User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 48

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Archive 47 | Archive 48 | Archive 49


Come on Jimbo

[1] First I get banned for BS and now the Taleb article is getting out of hand and has been escalated to WP:Office. Since Taleb has recently been the subject of the Wall Street journal as a potential target of death threats [2] This after no administrator did anything to the perceived harassing editors. NOTHING. But one administrator took time out from their busy, to post a remark on my talk page. Singled me out and then repeatedly blames me for pointing out them being hypocritical in their behavior. The admin blew me off and went back to doing nothing to the opposing editors. This could have been handled by admin without going office. If administrators had followed policy and been fair in the comments and behavior then it could have been handled on the bio talk page. Administrators are still not addressing the abuses of editors on the article harassing the Taleb estate legal rep with comments that they are violating Wikipedia policy by addressing perceived misconduct. No Admin has told the offending editors publicly to stop misusing Wiki policy to end the Taleb estate rep from posting on Wiki. They have instead reported the rep for WP:No legal threat and WP:COI which is reprehensible. This behavior needs to be addressed. Some administrators are too buzy giving knee jerk reaction bans and sarcastic comments to stop behavior that has already been escalated to office. I am requesting an apology and the behavior addressed publicly. If people can post a warning about my comments publicly on my talkpage then their oversights can be correctly publicly to. People's security should matter more then policy. LoveMonkey (talk) 16:39, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

This user has cross posted from WP:ANI. Suggest keeping the conversation together over there. I for one have no idea what this user is talking about. Jehochman Talk 16:41, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree, this is not the right place for this at this time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:44, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Alright Jimbo I'll take it to ANI. LoveMonkey (talk) 17:53, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Question 2

I noticed on Google Earth that the newer articles are not been added like Russell Lake has Wikipedia stop adding to the Google Earth Layer ? Cherry1000 (talk) 01:23, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't really know anything about it, I'm sorry. I don't know things got there in Google Earth in the first place. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:28, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Pardon me for butting in ... my understanding is that it takes them a while for them to update. See for example this page; go to the bottom and notice the update dates for the various layers. If anyone else understands better the process whereby they do this, I'd love to know myself. Antandrus (talk) 03:38, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, they seem to update every one to three months, per this page. Graham87 03:56, 11 June 2009 (UTC)


Hi Jim. Wondered how important is Wikiproject Biography Thoughts, concerns? ♫ Cricket02 (talk) 01:56, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Seems important to me, but I suppose the best measure of importance of anything like this depends on the importance it has to the participants.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:28, 11 June 2009 (UTC)


Jimbo, if you have the time I would like your opinion on a hypothetical situation - at a Deletion Review, someone votes to keep a page deleted. The DRV is closed as upheld but allows for the recreation of the page if the original problems are fixed. The person who voted to keep the page was an admin and decides to full protect the page from being created as per the DRV. Question - 1. Is the admin conflicted from being able to ethically page protect the original page? 2. Are page protections acceptable without seeking community support for such a salting of earth? 3. In the situation where the DRV is closed stating that the page should be recreated with the original problems corrected and conforming to Wiki standards a page that should have any sort of protection which would hinder the easy creation of the page with such fixes? Thank you for your time. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:07, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

This is pretty much standard operating procedure, Ottava. Normally, one would create a candidate replacement article in user space and bring it to DRV where it will be examined to see if the problems are, indeed, fixed. — Coren (talk) 23:10, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
I've never seen a page protected after an AfD or a DRV. I've only seen page protections after it was determined that multiple recreations were abusive. This was not the case. Ottava Rima (talk) 23:13, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Could you tell us what specific situation has prompted you to ask this 'hypothetical' question? I'm sure Jimbo would prefer to have all of the relevant information before offering a firm opinion. It would be very unfortunate if a general, off-the-cuff statement of his based on a purely hypothetical imaginary case were taken as some sort of definitive pronouncement on a specific issue. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 01:08, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
There's nothing remotely hypothetical about this situation. It has to do with Stifle's protection of Plot of Les Misérables following Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Plot of Les Misérables (2nd nomination) and Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2009 May 29#Plot of Les Misérables. See also the WP:ANI discussion, here (permalink as of 01:19, 9 June 2009). --auburnpilot talk 01:24, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I could provide one (and Auburn went ahead and did it for me), but I would rather have the founder's opinion on the ethical side for a more general interpretation of CoI than a specific ruling on a particular case. It seems that quite a few admin don't care if they put forth a vote and then uphold their opinion via protection. I feel that such a thing gets in the way of consensus and causes problems with content editing, but if Jimbo provides a good reason for it or points out something that is a concern that I am unable to see (problems related to content creation, vandalism, etc) then I wont worry about such a thing happening in the future. The problem with specifics is that they are just that, specific. We need a general understanding to work with, and the understanding would deal with the heart of this project as an encyclopedia, which the founder would understand better than the average person. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:27, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
You should know from real life work that most, if not all, managers understandably dislike being gamed by their employees in this manner, i.e. floating a trial baloon or hypethical situation question for their opinion when you have a current, real situation that you want to apply it to that you aren't telling them about. Yes, Wikipedia isn't a real life work situation but the same principle applies. Cla68 (talk) 01:30, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
The community is quite capable of handling a specific incident on its own. The founder is the only one capable of elucidating on the founding principles and what is ethically best for the project as a whole. Asking the CEO of a company what the company's mission is would be the equivalent to this. Ottava Rima (talk) 01:36, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
You didn't ask him what the mission of Wikipedia is. You detailed a specific situation, but presented it as hypothetical. Would be better, I think, to detail the situation with links, giving Jimmy all the details, then let him comment. His comment to a hypothetical situation would carry less weight than his comment on an actual situation, as the former leaves him less informed. لennavecia 02:45, 9 June 2009 (UTC)
I can post other situations where the same action has come up before. And who said I want weight on the actual situation? I simply want his opinion on the matter. If he doesn't support the type of action, then I will feel more confident in my current feelings. If he believes there is enough problems to warrant such actions, then I will stand by his feelings and not worry about the action in the future. Ottava Rima (talk) 02:57, 9 June 2009 (UTC)

Ottava Rima, first you say that "I've never seen a page protected after an AfD or a DRV.", and three hours later you claim that "I can post other situations where the same action has come up before." It looks like these two statements can't both be correct... Fram (talk) 07:00, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Other situations would mean that there are details within the situation are different. The core of the question was Conflict of Interest and full page protection. This can happen in far more than AfD. Ottava Rima (talk) 14:40, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo.

Can I have your autograph on my Talk page please!

Pretty please?--AodhanTheCelticJew (talk) 20:16, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Contract Editing Review

I've just created Wikipedia:Contract Editing Review. This is kind of a partial implementation of the suggestion you made in your statement. Discussions at the RfC have become very heated. -- FayssalF - Wiki me up® 01:21, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Ego boost!

I wrote a featured article about you (sort of) in Uncyclopedia. Just wondered about your reaction? Bah! I care more about Chronarion's reaction! ...I don't care about anyone's reaction, it got featured on the front page! Woo! (talk) 17:57, 12 June 2009 (UTC) (Cajek)

The article about you is really funny! lol - Damërung ...ÏìíÏ..._Ξ_ . --  13:35, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I have a good sense of humor, and I *love* Uncyclopedia. Therefore, I try to refrain from reading what it says about me, on the grounds that if it hurt my feelings it might diminish my love for Uncyc. I have read it before, nervously, and ended up enjoying it just fine.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:29, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Arbcom pressuring the Boothroyd article before Blacketer's reconfirmation RFA?

Do you have any idea what this is about? rootology (C)(T) 13:48, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I have no information of any kind about this. It seems a bit unlikely to me, but then again, I've been naive many times before and proven wrong. :-( I do think, and will state publicly, that it seems rather obvious that it is only sensible to come to some kind of clarification and resolution of the Boothroyd article before Blacketer stands for reconfirmation, if for no other reason than to reduce drama. So I wouldn't take anyone's offhand comment to that effect as pressure. But as I say, I have no knowledge of this and nothing to do with it, so I dunno.
I will say that the userfied version I see right now at User:JoshuaZ/David Boothroyd is a fairly clear BLP violation. (WP:UNDUE among other things.) I say this as someone who feels personally betrayed and hurt by Sam Blacketer's actions. One thing that is getting lost in all this, I fear, is that (for example) the picture change on David Cameron (see Sam Blacketer controversy, another navel-gazing article that I think should be deleted) was in fact a perfectly good edit. The photo that was removed was obviously ridiculous, and the one that was added is perfectly normal. The whole situation is an ugly mess.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:35, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok. Let's try this again since no one seems to be listening: Obviously the version in userspace isn't a great version. Otherwise it wouldn't be in userspace. Balance of what is in a preliminary draft doesn't in any way reflect what would necessarily be in any final version. I've been going through some effort to find additional sources about Boothroyd prior to this matter (which hasn't been easy since I don't have a library access this week). I agree incidentally that the description of the Cameron edits was not at all well described in the press and in fact minimzed and then removed it entirely from the draft. JoshuaZ (talk) 04:11, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that Sam Blacketer standing for reconfirmation is a bad idea. He's never going to pass, and this will only cause disruption and badwill among editors. (And, I deleted David Boothroyd. You can read all about it on WP:ANI.) Jehochman Talk 15:39, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I have no very strong opinion on the deletion of the article. I mean, I think it should end up deleted, but I also think that's a matter for AfD and DRV and I'm not going to get involved. I'm glad to see that the Sam Blacketer controversy afd seems to be pretty straightforwardly going in the right direction.
I tend to agree with you about him standing for reconfirmation. I think he should respectfully decline to reapply, and people should allow him to step away with dignity. There's just no good reason for a spectacle.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:19, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm a little confused by the comment people should allow him to step away with dignity in the context of the RFA. He was asked to step away from his admin bit, and his own idea was to come up with the RFA. "People" certainly would let him step away without the RFA if he made that choice.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:26, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
It sounds like we are in agreement, then. I'm not sure what's confusing about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:25, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
As I read it, It sounded like you were saying there's some vague group of people keeping him from steping down without an RFA. The only one keeping him from steping down quietly is himself. If you weren't trying to make a comment about "people", but rather what would be the best action for Sam to take, then I agree and am no longer confused.--Cube lurker (talk) 17:36, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I have taken the liberty of quoting you at Talk:Sam Blacketer controversy. [3] --Hans Adler (talk) 16:16, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

The statement:

  • "I mean, I think it should end up deleted, but I also think that's a matter for AfD and DRV and I'm not going to get involved."

appears to me to be so self-contradictory and self-serving it caused me to gag.

Do you think article subjects suddenly become non-notable after they receive substantial coverage in reliable sources? On what basis? ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:02, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Do you think it's completely impossible that Jimbo thinks Sam wasn't notable before this teacup tempest? On what basis? --Hans Adler (talk) 18:07, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
There are lots of articles on Wikipedia editors of marginal notability. Why is this one so critical to delete when there is very substantial media coverage related to it? Jimbo has involved himself along with other high powered editors, admins, and arbcoms to delete any article or coverage that includes any mention of this incident. I think that stinks and that we're better than that kind of censorship and bias towards content and coverage we don't like. Given the issues related to the controversy itself, it's particularly unseemly to engage in a cover-up of this sort. ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:54, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm a little confused. First when I said that I'm not getting involved (which I'm not), you said this was so contradictory and self-serving that it "caused you to gag". Then, when challenged, you suddenly claim that I have "involved myself". I haven't. I didn't vote in the AfD, I didn't delete the article, and I very specifically said here - in case anyone was wondering - that it's a matter for AfD and DRV. Nothing to do with me, so I'd appreciate it if you not insult me by claiming to "gag" over things like this. That's just not a proper way to have a conversation with someone.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:05, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Other crap exists too is not an argument for keeping crap, it is an argument that other crap should be deleted. If you would like to shoot me a list of names of wikipedia articles based on editors, I'll be happy to review them. The further problem is that while David Boothroyd may or may not be important enough to deserve an encyclopedia article, the Sam Blacketer controversy is narcissism and self-absorbed navel gazing at its worst. Not to mention being a huge BLP violation in disguise as a story about an event that just happens to involve wikipedia. Thatcher 19:02, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, well, my preference would have been for a two sentence addition to the article that existed on Wikipedia for more than 4 years. Unfortunately, that article was aggressively deleted (repeatedly) out of process and editors working on it threatened with blocks. So now we have various efforts to cover the controversy in other ways and it's an ongoing drama. If that article was kept we wouldn't be having this problem. Had there been an editing dispute the article could have been protected and it could have been worked out in discussion on the talk page.
The rush to delete the article when its subject is in the news, and the quashing of efforts at restoration are unseemly and inappropriate. Wikipedia is not censored and we shouldn't be engaged in that sort of thing. Let's not forget that the article subject is a public political figure who has been quoted in mainstream media on controversial issues. As far as Wikipedians with articles see Wikipedia:Wikipedians with articles. But nomming them may be seen as pointy at this time. Who knows. ChildofMidnight (talk) 19:55, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

How was the David Boothroyd article deleted?

By what process was the David Boothroyd article deleted? I saw 3 AfD's that failed; I didn't see one that passed. Had the article really been on Wikipedia for 4 years or so? Finell (Talk) 00:37, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:Articles for deletion/David Boothroyd (2nd nomination). --Hans Adler (talk) 01:48, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Thank you. That confirms that it was on Wikipedia for at least 4 years, because it says that the last AFD was 4 years ago, and the AFD failed despite Boothroyd's own request for deletion. And then it was undeleted, then re-deleted in a 3rd nomination? Isn't there some concern that by so very quickly deleting this long-existing article, just when the subject becomes more notable because of the discovery his sock puppeteering, which led him to resign from ArbCom member, it looks like Wikipedia is trying to hide an embarrassment? (In my opinion, for what its worth, his replacing the sinister photo with a good photo was a good edit. The rest is quite another matter.) Finell (Talk) 03:41, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
WP:BLP became policy in 2006.[4] Yes, an article existed for four years without any references, and without any evidence of notability. This "hide the embarassment" argument is pompous. There are other sources of information besides Wikipedia. Anybody who cares can read all about this incident in the media, and at the ArbCom discussion pages. Wikidramas should not be turned into articles. Jehochman Talk 12:03, 13 June 2009 (UTC)


I've been trying to get a Wikinews article together to address the misreporting that has happened on Sam Blacketer's resignation (in particular, that Sam did not resign because it was discovered "he made secret, politically motivated edits to the David Cameron BLP under a false name). As part of the article, I would like to quote your comment above, about the picture edit having in fact been "A perfectly good edit. The photo that was removed was obviously ridiculous, and the one that was added is perfectly normal." Would that be okay? For reference, the article draft is at [5]. The headline and content may still change; I am a novice to Wikinews, and not very good at it.

I've asked the arbcom at WP:ACN talk if they would like to make a statement to be added to the article, and you're obviously invited to comment as well, if you would like to. I'll also ask Sam if he wants to make a statement.

Please let me know your thoughts. I have e-mail enabled, and will watchlist this page as well. Regards, JN466 14:10, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, that's fine, but to be fully accurate be sure to note that I in no way approve of or condone what he did.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:31, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll make sure. [6] Okay? JN466 15:14, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Opinion on article

I have been looking at the FBLA article and I noticed there was a key part of information left out. The list of states for each region. I have tried adding the list but the user eitherway keeps undoing it. He says it is irrelevant information while I feel it is a neccessary additive to the article's overall totality. I would like your opinion on this discussion. Please note I am not trying to trash the article but only mean to enrich it with useful information. Runesage106 (talk) 17:36, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

I have no opinion, and that's not the sort of thing I usually like to get involved with. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:17, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The title of the article is FBLA-PBL. User:Runesage106 made no edits to the article under that user name. User:Either way, who has been following the article since at least 2005, repeatedly reverted spam-cruft and unsourced, unnecessary detail added without edit comments by IP users and by User:Rydog1010; one revert commented that another account has been trying to add some of the same material since 2007. The Runesage106 (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) account has the earmarks of a seldom used "clean" account of someone doing other business here. An investigation of possible editing from multiple accounts may be in order, especially in view of the controversy over WP:COI editing by paid advocates. Finell (Talk) 23:35, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds interesting enough for someone, but I have no opinion, and that's not the sort of thing that I usually like to get involved with. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:06, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Oh, I don't believe there's any COI going on here at all. These are just high school kids writing about an organization they're involved in so they want every single piece of information in the world about it in there. The "Cybis has been doing it since before 2007" comment I made in an edit summary was about the information that one put in the article; they said that Cybis (the video production company that FBLA-PBL uses) has been making videos for them since 2007, but Cybis has been doing it since at least 2005. There are no major issues here of COI or the like; it's just trying to prune the good information out of the "cruft" that gets added. either way (talk) 10:08, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

well my ip adress used instead of my account because I had forgotten I even had one. is it and you can see the point I was trying to add on the article but if it is too detailed I understand and I am not a paid advocate. I am merely a High school student and have not used my account because as I said I had forgotten I even had it. Go on ahead and investigate me. I am an eleventh grader only trying to better Wikipedia to prove it my Facebook adress is here Of course you have to log in and if that doesn't do it go here I haven't done any damage through the ip adress except for the Alcorn School District article and please forgive me for that but I wasn't thinking at the time and was angry at our previous superintendent who led our district into a million dollar debt, which has adversely affected my high school career. I am thoroughly sorry for that incident. Runesage106 (talk) 02:31, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

As far as I sm concerned "Paid advocacy in article space" is already against WP:NPOV policy and WP:COI guideline. Jimbo, what changes, if any, would you like to see made to those to make this clear? I would like WP:COI to be made policy and tightened up as (in my opinion) people with conflicts of interest have watered it down. WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:30, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, I agree with you on both counts. I think it needs to be made clearer that "I am getting paid by the subject of the article to edit the article (as opposed to making suggestions in the talk page, writing an article on a different website, etc.)" is paid advocacy of the kind in conflict with policy. That's very different from "I have a job as a professor and we are encouraged to contribute to Wikipedia about things that we know about" or "I am participating in a government funded project to improve the quality of Wikipedia entries". There are many subtleties. I think it's pretty easy to know the difference, and hard to write it down precisely.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:38, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I know it when I see it. The answer, my colleagues, is to judge the edits rather than the editor. Editors should be encouraged to reveal their potential conflicts so that their contributions can be scrutinized appropriately, but the existence of potential conflicts should not be used as mud to throw during arguments, as was done here and here. Jehochman Talk 19:26, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Jehochman, your user page says you are Jonathan E. Hochman. I remember you from the SEO discussions that Durova was involved with and remember you as some sort of SEO guy. Is this: [ Hochman Consultants » Internet Marketing, SEO, PPC, Web Development] you? Would someone who makes money on such things want Wikipedia's rules on COI to be lax? I think so. So do you disclose this COI in every post you make trying to argue for lax COI standards? WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:33, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Wow, that's an awfully presumptuous and incorrect post. I provide full disclosure of my identity, write featured articles, and what do I get? Assumptions of bad faith. Shame on you. Jehochman Talk 21:37, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I am not being presumptuous nor am I making assumptions. I am drawing conclusions from evidence. I think your self interests with regard to Wikipedia COI rules are at odds with what is good for the Wikipedia community's ability to maintain neutral articles. Shame on you. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Okay, think whatever you want, but my respect for you just dropped from a pretty high level to something less. Jehochman Talk 22:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
(ec) Let's cool down a little please. No one can accuse me of being Jehochman's advocate,[7] but this goes more than a little bit far. I've never known Jehochman to cash in on his editing work, nor to attempt to manipulate Wikipedia's policies for the benefit of his colleagues. There's a big gulf between what Jehochman is and does, versus a functionary who runs undisclosed sock accounts to cash in on his Wikipedia ops. DurovaCharge! 22:09, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Self interest colors one's views. It does not have to be conscious, does not have to involve overt cashing in, does not have to involve conscious manipulations. Self interest often takes the form of people honestly believing certain things and feeling their acting on those beliefs has nothing to do with their self interests. That's just how the human mind works. That's why judges recuse - not because anyone thinks they will deliberately make self-serving decisions. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:41, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Your argument appears to be hypocritical, because you do not seem to have disclosed your identity. For all we know, you could have all sorts of hidden biases. Why should an editor who discloses their identity, thereby inviting scrutiny of their edits be treated worse than somebody who remains anonymous? The assumption of good faith should apply to all editors, at least until they demonstrate otherwise through their actions. Jehochman Talk 22:49, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you that "The assumption of good faith should apply to all editors, at least until they demonstrate otherwise through their actions". I am judging you on your actions, both on and off Wikipedia. I think you should recuse yourself from COI discussions. Obviously you feel different; just as initially Jimbo felt ok with editing the Wikipedia BLP on him. I am accusing you of being like Jimbo and being on at least one issue blind to how your self interest might color your beliefs and actions. That's not such a bad accusation is it? I accuse you of being human. WAS 4.250 (talk) 23:03, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Yes, it is a very bad accusation to say that somebody is a second class member of the community, not entitled to participate in important policy matters that affect them. Every person in the community deserves to participate in any policy discussion as they like, as long as they are not disruptive. People have a right to a voice in all matters important to them. This is a fundamental human right. Jehochman Talk 03:13, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I think this conversation illustrates some of the difficulties in arriving at a COI policy that meets with general consensus. I want it tighter. You don't. I think people with COI problems are on your side; and frankly everyone has views that are colored by self-interest - but not everyone edits articles or policy discussions that are on issues related to their self interests. Well, Wikipedia is a work in progress and you nor I nor Jimbo are perfect but we are all assets to Wikipedia (and more importantly, to the free culture movement that gave birth to it). WAS 4.250 (talk) 05:16, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
We'd be foolish to deny that at any given moment in time, someone who is editing is being paid for doing so. Perhaps they are the employee of a company or an individual, or a PR agent for record label or film studio, or even a freelancer trying to make a buck.. It's already happening, we only catch the ones who flagrantly disregard our editorial policies & guidelines.. As long as Wikipedia sits at the top of the search results, this will not change - no matter how many policies we create to disallow it. We need to acknowledge this and ensure these sort of editors understand that peacocking and whitewashing are blockable offenses and that they aren't exempt from WP:V, WP:RS or WP:OR just because they are being paid to edit by the company/person that an article is about. IMHO, --Versageek 19:49, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd also like to see COI become policy, but as Jimbo says, it's hard to get the wording right. We don't want to be discouraging people with expertise, which a badly worded COI policy could end up doing. I opened a discussion about this here in March, WAS, if you'd like to comment. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 20:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
Would they actually care if we put policies in place? As we both seem to agree on we only catch a fraction of the total amount of CoI accounts; I assume any somewhat long term editor is proficient enough in wikipedia usage to evade most forms of detection for at least some time. I would personally prefer if we simply blocked all clear WP:SPA or advertising accounts on sight, but we have to be realistic and admit that we currently have a hard time to detect them, let alone block them. Therefore i would much rather legalise and regulate/monitor the few CoI editors who wish to work withing the guidelines, then seeing them slip under the detection net. The ones who don't follow that rule can of course be removed trough whatever means necesarily. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 20:44, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think "we can't catch everyone" is a sufficient reason to not have a policy. One of the things that the current situation prevents is someone successfully setting up a service promising to create articles or modify them for a fee and advertising for it on a blog or whatever. The last thing we would ever want from the point of view of NPOV and our public image of integrity is the notion floating around that "If you want a p.r. puff piece in Wikipedia, it's easy to do, because they are very corruptible. Just hire one of the admin-run services to do it for you. Wikipedians are cool with payola." That's just totally never ever going to be acceptable. If instead such services are - quite rightly - treated as being shady, then sure, of course, some amount of corruption always goes on... it's the way of the world. We stop it when we can, and make sure it doesn't become dominant... we're easily able to do that, and we should.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:13, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think Rootology's RfC was a biased approach in any way or form. I understand that you (Jimbo) don't want people openly advertising their services for editing Wikipedia. I suggest that instead of establishing as our de facto policy that paid editing is ok as long as its secret (don't ask, don't tell), instead the existing policies on NPOV, edit warring, and reliable sources be strengthened and enforced better. If editors are abiding by those policies, then it really doesn't matter whether they are being paid to do so, does it? Cla68 (talk) 00:27, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
The RFC got off to a pollyana start by discussing "Is Paid Editing a problem?" with the scenario of an excellent article being created, where the creator had been paid. That's lovely, but what is more likely (see links above) is that shills will offer to promote an individual or organization. Presumably an annual protection fee would ensure that the created article doesn't deviate far from the wanted POV. Providing such an arrangement went undetected, it would be very hard for an occasional editor to combat bias in a sponsored article. We can't stop shill editing, but we can make it clear that it is not welcome. This is a question of integrity, not some imaginary freedom. Johnuniq (talk) 04:50, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I believe we should have a clear division between the two extremes we are discussing. On the one side we have the perfect article created trough payment, and on the other side we have the "Pay for PoV" article. For the first we should maintain a "don't ask, don't tell" policy as it was called above. In other words: If we cannot see anything is wrong with an editor, we can hardly accuse them. As for the second option i wholehearthy agree with a hardline policy - if we can see its clear CoI and point pushing, it is simply against the rules, with consequences up to a indef block. Should we explicitely welcome paid users? No, absolutely not. Should we make explicit rules to block every single one of them? Also, no. I would say we should keep it as is: Silenly acknowledge the fact they are out there, and only take action if we find them; Because once we do, they are certain to be in violation of current COI, NPOV, ADVERT, SPAM and likely a bunch of other guidelines. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 07:08, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
The problem is the POV, not the pay. We should ban people who use Wikipedia for advocacy. Period. This includes people who use Wikipedia for advocacy because they get paid for it, and people who use Wikipedia for advocacy because they feel their religion is the only truth, and people who use Wikipedia for advocacy because they want to help starving children in Africa. Kusma (talk) 07:13, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
But if you do that, my dear Kusma, there will be no one left to write the bloody encyclopedia. Especially if you also ban those who advocate Wikipedia or have ever made a COI edit. Hell, then you'd have to ban the owner of this talkpage. And that wouldn't go over too well, would it:)--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 07:43, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Problem: We now have a large discussion (here and RFC) arising from a "Cash for spam" posting on Jimbo's talk page (above). After that, Wikipedia's integrity will suffer if we decide that there is no particular reason to say "paid advocacy is wrong and will be blocked". In an academic paper, one may well argue that POV advocacy is the problem, so there is no need to also ban paid advocacy. However, we can't duck the issue now: Yes or no, should Wikipedia block a user believed to have been paid to promote an individual or organization or point of view? Johnuniq (talk) 07:52, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Paid to promote a viewpoint? Yes. We already have a battery of policy missiles in place to nuke that down. See WP:NPOV, WP:Advert, WP:SPAM, WP:NOR, WP:COI, WP:NOTADVERTISING and i can likely go on a while quoting policies. But i really doubt that this is, or should be the issue. I think the issue should be the grey area in the middle where CoI editors actually do a fine job editing article's. Should be ban Microsoft employees for keeping microsoft products up to date? Should we ban apple employees for creating a new subsection on the IPod article? In other words: Should we ban editors because they admit they have a CoI, if their edits don't show this? Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 08:08, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. I believe we should allow Microsoft employees to write about Microsoft products, just as we allow Catholics to write about Catholicism. We should ban Catholics who push a Catholic POV, we should ban Microsoft employees who push a Microsoft POV. Actually, we should also ban Catholics who push a Microsoft POV, and Microsoft employees who push a Catholic POV, no matter whether they get paid for it or not. In other words, it is what an editor does that we should be concerned with, not why they do it. (This is in a a way an extension of "comment on content, not the contributor", part of our civility rules). Kusma (talk) 09:57, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Excirial: You make good points, but you did not address my concern (the issue of what to say about paid advocacy). My view is that we can confidently assert that an editor who accepts commissions to write promotional puff pieces has a COI problem that cannot be overcome, and is not wanted here. Such a rule need have no practical effect other than to establish our integrity. Johnuniq (talk) 11:00, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
I believe that if we can say with confidence that an article has a CoI editor, he or she is already violating the neutrality guidelines quite blatantly. I assume we could create a seperate guideline that governs this issue, but i wonder if that is not a form of policy creep (After all, we have somewhat more generic guidelines in place that cover it). There is already a footnote that specifically deals with paid editors in the WP:COI article. If we are to take a stance by writing a new policy, i think we should limit it to extending the CoI guidelines to reflect our stance paid editing a bit better. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 12:29, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

re: WAS 4.250, COI is and should be only about encyclopedia articles, not about providing input to policy. Based on that thinking, hardly anyone's input could be used for setting COI or other Wikipedia policies. Everyone makes money doing something. You're a professional actor? Oh, Sorry, you can't edit any of the Acting-related articles, you might accidentally portray your profession as more glamorous than it should be, by extension you can't set COI policy, because you having a conflict might want policy to be lax.. You live in and are employed in the US? Oh, sorry, no editing articles about any subject in your country, state, or home city. You might accidentally describe your local area in an unwarranted non-neutral positive light, compared to the rest of the world, because you make more money if there are more tourists. Seems extreme to me... --Mysidia (talk)

Shades of gray

Within paid editing there is a spectrum of activities:

  1. If somebody's job responsibility is to monitor their organization's Wikipedia entry and transparently request corrections on the talk page, to revert vandalism, and to enforce WP:BLP, such actions are acceptable and even encouraged by our policies.
  2. If somebody has a job for a company and they decide to edit that organization's Wikipedia entry, there is a chance those edits could be harmless, or they could be biased.
  3. If that same person edits a competitor's entry, that would be apparent or actual impropriety.
  4. If an editor advertises their services for editing, and does that editing in a non-transparent way, we have a definite problem.

I think we need to make a few changes:

  • WP:COI should be upgraded to policy. The time has come.
  • The advertising of Wikipedia article editing services should be strictly forbidden, except with the express consent of the Wikimedia Foundation. I'd expect that permission would not be given to commercial enterprises, but might be given for something like government grants to scholars. WMF has rights to the Wikipedia trademark (I hope). Thus, they have the right to prevent that Trademark from being used in trade without their permission.
  • Paid editing by consultants or employees must be transparent, and comply with all policies. Paid editors need to disclose their real world identities and affiliations prior to making an such edits. Failure to disclose would be grounds for immediate blocking or topic banning. Violations of policies by properly disclosed editors would be dealt with as usual, observing do not bite the newcomers.
  • Reward editing, such as Wikipedia:Reward board and Wikipedia:Barnstars should be exempted from any of the above restrictions. Our own incentive programs are already regulated by the community.

Somebody could fine tune these proposals and try to get them approved. Jehochman Talk 14:12, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure trademark law helps. One can use a company's name in a description of services without invoking trademark law, as long as it does not cause confusion as to the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of the services. You'd probably have to come up with a more creative legal theory, like inducing breach of contract. And build the COI avoidance / no fake account rule into the terms of use. Mike Godwin is up on all that I'm sure. Wikidemon (talk) 19:57, 11 June 2009 (UTC)
Whatever the legal rationale may or may not be, I think the point is that the community doesn't want people advertising paid editing services. Jehochman Talk 02:52, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
The community can't stop folks from advertising paid Wikipedia editing services, but it can stop accounts openly or clearly linked with such advertising from editing. On the other hand, if an account is editing within policy so carefully that there's no clue the editor behind it is being paid (and this indeed happens every day here), it's more or less the same as any PoV and advocacy brought to en.WP by so many unpaid editors. Hence I wouldn't see a need for rooting them out, it's not the slippery slope towards fund-raising banner ads on Wikipedia offering a fast track to a professionally written and sourced encyclopedia article about your notable business, project or interest. Gwen Gale (talk) 10:53, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
This discussion arose from a report that someone is soliciting payment as a Wikipedia mercenary. We cannot stop such paid advocacy, but now it's been raised, we have to decide our stance: no problem, but must follow policy or that's ok, but must follow WP:COI or not allowed. Johnuniq (talk) 11:37, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm just going to offer my two cents here, and of course due to the Arbitration Committee deciding on brute force remedies as a "preventive" first resort, it's actually worth about $0.000000002 at current market value. But here goes anyhow. Wikipedia welcomes editors* to contribute what they can give towards Wikipedia's mission. Some editors are placed such that they have acquired a really in-depth knowledge of a particular POV, and knowledge of where the details of this POV can be found in reliable sources. Other editors are placed such that they have no ties to any particular POV, and they can exercise an unfettered judgment about how to include information from the reliable sources on all sides to bring the articles closer to the ideal NPOV. Both editors have a valuable role, but no editor can fulfill both roles. An editor may tell Wikipedia that he can be fully neutral when editing the articles on Blarney's Beer even though he's being paid by the Blarney Brewery to represent them on Wikipedia, and he may fully mean that. But that doesn't mean he's correct. He is most likely not anywhere as neutral as he thinks -- by which I mean "not near enough to neutral for Wikipedia to accept as such". Even if he were completely neutral on the subject of the client that's paying him -- assuming for the sake of argument that that's possible -- it would mean he's performing inadequately in his role as paid representative. And if that editor is neglecting obligations and expectations for which he is taking pay -- even if in completely good faith -- it means we cannot expect that that editor will live up to the obligations and expectations of Wikipedia.

IMHO: Paid representatives should not be forbidden on Wikipedia. But they must declare that paid relationship, and if they do not, it's a serious sign of dishonesty. They also should not be editing the articles on their clients directly, because making the final decision on what should or shouldn't go in the article requires an unbiased judgment which they simply don't have.

  • Except for people who edit Scientology articles. They're obviously scum and Wikipedia should drive them all away. -- Antaeus Feldspar (talk) 12:46, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
Why should we, as wikipedians, care if the paid editor is "performing inadequately in his role as paid representative"? That's between the editor in question and their client(s) - it's not like Wikipedia is paying or being paid. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 13:26, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
The point is that someone who is claiming they can represent a paying client and still edit neutrally regarding that client is claiming the impossible. At best it represents naivete and at worst dishonesty, but either way the editor who represents a paying client is biased and should not be trying to perform functions that call for unbiased editors. -- Antaeus Feldspar (talk) 14:43, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd like to see one of these "unbiased editors" you speak of. Everyone has bias, granted to varying degrees but the point this stands. I'd say biased or not, as long as they conform to BLP, NPOV etc. we shouldn't care what their motivations are. And if they don't conform to those policies, we already have methods in place to block them. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 08:26, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Your argument would work if BLP and NPOV and "etc." were policies that never required any degree of interpretation and judgment. In fact, though, they require substantial degrees of interpretation and judgment: who decides what "undue weight" is, for example? who decides whether a borderline source is reliable enough to merit inclusion? Let's take a hypothetical example: The newspapers are full of headlines about a nasty incident that may have been caused by negligence on the part of Culbertson Chemical Corporation. Editor A has no prior relationship with Culbertson whatsoever, besides being aware of their existence. Editor B, by contrast, is in fact being paid by Culbertson specifically to manage their reputation on Wikipedia. Are you really suggesting that Editor B's judgment about the NPOV way to deal with the incident in the article will not be affected one bit by the fact that he'll get a hefty bonus to his paycheck if the article asserts about the incident "There's no way that any of this could really be Culbertson's fault; all those people who say otherwise are untrustworthy"?
You argue that there's no such thing as a wholly unbiased editor and therefore all editors can be trusted equally to apply NPOV, but that's an example of a continuum fallacy. You argue that the problem is trivial because we can simply detect afterwards anyone failing to apply BLP and NPOV correctly, but that's like arguing that it's okay to let relatives of a criminal defendant serve as jurors at his trial because if the jury doesn't returns the correct verdict the trial can be redone. If it was so trivial to determine the correct verdict, we wouldn't need a jury in the first place. -- Antaeus Feldspar (talk) 17:35, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
The transitory contents of a Wiki article are nothing like the verdict of a jury trial, other editors can and will edit any article of importance to the encyclopedia, unless they deem it perfect. The argument that there are not wholly unbiased editors is not an example of continuum fallacy. The reason there are not likely to ever be any completely unbiased editors is that all humans have preferences, which translate to bias, and anyone writing an article has read certain information about the subject or acquired knowledge through personal experience; encyclopedia articles aren't written in a vacuum, they will tend to follow the unstated biases of whatever sources were available to the writer. Moreover, the amount of trust we can reasonably place in an editor to follow NPOV is not necessarily influenced by their personal preferences; writing an unbiased article is an exercise in devaluing personal opinion, and explaining all points of view fairly, if the editor is good at it, their article will be NPOV, no matter what their preferences, even if a holder of one of the opinion pays them. If they are not good at setting aside personal beliefs, their article will be biased, even if they aren't paid to write it. --Mysidia (talk)
The transitory contents of a Wiki article are nothing like the verdict of a jury trial, other editors can and will edit any article of importance to the encyclopedia, unless they deem it perfect. That is indeed one difference that exists between a jury trial and a Wikipedia article. It doesn't appear to have any relevance to the point of the analogy, though. We don't say "oh, we'll let people with massive conflicts of interest serve as jurors first, and we'll only yank them off the jury if the verdict they bring in is obviously wrong"; we exclude people who have such massive conflicts of interest first because we have no way of getting a verdict we can have confidence in from people we can't have confidence in.
The argument that there are not wholly unbiased editors is not an example of continuum fallacy. Can you provide any sort of reasoning to support your statement? It seems a completely obvious example of continuum fallacy to me. "There is no such thing as a perfectly unbiased editor; therefore there is no significant difference between the editor who has never heard of the subject of the article before today and the editor who is being paid by the subject of the article to deliver a favorable article." You may be right that the two editors exist in the same continuum of "editors who aren't 100% unbiased" but that does not support your conclusion that they should be treated as if there is no difference between them.
The reason there are not likely to ever be any completely unbiased editors is that all humans have preferences, which translate to bias, and anyone writing an article has read certain information about the subject or acquired knowledge through personal experience; encyclopedia articles aren't written in a vacuum, they will tend to follow the unstated biases of whatever sources were available to the writer. Very good, but as we've noted, the statement "there are no completely unbiased editors" does not translate to the statement "the editor being paid to edit the article in a particular direction is no more biased than any other editor." Even if you could show me such an editor, such an editor is still untrustworthy, since he takes money to fulfill duties that he does not intend to fulfill.
Moreover, the amount of trust we can reasonably place in an editor to follow NPOV is not necessarily influenced by their personal preferences; writing an unbiased article is an exercise in devaluing personal opinion, and explaining all points of view fairly, if the editor is good at it, their article will be NPOV, no matter what their preferences, even if a holder of one of the opinion pays them. If they are not good at setting aside personal beliefs, their article will be biased, even if they aren't paid to write it. This is an entirely true analysis of how the situation lines up in the world of pure theory. In actual practice, I doubt we could ever find a significant number of editors with such superhuman control over their own editing that they will be utterly uninfluenced by financial rewards. And frankly, what are you doing arguing for the existence of such superhuman paragons of NPOV, when just a few sentences ago you were arguing that merely having read "certain information" about the subject of the article automatically translates into a bias? -- Antaeus Feldspar (talk) 19:40, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
We don't say "oh, we'll let people with massive conflicts of interest serve as jurors first, and we'll only yank them off the jury if the verdict they bring in is obviously wrong" The analogy is fundamentally flawwed, the differences between a jury trial and the construction of an encyclopedia article are so tremendous as to far outrank the superficial similarities. Trials are fundamentally adversarial. Editors don't make binding decisions, jurors and judges do, and in a jury trial appeals are expensive, a waste massive resources, and may not be executed. It's basically impossible to determine after the fact if the juror made a decision because it was the right one, or because they were biased, and this actually injures someone (in a court of law, even a right decision may be overturned, if a COI also exists). The defendant will always claim there was an impropriety and biased decision given the opportunity if a juror with a COI ruled against them. Whereas, for Wikipedia, not all articles are inherently adversarial, having attention and work devoted to building a slightly biased article is in many cases more favorable than having no article, their contribution is still potentially valuable. This is distinct from the practice of an editor being paid to intentionally colour an existing article. Wikipedia is not a court room, and we don't need to impose standards that are quite as rigid.
I do not assume there is no difference between an editor who is paid and one who is not, there clearly is, but there is no guarantee that there will be a difference in their point of view as expressed in articles they edit, there has been no evidence presented that there is such a guarantee. IMO, this very much depends on the circumstances, and there can be cases where there is no significant difference in the product of a paid editor than in an unpaid one. The real fallacy would be assuming that all the paid editors are completely untrustworthy, or that all the unpaid editors are guaranteed to be more trustworthy. "Trust" is not a bar Wikipedia requires people to pass before editing an encyclopedia article, we allow completely anonymous edits; it's up to the trusted editors to fix such abuses, also, I fail to see how an edit by a known wikipedian with a COI is much less trustworthy than an edit by a completely anonymous editor, who could be writing an article so it appears written well and yet including total disinformation in it... --Mysidia (talk)
(ec)In your hypothetical situation, Editor A can look at the article, see what WP:RS have been cited (if any), and edit the article to have a more NPOV stance as he/she sees it. If his changes get reverted, he can post on the talk page and gather community consensus on the issue, and going through any dispute resolution if needed.
The problem I see with a lot of the people arguing for prohibition of any form of paid editing is that they appear, to me, to be overlooking the fact that Wikipedia has 68k (and counting) registered users and countless IP editors. One or two editors being paid to edit isn't going to make that much of a sway in consensus. If sock/meatpuppets are used, we have a method of punishing those abusers already. The point I'm trying to make is thus: The issues paid editing brings up (people writing NPOV) already happen, and we already have policy in place to fix it. If you don't think that policy works, tweak it so you think it's better (i.e. so we pick up more NPOV editing from anybody, not necessarily just paid editors) rather than forcing through this completely unenforceable policy that will stop the legitimate content from getting through. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 20:39, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
Your statement seems to contradict itself, or is overcomplexified. Your stating that a paid editor can edit anything except articles related to the person that pays them to do so. In other words: "Paid editors are allowed, as long as they are paid to improve rather then promote" ? Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 13:50, 12 June 2009 (UTC)
"Paid editors are allowed to provide reliable sources and make suggestions about what should go in the articles about their clients, but not to directly edit those articles, since they are not unbiased." -- Antaeus Feldspar (talk) 14:43, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Suggested Technical Measures

Paid advocacy (distinct from Paid editing) should be not allowed, because it implies a violation of other policies (NPOV), which are already standing policies. I conjecture the most likely goal of a company soliciting paid advocacy: is to obtain free advertising. That is, to get an article created on a non-notable subject, so they can imrpove their

Google search results. Most companies that would seek advertising or advocacy are ones that aren't well-known, i.e. non-notable, so there should be no article about them, but the paid advocate creates one anyways.

My suggestion would be for Wikipedia to adopt technical measures that cause new, immature articles to not be eligible for outside search result listings, that is, mark them NOINDEX, until there are alterations by several registered editors, and/or the article to have existed for a minimum duration (or to have a "flagged revision"). The problematic activity is basically an intentional violation of existing policies (NPOV), and Wikipedia notability guildelines, however, there are no means of adequate enforcement, especially against anonymous editors, or even random registered editors.

By providing a 'time buffer' before search engines index the article, the rewards of paid advocacy will be limited, until other Wikipedians have had time to review their work --Mysidia (talk) 13:17, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

It should be quite easy to go around this restriction using sockpuppets. Or the company could pay two or three editors - one to create the article, and two others to make minor changes to it in order to remove the __noindex__ tag. In the end, I don't think it will stop paid advocacy; however, it will affect articles that have been created in good faith. Laurent (talk) 13:27, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
Not if there's a requirement that the article either exist for 3 months, or be edited/ok'd by at least 3 people who have been registered for at least 12 months with 500+ edits, before removal of the noindex. It at worst delays the indexing of a nascent article created in good faith that has not had yet much review. I would surmise that it's a lot harder to hire 3 shills than to hire 1 shill, greater chance of the payer (and payees) getting caught red-handed, even if sockpuppets are used, and difficulty is the objective. Raising the cost of paid advocacy's benefit (for the payer) is an improvement, if the cost is increased sufficiently, hardly anyone will consider doing it. --Mysidia (talk)

Intercession needed

Please refer to User talk:Giraffedata. Even though numerous editors have objected to his obsessive removal of the gramatically acceptable term "consists of" from hundreds of articles, he defiantly continues to do so. Your assistance here is appreciated. Contributions/ (talk) 16:35, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

This is not the place, and he actually changes "comprised of" to "comprises". Darrenhusted (talk) 17:03, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
Darrenhusted is right, this is not the place to deal with it, but those who are dealing with it elsewhere may find the following links useful: "comprised+of" 5,760 examples at and "comprised+of" 2,200 examples at Wales (talk) 18:31, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
It should be noted though that "is comprised of" is considered substandard by many people. See for example A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, Oxford University Press: "The phrase "is comprised of" is always wrong and should be replaced by either is composed of or comprises" That being so, I wouldn't hit anyone over the head for changing a phrase that many consider "wrong" to another that doesn't suffer from that drawback. JN466 18:51, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
I should be clear: I believe that Giraffedata's arguments against our using it are persuasive. I am expressing no opinion on how the change is being implemented - I simply haven't looked into it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:51, 15 June 2009 (UTC)
One of the great things about the English language is that there are so many ways of saying nearly the same thing; yet each different way has a different rhythm, sound, connotation, feeling. Alliteration, cadence and flow are all important properties of word choice. We are not wring dry equations. See the category: Literary devices playing with sound. WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:25, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

Evidence re paid advocacy

The RFC is too long to read, so may I draw attention to this informative evidence by User:Ha! who has gone to the trouble of writing up some eye-opening evidence for paid advocacy. No one appears to have yet checked Ha!'s results, so that needs to be done, but the report is vital reading. Johnuniq (talk) 07:52, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it is vital reading. I think it shows how deeply wrong paid advocacy is in article space.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:26, 13 June 2009 (UTC)
Here (Talk:Usana#"Under construction" template) is a different perspective of someone openly noting they are editing as part of their employment, and of the response which includes noting COI concerns and requirements of conformity to WP policy. This is how transparency aids in the building of better articles. LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:46, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

On reflection, it would be easy to miss the link to this important expansion of the above statement by User:Ha!, so here it is. Johnuniq (talk) 02:13, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2009-06-15/News_and_notes#Paid_editing has some additional information. On, the going price for an article about a company acording to its taste, written by an established editor, seems to be a few hundred dollars ([8], click "Feedback"). Regards, HaeB (talk) 15:06, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

I don't know anyone at elance, but I believe them to be a reputable and ethical company. I think that if I ask them to remove posts referencing Wikipedia, they may be willing to do so. (I am not doing this right now, because I don't think there's a huge problem at the moment.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:57, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
What is the situation with the tax man regarding this paid editing of wikipedia? If people are being paid by a third party to do work that is to the benefit of wikipedia, (professionally edited articles) is this something that the foundation should declare? Of course anyone advertising or admitting to being paid for editing should inform the tax man and the relevant authorities and as the informed beneficiary of this work, would wikipedia have a legal responsibility to declare the details? (Off2riorob (talk) 19:08, 16 June 2009 (UTC))

Where I think paid editing may end up

Im still thinking about this issue, but i am reminded of what is written on Keats gravestone: "Here lies one whose name was writ in water". how can someone be paid for writing on water? Will the world simply realize that its simply not possible to get effective results from paid writing, and not even try? not very helpful, but the image is appropriate. thanks for being open to the community. Mercurywoodrose (talk) 05:05, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

incorect usage of commons and licencing

File:Bustech logo.JPG

this image is of the incorect lisencing how to go through the process etc.

Thanks Matt User talk:Matt037291 08:19, 17 June 2009 (UTC) edtted User talk:Matt037291 08:20, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

IP vandalism stands for two years, and IPs can edit... why?

  • Article: Terraforming.
  • Original vandalism: Revision as of 11:55, 1 July 2007 by
  • IP vandalism laundered: Revision as of 22:15, 2 September 2007 by
  • Removed today, by me. Water.writ (talk) 05:14, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
    • If we disabled anonymous editing right now, you'd come back in two years with vandalism from a registered user. People with big ears occasionally graffiti the sides of buildings. I don't think that's a reason to kill all people with big ears. Eh? --MZMcBride (talk) 05:54, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
      • May I assume that your colorful foray into folksy wisdom indicates that you do not see a positive and significant correlation between vandalism and IP editing? Water.writ (talk) 07:48, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm sympathetic to your point – I would favor a much easier way to temporarily block anon edits from some of the proxy IPs of schools and ISPs (perhaps a place to report them with a much lower hurdle than WP:AIV). However, I've seen many really excellent edits from IPs in esoteric science articles, and in many cases anon editors are very valuable. Presumably the edits I have seen are from a passing academic or professional who isn't ready to fuss with an account, but given the low barrier, is willing to fix something (I have seen big improvements). Also, the hope is that an IP editor will make a few changes, then will register and become more active (that's what happened to me). Johnuniq (talk) 08:15, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
  • Here is why it doesn't matter: The article is accessed only about 1½ times per day.[9] Since most people read only the lead, it's quite likely that the number of people who have read the problematic text was extremely small. In fact, it seems possible that you were the first reader of this passage. --Hans Adler (talk) 13:32, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Si no me entiendes en inglés te lo cuento en español

Ya veo Jimbo Wales que no me haces caso y que no me has desbloqueado de wikiquote en español. Te lo voy a decir bien clarito: Drini me tiene bloqueada la Ip en wikiquote en español, confundiéndome con no sé quién. Te pido que hables con él para que desbloquee mi Ip de allí. Parece mentira que te este pidiendo esto y que me estés ignorando. Venga desbloqueame en cuanto antes. -- (talk) 07:06, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Or "Already I see Drunk Wales that me do not you pay attention and that have not released me of wikiquote in Spanish. I am going to say it you well clarito: Drini has me blocked the Ip in wikiquote in Spanish, confusing me with do not I know who. I ask you that speak with him so that release my Ip of there. Lie seems that you this asking this and that are ignoring me. Come release me in as soon as possible." or "I already see Jimbo Wales that you do not do case to me and that you have not unblocked to me of wikiquote in español. I am going it to you to say well clearly: Drini has to me blocked the IP in wikiquote in español, confundiéndome with not sé quién. I ask to you that you speak with él so that unblocks my IP of allÃ. It seems lie that you this asking this and that estés ignoring to me. Desbloqueame comes before as soon as." My Spanish is not perfect. Darrenhusted (talk) 13:57, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Or in slightly better spanish, the section is titled If you do not understand me in English, I will tell you in Spanish. The actual text is as follows, I now see that Jimbo Wales, that you do not pay attention to me and that you have not unblocked me from the Spanish Wikiquote. I am going to tell you very clearly: Drini has blocked my IP in Spanish Wikiquote, confusing me with somebody. I beg you to talk with him so he will unblock my IP there. It seems like a lie that I am begging of you this and you are ignoring me. Come unblock me as soon as possible. I have changed some of the words but not the intent of the post. Griffinofwales (talk) 17:37, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
It amuses me that the first translation seems to translate "Jimbo Wales" as "Drunk Wales". Hmm. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:26, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Last time you asked Jimbo for an unblock, you said that you were blocked because Drini hates Jehova's Witnesses users. Now you say that he has confused you with someone else. Do you really expect anyone to believe you? SUL 20:53, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
The 2 IPs are not the same, however they are in the same range. Griffinofwales (talk) 21:07, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
The IPs in this range have been blocked many times by four different Spanish Wikiquote administrators. Drini obviously isn't the only user who thinks that you should be blocked. (See [10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23]). SUL 21:51, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
And in any event, I am unable to personally help people with problems in Spanish Wikiquote.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:10, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps some kind editor could translate Jimbo's response into good Spanish for the greater clarity to the IP. // BL \\ (talk) 23:46, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
@IP: Jimbo se dice que no puede ayudar a la gente en eswikiquote. J.delanoygabsadds 23:52, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Slighly better Spanish translation. Aqui es la respuesta de Jimbo: En cualqier caso, yo no puedo ayudar personas con problemas en Spanish Wikiquote. Griffinofwales (talk) 03:31, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Rfc on self electing groups

As 'constitutional monarch' of Wikipedia, Jimbo, your opinion is requested on the issue of self electing groups on Wikipedia. See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Self electing groups. MickMacNee (talk) 15:08, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

"I think concern about such groups arises because the current group in question appears, in part, to be a forum for validation of inappropriate actions by some editors who, though they made notable contributions, were consistently rude and were (correctly) blocked for violating WP:Civil." - User:Otebig - this comment seems accurate to me. That is to say, I think that we can keep separate the question of this particular group (which was clearly an unpopular idea, and for good reason I think) and the broader question of whether it can ever be appropriate to have self-elected groups. I think not, in general, but as usual I prefer that we not set down absolute principles until they are actually needed. I think people generally quickly understand the problems that such groups would cause, and therefore won't try to create them. So we don't need a rule against them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:19, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

At least 50-60 old discussions deleted

Hi Jimbo, look here: Is there a new rule for that, which I have missed? I can't find it. btw: The mentioned talk page is a part of your history too, perhaps there are some more. Regards (talk) 20:31, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

You seem to have had an acceptable explanation already. What do you expect Jimbo to do about it? Rodhullandemu 20:58, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I only want to know from Jimbo (or from you), that these deletions of historic pages, without a proof whether these guys are dead or not, are policy now. And the second question would be: Is it important whether these guys have been deceased in the meantime? And the third question would be: Where is written, that historic talk pages have to be deleted? Regards (talk) 21:28, 19 June 2009 (UTC)
I have no idea what this is about, but it doesn't seem like something I would get involved with at this stage.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:07, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

quick question

This 'what a policy page about paid editing might look like' type draft is interesting... and I have a quick question which I'm interested in view on.... if a company (for example one of the 'virgin' ones) ran a competition to improve wiki coverage of an event (say the 'V Festival') in return for prizes (say 'tickets') - is that cool? This isn't really either a rhetorical or hypothetical question, btw :-) Privatemusings (talk) 22:53, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

I am In Denial that Guiding Light is ending.

I am in denial that Guiding Light and Passions ended because I thought that soap operas lasted indefinitely. Ericthebrainiac (talk) 01:16, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

What does this have to do with Jimbo? Griffinofwales (talk) 01:19, 20 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm comin', Bud! Mike H. Fierce! 02:54, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

Free E-Book Reader for the Visually Impaired


I've just finished programming a free, large font, text-to-speech, text file reader for the visually impaired. It is written to run in OS X. Sorry, there isn't a PC version. I've made it open source, so one can compile one's own binaries. I wonder, would you possibly consider featuring it somehow on Wikipedia? There is nothing for sale on this site - no other programs. I just want to offer something nice to everyone. (talk) 09:13, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

CC-BY-SA in Statement of principles?

Seeing as WP's license has been changed to both Creative Commons and the GFDL, should the Statement of principles be updated accordingly? It currently only mentions the GFDL. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:50, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

No, no, no, no..... that would render my own contribution to that particular Principle moot Little grape (talk) 18:33, 21 June 2009 (UTC)


Jimbo, please check your email. DurovaCharge! 03:16, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

requesting an audience

Following up from User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 47#Block of Bishonen, question, whereupon you notified Bishonen of her block, there was a subsequent discussion on her talk (now archived) and she has now agreed at User talk:Bishonen#an audience with the king to discuss the matter with you openly at a subpage in her userspace. The intention is that it would be a one-on-one chat, in order to talk through the problems, which I think will be useful for you both. This is an opportunity to establish whether the Founder is a meatball:FirstServant, meatball:GodKing, or something else. John Vandenberg (chat) 01:47, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

Is there a subpage for it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:38, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Not as yet. John Vandenberg (chat) 22:17, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Ok, keep me posted.  :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:08, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The subpage (when it's created) should be fully protected (it's a one-on-one discussion, and users might be tempted to edit it). Griffinofwales (talk) 20:11, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
This is becoming dull - is the fact that two editors are planning to enter into dialogue such a great event? Can one or the other of you please start communicating with the other - Jimbo - I suggest you (being the gentleman) pop over to Bishonen's talk and say "Hi, I'm Jimbo, I belive we have a problem" Bishonen will then reply "indeed we do" and off you both go - communicating. The rest of us will keep our mouths shut and watch with interest. Giano (talk) 20:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't want to intrude. Other people are proposing this, and I'm just saying I'm up for it if it's something Bishonen wants to do. If she doesn't, then that's fine too.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:33, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
[24] --Joopercoopers (talk) 21:41, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
FGS! Your actions have caused immense upset to one of the projects best editors - she has intimated she is prepeared to openly discuss with you the problem. Go to her page and discuss! Giano (talk) 21:39, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

I have created User talk:Bishonen/block discussion with the statement from Bishonen dated June 7. It is protected to avoid disruption. John Vandenberg (chat) 21:51, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Some new developments in the discussion over Paid Editing/Advocacy:

Dear Mr. Wales,

I ran across your interest in the issue of paid editing while I was contributing to the discussion myself on the RFC. I have a proposal that you might like (as it raises money for the foundation and perhaps for you as well while discourages paid editing) here: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Paid_Editing_proposal:_Wikipedia_.22tax.22_on_paid_editors.3F. This proposal has generated some community discussion.

Also, I must inform you of this also: Wikipedia:Miscellany_for_deletion/Wikipedia:Paid_editing.

Thank you and have a good day! Erich Mendacio (talk) 16:59, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

To save Jimbo time: It has generated some community discussion which is universally along the lines of "This wouldn't work and even if it did it would do more harm than good." --Tango (talk) 17:09, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
I think Jimbo can make up his own mind what the discussion says. Perhaps you might have said that, but your views do no represent anyone. Please let the free exchange of ideas continue. Erich Mendacio (talk) 17:20, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Everyone except you have said exactly the same thing. Forum shopping is frowned upon here, and that seems to be what you are doing. --Tango (talk) 18:10, 21 June 2009 (UTC)
Not to mention violating a community ban. I'd suggest deleting this section, but won't do it myself because I'm not sure how Jimbo likes to deal with his own talk page. -Pete (talk) 18:53, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo Wales!

I think wikipedia has got problems, and that is the reason I am leaving for good! I think consensus is a pile of you know what, which anyone can drum up consensus for a period of time, and shove it down everyones throat! I think your notability standards are crude at best, and need to be revised! I think your OWN criteria is stupid because you want people to feel a since of ownership of what they create or else anything will go! I think that everyone should be made ADMINS or SYOPS or none should and then let Bureaucrats deal with the ramifications because ADMINS think they are GOD on wikipedia! I think that wikipedia is a false doctrine because you all let or con use the content we create to make money! HOW SAD! I used to love Wikipedia now I despise it! I am user formally known as bluedogtn and others'! My e-mail is if you would love to talk further. This is the last time I will visit this fraud of a site! (talk) 22:39, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

The last time apart from the 24 edits made after this one. Darrenhusted (talk) 15:01, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

¿You can do that?

How much power do you wield as a user on wikipedia as Chair Emeritus? What would happen if you somehow ended up incapable of being Chair Emeritus or are taken hostage by aliens in a last ditch effort to destroy human civilization? No, really? Seriously! Pisharov (talk) 21:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Were Jimbo to say that we should welcome our new alien overlords, I doubt anyone would listen to him. EVula // talk // // 22:05, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not so sure... :P -- M2Ys4U (talk) 23:18, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I might welcome them, but not because Jimbo told me to. :) --Timeshifter (talk) 15:43, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
My honorary title of "Chair Emeritus" of the Wikimedia Foundation has no bearing of any kind on my traditional role here in the English Wikipedia community.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:08, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
"Chair Emeritus" just means he used to be chair, nothing more. Florence should probably be given the title too. --Tango (talk) 22:17, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Okay, so you don't have any power any more? So how do things like the arbitration committee get started? Or can any admin do that?Pisharov (talk) 15:27, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Jimmy still has a traditional role in the English Wikipedia community, it just has nothing to do with him being a former chair of the WMF board. --Tango (talk) 15:31, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Do we want change?

I've started a ball rolling here User:Giano/The future all comments welcome - whatever their view! Giano (talk) 07:39, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

What is the highest percentage of "Jimbo was wrong" opinions expressed in a community discussion on WP? (A well known discussion of three or more weeks duration.) If there aren't, say, two in the last year with more than 60% "Jimbo was wrong", I suggest that all the attempts to improve Wikipedia by overthrowing Jimbo are premature. Johnuniq (talk) 08:38, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Just a thought. If, god forbid, Jimbo was to disappear in a flight across the Andes, what arrangements have been made to perform his functions? Overthrow is also rather loaded - the question is, should there be a debate about Jimbo's role going forward? What does Jimbo want? What does the community want? etc. --Joopercoopers (talk) 13:58, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo is empathically not allowed to disappear in a flight across the Andes — at least while going towards Buenos Aires since he is expected to speak there on my panel! I would be miffed!  :-) — Coren (talk) 15:09, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there is any part of Jimmy's role that we couldn't cope without him for if we need to. We would need to slightly adjust the ArbCom election procedure and maybe introduce an alternative appeals process, but that's about it. Most of what Jimmy does isn't formalised anywhere, he just does what he thinks is needed on a case-by-case basis. We would just have one less safety net, it's not the end of the world. (Although, I would greatly prefer it if this happened due to Jimmy deciding to retire rather than dying in a plane crash...) --Tango (talk) 15:34, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Certainly any company worth anything would not fail because its CEO had to resign or was not available and while I am sure wikipedia would survive if Jimbo was not available its a good point that the foundation and maybe en.wikipedia should have contingency plans. Nobody is irreplaceable on this planet. Thanks, SqueakBox talk15:40, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
[ec]My point, horrible I admit, was supposed to demonstrate the difference between a retirement - managed, thought about, planned - and a rapid loss of the controls for whatever reason - very like the flight over the Andes actually, now I think about it, except the pilots would dig out their pre-prepared checklists and get to work fixing the problem whilst praying. So my question remains - has it been thought about? Should we? Rather than having to muddle through in the midst of our grief? --Joopercoopers (talk) 15:48, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Your point is well made. Though we don't like to think about it none of us can guarantee today won't be our last. Thanks, SqueakBox talk15:59, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Cheers, there were two points - 1. contingencies 2. future role. --Joopercoopers (talk) 16:04, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think there is any need for such a contingency plan. Jimmy doesn't have any roles that can't be done by someone else or the community as a whole other than he role with regards to ArbCom, and there isn't any urgency there. We can deal with the problem if and when it arises. --Tango (talk) 16:13, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I feel Jimbo is too good. When people complain about their fear for their free speech this is just a sign they have pretty good free speech and not that much fear. Whatever Giano understand by "content editors", if it's something else then "everybody" then it's just non-sens here. That's the sole purpose of Jimbo here as a "king" and that's enought. Iluvalar (talk) 16:23, 25 June 2009 (UTC) playing favoured courtier on this particular day

Looks like someone's impersonating you

Take a look at this. I don't know this is a joke or vandalism but it's very interesting for having such imagination. -- (talk) 19:39, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Well, it's a pretty obvious fake, since everyone knows I don't know how to use sophisticated wiki markup like that. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:31, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Current "alleged copyvio" practice

I suggest this current pattern of removing responses to robot-generated copyvio allegations be dealt with in a way that might be somewhat more consistent with standard WP community practice, or otherwise administratively resolved. If WP is going to have a page devoted to bot-generated alleged copyright violations, it would seem it ought be open to appropriate responses without summary dismissal, e.g. by User:MER-C such as is done with edit summaries like "-29" (again here). Standard practice in the modern civilized world is generally some form of "notice and an opportunity to be heard" w.r.t. such general allegations-- perhaps more so when bot generated. Kindly refer this to appropriate administrative participants in the project. Thanks Jimbo. ... Kenosis (talk) 03:44, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

I've only looked at a few of the reports removed by that edit, but they've all been ones where the article had already been deleted as a copyvio. Removing reports once they are finished with doesn't seem controversial to me. The relevant speedy deletion criterion doesn't require any kind of discussion before deletion, and I see no reason for it to. --Tango (talk) 03:57, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
Maybe look, e.g., at line 35 of the summary deletion of responsive comments by MER-C (not an admin or bureaucrat incidentally) once again, here. I fully expect It's fairly commonplace for a bot-generated allegation of copyright violation to turn out to be a simple quotation. An example can be found here in the article on Drvengrad-- just one of many examples I should think certain. Point being, a blanket manual deletion of "handwritten" responses to bot-generated allegations is--well, you don't need me to figure out the implications of this sort of practice. Jimbo, sorry to waste any of your valuable time on this. ... Kenosis (talk) 04:13, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I do not know how that page works, but like Tango it seems very sensible for obsolete reports to be removed. Looking at the last 500 edits on that page shows that CorenSearchBot did 405 additions, a couple of editors added comments, and 5 editors (including MER-C) have done removals. In other words, it seems to be SOP, and we need to thank MER-C and the other editors. The edit summary "-29" appears to be the number of resolved reports removed. Johnuniq (talk) 05:03, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I just pointed out how it works. A bot comes along and tags stuff as "suspected", and a WP user regularly comes along and summarily deletes all responses with no respect whatsover to whether the responses have merit, without respect to whether the articles have been deleted or not, etc. ... Did you take enough time to actually look at the factual example to which I just linked? Or was your conclusion already drawn? Problem being that this bot also picks up relatively short blocks of text that are in actuality simple quotations in articles that do not get deleted, short quotations of the type we quite commonly present in blockquotes in WP. If the responses to the bot's label of "suspected copyvio" are going to be summarily deleted by another user without checking up on the substance of the reaponses, well heck-- they're not SUSPECTED copyvios, but rather are presumed to be guilty by merit of the BOT's having cited them as "suspected" WTH country are we in? ... Kenosis (talk)
What John said. Removing a report means "I have reviewed the article and it (does not|no longer) violates copyright" or the article was deleted. MER-C 10:32, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
I see. OK, thanks for the clarification. Apparently my misunderstanding. Take care, and I again apologize for taking the issue here right off the bat. Also, thank you for your attention to this important issue of copyvios. ... Kenosis (talk) 12:31, 28 June 2009 (UTC)


I realize that commons needs to guard against copyrights infringement, but is it really necessary to delete the pictures of a true hero just because people in Iran have other worries than to divulge their sources. I am referring to the photographs of the brave young woman who gave her life on the streets of Tehran yesterday. Jcwf (talk) 03:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Of course. We are an encuyclopeida with a policy of neutrality and its important to not have images that break US copyright laws. Such images don't help the project; the project and not the events in Iran being our concern. Thanks, SqueakBox talk 03:38, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I can see why Iranians hate Americans at times: they only think of themselves. Jcwf (talk) 06:05, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
No, the Wikipedia servers just happen to be located there. If it's any consolation, many biographical articles are missing photos for the exact same reason. --Cybercobra (talk) 06:09, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
SqueakBox does not live in the USA, nor is he a citizen of the USA. The same is true for half of our editors. As for me and my fellow Americans (USA-ians just doesn't make it; sorry fellow America-continent citizens)); even with all its faults, the USA is one of the most giving nations in all of world history. Example: Sir Winston Churchill called the Marshall Plan "the most unsordid act in history." WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:17, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Wake up! "The OECD report shows only seven countries met or surpassed the 0.7% target, with Norway (0.95%) and Sweden (0.93%) topping the chart. Though the United States made the largest donation ($21.75bn), it contributed lowest percentage of national income, coming bottom of the charts at 0.16% [that's much less that half that of the UK]. The US spends the equivalent of $73 per American each year on aid, but $1,763 a person on defence."[25]--Scott Mac (Doc) 17:11, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

Hopelessly POV - the Marshall Plan was devised to stop dem Commies taking over Europe, and was thus politically motivated - not a random act of US kindness. n.b. 'The first substantial aid went to Greece and Turkey in January 1947, which were seen as being on the front lines of the battle against communist expansion'. Little grape (talk) 20:05, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
We already have File:Neda.jpg. I don't think a picture without source info and with clear point of view overtones (and WP:MEMORIAL as well) is needed to replace it. Fram (talk) 07:32, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
File:Neda.jpg is included as a non-free image; File:Neda the call of revolution iran flag.jpg appears to be a derivative work. I suspect this will be a pretty non-controversial deletion on Commons. Of course, deleting a photo that does not meet the standards of inclusion on Wikipedia or on Commons does not imply a lack of sympathy or respect for the photo's subject! The two issues are entirely unrelated. -Pete (talk) 19:24, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

USA copyright law allows fair use as does the English language Wikipedia. Please don't throw "copyright violation" around so easily. We prefer copy-left content as that is important to our over-all mission, but fair use quotes and images that are deemed appropriate are allowed. Winning arguments with bumper-sticker slogans misinforms the newbies. WAS 4.250 (talk) 18:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

FYI: All photographs of Neda at commons have now been deleted. It would seem only anglophones can have such a picture to remind themselves of their sordid history in Iran. Jcwf (talk) 00:55, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia deleting all Fair Use images of dead people?

One admin said that Fair Use images of dead people on their pages is not allowed according to Wikipedia:Non-free content, and wants to use that to delete Neda images from the Death of Neda Agha-Soltan article. See my talk page and

Are we now going to delete Fair Use images of dead people from their article pages? Many of those pages have no other images of those people. Are we becoming that illogical in our application of Wikipedia:Non-free content? I mean how far do we want to go in encouraging people to give up their images for free use? See:

In particular, an admin wrote the following concerning the only reason they would allow Fair Use photos of Death of Neda Agha-Soltan in her article:

"That means as subjects of sourced commentary on the individual images themselves, as images, as works of photography or art, not the topic they show."

So we would have to remove all currently existing photos and video stills of Neda Soltan from Wikipedia. All of them are being used under Fair Use. How illogical this is....

The guideline referred to is from Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria. No matter how obtusely this is justified it does not pass common sense, and I think most people would be shocked if this rule were really applied across all articles about dead people. --Timeshifter (talk) 14:50, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

The law often has nothing to do with common sense, moreover IP law. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:56, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
It is not against Fair Use law to use Fair Use images in articles about dead people where there are no existing free images to use. The Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for setting this policy. I am sure Jimbo has some say in this too. So I ask again, can we rethink this? --Timeshifter (talk) 15:03, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The policy I know is that non-free images of living people aren't generally allowed since it should be possible to get a free one (just take a camera to their next public appearance). Non-free images of dead people should be ok if we can't find a free one. --Tango (talk) 15:08, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The hang up is, so long as there's any hint that a free alternative image of the dead person might be lurking about somewhere, the non-free image, if spotted, will most likely be deleted. Gwen Gale (talk) 15:13, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
The lurking images. :) So if we suspect lurkers, the Fair Use images gotta go. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:27, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Put that way, yes, that's what happens. It takes a lot to show no free images of someone can be had, how much searching it may take to find them may have a bit of sway, but not a lot. Gwen Gale (talk) 15:30, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
You know how illogical this is, don't you? You can't prove a negative. One can't prove there are no free images. A lurking image is always possible. So we delete the remaining images in hopes of future perfection... --Timeshifter (talk) 15:40, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Under current IP law, fair use is a narrow doctrine to begin with and given the WmF's goals as to free content, en.Wikipedia's fair use policies are even narrower. Gwen Gale (talk) 15:52, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Well en.Wikipedia's fair use policies (WP:NFCC} as you interpret are not logically based on this:
"An EDP may not allow material where we can reasonably expect someone to upload a freely licensed file for the same purpose, such as is the case for almost all portraits of living notable individuals."
That is from Resolution:Licensing policy, and your interpretation of it is incorrect in my opinion. I mean we have many, many fair-use images of album covers, and much more. Thumbnail-size images of dead people are not a problem, and do not violate WmF policy. It is not reasonable to expect too many uploads of free images of people who are no longer with us, and thus not around for more photos to be taken of them. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:06, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Not the same thing: As I said on your talk page, there is about zero likelihood that a free alternative to a copyrighted album or book cover will ever show up, not so with people's faces, which in themselves are not copyrighted in public (though photographs of those faces are often copyrighted). Gwen Gale (talk) 16:11, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
We can not reasonably expect uploads of freely licensed images for many dead people. So the English Wikipedia Fair Use policy (WP:NFCC), or your interpretation of it, is not following Resolution:Licensing policy. In some cases free images show up, and in some cases they do not show up. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:59, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Is there anywhere this conversation won't spill? What does it have to do with Jimbo? J Milburn (talk) 19:45, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
See the part higher up about Resolution:Licensing policy. I also wrote: "The Wikimedia Foundation is responsible for setting this policy. I am sure Jimbo has some say in this too. So I ask again, can we rethink this?" --Timeshifter (talk) 19:58, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Two separate issues apply. One is personality rights and the other is the interaction between legal fair use and Wikipedia's nonfree image use policy. In addition to copyright, personality rights also apply to many images of living people. Those rights have various nuances, but the bottom line is that they usually cease to apply once the person is no longer alive. From the moment onward, a copyrighted image of a non-living person (from most jurisdictions) gets covered in basically the same group as copyrighted images of landscapes, cartoons, etc. Fair use is not the operative principle at Wikipedia user space: our local nonfree image use requirements are stricter than the law requires. This sums up quite simply: if an image is under full copyright, don't use it in user space. It may be frustrating, but the reasoning behind it is sound--it has something to do with the habits of a minority of editors who pushed fair use to the breaking point, and the potential that carries to redirect volunteer time away from core project functions. Sadly, this is one of the situations where a small number of people spoiled it for everyone. On a brighter note, there are other productive things that concerned editors can do to honor Neda Soltan and her culture. I blogged about one suggestion the other day.[26] With best wishes and respect, DurovaCharge! 02:06, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Possible solution. 120-pixel-wide Fair-Use photos in articles about the deceased

Currently, all photos of Neda Agha-Soltan while alive and well have been removed from the Death of Neda Agha-Soltan article.

Maybe Jimbo and others can suggest the following policy clarification to the Wikimedia Foundation board. Where does one go to leave comments to be read by the WMF board?

Rather than remove all Fair-Use images from articles about dead people, I suggest only allowing small thumbnail photos of the people. Smaller than what is currently allowed in infoboxes. See examples of 120-pixel-wide photos of people here:

This way we encourage people to find larger, free images. But without depriving deceased-people articles of any images.

Viewing 120-pixel-wide images may irritate enough people to go find those "lurking" free images mentioned previously, and to find and ask some of the copyright holders to free up some of their copyrighted images.

Most of the many, many copyrighted Fair-Use album covers have images of people, and are between 200 and 300 pixels wide. See:

Of course they often have more than just face shots of people, and so the larger size is justified.

There are Neda images here:

The Neda images seem to be getting out semi-anonymously, "family friend," etc.. I am not sure, but I don't think it is allowed on Wikipedia to use them as anonymous-source images. Even if they are released as free images. How does one verify they are free? Do we trust CNN or the BBC if they say the family friends released them as free images? I don't know what the policy is. That leaves only Fair Use for now. It may be years before family and friends in Iran are willing, or feel safe enough, to put their names to some photos of Neda, and make them free images. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:11, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

Would that be so bad? It is not actually necessary to see a picture of her to understand the article, so we can wait a couple of years until we get a free image. Unfortunately the English Wikipedia allows a huge number of non-free images (like album covers in articles where the album cover isn't discussed), but there exist good and completely free encyclopedias in some other languages. Kusma (talk) 11:45, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I think most people prefer illustrated articles over non-illustrated articles. Also, the outpouring of emotion, and the historical significance of her death is based on the photos, videos, and video stills. Her death would not have become notable otherwise. Wikipedias in other languages are using Fair-Use images in their articles about her. Turkish Wikipedia, for example, according to a comment on the English article talk page.
Also, some admins interpret WP:NFCC to delete all Fair-Use photos from some articles about deceased people. Fortunately, they haven't deleted the Fair-Use photo of Emmett Till. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:53, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I'd say that a link to the LOC's collection of related images would be sufficient until it is clear that one of these images is no longer copyrighted (dewiki uses one of those, but I'm not certain that they are allowed to do so), but I won't do anything about this. As I think that our current lenient policy (allowing non-free images) is very bad, I don't take part in any admin work in that area. In support of wikiveganism (let's make this a free encyclopedia), Kusma (talk) 14:06, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I've long thought that carrying external links to stable sites carrying non-free (or not known to be free) images and other content is enough, so long as those sites aren't themselves blatantly astray of IP laws. Likewise, I wouldn't want to disrupt the encyclopedia by deleting every NF image I see here which runs astray of the NFI policy, even if half or more of those I see indeed do. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:15, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Although interesting, this is one of the stranger proposals to deal with this issue. It's like saying BLP vios are okay, if only done in small font. The images themselves are a significant part of the issue, and covering the event without using the images is incomplete. We can make a conscious decision to sacrifice encyclopedia quality for the goal of free content, and in so doing diverge from most every other information source int he world, but if so that's what it is. Wikidemon (talk) 14:26, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
If one has the outlook that the world will be going through many and sundry upheavals in IP law over the next few decades, getting from here to there with free content all the while will indeed seem weird now and then. I don't agree with the BLP analogy, ELs to smears or what would otherwise be taken as BLP vios on en.Wikipedia are most often forbidden and at most, strongly frowned upon. As for free images and other media content, en.Wikipedia is already rather bountiful and it seems this will only grow. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:36, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure I follow. The current policy (non-free images are okay in restricted circumstances) is what is like allowing BLP violations in small font. Kusma (talk) 14:49, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Good link, Kusma: the LOC's collection of related images. It is a good idea to link to that from Emmett Till. They are posting those images there at the Library of Congress under Fair Use rights. I note that they are using 120-pixel and 150-pixel-wide Fair Use images. We can put one or two of those images in the article at 120-pixels-wide and link to more.
I have a question. Are there any narrow banners that request a free image? Banners that can be added to the top of articles. We could adapt it to add it to articles with non-free images. Something like "Do you have a free image for this article?" It would link to a page with more info. Or we could add a link that is labeled "(Do you have a free image?)" at the end of the image caption. Linked to a specific help page explaining that we need a free image to replace the the Fair Use image, and that we may need help from a copyright owner in releasing a copyrighted image to attributed free use. They would still be the copyright owner under CC-BY or CC-BY-SA.
The discussion at Wikipedia:Files for deletion/2009 June 23#File:Neda.jpg is fascinating. The contrast between the photos showing Neda Agha-Soltan (photos are here for now) with and without the scarf cause all kinds of comments from people around the world who are showing up. Those comments illustrate WP:NPOV ramifications and systemic bias at so many levels. So rare to see this kind of dialog. If only the news media could hear and cover this. --Timeshifter (talk) 13:36, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
The issue is nothing to do with NPOV or systematic bias, and your continued insistence that it is is frankly a little strange. This is about our non-free content criteria. In response to your other comments, we do have image placeholders, but some people hate them for some reason. Personally, they seem a brilliant idea to me, and I have used them in my own articles prior to finding free images. J Milburn (talk) 16:08, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
J Milburn. From the "Statement of principles" section of User:Jimbo Wales:"Doing the Right Thing takes many forms, but perhaps most central is the preservation of our shared vision for the NPOV and for a culture of thoughtful, diplomatic honesty." Wikipedia:Files for deletion/2009 June 23#File:Neda.jpg covers the NPOV angle already. Many there agree with the NPOV and systemic bias concerns, including some admins. If the images weren't non-free images, then there is little doubt that the article would have images of her with and without the scarf in order to meet those concerns. Your non-discussed removal of the image with the scarf as you did (leaving only the image of her without the scarf) would not have been justified, and would have been overturned. Only WP:NFCC interpretations about minimal use justified its removal, and I see that even though that image meets every angle of interpretation of NFCC, there is still a strong unwritten, vague policy of extreme parsimonious use of Fair Use images. That is why I came here for further clarification. I have gotten some clarification from Jimbo Wales. I leave further revisions of this WMF policy in the hands of the WMF. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think I've ever seen such an utterly bizarre policy suggestion as this. It's like saying that it's OK to break our WP:BLP policy, as long as we aren't too nasty about a living person in their article. We have placeholders for this type of thing, and the fact that fair-use photos of Emmett Till appear in his article are simplya red herring - they comply with WP:NFCC. If we merely plastered any copyrighted image - at 120px or any other size - over every article we could think of, most would probably fail and be removed. Black Kite 10:16, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The proposal is only for articles about the deceased. --Timeshifter (talk) 10:37, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Why should they be any different from articles about anything else? Either images pass all the criteria or they don't. If they do (like the ones in Emmett Till), then fine. If they don't, then they'll be removed. We can't have some strange half-way house of "sort-of-acceptable" images - we'd have to actively change Foundation policy to do that. Black Kite 11:35, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The Neda images pass all the criteria in my opinion and in the opinion of some others, including some admins. See my previous replies and the image deletion discussion. But they don't pass the unwritten rule of extreme parsimonious use of Fair Use images. I understand that rule, and the reasoning for it. I may disagree with it, but at least now I understand it more clearly. "Clear as mud" actually, ;)
I agree with you that it would require policy revision by the Wikimedia Foundation. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:56, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
It does not say "Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia except for deceased subjects" perhaps for a pertinent reason. By the way; Hi Jimbo and sorry to clutter your talk page with this. - Peripitus (Talk) 10:52, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I leave it in the hands of the Wikimedia Foundation to value people more than album covers. That is my simplistic summary of the issues. There seems to be no problem at all over Fair Use images of album covers. Many contain images of people. They usually contain more than that, and so 200 to 300-pixel-wide Fair Use images seem to be the unquestioned norm for Fair-Use album covers on Wikipedia. We don't demand that music companies eventually release a small, 200 to 300-pixel-wide, free version of their album covers. We could be that strict concerning album covers if we chose to be. It seems that some European countries may be expanding the right to Fair Use in their countries. So maybe things are loosening up more broadly. Discussion can continue at Wikipedia talk:Non-free content. --Timeshifter (talk) 11:19, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Timeshifter, I'm really getting sick of you misrepresenting my actions. Of course the two images would be fine if it wasn't for the fact that they were both non-free- the more the merrier, within reason. The reason I removed the image of her with the headscarf was not because I was part of some secret cabal trying to force the idea of headscarves out of Wikipedia, but because that was the extra one- the other image was the one used in the infobox. This would have been a standard, uncontroversial action, apart from the fact that this was a current event. Of course, everything about a current event has to be controversial, including policy enforcement. The fact we still have two images of her in her own biography is alarming. If the biography is kept, which it shouldn't be, one should be kept, if any. It doesn't matter which one, really. You're free to argue about that all you want. Using both of them is clearly an abuse of our NFCC. J Milburn (talk) 12:27, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I am not misrepresenting your actions in the Death of Neda Agha-Soltan article. In the talk section farther down, #How many Fair Use images are allowed in an article?, you say "There is no number." And: "Articles are not entitled to a certain number of non-free images, nor is there an arbitrary number of which they cannot have more." In your above reply you say "that was the extra one" concerning your deletion of the image with the head scarf at Death of Neda Agha-Soltan. As I said already, I came here for clarification, and Jimbo gave some clarification, and there is no need to repeat everything that is already discussed at the image deletion discussion. --Timeshifter (talk) 12:54, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

How many Fair Use images are allowed in an article?

See Wikipedia:Files for deletion/2009 June 23#File:Neda.jpg. The woman, Neda, was killed while wearing a scarf. But she also has photos of her without the scarf.

WP:NFCC does not say how many Fair Use images are allowed in an article. It says "minimal". If the policy is only one is allowed, then it would say "one" and not "minimal."

The Emmet Till article has 2 Fair Use images. He is notable because he was murdered. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:30, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

There is no number. I can't see why you expect a number to just appear if you keep asking. This is a matter of editor judgement- if those advocating more images are able to provide a decent reason as to why the two present information that is needed and could never be presented by one or a free alternative, then two will be used. If not, one or none could be used. Articles are not entitled to a certain number of non-free images, nor is there an arbitrary number of which they cannot have more. Articles can have as many as they need- normally, a lot fewer than some would like. J Milburn (talk) 15:48, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Curious about your personal opinion

Jim, I know (1) you don't generally get involved in content disputes and (2) have encouraged Wikipedians to e-mail around to secure free media for the project. Still, FWIW, I'm simply curious what your personal take would be wrt an issue addressed too-lengthily a few posts up on your talkpage.

Yeah, a **free** pic of its now-iconic subject in conservative/formal Iranian dress would be great. (It's doubtful the dresscode at Islamic Azad University, where "Neda" studied religion and philosophy, allowed for the "colorful-scarf-haphazardly-falling-down-to-the-back-off-the-crown-in-public" look otherwise in fashion among underground pop-chanteuses, which just so happens to have been our late subject's aspiration as well.) But she's dead, the few best-known pix of her iconic; and her family, who had previously released the image to the LATimes have since then been required to move to a different residence by the athorities and have been requested to avoid speaking with the foreign press during these difficult times of unrest in Iran. What would be your quick, general take on this, Jimbo? Do you think this situation presents special circumstances? ↜Just M E here , now 15:32, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

I think there are two separate questions here: the photo of her death, and other photos of her.

I do think that this situation does present special circumstances, one of which is a concern for the human dignity of the deceased. This is also quite clearly a case of WP:BLP1E, and should be considered from that angle as well. (I see the article is in the process of likely being merged with an article about the incident, and I think that's good.) I think that the image of her death is iconic, historically important, and relevant to the article about her death. That the image is haunting and emotionally moving is something the reader needs to see in order to understand in part some of the reaction this created.

For the other images, among the factors to be considered here is replaceability with free alternatives - as she was a college student there are presumably many pictures of her whose copyright is owned by friends and loved ones - perhaps if they have one that they like or think accurately captures her spirit, they will wish to donate it... however, this may not happen for some time, and may never happen. Using a "fair use" picture in such a circumstance strikes me as undesirable, but there is a complex judgment call as to whether it is nonetheless something we should accept, although undesirable to some extent. I have no very strong opinion about it.

I do think, as is well known - and this is just a specific case of the general principle - that we should be quite diligent about seeking out photos under free licenses. Wikipedia is quite famous and important and generally admired all around the world, and I think people will generally be happy to help us make it better. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:45, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply, and for co-founding Wikipedia. I guess this part sums up your opinion about using additional photos besides the video capture photo of her dying:
"Using a 'fair use' picture in such a circumstance strikes me as undesirable, but there is a complex judgment call as to whether it is nonetheless something we should accept, although undesirable to some extent. I have no very strong opinion about it."
It also seems to summarize some other admins' current interpretation of WP:NFCC, except that they seem to have very strong opinions against additional non-free photos besides the death photo. Some other admins think photos of her alive (with and without the scarf) are necessary in order to emotionally understand the relevance and impact of her death to various people, and also to show the full picture concerning her death and life.
Traditional Muslims worldwide are particularly moved by the photo of her in a scarf. Liberals (Muslim and otherwise) are particularly moved by her photo without a scarf. I am moved by both. There have been pro-fair-election articles and demonstrations worldwide organized by both types (conservatives and liberals). Some articles and rallies concentrate on one type of photo over the other.
For those Wikimedia Foundation members and others who happen to read this; here is a photo and video summary: See the YouTube video of her earlier in the day showing her wearing a black scarf, baseball cap, and long black top before she was shot. She turns around and looks in the direction of the camera at around 9 seconds. One can pause the video there. She is next to her music-teacher friend in the blue shirt with white stripes. CNN discusses this video and her clothing. See the Youtube shooting video to see her still wearing the long black top after she was shot and on the ground. The black top is laying on the ground behind her, and is closed at her waist. The black scarf is behind her head. It is not clear if we can link to the videos, since they are anonymous. They aren't copyright violations though at YouTube.
The only authenticated photo of her wearing a scarf is this Los Angeles Times photo. It will be deleted if it is not used in the article.
I believe the Wikimedia Foundation licensing policy and WP:NFCC need to be rethought and rewritten in order to avoid much frustration in my opinion. Many previous discussions have occurred about their vagueness concerning non-free and/or anonymous photos and videos. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:45, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
What specifically needs to be rethought, and why? This whole post is somewhat vague. Further, what does it matter whether some find one picture more moving, some find another more moving? What if we had no free images of Audrey Hepburn? Would it be reasonable to include several, as some people find her prettier on one, some in another, and some in another? J Milburn (talk) 15:55, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
To self: "Hmm, maybe I should supplement the many pix of Hepburn as a starlet on her bio with a fair-use one from her later life when she did also-notable work as the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador -- !" ↜Just M E here , now 16:31, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo, I think it's true that bloggers/reporters/editors striving for sterile objectivity at times somewhat neglect the issues of human dignity you've mentioned. I've just come across the following reaction to media coverage of the "Neda" story, posted by "Fatemeh" at Muslimah Media Watch: "[...S]he was young, slender, and pretty, and so Western media images are obsessed with watching her die[;...but it's her foreignness that] helps explain the fact that Neda is represented as a corpse just as often as she is represented the way any murdered American woman would be: alive and smiling, usually in a picture given to the media by her family or friends." ↜Just M E here , now 19:51, 29 June 2009 (UTC)


Starstampedbinding.jpg Bookbound barnstar
To Jimbo Wales, for his kind and expert,
scalpel-quick opinions often granted
to the users of Wikipedia . . . . . . .
(and also for happening to have created
such a prime vehicle of the new century's

citizen journalism).
 — Justmeherenow 17:43, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

A matter of principles

Dear Mr. Wales,

I have come here to ask for information about the very pillars that suport the entire Wiki Movement, in order to prevent some spasms of confusion and madness from negatively interfering in the normal course of the Wiki Process, in my native language's Wikipedia. Amen! Actually, it's not that grave. But, in the name of the Wiki Culture, I want to defeat it in the most coherent way possible.

What happens is that the (rather schizophrenic) Lusophone community is discussing, again, some of the worst things that could ever be discussed in a Wikimedian environment. And the one I am talking about is to deny anonymous users the right to edit.

Could you give me some orientation about the status of this right? I would be most grateful if you pointed me some official policies or founding principles (and discussions related to these, if posssible) in a way I can have solid data to base my positions on. As you like to write around here, "this comment in a nutshell": what are the relevant pages related to anonymous edits that can be used in a debate?

Faithfully yours, Vinte e Dois (talk) 01:33, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

It sounds like you're looking for the "Founding principles" page on Meta. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 04:22, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, almost (I wanted something richer in content, but it seems that's all there is to it). I apologize for my impulsiveness, and thank both Mr. Wales and Nihiltres for the help provided. I'd just like to confirm if those rights are irrevocable. Vinte e Dois (talk) 21:37, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Just a small question

I just wondered about the validity of this blog post; has everything been represented accurately, or is there some information that was inadvertently left out? NW (Talk) 12:58, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Uh, not sure how to answer that question. There's always tons of information left out of any blog post or news story. That particular post looks like a pretty decent repeat of the New York Times story, but I can't vouch for any part of it that I don't know about. Did you have a more specific question? :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:57, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

I hadn't scanned over the NY Times story until and hour ago, so I felt that perhaps I wasn't getting the whole picture. There is still probably some details missing, but on the whole, I think I understand what went on. Thanks, NW (Talk) 16:30, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Reliable Source Notice Board you might want to pay attention to:

You might want to watch or participate in Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard#Pajhwok_Afghan_News. Hipocrite (talk) 17:07, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

1st Wiki - in - Portuguese dissertation defense

Mr. Wales,

I would like to let you know that I just defended my dissertation on Wiki-pt. I was approved! The title of my dissertation is "Nos bastidores da Wikipédia Lusófona: percalços e conquistas de um projeto de escrita coletiva online" ("Behind the scenes of Wikipedia in Portuguese: Pitfalls and conquests of a collectively written online project"). I believe this is the first dissertation of its kind, in the Portuguese language.

Thank you for your vision and, if I may divulge a bit, I remember when you came down to Brazil (São Paulo) last year. Some said that Wikipédia hadn't achieved or reached a phase worthy enough to be studied as a social phenomena. The successful defense of this dissertation demonstrates this outlook concerning Wikipédia is at least not true and indeed maybe completely false.

My very best regards,

Telma Johnson —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:02, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Michael Jackson and Realist2

Hi Jimmy - Raul said that the Michael Jackson article got more hits (5.9 million) than the main page. Can you confirm if that is a record for most viewed article in a 24 hour period?

It's worth mentioning one of the main editors of that article, Realist2. He's heavily associated with it, bringing it to featured status. I wrote about him when I dedicated a photo to him. Editors like Realist2 save this site and its community a lot of headaches and bad headlines. The MJ story is clearly the news event of the year, and the media has been looking for any angle on it. Editors like Realist2, through diligent work and effort on a topic that is important to him, spare us headlines about ghastly vandalism that wasn't caught or embarrassing mistakes. He's pretty broken up over Jackson's passing (as you can see from his talk page), but we all owe him and editors like him thanks for their hard work. -->David Shankbone 22:53, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to second that. He dedicated himself to that article, making sure no nonsense was added to it, and as a result I'm sure he's improved Wikipedia's reputation in people's minds when they turned it after the death, and found such an informative page. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 07:02, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
When I read the article only minutes after the story broke, I recall asking myself, "Why haven't I cringed, reading this?" Now I know. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:01, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Glad people recognised Realist2's contributions. Made me realise I've never written on this here talk page. There's no one on Wikipedia who has been more of a pleasure to argue and disagree with than Realist...seriously. Other people, you disagree and you hate each other and bite and kick and fight each other until one of you runs off. Realist though...he and I would fight each other to an absolute stand still but after hours of arguing on AIM one of us would give up and concede the argument and I'd say there was a pretty even balance between the two of us - the fanboy who is instantly suspicious of sceptics' intentions and me - the guy who just finds controversial figures interesting and has an innate loathing of fanboys all over.
I'm quite shocked at all his "I'm devastated" comments on his talk page that he's left in replies to people...I knew he was passionate but never knew he was caught up in it on such a personal level, but I think he'll have his spirits lifted by knowing "the Wikipedia guy!" has recognised his efforts...he's almost as passionate about Wikipedia as he is about Jackson I think now. He likes to follow your rules by the book (another thing he and I had a lot of fun fighting about). So do your best not to die, dude!(The Elfoid (talk) 00:16, 1 July 2009 (UTC))

Good work

This ("Keeping News of Kidnapping Off Wikipedia") was well done. Congrats! -- Noroton (talk) 13:05, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:15, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Truth be told, having thought it through, I think this was within BLP policy. Gwen Gale (talk) 16:20, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Wise and mature.
This is hilarious though: one New York Times' reporter asking another for an interview through wikipedia. :-) Abecedare (talk) 16:36, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I bet someone got a chuckle in the newsroom over that one. (And nice job, Jimbo.) Tony Fox (arf!) 18:28, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
That is hilarious. For the record: I had no idea at the time that a New York Times reporter had edited the entry, and didn't know who it was until I talked to the reporter after it was all over.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:43, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

“We were really helped by the fact that it hadn’t appeared in a place we would regard as a reliable source,” he said. “I would have had a really hard time with it if it had.” I take it then that you would have supported keeping it out even if there were reliable sources? What about if it was widely reported? J Milburn (talk) 10:34, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

If it had been widely reported the question would not have arisen (keeping it out of wikipedia would have been pointless). Since it wasn't, and since the New York Times wanted to protect David Rhode by not making it public, this was absolutely the right thing to do. Very responsible (and almost a case for Wikipedia:Role of Jimmy Wales in the English Wikipedia!) --RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 11:46, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
What if it was not widely reported, but we did have reliable sources? J Milburn (talk) 12:20, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
The case is unique and it is hard, perhaps impossible, to answer such a question in the hypothetical because one would have to weigh the quality of the sources, the extent to which the information was 'public', the freedom of wikipedia, the danger to the individual involved, and the immediacy required in making a decision. In that sense the question is moot--RegentsPark (sticks and stones) 14:47, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I think that's right. Our BLP and NOR and RS policies are naturally well suited to dealing with a case like this. We can imagine all sorts of interesting edge cases that would be tough calls, and the nature of such tough calls is that they are tough calls and it is not possible to come up with "bright line" rules - and doing so is actually a bad idea. Imagine a scenario in which a major and respected news source carried the story (let's say, the BBC), but everyone else declined to do so. In such a case, I believe that we would have no choice but to let the information into Wikipedia, and when I say "have no choice" I am not even reaching the moral question at all. I'm just saying that the fight to keep it out would itself generate huge amounts of discussion, any huge discussion on such a question would be noticed by bloggers, journalists, etc., and the whole thing would simply become a huge story on the spot. For those concerned that I could somehow suppress legitimate, widely reported news - well, I think experienced Wikipedians (and even those with very little experience) can say with certainty that it would be impossible.
In this case, I assumed at the outset that the New York Times would fail in their embargo within a few days. I thought we would end up removing blog speculation for a day or two, and then some major outlet would run with the story. That never happened, and I am as astonished as anyone.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:37, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm not actually that surprised; news agencies around the world would be inclined to respect the desire to improve the odds of a journalist in peril — if only because they would hope to be treated in the same manner by their peers should the table be turned. — Coren (talk) 04:38, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


You may or may not have heard of it, but I'm sure you've heard of the psychological type idea from which it stems. According to the Russian Wikipedia, ("Соционика") it is bigger over there than communism. And yet, people over here are trying to delete it. One user, Mango, seems particularly focused on eliminating it. I ask this: if you can point to hundreds of sources for a topic from hundreds of authors, then need it even be asked if the topic is notable? Tcaudilllg (talk) 21:39, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

I honestly have no idea about this topic. I would recommend looking for help with editors who specialize in either psychology or topics related to Russia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:57, 1 July 2009 (UTC)


I'd like to get the rollback feature for my account. Texcarson (talk) 00:14, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Try Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Rollback. --Tango (talk) 00:36, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
Although, the fact that you've been blocked for vandalism in the last 6 months will count against you quite heavily. --Tango (talk) 00:38, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Recent changes page for unwatched articles

There is a proposal at WP:VPR to create a recent changes page for unwatched articles. This would be done by adding an rc_watched column to the recentchanges table to store the watcher-count at the time of each revision, based on the watchlist table. Bug 18790 has more technical details. This essentially allows the filtering-out all 'watched' pages from recent changes: if someone's watching, you don't need to. This proposal has been active since April 25th - two months now - and has 17 unanimous and often enthusiastic supports at its straw poll and discussion (which could still use more input).

In 2005 you requested Special:UnwatchedPages in order to reduce vandalism on unwatched pages. This proposal is essentially an enhancement of Special:UnwatchedPages. Though that tool has been useful to some extent, it is limited to administrators and is updated infrequently. What do you think of this proposal as a potential replacement for Special:UnwatchedPages?   M   03:22, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

David S. Rohde

Hi Jimbo. I've rewritten David S. Rohde pretty much from scratch; I think you'll find it's in much better shape now. Kudos on your actions in this matter - I think you did exactly the right thing. -- ChrisO (talk) 00:58, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. I don't think it's right (and I speaking as a subject of the article, not as an editor of Wikipedia) to headline part of it as "Wikipedia controversy" - as far as I can tell, there is very little controversy about it at all, and certainly if there is a controversy about it, the controversy isn't a part of David Rohde's story.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:05, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough, I've taken it out. Actually, there was less coverage about it in reliable sources than I originally anticipated. That may change, so I can't guarantee that the subheader won't return if it does turn into a major controversy. But hopefully it won't. By the way, if you need an article like that one to be revised in the future, please feel free to get in touch - I write for a living, I have a lot of research resources to hand and I'm used to short deadlines. To be honest, I could have made it a much better piece well before this news broke; there's a lot in reliable sources about the good work that Rohde's done on behalf of the Bosnian Muslims. I don't know if there was some reason not to add such material to the article but I would have thought the material I added at David S. Rohde#Srebrenica and David S. Rohde#Detainees would have counted in his favour. Just a thought. -- ChrisO (talk) 01:16, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
There is plenty of controversy within the Wikipedia community, but I haven't seen any out in the real world which is what matters for our articles. --Tango (talk) 00:39, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Jim, I would also like to express my support. I believe you acted in the most appropriate way, and hope you'd do it again ( hoping you won't have to though...).I'd do exactly the same thing.

Cheers, Paul Paul Roberton (talk) 03:32, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo, you did the right thing. I'm happy that Wikipedia handled this difficult situation in the right manner. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:06, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo, everyone here is supporting you... I do not. Given the amount of discussion at the Village Pump I'm wondering why nobody asks questions here. Well, I've got some for you at VP waiting for your answer... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:33, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Your daughter and BLP

Ciao, Jimbo. An editor has raised a concern here that your daughter is named in our biography of you (there are two references to her in the Personal life section). I had assumed you were fine with this since you have discussed her in public, but do please let us know if it's something you're uncomfortable with. Mahalo,  Skomorokh  11:19, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the swift and useful response on this. If you ever feel like disputing something in the article, posting a note to a public off-wiki forum (such as your blog) should be enough to qualify claims at least; except on a few contentious points, the editors of the article are not as entrenched as one might expect. I realise the article over the years has been something of a black spot, and personally distressing for you, but efforts have been made recently to develop it into a biography of some depth rather than the string of controversies it used to be. Hopefully, once this process matures, we will send the article to peer review, where your input would be very valuable. Regards,  Skomorokh  15:50, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

One of the reasons I'm very sensitive to the problems that subject of biographies at Wikipedia face is that I have one, and have to live with some of the most problematic issues. I have at least one (near) SPA and an "opinion blogger"/"columnist" who enjoys slamming me actively working to influence the biography in a negative manner. In the abstract, we know that for subjects of a biography to interact on the talk page can be problematic if they are in the public eye - they risk accidentally creating a story in which their words on the talk page are twisted beyond recognition, thus giving the very critics they would like to honestly address even more ammo. In my case, this is not abstract, we know for a fact that it will happen. I actually think a fair amount of the activity there is an attempt to bait me into whining about it, so that the fact of my whining can be written about negatively as an indictment of my character. So I participate only cautiously.
Ironically, the most obvious solution to this would be for me to write people privately. But just imagine how that could be portrayed. Instead, I just try to ignore it for the most part, and trust that good people will over time improve the biography and deal with the trolling appropriately.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:03, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Blocks are preventative, not punitive

This is you bargaining with Bishonen that you won't block anyone for six months if she agrees with you to support a policy of punitive blocking for naughty language. That sounds awfully ill-thought out to me. I think you should strike that and think it through a little more. You're reversing long established policy in order to block people who use bad language. Who decides what language is acceptable? Would you block for "piss off" which means "go away" in some cultures? Would you block for "You are prevaricating"? No? How about, "you're full of crap", is that blockable? They mean precisely the same thing. You want to dictate what precise words are allowable and not, and you want to have three hour blocks for using words you don't like, and you - and this is very important - you have made it clear that unless Bishonen agrees with your view, you're done discussing your actions. Oh really? You're saying, "Agree with me, or I won't talk to you?" I'm going to presume you merely posted before coffee and didn't think this one through, Jimmy. There must always be room for disagreement in civil discussion. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:21, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

I would rather to continue the discussion over there, so I'm going to omit the rest of it here, but I have read it. I will reword what I wrote to make my meaning clearer. What I did mean is that sometimes discussions do reach an impasse, and at some point Bishonen and I are just going to have to agree to disagree. And I'm not bargaining - my good faith gesture is unilateral. And I'm not trying to move the needle (at the moment!) on block policy - I'm trying to look for something Bishonen can endorse.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:20, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Deleted talk page archive of a banned user

Well, since you asked: Talk pages and moved talk pages of banned users are not usually deleted. The typical exception is the right to vanish, but that courtesy is not usually extended to banned users. RMHED got them deleted initially by moving them around to various subpages, adding sandbox edits to the history, and thereby obfuscating them enough so that admins deleted them in good faith as WP:CSD#U1, which specifically excludes user talk pages. Some time after the ban I noticed some deleted user talk page edits, so I investigated and restored his talk page archives and courtesy blanked them.
So much for background. I am not particularly familiar with RMHED, and what led to his ban. I believe the discussion leading up to it was here (February 2009), and the actual community ban was here (March 2009). I don't mind per se if a banned editor's talk pages are deleted after a while. With RMHED though, one of his last edits was this threat: "... maybe I will vanish or maybe I'll just retire this account and start a new one. Six months+ of being a good, well rounded little wikipedian should then equate to a nice easy RFA. Then the fun can really begin."
Quite possibly an empty threat, but if he's emailing you about his archives who knows? The old talk page archives might help identifying such a sock, and I think should stay around unless there is a very specific concern with them.
Amalthea 10:13, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the info! I'm talking to ArbCom about it too. I generally take quite a liberal view on courtesy deletion... if it helps someone walk away with dignity, well, in most cases that benefits us both. They walk away with dignity. And from our perspective... they walk away. If the relationship wasn't work out, it's best for everyone to just let it go. There are lots of better things for us to do and for banned users to do than to feud.
However, as you point out, there can be cases where the request for deletion is itself part of a problematic ongoing campaign of bad behavior, in which case, we might (reluctantly, I hope) choose not to honor the request.
But yes, I'm talking to ArbCom, and there's a good chance that I'll restore.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:01, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Alright, thanks. Amalthea 09:40, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia overwhelmed

Howdy Jimbo. Any idea as to the problems with WikiMedia Foundation today? It's servers are continously 'down'. GoodDay (talk) 21:32, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

A power cut in the European data centre. It seems to be fixed now, but it takes some time for everything to smooth out again. --Tango (talk) 21:47, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah hah. GoodDay (talk) 22:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Blocking for Bad Words, a Note of Encouragement to the New Day

  • So, according to the subpage, Jimbo, you blocked Bishonen because it is policy that you should block people for saying dirty words, [comment edited] Geogre (talk) 02:08, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
That is absolutely not my position, and so the rest of what you wrote has no bearing on anything. I have removed the rest of your post as a strawman fallacy. Those who are interested may read the history.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:37, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


Hope all is still well, remember to smile! Matty (talk) 02:52, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

a cup of coffee

You made a comment a few days ago before you had your coffee. I want to make sure that doesn't happen again, so here you go.

Griffinofwales (talk) 03:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)


Hello, thank you for the kind words you sent the other day. I have only just returned to Wikipedia following the death of Jackson. The main article has deteriorated somewhat in recent days, but that is to be expected considering the traffic. I'm planning to get it cleaned up in time for the funeral, which I believe is on Tuesday. I'm just glad it was in good form when the world and much of the media started to check it out. — Please comment R2 04:18, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Begging the question

  • Jimbo, I explicitly vowed not to post on our discussion subpage again [27]; please don't force me to break my word by offering yet another "simple" "have you stopped beating your wife yet" question there (begging the question or circular reasoning).[28] I am surprised that you don't realise that what I did is a non-blockable offense; there's no question of changing policy. I do not believe it's in the interests of the project for me to continue the dialogue. Bishonen | talk 19:39, 3 July 2009 (UTC).
Here's an idea which will probably be deleted in no time. Why don't the both of you act like the adults you are and shake hands, step back, and admit you were both in the wrong. Believe it or not, it makes you a better person if you can do so. Jack forbes (talk) 23:32, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
That is the most simple, reasonable and mature solution to this mess. I urge both parties to heed Jack's good advice, for the better of all concerned, and even those of us who are not.:)--R.D.H. (Ghost In The Machine) (talk) 00:43, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo, I know your on line. Why do you think continuing this "feud" is doing wikipedia any good? Jack forbes (talk) 00:05, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't think it can be characterized as a "feud" in any way shape or form. We're having a discussion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:25, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
A feud in who's mind? Please remember this is a wikipedia living person, this is verging on harrasment, please stop. (Off2riorob (talk) 00:13, 4 July 2009 (UTC))
Please stop? I'm trying to get the both of them to stop arguing. Perhaps if everyone told them that both of them were acting like children they would stop. But then, maybe I'm the only one willing to say it. Jack forbes (talk) 00:18, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Where you see a feud and arguing, I see a discussion. Perhaps it is better not to comment and to allow them to work it out. (Off2riorob (talk) 00:22, 4 July 2009 (UTC))
Perhaps you should take your own advice and stop discussing it. Jack forbes (talk) 00:30, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Childish admins are the worst enemy of a free encyclopedia, I'm sure we all can agree here. Kudos for Jimbo. --Taraborn (talk) 02:12, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Being presumptuous about other people's opinions is not civil. You may agree with what Jimbo did, but others may not, Taraborn. Jimbo, there is an ongoing, constructive discussion at Wikipedia:Civility/Poll. The consensus appears to disallow use of blocks for incivility. Jehochman Talk 02:50, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
What I see is a dramatic consensus for the current civility policy being too lenient. 23 votes for that, versus only 3 for too harsh, and 3 for just right. What's particularly interesting, though is that there are 26 votes for "unenforceable", though a detailed reading of the comments is that it is enforced unevenly. I believe that it is enforced unevenly, with socially powerful admins sometimes getting a free ride and support from friends for behavior that would get other people blocked.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:34, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I don't see consensus for anything (based on counting the votes on each side, consensus is 2/3 or more of votes[IMO]). Griffinofwales (talk) 03:00, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
In other words, despite Jimbo's declaration, there is no consensus to start punishing swearwords by blocks. To believe that short punitive blocks are useful for anything other than creation of drama looks to me like a newbie admin mistake, and I hope Jimbo has learned not to do it again. Kusma (talk) 07:46, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Kusma, it is not my position that we should "start punishing swearwords by blocks." I welcome your participation, but please be accurate. It is my position that admins should be held to a high standard of civility, and that engaging in egregious personal attacks (in this case, an *admin* *cursing* at someone in a dispute) is way way beyond where we should draw the line.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:36, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

This is what I was talking about before until it was ignored. If an admin doesn't thing an admin cursing and yelling is immature, then let him/her speak. Since there will probably be no response, I already know I am right. (talk) 06:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

So how do you suggest we achieve this standard of civility? From your actions, it appeared as if you think short blocks after the fact would help. I am pretty sure they don't. Kusma (talk) 12:29, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
As always, we have a wide range of tools at our disposal, including the project-wide discussion we have been having for the past several days, commitments to principles, forgiveness of errors, short blocks, long blogs, bans. There is nothing new in this. The idea that it is radically impossible for us to continue to insist, as we always have (I am proposing nothing new) that admins in particular should be held to a very high standard of polite conduct, is not persuasive to me. In this particular case, it seems pretty clear to me that this particular block in this particular context very much did help. We now have a pretty wide consensus poll saying that virtually no one thinks that the civility policy is too strict - and many think it is too lenient.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:03, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
The direct question has now been asked in that poll - WP:Civility/Poll#Simulated RFA question: would you block someone for calling another editor a "little shit"?. Ha! (talk) 10:21, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the question should be: How do we encourage new users to grow and learn, without discouraging experienced users who are (understandably) held to a higher degree of expectations? I personally think that we need to provide incentives to encourage people to strive to be admin. material, but do understand that not all people want that added level of responsibility. — Ched :  ?  13:06, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Let's start with a simple premise. Admins should treat all editors with respect and should not use curse words, or be deliberate rude and uncivil to other editors, no matter the provocation. In my opinion, anyone who disagrees with that statement should not be an admin, and if a majority, or even a large minority, of admins disagree, then I am working for the wrong web site. When an admin uses curse words against other editors, the prescribed process should be,
  1. Discuss the situation with the admin, ask him or her to apologize and retract the curse words.
  2. If the admin has a persistent problem with cursing and incivility, hold an RFC.
  3. If after an RFC the problem continues, request Arbcom to intervene.
The question is then, Is there room for using blocks as step 1.5 or 2.5 of the process? If an admin is briefly blocked for incivility, is this likely to change the admin's behavior so that RFC or Arbitration is not necessary? Are brief blocks for incivility desirable to maintain the credibility of the admin corps in general even if they are unlikely to change the individual admin's behavior?
This is far from a settled question but it is not unreasonable to consider it. Thatcher 14:01, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I think with the overwhelming majority of voters so far saying that civility policy is too lenient (and even more, at least count, saying that it is unenforceable as evidenced by uneven administration), this outlined process is much, much, too cautious. One reason for going really slow with inexperienced users is that they are not in positions of trust, and that they may not understand the culture that we desire. This sort of slow process is not enough to make it really clear that we are drawing a very firm line against that kind of behavior. User complaints about admin incivility are extremely important. We have this constant tension between "good authors" and "good admins" (partly trumped up by internal politics, of course, but also partly identifying a real phenomenon), and it is made much worse if admins are setting a bad example. There are times when people should be immediately given a block, to illustrate the point clearly: admin abuse of users is not going to be tolerated, not least because admin abuse undermines the work of good admins who have to deal with nonsense every day.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:44, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Ah, but that is not the base premise, Thatcher. The base premise is either that
  • All editors should treat each other with respect and should not use curse words, or be deliberately rude and uncivil to other editors, no matter the provocation.
  • All actions and statements of an editor with administrative permissions are to be considered an extension of their administrative role.
Now, either one of these is fine, but if we are going to change the long-held site philosophy that administrators are simply regular editors with a few extra buttons, I'd like to know that now so that I can prepare for the onslaught of cases. If an administrator's incivility is more serious than the incivility of a non-administrator, then by extension an administrator's making a NPOV edit or using a non-reliable source is also more serious than that of a non-administrator. I am concerned that this emphasis on the evils of cursing, regardless of who is doing it, will have no effect on the civility of the site, but will reinforce the perception that use of euphemisms, sarcasm, and plurium interrogationum is acceptable. Risker (talk) 14:49, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
My understanding of the high standard required of admins is that they should not give out punitive blocks six hours after a one-off action, and should take care to ensure that a warning has been given. Shifting standards of behaviour, when occasional outbursts under severe pressure have been tolerated by the community in the past, could more reasonably be achieved by such warning rather than block first, discuss later. Risker puts the issues well. . dave souza, talk 14:59, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
  • For Christ's sake! This whole thing was nothing more than Jimbo Wales cracking the whip and saying "I'm in charge" - It was hardly a serious matter, or even one that concerned him. Yet, he just leapt in from nowhere because he knows that Bishonen is friends with a group of editors who want to see some sweeping reforms of his powers. Nothing more and nothing less. He wanted to set an example and throw his weight about. He could not kick the others as there was no reason, and she put herself in his firing line, so he kicked her instead. Like a spoilt child. Sadly for him, most people see straight through him. He has twisted and squirmed to give his actions higher motives, but sadly there were none. Giano (talk) 15:37, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Giano, I would like to remind you that Wikipedia has a policy against engaging in personal attacks. Please do not engage in personal attacks against me. Your behavior simply serves to poison an otherwise useful discussion. I would like to politely ask you to improve.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I would like to politely ask you to improve, I am not the one who leaps about blocking people and then trying to justify my actions - am I? Giano (talk) 18:45, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I am sorry that you prefer insulting me rather than addressing the facts. Go read the policy, Giano, and read my explanation for the block. It was a good block, done for a good reason, and I think it's been very successful in terms of clarifying policy and also provoking one of the most productive community discussions we have had about this issue in a long long time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:58, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
  • It was onviously not a good block and nobody is insulting you. Disagreeing with you and your behaviour is not insulting you. If you require a demonstration, of the difference between insulting and commenting, please just ask. If the block were 100% correct you would not be agreeing not to block anyone for 6 months as a result - would you? According to you, it's always a good block when you make it; well I have news for you - it was not. You may be the founder of Wikipedia (I have no view on co-founding or whatever - it is immaterial), but that does not make you omnipotent and permitted to stomp about blocking people without others being allowed to comment upon it - or is that against "policy" too? As a result of your overbearing and blinkered attitude, many are now doubting wether you should even have access to such powers. This matter has cost you a lot or respect in places where you need it most (you know exactly what I mean by that). The little here today gone tomorrow editors who write nothing and contribute even less are not the one's keeping you and Wikipedia where you are. I would advise that a wise man would remember that and learn a little humility. Giano (talk) 06:07, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Calling someone a "spoilt little prince" with "nauseating sentiments" [29], a thug [30], "His Omnipotent Majesty" (sarcastically) [31], a "little boy with his finger in the damm" [32] and "a spoilt child" [33] is insulting. It's an overtly negative form of rhetorical argumentation that is designed to attack Jimbo's character. It's not needed and you could easily tone it down. Ha! (talk) 11:47, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Ha, you really must pay more attention to what is written, likening and accusing are quite different, especially when supplied with an option to change. However, one could argue that Jimbo's "toxic personality" jibes have forfeited him to the write to shout "insult". I am not currently argueing that, but I am sure there are those that would. Giano (talk) 11:55, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll pay more attention to the semantics. Could you consider the reasonable request to tone down the language, desist from the attacks and engage in good faith discussion instead please? Ha! (talk) 12:22, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
If it comes down to a choice between blocking or non-blocking foul language directed at others? Then I'd stick with the 'blocking' side. If we allow such verbal behaviour, then it'll only get worst. GoodDay (talk) 16:45, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
No one is suggesting that such verbal behaviour should be allowed, what's in question is whether a block without prior discussion is for the good of the project. Calling someone the equivalent of a twit earned one admin a 24 hour block, reduced to 20 minutes per consensus at ANI. The upshot of which is that the admin has retired, a decision probably hastened by the dramaz over a brief and admittedly unacceptable outburst under the stress of dealing with very difficult and repetitive problems. Some of us find it easier to restrain our language at all times, but then some of us don't think its worth the candle to take on these difficult areas of work. Volunteers acting in good faith are expendable. So it goes. . dave souza, talk 17:25, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Somehow I'd missed this whole flap until today.
Given Bishonen's high reputation, well-deserved, and long experience, I was shocked to see her response to a block that had no practical effect except to call her attention to the seriousness of the behavior. I'm suspecting that you were as surprised and as disappointed as I in seeing her fail to take the high road. She could have made a powerful statement for the welfare of the project if she had thanked you, and it would have cost her nothing. Opportunity lost. And I see what I've seen before when admins err and are called on it: many "friends" tell her that she's done nothing wrong, instead of what real friends would do: supportively encourage their friend to wake up. You are right, there is a toxic culture. And, yes, you are also right, you did not call her a "toxic personality." Apparently, we have a whole phalanx of "editors" who can't read and parse English, when their tribal sensibilities are involved. This is not going to be easy, Mr. Wales. I'll see you in New York. I have some ideas.
To answer Dave souza's question, a short block should be practically harmless. I've said before that if you have never been blocked, you aren't trying hard enough to improve the project, and the first time I was seriously blocked, I wrote "You don't know how happy you have made me!" It wasn't understood, which often happens when I'm brief. Bishonen was blocked before, for a few minutes, "to experience it." Since she was probably asleep during your three hours, maybe it should have been a 24-hour block, so she'd actually know. It sucks, and for some personalities, it can be devastating, but we could handle it all better. If there is any editor who thinks that the project will collapse if they are blocked for 24 hours, who thinks that we should raise or even allow a huge disruption over a short "bad block," maybe they should be indeffed. Jimbo, I see that you've never been blocked except through compromised admin accounts, with a one-second exception. Obviously, you have not been trying hard enough! --Abd (talk) 03:49, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
♦   POESY   ♦
Admins live according to a code of
chivalry and honor. But they would have
kept it laissez-faire if they could've --
'specially regs as from "the founder":
'Cause he's willing let abscond-eh
from the Wiki, those that want-ta.
'Tho his druthers be that they not flounder;
"No, please stay!" says he, "And help us mount a
more-collegial-than-not encounter,
keeping happy, able people 'round here!"
By the way, I'm thankful for Abd's pointers
to the Jimbo-Bishonen rejoinders'
serving up such heartfelt, smart reminders:
What's more powerful than able, kind words?
---JUSTMEHERENOW.   ↜Just M E here , now 10:45, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Request for clarification

Hello Jimmy,

Before I begin I would like to sincerely thank you for co-founding such a wonderful project. Wikipedia has greatly aided my quest for increasing my knowledge on most subjects I can think of. I am trying to find a role to contribute in a meaningful way to Wikipedia and to the community that supports it, which will probably take some time and considerable effort. This paragraph is starting to feel like brown-nosing, so I will move on...

Here are my questions:

  1. What do you believe your role is in Wikipedia?
    I think I am at my best when I act as firm carrier of our values, most particularly having to do with our long traditions within the community of both firm insistence on a congenial atmosphere, and tolerance and forgiveness for those who have not lived up to those values but wish to try again. I act, also, in my traditional role, to help encourage the growth over time of institutions that function well. My role is to disappear, but neither too quickly, nor too slowly.
  2. What do you feel is your responsibility to contribute to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia foundation?
    I'm not sure that I fully understand the question, but I will give my best answer. It is my chosen responsibility (not a duty imposed by anyone, but something that I desire to do) to help the community create a free (in the sense of GNU) high quality encyclopedia in all the languages of the world. I fulfill that responsibility by maintain a firm and hopefully useful voice for quality and kindness in the English Wikipedia and around the world, and by doing what I can in my travels to meet with community members all around the world to encourage a friendly and positive community atmosphere. I obviously also play a strong role (for the Foundation) in both fundraising and in global awareness.
  3. How is your role to the English Wikipedia different to those of other languages?
    Well, I don't speak any other languages except for German, and that so badly that I can't contribute or read anything nuanced in German. So I can't play a direct role. As it turns out, English runs into various sorts of institutional problems long before the other languages, simply because it is a lot bigger. And so I hope that our very hard work here in thoughtfully creating institutional structures that work, will pay off for other languages as they can learn from our successes - and failures.
  4. What operating system do you use?
    I use OS X at the present time on my laptop. I use Ubuntu on my personal servers.
  5. And finally, what in all powerful Atheismo's name do you do in your spare time?
    I am learning Flash programming, in order to teach it to my daughter, and together we are having a lot of fun trying to make a game. I spend as much time with her as I can, but it is difficult, given all my other obligations.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:40, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I know there are other sources on this website which might clarify these questions (including your user page), but I would love to hear from you directly.


Mad Pierrot (talk) 04:53, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration Role of Jimmy Wales in the English Wikipedia

As far as I can tell, no one has drawn your attention to the above-mentioned proposal and related RFC on the talk page. –xenotalk 19:22, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you. It is much too premature for this proposal, and it seems to mix several different issues. I am very open, as always, to making changes, and support a general movement to refine processes over time, but I think a much more comprehensive discussion is needed before an actual proposal like this is put forward.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:38, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

For the record What do I want! modest incremental change. When do I want it! in the fullness of time after due consideration and reflection. So we're probably on the same page there. Will you give a view as to how you see your future role with respect to Arbcom and what contingencies are in place should you be unable to fulfil the role? Thanks. --Joopercoopers (talk) 01:53, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
That's a very good question. I think a very useful model of a modern constitutional government with checks and balances, and a healthy mix of respect for tradition, stability, and democracy is that of the UK government. We have today a very different sort of system, as suits our needs, but there are many ideas in that system which we do not have here - many of which do not need here. Admins are in some ways similar to the House of Lords, in the sense that they are in office essentially for life unless they do something pretty egregious. We do not have a House of Commons, though perhaps we should. The ArbCom is something like the Law Lords, although again, not in every particular. I would hope to see some useful ideas generated over time, in collaboration with the existing institutions, which are working pretty well but have flaws. Having a single institution - a fully elected ArbCom with absolute sovereignty for example - would be dangerous for the obvious reasons. Having me with completely unrestricted power in all things, which we do not have and I do not want... I want less power over time, not more - would be dangerous for the obvious reasons. Having everything decided by day to day popular votes also has clear problems.
One way in which our system does mirror the British system is that we have admins, elected directly by the community, being something like Parliament (though being more like the Lords in some ways, and the Commons in other ways). And ArbCom being something like the government. And me being something like the monarch, with a customary veto which is rarely used (actually, essentially never). And other odd bits and pieces.
Institutional design is a complex matter.
On a more personal level, and I believe that the ArbCom members past and present will back me up on this, I serve the ArbCom in terms of providing some institutional and "spiritual" memory and reminders. I try to make myself useful to them, and I generally have I think. I raise questions and try to pose challenges and help encourage a spirit of thoughtfulness. I don't have to do much of this, because the sorts of people who are elected to ArbCom in our current system are not the type of people generally inclined to partisanship and bickering, but to reflection and deliberation.
There are risks in change, but still, we should always look for change. Orderly, thoughtful, and productive change.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:20, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. And contingencies? --Joopercoopers (talk) 02:25, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure things would work out ok without me. Lots of good people here. How about this: in case of my untimely death or inability to perform my capacities, the ArbCom is hereby authorized to figure out what to do, subject to ratification with a 50%+1 vote of the community. In the interim between them coming up with a ratified proposal, the status quo is to be considered as much as possible. I will admend this succession plan from time to time upon the recommendation of the ArbCom and Community, until such time as we figure out a more longterm and binding way of dealing with it.
I promise to do my best to stay alive so that this is nothing more than a cute speculation, too. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:29, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your response, Mr Wales. You describe part of your power as "a customary veto which is rarely used (actually, essentially never)". Perhaps this is why the French and German WPs—actually, every other WP—seem to do fine without such a role? On your UK governance analogies, I find the House of Lords analogy for admins to be odd. Tony (talk) 03:23, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

"Leave ... Jimmy D. ... alone!" --- CHRIS CROCKER (link) ↜Just M E here , now 04:10, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

For what it's worth, and probably something that is relatively not very well known, Jimbo's actual involvement in ArbCom business is, essentially, inexistent. He occasionally sends something our way that was addressed originally to him but doesn't require his intervention, or asks for our input on the very occasional matter that is on his lap, and we occasionally poke him for "philosophical opinion" when we consider matters of a more "constitutional" feel.

To give a sense of perspective, out of the approximately 16000 emails that have been on arbcom-l in the past six months, Jimbo has around 70 to his name, nearly half of which are on topics more social than Wikipedian. Rumors of his still ruling Wikipedia with the iron fist of an eminence grise are, at best, misguided. — Coren (talk) 03:37, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

An opening! I'm sure I have a grey suit in my closet *somewhere*, so all I need to do is bribe the Lord High Assigner of Titles to make me a Wiki-Cardinal.... ;-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 16:25, 1 July 2009
Did someone call? Cardinal de Richelieu (talk) 21:14, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
(UTC) And the kicker is this: According to WP:CONEXCEPT, this would be entirely official. <innocent cat-got-cream look> 

Thanks Jimbo, I confess I'm rather confused by your analogy and think, as perhaps analogies like this are necessarily limited, that it is of little value. Furthermore, being from the UK and regularly seeing the lords temporal and spiritual drooling into their ermine, and given their resistance to the parliament acts, reform and generally conservative nature - I'm quite alarmed - I'm sure they're not exactly the best model for admins. The system is largely a finely balanced 1000 year fudge which has taken a millenia to evolve under competing and changing pressures. Ultimately it's flexibility is a strength, but the confusion of a lack of written constitution ensures only lawyers can understand it in totality - surely not a good thing. I'm also not sure we have the time and the key missing element is the commons. Perhaps better to visualise how our system might evolve.

Discussion of 'founder' contingencies or your gradual replacement leads to a question of what we might be replacing. Perhaps a good start would be to clarify your current role? The following are suggestions for a probably incomplete list - could you comment or add to them (or your TPWs)? Cheers. --Joopercoopers (talk) 22:20, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

  1. Appointment of Arbcom members
  2. Veto of Arbcom (ever used?)
  3. Dissolution of Arbcom [34] "The arbitration committee, on the other hand, can impose a solution that I'll consider to be binding, with of course the exception that I reserve the right of executive clemency and indeed even to dissolve the whole thing if it turns out to be a disaster. But I regard that as unlikely, and I plan to do it about as often as the Queen of England dissolves Parliament against their wishes, i.e. basically never, but it is one last safety valve for our values."
  4. Clemency [35] see above.
  5. Removal of Arb members [36] (You talk of a 'constitutional right' here - is it written? where?)
  6. Founder user rights:"The 'founder' group was created on the English Wikipedia by developer Tim Starling, as a unique group for Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. The group gives Wales full access to Special:UserRights and Special:Makesysop. As Wales is also a member of the global founder group since February 27, 2009 (Jimmy Wales was a steward before), he has the ability to change the user rights of any editor on any Wikimedia wiki from meta:Special:UserRights, making the local 'founder' group largely a status symbol. However, as "local founder actions" are usually of great interest to the local community, and are only relevant to the English Wikipedia, the local 'founder' right also has the benefit of allowing Wales' actions to be visible in the English Wikipedia rights log; actions performed with the global founder bit are not visible in that record, but only on the log at Metawiki."
  7. Desysop - various. eg. the last one
  8. Policy fiats per WP:CONEXCEPT
    Spokesman and PR WMF role per tango below.
  9. WP:IAR? Anything you believe will make the place better or more efficient? I think so, but checked by this "In the event that the ArbCom makes a ruling against me, overturning any decision I have made in my traditional capacity within Wikipedia, the ArbCom's decision shall be final." In the same post you announce this is a change in our policies.
    Fundraising WMF role per tango below.

--Joopercoopers (talk) 22:20, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

(9) and (11) are more WMF things than English Wikipedia things. There is no proposal that I've seen to change Jimmy's position with relation to the WMF. --Tango (talk) 23:09, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Thanks Tango - I've struck them through. --Joopercoopers (talk) 23:21, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

The English system of government minus the House of Commons is feudalism. I'm not really sure if that's the sort of governance model we'd want for 2009. Baileyquarter (talk) 03:49, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe the entirety of the English Wikipedia would be analogous to the House of Commons, then? ---- The thing is (note: this next thought has nothing to do with introductory sentence), we always have to kowtow to somebody. Conceptualizing/making Wikipedia happen was/is a wonderful thing, in exchange for which some of us are happy to grant Mr. Wales the benefit of doubt with regard to his ongoing decisions and methodologies as he continues to shepherd the project forward. A lot of the genius of what's been created is the LACK of unnecessary rules and bureaucracy except those deemed absolutely necessary towards achieving the encyclopedia's objectives and purposes. Whoever imposes discipline and is in authority is gonna catch flack, even rotating board-member folks subject to popular vote blah-blah, anyway; and Jimbo overall is soooo freakin benign, we shouldn't really complain; so let's just leave the Constitutional monarchy (private college or whatever kind of analogy we wanna use?) how it is. ↜Just M E here , now 06:27, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
The community as a whole is too big to make decisions in the same way the House of Commons does. We either need to form some kind of representative body or accept that major policy changes are going to happen very rarely and slowly. There are certainly advantages to not having the rules changing on a whim every few days and there are certainly advantages to being able to adapt quickly to changing situations. We need to discuss what system will be the most advantageous, but Jimbo's talk page is not the place to do it. --Tango (talk) 23:19, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
No, it's not. Feudalism is primarily an economic system rather than a governance system. It's all about land ownership and military funding. I don't think the concept is applicable to Wikipedia, so it makes no sense to ask whether or not it is what we want. --Tango (talk) 23:19, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Look up Feudalism on Wikipedia. It is defined as a political system. You must have confused feudalism with manorialism. Warmest regards, Baileyquarter (talk) 23:35, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
The overview in that article says: "The system, in its most basic essence, is the granting of land in return for military service." That sounds more economic than political to me. It doesn't talk about making or enforcing laws, it talks about an exchange one of valuable commodity for another. Manorialism is about what you do with the land once you have it. --Tango (talk) 03:55, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Blocks for admin abuse

I think two things are being conflated in current discussions around the wiki. Blocks are for editing abuse. Admin abuse should be met with loss of sysop access. It would be very straightfoward for you to state that admins may not swear at or otherwise abuse users. If such abuses happen, and there is no ambiguity, you may remove sysop access temporarily or permanently. I think this approach is better than using 3 hour blocks. Jehochman Talk 18:41, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

I am generally sympathetic to this view, except that - traditionally, and correctly I think - being de-adminned is a much more serious thing than a mere 3 hour block. What I nearly did in this case was removed the sysop bit, with the notation "eligible to participate in a new RfA". Should I have done that instead? I would be interested to hear views.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:44, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I would strongly advise against summary desyoppings in non-emergencies. Leave desysoppings to ArbCom, that way the admin in question has an opportunity to make a proper defence. I don't see why a desysopping would be considered here, as Jehochman says desysoppings are for admin abuse. Last time I checked the civility policy applied equally to everyone, so incivility is editing abuse, not admin abuse. That you expect higher standards from admins doesn't make it admin abuse, IMO, although I think all experienced editors should be held to the same standards, admin bit or not. I do accept different standards for less experienced editors that may deserve a warning or two before being slapped with a block. IMO an experienced editor calling another user a "little shit" (I assume that is the comment we are talking about?) should be treated with a 3 hour block in the first instance (yes, it is a largely punitive block, I don't have a problem with that - punishment serves as a deterrent which is a good preventative measure, the distinction commonly made between preventative and punitive blocks is meaningless). --Tango (talk) 18:54, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
(ec) I think removal of the bit pending discussion with the admin, and an undertaking not to repeat the abuse, might have worked better. Sending them back to RFA would probably have been too harsh. I think it would also be a good idea to publish a code of conduct for admins that lists bright lines that when crossed may result in an immediate loss of sysop access. There are also less obvious types of abuse and misuse that are best addressed by ArbCom. Setting expectations before acting is very important. (Cursing at a user with lower access levels is a form of abuse, for sure.) Jehochman Talk 19:01, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
@Jimbo. If you are asking for views, might I ask how you would like to receive them? Would you prefer email, a posting to your talk page, an edit to an existing page, or is there a page that you'd prefer we centralize the discussion on? — Ched :  ?  22:12, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Email would be fine. I think that the civility poll that's been going on is a great place to discuss this as a part of the broader question. Posting here is problematic, in that people tend to want to debate very specific details here in a way that I think is not helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:55, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

In case you weren't aware Jimbo, arbitrator Risker has unilateraly removed an entire section of that page, my Simulated Rfa Question, based on the fact that it in itself was incivil. Given that you, and many other experienced editors including former arbitrators, had already commented on it without issue, then I think that is a pretty clear sign that the community understanding of what 'civility' is more broken, and the fractures are eminating higher up, than many had perhaps first thought. MickMacNee (talk) 13:03, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

  • I think anything that lessens drama and causes editors to hesitate before walking the plank can only be a good idea. Giano (talk) 13:22, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
  • With all due respect to Arbitrator Risker, in the long run her deleting that entire item from the poll, after the item had drawn very extensive commentary about a subject that is of concern to the community—wiping out 20–30 editors' good faith comments on all sides of the issue, including Jimbo's—is causing more, rather than less drama about the matter. And that drama is further exacerbated by another admin closing the Talk page discussion of Risker's action: Wikipedia talk:Civility/Poll#Risker's removal of discussion. Silencing community members who express themselves on important policies and their application breeds resentment, not trust and collegiality.

    As other remaining sections of the discussion on the poll page shows, there is a widespread perception that admins and other, favored, "experienced" editors get away with incivility, while sanctions are more liberally imposed on "ordinary" Wikipedians. Personally, I believe this perception is exaggerated, but not entirely baseless. However, the whole Bishonen incident—her flagrant misconduct, the mild sanction of a 3-hour block, and the expressed outrage of Bishonen and several supporters over the 3-hour block—are Exhibit A in support of that perception. If an "ordinary" editor had called another editor a "little shit"—even without Bishonen's additional misconduct, subsequent unrepentant attitude, and 6 weeks of whining and campaigning against Jimbo—no one would be upset or surprised by a 3-day block or worse. No one would be questioning whether the block was preventative (OK), punitive (not OK), or exemplary (not OK). And if Jimbo himself blocked the plebeian-editor, without warning, no one would be clamoring to remove his "block button" or other nonsense.

    In my opinion, the entire Bishonen incident, which is widely known and widely discussed, is one of the main reasons behind this re-examination of the civility policy and its enforcement (as well as a few other policy proposals). That is why the topic is relevant to the discussion. It was not primarily an ad hominem attack on Bishonen, as those who want to sweep it all under the rug maintain. And it feeds the perception that there is a double standard, and that the admins watch each others' back. As I say, I believe the perception is overstated. But the way admins rallied to Bishonen's defense, and attacked Jimbo for a 3-hour block, is one instance where the facts matched the perception. Finell (Talk) 14:28, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
"Even without Bishonen's........6 weeks of whining and campaigning against Jimbo". Hmmm. Are you sure about that? Since her block Bishonen has hardly edited, save the discussion instigated by John Vandenberg on her talk subpage. It is undeniable that there is disquiet in the ranks, but I certainly wouldn't lay it at Bishonen's door. Clearly the civility issue needs an airing, if only to expose the widely differing views the community has about it. --Joopercoopers (talk) 17:09, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Jimbo blocked Bishonen for 3 hours on May 22. Bishonen's last two salvos were on July 3, on this talk page.[37][38] That is 6 weeks. If Bishonen had simply endured her 3-hour block and then returned to business as usual, this issue would have ended on May 22. It is Bishonen who created this controversy and kept alive. Since her block expired, almost all of of Bishonen's "contributions" to Wikipedia have been her arguing, arguing, and arguing about Jimbo's 3-hour block. Throughout, Bishonen very skillfully shifted the issue from her personal attack of Daedalus969 (who deserved a reprimand, but not to be cursed at and then then repeatedly baited) to whether Jimbo's 3-hour block conformed to the letter of the blocking policy—she framed the issue as a misuse of the block to punish her—and rallied other admins and friends to join her campaign against Jimbo.

I don't know if Jimbo looked at Bishonen's prior edit history before he blocked her, but she also lost it a week earlier. Bishonen was supporting an RfA (the candidate was previously de-sysoped; the RfA failed) and got into an argument with someone who opposed it. Again, in addition to cursing at the other editor, she expressed anger that the other editor disregarded Bishonen's "advice" to stop arguing against the RfA. The discussion on Bishonen's talk page, which Bishonen later deleted, shows her uncivil conduct and contemptuous attitude toward another editor who crossed her[39] (indents omitted):

You mean supporters, no? And the talk page only shows the level of hate that Everyking will put forth, so I doubt it really supports your argument in any kind of regard. Thankfully, Crats don't do what Everyking would do (merely count votes) so your argument definitely wont hold up. Ottava Rima (talk) 21:46, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

It definitely won't, will it? That's interesting. Are you suffering from some kind of hysteria, to be addressing me like that after I advise you to not—not—keep blathering against the opposers [sic: should be "supporters"]? Or are you trying to avoid the childishness of immediately doing what I asked you not to do, by posting on my page instead of on the RFA? Or, Machiavellian thought, are you deliberately making yourself look absurd in order to make Everyking look the better? Are you secretly on his side? Whichever it is, and, believe me, I don't really want to know, piss off my page and stay off. Bishonen | talk 00:17, 13 May 2009 (UTC).

Hrmph. A crude edit summary ["Har har. Piss off."] is fine in small doses. Use one too much and you ruin its mystique. --MZMcBride (talk) 02:10, 13 May 2009 (UTC)

The mystique is perhaps not necessary, MZMcBride. Got any suggestions? What do you think of "Fuck off"? Bishonen | talk 20:18, 13 May 2009 (UTC).

Bishonen's abusive behaviour toward editors, her continuing argument that Jimbo's 3-hour block of her was unjustified, and, most distressing, other admins' supporting Bishonen throughout her campaign, are germane to the community poll on the adequacy of Wikipeida's civility policy, the adequacy of the policy's enforcement, and particularly whether selective enforcement unfairly favors admins. Suppressing discussion of these issues of legitimate community concern is damaging to the already frayed morale of many active editors, and also ineffective. If there is concern that the poll questions should have been phrased more neutrally, that can be fixed (provided the facts are stated accurately). But the questions and the discussion should be restored to the poll. In fact, the civility policy poll is probably the least confrontational forum for discussing the matter. But if community discussion continues to be suppressed there, it will arise elsewhere. That is what happens when debate is suppressed, and why suppression is counterproductive. Finell (Talk) 06:39, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Bishonen was encouraged back to wikipedia, albeit in a limited form, by the urging of John Vandenburg to attempt mediation with Jimbo. For you to characterise that mediation as 'campaigning' is absurd. She and Jimbo have opposing views - that's debate, the preferred method of conflict resolution around here the last time I checked. --Joopercoopers (talk) 11:33, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Six weeks of complaining over a 3-hour block, when her behavior was way out of line, then saying that she is ending the discussion while encouraging her supporters to continue the battle for her[40] is beyond a legitimate debate. Bishonen did not act as though she were in a mediation; she acted as a combatant, so the attempt at mediation failed.
I believe that discussion, even if it turns into debate, is the preferred method of conflict resolution on Wikipedia. That is why I am upset that a relevant debate was suppressed at the community discussion of WP:CIVIL.
Jimbo did the right thing. I would welcome Bishonen back to the project after a rest and an attitude adjustment. But she doesn't need anyone's welcome, does she? If she prefers to whine and pout, rather than continue to do productive work, that is her choice. Unfortunately, Wikdpedia loses a lot of good editiors because of dramas like these. Many of them are non-combatants who leave in disgust at what they see, often silently. We need to lower out toleration of this behavior to create an environment that is more conducive to productive collaboration, and less vulnerable to games. One of our pillars is crumbling and needs repair.
By the way, what is the Bishzilla alter ego all about? Does she have other alter egos? Finell (Talk) 20:13, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, this may seem a little stupid..... dave souza, talk 21:00, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Regarding blocks for admin abuse -- I agree, people definitely should be blocked for abusing admins. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:55, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

I wholehartedly agree—and vice versa. Finell (Talk) 21:49, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

New policy proposal - Rehabilitation of offenders

Jimbo, you may be interested in a policy I have just proposed: Wikipedia:Rehabilitation of offenders. --Tango (talk) 01:18, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

You have my full, complete, unreserved support for this. I think it is a brilliant idea. It could and should very well be that checkusers (or similar) can still see the ancient history, i.e. it might not be "burned" forever, but there is no reason for it to remain in the logs.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:06, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for that. It doesn't seem to be getting much support on the talk page. I've been trying to respond to people's concerns there, but it would help if you did the same. --Tango (talk) 15:40, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Did you read these objections, Jimbo? While this may seem like a wonderful idea on the surface, its flaws are fatal and numerous. —David Levy 15:51, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Hi, no, I haven't read the objections. I think I got to it pretty quickly after Tango posted it, and no one had commented. As Tango says (below), obviously it needs to be discussed and efforts made to fix the flaws. I think the basic concept is sound: we should have a statute of limitations on past bad behavior, particularly when the behavior was in some ways minor. I'm going to bed now, but I'll look at the objections tomorrow and see if I can think of anything useful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:27, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Which is why we usually discuss proposals before voting on them. I expect the flaws can be overcome. --Tango (talk) 17:12, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Some of the flaws are potentially resolvable, but it's my position that others are inherent and insurmountable. Ignoring the emboldened votes and simply reading the underlying concerns doesn't change that. —David Levy 17:54, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Copyright & fair-use rationale of SVGified logo - new policy on SVGified images needed

You are invited to participate in an interesting discussion at Wikipedia talk:Image use policy#File:Man Utd FC .svg. We are having difficulties to find a concrete consensus regarding the above matter. As you can see it involves some hundred thousands over articles and possibly millions. Please, your comments & suggestion are very much appeciated. Thank you Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 18:52, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

It is certainly interesting, but it is an issue I've never given any thought, and so coming to a snap opinion is not a good idea. I think I'll just sit back and watch the discussion and reflect on it over some time before I come to any opinion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:32, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
Wow! Now we are supposed to be thoughtful before we jump in with our opinions??? Just before, you insisted on us not driving off others with rude insensitive language and now you want us to actually think before we give our golden opinions??? What is this place coming to? It is as if you wanted us to actually be a credible encyclopedia. That goes against everything I ever learned at Wikipedia Review. :) WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:48, 7 July 2009 (UTC)
The sarcasm really isn't helpful. Finell (Talk) 03:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Unless I've misread WAS 4.250's post, he/she praised Jimbo by playfully feigning outrage over positive goings-on. In other words, this appears to be friendly facetiousness, not sarcasm. —David Levy 08:29, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Exactly. Jimbo is doing a lot of things right. And Wikipedia Review is so often so completely wrong it is a scream. I especially laugh hard at their continued attempts to anticipate exactly which day Wikipedia will self-destruct, when by the original goals it has long since already achieved its goals and much more. Reminds me of the USSR's propaganda of the imminent demise of the West. WAS 4.250 (talk) 09:57, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo, you should've asked some experts for their opinion regarding to the above issue, the issue about images copyright is huge. (talk) 08:12, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Sorry to disturb you Jimbo, at first I just thought that you would like to give some suggestions in regard to the above discussion Arteyu ? Blame it on me ! 08:31, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Scientific articles in Wikipedia

Hello. Unfortunately some of the wikipedians who are not familiar with the scientific subjects try to delete the important articles of Wikipedia. As a researcher, I believe that the new articles published in the scientific journals are the best references in Wikipedia. The problem comes when the wikipedians who have never even seen a scientific article related to these subjects, judge that these articles in wikipedia are not important. Do you have an alternative to overcome this problem? Javanbakht (talk) 04:50, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Wales, it seems that you have no alternative for this problem. Anyway, your effort to promote Wikipedia is appreciable. Javanbakht (talk) 09:55, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Gerald Walpin

Hi. Would you please add the following paragraph to the Gerald Walpin article? I cannot do so, because I have been topic banned from political articles for three months:

In June, 2009, President Barack Obama fired Walpin, after Walpin accused Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson and St. HOPE Academy, a non-profit organization, of misuse of AmeriCorps funding to pay for school-board political activities. According to Associated Press, Johnson is a friend of Obama's.[1] Johnson and St. HOPE agreed to repay half of the $847,000 in grant money they had received from AmeriCorps between 2004 and 2007.[2] In a letter to Congress, the White House said that Walpin was fired because he was "confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the Board to question his capacity to serve."[3] A bipartisan group of 145 current and former public officials, attorneys, and legal scholars signed a letter that was sent to the White House, which defended Walpin, said the criticisms of him were not true, and said that his firing was politically motivated.[4] The letter can be read here.

Grundle2600 (talk) 10:45, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I don't get involved in this sort of content dispute except in very rare cases. I know nothing about this issue, and therefore I am going to have to respectfully decline to participate. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:34, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
OK. Thank you for responding. Grundle2600 (talk) 00:40, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Please note that editing would be a violation of Grundle's topic ban, as he's banned from editing articles related to U.S. politics for three months. Sceptre (talk) 20:15, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
He acknowledged that in the first line of his message. Finell (Talk) 20:52, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Then why is he even asking, then? Sceptre (talk) 21:43, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Because none of the people on the talk page have responded to my request to make the article balanced. The artcle says that Walpin "criticized" Johnson and St. HOPE. That is brushing aside what happened. He did not just "criticize" them - he accused them of corruption. The article is not balanced. My topic ban does not cover talk pages. Grundle2600 (talk) 00:40, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll take a look at this when I can. Sorry, I'm getting behind on my wikipedia duties. Wikidemon (talk) 00:55, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Governance review

A review of English Wikipedia governance has been started here. Your input there would be greatly appreciated. --Tango (talk) 21:46, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Teenage Drug Lord from Malaysia

I recently saw an australlian programme from the BBC site and you were featured as a celebrity that had to answer "ten questions". One of them was "Are you a teenage drug lord from Malaysia?". My question is should there be a redirect (of Teenage drug lord from Malaysia) to your wikipedia page or your userpage? Of course this would be only in good humour. NarSakSasLee (talk) 10:35, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

The ongoing problem with editor FyzixFighter

Jimbo, once again the problem with editor FyzixFighter has arisen. He has removed a perfectly sourced edit which I made to improve the centrifugal force article. Any outsider should be able to see clearly that FyzixFighter only comes to physics articles to remove edits or to trample over edits that I make. This has been an ongoing problem and it has been to the detriment of a number of physics articles, namely Faraday's law, Kepler's laws, centrifugal force, and Coriolis force. FyzixFighter has been determined to keep the planetary orbital equation off the centrifugal force page. Something needs to be done to sort this problem out.

This is not a content dispute. This is about an editor who is determined to prevent me from editing on physics pages which I have done alot of research on. David Tombe (talk) 16:34, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Hi! I'm sure someone else can help you find the appropriate avenues for dispute resolution. I'd love to help you, but the process doesn't start here. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:48, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Dispute resolution describes the appropriate avenues for various problems, I would suggest starting there. --Tango (talk) 18:00, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo and Tango, thanks for the advice. I will see how the debate goes over the next few days before deciding whether or not to go down the 'dispute resolution' road. This matter has been raised before and ignored, hence sending out the signal to FyzixFighter that he has got the green light to continue. He has deleted a perfectly good edit on totally specious grounds. Following the intervention of two other editors he has backtracked somewhat and decided to put some of the content of that edit into the history section, even though the topic is still being taught today in the universities using that very equation. Planetary orbital theory is definitely not a historical topic.

A careful analysis of FyzixFighter's interventions will clearly expose the fact that he has been involved in a prolonged and subtle form of vandalism and he is trying to ally himself with those other editors that I have been arguing with. David Tombe (talk) 12:01, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Village School (Great Neck, New York)

Hi! You might be interested in the discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Village School (Great Neck, New York) (2nd nomination). Thank you. Alchaenist (talk) 22:42, 9 July 2009 (UTC) (Using {{Please see}})

I hope you find this nice

For being bold enoug to create wikipedia. (This talk page could possibly be the largest in wikipedia).


Hi Jimmy,

You've probably never seen me around before, but as you may already yourself now fully be aware, Juliancolton is up for bureaucratship right now, and one of the recurring themes among some of the opposers is that he's a minor. I'm curious to know a) what your personal views are towards WP:Ageism, and b) do you know of any legal issues with minors being bureaucrats (or do I need to go ask Mike on this)?

Thanks, Matt (talk) 06:40, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Best to ask Mike about any legal issues, but I wouldn't think that there are any. One of the reasons for the term "Bureaucrat" is that it's supposed to be a pretty dully technical position. :-) I don't think Bureaucrats have access to any private data, which might be the only issue, but again, best to ask Mike.

I strongly disagree with many points in WP:Ageism, and find it to be offensive in a great many ways and if I were to rewrite it, it would end up substantially different.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:31, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

Would you have an opinion on WP:GEEZER? Durova275 20:44, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
Much more my style. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:36, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, to be fair, I believe they do have access to some private data with the advent of the bureaucrats' mailing list. –Juliancolton | Talk 18:09, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Sigh. I was hoping WP:Ageism would die of natural causes. I've emailed the main author. - Dank (push to talk) 21:43, 10 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed! I'd like to see it deleted personally; it seems rude. fr33kman -simpleWP- 21:22, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo, as the primary author of WP:ageism, I would be interested in finding out what you find offensive with the essay, because it is essentially very much in line with previous statements that you've made. I wish I could find the quote, but you are often quoted when you said that you felt that (paraphrased as best I can recall it) as a general rule you felt that admins should be in college, but that there are exceptions to this rule. This essay is nothing more than an extension of that.

The entire purpose of the essay is to point out why arguing over the issue of ageism is a waste of time. Don't waste people's time arguing about whether or not ageism is a valid reason. Instead focus on why, even if ageism is valid, that the individual candidate is the exception.

Finally, I should point out, that Julian the person who is running for 'crat, actually supported the essay. He initially wrote an essay to counter it, but via discussion and editing, he withdrew his objection and deleted his essay. The problem that Julian is having with Ageism, isn't that he is under 18, but rather that he has been an outspoken advocate of promoting underage admins. He is the admin that I quoted who compared Ageism to racism (and has also made similar statements comparing it to sexism). (Just a few months ago, we promoted another under aged admin to 'crat.)

Also, it should be noted, that I voted for Julian and have nominated several people who are underage, but whom I deemed exceptional. They key, as the essay discusses, is to focus on why the individual is the exception to the rule.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 00:24, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

To save Balloonman looking, the quote in question is "There are people who behave in petulant, ill-mannered, and immature ways. They should not be admins. Whether there is a strong correlation between bad behavior of that kind, and age, I don't know. I do think that, in general, most of our admins should be college students or graduates. Some gifted and profoundly gifted young people would be equally qualified." – iridescent 00:51, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Thank you.---Balloonman NO! I'm Spartacus! 01:00, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

Problems with vandalism in Wikipédia Lusófona

I´m brasilian and i dont speak English very well, but i have a terrible problem and need a help. I do a article in wikipedia lusofona, and this user vandalize this article. I can´t revert cause i´m bloqued, but nobody revert this article. Why do i di? I´m desesperate, cause´ various administrators be do a cyberbuilling with me. Please, helpe-me.

Thank you very very very much.

Litrix Linuxer (talk) 15:57, 10 July 2009 (UTC)LitrixLinuxer

That's interesting. I see the vandalism in the page, but when I click to edit, I don't see it. I'm a little puzzled.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:34, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

It was probably template vandalism. --Carnildo (talk) 23:56, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Server trouble

Hi. I gather that the latest funding drive will pay for updating the server? I've been having terrible server trouble and it seems to have increased over the past few weeka. There is a discussion about it at village pump tech. As I type the globe has not even appeared in the left hand corner! Also are there no plans to update the front page, I think it looks a little dated. Dr. Blofeld White cat 20:31, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Original fair-use rationale

Hi Jimbo. I am wondering if you can kindly point me in the direction of the discussions that brought about the usage of fair-use images here on enWP? I'm a sysop on Simple English Wikipedia and I'm really interested in the rationale that was used to permit the upload and usage of non-free images here as there have been some efforts to get it going over at simpleWP. I understand that a lot was discussed on mailing lists initially but I don't know which or when. If you could even recall the rough time when it was discussed it'd help! I asked Angela but she said it was before her time here. Thanks in advance and feel free to drop by to simpleWP any time, even if it's just to say 'Hi!'!! :-) Yours, fr33kman -simpleWP- 21:20, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure where you might find the original discussions, probably on the mailing list?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:07, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks! Any idea when roughly they happened? Being that you've been around so long and all (obviously) :) fr33kman -simpleWP- 23:41, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I think it was simply always true that we had some fair use images, as well we should I think, although in quite limited circumstances. To be more clear, I don't think there has ever been a time when there was not a discussion somewhere in Wikipedia about when we should accept a fair use image, and when we should not.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:48, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Okay, thanks Jimmy! Take care. fr33kman -simpleWP- 00:52, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

re Kirill Lokshin

Good, you are around. Tell Kirill that he should reconsider - if you are to have these special powers then bloody use them to keep the really good people doing the job the community entrusted them with! Dammit, demand Kirill that he reconsider!!! LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:20, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Rlevse too! iMatthew talk at 23:23, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Yup! LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:31, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
I would also ask that these two resignations be not accepted. Both Kirill and Randy are exceptionally hardworking and the committee's work would be severely damaged if they went. Sam Blacketer (talk) 23:35, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Seconded. A very significant loss. –Juliancolton | Talk 23:40, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
  • For those who can offer total commitment to this project, occasional burnout is to be expected; it manifests in myriad ways, but wikibreak, even for arbitrators, should be recommended. I wouldn't want to lose contributors who have committed so much here. Rodhullandemu 00:01, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, yes, I hope that Kirill will reconsider and I'm not accepting his resignation anytime soon. But volunteers are volunteers, I can't actually draft people. :-) Working on ArbCom is a thankless task, and I don't think people realize how difficult and distressing it can be to work really hard to try to think of useful ways to move things forward and then to be attacked for it. In my experience of our current ArbCom, constructive criticism is gladly accepted always - it's unfortunate that some criticism comes in forms that are divisive and not really constructive.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
I assume you accidentally left Rlevse out of that first sentence, right? Just making sure that you're not accepting his resignation just yet. :) iMatthew talk at 01:52, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
That's right. I don't want anyone to resign, but as I said, if they want to do so, I can't really stop them. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:45, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Adding myself too, if it's possible. If not, could you appoint four arbitrators to serve out the rest of Tranche Gamma? Mind you, seeing as the only two left in the tranche expire their terms in five months, maybe it's not really needed. Sceptre (talk) 02:04, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo, with respect, remember why you created arbcom. The page on the Committee currently describes them as "the panel of editors responsible for conducting the Wikipedia arbitration process." Arbcom does not, has not, and should not attempt to 'move things forward' for the community. It is the job of the community to progress, it is not for arbcom to force their (or some committee's) vision of progress upon the project. And of course as you said: "Unorganized committees with no set procedures are [bad], because there's no clear way to say what should be done." Prodego talk 02:14, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Prodego, I don't understand your point. ArbCom sensed a need for a more formal body to give them advice and recruited people to do that. I don't see why this has been interpreted in the way it has.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:44, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Oh, whatever, back to the point, Kirill and Rlevse were two of the good ones who had helped make this current Committee the most effective and credible one since I can remember. The problem is that currently the ArbCom stands as about the only real, formal governance body in Wikipedia. Thus, they are put in a position of leadership and authority and tried to take a small step to make progress in a discussion for improved governance for Wikipedia. As you know, change is the only constant, so the status quo is not going to continue to work. Cla68 (talk) 09:46, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps a word of encouragement on their talk pages would mean a lot. Obviously, the decisions they make must ultimately fall to the individuals, but I can understand that their tasks can be grueling and often under-appreciated. Sometimes a kind word from a respected source can work wonders. Just a thought. — Ched :  ?  17:41, 12 July 2009 (UTC)
(re)Arbcom has created a group, who's purpose is to "consider various issues facing the project and develop ideas, proposals, and recommendations for improving it". There are three problems with this. Firstly, Wikipedia has always operated collaboratively. Anyone could raise a suggestion, proposal, etc to improve Wikipedia. So since any editor can already do what this committee is proposed to do, what then, does this committee do? There is no procedure for what this group will do or how it will do it. Secondly, arbcom choose the members of the group. Why did arbcom do this? Arbcom doesn't do any of the things this committee supposedly will, project development is something the entire community participates in. Arbcom has no right to chose the members of this group - members who, in all likelihood, have more power than the average editor over the 'development' of the 'project' (right in the name of the group). This project was developed by the community, and the community should have a say in anyone who will have any extra power over its continued development. Thirdly, Arbcom has never had any special authority to create policies, groups, or proposals, outside the the roles granted to ArbCom as a group. To do so would be outside of its remit. Prodego talk 04:16, 13 July 2009 (UTC)