User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 43

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Archive 42 | Archive 43 | Archive 44


I wish i had as much barnstars as you. Imthegreatest (talk) 18:01, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Heh.  :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:56, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Late again - isn't this Wikipedia Day?

Hi Jimbo, I very much enjoyed your interview this morning on CBC Radio.(at 01:35 in) It does indeed appear that this is the eighth anniversary of Wikipedia - congratulations and best wishes are in order. Thanks also to the pioneers who put this all together. I can only imagine what year-16 will look like! :) Franamax (talk) 00:36, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, congratulations. And I applaud your decision to have Giano fill FT2's vacant seat on Arb Com. ChildofMidnight (talk) 19:14, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
Ha.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:54, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


Not sure where to post this, so will post it on your talk page. It would appear to me that is using the Wikipedia logo in an unacceptable way which implies a relationship to Wikipedia that does not seem to exist. I would like to know your thoughts on the subject. See Thank you. Dbiel (Talk) 05:32, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I will email them and ask they not. In 99.9% of the cases, just a request fixes the problem. Prodego talk 05:37, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Image has been changed. Looks like a pretty nice website too. Prodego talk 06:47, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Sorry about that Jimbo. It was basically a placeholder (I'm not getting any traffic yet). Prodego pointed me to some commons logos, and has brought me onto IRC and is now explaining to me the basics of the wikipedia culture =) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonklei (talkcontribs) 07:52, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Re: Your interview with Jian Ghomeshi (Q/CBC Radio)

Dear Jimbo, I listened with great interest to the podcast of your interview with Jian on CBC Radio and especially to the section about the forthcoming changes to Wikipedia, specifically the introduction of the service to stop people seeing a page until it has been reviewed by someone trusted within the community - I assume you are talking of Flagged Revisions.

It does concern me however, that you spoke of it as if it were a foregone conclusion that its coming, whether we like it or not. At the moment, judging by the !votes in the flagged revisions trial straw poll, Its roughly 300 or so in favor, to 200 and something odd against.

Do you consider that the way you mentioned it may have been a little hasty, especially considering the likelihood that it may not actually come to the English Wikipedia at all?

Thanks for listening. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 20:00, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

that seems like an interesting idea, some wikipedias already have it, however this would take way too much time, as english wikipedia is growing, will have over 3 000 000 articles, i would, however, suggest have review done only on big articles over 10 pages, e.g. gaza-israeli conflict. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:46, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I think it will come, without any question at all. Community support seems strong (per the nonbinding poll you cite above), the German experiment has gone well, and I strongly support it. I intend to ask that the feature be turned on, per the nonbinding poll, very soon now. It would strike me as foolish not to do it, considering the success it has had everywhere and given the very cautious way it has been proposed for testing here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:52, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I understand that the poll is non-binding, but in that case, may I ask what the point of asking if we want it is, if you intend to ask for it to be switched on anyhow? Out of the 500 or so people who have answered the (not)poll, somewhere under a half of those (including myself I add) don't want it. We have vandalism reverters here, it's gonna put us pretty much out of a job. We won't need rollbackers either, since there'll be no vandalism to roll back anyhow. Its pretty much forgone, I suspect. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 00:17, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
It is a poll; they are votes. Mike R (talk) 16:26, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
"vandalism reverters here, it's gonna put us pretty much out of a job" Wouldn't that be a good thing? §hepTalk 00:24, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree, it would. But some of us use vandalism reversion as a stress reliever. After a day of slaving away at the office, I just like sitting down and knobbling some of these idiots. It helps me relax :D Thor Malmjursson (talk) 00:28, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I disagree that support seems strong. Yes, it's in the 60-65% range, but many of the opposes are strong and many of the supports tepid. If it is implemented, it just needs to be done extremely carefully, because we're already set to lose more prominent editors upon its implementation from the looks of it. Wizardman 00:35, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
(Outdent) You are, Wizardman, including me. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 00:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I see strong support either, successful RFBs have strong support. The straw pole shows pretty luke warm support as far as I can see. It'd certainly be within your rights here to push it through, but it'd be inaccurate to say you have strong support for it. At least as far as the poll goes. RxS (talk) 03:04, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
If Jimbo forces through flagged revisions, I may have to kiss him. He would be sending a strong signal to the world that Wikipedia is actually to be trusted, and isn't a place for game-players to play "zap the vandal"! GTD 03:10, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo quite rightly would never be so unwise as to claim that FR meant Wikipedia could be trusted, because by simple examination, it doesn't. MickMacNee (talk) 16:19, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Flaggedrevs is not going to eliminate the need for vandal fighters, vandalism edits will still have to be reverted in due time. Cenarium (Talk) 03:38, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, I'm well aware of that. But I'm convinced some get an adrenaline rush from reverting before anybody else does. Surely removing that element would be useful, and we may (knock on wood) see the return of more actual experts to the project? GTD 03:41, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think any expert ever left Wikipedia because his contribution was replaced by "OMFGUJSTGOTPWND!!!11!!". That is to my mind the least of their concerns about The Wikipedia way. MickMacNee (talk) 16:19, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
(Outdent) He'd also be sending a signal to the world that Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, providing you can wait about 2 or 3 days for your work to show up. On a wiki this size, the queue for reviews is gonna be horrendous. The German wiki, considering its size, is no comparison. I also resent the implication that those of us who vandal fight are game players. This is not a game, GTD. I've been vandal fighting on this wiki for over 4 years. If this was a game, i'd have quit long ago. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 03:22, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
While I'm sure Wikipedia appreciates your dedication Thor, I have a dozen examples of current vandalism to biographies, that have been in place for days or months. Some have propagated to mirrors and search engine caches. I won't provide them now, as I'm studying the phenomenon, but something clearly needs to be done. (talk) 22:22, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, I might have to send a few dollars to the foundation. WilyD 03:15, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)Let's be serious here. Go to Google, key in a living person's name. The chances are the Wikipedia article will be at the top or in the top three of the results. Surely everyone would agree it is more important to reduce the real-world damage that Wikipedia does, and will continue to do, that persevere with a liberal-utopian idea of letting anybody edit. Given we are not yet at the stage of locking BLPs for all but a new class of editor to edit (namely those who identify publicly and are of an age where they can be fully held to account for their edits in the real world), this has to be the way to go GTD 03:28, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Indeed, please let us be serious here, nobody ever (should) sue Wikipedia because their bio said they were a "moron" or some other such proveable nonsense. Reviewers wont be Harvard Law graduates, and POV pushers are not dumb. And speaking personally, the fact my bio would only be visible to a few thousand users, or be two clicks away from a Google result instead of one, would not fill me with any great feelings of warmth and comfort. If that is genuinely attributed as the opinion of others with bios, then that's their dumb luck for not really understanding FR, or human nature/ingenuity. MickMacNee (talk) 16:19, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
There's really no significant opposition to enabling it for BLPs. It's enabling it system wide that lacks the strong support he's referred to. Seems limiting it to BLPs would be a good compromise once the devs work it out. RxS (talk) 03:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good. Until the debate begins about whether to show the flagged version by default and to unregistered users (ie the vast majority of our users) or the latest version. If it's the latest version, which I have no doubt the "open edit" die-hard will opt for, we may as well not bother. I'd love to see strong leadership from Jimbo here, sometimes it is needed GTD 03:52, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
That's just the problem I see with flagged revs, GTD. If its not the latest version of a page, its gonna deter a lot of people from coming here. A lot of the reason I believe people edit here, is because when they make a new page, they know its gonna be out there for the world to see, at the minute they hit submit.
I have a feeling that having flagged revs slow the whole process down is gonna put a lot of people off by taking that away from them. Instead of the pleasure of seeing their work available to the world there and then, they're gonna have to wait, and on a wiki this size, as I have already stated, the big question is: How long? - a day, a week, a month? We're gonna have queues on top of queues waiting for review. Lord help us all.
As (correct me if I am wrong) Jimbo said a long time ago, in an interview with Slashdot Magazine "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That’s what we’re doing." - Would you stop someone from saying something just in case it was wrong? No, cause you would be interfering with that person's use of their knowledge. If I may quote Jimbo once more, from BBC News' Website, "Freedom of Speech is critical for all cultures." Again, let people post. We can clean it up if needs be; not stop them from posting it in the first place. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 04:30, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Flagged revisions may stop a few people editing, but it's easy to forget more than 99 per cent of the Wikipedia users have never edited an article. They are the people, the silent ones, we need to be defending. And, if there were a system in place to make Wikipedia more like a real encyclopaedia, heaven forbid, we may actually reverse the expert withdrawal we've suffered and get some decent editors. Would many worry about swapping 5,000 high school kids for 500 graduates from (decent) universities? Informed contribution and less childish edits could turn Wikipedia into an encyclopaedia, as opposed to the world's greatest potential defamation machine GTD 16:29, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I for one would worry. Many good users and a bunch of admins are high school kids. They made Wikipedia what it is today, in a time when no "expert" would touch it with a ten-feet-pole. They worked and work tirelessly in improving this encyclopedia and you want to scare them away with the faint promise that a tenth of their number in "experts" will replace them? I have bad news for you: Those graduates won't show up in those numbers, why should they? They can go to other places and get paid for the same work they would do here. The very idea that some users are worth more than others is nonsense and it does not improve when you defame whole groups of editors ("high school kids") of being any less of a value to this project than some graduates you think will come running here when we got rid of those editors you seem to deem "less-valuable". SoWhy 18:58, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Then it all depends on how users want Wikipedia to be perceived by those outside of the community (including the vast majority who "use" the project without ever clicking edit). Open editing and allowing anyone to add their thoughts is all well and good as a viewpoint. But to create a decent encyclopaedia? The open edit brigade may think a 12-year-old being able to edit highly-complex articles is a good thing, but what about those who actually want a source of decent information? Wikipedia has a unique position at the top of Google (through whatever means), so let's go from biggest to best! GTD 19:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
If you want a peer-reviewed encyclopedia, why don't you try Citizendium? Why should we create a Citizendium-clone? It got that position because it was no such clone, because it was not a peer-reviewed encyclopedia only some "experts" can edit. Do you really think it would stay that way once people would perceive Wikipedia as just another Encarta? What's next? Do you propose paid accounts and ads to pay for all those experts (not to mention to compensate the donations by all those fed up users who worked months and years for Wikipedia and are not deemed "valuable" anymore)? Your idea that we should assume that most people make indecent contributions is really worrying... SoWhy 20:11, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
'Users' (or this one at least), are (or should be) wise enough to know that readers aren't (or shouldn't be) convinced by claims of credibility that are not supportable. Use of flagged revisions, i.e. 'no 12 year olds have messed with this article', does not stand up as a credible assertion of quality or reliability, and is not going to bring a flock of expert contributors. If anything, it is smart assed know it all graduates who think they know it all (who will have auto sighting rights) messing with articles written by professors that is more of a realistic problem, if your goal is actual credibility. MickMacNee (talk) 20:47, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
(Outdent)There are plenty of graduates too, already working on Wikipedia. I know of at least 10 who I am in contact with on a regular basis, and I myself am a graduate, with a B.Sc. in Health and Social Welfare from Trinity College. We've already got graduate "experts" working amongst those high school kids. And what do you, GTD, consider to be a "decent" university? Thor Malmjursson (talk) 19:28, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

How can you say community support is strong considering the number of oppose notvotes, most of which are strong? -- M2Ys4U (talk) 14:00, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

It is a poll, they are votes. Mike R (talk) 16:26, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Flagged revisions

It seems to me that a trial (although "live") run is the only way to test this advance; if there is any value to having a founder that operates for the benefit of the project, yet remains outside the communal consensus, then this would be as good an example as there might be - if it all goes wrong we can all blame you and if it works then we all can be part of it... ;~) LessHeard vanU (talk) 00:13, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I appreciate that thought more than you can know. I grew up in Alabama in the era of Bear Bryant and University of Alabama dominance in college football. I was a huge admirer of Coach Bryant. Here's a relevant quote, one that struck me deeply many years ago, and one which I would like to live up to as best I can: "If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That's all it takes to get people to win football games for you."--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:50, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
While I am not a supporter of your peculiar relationship to en-WP, particularly in relation to your access to certain properties, I have no hesitation in promoting the use of a particular ability where there is both no better option and, of course, it is to the benefit of the encyclopedia - it is a matter of best using the facilities that are available. Also, you are usually blamed or praised (often depending on the individuals viewpoint) for much of which that occurs within the project even if your input is minimal or nonexistent, so the placement of due recognition isn't something that should overly concern you. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:40, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Could you clarify which configuration do you intend to ask to turn on ? The proposed trial configuration that we worked out (subject of this poll) or another one ? Cenarium (Talk) 03:48, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes, this is a big concern of mine, as I noted in my vote, I would like the proposed trial to be used as a protection type system, similar to Flagged protection, a proposed configuration that I support. I am strongly opposed to a full-scale implementation of FlaggedRevs, so I would like to have the nature of the deployment clarified as Cenarium requested.--Res2216firestar 19:12, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I, too, do not support turning on FlaggedRevs in the configuration the Germans are using, as I consider it to be much too aggressive. I am also willing to be proven wrong, and who knows what we will find. My view is that it should be "as a protection type system" as Res2216firestar has aptly termed it. In terms of technical implementation, it should work more or less the same way as protection. In terms of policy, I would support quite liberal use of the system on BLPs as well as on other articles known to be subject to ongoing problems. I'd recommend more or less immediately changing all protection and semi-protection to the much more newbie-friendly flaggedRev status. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:50, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the key question is how well we can keep up with reviewing edits. If, once all the semi-protected articles and BLPs and whatever else it is deemed necessary for are switched over, we are getting all edits reviewed within 5 minutes then there is probably no good reason not to use it more widely. If it's taking 48 hours or more, then we need to think again. I'm not sure flagged revs will be a good replacement for full protection - articles aren't fully protected to deal with vandalism, they are usually fully protected to deal with edit wars, and I can't see how flagged revisions stops an edit war (it just ends up with admins reviewing the "wrong version" repeatedly while the war is going on). --Tango (talk) 02:09, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Tango; According to Thogo, from the German Wikipedia, their queue for flagged revision review currently stands at +/- 3 weeks. Whats that gonna mean for us considering how big we are? A backlog of bible sized proportions. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 02:24, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Or how about this: 98.7% of their 829,000 sighted articles are up-to-date. Considering we have more contributors and less than 800,000 BLPs, what will that mean for Wikipedia? I'd say we'll be OK. Cool Hand Luke 07:33, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
An edit traffic jam, what will that do for those edits that are attempting to remove blp vios? Why it will ensure that said vios remain in place. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:17, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
As long as we keep on top of flagging, that shouldn't be a problem. How often do anonymous or new users fix BLP problems, anyway (baring the subject editing the article, which we discourage already)? --Tango (talk) 18:38, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I too would support a Flagged Protection system. But it would good to know if you would ask Brion to activate that in its entirety, or have him merely upload that part of MediaWiki to the English Wikipedia. The community has not given its views on Flagged Protections. Right now, we have done a poll that suggests about 60% of editors support doing a trial of some kind for Flagged Revisions. Most have taken it that this would be a type of Flagged Revisions for an entire group of articles. Before doing this, I really would advise another poll for WP:Flagged Protection first. NuclearWarfare (Talk) 02:25, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
As I understand it, the German Wikipedia has stricter requirements for flagging articles. I think the plan here is just to require it not to be vandalism or obvious libel, the German's require quite a bit more so obviously it takes longer to review. RC patrollers check almost every edit as it is, it shouldn't be difficult for them to flag them as they go along, and then presumably the software can give us a list of unflagged revisions to go through in case any are missed during RC patrol. I can't see any good reason for there to be any unflagged revisions older than a couple of hours, and 5 minutes ought to be doable in the vast majority of cases. --Tango (talk) 16:45, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Jimbo, I agree an implementation on all articles is too aggressive, and we wouldn't be able to keep up with it since there are in proportion many more occasional editors on than on So we should focus on articles where it is the most needed, like blps. Many semi-protected articles would benefit from using flaggedrevs instead; and using it with flagging restricted to sysops in place of full protection would be a promising way to handle disputes. Cenarium (Talk) 14:10, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Do we have any actual evidence that "there are in proportion many more occasional editors on than on"? I'm not disputing it, I'm just a bit concerned about the many claims that are put forward as to why it works for them to be able to handle all 800,000+ articles, but that it will be difficult for us to handle N articles (where "N" is however many we decide to use it on) because of factor Y, when "N" and "Y" are sheer speculation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:33, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
There are at least some statistics supporting that. From the statistics pages (en, de), the proportion of active registered users (one action in the latest 30 days) versus all registered users is 1 for 60 on and 1 for 28.7 on From this discussion, there would be roughly 25% of all edits by anons on en, and roughly 18% on de. Even if we don't fully enable flaggedrevs on all articles, there is the possibility to use the abuse filter to delay for review any edits that are likely vandalism, or match a certain filter. That would be a form of semi-automatic implementation, not as obtrusive as a full implementation but still allowing to deal with most vandalism, spam, etc. Then we can choose to fully enable Flaggedrevs on certain articles, as above. If we still have important backlogs, we could use a form of expiration, that is display to IPs old enough last revisions. Cenarium (Talk) 02:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)


Civility barnstar.png Civility Award
For years of continued tolerance and diplomacy in the face of idiotic, vandalistic, argumentative, arrogant, childish or pointless attacks Chaosdruid (talk) 08:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Jimbo - may your principles always be adopted by Wiki users !

Do images fall under WP:RS policy?

A discussion was started at Talk:2008–2009_Israel–Gaza_conflict#Is_source_of_dead_baby_photo_a_reliable_source.3F and User:Cerejota suggested asking you for arbitration. Arguments against treatment of images as per RS policy, as far as I can tell, are: 1) It is established practice 2) It would mean few pictures available as RS pictures are usually not free

My counter argument is actually based on WP:IMAGE#Pertinence_and_encyclopedic_nature - which suggests, at least to me, that RS policy is deciding policy if any question is raised concerning an image. Being encyclopedic does not mean an image must accompany an article. If RS for image can not be established, why agree to use non reliable images? As I stated at the original discussion, I personally don't consider past practices particularly binding, without some supporting logic or arguments. Regards --Stenwolf (talk) 11:38, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd just like to point out, not having really considered the issue in any depth this morning, that "It would mean few pictures available as RS pictures are usually not free" doesn't persuade me right off the bat. Many pictures do not require a reliable source for the simple reason that they are self-evidently what they purport to be. A zebra is a zebra. Where it gets tricky can perhaps be characterized as "images which purport to depict a unique historical event". In this particular case, where emotions clearly run very high on all sides, and the photo itself is clearly inflammatory and upsetting, I would suggest that a very high standard of care is necessary. I think that some consideration of human dignity is also important here, although not absolutely determining what should be done.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:41, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Obviously, things like the zebra are black and white... ;~) LessHeard vanU (talk) 12:56, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
There is currently a vote/discussion ongoing at Talk:2008–2009_Israel–Gaza_conflict#Should_the_picture_of_the_dead_baby_be_displayed_on_the_page.3F about whether circumstances favor the inclusion of this photo on the page.--Cdogsimmons (talk) 17:20, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

The image in question is from a Creative Commons commercial attribution licensed image from Al-Jazeera, in other words, a free image from a reliable source.

WP:IMAGE#Pertinence_and_encyclopedic_nature is clearly satisfied, unless you assume Al-Jazeera is not a RS or that pictures of casualties are not pertinent.

Just a clarification, because original poster framed it differently, giving the impression that the debate is around pertinence and sourcing, when the debate has been around "shock value" and if Al Jazeera is a RS.

The question then are: Is Al-Jazeera a reliable source? Are pictures of casualties of war pertinent? I would accept anything Jimbo says either way, but lets get it on. --Cerejota (talk) 20:52, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I would say that these questions are not really up to me to determine, but I can offer a few thoughts which I hope are helpful. (1) Al-Jazeera is generally a reliable source as far as I know, in the sense that we normally mean it. (2) Be careful about what Al-Jazeera is being a reliable source for - i.e. did a staff photographer take the picture such that they are standing behind what it is, or did they obtain it from an activist group claiming it to be such-and-such. I would trust Al-Jazeera (as far as I know) to report honestly in either case, and we should not go further than what they have actually claimed. (3) Pictures of causualties of war of course may be pertinent, but I would immediately think of at least two cautionary notes. First, the human dignity of the person (and their family and loved ones, in case you think it doesn't matter what happens to someone once they are dead) strikes me as a relevant consideration. Second, such images can often be used to promote a political agenda.
Since some people are pure pacifists, it may be impossible to come up with a universally agreeable example of what I want to talk about next, but let's suppose, as many do, that the Allied assault on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day in World War II, are something we would consider to be a highly unfortunate necessity. (Unfortunate, since it would have been better all around if the 20th century hadn't been so violent.) Well, it is not hard to imagine some horrific civilian casualties that day, with those casualties being used as propaganda by one side (or the other, depending on the exact details)... with very little educational value in an article on the battle itself.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:18, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I really hope you aren't comparing the recent Israeli invasion of Gaza with the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. DuncanHill (talk) 01:30, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that's what Jimbo meant; when I read those above comments, the images that came into my mind were the Allied forces films of Auschwitz during the liberation in 1945. Clearly a historical document of fact, yet also propaganda in the sense that they were used to say "this is what has been going on, but you didn't know it until now". It's a truism, if not a cliche, to say that the first casualty of war is the truth, and that is the nature of propaganda, both during and afterwards. Being idealistic is optimistic; we all know (or should) that conflict is inevitable, and that propaganda is, especially in a globally-connected community, a powerful tool. It's even more so today something else that has to be weighed carefully. Al-Jazeera, in my experience, don't have a particular axe to grind, to their credit. But, as with any news source, it must take its place amongst all others. With current events, we don't have the benefit of historical perspective, and even then we must remember as a general rule that history is always written by the winning side. Maybe in a hundred years time, documents will be unearthed that put any current event into a different perspective; until then, we must rely upon what is available to us. --Rodhullandemu 01:43, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I find the argument on human dignity convincing, in particular in the sense of civilians. I will ponder this.

The propaganda value, well, that is less convincing - precisely because of the same reason the human dignity argument is so convincing: who determines what is propaganda and what is reporting of fact? I think that part of illustrating an encyclopedia is to show that "casualties" are not dry numbers on an info box, but human beings who died sometimes in horrific circumstances: hiding this fact might probably be of more propagandistic value than showing it, in particular with all the stage management that goes on in modern warfare (there are more Public Relations -in all branches and commands- MOS soldiers in the US armed forces than there are Military Intelligence MoS). Human dignity also requires that we show what terrible effects war has - maybe not show the emaciated child in Buchenwald - but maybe show his dad: showing that people turn into barely living skeletons in concentration camps is not propaganda, it is objective reporting of fact.

I do like the formulation on RS being a specific, rather than a general value: op-eds in the New York Times are quite different than reporting in the same journal. I am also pleased that Al-Jazeera is generally a reliable source as far as I know, in the sense that we normally mean it. While it is certainly a source that identifies with an agenda, this is no different than, say, Fox News.--Cerejota (talk) 20:28, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Just a couple of points. The most egregious photograph is not from Al-Jazeera, but from the International Solidarity Movement, an activist organisation in solidarity with the Palestinians who are extremely controversial. The article in question has had several pictures of dead and burned children attributed to Israel, bodies at the morgue, orphanages bombed out (also from ISM), rocket fire hitting Gaza etc. Israel had one emotive picture, but it has been deleted. It seems some folks want to illustrate the greater suffering of one side with photographs. Is there anything to the argument that an overemphasis on photos of one side tend to make it appear that we are pushing a political agenda here? Perhaps we should avoid such emotive photographs until after the fog has cleared? Tundrabuggy (talk) 05:09, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

this admin needs someone to talk some sence into him

Jimbo, this admin has taken his power a little to far User:Sandstein User_talk:Sandstein#my_block_2 here. I have always been a very good wikipedian until a couple of days ago when I lost the plot over a failed RfA candidate (I had a few drinks at the time). I am trying to vanish but he is going against Wikimedias policys. (I have to change my IP after every edit I do)-- (talk) 13:25, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for contacting you about this but I need to show that I have tried everything possible to see my request is fulfilled.(to keep the lawyers happy)-- (talk) 13:29, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Was that a veiled legal threat? Why else would yo want to "keep the lawyers happy"? I recommend that you read the policy linked in the first sentence of my reply. Dendodge TalkContribs 13:34, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Oh hell, O.K. I was totally unfamiliar with that procedure, it's new information to me, my feeling was that I am on my own to sort this out myself. I guess I need to go through this procedure first then. I will see how that goes. It's hard to get the message across of how serious I really am.-- (talk) 13:41, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
After reading the dispute resolution page, by doing this I feel I am totally complying its procedure, So I don't see any other option here.-- (talk) 13:44, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I have also left a message here.-- (talk) 13:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
What annoys me the most is that I can not see what the big deal about my requestis. It is to protect my privacy. I have no interest of ever vandalizing Wikipedia in any way.-- (talk)

13:49, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Anyway I am done with this, I will just wait and see what happens in 30 days.-- (talk) 13:58, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually on second thought I can not see why I should let this matter rest, Wikipedia is now feeling very much like a cult atmosphere. Like I said I have always been a very good editor, I've helped on the help desk, I have helped people resolve disputes plus much more constructive/positive things for the project. I have spent a lot my my free time on Wikipedia over the last year not forgetting that this is totally voluntary. I HAVE done a lot for your creation Jimbo I believe this reaches the poor people/country's of the world and that is who I think about when doing stuff on here. I am in noway a bad person in real life or on the web. my problems started a couple of days ago when Ecoleetage failed in another RfA(I really don't understand some peoples reasoning for oppose). Then I said something positive to Eco on his talk page, another user said something that contradicted my thoughts and I lost the plot and abused him in writing, my account was blocked and I asked to use my right to vanish of which it took a lot just to get my user space deleted (except my talk page). All I am trying to do now is get my talk page deleted because I believe when something vanishes it means it has completely disappeared that is all I am asking. I think the problem with Wikipedia Jimbo is that Wikipedia is slowly starting to target the wrong group/type of people for the administrators role. That is not the fault of the RfA system because anyone with an account can vote but more the expectations of admin gradually gets higher and higher so who is currently passing at RfA, well I'd like to say everyone from every walks of life but that is simply not true. When passing a job interview and starting a new job no matter of what your prior experience is you are still stepping into unfamiliar grounds, it takes some time to get good at your new job. Good employers can see good potential in people. The current RfA system relies totally on prior experience to pass, (hang on isn't that what I just said about getting a job?) well no, nobody ever gets a new job knowing everything about everything and that is what RfA has turned into. I have and do employ people, I have a check sheet with my criteria with must be met and I want to trust this person. The problem is everyone has different expectations about what level candidates should be at when becoming an admin, this is evident by lots of various criteria found on users user space. I think there needs to be a single universal check sheet to stop all the individual expectations and so the RfA process becomes more of a trust issue. Why am I so caught up with an admin issue on Wikipedia? Well we all know Wikipedia needs more admins, the role and view point(from others) of an admin is/has gone slightly into the role of a dictator. I know it's easy to say "well, if you just do the right thing you will never have to deal with an admin" I'd like to think that statement is 100% true but it is not. There are times when you need admin to think more logically and maturely rather than spew out a bunch oh policy's and essays. Admins talk on IRC and msn and from a single type of viewpoint or some fall into that pattern to conform(isn't that what policy's are meant to do?)of course not, especially on a project where there is no real human interaction, why a a lot of business's fail is because they get to big to quickly.(this is not a business!) that's right however Wikipedia is full proof it can not fail(yes it can) oh yeah it can and it's failing now by not reaching out to those who have the life/work experience required to deal with people from all walks of life.(why am I caught up with experience?), What the most important thing about interacting with people is that it is a two way thing, especially when you are a volunteer you go in expecting admins to be a bit lenient or a little more understanding towards people who are doing a good job but that's not the case and it quite frankly puts people off by that I mean the general editor. After helping out Wikipedia you will need an admin at some stage for one reason or another but often feel more confused than you did before. Going back to the IRC/mSN thing I don't view that as a issue at all. (I have to stop now I will continue later)-- (talk) 15:41, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Hello, Theoneintraining (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log). seicer | talk | contribs 16:04, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
For those who can't be bothered to dig through diffs, this is User:Theoneintraining "always being a good Wikipedian" [1], [2], [3]. "Now I've reached my level of dealing with Wikimedia. I warn you one last time do it or your fucked.". – iridescent 16:09, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
For those not familiar with this situation, see this, which lead to User talk:Theoneintraining#"tan don't delete my thoughts we live in a democracy", and the sections below it as well. GlassCobra 16:12, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

The IP is now blocked for evading an indef block. See our guide to appealing a block for the correct way to get unblocked, if that is what you wish, IP. Jehochman Talk 16:23, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Hello, Did you want something?Can you excercise my right to vanish and delete my talk page? if not I don't know what you want. all I want is for someone to acknowledge my right to vanish and delete my talk page for privacy concerns ten im done with Wikipedia forever. Until then I will just keep asking under various IP's.-- (talk) 16:27, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't consider myself a Wikipedian anymore, so I don't care what I write now-- (talk) 16:29, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I am in noway trying to defend my actions I know I messed up, I want to vanish-- (talk) 16:31, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
WP:RTV says that vanishing " not a right in the strict sense of the word; rather, it is a courtesy extended by the Wikipedia community to make it easy for users to exercise their right to leave." I doubt that someone with a track record such as yours, especially with the legal threat above, will have this right extended to them without good reason, which you do not appear to have. That, however, is not up to me to decide. neuro(talk) 20:13, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I have a perfectly good reason. I want to vanish for privacy concerns my employees and friends know of my (ex)Wikipedia activities. It may and probably will result in them having a different opinion of me after reading my talk page. If that happens I have no-one to blame except various admins on Wikipedia.-- (talk) 07:30, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
and before you continue on about rights, You must understand the difference between a right and a law my friend. I want my privacy protected and the law allows me to.-- (talk) 07:34, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
So...Neuro, I responded to you. Have you got anything else you would like to add?. Your are not understanding that these so called rights and policy's on Wikipedia do not mean anything in the real world. Now that you have chosen to get involved I would like to ask you to delete my talk page because I would like to vanish. I don't think you will respond because you simply don't know what to say.-- (talk) 08:10, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
And why did you choose to get involved?.-- (talk) 08:13, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually Neuro I've seen you on the help desk. You know that I meant and did well during my time on the Wiki. I like you, I have never had any problems with anyone here until I wanted to vanish. What is really happening? this whole situation has caused me stress in my life and I can not handle it on my own anymore. All I would like is my talk page to be deleted. Why did you choose to get involved with this?.-- (talk) 08:35, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I've done a bit of thinking last night, I don't think my request is going going to get anywhere, So that is it for me I'm going, I am done. maybe someone will eventually delete my talk page, I just don't care anymore. I would like to wish everyone a happy and successful 2009 and I hope you get want you want out of life here and in the real world. This is my business motto "One Body, One Life, One Chance".-- (talk) 20:28, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

fan wars

Hi. You'll have noted the dispute about the inclusion of large amounts of coverage on fictional subjects. This dispute has been going on for years and shows no sign of abating.

I'm here to point out a thread on Wikipedia talk:Notability (fiction). I started it at Wikipedia talk:Notability (fiction)#No 'trousers rolled' for me, thank you and I got a long reply a couple of days later at Wikipedia talk:Notability (fiction)#I'll bite from Pixelface. That whole page, w/41 archives, is huge and his reply is rather long; but I've read it three times now, and think you should, too.

I don't agree with him, but it amounts of a manifesto from the arch-inclusionist side. This dispute is going to have to be sorted somehow, and mebbe you're the guy to do it. Cheers, Jack Merridew 15:32, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd just like to echo that at some point, intervention may become necessary. There have been numerous efforts to sort out the content dispute from all angles. There are a couple of efforts at dispute resolution that are finally coming to a head, and may actually work. But there's a chance that they won't. And there's a good chance that these failures at compromise will polarize the community even more, and things will get worse. I hope you'll consider intervention. Not that you should hammer out what it is you want with an iron first (although if you did, it would end it once and for all). But the most helpful thing you could do is smack both arch-inclusionists and arch-deletionists. If you take the extreme position off the table, you empower people in the middle who are trying to promote compromise. If you say "at least 2 out of 10, and not more than 8 out of 10", it makes it easier to get somewhere in the middle. Randomran (talk) 16:57, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Transwiki to wikia, or some other wiki. Fancruft doesn't belong in an encyclopedia.--Cerejota (talk) 20:30, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Do not call things cruft. --A NobodyMy talk 22:43, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Fancruft. I see your essay and raise you one... Aren't you opposed to the use of essays as arguments in discussions anyway? Fram (talk) 07:34, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
And I raise you WP:ITSCRUFT. I am opposed to any and all use of "cruft" as it is an unacademic, non-serious nonsense non-word. It's a discussion killer for me. Once I see someone call something "cruft", then I know it's just an "I don't like" subjective opinion that is inconsistent with academic or encyclopedic discussion. Best, --A NobodyMy talk 20:17, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I will not use "fancruft", so let me rephrase:
Articles with in depth details of works of fiction or toy lines or collectible items that appeal only to a sub-set of a sub-set of a sub-set of the general population don't belong in Wikipedia. Such articles are often abandoned once created, suffer greatly from lack of attention, are frequent targets of vandalism, and in general do not contribute to advance the process of creating an encyclopedia - regardless of the notability and suitability for encyclopedic treatment of its core topics. However, there are other wikis that could benefit of such information, including those at Wikia (a wiki farm well know for hosting fan wikis), wikibooks, or perhaps some other wiki project could be started by proponents. Fanhood as a phenomenon is also a very subjective, very emotional subject, and creates an environment where people who lack judgement or commitment to the five pillars of wikipedia, become a drain on its resources, human and technological, without adding anything of benefit to the ultimate mission of writting an encyclopedia.--Cerejota (talk) 20:39, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the fiction fight is partially (largely?) responsible for the decline in editing. Hey Jim, have you thought about allowing arbcom to rule on content, or creating a body to do so? - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 00:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for rephrasing, although I still disagree in part. Yes, many articles are abandoned once created, but such articles should be improved, not deleted. As far as being vandalism targets, which may also be true, many articles that are not fiction related are also vandalism targets (see for example the edit history of say Buttocks), but we nevertheless should still cover them. The mere nature of the project (anyone can edit) makes everything a vandalism target for someone. As far as being in other wikis, well pretty much everything we cover is also covered elsewhere, but that's not a reason why we couldn't or shouldn't also cover them here. Finally, as is seen regularly on arbcom, editors have emotional and subjective reactions on many non-fictional articles as well. Just look at the editing associated with our coverage of the recent Gaza conflict. On a side note, the Lost season premier is outstanding (obviously it's a commercial break right now). Best, --A NobodyMy talk 02:56, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Unblock request

Jimmy -- Are you aware that your Wiki-bullies are undermining your original intent? There is no free speech on Wikipedia. I have been blocked for no good reason, and so have my colleagues. -- RSW, Ph.D. (talk) 09:17, 5 January 2009 (UTC) You can contact me at, if you care. I do not care if my IP address appears; the bullies get it anyway. Also, I am pres of NCV Corp. (talk) 05:36, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

This is an inappropriate venue for requesting unblock. Have you placed an unblock request on your user talk page? Use the template {{unblock|Reason}} replacing "reason" with the reason for the request. If we don't know your username, we cannot do a thing from here. Also, you may be interested to learn that while Wikipedia is not censored, nor is it a free web host and you cannot simply post anything you want here. Your blog is for that. KillerChihuahua?!? 11:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The IP is obviously not blocked. Without information what account we are talking about the discussion just does not make sense. Wikipedia has more than 2000 admins, sometimes they make honest mistakes, very rarely they somebody abuses their power and deliberately makes wrong blocks, still accordng to my experience in 95% of such complains the administrators are right with their decisions Alex Bakharev (talk) 13:11, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Pedantic correction: at the time of writing, we have 1,619 admins on Wikipedia. This number can be obtained by the magic word "{{NUMBEROFADMINS}}". Graham87 13:23, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Double pedantic correction, I have refactored your post to use the magic word, as that is why it exists.--Cerejota (talk) 13:56, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Triple pedantic correction: I substed it, hence I said "at the time of writing", not "at the time you are reading this or whenever the servers decide to update the number, so I've undone your refactoring. Now I've probably screwed up the indentation, so a quadruple pedantic correction might be required. :-) Graham87 16:38, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I think he's evading a user account block with his IP; which is why I suggest letting us know his username. KillerChihuahua?!? 14:43, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

As for free speech, yes you're right, there is no right to free speech on Wikipedia. – ukexpat (talk) 14:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
"Free like beer, not like speech." Gwen Gale (talk) 14:06, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy's bio in wiki

Sorry, but can someone go to sort out the edits on Jimmys bio page, dates of birth have been changed

thanks Chaosdruid (talk) 21:35, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Um, I believe that August 7th is his correct birth date instead of August 8th. Sources say so, and so does pretty much every revision of his userpage that I managed to look at. Nevermind, apparently they were changed from August 7th to August 8th by somebody. Later it was brought up on the talk page, and it's since been changed back. So...  Done UntilItSleeps PublicPC 16:25, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Obama's presidency

Dear Jimbo,

It strikes me that this new, tech-savvy government might be willing to release a lot of things to Wikipedia if we simply ask, e.g. videos and such.

Is there any chance you could liase with them to arrange for files and such to be sent our way, for instance, Obama's weekly internet videos? Obviously, we'd need to set appropriate boundaries, but I think there's a lot of stuff that it'd be wonderful to access. Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 12:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you,

Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 12:11, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I think {{PD-USGov}} and {{PD-USGov-POTUS}} would cover nearly anything Obama could possibly release. MBisanz talk 13:52, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
True, but it might be nice to get those files without having to rip them off YouTube. And btw, Obama did CC-3.0 most stuff anyway, so it's not a problem even in cases where those PD tags don't apply... SoWhy 14:00, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Query for anyone who might be reading this page: Why isn't the transition team images not in the PD? NuclearWarfare (Talk) 22:54, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I've been talking to some people in the transition team, and they're all very savvy to these kinds of things. As soon as a CTO is named, I will try to get a meeting or phone call with him or her, and will mention this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:19, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Fantastic! Shoemaker's Holiday (talk) 16:38, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

More clarity needed as to next step for flagged revs

Jimbo I'm wondering where exactly we are at and where we go from here with flagged revs, and I think you need to communicate that a bit more precisely, though I'm glad you're so open to discussing this issue as you have been above. You asked the Foundation, "please turn on the flagged revisions feature as approved in the poll." That is to say, you have interpreted the results of the poll as a consensus to at least try this feature. But will you be weighing in on what kind of trial or trials we will have, or is this something that will be left up to the community? Or will it be open to community discussion and then you will judge the consensus as you have done here?

Though this entire process/discussion has been rather convoluted in my view, from what I gather the next step (as far as everyone who !voted was concerned) is to have a discussion about what kind of trial(s) we want to start with based on some of the suggestions over here. My sense though is that you are fairly gung-ho about this and are somewhat pushing us to turn this on for at least a portion of BLP's very quickly. Am I mischaracterizing your view? Is it truly up in the air/at the discretion of the community as to what kind of trials we run, or do you plan to weigh in on this aspect of flagged revs as well? I ask, obviously, because your opinion carries a lot of weight here and if you plan to weigh in heavily on the hows of a flagged rev trial that is worth knowing right now.

Also in terms of these trials, in their aftermath will there be a period where we assess and figure out if it worked well and thus should be made permanent? Will there be a new discussion to determine community consensus on that point since the question in this poll was essentially "should we talk about ways in which we might test this?" Or will you be comfortable with you and/or the Foundation saying after a two-month trial, "This seems to be working well on BLPs [or some other set of articles] so we're going to keep it" without first checking back with the community? Again I think it's crucial for editors to understand this going in.

As I said I appreciate your engagement with folks here on the talk page about flagged revs but I'm still rather unclear about where we go from here and get the sense that others might be as well. I'm hoping you can write-up a semi-detailed comment laying our your rough vision for how this will proceed in the weeks and months ahead, and the extent to which you are going to push hard for your views to prevail or allow some or all of the decisions to be made by community processes. I think two or three paragraphs from you addressing these issues will make it much easier to proceed regardless of where we go with this in the end. Thanks! --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 10:32, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales, stop acting dictator

I have always been a strong proponent of flagged revisions, and I still am. However, turning flagged revisions on, at this time and due solely to your support and to the "support" expressed in the poll, would be inappropriate for three reasons:

  • firstly, a 60/40 result from the poll is not a "consensus" of any shape or form;
  • secondly, your attempt here to use your dictatorial "constitutional monarch" powers is utterly wrong; and
  • thirdly, this feature will be used by you as an excuse to claim, wrongly, in media interviews that Wikipedia is reliable.

This community has rejected flagged revisions, Jimbo. Erik has already stated that a very high consensus is required for activation, and there is no such community consensus. – Thomas H. Larsen 02:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

It is amusing for me to contemplate the uproar if I were to veto something supported in a poll of the community by a 20% margin. I am actually enjoying the assertion of 'dictator' when I have simply agreed with the overwhelming majority of voters. That's a very curious definition of dictatorship, I must say.
But to answer your points in order:
1. Not everything can be done by near unanimity. As someone clearly in the minority, I think it incumbent on you if you wish to find consensus to put forward a proposal that the 60% of voters who disagree with you can also accept. I am quite happy to see a "third way" alternative put forward that gets 90% support. Yelling at me doesn't really help you achieve your goals.
2. I am completely unmoved by an argument that going along with a 60/40 supermajority vote is dictatorial. It would be dictatorial to do the opposite, sir.
3. You are simply absolutely wrong about that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:51, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Thomas, it's called leadership, and sometimes its necessary for the person with the authority to do so to make the decision when its not necessarily supported by everyone. It's part of the responsibility assumed by any kind of leader, whether it be a constitutional monarch or some other type of authority figure. Cla68 (talk) 02:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I can't think of any constitutional monarchs who enjoy such power over their subjects as Mr Wales appears to have over Wikipedia. Anyway, can we stop the pretence of "community" or "consensus" and just acknowledge that in the end, what Jimbo wants, Jimbo gets? DuncanHill (talk) 02:38, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
That's my point, though: Jimbo has no authority to make this decision; only the community does. Does Jimbo write any content? No, he doesn't. Ultimately, he's simply making a decision which—unless I'm very wrong—is intended only to create good PR for Wikipedia when he speaks about the project to the media.
I'm not saying the decision was wrong; instead, I think that Jimbo does not actually have the authority to make the decision. – Thomas H. Larsen 02:42, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
So much has changed since not so long ago... §hepTalk 02:43, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
FT2 resigned; he wasn't removed by Mr. Wales. Even if he hadn't, Jimbo would not have had the power, in my view, to remove him from the Arbitration Committee. This community is currently too Jimbo-dependent. – Thomas H. Larsen 02:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe that's because "consensus" among any large group of people basically does not exist. Our dependence on "consensus" will be our undoing, not Jimbo.
It's a good day to be a Wikipedian. Cool Hand Luke 03:58, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
(ec with CHL) Jimbo did have the power to remove FT2 - it's in arbcom policy.
As for your other statements, you forget that this is Jimbo's site (and the board, and whoever else owns a stake in it). The community doesn't own it. You don't own it. You volunteer here (as do I) because you're a nice guy who wants to help spread free content (at least, that's the motive for most people). Jimbo has the final say because without him there wouldn't be a wikipedia... even if the community unanimously supported one in a straw poll.
You say you support FlaggedRevs. What's more important - not making a few anonymous volunteers upset, or not libeling real world people? Jimbo has made the right decision here. Giggy (talk) 04:02, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
A dictator wouldnt ask for opinions, there is a majority in support and theres a good percentage waiting for it to fail either way the community will be there to ensure that problems are kept to a minimum. trust us/them trust him if fails then turning it off be a quicker process. Gnangarra 04:12, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Who said dictators don't ask for opinions? They just don't listen to them, though. Actually, one could make the argument that Jimbo has blindly supported flagged revisions without so much as responding to the opposition and that he is, therefore, a dictator.
Jimbo Wales does not have the authority to make this decision, and especially not in such an arrogant way as "per the poll of the English Wikipedia community and upon my personal recommendation, please turn on the flagged revisions feature as approved in the poll". "Per ... my personal recommendation"? Jimbo's recommendation is meaningless; the value of his opinion is equal to that of "common" community members, and, perhaps, of less worth than that of somebody who is actually knowledgeable about how FlaggedRevs works. "As approved in the poll"? Well, 60/40 is hardly an approval—and that's only for a trial. Jimbo speaks almost as if it's going to be permanent. – Thomas H. Larsen 05:22, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
It's a kinda weird day to be a person who almost gets what Cool Hand Luke is on about. ;) --TS 04:12, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

I should have remembered to vote support. YellowMonkey (click here to vote for world cycling's #1 model!) 06:02, 22 January 2009 (UTC) I agree with Larsen. What we have here is a result which is significantly less than what the developers asked for before turning flagged revisions on, and which is less than the support for any previous successful proposal that I know of. Contrary to Jimbo's statement above, if there is a time limit on the trial it is not stated on the trial page, which is so vague that it doesn't even say what the trial is or what it is to be used for. The discussion on the abuse filter was closed by two bureaucrats, why can't we have that here rather than an unelected person who has been a strong proponent of the feature? I suspect flagged revisions was always going to be enabled, whatever the community thought. Hut 8.5 07:47, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

There's no time limit because it's a software configuration, not a social configuration. Time limits are part of specific trials, and should be defined accordingly within a trial specification. You'll notice that all proposed trials at WP:FLR/P have specified time limits Fritzpoll (talk) 08:05, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

This is actually an area where I agree with Kurt Weber on this. While some of his rhetoric was grossly inaccurate, he'd be spot on in this case; he devolved the decision to the community, he has no right to overrule their wishes. The community has not presented a consensus to change, so by default, the status quo is preserved. Sceptre (talk) 15:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Did I miss something? "The community has rejected flagged revisions", apparently. Where? Barack Obama must be feeling pretty rejected right now. He's not even as popular as flagged revisions, and we all know how awful they are. Let me delicately point out that the community has not been asked to approve an implementation of flagged revisions, anywhere. Instead, it has been asked to comment on a trial going ahead to test different implementations of flagged revisions so that the community can make an informed decision.
Consensus isn't a percentage, it is about discussion and good argument. Whether 60% is consensus or not is matter for debate by examining the arguments in each case, but 40% certainly isn't consensus to block a small-scale trial. Furthermore, many of those 40% are objecting to the concept of flagged revisions or a particular implementation of it, not to the idea of a trial. If you take into account that one possible implementation of flagged revisions, namely flagged protection, makes Wikipedia more open to IP edits, not less, then the number of valid objections to a trial drops even further.
For the record, I was generally against the introduction of flagged revisions when I !voted in support of a trial. However, I think the flagged protection idea is a good one, and am prepared to support it unless problems are revealed by the trial. Geometry guy 20:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
So you're dismissing people who think it could undermine the "anyone can edit" philosophy, but not the ones who are making impossible proposals for trials? Besides, it's a moot point; Brion asked for two-thirds of the community before he switched it on. At the current rate, you need fifty more people to agree. Jimbo, you're bound by devolution of the decision to the community and Brion's two-thirds requirement, and (ethically) by Wikipedia's standards for closing discussions. While the community is in weak support of FR (60% is weak support for most community decisions), it hasn't fit the marker Brion asked for, nor are you an impartial judge in this (having supported the proposal beforehand). Please devolve the consensus interpretation to either the ArbCom or the bureaucrats, and don't ask Brion to switch it on until his requirement has been fulfilled. Sceptre (talk) 22:08, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

The foolishness of expecting 75% consensus for controversial issues

  • I have to say, Cool Hand Luke, you are completely right. This idea that 75% of us have to agree on controversial decisions is absolutely idiotic. If 75% agree, it ain't very controversial, now is it? I completely support the JIMBO system exactly for this reason. It's not that Jimmy has particularly abused this authority that most of us support him having; it's just that we have people on here who are incensed that most of us support him being able to step in and make tough calls. I agree CHL; the consensus-addicts will be our undoing, as difficult decisions can almost never be made with the support of 75% of a populace. Whoever came up with that percentage as being "consensus" certainly set this community down a bad path. It's absolutely idiotic, this notion, and only in our bizarre wiki world does it make sense. Kudos again, Jimmy - now please just do it. I don't think this discussion is helping, as the issue has already been discussed ad nauseum, and 60% sounds like consensus to me. --David Shankbone 06:13, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
What about 55-45? Or 51-49? 60% is just as arbitrary as 75% yet you are apparently fine with the former as a good measure of "consensus." The issues here with respect to governance and decision making are a lot more complicated than you make them out to be in your comment. You like where Jimbo came down on this one so it's easy for you to cheer his decision to weigh in and at the same time to deride the consensus model of decision making, but had Jimbo said "I don't see 60% support as enough to make this controversial change right now," you might feel a bit differently. The JIMBO system is great when it agrees with your view, but part of the problem is that many routinely disagree with his decisions and his vaguely defined role at en.wikipedia, and as such don't always feel that the "community" has the ultimate say in important decisions. You may disagree with that perspective which is quite legitimate, but having a beef with the JIMBO system is legitimate as well. When it comes to the best way to make decisions on a project like Wikipedia, I don't think any of us really have the answers, and I'm quite certain that both the "JIMBO" and "consensus" models have advantages and serious deficiencies. You might not even disagree with me here but I did want to point this out.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 10:53, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
60/40 is simply not censensus. Mr. Wales should be normal user with normal rights, but this is more extensive of English Wikipedia. --Dezidor (talk) 14:55, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Name one other voting body that expects to solve its toughest problems with 75% agreement, or else those problems go unresolved. This was a ridiculous number for "consensus" - that's not consensus; it's not even a supermajority. It's not a two-thirds majority. It's not a double majority. It's unrealistic. It takes 60% of U.S. Senators voting to invoke cloture to stop a filibuster, and even that is difficult to muster. But somehow this community thinks it perfectly reasonable to expect that unless 75% of us agree on something, nothing should be done. On the other side, when 100 of us agree on anything, we find it such a marvel that we create pages celebrating it. At most, consensus should be considered 66%, a two-thirds majority. But as far as I'm concerned, 60% is good enough for the U.S. Senate, it should be good enough for a website. --David Shankbone 15:24, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not U.S. Senate. Mr. Wales should find larger support for his idea. --Dezidor (talk) 16:22, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's right - Wikipedia is not the U.S. Senate. It is something far less important. --David Shankbone 16:32, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Makes me think of all the wonderful things the U.S. Senate has done for the world lately, like Iraq, monetary policies which stirred up the worst financial crash since 1929 along with a stripped U.S economy and manufacturing base. I don't believe following the habits of politicians can help any organization, much less Wikipedia. Gwen Gale (talk) 16:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
The arrogance of this site amazes me sometimes; regardless, such comments are simply glossing over the fact that no "other voting body that expects to solve its toughest problems with 75% agreement" and I link to all the typical different majorities used around the world to come to "consensus". But, you want to focus on the U.S. Senate's track record, ignoring things like Civil Rights legislation, the New Deal, yada yada yada, well, okay. --David Shankbone 17:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
WP:NOT#CHAT Cool Hand Luke 20:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Yes, I've read about the New Deal. That was started by Herbert Hoover and carried on by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, but the Great Depression didn't end until the U.S. entered World War Two a decade later (unemployment was still above 13%), which only wound down after U.S. military aircraft dropped fission bombs on two Japanese cities filled with innocent civilians. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:09, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Consensus, BLP

Consensus - what proportion do you think we need to form consensus ?
If there was a 75:25 split or higher in favour of something then I would say it had reached consensus.

I firmly believe that we can reach a consensus on certain groups of articles, for example BLP - If we were to reach that 75:25 level of consensus for flagged protection on BLP then would we all agree that BLP should be protected? And yet we have 60:40 - we elect governemnt officials with less than that !!

The same applies to specifically controversial pages, ones that are vandalised every day etc
Is it not possible to consider that some articles will reach consensus whilst others would not ?

If flagging will not automatically be set as "on" then turning it on and flagging all BLP articles is the right thing to do

I applaud Jimmy in making this suggestion, the news media will find fault if it wants to, but let them find it on an article about "Atlantis" or the "History of Freedonia"--Chaosdruid (talk) 04:30, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Apologies I wrote this v late at night - missed out a sentence during cut and paste which I have put back in (coloured)--Chaosdruid (talk) 06:50, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
    • On German Wikipedia, articles must be sighted one-by-one before they go into the flagged universe. Doing it any other way would be crazy—then we would be treating totally unexamined BLPs as flagged. One of our most important jobs will be carefully checking individual BLPs for their first flagged version. Cool Hand Luke 07:20, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
      • Obviously, no articles should be marked as "flagged" until reviewed by at least one person. WilyD 19:59, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Don't be a fanatic

Pushing ahead with FR when there is clearly no consensus for this move smacks of fanaticism:

"Don't be zealous to the point other goals are lost - Intense caring for Wikipedia's policies and ways can at times lead to such excess of zeal as to be a problem in its own right. Such editors often do not understand why others criticize them, because in their own eyes they are "just doing what's right for Wikipedia"."

Lets have less zeal for what will be a damaging move for the morale of the community, and more respect for sizeable and passionate minorities (and every true belief was once only held by a very small minority). Riversider2008 (talk) 13:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

So you would prefer that Wikipedia be laughed at in the media? I think flagged revs will be a huge boost in morale for the community. Anything we can do to reduce the time we spend cleaning up after, and blocking, vandals the more time we can spend on constructive stuff. – ukexpat (talk) 14:34, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
And even ignoring if we, the editors, will win or lose time: flagged revisions will (in the long run) mean that the readers (the people we actually are making this encyclopedia for) will be less and less confronted with vandalism and get more and more confidence in Wikipedia. For more and more pages, you will no longer have to worry if the page is in a vandalized state or not: what you read will at least be free of the most blatant vandalism. Yes, flagged revisions will discourage a number of IP editors (both the good ones and the vandals), just like there are many people who can't be bothered to submit content to an article which may be vandalized the next minute. But as long as it doesn't cause a truly massive drop in editors, this implementation (if the trial(s) go well and it is kept) will seriously increase the usefulness, trustworthiness and eventually public image of Wikipedia. Fram (talk) 14:51, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
(ec) The media will still laugh. Think about it, the Virgin Killer incident for example had nothing to do with vandalism. Vandalism is dealt with swiftly and without problems and FR are not proposed to change anything but stop vandalism - but that was never the source of the media's ridicule. Because even the media admits that such vandalism is dealt with within minutes but we cannot stop them from trashing us anyway. But the whole point is this: The "media" does and cannot claim that Wikipedia endorses anything incorrect and has to admit that all errors were introduced by vandals but were reverted within short period, actually pointing out that the system works. I think you see a problem where none exists and talk about a boost - yet more than 40% reject it. I cannot think why anyone would want to reject a boost in morale...unless there is a huge negative side to the "gift of morale boost". Regards SoWhy 14:58, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not arguing about whether FR is right or wrong any more - I think the time for that discussion has passed. I'm arguing about whether the fact that there is no consensus on this should be respected or whether people's genuine objections should be ignored. By the way, the media will always mock WP, this is natural behaviour when faced with superior opposition, first ignore, then mock, then lie, then attack, eventually negotiate - this will happen with or without FR Riversider2008 (talk) 15:01, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Realistically, the page was edited to say he was dead 3 times by 2 different people, each time being reverted within 1 minute, and those were all over one 5 min period, so, we know the media must have checked the change logs.
They can do that with any vandalism and that, I believe, is what RV would prevent, those 3 edits would not appear for the media unless they had higher rights, and so they would not have even known anything bad had been reported.--Chaosdruid (talk) 15:30, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

"those 3 edits would not appear for the media unless they had higher rights" Citizendium here we come. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Riversider2008 (talkcontribs) 15:41, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
More importantly than the media: on high traffic articles, defamation lasting "only" five minutes could be viewed by hundreds or thousands of users. If even one sees libel, defamation, or bad information, it's a bad thing, because that one could be the subject, or the person that brings it to the media, or someone close to them. Any proclamation with BLPs that "we fixed it in the end" is looking at things completely backwards. Our responsibility is to strive for perfection, not "good enough". People with a good enough attitude with BLPs shouldn't be editing BLPs, or having any say in how they are handled, unfortunately. Most importantly, NO EDITOR ON WIKIPEDIA or their "feelings" or their "work" are more important than a BLP subject. Ever, full stop, never. Getting "my" edit out "now" is completely irrelevant in the face of treating BLP articles--all of them--with constant 24x7x365 kid gloves. rootology (C)(T) 15:43, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely - Wikipedia has the power to wreak havoc in people's lives, and it is our responsibility to make sure this doesn't happen. That should be a top priority and if flagged revisions will help, then I cannot see a good argument against them even if it is a change that upsets a large number of editors. dougweller (talk) 16:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
One should not be so focused on one foundation principle that they forget the other. There are ways to solve this (semi-protecting all politician articles, or cascade-(semi-)protect all current event articles) without resorting to such divisive issues. Sceptre (talk) 16:04, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree - one should not be so focused on one issue to the exclusion of others and one should retain an objective neutral POV, that is an important ethic to advertise also.--Chaosdruid (talk) 16:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
The point is precisely that semi-protecting articles en masse or using cascade protection would be way more anti-wiki than flaggedrevs. This is not and has never been a proposal to enable Flaggedrevs on all articles, but aimed to be a trial, with support that it should be used on articles where it is wholly justified and outweighs the negatives, and as an alternative to semi-protection that prevents all editing. Cenarium (Talk) 17:03, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Question for Sceptre, and not a rhetorical question. Semi-protection means that new users can't edit an article at all. Why is that superior, in your view, to the more wiki approach of allowing them to edit? I could understand if someone was some kind of radical pro-wiki person who thinks that we shouldn't even ever protect or semi-protect anything. I wouldn't agree, but I would understand. But I do not understand the opposition to doing something just as effective but more welcoming to newbies.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:25, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Request for arbitration

Hi Jimbo. I've created a request for arbitration to consider the question of consensus (or lack thereof) and any underlying issues with regards to flagged revisions. This is customary notification as you have been named as an involved party. Sceptre (talk) 15:52, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

From the archives: enforcing NPOV

This was archived before it had been answered:

How is NPOV enforced?
...[W]ho enforces the core policies of NPOV? ArbComm says that they can't deal with such content issues, so it's left to the community. The community deals with NPOV dispute through dispute resolution, but it does not work all the time: what can be done then? How can significant minorities get the place they deserve per NPOV if the majority wants to silent them? What makes you think that the majority is benevolent with minorities, when there are strong evidence that they aren't? We have been through all sorts of dispute resolution mechanism, and I've always readily participated in them, and with civility. The DOE report is the most notable secondary review of Cold Fusion, as shown by his prominent place in our article: how come it is still horribly misrepresented?
The real-world History is full of examples of the sorry fate of unprotected minorities: why would it be different on Wikipedia? What's the point of "NPOV is non-negotiable" if NPOV is not enforced? Pcarbonn (talk) 09:26, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

I've had trouble with there being no way to get NPOV enforced, too. Would you please say something which would make the admins and editors on WP:FTN think about insuring that minority views are represented in proportion to their magnitude, without any "mainstream" obliteration of opposing views? The difficulty is in crafting that kind of thing to eliminate the quackery from homeopathy and acupuncture, and the superstition from pseudosciences like extra-sensory perception, without eliminating the plurality from cold fusion and similar less medical and more reputable scientific controversies. I apologize if this is a difficult sort of request to fulfill, but I honestly think it would be the kind of thing you could do with a few sentences saying that you do intend to set policy in your capacity as interpreting constitutional policy issues. NPOV is one very important pillar. GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 20:41, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Unfortunately, perhaps, I think that right now we are in general achieving an appropriate balance. I think we're already extremely generous on cold fusion to an area that, to be frank about my personal opinion, is equally as reputable as homeopathy and acupuncture, and only maginally better than extra-sensory perception. But I am not an expert in any of those areas. What I would recommend here is that Pcarbonn recruit independent Wikipedians of known high quality to look at the specific statements in question from 2004 report to see if they should be included. NPOV does not imply that we should treat quackery as if it is the same thing as established science.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:57, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The problem here, I think, is that there is confusion between "Deemed unlikely to be correct because it's a minority viewpoint" and "it's a minority viewpoint because it's unlikely to be correct". The fact that most, if not all, minority viewpoints have marginal coverage isn't because there is a conspiracy to suppress them but because they have, in general, either been demonstrated to be almost certainly wrong or are vanishingly unlikely to be correct because they contradict well-supported knowledge.

Neutral coverage of those topics will necessarily tend to portray them as marginal because they are marginal in their relevant field— no matter how passionate their supporters may be. Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar, and a conjecture is rejected by the "mainstream" simply because it is wrong, not just because it goes counter the current assumptions. We can (and, indeed, should) cover the existence of those conjectures; but it would be very much not neutral to elevate them above the status they genuinely have. — Coren (talk) 22:48, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

The choice is between presenting only one side as correct versus encouraging the provision of the information necessary to make an accurate assessment of the probability that either side is correct. Bayes is far more instructive than Freud on this point. But remember, Freud was a clinician. Freud would have loved to see suppression of quackery even though some of his methods might later have been seen as such. They were both men of reason, opposed to the supernatural and proud of the mind's ability to explain such as the result of physical phenomena. So neither Freud nor Bayes would have wanted their encyclopedia to be censored on matters concerning the as-yet-unapplied physical sciences. This might be something worth learning more about; controversies often are. The supernatural is put to rest, the quackery in the applied medical arts and sciences won't be tolerated, but eliminating the plurality from a subject of the physical sciences is absurd, and a base form of censorship. GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 11:55, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Hey, Pcarbonn et al forum shopping to shill for Cold Fusion? On Jimbo's talk page? Shocking. The problem seems to be a group of editors that can not be made to understand that the encyclopedia is not the place to promote their pseudoscience, quackery, and buncombe. L0b0t (talk) 15:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Can we hate quackery and superstition while embracing disclosure of the minority/majority split on scientific controversies which publish a steady stream of results in the most reputable journals? Yes, we can. (talk) 17:26, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Popularity of Wikipedia

Hi Jimmy - I saw you called Wikipedia the "4th most popular website in the world". I've always consulted Alexa for global rankings, and the highest I've ever seen us is 7th (but usually 8th). Which site do you use for global rankings? Curious aside: we aren't ranked in Alexa's top 100 English language websites. --David Shankbone 15:31, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm guessing he's excluding search engines; strike them off the list and we're either 4th or 5th depending on the day. – iridescent 15:46, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Not sure where it started, but I've seen news reports refer to Wikipedia as 4th as well. Avruch T 16:20, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Alexa's numbers are very dodgy. I am basing that from ComScore. Our board member Stu got them to donate access to it for us, and he's been posting some reports on meta: Stu's comScore reports.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:21, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Muchas gracias - great news! I can see Alexa being unreliable, since on the Top 100 English sites "MetroFlog - Fotoblog personalizable, con la posibilidad de subir una foto diaria con guestbook" is ranked #46 and we are nowhere to be found. Thanks for the link. --David Shankbone 16:41, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I think it's ranking sites by domain, and isn't an English domain due to all the other language Wikipedias. Hut 8.5 18:26, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
... I apologize if my info's out of date, but wasn't Alexa the company who determined that by tracking people's browsing with what they refer to as a "toolbar" (the spyware industry has less friendly names for it.) Thirteenthree (talk) 00:18, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

What percentage is "consensus"

I don't care what the number is, and I'm not disagreeing with this decision. We have lots of dicsussions that run forever, though. I think this should be a good precedent that 60% support of something that has reasonable arguments both directions, without a clear better argument, then 60% is consensus. - Peregrine Fisher (talk) (contribs) 09:05, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

60%, with a sufficiently large participation, is consensus. 3/2 is not a consensus, 300/200 is a consensus. The chance that, without any new elements, a 3/2 would change in a 3/4 is considerable: the chance that a 300/200 changes into a 300/301 is minimal (assuming that everything works normally, no orchestrated attempts to swing the vote one way or the other). Fram (talk)
The support for this as of this posting is exactly 67.8832117% (sorry, just had to post that exact of a figure :D), or 411/279. Until It Sleeps 00:05, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Umm, no. 279 is about 68% of 411, 411 is not 68% of the total. To have even 66,66% support, the split should be at 460/230. Otherwise put, the support should be at 558 instead of at 411 to be at 66% with the given level of opposes. Fram (talk) 08:11, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Consensus however does not work in percentages - although it is generally understood that there has to be a majority of reasoned support; what you have here is a very large majority saying that BLP articles need to be protected from disruptive editing owing to the effect that it has on its subject matter, and a majority of those concluding that flagging is an appropriate method to test to see if it is of benefit. Against those with that view are those who do not think that BLP require special provisions (split between those who feel all articles should be treated equally, and thus no one subsection should have a benefit, and those who are indifferent to the RL potential of harm to bio article subjects), those who are concerned that such a trial will exhaust the resources available, and those who believe the current model works sufficiently well (although most would prefer more effort in combating vandalism). Frankly other than the last viewpoint the opposes do not impinge upon consensus - the debate has moved beyond if BLP's need extra help or if it is possible for this method to be that possible solution; there is therefore a consensus by weight of opinion that BLP's should be further protected by use of flagged versions against those who feel that the current method is sufficient. So a case where only 49% of all polled opinionators believe that flagged revisions of BLP articles is the right choice may translate into a supermajority (66.6+%) when cast against those who believe that the status quo suffices - because that is the only discussion that is on the board. LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:59, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

A data point on Google and Wikipedia

17 hours after I created the article titled List of topics named after Bernhard Riemann, I entered "named after Bernhard Riemann" into Google (without the quotation marks) and that article was the first thing that appeared. (I remember a quite different result in about 2003 or 2004! Dunno what's typical now.) Michael Hardy (talk) 23:35, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

You typed a very specific query that has few exact matches, and even less so in page titles -- a very important ranking factor. However, WP does appear high even when queries are not so specific, and this is due to nofollow consensus? (talk) 16:00, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
The nofollow tags are for external links included on Wikipedia. Also, links on Wikipedia do not have a large effect on a particular page's rank. What does have an effect is the fact that many people link to the Wikipedia article about a subject if they are discussing something. This results in Wikipedia's articles having a very high page rank for many search terms. J.delanoygabsadds 16:07, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
do the math. Your first sentence is an answer to your question, if any. (talk) 16:12, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

You people are talking about page ranks and not about timing. Don't you notice the contrast between the 17 hours on the one hand, and on the other hand the weeks this used to take? Michael Hardy (talk) 18:33, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Yes. Interesting as that significant speed increase is (although being aware that a statistical sample of one is almost completely useless to draw any conclusions from), is there an importance to attach to the observation? Happymelon 18:36, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Now I enter "named after Riemann", with no quotation marks, and the first thing I find is "Monitoring the Hive Mind through Wikipedia Edits", "Wikirage tracks the pages in Wikipedia which are receiving the most edits over various periods of time. [.....] Popular people in the news, the latest fads, and the hottest video games, Internet memes, zietgeist, and trends bubble to the surface." Never heard of that before. Michael Hardy (talk) 04:14, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Possible compromise

I'm personally in favour of flagged on all articles as a trial run.

However, if a lesser approach is required I would suggest the following, which is aimed particularly at underwatched BLPs.

I aim it at underwatched BLPs for two reasons 1) there's a significant chance that libels here go unspotted for longer. 2) The persons are less notable, so there is more chance that our article will be the main or sole source of information on the internet. If someone adds "pedophile" to George Bush, it is less likely the reader will believe it, more likely it will be reverted quickly, and less likely to damage his reputation. If someone adds the same to "Joe the minor baseball player" there converse it true. Here is my proposal:

Any administrator may activate flagged revision for a BLP article if:

  1. The article has been the subject of a BLP violation that has been unreverted after 4 hours.

Any OTRS-team admin may activate flagged revision for a BLP article if:

  1. The article has been the subject of valid complaint ostensibly by the subject or a representative.

--Scott Mac (Doc) 23:39, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Seems like it doesn't go far enough...I'd say any violation that wasn't caught within minutes. But you know, looking over the poll I see a pretty strong consensus for using it on BLP's. Does anyone really object to limiting it to some large subset of our BLP articles? That's where it's needed the most and also where it has the most support. RxS (talk) 23:59, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, what if we reduce my 4 hours to 30 minutes or 15? My point is that A list celebrities can't really be harmed by us, and that stuff on them is more or less instantly reverted 95% of the time.--Scott Mac (Doc) 00:03, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed RxS (talk) 01:57, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
It seems strange to me that we would even consider making it harder to put an article in FlaggedRev state than it is to put an article in semi-protected state. Why is it ok to semi-protect an article (which prevents anons from editing at all) but not ok to FlaggedRev it (which allows them to edit)?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:21, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
You're right, and I think you'd be on pretty solid ground (both in terms of consensus and in terms of your position here) turning it on for BLP's right now. RxS (talk) 01:57, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
No, he would not be on solid ground for "turning it on for BLP's right now." I'm sorry but I find it rather shocking that someone could say that. Unless we are completely throwing community discussion out the window (as some people seem willing to do), there is no remote consensus to turn this on for hundreds of thousands of articles later tonight or tomorrow. The poll was about conducting trials, and it was stated over, and over, and over again by some supporters that we would work out the specifics of the trials in the next phase. Some people supported with that fact in mind. We cannot jump from a poll with a 60/40 "support some trials" vote to a full-on implementation on all BLPs. That's semi-madness. Why would we not start with smaller tests first? Even Jimbo in his previous comment seems to be suggesting replacing semi-protection with flagged revisions which is far more reasonable than turning it on for all BLPs. For an even smaller rollout we could start by testing only on semi-protected BLPs (which I think is a great way to start). We're talking about a massive change if we set this up to function on all BLPs, one which we have not officially discussed and about which we have no idea the extent to which we could handle it. Let's slow down and discuss these issues in a community-wide forum where we can build better consensus, which is something Jimbo himself is looking for.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 02:08, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't know, I feel like I'm repeating myself but it seems to me that if you look at the poll overall, there's a consensus to trial it on BLP's. So to do a trial it needs to be turned on, so however people want to do the first rollout/trial it the switch needs to be thrown. But I think people need to be prepared for it to be implemented on BLP's at some point soon (trial or however it works out). RxS (talk) 05:30, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

And recall, there were TWO major polls on this:

Both, when you look closely at the actual votes, show support for a trial on some subset of BLP articles. I'd said many times on the former that it should be a rolling trial. Start with A, then the next week do A+B, then A+B+C, then A+B+C+D, and so on, to see how it scaled. Given the clear consensus support for a trial the only reason I can see the very-anti Flagged people still pushing is a fear that the trial could be successful, and grow in scope over time. If they're really sure that Flagged is a bad idea, they should embrace the voices of their brothers and sisters for a trial with the consensus we got. If Flagged is so terrible, it will flop and the will be proven right. rootology (C)(T) 00:06, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

If we go for a subset, I'd like also also to allow admin discretion to turn it on for the article currently causing the problems too.--Scott Mac (Doc) 00:12, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Before getting fancy, I'd say just start small in bite-sized bits. A responsible software deployment for something "new" is done in waves. We have the ability to do that, so go for that to start. If we did
Week 1: A
Week 2: AB
Week 3: ABC
Week 4: ABCD
And so on, we'd know in <3 months if FR scaled and was workable. rootology (C)(T) 00:16, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Leaving aside the points made here which I don't necessarily disagree with, I just don't think this is the place to discuss this. I know some folks want to decide right now to turn this on for BLPs or what have you, but this was not how the process was supposed to work. The poll that ended 60/40 was just about doing some kind of trial. Various proposals are over here, and it was my impression that we would now discuss the specifics of how to roll out a trial or trials. It seems likely to me that we'll do something with BLP's fairly soon (Scott's proposals seem reasonable), but I think this should be a community discussion and Jimbo's talk page is not the place for it. Many people voted in the recent poll with the express understanding that there would be further discussion. We all need to get on the same page, which is why I've asked Jimbo to clarify this above, as to how we proceed now. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 00:17, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
(Crossposted from my talk) Before any trial can start, the trial must have a two-thirds consensus to run (the level of support dictated by Brion), the variables A, B, C, and D must be specified precisely, and, this is the most important thing, the trial must have a sunset clause. Sceptre (talk) 00:29, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
You mean 100 ways to filibuster. No.--Scott Mac (Doc) 00:41, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
This is palpably the wrong place to discuss details of trials. Sunset clauses and consensus are important: see WP:Flagged revisions/Trial/Proposed trials. Brion's two-thirds is a percentage in favour of implementation, not trials, but consensus is not a percentage anyway. Geometry guy 00:40, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Well if one person has the right to veto, then why is everybody bothering to vote and still discussing it - obviously because we decide as a collective - we vote on it and then we get a consensus (not a unanimous) vote. We could do this as a proportional rep, a= all BLP, ab=all Bio, abc=all bio plus important pages (such as USA, England, any article that receives daily vandalism) abcd= includes vandalised every 3 or less days etc
And why is this going on in here when there are two other places to comment and post wishes - it's time to accept that we all have to get along and make this what it should be - a debate for betterment of WikiWorld (I'll put this and the rest on the proper page here and show Jimbo the respect that we all enjoy - after all this is his chat page, not a debating room)--Chaosdruid (talk) 02:10, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Doh - sorry ! I put the wrong page in to link to - corrected now --Chaosdruid (talk) 17:27, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Four hours is pretty dicey, and I'm unhappy about focussing on the OTRS angle. People who're actively complaining may be good for our PR, but it's bad since they're going to be in better shape than those biographies where nobody is aware (and complaining). Multiple instances of vandalism is probably the best criterion, since it targets those most at risk. WilyD 16:05, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Vandalism is NOT the BLP problem. The problem is untrue but credible material that get inserted and not immediately reverted. Under your definition, we'd flag George Bush (who we can't really hurt) because he gets "asshole" on his bio (which isn't really libellous) but we'd not flag some underwatched nonentity, who might get one untrue accusation of criminal conviction, which remains unnoticed for six months. Our most highly vandalised articles are watched by thousands and crap never stays, plus they are so notable that the reader is unlikely to be influenced by the vandalism. There are the least needing flagged.--Scott Mac (Doc) 16:21, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I think I'm unfamiliar with the idiosyncratic definition of vandalism you're using here. One might use some other phrase if you prefer, but I'd call a false accusation of a criminal conviction, inserted into an article, "vandalism". WilyD 16:37, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Definitions are not the point (although "vandalism" implies obvious graffiti). The point is that "haha he sucks cock" are not really harmful to the subject, because a) they are quickly reverted b) they unlikely to be be taken as credible encyclopedic information about the subject. The harmful thing is the credible, but untrue, insertion, that remains in the article, and is not obvious to uninformed reader. Normally single instances of maliciousness are more harmful than multiple pieces of nonsense. If this ends up being a mass tool to help vandal fighters, it will be useless in giving careful scrutiny to the credible libel, which is what is really harmful to the subject.--Scott Mac (Doc) 16:54, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Definitions really are the point. Otherwise your statements of "Using vandalism as a criterion is bad, because vandalism is not the real problem. Vandalism is the real problem, so we shouldn't focus on vandalism when we really need to be worried about vandalism" are not very useful. It's much easier to not try and draw this line (as there's no real bright line here). The point is that OTRS complaints aren't a good metric - those who're unaware enough to even complain need protection more. OTRS is only about good public relations, not solving the problem. How long a previous instance has gone unreverted is an alright metric, it does take a stab at how well an article is being watched. I suggest multiple instances of problematic edits because it's the best metric I can think of for how much the article will be at risk in the future. Four hours is definitely too long though. If it's >15 minutes, it's definitely lost to new page patrollers and us obsessive freaks what're here 24/7/365.2422 WilyD 17:02, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
OTRS is not PR - where do you get this? My point is that there is a huge difference between graffiti (harmless) and credible lies (harmful). There is a huge difference between a false statement appearing on "Michael Jackson" (which, even if missed by patrolers, will almost certainly be picked up within hours by a reader knowledgeable about the subject) and a false statement appearing on some minor athlete, which everyone reading the article for the next three months might think to be true. OTRS is no good as a sole criteria, since not all subjects will know to complain, and may not complain until it's prought to their attention months later. However, where the subject has a valid OTRS complaint, it is a good indication that that particular article has done harm. You metric of "multiple vandalisms" is quite useless, since it will favour more popular articles over less watched ones. The metric of "not reverted within x" (and I'm very flexible about the time) will show places where open editing has the potential to do harm. We need to focus on what is harmful to the subject over what is annoying to the vandal patrol. I've set this argument down elsewhere in more depth--Scott Mac (Doc) 17:14, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
OTRS means we're dealing with those cases where the person is aware and kicking up a stink - we need to take action everywhere, but especially where attention isn't already being called to it - those complaining to OTRS are already better off than those not doing so. The metric of "multiple vandalism" is very sensible, it is a measure of where someone has enough badwill in the world at large to attract problematic edits in the first place. Your metric of "vandalism not reverted in X seconds" is also sensible, since it shows where problematic edits are likely to persist. Both "where likely to be created" and "where likely to persist" are sensible points to focus on - I'm not sure how you can argue otherwise. WilyD 17:44, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Because I'm right. We need to minimise libels on wikipedia - but of course we should focus especially on those articles where libels have been drawn to our attention. When someone complains of libel, we should be able to say "sorry, that won't happen again" not "sorry, but you are better off than those who haven't kicked up a stink". The multiple vandalism criteria is moronic - it simply draws out the bios of people which are particularly famous and who we can barely hurt, and where problem edits are quickly reverted. I've no problem with activating flagged revision on such articles, but they should be at the very bottom of the priority queue. Putting flagged revision on George W Bush makes no sense on a preventing harm basis.--Scott Mac (Doc) 18:15, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
No, you're entirely wrong, and deliberately misleading. If someone complains, they're going to meet either my criterion or yours (or probably both). You're arguing that we should say "sorry, but you are better off than those who haven't kicked up a stink", and I'm arguing that wanting to say that is terrible because those who haven't kicked up a stink are a much larger group and already worse off. Why do we want to ignore them? That's flat wrong. The bios of people who are George Bush famous represent such a small portion you can more or less ignore them anyways they have nothing to do with nothing, and I'm not sure why you're throwing that red herring out there. People who're contraversial but obscure, or who have a few detractors who're interested in slagging them online are at the worst risk - those should be a focus, and I'm unsure why you're arguing we should ignore them. WilyD 19:13, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

The thing to do here, is to turn the feature on. Then the fuss will die down and we can get on with it. Until the next bit of pointless drama, but that's another matter. --TS 16:40, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Off this Talk Page and on to specific proposals

We're going to have a trial run of flagged revisions, that's basically been established and there's little sense in arguing it further. The question is how are we going to go about testing this feature, and there's a lot to talk about there. Jimbo's talk page is not the place to do it so I suggest we adjourn to another locale.

Wikipedia:Flagged revisions/Trial/Proposed trials has a series of proposed possible trials and of course also a talk page. I tried to get the ball rolling over there with a specific proposal for a couple of trials we could start with that would deal with flagged protection and BLPs. That page seemed like the best place to start a discussion but if we end up on some other centralized page so be it. Regardless at this point though I hope other editors can move on from the discussion here and that we can come to some consensus about how we are going to test flagged revs. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 12:53, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Wrong. This is the perfect place to discuss it, since anything we post is automatically gonna be seen by Jimbo when he comes here, and since he is by default, included in the discussion, what better place? Thor Malmjursson (talk) 15:04, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
A place where we can have a community-wide discussion, i.e. not a user talk page. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 17:47, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
"...and there's little sense in arguing it further." And apparently there never was. We were asked to !vote on a matter already decided. If so, a waste of time and a huge waste of trust. The whole process feels dirty. - Hordaland (talk) 15:24, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Hordaland, can you please tell me what you mean? Someone randomly proposed a nonbinding poll (not me), and that poll was overwhelmingly in favor of adopting Flagged Revs. Because I see an opportunity for getting even higher consensus, I've asked for an alternative proposal that attempts to get more people on board. You may not like the result, but what's dirty about it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:17, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
To be honest, you shouldn't've been the one to declare the result, because you'd voted on the poll before. It's frowned upon for people who vote for something to close it the same way they voted. To be honest, I don't see an "overwhelming" consensus; just a weak one. Two-thirds is a standard bar for discussion; why lower it down in this instance? Sceptre (talk) 18:58, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
430/283/9 in "overwhelming"...? That's 60%. —Ed 17 (Talk / Contribs) 19:49, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Admitting that I have not read every word written on this matter on its several pages, I do feel that it is being railroaded through. I know that you did not start the poll, but your stand has been widely advertised. I certainly do not consider 60% to be "overwhelming"! What feels dirty about it? The feeling that hundreds, probably thousands, of man-hours have been wasted discussing a "proposal" which actually was a foregone conclusion. - Hordaland (talk) 20:47, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
The "... poll was overwhelmingly in favor of adopting Flagged Revs"?! I don't mean to be disrespectful, but this is showing just how out of touch with this community you really are. 60/40 is a consensus for almost nothing in this community. – Thomas H. Larsen 01:10, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

-> sceptre : please go and look at this if it can help you in anyway see how we stand on consensus crunching the number on questionnare results

I have also attempted an analysis here. Geometry guy 21:33, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
The reason why the trial of flagged revisions is being discussed on this page, is because this is the page Jimbo chose to make his announcement, hence the discussion followed. If this is the wrong page to discuss Jimbo's announcement, because it is not 'communiity wide', then it was probably also the wrong page to make the announcement on in the first place. Riversider2008 (talk) 01:40, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


Hi there Jimbo. I know that you are a very busy person, however, I would appreciate it if you could take the time to read the email that I sent to you. Thanks, Razorflame 01:38, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


Not to be silly or anything but... why "Jimbo" as a nickname? You apparently prefer it over Jimmy, since your page is JIMBO_Wales, not JIMMY_Wales. 3Juno3 (talk) 04:33, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

My real name is actually Jimmy, not James, so Jimmy is not a nickname for me. The origin of the Jimbo nickname is that when I first got onto the internet, I was on a mailing list which already had a Jimmy, a Jim, and a James. After a confusion happened, I started to sign as "Jimbo" - I had no idea that I would ever become prominent on the Internet, and didn't give it much thought. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:00, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


I am just a casual user of Wikipedia, in no way in the center of things. I have occasionally edited pages, when I felt I was sufficiently knowledgeable in that subject area to improve the page. I consider myself a fairly average user.
I saw the BBC article about flagged revisions (, and was quite saddened. I love Wikipedia, because it is so free and because it shows that people can be trusted with that freedom. Of course there are those who vandalize pages with malicious intent or, more often, to play a practical joke on a friend, but these are most often reverted so quickly that the number of users affected is minimal.
On the other hand, I can see the value in restricting editing of biographies of living persons, or BLPs, just as pages are sometimes locked following recent vandalism incidents.
I am not informed enough about this issue to be able to judge fairly whether the benefits outweigh the loss of freedom that the proposed plan entails. I suppose it can be put in terms of the future of Wikipedia -- do you want to be the most trusted source on the Internet, or the most accessible and open? But I implore you to consider the loss of freedom that flagged revisions would entail with the utmost seriousness and sincerity. You -- Jimmy and those who are informed enough to judge -- should know that every time you limit the freedom to use this website to its fullest capacity, you are taking away part of why everyone has fallen in love with Wikipedia. In some cases, it is necessary. But be careful. -David


I will be traveling for the next 24 hours (approximately). So please don't get agitated if I am slow to respond.

Those who are in the minority who are opposed to this are invited to make an alternative proposal within the next 7 days, to be voted upon for the next 14 days after that, a proposal which is clearly aware that you are in the minority and that does not attempt to simply re-hold the same vote. I ask you to seek some detailed policy around the use of the feature that you think both you and the supporters can agree upon. Simply engaging in FUD and screaming is not going to be helpful, but I trust that outside of a few, most of the people opposed can actually work cogently with others to find a reasonable and responsible compromise position.

One possibility, and I ask you to simply consider this, although I do not support it. Suppose the plan were to simply replace the current semi-protection feature with the flagged-revisions feature? So that everything would be as it is today, with the added simple benefit that anonymous ips and new users would be able to edit things that today they are not able to edit?

Suppose further that, because the feature is softer, it could be used in a slightly broader set of cases. What set of cases should those be?

As I see this feature, and I think that those who disagree with me have mostly not studied how it works, it is softer than semi-protection. Keep in mind: this feature will allow us to unprotect the front page of English Wikipedia - and leave it unprotected - for the first time in many years.

We have a long history of working hard to extend the wiki way. Those who are interpreting this in the opposite direction are mistaken.

Well, anyway, I'm out of here for 24 hours. I'll respond when I get back, but be forewarned: I am not at all interested in discussing whether or not I'm being dictatorial by accepting a 60%-40% vote of the community. That's just insulting to me, and not in accordance with our longstanding practices of careful and thoughtful communication.

(This is one reason why voting is evil: it leads people to dig in their heels rather than work for a mutually beneficial compromise. I urge you now to do that.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:06, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the note, and just a quick question though I understand you might not get to it right away. You say those who voted "no" in the poll should "seek some detailed policy around the use of the feature." But was this not the next step anyway? My impression that all that has been decided as of now is that we will turn the feature on, and the next step was now to decide what kind of trial runs of flagged revs we would do. This is obviously how the issue was couched in the poll (i.e., the poll was not about doing flagged revs or not, but rather just about making it possible to test it, which was as far as a number of the support votes went). So are you basically directing all of us to go hash out how we are going to test the flagged revs feature or are you suggesting something else? This is part of what I was asking you about above in the section titled "more clarity needed as to next step for flagged revs," so it would be great if you could reply to some of the questions there, though no worries if it takes you a day or two to get to that. And regardless I promise I won't call you a dictator. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I am instinctively hostile to the idea of flagged revisions, but I supported a trial. Further, I think the version that Jimbo proposes is something I could support, assuming a trial reveals no fundamental flaws. At the moment the flagged protection proposal is even more conservative, proposing only to augment semiprotection by flagged protection, and not proposing to extend its scope. I would emphasise, however, as I commented above, that there has been no community !vote on approving an implementation, only a !vote on whether trials can go ahead. Geometry guy 20:28, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
On a minor point, you keep hinting that much of the opposition is FUD. With all due respect, your preferred configuration (only on SPs) was not the proposed trial configuration, with the wording of the poll opposers were left hanging in the air because supporting the trial left any and all final uses of FR open to possible implementation, with the details somehow to be thrashed out after it was switched on. That leaves a huge scope of later effort, much of which was easily defineable before the poll. Which has been a huge problem, because if you actually break down the 'magic 60%' in detail, you will see support for configurations that ultimately could not all ultimately be achieved, being both technologically and philosophically incompatible. I'm all for JIMBOSEZ, but I think what you have been trying to say has not been specific enough for many opposers like me to be able to get on board, and we have had to throw up all conceivable problems that we can see. And a whole bunch of the supporters have also many times demonstrated they had no comprehension what you actually supported either, and realy were just coming at it from a totally general JIMBOSEZ angle. I think if you were intending to get involved and had some idea of your preferred specifics nailed down already as you appear to have had, I think that it should have been abundantly clear to everybody voting what those specifics were, and much off topic conversation would have been avoided, and the support cited would have been much defineable. A 'beware FUD' box at the top of a discussion page didn't do it for me. MickMacNee (talk) 20:32, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I find Mr Wales's dismissal of opposition as "FUD" (a term with which I was unfamiliar until I saw his comments on this subject) to be offensive and demeaning. Please reconsider. DuncanHill (talk) 22:13, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
DuncanHill, if I had actually done that, I would certainly reconsider it. Instead, what I did, is invite those who voted 'no' in the poll to work with those who voted 'yes' to find a proposal that more people can support. There is no doubt that there has been a lot of 'Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt' sowed in these debates, and my point is simply that such is not going to be helpful. I encourage people instead to start reaching across the aisle and working with people on the other side to address issues thoughtfully.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
You obviously don't recall your "anything else is just FUD" comment which has been at the very top of the talk page for Flagged Revisions for rather a long time. But then, you didn't make your announcement of your decision there did you? You chose to do it on your own talk page, which I think doesn't say much for your attitude to the debate. DuncanHill (talk) 01:01, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I remember it quite well, thank you very much. I'm sorry you didn't understand it. I did not dismiss opposition as FUD, I dismissed lies about what the feature does as FUD. I know you aren't one for taking a step back to assume good faith, but I ask you to please do so at this time, or else just step off the topic entirely.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:43, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't for one moment doubt the good faith of pretty much all of those who have expressed support for the trials. I do question the propriety of one of its foremost proponents being the one to decide to close the debate. I do question your choice of your talk page as the place for your announcement. And I do feel that you really need to think about the way in which you react to those who question your actions. DuncanHill (talk) 01:57, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I try to treat objections with seriousness, kindness, and concern. In return, most people are happy to work with me. Others simply choose to spit in my face. I accept that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:40, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
You think I've spat in your face? Are you honestly suggesting that? DuncanHill (talk) 02:47, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes. At the very least, it's unethical of Jimbo to close this decision himself. Jimbo, whether he is the founder or not, is partisan in this debate. He may close it as "no consensus" or "No", but he cannot in good conscience close it as "Yes". Sceptre (talk) 22:17, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea what you mean. 60% support is more than enough. But rather than push the issue, I'm calling for those who are in the 40% minority to have a stab at making an offer that the other side can still support, but which you support as well.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
As far as I am aware, the poll is still open. You need to spend a little more time reading, Sceptre. Geometry guy 22:19, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
It's still open in name, but it's effectively closed now. And when it comes to the poll's closure, I'm saying that Jimbo, cannot in good conscience, close it as "Yes". Sceptre (talk) 22:23, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
"Yes" to what? Geometry guy 22:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't understand what Sceptre means, but let me be a bit more clear. The original poll is now, as far as I am concerned, closed. It closed with very very strong support for turning on FlaggedRevs, around 60%. That's enough. However, because I would like to see a much higher level of support, I'm inviting those who opposed to put forward a compromise proposal in an effort to get to a higher level of support.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I know this discussion is all over the place now but I'm interested in getting a direct answer on this issue. What exactly do you mean by "compromise proposal?" As of now there is no specific proposal for how to use flagged revs, just a decision per the poll that we will have trials. To my mind the next step was to start discussing some of the proposals at Wikipedia:Flagged revisions/Trial/Proposed trials and figure out what kind of trial or trials we will run. Do you agree that that's what we should do next? Or do you have something else in mind when you suggest those who oppose work for a compromise? I'd really like you to clarify what you think we should be doing next, because as of now I still don't understand what "turning on FlaggedRevs" means to you and that's a problem. I can say that as one who opposed this I'm very much open to discussion and compromise and imagine many others are as well. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 01:18, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
I understand where you are coming from, and I generally agree with you. A significant proportion of those who are objecting are objecting for reasons that I think can be easily addressed with a more specific and modest proposal, including particular timelines and decision metrics.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:42, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
So do you honestly believe there is no consensus for some form of trial? There is an overwhelming number of people that believe the answer to that question is "Yes," and a small minority that seem to feel there is no consensus for any trial. As the small fringe group--presumably including you, here--YOU need to demonstrate to the majority there is no consensus from the poll for some trial. We're waiting! ;) rootology (C)(T) 22:36, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

If there are no objections within 14 days, your request will be considered valid. If there are objections, please try building consensus. If necessary, you can also resort to a poll (a very large majority, at least two thirds, is generally necessary).

Note that custom configurations will take longer to process, and might sit in the technical support queue for several weeks.

Our developers will _only_ look at the information attached to the BugZilla request, so please make sure that everything relevant is at least linked from there.
— Erik Moeller, [4]
Emphasis mine. Now, I may have only a AS-Level in maths, but I think I know that 67 is greater than 59. There is a very weak consensus, but this a consensus that would struggle to delete an article, let alone trial something that could potentially change the encyclopedia as we know it. Sceptre (talk) 22:40, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Please demonstrate that there is no consensus for a limited trial from the various polls and surveys ran the past month. Can you? rootology (C)(T) 22:41, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Brion set the required consensus for turning it on in any capacity at 67%. This poll has 59%. Therefore, this poll has no consensus to turn it on. Quite simple. Besides, when has 59% been consensus enough to do anything? The only thing I can think of that passed with that rate was Carnildo's RFA. And that's still rather controversial. Rollback hit the bar to be implemented (just, at 304:151); Flagged Revisions has not. Sceptre (talk) 22:57, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
"Yes" to what? Geometry guy 23:00, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
"Yes" to a trial and/or implementation. Sceptre (talk) 23:02, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah okay so the 40% !vote is an objection to a trail and/or implementation. Now what is the percentage objection to a trial? Geometry guy 23:05, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Still around 40%. The straw poll was for trialling. Some people, like myself, are opposed to even a trial of the feature. Sceptre (talk) 23:13, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
You don't serious believe that. How many objections were on the basis of a trial rather than a matter of principle or an objection to a particular implementation? Some like yourself object even to a trial, but nowhere near 40%. Do you want to go through the votes, or shall I? Geometry guy 23:27, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Since you didn't try, I did: result here. Geometry guy 21:41, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Bringing Carnildo into this is a red herring, because as another old timer you know pure consensus hasn't scaled in ages as well as I do. And you're still looking at raw numbers, which everyone keeps pointing out ARE NOT consensus. 59% by head count? Great. That's overlooking the fact that a lot of the opposes were not against some form of trial. Please demonstrate that there is no consensus for a limited trial from the various polls and surveys ran the past month. Can you? rootology (C)(T) 23:04, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Because the standard falls way below what Brion set as a consensus to turn it on. And as a developer, he can overrule Jimbo on software implementation matters. What part of this are you not getting? Sceptre (talk) 23:13, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not getting where you've demonstrated a lack of consensus for trialing. Please provide evidence. I'm challenging your interpretation, as you've apparently challenged Jimbo's. Can you demonstrate a lack of consensus for a trial based on the various polls? Please do. rootology (C)(T) 23:26, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I would like to note for the record that Brion does not set policy for English Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:09, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
But Brion can overrule you on anything that results in a change to the code. Ultimately, it's his decision to implement the trial, if he believers there is consensus to do so (and based on his earlier "at least two-thirds" statement about implementing FR, I honestly hope he doesn't.) Sceptre (talk) 00:22, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
You are simply mistaken about the division of responsibilities. This is an editorial matter, not a software/performance matter.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:14, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Can you turn the software on yourself, Jimbo? 'Cause if not, Brion pretty much has the upper hand on this one. If he decides not to switch it on, technically, that's you shot,right? Thor Malmjursson (talk) 02:32, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Iceflow I would stongly suggest leaveing biron out of this.Geni 02:41, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
division of responsibilities? Okey. Given the current setup of the foundation you do not have the power to unilaterally order it switched on. Sue does, Biron probably does unless Sue tells him otherwise and the board can pass a resolution to turn it on. So while it can be argued that it shouldn’t really be up to biron it isn’t up you other than as a voting member of the board either.Geni 02:41, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

It would be very chippy to make a fuss about the use of the term 'FUD' when the rest of what Jimbo has said offers a clear way that the community could reach a real consensus rather than the unsatisfactory outcome of a foggy and unclear poll, misunderstood by people on both sides.

I've put up a call for just such 'alternative proposals' here [5] Work for real consensus starts now. Riversider2008 (talk) 22:50, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, specifically Jimmy said an alternate proposal had to be hashed out in the next 7 days, and then we'll vote to implement the alternate, or the principal "Try Flagged on all BLPs" proposal that has been perennnial. There is clear consensus for a trial. It's just which FR trial. rootology (C)(T) 22:55, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how you can claim that there "is clear consensus for a trial", when 40% are against it. That just ain't clear consensus. The poll is/was for turning on the capability, or not. - Hordaland (talk) 21:32, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

I suggested this on the arbcom page and I'll suggest it here. For whatever reason, this community is incredibly resistant to change. There comes a point when for a feature of this importance, the Foundation and/or the devs and/or Jimbo just need to make an engineering decision and say this is a feature we are adding to the software, period. It is a part of the offering of this website no different than the watchlist or the show preview button. Content decisions and policy decisions are subject of community consensus, but something of this importance just needs to be implemented by fiat. --B (talk) 01:25, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

That sounds like "the community made the wrong decision, so I'm making the right decision for them". And once you differentiate between wrong and right decisions in straw polls and discussions, you have no right to close them. Sceptre (talk) 07:43, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
By the way, I just calculated the support percentage for the poll. As of the closing, it is 65.813953488372093023255813953488%(I just had to do that), or rounded up 66%. Now, this is not counting the neutral votes (I don't know exactly how to calculate that into it), but that is pretty darn close to 2/3 consensus on the issue. But, either way, it looks like it's gonna happen. UntilItSleeps PublicPC 18:42, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Your maths must be dodgy; I get 60.3% (430/[430+283]). It'd take another 45 people to get it to get it to two-thirds. Sceptre (talk) 18:50, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
This is a bit like saying the American people made the wrong decision in supporting McCain so strongly. The great and good are going to go against their decision and declare Obama to be the new president.
As for the percentages, well, it is under 40% oppose, but if you break down the oppose vote, you discover the in principle objection is much lower (less than 33%), and the objection to flagged protection is lower still (20% perhaps?). This needs another vote, but it certainly merits a trial. My analysis is here. Geometry guy 21:41, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Another alternative proposal: How about keeping a lower portion of the page for edits under 48 hours old? If they are not caught by a veteran editor and are false, let's live with it. But, at least, they will minimize any spontaneous damage and alert readers/users to the fact that these are recent changes. Commuri (talk) 00:20, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo,

For a starter, ban all anonymous ("numbered") users. Only users who have a users page with at least a minimum of data about themselves, should be allowed to edit. That should at least solve some of the problems. Users who can be identified would (may) probably be less likely to post nonsense or errors and can be more easely held accountable if they do. Peter Horn 23:48, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Which would be great if rather a lot of our content didn't come from IPs.Geni 02:27, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Okey. Compromise. The closest we have at the moment to flagged revisions in terms of seeing if we can keep up is the patrolled function for new pages. Now we can hope more people would step up to the plate to flag stuff but we have no real evidence they will. To this end I propose we allow anon article creation for a period of 2 weeks with the challenge to see if we can keep up with keeping them patrolled (challange advertised by whatever method people can agree on). This has the added benefit of seeing if it produces any useful content and if it reverses the apparent downwards trend in the article creation rate. It also provides an opportunity to settle some unwished business from the last experiment (turning anon page creation off was meant to be an experiment only). There are however risks that we may be overwhelmed so suggest we have a few people who have the authority to request the devs shut the experiment down if it appears to them to be causing significant problems.Geni 02:27, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Celebrate two years of conflict resolution WikiProjects!

On Jan 24, 2007, WikiProject Sri Lanka Reconciliation was founded as the first WikiProject specifically focused on conflict resolution. It has since been used as a model for WikiProject Israel Palestine Collaboration, which in turn became a model for WikiProject Ireland Collaboration.

I originally wanted to invite people to some form of virtual birthday party, but we couldn’t think of a suitable equivalent to candles, cakes and funny hats. Instead, I put a yellow box on top of our project page, where we will keep some info about celebrating the event and the history of the project.

I think this is also a good time to point you to some of the things we do slightly differently from the rest of Wikipedia, and which I think may be worth considering. These are described in our guidelines. Of particular interest to you may be how we classify reliable sources, and how we built robustness against trickery into our procedures. One aspect of the latter are sockpuppets: In the last two years, I noticed an increased fear of sockpuppets in other areas of Wikipedia, while in our little area, that has ceased to be a problem, because we focus on viewpoints and edit versions, instead of vote counts and reversion counts. (I think the sockpuppet-hunt is particularly important because it threatens Wikipedia at its raison d'être: being the free encyclopedia.) The key to our success, as I see it, is providing a home for experienced editors from both sides of the conflict who help the newbies stay out of trouble, and help them make their points without having to resort to trickery. — Sebastian 21:11, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

The importance of BLP's

I apologize for putting up a new section, but I had hoped to be able to converse with you normally. You mentioned above that "I consider our BLP issue to be so important that I think it is actually unethical to not use a tool which holds great promise for helping with the problem, now that it has been successfully tested elsewhere."

I have two objections with regard to this. The first and more relevant is that I strongly, strongly disagree with BLP as an important issue (per se). If there is untruthful information on some living person's BLP, we are completely, completely free from violating the libel laws of the State of Florida and the United States so long as Wikipedia doesn't officially give it a stamp of our approval. Since the legal issue is non-existent, offense is our only reason that I can see to specifically protect BLP's (with FR, etc.). People may well get offended at their own personal pages. These people honestly don't matter much. The Seigenthaler incident, in the end, did nothing to damage Wikipedia directly and only slightly lessened its credibility among the vast majority of our readers. We spend way too much time pandering to the views of the few who are "privileged" enough to have merited WP articles and far too little time working on getting all of our articles done. I very firmly believe that all our articles should be treated equally. A typical Wikipedia reader is far more likely to be seriously upset by a false article on his country, religion, or culture than on some random famous person. Do we really believe that Seigenthaler is more worth protecting than France? Which one's a more likely target for vandals? Which one will offend more people?

The other point is a strong belief that I and many others share, which is that FR is at this point (at least) the wrong way of protecting BLP's. It goes against our fundamental principles and beliefs. I don't think I need to bring up the arguments since many, many people have already done so. And that leads me to wonder: there were a lot, a lot, a lot of well-thought out objections to the FR proposal. (And a lot of well-thought out supports, of course.) You say "I consider our BLP issue to be so important"... well, you yourself may. Does that mean our attempt (and ultimately failure--I'm sure you would agree we didn't find a consensus by any means) to find a consensus on the issue didn't matter, because you had already decided for us that it was a big enough issue? What if we had been split down the middle? Did you represent an opinion equal to that of 10% of all Wikipedia's editors? 20%? 60%? 5%? I'd like to know directly from you what perspective you have on the consensus or lack thereof that we reached, as well on the much more relevant issue of why you think BLP's are so important. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 22:44, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

  • It's not about legally allowed, but ethically allowed. Nor is about what is offensive, but rather what damaging. When information on Wikipedia gets you detained at an airport in Montreal, that's a problem. When you don't like the way we tell the history of Montreal, then it's appropriate to say "tough". WilyD 22:55, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
After all the years we have been discussing BLP-related issues, I find this comment and others of a similar ilk to be profoundly dispiriting. Matt, you have missed the point so very gravely that I don't know where to begin, although referring you to my comments from two years ago at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Doc glasgow#Outside view by Newyorkbrad and Wikipedia:Requests for comment/QZ Deletion dispute#Outside view by Newyorkbrad, as well as the decisions in RfAr/Badlydrawnjeff and RfAr/Footnoted quotes might be one place to start. In the vast majority of cases, a Wikipedia article on an individual will be the very highest-ranking search engine result when a search is conducted on the name of that person. This affects the lives of the people we write about on a daily basis. To suggest that Wikipedia does not have profound obligations to do its best to keep these articles free of defamatory, gossipy, and privacy-invading material is to suggest that we are without obligation to consider the real-world impacts of our actions and the work we are doing. It would be intolerable for a project of our impact and influence to operate in such a manner; and it has long been a matter of imperative public importance that we should not do so.
Neither flagged revisions nor semiprotecting BLPs nor any other single step that could be taken will solve all the many interrelated problems that we class under the heading "BLP", ranging from the random-driveby-vandalism problem to the POV-pushing-attack-article problem to the invasion-of-privacy problem. As it happens, I gave a talk on this topic yesterday at the New York meet-up which ended somewhat inconclusively: neither I nor nor anyone else can "solve" the issue of how Wikipedia sometimes unfairly and negatively affects the lives of some of its article subjects—any more than we can solve the problem of how the Internet in general has this effect, for this is an Internet-wide problem and not just a Wikipedia one. Although additional concrete steps toward improvement need to be taken sooner rather than later, I have not made up my mind at all about what the best solution should be in terms of the details. But it, frankly, horrifies me that there are still dedicated Wikipedians who think that the best answer is that as a matter of principle we shouldn't give a damn. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:03, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I unreservedly agree with Newyorkbrad in regards to his comments. The problem we face is an incredibly difficult one to solve, short of shutting down Wikipedia. As I discussed further above (and a permanent record can be found at User:Chasingsol/FlaggedRevs), there must be some action taken. One suggestion that was mentioned to me was segregating all BLP articles to a separate namespace where they could be subject to stricter oversight, rather than attempting to apply it piecemeal to existing articles. Others include semi-protection of BLP's, the use of flagged revisions, or disallowing BLP's at all. There is no "right" solution to this quandary, only ones that can mitigate some of the concerns. We must very carefully balance our moral duties to those we have articles about, but must also not alienate the very group of people who have made Wikipedia in to what it is. --Chasingsol(talk) 23:50, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I neither agree with Matt's position, nor NYBrad's. I think BLPs are an area where we should be especially vigilant in enforcing our normal editorial policies such as NPOV, NOR, and V, and correct problems arising with those sooner rather than later. We should be far more aggressive with unsourced information or non-neutral presentation in a BLP than we should be in hydrogen. That only makes sense. What does not make sense, however, is what Cerejota states. We have lost sight of the fact that we don't censor. If information is available from highly-reliable sources, we should not redact it simply because someone may dislike it. We should present it neutrally, factually, and without undue weight, but if it is significant enough to be in the article, we should not shrink from presenting it.
When BLP was first getting trotted out, I was every bit on the side of it. I remember reassuring people that we would never tolerate its use as a sledgehammer in content disputes when information was reliably sourced, that we would never censor information already available in reliable sources in the name of "privacy". I feel an idiot, because I've watched exactly those things happen. Those who feared such things were exactly right. We've got to rein this thing in. That doesn't mean we need to eliminate it, but we do need to limit its scope. We can't let powerful tools get out of control, and we're in severe danger of that here. Seraphimblade Talk to me 04:20, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think anyone is calling for removing or disallowing information from highly reliable sources because someone may dislike it as the ideal of enforcing BLP. "Dislike" doesn't enter into it - potential for harm may, and an editorial judgment on what facts need to be included can certainly be brought to bear in order to limit that potential. That is the the diffuse edge of BLP concern, however - more important by far are unsourced statements of controversial fact, and I'm sure you've seen many of those. Your comment inaccurately restates Brad's (and others') position on information about living people. The policy and tools to enforce it may be being misused or misunderstood, but that doesn't indict the policy itself or the concept of due care behind it. Avruch T 13:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with Matt's second point here, and somewhat with his first. That Wikipedia is an encyclopedia anybody can edit has been a fundamental tenet of the Foundation since inception; schisms have been caused by our intransigence on this matter. When did we decide that the ends justify the means, and betray our core values? Certainly we should show extra vigilance towards articles such as BLPs, where vandalism can have profound negative real-world consequences, but it is my understanding that the average lifetime of vandalism on Wikipedia articles is on the order of seconds [citation needed] six minutes, and I imagine it is even shorter on important, watchlisted BLPs. The push for adopting an overbroad technical solution disproportionate to the problem bears the characteristics, in my opinion, of a moral panic, one which will severely stunt the growth of the project in the long run.
More worryingly, the community as a whole does not want this solution. Newyorkbrad, I respect both your opinion and that of your fellow arbitrators, but your citing of a variety of RfArb decisions above only strengthens the argument that these concerns and proposed solutions are being imposed from the top, without the support of broader community consensus. Mr. Wales, you are the founder of the project, and I do not question the propriety of you declaring unilaterally how your hardware is to be used. But I do question the wisdom. TotientDragooned (talk) 06:45, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Vandalism only lasts seconds? I don't think the findings of a a comprehensive vandalism study back-up that assertion GTD 13:10, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the link. TotientDragooned (talk) 13:24, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm more worried about the controversial unsourced statements appearing in "unimportant" BLPs that aren't widely watchlisted - just as damaging Fritzpoll (talk) 13:44, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
We fix them when we get to them. There is no deadline. Perhaps we need to make this point to our readers more obvious, say, a large banner on BLPs in the main page and a constant link in the "navigation" section of the toolbar. It ain't broke, so don't fix it.--Cerejota (talk) 13:54, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
And perhaps we need to care more about our readers and about the subjects of the articles, and less about the editors (in cases where that's the choice). Things like flagged revisions may drive editors away, but the same things may also in the longer run attract readers, who prefer to get good versions of articles to read, and not the current vandalised version. And as for getting vandalism on BLPs quick: yes, a lot gets reverted very fast by our RC patrollers. But the things they don't catch can stay along for a long time, sometimes years. A recent example of a week-old blatant vandalism in the lead of a BLP was this [6], only reverted one week later [7]. And while looking at that old diff again and doing a search, I just discovered this [8], which hasn't been reverted in the last four days (I will do so now). Things are definitely broken and need to be fixed. Fram (talk) 14:05, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm still concerned that Flagged Revisions are being bandied around as the "magic bullet" to solve all BLP issues. This will NOT solve the problems. We have a moral duty to ensure that information in BLP's is accurate and well sourced, but the implementation of Flagged Revisions is not going to make that magically happen. There is no guarantee that a sighting of a BLP will be done with care, or even without malice. With several hundred thousand BLP's, it is folly to believe that this will solve the issue. As can be ascertained from the uproar that is currently occurring, it seems certain to also alienate a very large group of valued editors. With all respect to Jimbo, the German Wikipedia is NOT the shining example of a good implementation of Flagged Revisions it is made out to be. If it worked as intended, with human sighting of articles, then why on Earth are bots being used to sight revisions? This is the wrong way of going about solving this difficult problem and is already fracturing a severely cracked community. --Chasingsol(talk) 14:12, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

BLP and images

Wikipedia has a lot of work to do wrt to biographies of living people. Even the terminology we use unnecessarily limits the frame of argument. What we're dealing with isn't an issue restricted to biography articles, or pages within the umbrella of a biography (talk pages, noticeboards, etc.). The issue is understanding and respecting our ability to do harm to living people in a variety of ways, whether through direct articles, references in other articles, discussion on talkpages, noticeboards, dispute resolution, deletion discussions, etc.
Perhaps the limiting lexicon of this problem explains why its scope and seriousness hasn't penetrated its way to all dedicated members of the Wikimedia community. When we blithely allow pictures of random naked women on the English Wikipedia and Commons, refuse to require any sort verification of model age or right to publish, and defend to the death our right to hold on to sexually explicit images so that users can put them in personal galleries like "Hot" or "Appreciation of the female form"... It's clear that, as a community, we are not yet fully serious about securing living people against our potential for harm. I'd love to see Jimmy or Brad recognize this problem as serious and begin to argue as strongly for progress in image management as they have for article management. Avruch T 00:38, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
God damn, some of those guys have got no taste in women. Tattoos and piercings just make me want to vomit. Aside from that, yes, I can see why this sort of thing fuels your critics' flames, as in many cases the model is not identified and consent cannot be guaranteed to have been given.--Able-bodied Creature (talk) 00:46, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you on all the details here, and so I might not be aware of the scope of the problem. I would say that a personal gallery of sexually explicit images with the title "Hot" (to pick one example that you gave) would be deleted immediately and the person who did it likely blocked. Am I wrong?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm also not fully familiar with the problem as you (Avruch) describe it, in part because I have not really dealt with image issues as a speciality during my time on Wikipedia (the closest I came to these issues was in the two Betacommand arbitration cases). In the wake of the Virgin Killer situation a month or so ago, I did suggest adopting some sort of policy about images of minors, and proposed one, which did not enjoy a groundswell of support. (In general, I am tired of seeing the overused slogan "Wikipedia is not censored", which is intended to mean that we do not consider ourselves required to limit certain types of comments in order to shield the readership, misunderstood to mean either that (1) we can't take considerations of appropriateness in a given context into account in formulating our own editorial judgment; and (2) even more distressing, that we can't choose to limit our content in order to protect the article subjects (or image subjects) from unwarranted invasions of privacy.) I'd be interested in hearing from others with greater experience of this issue, but perhaps a subthread should be created so as not to divert attention from the original topic. Newyorkbrad (talk) 01:39, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Unquestionably. There are a number of such galleries. Admiring the female form. Hot. Nude women & "undressing". Fav Sexy. Girls. I haven't spent a lot of time looking for these, and I'm sure there are a few more. I'm not saying they're everywhere; I am saying that they aren't effectively monitored, and that there are hundreds of images without sufficient provenance - just check out this category. You'll find that most of these pictures are at Commons, and relatively few of them currently have a home on this project, but the core issue confronts all of Wikimedia and not just its most prominent project. Also, should be noted that any of these images can be displayed on en.wp at any time and from time to time they are. Avruch T 01:52, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I might be wrong, but isn't the commons be, besides all the legalese, "realistically useful for an educational purpose". I doubt random collections of naked women fit the criteria of "realistically useful for an educational purpose", however, pictures that can be offensive to users for a variety of reasons do have a "realistically useful for an educational purpose". For example, Ejaculation has a frame by frame picture of a man ejaculating. That image is offensive to many (although I suspect it is titillating to others) but it is clearly serving an educational purpose. I agree with Newyorkbrad that WP:CENSOR is overused, but it is also disrespected as a matter of course, for religious, political, and even fan-cruft reasons. The founding spirit, if I am not mistaken, of WP:CENSOR is to ensure liberty of thought over personal values - and one of the biggest problems of WP:CREEP has been people lose track of the spirit and start to see this as a legal game. I feel that we should always keep that in mind when considering not accepting content. For me the Virgin Killer case was one where the WMF took the correct position, a principled one. It would certainly been easier to remove that one image in order to guarantee access in the UK, but our position was defended. The one thing, behind all controversies, drama, and everything else, that I have always liked about wikipedia is an uncompromising position on freedom of knowledge. I'll hate to see that be eroded, simply because consensus moves that way. Sometimes only a minority defends liberty, does that make liberty less worthy of defense? --Cerejota (talk) 03:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
If there are images with educational value, no one is asking for them to be deleted. You're misunderstanding what I'm asking for if you see it as a censorship issue - asking for age verification, verification of right to publish and monitoring for encyclopedic use is not the same as censoring content. It's protecting image subjects who are unlikely to be able to protect themselves. At least BLP subjects can look themselves up in Wikipedia, or Google their name, to discover what untoward things are being said about them; how should an image subject go about doing that? Search for "naked_woman_on_beach.jpg" and click through a thousand images, once or twice a year, to make sure she hasn't been uploaded yet? As you can see, we won't get too many OTRS complaints - but that doesn't mean we aren't harming people by publishing explicit images of them. Avruch T 13:25, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
My point was, and I didn't make it explicit, that galleries named "Hot" in the commons could be discussed for deletion, in other words, we have mechanisms to deal with them, and people then decide, by consensus, if they have educational value. The problem I see with proposals that take away that responsibility away from the community, is that we are delegating our responsibilities as editors either to bureaucrats or to machines. There is already a significant erosion in editor commitment to the spirit of the wikipedian five pillars, we do not need to add another nail to the coffin: the deletion process for the most part still work. Really what people need to do is stop trying to fix what is not broken, and actually use the tools at their disposal - there shouldn't be any shortcuts to discussion and consensus seeking - we stop doing that, like with flagging, this place will become stale and disrispected: everyones roots for wikipedia to work, but the jury still undecided, believe it or not. On the matter of BLPs, we already have stronger policies (WP:BLP) and for the most part they work. If we need stronger policies, then we modify WP:BLP. In a more philosophical point, all of these discussions are based on fear, fear of vandals, fears of pov pushing, fears of children exposed to unsuitable material. I am sorry, but I am not a coward, and I refuse to act on fear. I am a wikipedian, and I am bold. --Cerejota (talk) 13:50, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps its my fault for not being clear, and for not disclaiming specific concerns or goals first, but I'm not commenting out of fear or proposing a specific bureaucratic process. I'm not interested at this point in the exposure of children to explicit images, or of vandalism or POV pushing, as it relates to images. POV pushing is a problem with BLPs, but I think assuming that fear is behind what others have expressed as a concern is belittling and misses the point.

What I would like to see come from this discussion (in this newly created subthread) is Jimmy and Brad and others taking the problem of image management seriously, and I would like to see them incorporate it as a part of their campaign to raise awareness and provoke thought and progress in the area of BLP. Specifically, sexually explicit images should be more rigourously evaluated for encyclopedic usability and we should look into how we might do better at verifying uploader right to publish and model age. Avruch T 14:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

You were clear. We simply disagree: I am not assuming it is fear, the straight up language used is a language of fear: "protection" is only needed when one fears something and feels the need to protect oneself from it. If one doesn't fear something, there is no need to protect oneself. And while you are not proposing any concrete changes, what you propose will require those changes - we already have a process for dealing with inappropiate content, and a process for dealing with vandalism, and a process for dealing with POV pushing. If you suggest any change to that process you are, well, proposing that they be changed. Its pretty clear.
I am not so sure that there is anything wrong in how we handle image content, today. If people do not use the deletion process in the Commons and other wikipedias, is not the process's fault, it is the inaction of people's fault. If people vandalize, they get reverted. If people POV push, they get pushed back. Yes, dumbass is the number one language in an environment of massive collaboration, but from the collection of idiocies emerges a pretty amazing encyclopedic collection of knowledge.
I do not want Jimmy and Brad to go down a road that I know their instincts won't take them (erm, Jimmy is, well, lets say, aquainted with - soft - porn if his BLP is to be trusted), simply because people feel we have a "responsibility to protect the children". We don't have that responsibility, nor should we have it. We are not collective parents to the collective children. We are not the Borg. Of course, those offended can ultimately get the fork out of here. But the day we censor crap by bureaucratic order, rather than community consensus, its the day many of us will indeed getting the fork out of here.--Cerejota (talk) 21:08, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Pardon me, I don't mean to be rude, but it seems that Jimbo does seem to attract a lot of public conversation on his talk page, so I thought it might be ok for me to comment. Regarding the explicit photos: I've always considered Wikipedia an educational tool. If it makes sense to display a picture to further the education of a topic, then in line with the not censured mindset, it seems that it would be acceptable. If showing a picture is only an attempt to "shock" someone, then it really isn't what the community wants. I say this in line with a conversation (RFC) on the urination topic going on (but it seemed somewhat relevant). I'd personally hate to see wikipedia turn into a porn site, using education as a front for the graphics. I'm guessing that most folks agree with me, but I just thought I'd like to comment. Thank you for your time. Ched (talk) 15:04, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
  • I tend to agree with Avruch, but the problem is that every time this topic comes up, there is little definition about how to determine sexually explicit material that is education versus superfluous. I probably have about four photos that could be deleted as they lack encyclopedic value, and I wish I hadn't uploaded them. Unfortunately, the motivations of people who make proposals for this often do have an agenda that would affect relevant and educational material that people just don't like because they are personally creeped out or offended by the human condition (which runs counter to our educational goals). Clearly my most controversial photos are the ones taken on the set of a big budget pornographic film shoot where the actors and film crew signed releases on file with Lucas Entertainment. The arguments against these images are because they are explicit, but also because they are gay. So would the photograph at the top of Pornographic film fall in line with one of the ones that should be deleted? No genitals are shown, and the focus is not on the actors, but on the totality of the set. Most people who oppose it seem to not like it simply because it's a gay film. Images such as these are often swept up in the anti-WP:CENSOR initiatives, even though everything Avruch described above does not apply to them. This is what I see as the main problem with prior attempts to limit explicitness. So, where is the happy medium? That's the light in which I'd personally appreciate hearing Jimmy and Brad's opinions. Nobody is really making those determinations. And I'm happy to supply a list of my own images that I think should be deleted, simply because they will probably never have much use on any project (IMO). All that said, people also make the mistake to think Wikimedia Commons is here to serve only Wikimedia projects, which pisses off the Commoners; in fact, the prior sentence just did that. So what is Commons? --David Shankbone 16:13, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
The Commons is not only for wikipedia, but as I quoted above, it is for educational material. It is explicit and clear in that goal. It isn't flickr or youtube or redtube or imagefap. That said, I share your concerns, but still trust the right desicion to be made - there are enough of us who can take offensive content and defend it over our offense because we see its encyclopedic value. --Cerejota (talk) 21:08, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

This image on Commons is particularly choice, with the added bonus that the extended description makes sure to mention she was with her children at the time. Avruch T 02:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

A deletion discussion was opened, and I argued for deletion.--Cerejota (talk) 19:50, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I could've told you it wouldn't be deleted. It's a cultural issue, really - no wider use of existing processes and policies will cause a significant change unless it is preceded by a concerted effort at changing perceptions and priorities in the Commons (and en.wp image) culture. Avruch T 22:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
You'd be surprised... Giggy (talk) 04:08, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Wow, concensus to keep is evident at the deletion discussion for the image but User:Giggy deletes the image anyway. Way to go, who cares about following proper procedure or the consensus of the community. All of you those "OH NOES IT'S TEH PR0NZ, PLEASE DO SOMETHING FOR THE CHILDREN" people disgust me and you really should head over to Wikipedia Review where you will find plenty of close-minded, like-minded, bigots to vent your wikihatred with. Stop ruining the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. L0b0t (talk) 15:11, 22 January 2009 (UTC) refactored so as not to ruffle feathers. L0b0t (talk) 19:18, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
WP:IAR is the most important non-WP:5P policy in Wikipedia, specially under snowy conditions. Part of being bold is knowing this: Giggy acted fearlessly clearly using this criteria. You think s/he acted wrong? There is dispute resolution available, use it. BTW Giggy is not "protecting the children" s/he is protecting the subject of the photgraphs, two entirely different criteria.
Lesson: the system works, and it doesn't need fixing... It is slow as hell sometimes, but I prefer a crap picture like this one to fall through the cracks for a while than have a system in place that can be misused to block legitimate content simply because it is unpopular or it is controversial.--Cerejota (talk) 10:36, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
The system does need fixing when "editors" can post rumors and innuendo about someone that is libelous and malicious at best, and can defame a person in such a way as to prevent them from obtaining employment or earning income. There are several profiles of musicians that are in this category, and while the most current page may have had the offending rumors pulled from it, the information still occurs in the history pages. There has to be a way to flag this information for immediate removal when it is simply rumor and hearsay and not based on any fact. If an accurate source for charges of things like "rape" or "molestation" are not verifiable, they really need to not appear on the pages of Wikipedia. OneCourtesan (talk) 21:55, 25 January 2009 (UTC)


He Jimbo. I stumbled upon a recent comScore press release, and according to them, the wikimedia foundation now has an audience of 27.1% of the total internet audience. That makes it the 5th most powerful website conglomerate in the world it seems, only surpassed by Google, M$, Yahoo and AOL. Thought that might be a useful statistic for one of your speeches :D --TheDJ (talkcontribs) 19:12, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Shame then that the WMF still doesn't accept its responsibilities with regard to BLP's. Now when will all those unsourced BLP's be deleted? RMHED (talk) 19:54, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
    • When they are submitted to an AfD and the consensus is delete.--Cerejota (talk) 08:57, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

"Congratulations, Wikipedians. You rule. Seriously, it's a remarkable achievement. Who would have thought that a rag-tag band of anonymous volunteers could achieve what amounts to hegemony over the results of the most popular search engine, at least when it comes to searches for common topics...." A lot of dedicated Wikipedians knew it all along. GetLinkPrimitiveParams (talk) 01:44, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


Hello, I'm (mainly) ru.wp user. Now we are trying to validate rules about user-boxes. Results of the voting will be "let them all live". But there is a lot of forcible arguments, based on WP:NOTBLOG, that all that have no connection with the articles writing should be banished. Means taboo on all that can bring ethnic, national, religious or orientation-based hostility.

But in this prohibitive mood they want to suppress all, that makes no harm - humor for example, because it is useless. I believe that in user-generated content project there is a place for a smile, which brings friendly atmosphere.

Your words are very important for us all. I see you have "42 answer" user-box on your page. Am I right trying to save such userboxes? Carn (talk) 08:55, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I just now removed that editbox, because I don't care for it. My own view is that userboxes which have any possibility to offend or to be divisive in any way should be forbidden, as you call it "that can bring ethnic, national, religious or orientation-based hostility." (I would say that can be bring any hostility.) The little harmless joke ones, well, I don't care for them personally, but I think it is possible that they can be allowed with little trouble.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanк уou for your opinion, i hope it helps us bring order into userbox chaos.Carn (talk) 09:42, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
(2) Please, imagine such situation: one en-wiki administrator will delete such userboxes (e.g. communist / anti-communist; for Tibet’s independence / against Tibet’s independence) without any discussion, but with commentary «Jimbo said that such hostile userboxes should be forbidden». What do you think about his actions?! Thanks for your answers! --Chronicler (talk) 16:42, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I do think that all such userboxes should be forbidden. I don't think an admin should act unilaterally to do it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:58, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
(3) One more important question. In WP:NOT is stated that: «Wikipedians have their own user pages, but they may be used only to present information relevant to working on the encyclopedia». Do you suppose such information as anyone’s nationality; religion; orientation; number of children and so on to be relevant or helpful for Wikipedians? Do you agree that such userboxes should be forbidden? Thanks for your answers! --Chronicler (talk) 16:37, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
It seems to me that if one supposes such common personal information to be inevitably divisive and hostile, he will violate WP:AGF --Chronicler (talk) 16:44, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Those letters "AGF" stand for "Assume Good Faith". They have no bearing on the opinion that importing statements into Wikipedia inevitably leads to sectarianism. Good faith disagreements on real world matters are notoriously divisive, and a look at our history of arbitration cases shows that such good faith disagreements lead to extreme disruption where they are imported by editors into Wikipedia. --TS 16:55, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm disheartened to find this page even exists, and I've nominated it for deletion at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Userboxes/Politics by country. I've given my reasons on the nomination.--Scott Mac (Doc) 18:17, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

French speakers needed for Tunis

I'm in the process of transwikiying this which is a core article. For the many zillions of people who watch this page if there are any French speakers please help translate a paragraph or two, should only take a few minutes and the more people help out the quicker it will get done! Dr. Blofeld White cat 20:40, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Alternative Suggestion

How about having all revisions have a one-hour delay before they are viewable by the general public? However, anyone signed in with a legit account can see them (and revert them)? A lot of the worst vandalism gets reverted in less than one hour and this would catch a lot.

-- (talk) 21:36, 25 January 2009 (UTC) --WickerGuy (talk) 21:37, 25 January 2009 (UTC) Also have all changes quickly e-mailed to any user who has a page on their watch-list. --WickerGuy (talk) 22:25, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia Loves Art

Hi Jimmy. Thanks for all your help with this project, and with Wikipedia:Wikipedia Takes Manhattan. It would be great if you could possibly upload the video sometime in the next few days. Thanks!--Pharos (talk) 00:35, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Question about flagged revs

76156 So, we're turning on flagged revs with a ~60% consensus? Don't you think this is a classic example of "no consensus"? I see no agreement, no discussion coming to a largely resolved opinion, and no realistic chance of anything changing in the short term. I'm really confused where the momentum you sense to turn this on for the English Wikipedia is coming from. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 04:01, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

It was actually a straw poll, so I guess consensus doesn't matter too much here. Chamal talk 04:08, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Normally, foundation (small-f) changes require consensus in the region of 70% before they're even considered. Jimbo: please reconsider. There is literally no consensus within the community to even try it out. And please don't make this into our Treaty of Lisbon, where it keeps coming up every time we say "Non." Sceptre (talk) 18:25, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
[citation needed]? Issues this big hardly ever come up, but, on a smaller scale, we got rid of spoiler warnings after (actually during) a straw poll which gave removal 58% support (after a previous poll gave the "wrong" answer). PaddyLeahy (talk) 19:10, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
FR needs to be tried. I personally doubt it will scale well, I think the same vandalism and disinformation problems will occur, only more sneaky (and locking in previous inaccuracy). But it's there, it needs to be tried and either accepted or rejected based on experience. Franamax (talk) 14:00, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Obviously, a large minority of the community feels differently. I don't know if this is the best place to argue your POV too.

Also, Jimbo, may I ask for another major foundational shift that occured with consensus of barely over half the community? Considering that this isn't some silly thing about rollback, but something that might make people quit the project (~20% of German regulars quit after FR was implement, if I remember correctly), don't you think it is more prudent to repoll in a few more months and see if a better community consensus can be found?in a year and see if community consensus is different. NuclearWarfare (Talk) 19:22, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Nuke, that's the wrong way to go about it. This is not gonna become another one of those ideas which keeps getting voted on until whoever started it gets the "right" answer. My mother taught me when I was a kid, "No means no." Once is enough. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 19:35, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Also, "X bad thing happened, if I remember correctly" doesn't really help me much to explore the issue. Do you have a reference?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:43, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Let me strike that part. The German IRC channel informed me that it was a lower percentage than that, though they don't have active figures. However, User:Dapete/Report_on_Flagged_Revisions,_December_14,_2008#Influence_on_edits_and_user_registrations, a translated version of a mailing list post, suggests that in the past year, registration has gone sharply down, by as much as 50%[9]. NuclearWarfare (Talk) 20:07, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
Are there any before/after numbers to suggest this had anything to do with Flagged Revisions? Or was the decline before this was implemented? Remember, too, the Germans have decided to use Flagged Rev's *everywhere* *by default*, which is not even under consideration here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:41, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
As an aside, I consider our BLP issue to be so important that I think it is actually unethical to not use a tool which holds great promise for helping with the problem, now that it has been successfully tested elsewhere. Anyone who would like to see this tool not go into practice needs to start by convincing people that either (a) it is ok for the BLP vandalism problem to continue or (b) there is a better way to solve it. Anything else, for me, is just a total non-starter.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:44, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Category:Living people currently has 333,547 articles. That's 12.34% of our articles (about one out of ten). Enabling FlaggedRevisions on such a large segment of the site will undoubtedly create backlogs that we will be unable to manage. I propose that we enable it for articles that have demonstrable issues, but we absolutely should not do anything site-wide or across a huge segment of our articles.

And having spoken to a number of people about this issue, a lot of them tell me that the places where they see the worst BLP violations are in articles that are not in Category:Living people. Enabling FlaggedRevisions on all BLPs is a poor solution to the problem that will do far more harm than good. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:01, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Nonsense. "Undoubtedly" we should remember that we're not prognosticators here. I don't think you can pretend to know what would happen, but I will make a wild prediction that the sky won't fall. German Wikipedia is flagging over 800,000 articles with a much smaller contributor base. This proposal deserves a trial, not FUD. Cool Hand Luke 07:20, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Excuse me? It may come as a surprise to you, but this isn't my first time on the merry-go-round. We currently have new page patrolling on this project. After 30 days, the data expires and the pages can no longer be patrolled. It has been backlogged literally since its inception. One admin has been working nearly daily to keep the data from falling off the end, and even then it requires a bot to keep up with the high volume. And this is just new pages (which are restricted to logged-in users).

If we were to implement FlaggedRevisions for all edits, it would create backlogs. This is a certainty, and I know this not because I'm a seer, but because that's how things work on this site. I've spoken with a number of different people about this. At one point I even tried to get FlaggedRevs implemented through sysadmin fiat. But I've come to realization that doing it site-wide simply will not work for this project. It's time that others caught up to this reality. --MZMcBride (talk) 07:32, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Wether or not enabling FlaggedRevisions will create a backlog is solely a function of the number of authorized approvers and the number of articles affected. Since the first factor could be easily brought to tens of thousands (by selecting everyone with an active history that doesn't include vandalism and with edits that last above a certain number of article revisions) and that would enable a very dynamic system with better quality assurances than we have today, I don't see a need to stay in the extremes (no moderation/moderation by a tiny minority) when it would lead to worse results.Herbys (talk) 02:16, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Addendum: One last thing. All of this talk about "fixing" BLPs. Guess what? Flagging the content doesn't do anything. In fact, it nearly does harm when content is flagged as "accurate" or "verified" when it actually isn't. You want to fix the BLP problem? Go to Wikipedia:Database reports/Biographies of living persons containing unsourced statements and start editing. That's the first 500 entries in a list that's over 17,000 entries long. Until people like you start helping out and fixing the actual problem rather than putting cute little flags on the content for somebody else to fix, nothing will change. --MZMcBride (talk) 07:39, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
You're excused. The "first time" was an absolutely pointless venture; there's no compelling reason to update revisions since it made no difference to the displayed content one way or another. Different story with flagged revisions on a minority of our articles; we have strong ethical and technological motivations to flag them because we care about the content on living people and the edits won't show up otherwise. We've got more users, and we're proposing to flag less articles than de.wp, which is 98.7% flagged up-to-date; it deserves a trial. Worst case scenario: you're right and we drop it. Cool Hand Luke 07:40, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

::::::I'm sorry if this offends you, Jimbo, but it seems to me that you are hell bent on getting this mutant offspring of a wiki extension implemented here even if its the last thing you do. When are you gonna start to listen to the users? I have spoken to Administrators who think you are making the biggest mistake of your life. Over 40% of those polled have laid some exceptionally strong arguments, but you seem intent on walking on those who have opposed this and going ahead with it anyhow. A clear cut use of The Parliament Act, if I may say so. Go ahead and implement it if you must, but I for one will accept it if you agree to take it out of use should it prove to be, in your own words, "a non starter". Thor Malmjursson (talk) 02:20, 18 January 2009 (UTC) Struck out - Utter nonsensical ravings and gobbledegook. Reworded below :) Thor Malmjursson (talk) 04:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

How could I be offended? It's as if you've accused me of being a Purple Martian. What you are saying about me has so little resemblance to the actual facts about me, that I can't be offended, but rather bewildered. Do you want to try again to take a more nuanced approach?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:51, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

(Outdented) - Sorry about that, Jimbo. I hate confusing people, but sometimes things in my brain don't reach the keyboard in the right order; a mild case of PEBCAK if you will. What I was trying to say is, it looks like you are going to force this through no matter what comes, and that you are not listening to your editors properly.

The reference to the Parliament act comes from a British law about something known as a "suspensory veto"; if a law goes before the House of Lords and gets rejected, the Prime Minister can invoke the Parliament Act, Part I, to force it through against their wishes. This is what your attempt to bring FlaggedRevs in looks like from my point of view.

The matter of FlaggedRevs has been discussed at length on the English IRC channel, where I have spoken to several administrators who think the implementation of it here is wholly wrong. It is, in the words of one I spoke to, whom I will not identify, "an abortion waiting to happen." I wouldn't go that far, but I disagree with it in principal.

I would however, accept Flagged Revisions if the condition was added that in the event of it being a failure or causing a lot more problems than it solved, you would agree to remove it from this Wikipedia.

I hope this is a little clearer than my last ranty attempt to say what I was thinking. Thanks for understanding. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 04:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for clarifying. On the other hand, in this particular case, Parliament seems to have passed it - by a wide margin. And yes, of course, a trial period is meant as just that: a trial period.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:43, 18 January 2009 (UTC) Addendum: I have thought through the Parliament Act analogy several times, and I still don't get what you're saying. There is no "House of Lords" which has rejected it, and I'm not forcing anything through against the wishes of the community. We have a straw poll which shows that there is support by a wide margin, and I'm suggesting that it is about time to go through with it. Saying that I'm not listening to users doesn't make sense to me either... I'm not sure how me going against years of discussion and a community poll would be "listening to users" more than what I'm doing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:48, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
There is no "wide" margin. At the time of writing, there is exactly sixty percent support for a trial. If just one more person opposed it, you'd have a majority on which the US Senate couldn't invoke cloture, and that's on the low end of supermajorities. Sceptre (talk) 16:49, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
10% seems pretty wide to me. It's enough that the poll is unlikely to have got the wrong result through sampling errors. --Tango (talk) 18:39, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
We don't make decisions by majority opinion. Cheers, — Jake Wartenberg 18:54, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Try and find one significant proposal that passed with 60% support or less. No RfA has ever passed with that percentage, and you can count on one hand the number that came below 70%. The straw poll does not show consensus for turning on flagged revisions. Hut 8.5 19:15, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
The worst that can happen is we turn it back off. What is the big issue? Prodego talk 05:05, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
The big issue is that while we have majority support, we don't have consensus--and that's the way we have always made our decisions. I think that everyone involved should stop and evaluate not whether or not you think flagged revisions are good, but if you think going ahead despite lack of consensus will be good for the community. A lot of editors are becoming disenchanted with the project; we are losing them all the time. This is not going to help, and that is my main concern right now. It should be yours too, Jimbo. The issue of the extension itself pales in comparison. Regards, — Jake Wartenberg 16:40, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Jake makes a good point about losing good editors currently, but I think we will continue to lose editors if we don't turn on flagged revisions and don't make effort to deal with BLP problems. Using flagged revisions (and whatever other means we have for BLPs) is so essential. Here is an example [10] of how flagged revisions would have helped. I only noticed the IP edit inserting blatant BLP violations in that article, when I noticed another user reverting it six days later! I believe this edit ~1 week later [11] was made by the subject, and on this BLP talk page [12], you see that the subject of the article has previously complained to OTRS. I feel horrible that the IP edit remained for six days! It's an embarrassment to Wikipedia. Flagged revisions would certainly have helped, and is worth whatever effort we need to put into to patrol/approve the edits. The sooner flagged revisions is turned on, the better. If somehow, it doesn't work, then we can always turn it off later, but we must try it and I believe it will be helpful to have it. --Aude (talk) 16:53, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
I am also of the opinion that a trial is better than no trial at all. We don't know until we see some data, we either discover that it's not right for Wikipedia, or we miss out on the biggest opportunity this place has ever had. The BLP situation has become so extensive, that I can completely understand why Jimbo feels it is crucial to investigate every possibility in dealing with it. Of course being unopposed to a trial does not equate to being unopposed to the actual full implementation flagged revisions. Looking at the opposition, a lot of people seemed to have missed that point. --.:Alex:. 22:26, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I have personally put much thought in to the pros and cons of flagged revisions as currently defined. One of my greatest concerns is the nebulosity around exactly what the trial will incur, and whether it is merely a trial that can be reverted or a fiat. This point in particular needs to be addressed affirmatively so that the community can at least move forward without doubt hanging in the air. While the straw poll is merely that, a "feeler" for the community's opinion, as it currently stands, there are many who oppose and consensus is not reached. A trial on a limited number of articles also cannot address the problems of scale, so I don't believe that it should be called a trial, since it would not be an effective measure of viability.
I am fully cognizant of the liability the project faces when dealing with BLP's that are less than factual, but my concern is that flagged revisions will ultimately do more harm to the project in the long term. Wikipedia's core principle is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit". It's on the Main Page, and has been virtually since it's inception. Flagged revisions are being used on the German Wikipedia, with mixed results, as stated by some of the administrators from that project. Flagged revisions would be effective if the care is taken to check for vandalism before sighting, but with a project the size of this Wikipedia, I have my serious doubts. A significant backlog seems almost inevitable, with one solution for German Wikipedia being the use of bots to sight articles, which obviously has potential defects as compared to an editor sighting the article. Other concerns are how it will impact the project to those who want to contribute, but will discover that Wikipedia is no longer the "instant gratification" that allows their hard work to appear immediately. There is also the question around who will be provided the necessary permissions to sight articles. I am not at all against the concept of some method to reduce liability, but liability will not miraculously vanish with flagged revisions. The sole solution to removing liability for inaccurate BLP's is by shutting down Wikipedia. I respectfully disagree with those that believe that flagged revisions is the "magic bullet" that would remove all liability.
The other concerns are more on a forward looking basis around how Wikipedia will present itself to potential and existing editors. With the implementation of flagged revisions, nobody other than those privileged with sighting flags will be able to edit the live version of an article. This in particular holds many dangers in the approachability of the project to an editor. I would certainly not wish to devote time and effort to the writing of content when there is no guarantee that my work will ultimately be shown. German Wikipedia has experienced a significant reduction in the number of edits to their project since the implementation of flagged revisions, and considering that this Wikipedia is also currently experiencing a decline in editing activity, I am concerned that this alone would ultimately be a fatal blow to the project.
To summarize, flagged revisions are an imperfect cure to a difficult problem. We already have existing tools in place that can mitigate the damage being caused that do not alienate the core group of editors that have made Wikipedia what it is. I must therefore respectfully urge that flagged revisions not be implemented in it's currently defined iteration, and that all concerns raised be weighed on their merits. Best regards. --Chasingsol(talk) 08:21, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
"A very large majority, at least two-thirds" is needed according to Erik Möller [13]. DuncanHill (talk) 14:27, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
There clearly is NO CONSENSUS under ANY definition of the word 'consensus'.

It is not in the interests of the community to trample on the views of large and passionate minority who wish to maintain the principle that all editors have an equal right to edit, and equal responsibility for what they produce. This change will increase divisions, create new wounds and rub salt into the existing ones. It cannot be in anyone's interests for this to go ahead, and doing so will show contempt for a whole layer of people who have devoted their time and energy in good faith, believing that what WP told them: 'this is an encyclopaedia that anyone can edit' was true. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Riversider2008 (talkcontribs) 13:27, 22 January 2009 (UTC)

Entries such as Senator Edward Kennedy, and Senator Robert Byrd (whose entries were recently reportedly vandalized) and other such notables probably should be much more routinely LOCKED DOWN. This would prevent Wikipedia from becoming into the public eye and the calls for change that follow. Maybe, just maybe locking down a lot of the much more visited, or highest profile, or current entries would save us all from revisiting this matter in the future. Or at least the very near future, anywayz. Lesbrown99 (talk) —Preceding undated comment was added at 01:50, 25 January 2009 (UTC).

Meanwhile, in Germany...

Higher up in this section, NuclearWarfare posted a link claiming that registration on the German Wikipedia had dropped with 50% after Flagged Revisions were enabled. As far as I can tell, they were enabled as a test on the German Wikipedia in May, and fully enabled in August-September 2008. This Wikimedia statistics page suggests that if anything, registration has gone up since then, not that it was halved.[14] The rise is probably caused by IPs preferring to register after FR are implemented, but I just wanted to show that the figures given above in the discussion seem to be incorrect. From the same site, it also appears that the number of edits on the German Wikipedia has not significantly changed.[15]. While the first number (new editors) does not show the change FR may have on the existing base of editors, the number of edits seems to indicate that in the end, there was no apparent drop in the number of active editors. Fram (talk) 10:40, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

Has any consideration been given to versioning? Underline the new stuff but make it easy to see what has been changed. & have it signed. New stuff appears immediately but can be subject to edit. Johntnash (talk) 16:50, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

View as a Consumer of your product

To be blunt folks: I rely on the principal that my sources of information are accurate; if they are not, they are useless and I will find other reliable sources. Debate all you want, but if what I read on one of your pages proves false, misleading or inaccurate the credibility of the entire resource is then in question. It is all well and good to be a community, be a responsible one. As is true in other occupations, “Trust and Verify”. (talk) 16:37, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

We have a number of policies and guidelines on this: WP:V and WP:RS to name 2. If you use Wikipedia as a reference material, only use things with a little blue number (like [1]). Click on that number and it will take you down to something that looks like this:
  1. ^ this
That will usually be linked to another website (unless it's an offline reference). Check that site to see whether or not the information is there. Dendodge TalkContribs 16:47, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
And don't trust our little footnotes implicitly either. Wikipedia is not a reliable source. In fact, if we're going to change policy on this, a simpler solution would be to accept disclaimers, and say on every BLP page some messages which would admit that: Wikipedia is not a reliable source; it is a work in progress. If this page is in error, please edit it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:02, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Something like the message that's already linked-to on every article, perhaps? – iridescent 17:06, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
But shorter and actually on the same page as the article. It is clear that the anon Consumer missed that page of legal boilerplate. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:12, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

The question you should be asking is not "Why isn't Wikipedia a reliable source of information?", but "Why does everybody assume that closed-sourced encyclopedias are reliable sources of information?"
You don't always know that your sources are going to be accurate. Closed-sourced encyclopedias suffer from the illusion of accuracy. Yes, they are probably accurate a majority of the time, but you don't know the biases of the editor of the entry or biases inherent within the company itself. When something IS inaccurate on a closed-sourced encyclopedia, very very few people will question it because they believe 100% of what is in the source.
This is a serious problem in the mentality of people with how they question the validity of information. By assuming that a piece of information could be wrong and double-checking your sources and information, you yourself control how confident you are in that information. No one source should EVER be the sole point of information! Most teachers teach that in high school.
However, Wikipedia allows you a single starting point, with direct sources for most statements, so that you can confirm the data elsewhere. The footnote system is something that encyclopedias don't have, and no other encyclopedia updates as fast or has more entries than Wikipedia. You have to accept that the current system makes it this way. At least Jimbo acknowledges the problem enough to try to change the system (hopefully without sacrificing the positives). SineSwiper (talk) 18:49, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Flagged Revs - just try it

For what it's worth I say try it. Some people have already raised the "reliability of Wikipedia" argument. I hear it a lot from people who for better or worse, totally reject wikipedia as a source of information due to the fact that at any given point in time when you view an article, you don't know (without checking the history) that someone has not fundamentally altered the article two seconds before, rendering it meaningless or worse, dangerously misleading. Those of us who know how it works, know to check histories and follow the references etc., but many many people I am sure use Wikipedia without having ever edited, or read the policies or have any real idea how it works. If there was a well publicised mechanism to at least improve the perception of reliability while at the same time reducing the likelihood that a given article is misleading, which flagged revs appears to achieve, then the use of wikipedia might well increase.

On the subject of how you classify an editor as "reliable" or "trusted", how would this work. Edit counts alone obviously wouldn't suffice as someone could make a thousand dodgy edits. This implies that as well as proofing new changes to articles, the reviewer will have to "proof" the person who made the change, and presumably record that fact somewhere as well.

Anyway, bottom line I agree that this is a proposal worth trying, at least to give it a chance. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work, and it might spark an alternative or modified idea that will work. If it does work, Wikipedia and the community and the internet population benefit.

Rmkf1982 Talk 20:57, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

There is no way that Flagged Revisions will make Wikipedian articles 100% reliable. The only chance of anything close to that is spending as much time on an article as one would normally spend on a Good/Featured Article Review. Or when you cite a article, will you actually go through and check each source, and then post your credentials on your userpage so that people will believe you know what you are talking about? NuclearWarfare (Talk) 21:44, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting it will imply 100% reliability. But it would help overcome often baseless perceptions of inaccuracy. At least, I think it would. Rmkf1982 Talk 22:02, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Nothing is 100% reliable. Books, journals, whatnot, regularly print things which wrong, for a variety of reasons. But flagged revisions will certainly increase our reliability, which increases our utility as a reference. Which is supposed to be the point. WilyD 22:06, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Hiring professional encyclopedia writers using all those donations, banning all editors except a small elite from editing and putting commercials on the site would also improve reliability. However, it would be against the founding philosophy of Wikipedia - that's the point. Sometimes, the small typos, and even the vandalisms give an incentive to new users to start editing, thus contributing to the project. People have a psychological tendency to value and protect their work. As I said above, a teenager who, as an anon, added "ARSE" to a page might be drawn to make a positive contribution later on based on the empowerment he felt the first time. And what is this brouhaha about the so-called "Crisis at BLP"? "There is probably no crisis at the BLP. Now stop worrying and enjoy editing." :))) (talk) 22:16, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

This whole issue makes me really uncomfortable. Although I am in favor of a trial period for flagged revisions, it really makes me question what is at the core of Wikipedia's mission. Is it more important to increase reliability or to remain open to as many people as possible? I honestly do not know the answer.- Moshe Constantine Hassan Al-Silverburg | Talk 22:43, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

No, Flagged Revisions would induce baseless delusions of Wikipedia's accuracy, both in ourselves and in the general public. We are not a reliable source, and the sort of damage Flagged revisions can curtail (even if it were better at it than I think it can be) is not our real accuracy problem. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:32, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The latter, Moshe, absolutely. If it weren't neither you or me would be here. Moreover, there would be no need for Wikipedia since professional encyclopedias like Brittanica exist already. Wikipedia cannot deny its raison d'etre. More so because all the contributions are under GNU license, which means that in the future a hypothesis would be possible in which, due to restrictions on anon editing (or other editing - I mean, where is this going to lead?), some/many editors might rebel and establish a newer restriction-free encyclopedia à la Wikipedia using the info already in Wiki. See what I mean?
And let's look at the evidence: Wikipedia has become a global name, with editors from all countries and ethnicities contributing in a non-consumerist environment. This policy change made BBC News Front Page. Which is absolute proof that the "anyone can edit" (with no gray areas) model has been and is successful. It is a classic case of democracy vs. security (I am aware that Wiki is not a democracy, but I am talking about the underlying philosophical context). I have belief in human nature to eventually improve himself unlike those who fear their own nature, that's why I think any deviation from the "anyone can edit" rule cannot be justified. As I said, "There is probably no crisis at the BLP. Now stop worrying and enjoy editing." (talk) 23:42, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Works of men, like men themselves, are not perfect. The quest for perfection leads to fascism. That's just my opinion, though. (talk) 23:44, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I don't think Flagged Revisions will make Wikipedia much more reliable in the public eye. A user who had edited enough without vandalizing to be selected a sighter is still just an anonymous person on the internet. --Apoc2400 (talk) 01:15, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

I think Wikipedia is already percieved as being pretty reliable by the general public - if it isn't, why do we get so many page views? The people that complain about Wikipedia being unreliable are clearly in the minority. --Tango (talk) 01:23, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
I really hope not. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:04, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Highly confused about the "official channels"

I'm confused about just which pages and which talk sections are the "right" ones for the surveys, polls, and discussion for both Flagged Revisions and alternatives. Granted, this is the talk page for Wikipedia's founder, but even this page is littered with discussion, sub-discussion, unofficial "polls", and recursive conversation that repeats the same thing. There's also the BLP Survey with several different voter lines for different variations of the same subject, the FR trails page, and the main FR page (which both have their own talk pages).

My point is that there doesn't seem to be a universal page to discuss this matter, and alternatives. Or maybe there isn't a lot of grouping of the two. Can we decide on one single page for this matter, discuss it there, agree to all of the alternatives to put on the "survey", vote for the issue, and be done with it?

I think it's problematic that the same ideas have been said about 200 times, and it creates a rather spammy dialogue. If I'm offbase, let me know. SineSwiper (talk) 23:46, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Flagged content and vandalism


I'm a new user so please excuse me if I have lodged this comment in the wrong place -

anyway, I do use Wikipedia regularly and sent my opinion by email when I'd read the news story on flagging content - only to be told I'd have to join the chat as there was no committee - it was only my initial response, but sometimes the first response can have some truth to it:

Please pass my email on to the committee currently considering the above proposal.

I would like to say that, as a regular Wikipedia user, I firmly believe that the majority of users are fully aware of occassional vandalism suffered by an online encyclopedia put together by a large number of editors. As a result, I think the general public takes this on board as a fact of life when using the service and do not hold Wikipedia responsible.

To my mind, the proposed flagging system would generate an awful lot of unnecessary work and, in the long term, just slow the whole service down. I would like to encourage Wikipedia to forget about introducing policy that will potentially make the service worse, rather than better.

As to the recent adverse press reports on the subject, I think the majority of the general public probably view the media reports as trivial - cooked up by reporters desperate for a story on anything.

All in all, Wikipedia is good service, and you can save yourself a lot of time and energy by leaving it the way it is. Thanks for listening,

Regards ozburg7 ^^^^ —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ozburg7 (talkcontribs) 08:25, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Flagged protection

Why are we not discussing Flagged protection more? It's a much better option than FlaggedRevs for all articles or for all BLPs or whatever. --MZMcBride (talk) 06:11, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I would wholeheartedly second that. Flagged protection does away with the disagreeable parts of having to semi-protect pages perpetually, can protect sensitive articles, and doesn't affect articles that do not require protection/flagged revisions. As a staunch opponent of a widespread trial or implementation of flagged revisions, this is a compromise I can embrace 100%. Steven Walling (talk) 06:29, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
As an opponent of the currently suggested "trial", I would also be fully behind this measure. --Chasingsol(talk) 07:15, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Same here. Chamal talk 07:18, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
As a supporter of the currently suggested trial, I would also be fully behind this measure. Could this be a way forward?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:33, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Definitely. I'm swaying towards support as well, this sounds much more agreeable and ethical. neuro(talk) 12:23, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I like this a lot. I too support a trial of flagged revs, but this looks like much more workable and well thought out proposal. In fact, I was thinking that this was the sort of direction flagged revs should be going towards in the first place. --.:Alex:. 14:18, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I was fully opposed to flagged revisions but I'd support flagged protection. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 14:20, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Would it be worth starting a poll/survey/whatever to see what the general opinion is on the idea of Flagged protection? I notice it already appears to be generating a lot of interest. --.:Alex:. 14:50, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I would say that it would be necessary, actually. This is obviously much less umm... "hostile" towards the anon editors, and is likely to generate much more support from people who opposed flagged revs based on this view. Chamal talk 14:59, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I think the margin of consensus for this one is likely to be a lot higher than the one for flaggedrevs. Better idea, less drama, seems a good plan. neuro(talk) 15:03, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Well I've gone ahead and done it. Best to just get a general feeling towards the idea before proceeding or coming up with details or anything, although I do think the consensus will be more favorable towards it than Flagged revisions. Feel free to make changes to the opinion selections as you guys see fit. --.:Alex:. 15:20, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
As an opponent of flagged revisions by general principle, I support(ed) flagged protection too; this is the only method in which IPs are guaranteed a greater capability to edit. Sceptre (talk) 15:25, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Flagged protection is just a particular implementation of flagged revisions. Cenarium (Talk) 15:55, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
True, but the way it is used makes a big difference, don't you think? Chamal talk 16:04, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
We use flagged revisions as we want it. On, they want to use it on all articles for all edits with reviewing restricted to a usergroup, this doesn't make it the only way. The poll was about implementing a passive configuration to allow trials, not how to use flaggedrevs. Cenarium (Talk) 16:13, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
It's like saying any usage of the protection system would be the same, but there's a huge difference between using permanent semi-protection on every page and using it temporarily and only on problem pages. One is clearly far more detrimental than the other. Just because this is another possible way of implementing FR, doesn't mean it's the exact same as other types of possible implementations nor that it would have the same effect. That's something that I am a little concerned will be overlooked, as every compromise should be investigated and not ruled out for being based on "the same thing". There is no one way of doing things after all. --.:Alex:. 16:14, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
(Edit conflict x2)Now, this idea I absolutely love compared to Flagged Revisions. Although it is essentially a form of FlaggedRevs, it seems like it would be much less discriminate of anon edits, and the overhead of the system would be lower as well. Until It Sleeps 16:17, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Less discriminate of anon edits compared to what? FlaggedRevs is just a feature of the software, the vote was about whether or not we should trial it, there wasn't any particular implementation in mind. FlaggedProtection is just a proposal of how to use the software, that's the stage we're at now - we agreed to trial it, now we're discussing the details. I haven't seen any specific alternative proposal yet (various things have been suggested, but nothing written up formally). --Tango (talk) 20:41, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I did ask the question "would this mean that if 40 people see the same thing needs correcting, will it lead to 40 of the same edits sitting there waiting for a review?" and that was why I asked it, system overheads and the chance of errors/lost info seems to be a high risk if that was one side effect of FR. I really wanted to ask though, where is FP being discussed ? Cheers--Chaosdruid (talk) 17:06, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia talk:Flagged protection --.:Alex:. 17:45, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
As a very strong opponent of Flagged Revisions, I would be exceptionally happy to welcome Flagged Protection instead. This is perfect, the load will be lower, compared to Flagged Revisions, this is much likely to be less of a drama, more of a safer option, and I think a much more likely option to gain a better consensus on usage. Thor Malmjursson (talk) 22:12, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
  • This is definitely a lot better, with a lot less bureaucracy. Having editors reviewing edits limited to existing rollbackers is also perfectly fine with me. - Mailer Diablo 03:08, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Also agree. As someone who opposed FlaggedRevisions, I would wholeheartedly support Flagged Protection as a way to deal with those especially unstable and problematic articles. Many articles would stay open to many users who want to edit them. MuZemike 04:17, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
This seems like a verrry good idea. Should we start an impromptu straw poll somewhere? —Ed 17 (Talk / Contribs) 05:35, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Already started at Wikipedia_talk:Flagged_protection#Feeler_poll. Chamal talk 05:39, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Chamal :) —Ed 17 (Talk / Contribs) 05:47, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd second the Flagged Protection idea. Aaron Schulz 20:24, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
In order for this proposal to be acceptable to me, at a minimum VoA's idea at the bottom of WT:Flagged Protection must be included; although I can't understand why there is such great opposition to applying the protection to all BLPs. Applying the extension to only a few thousand pages (i.e. the semi-protected ones) has little net-benefit to the project IMO, and would not have stopped the vandalism Jimmy cited above. GDonato (talk) 21:40, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
No form of Flagged Revisions known to me would have stopped the error at the Kennedy article; see #What happened with Kennedy, below. Two of the mentions of his death were inserted by long-established editors (I think through confusion), who would certainly have been eligible for rollback. In one case, an admin reverted one piece of vandalism and missed another. Anyone who thinks FRs will fix everything (or even almost everything) hasn't thought it through. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:13, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

As currently proposed, this does nothing for BLPs. It's not an acceptable alternative.

Incidentally, I think we shouldn't be held hostage by the minority at Wikipedia talk:Flagged revisions/Trial/Votes. I note that in the last 48 hours of this strawpoll, 32 users supported the proposal while six opposed. I also notice that about 75% of admins who participated supported. This is as close to consensus as we will get on Wikipedia, and we should do it because it's the right thing to do. Cool Hand Luke 22:34, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

Do what, exactly? Geometry guy 22:40, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Flagged revisions/Trial. One of these—no one proposed a trial this weak. That's what we were voting on, not flagged protection. We can do flagged protections too, but we need a trial on previously unflagged, unprotected articles. Cool Hand Luke 22:50, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Despite coming down on the oppose side, I concur that there appears to be a consensus to go through with the trial. Most of the responses (on either side) do not appear to be well informed. My own vote (or !vote) was based, in fact, on a lack of well-organized information regarding the proposal: the question of the precise scope of the intended test, the conditions under which it would be successful, and other fundamental methodological questions, appeared to be unanswered. Now, it may be that there are answers to these questions, but that they are just poorly advertised and buried somewhere in the WP:TLDR discussions known to those who have pursued the matter. With my oppose vote, I had hoped to tease out a more concrete proposal, since the current one seems to leave many details out. Nevertheless, Jimbo clearly believes that there is an immediate need for this intervention, and immediate necessity obviously outweighs considerations of good experimental design. I only hope this is not a complete disaster. siℓℓy rabbit (talk) 22:47, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
There is no consensus, just a panic. But a properly limited trial will not be a disaster, and Flagged Protection should not be one. Let us hope for prudence. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:23, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I have to agree with (a trial of) Flagged Protection. It works in a simple, logical way and I think that if the community is so "overwhelmingly in favor" that you, Jimbo, feel empowered to make the decision to go ahead with some form of flagging, FP would be miles ahead of FR. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 07:43, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Flagged protection is just a particular implementation of flagged revisions, so it's not either/or as you seem to suggest. - Hordaland (talk) 10:38, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I strongly support both suggested implementations - I don't care which we implement, but we need at least 1 of them. (Would it be possible to implement either normal FlaggedRevs or Flagged Protection on a per-article basis, similarly to the different levels of protection, so we get a hierarchy that goes something like:

  1. Full protection (strongest)
  2. Flagged revisions
  3. Semi protection
  4. Flagged protection (weakest)

That would plug the gaps that exist below semi protection, and between semi and full protection - something we have a real need for (the latter more so, IMO). Dendodge TalkContribs 17:59, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Why not continue as is, with text added immediately, but any text added in the last Hour or Day or Week (depending on volatility of Wiki entry) "highlighted" as new. This could be by colour, font or underlining. I realise change of colour etc raises "ergonomic issues", but maybe the form of highlighting could be configurable by the user. The idea would mean that updates could be added but readers could be immediately on guard for odd new additions. The "highlight" could either be turned off automatically, or by an editor. It could even "decay gracefully" getting, say, "less hot", e.g. changing from red to black, over a few days. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Desmoh (talkcontribs) 18:43, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm opposed to the original idea of fully flagged revs, but flagged protection seems a great idea. Two thoughts though. Firstly, I'd want to see it used in addition to semi protection, not as its eventual replacement. It concerns me that it's even suggested at WP:FLP. There are many articles which can polarise opinion, but generally operate very well as long as semi-protection, consensus building and user talk page communication is used appropriately. In cases such as this, forcing rollbackers to review a high volume of edits would be a net loss. Secondly I don't oppose the spirit of pre-emptively protecting certain articles so as to avoid another Ted Kennedy fiasco, although I feel "all BLPs" could be going too far. BeL1EveR (talk) 00:06, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
But who has suggested "fully flagged revs" as an "original idea", as you say? The 60/40 poll was on whether to turn on FR capability, not about what sort of trial to run. And "flagged protection" is just one of many possible trials suggested, all of which require turning on FR capability. - Hordaland (talk) 17:47, 27 January 2009 (UTC)