User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 41

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Archive 40 | Archive 41 | Archive 42

Question re:Arbcom appointments

I have a quick question, just for curiosity's sake. When you're examining the final tallies from ACE2008, do you place more weight on the standings when sorted by net support, %support, raw support (eg. support without considering oppose numbers), or some combination? S.D.D.J.Jameson 15:51, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

I have traditionally looked at %support, and looked at the others carefully to see if they indicate anything particularly interesting or alarming. Another thing I have always looked at is %support by admins because if there is a major deviation between admin support and more general support, this could indicate a number of different kinds of problems. (For example: an external campaign by an activist group attempting to influence the election. For example: a rift between admins and some significant constituency of non-admin users.) As people often say "voting is evil" so what I am looking for is a consensus. And I'm most interested in a consensus of the thoughtful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:35, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Do you ever foresee yourself appointing a non-admin who garners a significant amount of support to the committee, or is non-admin status a deal breaker in your mind? To be candid, I ask because in my time here, I've grown to love this project, and would love to some day stand for election. However, I don't have a ton of interest in seeking the tools, so I was wondering if non-admin status was a deal breaker to the final arbiter of who is appointed to the committee. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Regards, S.D.D.J.Jameson 20:51, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
It is not likely to happen, and it would give me pause, but only pause. I don't see any reason why not.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:02, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Would it give you pause simply because of the initial level of implied community trust that an RfA offers, or for some other reason? I'm very glad to notice, though, that you're not closed to the possibility, as one never knows which way this project's winds might blow. Thanks again for your time, as I know you must be an incredibly busy person. S.D.D.J.Jameson 21:07, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
It would just be pretty unusual, I think. I'd be curious why it happened. There are plenty of good reasons possible.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:19, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks. I'm curious how you arrive at % support among administrators,since voters don't identify themselves by status.Woonpton (talk) 20:48, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Usually someone calculates this for me. It's really easy to find out if someone is an admin or not, so it is easy to compute this. Just FYI, traditionally there have only been extremely minor variations.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:02, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
I would imagine whoever does it uses some faster version of importScript('User:Splarka/sysopdectector.js');
, script that detects if particular account has a certain userrights flag. MBisanz talk 21:04, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
It is disappointing that votes of users who concentrate on content and who have no desire to be administrators, may not be weighed equally with the vote of administrators. I hope that is not the result of your decision process. If it may be, I urge you to consider the implications of that and the message it sends, and rethink your views. Kablammo (talk) 21:32, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Now's probably as good a time as any other to put an end to the WP:NOBIGDEAL meme; the notion is becoming more outdated by the day. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:57, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Hear hear. Cla68 (talk) 00:41, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I am very disappointed to hear that Jimbo has such a hierarchical view of Wikipedia. I urge him to absolutely disregard adminship as a criterion for the assessment of community opinion. From the ground, the appearance is that the notion of "trust" cuts right across the non-admin/admin boundary. Tony (talk) 00:47, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
...He just said that he double checks it in case there's some kind of confederate group who is trying to sway the vote in favour of an undesirable candidate. He never said anything that came near to stating that he gave more weight to admin votes.--Koji 01:01, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think your interpretation of Jimbo's comments above is entirely accurate. I do assume good faith, and give him the benefit of the doubt. Tony (talk) 01:04, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I think it's pretty obvious that there is something of a [mild] caste system on Wikipedia, although it is most probably something subconscious, which is why I think all long term users should go for RfA for the reason that they won't be treated as second-class citizens, in terms of blocks, among other things. A lot of people when they are discussing a certain AfD or whatever, will sometimes say things..."well this guy is a troll" or "this guy is an admin" etc. I think that a lot of people do subconsciously judge people on that status. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 05:43, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Tony. Jimbo specifically mentioned checking disparaties between "admin support and more general support". Why not disparaties between content contributors, long-term contributors, non-automated main space contributors, and others? (Or why not treat all qualified votes equally, which is certainly the presumption underlying a vote?) And to what extent will there be an inquiry into, or suppositions made concerning, the motivations of qualified voters? Kablammo (talk) 01:12, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I just re-iterated that. He said it was in the event of a large group of disruptive editors voteing in a manner intended to sway the %'s. Editors likley to do that would probably not have been made Admins by the community, and thus the abnormal % of admin support vs. regular support would make Jimbo say "Hey, maybe there's something going on here." and he would check. He never suggested that he would appoint a candidate and outrule regular editor's support just because the admin % was higher.--Koji 01:17, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Notwithstanding your edit summary, I am not joking. I suggest we let Jimbo speak for himself on what he meant. Kablammo (talk) 01:20, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Of course I did not mean that admin votes count more. I do not have a "hierarchical" view of Wikipedia. Koji's interpretation of my remarks is correct. Indeed, even in my original post, I indicated that one thing that might be indicated by a significant divergence between admin votes and non-admin votes would be "a rift between admins and some significant constituency of non-admin users". What I had in mind there was a situation in which the admins are for some reason becoming removed from the interests and needs of good editors who are not admins, in which case I might very well choose to dig deeper and look at candidates for elevation to ArbCom who got *high* support from ordinary editors but *low* support from admins. It is impossible to say in advance. And, in fact, as a practical matter, my checking of this figure has always been unnecessary - historically the deviations have been quite small.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:24, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me but why not just say it like it is. We have a large group of users who are quite obviously either being canvassed or collaborating off-wiki to rig the outcome. Many of these people are either directly or indirectly under ArbCom sanctions yet they are allowed to vote anyway. This isn't about admins vs. non-admins. It's about us declaring defeat when we let people game the system and don't sanction the (civil) POV pushers. What happened to the crackdown on those who keep good faith editors from editing mainspace by driving them off the project with theit exhausting tactics? You've promised on several occasions that there should be a zero-tolerance policy towards these things but very little is happening. What is happening now is the result of that inactivity. EconomicsGuy (talk) 11:15, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
I presume that's a reference to the off-wiki campaign by Armenian and Iranian nationalists against the candidacy of Jayvdb, currently being discussed at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Possible ethnic block voting in ArbCom elections? -- ChrisO (talk) 20:24, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, yes. That's the immediate reason for my post but the underlying issue is much broader than that. Ethnic disputes are more visible and have more administrators such as yourself working on them but many equally troubling disputes don't. Some affected areas such as the economics articles are plauged by simular POV pushing and off-wiki coordination problems but recieve less attention. I assume that might be due to the difficulties that administrators encounter when trying to figure out what the dispute is about and that's understandable. Admins are not expected to be experts on any given subject. However, the point of my small rant above was that these people aren't simply lunatic vandals that can be reverted, blocked and ignored. They are intelligent and highly organized people, especially on the Internet. That's why I'm once again trying to raise Jimbo's awareness of this broader issue. I was hoping that the severity of the current situation regarding Jayvdb's candidacy was enough to make him take some time off and look into these issues because they affect large and important topic areas on Wikipdia including topics that aren't related to ethnic disputes. There's a consistent pattern of behaviour among these people and more support from above (such as Jimbo) is needed. EconomicsGuy (talk) 12:25, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo, a couple of days ago I noted a stark difference between this year's and last year's ArbCom elections. Wondered if you have a comment.

Last year two arbitrators ran for reelection:

  • Rebecca (after a hiatus from the Committee) finished with 65.08% support.
  • Raul654 (seeking immediate reelection) finished with 64.96% support.

Although neither finish was quite enough to gain reappointment, both were respectable showings.

This year three arbitrators have run for reelection:

  • Sam Korn (after a hiatus) withdrew after one day at 51% support.
  • Charles Matthews (seeking immediate reelection) currently at 20% support.
  • Jdforrester (seeking immediate reelection) currently at 18% support.

Since Charles Matthews and Jdforrester currently tally a respective 157 and 170 opposes, it appears unlikely that a sudden surge of popularity will change the current trend significantly. What catches my eye especially is the tenor of the comments at their candidacies. As I blogged a couple of days ago when the pattern emerged, this might arguably be read as a referendum on the 2008 ArbCom.

It's true that being an arbitrator means making some decisions that will leave parts of the community unhappy, yet that doesn't account for the dramatic drop in support for returning candidates between last year's election and this one. And although some community members cite unseemly arbitrator conduct as a reason for opposing this year, one of last year's returning candidates garnered 65% support despite having accrued the only edit warring block on a sitting arbitrator in site history.

A long time ago I remember you characterizing ArbCom as the expression of community consensus. With both of the 2008 Committee's returning candidates garnering 4:1 opposition, do you still hold that view? DurovaCharge! 03:42, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, of course. Such is the nature of democratic elections. If people are unhappy, they vote for change. By chance, I had the opportunity met with Jimmy Carter today. He was voted out of office, extremely unpopular. He's shown himself to be a great man nevertheless. I think it is perfectly possible to lose an election with dignity and honor and go on to continue being great. Assuming current trends hold, I am sure that James and Charles will do the same. What I hope, too, is that the incoming Arbs have a good idea about just what the community wants, in terms of change, so that change can happen quickly and with great energy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:45, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo—thanks for your note. I think we're at one all round; I especially like your clause "so that change can happen quickly and with great energy"! <smile> Tony (talk) 08:23, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the reply, Jimbo. Allow me to observe, though, that Carter's 'extreme unpopularity' still tallied 41% of the popular vote. There must be a better analogy for 18%-20% support--perhaps the Socialist Unity Party of Germany of late 1989? DurovaCharge! 18:20, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
This comparison is fallacious. The United States uses a "first past the post" voting system, whereas we are using a traditional wiki vote. I don't think the percentages can be directly compared at all in an attempt to determine how popular or unpopular any given candidate is. A closer analogy (though still quite imperfect) would be Jimmy Carter's "approval rating" which dropped as low as 25% [1].--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:45, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

(butting in) hey, given we're talking about change and all, one of the statements I have made a few times is that I would hope I have time to keep on writing material and "mucking in" with the community. I believe this is a great way of (a) keeping one's finger on the pulse, and (b) fostering positive relations outside the somewhat sober atmosphere of arbcom (which may lead to a better sense of camaraderie and morale. Thus I would hope that maybe if there were a few candidates really close together, maybe and extra appointment or two may be considered...Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 08:35, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Not appointing anyone to the 7th seat may work better.... Ncmvocalist (talk) 14:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Since my name has been brought up, a few comments. The election isn't over yet, and early votes do tend to be negative (i.e. those with beefs know more quickly than those who want to read over the statements and questions). James and I are garnering numerous negative votes aimed at the 2008 ArbCom, rather than ourselves, and the "new blood" argument is plain democracy in action anyway. We'll know more when another week has passed, and I'm contenting myself with seeing what is to learn from the votes against me (where, for example, it is an apparently vindictive vote based on my actions in a case, I know pretty much what to think, which is that the community wouldn't want me to think in electoral terms while acting as an Arbitrator). I had several reasons for standing again, and am glad to have put my views on the Hoffman case and Poetlister, neither of these being issues to duck. Charles Matthews (talk) 07:27, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think this is an appropriate place for your campaign Charles. Nor do I think it is appropriate for a standing candidate, while the election is still happening, to use this place in particular to seek to write off early opposes as being from editors who have beefs or have not read over the statements and questions. DuncanHill (talk) 11:08, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't strike me as inappropriate. This isn't some hallowed hall where a higher sense of propriety must be observed, and we shouldn't expect candidates or sitting arbitrators to refrain from responding when they're mentioned or issues in their work or candidacy described. You can comment here, anyone can, and Charles isn't in a special category of muted editors because he's a candidate. Avruch T 14:41, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Kerala conference's "keynote

This will be a memorable flop of your career, unless somebody wants to press criminal charges on you for keeping an extremely derogatory article on the Father of the Nation at uncyclopedia hosted by Wikia which makes money for you. This is also a pointer. (talk) 16:54, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Continous trolling by a banned editor User:Jobxavier. See also Category:Wikipedia sockpuppets of Jobxavier ,Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser/Case/Jobxavier , Wikipedia:Suspected sock puppets/Jobxavier and Category:Suspected Wikipedia sockpuppets of Jobxavier -- Tinu Cherian - 18:13, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Tinu. What's he on about?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:20, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I can think of a few things he might be on. (Ba-Dum TISH -_-)--Koji 19:46, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec, re to Jimbo) He's taken exception to this. He's already banned for POV-pushing on India-related articles. – iridescent 19:48, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes. With his strong anti-xian POV pushing, he was/is really a headache with his scores of sock usernames and IP edits -- Tinu Cherian - 02:26, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
It's actually Kuntan, but a banned troll regardless. Khoikhoi 03:40, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • No, Tinu is wrong. I used to be Kuntan who got banned by Hindutvavadi admins ganging upon me. I love Wikipedia because of User:Dbachmann, User:Fowler&fowler, User:rudrasharman, the underlying philosophy conceived by Larry Sanger etc. PoV? I am against all sorts of nationalism and religious fervour (particularly against Hindu revivalism, since I belong to India). Dishonouring Gandhi is a crime in India. See [2] and read this, and |this. Anybody can approach a magistrate and get a warrant for you for hosting that article, that image etc. I am not going to travel 400 k.m.s to do that and I don't have anything that strong against you, although your claim of being sole founder goes against the grain of my sensibility, but beware, there are fanatics here who are keen on such matters. I know of a sorry incident in my vicinity when a few people had to languish in jail on remand for a period for displaying the flag (a sticker iirc) in a butcher shop. (talk) 03:44, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
"This will be a memorable flop of your career"?! Are you serious?! Go be a minor inconvenience somewhere else. Jimmy, this creature is, in my opinion, nothing but troube. It should just plain be ignored. Mature people, please do not feed it, that will only make it hungrier.JJ Cool D 23:59, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, for memorable flops, I've already done much better than that!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:23, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Jimmy, your calm and humorous disposition is admirable. JJ Cool D 22:58, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Using wikinews and other sites in an ArbCom case

Hey Jimbo, quick question: Should diffs/bans/checkuser details from sister Wikimedia sites be treated as objective evidence in ArbCom cases on Specifically, can such evidence be used to support a disciplinary action on Spidern 21:09, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't think there is any simple yes/no answer to that. Behavior in other places can be relevant evidence in ArbCom cases, but often is not. Certainly the idea that one can behave perfectly well here, while engaging in offsite attacks, etc., and the ArbCom can do nothing about it, just doesn't fly. But as well, the idea that a person could be arbitrarily sanctioned at wikipedia for behavior in another forum doesn't fly either. It's a judgment call.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:54, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


Please, Block Drini it's a Dictator, and blocks me for no reason. See Last Block. (talk) 18:03, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo is not a sysop at, nor has he ever exercised the position of founder there, like he does here at enwiki. Also, using his steward powers there without an invitation from their community would be highly frowned upon. I would suggest you try and handle this internally at MBisanz talk 18:12, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
Drini is a he, as you well know, and as the word it doesn't even exist in Spanish it makes me think he was right to block you. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:18, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Santa hat

Do you want me to photoshop a cartoon santa hat on your head? (talk) 21:22, 12 December 2008 (UTC) Someone has been vandalising pages that way, but I think it would actually belong on your user page :) (talk) 21:23, 12 December 2008 (UTC)


Happy holidays!

--Lucro (talk) 14:50, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

IWF blocking is over rootology (C)(T) 18:46, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

And with that can we finally put the silly notion of removing that album cover image to rest? While there are doubtless any number of images hosted on the server that have no business here, Virgin Killer is not one of them. It is a work of art that has, to my knowledge, never been banned, deemed "obscene", "pornographic", or even prurient by any court in any jurisdiction. The notability of the image is evident from the controversy surrounding it. The controversy and resultant worldwide media coverage provide a fair-use rationale far beyond the mere representation of an album cover and the community consensus to keep the image has been reaffirmed many times. Yes, it probably is time to step back and take a dispassionate look at issues of improper image uploading, in my opinion it is not so much a failure of current policy but, rather, a lack of editorial oversight. Cheers. L0b0t (talk) 19:43, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
Ah, the PR-speak version of "boy, did we screw THAT up." Nice to see some level of sanity has returned. Tony Fox (arf!) 22:43, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
I support taking a good hard look at whether the image is appropriate for wikipedia in the first place. Notwithstanding the victory over censorship, we should have our own standards are above and beyond any questions of "is it legal or not in the UK"? I have seen no one engage in a serious analysis of whether the image is actually legal in the US, with reference to US law and relevant convictions - are we putting our users at risk? I know that I, for one, have no interest in having the image on my computer in any way, shape or form, and if it is sent to me against my will, I simply delete it instantly. There are serious questions about the image in light of our BLP policy as well: this is an image of an identifiable person, a minor at the time. In any event, please do not hold this discussion on my talk page - this is not the right venue for it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I saw several people mention that the FBI was asked to take a look at the image because of child pornography concerns, and they pretty much dismissed the complaint out of hand. I can't confirm this, though. J.delanoygabsadds 04:26, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed none of us can confirm the FBI dismissed it out of hand, but thanks for the comment about the need to discuss the appropriateness of this image, a discussion will be needed at some point soon, and not here. Thanks, SqueakBox 04:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think there is any actual evidence other than tabloid journalism that the FBI was ever consulted at all. I also consider this to be more or less irrelevant. "No one has gone to jail yet for possessing the image" does not imply "therefore it belongs in Wikipedia". I think that an exclusive focus on whether or not the image crosses the legal line is really not that interesting - in the sense that I think the much more interesting question is whether it violates our policies on BLP (among other things).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:56, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Various groups did say they had contacted the FBI. How far that got is unclear. JoshuaZ (talk) 17:11, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
There have also been various claims that the girl feels fine about the image but I have never seen any evidence of this, and if it isn't so the pic is, IMO, a blp violation. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:22, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Why a BLP violation? Presumably the girl's parents signed a release on her behalf when the original photo was taken - it wasn't taken in secret, so where's the BLP violation? – ukexpat (talk) 17:34, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Making presumptions of that sort does not satisfy blp requirements. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:39, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
She did give an interview in which she stated she didn't mind it. I can't locate the interview right now however. (If soemone else can run that down it would be good. Also note that if the basic idea behind BLP is Do No Harm then there's no concern here anyways given the widespread nature of the image). And SB: that isn't a minor presumption. It is routine to get parental releases when using underage models for any purpose. JoshuaZ (talk) 17:49, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it would be great to see evidence of this interview, and IMO it would make a difference re our blp policy and this image; it is still a presumption and nor do what the parents think or thought affect our blp policy. She is an adult now and can speak for herself. The fact that the image is displayed elsewhere also does not affect our blp policy, as I believe Jimbo implies above. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:52, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok. It looks like she didn't give an actual interview. The Scorpions however in an interview said they talked to her about 15 years later and she was fine with it. From this interview "We met the girl some 15 years later and she never had a problem with it." I suppose one could bring up the issue of whether they are a reliable source in this context but I see no good reason to doubt the claim. JoshuaZ (talk) 18:09, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer. Looks thoroughly inadequate for our BLP policy, because it is a vague comment from a third party and was made 20 odd years ago, and indeed confirms that this image is a blp violation. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:31, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Um what? How are you getting in any way shape or form that this "confirms that this image is a blp violation"? JoshuaZ (talk) 19:32, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
We are confusing each other, it appears, and should probably be discussing this elsewhere. But I will say that for all we know, as a middle aged woman she is mortified, embarrassed etc about this image. If we had a currentish statement from her, and only from her, then we would not have to worry about BLP, but a claim from a member of the band, who is by definition not impartial, that she was okay about it 20 years ago comes nowhere near satisfying our conservative BLP policy. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:39, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
Well then last remark. I suppose any further discussion should occur on either BLPN or in an IFD. I don't think the fact that the statement is from a long time ago is at all relevant. Under that logic we would need to reconfirmations periodically that people are still ok with content of them. JoshuaZ (talk) 23:49, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
A statement from the girl, 18+, even though years ago would suffice for me, but we don't have it. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:55, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
SqueakBox, give it a rest. Trying to claim a BLP violation on an album cover from 1976, an album that received worldwide distribution, an album that is still readily available in fixed form from record stores (at least here in the US) because you can't read a letter from a compensated performer in a work for hire some 32 years after the fact is ridiculous. You are wasting the community's time with your prudish axe-grinding. You don't like this image, we get it. If it bothers you so much, simply configure your account so as not to view it and stop trying force your personal taste in art onto everybody else. You people (repressed prudes, religious fundamentalists, nanny-state expansionists, Wikipedia Review sycophants, et al.) have tried to rationalize deleting this image with cries of it might be porn, no fair-use, and now BLP but it all boils down to WP:IDONTLIKEIT. This image has never, never been declared child pornography by any jurisdiction, in particular the great state of Florida; the only jurisdiction that has any bearing on this discussion (sorry foreigners, your country's legal machinations and opinions carry no weight at all here.) As I stated above, while there may be images at Commons that are inappropriate for inclusion in the encyclopedia, Virgin Killer is not one of them. The controversy surrounding the cover and even this current tempest in a teapot more than justify the use of the image to illustrate the article. Mr. Wales, I'm sorry for adding this to your talk page after you asked us not to and I do agree there are image issues to be discussed at Commons but I feel there are very important matters of free speech involved here. Thank you. L0b0t (talk) 03:00, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
BLP is a policy that refers to living people, and many of us living people were around in 1976, believe it or nopt, including all those still alive involved in that article. BLP covers all events involving living people going back a lot further than that year and if you want to say that that is not so go and start a blog. And how precisely does wikipedia choosing to delete theimage, if so, relate to free speech. If we deleted it now it would be our decision and not based on any IWF pressure so i fail to see where any free speech issue remains. Thanks, SqueakBox 04:30, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I wanted to respond to just one part of this discussion. The argument that the only thing that matters is whether or not it is legal in Florida doesn't do much for me. Lots of things are legal in Florida but not appropriate for Wikipedia. I am concerned that people's finding that the work has never landed anyone in prison, while of some tangential interest, is misleading people from the real issues here. I would like to see a serious analysis of the question of appropriateness which completely avoids this question.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:11, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Mr. Wales, please allow me to clarify. When I speak of Florida having jurisdiction what I mean is that the vast majority of arguments put forward by those who would have the image removed (especially on a certain Wikipedia attack site where contributors are discussing ways to change our policies regarding images) have been along the lines of I think child pornography is wrong, and a private organization in a foreign land have labeled this image "a potentially illegal indecent image of a child under the age of 18" so it must be child pornography; let's get rid of it. It is to those that would put forth that line of reasoning that I point out that only the United States and the State of Florida are entitled to make that determination under force of law and that is a matter for the WMF and not the community at large. That is, of course, a wholly separate matter from editorial oversight, which is a matter for the community of contributors. So let's have that analysis of appropriateness. I posit that it is a prime example of exactly when a controversial image is appropriate and necessary in an article. WP:CENSOR tells us "Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness, but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article. Beyond that, "being objectionable" is generally not sufficient grounds for removal of content." What part of WP:BLP do people think apply to this image? Commons:Photographs of identifiable people would seem to be the germane rule not WP:BLP (which deals with descriptions of known people in articles not commercial work product of unnamed models). Image passes COM:IDENT, passes WP:NFC and WP:Non-free content criteria exemptions. It is a notable image that is being used, quite rightly, to illustrate not only the original album but also the tremendous controversy surrounding the image itself. To SqueakBox, when arguments boil down to WP:IDONTLIKEIT and people want the image removed simply because it offends their personal sensibilities and taste, then yes, it has become a free speech issue. Cheers. L0b0t (talk) 06:18, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
To further clarify for Mr. Wales, if a court in Zimbabwe or Pakistan or the UK or anywhere on Earth outside of the State of Florida judges this image (or any other) to be prohibited by their legal system, their opinion carries NO WEIGHT WHATSOEVER IN THIS DISCUSSION and can not and MUST not be used as an argument for deletion or removal. Since the servers are in Florida, only a Florida court can define this image as obscene. Since no court anywhere, at any time has done so, this image is by very definition NOT obscene and any argument based upon its supposed offensiveness is merely a massive extension of WP:IDONTLIKEIT and is specifically proscribed by WP:CENSOR. The only issue at hand here is the appropriateness (based on our extant policies & guidelines) of the image in an article to illustrate the subject of that article. That, I think, has been settled as evidenced by the many deletion discussions that have already been had. Any further attempt to get rid of this image smacks of pointy disruption and those calling for deletion should be ashamed of themselves. L0b0t (talk) 15:37, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
You are missing the point, this isn't about legality in Florida, the UK, Honduras or wherever, its about we wikipedians debating the issue with the fact that we are an educational charity in our minds; claiming my arguments are "I don't like" is uninformed opinionising, and nothing more. I have more reason than most to be angry at what the IWF did because of my long term commitment to not seeing pedophile activism on wikipedia. Personally I don't care where the servers are, why would any simple non-American editor care, as the only issues that interest me are the appropriateness of the image for our project, and the glaring blp issues. As I have said before, I am amused that some of the folk who claim to be anti-censorship are trying to censor a debate on the appropriateness of the image, but this debate clearly is going to happen at the appropriate moment. Discussing the issue for a couple of weeks back in May is not, as some would claim, a final decision that we can never go back on, and your pointishness claims are thus inappropriate. Thanks, SqueakBox 16:07, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Not really over

Not related to the image itself, but I think definitely important. Even today, some 5 days or so after the blacklisting was lifted, Some ISPs are still blocking and several are still proxying all the traffic trough a small set of IPs. I think this shows how technically deficient the implementation of this system is a this moment. All the arguments for the British system have always stated how "transparent" it was to most Internet users. It shows however that the implementation of the ISPs differ hugely per ISP and are clearly lacking a "coordinated" technical requirements-set. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:15, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Well what do you expect. Expecting technical perfection re any online issues is unrealistic in the extreme. Thanks, SqueakBox 16:09, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
Speaking personally, I never expect perfection, since i'm used to using a research network that has almost any "feature" active that you can think of (registration, logging, graphing, shaping, vlan's, several types of wireless encryption, VPN services, IPv6 and multicast), with brings a relative instability that comes with providing so many experimental features at the same time. I'm just saying that what we have here is a clear case of missing customers that should be chasing their ISP managers and technical staff with a cluebat or move to another ISP. It is technical illiteracy of both the ISPs and the customers, and it is an important element of the discussion. --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:07, 14 December 2008 (UTC)
I do agree with you. Some folk were claiming BT et al were breaking the law by not providing a proper 404 notice, which is the same kind of clueless approach to internet technology that I was talking about, expecting perfection in a cutting edge technology plagued with bugs. As someone who deals with these issues daily in my work I respond to the technical difficulties that others point out to me, and now the image issue is resolved re IWF it is indeed critical that customers complain, and that the isps respond professionally to the complaints, and fix the problems. that way we all learn. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:15, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

How much trouble can I get myself into in one day?

Hey Jimbo.

Someone told me it is impossible to block you. Is this true? I'm too scared to try it... J.delanoygabsadds 03:11, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

As far as I know, it is possible, see: my block log. The software is always changing and I do have 'founder' flag, which might have some impact on this, though I doubt it. It would be pretty unwise to have actual software prevention on *this account* being blocked - suppose for example, my password were compromised, or I went crazy or something. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:14, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Ha! I'm surprised it isn't somewhat longer, since I've seen newbie Admins told in IRC "you can try and block Jimbo, but it won't work", and it's a credit to those newbies that they are clued enough not to risk it. Perhaps in that regard, we're largely getting it right here. --Rodhullandemu 23:03, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I have never seen anyone with so many indef blocks. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:16, 15 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi. That's all I wanted to say.


Vuerqex Quetzal Algernon (talk)

Timestamp for bot J.delanoygabsadds 03:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

BLP issue around Litvinenko and Putin

I have removed some of the past discussion because I found it to be distasteful and inflammatory. Trying to make the issue more emotional by framing it as if ludicrous accusations might be made about me personally is not helpful.

Having said that, I think my advice to everyone is this: calm down and slow down. I see some commonalities in everyone's position which suggest that a suitable compromise can be reached, we are perhaps down to the nitty-gritty of precise wording.

- That Litvinenko made these accusations against Putin is apparently agreed by all to be a relevant fact - It is relevant in no small part because the accusations appear to be generally regarded as unsubstantiated; what is interesting about the allegation is not what they say about Putin (basically, nothing because they have no real evidentiary basis) but what they may suggest about Litvinenko - Therefore the allegations should not be repeated uncritically but framed in such a fashion as to show that people regard them with great skepticism

No one seems to be claiming that the accusation belongs in the article on Putin. No one seems to be arguing that the claims must be removed from the article on Litivnenko. Biophys seems to be suggesting that he's willing to accept Russavia's version. I recommend that further discussion be carried out on the talk page for the article, not my talk page, and that more editors get involved.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:08, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, the problem is not what you have commented on. The problem is that 3 admins and 2 Arbcom members were alerted to the problem; the 3 admins and 1 arbcom members fobbed off the problem without even looking at it, and 1 arbcom member stated "Vladimir Putin is clearly subject to WP:BLP. However it is not the same thing to add a controversial claim to the article on Vladimir Putin, as to add to the article on Alexander Litvinenko the fact that Litvinenko had made highly speculative claims about Putin"; however, if one were to read WP:BLP, the first line clearly states "Editors must take particular care adding biographical material about a living person to any Wikipedia page. Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity, and must adhere strictly to all applicable laws in the United States and to all of our content policies"...the operative words, in regards to this problem, being any Wikipedia page. You know, as well as I do, that the English language is a powerful tool, and the way that statements are written will determine whether it is being presented as opinion, accusation or a statement of fact. The phrase "amongst others who knew about Putin's paedophilia" is not worded as an opinion nor accusation, but as a statement of fact; there is perhaps a reason why no mainstream news outlet would have ever run such an article because it is inflammatory, and it would open them up to all sorts of lawsuits. And it's the same reason that what I wrote on your talk page was removed; as I have mentioned at several talk pages, what would happen if I were to put that on the George W. Bush article, or if it were to appear on your article? Nowhere has it received a response. The information has been posted previously at several avenues and has gathered no response. What I posted on your talk page was done in order to get a response from yourself, knowing how you regard issues surrounding WP:BLP, in that at least 3 admins and 2 Arbcom members have been alerted to a problem, and were referred to an arbcom decision which was passed, and yet every single one ignored it; and as shown, at least one of those appears to misunderstand how WP:BLP operates. Is that acceptable in your mind? --Russavia Dialogue Stalk me 18:48, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Merry Christmas!

(archiving comment Fram (talk) 08:48, 17 December 2008 (UTC))

Happy Holidays!

(archiving comment Fram (talk) 08:48, 17 December 2008 (UTC))

Bangalore gyaan

Hey Jimbo,

Was great listening to you at Bangalore....and thanks for the photo, which now adorns my user page! Keep coming to Bangalore. prashanthns (talk) 15:03, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I missed it again :( For some reason india mailing list mail didnt like my mailbox! Hopefully we can meet next time -- Tinu Cherian - 12:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I will not donate. Why?

Because Wikipedia is full of bias, crap, and lots of other horrible things. Sorry Mr. Wales. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:09, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Ok, don't donate, fix it instead! --Tango (talk) 22:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Or just don't bother to visit and use it. Free choice, man!! --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 00:42, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You could donate your time and try to make it better. Thanks, SqueakBox 00:48, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I donated $20 and for some reason the servers still seem to run slow at times. You'd think that a twenty-spot would buy enough chewing gum and thread to get it all working properly, but noo-o. :) Franamax (talk) 04:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

If it's for better servers, maybe. But admins are unpaid. (talk) 15:12, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Funny, i will not donate either. It's unfixable. A fork would be welcome. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:50, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Go ahead. --Tango (talk) 23:37, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, unless Mr. Wales can convince me to donate, i will not. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Belated Congratulations?

They always deliver it late, but I see in my Dec. 6, 2008 edition of The Economist that the magazine has made their annual Innovation awards, and the 2008 winner for "Business Process" is-s-s (drum-roll) "Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia for the promotion of online public collaboration as a means of content development." [3]

Congratulations Mr. Wales on your recognition by such a prestigious and influential organization as The Economist! If this has already been noted here, too bad, I'm congratulating you a second time. :) Franamax (talk) 06:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Am I missing something? With no disrespect intended to Jimbo, what did he innovate in 2008? – iridescent 16:24, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I think they are more like lifetime achievement awards rather than focused on work done in the last year. By way of comparison, the 2008 Nobel Prize winners didn't all do their prize-winning work in 2007 (although the Pulitzer Prize winners did). Newyorkbrad (talk) 17:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
That's pretty close, the awards recognize "the creative individuals who dream up new ideas and turn them into reality" - and of course only with the perspective of time can the truly good ideas be seen to have worked out. Other award winners this year were the developers of knockout mice, carbon nanotubes and text messaging, among others. There are 35 judges, drawn from business and academia.
As far as a Nobel goes, Jimbo will have to settle for the Economist award, 'cause developing Wikipedia sure as hell ain't gonna win him no Peace Prize! ;) Franamax (talk) 00:18, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

The Giano II wheel war

As a result of a discussion by the Arbitration Committee, Charles Matthews recently blocked User:Giano II for a perceived evasion of a prior block imposed pursuant to Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/IRC#Civility:_Giano. Disagreeing with this block, Moreschi unblocked Giano, in response to which FT2 reblocked Giano, and blocked Moreschi for violating Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Motion:_re_SlimVirgin#Restriction_on_further_enforcement. Discussion on User_talk:Moreschi#Block indicates a strong community consensus against both blocks; however, it is reasonably believed that unblocking by an ordinary administrator would resulting in further wheel warring. Could you resolve this situation before it gets any worse? John254 22:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

In light of the recent election results, it is imperative to ensure that all sitting arbitrators have the confidence of the community. This may no longer be the case with FT2. (talk) 22:34, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec) My impression is that FT2 may not be happy with his Arbcom membership, and not having the strength of character to resign, may unconsciously be trying to get to the point where he is removed by force. This would explain his role in the OrangeMarlin "case", the SlimVirgin "motion", and now in this situation. --Hans Adler (talk) 22:41, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Charles Matthews does not have the confidence of the community either. DuncanHill (talk) 00:04, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Rightly or wrongly, the block is in line with the recent arbcom ruling that no-one should undo someone's effort to enforce an arbcom ruling (I think it was something like that.) We have to stop the arguing somewhere, that's why we have an arbcom, perhaps. Sticky Parkin 22:54, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Here it is: [4]

"Administrators are prohibited from reversing or overturning (explicitly or in substance) any action taken by another administrator pursuant to the terms of an active arbitration remedy, and explicitly noted as being taken to enforce said remedy, except:

(a) with the written authorization of the Committee, or (b) following a clear, substantial, and active community consensus to do so.

Any administrator that overturns an enforcement action outside of these circumstances shall be subject to appropriate sanctions, up to and including desysopping, at the discretion of the Committee." Sticky Parkin 23:01, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Was the reblock of Giano pursuant to the terms of the motion? Moreschi claims that it wasn't: [5]. Colchicum (talk) 23:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think the exact details of the procedure of the block are relevant when it comes to whether or not it is acceptable to undo it - the idea of that rule is to prevent wheel wars when people disagree over the correct interpretation and enforcement of an ArbCom ruling. If you could ignore the rule if you felt the enforcement wasn't compliant with the ruling, it would be a completely pointless rule. That said, blocking the unblocking admin seems excessive - was there any reason to believe the action would be repeated? A simple request to cease and desist would probably have sufficed, and then we could all have got on with the important business of arguing incessantly about Giano for a few days, and we all so enjoy that. (I have no opinion on the merit of the block of Giano.) --Tango (talk) 23:49, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I urge Jimbo to appoint the seven community-elected ArbCom candidates as soon as possible, with a mandate that begins immediately upon appointment. He should not take any other action here. Everyking (talk) 23:19, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

You expect too much Everyking. Saturday, be patient! Majorly talk 23:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Less than half of the current arbcom (and perhaps MUCH less) would win reelection if they had to stand again. There's less than no confidence in the current iteration of the arbcom. It's possible one or two might even receive less than 10% support. This type of nonsense HAS to stop. SDJ 00:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    • I only see 1 arbcom member that would win re-election. Please, Jimbo, either get rid of arbcom, or blow it up and get rid of everyone (sorry NewyorkBrad, the only decent arb), starting anew with the top candidates at the last election. It has gotten to the point where the members of the committee themselves are escalating drama to a ridiculous degree with poor decision after poor decision, and it needs to stop right now. (talk) 00:17, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
      • Partially agree with the IP (there are other arbitrators who I am fine with, namely Kirill Lokshin and FayssalF). I expect most arbitrators would fail a re-election (see Charles and James's recent tries), simply because the community no longer has any confidence in them. There needs to be a way to remove arbcom members who no longer have any community confidence. There is no way of watching the watchers. Majorly talk 00:21, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
        • There should be a way to recall arbitrators. I think 80% support is too much to expect but winning 50% support should be required, otherwise an arbitrator have no moral right to speak on behalf of the community. In practical terms I think FT2 should go from the Arbcom, he is a liability to the whole of our project in his role as an arbitrator Alex Bakharev (talk) 00:56, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd support that. Something like 30 signatures from community members in good standing (defined as not currently blocked and not currently the subject of any active ArbCom cases, and eligible to vote in ArbCom elections) to trigger a recall election, and then a simple majority (ie. supporters/(supporters+opposers)>0.5) is required to remain an Arbitrator. If the number of total arbs drops below 2/3 of its size at the end of the last main election and no election is due in the next 2 months, a by-election is called. (The 30 and the 2/3 are negotiable, the rest should stay as it is. It's important for such systems to be simple.) --Tango (talk) 01:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
You do realise there is about as much chance of this happening as there is of a process for desysopping admins being developed. Majorly talk 01:21, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
There is a process for desysopping admins, it's called ArbCom. (I guess, technically, Jimbo could deArb people, but I think it's unlikely he would ever do so (barring a scandal on the scale of Essjay)). --Tango (talk) 01:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The whole point of the current system is that arbcom memebers can do what they need to do without haveing to worry about levels of onwiki support. Since they work in some very contriversal areas it is to be expected that they will be unpopular with at least some sections of the community.Geni 10:16, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The job of an arbitrator is very different from the job of an editor or even an admin. Moreover, the %support metric is favourable to people who avoid controversy while handling of controversies is the core of arbitrator's job. Thus, we have little data to see whether a candidate would make a great or a weak arbitrator, it is a gamble of a sort. If the new arbitrator is great we all win, if he or she is weak or unsuitable we all loose. Judging from the results of re-election, the later case is quite common. Can we cut our losses if we have made a wrong choice? Three years onwiki is an infinity, do we really have to wait so long. I think some sort of reconfirmation for sitting arbitrators on every elections is not that much of a burden. 80% of support is not realistic but 50% requirement for sitting arbitrators seems to be fair. 11:22, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Given the areas they work in arbcom memebers would have to spend too much time looking over their sholders if they wanted to last more than about a year under those conditions. In any case the size of the the committe is such that a small number of problematical arbcoms does not represent a major issue.Geni 11:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Maintaining 50% support shouldn't be too difficult. It's completely unrealistic to expect an Arb to maintain the level of support they had to get elected, but no-one is suggesting that. The problem at the moment is that we have a large number of problematical arbs, so it is a major issue. --Tango (talk) 13:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
You suggest it is not difficult yet you suggest there are a large number of problematical arbcom memebers which means that you think most would fall bellow 50%. So clearly it is rather difficult. Throw in the low re-election levels and realisticaly it looks like maintianing 50% is hard (particularly when you consider that most people seem to tend towards opposeing as the safe option). No they are elected for up to 3 years so they don't need to worry about popular support. If you think that too many become problematical take more care over who you elect.Geni 13:20, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, that was my mistake, I should have said "not difficult for a good arbitrator". How low are historical re-election levels? I don't think many arbs have finished their entire terms and stood again. 3 years is a long time (by online standards), people don't generally want to keep doing the same job for longer than that (there are a few exceptions, of course). We can't take more care over who we elect since we have no way to reliably predict how someone will behave over the next 3 years, it's just far too long a period. I don't believe I've ever known an ArbCom have less popular support than this one does at the moment, in the past they've managed to maintain a reasonable level of support, this group haven't. That suggests the problem is with this group. --Tango (talk) 14:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Much of a do about really, nothing. We are here to write an encyclopedia, not for a small group of people to quibble and to exercise bloody politics. Some individuals here have the chutzpah to speak in the name of the "community" when actually it is their individual opinions. Give it a break and go so some useful work instead. Enough of Giano-related dramas, enough!≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Jimbo, I have never come across Giano before this episode so I can give a neutral opinion. He takes advantage of everyone and shows trollish behavior. Fine he might be a good article writer but are we asking too much from an editor to not call an admin an 'idiot' or 'stupid'? If we weed out impolite editors, polite ones will take their place. Wikipedia runs nicely most of the time but what is defective is the fact that admins practically get 'tenure'. Get them to reconfirm their RFA's every 6 months and they'll all be on their toes all the time and not only before they become an admin, like some admins. The extra work involved in this is worth it. If you have all good admins, everything else will straighten up too. People will never form a consensus for any type of admin-reconfirmation because they know they're good enough only to pass the first time. You will just have to create this policy by yourself and enforce it on everyone. I predict you'll do something like this sooner or later. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 03:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    That's been suggested plenty of times before and it's not rejected because admins are scared of being ousted, it's rejected because it is impractical. I don't have figures on numbers of active admins, but I think it is several hundred (maybe more if you include minimally active admins), reconfirming them all every 6 months would work out at several a day, and presumably you would need to give each one a week so people have a chance to vote if they aren't online every day, so that works out to dozens of reconfirmations going on at any given time. It would never work. --Tango (talk) 13:06, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    At any given time there are about 900-1,000 active administrators. MBisanz talk 13:08, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    As I said, anything to stop admins from getting tenure would do. If there's a 1000 users, then have a "request for affirmation" filled out by users with atleast a certain number of edits like in the recall thing. Every admin should be in the recall category infact by default. Other limits would also be placed such as, only one request can be filled out every 6 months for each admin. It is not impossible to prevent the tenure of an admin. Tenure is not a dragon that cant be defeated. If you have the will, you'll find a way. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 14:59, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    A system of admin recall is theoretically possible. The problem, as discussed above with respect to ArbCom, is working out a fair level of support to expect for someone doing a job that inevitably upsets people on a regular basis. I suggested above that 50% was a fair level for Arbs, and some people thought even that was too high, I think admins would need to be even lower or we'll end up losing all our best people. (Some significant turnover with Arbs isn't a problem, there is a fairly large pool of experienced admins to choose from, replacing admins is more difficult, there aren't enough new admins getting through RFA to replace all those that would be recalled if some a system were implemented with anything more than about 30% support required to keep the mop - you could argue that that's a problem with RFA, but I don't want to get into a RFA reform debate here.) --Tango (talk) 18:03, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
    NewyorkBrad is a great admin, I doubt he has made anyone upset so thats one example of a good admin. There can be more like him. I seem to believe that if admins were nice, it would be easier to get new ones. If people see a lot of drama, they get scared. Oh well, maybe one day the system will be fixed somehow. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 05:05, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
    I never said all admins would be recalled, just too many for us to replace. If any admin hasn't upset anyone then it's simply because they haven't done much. When you block someone, you are likely to upset the blockee. When you delete and article, you are likely to upset the article's creator. When you protect a page, you are likely to upset the person whose version wasn't protected. Etc. Etc. Etc. You can't be a good admin without upsetting people. --Tango (talk) 11:28, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • (ahem) DRAMA!!!eleventy! *flails* Tony Fox (arf!) 04:32, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Curious about something

What was the first edit made to Wikipedia? -- IRP 01:33, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

That will be hard to pinpoint. See Wikipedia#History ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 01:38, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
That fact is lost to the mists of time. See Wikipedia:UuU for the earliest surviving edit. --Tango (talk) 01:38, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, although I don't know what the first article was, I know what the first edit was. I made it, and it was "Hello, World!"--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:05, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Can you give me a link to the diff? -- IRP 21:54, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe its gone, like most early edits to Wikipedia before around September 2001 (except for a handful that escaped deletion like the aforementioned UuU). Wkdewey (talk) 23:29, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, all the old history is gone forever.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:06, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
The traditional approach, huh? --Tango (talk) 23:43, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Deskana's retirement and 8th spot for Arbcom

Hi, per [6] his retirement announcement today, can we presume you will be appropriately appointing the Top 8 from the results this year? rootology (C)(T) 18:17, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

That would be the most sensible option. But then again... Majorly talk 18:19, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Or how about we stop trying to presume things? Jimbo has clearly stated he will announce his appointments on Saturday, and Deskana has said that Jimbo was aware of his intention to retire. the wub "?!" 18:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

The top 8, please. No funny business, OK? Everyking (talk) 19:05, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Top seven then 21st seems more logical GTD 02:28, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Arbcom Elections

I'm really hoping you'll appoint the top seven candidates by percentage support, once the totals have been poured over by enough people, particularly having had plenty of time to see how the elections were going, and to chat about anything you wanted to with anyone you wanted to. It seems quite a few very smart folk are checking the results right now, which means ideally you could pop the kettle on, and take tea with the new arbs before Thursday. Ah go on! :-) cheers, Privatemusings (talk) 00:08, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

  • And I'm hoping you'll appoint the people who show the broadest bases of support, using metrics like support votes and net support. This, more than support%, shows the community's sentiment, in my view. SDJ 00:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd personally like to see the top ten candidates get seats. I wouldn't want to have to stand on line for another year after being so close through the door, ;) ayematthew 00:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd support such a measure. 7-10 were soo close, and all of them would be a definite plus as Arbs IMHO. J.delanoygabsadds 00:14, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Object to attempts to move the goalposts. DuncanHill (talk) 00:16, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
There are goalposts?--Scott Mac (Doc) 00:33, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec with Doc) In such a close election, no one is ever certain where the hell the goalposts were supposed to be to begin with... SDJ 00:35, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
And I'm hoping he picks the bottom seven candidates just to see the hilarity that would ensue. But...that's just me :) either way (talk) 00:44, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't imagine there'd be too much fuss, and likely broad support, if all candidates who fell into one of the top seven slots on any of the scales (%, support, net) were appointed. Besides the top seven by %, it would only involve appointing two extra people who were very close (Carcharoth and Wizardman). Every candidate in any of the top seven categories had at least 2/3 support. Many of the opposes for these close candidates were only due to the necessity of having to choose between them. --MPerel 00:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't understand User:MPerel's conclusion. No one had to choose between any candidates. It was possible to vote "support" for all of them, or even "support" for some, and nothing for the others. There is no requirement to vote "oppose" on anyone. ៛ Bielle (talk) 00:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Heh, obviously, as you say, "no one has to choose between any candidates", but um, choosing between candidates is the point of an election, since there are more candidates than available positions, yes? Voting for everyone or no one would be a meaningless exercise. My point is that there seems to be broad support for the top 9 candidates, so why not expand the available positions and consider appointing all 9? They all had at least 2/3 support and much of the remaining opposition was only an artifact of the close competition for slot #7, not that there was great opposition to their serving on arbcom. Many people explicitly stated they were voting "tactically", particularly with regard to the candidates all huddled around spot #7, which means they might have chosen to support rather than oppose if it didn't compromise the likelihood of their more favored candidate landing one of the limited spots. --MPerel 02:26, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I hope it goes by the top 7 by %. :) Sticky Parkin 01:43, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

If the top seven candidates by percentage are not placed on the Arbitration Committee, I will be expecting a full explanation from Jimbo Wales to the community. – Thomas H. Larsen 02:59, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
You do realize that the 7th place (by %support) is only 0.9% ahead of #8, while he TRAILS that candidate in both other measurable metrics by a LOT. Why are you so invested in seeing %support followed religiously? SDJ 04:23, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
There are (or should be) rules. 0.9% more is still more. It strikes me as very curious that the very people who previously insisted that Jimbo make the appointments according to some rules and not his personal preferences are now trying to impose their own metrics. Colchicum (talk) 15:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Correct metrics

As could be expected, one of the candidates (Vassyana) has a higher percentage of supporters, but another candidate (Carcharoth) has a higher net number of supporters:

Carcharoth 237 119 118 66.6%
Vassyana 197 95 102 67.5%

This is happening because candidate C. has 45,000 edits, whereas candidate V. has only 11,000 edits. Fewer people know anything about candidate V., and therefore they do not to vote for him, one way or another. Obviously, net number of supporters is the more appropriate metrics. The percentage works against candidates that are more dedicated to the project. In a more extreme case, candidate A might receive 100 net votes (150 support and 50 oppose), but candidate B might receive only 10 net votes (10 support and zero oppose; nobody cares about candidate B). Why should candidate B be elected?! (a support of100%). Obviously, candidate A has a 10 times higher number of votes.Biophys (talk) 03:21, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Could be counter-argued that the first one was opposed by more people, and therefore a greater percentage of the active Wikipedia community. Orderinchaos 13:37, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
That counter-argument is already dealt with by Biophys. Basically, the reason A has more opposes is because they have put themselves out there. The significant amount of supports counterbalances and outweighs the number of opposes, as indicated by the "net support" number, which is the only TRULY fair way to judge a candidate, in my view. SDJ 15:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedians are free to decide for themselves who they vote for, there is no firm reason as to why A has more opposes and no need to try to read Wikipedians' minds. Anyway, after the election this discussion has a very personal dimension, I am not sure this is the way to go. I supported Vassyana and opposed Carcharoth, Biophys and SDJ supported Carcharoth and opposed Vassyana, so what? Is that a reason to disregard oppose votes against Carcharoth? Stop this please. The election is over. Colchicum (talk) 15:34, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec - Agreed with Colchicum re the specific points - incidentally I voted as per Colchicum - but mine is a much more general point.) Mind you, I think all these arguments show how generally useless the metrics are in a situation like this where voting is voluntary to the extent that almost an elite are picking the next ArbCom. 200-400 votes per candidate in a project with tens of thousands of active users and likely millions of readers presents something of a challenge, and also means that organised groups can, if they wish, disrupt the elections by exerting a disproportionate influence. (An actual demonstration of this situation, with far less selectivity, can be found in US elections where around 50% of the electorate actually votes and elections can be manipulated by either disenfranchisement of electors or "mobilising the vote" of a particularly strong minority.) The numbers are but one part of the story - the qualities the candidates bring to the table, the commendations from other users and also any issues that have been raised would naturally be part of the considerations. If someone is merely popular and can win an election on the numbers, but has red flags or performance issues, then the community is not better served by seeing them elected. Note I'm not suggesting this applies to any candidate (everyone will have their own ideas on that aspect and will often disagree), I'm more interested in the system and its reliability than the people it selects. Orderinchaos 15:39, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The election may be over but the discussion of how the candidates will be selected is not at an end. No need for mind reading though, as simple logic tells us that if less editors vote for a candidate, less editors support the election of said candidate. How is stating that "mind reading"? The only metric that accurately gauges real support levels for an ACE candidate is net support. If 9 editors support a certain candidate and 1 opposes (90%, but only 8 net supports), is that editor a better pick than one who garners 255 supports and 45 opposes (85%, but 215 net votes)? I hardly think so. SDJ 15:55, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Election only makes sense if there are pre-defined rules. Do you think that it is not important that more people opposed Carcharoth and that their votes are waste of time? Colchicum (talk) 16:00, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
"Pre-defined rules"? If you wanted those, you voted in the wrong election. The results have been tallied, but the final call is Jimbo's. We all have the right to weigh in on how we think he can most fairly make his appointments. As for your question, it's a fallacy. It's the classic false dilemma, but I'll answer anyway. No one is saying what you say they're saying. Sure, it's important that people opposed Carch. It's just vastly outweighed by how many people supported him. I also note with interest that you completely ignore my hypothetical, which is probably good, since there's no answer that could be made that would retain any sort of logical consistency or coherence. SDJ 17:40, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
"what matters is not how people vote, but who controls the count". DuncanHill (talk) 16:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

As I said on the talk page for the elections, for the past several years the "order" has been determined by percentage of support vs. oppose, not on net support. Therefore, people who watch the elections (including the candidates) have come to expect that the "winners" will be determined by percentage. If there were to be a change in this, it should have been announced before the election. (And by the way, I don't think I voted for or against either of the candidates who would be affected by this, so it doesn't matter to me personally which one is appointed.) I do think MPerel's suggestion in the preceding sub-section is a good one, if Jimbo wants to appoint more than seven people, but if there are to be seven appointments, they should be in percentage order. 6SJ7 (talk) 18:29, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

There's no logical reason that they should be in percentage order. JW has not always stuck by that "rule." My hypothetical remains unanswered, and for good reason: percentage is not the best metric of measuring community support. Especially given that the difference between seventh and eighth is less than 1%, and the one in 7th by % lags FAR behind in the other two metrics. SDJ 19:19, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I've copied the start of this discussion to Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2008#The_argument_that_Carcharoth_won_the_election and posted a reply there. --Alecmconroy (talk) 20:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Please realize, I do not support anyone personally here. What I said was an obvious thing for someone who used to interpret data. My message was intended to Jimbo if he wants to select the seven people who have the highest community support (the highest number of net votes). I do not seen any changes of rules because the candidates are selected by Jimbo if I understand this correctly.Biophys (talk) 23:13, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

A comment

(Cross-posted from the elections talkpage)

I would like to congratulate the top five candidates (for your strong community support), the next five candidates (for making the elections exciting and running down to the wire), and the lower-ranking candidates (for not having to do this job!).

I would also like to thank Jdforrester and Charles Matthews for their years of service. To be sure, during their tenure they made some mistakes (and they will each certainly remember times I disagreed with them, both before and during my tenure on the committee). I respect the community's determination that it is time for them to move on. Still, it was sad to see this sort of a pile-on.

As of January 1, about half of the arbitrators will be new to the committee, and only two arbitrators will have more than one year of service. To the extent the community wanted turnover in personnel, between the election results and the attrition rate, that has certainly been achieved.

I have asked Jimbo Wales to move ahead with the appointment process as quickly as he can given his other commitments, and I hope and expect that the final appointments will be satisfactory to everyone. Newyorkbrad (talk) 03:24, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

I am currently planning to spend essentially the entire day tomorrow (Tuesday, India Standard Time) studying the election results and making my preliminary assessments. In the evening, I will be flying back to the San Francisco, arriving (due to the time shift it seems like a short flight but of course it is actually long) Wednesday morning.

I have a Wikia board meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday will be another day of reflection, and then on Friday I am traveling to New York.

Saturday I intend to make my appointments. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:02, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Why do you need two days to think about it? Either you have confidential information about one of the top 7 so need to veto them, or you don't. You should know that now. Make the announcement. --Tango (talk) 17:12, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. This is not a matter for reflection: the community has spoken, and Jimbo has a responsibility to appoint the top seven candidates, regardless of whatever his personal opinions may be. Everyking (talk) 17:49, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Agree. While there may be some decision making in deciding if there are seven to be picked, or more (considering some results were fairly close), this does not need nearly a whole week before it's decided. Majorly talk 17:58, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Jeez, guys. Back off a little, won't you? Reflection is always a good thing. If more people spent a couple of days reflecting on making decisions that have important and long lasting consequences, then there would be a lot less drama around here. Rockpocket 18:06, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
If there were a decision to make, then yes, reflection would be good, but there is no decision here. Either there is a major issue which requires Jimbo to veto the election results, or there isn't. --Tango (talk) 18:09, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually I hope he does tamper with the results. And perhaps Jayjg, Essjay and Kelly Martin should be appointed along with whoever he picks. This whole election is a complete farce. Majorly talk 18:13, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
That would guarantee proper elections in future, at least. --Tango (talk) 18:21, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Reflection is always good.If Jimbo plans to take only 2 days to study all aspects of the election and give his decision whether or not he uses his veto.I do not see any undue delay particurly as he has other commitments including International Travel and meetings.I cannot understand the hurry if he does wish take a few days to analyse the results.Please if he wishes to analyse the results nothing wrong in that. Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 18:28, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
What is there to analyse? If there was any vote rigging, somebody else would have noticed it by now, people aren't expected to give reasons for their votes in ArbCom elections, so there is no need to go through and assign different weights to people's votes based on the quality of their reasoning, so all he needs to do is look at the final tally. Either he knows something we don't and will thus partially ignore the vote, or he will respect the decision of the community, neither of those take 2 days. --Tango (talk) 18:37, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Have you donated any sum of money to the Wikimedia Foundation? I haven't, and I think it is not up to me to dictate how they spend their funds. Colchicum (talk) 18:46, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
What has this got to do with foundation funding? This is nothing to do with the foundation. Majorly talk 18:59, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Tango (as with most long term editors) has contributed thousands of dollars in free services to the Foundation. It's perfectly reasonable for him to express his opinion in this matter. I (mostly) share it - barring some sort of fraud (eg sockpuppets voting) or candidates unqualified due to age or unwillingness to identify themselves to the board, the appointments should exactly follow the voting results. --B (talk) 19:01, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The guy's on the road traveling, he's got things to do when he gets back, and he wants to look things over before making an announcement.Why are people jumping up and down over his asking to do that? Yes, we have a top seven, and they look good to me. I'm not Jimbo. I don't know what he thinks. He might have something specific he wants to consider. Give the guy a freakin' break. *headshakes* Tony Fox (arf!) 18:44, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Maybe he wants some time to digest the considered opinions you guys are offering him here. Maybe he wants some time to do some Xmas shopping, maybe he wants some time to catch up on his sleep from due to jet-lag, or see his family, or maybe he has some information that is of concern and he wants to double check some things before making what would surely be a controversial decision. Either way, none of you know what his situation is, so leave the guy alone for a few days to do what has has to do. Rockpocket 18:48, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
He's given his timetable and the delay isn't due to him having other things to do (which would be fair enough), it's due to him wanting to spend 2 days considering something that should take 5 minutes. --Tango (talk) 18:51, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Well thank goodness he is taking reasonable time to consider and not doing a hurried 5 minute job, which would lead to accusations of sloppiness, hurriedness and mistakes. Any serious decision making needs time18:57, 15 December 2008 (UTC). Thanks, SqueakBox
The community already spent two weeks deciding, remember? Everyking (talk) 18:59, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
The community is only part of the process. Regardless of whether you or I or anybody thinks it should be different, it isn't. Since Jimbo is also part of the process, five or six days for him to do his part, during which he is traveling most of the way around the world, attending meetings, etc. doesn't seem excessive. 6SJ7 (talk) 19:22, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Call me crazy, but isn't it possible that Jimbo just wants the opportunity to speak to the selected candidates before he makes the formal announcement? Or perhaps he would like to have a (relatively) clear schedule after he makes the announcement, so that he can respond to any concerns. God knows that if he isn't available then some people (see above) will rush to assign twisted and ulterior motives to his every action. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 19:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no need to talk to the candidates, they obviously want the job, otherwise they wouldn't have stood. And there is no point guessing about Jimmy's reasons for delaying since he's already stated them. Are you suggesting that he's lying? --Tango (talk) 20:02, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
There is no Jimbo mail in my inbox. We are supposed to be an agile web 2.0 crowdsourcing thingamawatsit, and here we are waiting 5 days for a bog simple decision from a board member after a 14 day election has been held by the community. This delay is unreasonable, and is an example of the "Jimbo problem" that a large segment of the community is growing dissatisfied with. Other projects manage just fine without a constitutional monarch. If you wanted to put an inordinate amount of time into evaluating and reflecting, you should have kept these days clear in your calendar; the dates have been well advertised for a long time, and this sudden revelation puts other peoples calendars into a state of limbo. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
You're up in arms for having to wait a few days for a guy to travel halfway around the bloody planet, get resettled after being on the road and give the results some consideration before making what is a rather major appointment... and you're one of the seven likely appointees? Wow. Just... wow. Tony Fox (arf!) 06:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, it's something of a question of priorities, isn't it? Which is more important: Jimmy being a world traveller, or Jimmy helping perform an essential function of the site in a timely manner? -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 15:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I think the essential nugget of criticism people have is that, if we imagine jimmy wales personally sitting down, devoting 72 hours of personal research and deep inner reflection to decide who he wants to be on the arbcom, then the proper response is, to quote the meme, you're doing it wrong!!!.

Which is to say, the Jimbo Veto Power is to be used in emergency situations only, not as a thumb placed on the scales. If it turns out one of the candidates has a past felony conviction of identity theft, and only jimmy wales knows that somehow, okay. Barring something of that magnitude, there's probably no reason to let one person's voice outweigh the 6,801 votes that were cast.

But then on the other side of the coin, of course saturday is a reasonable amount of time to take to make whatever decisions are to be made-- doubly so in light of Jimbo's extremely well-explained hectic schedule. People who chafe at the "get it done already!" style comments are quite correct to point out that this is a very reasonable amount of time to take.

What initially sounds like a debate on chronology is actually a debate on methodology. If we imagine Jimmy Wales going through, reading arb statements for his personal reactions to the candidates, looking through the voter rolls to see if people he respects are voting one way or the other-- then it's going to result in criticism. On the other hand, if we imagine a very busy jimbo flying around the globe like a mad man, wanting to take a few days to make sure he crosses the "t"s and dots the "i" and wanting to have five minutes of time alone with his brain, and take a few days to make sure the job he has been asked to do is done right-- then of course saturday's a very very very reasonable deadline. --Alecmconroy (talk) 19:53, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

There presumably needs to be some amount of time for the Foundation to vet the people selected (eg confirm real identities, make sure, as you said, that they aren't convicted felons). If that's what this week is for, as with most things, nobody has a problem with that and it, in fact, is a very good thing. Heck, given the magnitude of it vs the potential for someone to gaslight their fellow Wikipedians long enough to get into a position of power (think Archtransit) one week would be a precious little amount of time if no vetting has already happened behind the scenes. But if that's what the week is for, just say that. --B (talk) 20:30, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
NO criminal records? I doubt very much the Foundation could discover that for the non American candidates, and certainly not by Saturday.
Even the American ones would take longer than that, surely? That's if it's even possible - in the UK there are specific reasons for running a Criminal Records Bureau check, and serving on a website ArbCom isn't on the list! --Tango (talk) 20:44, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't see why a criminal background check would be necessary or helpful. I don't see why (hypothetically) a convicted felon couldn't do a perfectly good job on ArbCom. It might not be a great idea publicity wise but that's a completely separate issue. And there are definitely some crimes which while felonies are probably really irrelevant (drug possession or soliciting a prostitute for example). JoshuaZ (talk) 21:09, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I actually prefer that Jimbo take his time. We definitely don't want anyone slipping through the cracks again, though the linked situation was a blindside to everyone. SDJ 20:48, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
    • If I remember correctly Essjay was a direct apointment by Jimbo. ViridaeTalk 21:21, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
      • You remember correctly. I'm not entirely sure of the exact timings of Jimbo finding out the various facts about that case, so I'll assume it was an innocent mistake. --Tango (talk) 21:31, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
        I completely forgot about that. I couldn't vote back then (only an IP), and I created my first account right around the time he was ousted, so I'd forgotten the genesis of it all. I guess that wasn't the most aprapos comparison then. Apologies, SDJ 23:36, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Let's please all wait until Jimbo appoints Arbs before slamming him for who he's appointed, eh? Either Jimbo will make good appointments or he won't, and then we can praise or bury him as necessary. But there's no need to kick up a fuss before anything's actually happened. WilyD 21:17, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, while mostly true, we have a distinct advantage of making any objections to election-tinkering if we state those objections PRIOR to Jimbo issuing a specific proposal for how he would like to make appointments. Once this window of time closes-- once Jimbo has a specific proposal, it will be impossible to easily determine whether someone simply objects to jimbo's proposed arbcom choices, or whether someone is, in general, just strongly opposed to any deviation the election results.
Trying to propose who should be on Arbcom is a tough call, and any time someone has to make a tough call, there's going to be people who are unhappy with how the call is made. By having this discussion BEFORE the call is made, we can have the conversation in the abstract, without conflating the abstract discussion-- "what is a good role for jimmy wales", with the more emotional and more controversial question of "Who should get to sit on arbcom".
Agreed though with the basic point whatever someone's views on either question are, there's no evidence jimbo's doing anything bad at all, and we shouldn't ever stray into being anti-jimbo just because of a theoretical stance on what his role should be. The guy does a good job, and deserves major props. --Alecmconroy (talk) 14:38, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, there's a big difference between "Jimbo, unless you have secret info that one of our electee-presumptives is a scandalmaker of Wikipedia past, you really ought to appoint the top seven by %support, as has been expected by the community" versus what's gone on here, which has more or less supposed Jimbo will be excessively bold, and gone from there. WilyD 19:43, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Not to be snarky, but does any of you guys consider the possibility that Jimbo might want to expand the ArbCom to 9 members or something similar (which has happened before) to avoid controversy, and wants to think it over for a bit? There's more to "reflection" than finding ways of trying to rig elections; if not, look at the thread above about which metric should be used to determine the winners of the vote. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 01:23, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    I very much hope Jimbo doesn't extend the appointments to nine (no disrespect intended to some of the candidates who would then be included), because people voted on the understanding that seven would be appointed. This meant that people placed tactical votes they might not have placed had they know the number would be changed, or didn't bother to oppose people who looked as though they had no chance of being in the top seven anyway. Changing the parameters after the election would make something of a farce of it. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:37, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    strikes me that there are often delays in ceremonial procedures - no doubt curtains need cleaning, and silverware polishing - the gap between the US presidential elections, and inauguration being one of the longer ones that I'm aware of. Regardless of how Jimbo (who I believe isn't acting in any sort of 'Foundation' role here?) goes about chatting things through with the new arbs, it occurred to me that as an autonomous community, we don't really need 'permission' to communicate our position - so here it is! cheers, Privatemusings (talk) 01:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    And, as I have asked you on the talk page of the policy, please remove it until the official announcements have been made. Thanks. Risker (talk) 01:55, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    have replied there :-) Privatemusings (talk) 01:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    I also hope Jimbo doesnt get inventive. The tactical nature of the voting meant that the community was focused on top seven. If there is a need for change, and I am partial to having a bigger committee, it should be discussed within the community before hand, and the community should know what they are voting on. If we do want more people on the committee this year, the appropriate way to handle that is to decide the seven who will be appointed to the committee now, and consider anyone with 50% or higher as eligible for appointment if/when the community has discussed that thoroughly. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:05, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    I also hope that the size of the committee will not be extended in such a manner. If there is consensus for a large committee someday, that would be great-- but unilaterally creating more, when everyone THOUGHT we were electing a set of 7, isn't a good way to do it. The result would be "stacking the court" with people who were rejected by the community, thereby diluting the relative influence of the people who were accepted by the community. --Alecmconroy (talk) 05:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    It's kind of disingenuous to claim that any of those in spots 7-9 were "rejected by the community", don't you think? Perhaps if there was a clear delineation between the candidates in the top 7 and the others, but there's not. (Well, in the "net support" category there's a VERY clear delineation, but that's another argument.) But seriously, there's no possible way to say--with a straight face, that is--that any of the top 9 were "rejected by the community." SDJ 15:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    I dunno-- it's a rejection in my eyes, (albeit an admittedly slim one). 58 million US citizens still turned out for John McCain, so, from a certain point of view, he wasn't rejected as much as he just wasn't AS accepted as Obama was. But, from an electoral point of view, there's so many slots to win the election, and people who weren't in the top 7 didn't win. Whether that's a "rejection" or merely just a "lack of acceptance", I guess, can be debated. --Alecmconroy (talk) 17:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    Not an apt analogy, as you have no "net support" metric to look at in presidential elections. Also, if this were done as a straight "vote for your candidate", and not as a "support/oppose" vote, the results would look very different. As it is, there are several metrics to look at when Jimbo makes his appointment. Saying any one of the 7, 8, and 9 candidates have been "rejected" is more wishful thinking than anything else. Last year, there was a rather large difference in the %support for the last appointed arb and the last non-appointed candidate. This year, that's not the case, and the decision is much more complicated. SDJ 17:08, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    "Also, if this were done as a straight "vote for your candidate", and not as a "support/oppose" vote, the results would look very different." of course it would. IF we had used the Cloneproof Schwartz Sequential Dropping voting method and asked the voters to each supply us with a ranking of all the candidates in order of preference, the results would probably look very different too. If we did the non-sequential multistage eeny, meeny, miny, moe selection system, the results would have looked very different. But the only metric with any claim to legitmacy in this particular election is percentile support, perhaps augmented with a very well-explained Jimbo veto. --Alecmconroy (talk) 17:43, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    "Rejected" is over the top. If one of the top seven candidates doesn't meet identification requirements, or finds their circumstances have changed and they can no longer take the position, or if say one of the existing arbitrators were to resign in the next few days then it would be perfectly proper to appoint the next person down the list to the resulting vacancy. They haven't been rejected, they just haven't been approved over those higher on the list. Obviously that doesn't apply to those past a certain point on the list. (talk) 18:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    Last year, the difference between appointed and non-appointed candidates was 2.14%. That's certainly more than 0.9%, but it is not (in my view) a "rather large difference in the %support for the last appointed arb and the last non-appointed candidate." Especially considering that the net support of the unappointed candidates was much, much higher than the net support of one of the candidtes appointed (Thebainer had net support of 81 compared with 146 net votes for Raul654, only about 2% less—the current 102 vs. 118 net support pales compared to that). Cool Hand Luke 19:15, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

As luck would have it, I'm at #4 by either of the two metrics, so I have no dog in the ring. For what it's worth, I agree with those who say that percentage should be used for this year's appointments. I think that SDJ might be right that net support is a better metric, but that's not the election we ran. Strategic support and opposition came about because voters assumed appointments would be made based on percentage (which was reaffirmed by the constantly-updated rankings). Alternate methods should be discussed for next year (but let's wait until at least Feb. 1, like Franamax suggests). The bottom line is that this election was run under the assumption that percentage mattered. If it was net votes instead, its impossible to predict how people would have differently cast their tactical votes. Vassyana could have attracted more strategic support, or maybe Wizardman would have been the consensus choice (the margin between Wizardman and Carcharoth was quite thin under either metric). We don't know what would have happened under different appointment rules, so for this election we should stick to what voters assumed. Cool Hand Luke 19:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Personally, I didn't vote because I didn't have the time to do it properly so decided not to do it at all. However, I did monitor the rankings and had someone I felt particularly strongly about been near the cutoff point I would have found the time to vote. When I did that, I looked at the rankings by percentage support, since that's how I assumed it would work (with the possibility of a veto). If I'd looked at the rankings by some other metric I may have come to a different conclusion and might have voted. I'm sure there are plenty of other people that also made decisions based on the rankings, or even just based on counting method without looking at earlier votes (eg. if it's done by net support there is no difference between supporting your favourites and abstaining on the others vs opposing the others and abstaining on your favourites, whereas there is a difference by percentage support, so people may choose to vote differently under each circumstance). --Tango (talk) 19:18, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Jimbo waited 10 days last year before announcing the election results, but all he did was appoint the top 6 candidates in order of percentages. See WP:AC2007. Why do you think he would anything crazy this time? from his statement, sounds like the top five candidates are set and he won't even think about reappointing Charles Matthews or Jdforrester (talk) 02:27, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
    • I don't think Jimbo has said anything about the top five. I think you might be looking at Newyorkbrad's comment (which leads this section). Jimbo's follows it and is not offset, so perhaps they run together. Cool Hand Luke 19:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Is Jimbo's approval needed?

Do we really need Jimbo's approval here? His role seems to be largely unnecessary—other Wikipedias in different languages elect their own arbitration committees without Jimbo's final screening of candidates. It strikes me that Jimbo's role solely increases bureaucracy and allows him to stick a hand into the most powerful entity on Wikipedia (aside from himself, of course). It's not that I don't like Jimbo, but I really don't like his role here. – Thomas H. Larsen 03:58, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

It occurs to me that the time to discuss this was before the election, not at the end of the process. Starting in January – after recovering from New Year's Eve hangovers – we'll have a solid ten months to discuss changes to the ArbCom selection process. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
My standing proposal is that we all wait 'til Feb. 1, 2009 then go at it full force. Quite a few people probably need the time to let emotions and raw experience cool down a bit. I have quite a list of minor and major points in my notebook. I certainly plan to file an RFC on Feb 1 (start drafting mid-Jan), but I do think we all need to take a brief pause - especially since whatever Jimbo does will produce another burst of (sometimes hysterical) commentary. Franamax (talk) 05:02, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Since the arbcom is an extension of Jimbo's personal authority as chief problem-sorter, yes. --Carnildo (talk) 05:07, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo's formal role here is unnecessary, and as best I can tell, probably unsupported by any consensus policy as of this second. That doesn't mean it isn't good for the project to let him act out this role-- so long as he doesn't do anything caligula-esque, what harm will it do to let him make the final pick this year. Even though it was never spelled out, I think that was the communal understanding of how this election was going to go, so raising this issue now is a bit of bad cricket. And after all, jimbo's never deviated from the elections before, it's unlikely he'll start now.
As for future years, I think it's reasonable to inquire whether a consensus truly exists for jimbo to have this role. My read, just anecdotally, is that no, consensus no longer supports such a role, and Wikipedia is ready to grow up.
Besides, Jimbo doesn't need a formal power to veto a candidate. He's sufficiently popular that a few well-reasons words from him would probably be sufficient to dissuade voters from electing someone anyway. That's how I hope Jimbo's powers over elections will happen in the future. --Alecmconroy (talk) 05:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
There is certainly no consensus for Jimbo to have this role, however we usually require a consensus to change the status quo, not to keep it. I don't think there is a consensus for change. It's a discussion we need to have (it was started before this election, but didn't get very far). My suggestion is to hold a referendum on it (I suggested it be part of this election, but that didn't happen). We need to have a discussion to determine the options, and then vote on it. Trying to use consensus for these kind of matters doesn't work since there are far too many people involved for there to ever be a true consensus. --Tango (talk) 12:00, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
This isn't as shadowy or sinister as you guys seem to want it to be. Jimbo's frequently compared his role on Wikipedia to that of a constitutional monarch like Queen Elizabeth II. In the British system, monarchs have the right to be consulted, the right to warn and the right to advise. Jimbo's exercising the first of these rights. Of course, when he crafted his metaphor Jimbo was also undoubtedly aware of what happens when the people don't get what they want. I am by no means saying this is the way it should be or it must be, just that this is the way it is.
Oh, and about the "no consensus for Jimbo to do this"? Jimbo created ArbCom solely through his power, not through the community's power. He alone holds the power to appoint members. However, since Jimbo's not an idiot, he allows us to elect them first. That distinction, that Jimbo and Jimbo alone holds the power to create and destroy Arbitrators but allows the community to elect them first, is critical in understanding this process. This is all about legitimacy. ArbCom gets legitimacy from the community through the elections and from Jimbo through the appointment. --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 17:37, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It's abosolutely untrue that Jimbo created ArbCom from his own power. It was empowered through a community vote for its creation as well. It was created through the community's power, and Jimbo's power (though the latter flows from the former). WilyD 17:49, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It's important to realise that when the ArbCom was created this was still very much "Jimbo's site". While legally most things had been transferred to the WMF by then, the WMF was just Jimbo and a couple of his business partners. The first board elections weren't held until a few months later. A lot has changed since then, this is no longer Jimbo's site, it is completely community owned and run. Everything else has moved on, ArbCom hasn't, and it's about time it did. --Tango (talk) 17:54, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Tango and WilyD are entirely correct. Any power Jimbo has comes either from the community or from the foundation. In a discussion a while back, many high-people made the claim that the WMF has never made any such grant. If true, that means any unique powers Jimbo hold are those that are given to him, implicitly if not explicitly, by the community. --Alecmconroy (talk) 19:35, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The WMF doesn't I believe have the authority to do such a grant to Jimmy, and I think it would be foolish, as it would possibly expose either himself or the WMF to Section 230 liability by being "responsible" for content posted on the English Wikipedia. Jimmy and the Arbitration Committee serve in their roles at the pleasure of the community of editors and have ever since the WMF was no longer legally owned by him. rootology (C)(T) 19:41, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
The WMF has the authority to do whatever the hell they like (within the law), they have the good sense not to, though (Wikipedia minus the community isn't worth much to anyone). Jimbo's power is purely due to tradition and the respect of the community. As long as he stays within certain bounds, he'll keep that respect and thus the power, if he goes beyond those bounds he'll very quickly find himself powerless. The discussion we need to have is whether we're happy with that system or if we would rather pre-empt any possible breach and remove the power now. The reason for that could be one of loss of trust, or simply ideological. --Tango (talk) 23:20, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
It certainly is needed this year as we all voted based on the assumption that his approval was needed, and some of us may well have voted differently if this assumption were not true. If it were agreed that his approval was not needed next year that would be fine but we cannot be thinking along these lines while waiting for the 2008 appointments. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:21, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

How to remove arbcom/bad arbitrators

I'd like your opinion: how would you suggest the community expresses its opinion on its thoughts about arbcom, and/or the current arbitrators? Taking an arbitrator to arbcom won't work; ArbCom are naturally biased towards each other and their friends. How about an RFC? In fact, is it even possible to even suggest abolishing arbcom, because I'm sure you stand in the way? Currently, there is suggestion that at least one arbitrator no longer has any community confidence. But bringing him before ArbCom in an effort to remove him will have no effect because arbcom would never remove one of their own, I'm sure of it. Majorly talk 16:44, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

BS, Majorly. It is obvious you are disaffected, but please do not claim to speak for "the community". ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:21, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Majorly's statement is reasonable. It's unclear to me how you ought to read that poll, but there is a suggestion that at least one Arb has little or no confidence from the community. Whether it's true or not is hard to tell. WilyD 17:23, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
No actual claim of speaking for the community in there and it is a slightly interesting question even from a mostly theoretical perspective (the "how do I get rid of you?" question is a common one to point at positions of power).Geni 17:25, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
For Pete's sake, that poll is a joke. Wanna give feedback to ArbCom members, you can always do that: RFC. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:29, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
If you are not prepared to accept arbcom as a method of removal on paper you have a number of options. Elect people who promise to remove them. If the entire new intake is interested in getting someone off arbcom they will probably be able to do so. Appeal to the foundation. You might be able to do something through the stewards but that is highly theoretical. Im terms of a community based solution about 200 admins will likely do it (ultimately arbcom's power comes from admins supporting their decisions). Could probably do it with fewer depending on the identity of the admins.Geni 17:25, 17 December 2008 (UTC):::

(ec) Majorly, you, or any editor can always open a user RFC on any editor, and that includes ArbCom members. He does not need Jimbo's approval to do that. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:26, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

RFC is a toothless appeal to drama. Majorly explicitly asked how to remove an arb from their position. rootology (C)(T) 17:29, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
a toothless appeal to drama? I would call it a reasonable way to provide an editor with actionable feedback. ArbCom members are editors first, and they give more time and effort to this project than many of us, and I can assure you that they would welcome feedback. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:32, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Are we talking about the same RFC? RFC has it's uses but takeing an arcom memeber there would result in much drama and little else. It would probably get thrown out for procedual reasons in any case because even our drama loveing rule lawyers would view it as a step too far.Geni 17:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
You see, you call it a position; I would call it a service to the community. In that lies the difference in approaching this. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 17:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
We disagree on some things, but we agree on this 100%. It's both. But, if an Arb runs, and gets in, there's an expectation they will be available to make the tough calls, and tough decisions, and to accept the repercussions that come with both good and bad decisions. There is currently no mechanism to deal with the latter. I think that's the crux of why people are so upset the past year. That's why things like Wikipedia:Village pump/ACFeedback have spawned, an RFC on the AC earlier this year, and the massive uproar over Moreschi apparently standing up to what the community, who gives the AC their power, over a bad block. rootology (C)(T) 18:03, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I would say some kind of standard like x:y w/at least z total votes on something like, but more publicly advertised. Perhaps the standard could be voted on. Kevin Baastalk 18:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

The comment being tossed around these days that the Arbs do not have community approval seems ridiculous. This is a huge community. Has any one polled the whole community? “Does not agree” does not equal “does not have support”; it equals “does not agree”. I don’t always agree with the Arb decisions, but I respect them as a group of community-elected people volunteering to do a tough job. We have had editors and admins “running amuck” in the last few days, acting as vigilantes. How is that a tenable situation? We are Wikipedia, and we create the environment here. We make it more or less easy to work in. If it doesn’t work we fix it, but not by placing blame on a few people asking them to shoulder the responsibility for thousands of editors. Wikipedia is collaborative, my hobby horse, I admit. Civility is a cornerstone of collaboration, but that doesn’t mean things are perfect, or there are wrongs or rights, or everybody agrees all of the time or even some of the time. It means tolerance, respect and making things works as best as possible so we create around ourselves and the Arbs the best decision making environment possible on every level of Wikiepdia activity. We all have the ability to “run amock”, to step over the boundaries seen as the best collaborative environment for collaborative communities, and for reasons that range from having a bad day, to true righteousness. Its easy to blame someone else for the trouble this causes Better maybe to do as Slim Virgin said at one point and” take it in the chin”. When we cross those lines we pay. That’s how it has to be in collaboration. That’s maturity in ourselves, and will go a long way towards creating a mature community. Two cents for what its worth.(olive (talk) 18:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC))
Well said, Olive. @Rootology: I think that's the crux of why people are so upset the past year. Who is "people"? Sure, some people may be upset, and will always happen. After all, ArbCom is the last resort for DR and one side of a dispute may be not happy with the results of a case. ≈ jossi ≈ (talk) 18:46, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
People seemed generally fairly unhappy in the RFC, and I haven't seen but a small minority of pro-AC commentary of late. Add in that the only two sitting Arbs that ran for re-election, James and Charles, were all but pantsed in the election... rootology (C)(T) 18:48, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
None of this speaks at all to the effect of whether or not instituting a no-confidence procedure into the current arbcom system would improve it or make it worse. Kevin Baastalk 18:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
no-confidence procedures effectively exist. However at the moment most the upset appears to be limited to wikipedia more politicaly aware/active users. If there is a mechanism by which the gerneraly politically aware/active users can on their own force the removal of a memeber of arbcom is an interesting question. Personaly I doubt it.Geni 20:34, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
What no-confidence procedures exist? There's Jimbo who probably wouldn't step in except under very extreme circumstances (eg. Essjay), and there's an outright coup (admins could decide not to enforce ArbCom rulings and to undo any attempts by ArbCom to enforce them, and then the Stewards would get dragged in and I would expect them to run for the hills). A less drastic approach would be better. The idea with recall is that the politically active users trigger the recall and then everyone votes on it. --Tango (talk) 23:11, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Either get them removed through an arbcom case or demonstraite that that a significant number of admins includeing those not politicaly active not uphold their descisions. And yes this may require a vote of some type but the current vote doesn't appear to be drawing much support from the less polticaly active admins.Geni 12:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
An ArbCom case against an Arb isn't likely to go well - Arbs are naturally going to be biased towards someone they work closely with, however much they may try and remain impartial. Admins not upholding arbcom decisions is a way to dealing with a loss of confidence in the whole of arbcom, not in an individual arb. It would work quite well for that purpose, but something less drastic to use when only one or two arbs are a problem would be good. --Tango (talk) 12:59, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
An ArbCom case against an arbitrator isn't going to go anywhere: the last few times one was filed, it was rejected on the grounds that the ArbCom can't fairly judge itself. --Carnildo (talk) 20:13, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Attack page

Hello Jimbo, I would like to know if you think that keeping an attack page (his words) like this is normal behaviour on Wikipedia. Apparently, there are admins that think it is [7]. I had never seen anything like it before and would not dream of doing the same myself, not even with a user that has been harassing and stalking me 24/7 for over a year now. Regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 02:00, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

I don't agree with the page being up there either. It's offensive. Plain and simple! I'm also unsure of why admin Smashville closed this discussion [8] after only three votes (in a rather uncivil fashion at that, accusing Guido of being vexatious) which is barely a consensus. The admin should have allowed more people to comment on the issue instead of closing the discussion down so abruptly. Cheers! Cheers dude (talk) 02:08, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Where else should I start a review and discussion of problematic edits? It's public, Guido has a chance to, if he wants, analyze and rebut anything he wants. Based on the comments in that MFD, I'm even trying to speed up to keep this from lingering. I could take it off-line, but that's far, far less convenient and doesn't allow any other editors to comment; some have already and I've taken their suggestions. At best (or worst), I'm including analysis, in my own personal space, for the purposes of whatever final posting occurs. And why has this been introduced to a new page when it's already been through the MFD? WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 02:37, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

It's brought up again because the administrator removed it after only three votes in a very short period of time with an uncivil reason. Speaking as an outsider not involved in the matter, I think it's obvious that this page is mean-spirited and vicious. It's pointless for this type of attack page to be up on wikipedia unless to hurt the feelings of another editor. It would hurt mine as I'm sensitive to blatant attacks. I wouldn't want this type of page up about anybody. It's inappropriate. Cheers! Cheers dude (talk) 03:19, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Per WP:UP#NOT, item 10, "The compilation of factual evidence (diffs) in user subpages, for purposes such as preparing for a dispute resolution process, is permitted provided the dispute resolution process is started in a timely manner.". It is clear that WLU is intending to start a request for comment and is merely compiling that information temporarily at his subpage before moving it to the appropriate area. This is expressly allowed by our Userpage policy, and is not an attack page. 03:29, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Jimbo, I found the page disgusting and hopefully with you knowing all about the rules, there's a way to remove it. If no one is willing to get rid of this page and there's no way we can get rid of the page per the rules, I find that very sad. I thought MFD was a good start on getting a consensus but admin Smashville effectively ruined that process. Cheers dude (talk) 03:58, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I would recommend that the page be moved as quickly as possible to a proper RFC space, that's all. It looks like a pretty detailed and perfectly appropriate and well documented page about an editor with a long history of blocks. There's no reason to keep it as a user subpage for very long.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:05, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Jim, we already had an RfC. Everything on that page has been discussed at least three times already in various procedures. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 12:23, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Timing is noted, I'll try to finish today or tomorrow. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 12:32, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
A previous RfC is no reason not to have another one. The previous Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Guido den Broeder happened in May and June 2008: since then, a lot of things have happened, including four more blocks and multiple ANI threads. If there is a new RfC, it should focus on what happened since the last one, but should take the previous one in consideration as well. Fram (talk) 12:58, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
And on reflection, I was not preparing it for a RFC, but for an AN posting; I used the RFC sub-page because I didn't want to create a new one and had a previously-existing page for a similar purpose (per comments above, I have removed the old set of diffs that related to another user). Apologies for the confusion, I don't know if that's going to make a difference, but I'll still try to push it out quickly. WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 13:15, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for confirming that there won't be another RFC. I very much doubt that AN can handle this amount of material though. I'm certain that I can't, at the usual AN speed. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 14:09, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Jimbo, on the basis of your comment above (and someone else's at the MFD) I have blanked the page. Guido has been banned based on this discussion - I thought the discussion was premature and as expected it left many users with questions that may have been resolved via the evidence page, but I hope in its ultimate version it will be sufficiently convincing to settle the concerns of the community. I will now be building a version of the page that would have supported the AN posting I had hoped to make; once it is finished, I expect to move it completely out of my userspace and onto WP:AN. I will still try to be quick, but it is Christmas and real life is a bitch. I hope this is acceptable and apologies for cluttering your talk page again (this is part because Jimbo mentioned the timing issue, part because his page is monitored a lot and I don't feel like cross-posting this a dozen times). WLU (t) (c) Wikipedia's rules:simple/complex 14:40, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Michael Crichton's battle with a velociraptor

Mmm. Vandalism was evidently there long enough for somebody to take a web shot of it. The Bald One White cat 10:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Less than two minutes. One can guesstimate that between 2 and 225 people saw that revision (assuming it was there for 1 second -> 2 minutes) using Wikistats. WilyD 14:01, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Mmm, seems to me it is highly likely the person who wrote that also took the screenshot if it was just two minutes. I came across this on flickr when I was looking for an image to go in Crichton's article abd I can't believe that somebody would upload a shot of a wikipedia page, particularly on something so quite unfunny. The Bald One White cat 15:22, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Really? It was one of the funniest pieces of vandalism I've seen in a long time. JoshuaZ (talk) 20:02, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

What when somebody dies from cancer relatively young and it is made the subject of a joke? Ha ha yes very funny. The Bald One White cat 21:12, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

There is such a thing as morbid humor. As there is such a thing as tasteless but funny humor. JoshuaZ (talk) 21:24, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
On a different note, we should assume good faith of those outside our community as well. Yes, it crossed my mind that the flickr user may have been the vandaliser, but ~100 people saw that particular vandalism, perhaps one thought it worth saving. Even though it's unlikely, when you integrate that small chance across every article that gets vandalised, the chances become large. There's a strong observational bias that needs to be accounted for. WilyD 21:44, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Just as well it was only two minutes then. Perhaps it was at a peak time soon after a lot of people heard the news on it and flocked to his page. By the way it is posted on flickr makes it look like it went unnoticed for days. Either way posting examples on flickr of wikipedia vandalism I don't see as "good" in any way, however "funny". Doesn't really help the caus eeither given that the first reference is unfortunately entitled, "For young readers". The Bald One White cat 21:49, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, there were ~100 000 pageviews that day. So even being there a very short period made it visible to a decent number of people (the view rate was ~1.9 views/second). WilyD 21:59, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
  • The screenshot appears to have been taken the same day, but could have been taken at any point after the edit was made. You just need to go to the history and load the old version of the article and (depending on what templates are in the article) you will have a reasonable idea of what the article looked like back then. Carcharoth (talk) 01:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

User page

Jim, since users are now starting to editwar over it, I'm asking your opinion with regard to keeping the summary of my report on Wikipedia to the United Nations on my user page. I'll remove it if you request so, as IMHO your veto right applies here. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 15:15, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Forum-shopping-tastic. :):):) Sticky Parkin 16:03, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
AFAIK, only one user has a veto on Wikipedia. But I could be mistaken. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 16:07, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
A bit of background on this, Jimbo. Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Guido den Broeder/Wikipedia, the Social Experiment was filed on 13:23, 16 December 2008, and I was the administrator who closed it at 16:56, 17 December 2008. Prior to the closure, Guido started WP:ANI#Improper use of MfD page? at 14:15. After the closure, Guido filed a DRV at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2008 December 17 at 18:16. During this time, at 15:23, Guido restored the deleted content to his userpage, which was reverted, then nominated for CSD G4, then removed by an administrator, then reverted. I surmise this was done because the MFD was not appealing in a manner that benefited him. seicer | talk | contribs 17:18, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Please explain wat benefit you think I receive for having the summary on my user page. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 17:21, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't matter. Consensus was to delete it. Consensus in the DRV has been to keep it deleted. You are deliberately disrupting and going against consensus. // roux   17:40, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
This is already the third violation of your restricions. Please start assuming good faith.
The MfD was both started and closed prematurely, and conclusions were drawn from the deletion review while it is still running. Please read the arguments to overturn that were added later. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 17:47, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Note that Seicer has been editwarring on my user page and then used his admin privileges to protect his preferred version. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 17:52, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Nobody is required to assume good faith when it's been demonstrated that no good faith is to be had. So there's that out of the way. Second, it's impossible to start and MfD 'prematurely'. Third, you're forumshopping at this point. Fourth, the overwhelming consensus at DRV is that the deletion was good. Fifth, recreation of consensus-deleted material is explicitly not allowed. Sixth, enforcing that deletion is not an abuse of admin privileges. Seventh, it is abundantly clear that consensus is against you. Accept it and move on. You have your 'report', you've spent over a year disrupting Wikipedia to get it, accept gracefully that Wikipedia is not the correct place to host it. // roux   18:05, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

See also:

I'd like to make one thing clear, which is that the community is ultimately responsible for making decisions regarding pages such as these, not Jimbo. I'm not aware of the background to the dispute, but if the community consensus was to delete then the page should be deleted. – Thomas H. Larsen 23:25, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
This is not about the subpage, but about my main user page. The community has no authority to delete that page. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 23:30, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
According to Wikipedia:User page#Ownership and editing of pages in the user space, you are incorrect—"... pages in user space still do belong to the community". – Thomas H. Larsen 23:37, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
I suggest you read that guideline, and what I said, again. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 23:44, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Could you explain why the page is appropriate for Wikipedia, in light of the guideline I previously (and correctly) references, policies such as WP:NOT, and common sense? You are very welcome to create and maintain a userpage that contains material consistent with established Wikipedia standards, but continuing to try to push the limits of guidelines and policies is disruptive and annoying. Cheers, – Thomas H. Larsen 23:48, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Guido, I saw edits such as [9] which consist of your attempting to include your social study on your userpage. Your userpage doesn't seem to have been deleted, only the study which is inappropriate for your userpage.
The study seems very interesting, however, and I suggest you post it somewhere on another site and link to it. I'd very much like to read the study in light of my perceived problems with Wikipedia; would you be willing to e-mail me a copy? Thanks in advance. – Thomas H. Larsen 23:53, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) The report contains private information, and therefore only the summary is publicly available. The summary is appropriate to have in my user space according to the very guideline you just linked to:

  • Another common use is to let people know about your activities on Wikipedia, and your opinions about Wikipedia. So you might include current plans, a journal of recent activities on Wikipedia, and your (constructive) opinions on how certain Wikipedia articles or policies should be changed. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 00:00, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Quit forum shopping. Your DRV is not concluded. --Smashvilletalk 00:01, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Nowhere do I hear a full summary of a study mentioned in the guideline ... in any case, common sense prevails. A study is quite different from an "opinion"; it is (or at least should be) a reasoned, neutral investigation.
  • Anyway, I suggest that everybody steer off this forum of Jimbo's talk page, since he does not have the community mandate to veto a community decision. – Thomas H. Larsen 00:07, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
    That's a very odd thing to say, Thomas. I don't see any reason for you to hijack this discussion to spread your own Jimbo v. community meme.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:29, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
    Does that mean there will be no Jimbo vs. Mortal Kombat video game? --Smashvilletalk 05:13, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

You're awesome!!!!!

because you're the founder!Merry Christmas! :-)--What!?Why?Who? (talk) 22:05, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Tight restrictions on German wikipedia

Wow the current protection on German wikipedia is extremely anti-IP editing. I;ve just been transwikiying some German articles using some images from the German archives donation in the commons and I added the english wikipedia links to German wikipedia article version in good faith to connect it to ours. Then I see a notice at the top saying it has been edited by an IP then within minutes it toally wipes out my edit automatically and restores it to its former version, removing my constructive it. Thus makes it, as a result, not an encyclopedia that anybody can edit, in fact very restrictive. I know that often IP addresses are vandals but many are also constructive edits and German wikipedia is bound to be affected in terms of contributions. Who authorised this operation on German wikipedia? The Bald One White cat 13:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually, it is called flagged revisions and the English Wikipedia is considering introducing it. MBisanz talk 13:31, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
The Germans authorised it, because they're serious about building a quality encyclopaedia. Their reaction has been strongly positive as well, though it has some dissenters. While IPs do add good content, they are the source of almost all vandalism, and even their good content usually needs to be massaged by experienced users.
As MBisanz notes, English Wikipedia is also trying to figure out what to do about this feature. Whether we're pro-active, and introduce in a slow roll-out that allows us to adapt to it and use it intelligently, or get our hand forced by a serious scandal is up to us, though. WilyD 13:36, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Blofeld, the edit wasn't wiped out. It simply isn't displayed until some editor comes along and approves it. We're using an identical system on the English wikinews also. JoshuaZ (talk) 15:27, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Right. Btw: why are you adding iw-links as IP and not with your (SUL-)Account? —YourEyesOnly (talk) 16:40, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Because I altered my user name so I'm automatically not signed in any more on other wikis. The Bald One White cat 20:28, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
If the English version begins flagged revisions it will, IMO, mark the end of wikipedia; as the encyclopedia that not anyone can edit, and where one has to wait weeks to see one's edits online, it will be doomed to failure, and rightly so. This is the silliest idea I have come across on wikipedia, it may work on wikinews but wikinews has never worked anyway. Thanks, SqueakBox 16:31, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Or we will eliminate a vast number of our BLP issues. As a strident BLP defender, I'd guess you'd be all over flagged revisions as a great thing. rootology (C)(T) 16:41, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
In fact, flagged revisions are a very necessary part of any scheme to deal with the BLP problem. I don't think anyone who doesn't support it can be considered a BLP defender at all. WilyD 16:53, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Why does it need to be weeks. Move our RC patrollers over to the unreviewed edit queue, and reprogram Huggle, and it'll be just the same as handling our current queues, but without needing to remove the vandalism, rather proactively approving quality edits. Fritzpoll (talk) 16:47, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Last time I looked, we had about 6,000 new articles a day and 70,000 new edits. Given that we cannot even patrol all 6,000 new articles within a month of them being created (Dragonfly tries hard), I doubt we could patrol 70,000 new edits every day. MBisanz talk 16:49, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Then don't put FlaggedRevs on every single page. Just put it on the high priority ones (FAs perhaps, and BLPs) and those that we'd currently semi-protect. My point is that it needn't be an all-or-nothing proposiion Fritzpoll (talk) 16:53, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Flagged should (when we do finally turn it on) only be on all BLPs and semi-protected articles to start. It would be too much otherwise, and theres no need for it on Wikipedia space. rootology (C)(T) 16:54, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
We should be trying to solve the issues on the basis that we are the encyclopedia anyone can edit; while we currently do have a system in place for reviewing new articles the articles go live before they are reviewed, and thus it should be; this is what makes wikipedia exciting and live and stopping that cannot be helpful. Sure we can avoid scandals or indeed any other type of publicity other than as a historical project that destroyed itself by flagging revisions; it would be a good time for others to copy the material and instigate a non-flagged revisions version. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:00, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't see the evidence behind your assertion that FlaggedRevs will "destroy" Wikipedia Fritzpoll (talk) 17:02, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
What I mean is that people will l;ose interest in editing wikipedia, and its our many editors that make us so popular, and without a large and expanding base of editors are popularity will plummet. Who is going to want to edit and then have to wait who knows how long to see said edit appear. Its not gripping in the same way. Personally I want to edit here not review other people's edits and sacrificing good editors for reviews would eb a colossal mistake, and in reality we would need as many reviewers as we now have editors. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:05, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
(e/c)We obviously disagree on this, and hopefully the proposed trial will help us see the extent of the problem. I wouldn't favour turning it on on every single article, which would keep the backlogs down. ANd using it in even a limited extent such as in place of semi-protection would allow more people to contribute constructive material during periods of chaos at a given article. Fritzpoll (talk) 17:12, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
SB, There's been no shortage of IP editors at the English Wikinews. And my impression is that similar remarks apply to the German Wikipedia. The key issue with flagged revisions is that we explain to editors how it works and they understand that they can look at either version. As long as they understand they are generally fine with it. Again, other projects have adopted flagged revisions with no substantial negative impact. JoshuaZ (talk) 19:12, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
My suggestion was, and remains, that we should try semi-protecting all BLPs and seeing if that statistically reduces vandalism at all, and then deciding if we need flagged revs beyond it. A bot could manage the semi-protection off of the categories very easily. MBisanz talk 17:10, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I think a simple trial of FlaggedRevs over BLPs would be a more convincing experiment as it protects against registered editor vandalism as well. Fritzpoll (talk) 17:12, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Either or is probably worth trying - early efforts towards each are in the pipes, we'll see who gets their first. Anonymous editors are the source of almost all vandalism [10]. WilyD 17:15, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Indeed - my feeling is simply that that statistic does not equate to 97% of all anon edits being vandalism. If we want to stick to anyone can edit, whilst still attempting to improve the integrity of our material, then FlaggedRevs would allow us to let anons edit easily on certain articles, whilst we preemptively screen for vandalism. At the moment, semiprotection is quite discouraging Fritzpoll (talk) 17:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Most vandalism does indeed come from anonymous editors, but most anonymous editors are not vandals. There is a serious risk of scaring off unregistered or casual editors if we apply flagged revisions. Hut 8.5 17:31, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

If the Flagged is only done on BLPs and we have very plain-language "this is what Flagged means" wording on the editing notice, it shouldn't scare them off, and could encourage even more users joining if done right. The protection of BLPs, however, outweighs scaring off a handful of people on those articles. rootology (C)(T) 17:39, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Indeed. My suspicion is that once we see how useful flagged revs on, there'll be widespread demand for it. But starting with our most vulnerable class is sensible. I agree with the sentiment that semi-protection is far more damaging to new contributions than flagged revisions, and that something needs to be done about the BLPs problem. It's just a fear of the unknown. The Germans have been very successful using flagged revisions - I'd like to avoid the defeatist attitude that they're just better at encyclopaedia building than we are. WilyD 17:49, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

<outdent> And as ever, it is a question of balance. We can't keep on at the scale Wikipedia has reached in terms of content without doing something to defend our more vulnerable articles. One option is semi-protection, which scares off all IP and newly registered editors from editing those articles (noone seems to be suggesting full implementation over all articles). Another option is FlaggedRevs, which has a throttled means of allowing everyone to edit an article. The other option is to do nothing and let the more vulnerable articles degrade or leave it to chance that the vandalism will be caught, leaving us exposed to charges of having no quality in our information, or no concern for the subjects of our articles (in the case of BLPs). Fritzpoll (talk) 17:38, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

One of the concerns I've had about flagged revisions that nobody has ever satisfactorily responded to is how they will be perceived by our readers. Certainly, if I went to a website and saw something like that, I would expect that the information within the article was verified and reliable - which those of us who "work" here know is not the case. When I did a "random article" search through the German Wikipedia, I saw BLPs that weren't flagged, and also (even though I don't read German) quickly figured out that anyone can also see the unflagged version with one click. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, who gets to approve the edits? Will the edit-approvers be held responsible for their actions, just as editors are now responsible for our edits? How will we deal with the inevitable "ownership" issues, if there are disputes? Whose edits will have to be flagged - everyone's? only new users? will there have to be a special permission for editors to be able to edit articles directly? I can visualise considerable difficulty when doing a major improvement of a flagged article when one cannot edit the article directly and has to have every edit individually approved. I'd rather see BLP semi-protection if it is necessary, rather than move into flagged revisions without having a good plan and understanding of the effects. Don't get me wrong, I think flagged revisions (in some form) is where we need to go. I just want to make sure we get there in a way that protects the articles without alienating the subjects, the editors, and the readers. Risker (talk) 17:55, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Many of these questions answer pretty easily - the ability to flag revisions will be given out as a "flag" on you, the way rollbacker, admin, whatever is done now. Despite very similar worries about the rollbacker flag, it was a bumpy ride for a week or two and is now smooth as silk. Presumably everyone who is not a "flagger" will need to have their edits flagged. Ownership disputes will continue to exist, but there's no additional problem here. Some bits will have to be adjusted on the fly, but there's no need to pooh-pooh ourselves and say we're simply not up to the challenge. WilyD 18:03, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, no they don't. If they were easy answers, there would be no problem. And our habit of doing things on the fly has led to a mishmash of policies and practices that, over time, have created some very serious messes (q.v., MOSNUM, citations, etc.). We're a mature project now and can think about our actions before taking them. There is a huge gulf between the qualifications (?) for rollbacker and those for adminship. We already have cultural issues between editors who work almost exclusively in content creation/improvement and those who work primarily in the anti-vandal and administrative roles; if we don't automatically grant flag privileges to the former, we're setting ourselves up for further conflict. We do not have nearly enough editors right now carrying out new page patrol, which is swamped on a daily basis, and we have no reason to believe that it will be different for this. We don't know what percentage of reverted vandalism caught by our anti-vandal team relates to BLPs, or whether those editors will be willing or able to "switch" from vandal-fighting to revision review; there are quite a few vandal fighters who are already having difficulty telling the difference between a good edit and a vandalistic one. Mostly though, making it up as we go along has had mixed success and narrowed a lot of options over time for this community; initiating a change that directly alters the philosophy of the project needs to have the I's dotted and the T's crossed before it proceeds. It's sort of working on the German Wikipedia, but their foundational philosophy has always been very different, and they're a smaller and much more cohesive community. Yes, this is where I think we need to go, but we need to ensure we know what and how we are going to do it. Let's not risk jumping the shark because we can't be bothered putting more thought into the practicalities. Risker (talk) 18:55, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Risker - Don't get me wrong. I am not saying "Turn it on today" but "Start working how how to implement a trial run today." We know we need some form of this, more urgently than anything else. So why twiddle our thumbs? It's been run on test wiki, other wikis - we have some ideas. If the question needs to be asked "How do we select who can flag a revision?", then Let's ask that now. Trial runs have been discussed only affectiving featured articles or such. Why not look at this? Or allow flagging to be turned on and off for individual articles as a test run? If we need to plan, why aren't we planning? WilyD 19:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Umm, hi. Shouldn't this be discussed on Wikipedia talk:Flagged revisions/Trial instead of here? §hep¡Talk to me! 22:30, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree though I think this has been a very useful thread to open here. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:16, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Based on the above conversation, for your convenience

Lets see what is actually desired, to begin with. rootology (C)(T) 19:22, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

Jimmy should answer

Jimmy, what is your opinion on implementing flagged revs on all BLPs, semi-prot on all BLPs, or both on all BLPs, as a test? The BLP problem won't be fixed unless you use that muscle to force it through. Whats your opinion? rootology (C)(T) 17:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

IMO the blp problem won't be fixed at all by forcing this through though I would be equally interested in your opinion. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:30, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
I would be thrilled with the implementation of flagged revs on all BLPs as a test. I don't think I should force it through, but I strongly support that we experiment with it. What I will do is this: I will gladly serve as a formal point of contact to ask the Foundation directly to implement whatever we decide on. What I recommend is a timed test, i.e. turn on flagged revs for all BLPs for 3 months, and have a poll in the last two weeks of that period to determine whether we want to keep it. I feel confident that we will.
I would also support us simply copying what the Germans have done with it. I know there are concerns about volume, but the Germans are able to deal with it just fine as I understand it. Yes, we have more edits, but we have more community members. So I reckon we can deal with it quite well. However, I'm *thrilled* about it for BLPs and merely *supportive* for all articles.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:24, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Jimmy. rootology (C)(T) 23:31, 19 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. Hopefully a voice as weighty as yours will give everyone pause to consider it seriously. WilyD 04:57, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually I think thats a great idea if the edit isn't wiped out but it there for checking later. However, surely by flagging every edit made by an IP in a day it will mean a great deal of work for people to go through the logs. I'm sure we all agree that it could come off well for Jimbo when asked questions about how open wikipedia is to vandalism and he could respond by saying that we have a greatly improved monitoring system now in place. Well I;ve long said there should be a tighter form of control but the important thing is it doesn't put off editors and it doesn't become *too restrictive** , and some people may be concerned that the "free encyclopedia that anybody can edit" is getting narrow and narrower in reality. Perhaps it may encourage people to register an account and contribute. This however implies that all IPs are lousy editors and all those with registered account make decent edits. The thing is Fritzpoll, you say about resricting it to the most important articles, every wikipedia article should be regarded important. In reality a lot of the more "important" or "vulnerable" articles are watched like a hawk on many peoples watchlists anyway and are spotted immediately on recent changes patrol. It is actually the lesser edited articles which it would be more useful for. I;ve lost count how many articles I;ve gone through, today on some places in Bangladesh and noticed people who barely speak English adding a whole load of rubbish so the article looks quite embarrassing. One article I came across a few minutes ago stated something like "the brothel is the finest in all the Bangladesh. It is run by the President of the district .. and it is open all day and all night. And this man is supposed to be our leader!!".Ahh, heres the diff if anybody cares to read it. Another listed all the boys on the local football team and practically everybody in the village. This was mildly amusing but the previous was potentially libellous all the same and is exactly the sort of lesser edited articles that also need watching. The Bald One White cat 20:51, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


When I leave messages on a developer's talk page, the developer doesn't respond. Which developer can I contact to suggest that features be implemented? -- IRP 22:04, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

WP:VPR or WP:VPT are the best places to go, depending on exactly what the issue is. Bear in mind that if you approach a developer out of the blue and ask them to rewrite a piece of software used world-wide without discussion just because you told them to, the response may not be quite what you wanted. – iridescent 01:33, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
You just have to say developers, developers, developers, .... a sufficient number of times to summon one. Cenarium (Talk) 13:46, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Coming around

I was a user you used to have a problem with before but was brought back and encouraged to make a clean start by one of the administrators. I did that because I want to help out here when I can. I hope you can forgive me Mr. Wales. Incidentally, the real reason I am writing is that I had to do a recent research assignment and one of the rules of the assignment was that Wikipedia was not an acceptable source? Doesn't that bother you that a college professor has said no to using Wikipedia? I saw my faculty advisor had printed out information from here himself. AdirondackMan (talk) 01:30, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a "good source" for anything academic. No one here would expect it to be; it is too accessible and too open to error. It is, however, an excellent place to start looking for academic information, and provides, in most cases, a very good introduction to a topic. There are articles that would pass any academic's review; the "problem", from an academic perspective, is that there is no guarantee that the article will be the same ten seconds from now, never mind ten minutes, days, weeks or months. In short, I doubt Mr Wales is in any way embarrassed. Wikipedia is the encyclopaedia anyone can edit. It is not an academic sanctuary. ៛ Bielle (talk) 01:42, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Please see Wikipedia:Citing Wikipedia for more information. Kylu (talk) 01:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Adirondackman, I don't know who you used to be, but it doesn't matter. I forgive you without hesitation. I hope things go positively for you this time around.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:42, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Nationalism on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia is a hot bed of nationalistic promotion. I.e. one user trying to smear another country by saying it is not really a country because it some how does not have a government (Yes, i am referring to the United Kingdom... On the other hand, its users trying to make out that people from Scotland/Ireland/Wales/England ECT cannot be called Welsh/Scottish/English/NIrish because they do not have a government. They must be all called "British"ect. (Using the UK as an example, nothing more) Im sick of people using wikipedia to promote there nationalist cause by trying to distort the truth and violate NPOV. Bah. It has to be one of the most annoying things on Wikipedia. Agree? Celtic Muffin&Co. (talk) 14:52, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Err, it sounds to me like you are guilty of what you are accusing others of. Nobody has English/Welsh/Scottish nationality as we are all British. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:30, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia reflects the mutability of the concept of country, as evidenced by (among others) the United Nations. Historical countries are often subsumed into larger "nations", and may again appear as sovereign nations - witness the breakup of the USSR and Yugoslavia, and the division of the Czech nation from Slovakia (while sometimes a divided historical country can remerge, as did Germany). All Wikipedia can and should do is to apply such labels and divisions as is currently accepted by the majority of other nations. Nationalist views of what may be more appropriate than the actuality need only be recorded where they are notable, but within the context of the real world nation status. It isn't a Wikipedia problem. LessHeard vanU (talk) 17:28, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

My point was that people are deliberately using wikipedia to get across there nationalistic opinions which violates NPOV half the time. They enjoy distorting the truth. I was talking about people, not articles. TL,DR: Im fed up of Trolls.Celtic Muffin&Co. (talk) 17:40, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I believe that there is a nation for trolls; somewhere on the Discworld, as I remember. LessHeard vanU (talk) 17:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Squeakbox is wrong. We are what we want to be identified as. I am an englishman who identifies as Hungarian due to my ancestry as such. I was not born in britain, I was orn in England. Also, wrong place. PXK T /C 21:35, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Facial Hair

I do not approve of your facial hair. Please shave it off at once!

Yours sincerely,

A DISGUSTED user —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:21, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Beard Liberation Front, mate. Thanks, SqueakBox 21:56, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Appointments, please

Jimbo, in case you've forgotten, you said you'd announce your ArbCom appointments today. Everyking (talk) 23:26, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I give another 22 minutes, since Wikipedia works in UTC time. Majorly talk 23:29, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Happy Jimbo Wales's Day!

Featured article star.svg

User:Jimbo Wales has been identified as an Awesome Wikipedian,
and therefore, I've officially declared today as Jimbo Wales's day!
For being such a beautiful person and great Wikipedian,
enjoy being the Star of the day, dear Jimbo Wales!


A record of your Day will always be kept here.

For a userbox you can add to your userbox page, see User:Rlevse/Today/Happy Me Day! and my own userpage for a sample of how to use it. RlevseTalk 02:26, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Nice move.

(ArbCom appointments).Mervyn Emrys (talk) 03:31, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Tranche seats

Jimbo: See {{ArbitrationCommitteeChart}} you need to sort out where Coren, Vassyana, Carcharoth, Wizardman go. RlevseTalk 00:18, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, the terms should be of the length that I specified, although Jayvdb should be moved to a 2 year term per his request above. I am afraid that this screws up the chart a bit, but on the other hand, it also provides an interesting breakpoint in the future for us to consider the possibility of reorganizing into 2 tranches of 2 year terms (3 being generally considered too long).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:32, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
That's not what I mean, Coren's ends before the others in Alpha, and the three new ones in Gamma go past the expiration of the older arbs. RlevseTalk 00:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Rlevse, is that another way of saying "Jimbo screwed up"? ;) From his words above, I glean that he intends his originally specified term lengths to be in effect, and the "tranche" nomenclature to be redundant.
Additionally, I'd support the idea of two-year terms, but with the addition of a tranche with one-year terms. This opens the possibility of arbitrators serving any of 1 through 4 years. I'll also take the opportunity to restate that I think we should all reconvene on Feb. 1, 2009 to begin a comprehensive discussion of the exact way that ArbCom voting procedures operate, from top to bottom. Franamax (talk) 01:05, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Based on what we have seen, a 4-year term would be awful. There is high arbiter burnout and a strong perception (both earned and unearned) that arbcom thinks of itself as a special class of Wikipedian. Both of those issues are exacerbated by allowing for a 4-year term. I think limiting terms to 2 years with some sort of review process after one year is an important step. --B (talk) 01:13, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Au contraire, if Newyorkbrad still has a spring in his step a year from now, I'd be happy to give him at least one more year (and probably two) before taking him out to the back shed with rifle in hand and tears in my eyes. Three-year terms have not demonstrated themselves as successful, but an extension upon review, after either of one or two years, for a duration of one or two years, may have a chance of working out. Agree on the idea of term limits though. Franamax (talk) 01:29, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Umm ... Brad is the one and only arbiter in whom the community overwhelmingly has confidence. Using this rare exception to say that a four-year term is a good idea just doesn't make sense. Besides, Brad would have no trouble getting reelected after two years, so he would not be hurt by a two-year-term. He isn't the reason for limiting terms to two years. The reason for limiting terms to two years is ... well ... everybody else. --B (talk) 02:18, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
There's no reason for the tranches to necessarily be balanced, particularly since the length of terms may be open to change; I'd suggest just putting the new appointments into whatever tranche corresponds to the length of their term (such that every seat in each tranche is up for election at the same time) and not worrying about the fact that some tranches will now be larger than others. Kirill 02:22, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Have to say that this is the most commonsense method; not tranches but expiry dates. If tranches are insisted upon, then they may be formed by taking expiry date as the factor and not "time remaining/served". LessHeard vanU (talk) 03:08, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Not everyone gets burnout. It depends on the fit of the task and the environment to the individual. Thatcher 01:38, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
    • In the history of arbcom, only four arbiters have sought reelection and been reelected. All three of them had previously served only partial terms. On the other hand, I count about ten that served for less than a year. That's not a ringing endorsement for anyone's support of lengthy terms. --B (talk) 02:18, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Getting back to the tranches

Arbcom as of Jimbo's announcement.

If you want to stick people in the same 3 tranches we have used before, you have to jump one of the new 2-year appointment to 3 years and cut one of the 2-year appointments to 1 year, and Deskana's replacement would get a one year term in gamma, see User:Thatcher/temp (I shuffled some names around as an example, nothing personal is intended). If you are thinking about abolishing the tranches or dropping to a 2-year cycle, this is what you have now (Sorry for the photoshop, this surpassed my chart-coding skills). 4 Arbs to retire/re-elect in one year, 8 Arbs to retire or re-elect in 2 years, and 5 Arbs to retire/re-elect in 3 years. Plus Deskana's replacement, whoever that is, if there is a special election. The current group is pretty unbalanced, and after a year of historically high turnover there could be a year of historically low turnover. You might want to shuffle some people around a bit, especially if you are thinking about 2 tranches of 2 years and 9 Arbs each. Just something to think about. Thatcher 02:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Your chart looks accurate as of right now. And it does look like we may have a year of historically low turnover next year. But with routine retirements and the introduction of an ArbCom recall process, plus with the prospect of a potential further expansion, it's not really clear what the future will hold, so perhaps we can worry about the details later.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:14, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

If we're interested in keeping the current tranche structure then IMO this layout is the most in line with that. Tranche Alpha is entirely corect, Beta is missing a member, and Gamma has two members with extra-long terms. So any mid-year election wouldn't actually be "replacing Deskana" so much as 'filling the empty seat in Beta', with a term length of two and a half years. Happymelon 16:23, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Happy First Day Of Winter!

Happy Winter

Happy Winter, man! ErikTheBikeMan (talk) 21:20, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Deadline shmedline!

Hey Jimbo,

In a happy effort to completely destroy your deadline, we have a productive discussion going about a proposal for a method to increase accountability and Arb responsiveness to the community going at Wikipedia talk:Review Board (and, of course, the actual proposal in project space).

Your opinion there would be highly valued. — Coren (talk) 05:44, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

(timestamped for archiving purposes Fram (talk) 07:48, 23 December 2008 (UTC))


Your meta page directed me here. Could you have a look at my comments on your Planet Wikimedia request? NonvocalScream (talk) 20:43, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Have you sent an email to Herby? is not commons. MBisanz talk 21:26, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo. Have you sent an email to Herby? Herby uses this mysterious email in a little admin convention on commons for some mysterious hints, but he doesn't want to name its content and its sender.


OK - I'll not be amending ME's block now. I've had an email which leaves me indifferent at best to unblocking him in any way at all. I'll withdraw from this idiocy again. --Herby talk thyme 15:01, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

This created with me the impression that Mutter Erde had sent you a mail, and that you had perceived the communication as aggressive. According to commons:User talk:Mutter Erde#Herby has got an email my impression was wrong. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 19:04, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Fortunately I do not care what your opinion is Pieter - your approach is almost as unpleasant (to me) as ME. All anyone need know is that I had an email, the content of which merely left me feeling that unblocking ME was pointless. It is my personal decision over a personal email. I have no intention of returning to the aggressive nonsense that is driving good folk away from Commons. --Herby talk thyme 19:20, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

retrieved from

  • and by the way: Did you know that one of the main authors on commons could be blocked as "a consense of 3 people in an IRC-Channel". Is that possible on en too? Regards (talk) 21:24, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I have no information about this at all, as far as I am aware.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:56, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

OK. Thanks. Then I have to search for another guy. Merry Christmas (talk) 21:57, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

The above ip has now been blocked. This ip was used by banned user MutterErde. --Kanonkas :  Talk  22:27, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Your famous quote

About 'every single person on the planet having access to to all the information' has always irritated me so please excuse me while I get this off my chest. Wiki is indeed a phenomonom and every democratic and levelling but only amongst those with access to a PC, a phone and some electricity. The majority of people on Earth had not made a phone call ten years ago. Phones are more plentiful now so this may have changed. Many millions don't have access to clean drinking water yet. When everyone on the planet has access to a PC and phone and plenty of electricity your quote will be accurate but as yet this is well under 50% of the world's people. So perhaps you'd like to withdraw that quote? Sorry to be a nag, congratulations on founding Wiki and Season's Greetings to you, Geoff.  SmokeyTheCat  •TALK• 01:28, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

The way I originally wrote it, it goes like this "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge." That's really what I mean. You are right, we are not in the world yet. So, let's build it. What will it take? It will take more than just a website, yes. It will take more than just mobile phones, yes. There's a lot of work left to do.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:34, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


I think one particular sentence you're using in the appeal causes a lot of confusion. "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge." This idea applies to the Wikimedia Foundation rather than Wikipedia, which is why some knowledge is better housed on a different project. I think you should make that difference clear in any communication so people don't misquote you. - Mgm|(talk) 08:24, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

ArbCom Appointments

With this edit, I am making the following appointments to the Arbitration Committee:

3 year terms:

  • (expansion seat)

2 year terms:

(expansion seat)

1 year term:

(expansion seat)

Some notes:

1. Some in the community suggested that I should look at both percentage of support and at net "pro" votes. Or that I should look at net "pro" votes instead of percentage of support. As it turns out, when making 3 expansion appointments, there is a lucky coincidence: - Top six on both metrics are all appointed to 3 year terms - Next three on both metrics are all appointed to 2 year terms - Number ten on both metrics is appointed to a 1 year term

So, in this case, it would not matter which metric I favored.

2. As a "sanity check" on the appointments process, and in response to public and private concerns raised about inappropriate block voting, I also considered the votes of *just* admins. In the end this had no impact. There were two interesting small variations: - Jayvdb got much higher admin support, reflecting I think the results of an offsite campaign (I checked into the concerns of the campaigners and found them to be without merit) - CoolHandLuke got much lower admin support, reflecting I think the nature of his campaign - "In the last year, ArbCom has frequently failed us."

These variations are interesting, nothing more, and certainly not sufficient for me to posit a major rift between the broader community and the admins. Most of the vote counts were very similar for admins versus non-admins.

3. All 10 appointees have agreed to identify to the Foundation. This is not a requirement of the Foundation, and I chose not to make it a requirement for my appointments, either. It was merely a request. Nonetheless, all 10 eagerly agreed to it. There is no need for them to do so *before* taking office, and I'm sure it'll happen quickly enough.

4. Deskana is resigning his seat. I am not filling that seat right now, but I intend to do so in an interim election at some point in 2009, yet to be determined. There have been some mentions of other possible retirements, and so I will wait to see if anyone else is looking to retire early next year, and then we'll see about an election in March or June or so. With the 3 expansion seats, it is not as if we will be short-staffed.

My exploration of the voting results tells me that this was an election for change. The only 2 current Arbs who were running were soundly defeated. This was a key factor in my decision to expand the committee - appointing 7 of 15 seats would not even be a majority, and 8 of 15 (by filling Deskana's seat) would barely be.

As it stands, we have 10 of 18 seats filled with new members, and with 1 retirement, in fact we have 10 of 17 arbs new. The community has asked for change, and I support this fully.

The mandate for the new arbs, as I see it, and a small change.

1. Many people are of the opinion that the 2008 ArbCom moved much too slowly, and got too little done. I intend that with more members, the committee will explore ways to get more things done and more quickly. Various proposals have been put forward in the past, and all have merits. I encourage the new committee to act quickly and decisively to reorganize and reexamine working methods to get faster resolution to conflicts - justice delayed is justice denied.

2. Many people are of the opinion that the 2008 ArbCom was too opaque, hearing too many matters in private. I encourage the creation of new rules clearly limiting the scope of private decisionmaking.

Rather than completely outlawing it, because I do think there can be situations where a privately-handled matter is important for the dignity of all participants, I will simply strongly discourage private votes of any kind. There should be no "secret trials" or anything resembling them, and there can be no valid ArbCom action unless the person being sanctioned has had the opportunity for a public defense.

There are problems with this: drama on the wiki will increase in some ways. But the bigger drama of conspiracy theories and decisions made in error due to insufficient eyeballs on the case will be avoided.

3. We want arbs to be both responsive to community concerns, and also immune from populist campaigns that push rash decisionmaking. These are competing concerns which must be kept in balance. I request the new ArbCom to reflect on and discuss the creation of a method for the community recall of unpopular ArbCom members. This discussion should take place in June of 2009, once the new Arbs have some experience of the job and thus a deeper understanding of the pressures involved. I would like to see a procedure in place by the time of the next election.

The small change: while not completely outlawing all private decision making, I will simply state that I will be strongly inclined to overturn on appeal any decision of the ArbCom that did not include a public discussion and vote.

I leave it to the new ArbCom to make their own decisions regarding the use of public workshops versus the private ArbCom wiki versus the mailing list - all are valid tools. I simply strongly encourage a renewed focus on the desire of the community for strong transparency in ArbCom operations.



On a first read through of the rationale and comments... I am impressed. LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:36, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Fine choices; I'm glad that you didn't need to intervene for Jay. Sceptre (talk) 23:37, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Excellent choices. Very pleased here! ;-) ayematthew 23:38, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Not entirely sure how a mid-year election would go, but thanks for listening to the community. Majorly talk 23:38, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Great choices. I wish all the new ArbCom members well. Willking1979 (talk) 23:41, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
One election a year is enough. An interim election risks much disruption with little benefit.Genisock2 (talk) 23:39, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Wait, I've found a mistake. Doesn't Tranche Gamma expire in Dec 2009 and Alpha in 2010, not the other way around? Sceptre (talk) 23:46, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
I hope I didn't make a mistake. I used a spreadsheet and worked partly from memory. Let's check my work quickly.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:48, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmm. Well, I really really like these times because they match the mandate from the community. For the moment I am removing the tranche names while we sort this out.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:53, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
In either case, are you appointing a new member when Deskana formally resigns, if he hasn't already? Sceptre (talk) 23:50, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Aawww, I always fancied myself as an alpha male (chuckle) Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:53, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Bravo, Cas! Sincerement, --A NobodyMy talk 19:30, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Just to make sure, these start 1 Jan 2009, or now? RlevseTalk 23:55, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I'll leave it up to the committee (old and new) to determine transition strategy. Whatever is traditional, I suppose. :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:03, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Liking the mandate. Thanks, Martinp23 23:57, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Note that "I will stand for re-election in two years, and if re-elected I will stand down after another two years". John Vandenberg (chat) 23:58, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

I'll take that into account here and we'll finalize the details over the next day or so.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:03, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Thank you. I find the comments very helpful; I think those points were themes of many of the successful campaigns, and working on those issues should improve the community's trust. Cool Hand Luke 23:59, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Heh, I was right. Just kidding--thanks for taking what we gave, for the top 10. rootology (C)(T) 23:59, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Although I don't approve of your role in the process, Jimbo, I am happy that you appointed the candidates according to the community's will and issued a call for more transparency—lack of transparency is indeed one of the committee's biggest problems. Everyking (talk) 00:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

It might be time to pause and consider the possibility that my role is important to the execution of the community's will, rather than an impediment to it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:32, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I'm not going to complain if you make good decisions. If you continue along this unobjectionable path, it is entirely possible that your role could be to execute the community's will. Everyking (talk) 00:45, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I would echo Everyking's sentiment's above. I have issues with the system, but the results are acceptable. I am particularly impressed that you opted to appoint a prominent Wikipedia Review member to a three-year term, and I wonder if that should send out some sort of message? GTD 00:23, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Nothing wrong with constructive criticism, but my impression so far is that Wikipedia Review is full of embittered rejects with an axe to grind, and those that manage to maintain a presence here as well as there have too much time to spare. But I'm open to persuasion. --Rodhullandemu 00:29, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
With an axe? LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:42, 21 December 2008 (UTC) (LessHorrid vanU)
Not necessarily. My preferred weapons are words and ideas; but personally, I can find enough to do here without spreading my efforts elsewhere. There are always articles needing improvement, and defending against deletionists. For example, if I survive beyond New Years Eve, I have set aside January to deal with all articles related to The Prisoner (how apt!), establishing their notability, creating a Prisoner portal, and getting it to featured status. An admirable goal, but I expect no help from the Wikipedia Review mob- it's not the sort of thing they, er, do. --Rodhullandemu 00:50, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Really? So what is it "we" do? Personally, I like to think I write articles, but maybe you disagree. Everyking (talk) 00:53, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I really am not interested what you do elsewhere, but my commitment is here; I'm sure you are a very good article writer; but if you care to click on "Random article", I guarantee you'll find something that needs proper care and attention above and beyond the politics. It's a measure of Wikipedia's success, perhaps, that it attracts outside criticism; nothing new in that, but my focus is to minimise the incidence of that criticism. This may be against all the odds, but it's nonetheless a worthy enterprise as far as I am concerned. --Rodhullandemu 01:00, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Who is number one? You are the new number 6 – wait a minute, that's someone else. Congratulations to all the new numbers. . dave souza, talk 10:24, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm thoroughly impressed. The expansion was much-needed. Thanks, Jimbo....and to all our new ArbCommers--congratulations and best wishes. GJC 00:25, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Will second that, congratulations and best wishes to all, look forward to a refreshed spirit of tranparency and just decisions. . . dave souza, talk 10:24, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think this is nice. Keep up the good work, boss man. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:07, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Congratulations and condolences to the new Arbitrators. Thatcher 01:15, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Like many others above, I personally object to any one unelected individual having so large a role in EnWiki as Jimbo does. <silliness> It is very frustrating, then, to see, time and again, Jimbo making such well-reasoned decisions, having his finger very acutely on the pulse of the community, and generally making practically everyone pretty happy. It's hard enough to over throw a tyrannical monarch, much less a beloved one. Jimbo, couldn't you maybe get us into an unpopular war, or suggest all wikipedians may have to convert to Catholicism, or build a lavish palace while the populace is starving??</silliness>. Which is to say, I disagree with Jimbo's role here, but I have to admit, so far, he has done a damn good job of it. Good work. --Alecmconroy (talk) 01:40, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • So now we see what the benefit of a couple days' worth of thought can be - a restructuring of sorts that puts the emphasis on the new voices and thoughts. Looks like a good option to me. Tony Fox (arf!) 01:51, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I am very pleased with your decision to expand the ArbCom, as they are (were?) severely overworked, and the top ten candidates are all very, very good IMO. Thank you for being willing to take this step. I would like to offer my congratulations to all the newly appointed Arbitrators! J.delanoygabsadds 04:46, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm sorry, this just won't do. There's only one objectionable and incompetent arbitrator who I don't like very much left on the committee. What happened to respect of Wikipedia traditions? Who will we complain about? Does this mean we will have to edit articles instead of whipping up Wikidrama? Editors DESERVE TO KNOW!!!! :P Physchim62 (talk) 10:08, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Jimbo, thank you. Cheers on this much needed expansion, along with your thoughtful, meaningful takes on the election altogether. What you have to say about on-wiki decision-making, along with what you plan to do if arbcom needlessly strays off-wiki, is and will be very helpful to the project. To echo Thatcher, everyone on arbcom has my best wishes, along with my heartfelt sympathies. Gwen Gale (talk) 13:04, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Thank you. What a stunningly well thought out decision! --TS 00:12, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think it is important to thank everyone for their participation in Wikipedia. In particular I think it is important at this time to thank the outgoing ArbCom members and the new ArbCom members. It is a time consuming commitment and it should be appreciated by the whole community. Thank you, TallMagic (talk) 00:45, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I think you have the right to be pretty pleased with yourself. What a well-thought out solution, and what wisdom to listen to what Wikipedians wanted this election and interpret it so well. I think it's no accident you are being acclaimed by the community for this decision. Credit given where credit is due. Congratulations, and thank you. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 09:15, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
  • umm, what is this arbitrtion thing? thats all

Dcollins52Tell me what you think 17:44, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

  • The results do justify the 5 day wait, and also indicate that you are likely the best person to keep doing this particular job. Thanks, SqueakBox 03:02, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
  • This is the first ArbCom election I've ever paid attention to. I am very impressed. And I don't understand the complaints about Jimbo's role. If theory (in this case good government theory) is contradicted by praxis, theory should be ignored. In the litany of secular follies, the exaltation of form over substance is a cardinal sin, second only to the propagation of elevator music. David in DC (talk) 16:51, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

Requested clarification

I will simply state that I will be strongly inclined to overturn on appeal any decision of the ArbCom that did not include a public discussion and vote

Do you mean both a public discussion and vote or just public discussion or a vote? One thing that bothers me about the current process is that the bulk of work the arbitrators are seen to do is simply voting, usually with no public rationale. One often (in fact usually) has no specific idea why an arbitrator is voting in such a manner when they have had no input into the workshop, nor any reason besides good faith to believe that they have worked on comprehending any of the evidence. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:10, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
I'd love clarification on this as well. It seems to me that, for example, a discussion page that only arbs could edit but we could all see would be a good thing, and that they hash out their differences there, rather than via whatever off-wiki method is now used. IronDuke 01:36, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Looks like and to me, and a welcome committment to the openness and transparency which is essential to give legitimacy and gain widespread acceptance that actions and decisions are just. The rationale behind decisions should be made clear. A good restart, and I'm hopeful for the future. . dave souza, talk 10:19, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, probably need to hone the good ole psychic abilities, as it doesn't look like an answer is gonna be given here. ;) Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 23:43, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Your appeal

But Wikipedia is more than a website. We share a common cause: Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's our commitment.

If you really want to attract serious, knowledgeable people and see the Wikipedia financially supported - then you must to do (or, at least, initiate) a huge cleanup of the existing list of contributors and administrators. Many of the Wikipedia articles and talk pages are no more than a sewer of primitivism, lies, and political propaganda. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:31, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

There are a lot of knowledgeable people attracted to the site, its size is the price of its success but still and all the only way to MAke it better is to edit it yourself, Jimbo personally cannot clean up the place. Thanks, SqueakBox 02:57, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Everyone is allowed to join; everyone is allowed to leave. There's no 'cleanup' needed... the process seems to work, naturally. Articles really aren't as bad as you implied since most of them do follow NPOV, and for those that aren't people clean them up naturally as well. Good articles are referenced also; your comment isn't. (talk) 10:09, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
I no longer contribute financially and rarely contribute any content -- nothing of any substance anyhow -- on wikipedia, and I tell anyone who will listen that wikipedia is NOT a good source, because Jimmy and the various wiki powers that be have installed people, processes and culture that undermine the declared objectives of NPOV. I really believed in the language about how wikipedia cherishes NPOV, but came to believe that it does not really prefer or adhere to NPOV. I have many examples. I look for a day when things will change but I do not think it will happen. --Blue Tie (talk) 11:23, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
That is hardly true. So then, where were you wronged?— dαlus Contribs 11:34, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
No, it is true. Just because you are clueless about situations and events I have experienced does not make my words untrue. And, its not a matter of me being "wronged". In fact, I do not believe I have been wronged. It's just a matter of wikipedia not being what it advertises. It is not true to the founding principles. Here is one example that is rampant all over wikipedia: Definitions. Almost every article defines its subject. I have observed that a large fraction of these definitions are not supportable by an appeal to actual dictionaries. At times, when I have said that per NPOV, wikipedia should only rely upon other sources and not create its own definitions, the "consensus" said "No, we can make our own rules on this" and overtly denied dictionary definitions. As I said, wikipedia actually does not prefer or enforce NPOV. What it prefers and enforces is majority rule. This "truth is determined by democracy" approach is systemic and it is a deeply held value -- much stronger than NPOV, but unstated.
Another related issue that is also a problem but is not what I was referring to is the problem of the bias in sources. This bias is almost never addressed. I was not actually referring to that problem, but it is part of the overall issue, and I do not believe that there is ANY effective mechanism to deal with that issue. --Blue Tie (talk) 12:18, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Hence the importance of references. When I start doing actual research for a project that I am involved in, I inevitably start with I glance through the article, getting some "basics" (whether NPOV or not). I then head down to the references and see also's and branch out from there. Within a half-hour, I have the widest possible Bibliography to start my real research. That is the beauty and use of en.Wiki - NPOV, democracy and drama be damned. BMWΔ 17:26, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
It does not matter. If the Majority (i.e. "Consensus") agree that the references are not what they want in the article, the references do not get in. If the Majority (i.e. "Consensus") agree that their own private definition is better than anything that can be referenced (even if their definition does not have a reference), then that is what prevails, and referenced to the contrary are deleted. As I said, it is "truth established by democracy" not "Neutral Point of View", and references can be damned.
Then too, there is the opposite problem: Biased references. But that's a whole different matter that I was not specifically discussing, but it is related, because, once again, the Majority (i.e. "Consensus") can agree that their reference is not biased and thus entirely superior but that your reference is spurious and should be removed. In fact, as I said above, your reference can be spurious by their view even if they do not even have a reference for their view. All they need is the majority.
This would not bug me if it were not for the fact that there are explicit rules as to how things are supposed to go, and these rules are subverted, sometimes without even a pretense. In the rules, NPOV theoretically prevails above all -- even "Consensus" (i.e. The Majority) and is "not negotiable". In reality, that policy is gutless in the face of the driving mechanism in wikipedia: "Majority Rules" -- and "truth by democratic vote". Even though this is stoutly denied and piously preached against by the faithful acolytes, it is the real sub rosa odus operandi of many aspects in the project and absolutely nothing can or will be done about it. Ever.
Of course there is an answer to my complaint: "Don't edit in those places where such activities take place". You can see that advice passed around fairly often when there are problems. So, taking that advice, I have decided not to contribute to wikipedia's content in any significant way. In addition, I will not financially contribute as I did in the past because I feel that I am supporting a kind of bait and switch program.
I suppose I am easy to dismiss as a whiner. After all, I am probably the only editor who ever made this observation -- so it must be a lunatic fringe thing I'm spouting. Hey...take a vote on it -- and if the majority agree that I am an idiot, that's the eternal truth -- even though the party line is: "Voting is Evil". --Blue Tie (talk) 22:09, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

A Pleasure

Hello Jimbo,
It's a pleasure to meet you. I'll try to have a positive affect here at wikipedia in the coming weeks/months/years. Thank you for allowing us this venture, and I did want to stop by and wish you and yours a pleasant holiday season in what ever way you observe it. Ched (talk) 14:26, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


Hello, Jimbo. I want to ask you about creating new artiles on all wikiprojects. All criterias about this are given on Wikipedia. But, there isn't any minimum of datas, or number of tags which are needed to create new article. For example, 15 days ago, there was big editing spam on Wikipedia on macedonian language, what should be an article, and what shouldn't. We've been creating articles, that are linked to over 100 websites (without blogs), especially news and knowledgable websites. For some users, it was OK, but on the other side, some were against this criteria. We checked this with other criterias, on other Wikipedias, and we saw, that there isn't absolute critaeria about this. Can you give me an opinion, or such an advise about that, what criterias about browsering are needed to create an article. Also, there are some old books (old and unreedited) that content informations, about something which can't be easy founded , by browsering on Internet.

I also liked to ask something about implementing new Meta projects. I talked about it with Angela, but also I liked to contact you about this.

It's my pleasure.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 20:49, 23 December 2008 (UTC)


re this edit
this thread began at User talk:Jack Merridew#Christmas but I believe this is a better spot for the discussion.
Cheers, Jack Merridew 05:17, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
“The philosophy of Saraswati Day is that the most important thing for human life is knowledge.”

Why does your not celebrating Christmas have anything to do with systemic bias? Lots of people do celebrate it, including in America, and I am baffled by your edit summary, removing systemic bias means recognizing all celebrations. I imagine their are celebrations in Bali and that when there are you join in. Thanks, SqueakBox 04:46, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I didn't say that I don't celebrate Christmas (although I don't). A few points;
  • I don't think it appropriate to promote such a holiday on that fellow's page. Certainly, there should be an article at Christmas and I'd have no issue with a DYK or some other mention on the main page.
  • just about every day is somehow special to some group, somewhere. I don't recall any recognition anywhere on-wiki last Saraswati Day and that would be a whole lot more appropriate to an encyclopaedia; lovely, it's red: see Saraswati and; it's a celebration of knowledge. See why I see systemic bias? It's pervasive.
  • the image was not placed the by the user. That page says 'edit this page' and especially encourages things like code fixes, which I did some of. It does not say to mess with the content itself, which mucking with the picture amounts to. If the user had placed the image themselves, I'd certainly not have touched it.
  • the image is a lame photoshop job and looks like something off a GeoCities page from about 1996.
Cheers, Jack Merridew 05:14, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

It actually says you can edit the page, it doesn't say you can do code fixes (not that I added the hat anyway). And while a few celebrations are as important as Christmas it is very few. I have now made Saraswati Day a redirect to Saraswati pooja, which certainly is an article in the main space. People are wishing Jimbo a happy winter not a happy summer (as it is in the southern hemisphere) and that's because he lives in America, where I believe Christmas is very popular. Thanks, SqueakBox 15:15, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Well, it says: my ultimate dream is that some person who thinks it is fun would come along and make it look perfect, or close to perfect. See that link up here that says 'edit this page'? Go for it. It's a "wiki world"! which was what I had in mind. And I didn't know we had an importance scale for celebrations ;) NB: Saraswati pooja would seem to be a different celebration than Saraswati Day. Hindus have a great many. Jack Merridew 15:35, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Whoops, I have fixed that one. And to cover all the Hindi festivals in detail in the main space is absolutely what countering systemic bias is all about. My Hindi colleague in India wished me a Happy Christmas and I wish I were able to know when to wish her a happy festival because obviously I would not wish her a Happy Christmas and given he is an American happy Christmas seems appropriate as a greeting to Jimbo too, and I guess that was someone's way of saying that. Thanks, SqueakBox 15:54, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Let's not miss the point: When I say "Merry Christmas" to someone of any faith (even Christian), I am saying "Christmas has a happy meaning for me. I therefore wish you the same happy feelings that I have." It's not telling them to "go out and celebrate Christmas." BMWΔ 17:31, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Hmm, I got another Merry Christmas message from India today and would not have dreamt of responding with a similar because Christmas isn't a mainstream festival there; I'd say "Happy Yom Kippur" to anyone living in Israel. Thanks, SqueakBox 15:59, 24 December 2008 (UTC)


Dear Mr. Wales, best wishes to you and happy holidays. I was hoping to get your current thoughts on school articles. You wrote on Nov 7, 2003:

Let me make my point more clear: arguments about what we ought to if someone really starts to abuse wikipedia with thousands and thousands of trivial articles do not prove that we ought to delete any and every article that's too trivial today.

Put another way: if someone wants to write an article about their high school, we should relax and accomodate them, even if we wish they wouldn't do it. And that's true *even if* we should react differently if someone comes in and starts mass-adding articles on every high school in the world.

Let me make this more concrete. Let's say I start writing an article about my high school, Randolph School, of Huntsville, Alabama. I could write a decent 2 page article about it, citing information that can easily be verified by anyone who visits their website.

Then I think people should relax and accomodate me. It isn't hurting anything. It'd be a good article, I'm a good contributor, and so cutting me some slack is a very reasonable thing to do.

That's true *even if* we'd react differently to a ton of one-liners mass-imported saying nothing more than "Randolph School is a private school in Huntsville, Alabama, US" and "Indian Springs is a private school in Birmingham, Alabama, US" and on and on and on, ad nauseum.

The argument "what if someone did this particular thing 100,000 times" is not a valid argument against letting them do it a few times.
Jimbo, Partial solution to rampant deletionism

As of today, schools articles have gone from being an exemption from the Criteria for speedy deletion to not being an exemption at all and I was wondering if what you wrote in 2003 still holds true. On Wikipedia, I back up my belief in school articles through Wikipedia:Verifiability: the many times schools are mentioned by the people they educate and by newspapers, magazines, and television broadcasts. Being able to delete school articles without even a chance for editorial discussion and research is most disheartening to me, considering it bypasses the entire Afd process. I'm not sure what the harm is in at least redirecting a school article to its school district/locality. And what will happen to the articles for foreign schools where the burden on the editor is even greater? --Jh12 (talk) 05:48, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

No, I would not agree with what I wrote in 2003. I had no idea what an eternal nightmare the schools issue would become.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:46, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Schools are still exempted from A7. Hut 8.5 16:57, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I just noticed that. It's confusing because aside from the single word "except," it looks like schools got lumped under the same group as other organizations. Regardless, I don't think there has to be any nightmare when it comes to school articles. If there's consensus for deletion, then the articles should be deleted. The fact that there are debates over school articles is why I think they make terrible Csd candidates --Jh12 (talk) 19:26, 24 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm an Iranian and I can't donate to wikipedia because my country is prohibitted but I translated your appeal to Persian and I am here to say: all the Persian wikipedia's memebers are sad because they can't help wikipedia/wikimedia…Kind Regards --Komeil 4life (talk) 00:24, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Per above user i should admit if you don't see so many Iranians in donor's list it not because we don't like to donate it is because there is no safe way to transfer money to wikifoundation .so we all try to help wiki by our edits and articles.--Mardetanha talk 00:29, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Merry Christmas

Wishing you the very best for the season. Guettarda (talk) 00:31, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

More Christmas greetings

Frankenstein created a monster which, as portrayed by Boris Karloff, grew beyond his control but was wholly innocent in intention. That is a somewhat clumsy metaphor for Wikipedia, but nevertheless, we have reached the position of being something of a leviathan, which has brought new problems, as those who would seek to weaken us continue to find new ways of exploiting the cracks in the structure. On the whole, however, this should only serve to resist the jealous and the nay-sayer wherever we can. Meanwhile, and in festive tone, I recommend A child's Christmas in Wales and the related song, which always creases me up. It is possible for soul music to come from Wales (in more ways than one, hopefully). --Rodhullandemu 01:01, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Merry Christmas

500px-Xmas tree animated.gif

Hello Jimbo Wales! I just wanted to wish you and your family a merry Christmas! May this Christmas be full of great cheer and holiday spirit. Again, merry Christmas! Ashbey 00:58, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

If you don't celebrate Christmas, then happy holidays!

Wikipedia Spanish abuse

I apologize for approaching you for help, but I honestly don't know who to approach. I am very active on the English Wikipedia and have recently started to work in the Spanish Wikipedia to try to spur growth there. I have worked hard to translate articles regarding WP:Awards, but es:Usuario:Netito777, who's even protected his/her own user page, has deleted all such translations and gone so far as to even delete all unrelated redirects, code templates (called "plantillas"), and userboxes I have created. This is abuse and censorship at its extreme. The Spanish Wikipedia has a different bureaucracy, so I'm not sure where to report such a problem. Please help! --Eustress (talk) 04:17, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Just a note: you should leave messages on Netito's talk page, not his userpage. es:Usuario_Discusión:Netito777 is not protected, and has not been since June. J.delanoygabsadds 04:26, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I meant he's protected his userpage, not the talk page (which still seems odd). I'll leave him a message, but he's reverted all my edits without any edit summary--even those that have nothing to do with Wikipedia awards (e.g., barnstars (Spanish "estrellas"), etc.). I need some sysop help! --Eustress (talk) 04:29, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
It is more of an issue involving having a different culture, one in which things such as WP:AWARD are not as accepted. It's not censorship as much as it is a different consensus, and there's nothing that the English Wikipedia can (or should) do, as the two wikis are independent from each other. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 04:32, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
How does creating awards to give to others hurt the work if done well? These editors themselves have award pages linked on their userpages, so I don't see this as a cultural issue. This administrator has not only deleted my awards-related pages but also other non-related templates, userboxes, and redirects I have created. My note (with diffs) to the admin is listed on his user talk page here: es:Usuario_Discusión:Netito777#Abuso.
The Spanish Wikipedia does not have a place like WP:Requests_for_comment/Example_admin to report admin abuse. I'm hoping Jimbo, or some sysop with global or Spanish authority, can help. --Eustress (talk) 05:07, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Essentially, what happens is that a sprawling bureaucracy to give out awards (similar to the one here) is considered a waste of time in the Spanish Wikipedia, as it is not directly related to the encyclopedia (c.f. what happened with Esperanza). You may want to go to WP:TAB, which is the equivalent of WP:AN in es.wikipedia. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 05:54, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Esperanza was deleted b/c it was "counter to the open and transparent spirit of a wiki." I was just creating (or translating) resources to promote WikiLove. And at least Esperanza got a proper MfD. In this case, one administrator did not like the additions so he deleted everything and then went on to delete extra unrelated additions. I will try to work through es:WP:TAB, but I think something bigger is at play here that merits attention from someone with power. --Eustress (talk) 11:56, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I doubt if that person is Jimbo, though, and probably there is no-one to answer your request here, you should try the es.wikipedia. Thanks, SqueakBox 15:54, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

← I've tried all of your suggestions (pleading for help at WP:TAB, trying to compromise with the administrator) but he and others won't even move the articles in question to my user space. And if no one can help, not even Mr. Wales, then this is a sad day indeed. I mean, I have a real life, so worst case scenario I never edit in Spanish Wikipedia again, but I thought the Wikipedia family was bigger than this and strived to be united. --Eustress (talk) 19:50, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

User Eustress was bloqued (in the es.Wiki) per WP:NSW (WP:POINT) for one week. More information can be found here. Editors should ignore this thread. --Kmaster (talk) 21:34, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Why should this thread be ignored? You've silenced me on the Spanish Wiki and then come over here to try to do the same? That seems wrong. --Eustress (talk) 00:27, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Wow...I've never been blocked before. They say I was trying to sabotage them. I did a whole lot of work, which I felt was deleted without due process. The deleting administrator did not try to help me adjust to Spanish Wikipedia at all (it seems some policies are different over there), so I reported the situation (as suggested here). Due to my reporting, the cabal of Spanish Wiki admins thinks I'm out to take down their system or something and has blocked me, so I can no longer discuss the issue. I was very respectful in my comments (which were few) and was never uncivil. The Spanish Wiki system has failed in this instance.
The larger issue here then (one that I'm hoping Mr. Wales can shed light on) is the state of the separate Wikis. Is there no universal controller over all Wikipedia projects, or are we to just to run some social experiment and see how polarized/unified the separate Wikis become? If they are to run independent, perhaps some article could be created that delineates the differences between the language sites. Because of articles like interlanguage links and Wikipedia:Translation on the English Wiki, I believed policies were the same across projects. --Eustress (talk) 00:27, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Es cierto que no hay ningun control central en los wikis; hasta mas cierto es que no vas a conseguir nada aqui tampoco. Thanks, SqueakBox 01:09, 25 December 2008 (UTC) (Eustress translates this not quite accurately as It is true that there is no central control system in the wikis; but more certain is that you are not going to get any help here either.
The reasons why you were blocked are here, and I'm not here to discuss that with you. I'm not even an admin, how could I have "silence" you? This thread should be ignored because it is solved. You violated WP:NSW and you got blocked. And again, I'm not here to discuss that with you, I'm here to inform what were the decisions taken in the Spanish Wiki. --Kmaster (talk) 02:49, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Its only a week, then you can start editing again. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:07, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
User has been unblocked. Nothing more to see, carry on folks. Raystorm (¿Sí?) 00:16, 26 December 2008 (UTC)


Are administrators allowed to make sarcastic comments towards users? The administrators don't see when one of their own has done something wrong. Only one administrator was helpful, only to be blocked later.

I find it strange that you say there may be a "heated debate" here. This seems like the only place. (talk) 23:36, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I guess from your second comment that you are relatively new here; however, what's wrong with taking it up with the Admin concerned on their Talk page, or on the appropriate noticeboard, or asking for review at Wikiquette alerts? It's extremely unlikely that Jimbo is going to have the time to investigate such a vague complaint, but I don't mind doing so. --Rodhullandemu 23:45, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I did take it up with the administrators concerned. Seems like I'm blocked now. Admin "Garden" was very helpful. (talk) 23:49, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Posting from another account when you're blocked is only likely to get this account blocked, too. Did you follow the procedures to request unblocking on your blocked account? Little Red Riding Hoodtalk 23:54, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
(ec)You clearly are not blocked now. You were blocked for eight minutes by a very competent and respected Admin, for all the right reasons, in my opinion. I'd advise you take notice of those reasons, lest it happen again, but I'm glad you found a helpful Admin. We are not ogres, but neither are we endless reservoirs of patience. --Rodhullandemu 23:55, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Nobody is seeing the attack by the other administrator. (talk) 00:01, 25 December 2008 (UTC) Somebody edited or deleted my post about this being my only id. It can be verified. I don't hide. I am who I am. (talk) 00:04, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Duh. Sorry, we aren't psychic either. As an IP editor, your history is completely visible to Admins. But if your problems arise from a registered account, we need to know about that to be able to look at it. Can you help us out with that? --Rodhullandemu 00:09, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

This is my only IP, I explained that after "LittleRedRidingHood" accused me of using a different one. I posted another statement about this being my only ID and IP and it didn't show up. The only thing is that it must have been altered in some way. I'll say it again. This is my only IP and ID. I'm not hiding from anything, unlike what I'm being accused of here.

I don't see what you're getting at. Sticking to the topic and away from sarcastic comments not relevant is better. I know that you're not an ogre and not psychic. (talk) 00:16, 25 December 2008 (UTC) (talk) 01:56, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

malitious deletions that I've see shouldn't be done either, especially by an admin stalker (talk) 02:20, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I have been in contact with Jimbo and nothing I have said here or elsewhere is considered harassment or attacking. (talk) 04:04, 26 December 2008 (UTC)