expect that reality to be represented in the English language Wikipedia. WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:12, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo please just disregard this message. This guy is from the Spanish Wikipedia where he has been posting the same Holocaust denial nonsense. I would have removed this one if it hadn't been commented on already. EconomicsGuy (talk) 07:28, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

ANI desysop discussion

Heya, you desysopped Scarian earlier; well, in the subsequent discussion we thought of a wonderfully awesome idea. Copying mine for convenience.

  • "If I may, I'd like to remind everyone that Jimbo desysopped Scarian because he believed his account to be compromised (and I'm sure people can see where he's coming from). There's plenty of logic in taking down an account that could be used to blank the main page a few seconds later. However, now that we know what actually happened, I think that Scarian's sysop should be reinstated and then the community can decide whether he should keep it or not."

That was my proposal; several users agree that we should go this way. I was just wondering what you think on the matter. Cheers, Master of Puppets Call me MoP! :) 06:35, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo. At the above noted discussion there is currently some community consensus to resysop Scarian - although there are arguments that the short duration of the thread make consensus less than absolute. Many editors have noted his immediate recognition that he was in error in his actions - something I think that is most important. Given that Scarian has made highly productive use of the admin tools in the past it would also seem we are doing ourselves some disservice by not alowing him to continue editing with them - but that's my personal take. Will you reconsider your action in light of Scarian's prompt recognition of his errors and the communities calls for resysoping? Pedro :  Chat  12:03, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
His reconsideration is not necessary, since it is not an action he had any legitimate authority to take in the first place. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 15:24, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
In case any newbies are reading this and wondering, Kurt is wrong about that, wrong in every way. Kurt's view of what constitutes "legitimate authority" is mistaken.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:01, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Kurt; he had every right to. Any bureaucrat would have acted the same way if they saw a potentially compromised account. Master of Puppets Call me MoP! :) 16:07, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, there is no way any bureaucrat would take that action. Stewards, on the other hand... ;-) J.delanoygabsadds 18:06, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Note that Kurt can (somehow) manage to disagree with just about anything, probably even inanimate objects. --Deskana (talk) 21:07, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I meant steward, my mistake. I was thinking next level up. :P Master of Puppets Call me MoP! :) 22:38, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
No, my view is quite correct. On a community project, no one person has any legitimate authority to unilaterally undo a community decision. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:25, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
So then, by your logic, should a sysop's account be compromised, and it shows all the tell-tale signs of being compromised, that everyone should reach a community consensus to de-sysop it, rather than letting a higher-up de-sysop it immediately. The problem with doing this, is that while you're gaining consensus for this de-sysop, the compromised account can go around Wikipedia and creating alot of work for people, since it has many powers and tools at it's disposal.
Quite simply, while we're busy talking about it, it can go around and delete everything at it's whim, with nothing to stop it.
I don't know about you, but if I were an admin, and my account was compromised, I would want it blocked and de-sysopped immediately to prevent any of that kind of stuff from happening.
Do tell me, what is your argument for letting the compromised account run around and ruin stuff while we talk about it?— dαlus Contribs /Improve 04:36, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
The simple fact that the end does not justify the means. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:41, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, in this case, the end does justify the means.— dαlus Contribs /Improve 04:47, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:56, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Nonsense. If we assume the same principle of community governance you're talking about, there are three groups that have the power to remove community-granted sysop bits: Stewards, Developers, and the Founder group. All three groups have those powers because the community expects them to use them in appropriate situations. In other words, if they have the power to desysop somebody and they decide to sit on their collective ass and do nothing about it, they would be infringing the community's vested expectations of them.
As for scared shitless: It's a freaking website. What's the worst thing that can happen? Getting kicked out? Man, that's something monumental in the grand scheme of things... besides, people don't whine when they agree with things, so the "fear to speak up" might actually be that other users trust the website's founder to do things in the best interest of his creation? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 07:19, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Unless of course, the community by and large supports that person's powers to do so, which makes it a community decision, but thats all a bunch of pseudo political theory, in practice Jimbo has the ability to do the things he does, and has the authority to do so. You may disagree with that situation, but it doesn't change that the situation exists, an important distinction in communicating with the faceless masses of Wikipedia readers on this page, policy discussions, and even article writing.--Tznkai (talk) 04:33, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
The most certainly does not support it; it's just that people are by and large scared shitless to speak up. Were we to start from a blank slate in this regard, the community would never acquiesce to him having these unilateral powers. No one doubts he has the practical ability to exercise these powers; in fact, that's the whole problem! Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:41, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
So, let's get things straight. You don't agree that people trust Jimbo to use his powers wisely, and you yourself don't trust him.— dαlus Contribs /Improve 04:47, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Correct. Kurt Weber (Go Colts!) 04:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
So then you have a conflict of interest in this matter and shouldn't be participating, since you can never be convinced otherwise of your own personal opinions. It's like having a homeowner from New Orleans on a judge panel to decide whether or not to impeach Bush. Because of this conflict of interest, there is no real point in defending one's-self against your rebuttals, as your mind-set does not allow anyone to convince you otherwise. In this case, it could be viewed as disruption, as you would be arguing people in circles about what consensus is versus your distrust in Jimbo, just like LGR, and the way he/she argued people in circles in AfDs. It is nothing but disruptive to the project.
You're asking Kurt to be reasonable. Get real. --Deskana (talk) 07:24, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Everyone here knows that you don't really agree with anything, as stated above, or, as stated above, that you just don't trust Jimbo. Arguing with them about their choices isn't helping anything, because, as viewed above, they obviously put much thought into their arguments.— dαlus Contribs /Improve 05:34, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

LuketheSpook was trolling for a block/desysop

I think you should be aware that the above now indef blocked sockpuppet had previously reported Scarian to WP:AIV with a view to having a block enacted. I declined the report, commenting that ANI was the appropriate venue. For reasons that are now apparent (his own policy violations would be quickly discovered) LtS contacted you. I again wrote that ANI was a more appropriate place for his complaint when I note he had written here. While Scarian's comments were inappropriate, it should be concluded that LtS was trolling and he has exacted exactly the response he was looking for. I hope you bear this in mind when you review the many comments made in regard to this matter. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:57, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for your consideration and resysopping Scarian, Jimbo. As I've just pointed out to him, the events have had a very positive outcome, even if the ride was a bit bumpy.--Alf melmac 00:34, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


Jimbo has re-sysopped Scarian (talk · contribs). Jehochman Talk 23:02, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Unless I've misunderstood some irony here, that makes Jimbo a "softie"? Forgive me, but I didn't see it working like that. Scarian was undoubtedly under pressure, took it personally, and possibly over-reacted; that lead to a desysop. It was such an out of character glitch that as a preventative measure it was obviously thought reasonable to assume prima facie that his account had been compromised, and there can be no complaint about that. However, those of us whose principal motivation here is preserving Wikipedia from those who would seek to make it fail, for whatever reason, are under pressure. We see an editor vandalising one article that perhaps we have watchlisted, look at the contributions, and find a rats' maze of other undetected and subtle subversions, which would be a full-time job to check. The "willy-poo-poo" or "X is gay" vandals are easily detected, because they tend to target well-watched articles; likewise the content-blankers. But we have no rational defence against someone who changes our information subtly, by changing the population of Rhode Island, say, by adding or deleting 300,000 citizens. Such errors tend to persist if nobody is particularly watching those articles, and the less-watched articles tend to suffer from that problem. So is it any wonder that Admins whose principal focus is fighting vandalism tend not only to get frustrated, but also to burn out, because it's often a silent service for which no appreciation is forthcoming? We do it for the correct and proper provision of knowledge, but sometimes that is little reward in itself. --Rodhullandemu 23:44, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
I think Jehochman may have titled this section in a tongue-in-cheek reflection of the situation... Daniel (talk) 00:15, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. Sometimes humor is a way to deal with a serious or unpleasant situation. Jehochman Talk 12:31, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi! I know that there is no point to this message at all, but I just want to say hello to the famous Jimbo Wales!! I would be honoured if you would write something on my talk page, anything at all!! TopGearFreak Talk 18:16, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Noncompliant mirror

A mirror ( claims copyright on Wikipedia's content and has been contacted by numerous Wikipedians. They received a DMCA takedown notice a few days ago (I know because I sent it) and has not responded. They still do not comply. As you are on the board of the foundation, I am telling you this so you and the rest of the foundation can decide what action to take. For more information and a log of our actions, see Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/ Dendodge TalkContribs 19:02, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks. The best thing to do is contact Mike Godwin, legal counsel for the Foundation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:27, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

OK - I'll leave a message on his talk page. Dendodge TalkContribs 21:41, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Actually, I emailed him (per the instructions on his userpage). Dendodge TalkContribs 21:44, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
For creating Wikipedia, the greatest online encyclopedia ever! Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 07:52, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Ugliness of your idea saying that everybody can contribute - 'discussion' about Holocaust

Encyclopedia of the Holocaust

A joint and most comprehensive Holocaust project of more than 200 scholars which International Editorial Board counted 24 world-renown scholars - a four volume book of 1904 pages collecting and desciribing all aspects of the Holocaust: events, places, actions, people involved in. This book is a reference book quoted and cited by scholars

Definition of the Holocaust on XVII page, Vol 1

... the Holocaust - here defined as the Third Reich's attempt during the period of Nazi power (1933-1945), to physically destroy the Jews of Europe - from the antecedents to its postwar consequences

Concentration camps entry is on pages 308-316, Vol. 1: The camps were subdivided into labor camps (Arbetslager), transit camps(durhgangslager), prisoner of war camps (Kriegsfangenlager) and extermination camps (Vermachtungslager). A map of camps is given on page 308. On the map is visible: one (1) concentration camp in France, sixteen (16+1) in Germany + Prussia, 1 - Austria, 2 - Croatia, 7 - Poland 7, 1 - Lithuania, 1 - Latvia, 2 - Estonia Maly Trostenets near Minsk Byelorussia is not marked on the map but it is described on pages 940-1, Vol 3. by Shalom Cholakowski

There are no other extermination camps and sites as it was suggested in the template

Jasenovac entry on pages 739-740, Vol 3. by Menachem Shelach "The largest concentration and extermination camp in Independent State of Croatia"

Sajmiste entry on pages 1323-1324, Vol 4. by Christopher R. Browning - concentration (85% of Serbia's Jews) and extermination camp (killed by hunger, diseases and gassed in gas vans)

Statements in 'discussion' here ( containing explict or implicit Holocaust denial in Independent State of Croatia:

Rjecina: 'Jasenovac has been extermination camp (maybe even greatest non Holocaust camp), but there is agreement between Holocaust scholars that Jasenovac is not Holocaust extermination camp.

VirginSlim: We're dealing with an area of history that's in flux, that's the problem, with definitions of the Holocaust changing, with even the same scholarly sources using the term differently within the same book.

Nitsansh : Bottom line: I wouldn't consider Jasenovac as extermination camp, definitely not by Nazi definition

AniMate: in terms of the Holocaust there have always been six camps designated as extermination camps

EyeSerene: Rjecina, I do see a rough consensus on this talk page that the camps under dispute can be fairly described as extermination camps, although they may not fall under a strict definition of Holocaust camps. Therefore I think your additions to the template are supported.

Ricky81682: Agree with AniMate. At the Holocaust article, Jasenovac is mentioned mostly for the Southern Slavs killed, but here, it is being placed under the Jews. I think it could go under the "Other victims" subsection as an extermination camp there.

Bottom line: Going to expose these 'experts' in newspapers or/and with help of the Anti-Defamation League. Some of the 'notables' above are your administrators. --I am Mario (talk) 02:58, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo, I'll leave this to others, but this feels a lot like a threat, in violation of WP:NLT. I think I'm too involved. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 06:40, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo just so you know it, I am Mario was blocked just a few days ago for posting rants like this yet he keeps doing it apparently. EconomicsGuy (talk) 07:32, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I didn't mean it as "Jimbo, here's something you should do"-type thing so much as a "Jimbo and others, I'm curious about what to do with this user." The argument is at Template talk:The Holocaust where a number of different editors have been popping up all arguing based on the same source. I'm just particular concerned about the "I'm going to 'expose' people to newspapers and complain to the ADF by calling them anti-Semitic because they won't let me put my link at the top of Template:The Holocaust instead of down another section." That can't possibly be conducive to working together or remotely within the lines of civility. There's always WP:ARBMAC because I'm too involved to hand out discretionary sanctions. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 09:01, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
I would simply argue for a focus on the fundamentals here. Assume Good Faith. Use reliable sources. No personal attacks. Try to make sure that what Wikipedia says is actually supported by the sources. Make sure that the sources used are generally considered high quality. Make sure that our view of the sources is not arbitrarily selective in order to paint a particular picture. For questions like this, questions surrounding the precise definition of the Holocaust, remember that emotions will be high and that there is a tendency for people to view people on the other side in an unfavorable light prematurely. If we do all of those things, then threats to "go to the press" or to complain to this or that pressure group will have little impact.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:58, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely. I've been helping to keep an eye on the article since earlier edit-warring, and while I appreciate I am Mario's frustration at having his suggestion to include certain Ustaše-operated WWII camps as Holocaust camps rejected, unfortunately the talk-page consensus is against him on this one. A workable compromise has apparently been reached, with the camps included elsewhere in the template, so I don't think there's really much substance to this complaint (disclosure: I recently blocked I am Mario for disrupting the debate). EyeSerenetalk 13:03, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
I do not know if this is right place for answer, but .... (I will add this on template talk page)
Yad Vashem is established by Israel parliament for commemorating the 6 milion Jews killed in Holocaust. In Yad Vashem Hall of Rememberence we are having names of 22 largest extermination camps [9], but even Yad Vashem is making clear difference between 6 greatest and others. This is possible to see on Yad Vashem FAQ about Holocaust [10] which is speaking only about 6 greatest camps: Chelmno, Belzec, Sobibor, Treblinka, Majdanek and Auschwitz. Similar situation is with USHMM [11]
Against this and all scholars (I can add more sources) which are making clear difference between this 6 camps and 16 other we are having user which is screaming: "There is 8 great camps (6 original + 2 Croatian)". It is interesting that 1 (Sajmište concentration camp) of this 2 camps on Croatian territory is not even between 22 largest camps on Yad Vashem list (see article. This data has never been disputed, but only sources which I can find are on croato-serbian language).--Rjecina (talk) 16:57, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Response to Mr. Wales

A butcher can do butchery - not surgery, even when strictlty adhering to Assume Good Faith. Use reliable sources. No personal attacks. Try to make sure that what Wikipedia says is actually supported by the sources. etc. If the butcher's 'knowledge' is complemented by the utter lack of editorial ethics (fasely referencing books, articles, editorial rules, calling opponents someone's puppets, then falsely accusing and blocking them) you'll see only political pornography - not history, in the Wikipedia's articles. As a consequence - Einstein is portrayed as an Ustashe (Croatian Nazi) supporter in 1930eth (Ustase article), and Jewish Holocaust survivors' testimonies attacked as POV (ugly Wikipedia term) and removed from the Holocaust era articles. All above will be two additional entries in my anti-defamation move against Wikipedia. Rjecina , Ricky81682, and EyeSerene 'discussions' and 'expertises' will be used as the primers of of the abovementioned pornography.--I am Mario (talk) 03:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

The control of Wikipedia

Jimbo, I should start by admitting I am a journalist, but I still feel i can contribute and do that simultaneously. But, ignoring that, history has shown that when communities outgrow their leaders they move on and elect their new leaders. As the so-called Constitutional Monarch of Wikipedia, do you feel the project has reached that stage yet? Are you fully in-tune with everything that goes on? Every policy change, every essay, every guideline, every ArbCom decision? If not, will you not consider stepping down from your monarchical role before you suffer the same fate as King George III?

"Such has been the patient sufferance of this project; and such is now the necessity which constrains the community to alter their former Systems of Government"

In short, Jimbo, it's time for this all to change. The Wikipedia community has outgrown you. Please calmly abdicate in the style of King Edward VIII before this starts to get even more messier GTD 01:26, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Edward VIII abdicated for a woman not to improve things for his country. Anyway, Lady C who wanted to be Jimbo's Queen consort has just died so there is no woman for him to abdicate for. Giano (talk) 18:28, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, but if Edward VIII hadn't stepped down when he did, there was the chance of a constitutional crisis which would have damaged his "realm". Churchill threatened to form a "pro-King" party, which would have de facto made His Majesty's Government the anti-King party! Best to go before things do become totally out of control and irreparable, in my view GTD 18:36, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I am establishing the "over/under" on this section's life-before-removal on Jimbo's talk page at 4 hours, 10 minutes. Your bets (plus a 10% vigorish) may be placed via PayPal to you-know-who. Minimum bet is $11 (to win $10). One-half of the total vig will be donated to the Wikimedia Foundation fund drive 2008. -- Kohszilla (talk) 02:06, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Edward VIII, was pushed into abdicating, because of his Nazi sympathies. Wallis was the cover story. GoodDay (talk) 22:45, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo has been and continues to be a great leader. Wikipedia has not outgrown him; to express otherwise is to claim ignorance of Wikipedia and his leadership role thereof. Jimbo has done a great job at Wikipedia. (talk) 07:17, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
There are many things you can accuse Kohs, Giano and GTD of, but "ignorance of Wikipedia and Jimbo's role in it" is, to say the least, not among them. – iridescent 19:21, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

What Wikipedia needs is for more and better leaders to step up to the plate and help lead; not for the few leaders we do have to stop helping. There is too little leadership going on, not too much. WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:02, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

If/when me & a friend of mine, meet JW. We'll give him a Wayne's World salute (we're not worthy, we're not worthy). GoodDay (talk) 22:47, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd agree that there's too little leadership going on, not too much; that said, I'd like for the community's leaders to be elected by the community, not inherited through tradition. Rule through tradition leaves little room for peaceful change. – Thomas H. Larsen 01:58, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
This communities' leaders are elected by the community, either formally (admin RFAs, Arbcom elections, just by being vocal involved community members with people agreeing with them). If a large number of people, or senior admins, or Arbcom members all in concert lost trust in Jimbo I doubt that he'd try to hold on to his current legacy special status.
It's an oft-asserted presumption that he has lost it. But actually demonstrating it would be easy - put it up for a poll somewhere and ask people. I posit (without testing my theory) that Jimbo has not lost community trust and any such poll will reaffirm that his status is supported.
Coming here and asserting that he's lost it is not arguing from a position of logical or informed community sense strength. Go do the poll, and come back with the results. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 09:28, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


Mankind will recall you forever for whatever you have done to the Mankind. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sapdutta (talkcontribs) 16:53, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I'm quite sure it will. Thank you for sharing that with us. Giano (talk) 23:17, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Great of you to patronise an obvious non-native English speaker. Is that what you normally do? Because, to be honest, I'm beginning not to care too much. --Rodhullandemu 23:22, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Funny that, cos neither do I. Giano (talk) 23:25, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Simple answer: Go elsewhere. There must be a website somewhere that would tolerate arrogance. I'm not sure that this is such. --Rodhullandemu 23:28, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I think this exactly the place to find egos on the make. Let's face it most of them in charge don't do much elseGiano (talk) 23:34, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I'd suggest both of you see the "level-headed" message at the top of this page. Please, avoid dispute. —Ceran (talk) 23:31, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Can you explain the following?

One of the articles in your encyclopedia, 4chan, returns a legal complaint from Google when searching for it about child pornography. I do not wish to place myself in danger, and I would suggest that action be taken over the 4chan article because this has serious ramifications to people who might stumble across it. Thank you.-GemPiety (talk) 02:04, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I mean, go to a google search and it says "In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 3 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at". This must somehow be irresponsible.-GemPiety (talk) 02:10, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, the fact that this is supposedly a featured article, one of your 'best articles', concerns me greatly.-GemPiety (talk) 02:12, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If you'd bothered to read the article, you'd see that pranks involving the posting of child pornography are a common feature of the 4chan website. --Carnildo (talk) 03:25, 21 November 2008 (UTC)


How do I change my signature, because whenever I put what I want in my preferences it says "invalid html tags"? P.S. I want it to look like this Iamawesome800 THANKS!--Iamawesome800 (talk) 03:10, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Check the "raw signature" box. However, please also consider Wikipedia:SIG#Length and the last point of Wikipedia:SIG#Appearance and color. Daniel (talk) 03:28, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
So what would I have to change to get it to work?--Iamawesome800 (talk) 03:35, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Click the "Raw signature" checkbox and then put the code in the "Signature:" inputbox. Daniel (talk) 03:43, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Has David Gerard finally flipped?

Jimbo, you seem to know the person well so perhaps you might like to comment on DG's block of Giano. Is there a belief among certain long established account holders that writing quality articles is the basis of bad hand accounts, or is it simply that holding views contrary to some long established accounts sufficient? Oh, and DG stepping up as the enacting blocker might appear to some as inappropriate - given a past ArbCom where said admin was a party bitterly complained of and against Giano. All this right at the start of the ArbCom elections, too - is there not enough potential drama among the list of candidates and their reasons for standing? LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:16, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

I think it best that I not publicly comment at this time on the underlying issue. Perhaps I will in a few days, if it becomes necessary for some reason, but at the present time this all looks pretty routine to me. However, I will say that I doubt very much that you will find anyone who will argue or even suggest that Giano's quality contributions are the problem, and so the form of your question doesn't lend itself very well to a helpful answer.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:56, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
  • "confirmed and reviewed by multiple checkusers" I want the name of every single one of these people and I want everyone of them fired. Giano (talk) 00:13, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, right, I want to be Judy Garland, but it ain't gonna happen. --Rodhullandemu 00:15, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Why would ya wanna be Judy Garland? She hasn't been too healthy since 1969. GoodDay (talk) 22:29, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Neither have I. --Rodhullandemu 22:37, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
You want to be a starlet who was depressed, addicted to prescription drugs, divorced four times, attempted suicide on numerous occasions before finally dying at 47 of a drug overdose? Erik the Red 2 ~~~~ 02:47, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Stop going on about her good points, already! --Rodhullandemu 22:37, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, knowing this Arbcom's snse of justice you are probably right, but let's just see how many of the are brave enough to admit it first. Giano (talk) 00:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
  • The reasom given for checkusering me was that they there was similarities between Lady C's edits and those of a terrible banned editor. I have now checked those edits to claim any similarity is a blatent lie. There are no similarities what-so-ever. If it were not such an abuse of power, the encyclopedia would die laughing, if they knew which banned editor it was. Gerard should be fired instantly. Giano (talk) 18:18, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Giano, to forestall future drama and turmoil, would you commit to using only one account in the future? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 18:34, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
I want to know what similarities there were between Lady C's edits and that of "???? ?????" When I am shown themm then we will look to the future, as long as Gerard is allowed to perform checkusers, and involve the gullible, to satisfy his own curiousity then none of are secure here, He has abused his powers and must go. He has been 100% dishonest. Giano (talk) 18:36, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Has Gerard been fired yet? or we taking this to another level? Giano (talk) 22:43, 19 November 2008 (UTC)
Giano, why did you create that account in the first place? Did you really think that it was legitimate to run a sock account for ArbCom? It seems to me that David did the community a service by revealing a hoax. It would have been better if "Lady C" had never been created. Whose responsibility was that? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:32, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, come on! David did not reveal a hoax, he reconfirmed a hoax! It was clear, even to those who did not know it was Giano, that it was a sock account having a dig at the process. There was no need to do anything apart from have a quiet word via email, or even via the talk page. Use of checkuser and blocking tools was excessive. GTD 01:34, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Please read WP:POINT. It's explicitly against the rules to disrupt Wikipedia in order to illustrate a point. If Giano wanted to make a point he should have written an essay. The blame for all of this is squarely on his shoulders. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 01:51, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
On the contrary, David Gerard's block of Giano was clearly more pointy as the alternate account was an open secret. There was no way, under any circumstances, that the alternate account would have been considered to be a serious ArbCom candidate. David Gerard's direct actions went against the spirit of Wikipedia GTD 01:55, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
An "open secret" is still a secret. "Lady C" was asked directly if she was a sock and denied it. Why run a sock of ArbCom, especially if there's no chance of winning? Why waste the time of folks who weren't in on the secret, leaving them wondering what the heck is going on? Things like that bring disrepute to the project, just like the last ArbCom member who pretended to be something he wasn't. Let's just write an encyclopedia and leave the made-up characters with funny voices to other websites. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:03, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with your last sentence entirely. Let's leave that all to have their own fun elsewhere. Let's have legally-accountable, qualifications-verifiable, named users to create the best encyclopedia on the planet. That's what I want. But, until that happens, who's to say what jokes can and can't go on? GTD 02:08, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
This isn't a social networking site, it isn't intended to be fun, though a little fun isn't a problem. But Giano stepped over the line in running an undisclosed sock for ArbCom. Posting an Aprils Fools hoax on April 1 is one thing. Posting a similar hoax on other occasions is another matter. And getting upset when that hoax is deleted just shows no sense of humor at all. Giano had his laugh now let's move on with the purpose of this project. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 02:14, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
So you'll join me in banning all minors and demanding all remaining editors use their own names, post their addresses and credentials? Great! Deal! GTD 02:20, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
The obvious reply: Will Beback is a real name. Is George the Dragon a real name? DurovaCharge! 02:28, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
no biggie, but isn't Will Beback a pun / pseudonym? - If not then the Beback parents were kinda cruel, to be honest! Privatemusings (talk) 02:41, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Joke or not, I haven't seen Will demand other editors relinquish their privacy. The gracious thing is to show as much or more respect for the privacy of other people than one attempts to requisition for oneself. With a name like Privatemusings, that sort of explanation shouldn't be necessary. DurovaCharge! 02:50, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

[Outdent] George, there's a big difference between requiring proven identities and allowing disruptive socks. If you think that socks should be allowed to run for ArbCom or admin or should be allowed for banned users, then I encourage you to answer the questions about those matter on your ArbCom candidacy page. Some of us spend a lot of time trying to get rid of disruptive socks. I don't think it's very funny when a supposedly good editor uses one to mess with the system and then throws a hissy fit when it's blocked. If it's a joke account then there's no need to mourn its loss, and there's certainly no reason to form a mob to attack the responsible person who brought the hoax to a close. David Gerard did the right thing (albeit in a clumsy way) and harmed no one's privacy in the process. Now let's get back to writing the encyclopedia. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 03:48, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

No, we won't untill gerard is prevented from doing this again - it goes on. He has no right too invade privacy, none at all. What next excuse? He had to be fired. Oh yeah, and let's have a diff for: " "Lady C" was asked directly if she was a sock and denied it." Giano (talk) 07:22, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
I'll give you two:
Major Bonkers: "Aren't you a sockpuppet?"
Catherine de Burgh: "No, no, barking up the wrong tree there."
Major Bonkers: "Aren't you still a sockpuppet?"
Catherine de Burgh: "I'm certainly not a Sockpocket."
But then again, we already know that you are not adverse to peddling the odd mistruth two when it suits you, isn't that right Giano? Rockpocket 18:31, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • [12] and here is one for you Rockpocket. You see Jimbo and the Arbcom have been terrified I had an admin account and had breached IRC Security, that is what I expect half of this is all about, any excuse to find out, and why gerard has not been punished, he was trying to do them a favour. I don't have a sock Admin account, I never have and I never will, for the reasons given in that diff. Giano (talk) 18:41, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Giano, you asked for diffs about when you denied running a sock account. Rockpocket provided two and here's a third.[13] I've asked you repeatedly to either disclose your other sock accounts or to stop using them. Nothing good comes from this deception. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 19:07, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
There are no others. That is a sterile line of inquiry. Thatcher 20:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Beback, you are a very very sad man, I pity you, truly I do. Without humour one may as well be dead, and we are an awfully long time dead, I know one should never laugh at one's own jokes, so I won't, but was there a deal of harm? For some leather bound tool of the arbcom to come in hot and viscious pursuit - No, I think not - and so do most of the "normal" editors' - it's a hoot, get real, get over it. Giano (talk) 20:30, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Please don't make personal attacks on your colleagues. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 20:49, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Beback, are you seriously suugesting you and Gerard are colleagues? You're not, no one would regard you as such - what an amazing notion, where can you posibly have obtained it? Giano (talk) 22:42, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
For what its worth, I would think it would be patently obvious that you would never try something like that, since it would only be a matter of time before that was revealed. The point is though Giano, and I appreciate it may not feel like it sometimes, but 99% of those people who edit Wikipedia do not read your talk page and do not follow your wiki-career. That includes a good number of admins and CUs. I do, and I still missed that edit. Therefore its unreasonable to expect that everyone is familiar with all the twists and turns of Giano's wiki-activities. Whether your accusations are true or not, I don't know. But by using CdB in the manner you did, it was only a matter of time before you were CU'd by someone not in on the elaborate joke. You have a right to be upset about being blocked, but your outrage over being checkusered is misplaced. Even if it was done with ulterior motives, you set yourself up by using CdB without being completely open about who she is. I, too, operate an undisclosed sockpuppet account (albeit one that is scrupulously clean and policy compliant), but if someone has any suspicion over it, I would expect to be CU'd. Big deal. If you don't want to risk that, then don't use multiple accounts. Rockpocket 19:31, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

This problem with Gerard should have been handled long ago. In fact, I was going to use him as an example in a question to all candidates (but that page seems to be protected now). So, in the light of the current arbcom elections, let me ask it here;

Imagine a powerful administrator who wants to silence some political opposition. He enters into an edit war on a Wikipedia project page and censors all criticism of his pet cause. He then protects the page on his version and even threatens to move it to Meta where he can more effectively control the content. The criticism he removed was civil and came from administrators and long time contributors.

It goes to the arbcom and parties present their cases in the usual way, except this admin who presents his case behind closed doors, in complete secrecy. None of the other parties can see or respond to what he says. Furthermore, he's on the arbcom mailing list by virtue of his previous arbitratorship, and is therefore 'in the room' as the arbitrators discuss and decide the case.

He walks away with no consequences for his behavior.

What do you all think about this? Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/IRC ?

--Duk 17:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

You can still ask questions individually of any or all potential arbitrators. WilyD 17:49, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
In hind sight I think It's more effective to ask in places where it will actually be read by more than just the candidate. --Duk 17:59, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Hell ya! secrecy and censorship, that's the way to run a project like this. --Duk 18:07, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, otherwise people miss things like J Forrester refusing to answer if he will accept an appointment from Jimbo against the will of the people! Good job no constitutional monarch would ever offer such a position. Tough luck James. Giano (talk) 18:23, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Monarchs have absolute power until they actually try to use it. Pissing off the nobles or the peasants will eventually be any monarch's downfall. Thatcher 20:39, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
All this Giano VS ArbCom stuff is entertaining; distracting, but entertaining. Thank goodness the Lady C account is deleted. GoodDay (talk) 22:40, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Oops, it's not deleted. I spoke too soon. GoodDay (talk) 23:08, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
    • So, David Gerard has not finally flipped? Which, given that he knew that Giano and CdB were the same editor some 2 years (should I say here that I didn't know? but then I didn't care who CdB was as long as I didn't have to deal with "her") means that the purpose of the CU was to see if Giano - "exposed" through the CdB connection - was operating a vandal account. No wonder DG blocked both with exceedingly poor rationales; the disappointment must have been excruciating... I truly believe, Jimbo, that some of those entrusted with responsibilities from the earlier days of this project do need reviewing to see if their use of those abilities are in tune with the standards expected in the situations we now find ourselves in. Some people are adaptable and realise that status necessarily changes as situations change, and some are not and are less capable of serving the purpose in the manner in which they were originally entrusted. There is no mechanism to remove these people from the offices bestowed upon them - except by appeal to those who presented them with such powers and still have the ability to remove them. Perhaps it is time, as sometimes can happen to admins and is happening to some members of ArbCom, that CU's are required after some period of service to demonstrate that their use of the tools has the confidence of the community and their colleagues? The trust required of sysops, bureaucrat, and ArbCom members from the community is understood, because of the potential damage those positions may cause; perhaps it is more so for CU's - as events may have demonstrated here. LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:02, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
      • All those words about the importance of trust in the ArbCom, etc., would make more sense if this weren't a case in which a sockpuppet had been nominated for ArbCom. How would having a lying sock on the ArbCom help build the community's trust? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 23:25, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
        • Lying? You mean she wasn't married four times, proposed to by Mussolini, and the daughter of Phimosis Bonkbuster? (talk) 03:18, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
          • I mean that the editor, speaking through the sock account, repeatedly denied that the account was a sock. Again, how did running this account for ArbCom serve to help build trust for the ArbCom and other community institutions? ·:· Will Beback ·:· 05:52, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Nope not at all, not only had I announced here she was running [14] but also the Arbs with Arbs - so you and Gerard donot have a leg to stand on. He needs to be fired, and I wil not be deflected in this. he cannot treat people like this, and he willnot Giano (talk) 07:23, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
[e/c] Giano, I don't know why you chose to lie about being a sock, but you did. I don't know why you chose to run that sock for ArbCom, but you did. The sock was not disclosed to the community, and you used it disruptively. You used it to add derogatory material to a BLP among other things. You were caught and the sock was blocked. You were the one at fault. You have no cause for being mad at those who ended the charade. Get over it. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 07:35, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I admit to being bewildered by this. It was obvious that Lady Catherine was an ironic sockpuppet. It was obvious to anyone who looked at the contribs for more than a few seconds that it was Giano. (Who else can write like that? And indeed, who else would lavish such praise on him?) In any event, David G knew that it was Giano. So why was there a need to checkuser and block? Why not just get someone neutral to drop him an e-mail saying the joke has gone far enough, if someone thought it had, though for my own part, it was the only thing on Wikipedia or anywhere else at the moment that was able to make me laugh out loud. I'm going to miss her. SlimVirgin talk|edits 07:29, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
SV, Giano could easily have acknowledged the sock without ruining the joke. He didn't need to run it for ArbCom, or use it to make inappropriate edits in order to be funny. Jokes are one thing, but this went too far. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 07:37, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
You are still not getting it are you, or don't you want to get it. It was not a secret [15], and Gerard knew it was not a secret. He must not be allowed to abuse his wrongly given powers in this way, on any one else in futire. Giano (talk) 08:10, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Giano, that "disclosure" didn't include the name of the sock, and it wasn't posted on the sock's user page, Only someone who already knew the sock was yours would have been able to find that posting and have known to whom it referred. And it was archived about 10 days later, so even someone with that information couldn't have found it by mid-October. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 08:53, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Will on this one. What is this adding to the encyclopedia, one has to ask. --John (talk) 07:43, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Will and John, putting aside whether the joke had gone too far, or whether the contribs were helpful, the person who blocked already knew that Lady C was Giano. So the question is: why the checkuser? SlimVirgin talk|edits 08:32, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Obviously, any admin who thinks they can simply block Giano, even for obvious policy or probation violations, isn't aware of history. But that doesn't excuse Giano's behavior, or permit him to go on a vengeance trip, or grant him leave to violate his civilty probation (which he's now doing). As for what David Gerard knew and when, we haven't heard it from him. I know that I deal with so many socks and problem editors that I sometimes have trouble remembering them six months later. Even if DG identified the sock, it doesn't follow that he necessarily remembered it two years later. Can you remember the identity of every sock you investigated two years ago? Giano seems to be of the opinion that all Wikipedia editors and admins have his talk page watchlisted and follow his every move and utterance. I had no awareness of "Lady C" until it was placed into the running for ArbCom. At that point, there was no way, short of spending an hour sleuthing, that I would have found it was a sock of Giano. I understand you're sensitive about checkusers, but I still say that people who use undisclosed socks in a disruptive manner should expect to be checkusered and to have the socks blocked. That is why we have checkusers in the first place. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 08:53, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
so are you calling sir Fozzie a liar too [16]. Giano (talk) 09:26, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
No, I certainly am not calling Sir Fozzie a liar. If Gerard has explained his knowledge of this matter I haven't seen it, but this drama has been spread around to many, many pages. But even if Gerard knew or suspected that the account was yours, the mere fact that he'd found a sock running for ArbCom was enough evidence of bad faith to proceed to a checkuser. Socks should not be on the ArbCom. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 10:20, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Well I do hope there aren't already! Giano (talk) 10:33, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Granted, your point about socks in general, but checkusers do keep notes about who they've checked and what the results were, so they don't have to remember everything or repeat checks. They're also on the CU mailing list, and can ask around there. I just find it odd that what happened instead was that three CUs had to check Giano/Lady C, after the accounts had been checked already by at least one of the same CUs, plus lots of conferring and consultation, and e-mails to Jimbo and ArbCom and god knows who else, to deal with what was an obvious and hilarious ironic sock being operated by one of WP's best writers. It all seems a bit po-faced and unnecessary, at best. SlimVirgin talk|edits 09:14, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Clearly there were some mistakes in how this went down. If Giano hadn't created the fake account, if he'd disclosed it on the sock's userpage or made it transparent, if his selected notifications had been more widespread, if folks had waited another 24 hours, or if everyone were on IRC, then things would have been different. I suggest that Giano should submit a complaint with the Ombudsman committee rather than demanding revenge across a half dozen pages. Let's try to minimize the drama here. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 10:20, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
The Ombudsman committee (basically Mackensen and Rebecca) is not allowed to look into alleged checkuser misuse, only privacy policy violations. That's the problem with this situation. The CUs police themselves, or rather, don't. SlimVirgin talk|edits 00:48, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I wasn't aware of that. Perhaps it's time to see about addressing that problem. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 00:51, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I've been trying to get it changed since 2006. I've tried via the Foundation, the ArbCom, and the CU mailing list, but the CUs don't want any restrictions. They currently ignore the Foundation's CU policy, and they check as they see fit, for good reasons, bad reasons, and no reasons. Jimbo openly supports random checks, so there is no one to tell them to stop. The ArbCom and CU list are almost entirely overlapping, so there is no one independent to complain to. In addition, one of the Ombudsmen is Mackensen, who is heavily involved in IRC, where much of the nonsense originates.
The Foundation apparently won't let the Ombudsmen enforce the CU policy. When I last broached this with Anthere, when she was chair, she told me she'd had many complaints about checkuser misuse from the English Wikipedia and several others, and she took the issue to the CU mailing list to find out whether the Ombudsmen should start to look into CU policy violations too. She was told that the Ombudsmen themselves don't want that — as I recall, that was the view of Mackensen, and in my view it's prompted entirely by Mackensen not wanting any further restrictions on CU use.
What we need are Ombudsmen who have zero involvement with IRC, who aren't buddies of the people they might be asked to investigate, and who are given checkuser access only in order to investigate complaints, rather than being active CUs themselves. They need to feel no loyalty to the CUs, or to the complainants, so that they can look at the facts without prejudice or political pressure. SlimVirgin talk|edits 01:03, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
  • SlimVirgin, please check your facts. I ran the check at the request of Avraham; neither of us was aware of the joke at the time. I asked Lady C. on her talk page to contact me, and "she" brushed me off. I then emailed a small number of people who I thought were likely to know whether or not this was in fact an open secret. I did not email "Arbcom and God knows who else" precisely because I was trying to be careful and discreet. Thatcher 11:57, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Can you say how often and when you've checkusered CdB?
According to various posts of yours, you did indeed e-mail lots of people about it, or consult them in some other way. My point about this giant fuss that it's incredibly self-important, and it's this taking of yourself so seriously that triggers the authoritarian, bureaucratic, humourless, irony-free, heavy-handed reaction. I'm reminded of the characters in Solzhenitsyn's novels.
Also, Thatcher, please don't refer to me again in your posts, no matter how obliquely. SlimVirgin talk|edits 00:48, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
As far as Catherine de Burgh is concerned, I checked the account in June under circumstances I discussed on the RFAR page as well as the AN subpage, but her edits were too stale so no results were returned even though the request was logged. I checked again a couple of days ago, and emailed Brad, Jimbo, Avi and David Gerard for consultation. Thatcher 07:22, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
(This is in no way intended to be "snarky" (whatever that may mean), but is rather honest and sincere: In looking over two recent arbcom cases, (SV/Lar in particular), the above seems to be more of the same. What am I missing here? I'm serious. Good faith editors are of course welcome to request clarification of the usage of tools of other editors, but this seems to be well-beyond "requesting comment". Am I missing something? - jc37 13:09, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
This is going around in circles and I have better things to do, than argue the obvious with you. Obviously, you feel Gerard's behaviour and lies and intmidation can be condoned and excused. Thankfully, 100s of others do not. Hopefully, Jimbo will take this on board. The Ombudsmean is appointd by the foundation, so hardly inspires confidence, probably another friend of Gerards. Now, I have better things to do with my time than tit-for-tat with you. I shall not be returning to this page - you just keep on with the excuses for him. Giano (talk) 10:33, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the fault lies with you more than with Gerard. That doesn't mean there isn't fault on his side too. The ArbCom is taking the right approach to this complaint by rejecting it. Let's just move on already. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 11:08, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Those interested may refer to my (and other arbitrators') comments on the (now-archived) request for arbitration. Newyorkbrad (talk) 02:26, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

The inability or unwillingness of the ArbCom to craft an enforceable civility probation is one of the problems here. The tacit approval of those ArbCom members who knew a sock account was running for ArbCom is disappointing as well. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 04:12, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think we're to blame for the actions of other editors. Also, for the record, I had absolutely no idea that account even existed before all this happened, never mind aware of it being anybody's sockpuppet. --Deskana (talk) 04:15, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

The economy really anyone didn't notice.--MONGO 04:15, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


YOu created wikipedia!!! AWESOME!! So you know everything about my account!!??--Spittlespat 00:23, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

  • ...the temptation to reply is almost too great........Giano (talk) 00:24, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Also please drop a message on my talk page!!--Spittlespat 00:23, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

This evening, when I made myself some pasta, I actually said to myself "Whoa, I created dinner! Awsome!". Shnitzled (talk) 16:51, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
[citation needed] :) —La Pianista (TCS) 23:05, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

a suggestion to improve Wikipedia's credibility

I wrote this up a couple years back, but it wasn't brought up for discussion. See User:Kowloonese#credibility.2C_quality_control_etc.

IMO, an expert's approval mechanism can bring credibility to an approved snapshot of wikipedia without affecting daily activity of the original wikipedia.

Let me know what you think about this idea.

Kowloonese (talk) 03:07, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Take a look at how flagged revisions works. I think you may find it interesting to integrate your proposal with the details of how that software works. In general, I support the notion of some kind of lightweight certification process, and especially things that can be tried without affecting daily activity.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:29, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Courtesy notice

Your action in linking to an external blog here has been mentioned here as a precedent for allowing a user to link to a site which attacks a living person on their user page. I don't agree that the two situations are comparable, or that your actions automatically create a precedent. Anyway, I mentioned your name so thought you should be informed. Thanks for creating this great project, and best wishes. --John (talk) 07:51, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

señor YOU ARE a perro and you are very astuto —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Semi-Protected Articles

Hey, I was just wondering, how come I am not able to edit semi-protected articles on here. My acoount is over 2 weeks old and I still can not edit these articles. Please get back to me as quickly as possible. Thanks --NathanielMondragon (talk) 05:39, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Responded at user's talk page. Graham87 07:58, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Mentioned you

I have mentioned you here. Feel free to return fire. :-) Jehochman Talk 12:29, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Sexualised Content

G'day Jimbo - I recall that you've commented on some of these issues in the past, so thought you might be interested to take a look at this nascent proposal... personally I'm a fan of us applying a bit more rigour in deciding how to handle sexualised images, and would love to hear your thoughts :-) cheers, Privatemusings (talk) 02:50, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I support an ongoing process of examining this type of content carefully, and also examining policy carefully. It is a difficult matter for two reasons: (1) this type of content is more frequently than some other types of content used for trolling, i.e. the classic case of someone uploading an image nicked from a porn site and claiming it to be a picture of themselves, just to see if they can get away with it and (2) this type of content is often subject to controversies relating to deletion, with some "radical free speech" people always pushing to keep it and "extremely conservative" people always pushing to delete it. I don't think either knee jerk reaction is helpful, and of course there are people who lean one way or the other and who are very helpful. Clearer guidelines are often helpful, but also can themselves become points of contention.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:27, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
it's heartening to hear you say this, Jimbo :-) - I should further point out that my title was completely wrong, and the proposal now lives at Wikipedia:Sexual content. In taking a look at image histories, it seems that quite a few explicit pictures are uploaded by a rarely-used, or 'single purpose' account, which may fit with your description above of folk pinching a pic and just seeing if they can get away with it. Most (virtually all, actually) of such images are actually hosted at commons however, which means (I guess) that what I'm suggesting is that we take some time to form an 'en-wiki' approach to how we handle these images (we can't, as a separate community delete them, of course). What do you think of the idea of restricting sexual content on en-wiki to article space? I think it's a good one :-) best, Privatemusings (talk) 21:54, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
I tried to get the essence of your points, which I agree with, across at the talk page, and ended up paraphrasing your comments - I didn't want to 'invoke the name of Jimbo' because it didn't seem right, but thought I'd make a note of it here... cheers, Privatemusings (talk) 22:42, 22 November 2008 (UTC)


Hellow Jimbo Wales,no sé si sabes hablar español,pero trataré de hablar mezclando idiomas(porque yo no sé muy bién inglés):

Te felicito por haber hecho the Wikipedia,and porque también has crado Wikia,pero mi pregunta es:

What as hecho esto?,porque es difícil,como you has hecho todo esto?,porque hay que hacer los permisos de user,ect,y es muy difícil.

Un saludo-- (talk) 21:56, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

To reply, this major project started some years ago as a vision that the Internet could be used to spread free knowledge throughout the world. Jimbo and others made that happen. The technical ability was already there, although this example has shown what can really be done with it. As for permissions, anyone can edit a wiki. Higher permissions, such as roles of Administrators, are now given by the community based on trust and merit. Hope that helps. --Rodhullandemu 22:15, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
Para responder, de este gran proyecto se inició hace algunos años como una visión de que Internet podría ser utilizado para difundir el conocimiento libre en todo el mundo. Jimbo y otros hicieron que eso suceda. La capacidad técnica ya existe, aunque este ejemplo ha demostrado lo que realmente se puede hacer con ella. En cuanto a los permisos, cualquiera puede editar un wiki. Superior de permisos, tales como funciones de los administradores, ahora se da por la comunidad basada en la confianza y el mérito. Espero que ayude. --Rodhullandemu 22:15, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

AIDS denialism Talk Page

Hi, Jimbo. Sorry to bring this up again, but on November 8, in regarding to the Talk:AIDS denialism that I previously brought up here, you said that a note should be placed in the discussion explaining what happened. Since User:MastCell was the one who archived that discussion, I didn't know if he should do it, or if I should, since I initiated a discussion on the matter. I left a message on his Talk Page about this, and when I received no response from him, I placed the note myself in that archived discussion. (I see now that MastCell indeed responded to me, but on his own Talk Page instead of my own.) RetroS1mone responded by deleting the note, with a clearly uncivil Edit Summary making disparaging comments about what I "understand" and accusing me of "promoting blp violations", leaving a message on my Talk Page saying that I "misunderstand" BLP, and began a discussion on the Admin Noticeboard, again making uncivil comments about what I don't "understand", claiming that you yourself "totaly said Nightscream was not understanding what censorship means what blp means". Did I misunderstand your instructions about the note, or is the note acceptable? Let me know. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 04:47, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I did not delete Nightscream's note, deletion is a thing only an oversite admin can do, I reverted, Nightscream's note is there in the history like the blp violations the banned IP number put in. BLP can not be clearer!! When someone says a person is a fraud or a person falsified documents, and you think there is no good source, you take it out w/o waiting on discussion. You want to put in a summary OK but that is not in the policy, it just says take it out. What happened on that talk page is obvious, Sheffield Steel and me have notes about blp problems where we edited the offensive stuff, Mast Cell closed the discussion with a note. Then Nightscream puts in new paragraph, a week later, linking to original blp problems. So people can see the false claims again.
Nightscream is going very far to defend a banned IP number and the blp allegations they put on WP, like Jimbo said it is "odd" Nightscream says following BLP policy is censorship. Sorry when I am blunt, "removed immediately and without waiting for discussion" is difficult interpreting, "should be restored if removed and linked to make it easy for people to read again and again," that is a mis-understanding, my opinion. Nightscream was warned about blp problems all ready, that is why I went to ani. RetroS1mone talk 13:40, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo, per this, can you just state explicitly that there should be no link to the potentially libelous edit so we can settle that part of this little tiff between him and S1mone? Daniel Case (talk) 22:17, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
There should be no link to the potentially libelous edit.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:16, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
REally no need, WP:BLP is already explicit, BLP violations should be removed, not restored like Nightscream did before, not linked to like Nightscream did now. RetroS1mone talk 22:58, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
S1mone, you confuse a discussion about a specifically libelous edit with a discussion about the general source of said edit. The note can be kept there without a link. That's my opinion, and really that's all there is to it. What was between you over this is water under the bridge now, OK?. Daniel Case (talk) 02:05, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
That is not all there is to it, when this is over why does Nightscream keep refusing to talk to me, going right to Jimbo and asking you to admonish me for supposing incivility? I am not confusing any thing, Nightscream did not even discuss the source, he just restored w/o discussion and like he admitted w/o even asking me or looking up. Nightscream added a note linnking to blp violation to a discussion that said do not modify and he told you it was because Jimbo and MastCell asked him to. That is not true. Jimbo did not ask him to. MastCell did not ask him to. And no body said, link to the violation. Another clear violation from Nightscream, not a mistake, it is a willing refusal to follow very clear policy. I am trying on making sure Nightscream's policy violations and refusing to follow policy don't repeat, that is all I am doing here, if that is obnoxious I am sorry. You can treat me and Nightscream who calls me obnoxious et cetera differntly on civility, i know some people do not respect me here that is ok and this is not about me at all but please make sure Nightscream follows blp policy at least. I guess the question being, does Nightscream understand what is wrong with adding the link. Thx, RetroS1mone talk 02:24, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Sorry you are right Daniel, I will stop beating this dead horse! RetroS1mone talk 02:30, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

And I have removed the edit from the article history. Let's all move on. Daniel Case (talk) 02:54, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo, could you chime in regarding the type of note you were thinking about? Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 07:04, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
It might be useful, though in this case I very much doubt it, to remove the potentially libelous edit and leave a note simply saying "I removed a potentially libelous edit." As it turns out, this seems like a tempest in a teapot, and I don't know why you are pushing the point. Is there a good reason that I haven't seen?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:16, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I was simply following what I understood to be your instructions from the prior discussion. Again, if I misunderstood them, I apologize. Thanks again. Nightscream (talk) 04:06, 24 November 2008 (UTC)


Knowing that this page is monitored by knowledgeable editors I have an editing question. Recently, an editor changed "the Second World War" to "WWII". This is in an article about language and has nothing at all to do with or about war. I think it should be reverted since the term WWII seems to be more relating to articles about one of the World Wars or Wars as a subject matter. It's a military term, you might say. And the terms "first World War" and "second World War" are used to depict more a time or an era, so to speak, and are used in a more general non-military manner. Thanks--Buster7 (talk) 03:59, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

The Help Desk would be the usual venue for questions like this, but my take is that "Second World War" is used in British English and "World War Two" in American English. In an article, guidance is that one style should prevail throughout and should not be changed without good reason. In a country-neutral article such as you describe, the version in which the article was started should persist until consensus dictates that there is a need for change. --Rodhullandemu 15:03, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Touch the Clouds

This badly written article on a important figure has been greatly improved over the last few days. Maybe you could take a look at it, and tell me what you think of it? J.B. (talk) 11:42, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Concerned Ateneo de Manila University alumni and students

Hi, Jimbo. As Chair, I was appointed by our group of concerned Ateneo de Manila University alumni and students, to convey to you our suggestion and complaint.

  • First, our students and alumni, do thank Wikipedia for its supreme contribution to the Filipino community, in the realm of education, among others.
    • Second, we are very much concerned about Filipino Wikipedians here, who, indicate in their Wikipedia User Pages or Talks/elsewhere(or include their User:Names in the Category:Filipino WIkipedians), that they are alumni or students of rhw Ateneo de Manila University without even indicating or revealing their legal names, for our verification and protection. The name of our school, a Catholic school which follows St. Ignatius of Loyola's ratio studiorum and principles, cannot just be used by any Wikipedia User without allowing us to verify if they are really our students or alumni. Let me, by way of example, explain: our Students Handbook and Manuals of Discipline provide strict guidelines on students and alumni conducts. Lately, a verified complaint was filed with our administrative office by a litigant against a Philippine Department Secretary to DISOWN this alumni based on a graft complaint. This is a public complaint, we do investigate.
      • Third, our school is run by the Jesuit community and we had been receiving some complaints, that, our school's name had been used and misused by Filipino Wikipedians and some Filipinos who migrated or were naturalized by a foreign country's laws (we have dual citizenship laws). The problem is, some current Filipino Wikipedians committed conducts in editing Wikipedia which seriously undermined our Ignatian rules and ethics.
        • Fourth, a Jesuit, on one ocassion this year, had been able to communicate to a distinguished Ateneo alumni (whose classmates are now priests and officers of various Ateneo de Manila University schools in the Philippines). This Filipino Wikipedian Ateneo Alumni, had been politely notified of this messsage to you, in view of our motu proprio confidential probe on the gross misconduct of 2 to 3 of your current Filipino Wikipedians, who allegedly violated our school rules, Philippine statues amid their indication in their User Pages/talks that they are alumni or students of our school, without identifying themselves or their legal names, for us to verify. LET me stress, that, I confirm, that as of this date, no formal complaint had been filed by this Filipino Wikipedian against your other 2-3 Wikipedians, but we ourselves, elevated the matter to the Office of the President of Ateneo for motu proprio inquiry.
          • IN FINE, by virtue of our passed Resolution, I hereby humbly and kindly request, that: a) a Wikipedian rule or policy be added to direct Filipino editors-Users here, not to indicate or state in their User Pages or User talks, or elsewhere here, that they are alumni or students of our school, unless, they identify and state their full legal name so that we can verify. FINALLY, I intend to post in the Filipino Wikipedian community Wikipedia Tambayan talk page, a NEUTRAL "Request for Comment on these Points." Sincerely, and Good Luck, Cheers. (If you will give due course to this request, I will post a template here of my email).--Lux Lord (talk) 08:04, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
What on earth are you talking about? Shnitzled (talk) 19:11, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
A current Filipino Wikipedia editor here, for example, states in his or her User Page that he or she is alumni or student of our Ateneo de Manila University (Wikipedia is used as research tool by almost 90% of our campus community and professionals); then, ex gratia argumenti, or say, for another example, this editor commits acts in violation of our school's handbook and/or Philippine laws; then, and thereafter, our school receives formal lawsuit or administrative complaint against this Wikipedia editor; our question to Jimbo Wales, is: how can we resolve this dispute? Expel this editor, disown this editor, or prevent this editor from graduating? Put differently, if a Wikipedia editor, on the other hand, identifies himself or herself as Ateneo alumni in the User Page by a blog, and we check this as alumni of record of the Ateneo, and based on submitted evidence, we disown this editor ... there would be no problem. Our specific concern, is: if a Wikipedia editor, with pending lawsuit in Ateneo de Manila office (for expulsion-disowning or not-to-graduate, based on Wikipedia actuations against another Wikipedia Ateneo alumni editor who had been maligned), states in User Page that he or she is alumni of the Ateneo, how, can Jimbo Wales help us, in preventing harm to our school, if this User fails to identify his legal name, for us to check from our records. I do understand that you could not possibly get my point, since I could not reveal here, the facts of the pending filed or motu proprio inquiry on this mater with our office, due to confidentiality, it is pendente lite. We are not taking sides, and we are neutral. We desire to get opinions on this on how we can protect our school's name from irresponsible use thereof by Filipino Wikipedians here. Perhaps on this point, you can help us. Thanks so much.--Lux Lord (talk) 06:48, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Legal ramifications

I don't think there will be any policy changes made as a result of a request by an external organization that we require any editors, from anywhere or for any reason, to publicly identify themselves. It simply will not happen. If you believe that the use by any editor of the "Ateneo de Manila University" name or part thereof violates any statute in the Phillipines, you should contact the Wikimedia Foundation and its legal counsel, Mike Godwin. Avruch T 19:20, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you. We are not, at this point, asking any Filipino editor to identify the legal name for checking school records. What we are deeply concerned is: a) a specific Filipino Wikipedia editor, I repeat, only a Filipino editor, puts in his or her User Page "I am an alumni of the Ateneo de Manila University" without indicating his legal name of blog (or had a link which detects his legal name and then erased later on to hide the identity, to prevent lawsuit); b) then, a formal administrative complaint is filed against the Wikipedia editor for disowning, expulsion or not-to-graduate, based on submitted evidence; c) we, for example, had then checked by our inquiry that we had to convict this Wikipedia editor; d) therefore, as part of due process, we write you, as advised by our community, to find the sides of Filipino editors or the critical facts; e) the complainant submits blog and other evidence which proved the Wikipedia editor's expulsion, f) finally, of course, this Wikipedia editor might not still reveal legal name despite this. Therefore we are left with no remedy but to render judgment. We understand Wikipidia's disclaimer on articles, but this is not our concern.
Our concern I repeat, is we need to protect our school's name from being used by any or all Filipino or even non-Filipino Wikipedian from being used without the Ateneo's nod or permission. I ponder that even if I state our case in non-legal terms, you will appreciate our legal right: tersely, if, for example, 100 Users here will state in User Pages, that they are alumni of American University and then, 2 alumni of this school were identified or had fights with some 5 editors or even administrators here who are not really for this school; then, will Wikipedia be not impleaded, joined and named in possible torts and damage lawsuit as co-party defendant or legally called accomplice? This is a finer point of law, and need Jimbo Wales thorough advise on this. We hope you deeply understand our predicament. Best of luck.--Lux Lord (talk) 07:15, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

How do we know that you are who you say you are? You claim to represent the students of this Almeo whatsiname university, but we have no evidence of that. Also, perhaps you should familiarise yerself with WP:NLT. Namaste X MarX the Spot (talk) 07:28, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Sir, I and our group do not represent Ateneo de Manila University. Our group is composed of its alumni and students, an NGO, so to speak. Ateneo has several of these, like ALAFI (Ateneo Law School Alumni Foundation, Inc.), etc. In the Philippines, UK and USA (from which country our laws were based upon, historically), freedom of speech, assembly, press and religion are protected by the Constitution. We had long formed this core group to "BE not SILENT." We are not concerned about lawsuits and we do not file cases. Our advocacy is "Light in the Lord." We speak. We gather evidence or make surveys, in forums, blogs and do personal interviews, but in some cases in full confidentiality. I have read your NLT vis-a-vis Wikipedia:Don't overlook legal threats"When newcomers blank articles or make legal threats, they may have good cause. Stop and look carefully before assuming they're disruptive or wielding a banhammer." We considered posting here via IP not identified User, but in view of the confidence, we desire that our PC be not perturbed much less fed with virus by others. We took the advantage of using a User Name.
We are presently disturbed, by an ongoing probe, which, in the deliberations, or en route thereat, cropped up the rampant-unauthorized use of the name of our alma mater by Wikipedia Editors who could not even prove they are alumni thereof - or succintly, Filipino Editors who indicated in their User Pages that their are alumni or students of our school, when, by their actuations, off this private website in the Internet blogs or forums, among other, and in this good encyclopedia, truly reveals their lack of moral ascendancy to be part of Ateneo. I am very sure that you have ways of discernment and check users, to prevent vandalism, attacks and phoney allegations. *The website of our school[17] and the office of the President Bienvenido Nebres can be sources for your perusal to verify my assertions. You can email this, and I state with certainty that our group had no pending suit with editor. Rest assured. Namaskar. And Pax Christi!--Lux Lord (talk) 08:52, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Lux Lord, I'm not sure specifically what it is you would like anyone on Wikipedia to do on your behalf (or on behalf of the group you describe). Real names won't be revealed by any editor or administrator - simply, we don't have access to them. Even the Foundation will generally not have access to real names, only source IP addresses used to make specific edits. We also are not going to be able to police users who claim association with Ateneo de Manila to verify those claims or for any other reason. We have no policy on claimed affilitations that I'm aware of, and no need (so far as I can see) to begin determining whether those claimed affilitations are true. Is there something else you would like done? Avruch T 14:45, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Lux lord is very probably a sockpuppet of the currently blocked editor User:Florentino floro. This is not the right forum for him to bring his grievances to. xschm (talk) 18:17, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
I suspected as much. Avruch T 18:40, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
He was blocked as a sockpuppet and is appealing his block. I'm confused, isn't he asking that almuni/students reveal their legal names? And his legal name is....? Oops, forgot to sign. dougweller (talk) 12:49, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Regarding Doc United States

I've been contacted by Doc United States asking to be unbanned. Someone "named" VK35 pointed me to this discussion where you indicated that you though it might be good to unblock him due to possible miscommunication or misinterpretation of checkuser information. The original admin who blocked him, Jersyko, is no longer active on Wikipedia, so I can't really ask his opinion. Any thoughts on the issue?

Thanks for your time. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Touch the Clouds 1

Touch the Clouds

Touch the Clouds 1877a.gif

perhaps you can help me with the great article written on him to get it GA. Jouke Bersma Contributions 12:23, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Where's the colour gone?

This place looks like a black and white TV move. What happened? Rory the Slitheen (talk) 20:06, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

The servers are in the United States, so all the colour has been changed to color. ···日本穣? · Talk to Nihonjoe 01:30, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Fine - where's the color? Rory stomps off, realisling that Australian English is not tolerated Rory the Slitheen (talk) 20:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Featured articles

I know that any mention of money on wikipeda gets people flustered but have you ever considered as scheme whereby editors are given incentives if they develop an article to FA or GA? Improving quality is of primary importance but the number of Good Articles and Featured articles we have in relation to number of articles I'm sure you'll agree it extremely low. I wondered if editors were given a discount book -e-voucher or coupon or voucher for every article they significantly contribute to and successfully promote it to FA whether or not it might speed up the process? If editors thought they could work towards earning a token for working hard on an article I'm convinced it would give them more of an incentive to do so. Also some form of book voucher may also result in the purchase of a book which in turn may be used as a reference to improve content on another article so it may be a productive process. Are you strictly opposed to anything like this Mr. Wales? Do you think the idea would have any success in speeding up the rate at which the number of articles are featured? Count Blofeld 14:36, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

We do already have the reward board, where users can offer their own rewards for specific accomplishments (including raising a given article to GA/FA). I assume you are talking about the Wikimedia Foundation giving money itself though, which is a different matter. the wub "?!" 18:11, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't mean money; that word is "taboo" on here. I mean a funding scheme for rewarding editors with e-vouchers who develop articles to featured status. If wikipedia really cared about quality and that "we are trying to focus on quality" as is claimed in the media we for sure would be trying to increase the rate at which articles reach featured status. If quality is of primary concern why not encourage editors to work harder at achieving it with a proper reward scheme rather than just the odd personal offer five times a year by people? I've brought it up at meta wiki. Count Blofeld 21:08, 25 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo. Are you aware of the oversight policy? There is an allegation that David Gerard abused his oversight privileges to remove embarrassing edits made by FT2 to unfairly aid his arbcom candidacy last year. Fred Bauder has confirmed the oversights took place. There are allegations that you were aware of it.

Could you please explain how these oversights were within policy, and if not, why Gerard still has the oversight privilege. Could you explain why another editor (who had contributed to the project for over five years) was banned for bringing it to light? --Duk 18:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I have asked David Gerard and FT2 to fill me in about the history. I have reviewed the oversight logs, and read Thatcher's summary of the situation, which as far as I know appears to be factually accurate. It is evening here, and I am going to bed. I am leaving Europe early tomorrow morning for the US, and then I will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, and traveling by car to a meeting with a Brazilian Wikipedian on Friday. I don't expect to have substantial time to devote to my Wikipedia work until Saturday at the earliest.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for looking into this, and have a nice Thanksgiving. --Duk 23:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

A Question


First off I want to thank you for creating Wikipedia. What is your opinion/position on editors who are trying to improve Wikipedia by fighting/removing fringe theories/POV's, yet are using disruption tactics and battles? These same editors are constantly being called for their actions on AN/I. Yet, it is to the point that the admin's on AN/I have taken a stand of looking the other way with these editors because they feel that while the disruptions are inappropriate, they (the admins) do not want to do anything to these users because the users are trying to improve Wikipedia and are fighting the good fight. This has led to these editors being emboldened to bring more disruption the articles and ignore concerns of other editors who are also there to improve the article, by radically improve/change articles they feel needs drastic change.

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply. Brothejr (talk) 22:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Woe and woe in Ireland

Jimmy, The mess over in the Ireland articles has been going on for years, with a clique of about 10 editors filibustering and preventing any change to the article naming conventions. It's driving us mad, and preventing the articles themselves from being improved. Somehow I think we need binding arbitration. Not that I'm asking you to do it; but I would ask you to have a look. A number of us think that the most sensible proposal is to move Ireland to Ireland (island), Ireland (disambiguation) to Ireland, and Republic of Ireland to Ireland (state). That's a compromise over an alternative, which is to move Ireland to Ireland (island), keep Ireland (disambiguation) where it is, and move Republic of Ireland to Ireland. If you'd like to enter the hornets' nest, please see Talk:Ireland#Proposed_move_to_Ireland_.28island.29 and Talk:Ireland_(disambiguation)#Proposed_move_to_Ireland. Go raibh míle maith agat. -- Evertype· 08:59, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

General question regarding community policies in national wikipedia branches.

It seems (as of today) that I am on the receiving end of editorial zeal in the Croatian Wikipedia. I say this to give context, my question is not about the particular incident but about wikipedia policies in general in cases that may be similar in nature and can be summed in essence as destruction of content as part of dispute resolution.

My first question is related to the standard of protecting wikipedia contributors and the community by displaying the full set of interaction guidelines on a prominent place on the wikipedia home page. The english version has the relevant content in the section on the left titled "Interaction". It is fairly easy to find information relevant to interacting properly with the community.

Is there a way to ensure there is a standard way to get to this information on all local wikipedia sites?

I am looking at the Croatian version, and the "Interaction" section is completelly missing from the left side. And the standards dispute resolution pages are buried in the third level.

As a contributor to wikipedia, my work has been removed for what I believe was editorial zeal, and not a specific policy violation (since none was ever quoted). Language style, while ok to call for imporovements upon, should not be the grounds of page removal. Moreover, editors should abstain from personal qualifications of the contributors. In my case, the editors have qualified myself as (I quote) a: "worshiper" of the subject of the article (a Croatian rock band). Rightfully inflammed by the provoking label attached to myself, I returned the favor with equal eloquence not on the content page but on the discussion page, after which the editor(s) have blocked my IP address and thus effectively banned me from contributing further. Note, the content itself was never subject to any serious discussion of its merits, in fact the ban was placed after I wrote a long piece on my views of the style issues which were raised.

Now this is a somewhat long lead to what I believe is the fundamental problem. If the standard of conduct of some editors in the Croatian wikipedia is at this level, then I am afraid that more information could have been lost by editorial zeal, or even agenda, which goes beyond the wikipedia policies. Before you dismiss me lightly given the (I agree) some personal circumstances in this story you should consider two facts. It has been reported in major Croatian media that the government of Croatia is using its own resources to stem the tide of popular revulsion against the government on the Internet following a series of high profile mafia style executions which shook Croatia in the past several months (including one of a major journalist figure). Second, it is indicative that the editor who decided to ban me has an avid interest in fighter planes. I am not saying, but it smells, of military interference into editorial policies. This wouldn't be a suprise in more democratic countries, let alone in Croatia. One thing is sure, the IP ban was executed military tribunal style, no judge, or jury. The larger point and my second and last question.

Would it not make sense for non-editors, or even banned users, to be able to (in read only mode) review editing decisions and edits done by the editors and other administrators. Specifically, IP ban decision and content deletions?

I believe a measure like this one would help affected contributors in preparing their argument towards the conduct of a given editor/administrator and will help the community protect the content and information stored in wikipedia.

Thank you. Debic. (empty comment for archiving purposes. Fram (talk) 10:05, 27 November 2008 (UTC))

a suggestion to improve Wikipedia's credibility

I wrote this up a couple years back, but it wasn't brought up for discussion. See User:Kowloonese#credibility.2C_quality_control_etc.

IMO, an expert's approval mechanism can bring credibility to an approved snapshot of wikipedia without affecting daily activity of the original wikipedia.

Let me know what you think about this idea.

Kowloonese (talk) 03:07, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

Take a look at how flagged revisions works. I think you may find it interesting to integrate your proposal with the details of how that software works. In general, I support the notion of some kind of lightweight certification process, and especially things that can be tried without affecting daily activity.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:29, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

The key of my proposal is to establish an entry point to a creditable encyclopedia. It does not help the public confidence if they know some good revisions are somewhere deep inside the pile, but there is no guarantee that the public knows which revisions are credible. Currently, most critics say is not quotable academically because of vandalism and there is no known person standing behind the articles. So in a sense, the reputation is already ruined. It is good for research, but not good for reference. So you need to create a new brandname that only serves the best and approved revisions. It is like the Lexus rolling out of a Toyota factory, the customers know they are not getting just a Toyota. When the visitors view a page from, they know for sure no garbage makes it out of the contaminated wikipedia source. Another thing to promote bibliographic references is to set up a clean linking systems that guarantee the correct revision is pulled when the user click on it. e.g. Wales:7834 freeze the reference at revision 7834.

Kowloonese (talk) 03:56, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo - if you put your weight behind flagged revisions, I would pay a florist to deliver flowers to you - and I'm too poor to pay income tax. WilyD 04:05, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Kowloonese, are you familiar with Veropedia? That is already effectively doing what you are proposing. J Milburn (talk) 20:54, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Sound like Veropedia is a snapshot duplicate of the Wikipedia, i.e. a branched copy. How often is it updated? It is not exactly what I have in mind. I was thinking about one single source control database with a different view to filter what should be presented to the viewers depending on the viewers' specified tolerance of vandalism and unverified info. One user may see the original wikipedia as is, and another user may only see an approved filtered revision. Kowloonese (talk) 10:01, 27 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo. Are you aware of the oversight policy? There is an allegation that David Gerard abused his oversight privileges to remove embarrassing edits made by FT2 to unfairly aid his arbcom candidacy last year. Fred Bauder has confirmed the oversights took place. There are allegations that you were aware of it.

Could you please explain how these oversights were within policy, and if not, why Gerard still has the oversight privilege. Could you explain why another editor (who had contributed to the project for over five years) was banned for bringing it to light? --Duk 18:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I have asked David Gerard and FT2 to fill me in about the history. I have reviewed the oversight logs, and read Thatcher's summary of the situation, which as far as I know appears to be factually accurate. It is evening here, and I am going to bed. I am leaving Europe early tomorrow morning for the US, and then I will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, and traveling by car to a meeting with a Brazilian Wikipedian on Friday. I don't expect to have substantial time to devote to my Wikipedia work until Saturday at the earliest.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for looking into this, and have a nice Thanksgiving. --Duk 23:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

A Wikispecies dispute

Hello, I am a newly appointed Wikispecies admin. I am in dispute with mainly one other admin (Lycaon - who was also the only admin to vote against my adminship). I'm not sure if you are the right person to talk to about this, but anyway, it concerns my right to protect a single page that I created ( My reasons for wanting to protect it are as follows:
(1 - minor reason) I am doing this (in the spirit of Wikispecies) without pay, but there are others here who are trying to extract funding for similar projects, and there could be "conflicts of interest";
(2 - major reason) Taxonomy is NEVER fully objective, and the page is my take on the relevant "facts" (though still based only on (my interpretation of) published sources). If others add their opinions to my page, the result would be chaos. SERIOUS BIOLOGISTS CAN NEVER TAKE WIKISPECIES SERIOUSLY UNLESS THERE IS SOME WAY TO BE CONFIDENT OF GETTING CONSISTENT/RELIABLE INFORMATION. I believe that protecting my page provides usefully consistent information to serious biologists, while at the same time not preventing others from expressing their opinions, for anyone can still create an alternative 'New Zealand' page (using a disambiguated title) and link it to the relevant taxon pages independently of me. From their perspective, it is as good as being able to edit my page. So, I am not trying to stop others from expressing their opinions, I am just trying to stop them from fiddling with my opinions!
Stho002 (talk) 03:59, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, Jimbo Wales!
As we all sit down at the dinner table and say our thanks today, I would like to give thanks to you for your wonderful contributions and wish you a very happy Thanksgiving. May your turkey and ham satiate you until next year!
Kind regards, – Obento Musubi (CGS) 02:15, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
A traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
To send this message to another friend, please paste {{subst:User:The Obento Musubi/Thanksgiving | ~~~}} on their talk page.


I don't see you on freenode. I know you have an account there, but why don't you go on it? Techman224Talk 01:01, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


Hey Jimmy I am unaware as to the politics of wikipedia at this time but I was wondering if you could take a look at this[18] --GlasGhost (talk) 21:25, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Administrative rights misuse

The abuse of Administrative rights is very rampant in Wikipedia. There is no mechanism in place to check this nuisance. The Administrators are not controlled and hence it results in the Admins indulging in vandalism and even blocking users without any valid reason. There is a type of Unionism of Administrators resulting in injustice to the contributors of Wikipedia. At present Wikipedia resembles the Third Reich rather than a free media. These are serious issues that hit the credibility of Wikipedia. So I hope that certain mechanisms will be put in place to prevent such type of issues from continuing. Thank you. Chanakyathegreat (talk) 04:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Show me an admin indulging in vandalism, and I'll hand out the block myself. There are a great many mechanisms for dispute resolution; I recommend that you pursue them if you have a serious complaint! :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:41, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm sorry about that whole Brandt mess. It was wrong and I just want to move on forward. I hope you do well. Yanksox (talk) 16:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Article undeletion vs. Scottish courts

Jimbo -

Can you please have a look in at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard#Admin deletes article per Scottish police?

Here's the brief synopsis, as I see it. AlisonW was contacted by the Scotting police, representing the Scottish courts. She was asked (as a Wikipedia representative) to take down our article on Peter Tobin for the duration of his trial, so as to avoid tainting the jury pool. AlisonW complied.

We now have a tempest on WP:AN, where some editors insist that the article must be restored immediately (WP:NOTCENSORED, it's outside U.S. jurisdiction, etc.). From what I gather, the trial is expected to be over in less than a week, at which time the article would be restored anyway.

I am gravely concerned that prematurely restoring this article has the potential to do serious real-world harm, and (secondarily) the fallout could also badly bloody the project's reputation. (Screwing up a murder/rape trial will probably draw more attention than the Seigenthaler mess.)

I'm here to ask you to weigh in on the dispute, and – hopefully – to encourage a little bit of patience. I suspect that you're the only individual on the project who is capable of acting with both the necessary speed and moral authority to make such a request and to make it stick. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:45, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I know little of the details here, but I can say with some confidence that based on what I do know, a little relaxation is almost certainly in order. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a breaking news site, and while we hate to have timely information unavailable, there can be competing concerns which outweigh. I have spoken with neither of AlisonW nor Mike Godwin about this situation, but I strongly recommend against restoring the article hastily. The case will still be as famous and appropriate for an encyclopia (or not, as the circumstances dictate) a week from now.
Rather than have a useless drama and fight over this case, perhaps a better use of energy all around would to be help formulate a more longterm policy response to similar situations in the future. I don't know that I would personally be in favor of deletion in circumstances like this, but I think reasonable people can differ, and all that I am advising is that there is no need to climb the Reichstag dressed as Spiderman today.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:55, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
We have a Reichstag in Edinburgh? This does seem strange, but tempting as it is to wander up the Royal Mile to the High Court, caution obviously comes first. . dave souza, talk 20:05, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
<blush> It's in Dundee, I've not been paying attention to the BBC News24 that's been burbling away all day. Evidently Desperate Dan is needed. . . dave souza, talk 20:33, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi there. I've tried to cut the Gordian knot and restored the article as a single-sentence stub, referring only to this man's involvement in as a defendant in a current murder trial. This stub has now been semi-protected and we can hopefully now discuss what content would be appropriate. Tim Vickers (talk) 20:06, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

That's actually not the case, Jimmy, as you described. In this case the UK prosecutor or Court wants the article down because the historical references, which had been there for some time, about previous convictions of the BLP subject--he's a notable convicted and admitted rapist/murderer in the UK--may taint the jury now. They want the whole thing gone since we're high profile and have all the info in one easy to find place. rootology (C)(T) 20:08, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

The issue should really go to Wikipedia:Deletion review. That is where a proper process can occur. Kingturtle (talk) 20:14, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I've started a discussion of the principles raised by this case at Wikipedia_talk:Biographies_of_living_persons#Current_legal_cases. Tim Vickers (talk) 22:04, 1 December 2008 (UTC)


Looks like you re-granted yourself CheckUser two weeks ago and still haven't "returned" the bit. Are you planning on keeping it going forward? (Just general curiosity. :-) Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:14, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Assyrian people

Hey there! I didn't know where else to go so I will make this quick as you are probably really busy.

From the beginning of the Assyrian people's article we've had problems with the ongoing nameconflict. Some identify as Syriacs other as Chaldeans or Assyrians. We have had this nameconflict going on for two long, for years. I want to ask you to move the page from Assyrian people to Assyrian/Syriac people and lock it if able. Thanks --Yohanun (talk) 17:40, 21 November 2008 (UT (archiving comment) Fram (talk) 19:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

MediaWiki 1.14 alpha

Can you give me MediaWiki 1.14 alpha? (talk) 01:10, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

See this page from Graham87 03:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

(archiving comment, this section did not get picked up by the archive bot for some reason. Fram (talk) 07:59, 3 December 2008 (UTC))


Hi Jimbo. Are you aware of the oversight policy? There is an allegation that David Gerard abused his oversight privileges to remove embarrassing edits made by FT2 to unfairly aid his arbcom candidacy last year. Fred Bauder has confirmed the oversights took place. There are allegations that you were aware of it.

Could you please explain how these oversights were within policy, and if not, why Gerard still has the oversight privilege. Could you explain why another editor (who had contributed to the project for over five years) was banned for bringing it to light? --Duk 18:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I have asked David Gerard and FT2 to fill me in about the history. I have reviewed the oversight logs, and read Thatcher's summary of the situation, which as far as I know appears to be factually accurate. It is evening here, and I am going to bed. I am leaving Europe early tomorrow morning for the US, and then I will be celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, and traveling by car to a meeting with a Brazilian Wikipedian on Friday. I don't expect to have substantial time to devote to my Wikipedia work until Saturday at the earliest.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:03, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for looking into this, and have a nice Thanksgiving. --Duk 23:29, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
When you can squeeze this matter in to your busy agenda, would you be kind enough to give us your opinion on the rights and wrongs of David Gerard's oversighting of FT2's edits in the middle of an election campaign. It is impossible to know how many others would have opposed his election had the oversights not been made, but at least once you have spoken and shared your thoughts, those that will be taking this unsatisfactory matter further will have an idea how to proceed. The problems of a registered charity are manifold, I wonder what the solution to all this is - what a pity those such as Gerard do not think before they act. Giano (talk) 19:37, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
I believe FT2 intends to say something about this early next week. I'll comment at that time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:29, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Is it for FT2 to comment on it? David Gerard's explanation might be marginally more interesting and probably of more use. Quite frankly FT2's explanations are neither here nor there, it happened. What are you, J Wales, planning to do about it? Giano (talk) 20:46, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
    • As I said, I will comment at that time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:29, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

A better question, IMHO, is "Why is this exact same question posted 3x on the same individual's talk page?" I count two instances in Archive 40 [19] [20] and now this one. I understand--it's an important question--but this repetition seems to approach the realm of POINTiness.GJC 11:24, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

OK, it looks like FT2 has commented. Now, Jimbo, can you please answer my questions;

  • Could you please explain how these oversights were within policy, and if not, why Gerard still has the oversight privilege.
  • Could you explain why another editor (who had contributed to the project for over five years) was banned for bringing it to light?

I have some new questions too;

  • Why did you wait for FT2 to comment when this is another of Gerards messes?
  • This has been going on now for a year. Doesn't your and FT2's delaying tactics seem disrespectful to the community? Do you think that if you just keep delaying, stalling and deflecting that we'll all forget about it? What's next, are you going to ask the arbcom to 'look into it'?
  • In a project that allows anonymous user names, a person's edit history is all we have judge candidates on. If you sit back and allow edit histories to be falsified then why do we even bother having elections? --Duk 19:23, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

I will answer your questions as best I can. I would appreciate it if, going forward, you would drop the hostile tone and ask your questions in a more thoughtful way.

(1) I think these oversights were not within policy, and that minor mistakes of this nature should not result in immediate removal of the power. In any event, I have never personally removed the oversight bit from anyone and I'm quite sure that me acting as judge, jury, and executioner in such cases would quite properly be frowned upon. The oversighters monitor each other; you may want to ask them to clarify circumstances in which they would recommend that the bit be removed.

(2) It is absolutely false to claim that anyone was banned for bringing this to light. If you think I am mistaken, please supply me details.

(3) I waited for FT2 to comment because I wanted to make sure I understood what happened. I'm quite sure that I ought not to go around making half-baked comments without the facts in hand. I will leave such behavior to others. I prefer to be as careful and deliberate as I can be; I hope that you will respect that.

(4) I am unaware of any delaying tactics. You asked me last week, and I looked into it over a holiday weekend as best I could. It's Monday now, and I still have some unanswered questions (not, by the way, due to anyone stalling or being less than 100% transparent with me, it's just that there's a lot of history to understand).

(5) I don't think edit histories should be falsified, so your question is invalid.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:02, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Peter Damian tells the story a little differently. Since you seem to want to hear from various sides, I'd like to unban him and ask him to comment here. --Duk 20:47, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Jimmy, we know this story isn't holding water, in fact it is leaking like a sieve, if there are no problems why was Gerard apologising to you for making them, and then why were they not un-oversighted if there were no problems. So far all FT2 has done is add confusion upon confusion. The fact he delayed a week to coincide his explanation with the opening of the new elections fools no-one. It is not too late for him to stand again, of if that is not possible then the only honourable thing to do is resign. This thing stinks from beginning to end, and when things stink this bad they are always routed out.Giano (talk) 21:41, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
(1) David realized that oversight was the wrong tool to use after I raised the issue with him, and he apologized for that. (2) He asked developers to un-oversight, but that was not possible. I do not know why; I had nothing to do with that conversation. I think FT2 has been completely transparent and open throughout this process. I think any accusations of delaying are really quite silly. What purpose would delaying have, after all? Rather, what I see, is someone working really hard in the face of a rather astonishing smear campaign. Giano, you are yourself one of the people who not so long ago "warned" me about FT2 being involved in the bondage subculture, and seem to be part of the movement to "out" FT2 as a gentleman who posts pictures of himself in advertisements for such. But, I have met FT2 - the identification is wrong, and you should be ashamed of yourself for taking part in a smear campaign.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:25, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
YOu have just in an email made a serious false allegation against me. For the record i have never been involved in any outing campaign of any person on Wikipedia Review. That you are advised by liars is news to no one, that you are a liar will be news to many. If you can find one gram of evidence that i have been responsible for or assisted in the public outing of anyone please provide proof because you won't find any - and if you do it will be because you are lying further. If this is how you want to play things take your Gerard and your FT2 and stick them with your enccyclopedia where the sun fails to shineGiano (talk) 22:39, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Seattle? It's been gray and gloomy every time I've visited. Jehochman Talk 22:46, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I support Duk in asking that Peter Damien be unblocked. He's a good editor, an academic in an area in which the project has a dire need for qualified people. He seems to have been blocked originally for trying to draw voters attention in ArbCom 2007 to FT2's edits to articles about human-animal sex, two of which Damien highlighted, and which were soon after oversighted (FT2's first two edits to Wikpedia, I believe). It seems that Damien got frustrated by FT2's lack of answers and started making inappropriate comments, such as "dog lover," and, I believe, he suggested he would report FT2 to an animal-welfare group, which got him blocked. Shortly thereafter, the oversights took place. So it's true that he wasn't blocked for pointing out the oversighting, but his block and the oversighting were closely connected.
Since then, Damien's been unblocked, then reblocked several times for e.g. commenting on the block by FT2 of someone else. In other words, it's the "give a dog a bad name" syndrome: one block has basically caused the next one. He should be unblocked now, allowed to tell his side of the story, then allowed to go about his business helping to improve the encyclopedia, as he was doing before. SlimVirgin talk|edits 22:09, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Obviously I am not privy to the reasons why Peter Damian was originally blocked, however I trust your judgement on that as it seemed to you then. However, given his returns here under different accounts, with the express intention of creating good content in areas where it is lacking, then using his subsequent blocks as leverage to attempt to persuade major contributors to withdraw their contributions, struck me as being unhelpful. On balance, I do not feel that would have had much success in real terms. There was, for a short time, a slight consensus that we should not pander to that campaign on the basis that we would rather have him inside the tent pissing out than the alternative. However, without regard to that consensus, he's been blocked again. If he were allowed back on the basis that all that is past should remain so, I wouldn't complain about that; we should all move on and allow wounds to heal. Bitterness should not be allowed to poison the aims of the project, and sadly, I see too much of that persisting here, and being allowed to persist. On a personal note, both Damian and I consider ourselves academics and would much prefer, I suspect, to concentrate on content rather than context. But of all the editors here who know my health and financial difficulties, he is the first and only to offer any assistance whatsoever; there may, of course, be an ulterior motive in that, but he's not so stupid as to assume that I would be biased in his favour on that account. He's lucky, perhaps, in that he will be able to celebrate Christmas. It's very doubtful that I will. --Rodhullandemu 23:11, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
Rod, the matter is not secret, but Damian's original account was under his real name, so to respect his privacy we avoid linking too much to his comments. Also, due to changes in mediawiki, his block log has become uncoupled from his account (long story). I can email you some of the links if that will help. Thatcher 23:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The oversights certainly muddied the waters and made Damian angry, but have very little to do with either his original blocks or Jimbo's latest block of the Peter Damian account. Damian objected to FT2's election for other reasons, then when that did not get traction he found the zoophilia edits, then when that did not get traction he canvassed a bunch of people who had already voted to change their votes, as a result he was blocked. He was unblocked after apologizing but then posted the dispute to his blog. He says that he removed the post from the blog before the oversight, and I have no reason to doubt him, but the fact remains he was banned for a repeated campaign of smear, harassment and innuendo. He maintains an off-site list of "the most revolting wikipedia articles" that (in part) targets articles FT2 has contributed to or defended, and he has started threads on Wikipedia Review about FT2 titled "Sociopathic behaviour", "More sociopathic cruft defense by FT2", and "More Evidence of FT2’s Bestiality Pushing Sockpuppetry" (among others), none of which have anything to do with oversight. The only possible reason to unblock him would be as a diagnostic test, like injecting someone with glucose to see if they are diabetic. Now that the oversight business is out in the open and acknowledged, can Damian resume editing without further obsessing over FT2? I'd like to think that the experiment is worth a try but I have strong doubts. I would like Damian to at least acknowledge that yes, he has been targeting FT2 at least in part, and that he is willing to let it go. Thatcher 23:13, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think the bytes spilled here explain in part why we don't want wikipedia to be a political battleground, internal or otherwise.--Tznkai (talk) 23:35, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think he needs to be allowed to tell his side of the story first (within Wikipedia policy), and then be allowed to continue editing, at which point he should undertake not to mention FT2 again. However, I can tell you that I've had people pursue me in the way FT2 has been pursued, and they're not blocked. To the best of my knowledge, Damien became annoyed with FT2 in the first place because of the way FT2 handled a philosophy mediation, then when he looked at FT2's edits, he found FT2 focused on unusual sexual practices, most notably human-animal sex. He considered such a person unsuited to ArbCom, in part because of the edits, though mostly because of the personality. At no point, to the best of my knowledge, did Damien before the first block, start posting in a way intended to out FT2 or anything similar (I stress — to the best of my knowledge). Since the block, I don't know, but it seems clear to me that this was a case of spiralling mistrust triggered by the first block. SlimVirgin talk|edits 23:34, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I generally agree, the question is whether Damian can unspiral himself. I am in email contact with him, I would have more confidence if he acknowledged his own conduct in some degree. Thatcher 23:39, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
I think he has acknowledged it. He apologized for calling FT2 a dog lover, and he apologized for threatening to report him to an animal-welfare group. But some of the blocks have been quite mysterious -- for example, he was blocked for objecting to FT2 blocking an account that FT2 said was a sockpuppet, and which was helping to clean up the pederasty article. Is any admin willing to unblock him, that's the question, on condition that, once he's told his side of the FT2 story, he go about his way, unmolested and unmolesting? SlimVirgin talk|edits 23:49, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
The account was a checkuser-confirmed sock of banned user HeadleyDown, and Damian was insisting that because of FT2's own views on sexuality, he should not have been involved in blocking the account because it had the effect of advancing a pro-pederast agenda. In any case, I have emailed Peter, pointing him to this discussion and asking him a couple of questions. Thatcher 23:57, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

My mostly uninvolved impression here is that a line, and a big line, should be drawn under all of this, as raking over the ashes is detracting from the primary purpose of building an encyclopedia. It's sadly a measure of the maturity of any social construct that it will inevitably be drawn into self-analysis rather than actually getting on with the job in hand, and that can be destructive. *Accordingly, I put forward the following propositions:

  1. Peter Damian will be allowed to edit here, using whatever account name he chooses to use, as long as it is made known to trusted parties, subject to normal editing policies, and will not use Wikipedia or any other forum, online or otherwise, to rake up past perceived injustices.
  2. Unless gross violations of such trust become obvious, because of, or requiring, Checkuser intervention, this will be an end of all previous matters, on the basis of a fresh start and any substantiated breach of this agreement by Peter Damian will result in immediate and irrevocable banning from this project.

# Any substantiated breach of this agreement by Peter Damian or any other party thereto will result in immediate and irrevocable banning from this project, including, but not limited to, bad-faith abuse of checkuser privileges. I know it's late where I am, but this does really need some balls. --Rodhullandemu 00:26, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, what does checkuser have to do with the Damian matter? Thatcher 00:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I told you it was late. Redacted accordingly. --Rodhullandemu 22:14, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Email to Giano

Jimmy, did you possibly overstate the case against Giano? To the best of my knowledge Giano has never outed anybody. Perhaps you have confused him with somebody else and an apology is due? This situation is difficult enough without adding more potentially false accusations to the stew. Jehochman Talk 23:44, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Giano has sent me wild accusations about a good user, which turned out to be completely false. Those accusations were based on an outing thread on a message board where he is a regular participant. I commented about this privately only, to someone who chose to publicize my private remarks inappropriately, but I stand by the comment fully. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:23, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Statement from Giano

As JWales posts above that he is standing by his allegation. Here is the truth: JWales and I had an email dialogue in early September 2008, which touched on FT2. I was concerned that allegations on WR, following hot on the Poetlister debacle were damaging to Wikipedia's international reputation. A view I still hold. My email to JWales began "I don't know if you have seen last weeks outing of FT2, on WR, nor do I know if the damaging allegations contained in that outing are true or not, and it doesn't really matter because it is only one small part of what appears to be a recurring overall problem." I obviously can't post JWales' replies but I can tell you that he did not agree that such allegations were damaging to Wikipedia and that was the end of the correspondence which consisted of approximately 6 emails.. I was not aware we had parted with any bad blood. In fact, 2 weeks later we had a perfectly reasonable exchange concerning an unwell, former Wikipedian attempting to damage the project - and we were in complete mutual agreement on handling that matter.

Last night, In an email to to third party (not FT2, although JWales may have copied him) JWales made the false claim that I (Giano) "participates in WR and aggressively participates in their outing campaigns." This has made me more than angry. Outing people has never been one of my interests, I deplore it. I frequently warn private email correspondents against giving out too much information. I know the RL names of many of those who don't agree with some of my thoughts, but I can say without fear of any contradiction, not one of them has ever worried I would out them. I have always protected everyone's right to privacy. Even recently on WR, that of JWales' own family. The only time I have ever asked for an oversight in one "my debacles" was because an adversary had inadvertently given away private info relating the Admin who blocked me. Editors RL privacy is paramount to me, no matter who they are. To those of you, (some from a surprising quarters) who have posted kind messages on my page - thanks it means a lot. I just want you all to know that I do have standards. Giano (talk) 11:36, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I apologize.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:40, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Thank you, I appreciate and accept the apology. Perhaps, however, this is the time to say that if you don't soon change your advisers, Wikipedia's reputation (which is just as important as the project) will be internationally trashed and it will take years to recover. One does not have to be an Arb, an Admin or a user of IRC to care what happens here. You, more than anyone other, needs to realise that. Your closest advisers are bad and have been for a long time. Giano (talk) 20:00, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for that. Hopefully Giano will accept. Jehochman Talk 15:03, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Welcome to India

Hi Jimbo, Welcome to my home town , Thiruvananthapuram ! I do wish to meet you but I am away in Bangalore . Anyways a warm welcome to you to India again , from the Indian Wikipedians ! -- Tinu Cherian - 12:46, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

You might be interested in these stats before coming to India ! -- Tinu Cherian - 12:06, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Quote question

I don't think I'll actually garner Jimbo's attention, but I figure his many page watchers might be able to help. There was a quote of Jimbo's that I read once. The guts of it was, whenever he was asked to investigate admin abuse, he was always surprised that the person asking wasn't blocked long ago. Ring any bells? Anyone got a page link? I'm pretty sure I saw it on a policy or guideline page, but now I can't find it (always possible it's been edited out). WLU (t) (c) (rules - simple rules) 18:10, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, not sure if I can help you in finding it, but I can say that I don't endorse it today as you wrote it. What I would say is that most often when I get a random email alleging admin abuse, then when I look into it, I find that the complainant lasted a lot longer before being blocked than I would have imagined. We are often surprisingly tolerant of blatant deliberate trolling.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:58, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
From the man himself; not quite how I remembered it, but if my memory was perfect I wouldn't have to ask! Thanks, much obliged (and if anyone does have a link, I'd still appreciate it). WLU (t) (c) (rules - simple rules) 00:10, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, I am not sure what I may have said at the time, but there have been some cases of "admin abuse" which panned out, so I can no longer use absolute terms like "always". It is also possible, of course, that I spoke in error at the time, failing to include a qualification that I should have. I try not to speak carelessly, but like anyone, I do make mistakes at times.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:04, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia User pages policies vs FREE SPEECH protected by First Amendment to the US Constitution

In USA Wikipedia is registered as public organization. Does this mean that Wikipedia User pages policies should comply with rights (such as FREE SPEECH) protected by US Constitution ? Apovolot (talk) 00:40, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Would this have anything to do with this by any chance? – iridescent 00:43, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes (in part) and particularly with the following comment there, which raised my curiosity level: "Changed my vote (above) to regular Delete due to the relentless campaign by User:Apovolot, who uses arguments like 'free speech' that are not to be found in Wikipedia policy. EdJohnston 03:11, 1 December 2008 (UTC)" Apovolot (talk) 00:51, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

... the short answer to your question is "No", and I suggest you read the First Amendment. It's a classic, but often misunderstood, sometimes for comic effect. --Rodhullandemu 00:47, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Still no, I'm afraid. The first amendment covers us inasmuch as the state can't censor our articles, but Arbcom isn't a government and Jimbo isn't a president. As an independent organisation, we're bound by those rules we choose to be bound by ourselves. – iridescent 00:55, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Dear Rodhullandemu - should I consider your reply as rendering of legal opinion ? Apovolot (talk) 00:57, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Of course. I am a lawyer. You are not, otherwise you wouldn't make such a basic mistake as ot the scope of the First Amendment. --Rodhullandemu 01:17, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law..." It says nothing about private websites, which Wikipedia is. The Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, has the right to say that anything may not be included, for any reason. They have allowed the community as a whole to decide the exact details, and thus we have WP:USERPAGE. A good essay to read regarding this is WP:FREE. J.delanoygabsadds 01:07, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Besides the legal aspect of the issue, there is also a moral one: Should Wikipedia User pages policies try by free intent to comply with FREE SPEECH protected by US Constitution ? Apovolot (talk) 01:21, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

That question does not, as far as I know, have a definitive answer, since the decision has been largely left up to the community to decide. You could try starting a discussion at WT:USERPAGE, but I can practically guarantee you that you will get nowhere. J.delanoygabsadds 01:26, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

This reply sounds like deja vu to me ... I think I have heard something like this before ? ... Oh yes: "Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated". Apovolot (talk) 01:44, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Or "You're using our server, you follow our rules" might be a less hyperbolic way to put it… – iridescent 01:49, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, isn't "our server, our rules" logic just serves as easy escape from facing moral issues question ? Apovolot (talk) 01:56, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

No. Our server = "What we want" is the only issue. No morals involved. – iridescent 02:03, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't think that anyone from Wikipedia will readily admit that Wikipedia's collective "What we want" is in contradiction with articles of US Constitution ? Apovolot (talk) 02:10, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Many, many people have told you that what Wikipedia disallows on its own servers is not covered by the Constitution. If you don't believe us, that is your problem. What are you going to do? Sue them for controlling what is placed on their own property? Go ahead. I'll bring the popcorn. J.delanoygabsadds 02:15, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Or to put it more simply, would you allow me to come over to your house with a Magic Marker and scribble on the walls? By your logic, I would be exercising my "Constitutional rights". Please stop this; you're starting to cross the line that separates "commentary" from "disruption". – iridescent 02:17, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Most users from outside the U.S. certainly won't care. The issue of free speech may or may not be of concern, but not the extent to which Wikipedia's policies about the concept do or don't align with the U.S. constitution. I can't even imagine that many American users will be much troubled. And then there is the small point that what the U.S. constitution says about free speech has nothing to do with the rules of a non-governmental association. ៛ Bielle (talk) 02:20, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not an experiment in free speech. Wikipedia has a narrowly defined mission: It exists to be an encyclopedia and nothing else. Merely because anyone is allowed to contribute to that mission does not mean that anything goes. If content is so beyond the scope of creating an encylopedia, it must go. There is no moral conflict. The moral conflict would be if we allowed the mission of Wikipedia to be degraded by people taking advantage of the open nature of the software to pervert Wikipedia to their own means. We have one goal; building an encyclopedia. Any deviation from that goal represents a moral bad. 03:43, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Free speech can be abused (like those cases of blasphemy and certain articles in Encyclopedia Dramatica), so no. Wikipedia may be a dictatorship of some sort, frankly speaking (although it is also made as a democracy), but it is for the better, rather than allowing users to attack or bash at people on their userspaces. Blake Gripling (talk) 04:20, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

This discussion (on this page, which in fact represents the *face* of Wikipedia) clearly shows to any *outsider* that Wikipedia, which I am sure was created with the noble goal of spreading the Knowledge and Truth, has eroded into "Borg-like" police state collective of brain-washed zealous fanatics, who prefer to blindly follow the "rules" instead of using their personal moral judgment. An amazed outsider will see in this discussion all vestiges of very unappealing, uncharismatic dictatorship without Human Face ... This is what happens when noble goals are pursued using wrong methods ! Apovolot (talk) 11:10, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Apovolot, stop the trolling and get to your point already. It is clear that you wanted to use Wikipedia to advertise or whatever, well, guess what. I'm going to be blunt here. Wikipedia is not for anyone to advertise anything. Have you read numerous encylopedias in your life? If so, look closely at the content(and I mean the paper/book ones, not anything online). Do you see ads anywhere? No? I didn't think so. We're here to write an encylopedia. We have rules here to keep the content neutral, and to keep others from using the space we are using to write an encyclopedia, to advertise their new cure-all tonic. We are not here to provide free ad-space. We are here to write an encyclopedia which will be completely neutral in tone. We are not here to provide free webspace for anyone. You want free webspace? Go to Yahoo or Google, I'm pretty sure they have something available in that regard, but also, they have rules. Terms of Service, if you will. I'm pretty sure that you, like most internet users, have seen that link to the ToS regarding any webservice of any sort. Here's the short story for you: Wikipedia is not governed by the US, nor the UN, nor any other nation or country. It is governed by the laws and rules layed out in the ToS, the policies created to help the ongoing, endless construction. If you can't follow our rules then find somewhere else to edit, just make sure it isn't here.— dαlus Contribs /Improve 11:21, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
There has been a deletion discussion, as is our policy. The result of that deletion discussion was, delete. To be a member of wikipedia's community is to be bound by our policies and processes. The process was followed, the result was delete, and there's not much else to discuss in my opinion. Wikipedia is a mix of firm rules and community mores. We have deletion discussions when the issue is not clear, to get a gut-check from a variety of contributors. The mores have spoken. Why clutter up Jimbo's page with this? At best, the next step would be deletion review. That's the process. WLU (t) (c) (rules - simple rules) 18:19, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Has anyone taken a look at International Law? Because the United Stated is joined to the United Nations, it has to follow some international laws. Is there any International laws allowing free speech? Techman224Talk 21:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

A treaty cannot trump the US Constitution. The US Constitution guarantees freedom of speech (and, thus, the right of the Wikimedia Foundation to use their own server to say what they want to say and not say what they don't want to say). A treaty infringing on that right is unconstitutional. --B (talk) 21:49, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation does not say anything that is on their servers, they are simply a provider of a forum that others use. Individual American's have the constitutional guarantee of free speech; however, a treaty can (and in some cases does) limit speech where there is a compelling government interest. See the Treaty Clause which lends considerable legal effect to treaties, including trumping US law where there is a conflict (for full treaties not legislative agreements or executive agreements). --Trödel 22:07, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
You have no freedom of speech on somebody else's web server. Period. The WMF can at its sole pleasure allow or disallow your speech here for any reason or for no reason. --B (talk) 22:14, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Again - you are uninformed, if the Foundation began to exercise editorial control over the information on Wikipedia it would lose the protections afforded it as a provider under US law. Therefore, the Foundation does not do so and the platform they provide becomes a forum for free speech where each individual is responsible for their own comments. Thus the WMF can not be sued for libel but the poster of the information can be. You should read Online service provider law and section 230 of the Communications Decency Act before you respond. --Trödel 22:29, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
As amusing as this is, it has nothing to do with either the original complaint - someone's user page was deleted - or the direct question I answered - what about international law. In any event, it's not a question of a user's rights being infringed. --B (talk) 22:44, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
Ah, but it does have everything to do with the original complaint. The complainant is asking Jimbo Wales to restore his page (i.e. edit the content) contrary to the wishes of the wikipedia community - which determined that it should be deleted in an MfD. If Jimbo did so, and his actions were deemed to have been done as a "WMF trustee" there would be consequences for the WMF as a "provider". Thus, this forum is the wrong place for this request. It should be in deletion review (as has already been suggested). Or the writer should use Google Sites or some other way to "publish" his material. Although one has the right of Free Speech, one does not have the right to require any forum (meaning locations, websites, public places, televisions stations, etc.) to carry ones speech. He can carry on his speech just fine elsewhere. It is clear that the community decided against carrying this material. The irony is that this complaint is likely to move community opinion against carrying this material rather than to influence it to support an undeletion. --Trödel 23:00, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Trodel, I think it may be you that is uninformed - at least insofar as understanding the separate implications of any free speech protections and the section 230 status of the Wikimedia Foundation. The original poster seemed to posit a 'right to free speech' - using the American constitution as a basis for that right. That is simply not true - there is no constitutional right to free speech on private property not your own, or right to freedom from limitations on speech in a private context. Obviously there is some complexity in terms of the definition of "private property", but generally speaking... rights guaranteed in the US constitution are written to prevent (or require) government action only. The Section 230 status is something apart. The Wikimedia Foundation does not directly publish or endorse any content, it provides the hosting service (and myriad other non-content services). The Wikipedia community, on the other hand, is empowered to control the content of the Wikipedia project. Editors on Wikipedia have the privilege of editing as long as that privelege is not revoked by the "agents" of the community (administrators). There is no legal right at stake. Avruch T 23:26, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I apologize for being so sloppy.
There are two issues (1) whether there is a free speech right to have your stuff included on Wikipedia, (2) the assertion that one shouldn't complain because the Wikimedia Foundation has the free speech right to include whatever they want on their servers.
I was responding to (2) "A treaty cannot trump the US Constitution. The US Constitution guarantees freedom of speech (and, thus, the right of the Wikimedia Foundation to use their own server to say what they want to say and not say what they don't want to say)." This is not a good argument, in my mind of why the info should not be included. I responded poorly - I was taking issue with two things - (a) that treaties have no authority to modify US law - the conflict of laws question when a treaty is in conflict with the US Constitution is a difficult one, and (b) that the WMF is deciding what to include on a case by case basis - they are not.
Yes the WMF owns the servers and can decide what they want to do with them. They have decided to be a "provider" and set up rules that allows what can and can not be included - defining a community - however they do not make individual content decisions - they leave that up to the community. Thus there is no "right" to have your stuff on Wikipedia - as you clearly state, "there is no constitutional right to free speech on private property not your own, or right to freedom from limitations on speech in a private context."
As you more eloquently explain, "The Wikipedia community, on the other hand, is empowered to control the content of the Wikipedia project. Editors on Wikipedia have the privilege of editing as long as that privelege is not revoked by the "agents" of the community (administrators). There is no legal right at stake."
Thanks for your clarification --Trödel 01:15, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the responses above, but I think it's simpler than that: the OP has a constitutional right to free speech, but the Wikimedia Foundation has no corresponding obligation to host it for him at the Foundation's expense, and that would not change whatever Jimbo did either as an individual or acting ex' officio. Consider: one may claim free speech in writing a slogan on a wall, but the right to free speech is not infringed if the owner subsequently chooses to remove the writing. Nor is the right to free speech infringed if a newspaper chooses not to print a letter even if it contains protected speech. I am sure there are other, better analogies too. Historically, demands to have Wikipedia host content not in line with its mission on the basis of the First Amendment have proven spectacularly unpersuasive. Guy (Help!) 20:52, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Apovolot, I hope you realize that the First Amendment in the United States protects citizens from the government, not from other individuals or entities. Kingturtle (talk) 21:11, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

America.... yeah.... America... rings a bell... you had a little election recently or something? ..... I'm sure I've heard of it..... maybe not. Could have been Armenia on second thoughts..... Yeah - that was it!!! *sigh* When will America realise there is life beyond their borders? Not soon apparently. Pedro :  Chat  22:42, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, in fairness, the Wikimedia Foundation is a United States corporation based in California. So, if the original poster was correct that something on English Wikipedia violated the law in the United States that would certainly be a serious problem. Moot, of course, since the original poster was wrong.
JzG - not sure your summary is entirely accurate. Or it is, but perhaps not in the way you mean - anyone can claim any right they like, but that doesn't mean it applies. "Protected speech" refers to speech that the government cannot suppress (i.e., almost all speech in its many forms). If government property or regulations are not involved, then the assertion of a right has no meaning and can be freely ignored. Avruch T 22:49, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Transition to CC-BY-SA

What is going on on the front to move Wikipedia to CC-BY-SA? As the GFDL 1.3 does not allow the transition to CC-BY-SA of GFDL material from external sources added after November 1, 2008, every day that passes makes more work to find and remove any integrated text if and when the transition takes place. Even if there are other issues that must be seen to before the transition can officially take place MediaWiki:Copyrightwarning can be changed immediately to say "You irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the terms o the GFDL and CC-BY-SA". This will make it that when the transition does take place only November (and three days of December) would have to be reviewed for external GFDL contributions. To me, this seems like a no-brainer, and I'd make the change myself, but I'm afraid I'd be lynched. Jon513 (talk) 23:12, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I see no need for the change - the GFDL allows migration to CC-BY-SA (as of version 1.3) so by licensing under the GFDL, they are agreeing to license it under CC-BY-SA. Dendodge TalkContribs 23:18, 2 December 2008 (UTC)
I recommend emailing Erik Moeller; I believe he is in charge at the Foundation of the migration discussion. I confess that due to my recent work on other issues, I have lost the plot on the transition and I don't quite know where we stand.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:05, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
This particular issue was discussed in detail on the WikiEn-L mailing list. As it turns out, the volume of material added under normal circumstances that would be excluded by the terms of GFDL 1.3 is extremely small (it is not new material that is GFDL, but material that was previously released somewhere else that was licensed GFDL). The point of the provision was to prevent the wholesale addition of GFDL content once the transition to CC-BY-SA was announced with the express purpose of converting the license of that material. Otherwise, Dendodge is right - requiring people to dual license new material is unnecessary, since the text of the GFDL allows migration to GFDL 1.3 and the text of GFDL 1.3 allows migration to CC-BY-SA. Avruch T 22:54, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Regarding something...

I recently recieved an email from somebody, requesting that this page be deleted because it reveals unwanted personal information. Can you delete it please, to resolve the problem? Thanks. -- (talk) 20:00, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

I think anyone would need a lot more than you've stated here. First, how have you been emailed if you don't have an account? Second, that is a complex but inconclusive SSP report from which it appears nothing has followed. Third, this is not the sort of thing that Jimbo usually gets involved in. If it's a problem, why not ask here? --Rodhullandemu 21:43, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Support deletion. Please delete the page. It really does offend him. -- (talk) 17:00, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Nope, sorry, why doesn't he say that himself? Are there are WP:BLP concerns? Why doesn't he, or you, nominate for deletion? I see you've courtesy blanked the page. This is not proper process, but I will copy this to WP:AN for you. --Rodhullandemu 17:10, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

HPJoker complaint

HPJoker got temp banned a day or so ago for Uncivility. Earlier today he got his ban extended to an indefinite ban and has proof that it was not him "avoided" his ban with another IP. The IP he was using at 20:22, 2 December 2008 was This is an IP for Fairview High School. He used an IP Tracer to find the location of the IP that added insults to Atlantabravz talk page while Joker was at school. The tracer said that it was a New York City IP. He explains it on the bottom of his talk page. He wishes that with this evidence that he can get the indef ban taken off. FYI the IP Tracer he used was this, just in case you want to try the IPs. It's basically... A Fairview IP Address IP address mistaken to be HPJoker HPJoker's real IP address

Try out those IPs in the tracer above if you want to. You can reply on HPJoker's Talk Page. Thank you. (talk) 03:28, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I wouldn't be the right person to deal with something like this. Any admin should be able to help you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:20, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Could you recommend one? This is Joker again using another school IP address. I've been close with jj and he is on a wikibreak, so he can't exactly help me out. Blueboy96 is convinced that the New York IP is mine, which of course it is not as I reside in Boulder, Colorado. I write an MLB off season news thing on my userpage and would like to get back to it. I just feel like that justice should be served and since you're the head man and are kind enough to take time out of your day to reply to these messages, I was wondering if you could do something about it. I don't know for sure, but Blueboy probably has my user and talk page on his watchlist. I have left several messages on my talk page asking to talk to him and he won't respond. (talk) 17:05, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I go to Fairview! (talk) 17:50, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, how do you know HPJoker to be making this appeal for him? MBisanz talk 18:01, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Joker again. I don't know who that is. So he/she can't exactly make an appeal for me. (talk) 19:44, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
This sounds like something that requires CheckUser assistance.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 06:04, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Joker once again at school. Go ahead fine with me. I just want that IP that is from New York to be traced by an admin like I did above so I can prove my innocence. The 72 hours are up and I am eager to get back to my free agency news on my user page. (talk) 15:53, 4 December 2008 (UTC) is an anonymizing proxy service, so any IP check findings would be inconclusive. Further discussion on user talk:HPJoker, please. Thatcher 18:53, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Talk:2008 Canadian political dispute

Hi Jimbo, I'm not asking for your intervention or anything, just wanted to point you to one of the most trenchant and rapidly-evolving discussions and associated articles in Canadian Wikipedia in a long-ago post here, my main observation is about the vibrancy and resilience of Wikipedia's community in patrolling for untruth and propaganda and "information war". I've been accused of blogging on this page, and granted I am a long-winded and sometimes colourfully-tongued bastard, but it's because there have been so many attempts to distort facts and misrepresent them and also to give equal weight to lies as if they were "balance" to the truth. This article and the associated debate are something to be proud of in Wikipedia-culture terms; a demonstration of the utility of Wikipedia in building a record of public events/debate as a function of a democratic society; Wikipedia takes a lot of heat in media jokes/put-downs but at times like this it's breathtaking in its cogency and communal/consensual nature. Get yourself a coffee (I recommend tossing some whiskey in it instead of cream, it's a long read) and sit yourself down to the whole page, and keep an eye on it as the day evolves - "it ain't over 'til it's over, and we haven't even met the fat lady yet" - the "crisis" is on hold at this very moment as the decision we've all been speculating/debating on that page is pending - by the minute. Don't expect to understand the crisis; we, as Canadians, don't really either - we're trying to sort it out, which is what the talkpage is a reflection of. Some aspects of what's going on are very disturbing, as has the degree by which partisan Cyber warfare has become all too evident across a whole swathe of Canadian Wikipedia articles....we can be frustrated about it; as far as Wikipedia's role in it, you should be proud....Skookum1 (talk) 16:08, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


Hey Jimbo I am unaware as to the politics of wikipedia at this time but I was wondering if you could take a look at this[21]; I truly believe it could fundamentally change wikipedia.--GlasGhost (talk) 20:17, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

I recommend that you look at the Flagged Revisions extension which has been recently adopted in German Wikipedia and which I think will be adopted in English and most other languages over the next year. It may be in some ways usable for what you are proposing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:42, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Whilst I think this is a great step forward, a comment made here raises a red flag; that editor claims that it can take up to three weeks for changes to a flagged revision to cause a new version to become publicly viewable. That's OK for articles with slow, and minor, changes; unfortunately, we do seem to tolerate a culture of allowing articles to reflect current events, when that is better dealt with by Wikinews. One day, if I ever have the spare time, I will do a thorough search through the database for "currently" and "as of now", and other meaningless terms, and cull them without mercy. That's not the way an encyclopedia should be written. Sadly, even doing that will not remove that particular problem because of the myriad ways of reportage. Meanwhile, I don't know how many active editors there are on de:wiki and how much effort is being directed towards flagged revisions; but I hope that when we get it on en:wiki, there is a move to recruit editors to look after it. When I started here, I cut my teeth on new page patrol and the wikification project- reviewing flagged revisions would be a similarly useful experience-gathering exercise for new, good editors. --Rodhullandemu 00:04, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
I was unaware of the flagged revisions maybe I should post there, thank you. --GlasGhost (talk) 20:28, 5 December 2008 (UTC)


Looks like you re-granted yourself CheckUser two weeks ago and still haven't "returned" the bit. Are you planning on keeping it going forward? (Just general curiosity. :-) Cheers. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:18, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Second time you've asked this recently; is there any reason why Jimbo's retention would be a problem? --Rodhullandemu 00:22, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
I'll stop asking when he answers. ;-) The retention is unusual; in the past, his CU access has only been temporary, and I'm simply curious if there has been a change in trend or it was simply an oversight. --MZMcBride (talk) 04:48, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
The last time Jimbo temporarily enabled himself with CheckUser and then unenabled I commented that if he were able to do so then it would be more transparent if he retained the flag; he has the capability to use the tool as and when it is required, so why not be listed as such. It isn't as if he will be then expected to be available to run CU's upon request, there are enough requests on this page for dispute resolutions, sanctions of editors/sysops, and such that he either does not respond to redirects to a more appropriate venue - CU enquiries can be dealt with similarly. In other words, I think he should retain the tools and be noted as doing so. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:34, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Keeping it this time was because I had a feeling I was going to need to do a few more; as it turned out, I didn't. It's more or less irrelevant since I can get it whenever I want it. The point is, I mostly don't want it. There are other people better situated to do checkuser work, and it wouldn't make sense for me to start doing it often. However there are some special cases where I think I'd better take a look for myself.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:42, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
The flag is useful to give an indication of what you can do, rather than 'what' you do or why. Not "flying" the flag because you have no immediate need for the tool seems to me to be uninformative - you have the capability whether you choose to use it or not. I have the capacity to close XfD's although I never have (and have no desire to), but it comes with the mop and pail so I acknowledge I have that capability... LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:59, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Just a thought,

but do you consider this an acceptable reason for opposing an rfa? PXK T /C 03:15, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't think it is likely that Jimbo would (or reasonably could) do anything about it. If you really think it is an issue, I would suggest asking a bureaucrat, since they are effectively in charge of RFAs. J.delanoygabsadds 04:17, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Just to answer the question, I very much do think that's an acceptable reason to oppose an RfA.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:38, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok Jimbo, all I wanted to know. PXK T /C 14:39, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
So people can't say what they think now? It's just an opinion and userpages usually contain all sorts of opinions. -- Mentisock 16:15, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Of course people can say what they think. And other people can note that being openly partisan is in many ways inconsistent with being a Wikipedia admin, and likely to cause trouble, and choose to oppose on that basis. (Or, if they think that being openly partisan is a good thing, they can choose to support on that basis.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:37, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Even though I agree with that userbox, I don't broadcast it across the internet - I try to hide it (something which, by typing this, I have failed at). If a user is willing to shout their beliefs on their userpage, they cannot be trusted not to adhere to those beliefs while editing articles. Dendodge TalkContribs 16:31, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
By being open and honest about their beliefs, they enable other readers and editors to examine their contributions critically - which is a good thing. DuncanHill (talk) 09:47, 6 December 2008 (UTC)


In the website Uncyclopedia,I've found an user called Jimbo wales,is that really you? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I am user Jimbo Wales at Uncyclopedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:05, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Peter Damian

Hello, this is a courtesy post to let you know I've initiated a motion at RFAR to ask Arbcom to look at allowing user:Peter Damian to edit mainspace whilst abiding by the rest of the restrictions he agreed with User:Thatcher. kind regards --Joopercoopers (talk) 21:52, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Very good. I have said that I neither support it nor oppose it. That is, I should not be viewed as an obstacle here, even though I am the one who blocked him. I am always hopeful for the future and would prefer that Peter be a constructive editor.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Frustration trying to learn to do things right

I work principally on Mexico-related articles and put a lot of time and effort researching them, trying to write good articles, never mind featured articles. I find the process really frustrating. I have submitted articles for peer review and good article status but I get conflicting, incomplete advice. I also get condescention by some editors as well. For example, I submitted Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral for both peer review and Good article status. The second process is on hold, for reasons the reviewer stated on the review page. Some of the reasons are valid and I have started to address those, but some seem to be really nitpicking. I have read the requirements for good article, and I felt the article fit the description. But after reading the review, I feel like an idiot... not a comfortable feeling for one who works in academia (though I admit I am not a historian or architect). I have read lamentations here about how few articles have good or featured status and after dealing with some of review processes I have to wonder if part of the problem is that Wikipedia makes it harder than it has to be. I mean, for Pete's sake, this is what the page looked like before I started seriously working on it.[22] Thelmadatter (talk) 16:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo

Thanks for making the place. ;) —Ceranthor 03:12, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Associated press

Looks like the AP has gotten hold of the current story [23]. DriedOut (talk) 19:42, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

They did a great job, too. :-) I predict this will all be sorted within a couple of days... and not the way the IWF hopes it might.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:08, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed they did, unlike The Register's article. This may result in a lot of bad PR for the IWF, which is fine by me. In my opinion, all censoring organizations simply hurt the world and projects like Wikipedia. Hopefully this will be resolved in a good way for WP :) DavidWS (contribs) 22:23, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Although you are working on the somewhat dangerous assumption people will read past the first paragraph. Any article with the words "Wikipedia" and "child pornography" linked in any way is not good, not good at all GTD 22:31, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I wonder how many UK tabloids will run with some variation of "Wiki-paedos" for their headline? the wub "?!" 22:42, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually the Register piece does a better job of explaining the situation, it just happens to be shot through with the usual Cade Metz bile. It has been recently updated though, and it looks like these bits have been written by someone with less of a grudge. the wub "?!" 22:42, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Images of children

Might I invite your participation, here? TerriersFan (talk) 21:00, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

It seems to have failed already... -- ChrisO (talk) 22:36, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed; but the talk page includes a much better alternative formulation than I came up with. The problem is that we have no editorial policy against which to test doubtful images. I remain confident that later, if not sooner, Wikipedia will need to produce a policy. TerriersFan (talk) 01:27, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
We've already got a fine policy, thanks. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:06, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi, just to let you know the current IWF problem has made the BBC news website Wikipedia child image censored. DuncanHill (talk) 02:23, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikimedia (partially) blocked in the UK

Wikipedia:AN#Major_UK_ISPs_reduced_to_using_2_IP_addresses. Prodego talk 16:57, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Huh. That's interesting. Not sure I understand it yet. Could someone give me an NPOV summary?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:08, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
The IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) finds an album cover used on Wikipedia (specifically that of Virgin Killer) to be child pornography and has, thus, redirected all UK traffic through transparent proxies and blocked access to both the image and the article in the UK. Dendodge TalkContribs 17:10, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Theres no evidence its that image, is there? rootology (C)(T) 17:12, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
The page the image appears on is not accessible from affected Uk IPs (through it does display as normal in a navigation pop-up). DuncanHill (talk) 17:13, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I, and many other users of certain UK ISPs, recieve a fake 404 error message attempting to access the URLs and Accessing the same pages through other URL forms works fine. -- Gurch (talk) 17:25, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

The UK Internet watch program, has flagged the WMF for hosting inappropriate content. Specifically, "The UK Hotline for reporting illegal content specifically: Child sexual abuse content hosted worldwide and criminally obscene and incitement to racial hatred content hosted in the UK" their site says, and then ISPs in the UK I think are compelled to restrict access as this stuff is illegal in the UK. rootology (C)(T) 17:12, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

How can I confirm this for myself? Does it say so on their website?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:26, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
They do not inform hosts nor reveal any part of the list to anyone by the looks of things, so it is just a guessing game, GDonato (talk) 17:29, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec)From the discussion in the thread linked above, it appears that it is their policy not to confirm or deny any blacklisting, nor is it their policy to inform website owners/operators. I do suspect, however, that an approach by you or by Mike Godwin (who is aware of the problem) may be helpful, especially if you point out the serious problems with blocking of innocent editors which has resulted from the action (and which is what brought the situation to light). You are a very significant figure in the internet world, and I think they would be unlikely to ignore a reasonable request for clarification from you. DuncanHill (talk) 17:32, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Given their job is to block access to what they call child porn, they are hardly going to advertise where "child porn" is hosted, are they? Not publicly, anyways. Seems the WMF will need to deal with this situation. My worry now is that any UK-based Wikipedians using those ISPs will have their details passed to the UK Police due to surfing for child porn GTD 17:33, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
If they actually wanted to remove child pornography from the internet then they would contact hosts to request that offending material is taken down. Instead, it appears to be their policy not to do this. DuncanHill (talk) 14:34, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we could direct all UK users through the secure server? That works fine. Dendodge TalkContribs 17:30, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
The secure server probably isn't capable of all that traffic. The image is not sufficiently notable to justify blocking editing from a whole (English-speaking) country, in my opinion, GDonato (talk) 17:33, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Also, is that image actually illegal in the UK? The last time I heard about this, there was a claim apparently by the record company, perhaps in an effort to boost sales that the album cover was "banned in the United States". As far as anyone was able to tell me at the time, this only meant that the record company chose not to publish that album cover in the US. I was under the impression that it was published in the UK.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:31, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I suspect that if the image was illegal in the UK, and the police were involved, that Mike Godwin would already have been approached by them. DuncanHill (talk) 17:34, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
It's certainly still up on Amazon, who I'd imagine would react very quickly to any genuine legal issue. – iridescent 17:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Question of context? As a record sleeve, perhaps. But as an image in its own right? There may well be a difference there GTD 17:37, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
You could probably contact the IWF, however I want to stress that it has not been confirmed that it is the IMF list Wikimedia is on. All we know is that several UK ISPs are blocking that image, and routing all their traffic through transparent proxies. Prodego talk 17:36, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, it is confirmed. This is the 403 on the image via Demon Internet:
Access Denied (403)
We have blocked this page because, according to the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), it contains indecent images of children or pointers to them; you could be breaking UK law if you viewed the page.
What To Do
If you were directed to this site by an email or another site, then you should consider reporting the email or site to the Internet Watch Foundation. Visit their web site ( for details about how to do this.
This blocking service is provided solely for the protection of our customers. We have not recorded that you attempted to visit this site, nor will we be taking any further action. You can find more information about the IWF list of URLs to block here:
Demon is a brand of THUS plc
-- Arwel Parry (talk) 02:33, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

That Virgin Killer image is now up for deletion here. rootology (C)(T) 17:38, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

(ecx3) Since it's obviously just a basic block of a single URL, why not move the article to another location, such as Virgin Killer (album) until this mess is resolved? Dendodge TalkContribs 17:39, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Why? :S My concern is the IWF (if they are the ones blocking it) may then decide to block access to all of Wikipedia if they think WP is trying to evade. GDonato (talk) 17:43, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Escalating a dispute as a gut reaction is highly likely to be a bad decision. Patience. WilyD 17:45, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Blocking the image isn't our problem. Our problem is that millions of people now share 1 IP. Prodego talk 17:48, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I was referring only to the suggestion that we move the page to allow UK users access to it. 60 Mpeople across log(IP) ~1 is an enormous problem. For this, I have no solution, I am only here to consul that individual users not try to escalate the situation while (hopefully) the front office is trying to smooth it out. WilyD 18:04, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo, can you or someone from the Wikimedia Foundation ask these ISPs to use XFF headers so that we can attribute edits to the underlying IP addresses, as we did for AOL? Kristen Eriksen (talk) 22:07, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

< - echoing the 'fwiw' thread at the noticeboard - I jsut thought I'd highlight that work on a Wikipedia:Sexual content proposal pre-dates this controversy, and will hopefully move towards sensible guidelines for editors and readers alike - all help and input most welcome :-) Privatemusings (talk) 02:04, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

The problem here is not Wikipedia's hosting of explicit content, the problem is, there are literally thousands of sites that host much worse content than Wikipedia does that are not blocked. Hell, even Amazon and eBay (the freaking spam filter won't let me post a link, but just search for "Virgin Killer" in the Music category...) host that image, so why aren't they blocked? J.delanoygabsadds 02:16, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
oh you're totally right on that front, J - seems an odd double standard... I'd say that it's harder to stay positive pointing out that than it is to point out positive work that is going on in a related area. This'll all come out in the wash in due course, no doubt.... Privatemusings (talk) 02:20, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Upon reading the proposal, it seems to have been rejected almost universally (and with good cause I might add.) Privatemusings this looks like a mighty big crate of Borax you are standing on. L0b0t (talk) 02:41, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
/me steps down and hands the soap to lobot :) - your input is most welcome there, of course, and my feeling is that discussion there could help alleviate possible negativity elsewhere - your call of course, and I'll bow out here.... Privatemusings (talk) 02:51, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

It's probably a job for Jimbo and the UK ISPs or the IWF that they are delegating this to. "IWF blacklists largest encyclopedia in the world, for hosting illustrative image on a well known music iindustry controversy". Could go either way. Maybe point out that we do host non-censored material, but we never do so gratuitously and only when there is good cause to believe it has been cited in other reputable media. Members of the public trust Wikipedia for information on all areas of information, including such controversies, and largely these are handled responsibly and with considerable thought, by a wide range of uninvolved parties who examine each case individually for encyclopedic merit. FT2 (Talk | email) 16:57, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't know how the different laws apply to Commons vs. en.Wiki, or children vs. adults. Where does this fit in (private schools may want Wikipedia behind firewalls for pages like this, but I'm unclear on the different legalities wrt public schools, etc.). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 17:04, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure I understand the query - the partial blocking is being applied by ISPs in the UK to all their subscribers. Schools in the UK routinely use filtering systems to restrict or prevent access to certain materials. DuncanHill (talk) 17:09, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Please note that the Virgin Killer image is in fact blocked on UK Amazon, assuming I did everything right.--Tznkai (talk) 17:11, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Wow, What a load of authoritarian doublespeak. Orwell is rolling in his grave. L0b0t (talk) 20:40, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
If we insist on hosting such a blatant blp violation (we do not have permission from the girl, who is doubtless still alive, and her permission could not have been given at the time) then we should expect bad consequences. Closing the ifd after 24 hours was hardly helpful. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:55, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the girl was once interviewed, and said she felt fine about the image - it was brought up when the image was discussed at WP:AFD a few months ago. Dendodge TalkContribs 20:57, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
A fact that SqueakBox should remember quite vividly, as he was actively involved in those earlier IfD discussions. The pro-deletion have tried various tactics, from non-free to OMG p0rn to BLP. None have worked, all have been rejected. This is just the latest kerfuffle, and will soon blow over. Tarc (talk) 21:18, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
You mean we have submitted arguments to the ifd from months back and then accepted the decision of the community. Calling reasoned arguments tactics is typical of the OTT reaction of some discussing this case those months ago; I have yet to see any evidence the girl (now woman) really said what you claim. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:59, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Do you do talks at universities?

Dear Jimbo,

You have many admirers at Indiana University in Bloomington who would like to invite you to come to give a talk on any subject. If this is a possibility, how should we proceed?

Jeff Hart, Professor, Indiana University —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hartjeff12 (talkcontribs) 05:03, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Email me? --Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:21, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I lived in Carmel Indiana for 3 years! JJ Cool D 23:22, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Virgin Killer Controversy article now also blocked to many UK editors

Just to make you aware that a second article on Wikipedia, the Virgin Killer Controversy article has now also been blocked to many UK users. Regards --tgheretford (talk) 00:15, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I can get in no problems (using Virgin Media). DuncanHill (talk) 00:18, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I got an 404 error. What may have happened is that the blacklist the IWF uses may have been updated to block any URL which contains anything after the string "Virgin Killer", so "Virgin Killer Controversy" was blocked. Unfortunately that means that anyone who creates an article which starts with Virgin Killer will now inadvertently block most UK users from accessing it. --tgheretford (talk) 00:35, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Is the VK album openly sold in the UK?

Someone told me this, but I would love to have direct confirmation from people we know and trust. I am not sure where to ask to get this question the widest audience, but I suppose people who watch my talk page will have some ideas and get the word out that I'm wondering. Best would be a huge set of images (posted, I suppose, to flickr) showing the album for sale.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:23, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo, I can't help but feel you are missing that this is a question of context. If the UK police raided my house and found the VK album in my record collection, I'm sure I'd be fine. If they found it among my pornography collection (assuming I had one!), then it would look less innocent and I'd expect to be arrested. The album cover on the album isn't really an issue. I'd go so far as saying the album cover on a Wikipedia article of "VK album cover controversy" (with a better title) would be fine, as that is the subject of the discussion. But given the majority of the albums sold around the world were probably sold with the alternate, non-naked pre-pubescent girl cover, it's hard to justify using that particular fair use image on the article about the album GTD 15:33, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
That's all very interesting and I understand what you are saying, but that's not what I am asking. I am asking if the album is openly sold in record shops in the UK. It's a question of fact: is it or isn't it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:00, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Considering that the album was released in 1976, I'd be surprised if that edition was still sold as new in the UK. It appears that the album was most recently released by BMG Japan in 2008 (according to Allmusic), and the BMG Japan catalog listing for it shows the alternate cover with the band members. On this side of the Pacific, Best Buy doesn't even have a cover image, and Wal-Mart doesn't sell it. Tower Records used to sell the version with an explicit cover, released as an import in 1999, but they don't sell that any more. I have no idea what you'd find in stores in the UK, but given the state of music retailing, I doubt you'd find the original album in any stores other than the largest megastores that have a sizeable import collection. Realistically, most mid-sized music stores in the US are most likely to have only the greatest hits collections by bands that were active in the 80s. They need the shelf space to stock 100 copies of the latest Beyonce or Britney Spears album. I know my comments won't exactly rock you like a hurricane, but I'm just pointing out probabilities. --Elkman (Elkspeak) 16:47, 8 December 2008 (UTC) Never mind, I was being completely uninformed. --Elkman (Elkspeak) 00:13, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I have verified that there is a 2-CD album available in the UK with cover art based on the original photo. If you get reports of sightings without photos, I recommend asking explicitly whether it was with a colour photo. I sent you the details by email. --Hans Adler (talk) 16:23, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
By checking around, and with the help of one of my real life friends, I was able to find three places in the UK selling the album with cover art at least based on the controversial image. I also emailed you the details. J.delanoygabsadds 17:05, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
You might also try the Reference Desk. They're usually quite enthusiastic about tracking down the obscure and unusual. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:09, 8 December 2008 (UTC) at least sells the In Trance/Virgin Killer box set which indeed includes the original cover. (See here) -- (talk) 18:25, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

According to the Channel 4 news broadcast on the subject, their correspondent was able to purchase the album on High Street. Avruch T 21:19, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

And according to the same broadcast (which I imagine meets WP:RS) the album they brought did have the artwork on the CD which is the specific I guess Jimbo is after. Pedro :  Chat  21:37, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
And clearly not Jimbo alone. A clearly intelligent question which has needed to be answered. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:42, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
And why VK alone and not Blind Faith, Nevermind and Houses of The Holy? -- (talk) 22:08, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Can someone in the UK check iTunes and see which album cover comes up? You don't have to buy it! OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 22:33, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
The "alternative" cover (eg, the group lineup, not the child). Incidentally, the Channel 4 News story referred to above is online here. – iridescent 23:40, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Jimbo. The album cover is sold, legally, in the UK. It must have been deemed okay to publish. While it's not my particular kind of artwork, I guess since it has been published nationally it is okay for Wikipedia. (talk) 22:39, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Removing the image?

I tried to make an argument that the Virgin Killer image should be removed here: Talk:Virgin Killer#An attempt at a serious discussion, but it's clear (as you've no doubt noticed yourself) consensus is pretty strongly against it. While I don't wish to look like I'm asking for consensus to be overturned here... if the image is going to get removed, it'll have to be by Office Action, not through normal editing procedures. Just an FYI. Terraxos (talk) 00:24, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Or perhaps, a Jimbo Wales initiated deletion request that can't be speedy closed, so that the community can decide definitively, the chips fall where they may. Ideally not on the IFD page, which is really unwieldy. rootology (C)(T) 00:33, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

The community can decide definitively? The image has been up for deletion before, the community decided to keep, it's been tried to be got off the article, the community decided to keep it, it's been tried to move it to a different place in the article, the community put it back - just how definitive do you want? I hate to accuse anyone of forum-shopping, but quack, quack, waddle! DuncanHill (talk) 00:40, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think Jimmy needs to get involved in this - as Duncan says, it has been discussed and decided many times definitively before. That is why the deletion discussions proposed since it became controversial have been closed quickly. Additionally, Jimmy's involvement at that level might be unwise in a broader sense given his close association with the Foundation and the public nature of any action he might take on this right now. Avruch T 14:44, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. But I would recommend to the community that we go back and take a hard look at whether we ought to be keeping this based on our own principles, if it is in fact likely to be in violation of the law in the UK and (especially) US. As a community, we are already quite firm: we do not and will not accept images of child pornography. So then the question becomes: does this image fit the definition under (especially) US law, or the law of any particularly relevant countries (UK). That is a question of judgment of fact that I do not think has been looked at sufficiently. I am not an expert, but I can tell you that - as for me - I am not downloading or looking at the image at all, I don't want it anywhere near my computer.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:21, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, the FBI had the image brought to their attention earlier this year, I am sure Mike Godwin would have told you if that had caused any problems. DuncanHill (talk) 17:40, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree 100% with JWales. Giano (talk) 19:11, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Why would some countries, apart from the US, be "particularly relevant"? Fram (talk) 19:36, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Numbers. If we Hondurans get blocked it wont affect more than a handful of folk whereas that is not the case with the UK. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:45, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
So the small bullies can be ignored, but we give in to the big ones? I hope not... Fram (talk) 20:35, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Precedent; if we disallow an image over its concerns as a possible illegal picture (and never mind that you can obtain the album in a sleeve based upon that album) because one person complained to a quango who took the view of a law enforcement officer or group - and in the UK law enforcement agencies do not decide upon interpretations of law, that is the judiciary, but only enforce it - that it might contravene legislation that was placed to stop access to child pornography sites (which WP is not), for any reason other than it does not comply strictly with WP's policies on the appropriate allowance of Fair Use images then you are going to have every pressure group, individual, politician looking for quick capital, lawman hoping to establish credentials, etc. bombarding Wikia with demands that images that they find offensive removed. At the top of the list may very likely be the Governments of Muslim nations demanding the removal of images of Mohammed... Please let us be certain that if we remove or accept any image it is in respect of our internal policies and practices, and not for any other reason.
FWIW, I also wouldn't want to have that image on my pc - it would be very embarrassing for someone to think that I might enjoy the tortured guitar wank and historonic/moronic vocals of The Scorpions... (shudder) LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:06, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Evidently the image has been repeatedly brought to the attention of law enforcement over the 30-ish years it's been out there, and never been held to be child porn anywhere that we know of. The legality issue appears settled.
If law enforcement want to reopen that, they can do so - and we should comply if they decide otherwise, obviously. But lacking that, the argument that it's illegal falls rather flat.
It appears to be offensive enough to be highly controversial, but so were Maplethorpe photos and so forth. The controversy has made it notable. The recent controversy moreso.
I'm all for stomping on things which are child porn, or pedophillia related, but if we extend that beyond the "that's probably illegal" into "that's clearly offensive" we step all over our ability to reasonably and completely cover legitimate notable topics. I think this image clearly is on a slippery slope - there's reason to be upset, but perhaps this is the offensive example that we should defend in the interests of freedom of speech and freedom of open discussion about offensive but socially significant topics. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 22:15, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
re legality in the UK (a lawyer's opinion)

The relevant law here is the Protection of Children Act 1978, which criminalised "indecent images of children"; that Act does not define "indecency", but decided appeal cases state that this is to be assessed with regard to "prevailing community standards". This makes it difficult to assess an image today that was originally produced 32 years ago at roughly the crossover from glam-rock to punk rock, and, it has to be said, before the above Act became law. However, it's a principle of UK law (in contrast to most European law) that any act is legal until made illegal, so it could be argued that continuous availability of this image over such a long period, and even today, is persuasive as to its legality. However, until that is tested before a court, we have no way of knowing. It's made more difficult because one jury cannot bind another, and a decision made in Bristol would be irrelevant in Manchester. In the UK, however, there have been numerous examples of images reported for prosecution in recent years (some of which have been of the photographers' own children, who just happened to be nude at the time), which have come to nothing. On balance, I think it unlikely that the Crown Prosecution Service would consider any action in relation to this image to pass the tests of (a) public interest or (b) more than 50% chance of success, to sanction a prosecution. My belief in this is strengthened by the fact that any such prosecution would have to be sanctioned by the Director of Public Prosecution, and his advisers would undoubtedly be aware of recent events. --Rodhullandemu 22:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Explicit pictures potentially of minors

Jimbo, above you quite rightly state "As a community, we are already quite firm: we do not and will not accept images of child pornography". However, are you aware of the number of potentially sexual images held on WMF servers where the subjects may, or may not, be above the age of consent?

How many of the following images can you/we actually prove are from people of legal age? And these are just some examples of many:

Surely we have to stop accepting images unless full proof can be obtained that the subject of the picture 1) gives consent and 2) is of a legal age to give consent, at the very least? As things stand, we are facing a real risk. Thanks GTD 17:45, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

  • We're getting into thorny legal issues here, I think. There are two frameworks for this problem - one is the editorial / community values framework, in which we can decide for ourselves which images to exclude and on what basis. The other is the legal framework, where what can and cannot be published is described in law. We need to focus on the community values issue, not the legal issue, and age verification steps (particularly if systematized) sort of blur the lines between the two frameworks.
  • At the moment we rely primarily on contributors to ensure that files which are uploaded are legal - both in the United States, and in the country of origin (where the uploader lives). Given that the WMF is not involved in this sort of thing, aside from complying with valid takedown notices, I think that the Foundation is probably safe from legal risk (and I assume, if it wasn't, Mike Godwin would be taking a more active role). People should be concerned about what is legal for them, and not worry overmuch about the legal risks to the Foundation.
  • Beyond the legal framework, I think we could usefully have a conversation about whether the various sexual images we have on Wikipedia (particularly all those that aren't being used currently) should stay, and how we judge new uploads for appropriateness. Keep in mind, though, that many of the images come from Commons - and any discussion on whether those images should remain would need to be held there. Avruch T 18:01, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Fair points. I agree that we need to step back and take a dispassionate look at the issues, such as anonymous people who may or may not be minors uploading pictures of their sexual anatomy, but with the current "ZOMG!!! NOTCENSORED!!!" things flying around, perhaps in the face of common sense, now is not the time. But I really do worry that any media organisation actually putting the effort in to scratch beneath the surface of the Wiki machine may find some things that will be harder to defend than an album cover from 1976. GTD 18:10, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
maybe Wikipedia:Sexual content is a good place to start? - @av - we are, of course, empowered as a community to brainstorm guidelines / policies for use etc. - @gtd - I think you're spot on, and @jimbo - my sense is that this is an area where your leadership could really make a difference - your feedback on the ideas at the proposal would be most welcome :-) best, Privatemusings (talk) 03:31, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
Privatemusings, how many timesin the last few days have you spammed this failed proposal on this and other high profile pages? Please stop it. Fram (talk) 07:56, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
about 4, maybe 5? - I shall no longer spam here - (although I think it's a good idea ;-) cheers, Privatemusings (talk) 07:58, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

I think you can use this

Jimbo, in reading around the net on the UK censorship thing, I came across this link, written by Neil Gaiman. It was written a few days before the UK ordeal, and I think this can be useful background and arguments for you, if you are ever asked questions about UK censorship on 'icky things' again. It provides some historic context for censoring in the UK, and about having to sometimes 'defend the indefensible'. I found it most interesting. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 04:08, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Selection system in elections

Not sure what the usual practice is, but if you want some food for thought, you might want to take a look at this thread. Gatoclass (talk) 09:51, 10 December 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for your reply. I’ve sent reply to your mail. --Avinesh  T  09:46, 10 December 2008 (UTC)