User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 47

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Archive 46 | Archive 47 | Archive 48



Hi, sorry for bother you, i know you always have a lot to do, but i need help, im searching for justice. In wikipedia spanish, I have contributed very well for more than 2 month, at first i without knowing did copyvio, but they told me what to do, and i was doing it the best i could, as i always try to do. However, since a few days ago, i have had a few problems: a user named amadis: ; have been erasing my contributions, saying: "you only do copyvio, just put cites of the press or the radio, o references from the radio". the second part is true:i have a pentium III-im from peru- and i go to the university so i have no time, and also my computer doesnt support well the press-webs because its to heavy for my 56 of memory.So i have to go with somre review of press of RFI:; because theyre a different news that i copy to wordpad, make a resume, and edit to wikipedia, and also I say what the newspaper says as i have seen before. And I dont do anymore copyvio, it wasnt my intention, i was copying a lots of sentences from article of WSJ, and I didnt referenced it well but they told me how and i do it now! But Amadis says i that its not enough, but once a Gons make a edi1t of an edit i did so i copy her the way she reference the article as you can see here:; its very similar to my last contribution: and i didnt do copyvio, and instead of helping me or go and look that he is right, he just say "momoelf is suspicious for copyvio" and erase it at once, and also say that that is a press review what is false its a new of WSJ like people do in a lot of wikipedia article. I told the library Lucien: but he didnt give me and answer, so i dont know what to do, i have proof of what im saying, ive been doing the same as i have seen, i just want to contributed but they erase everything i do, plz help this are my contribution:; i havent vandalized instead i have created article always with references, i do sometimes only a few lines, because i think that little by little things go bigger and i dont have a lot of time also. Plz if im doing something wrong tell me and i wont repeat it, i always ask and nobody answer me i have a lot of proofs about that. Here is the user, ; nobody dare to answer anything, they didnt give me any proof the way i do it, they just say you are banned you are banned you dont deserve any explanations.

I just want to contribute, i feel useful when im making wikipedia better plz answer me--Momoelf (talk) 17:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

This user has now been blocked indefinitely. Griffinofwales (talk) 19:10, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

The user has received 4 blocks. 1 for violating the etiquette rule, 1 for trolling, and 2 for block evasion, the last one being indef. Griffinofwales (talk) 19:16, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Your Majesty...

King Jimbo I, can I be your Duke? Make Download! your Earl, and Alf your Lord. Rory (talk) 07:23, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Can't I have apart as a duke or something? Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 15:01, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, me too! --How may I serve you? Marshall Williams2 20:32, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Could we please keep this off Jimbo's talk page? Thanks, –Juliancolton | Talk 20:39, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Pfft, why? It's not like there's anything else to do around here. --Closedmouth (talk) 08:06, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Complaint against admins and users on the linguistics community

Hello. I'm writing to you as a last resort, after having tried all other methods to solve this "dispute". I've left a short message on the help desk, but since that page is mostly for questions on how to use Wikipedia, I haven't elaborated the complaint there.

I'd like to officially register a complaint against various administrators and community members on Wikipedia for disruption, censorship, vandalism, biased POV pushing, and indiscriminate banning and blocking of other "non-clan" users who try to edit the article.

These users specifically include Angr, Andrew Carnie, Kwami, Taivo, Garik, dab, LingNut and rjanag.

I'd request you to have a look at the talk page archives of the article, as well as the article's own edit history, but I'm also summing up the discussion as briefly as possible for you.

The dispute basically is about the inclusion of certain schools of thought in the study of linguistics, which these above people (as admins or users or community members), claim "is not linguistics". They claim that "there is nothing called post-structural linguistics" and that the given title is "made up" and "imagined", when in fact the Google books' results and various other sources display that it has a long history of almost three to four decades. They also claim that that thinkers like Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, and Roland Barthes, are not "linguists" -- who were in fact a part of this "post-structural linguistics" movement.

These above users have also gone ahead and deleted and indefinitely locked a sourced article that was created on post-structural linguistics without the discussion being completed. There have been sources provided for this from day one, but they've been choosing to ignore it.

As far as consensus goes, even a blind person might be able to see that there are enough people on the community's talk page as well as on the AFD discussion of post-structural linguistics, who support the inclusion of the topic. These users, who are biased and are abusing their power as wiki admins, are ignoring and deleting perfectly well sourced material.

This, therefore, in my view, amounts to censorship, vandalism, and POV pushing. By not allowing any mention of post-structural linguistics in the main article, or even a seperate page for the sub-discipline, they are keeping an entire body of information out of this encyclopedia. This is not just offensive violation of the encyclopedia, it is dangerous. The fact that they have indiscriminately banned a couple of us for protesting (and threatening others), shows that they are also dishonest and are grossly misusing their positions as administrators.

Linguistics is an important topic, and I care about it, which is why I've been involved with this fruitless debate with the community for so many long months. I also care about other articles on wikipedia, where I may be unable to participate and comment, but which also I fear might be endangered by such proliferation and misuse by the same people. These articles under such administrators are also under threat, and since I feel Wikipedia is inherently a good initiative, and is a well intentioned project that has had a good impact on the cyberworld, I think my efforts are not being wasted. I have nothing to gain or lose from this either way (whether I'm blocked or can edit the encyclopedia is of not much personal significance to me), but I do feel that as an "Internet citizen", it is part of my responsibility to make sure that online debates and initiatives are not colonised like this by a bunch of clannish bullies.

I trust your judgment on this problem; I don't know whether you are convinced about what I'm trying to convey: that my position on this is in fact NPOV and that the one being endorsed by these administrators is not. But I request you to look into the matter and hope you see my point. I strongly feel that action needs to be taken on the guilty admins and users that I've mentioned above. I would even like to make a request that these users are permanently banned and blocked, because until they continue editing the encyclopedia, they will be disruptive (whether they admit it or not, or whether they try to pretend that it is actually others who are doing so).

Thanks. Most sincerely, Supriya (identified as 'Supriyya' on the linguistics' talk page). Tsupre (talk) 15:57, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Are you in the right place?

So you tried everyone of these as applicable? - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 16:26, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you again

I just wanted to let you know that this kind response from you did not go to waste. The presentation and panel we had on Wikipedia for journalists and bloggers was a success, and today my slides are featured on the front page of Slideshare. Thanks again for your help, Steven Walling (talk) 21:19, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

That really was an exceptional presentation -- highly recommend people take a look at Steven's slides. -Pete (talk) 02:25, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Flagged revisions trial update?

How is that working out? rootology (C)(T) 03:46, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

I was actually talking with Brion though e-mail when this came up, and it looks like it's still a while away from happening. The devs have to make sure it would work on their end for enwiki, it seems, and I imagine a trial would be required first still. Wizardman 14:06, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Another BLP embarrassment for Wikipedia

...Although it is the newspapers that quoted Wikipedia that are the real embarrassments, but that is besides the point. Student's Wikipedia Hoax Fools Newspapers (Maurice Jarre obit). How much longer until WP:FLAGGED goes live? -- (talk) 16:32, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

On the other hand, we offer a good way to check the information. All that those newspapers had to do was to check the history of that page for the last stable version to know that this piece of information was way too new, unsourced and suspect for a "Quality newspaper". Obviously, they didn't even bothered with that type of "low level" facts checking. Too bad. I don't say we shouldn't do our best to make wikipedia as reliable as possible, but there was a big banner "this citation is unsourced" two minutes later. Someone somewhere copied that quote with no regard to the GFDL making a Copyright infringement. That was the mistake, and that was not us. Iluvalar (talk) 01:54, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Rand yet again

Here are my three reverts revert 1, revert 2, revert 3 which are prompted by a fundamentally unreasonable editor. I want to test this principle that someone with a reasonable expert grasp of the subject will be blocked or banned for 3RR, in preference to someone who simply cannot grasp the basic principles of reasonable discourse. Peter Damian (talk) 21:49, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

It looks to me like you're either POV-pushing (deliberately misrepresenting Rand) or simply uninformed. I would personally recommend that you stop doing that. However, if you continue, I would at least like to ask you to stop calling people names who are simply asking you to stop engaging in original research. (To everyone else: Peter appears to be asking me for a personal response or recommendation, and I am offering my personal opinion. I have no interest in getting further involved than this, and I'm unlikely to respond to further inquiries about this.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:31, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

User:Peteforsyth and WikiProject Oregon on the radio tomorrow

I thought you'd like to know that Pete Forsyth is on the radio tomorrow morning repping WikiProject Oregon. -->David Shankbone 00:16, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Pete, myself and Cacophony actually went and gave the Oregon Encyclopedia project's editorial board a presentation about Wikipedia last year. This is should be a pretty fantastic show, considering that the OEP is basically an Oregon-specific version of Nupedia. Steven Walling (talk) 02:09, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Neat!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Unbecoming behaviour by an admin

I would like, if I may, to draw your attention to what I believe is a rather uncivil "rant" by WP admin User:Scarian.-- Myosotis Scorpioides 13:55, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

FWIW, there is already a lengthy thread at ANI about this issue. LadyofShalott 16:38, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Resigned, desysopped. Enough forums on this now please. Pedro :  Chat  20:56, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
As this is already here, I'd like to note that since he voluntarily 'resigned' (ie this wasn't a sanction by ArbCom or you, as suggested here), there's uncertainty about whether or not he can just un-retire. Nja247 09:00, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

About your guestbook

Hi Jimbo. I see someone had created the guestbook for you. Just to say, I've added a little to make it look better. I just wanted to ask if you would like me or someone else to add {{User:Jackrm/ABs}} to it? So that more people would know about your guestbook and hopefully sign it. Just a suggestion, I think you should add a link on your userpage if you haven't already. That would also help people know about it.

Also; would you like me to add pretty flowers and ponies? Just as a little design for fun?

I signed it first! Yay! :) Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 21:20, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

And I signed it third! Beat that! I'll get you... <Track 7 plays> Rory (talk) 22:28, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia is mentioned in Dilbert.

The comic strip is here. [1]   Zenwhat (talk) 15:42, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

About the logo for Wikipedia

Hi Jimbo, I'm just wanting to say that I remember a user saying that the chinese section of the logo had an extra dot on it or something, and then someone replied saying there were many mistakes on the logo. Have these mistakes been fixed? If not, when are they going to be fix if ever? Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 13:01, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Protected Page

Your page isn't supposed to be protected. You even said so! Someone protected it. Why? Stop him! (talk) 02:07, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

So that you can't do stuff like this and this to his page. J.delanoygabsadds 02:27, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
How protect if last section CLEARLY says don't protect page! That's what about! How say "dumbass" without personal attack? (talk) 04:24, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo doesn't like having his page protected, but if an admin thinks it is necessary, he does not mind. Besides, he is an administrator himself, so he could unprotect it if he wanted to. J.delanoygabsadds 04:50, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Moved from User page.....

HELP! Manager of Russian Wikipedia Andrei Romanenko conducts dishonest game. He initiated elimination by any ways Arahau from Wikipedia (articles are written in 11 languages, their removal today has begun). Arahau is an a priori constructed language created by Russian writer Ivan Karasev in 2006. The Arahau language is polysynthetic and typologically active. This is unlike most constructed languages but not atypical of engineered languages. Each vowel designates a noun, and consonants designate grammatic formants. This system often lets Arahau produce compact speech. Arahau has been found to have similarities with Basque and Nakh-Dagestanian languages. Neemus (talk) 23:08, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

It would seem at present that this language has problems establishing its notability both here and on ru:wiki, and we have a current deletion proposal. Without multiple, independent, reliable sources to establish notability here or on ru:wiki, this article seems unlikely to survive, and it appears to me at least that User:Andrei Romanenko is within his rights. Rodhullandemu 01:42, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Thank you very much!

I've just been checking my subpages to realise you had signed my guestbook. Thank you very much for doing that, I really do appreciate that. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 18:14, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

I like to do it and usually do when people ask, but sometimes I've accidentally overlooked requests or meant to get to them later and forgot, etc. People shouldn't take it as a slight if I screw up and overlook requests. I like guestbooks, maybe I'll start one of my own. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I think you should; you'd definitely have the largest guestbook by a day! Let me know if you do make one, cause I'll want to sign it first (or second if you sign it). :) Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 18:48, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Feel free to look at some of my subpages. I like people to know more about me, especially great and honouable people. Just by looking at my userbox page, you'd probably know more about me than some of my friends. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 21:22, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, too. I can't believe Jimmy Wale actually signed my autograph book! :) You should have one, too. --How may I serve you? Marshall Williams2 01:00, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
While you're at it, please sign mine.  :) -download ׀ sign! 03:58, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Could you please sign mine as well? Thanks! --Dylan620 Efforts · Toolbox 21:33, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
Are you able to sign mine also? - nz26 Talk | Contribs | Email 12:01, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Please sign my guestbook. Thanks. MC10 | Sign here! 04:09, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I have a guestbook now can you please sign it that would be the coolest heres the linksign my guestbookP-Real DA deal (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:24, 12 May 2009 (UTC).

About your idea for a guestbook...

Could I create it for you? I mean, only if you want. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 21:31, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Please say yes!I would love to make another guestbook! Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 16:36, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Enough with the guestbooks, please. There's more to Wikipedia than socialization. Face-smile.svgJuliancolton | Talk 22:07, 7 May 2009 (UTC)
I think guestbooks are silly. But they don't waste people's time as much as a hundred other things we do around here. If Jimbo doesn't want User talk:Jimbo Wales/guestbook he can always delete it. Meantime, people who want to sign it can. WAS 4.250 (talk) 01:33, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
You should have waited for Jimbo's approval. Griffinofwales (talk) 02:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
It's fine. I hope it's pretty. With flowers and ponies!:)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:53, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Making Jimbo smile is a great improvement of wikipedia, so we can ignore that Wikipedia is not a social network. Tought, please, make sure Jimbo is not already smiling beforehand. Otherwise, you'll get banned for six month :) . What do you mean with CREEP ? I don't see what you mean... ==>[] Iluvalar (talk) 17:30, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

A request from Uncyclopedia

Hello there, Mr. Wales, and greetings from the land of Benson! I am Saberwolf116, the (self-proclaimed) Uncyclopedian ambassador to Wikipedia. Anyways, i've got an extremely strange request for you.

On Uncyclopedia, we have this thing called "Imperial Colonization". We take our most popular articles that are terrible in every since of the word, and rewrite them as a collaborative group. Anyways, our colonization this week happens to be Wikipedia. Seeing as how you founded Wikipedia, we were wondering if you might want to contribute a few ideas on the talk page.

Thanks for the time, that's all for now. Now if you'll excuse me, my comrades at Uncyclopedia await me.

Cheers, Saberwolf116 (talk) 22:21, 11 May 2009 (UTC)


I noticed that wikipedia fundraising for yesterday and today have been very low. In an emergency of course you can always do those top banners. However you also might want to consider asking for funding from the U.S. gov, with the expectation that the U.S. gov, would have special admin priveleges for blocking, editing, etc. TeH nOmInAtOr (talk) 13:06, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

That would involve a load of problems not worth the money; it's worse even than advertising. {{Nihiltres|talk|log}} 13:24, 11 May 2009 (UTC) (iPod edit)
Just 3 months ago, Wikipedia raised 6 million dollars. They need more money? Griffinofwales (talk) 14:10, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm with Nihiltres. Giving the US (or any other) government special admin powers would be throwing NPOV out the window: extremely bad idea. LadyofShalott 15:37, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 16:00, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea what this conversation is about. There are no problems of any kind with fundraising, and there is no consideration being given to any kind of approach like that!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:55, 13 May 2009 (UTC)


I don't know if you care or not, but a couple of your accounts aren't merged to your SUL. [2] Just wanted to let you know. Cheers. Thingg 02:42, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Status of Amazon Associates account

Hello Jimbo,

Back in 2004, on the behalf of Wikipedia you signed up for an Amazon Associates account, as part of short-lived fund raising experiment. Four years ago, I wrote a userscript to allow users to bypass the Special:Book Sources page and have ISBN links refer directly to the book source of their choice: User:Lunchboxhero/monobook.js. This userscript is now used by over 800 users.

By default, the books source is amazon and the url includes the Amazon Associates account reference that you got five years ago. Is that account still active, and has this use of this userscript made Wikimedia any money?

Lunchboxhero (talk) 13:58, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Hey, if you wanted to change it to "evulaslair-20", that'd be great. ;) EVula // talk // // 14:08, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

The extent of the Verifiability policy

Hi, Jimmy. I've had some ongoing disagreements ([3][4]) with others over the Verifiability policy. My practice is to remove any information from articles that is not sourced, including things like birth dates, places of birth etc. Some have argued that that sources exist for them on the Internet that can be found with a Google search, that in some cases, the information is at sites linked to in the References sections, and that this makes the information in question sourced. Some argue that I can easily find sources for them myself, and that some of the unsourced material I added was in the articles for years, and that they were merely re-adding it after I removed it. The most frequent complaint may be that things like places or dates of birth are not contentious.

I have responded that WP:V requires that information be sourced by having the sources placed explicitly in the article, in the text where it is used, not somewhere else on the Internet or in a Google search, and that placing sources in References sections is only appropriate, according to WP:CS, for undeveloped articles. I pointed out that WP:Burden properly states that the burden of proof is on the editor adding or re-adding the material, not the one who finds it unsourced, and that unsourced material does not gain legitimacy after being in an article for some length of time, as the false material in the John Seigenthaler article was in it for four months before it was noticed, and that whether material is added initially or being re-added after being removed bears no relevance on whether it includes a citation. As to the final point, WP:V states that "any material challenged or likely to be challenged" must be supported by cites and there is your own quote regarding removal of information, "This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons." My practice is to treat ALL information as requiring sources, and for a number of reasons: First, whether something is "challenged" is subjective. (Hell, I could argue that I'm challenging all such information!) Another is vandalism of the "subtle" sort--that is, vandalism in which editors add or change information that I happen to know is false, or contrary to what a source in the passage indicates, but is not particularly inflammatory, and is only likely to raise a red flag if someone on whose Watchlist that article appears notices the edit. Quite a few times when I photographed these people, for example, I heard complaints from them that their articles contained false information, even on trivial matters like date of birth. Sourcing everything solves this problem, and will help improve Wikipedia's reputation. For this reason, I believe ALL material should be sourced.

I want to know what you think. Am I right to do this? Or should I just let things like dates or places of birth, and other material go without a source? Nightscream (talk) 02:34, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

I think balance is needed, and that in the case of negative information, your approach is one that I would strongly support. In other cases, I think it is ok to do what you are doing, but not if it's an ongoing extreme campaign that annoys people without purpose. (That's not an accusation; I haven't looked into your edit history.) I don't agree with those who would argue that every single thing in Wikipedia must have a source. It is desirable to source everything, but some things are simply common knowledge to the point that demanding a source (or else removing it) is just WP:POINT. (Christmas Day is December 25th. France is a country in Europe.)
So let me say: in general I support you, but just try not to be a jerk (again, not an accusation!) and assume good faith of other editors. When possible, it'll be best if you can find the cite yourself for correct information, rather than just deleting, but depending on the context and using good judgment, you could also wait a bit, or ask local editors in that area to help. Whether it's a biography matters, whether the information is negative matters, etc. There's no simple answer.
Earlier today, I left a note on a talk page. No one responded with a comment or a source, after a few hours, so I'm removing the weird-sounding info. I have not, in this particular case, googled to find a source myself. If I had time, it would be better if I did that, but I don't - and it's more important to correct a potentially harmful bit of nonsense.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:15, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
In general, I agree with what you're saying (and yes, I understood that you were not making any accusations). I agree that the two examples you suggested are indeed "common knowledge". Another would be the name of a famous actor (whereas by contrast, the surnames of cast members on The Real World are not, which is why I always source that material). Would you agree that dates and places of birth are not common knowledge? I assume they are not. Thanks again! Nightscream (talk) 17:54, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
While the onus should be on the person who adds the information to provide sources for information, it is also important that people who remove material realize that it is within their responsibility to confirm that no such sources exist before removing material. Material that is not yet sourced should be an invitation to research, not an excuse to delete. Nor is this an accusation of you. In general the philosophy is to preserve material. Unomi (talk) 19:47, 10 May 2009 (UTC)
No, policy says that the philosophy is to delete material unless it can be verified. And I agree with the policy. Looie496 (talk) 01:14, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Verifiable does not imply always already verified. LadyofShalott 01:17, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. we also have {{fact}}, which in my opinion usually works a lot better than deleting stuff. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 01:24, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
Discussing fuzzy principles in this situation really isn't really relevant. Nightscream is keeps removing inexplicably harmless information like birth info, not dubious speculation. In my opinion a cardinal sin committed here is generally avoiding discussion. From what I've seen of this so far Nightscream avoids talkpage discussion in favor of debate-by-edit-summary and block threats. That's also very much against our philosophy.
Peter Isotalo 05:49, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

"People who remove material realize that it is within their responsibility to confirm that no such sources exist before removing material." No, WP:Burden clearly states otherwise.

"Nightscream avoids talkpage discussion in favor of debate-by-edit-summary and block threats." A lie. Any sincere look at my Edit History shows copious amounts of Talk Page discussion, on both the Talk Pages of articles and other editors, and indeed, I've been corresponding with you on my Talk Page and yours. And last time I checked, after all, this page right here is a Talk Page, and we're having a discussion. Talk Page discussion is for issues in which proper interpretation of policy is in dispute. The removal of unsourced material is not in dispute, but I came here to double-check with Jimmy anyway, just to be sure, and he confirmed my view of WP:V. What I avoid, however, is extended discussion with people such as yourself who do not engage in a discussion in an intellectually honest or civil manner. So far you've stated lies about me on my Talk Page twice, and now again here in misrepresenting my Edit History, which is hardly motivation for me to jump through your flaming hoops. But if you want me to discuss things with you further, I will do so on two conditions: First, you acknowledge (and apologize for) falsely claiming two statements by me that I did not make. Second, that you answer the question I put to you (twice) about the Lazenby info in dispute. If you cannot do this, then I'm disinclined to speak to you further, Peter. Nightscream (talk) 14:05, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I do not really care to become embroiled in whatever argument you are engaged in with Peter, but if you cared to read all of WP:Burden you would see this :
  • Any material lacking a reliable source may be removed, but editors might object if you remove material without giving them sufficient time to provide references, and it has always been good practice, and expected behavior of Wikipedia editors (in line with our editing policy), to make reasonable efforts to find sources oneself that support such material, and cite them.
  • If you want to request a source for an unsourced statement, consider tagging a sentence by adding the {{fact}} template, a section with {{unreferencedsection}}, or the article with {{refimprove}} or {{unreferenced}}. Alternatively, you may leave a note on the talk page requesting a source, or you may move the material to the talk page.
Emphasis added. Please also see Our editing policy Unomi (talk) 15:16, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Yes, editors may object, and more often than not, the ones who've objected use this argument, while ignoring the part about the burden being on them to add sources, as well as the fact, as anyone can see from my editing history, that I often do go looking for sources for uncited material--I simply don't do so all the time, since I don't always have time to do so, and the burden is on them, not I, as that page states. The way I read it, that passage is in conflict, because taken to its logical extent, if an editor who finds unsourced material is always required to find sources or fact tag something all the time, then no burden is placed on those who add or re-add the material in the first place, giving them free rein to add all sorts of material that is not apparently inflammatory, defamatory or negative, while others are forced to clean up after them. You fact tag something, and then what? What if the person who added it in the first place never comes back to do source it? That passage's conflict needs to be resolved, IMO, and simply requiring all material to be sourced when it's added, and by the editor adding it, solves this problem, and would help improve Wikipedia's reputation for reliability. Also, I'm curious, Unomi, how that passage you cited jibes with the quote by Jimmy right below it? Nightscream (talk) 22:48, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

I think it jibes pretty well once you realize 2 things 1. That it relates to what might constitute libelous or defamatory material and 2. That it contains the passage 'unless it can be sourced'. This does not seem in conflict with what has been pointed out earlier in this thread. Unomi (talk) 01:31, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
There are a number of factors at work here, I believe, one is that Wikipedia is under constant iterative development, which can entail that the goalposts are always moving. Take for example the bit about Dan Brown being an Amherst alumni which you removed, at the time of the information being added it could have been felt that it was not likely to be challenged, now it is proving otherwise. Our job is, I believe, to guide the balls between those moving goalposts. Another editor did a quick search and provided a reference so all is well, but imagine if your edit had gone unnoticed or not elicited the constructive response, it would have constituted a, minor, loss of verifiable information.
Your concern regarding contributors shouldering no burden is understandable but, I believe, unwarranted. The solution lies with informing the editors that there is a problem and how to go about solving it for themselves. The referencing formats and syntax can be daunting. Consider the time spent on educating them a device for avoiding future time waste and drama. PS. I would welcome Jimmy telling me I am wrong on all this if that is the case. Unomi (talk) 04:20, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
I find your hypothesis about the Dan Brown edit interesting, because I see it this way: Imagine if I hadn't removed it, and editors interested in the article weren't spurred by that edit to find sources for it. It would have remained in the article, unsourced. Removing it spurred those who insisted on it to go find sources for it--which is what WP:V says they're supposed to do in the first place! I've had to argue with editors who insisting on adding and re-adding material who flat-out refused to source material until I made it clear I would keep removing it until it was, in some cases, even removing fact tags, insisting to me that it was "sourced" because their source was (get this) in their Edit Summary, or on some unspecified website "out there on the Internet". Requiring editors to source material that they add solves this. Having dealt with all sorts of fallacious arguments by editors like this, it is not unwarranted, I assure you. I also question how it can be both understandable and unwarranted simultaneously. As for moving stuff to Talk Pages, that doesn't sound like a bad idea, and I'll try doing that, but I wonder if I'll run into the same problems with editors who revert because they think something is sourced if they merely say so. Nightscream (talk) 13:01, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Your hypothesis regarding how to incite editors to find sources is predicated on your edit going noticed and challenged more or less immediately after your edit. It could well be that your edit was overlooked and there was no indication of the loss of information, consider for example your recent edit to Jim Shooter. That page seems to have a limited number of active editors and if it were not for me perusing your edit history the edit may have been overlooked and the information may not have found its way back into the article for some time. The fact tag is meant exactly to highlight sourcing needs, if someone removes fact tags without discussion or presenting sources they are obviously in the wrong and dispute resolution is open to you. If they believe that sources in the edit summary or aethernet is sufficient then education is in order. There is no question that proper sourcing and referencing is critical, but it is not an excuse for deletion apart from cases where the information seems to be purposefully damaging.
As for how something can be both understandable and unwarranted in general you should probably refer to sources for English, psychology or philosophy. For why I felt it was an apt choice of words in this case: I understand how you can come to that conclusion based on your imperfect grasp of wikipedia policy and failure to apply it as intended, it is unwarranted because of how wikipedia policy is actually comprised and what the dispute resolution process is there for. It may be quicker to remove material that you as an individual feel is problematic, and your desire to frame your course of action is understandable, if unfortunate. It is unwarranted because bringing attention to the information (via fact tags etc) and subjecting the editors who fail to adhere to policy to the attention of the community (via the dispute resolution process) would either result in the education of said editors or their expulsion. My apologies if you find the way I phrase myself aggressive. Unomi (talk) 13:44, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

No, I didn't find it aggressive; no apologies necessary. But as I asked before, how does your prescription of fact tags jibe with Jimmy's quote on the WP:V page? Nightscream (talk) 15:11, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Two things, 1. The quote serves to underscore this : 'Do not leave unsourced or poorly sourced information that may damage the reputation of living persons or organizations in articles and do not move it to the talk page'. This relates entirely to damaging information. 2. The quote contains this: unless it can be sourced.. Neither 1 nor 2 preclude that the person who identifies it as contentious should make an effort to investigate the existence of such a source (this is also true of a potentially damaging bit of information which is already claimed to be sourced, it is prudent to ensure that the source is not misrepresented, which I believe was the case in the [Seigenthaler incident]). This is also what I believe Jimmy stated in his reply to you: When possible, it'll be best if you can find the cite yourself for correct information, rather than just deleting, but depending on the context and using good judgment, you could also wait a bit, or ask local editors in that area to help.. Ofcourse some information is so damaging that the first order of business is to remove it, but the second order of business should be to ensure that it can not be sourced, not simply that it is not. This is at least my interpretation of policy. Unomi (talk) 16:31, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

A suggestion

Hi Jimbo! I've got an idea for a new portal and I don't really know who else to suggest it to. I think we should have a portal for the entire Wikimedia Foundation, as there is a lot of things that can be used in it. I'm not aware of anything existing like it at the moment. The closet I could find to it was Portal:Wikipedia. Please say what you think of the idea. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 16:50, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Why a portal when the Foundation has its own site? – ukexpat (talk) 17:07, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a portal; and it has its own website right here. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 17:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC)
Yes, but it's identical to the main site (as far as I could see). a little insignificant 22:01, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedians group on LinkedIn

Hi Jimbo,

you are indicated as the owner of Wikipedia Users Group on LinkedIn; however, according to David Gerard it is a spam group. Could you comment on this? A smaller Wikipedia-related group was planning to merge in that group to avoid unnecessary duplication, and are now unsure what to do. --Tgr (talk) 16:34, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

LinkedIn has turned all those groups over to us, so people should be able to join no problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:13, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Another suggestion; though this one involves you King Jimbo I

Hi Jimbo! Got another one of my suggestion that I'd like to mention, though this one may take a keen interest of yours. I think there should be a portal on yourself. I know there isn't really many pages on you, but that could change. We could just make subpages like on your biography, etc. Please have your say on this. I'm not good at making portals though I'm sure someone would do it if you want. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 16:35, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Interesting idea but Wikipedia:Portal guidelines suggests "Please bear in mind that portals should be about broad subject areas, which are likely to attract large numbers of interested readers"; and it would need editors to commit to maintaining it. Given we have so few articles about Jimmy, as opposed, say, to James Bond, I'm not sure this will fly. Rodhullandemu 16:42, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure a lot of people will be willing to contribute to a portal like it, since it is about the king of Wikipedia afterall. And I did mention on my first comment that it won't have that many pages to link to it, though I'm sure we can sort something out about it. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 17:05, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Portals are for broad subjects, to present to readers articles within its scope. They are not created for the sake of it. If created, it would be deleted for sure, even if some people would be interested in contributing for it. Cenarium (talk) 17:33, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I suppose. It was a good idea anyway. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 17:58, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you're looking at it the wrong way around. If you can create enough individual (worthy) articles surrounding Jimbo and/or WP (to broaden it a bit), then we can think about if a portal would be useful. A portal is a way to make finding content easier. The content needs to exist first. LadyofShalott 18:42, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
I did think about this; though we're going to need ideas, and if we are to do this, then we'll need some help from other users. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 19:01, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
That sounds more like a wikiproject. If you want to propose a new wikiproject, the place to do so is Wikipedia:WikiProject Council/Proposals. LadyofShalott 04:38, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

A question archived, though not answered.

Hi Jimbo! About a week ago I left a message here reminding you of a user that pointed out that there was a mistake on the Chinese section of the Wikipedia logo. This has now been archived somewhere in archive 47, though when the user left the message, another user later on replied saying somewhere, "...there's lots of mistakes on the Wikipedia logo that have at some point to be sorted." If this user is right, have these mistakes been sorted? If not, when will they be? --Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 21:39, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Discussed a million times. This is Wikipedia; don't expect consensus any time soon. – iridescent 21:52, 15 May 2009 (UTC)

Hellow You!!!

E aí tudo mais ou menos ? Dbc2004 (talk) 13:13, 16 May 2009 (UTC)


Hello I name sahayfont(thai:สหายฟอนต์) wikipedia Come on as a user to visit a wind advisory. Pleased to know you As a founder you wikipedia Methods for each language to create wikipedia Will favor a more —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sahayfont2 (talkcontribs) 16:17, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

Seeking advice

Resolved: moved to more appropriate venue

This question isn't necessarily directed towards Jimbo, but I know a lot of experienced users watch this page too. How should I deal with a user who removes {{di-no source}} tags from images without a source and doesn't add a source? Obviously, I'm doing something wrong. Apparently, removing these tags isn't considered disruptive enough for restoring the tags to be exempt from WP:3RR. Based on WP:IUP, all images need a source, and I really can't figure out a better way to explain it. Jay32183 (talk) 09:21, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

This is "avoidant vandalism" and should be reported here; if the uploader persists, blocking will follow. Rodhullandemu 14:00, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm the "user" in question. I am the not the uploader, and it is not vandalism so don't threaten a block. Jay32183 is tagging for speedy deletion and occasionally edit warring against a number of others over older images that were fine as of the upload, based on various reasons that range from reasonable to bizarre - also using the deletion templates a sloppy way. Although many of Jay32183's deletion nominations are good, he/she seems to be utterly unwilling to back off or accept it when some nominations are not accepted by the community. The editor was blocked for this recently, and returned from the block to do it again. The latest issue is uploaders who used a non-deprecated public domain tag. Though the uploader is clearly the source / copyright holder nearly all of these images, Jay32183 is claiming that there is no source because the older template does not explicitly say "I am the copyright holder" like the new one does. I've advised Jay not to edit war over this, and if they want to have a discussion over image use policy to do that in the appropriate forum rather than making their point by edit warring image deletion tags. That's been a source of much drama in the past few years (remember Betacommand?) and we don't need more of that. Forum shopping on Jimbo's page doesn't seem very swift either. Wikidemon (talk) 15:51, 18 May 2009 (UTC)
As a courtesy notice, I've reported this matter to AN/I, here. AN/I rather than Jimbo's talk page would be the right forum to discuss edit warring, and village pump or one of the image use policy pages regarding the status of older images that use this particular public domain tag. - Wikidemon (talk) 16:34, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

"Writing for the enemy" vs. Writing for the opponent"

At the proposal page Wikipedia talk:Neutrality enforcement we are discussing more NPOV ways of writing for Wikipedia and a user keeps using the phrase and referring to WP:Writing_for_the_enemy. I object to the phrase, and wrote on the talk page (updated slightly): To assume another editor or a reader is an enemy does not assume good faith. Plus saying the word "enemy" brings up visceral negative reaction making it more difficult to write for that negatively visualized person. However, the word "opponent" makes it sound more like the intellectual battle editing Wikipedia often is and is a more respectful term which is more likely to get people thinking in positive terms. I then was told you originated and liked the phrase. If true, I’d like to suggest you think about replacing “writing for the enemy” with “writing for the opponent.” CarolMooreDC (talk) 02:34, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I am happy with your suggestion. I am opposed to a model of Wikipedia as a battleground in the war for ideas. I think every editor should write neutrally (as best as he or she can) at all times. I am favorably impressed by the attitude embodied in proposals like this one: Wikipedia:Neutrality enforcement. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:21, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Great! Will inform Wikipedia talk:Writing for the enemy and see if they want to change the name of article. Note that I got the idea from a great little book called "Fighting with Gandhi" which purposely uses the word opponent. CarolMooreDC (talk) 16:04, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Orwellian Changes To Words

I do have a question (actually, more of a concern). I think you have distorted the meaning of the word 'vandalise'. Sure, some people do vandalise Wikipedia pages - in the real and proper sense of the word - but others just tweak things for fun, or to prick pomposity, or to hint at a more serious flaw in an entry. I think it is wrong to call such 'tweakers' vandals. A vandal is in many societies a form of criminal yet many of the so-called Wikipedia vandals are no such thing. 'Vandal' is also an emotive word and should perhaps be reserved for those who fall at the extreme end of the scale i.e. those who recklessly despoil and ruin an otherwise valid and accurate entry. Some thought needs to be given to creating more accurate names and terms on this issue or else you risk irritating and alienating people. Indeed, they might even become the thing they are accused of if goaded long enough. Finally, from a Devil's Advocate position, I think it is bad for language and social progress to distort and twist words. Orwell showed us how this can lead to a form of creeping, pernicious thought control. So besides objecting to the catch-all use of the word 'vandal' on the grounds of grammatical pedantry, I also worry where it might lead, what with CCTV and IP traces. Who knows, in five years time somebody could theoretically be convicted of Wikipedia vandalisation, and possibly imprisoned. One need only reflect upon relatively recent events in Stalin's Russia and contemporary events in China to realise that is not a far-fetched concern. Most of us live in a 'free' world now, but who's to say what might happen in a few years time? The controls and systems currently being introduced via new technology would hand any future dictatorship complete control over our lives. [For example, although I am posting without a user name, I am certain that my comments will be quickly logged, filed and linked to my IP address.] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:05, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that 'vandal' is a perfectly appropriate term, used very gently here at Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:02, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Tried to send you an email

But it kept saying "mailer error". Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:31, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

You must have a registered account in order to email another user. It won't let you email Jimbo using an IP address. -- (talk) 12:32, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Admins unwilling/unable to deal with abusive edits by other admins?

You might want to check out Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Bishonen_using_status_as_admin_to_control_others_while_violating_our_civility_policy if you have a moment. Exxolon (talk) 01:36, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Thankyou, I'm sorry I had to bring you into this but I could not see any other means to get this dealt with effectively. Exxolon (talk) 02:26, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Provocative images on userpages

G'day Jimbo - just by chance I happen to have sent a post to foundation-l about this one a few moments ago, and swung by here to see that you're in blocking mode! I wonder if, given this, you might be inclined to do anything about this, this evening?

Ps. If you're struggling to cope with the backstory of the latest broo ha ha, you should probably at least be informed that the catalyst was a problem with a user who recently became an admin, and, it transpires, had posted your personal details (name, birthdate, address, and information about whom you share your residence with) on IRC, garnered from private access to some sort of electoral database. In all seriousness, the toxic personalities may not be so obvious, and calling folk 'little shits' is far less serious than plagiarism, and the breaching of trust on privacy issues, I reckon... Privatemusings (talk) 02:57, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

pps. the other small problem is that the user in question was behaving in ways which might lead a reasonable person using straight forward language to describe as behaviour a little shit might exhibit. Wouldn't dream of doing so myself, 'cos I'm too nice, but I thought you might like to know.... Privatemusings (talk) 03:00, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
While I am sure Jimbo will recall commenting on this matter previously on Webhamster's talk page, here is a link to the subsequent community deletion debate which closed with a WP:SNOW Keep. It would not be nice to fail to provide full references when requesting action. // BL \\ (talk) 03:24, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Geez, this again? - ALLSTRecho wuz here @ 04:30, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

PM, to mix two sayings, you're beating a dead horse about the bush. the wub "?!" 10:19, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

heh! - well I've been accused of 'equine necrophilia' a few times, but never in a specific physical area (your post has the great advantage of actually being witty, mind!). My hope here wasn't really to drag up the issues, but just that Jimbo might have been in the mood to act upon his stated positions... we'll see if that's true or not! cheers, Privatemusings (talk) 10:27, 22 May 2009 (UTC) ps. pictures of shaven women's bits don't really belong on userpages - I think you'd agree?
The problem with that userpage isn't the nudity, it's the political statement. Someone's opinions of a former US president are not appropriate content for their Wikipedia userpage, regardless of how they express those opinions. --Tango (talk) 10:39, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I think the image is inappropriate for multiple reasons. It does not reflect well on Wikipedia as a quality work environment. It is an inappropriate political statement. It has caused sufficient controversy in the community that keeping it up there strikes me as WP:POINT-y. Even so, it doesn't rise to a level that I think I should directly intervene and set policy - policy in this area is too complex and subtle for one person to be able to directly write it in a way that doesn't give rise to a lot of inappropriate damage in other directions. I merely encourage the community to think in a mature and thoughtful way about how to best deal with things like this, and to encourage Webhamster to do the right thing of his own free choice.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:02, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

False advertising I didn't see any genitalia, shaved or otherwise. Are people confusing an exposed bellybutton and belly button piercing with genitalia per chance? Seems to me there are more serious concerns to get upset about. Like bare nipples. The HORROR!!! ChildofMidnight (talk) 15:47, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Did someone mention jennatalia? >_> Since when does NOT#CENSORED apply only to article space? Considering the inappropriate things some of our most "esteemed" users here have used their user space for, such as subpages for things entirely unrelated to the building of an encyclopedia, I really don't see why we should complain about a Commons image being used on a user page. If we're ashamed of the images we have on Commons, then we need to purge some. If we're not ashamed of the images on Commons, we probably should find better things to do with our time, like improving articles, than boo-hoo'ing about an almost visible shaven 'gine on an obscure user page. لennavecia 17:06, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I find this argument unpersuasive. There are two parts to your argument as far as I can tell. I will respond to both:
  1. WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS - I'm sure we could come up with other examples of inappropriate content in user space, but that doesn't justify any of it, not this one, not other examples. It may, instead, indicate a need for a wider look at policy and enforcement of policy.
  2. The fact that an image is appropriate in some contexts (like Commons, or in an article) does not automatically mean that an image is appropriate in user space. I don't follow the logic at all. This is not about being ashamed - it is about having a quality work environment with due respect for others.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, 1 is more about hypocrisy than otherstuffexists. Those in glass houses shouldn't cast stones and such. Ya know. As for 2, I suppose I don't see the point in getting one's panties all in was (pun intended) over such an image. Shankbone, for example, has uploaded so much non-encycopledic pornography to the project, it's staggering. Of course, much of it has been deleted now, but the fact remains that this image is extremely mild compared to much of what is, or at least was, available. I don't believe there is a policy that states freely licensed images cannot be used on user pages, for whatever reason, but please do link me if I've missed it. Additionally, what does it matter? If one does not like the image, perhaps don't return to the page. Wikipedia is not censored. That's a completely valid argument, whether you dismiss it or not. We don't cater to the delicate sensibilities of our readers, and we most certainly should not do so for our editors. لennavecia 17:28, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Let us not forget that anything which detracts from creating an environment conducive to the creation of a collaborative encyclopedia inherently detracts from Wikipedia's mission. Could this image offend some people, yes. Is it reasonable to expect such things when visiting a userpage, no. Is this image helpful in any way, no. So where does that leave us? Prodego talk 17:33, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Let us also not forget that drama-mongering does nothing to advance the project. If less time was spent complaining about irrelevancies, we'd have more time spent on article improvement. Rather than evaluate the appropriateness of a nearly nude image on a user page, why not evaluate the contributions of some editors who spend more time furthering drama than they do working on content. Let's also not forget that Wikipedia has much bigger problems than one person's user page. How about, for example, the glaring BLP problem that Jimbo and the Foundation are all but ignoring. That, to me, ranks miles higher up on the list of things to be bugging Jimbo about than some clit-tease pic on an obscure user page. لennavecia 17:37, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I second, pretty much word-for-word, everything Jenna just wrote in her last paragraph above. -->David Shankbone 17:40, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I've no opinion on the nudity, but I agree that there are more pressing problems. Where are we on Flagged Revisions? PM, your massive energy would be well spent pushing that. rootology/equality 17:43, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Indeedy. WP:BLPPOTENTIAL, kthx. لennavecia 17:52, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
see here (and a few other posts / threads....) - I'm rattling that cage a little too... hopefully we're making progress! Privatemusings (talk) 21:22, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

A few comments here:

  1. This was all discussed at great length about a month ago, and was quite divisive because it's right on the edge where opinions diverge about whether it's appropriate or tolerable.
  2. After extensive discussion the use was allowed by consensus.
  3. Overall, its impact on the site is minimal as long as it's left alone.
  4. No fresh rationale has been put forward for reopening this bitter and minor matter.
  5. The editor who opened both discussions is formerly sitebanned, and has a history of disruptive pot-stirring that led to the simultaneous resignation of all three of his mentors and a user conduct RfC subsequent to the siteban.
  6. During the last brouhaha over this matter, the editor who opened both discussions posted a photograph of an erect penis on a main noticeboard.
  7. Also during the last brouhaha over this matter, I invited this editor to collaborate on a featured drive for a tasteful and encyclopedic nude, and after expressing initial interest he failed to follow up. The image is now featured, without his help.
  8. This editor's positive contributions to mainspace are paper-thin.
  9. These comments are posted by one of this editor's resigned former mentors.

Now I really want to resolve this amicably. Privatemusings, I respectfully request that you collapse this thread. DurovaCharge! 18:11, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure why the fuss about this picture; it isn't the virgin killer or even an offensive pic; for all we know it is a self-portrait. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:30, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
personally I reckon this pretty much answered my original question. Jimbo and I feel it's not a good fit for a userpage, Jimbo suggests continuing to think about it - I agree. I've cheekily collapsed durova's comments about me above, per her request, because really they're a much better fit on my talk page, not this one. Everyone is, as ever, most welcome.... Privatemusings (talk) 21:22, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Let's make absolutely certain no error in communication occurred. Privatemusings, I invited you to collapse this entire thread. Not just my comment. DurovaCharge! 22:56, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia a bunch of tattle tales with too much free time, or are we here to edit (and protect) an online encyclopedia? Which is it for crying out loud. JBsupreme (talk) 21:27, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Do Not Criticize Anyone For Getting In Touch With Their Inner Comstock!

it is about having a quality work environment with due respect for others.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:18, 22 May 2009 (UTC) Good point. there are more pressing problems -- No one is under an obligation here to work only on the most pressing problems. Sometimes some of us want to address other problems. We're volunteers; we get interested in what we get interested in. Personally, I find it interesting that the pic's defenders have such a puritanical attitude about what the rest of us should be concerning ourselves with when we visit Wikipedia. No one should be ashamed of finding the use of that pic shameful. This is Wikipedia, dammit! We've got a right to be outraged! And I'm not even being ironic about this. There's enough staffing at this place to handle more than one outrage and build up the 'pedia at the same time. In America we have a three-day holiday weekend just starting, and I for one intend to honor the fallen soldiers who died for my right to waste my time by, in part, wasting my time. (And I'm still not being ironic about this.) -- Noroton (talk) 22:17, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Living people. Try doing something meaningful. لennavecia 06:11, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Agreed! - Damërung ...ÏìíÏ..._ΞΞΞ_ . --  17:44, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Try to avoid disparaging others for not putting time into your preferred parts of Wikipedia. Try reviewing WP:CIVIL the next time you're tempted to type Try doing something meaningful. Try to avoid giving the impression that someone hasn't done something meaningful, especially when they have a longer edit history than you have. But above all, try to do something unmeaningful. Try to relax. -- Noroton (talk) 18:02, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Strawman. لennavecia 17:38, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not thrilled about WebHamster's method of linking his sig only to his user page (with the kerfluffling, photo-manipulated snap) rather than to his user talk, but I'd guess he finds it meaningful, there's a consensus to let it slide and I think whatever pith it carries is his to bear, not en.Wikipedia's. I also think it's ok for Jimbo to say he doesn't like it. Gwen Gale (talk) 18:35, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Default sig only links to the user page solet no-ne be criticised for not linking to theirtalk page in their signature. Thanks, SqueakBox 18:50, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Default links to user and talk. --Onorem (talk) 18:54, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Aah, I see this has changed, always used to just link to the user page, but lets not assume everyone knows about this change, SqueakBox (talk) 19:12, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Though perhaps it could have been said less bluntly, Jennavecia has a point; in the time we've spent arguing about a single userpage, we could have referenced hundreds if not thousands of BLPs. We need a more efficient process to deal with disputes like these. –Juliancolton | Talk 18:55, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
David Garrick Between the Muses of ArticleSpace (who could care less) and YacketyYackSpace (who couldn't)
Isn't this more of a user-talk-page discussion on a Wikipedia problem rather than some kind of work on the resolution of a dispute? Hamster's page went to XfD and was kept, so I think the immediate decision has been made, right? But that shouldn't mean we can't discuss it as an ongoing problem. Discussing just might lead to thinking which just might bring up an idea about a better approach -- which is worth expending a bit of time and brainpower on when some people think there's an ongoing problem. Maybe I didn't say this clearly enough before: Not every moment on Wikipedia should be spent on tasks with immediate productive results. A little discussion a step or two closer to the abstract is also a good use of time. Sometimes even a lot. Now, I've got a Ken Ken puzzle to do (oh, and looks like an article to create sometime). -- Noroton (talk) 19:17, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Oh. It's KenKen. Nevermind. -- Noroton (talk) 01:13, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Cool! WebHamster swapped the sig link. Please keep in mind, this is a volunteer project, don't be too hard on editors who want to talk about stuff you could care less about. :) Gwen Gale (talk) 19:19, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
That always drives me nuts how Americans flipped from couldn't care less to could care less :) . Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:19, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Is it an Americanism? I thought it was just people getting it wrong (although the distinction is a subtle one ;)). --Tango (talk) 22:27, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Definitely, observations on it appear every now and then in Oz and UK press. Casliber (talk · contribs) 22:28, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I just changed my ow sig too, having had no idea that the default sig had changed to include a link to talk, so something good can come out of all sorts of discussions and I have seen time wasted more on this page than is so today. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 22:29, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

About Jimbo's userpage (moved from User talk:Emmette Hernandez Coleman#About Jimbo's userpage)

Resolved: Intrusive duplicate userpage-box has been removed; move along. Jack Merridew 06:39, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Hi there Emmette, about the userpage bar, I think the one at the bottom is good enough without having to put another one at the top, especially how I think the one at the top kind of ruins the page's image. Though this is just my opinion. If other users agree with you having it there, then I'll except having it. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 13:23, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Just because something is good enough does not mean there is not room for improvement. As I said in my edit summery "But [the userpage bar is] not at the top [of the page] where new users who would need it['s information] would see it, and I could not remove the bottom one, maybe you could". The formating, if "formating" is the correct word, could be changed to not ruin the page's image.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 13:34, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Ross Rhodes, at first I misunderstood what you meant by "kind of ruins the page's image", I understand now and have fixed it.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 13:43, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Cool. Shouldn't we try and put it inside the large grey border on the page, instead of on top of it? Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 13:51, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good to me but I do not think I can do it. Shouldn't this discussion be on User talk:Jimbo Wales?--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 14:00, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Probably yeah. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 14:02, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Moved to User talk:Jimbo Wales.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 14:12, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Jack Merridew removed the userpage bar with the edit summery "-dupe {{userpage}} — too intrusive at top". Jack Merridew would you like to take part in this discussion?--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 17:40, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

So its gone. I thought that would happen. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 17:41, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Jack Merridew, how is the top user bar intrusive?--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 19:24, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Let's remember, Jimbo Wales can override a decision we make about this issue, because this is his userpage--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 17:49, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

"Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. 2,891,459 articles in English" some of which need editing
Do you really have nothing else to do? pablohablo. 22:31, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I found this discussion fun. If I did not I would not have wasted my time on such a little issue.--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 22:55, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Courtesy note

Dear Jimbo—I mentioned you and your role WRT ArbCom here. I hope you regard this as in good faith: it was intended as such. Tony (talk) 09:00, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Message of an anonymous on your user page.

I find that Wiki's are very helpful. I and other gamers that I know use Wiki for our gaming needs. Thanks Jimbo for creating a user friendly source of information.. DT 10:15, 16 May 2009 (archiving timestamp Fram (talk) 12:40, 26 May 2009 (UTC))

Friendly Message from Shane91c

(archiving timestamp Fram (talk) 12:40, 26 May 2009 (UTC))

Block of Bishonen, question

Is this an endorsement of the long absent ideal that any user, from the newly registered user, to the Arbs, up to yourself, are held to identical requirements of adherence to policy? rootology (C)(T) 02:22, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Using this a platform to push your views forward, eh, Rootology? A bit uncouth and unnecessary. Jimmy: It's customary to leave a note on the talk page of the person you've blocked. (Though I imagine you're doing this as I'm typing, surely.) --MZMcBride (talk) 02:30, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
No, it's a serious question. Are all of us supposed to be held to matching standards? rootology (C)(T) 02:33, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm reluctant to answer the general question because I'm not sure of what baggage it is intended to carry. My block is an illustration of the concept that admins are expected to behave in a particular way, a way that doesn't include that kind of thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:46, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
There's no baggage. A lot of commentary of late has been floating around that we admins are 1) above the rules, or 2) held to different standards--looser standards--than non-admins. The question is literally what it is--are all users here supposed to follow the policies the same, with the same levels of repercussions if they don't? rootology (C)(T) 02:47, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Basically, yes. Indeed, I would say that admins should be held to a higher standard. ArbCom members, to a still-higher standard. And me - to the highest standard. This I say with an acknowledgment that we are all capable of error and folly, and should be forgiven such if we are acting in good faith. Nothing is simple. Justice is complex and thoughtful. Kindness is a lifestyle not an algorithm.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:52, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
You and I disagree on a lot of stuff, sometimes in private, sometimes in public, but we're on the same page on this. Thanks. rootology (C)(T) 02:53, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Ditto. No comment on the Bishonen block, or the comment given in the block summary but I strongly agree with the notion that admins should be held to a higher standard than non admins. Not because they are better than non admins, but because they have more responsibility. And functionaries should be held to a higher standard still. Not because they are better than admins, but because they have still more responsibility. Thanks for articulating this, Jimbo. ++Lar: t/c 16:02, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
My opinion - not that anyone asked - is that Jimmy has this one precisely correct; those who know me know that I disagree with power as often (or more) than I agree with power, so this isn't a sycophant-like moment for me. The truth is, Wikipedia (particularly this one) has been far too tolerant of toxic personalities that create a hostile environment. The damage they do is so much more than just hurt feelings; it pollutes the whole project. When we allow people to treat others in a way that is less than polite; less than considerate, less than peaceful, and less than just, we foster an atmosphere where those values are diminished. That is not the WIkipedia that I fell in love with. Justice used to - and should - and will again - be one of our very core values. It was unspoken, but it was there. We are, generally, a peaceful people who occasionally lose our way and fall into madness. When that happens, we, the community, need reminders of whom we are. I appreciate Jimmy for taking the hard road, and for saying "The behavior was unacceptable. This is who we are. This is where we stand. We can do no other."
One of my favorite quotes is this: "I believe that what I do becomes part of me. When I'm brave and strong and care for children or the sick and the poor, I become a better person. And when I'm cruel, or cowardly or tell lies, I turn into someone less worth, and I can't respect myself. That's the divine retribution I believe in." (Ken Follett, World without end; p.725)
When we care enough to create a loving, justice filled community, it becomes a part of us. When we are cruel, or mean, that becomes a part of us too. I applaud Jimmy for his actions in supporting a loving community. - Philippe 09:54, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
oh philippe - that's a reasonably well written, and no doubt heartfelt, post - just please remember that the noble sentiments you express are in truth far more than skin deep. Sometimes loving a project means telling someone who's being a little shit that that's what they are. This is true regardless of the little-shitiness of the user in question. Beware of the stifling of reason, and dissent, and especially beware of the establishment of two-bit 'rules' ahead of the principle of creating an awesome collection of information and knowledge. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, right? - you're no doubt aware that 'love-bombing' is a sure sign of a cult.... something we must never become..... Privatemusings (talk) 10:10, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
That may be, but bad words are being thrown around far too easy lately. We all get upset and say things we shouldn't have said, but people also need to start realizing again, that at some point such behaviour will get them blocked or thrown out. An incident != a toxic environment around a person. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 10:56, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy, for what it's worth, I was dismayed when I saw this edit, and wished you'd mentioned 'conduct' rather than 'editors', especially considering the circumstances of the block. Casliber (talk · contribs) 14:49, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

You are right that it would have been more gentle to talk about toxic "behaviors" rather than "personalities". And to be clear, I do not think that Bishonen is a toxic personality.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:58, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Would it be possible to (in future) bar non-Administrators from adding/deleting Retirement tags to/from retiring editors Userpages (with the exception of the retiree, of course)? GoodDay (talk) 15:03, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
How exactly do you propose doing that, I am talking technically as I can't see it, and unless you can do so its a non-starter as an idea. Thanks, SqueakBox 02:39, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I just saw this. How technical does it have to be. Either it's an admin or the user themselves that place the retired tag. Where does the technology come in? Jack forbes (talk) 03:35, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Why one earth would you want to do this? It is a tag to inform people an editor has retired. I cannot think of any reason why it should not automatically be placed on retired users, and maybe even users who have simply been inactive for a set period of time. The fact is, Bishonen called someone a little shit for doing something perfectly logical. You can have a look at this Rfa to see how far she would get if she were standing now (or heaven forbid, did the in vogue thing and stood for reconfirmation). Apparently according to her it is 'nobody's business' whether someone has retired or not [5]. What rubbish I say. MickMacNee (talk) 11:33, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Are not all admin privileges technical in nature? Such as the ability to block, to delete, to read delete revisions etc. To change this would set a huge, and unacceptable, precedent. And how is the non-admin to know about this ruling. Thanks, SqueakBox 05:35, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
OK, thanks for the responses, folks. It was just a idea I had, concerning the latest situation at Giano's userpage. GoodDay (talk) 21:58, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

we are all capable of error and folly, and should be forgiven such if we are acting in good faith. Nothing is simple. Justice is complex and thoughtful. Kindness is a lifestyle not an algorithm. What beautiful sentiments Mr. Wales. Surely your followers will quote that all over the place while they ban someone for some minor or perceived offense. But I pry thee tell me, oh philosopher king, how do you respond to the following quote?

Jimbo in the old days went through amazing amounts of pain to protect people who were perceived to be on "his side" on WP. And took, on behalf of WP, amazing amounts of reputational damage for it: think of Essjay, JzG, Jayjg, Ryulong, Raul654, Gerard, SlimVirgin, the long list of people in our "notable editors" gallery here on WR.
Sometimes these people weren't even friends of Jimbo, but Durova-style vague friends of friends, ala Weiss/Mantanmoreland who was never anybody of power on WP, but who Jimbo and Gerard set out to personally protect from the depredations of.... Patrick Byrne!! I don't think Jimbo ever even met Weiss. Hell, you'd think that a pack of Zombies and Vampires were after Weiss. But no. He was only criticized by some business exec guy in Utah who wasn't even an irrational man, much less a criminally dangerous or crazy man.
So yes, Jimbo, you've managed to tolerate and protect a lot of toxic personalities and their agendas on WP. Too often, in fact almost unerringly, when you've chosen sides, you've chosen the wrong dog in the fight. You went after a Greg Kohs or a Daniel Brandt or a Judd Bagley. Why is that, you wonder? Just your bad luck?
Well, no. What has happened is that you've chosen the "Wikipedian" in every fight as though they were some loyal member of your family. But I've got news for you: they weren't. The side you chose was just the side that happened to get to Wikipedia FIRST, and manipulate it. Because they were manipulators by nature, and they had the time to do it, because THEY HAD NO LIFE. And to you, that looked like dedication. In fact, it was mental illness at worst, and pathological lack of social attachment to the world at best.
This is what happens when you choose your loyalties by who has spent the most time on Wikipedia, Jimbo. You end up with a "family" of nuts who demand your loyalty, and have totally gamed your system. You've been "pwned".
It's always been that way in the past, and (here's the horrible part) it's set up to be that way in the future, too. And now that you know it (even assuming in best case that you read this) there's still nothing you can do about it, while WP is configured the way you designed it.

I did not write it, Milton Roe on Wikipedia Review did. I'm merely relaying to you as an interested party. We are all, indeed, flawed people who make mistakes. But one of the keys to becoming a better person is to openly acknowledge one's mistakes and try to learn from them. Often this requires brutal honesty, more than kindness. Bishonen and Giano are two such brutally honest people. For this, in my view and to that of many, they have been not simply discouraged but actively prosecuted by you and the power structure you have created. So please tell me, Mr. Wales, why I should not believe the Milton Roe's statement above is the truth?--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 15:22, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Because it simply isn't true? These claims of people being under my personal protection are simply false. I don't know what else to say.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:40, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Sniff sniff What about my above question? GoodDay (talk) 15:45, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
No, Jimmy, sadly there is some truth to it. You have allowed a toxic, authoritarian and outright mean-spirited group to come to power on here. A group which, for the most part, does nothing to help build the 'pedia or further its goals...they merely want to control it and bully those of us who wish to help build it or anyone who gets in their way. It is they who have created this toxic work environment of intimidation and mistrust. In order for your regime of loving kindness to prevail, this old order must be dumped en masse. Make no mistake, these people are not your friends and they are certainly not friends of Wikipedia, they care only for their own petty power. You've seen this for yourself in the past when you have crossed one of them. Meanwhile you have largely turned your back on the writers, the prolific contributors of quality content, who in fact should be running the show. This can change, however. You have the power to change it if you wish. Otherwise you will continue to get played and pwned by your own administration to the point where you will no longer be a big deal. Please think about it.--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 10:20, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Well, lessee now, because it's a windy, boring and unpersuasive rant, perhaps? Serial plagiarists shouldn't be admins, Giano's latest block(s) was/were utterly wrong and he should be back and editing, Bishonen didn't merit a block, life's a bitch and then (like Lady Catherine) we die, Jimbo has goofed here and there, but I can't think of anything he's written that has an odor like that of the evidence-unencumbered cod-psychiatric flatus above. (I have no comment on the remarks within it about specific usernames/people; I've never heard of half of them and have forgotten who the others are.) Still, do leave it all in bold; somehow it's funnier that way. -- Hoary (talk) 16:04, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
The Milton Roe piece quoted in bold above is a rant, but there's a reason why Roe thinks he can get away with it without being laughed out of WR. It's normal in human social behaviour for people to support those they know against those they don't know - we evolved as pack-hunters. That means it's not natural for us to treat people equally. But that kind of behaviour drives away newbies, including the next generation of good editors. I remember in another discussion I read some stats that said the average editor is around for under 2 years. So driving away potential editors will make WP stagnate and then decline. rootology's proposal is intended to reduce the incidence of in-groups ganging up on newcomers. The wording needs a lot of checking and refining, but the principle's right and necessary. --Philcha (talk) 23:34, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Comment on "identical standards" - I think the introduction of this thread is misleading by implying "identical standards". Why? Because in this situation, we had an admin that after a long drama filled ordeal lost her patience and made an attack against another. If our priority is to stop disruption, then we must ensure that those with power know not to act in such a manner and allow matters to die, or be resolved peacefully. Drama will happen, and there is little that can be done to prevent it. However, people show that they are problematic when they act in a manner that could spark it up the drama once it has ended. Many of the other admin listed tend not to do this, or, if they do, lack the sheer aggressiveness in the comments as found in this situation. Personally, I feel that more admin should be blocked for such comments, as their having power makes the comments more prone to disruption as the potential to block increases the intimidation factor and raising the words to more than just "words". However, the timing of these words separate them from other situations, which is key here. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:18, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Returning to the extended quotation which RDH provided. First, there are some names in that list which could be considered to be part of an "inner circle" on Wikipedia. However, I would define "inner circle" as those who Jimmy Wales listens to -- which means a lot less now that it did 5 years ago. (Consider this: I've made some accusations about Wales which he likely still disagrees with, & I'm still an Admin & still editting Wikipedia. If there was a "hivemind" or powerful "inner circle", my account would have been history many months ago.) Second, many of those mentioned in that post received Wales' help simply because he obviously felt they were valuable contributors who needed defending. (Slim Virgin, for example, has often been linked to a story which she doesn't want repeated. JzG & Ryulong are Admins unafraid to take on the worst troublemakers.) So AFAICS, there's no real group of people who have Jimmy Wales' protection who can't arguably be said to need it: if David Gerard or Fred Bauder, for example, ran around Wikipedia calling one & all "little shits", they'd be blocked just like anyone else. Lastly, & perhaps my most important point, the time has long since passed on Wikipedia where Wales actually understands its day-to-day, coal-face functioning. This was made clear, to me at least, with the Mzoli's Meat situation. Had Wales added one more sentence to that stub, explaining its notability, there would have never been any resulting controversy or drama; it would have been Just Another Stub. However, to anyone who didn't know the subject, it appeared to be a free advertisement for a restaurant -- something all Wikipedians are against.
Which brings us to the present matter with Bishonen. There are a number of issues here. One is her language -- which was inappropriate. However, a prompt warning would have been more appropriate than a block -- after all, assuming good faith, she might not have known how offensive "a little shit" was outside her native culture. The next is that Bishonen (1) belongs to a faction of disaffected editors, which includes Giano, (2) is very protective of her friends, & (3) many long-time Wikipedians are disaffected to varying degrees. Anyone who has followed Wikipedia's daily activities for a few years knows (3) is a common condition, although probably not why: because long-term Wikipedians have donated a lot of energy to this project, for which they rarely receive acknowledgment, let alone thanks. This leads to resentment, because these long-term members (who are also Wikipedia's institutional memory) eventually come to feel that their work is not appreciated, & after yet another thankless encounter with a troublemaker end up deeply bitter & cynical. If you see my point here, then you should not be surprised if Bishonen intentionally called Daedalus what she did, because she no longer gave a damn whether Daedalus was an established user or just someone who hadn't learned that the goal of this project was to create a useful encyclopedia.
We need to fix this problem with disaffected long-term Wikipedians, or else this incident will be only the first sparrow of a very distasteful spring. -- llywrch (talk) 21:06, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps you should look upon yourself, making assumptions of others, and judging others, when you don't know what you're talking about. It's quite simple, I know we're building an encyclopedia here, and instead of assuming good faith like we're told to do, you assumed the opposite. You assumed that a established editor did not know we're building an encyclopedia. I realize I can be redundant, in regards to the former. To the latter, I did not mean any harm by adding a retired tag to an editor's userpage which had relayed that they had retired, and I did not respond well when someone told me to get the hell off the page or else.— dαlus Contribs 22:13, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Daedalus, will you re-read that sentence more carefully? I wasn't talking about you; I was talking about what Bishonen thought about you. If anyone should be mad at me for making claims about what she/he thinks, it would be Bishonen. And I was trying to be sympathetic towards her, so I hope she's not mad. -- llywrch (talk) 23:42, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Regarding what R.D.H. brought up above, Zero tolerance, shoot on sight is the sort of "wikilove" Jimbo supported for the Byrne/Bagley side in their conflict with Weiss; soon after this dictum was posted, Cla68 was blocked for taking a mildly questioning tone about it. *Dan T.* (talk) 23:59, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Indeed D.T. And it looks like Jimmy has been played once again. Everybody Plays the Fool, as the old song goes...--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 12:19, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Wired Magazine: Wikipedia is collectivist.

There's an interesting article from Wired about aspects of open-source culture and online communities resembling Socialist collectivism. They specifically mention Wikipedia as an example.

Instead of gathering on collective farms, we gather in collective worlds. Instead of state factories, we have desktop factories connected to virtual co-ops. Instead of sharing drill bits, picks, and shovels, we share apps, scripts, and APIs. Instead of faceless politburos, we have faceless meritocracies, where the only thing that matters is getting things done. Instead of national production, we have peer production. Instead of government rations and subsidies, we have a bounty of free goods.

While not necessarily being Communism, there is no doubt at least that Wikipedia has a strong emphasis on community-driven decision-making.   Zenwhat (talk)

I find that Wired analogy unhelpful; they seem to have missed the point that although the Soviet collectives were supposedly self-managing, targets were certainly imposed from above on a regional and State basis. There's no comparator here for that; our model is not that prescriptive and nobody is required to be an Alexey Stakhanov, although some contribute more than others due to availability of skills and time. That doesn't mean, and nor should it, that those people are entitled as of right to immunity from process or undue kudos; however, they are more likely to be clued-in as to how to write articles properly and how our processes work. That, perhaps is the meritocracy, based on experience, hence some local, and directed, wisdom here. Rodhullandemu 01:29, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Last I heard, Wikipedia editors were not nudged towards making contributions on this privately owned website at the point of a gun. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:38, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Authoritarian regimes like the Soviet Union are not the only type of Socialism or Collectivism. There have been various socialist entities, past and future, that were not violent or authoritarian. If we think of websites as being virtual "geography" (webspace?), and then consider the user-base to be the population, the analogy fits when there is social hegemony over a given webspace, except that we can't prevent people from leaving. Wikipedians do not make decisions individually; they work together as a community. Wikipedians do not compete in any fashion (at least, they're not supposed to, for things like article control, influence, etc.); they cooperate for the mutual and societal benefit.   Zenwhat (talk) 14:32, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Understood and true enough, but collaboration is not the same as collectivism. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:38, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
It's a pretty thin line when you consider the etymology of these words. Latin Communis ("in common, public, general, shared by all or many", the root of common, communism, community, etc.) Collaboratus ("to work with", root of collaboration) and Collectus ("to gather together", the root of collectivism). I'd bet that in some of the languages around the world, like French or Greek, it might be especially difficult to make a clear distinction. It's really more the connotations than the actual definitions that separate communism, communitarianism, communalism, collectivism, and collaboration. I suspect it's because "Communism" and "Collectivism" have such bad connotations which is why some people are averse to these terms, but others are quite giddy about using them.   Zenwhat (talk) 15:28, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I think Wikipedia is more like ancient Rome. Care to visit the Colliseum? Jehochman Talk 14:35, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

I always thought Wikipedia was an anarcho-syndicalist commune. MuZemike 21:11, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

You're fooling yourself! We're living in a dictatorship. A self-perpetuating autocracy in which the working classes... —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 15:42, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Wait, we're not part of a plot to control the universe? That kinda takes the fun out of it. --SB_Johnny | talk 22:27, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is much closer to maoistic China than to sovjet Russia. Kind regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 15:08, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Are we in the process of letting a 1,000 flowers bloom? ChildofMidnight (talk) 17:27, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure meritocracy applies to wikipedia, though I wish it did a bit more... Oligarchy ticks more boxes, and fits the analogy too. Verbal chat 16:00, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Oligarchical Collectivism then? O_O ArakunemTalk 17:09, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Should there be a See also section

I made a See also section (click here to view it) but Jack Merridew reverted it with the edit summery "go back 4 spaces; poor changes to structure, dubious link additions by someone too focused here"--Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 15:43, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

An idea to consider...

Revision before move

This discussion is now on WP:VRP. Please click on the link to that page if you wish to contribute to this discussion. Ross Rhodes (T C) Sign! 20:05, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Disastrous Cyberstalking campaign in some Wikipedia Articles and TalkPages has gone unimpeded for 18 months

Mr. Wales, this is the first time myself or a friend or relative has attempted to contact you. We have each attempted numerous numerous times in the past 22 months to solicit helpful intervention from many Wikipedia Administrators, but in almost every single case, the Administrator ends up worsening the problem or making only a few feeble attempts to understand it and "fix" things...and then basically "runs away," confused or intimidated by the complexity or volatility involved -- or deciding to further harass and defame the Mormon involved. As a result of this, a particularly cunning and obsessive cyberstalker has been able to censor or mutilate articles and items of information of great interest to Mormons, researchers, and rights activists everywhere. Just today, he and an accomplice of his Luna Santin put a total edit block on Temple Lot and Church of Christ (Temple Lot) in order to preserve "and protect" Good Olfactory = Snocrates's smear campaign at both articles since the first of December 2007. Disgraced editor Snocrates quit editing on February 16, 2008 and Good Olfactory began editing on February 16, 2008. I'm disappointed to realize that some Administrators possibly knew that the Wiki-arsonist Snocrates is the same as Wiki-arsonist Good Olfactory, and haven't done anything to stop his misconduct, but have done plenty to assist.

A few recent explanations of the problem are here and here and here (please scroll down that page) and here (note there how GoodOlFactory=Snocrates on March 7 2008 once again "tag teams" a victim editor...just 21 days after he was denied Administratorship for "tag teaming" a victim editor via Zoporific=Snocrates....!). Another useful recent resource of explanation is here on GoodOlFactorys Talk Page --comments offered before the victims of Snocrates realized that he and GoodOlFactory are one and the same. By now, there are hundreds of relevant edits, reverts, comments and so forth related to the cyberstalking scheme initiated by a couple of users in late July 2007, and then "picked up" and intensified by Snocrates =Zoporific=G77=Good Olfactory as well as accomplices such as Americasroof in December 2007 and (sadly) Versageek who banned the cyberstalking victim on December 18, 2007 when he announced he would contact Law Enforcement if the cyberstalking continued. That's not a legal threat, that's a universally-recognized civil right, for a victim of a crime to "threaten" to contact relevant police authorities. A legal threat is "threatening" to hire a lawyer and so forth. It is sad that Versageek did that, because she was helpful to the cyberstalking victim in August and earlier in December 2007, but it was wrong and injurious for Versageek to ban the cyberstalking victim and then refuse to lift the ban, to this day, just as it is wrong for the "malicious genius" Snocrates=Zoporific=G77=GoodOlfactory and accomplices to keep banning and censoring anything offered at Wikipedia by Mr. Smith or family and friends who may occassionally share his username.

I would like for Jsmith51389 to be un-banned, the same as was CheckIntentPlease, after some Administrators realized he was right about Snocrates/Zoporific, and they were wrong (see a few extra-noble Wiki Administrators apologize at the Talk Page for CheckIntentPlease) And I would like any other so-called "suspected sockpuppet" of Jsmith 51389 or friends or relatives of his (such as Snocrates Olfactorys intent and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to also be un-banned, on the principle that every single instance of banning has been unfair, misinformed and/or malicious.

I apologize that I don't have the time now to add a lot of convenient documentation and explanation, but as you know, defamation instigates harassment and still more defamation if someone influential and authoritative is unwilling or unable to intervene. Please intervene and completely stop in all articles and Talk pages of Wikipedia, the vicious cycle of defamation and harrassment instigated in 1990 and 1991 by a malicious or inept anti-Mormon media reports locally and then replicated countless times nationwide to the present day (thanks to the internet), ranging from an atrocious false report atop the Kansas City Times/Star on January 2, 1990 to the Associated Press thereafter, and the virulently anti-Mormon Watchman Fellowship to the present day. Thank you. Victim of Cybercrime (talk) 18:59, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

User:Victim of Cybercrime has now been banned because it is a sockpuppet of User:Jsmith 51389. Griffinofwales (talk) 23:01, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Reporting an editor who is engaged in a prolonged campaign of subtle vanadalism

Jimbo, I've been compelled to return to you one more time in relation to the editor FyzixFighter. I reported him twice recently to the administrators incidents noticeboard for wiki-hounding. I gave ample evidence to the extent that he has been following me around on physics articles undermining my attempts to make these articles more readable. The administrators turned a blind eye to the evidence and ignored the complaint. That of course gave FyzixFighter the green light to continue in earnest.

I specifically want to bring your attention to this passage which I have copied from the yesterday's centrifugal force talk page. Basically FyzixFighter is trying to prevent me from making references in the article to the extent that centrifugal force can be treated outside of the context of rotating frames of reference. He demanded that I produce sources. I produced a perfectly good source, and he then denied it.

This problem needs to be dealt with. Here is the relevant passage from the discussion page. Meanwhile, he is still continually reverting all the edits that I make to the article.

In my opinion, centrifugal force and Coriolis force are inertial forces and they don't need to be understood in terms of rotating frames of reference. I have got a few sources to back that idea up. I suggest that we totally remove the reference to 'two' approaches to centrifugal force in the introduction, because the literature clearly talks about at least three approaches. David Tombe (talk) 16:46, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
:Start providing the sources then so that we can discuss them. As the 'two' approaches in the intro are supported by two references, removal of such and/or inclusion of a distinct third approach requires another reliable source that explicitly says as much. While you may believe the references are misinformed, they pass wikipedia's criteria for reliable sources, thus the viewpoint they contain goes in the article. NPOV says that we report all significant, verifiable viewpoints supported by reliable sources. --FyzixFighter (talk) 17:11, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
FyzixFighter, we can start with Shankar 1994 [6]. Here is a clear reference to centrifugal force outside of the context of rotating frames of reference. But I'm sorry that you have chosen to play this silly game. I'm trying to make the article correct and readable. You think you're playing a clever game by using the many conflicting sources in the literature to undermine what I'm trying to do.
And just for good measure, on page 179 in Goldstein (second edition (1980) before Poole and Shaftoe got the hold of it in 2002) writes,
"Incidentally, the centrifugal force on a particle arising from the earth's revolution around the Sun is appreciable compared to gravity, but it is almost exactly balanced by the gravitational attraction to the Sun. It is, of course, just this balance between centrifugal force and gravitational attraction that keeps the earth (and all that are on it) in orbit around the sun."
There is no mention of rotating frames of reference in either the first edition (1950) or the second edition (1980). However in the 2002 edition, the new editors have added an extra bit in about rotating frames of reference to justify their own prejudices. They are obviously from that generation that have been brainwashed into thinking that you can't have a centrifugal force unless you strap a rotating frame of reference around the problem.
Also on page 78 in the second edition, beginning sixth line down on discussing planetary orbits, Goldstein writes,
"A particle will come in from infinity, strike the "repulsive centrifugal barrier", be repelled, and travel back out to infinite". Some illusion! David Tombe (talk) 17:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
:Sorry but these do not support what you are trying to put into the article. Specifically they do not support the statement that the centrifugal force exists in the inertial frame. Lack of discussion of rotating frames is not the same as confining the discussion to an inertial frame. Especially when we have multiple other references that do the same analysis and explicitly state the transformation from an inertial to non-inertial frame.
:For example, Shankar doesn't mention frames - so we cannot say that he supports the statement that the centrifugal force exists as a real force in an inertial frame. Note that he also refers to them as terms and not forces. This is probably due to the fact that he distinguishes between generalized forces and real forces. See his comment on the previous page:
::"Although the rate of change of the canonical momentum equals the generalized force, one must remember that neither is pi always a linear momentum (mass times velocity or "mv" momentum), nor is Fi always a force (with dimensions of mass times acceleration)."

It should be obvious to any impartial observer that FyzixFighter's objection to the references that I provided was totally specious. This guy has been following me around for over a year. Since I started, he hasn't done a single physics edit that hasn't been for the purpose of undermining what I have been trying to do. I do hope that you can help to sort this problem out once and for all. David Tombe (talk) 10:43, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Appeal of arbcom case

I am extremely concerned about aspects of the Scientology case at the arbcom, and would like to appeal it. My basic concern is that I am worried that, in an attempt to try to make the decision not seem one-sided, people were wrongly singled out for censure for minor problems, and sanctions were imposed on users based on insufficient or at times non-existent evidence of wrongdoing.

Would you prefer I submit this appeal via e-mail, write up the issues here, write it up on a user subpage and link you to it, or what? Phil Sandifer (talk) 02:31, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Seconded. --Ghirla-трёп- 06:53, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Email me and let's discuss it. This will be a major undertaking for me, obviously, and a task I don't take lightly. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:04, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

I've e-mailed you. (I say this not because I don't think you'll notice it but out of an interest in public transparency.) Phil Sandifer (talk) 16:19, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Quick question on topic bans

Hi, does a topic ban imply that one cannot post (not even on other topics) on user talk pages where the topic happens to be mentioned, including your own, as an admin claims? Regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 09:54, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Taken quite literally, that seems like an overly broad interpretation. I don't know which admin you are referring to, nor where, though, so this should not be taken as a direct response to that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:18, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Jimbo. I had been looking for information, but there is only this single line on topic bans, in Wikipedia:Editing restrictions:
  • The user is prohibited from editing any page related to a particular topic, and may be blocked if they do so.
It leaves the door open to a wide spectrum of interpretations as to what 'related' means. Administrator Verbal claims that any page, including user talk pages and noticeboards, automatically becomes related as soon as the topic is mentioned on it, which seems impractical to me (Verbal: "The conversations happen on pages, and the pages become related by virtue of the topic being discussed.") Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 14:49, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not an admin and I haven't made that claim. Guido's topic ban is clear. He is to avoid the topic on any page. I'm only commenting here as I was mentioned. He is free to post on his and other talk pages, except in discussions about the topic or on pages related to the topic. Editing any page related to a topic seems clear; if the page or the comment is related to the topic, then it is verboten. Verbal chat 14:57, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Obviously other people should not put comments on his talk page about banned topics, as that would be baiting. Basically, he is banned from the topic. It's an arbcom ban and they've been quite clear about it. Verbal chat 14:58, 30 May 2009 (UTC)Text in bold added after editor pointed out I meant the exact opposite! Verbal chat 15:56, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I suggest that you follow your own advice. I did not ask about my own case and will not comment on it in this thread. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 15:22, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm not operating under a topic ban having been blocked by the community, upheld by two ArbComs. You mentioned me specifically, and I was talking about your case. Please just edit constructively away from the topic you are banned from, and everything will be fine. Verbal chat
Sigh. Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 16:03, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I think that verbals interpretation of what a topic ban means is novel but erroneous. As I understand it you ventured into giving background of the dispute when a thread was started on ANI. Obviously you should be free to state your side of the story and provide background for readers that might not have been following the case. If verbal were correct it would have an unfortunate chilling effect that would prevent people from defending themselves. Unomi (talk) 16:20, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I've never said he can't discuss his topic ban. The topic ban is clear. Please stop this ridiculous hounding Unomi. Verbal chat 17:20, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Please stop these ridiculous claims of hounding. It is an important issue, Guido brought up the fact that 2 editors who were challenging him on ANI were ones he was in conflict with on the article and some background on why. There is a bit of back and forth and then you interject 'I thought you were banned from this topic?' which had the effect of him not knowing if he was able to respond to thread any more. The ANI thread should not fall under the topic ban and you should refrain from making claims that it does. Unomi (talk) 06:26, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Note the question mark, and I was questioning his going into why he was "right" on the CFS/ME issue, which would be a breech of his topic ban. I will stop pointing out your hounding when you stop hounding my edits. If the ANI thread was about ME/CFS then yes his topic ban would apply there. He can discuss his topic ban but not the topic - he is "topic banned". Verbal chat 09:39, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
On Wikipedia talk:Editing restrictions I have proposed a possible improvement for now of the text there, that IMHO seems in accordance with Jimbo's comment above, and would appreciate your input. Regards, Guido den Broeder (talk, visit) 09:17, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
I have proposed a less radical change that simply clarifies the current and simple understanding of a topic ban. Verbal chat 09:39, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Who's brilliant idea was it to put the main section of this userpage in an anti-aliased font?!

It looks terrible! Please remove ASAP. CompuHacker (talk) 19:30, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
P.S. If it was Jimbo himself, please be merciful! CompuHacker (talk) 19:30, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I actually have no idea what this means but would be pleased by a decrease in the general terribleness of anything.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:38, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
It means the font looks sharp and pixelly, rather than nice and soft. Therefore, anti-aliasing is generally a Good Thing. However, at small sizes, it makes it hard to read. Therefore, I support changing to the standard Arial. Dendodge T\C 21:45, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I've reverted it back to what it was[7]. -- zzuuzz (talk) 21:48, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

I want the Unblock in spanish wikiquote

Hello dear Jimbo, my IP adress is blocked because a mistake, I`m a innocet user, but Drini hates Jehova's Witnesses users, and he is a proscriptor and a very bad enemy of us. I want, please, the desblock in spanish wikiquote, because I`m working constructuvely. Can you Speak with Drini the Ip's policeman an say him I'm innocent an I`m not a vandal? Thank you very much. -- (talk) 14:56, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo, I wait for a response. Thanks. -- (talk) 21:04, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

General note for everybody: Drini is a steward who has confirmed that the above IP belongs to a sockpuppeteer. Griffinofwales (talk) 02:55, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm not a sockpuppeteer. Drini hates Jehovah's Witnesses users because he likes Maya's gods. I was working constructively but he hates Bible quotations in the proyect. If I'm writing here is because I'm innocent. I want the desblock. -- (talk) 10:25, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

What does "desblock" translate to in English? -- (talk) 12:42, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
"Unblock", (or "disenblockification", if you're not into that whole … brevity thing). pablohablo. 14:53, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm not a vandal, I want unblock because I'm innocent. -- (talk) 17:58, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo is not going to interfere with something like that. If you want to be unblocked, you are going to have to take it up with whoever blocked you. J.delanoygabsadds 18:01, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
Has anyone thought of asking on eswikiquote village pump? Any of the regulars will confirm that he's been a problem user for a year and half. The whole "religious persecution" and "worshipping mayan gods" thing has been played before, some insulting usernames with that card are logged here: [8]. Please, if this continues just go and ask the people on eswikiquote and you'll confirm what I'm saying. -- m:drini 18:44, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
What a lot of names! Anyway, (talk · contribs), you will have to request your unblock at the site where you are blocked, as M. delanoy suggests. pablohablo. 19:31, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm innocent, I'm not a vandal, I'm workimg constructively but Drini hates Jehova's Witnesses users, these are my last contibutions: Do you think I'm working constructively in the project when I'm editing pages like John Quincy Adams, Peter Hamilton Raven, Jane Goodall? obviously I'm not a vandal. -- (talk) 11:31, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

As you've been told, you need to plead your innocence on the site where you were blocked. No-one here is able to help you. --Tango (talk) 11:34, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Is a requirement that administrators be tolerant, Drini it is not, therefore you must to expell him from Wikiquote.--Oo 19 oo (talk) 12:05, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Can you understand now? I'm a innocent editor. --Oo 19 oo (talk) 11:36, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Sigh, here we go with the crosswiki harassment. [9], [10], [11] and cherry top of the cake [12] where it shows the same underlying ip. No big deal, just for the record in case this pops up again (when the next batch of sockpuppets is nuked). -- m:drini 14:57, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm not a wandal. I want the unblock in spanish wikiquote. I'm innocent. Are you going to speek with Drini for the unblock? -- (talk) 16:17, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Leave Jimbo alone. Listen to what the other editors have told you. Go to es.wikiquote and request an unblock there. This situation has nothing to do with Jimbo. Griffinofwales (talk) 16:22, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I want Jimbo talks with this administrator for the unblock. -- (talk) 16:28, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I want the unblock now. -- (talk) 16:19, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This in the English Wikipedia. If you want to complain about the Spanish Wikiquote, do so on the Spanish Wikiquote. No-one here can or will help you. Jimmy doesn't even speak Spanish, as far as I know. --Tango (talk) 16:22, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

I have the IP blocked there, then I can not to speak there. This is the Jimbo Wales page. He is an administrator and he can to speak with this another administrator for the unblock. -- (talk) 16:26, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

He is an administrator here, on the English Wikipedia. He isn't an administrator on Spanish Wikiquote ([13]). You can still post to your userpage or email somebody and ask them to post your request for you. --Tango (talk) 16:31, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

This problem can to end if Jimbo speeks for my unblock. Is very simply. -- (talk) 16:42, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Threats will get you nothing and may lead to a block on Darrenhusted (talk) 16:48, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
Certainly seems to be building up a viable rangeblock. Rodhullandemu 23:18, 26 May 2009 (UTC)
How is Jimbo supposed to judge the case without speaking the language the disagreement took place in? --Tango (talk) 22:45, 27 May 2009 (UTC)
How is the anon to make his complaint when he doesn't speak English. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 00:31, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Are you really criticising someone for not writing in perfect English when it isn't their first language? I thought we were above such things... --Tango (talk) 22:03, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
Not perfect English? This comment is unfair to those for whom English is not a first language but who have made the effort to learn it and thus contribute usefully here. The anon's English isn't good enough to make sense and as a result he or she keeps saying the same thing, this is not in any way useful. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 17:45, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Red links

Hi, Jimmy Wales.

I'm from the portuguese Wikipedia where some users criticize the featured articles only because they have red links. You could answer if we can or not criticize red links in featured articles or lists, only by changing the layout? What is your opinion?

Regards, ⇨HotWikiBRmsg 13:44, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

minus 10 points for spelling his name wrong, but I'm pretty sure a FA shouldn't have many (if any) redlinks PXK T /C 13:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Haha... Typing error. I agree that a FA shouldn't have many red links, but at pt.wikipedia some users are removing red links in articles that are important to the reading of any visitor of the page. That's a really problem. I think that Wikipedia is an free encyclopedia, and not an complete encyclopedia, and for that it requires the support of its editors, and, in parts, of the red links.
    Regards, ⇨HotWikiBRmsg 14:00, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
If a redlink is important then it wouldn't be red. Darrenhusted (talk) 14:04, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
An FA should be featured by it own, no? ⇨HotWikiBRmsg 14:07, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Darren, that is simply not true and you make the assumption we have 100% coverage in saying. While in some areas this is true because we have excellent coverage there are many areas, eg in our coverage of the so called Third World, where our coverage is poor ad red links are often to articles on important subjects we do not have coverage of. And that's just speaking of the en wikipedia, wikipedia in other languages are often sporadic and have many new articles needed. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 14:11, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
Redlinks are one of the great features of Wikipedia. They say "I'm an important topic, write an article about me". Red is just a challenge to add something blue. Franamax (talk) 07:07, 30 May 2009 (UTC)
I think red links are not desirable in an FA as they detract from a "professional look" to the article, but I think we should not oppose them becoming FAs strictly because they exist. I would encourage the editor(s) of an FA with red links to at least create a stub article to explain the link. — BQZip01 — talk 16:57, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Red links in featured articles should be dealt with by adding content, not by removing links. --Carnildo (talk) 23:02, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I agree with you. Here is an example of the removal of red links. Here is an example of the automatic traduction, only to set the redlinks to blue. Both examples to the same article. ⇨HotWikiBRmsg 11:33, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

ArbCom again

I can sympathize with the people objecting to ArbCom's Scientology performance. Rather than solve the issue by helping create an excellent article and protecting it, they crudely eliminate one side of the argument and leave the article in the unrestrained hands of the other side. I have recently been topic banned for a year from Prem Rawat articles. A quick read of the evidence I've gathered on my talk page, heading "ArbCom decision", will demonstrate that this was an absurd miscarriage of justice. And their one year ban of Rumiton beyond belief. [14] If you haven't time to read it, please let me know. I tried to email you but it keeps getting bounced. Thanks.Momento (talk) 06:38, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Ban appeal

The following is from m:User talk:Jimbo Wales and posted on request of the writer by weburiedoursecretsinthegarden 15:15, 1 June 2009 (UTC).

Hello Jimbo,

As I am unable to post at en:Wikipedia, and email results in an error message, I am posting this here.

I have been banned from en:Wikipedia by the local arbcom without explanation or evidence of wrongdoing. I wish to appeal this ban, to see my rights restored in full, my block log cleared per WP:BLP as it contains erroneous accusations of legal threats, and aggressive hounders dealt with.

Let me know if you want to hear my case. I am an editor in good standing on various other wiki projects, and have always contributed to Wikipedia in good faith.

Kind regards, Guido den Broeder 14:35, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

After a brief review of recent events, and familiarity with past events, I decline at this time to hear your case.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:56, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Your involvement in discussions regarding Objectivism on Wikipedia

Ciao, Jimbo. There's recently been a concerted effort to clean up the encyclopaedia's much maligned coverage of Objectivism. I realise that you generally prefer not to comment on this topic, but rumours are a-swirling that senior figures in the Objectivist movement have been in contact with you voicing concerns and trying to influence matters. If it's not too much trouble, could you clarify whether this is something you are concerned with or that should be left entirely to the editors of the articles in question? Mahalo,  Skomorokh  16:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

As far as content matters go, Jimmy is just a normal editor--he has no special authority on the tone and tenor of content in any article, no more than any other editor and consensus, he's one voice of many in regards to that, but can obviously weigh in. As for that article you linked, it doesn't "malign" our coverage of Randian stuff. It just says he thinks the articles are too long and "boring". rootology/equality 17:14, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I know the score on the role of Jimmy Wales (as the most prolific contributor to that page), I need to verify if possible whether or not Jimbo is in active contact with the individuals in question and/or intends on making a public statement about the issue.  Skomorokh  17:21, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I guess I'm not getting what the "issue" is? rootology/equality 17:26, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
I intend to treat this case in the same way as any other, which includes - of course - respecting the privacy of people who may contact me privately seeking advice on how to handle sensitive BLP issues. I have no special intention at the present time to either make a public statement nor to avoid making a public statement. NPOV is non-negotiable. If I were to weigh in with a comment regarding the underlying content issue (I was, 10 years ago, an amateur near-expert on the topic) I would do so with facts and arguments, and expect my argument to be respected on the merits, not because of my special role here in Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:30, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the confirmation, I appreciate it. For the time being we (the active Objectivism editors) will continue as usual (at {{Objectivism and Ayn Rand Cross Talk}}) but do let us know either here or at that page if there are issues raised by outside parties you think need addressing. Mahalo,  Skomorokh  10:35, 2 June 2009 (UTC)


for making Wikipedia possible. Cheers, Dlohcierekim 22:10, 1 June 2009 (UTC)

Administrator difficulties

Mr. Wales, I am having an issue with some administrators whom I feel are punishing me for disagreeing with them by blocking an IP address I was editing with (discussion here, and abusing the term wikilawyering to broadly dismiss my complaints about administrator decisions that are contrary to both the guidelines and the spirit of Wikipedia. They are also trying to suppress my complaints about heavy-handed and excessive use of restrictive tools by maintaining a block. I will attempt to address this as briefly as possible for your input.

While not logged in, I accused another user, on his user talk, of not paying attention while reverting one of my edits, in a manner that could be considered a harassment; the user responded to each of my comments and his only specific complaint (which he did not express initially) was he took the mocking that he was not paying attention as a personal attack. He never asked me to leave him alone, but without notifying me posted an RFP to get his user page protected, claiming "IPs harassing". I could no longer speak to him on his user page and had no desire to, however at WP:RFP, I [contested the indefinite semi-protection] placed on his page, as it was unwarranted (only one IP, mine, for months in his page history) and contrary to policy (pp must be for heavy continuous vandalism, and indefinite pp must follow previous pp) and would prevent other IPs from notifying him that he improperly reverted their edits.

After I contested the indefinite page protection, the same administrator that issued the protection blocked me for seven days for "harassment/personal attacks".

I feel that I was blocked by the administrator for challenging his page protection, even though I used the proper channel on the RFP page. I was was blocked for seven days instead of the recommended 24 hours, officially for harassing one user (in four comments in under thirty minutes, with no prior history of harassment, unconstructive edits, or bad faith behavior). I felt that this was unwarranted and excessive and I "threatened" to contest the administrator's decision with my account (this account) if he did not unblock me (I expressily promised to leave the other editor alone).

I then filled out an appeal for unblocking template (saying again I would leave the other editor alone and citing numerous guidelines that I feel clearly indicate the block was excessivly heavy handed) and was denied the appeal, one of the primary reasons given that the editor had asked me to leave him alone and I didn't, which wasn't true (again he never asked me to leave him alone, he want straight to page protection).

I appealed again and was accused of "wikilawyering" and arguing that two admins were wrong and I was right (about being blocked contrary to guidelines?), told that I had made a threat of harassment (my vow to contest the administrator's decision), and there was no reason to believe my behavior would change (despite my repeat promises to leave the other editor alone and only question the administrator's actions).

Again I feel I am being outright punished (and blocks must not be used for punishment according to blocking policy) for disagreeing with an administrator and questioning his decisions. I will end by citing Wikipedia:Administrator_conduct#Administrator_conduct "editors are free to question or to criticize administrator actions" and your own statement "I want to dispel the aura of "authority" around the position [of administratorship]".

I'm sorry I wrote so much, thank you for your time and I value your input in these circumstances.

edit: I feel I should clarify I don't care about being blocked per se and I will accept that this account will probably be blocked for "block dodging"; what bothers me is administrators too quickly and excessively issuing blocks and page protections; I feel these actions are contrary to the nature of Wikipedia as they stifle and alienate good users who make isolated mistakes. Some guy (talk) 05:32, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Please do not block this user, IP appears to be User: I'd like to deal with this. Prodego talk 06:06, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Flagged Revisions update - requesting an update from Jimmy


Can we get an update from the horse's mouth on where we are with Flagged Revisions for BLPs, and what the approximate ETA is? If you still have the authority to do policy by fiat, and you do believe in protecting BLPs, why can't we just get it done with? If there is some technical hitch we're waiting on Brion to sort out, we can still make it policy, and just leave it pending till Brion turns on the light switch. That would give people time to go over to that Sandbox wiki to experiment and learn, and to let us begin hashing out who gets "approver" status and how.

The recent disgusting fiasco at Catherine Crier was repugnant. Go read the history, and use your magic status to go look at the Oversighted revisions, then answer me: if you have the ability to unilaterally enforce policy, why haven't you yet in the wake of this kind of crap? How much longer are we going to have to wait? If this costs us a couple of old-school hardline "FREE WIKI" editors, good riddance. If it costs us 1,000: Good riddance. Some things are more important than others.

I'm being bold and formatting this to separate Jimmy's reply from others. I consider the section headings part of my comment proper; do not remove them unless you're Jimmy himself. rootology/equality (Signature time stamp removed by me under WP:IAR; this can be removed as a section by Jimmy if he does not want it here--I will restore any other removal, or Archival Bot removal; this was posted June the First.)

Jimmy's reply

  • I fully support the implementation which garnered the consensus of the community and have asked that it be turned on as soon as possible. I feel that this implementation is not strong enough, but it is a good start. Once the tool is technically enabled, I think that policy will move over time to the appropriate balance, just as protection and semi-protection did. I believe it likely that I will be for a long time in favor of cautious expansion of the use of the tool for more articles - but I respect the concerns people have about it (the length of the backlog in German Wikipedia has been too often too long, in my opinion).

I think we are simply waiting now on Brion. He has suggested "before Wikimania". I hope that's right.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:35, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you, Jimmy. I really hate to be a pest about it all, but someone has to be till it's live on every BLP. Thanks! I'll bother you again if there are no FRs live by day 1 of Wikimania. If not, we will have to start pressing/requiring for Sue to direct the tech team to prioritize this, from the Board level, or failing that, from other methods as required. rootology/equality 18:41, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Other comments

  • see this for the latest from Brion. It's gone quiet again since (I've offered a hundred buck or so extra targetted donation to try and speed things up!) - My understanding of the status is that the community have clearly asked for (a trial of) flagged revisions, and it's yet to be implemented technically. Privatemusings (talk) 21:39, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • It seems like a trial on BLP articles would be uncontroversial. RxS (talk) 22:13, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Whether it's uncontroversial or not, it's time it happened. لennavecia 02:39, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
FWIW, do we have any idea how many BLPs have been semi'ed in the past couple of months? Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:14, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Archives are kept at User:Lar/Liberal Semi, but it won't include any protected through RFPP or otherwise. Could possibly have a bot run a query. لennavecia 05:22, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like a start. I have also semi'ed quite a few spontaneously as well, which I could figure out. Casliber (talk · contribs) 19:10, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Thanks to Root for raising this, and to Jimbo for his thoughtful answer. The sooner the better on this. ++Lar: t/c 22:25, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I suppose you're referring to Wikipedia:Flagged protection and patrolled revisions. However, the trial from a policy standpoint does not make any special case for BLPs (although it acknowledges the issue), it's especially not a "trial for BLPs", whatever is meant by that, and should not be described as such. There is no 'lower bar' for flagged protection on blps, and even less so arbitrary flagged protection. But of course, in practice, more efforts will be done on patrolling BLPs than other articles (for the passive part of the implementation), and it gives more discretion for admins in the choice of the protection method and duration. And as usual, I ask to avoid hostile rhetorics, thank you. Cenarium (talk) 00:31, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
As a side note, if you're interested in patrolling BLPs, I suggest to target specific tagged recent changes at Special:Tags, for example categories removed or possible libel or vandalism. There's still room for creation of more specific filters aimed to detect BLP vandalism or libel (requests here), and in the longer term to find ways to combine this system with flagged (more specifically patrolled) revisions. Cenarium (talk) 00:47, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Echoing the "long overdue" sentiments. -->David Shankbone 14:27, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

For creating Wikipedia

Some potatoes

Potatoes.jpg The best sack of potatoes
For creating Wikipedia

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Abce2 (talkcontribs)

Mmm. Potatoes. Tony Fox (arf!) 22:12, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
How about some chips..err..french fries. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 23:21, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
Pommes-1.jpg To make the best chips
For cooking up Wikipedia
Well you can't have chips without fish. Unfortunately I don't know of any other fish award, so this will have to do! Face-plain.svg Matthewedwards :  Chat  14:46, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Rainbow trout.png The Wet Trout Award
For coming up with Wikipedia

Should Jimbo have subpages?

I would hate to be Jimbo in the sense that I'm sure anytime he logs on it's like You have new messages because of the many messages he gets that are not relevant to him (like this one... Sorry, Mr. Wales!). Should we make a banner up top and divide it? I'm suggesting:

Thank-yous, smiles, WikiLove, WikiHugs, or other messages of admiration (something someone else thinks of)

Please note that Mr. Wales does not get involved in content dispute, blocks, or other... bla, bla.

Maybe Mr. Wales has some input? Thank you. —Mr. E. Sánchez (that's me!)What I Do / What I Say 21:15, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't mind it. I do think better warnings about what I'm likely to do or not might be helpful but I don't get that many messages here, and I like that people can post things here with a reasonably high assurance that I will see them. (Although sometimes I do miss things...) Subpages might give people a feeling that I'll see things, but unless I check them every day (more work!) I might not!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:52, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Maybe an editnotice then, to be placed at User talk:Jimbo Wales/Editnotice. Cenarium (talk) 20:03, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Please help

I'm really, REALLY sorry to request your intervention in an arbitration case, I honestly believe the committee is making a mistake. I was recently topic banned from editing Scientology articles as a result of the second arbitration case on that subject, for edits I made before the first case. I've contributed numerous quality images to the project, shaped up several challenging articles, haven't violated the terms of or been blocked because of the first case, nor have I been involved in any edit warring so I really don't understand why a topic ban out of the blue is necessary.

Please also note that the arbcom imposed a blanket set of topic bans in this case, including editors who weren't involved in the first case and had even stopped editing prior to it. (For example the first case was May 2008, User:Orsini stopped editing in 10/2007, and was one of the recently topic banned.) Here's the case: Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Scientology Anynobody(?) 02:16, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

Just as a note, there's already a discussion about appealing this above, and I've e-mailed Jimbo about it. So he's on the case. That doesn't mean he'll decide to do anything, but he is aware of the issue. Phil Sandifer (talk) 06:00, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Thank you very much :) I'd actually started an appeal, then several others started their own appeals and to make a long story short this was the best way I could think of to not get lost in the growing discussion. Anynobody(?) 20:14, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Anyeverybody, where is that activity going on? I wouldn't want people to pour too much effort into disorganized processes or appealing things that are really beyond the scope of what I might consider. (What those boundaries might be are more or less unknown - appeals are traditionally very rare other than - for the most part - fairly easy ones for me to sort out.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:05, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
D'oh!, It's right here, I should've included that too in my initial post. Anynobody(?) 23:13, 1 June 2009 (UTC)
Wow, this made the Wall Street Journal and the discussion has expanded to multiple threads back at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification. The simplest way to sum up my, and several other editors, problem is that anyone using WP:RS,WP:V, etc. sources in a Scientology article will find themselves in content disputes with Scientologists.
The arbcom banning CoS IPs from editing makes sense because they spent 99% of their time whitewashing their articles. (I'd like to think we'd do the same whether it was them, Microsoft or the Pope.) However banning the people who were trying to keep the articles consistent with our standards is a mistake, made easy by the fact that to an outside observer any disagreements look like a standard content dispute. (By standard content dispute I mean a topic with lots of valid sources representing each side, like abortion.) In Scientology articles there are lots of valid sources, they just all tend to focus on negative aspects of it; for example Ellie Perkins and other deaths tied to Scientology. Or the current debate in France over whether it should be banned as reported by Time (magazine), 5/28/09 Scientology Trial in France: Can a Religion Be Banned?.
The reason I should NOT be banned is because I'd gladly continue to update Scientology articles with EITHER result simply because that's what our sources say. (If Time published an article called Why Scientology could save the world I'd cite it too regardless of how I personally felt about it just like I did when they published a BS article about the V-22 Osprey here:diff.) Anynobody(?) 04:59, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I second Anynobody's request -- Jimbo, this is a case you really need to look into, because it attracted a lot of attention and the decision of the Arbitration Committee simply is not one that holds up under examination. If you saw this edit on a user talk page -- a user suggesting to a foul-mouthed vandal that they have a "problem" they should "get over" -- would it lead you to say "Wow, that user must be such a problem editor that we must skip all the customary dispute resolution steps and hit them with a topic-ban of indefinite duration"? Would you come to the conclusion that this edit -- also completely unrelated to Scientology -- justifies an immediate and indefinite topic-ban from Scientology? I don't think you would, and yet that represents about 20 percent of the evidence presented to justify the topic-ban. It's not clear exactly what went on, but a fair and just Arbitration was not it. -- Antaeus_Feldspar (talk) 22:55, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

This case was discussed on the The Colbert Report. Jehochman Talk 02:01, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

So................wikipedia stores every editor information.

For how long? i'm talking about the information related to the location the editor was and another information that can be used in sockpuppet investigations. RB etihw atar (talk) 22:49, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

The GFDL, the license that all Wikipedia works are under at the moment, requires that all previous authors of the work must be attributed: Text of the GFDL. If an editor makes a contribution without logging in, their IP address will be used as their identification and stored permanently. For logged-in users, the Wikimedia Foundation say in their privacy policy that "When a page is edited by a logged-in editor, the server confidentially stores related IP information for a limited period of time. This information is automatically deleted after a set period. For editors who do not log in, the IP address used is publicly and permanently credited as the author of the edit." -- M2Ys4U (talk) 23:02, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Correct. At the moment, the IP information of logged-in users is stored for 90 days. Ironholds (talk) 14:50, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
The ip behind the user always was stored for about 2 or 3 months for use in WP:RCU, I don't know if this has changed or not. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 14:57, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Who is Jimmy Wales?

File:Wales on millionaire.jpg. Godfather of reggae indeed. ~fl 10:43, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

I can imagine Jimmy playing the steel drums in a colourful shirt :b. Murgon (talk) 09:04, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
funny! Assasin Joe talk 14:20, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Forty wiki-dollars to the first photoshopped pic of that. EVula // talk // // 16:08, 5 June 2009 (UTC)


Hey Jimbo you rock!! Can you sign my guestbook here's the link--P-Real DA deal (talk) 18:42, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

re: "18-month Cyberstalking Scheme" allegations

Moved thread to WT:WikiProject Latter Day Saint movement. Griffinofwales2 (talk) 15:49, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Thread is now closed. User:Unfrayed has been banned for being a sockpuppet of User:Jsmith 51389. Griffinofwales (talk) 22:42, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Deleted edits by SqueakBox...?

Did I miss something or did someone oversight/hide edits by SqueakBox? rootology (C)(T) 00:14, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

It appears they have been oversighted into the supression log, else this would display the hiding log entries. ~fl 00:52, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
No, my edits were not removed, my comments remain on this page, its the last comment in the "A new solution for BLP dilemmas? section". I suggest you bring this up with the admin concerned as I did (and was given a satisfactory answer; whatever happened has nothing to do with me). Thanks, SqueakBox talk 04:39, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Here is the sequence, and you can see the edits by diffing across the missing edits.[15]. The first edit is Antaeus Feldspar (talk · contribs) which was accidentally saved while logged out. SqueakBox commented a few times, and then I replaced the IP with "Antaeus Feldspar".

Your friendly Outer Party member, John Vandenberg (chat) 05:05, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Sysopping issue

Jimbo, a few months ago you indicated things like the JasonR desysopping would be best addressed directly to you [16]. I was wondering if you could look at BradPatrick (talk · contribs). It appears Danny (talk · contribs) sysopped him [17] without comment in 2006, presumably in the course of his employment. Since he hasn't been employed by the Foundation for some time now, and never went through RFA, and since Danny is no longer a steward, could you look into the matter and act or advise on where I should go next? Thanks. MBisanz talk 04:23, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Looks like he hasn't done any admin actions for more than 2 years, so this sounds reasonable. I just pinged him in email for his opinion, will let you know when I know something.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:31, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

New site design?

Hi there, Jimbo. I was just wondering if you have any intent to update Wikipedia's design anytime soon, because I live and breathe this kind of thing (interface/website design), and have been thinking about the kind of design philosophy that would help the editing experience in particular be able to reach people of the third-world, and be accessible/inviting to non-tech-savvy users in general... (without developing an interface that requires endless bandwidth). And, of course, the look of the site. Anyway, you can see what I do here (software design stuff at the bottom), and if you're curious, I can mock up a photoshop comp (preview) so you can see if you wanna mess around with the idea. If you do, I would do all this for free until work actually gets started (in other words, free during the design phase), then just collect some dough upon completion. (so you understand I wouldn't be trying to get myself into something that I would try to make drag on for eternity, for more dough)
Otherwise, if you aren't interested, don't bother replying (waste of time); you can just delete this off your page. (btw, my email is D. (talk) 21:05, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi Dario, I don't personally have anything to do with the design work that is going on. As MZMcBride points out (below), though, there is work going on, and I am sure the group doing it would love to have your help.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:08, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
MediaWiki is skinnable software – there's plenty to choose from here if you don't like the look-and-feel of the standard Monobook interface. – iridescent 21:21, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
The Usability project has been tweaking the interface. Some preliminary work here: (which appears to be down currently). --MZMcBride (talk) 22:21, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I didn't know about that group. Thanks for pointing that out, Jimbo. - Iridescent, thanks for the info. :) What I'm leaning toward though is new functionality for everyone, not just those advanced enough to be messing with skins. - MZMcBride, thanks for the link. It's still down (was only able to see it briefly yesterday), but I'm going to look into it, and hope they have a "do" mentality regarding updating the editing experience in particular (because someone like my mom - or less educated people in poorer countries - could never figure out how to do anything more than add a line to an article - then very likely have it deleted by some disrespectful fool, for not citing any sources). So, hopefully there's an open road to improvement here, because whenever I'm editing articles, or even just browsing the site, I (and presumably everybody else) feel like I'm back in 1997.--Dario D. (talk) 03:14, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Images from the Associated Press

Greetings. There seems to be some disagreement on whether it is acceptable to use Associated Press images in Wikipedia articles. Of course we don't want to get sued. I remember that you had previously taken action on this issue at File:Il-76 shootdown.jpg, so I wanted to make you personally aware of what's going on with File:Corralesx.jpg, it's unsuccessful nomination for deletion, and its first and second (current) appearances at Deletion Review. I have e-mailed Mike Godwin and left a message here on his talk page. If you would be willing to make some sort of a statement, it would help us to sort this whole thing out. Thanks, – Quadell (talk) 15:23, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I agree with the deletion decision on File:Corralesx.jpg as well as the rationale given for the deletion: clearly replaceable fair use. It's disappointing to see that there's any debate about this at all. It's a no-brainer. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:14, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Could you explain why it's clearly replaceable? I'm not seeing it. Are you assuming that there must be a free version of the picture somewhere or that the image of the boxer isn't needed, or that a free image can be created somehow (say a drawing?) or something else? Hobit (talk) 18:14, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Diego Corrales is a famous boxer who has been photographed professionally and informally by fans tens of thousands of times. The particular photo in question is not historically unique in some irreplacable way - it's just a standard shot of a boxer in a boxing pose. I am not assuming that a free version currently exists, nor that it could be replaced by a drawing, nor that it isn't needed. I am suggesting that it should not be very difficult to find a photo and get it released under a free license.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:09, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
That is a compelling arguement for the image's deletion. The problem is that it's one that the deleting administrator knew to be controversial (and for that very reason, deliberately deprived the community of the opportunity to address). As the image is in a deleted state, non-administrators were left unable to view it and see for themselves that it lacks historical uniqueness (an assessment with which I fully agree, incidentally). —David Levy 22:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Hello, Jimbo. While I strongly agree with the general sentiment that you expressed here, I believe that you've misunderstood the nature of the discussion.
You voted to delete the image, but that isn't the purpose of that forum. The debate is not over whether the image ultimately should be kept or deleted; it's over whether the correct process was followed in speedily deleting the image without input from the community. (If the deletion is reversed, the image will be considered for deletion in the proper forum.) Note that the deleting administrator has openly acknowledged
that he/she sidestepped the deletion policy (which required that the image be tagged for 48 hours, thereby enabling other users to examine the situation) to eliminate the possibility that another administrator would arrive at a different determination (clear evidence that the deletion was not uncontroversial and therefore warranted discussion).
This is highly problematic not because of anything related to this particular image, but because it stands to set a dangerous precedent for administrators to ignore policies (intended to ensure community oversight and input) and preemptively overrule other administers' decisions (thereby increasing the likelihood of disruptive wheel-warring). Regardless of whether the deletion was justified, I trust that you don't intend to condone the concept of administrators routinely disregarding key policies (let alone instances in which they do so specifically because they regard an act as controversial and wish to bypass the rest of the community), something that places non-administrators at a lower level (by denying them involvement in the decision-making process) in addition to the aforementioned wheel-warring among sysops.
In light of this, I hope that you'll reconsider your position and instead vote to delete the image when it's listed for deletion. Thank you for your time! —David Levy 20:01, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
For the record, I would not in this case have recommended that Carnildo take the course of action he did. It was a mistake for him to do that, rather than re-nominate and raise a broader attention to the situation. But that's not a reason to undelete a clearly inappropriate image only to re-delete it later. WP:IAR and all that. What I'm saying is: if you have a problem with Carnildo's conduct, then go through the normal dispute resolution procedures to do something about it. That's a separate issue from whether or not the image belongs here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:17, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The matter discussed at Wikipedia:Deletion review was precisely whether Carnildo was correct in taking the course of action he did. That is the normal forum for disputes over whether the proper deletion process has been followed. Indeed, this issue was separate from whether or not the image belonged here, which was explicitly not a determination to be made in that forum.
This is not to say that deletions should be reversed on technicalities when nearly everyone agrees that they're obviously called for. But this case clearly brought with it significant disagreement and major ramifications regarding what inclusion standards will be applied in the future (irrespective of whether the correct process is followed).
The image seemed "clearly inappropriate" to you and others with the ability to view it, but the vast majority of users lacked access to it. The community is now faced with the question of whether we want to establish a hierarchy in which lowly non-sysops are forced to blindly accept the word of administrators, even when other administrators disagree. In part, this is a matter of transparency (and the avoidance of creating an elite class of users whose opinions not only outweigh those of ordinary users, but actually bypass them entirely). —David Levy 22:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The process isn't more important than the outcome. It is trivially obvious that this image cannot satisfy WP:NFCC. The 48-hour exemption is designed to allow time for explanations to be added for legitimate uses of non-free material; where no such legitimate explanation is possible, there's no point to sitting on our thumbs for 48 hours. This wasn't a case of an administrator ignoring a key policy, it was an administrator enforcing one. Unless you're arguing that we need to waste 48 hours before deleting every AP photo someone uploads...? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 20:10, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
No, certainly not. But this isn't an instance in which someone uploaded an AP image of a living person with no reasonable fair-use rationale. This is an image of a deceased individual that was examined by the community and deemed appropriate. Of course, the discussion of this particular issue was limited (but not nonexistent) and it absolutely warranted greater attention (via a proper deletion nomination). Instead, a sysop decided to ignore the community and speedily delete the image outside of the correct process (despite knowing that other administrators would disagree with the deletion rationale—and, in fact, because of this).
Now, understand that I'm not arguing that the image should be kept. But given its history and the ongoing discussion's nature, its deletion hardly seems like a "trivially obvious" decision to me.
I absolutely agree that process is less important than the outcome. But what is the outcome of this speedy deletion? Drama and disruption (an entirely foreseeable consequence). Even if I'm certain that an administrative action would be 100% justified, I won't perform it if I believe that the resultant controversy will outweigh the benefit(s). That is what I believe has occurred in this instance (and will occur in many future instances if this action is permitted to stand).
I also despise the idea of eliminating community oversight. Wikipedia is not operated under majority rule, and a bunch of people lining up to demand that an image be kept doesn't mean that it will be. But to remove the ability of non-administrators to even examine a controversial situation (let alone provide input) is unacceptable. —David Levy 20:33, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

It seems to me that the purpose of the Ignore All Rules pillar is to allow users to protect Wikipedia from major problems (e.g. lawsuits) when bureaucratic process gets in the way. I think the image has to be deleted, and I think everyone who understands our policy agrees. The trouble is, there are enough active admins who disagree that this is rapidly devolving into a wheel war. – Quadell (talk) 21:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

I do agree that WP:IAR is relevant here, but I'm not giving either support nor condemnation to the speedy deletion by Carnildo. I would have advised him to proceed differently. I don't think we should establish a general precedent for admins to randomly delete images in all similar circumstances, just because it's really hard to say sometimes. But sometimes it is worthwhile to remember that IAR is important, as it allows someone some moral breathing room to stand up and say 'what's right is right'. I hope that Carnildo will be gentle and conciliatory towards his critics here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:17, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
What's right is right, but it isn't an administrator's job to tell the community what's right (without even providing an opportunity for most users to see that it's right). —David Levy 22:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
You'll find no stronger proponent of Wikipedia:Ignore all rules than I am. But wheel wars and edit wars don't benefit the community. That's why the policy isn't called "Ignore all people with whom you disagree." —David Levy 22:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

This part is important: At 2PM, I set my mind to get a free photo of this man. By 2:30:37, I had one. "Jimmy, thank you for the email. Diego Corrales was a good friend of mine and you are more than welcome to use any photos of mine you would like for Wikipedia. I only ask for a credit in my name." I emailed back to confirm which license he's ok with, and I'll be able to upload it for him later today. This is why I say that that calling this image "replaceable" is correct: it was replaceable. Is 30 minutes of work too much work? No, it is not. That's part of the research process. We don't cut and paste from other sources because it would be faster. We do the legwork. And we're proud of that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:37, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Pretty much simultaneously with that note from you, I had closed the DRV; NFCC trumps consensus. Good work, Jimbo. — Coren (talk) 21:45, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. The photographer has changed the license to CC-BY on this photo. I wonder if someone who is better at Commons policy and image uploading could handle the upload for him? I ask because I'm sure I will not put on the right tags or something and accidentally cause a problem at Commons. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:53, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
And evidently, certain administrators' interpretation of that policy trumps that of other users to the extent that the matter need not even be discussed and the speedy deletion policy need not be followed. (For the record, I'm inclined to agree with said interpretation, but this is beside the point.) —David Levy 22:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a fair assesment of my interpretation, actually. While some may feel this regretable, there are cases that are, simply put, not open to discussion at all. This has nothing to do with the relative value of opinons held by users, simply that even if there was unanimity it could not override policy in those cases— ending the discussion sooner rather than later is the best course then because such discussions tend to quickly degenerate into acrimony and srife. — Coren (talk) 22:16, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
There is, to my knowledge, absolutely no question that the policy must be upheld, regardless of how many people disagree with it. (I noted above that "Wikipedia is not operated under majority rule, and a bunch of people lining up to demand that an image be kept doesn't mean that it will be.") The underlying issue is how to interpret the policy, and a number of users (including administrators) have a different interpretation than we do. I don't believe that you, I or any other administrator possesses the right to declare that his/her interpretation of a policy is correct (without even allowing alternative interpretations to be discussed). I'll stress once again that I share your interpretation of this policy, but I don't view our assessment as sacrosanct. There have been many instances in which respected administrators acting in good faith have misinterpreted and misapplied various policies (sometimes resulting in tremendous disruption), and it always is appropriate to discuss one's belief that this has occurred (or concern that it might have occurred).
Of course, none of this has any bearing on whether the correct process was followed in this case. Even if we assume that the deletion was justified, the manner in which it was carried out (deliberately intended to bypass discussion of a subject known to be controversial) was inappropriate and should not be condoned. That (and not the issue of how to apply WP:NFCC) was the matter at hand. (Though as I noted below, I now regard the issue as moot, aside from the precedent that this incident stands to set.) —David Levy 22:42, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Well yes, and no. I think that the only real difference between our positions is where the presumption should lie. There are a few cases where the presumption must overwhelmingly be against inclusion — copyright and defamation (hence NFCC and BLP) are two prominent examples — and that it is better to shoot first and ask questions later. In that particular case, DRV was not a suitable forum for this since the reason why the image was deleted was not overridable by consensus. I acknowledged in the close summary that process was probably not followed properly, but that it was moot before it started given that the only way it could result in an undeletion is if it was impossible to find a free image; something that had not even been attempted at that point. Process is "the usual way", but that's not always the best way to go forward. I might not have acted this way myself, but the immediate deletion of the image was a reasonable and defensible invocation of WP:IAR. — Coren (talk) 22:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with that final statement, and what bothers me most about your closure is that you appear to have endorsed not only the deletion itself, but the manner in which it was carried out (thereby encouraging sysops to behave this way in the future).
This is not an instance in which process was ignored because it was perceived as red tape. As noted above, Carnildo has openly acknowledged that he/she bypassed the correct process specifically because he/she regarded the deletion rationale as controversial and believed that another sysop might reach a different determination. This is a reason to bring an image to WP:FFD, not to attempt to sneak its deletion through by failing to even follow the terms of the CSD whose application is believed to be controversial. Apart from that belief, there was nothing special about this case to warrant deviating from the process through which such images are to be speedily deleted. Quite the opposite.
If we assume that CSD F7 applied (and I believe that it did), it still called for the image to be tagged for 48 hours. This is not a pointless exercise in bureaucracy; it's a means of ensuring the transparency and community oversight that is vital to the project's smooth operation, and it certainly isn't something to be sidestepped for fear that it might result in precisely the type of discussion that it's intended to invite. Under no circumstances is it appropriate to invoke WP:IAR for the purpose of suppressing dissenting viewpoints; doing so doesn't improve or maintain Wikipedia. —David Levy 23:46, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
That's excellent news, Jimbo, and it bolsters the original argument for the image's deletion (while obviously erasing any possible fair use claim). But as stated above, whether the image was usable in the encyclopedia was not a determination to be made at Wikipedia:Deletion review (though I do believe that this development would have rendered the discussion moot if it hadn't already been closed). —David Levy 22:02, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Wow, way to cut the Gordian Knot, Jimbo! I have uploaded the photo to Commons as File:Diego Corrales.jpg. Hurrah! – Quadell (talk) 22:31, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

A new solution for BLP dilemmas?

Hi Jimbo, in two years of looking for solutions to the BLP issues have finally stumbled upon an idea that hasn't been raised before. Basically it's this:

Suppose we noindexed biographies of living persons, upon the subject's request.

This would require developer assistance, and require a bit of structure to make sure the ability doesn't get misused. An initial draft proposal is at my blog.[18] Am interested in your thoughts. DurovaCharge! 20:54, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

It does indeed sound ingenious [with an "o"]. -- Hoary (talk) 02:06, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
This is a great idea Durova! (talk) 06:04, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
That sounds like an awful idea. What is the point of even having the biography if it isn't visible to search engines. You might as well just propose deleting it at the subject's request. Prodego talk 06:15, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I like Prodego's idea best. Let's go with that one. We'll call it... oh, Dead Tree Opt Out, or something like that. لennavecia 06:24, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Oy. That would be quite fun for us admins to get to deal with... Valley2city 06:28, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
One point of having a bio that's not visible to search engines is to satisfy the curiosity of people who don't always bother with search engines. -- Hoary (talk) 06:27, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
My point is that either an article is bad, and should be deleted, or good, and should be kept. If an article isn't good enough for Google it isn't good enough for Wikipedia either. Prodego talk 06:36, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Have to agree with Prodego here. Either it sucks and should be deleted (for whatever reason) or it should remain and be fully indexed. THAT SAID HOWEVER, we should be using flagged revisions / full protection of every single WP:BLP article on here. The solution ALREADY exists and why we aren't already using it is BEYOND ME. Wikipedia fail. JBsupreme (talk) 07:05, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
The problem is that crappy articles on non-notable people get kept because people don't understand or completely ignore the criteria. So we're stuck trying to protect and maintain more BLPs than we are capable of effectively doing. The Foundation and Jimbo are not concerned with the BLP problem because the Foundation enjoys the protection of Section 230. However, for those of us whose concern is with the vicitims of BLPs, it's not an easy job to clean this mess up, and we've got years of mess to clean up while new crap is constantly being dumped on us. There aren't enough editors with a grasp on the gravity of the situation, so it remains overwhelming. That said, Jimbo, for those of us who dedicate the vast majority of our time on Wikipedia to preventing and cleaning up the John Seigenthaler, Fuzzy Zoeller, Taner Akçam and Catherine Crier-type messes, what improvement to this entirely broken system can we look forward to, and when? Or are you and the Foundation just going to leave the problem festering indefinitely? لennavecia 14:10, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I object very strongly to your characterization of me and the Foundation not being concerned with this. I have led the way for many years in the development and enforcement of BLP and I have been a strong supporter of the software development for Flagged Revisions, and for the policy development that will roll it out. It doesn't do your case any good to turn on your strongest supporter! Perhaps you're not aware of the current status - we're waiting on Brion Vibber to roll the feature out, and he's indicated "before Wikimania" as a target date. I can't magically help with the software issues, whatever they may be, but if I could, I would!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:02, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
By allowing search engines to index BLP, Wikipedia is immediately spreading libel and defamation around the world. And the problem is getting worse: Microsoft Bing is touting its prominent use of BLP as an advantage over Google! NOINDEX will largely prevent this. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:30, 5 June 2009 (UTC).
Quite right. And when the libel hits Google, it's picked up by mirrors. So even when we clean it up here, it can linger on other sites for weeks. لennavecia 15:04, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps combine this with Flagged Protection? When an article does not have flagged revision, tag it as NOINDEX, otherwise let search engines index the flagged revision. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 15:45, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

What really needs to be sorted out are the hard core minority of vociferous admins who are devising their own unique interpretations of BLP, such as out of sight special protection forums, dead tree notability or time limited notability, and 2 hour deletion discussions, and applying these across the pedia as if they were policy. MickMacNee (talk) 16:48, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Or we could clue in the people who think there is value in having poor-quality, unwatched biographies on non-notable or marginally notable living people, opening them up for real-world damage, because of some stupid tag line about anyone being able to edit. There are better things to do with one's time here than defend Wikipedia's imaginary right or obligation to host libel platforms of living people while simultaneously disrespecting a devaluing the work of those wasting their time tying to fix the problem. We wouldn't have to resort to liberal interpretations of policy and special forums if people would stop ignoring the problem and exhibit some commonsense and basic decency. لennavecia 17:16, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't usually get involved in these discussions, but I do want to know: why the hell hasn't something been done about the appalling state BLPs have been in for what would appear to be years? Skinny87 (talk) 17:35, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
A combination of 1) the WMF being unwilling or unable to intervene in content matters to not endanger their Section 230 legal immunity under the Telecommunications Act; 2) concentrated pushback from "open wiki" advocates who are more interested in the juvenile libertarian views that some aspects of this project were built around (this will be hardest to beat, as far as BLP goes); 3) apathy, as it's a constant struggle against #2. rootology (C)(T) 17:48, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Rootology, #1 is completely and totally false. I can tell you with great confidence that when the Foundation board has discussed BLP issues, software development around Flagged Revs, etc., it has NEVER been proposed by board or staff that we should not do something about BLP issues due to Section 230 concerns. Never, not once, not at all. That's just not true, and we should put a stop right here and now to any rumors to that effect.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:05, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
A lot has been done and is currently being done. Flagged versioning has been approved for all BLPs and is right now being worked on by the Foundation's software staff to be able to implement it. As for Section 230 legal immunity under the Telecommunications Act, the whole point of that section is to encourage content modification by promising such modification (such as deletion of potential libel) does not make the entity then responsible for content it did not modify or create. WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:19, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know how anyone can claim Wikipedia is not doing its upmost to protect living people. Take a look at the recently closed DRV for our ex-arbitrator David Boothroyd, who had an article for three years until mysteriously dissappearing once a bit of scandal broke. The new streamlined BLP enforcement process is now well established - throw Afd out the window and delete an article out of process (twice by the same admin no less) citing 'BLP', and when there is not 80% support at DRV that the closing admin was totally out of order, and he continues to be blissfully oblivous to the 14 people telling him he screwed up (not a big majority supposedly when compared to 16 people chiming in to carry on debating the Afd, while the article is invisible, and ignoring the fact the venue was DRV not AFd), it can then be claimed all is well with the world as there is no consensus to change the 'status quo'. It's a joke. It's no wonder The Register takes the piss mercilessly, it has ample source material. MickMacNee (talk) 18:59, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

"I don't know how anyone can claim Wikipedia is not doing its upmost to protect living people." Conversely, I don't know how anyone can claim Wikipedia is doing ANYWHERE NEAR ENOUGH to protect living people. It's shockingly scandalous and sooner or later someone is going to sue the WMF, and win, section 230 immunity or not. Even if they don't win, they can waste significant amounts of WMF time and resources defending. Pray someone with 100M in the bank (and there are a fair number of those) doesn't decide to invest 1% of their fortune... the cost to the WMF would be far more than 1%. ++Lar: t/c 19:22, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
100 million? I'm amazed no one has libeled one of the thousands of billionaires in the world yet, enough to get them to open years of legal proceedings. If a billionaire (1 bill only in the bank) wanted to dump $500,000 in legal costs at us, it would be only 0.0005% of his static wealth. That would be like one of us with $10,000 deciding to spend $5.00 to get back at the WMF. Chump change. Pray that some fool doesn't libel the wrong billionaire. If one of them decided to spend $100.00 in "real person" money, it would be like the WMF defending against what--a million dollar legal assault? rootology (C)(T) 19:29, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes yes yes, the mythical lawsuit that's always just around the corner. Although it never happens, and for quite obvious reasons. And if you doubt the new power of BLP deletions, just read the Afd policy, the BLP policy, and try and square them with the above incident, and the actions of the admin in question, who to this minute remains purposely oblivious to the widespread feedback about his unilateral action in the name of Defending the Living People TM (he posted directly below me just now, presumably for effect). MickMacNee (talk) 19:32, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
  • From somebody who knows a bit about search, this is a bad idea. Wikipedia is licensed in a way that encourages copying. Noindexing does not resolve problems. If content is dodgy, it has to be removed. If we do mass noindexing, people who want to make a quick buck will just set up a mirror with the noindexed content and the traffic will go to them instead of to us. Jehochman Talk 19:13, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
There will only be a few noindex articles if Wikipedia requires a notarized letter from the person in the biography. This will only happen in a few egregious caes. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 21:25, 7 June 2009 (UTC).
  • I'm not convinced this is a good idea either. But it has the merit of bringing some of the folk who knee jerk resist ANY idea to help ameliorate the BLP problem out where they can be seen. ++Lar: t/c 19:22, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
  • This is a good idea, much better than the flagged revisions idea and would go a long way towards placating these individuals. While flagged revisions does affect our free editing idea and take huge amounts of voluntary effort we have no remit to maximise wikipedia's presence in the search engines (that is not in the vision at all) and if this could be done as a software fix it would just need a small amount of work by the foundation in maintaining a list of verified abstainers. If Barak Obama does not want to be on the search engines for his wikipedia article? No problem because we have no remit to put our presence in the search engines. Jehochman, I hope I know a bit about search too. I am sure it wouldn't be a large list, a few hundred at most, and what other commercial operators do with our material is not our problem, its their problem. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 23:11, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Not a bad idea, but not the best idea either. The root of the problem is the creation of poor quality/non-neutral/libellous BLPs, so the best solution would be one that most directly addresses that root problem. Noindexing will only help those who have already been damaged by their bio sufficiently to prompt them to contact us. Flagged revs is a much better solution, and better still would be a combo of flagged revs and a higher inclusion standard for BLPs. (talk) 00:07, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Whatever happened to "helping the Internet not suck"? Have Wikipedia's administrators come to the conclusion that "we help the internet suck a lot, so we should go away"? Content pages should not be NOINDEXED, that's tantamount to taking Wikipedia's articles offline. I don't even like the idea of NOINDEXing other pages--if I google something, and it's on the Internet, I expect to find it--though I guess it's necessary in some circumstances. I suppose that NOINDEXing a few troublesome bios won't be a big deal (as long as they aren't particularly well-known). But I'm afraid this will lead to a creeping NOINDEXing of all BLPs. (talk) 01:53, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

"I can't magically help with the software issues, whatever they may be, but if I could, I would!"

Sorry to pull the quote out like this, but you're a member of the Board, which has ultimate control over the priorities of the Foundation. Have you tried saying "this is more important than planning a vacation in Buenos Aires, focus on this first"? --MZMcBride (talk) 22:06, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't think that is at all fair to the people working at the Foundation. If you think the developers are spending their days "planning a vacation" then I don't know what to tell you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:24, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed the software is excellent on wikipedia, clearly people working hard on it. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 13:42, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
My rhetoric aside, you didn't answer the question. A lot of contributors (I imagine yourself included) consider the "BLP problem" to be the single most important issue facing Wikipedia. Why isn't the Board pushing for a quicker implementation of software that has been ready since last June and had local consensus for months? I'm correct that the Board sets priorities for the Foundation, yes? --MZMcBride (talk) 17:27, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
The bug for a test implementation on, bug 18334, has been opened since 4 April and remain unacted upon, and this while Aaron already made most of the internal extension updates (see Wikipedia:Flagged protection and patrolled revisions/Implementation) and a working configuration is ready. I must say I'm also puzzled on the priorities, especially after having seen much pushing by the wmf, resources and time spent on the absolutely non-critical book extension which generated massive usability problems. But it takes months to even have a test for this ? Doesn't seem right... Cenarium (talk) 01:19, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Global libel/copyvio/defense of the WMF policy?

I wonder if the WMF issued a global top-down policy--by fiat--that local projects must remove any content that "may legally endanger or expose" the WMF, would endanger their Sec 230 protection? Just tossing this out there, as a possible way that BLP can be given bullets via the WMF. rootology (C)(T) 19:36, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Way too broad. That would be like giving legal threats "teeth".. If it's a verified legal issue, something like WP:OFFICE should cover it. --Versageek 19:48, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
Well, the idea would be simply that this would (like the present global copyvio rules) be a non-editorial direction from the WMF that projects must comply with (non-negotiable, like present copyvio rules), and that would be carried out by users on the editorial level, but would be the equivalent of a user citing OFFICE--any invocation must then be backed up by local consensus, with the WMF simply not weighing in, shielding themselves. This would give both BLP and Copyvio rules "solid teeth" that cannot be circumvented. rootology (C)(T) 19:51, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we have a problem of authority, do we? What I mean is, it isn't that there's a group of editors who are libeling people and no one is doing anything about it, or that admins in general, or ArbCom, or me in my role, don't have the authority to block people who are libeling, etc. I don't think, to answer your first question directly, that there is much that the WMF could do that would endanger Section 230 protection. The protection doesn't extend to edits done by employees or board members, but setting editorial policy (even in a strong way that would be against our traditions) would not make the Foundation responsible for what other people write. That's more or less the whole point of Section 230 protection. However, I am not a lawyer, so this is amateur musings. In any event, I guess my answer is that "no, I don't think it would endanger Section 230, and no, I don't think it would help, since I don't think this proposal addresses a problem that we actually have". I'm open to argument, of course.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:08, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

What do you think would help, Jimbo? لennavecia 18:14, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

1. Flagged revisions 2. Firm enforcement of existing policy with low tolerance for whining 3. Tweaks to policy whenever it falls short. Perhaps we could make this discussion more concrete if we look at some specific example where you feel that there was a failure that a command from the Foundation (or me?) might have helped?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:27, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
2 is what we've been focusing on. This statement from you should assist in enforcing the low tolerance for whining, though. So thank you. We're working on 3. As for specific examples, I could list out some recent edits that introduced unsourced, negative false information into BLPs and were left unreverted for an unacceptable amount of time, or I could list out some OTRS tickets; but that's not the point, and I don't think the problem is seriously in question anymore. The problem being that we don't have the resources to monitor all of our BLPs, and as long as anyone can edit them, we're allowing living people to be libeled.
We're doing as much as we can. We've started WikiProject Living people, organized WP:BLP/N, identified tens of thousands of BLPs not categorized in Category:Living people. We list potential BLP violations for editors to check and correct, fight for the protection of living subjects in AFDs, etc, etc.
The new Foundation document talks about guarding against self-promotion, but it doesn't talk about the imperative to protect against libel. The way to satisfy both the Section 230 issue and the BLP issue would be for the Foundation to do the same thing it did with non-free images. Issuing an wmf:EDP style document saying that sites which host material on third party individuals with legal rights against libel and slander must have and enforce a policy to protect those legal rights or the material will be deleted.
With the non-free image EDP, Wikipedia was quite successful in ensuring a minimal level of protection for copyright holders of non-free images and creating across the board compliance with a core policy. It's time for the Foundation to make the BLP problem a top priority. لennavecia 22:14, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

"The way to satisfy both the Section 230 issue and the BLP issue would be for the Foundation to do the same thing it did with non-free images." -- Thank you. I'm not always the most to the point person, or I'm too to the point, but this is exactly the point I was trying to make. rootology (C)(T) 13:31, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo, any thoughts on the above? لennavecia 13:10, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Censorship, bias and arbcom

Hey Jimbo. I'm curious what you make of the Arbcom member/ leftist politician violating conflict of interest policies and sock puppeteering? And now we also have admins working aggressively to delete the article about this politician that was KEPT in 2005. I thought notability doesn't expire? Does it expire when the politician and Arbcom member are caught undermining Wikipedia's integrity and after there is substantial coverage in reliable independent sources? Shouldn't this be something we work hard to root out? Arbcom seems to be very sick, and it's distressing that the problem of those engaging in censorship and bias goes all the way to the most powerful editors on Wikipedia. I guess this explains why they're so aggressive in supporting the NPOV violations and POV pushers going after anyone trying to balance our Obama coverage with notable controversies and criticisms? ChildofMidnight (talk) 00:43, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

CoM, I'm a little curious myself as to the nature of your question. Is it about ArbCom members or "leftist" politicians? Or do you feel that ArbCom members and leftism are one and the same? What exact question do you wish Jimbo to answer? Franamax (talk) 01:26, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
It's about bias, censorship, neutral point of view, conflicts of interest, and integrity. We have policies about these things, so it's surprising that so many editors don't seem aware of them or feel the need to comply with them. If it was conservative politician distorting our coverage I would support the same full disclosure, investigation, and clean up that's required here. This is a tip of the iceberg type situation where we have to pull the weeds out by the roots. I have no animosity against Sam, I haven't edited with him at all that I can recall, but we have policies and they need to be enforced. Those who are trying to cover up for him or to preserve the bias, NPOV violations, and other improprieties that permeate Arbcom and our political coverage need to be confronted. All editors, whatever their politics, need to enforce our policies and to make sure that our coverage is reliable, balanced, and appropriate. This is a big problem, and we have a real opportunity to address it starting with full disclosure and an honest approach to the problem. ChildofMidnight (talk) 03:30, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh yes, it's all a leftist conspiracy *rolls eyes* Skinny87 (talk) 08:05, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
You can roll your eyes that one of our Arbcom members was caught engaging in COI editing and sockpuppeteering. But I think this kind of policy violating behavior should be taken seriously. The camping out of editors on political articles to push a particular point of view is a serious problem that violates our core policy of neutral point of view. That an Arbcom member was himself engaged in this kind of behavior and that the other Arbcoms are in the process of going after good faith editors who have faced a wall of incivility, wikilawyering, obstruction and other policy violating behaviors in trying to improve our coverage is a serious issue. I am very interested in Jimbo's thoughts on how we can fix things or if he supports the current course of action to sweep them under the rug and hope we don't get caught as that would only add to our embarassment. ChildofMidnight (talk) 17:50, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Sam Blacketer resigned, which is enough I think. CoM, you and others will not be allowed to slander that man by writing an unbalanced biography of him in mainspace. Mainspace is not for punishing people. The community has approved my approach to this problem by confirming the deletion at WP:DRV. Jehochman Talk 09:22, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I didn't write his article, nor have I ever edited it. But the abusive threats and intimidation attempted by you, Jehochman, as highlighted in the related ANI discussionare very unbecoming. Let's stop this attempted cover-up. It stinks at least as badly as the subterfuge and violations that created this mess in the first place. Stop blaming good faith editors who want to maintain Wikipedia's integrity and root out this kind of rot. We need to promote transparency and accountability instead of an old boy buddy system where we create and edit articles based on our personal interests and alliances. ChildofMidnight (talk) 17:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Cash for spam

Did you get my email about a functionary using an undisclosed sock to edit for money on behalf of businessmen? YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) 02:56, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry about that, just checked my email. I mistakenly thought you weren't interested YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) 03:39, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
No problem. I answered immediately upon seeing your email. I asked you what you were talking about. I still don't know, and I don't see an email back from you. Can you explain here, or in email if that's more comfortable for you? I see no reason to be mysterious.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I replied to the arbcom mailing list (I guess you're still on it) at around 4 UTC/GMT/Wikipedia time yesterday and Roger sent me an email confirming that he approved of the receipt [retired arbs might be vandals I suppose]. As for the explanation, Alex Bakharev has outed Nichalp anyway so there isn't anymore to say below that I didn't already say in the email. YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) 01:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Everything that is out in the open (here or on WR) is already on the arbcom mailing list. Obviously I have not much idea what the current arbs are saying about it on there as I haven't been part of the replies YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) 01:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
If this is related to [19], then I think the matter is serious and should be investigated Alex Bakharev (talk) 05:54, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Somewhat related is this case where a (now blocked) editor complains about their efforts being reverted because the editor's client "has paid for the work, and yet is not listed in Wikipedia, and is understandably upset". Johnuniq (talk) 10:19, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Smkovalinsky/Archive. I do not recall ever seeing Jimbo process any routine checkuser requests. Jehochman Talk 10:54, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Given how this seems to be coming up more and more there should be a community discussion (RFC?) on the whys and hows behind this and to come up with a community-endorsed stance on this. I think I'll draft up an RFC. Since "paid editing" in and of itself is not a blockable offense, and may or may not be frowned upon depending on how it's handled. Frowned upon = widely, I know some people are totally against some, some don't care, and I'm in the middle of I don't care why someone writes a "good article", so long as they understand the minute it's posted they have no ownership stake or claim over it on this site. rootology (C)(T) 17:48, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

"If you need a good profile on Wikipedia, I can help you out there too through my rich experience" (bolding mine) Yeah, okay, blue sky helicopters pushing the envelope taking a greenfield view.... No chance in the real world with that. Best ignored IMHO - I disagree with Alex above that the matter is "serious" - so what? People can do what they like (mostly) off wiki unless it harms wikipedia - this doesn't, although it makes that particular person look a littel foolish. Looking silly is not, as yet, against policy. Pedro :  Chat  21:09, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
More than a little foolish - it looks, on first glance, to be an unethical offer. But who is this, on-wiki?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
What's unethical is that they can't sell anything more than what any policy abiding editor can do, However, policy-abiding time and experience might have value in a free market, which seems ok to me. The worry is, most of the stuff I've seen done for money here was very NN. Gwen Gale (talk) 21:39, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
Actually it's very easy to make POV violations and get away with it. They're everywhere, including on some FAs. I'm keeping my mouth shut there, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to close the specific articles if and when they land at FAR. On many topics, nobody cares or knows about it except the author. You can find a citation for almost any opinion, so just because something's sourced doesn't mean anything, just pick sources from one's preferred POV-spectrum and ignore everything else. In some country topics, almost all the history articles are POV and everyone uses inflammatory language like freedom fighters and martyrs. YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) 01:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
They could be bluffing, or this could be a Joe Job. Unless there is technical evidence connecting a functionary to sock puppets, I don't think there's much to go on. Jehochman Talk 22:59, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
see this post + thread over at wikipedia review for rather compelling information. To answer Jimbo's question, it seems this relates to User:Nichalp and User:Zithan. Privatemusings (talk) 00:37, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
oh, and a nutshell explanation probably won't hurt - User:Nichalp has various priviledges including oversight, and crat 'flags', and would have appeared to ressurect himself following retirment as User:Zithan, who would appear to be getting paid for some editing, such as at Brad_Sugars. The ins, outs, rights and wrongs of all this aren't super clear at the mo.... Privatemusings (talk) 00:42, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Zithan was active long before Nichalp retired YellowMonkey (cricket calendar poll!) 01:11, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
he was indeed, mea culpa - for what it's worth, User:Zithan's early edits appear to be related to sex toys and pornography, and in the ever shifting world of wiki-rules-about-sockpuppets I'm not sure if having a designated account for kinda embarrassing edits is smiled or frowned upon. It wouldn't be particularly shocking either for Zithan to have been a commercial account from inception. It may be that a policy requiring explicit disclosure of financial interests in the subject of articles editors are working on might be useful at this point, it seems it's not self-evidently sensible to all? (and yeah - I'll copy this to the RfC thingy too... why not....) Privatemusings (talk) 04:38, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Still need help

User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 47#Please help I know you're very busy, and I'm guessing the thread was archived by a bot before you could render a judgement, but to sum up in case you need a quick refresher:

I've always used all pertinant information from what we consider reliable sources in my edits. Articles about Scientology feature in depth coverage of its negative aspects. We would have to ignore the bulk of what the sources say about Scientology if we set out not to say anything "bad" about it. For example a Time article called The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power obviously is going to say things Scientologists don't like, and might just make anyone citing it look anti-Scientology. (Another more current example is the debate in France over banning Scientology) If there are reliable sources out there which say good things about Scientology I'm just as happy to include them as well. (I haven't found any which AREN'T dominated by negative aspects though.)

I think the ARBCOM believes that by topic banning anyone labelled a POV pusher it will somehow end any future arguments. However as long as the sources concentrate on the negatives of Scientology, Scientologists editing from home will work at removing them and calling anyone who cites them a POV pusher. I'm agnostic and have no personal interest in defaming Scientology, I just think our articles should reflect what valid sources say good or bad. Anynobody(?) 02:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I am aware of your appeal and will comment in due course. I've been reading over all the case materials (and there's a lot of it, as you know) and also discussing some general principles with the ArbCom to make sure I understand their thinking.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:46, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I totally understand, you're probably usually pretty busy as it is and there is a lot to read up on. Thank you very much for taking time to consider this, whatever you decide :) Anynobody(?) 00:48, 11 June 2009 (UTC) Just holding off the bot :) Anynobody(?) 00:27, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paid Editing, related to the above "Cash for spam"

This is overdue, probably: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Paid Editing. Given that this (and related WP:COI issues) seem to be coming up more and more, I've launched this basic RFC. We've never had an actual community discussion or mandate about this. Please review the statements, leave yours, endorse as you see fit. Should make for an interesting and enlightening discussion.

Jimmy, would you be willing to leave a statement on the RFC itself? rootology (C)(T) 19:31, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

I am content to watch, right now. I don't agree with the biased way the question is being presented. I think it would be a serious blow to the credibility of Wikipedia if it came to be generally accepted that people are taking on clients to write on their behalf. I am reminded of when Yahoo - disastrously, in my opinion - started charging people for premium submissions into their editing process for their directory. Allegedly, as I recall, these entries were to be judged by staff in the same way as unpaid submission, they just moved to the front of the line. But the perception of impropriety essentially destroyed the image of Yahoo as an impartial editorial board deciding what links belonged in which category. I think that far from *weakining* COI policy, we should be in the process of *strengthening* it. I will continue to block people who I find to be engaging in this sort of conduct.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
In which case I honestly think you should say so on the RFC. At the moment we have no policy against paid editing – which is precisely why the whole MyWikiBiz thing flared up, as Kohs could fairly say that nobody had told him not to. It's been three years since then; we really ought to have a policy one way or the other. – iridescent 21:40, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
My humble 2 pence: I don't think there should be a policy against paid editing by policy-abiding individuals, but if the WmF ever cooked up some paid "fast track" it would very likely (and quickly) wind up a big, corrupted mess and hurt the project. Gwen Gale (talk) 21:43, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
If you intend to block people for it, you had better try and establish a consensus to do so. That's what this RFC is for. --Tango (talk) 01:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. But, er, what is biased about:

"An RFC on the notion of paid editing. NOTE: Today, as of the launch time of this RFC, this is not a blockable offense under any policy, or to my knowledge against any explicit policy, but dances around WP:COI in some ways."


Whats the question?

Is Paid Editing a problem? Is it fine? Is it against policy? What policy? What should be the response?

Desired outcome

A start toward consensus on what the community view actually is on the matter of "paid editing".

Since there is no policy against it today I left the wording as wide-open as possible. "What do you think?" is the tone. I'd actually ask you to not do such blocks, as you're still of course bound by policy as much as anyone. Your recent block of Petrosianii was for sockpuppetry, not paid editing. Seicer (talk · contribs), an admin, actually stated here that he is paid to edit content. Are you going to block him? Such a block would have no basis in policy and out of policy blocks have no standing, for any admin. rootology (C)(T) 21:45, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Can you please clarify on your question are you saying that only users can do paid editing or also saying Admins and crats can also do paid editing.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 08:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Admins are users too. So are 'crats, I hear, although rumor has it some have their doubts. ++Lar: t/c 11:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I think a not small number of people have those doubts re. admins as well. Unfortunately some admins do their best to enforce those doubts... SoWhy 11:35, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Only to stir up some thoughts, perhaps one way to deal with this, would be a policy that editors in positions of trust (admin, crat and so on) disclose any paid editing. Maybe this could be done on-wiki, or even by email, say to arbcom. I will say that an outright banning of paid editing wouldn't stop it, but only drive it further underground. Gwen Gale (talk) 11:40, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Driving it underground is sufficient. What I don't want to see are people advertising their services to clients on the web, and us accepting that. This is totally inconsistent with our values. I will never allow it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:10, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Are you referring to editors in positions of trust or to all users? -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 15:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
All editors. If someone wants to set up a GFDL (or, soon: CC BY or CC BY-SA) writing service somewhere else, and post things there, and if completely uninvolved Wikipedians find it in some way useful, that's fine. Setting up shop to "sell" services as an advocate on Wikipedia as an editor, an admin, etc. is not ok.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Great! I totally agree with you. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 15:40, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok, it's "advocate" rather/more than "writing service" that you find worrisome and I can understand that. Your notion of free market GFDL/CC writing services which show up in Google searches that uninvolved WP editors would stumble across, then perhaps pick up for Wikipedia, owing only to skillfull encyclopedic writing and sourcing, is helpful, I should've thought of it! WP would have aught to do with it from the outset, with a bright line of "neutrality through uninvolvment." I guess if any paid writing which goes straight onto Wikipedia is driven so underground, it's not spotted, that'd more often than not be because policy was followed closely enough, which is the pith. Either way, I'd never support writing for pay which didn't heedfully follow policy. Thanks for giving your thoughts on this. Gwen Gale (talk) 16:27, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Where do I go to find these "completely independent wikipedians" referenced? We all have CoIs, every day, and to think differently is to fool ones self. Disclosing CoI is to be encouraged. ++Lar: t/c 16:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
(ec x2) I am frequently maligned and subject to assumptions of bad faith because of the way I make a living.[20][21] Such personal attacks should be denounced, but they never are. Based on my experience, there are more people willing to use a declaration as a way to gain the upper hand in a dispute than there are those who will respect it. This is a problem with our culture. Jehochman Talk 16:32, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
It is not helpful to air grievances on Jimbo's talk page in lieu of dialog with the people who posted them. DurovaCharge! 18:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I am just about ready to quit because a certain person has been following me around, setting tripwires and doing whatever she can tovarious factors have been ruining my enjoyment of working on Wikipedia. Durova, please stop posting complaints about me hither and thither, and please stop egging on other people to do so. I really mean it. Jehochman Talk 18:26, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Nobody is setting tripwires or egging anyone. Would you like to come my user talk page and discuss it calmly? DurovaCharge! 20:42, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy, I really don't mean this to be a dickish question, but the way this is unraveling is highly confusing. I started the RFC to simply see what everyone thought, as there has never been a frank public discussion of this before to see what the community actually thought. Your views have always been clear. Like I said in my RFC statement, I've always been ambivalent and more interested in the quality of the content rather than caring who wrote it--a paid author, Satan, it's all the same for me. Is it good, NPOV, notable, etc.? The way the RFC is spinning out is frankly the exact opposite of what I expected. I was figuring I'd get some supports, we'd see 20 statements in various forms "against", and that would be that. Not what is happening, but the opposite.

But I have to ask-- are you going to block Seicer and Nichalp for paid editing? rootology (C)(T) 16:10, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know the particulars of those cases, so it is best that I not wade in hastily. I've been mistaken to block people in similar situations too quickly in the past. But if they are editing articles or (worse) taking admin actions at the behest of clients, they should at a bare minimum stop doing so. Perhaps it would be best if they explained what they've been up to and why.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Just to be clear, if someone was using any special tools, even something as piddly as Rollback for money, let alone something like Oversight, I'd be first in line to skin them myself. My only stance is that I'm about the quality of content first and foremost. I'll drop Nichalp and Seicer notes to check in here. rootology (C)(T) 16:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Also are the people covered under this program going to be blocked? ++Lar: t/c 16:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't have an opinion about that. But please don't imagine that my position is simplistic. There's a very big difference between an organized grant program to improve the quality of Wikipedia and setting up shop to offer to act as a paid advocate.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
So you won't be blocking the two above-mentioned editors? Skinny87 (talk) 16:30, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I am expressing no opinion whatsoever on that. I'm just saying I don't really know anything about what they are doing. If they are doing something wrong, they should be blocked. If they are not doing something wrong, they should not be blocked. I'm not doing anything myself, but I don't consider myself under any inherent obligation to investigate every single case. As I am sure you can understand, whatever action I take or don't take here will be construed dishonestly by someone. If I block them, I'm acting hastily and so on. If I don't block them, then the trolls will claim it's because I'm friends with them (I'm not, don't know them really) or whatever. So I want to be really clear here: I don't know enough to do anything, and it isn't my job to police everything on Wikipedia. Anyone trying to interpret my action or inaction here is making a mistake.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
To be fair, you made a relatively strong WP:JIMBO statement when you said, "I will personally block any cases that I am shown. There are of course some possibly interesting alternatives, not particularly relevant here, but the idea that we should ever accept paid advocates directly editing Wikipedia is not every going to be ok. Consider this to be policy as of right now." -->David Shankbone 16:45, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Which I am as of now contesting. See the comments section on his RFC post. I think this is a silly thing to fight about, to be frank, but proclamations of policy that have no community backing have no standing. Who's going to enforce them? If it goes all the way up to Steward tools to enforce them, then Jimmy loses that battle too, since Stewards have limits on what they can do too. This is a stupid battle to fight on these lines. It's ultimately up to the community. rootology (C)(T) 16:47, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not interesting in "fighting the battle" on those lines, because it's completely unnecessary for me to do so. I consider it to be absolutely within policy already. Some people like to imagine that "the community" is absolutely sovereign, but it is not, has never been, and never will be. Wikipedia is not a democracy, as existing policy has long made abundantly clear. But trying to portray this as an issue of a community clamoring to allow paid shills to openly do battle in wikipedia versus Jimbo trying to stop it is pretty hilariously out of tune with the real discussion. You wrote an openly biased RFC that led people down a certain path - I consider this pretty pointless.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:57, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
It's not a democracy, no, and never has been, but for several years now it hasn't been your word-as-law either. If it was, you would have done any number of things we needed by fiat already, like Flagged Revs when German got them, laser-sharp enforcement of BLP, mandatory semi-protection of BLPs by default, BLP AFDs defaulting to delete rather than keep, and we would have actually seen people being tossed from the project for rampant abuse of NPOV, which is a Foundational issue, as readily as we toss people for copyright violations. You would have stamped on the neck of the ongoing disasters we've seen like Mantanmoreland and any number of festering sores everyone has had to deal with, and not just label anyone that goes against your views as "trolls" and whatnot, dismissing critics out of hand, even the critics who have--surprise--turned out to be right on some matters. If you want to try to force this, against whatever consensus forms--and again, I don't care either way in the end if we block paid editors or put them in a manageable bubble to get content out of them--you're welcome to try with the standing repercussions you may encounter. This isn't a threat, so don't take it that way, but this will end up in RFAR if you try to force your hand against the community on something they don't want. Your power is not absolute. You have a bigger box than most, but you still live within a box as much as we do. I don't really have anything else to say beyond we need you for your leverage on the bigger things, and to draw in contributions financially, but your unwillingness to stand up with a firm hand when you've been needed on the really critical things makes this seem a truly pointless matter to risk your standing and "Traditional Role" on. You don't own WP. rootology (C)(T) 17:12, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your rant, Rootology. Let me summarize it. You want me to act decisively and with great authority in some areas, the ones you care about and think I should, but intend to fight to depose me if I do it in other areas, the ones where your views differ. Noted. I will protest a bit with this strange and false claim that I "just label anyone who goes against my views as 'trolls'". Some people are trolls, of course, but I think it's hardly fair to suggest that I overuse the term to apply to anyone who disagrees with me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:26, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Until WP:JIMBO is repealed, WP:JIMBO stands. -->David Shankbone 17:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
That's sort of the point of this discussion, David. rootology (C)(T) 17:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I would caution you against taking the paid editing issue and conflating it with JIMBO issues. If Jimmy takes an action that contradicts community consensus, then it's an issue. Until then, a lot of this discussion seems to be moving into the legitimacy of the JIMBO system. Too many hot issues at once. -->David Shankbone 17:26, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
And I agree, but Fayasslf and Jimmy have pushed this into the JIMBO side. I've been arguing nonstop on this in the past day that the decision with community backing would be as bulletproof as policy can ever be. Jimmy, though, has repeatedly stated his stance as policy, and I am saying point blank that today he cannot unilaterally impose a binding fiat on something without community backing, in response. I didn't push this into constitutional waters; he did regrettably. rootology (C)(T) 17:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • To be fair Root. Neither me nor Jimmy has mentioned WP:JIMBO. I spoke the policy lingo while he didn't even mention it. Wikipedia has been here for more than 8 years and claiming that you got a consensus in 12 hours is very misleading. And Jimmy has just stood up with a firm hand while dealing with a critical thing; it just happens that it doesn't suit your views.-- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:14, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I never claimed consensus; I've just pounding on that on such a hot-topic item, we shouldn't do anything without a mandate that as many people as possible buy into, since whatever happens will have lasting repercussions in multiple directions. Citing that policy page is citing JIMBO, if not in name. Jimmy and I are mailing, however, but I still ask that he just not do anything unilaterally here. There are far bigger stakes in play here. Hell, I wasn't even thinking of closing that RFC until over a month out, like the Flagged Revs survey. rootology (C)(T) 18:17, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Following the context, by 'bigger stakes in play' I'd understand $ ;) I know it is a hot debate but let's please keep our cool; we both know that we all work for the best of the project after all. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 18:50, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Why don't you write a policy proposal to ban paid advocacy and we can work together to get support for it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:31, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • You have mail inbound on this topic to the wikia-inc address. rootology (C)(T) 17:57, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I think the more strategic way to handle this is to see what the RFC says. If you have a sense that there is consensus for paid editing, then you have to decide what to do next, if anything. If Jimmy steps in to frustrate the community's wishes, then address the issue. You're allowing yourself to be sidetracked into other hot areas simply because of some comments, that currently have had no effect on anything (just like the RFC itself). Just FYI: I support the JIMBO system, and I'm not advocating you go after it. I'm only suggesting a more strategic and productive way to handle your concerns and issues. -->David Shankbone 17:34, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm most assuredly not going after "JIMBO" today in that sense, and I'd really rather not force some bloody conflict on something that people are in truth only apart based on the nature and magnitude of the response. I've told him as much in mail, and this looks like both may have gotten puffed out from misunderstanding intentions and long-term goals (which I know from previous conversations with him we're not far apart on, just the "how to get there" bit). I'm too pragmatic for my own good sometimes, and think that "JIMBO Showdown" will eventually happen in some form, some day, but again, I'd really rather not see something like that this year or over something so simple. rootology (C)(T) 18:22, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

(od)That seems like a rather harsh comment against rootology, Mister Wales - I can't see how the RFC was written in a biased manner - hell, it's opening lines were shorter than most RFCs to begin with. Skinny87 (talk) 17:06, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry if it sounded harsh. My main complaint is that he proposes what is clearly an extreme case to set the tone of the discussion. It would be just as biased to propose an extreme case on the opposite end of the spectrum. And the use of the term "paid editing" - as I have said elsewhere - is too imprecise to allow for a nuanced discussion of the issue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:29, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
It is rather natural that the statement is a bias towards a certain stance, but thats the way its supposed to be as its a user opinion. Every person can judge for himself if a statement is completely bogus. Personally i support both your statement and Rootology statement as i can deduct the danger of "WikiSpam Incorporated, PR Division", while i can also understand the value paid editors could have, provided they stay within policy boundries.
I do agree that "Paid editing" is to broad to form any policy - but isn't that a good thing? A discussion can narrow this down, and at the same time we can be certain we didn't leave any important issues out of consideration. On a different sidenote: Isn't the "Blocking all spam agency's" statement is a bit of a moot policy? I am certain that if an experienced wikipedian created a second account for promotional purposes, his or her knowledge would be sufficient bypass both new page and regular patrols trough creating a quality article with some positive bias. Even if we noice an article is slightly promotional we still need to assume good faith. And lets be honest: If a corporation would be serious about selling these services, it would take a lot more effort to root out then, for example, the average sockpuppet user. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 17:47, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
It's worth remembering that role accounts and sockpuppets are forbidden. Wasn't it MyWikiBiz's use of a role account that led to their banning? Computerjoe's talk 18:37, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

For what its worth I fully agree with Jimbos stance on this. To my mind this deserves a zero tolerance policy. We are assuming in good faith that paid editing will amount to peacockery at the most. In reality the money is not in trying to spruce up the notability of some borderline companies, the money is in removing negative information about some of the very affluent subjects we already cover. The money is in adjusting policy, it is in removing 'trouble makers'. While 'outsiders' with COI editing articles are of only limited danger because of their limited areas of interest and unsophisticated approach to wikipedia, once we establish a culture of paid editing, this will inevitably spill over to administrative actions and policy formulation. Unomi (talk) 18:55, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

  • Unomi, how do you know such things aren't happening already? Our current system is defective because it provides an advantage to those who don't reveal their identities. I say who I am, and all it gets me is lots of suspicion and assumptions of bad faith. Somebody else can edit on the sly and not have to put up with that (at least not until somebody outs them). Is the answer to require all editors to identify themselves? Jehochman Talk 19:23, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea to what degree that is happening now, we have had some recent and high profile cases of COI being discovered. We also see that there is an admin who is offering his 'wikipedia experience' for the highest bidder. So there is some indication that such things do happen. As it stand now, however, we expect the Sam Blacketers and Nicholas A.s to be reprimanded and likely to lose their positions of influence. I must admit, I have no idea who you are. But if you yourself is a person with a bone in the whole COI game then you likely should not be playing such an active part in the Sam Blacketer drama. I very much doubt that a broad acceptance of pay-per-edit will induce any kind of full disclosure, that would only serve to undermine their credibility and leverage. Unomi (talk) 19:56, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I earn a living as a marketing consultant, specializing in online marketing. You're making an inappropriate ad hominem argument when you say I should not be involved in X because of who I am. I am free to comment just as much as anybody else. My user page says exactly who I am, and anybody is free to check me out and see for themselves. Please don't discourage participation by casting doubts on people because of how they make a living. Jehochman Talk 20:13, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Like I said, I had no idea who you were or how you are making a living. What I said was that if you had a bone in the COI game then you should probably not be playing such a large part in the discussion. Please refer to WP:COI and the line then we very strongly encourage you to avoid editing Wikipedia in areas where there is a conflict of interest that would make your edits non-neutral (biased).. I would imagine that your involvement in voluminous drama regarding what some on ANI have characterized as the appearance that what's being protecting isn't BLP concerns, but Wikipedia's rep., could potentially be construed as COI. Let me ask you this, have you edited any articles regarding or on behalf of any of your clients? Unomi (talk) 20:47, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I am not sure if I have a bone in the game, but I do have a unique perspective and would like to share my opinions with the rest of the community. As for paid editing, I don't do it because it is not compatible with being an administrator, and frankly, there are more profitable things I can do with my time, such as overhauling website code or helping people spend their ad budgets more effectively. Jehochman Talk 20:59, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I doubt that anyone will really mind what you do for a living - i think that people will mind a lot more what your intentions for editing are. If an editor is paid to monitor and update a company article while remaining clearly within policy boundries i would argue that while a CoI is present, my opinion is we could overlook it in case the edits are non biased and high quality. If however, the job description reads "Make our article as fancy as possible, and make us look as near to perfect as can be" then yes, there should be a topic or indef ban. The CoI policy is there for a reason, and wikipedia is after all, not some form of marketing instrument. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 20:23, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you. I used to spend a lot of time at WP:COIN and saw many, many cases of COI editing. The problem is widespread. Jehochman Talk 20:59, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Unomi, how do you know where the money is? Are you just guessing, or have you taken time to talk to people who have actually been paid to write articles and spoken to people who are willing to pay about what their motivations and desires are? I have been offered to be paid several times, and I can tell you from my experience that what you state are the goals of people who are willing to pay for work on Wikipedia, it is not what their stated goals are. -->David Shankbone 19:33, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I am just guessing. It should be clear that established identities that are notable and affluent enough to already have articles would have more money to throw around on PR than companies that are borderline notability cases. Consider for example Ronald Perelman, with a bit more sophistication the 'official biographer' could have hired an editor with influence to wikilawyer blp violations and undue to remove pretty much whatever they wanted. Unomi (talk) 19:56, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
In regards to the two statements above: Personally i think we are only uncovering the top of the iceberg when we talk about coi conflicts. I cannot provide exact data, but seeing that on some days the amount of CoI editors blocked trough WP:UAA by a single editor can be more then two hands can count, we can conclude there is a lot of CoI. I did not even include the ones that are spammy, buy have no violation based upon their username. A massive amount of these are companies, so if we conclude small time companies edit their own entries, i assume we can be sure the big ones do likewise.
Again not relying on data, i think we can easily conclude that "Hiring" editors would seem like a fantastic means to promote a company, at least unless you end up in a PR nightmare after being discovered. Think about it: A detailed entry on one of the most popular sites of the internet, which doesn't cost a thing and can be edited at will? Compare that with the average cost a "Normal" PR campaign would cost for that exposure and it would look like an instant easy win. Likewise, if an entry start leaning towards the negative side this can be quite bad for business. And who would be the best people for this? Established editors or administrators - people who know the rules and who can influence a community trough their reputations or status. The morale of this story? I think that regardless of policy - be it tolerate, regulate or forbid - we can never really stop this behaviour. If not due to or ability to detect it, then due to our ability to prevent it. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 20:16, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure this comment will get missed in all the hubub, but ho-hum. I've been an editor for 6 months and contributed quite heavily for the last 6 or 7 weeks. This is my first comment about "paid editing". I've looked at this issue and think that I would be against an explicit policy - edits against consensus/policy/guideline are bad edits whether the reason for them is vandalism, misunderstanding, bias or money. In Excirical's example above, a "free" entry on wp must still be substantiated, it would still require coverage in good ol WP:RS and the only benefit is that googling the company name put's our page above theirs... I've created a few pages here, and am confident that if someone approached me to create a page for them I could do it without notice. It would be balanced, establish notability and cover all the bases, and if my client wanted to spend more money for a positive spin I would explain that they were wasting their time - WP:NODEADLINE means that at some point (next minute, month or year) it would be reverted and balanced. If paid "advocating" is unwanted I believe the exisiting policies and guidelines are robust enough to deal with it, and if someone wants to offer money for editing it will be done, policy or no policy, just as there are undetected sockpuppets, meat puppets and whatnots. Bigger digger (talk) 10:49, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Reply from Seicer

Thanks rootology for notifying me of this thread. To clarify my rather vague statement I made earlier, I resigned as an administrator in April to pursue my off-WP writings and photography, along with my full-time job as a designer and coordinator for a private university. I had a lack of time in dealing with the usual drama and ongoings at WP, and felt it best to resign the bit' and (now) edit semi-frequently.

With that, I don't edit much anymore because of potential conflicts of interests with four very large web-sites that I manage. I spend hundreds of hours a year researching various topics and then photographing them, and I rarely have the time to copyedit every one of them into WP. It also eliminates a potential COI when dealing with other editors.

As for my function at the university, one of my tasks is to update, periodically, our university's article. I haven't done any clean sweeps nor removals; I only add content or modify content with information that is sourced directly from our publications and web-sites, or from accompanying articles and publications. It's not paid advocacy because thus far I have not advocated for or against anything, and is only to plug in information where none frankly existed. The article sucked and was sorely lacking content, to be honest. That's very different than one running an operation for external clients to purely advocate a certain fringe POV upon a certain and dedicated article, and that's not what I am doing or advocating for.

One year later, not one individual has come up against my potential COI because I strive not to have a bias to or against the university. I've authored numerous GA's and have done a lot of work for many articles on WP, and not once has the speckle of COI come up until now -- and after my own admission. I'd like to keep it that way. seicer | talk | contribs 00:07, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I know of a university employee who took the article on her university to FA status, i.e. she was being paid to do so. I know because I helped copyedit the artice (for free). I don't see anything wrong with what she was doing because she was following the rules. Cla68 (talk) 00:33, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I haven't done that much to even get it to GA status, let alone FA. I am primarily just adding content and copyediting, although I haven't touched the article in weeks due to time constraints. It's not my sole duty, let alone with any importance, and I am paid the same whether or not I edit the article. seicer | talk | contribs 00:37, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you Seicer. I recommend against that sort of editing, recommending instead that you interact on the talk page and ask other editors to actually edit the article. I assume here that you have previously disclosed, when editing the article, that you work at the university. And this is also the sort of example that explains why COI is a guideline and not an absolute prohibition. This is very different from someone putting up a website offering article editing as a service.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:45, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I formerly did on my user page, although I long ago removed that due to workplace harassment. seicer | talk | contribs 00:48, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Do you recommend that sort of editing only in case of "paid COI" or also in other cases? (The encyclopedia might be a better place if anybody with a strong interest in a given country, religion, or issue was only allowed to edit the talk page instead of the nationalistic edit wars that Wikipedia is so famous for. Or it might be a worse place because people actually interested in a topic are supposed to not edit it.) And when do you think bias should be declared? I recall that you opposed the declaration of political bias on userpages (userboxes); why is your university or company affiliation (affecting your neutrality in potentially the same way) so very different? Kusma (talk) 07:01, 11 June 2009 (UTC)