User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 50

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Archive 49 | Archive 50 | Archive 51


At a boy, Jimbo

The 'overseer' idea is a welcomed amendment. GoodDay (talk) 22:15, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


User:TimothyRias is going around Wiki, deleting everything I contribute and calling me noname. May be he does not command his English enough and does not know that the word noname in English means an insult. Could be.

I am Yuri Kornyushin, 69 years old and professional theorist in Physics. I am a Doctor of Science, Physics & Mathematics since 1984. I was invited 3 times in my life abroad (I mean that it was not my decision) to give invited key lectures on International Conferences. I have published 3 books in Physics. I have never been to MIT, but somebody picked up 5 of my theories to post them on The net advance of Physics tutorial site of MIT. NASA ADS in Harvard University keeps 51 of my papers starting from 1972. Two of my papers could be found in some tutorial archives at the Princeton University. Several of my papers, starting from 1967, could be found on the internet sites of the US Government, Ministry of Defence, Energy, and Medical Physics sites.

Nobody should be called noname, especially on the pages of Wikipedia. It is not polite at the very least. Concerning myself, User:TimothyRias could at least go to Google and check for Kornyushin before calling me noname. I came to contribute to Wikipedia, to contribute to the knowledge in Physics. Concepts of names and nonames do not belong to Physics. On the pages of Wikipedia what should be discussed is the subject of the contribution, not names and nonames. These concepts do not belong to the knowledge at all.

My main contribution to Wikipedia up to now was my talk Self-action in a system of elementary particles. It was deleted as I have mentioned. Now I posted it on the Wikiversity, and it is not yet deleted. May be User:TimothyRias is not yet aware of it. This talk is devoted to the explanation to the readers of one of very important and widely used concepts in quantum mechanics, a concept of non-applicability of self-action in quantum mechanics. It is a purely quantum mechanical concept and it is not at all easy for understanding for those who know Classical Physics only. Strange enough that it was going without saying. I mean that I have never seen discussion of it in any texbook or other source for students. May be it is trivial for User:TimothyRias (he did not write that it is incorrect, so I hope he understands it). Anyway Wikipedia exists not only for him and the like. -- (talk) 09:08, 29 August 2009 (UTC)Yuri Kornyushin, 29 August 2009, 11:06

Let's try to see exactly what has happened. First, exactly where has anyone called you "noname" (or anything else)? Secondly, although you say "My main contribution to Wikipedia up to now was my talk Self-action in a system of elementary particles", there neither is nor ever has been an article titled "Self-action in a system of elementary particles"; exactly what are you talking about here? -- Hoary (talk) 09:21, 29 August 2009 (UTC) strikethrough 10:16, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
There was an article at that title, it was deleted by Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Self-action in a system of elementary particles and was written by Yuri Kornyushin (talk · contribs). Hut 8.5 09:35, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Hut 8.5 is right; sorry, I've no idea how I missed that. Well, it was deleted via the regular process, in the course of which nobody called you a "noname" or anything else. There's no namecalling at User talk:Yuri Kornyushin and no suggestion of earlier namecalling in the very short history of that talk page. -- Hoary (talk) 10:16, 29 August 2009 (UTC) strikethrough 11:37, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually TimothyRias did call Yuri Kornyushin a "no name" at the AfD. Darrenhusted (talk) 11:14, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Clearly I'm even shorter of sleep than I'd realized. -- Hoary (talk) 11:37, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
It seems that we are going off a tangent here. AfD discussions are not the most civil of places, and the clear conflict of interest does not help things; I understand that you feel offended, but we have stuff far worse than that in AfDs. I assume that he's just using it as a shorthand for nonfamous or whatever, if that makes you feel better.
But, um, why are you here? If you want to complain about his conduct, it's probably better to discuss this with him on his talk page first, explaining what statement you are talking about (you need to link to the discussion if you want a response; most of us can't remember a month-old statement without some prompting). If you want your article restored, deletion review is that way. Tim Song (talk) 11:58, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Change in anonymity policy

I would just like to say that I believe we are making a critical mistake by further limiting anonymity in any form or fashion.

At the personal level, this type of policy will undoubtedly discourage some editors from contributing. On a systemic level, it will potentially pave the way for eventual community acceptance of additional restrictions. To outsiders, it will further legitimize the negative "elitist" stereotypes that are already costing us quality contributors. Philosophically, it will undermine the ideals that many contributors believe so strongly in.

As an active and upstanding [registered] Wikipedian for more than half of a decade, and as someone who has never contacted you about any other matter, I sincerely request that you reconsider your position on the matter -- and I call on you to postpone further action so that a broader range of (now informed) contributors may offer insight and work towards establishing consensus. (talk) 23:07, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

67.., do you understand the compelling reason that motivates the experiment of flagged revisions (and that it's an experiment, rather than a final decision)? I don't think anyone denies that your concerns are valid, but there are also clear benefits to the system. If you were to enumerate them, and describe alternative solutions to those underlying problems, it would add a lot of credibility to your argument. -Pete (talk) 23:10, 26 August 2009 (UTC)
The latter half of my request explicitly entails soliciting a broad range of the community for insight and alternative solutions.
Personally, I have only had a few moments to ponder an alternative to flagged revisions, but I will offer the following conundrum: Suppose we introduce a 60-second delay before anonymous edits go live. Would this not be an indiscriminate method of accomplishing the same goal as flagged revisions? (talk) 00:14, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
No, I don't think it would. But more to the point, there should be ample opportunity to propose alternatives and variations like that during the trial period. Again, there's been no final decision made -- Wikipedia is merely testing out a technology (and one that has met with measurable success on the German Wikipedia). So if you want to develop alternatives that mitigate the consequences you outline above, there should be ample opportunity. -Pete (talk) 00:22, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
It may officially be an experiment, but once it's done it's done. As with all politics, it is much more difficult to change the status quo than it is to change a proposal. Based on my experiences as a seasoned editor, I honestly do not foresee a large number of admins and hardcore contributors speaking out against a policy that makes things significantly easier for them. (talk) 00:37, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Since it's rather prescriptive, and lacking detail, I can't see how it's indiscriminate. However, if you are suggesting that "pending edits" should be somehow subject to review before being approved for "live transmission", that's little different from what happens already and flagged revisions, in that it still requires some intervention. The only benefit would be to delay approval for 60-seconds + reaction time for an interested editor to confirm or deny the edit; whereas those of us who watchlist contentious articles tend to be able to react as frequently as we refresh those watchlists. Unfortunately, articles that aren't watched won't be updated as frequently using flagged revisions unless they are brought to somebody's attention, and that is only likely to happen if they are listed somewhere. These technicalities have not yet been made clear to us, unless I've missed something. And, to be clear, I see little connection between flagged revisions and anonymous editing. Rodhullandemu 00:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
While I do not mind debating things with anyone here, I do not want it to shift the focus from my original request. I came here to make a request. But in answer to answer your question, there's a vast difference between delayed revisions and flagged revisions. Under a delayed model, edits like "George Washington was a flaming homosexual" or "Miley Cyrus (1992 - 2009)" would never make it to the end-user. Patrolling users and bots would have sufficient time to weed out bad-faith edits. With a flagged revision model, Editor A has editorial power over Editor B. Editor A will have an inherent level of human fallibility and bias, which may mean that some of Editor B's legitimate content will be censored. If I understand correctly, the rationale behind these policy changes is to prevent the scenario described alongside the delayed model. Anything beyond that is simply an invitation for unintended censorship.
EDIT: Ironically, my edits to this very page were just erroneously reverted by an editor in good faith. Afterwords, my second reply was filtered out by the automated edit filter. If, as an anonymous (but seasoned) editor, I can be censored not once, but twice, then what are we to believe will become of flagged revisions? (talk) 02:09, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I don't think that Flagged Revisions has anything whatsoever to do with anonymity. It will allow ip numbers the opportunity to edit things that they have long been forbidden to edit. But editing as an IP number is less anonymous than getting an account.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:20, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes and no. On one hand, an IP is easier to trace to a location. This is true. However, I don't believe many IP editors remain IP editors out of concern for being located -- editing from Universities around the world makes me frighteningly traceable -- and those who do already just run though Tor or a private proxy (or series of proxies). As I mentioned above (I am the IP who unleashed the previous tirade against registration), the question is more complex than just "anonymity". I'm sure we all have our separate reasons, but some of us are proudly anti-elitist and would like nothing more than to see the sum of human knowledge appear out of no-one but everyone. Some us don't see any benefit to registration aside from becoming an entity to which this knowledge can be attributed. Nevertheless, two things really bother me about flagged revisions. First, it systematically enforces discrimination against IPs and new accounts. We already have enough paranoid editors looking shifty-eyed at every IP. I don't see de jure discrimination easing the situation. Second, flagged revisions add another layer of extra work to the few editors who still contribute. Protectionists already revert everything anyway, but contributors will also now be forced to revert or pass edits. Not a terribly efficient process, anyway. (talk) 14:53, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, Jimbo, you are right -- edits made from IP addresses can be more easily traced by the general public. However, there are some scenarios (e.g. implementing verifiable information directly opposed to a dictatorship government, or making controversial edits that could endanger the life of an established editor using a personally identifiable username) in which editing from an IP address could potentially help facilitate anonymity and/or plausible deniability. With that said, physical anonymity was only one aspect of my commentary.
The central and most important concern is whether or not everyone in the world can freely and indiscriminately contribute quality material without subjective interference. If we partition our contributors into "trusted" and "untrusted" factions based on their credentials, we introduce some level of inherent bias, and we risk further isolating ourselves from the common man.
I'm not going to sit here and condemn you for your viewpoint. I'm sure that you have spent hundreds of hours pondering how to deal with hoaxes and character assassinations. All I'm saying is that this particular method of dealing with it will eventually change the scope of our project, and for that reason, I believe that the community should be invited (via global pop-up notification--not unlike the transition from GFDL-CC-BY-SA, or the current proposals) to participate in public brainstorming. Our entire community can come up with something better than flagged revisions. (talk) 01:43, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
To outsiders, it will further legitimize the negative "elitist" stereotypes that are already costing us quality contributors. Do negative "elitist" stereotypes actually cost WP quality contributors? I shouldn't be surprised if the stereotypes do just this. Let's look at that /. thread. There's an interesting comment (though one hugely overrated at "4, Insightful") near the top: The fundamental aspect of the Wikipedia concept was the fact that there wasn't a bureaucratic layer between your information and the world. Before I first edited, my own impression was that there was no protective layer between any fool's misinformation and the world. Actually this impression has lasted; and my contributions, for what they're worth, come despite the knowledge that the underinformed, stupid, drunk, childish, obsessed, and borderline insane are likely to debase these contributions. (See the editing history of the article on the indisputably and long dead Jacob Riis.) So I wonder: To outsiders, will this change do something to lessen the negative "any crap goes" stereotypes that are already costing WP quality contributors? I shouldn't be surprised if these stereotypes do just that. However, rather than merely guessing why those qualified to edit well do not edit and why those not qualified to, do we have any research on the relative importance of the reasons? (Any PhD theses on the matter?) -- Hoary (talk) 02:28, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I previously read an article speaking of how elitist editors were killing the Wiki. Quite a few blogs have noted that the number of active editors has fallen off, and I commonly see attribution to protectionist editing practices and elitism. Can't say for sure, though, how that holds today. (talk) 14:53, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
That Inquirer article appears to imply that (a) reduction in increase is the same as (b) decrease. That assertion comes as a great surprise to me. Either the author's head is seriously confused or my own is. The author huffs and puffs but says very little; however, he helpfully cite this, which says that "the growth rates of Wikipedia have slowed". I don't know about you, but I'm not the slightest bit alarmed to hear that the growth rates of Wikipedia have slowed. (Incidentally, remember that "elitism" is an obsession of a large part of the mass media, leading to such bizarre phenomena as the pretenses by US political candidates that they're monolingual and that they prefer junk food to tasty food.) -- Hoary (talk) 00:05, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
That article just happened to be a recent one discussing the problem. Nevertheless, the linked blog post reveals that edit numbers are dropping off while reverts are holding steady (making reverts a larger portion of the whole and contributions a smaller portion -- basically, it means we edge closer and closer to the point at which all edits are reverted). The only way Wikipedia can actually shrink is to delete pre-existing content while contributing no content whatsoever. Thinking of a cumulative process like Wikipedia as an absolute doesn't make much sense. Also, you should keep in mind that The Inquirer is not American and not really "the mass media". (talk) 13:50, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Note: I am posting this on behalf of, who was disallowed from doing so by edit filter 225. Rodhullandemu's comment is provided for reference. -- King of ♠ 21:26, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Since it's rather prescriptive, and lacking detail, I can't see how it's indiscriminate. However, if you are suggesting that "pending edits" should be somehow subject to review before being approved for "live transmission", that's little different from what happens already and flagged revisions, in that it still requires some intervention. The only benefit would be to delay approval for 60-seconds + reaction time for an interested editor to confirm or deny the edit; whereas those of us who watchlist contentious articles tend to be able to react as frequently as we refresh those watchlists. Unfortunately, articles that aren't watched won't be updated as frequently using flagged revisions unless they are brought to somebody's attention, and that is only likely to happen if they are listed somewhere. These technicalities have not yet been made clear to us, unless I've missed something. And, to be clear, I see little connection between flagged revisions and anonymous editing. Rodhullandemu 00:25, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
While I do not mind debating things with anyone here, I do not want it to shift the focus from my original request. I came here to make a request.
But in answer to answer your question, there's a vast difference between delayed revisions and flagged revisions.
Under a delayed model, edits like "NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER" or "Miley Cyrus (1992 - 2009)" would never make it to the end-user. Patrolling users and bots would have sufficient time to weed out bad-faith edits.
With a flagged revision model, Editor A has editorial power over Editor B. Editor A will have an inherent level of human fallibility and bias, which may mean that some of Editor B's legitimate content will be censored.
If I understand correctly, the rationale behind these policy changes is to prevent the scenario described alongside the delayed model. Anything beyond that is simply an invitation for unintended censorship. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:37, August 27, 2009
There's no way you can guarantee these edits won't make it to articles particularly poorly watched ones (Miley Cyrus is obviously a bad example there). (There's no way we can guarantee it under flagged revisions either, but it is less likely.) Also you appear to be under the mistaken impression that editor A will have more power then they would under your proposal. Under your proposal as happens now, there's nothing stopping these editors reverting you if they wish to 'censor' you. These edits won't be seen by most readers the same as with flagged revisions. And under all flagged revision proposals I'm aware of, editors are only allowed to reject bad edits. Editors practicing censorship, whether intentionally or not, will have their privileges revoked. In fact, under your delayed edit proposal, weeding out those who do such things is likely to happen less often since it would require revoking all their editing privileges whereas in the later case, we can just remove the editors right to be a reviewer if they make a poor one. In other words, being a reviewer will, not surprisingly, come with greater responsibility and accountability. Nil Einne (talk) 19:53, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo, there's one problem with the "IP is less anonymous than an account can be" line of reasoning: it's generally accepted practice for an experienced, account-holding editor to use an IP if they wish to be anonymous (I believe that's what's happening here.) But if our friend were to make a second account, to be more anonymous, and leave comments here, that would be in violation of our sockpuppet policy. I'm not sure what the ramifications of that are...just thought I'd point it out. -Pete (talk) 22:52, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Correct. I have three options here: 1) use my personally identifiable username and risk jeopardizing my reputation both on Wikipedia and in real life, 2) create a second account and violate policy, or 3) post legitimate content from an anonymous IP address which (without a warrant) cannot be used to personally identify me.
On a side note, there is an increasing risk of having an account compromised when using a public terminal, network, or WiFi hotspot. (talk) 01:57, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
That's incorrect. Sockpuppet policy doesn't forbid the use of alternative accounts. Nor does it require accounts be linked (it's generally encouraged but editors are explicitly allowed to have alternative account which aren't linked). And editors are perfectly welcome to (and many do) have multiple accounts for security purposes. However you don't need multiple accounts for security if you are using a public network of WiFi (well unless you don't trust your computer's security, but in that case the network is of limited relevance). You should instead just make sure you always use the HTTPS to login. Using another computer (whether public or private) that you don't trust or in a location where you are afraid of people watching you etc are cases when you may want to consider an alternative account for security. What is forbidden under policy is when you misuse an alternative account. If you wish to express views which you don't want to to be linked to your account, creating an account for that would likely be okay within reason. If you are always using your alternative account to comment on issues, I think that will raise eyebrows (obviously creating multiple alternative accounts is far worse). Similarly if you continually disrupt wikipedia with the alternative account or always behave very poorly, then that would be against policy. Obviously replying to yourself, participating in the same discussion under multiple accounts etc is also against policy (i.e. a good rule of thumb is make sure your accounts never interact or participate in the same area). One thing I would emphasise, logging off and appearing anon makes little difference when it comes to sockpuppetry. If what you are doing is forbidden under policy then whether you use an IP or another account is irrelevant. In most ways it's actually worse since it makes tracking you when you do do such things more difficult so people are more likely to start to wonder whether you are up to no good, particularly if you use multiple ISPs (even if that isn't on purpose). And in fact, using your IP means that if you are linked, your IP will become known. And it may be easier to link your account to the IP if information about you is known, and it's obviously easier that you may actually forget to log in one day and reveal your IP then it is for you to use the wrong account (unless you are continually using the other account). A good idea whether you are anon or using another account is to at least mention you are an established wikipedian even if you don't reveal you identity. If any of this was new to you, I suggest you reread Wikipedia:Sock puppetry Nil Einne (talk) 19:26, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
  • This contention of a "change to anonymity policy" is pure nonsense. What flagged revisions means to me at one level is that edits will stack up until resolved by an admin or other approved reviewer. It may be that vandalism will be reverted, but for the interests of the encyclopedia, contributions from individual editors, whether IP or registered accounts, may escape scrutiny, and that might be a concern. However, those whose purpose here is not constructive are likely to be detected by other means. Rodhullandemu 23:03, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

Is the BBC and the New York Times lying about you?

The New York Times says

Wikipedia to Limit Changes to Articles on People

Mr. Wales began pushing for the policy after the Kennedy and Byrd hoaxes

This sounds accurate and very reasonable.

The BBC says

Editorial row engulfs Wikipedia

The proposal comes after edits of the pages of Senators Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy gave the false impression both had died.

The call for flagged revisions came from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales

Saying a live person is dead is a real dirty and low thing to do. It's even worse if it's done to an influential person, like Ted Kennedy. I suspect that the Ted Kennedy incident was the straw that broke the camel's back that cause you to make those proposals (unless the BBC and New York Times are lying and you never did).

I wrote in the Ted Kennedy article a very short sentence (long paragraph would be too long) mentioning that after his erroneous report of his death in January 2009, Mr. Wales proposed changes in Wikipedia editorial changes.

Some people might be opposed to that because they want to no mention of anything remotely negative of Wikipedia. Other conceivably might think they "own" the article.

I'm not asking you to decide whether or not this should be included. The information is just FYI for background. What I am asking you is "Is the BBC and New York Times lying about you and that Kennedy's false report of dying had no role in your proposals for editorial changes in Wikipedia?" I will have lost much confidence in the reliability of the BBC and New York Times if they lie about you.Dellcomputermouse (talk) 19:14, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Neither of those quotes claims any causal link. They say the proposal came after the high-profile vandalism, that is perfectly true (although I think it had been being discussed from time to time before that, the recent push came after). Good journalists often word things very carefully to avoid making claims they can't back up while still making an interesting sounding story - that is what has happened here. Nobody has lied. --Tango (talk) 21:10, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
I have long supported that this feature be developed and turned on. It has taken a lot longer than I would have liked. And yes, after that annoying day, I did begin a new push to hurry up and get this implemented, and that pushed was at least a partial cause I believe for the subsequent end of discussions with a proposal that gained 80% support. (Before this, I think we had gotten into a "wait and see" and "discuss forever" mode.) I haven't read the two articles you linked, so I can't vouch 100% for their accuracy, but there is no question that those events did play a role in the history of this feature. (But it is worth noting that I should not be given credit for thinking up the feature, nor should there be any simplistic reading that those events were the "cause" of the feature... which had been in development and testing for years). Is that helpful? Is that what you were asking?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:31, 28 August 2009 (UTC)
Thank you, Mr. Wales, for your answer. You are a reasonable and thought provoking man. I see your answer as what a normal person would have expected (that there was a problem, but the huge magnitude of saying Kennedy was dead, probably was the last straw or shove that got you started again, as it would to many leaders). This is what the BBC articles and NY Times articles seem to be saying.
One problem with Wikipedia is that there are no useful behavioral standards for administrators. There is one who is quite abrasive (name not mentioned because I'm not asking you to wiki-arrest him). Legalistic administrators can always fabricate a defense by saying the bad administrator did some good (just like Hitler liked children). Instead, there should be an emphasis toward good editorial skills and good people skills in administrators. Without a push from you, this is impossible (or about as likely as Parliament disbanding or Congress resigning as a group). You should give it some thought to how to improve the lot of administrators, some of which are quite amateurish and, in some cases, not helpful. This is why I said I would exit Wikipedia yesterday and plan to do so in a few minutes. Dellcomputermouse (talk) 16:43, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
See also Loaded question. There are a lot of reasonable explanations that don't involve bad faith by any party. Jehochman Talk 00:00, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Imprecise referencing could impede Wikipedia's quality improvement

Dear Jimbo,

I want make a suggestion which I deem very important for the future direction of Wikipedia.

Currently, the ref element is quite imprecise. Look at the following example:

This is sentence number one. This is sentence number two.<ref>This is a reference.</ref>

It can be observed that in this example it is not clear whether the reference is linked to both sentences or to sentence two only. It is thus proposed to change the reference syntax. Look at the next example, now:

This is sentence number one.<ref source="This is a reference.">This is sentence number two.</ref>

Now, it is quite clear which sentence is referenced. This could be a tremendous improvement. The following features could become possible:

  1. Every sentence is referenced and in every case it is clear which reference belongs to a sentence.
  2. Future editors know, if they are allowed to put in a new sentence between sentence one and sentence two, without pretending this sentence to be referenced by the final ref element.
  3. References could be shown in a small box when the mouse pointer is above a sentence.
  4. The 100% reliable Wikipedia could become reality!

I hope you support my suggestion. (talk) 12:25, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I see merit in what you are saying. I note that what we currently do follows standard academic tradition, but you make an interesting point for sure. The syntax you recommend could still render to the end reader in the traditional manner, but would make it clearer to other editors just which part of the entry is supported by the reference.
There would be many difficulties with changing to this, and there are probably some downsides that I haven't considered. One problem may be that reference syntax is already frightening to newcomers. A more precise style has benefits, as you have outlined, but when putting in a reference is too complicated, many people will look at it and decide it isn't worth the tedium of figuring out how, leaving us with a net *less* referencing overall. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:29, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Just to be clear, the way in which this editor has formatted his proposal would render Sentence #2 into a reference for Sentence #1. The proposal also currently exceeds by a long margin the requirement for referencing, not only on Wikipedia but in any reference source. Risker (talk) 16:13, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, under the current software, it would. I think he's proposing a change to the software, so that we wrap statements in the article with references that support those statements, ratehr than having the references simply follow after the statements. The idea is to more precisely identify which statements the author believes are supported by the reference. That part of the proposal seems clearly beneficial to me, although at some cost of ease of use (perhaps).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
This idea has been suggested many times in the past, and we have always denied it for 2 reasons:
  1. It will make reading the edit window even more difficult because the flow of text is even further disrupted
  2. It is impossible with that system under the current software to have multiple/overlapping refs for a part of the text, which is not an unreasonable expectation when you have this type of refs.
Implementing this properly, circumventing these problems, will require substantial and exhaustive changes in the very core of the software. I think the only way to do it, is to basically decouple the references from the actual content and keeping them in totally separate database tables for the article. The problem with this is that it becomes more difficult to reuse content, print content, and will likely make usage of Javascript a requirement to edit the encyclopedia (because refs are obligatory and matching the refs with the content in editing will almost be impossible without Javascript). —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 22:26, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
The contributors we do/should value, that is spontaneous IPs or inexperienced registered users (until we start to screw them over with Flagged Revisions), don't actually know the difference between either version, and already unbeknowingly routinely add info between a sentence and its accompanying ref, and won't be affected by either version. Anybody who is aware of the problem you rightly highlight, will already be able to avoid not doing it. MickMacNee (talk) 22:44, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Screw them over how? By letting them edit articles they haven't been allowed to edit for years? :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:06, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
I just created an article on Bernard Foing and what I've been doing is naming the reference and then just repeating the reference name for each time I use the source to support a claim. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:15, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

Inter-articles consensuses happen...well, when?

Jimbo, would it be useful to have a "policy about policy-making": a meta policy? (Ignore this question if we already have one, and maybe some kind visitor to the page can simply point it out to me.)

What made me curious is this: Remember that a user begged you to get involved in the content dispute about images in the Death of Neda Agha-Soltan article? You finally got curiouos (sooo cool!) and even came over to the (then separate) Neda Agha-Soltan biographical article and made a very helpful edit, then came back and said on your talkpage (something to the effect of) that it appeared a single article just about the event was probably going to become consensus and that seemed reasonable.

OK. Anyway -- now it turns out that at an article about a completely different event, "Disappearance of Madeleine McCann," at sometime in the distant past a consensus had been reached to not include a biographical infobox for the child, under the rationale that the article is about the event of her disappearance is not her biography per se. So now an an editor privy to that consensus believes this is the basis for a policy project-wide (to the obvious result that, for example, the infobox for Neda Agha-Soltan that had become incorporated into a section at "Death of Neda Agha-Soltan" upon the two articles' merger would now have to be removed, among a raft of instances elsewhere throughout the project).

My "meta" question is: When and how do consensuses carry over among articles? Hey, maybe lightening will strike twice and you find this of enough interest to offer an offhand comment! :^) ↜Just M E here , now 19:04, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

I think the problem is that there is no simple answer to the question, right? These two cases are similar in some ways, different in some other ways, and I'm not sure that it is possible in the general case to come up with an overall consensus "rule" for precisely what the scope of WP:BLP1E is, nor when a biographical infobox should be included. I would be vaguely inclined to argue for consistency - that is to say, if a subject fails BLP1E, so that we end up with an article about the event rather than the person, then we shouldn't have an infobox, and if we end up with an article about the person, we should have an infobox. But there might be sensible objections to that approach which I haven't yet heard.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:15, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your take, Jim. Yet, I'd be worried that sometimes too much insistency on consistency or insistence on consistence might end up sorta Procrustean: "Hey! if an album isn't in its own article, screw its being treated in a sidebar." To what what benefit to readers, though? Articles really so often are about compound, constituent subjects, each not quite notable to be treated separately. Sure, Elizabeth Smart has her own article apart from that of her eponymous case, due to notable work she's done as a activist. But -- check out the currently-in-the-news "Kidnapping of Jaycee Lee Dugard": this case's suspected perp has a "criminal" infobox, why not?
Why limit these arbitrarily? Much as do sidebars in magazines and newspapers, don't they in these cases serve readers, as well? ↜Just M E here , now 02:57, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, there is just no substitute for kind and thoughtful discussion and judgment.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:25, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
You, as always, d' man, Jimbo! ;^) ↜Just M E here , now 03:36, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

WMF Board

Dear Jimbo, this announcement has raised quite a few eyebrows on German wikipedia, see discussion. Some people argue that a board seat seems to have a price tag of 2 million dollars. Given your rather tough stance on paid editing, are you comfortable with this development? Your statement would be highly appreciated. Greetings, Stefan64 (talk) 18:52, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Board seats are not for sale. "So there's no tie between the grant and Omidyar Network taking a board seat. That's absolutely not part of the conversation. It something that Omidyar Network likes to do with our organizations, because we think we tend to be able to help and we have experience, but there's no tie with the grant that we've made to Wikimedia Foundation." [1]

Since the discussion is in German, which I can barely read and can't really write effectively at all, I think it'd be best if you asked Arne (in transit back to Germany now) or Erik (probably in transit too, though I'm not sure of his exact schedule) to join that discussion. Ting and Michael Snow, while not native speakers, are also much better able than I am to write in German.

I'm 100% comfortable with the appointment of Matt to the board. He brings serious expertise, he shares our values and mission. He also was instrumental in getting us a $2 million grant, a not-insubstantial achievement.

I really like the Omidyar nonprofit grant making model. They understand, because of their roots in the venture capital world, that to be successful requires more than just money: it requires expertise, access to a network of people, the ability to make connections, etc. Just as traditional venture capital firms provide a lot more than just money to startups - and have been incredibly successful at generating new businesses, Omidyar provides a lot more than just money to their nonprofit grantees - and I have every reason to think that this will be successful.

I think that people who are concerned that this is "buying a seat" can take some comfort in the fact that not one board member supports the notion that it would be ok to "sell" a seat on the board. But additionally, I think it's important to remember that it would be absolutely impossible for anyone to get their money's worth, if they have some nefarious purpose in mind. A board seat simply wouldn't be worth $2 million - how the heck could you ever make anything back out of it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:36, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your statement. I have posted a link to it on German wikipedia. Greetings, Stefan64 (talk) 00:44, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
May it had prohibited some discussions, if the board had a bit more offensive told, why he's a good man for the board. In the press release it's really a bit in a strange connection. And this together with the actual critics at de:WP depending the sponsoring/advertising on the "Wikimedia Deutschland" Website, the mood at de:WP actually is very down. Germans sometimes are... - strange. Or very critical. Or both. But at the end it would be a little much to make all in the way we're Germans are contented. I belive, we're never all can be getting contented. Marcus Cyron (talk) 00:52, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with you that the communications could have been handled better, but I also feel pretty sure that when everyone gets back from Wikimania, it'll all sort itself out just fine. I think Matt is going to make a great board member, we have all been impressed with him so far.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:00, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
You musn't convince me - I'm pretty fine with that. But I know my fellow Germans. ;) Marcus Cyron (talk) 11:54, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
BTW, Ting has made a very helpful statement in the German Wikipedia. I agree with Marcus that communications could have been better: the board should have foreseen that the combination of the two events - the 2 million grant and Matt's seat on the board - will raise questions. I think I'll post a proposal concerning communications on the strategy-wiki. Adrian Suter (talk) 14:05, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
The Florida non-profit Internet Review Corporation has weighed in on this event at its blog, Akahele. Here is a link to the article, Omidyar venturing out. I hope it's enlightening. -- Thekohser 19:18, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Congratulations and a question

Hi Jimbo. Congratulations on the 3 million mark. That's a really amazing feat.

On a less positive note, I'm wondering if you're aware of the ongoing campaign of harassment, stalking and intimidation that goes on here against editors who hold minority perspectives. I've been hounded and stalked for months now for suggesting that we abide by the neutral point of view policy. My harassers have used the administrative noticeboards for a series of frivolous reports against me that is time consuming and harassing to keep track of, they've posted incessantly about me on various talk and discussion pages, they've made repeated attempts to have me blocked and banned. They also stalk me around article space and disrupt my contributions. Now they've gotten Arbcom to impose a restriction that I'm not allowed to discuss or object to this censorship and POV pushing anywhere on Wikipedia. I find this Orwellian and totally unacceptable. It reminds of the Nazis and book burning, and I'm deeply troubled by it.

Is there a way to rein in those who push to block, ban and intimidate anyone who attempts to balance our article coverage on political subjects? I think it's very important that good faith editors are treated with respect no matter what their opinions are, but that hasn't been my experience. Thanks for your thoughts on this serious issue. ChildofMidnight (talk) 03:20, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

What this actually is is a case of the convicted attempting the no, you are bit, which has probably been going on for as long as there's been lawyers in the world. ChildofMidnight was found to be one of the major instigators in a recent ArbCom case, and has been running around the project ever since crying "victim!" This is but the latest stop, with the added twist of the last few stops around the boards containing accusations and comparisons of Nazism. Tarc (talk) 03:42, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Tarc is one of those relentlessly hounding me. ChildofMidnight (talk) 03:47, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
ChildofMidnight, I haven't looked into the content dispute here, and I have no idea what political positions you or any of the other editors hold. But I just visited your user talk page in which you compare wikipedia editors with whom you are having a disagreement with Nazis. This behavior is not acceptable at all, and pretty much puts an end to any possibility of reconciliation. I don't have any sympathy for this approach to working for change.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:58, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Well I guess we disagree on how damaging acts of intimidation, harassment and stalking are to building an encyclopedia and how dangerous biased one-sided information and propaganda can be. Thank you for responding. ChildofMidnight (talk) 06:02, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I doubt if we disagree about that. The place where we disagree is the notion that "The best way to work against bad things happening is to call people Nazis". It is not the best way at all. It tends to lose the very audience you want to appeal to, because you are engaging in the very behavior that you claim to want to eliminate, when you harass people (and I do consider it harassment) by throwing insults in their direction.
Consider me a potentially sympathetic audience. I've been made aware of your issue, but only barely. If I went to your talk page and saw a polite, friendly, well-reasoned and well-evidenced explanation of what you think has happened, I would at least be in a position to make a judgment. Instead, what I found was you behaving in a harassing way, and found some diffs where you were being extremely irritating by changing other people's talk comments, even one which was asking you to stop doing that. Wow. That's just not a very effective strategy for you to achieve positive change.
My point is to think about me as an example. You claim to have been censored and harassed and intimidated and stalked. I'm asked to look into it. I do, and I immediately get the exact opposite impression. Is that really an effective strategy for you?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:09, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I know you might be busy Jimbo, but if you are weighing in on the current situation, the heart of the event is Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee/Noticeboard#Obama_articles:_ChildofMidnight--The LegendarySky Attacker 06:17, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I call them how I see them Jimbo. I've been restricted from editing certain articles based on the flimsiest of evidence, but I've obeyed those restrictions. The stalking and harassment continued. When I was followed to other articles and told I couldn't edit those, I moved on. The stalking and harassment continued. I was finally able to get some restrictions to keep two of the worst harassers and stalkers away from me, but they've continued to file reports against me and to go after me as best they can on and off-wiki. I'm here to work on Wikipedia and to build articles, not to do constant battle, dig diffs against and play wikilawyer. There is no content dispute because I'm not editing any of the articles that were in dispute (those harassing me caused a great enough disruption that Arbcom chose to restrict me from working on them). Yet I'm still being stalked and harassed. And now I'm told I'm not even allowed to mention the censorship abuse and harassment that some parties engage on at certain articles. I think it's disgusting. I think it's despicable. I think it's outrageous. I think it has strong similarities to the type of censorship, intimidation, and abuse that have taken place in history. If others disagree that is their right. I'm not good at waging these diff battles, because I'm here to improve articles and I don't enjoy that kind of bureaucracy. The actions of those harassing me and their edit histories speak for themselves as mine does. On days like today I am unable to do much article work because I have to deal with this endless nonsense, so that's very frustrating. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. But I am by no means the only one who suffers incivility, personal attacks, harassment and abuse from these editors. A look at Tarc's editing history, for example, show's his nastiness towards editors with whom he disagrees. I had hoped Arbcom would work towards alleviating that kind of behavior, but instead they encouraged it by sanctioning the editors enduring it. ChildofMidnight (talk) 06:26, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
I repeat my advice to you. You will be better served by stopping the personal attacks, removing the absurd Nazi stuff, and instead documenting in a neutral and factual way (without accusations) the things that you are concerned about. You say "A look at Tarc's editing history, for example, shows his nastiness towards editors with whom he disagrees." Ok, I looked quickly but didn't see what you meant. What you might want to do here is something like this:
  1. Apologize to the community and to Tarc and others for creating such a dramatic stir. This may feel uncomfortable or difficult, but it is the right way to move forward if you want to achieve positive change.
  2. Explain, using neutral language and diffs, what got you so upset in the first place. "I'm sorry that I got so dramatic and emotional. The reason for it was the following set of diffs which show behavior that I think was clearly uncivil towards me. I felt frustrated and behaved in a way that is less than what I expect of myself and others, but I hope people can forgive me for that and look to help all of us... including the people I'm complaining about... to improve. It is painful to not have it acknowledged that I have a legitimate complaint, and I'm sorry that my outrageous behavior made that more difficult."
You're a longtime editor. As I said above, I don't really know what this dispute is about. What I'm encouraging you to do is to reform your own behavior so that, if you do have a legitimate complaint here (and I have no idea about that, because through all the heat you've generated, there has been precious little light), people are better able to hear you.
I speak words here that I know to be wise, but I also know to be difficult. I have sometimes failed to follow my own advice, so I know how hard it can be when we are feeling emotional. I am therefore not trying to lecture you, but to reach out to you with some thoughts that I think you will find helpful in the long run.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:38, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
This isn't some fan site where propagandizing is okay and biased and innaccurate information isn't a big deal. This is a very popular and influential encyclopedia and an important information source for millions of people. You seem very taken with the idea of civility, but are either naive or unaware of the gangland atmosphere that goes on here.
Harassment, intimidation, and stalking are disruptive and damaging. I apologize that I'm not better at gathering diffs and spending my time playing wikilawyer. I don't conduct campaigns via e-mail and I don't seek out other editors or sympathetic admins with similar views to push my arguments. I try to follow the rules and to participate in a transparent and open way.
I participated in the Obama Arbcom at Wizardman's request and spent hours gathering dozens of diffs of the incivility, personal attacks and other violations that took place on the article talk page by the self appointed "article defenders" and "page patrollers". So I was very surprised when the committee's decision sanctioned the editors at the receiving end of this behavior. The conclusion that those trying to abide by the neutral point of view policy and to include content from various perspectives were disruptive because whenever they tried to discuss or add content they were attacked is pretty ridiculous. I have abided by their ruling, but the abuse hasn't stopped.
You asked what the dispute is about, but there's nothing left in dispute because I'm not even allowed to edit those articles and haven't done so in months. Now I'm not even allowed to discuss the articles that are censored by these abusive actions against anyone with a different perspective. This isn't a content dispute, it's about editors wanting me gone because I'm outspoken that censorship, POV pushing, and bullying are improper. They don't like to discuss content or policies because this is about having their way by any means necessary including pushing out those they disagree with.
I don't stalk anyone. I don't harass anyone. I've asked these individuals to leave me alone. But nothing has worked. They've chased others off Wikipedia as well. I'm making you aware of it. I understand your points about remaining calm and going through the appropriate procedures, but that hasn't worked. Thanks for your insights and suggestions. Take care and enjoy your weekend. ChildofMidnight (talk) 19:47, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
Not even sure why I'm bothering, but CoM, do you understand the concept of arbitration? When two or more parties are in disagreement and cannot come to an amiable solution, one avenue is to present your case to a neutral, uninvolved 3rd party who will read what is presented and then render a judgment. This particular judgment came down against you, heavily. No one is stalking you. You are not a good-faith editor who is being hounded or harassed. You have not abided by the ArbCom decision, as you have violated your restrictions several times. You are not the noble and weary champion crusading against "biased and innaccurate(sic) information". You did not adhere to NPOV. You were not "invited" as a guest to an ArCom case; your presence was compelled due to being one of the prime instigators of the mess. You had your say on these matters, and lost. It is time to stop acting like a aggrieved and wronged party, appellations which you are most certainly not entitled to.
What you are is a very good contributor to non-political articles, who for reasons unknown to the rest of us become a petulant, Nazi-labeling fanatic when you come within spitting distance of political content...especially when it relates to the current president. Good editing coupled with atrocious behavior certainly can get one pretty far around here, but sooner or later, the fall comes. Ask Science Apologist or Betacommand.
I don't care about apologies. Just take all the Nazi junk off your talk page...images, captions, and text... (including the OMG CENSORED shtick), give a pledge to stop carrying on as you are doing above, and stop doing it in other areas of the project, and when the arbcom restrictions expire, rejoin the political arena if you desire. Tarc (talk) 20:14, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

CoM is routinely given the most hideous abuse and utterly stalked and harrassed, for highlighting a most obvious Wiki issue: the article Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories has nearly 200 references, yet it is believed by enough people that NPOV means that it cannot appear in the main text of either Barack Obama, or any of its important sub-articles, not even as a single link. Patent nonsense if you ask me, and I could care less about Obama either way. The BetaCommand insult is typical, and utterly undeserved. MickMacNee (talk) 22:55, 30 August 2009 (UTC)

There isn't much sense in rehashing content disputes here, but all I have to say now is that ChildofMidnight's NPOV assertions have been broadly rejected by a wide variety of editors. Consensus cannot override core policies of course, and if a user truly feels that that is what has happened here, then there are avenues to pursue to redress such a wrong (obviously I do not believe it is wrong, just phrasing it here from Com's point-of-view). Call me crazy, but invoking Hitler and generally bad-mouthing other users, admins, and ArbCom members across project-space is probably not the right choice to make here.
And Mick, while riding to the defense of others is usually noble, given the manner in which you address other editors I can't really say you're coming across as a strong character witness for CoM here. Tarc (talk) 23:14, 30 August 2009 (UTC)
  • I haven't actually been involved in that particular content issue MickMacNee, and I haven't investigated the quality of the sources regarding it. My concern is more general in regards to how editors are treated, whatever their point of view. The atmosphere at certain articles and talk pages is vicious and the treatment of outsiders trying to comment and improve these articles with additional perspectives or to find out where and how they can be included is dismissive, hostile and accusatory. Cheers. ChildofMidnight (talk) 04:25, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
  • Well Jimbo, ChildofMidnight has magnanimously archived the offending material, so that about wraps up this thread it seems. Cheers. Tarc (talk) 23:32, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it in no way resolves the problem that I brought to Mr. Wales attention. I hope that he will be proactive in keeping a look out for pack mentality and the abusive behaviors I described. In his role as Wikipedia's leader he has an opportunity to make clear in no uncertain terms that intimidation, stalking, and harassment in order to censor those with minority viewpoints is totally unacceptable and that whatever our viewpoints Wikipedians are entitled to be treated with respect and to have their opinions heard. ChildofMidnight (talk) 00:28, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

My First Article

Hello Mr Wales. Im Coldplay Expert (lucky me its not my real name!) anyway as the name seggests, I like the English musical group Coldplay. With this in mind I decided to make an article on the unreleased Coldplay songs. (I based it off of Unreleased Pink Floyd). This is what my efforts accumulated into. List of unreleased Coldplay songs. The only problem is that now it is nominated to be deleated because it is not notable or has enough indipendent reliable resourses. Not only that but people think that im not neutral on any of my edits because of my wiki name. What should I do and what advice would you give me for keeping my article on wikipeda. (I realy belive that this article is a usefull adition to the Coldplay article in existance.) In the end, if nothing can be done then i will take it back and leave it on my userpage to be worked on.--Coldplay Expert (talk) 23:35, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

With the best will in the world I doubt Jimbo would get that involved in a decision at this level, although I'll leave it to him to decide. Meanwhile, there is only a proposal to delete your article, which you seem adequately equipped to defend. All I will say here is that whereas Unreleased Pink Floyd appears to be adequately sourced in relation to a band that has been around, and influential, for over 40 years, the same arguments may not apply to Coldplay. You would be better arguing your case at the deletion proposal, in my view. I don't want to stifle your enthusiasm, but the hurdle you have to cross is whether these unreleased tracks are objectively notable Rodhullandemu 23:45, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Make a copy and keep it in your user space in case its deleted, and defend it on the deletion discussion page and take any advice to improve it from the discussion. You can work on it while discussion is going on, but if its deleted take the advice and move on. Off2riorob (talk) 23:48, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Both of you, thank you very much and to make things clear, I was not asking for him to intervine I was just asking for advice. (sorry if I didnt make that clear) and yes I know that Pink Floyd have been around ALOT longer than Coldplay. I do know that the article needs a ton of atention but I just thought that it was a good start. Any way thanks again.--Coldplay Expert (talk) 00:45, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

The lack of third-party, reliable sources is problematic. If the article is deleted, you can try other Wiki's such as WikiColdPlay and Colpedia. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:37, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

are you misquoted here?

Dear Jimbo,

Sincerely thank you for founding Wikipedia and greetings from a Unix sysadmin who wishes he could have a similarly great idea!

You may want nothing to do with the following controversy; I'll understand if you don't respond.

One of your editors, William M. Connolley, has his own Wikipedia biography, and in that page you are referenced as being partial in an arbitration dispute. Upon investigation I find that a journalist has written (Stacy Schiff, July 31, 2006, New Yorker; with my emphasis added),

For all its protocol, Wikipedia’s bureaucracy doesn’t necessarily favor truth. In March, 2005, William Connolley [...] was briefly a victim of an edit war over the entry on global warming, to which he had contributed. After a particularly nasty confrontation with a skeptic, who had repeatedly watered down language pertaining to the greenhouse effect, the case went into arbitration. “User William M. Connolley strongly pushes his POV with systematic removal of any POV which does not match his own,” his accuser charged in a written deposition. “His views on climate science are singular and narrow.” A decision from the arbitration committee was three months in coming, after which Connolley was placed on a humiliating one-revert-a-day parole. The punishment was later revoked, and Connolley is now an admin, with two thousand pages on his watchlist—a feature that enables users to compile a list of entries and to be notified when changes are made to them. He says that Wikipedia’s entry on global warming may be the best page on the subject anywhere on the Web. Nevertheless, Wales admits that in this case the system failed. It can still seem as though the user who spends the most time on the site—or who yells the loudest—wins.

When I read this page, it suggests to me that you remained impartial in the arbitration dispute, and were commenting here only on systemic failure rather than the individuals involved in the arbitration dispute. (The article, OTOH, has you weighing in to support William.) It is also not absolutely clear to me, from this journalist's wording, who it is who thinks the Wikipedia entry on global warming is the best page anywhere on the web (is that you, or William?).

For the record, yes, I am left-leaning skeptic of climate change theories, although I do think that the global warming article itself is quite fair.

NOTE: Please understand I have no wish to edit William's biography: I just want to understand the views of its founder on this controversial subject. My primary reason for joining Wikipedia is to help improve and defend the biographies of living climate change skeptics, who do not always seem to be treated fairly. So you may be assured that the last thing I want to do is start adding negative material into the biographies of climate change advocates.

Many thanks, Alex Harvey (talk) 06:59, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

That particular article is full of misleading claims and I complained bitterly to them after it was published. I would not personally regard it as a reliable source for anything. In terms of longer profile pieces, it is one of the most flawed out there. I do not have any problem with that ArbCom decision, but I do consider it unfortunate that things ever had to get to the point that ArbCom was involved - I feel the same way about virtually all ArbCom cases. Every ArbCom case is in some sense a failure - a failure to work together appropriately, a failure to assume good faith, a failure to achieve consensus, and/or other similar failures. As you put it, these are in fact a "systemic" failures in a sense.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:34, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
My favorite part of that article (by a Pulitzer winner, no less!):
One regular on the site is a user known as Essjay, who holds a Ph.D. in theology and a degree in canon law and has written or contributed to sixteen thousand entries. A tenured professor of religion at a private university, Essjay made his first edit in February, 2005. Initially, he contributed to articles in his field—on the penitential rite, transubstantiation, the papal tiara. Soon he was spending fourteen hours a day on the site, though he was careful to keep his online life a secret from his colleagues and friends.
Good times, good times. It taught me not to believe implicitly things that are claimed by people who refuse to back up with their real name. Remember there was going to be a big "credential verification" program after that fiasco? That went the way of the dodo bird, I guess. -- Thekohser 16:57, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's sloppy journalism at best. Don't they know that Wikipedia is not a reliable source? It scares me when I hear stories about journalists actually using Wikipedia as a search tool. At best, they can look at our article and then check our sources to see a) if the source is reliable and b) if the source supports the claim. This weekend, there was at edit war going on at List of common misconceptions where the exact same source is being used for two opposite positions. Good times! (talk) 17:28, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Shouldn't the idea that a putative, presumabely busy "tenured professor at a private university" was logged in on Wiki 14 hours-a-day, for interminable months on end, have provided a clue? ↜Just M E here , now 18:11, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Hey, don't knock it, that article has thousands of viewers, have a look [[2]], over 20,000 a couple of days ago? Are the article traffic stats accurate? Off2riorob (talk) 17:57, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Maybe it was featured on "Did you know...?" ↜Just M E here , now 18:11, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
Many thanks, Jimbo. I have added a link to your response at William's talk page in case other editors wish to fix this up but don't feel it appropriate for me to be editing the biography of an editor with whom I've had a number of disagreements. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:46, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I do not have any problem with that ArbCom decision... - sorry, I'm a touch puzzled by this. Which decision are you talking about? If you mean Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Climate change dispute that would be rather odd, because Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Climate_change_dispute_2#Removal of_the_revert_parole_imposed on_William_M._Connolley makes it clear that Arbcomm had a problem with the prior judgement. Do please clarify William M. Connolley (talk) 19:37, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I support both decisions, in the sense that I support orderly process over my own opinions of particular matters. In the same sense, I support the results both the 2004 and 2008 US Presidential elections, even if I might (or might not!) disagree with the particular candidates who were elected. My sense is that some may desire to use my comments politically here in one direction or another, either to show that ArbCom was or is wrong - and I'm not really willing to play that role. Of course, privately, there will be many particular decisions within Wikipedia that I don't agree with, but in general I think it best if I keep my views on particular issues to myself (something I have generally done, and generally regretted when I haven't done) and instead focus attention on process in order to help as best I can with finding processes that are just, sustainable, and generally improving of the quality of Wikipedia.
There are a great many people who feel that I do too little to impose my views. There are a great many people who feel I do too much to impose my views. And a small number who seem to wish I would do more in case they think I agree with their pet cause, and do less in case they think I agree with some other of their pet causes. :-) This is natural, I suppose, but unfortunate.
In this case, neither my remarks to the reporter at Nature nor my remarks here were intended to support or not support either the ArbCom of the past or William Connolley. I have the greatest of respect for both of them. I think that virtually anyone can agree, though, that a conflict that rises to the level that a respected scientest is censured by ArbCom is not an optimal outcome - for anyone - and in that sense, I think we can say that our processes didn't work as well as we all might hope.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:01, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Requesting your thoughts on retouching historic photographs

Jimbo, here is an issue about which I would really appreciate a comment from you. It regards editing historic photographs to suit the aesthetic preferences of an editor or editors. As I stated earlier [3] when I originally intended to ask your opinion, only to discover you had gone camping, this is not canvassing. I don't want TPWs here to comment at the discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject History of photography#"Cleanup" of Daguerreotype. But I would like to know how the founder feels about this. Since I started that discussion, a new discussion has appeared at this FPC thread.

I will say that my opinion is that no Photoshopping or Gimping should be done to these historic photographs outside of possibly adjusting the levels a small amount to allow for clearer display on a computer display if an image is too dark to be easily viewed on such a device. To me, as I state in the discussion at the -History of photography- project, anything done to these images that is driven by the commentary of modern editors about how it should appear constitutes a form of original research. We are no longer talking about a free image but an interpretation of it. At a minimum it is questionable, at a more general level it invites controversy in the way film colorization does. I am only a half-dozen years older than you, and I don't think I'm out of bounds in suggesting that age has something to do with my opinion and how it clashes with others; I sense that a large number of younger editors have grown to expect digital imaging and high-definition images in general and have a hard time looking at something that isn't perfect, without understanding that historical context in these cases is a valid consideration. We aren't here to compete with other, slicker presentations, I think our goal rather is to present the best compilation of the facts we can in a well-vetted and historically accurate way while avoiding adding our own embellishments, be it to words or to images originally published by others, to suit our own preferences. Your thoughts here would be appreciated. Sswonk (talk) 01:07, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

I believe we have a policy or guideline on alteration of photos that is quite restrictive. —Finell (Talk) 02:06, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Finell, can you point me to that policy or guideline? Sswonk, I currently have no very strong opinion on the issue. Philosophically, I am opposed to "original research" or an amount of editing that generates "new information" that is actually false or misleading in some way. But I am not really knowledgeable enough to know anything useful about it.
When I was in Berlin earlier this year, Gerard (physically present) and Durova (via IRC) showed me some work that was really amazing and fantastic, although arguably original research. (I'm not sure.)
To repeat myself a bit: I have no very strong opinion here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:56, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
I could interpret that the opposition you have to "editing that generates 'new information' that is actually false or misleading in some way" puts you very squarely on my side of the issue. On the other hand, having "no strong opinion" is an obvious hedge to avoid standing on that side. I would like to see that link to a guideline as well, and might point out that someone can have saintly intentions while heading into an area that is in fact misleading and false, which is very difficult to explain and also why I escalated my inquiry up to you. Do you see that point, whereby for example a hypothetical photo of a somewhat greenish bronze with patina is retouched to appear as newly cast and presented as "Statue of George Wales, town founder" in the photo caption at the "Walestown, Iowa" article? That is what is at issue, not only the falsification of the image but its potential for honest but inaccurate presentation in articles by unsuspecting editors. We have images from, as in my case linked above, highly respected sources, the Library of Congress, national and state archives, museums and so on that were posted by professionals at those preservationist institutions as their best record of a photo that are then altered here simply on the desires of well-meaning but amateur folks here. I press this only because I would like you, and the project as a whole, to have a stronger opinion, fully understanding that you are simply one voice. I value your thoughts however limited they may be, and you can trust me that I do not intend to use your opinion here as ammunition in any discussion or debate, I am simply trying to gauge opinion and I respect yours in many instances. Thank you. Sswonk (talk) 03:32, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

To elaborate on Jimbo's point, the specific restoration he saw via chat (gchat actually) has not been used in article space. On rare occasions a restoration uncovers information that had previously gone unrecognized. The following restoration, for instance, prompted the Library of Congress to update its bibliographic notes and became a minor news story.

Library of Congress staff are updating the description. An excerpt of their reply follows:

Upon viewing the high-res TIFF file we made of the file, the human remains are quite visible, indeed. Thank you very much for contacting us regarding this image, and for your interest in our collections. You can imagine that among a collection of 14 million items here, there are a lot of secrets waiting to be uncovered!

The solution to this dilemma is simple: no mention of the human remains was made onsite until after reliable sources confirmed their existence. If anyone reading this page happens to know a credentialed academic in the field of American history, please put them in touch with me. The unused image Jimbo saw may be worthy of publication in a reliable source. But that sort of thing is a very rare exception. What follows is more typical:

Both the before and after images are uploaded and cross-linked, the hosting page of the restored version contains detailed edit notes, and work was performed so the 8.38MB restored version is viewable at 200% resolution. This isn't a matter of chugging the file through a couple of plugins: all work is performed by hand. Blogged about this one yesterday.[4] Spent six hours correcting cracks and scratches in his hair.

Once in a blue moon somebody who has no hands-on experience with this work develops very strange ideas about it, usually declaring very loudly that what we're doing is wrong and attempting to dictate a specific set of parameters that don't work. It's been several months since the last so perhaps we were due. This is the first occasion it's landed at Jimbo's user talk. Apologies if the response isn't quite on the ball; someone pinged me as soon as I logged on this morning. Am composing this while drowning in the first cup of morning coffee.

In short, restorations like the above are one of the reasons the Tropenmuseum of Amsterdam agreed to host a partnered exhibit with WMF Netherlands in its physical space. I'll be leading the team for the media portion of the exhibit. For more information see last month's Signpost announcement.[5] The exhibit is scheduled to open this November. Durova307 15:17, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Durova, I think this is all excellent and exciting work.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:54, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Re policy, the 6th bullet point in Wikipedia:Manual of Style#Images states:

  • It is often preferable to place images of faces so that the face or eyes look toward the text. Multiple images in the same article can be staggered right-and-left (for example: Timpani). However, images should not be reversed simply to resolve a conflict between these guidelines; doing so misinforms the reader for the sake of our layout preferences. An image should be reversed or substantially altered only if this clearly assists the reader (for example, cropping a work of art to focus on a detail discussed in the text). Any such alteration must be noted in the caption.

I read this to prohibit altering an image in such a way that the original subject is misrepresented. I don't think that this restricts the type of faithful restorations that Durova is doing. —Finell (Talk) 15:43, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, MOS isn't policy (I for one would rather demote most of MOS from guideline to essay, but that's a different discussion). Although such a creative inference upon one guideline clause is questionable, the original example that prompted this thread has a meritorious complaint at its core. The practice of uploading radical edits over the same filename as an existing original is troublesome. Regardless of other factors, such a thing would not pass featured picture candidacy due to inadequate documentation. But the image is hosted at Wikimedia Commons, so Commons policy governs it. Current Commons policy is inadequate in this area, and perhaps I've been negligent for not having drafted a better proposal (there have been invitations). The Swedish chapter recently obtained high resolution scans from an institutional collection of nineteenth century photography (see Commons:Commons:Regionarkivet), so am putting other work aside to restore the excavation of a Roman ruin at Uriconium. Durova307 15:59, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
  • It's very interesting to see the photos side by side. I don't think there's a substantive change that misrepresents the original image, but the yellowed and scrawled on original give a context and feel that's missing in the fixed up versions. Perhaps a miniature of the original could somehow be included letterboxed in some cases, side by side in others, and at least on the photo page itself for instances where it's too much to include both. I don't know the right answer, but it's an interesting issue. In archaeology and fossil hunting it's a point of contention how much reconstruction is appropriate to do, especially when inference is required. ChildofMidnight (talk) 17:13, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
    • With restored featured pictures the original will be available linked from the image hosting page. Such comparisons are usually tangential to the encyclopedia article. Needless to say, dust and scratches are not part of the original photographer's intention. Scrawled notes upon original photographs are not unusual; their principal significance is as demonstrations that curatorial practices used to be very lax a century ago. Sometimes, after spending an hour on the painstaking removal of a recordkeeping stamp from a centuries-old manuscript, I've wished for a special circle of hell to punish sloppy librarians. Durova307 17:27, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
    • As the co-editor w/ Durova on the Ed Walsh photo, I must agree with her position. What we (that's a pretty royal we, Durova and Shoemaker really dominate in restorations) do with these restorations is explicitly not original research. OR in photo restoration would be removing one of Walsh's ears, giving him a third eye, making him black, etc, etc. What the work we did (dust and scratch repair) is precisely what the MOS calls for when discussing a crop, it "clearly assists the reader". Without such repair Walsh would look like a dusty and scratched up mess. When you cite a statement from a source with a typo, do you carry-over the typo or do you fix it? Original research is, as defined at WP:NOR#Original images with regards to photos, "It is not acceptable for an editor to use photo manipulation to try to distort the facts or position being illustrated by a contributed photo. Manipulated images should be prominently noted as such. Any image that is found to have manipulation that materially affects its encyclopedic value should be deleted from the article and a note should be posted at the file page informing users that the file contains Original Research." These restorations do not distort facts or alter encyclopedic value, they enhance and make clearer the image that is already there (just as a crop or levels adjustment does). Staxringold talkcontribs 19:27, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Interesting points. I basically agree with you and Durova, but I do think there's room for judgment calls and discussion in cases where there's an argument to be made that the original provides some context or significance that an improved photo does not. I also think it depends a lot on whether an image is being used to illustrate an article on another subject or the image is itself the subject of an article or section of an article. Cropping a photographer's work in his or her article (unless it is to show a detail and noted as such) would certainly be an inappropriate modification. Whether restoring the image from an old slide to give the most accurate clarity is always preferable to showing the slide itself in its aged condition depends a lot on context. I haven't looked, but I would hope our article on the Sistine Chapel shows before and afters of the restoration, as the restoration is itself is noteworthy and the deterioration over time and the way it appeared to many people for decades and was presumed to look is worth pointing out to our readers. Thanks for letting me stick my nose into your discussion and thanks for your work fixing up photographs. I would definitely encourage preserving the original unedited version on wiki in so far as it is possible to do so, even if the unimproved image isn't helpful in article space. ChildofMidnight (talk) 20:05, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Comparison of physical restoration to digital restoration is an apples-and-oranges matter. The physical restoration of the Sistine Chapel (and resultant editorial discussions on how to present it) has very little bearing on this discussion. Durova308 20:44, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Also, all the image restorers I've met are careful to include unrestored TIF/PNG versions along with an unrestored JPG. Staxringold talkcontribs 21:14, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

(od) I am learning much more about this and the policies in place. I want to spend some more time reading these comments, but I would like to make the disclosure that I have responded to the initial statement, "Once in a blue moon somebody who has no hands-on experience with this work develops very strange ideas about it" by Durova (talk · contribs) on her talk page. Put briefly, I am delighted that she and the others above have responded, and I went to her talk mostly to proclaim politely that I know a little more than that statement suggests. Again, I will come back later after considering the comments a little more. Sswonk (talk) 22:02, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

The discussion seems to have migrated. Inquiring minds may read further at The local tabloid. ;) Durova308 22:04, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, then there are other comments at the History of photography project talk, where things have picked up quite a bit since this thread appeared. Taking this onto a central venue is probably appropriate, and I would like to read thoughts on that. Possibly the talk page at WP:NOR, where WP:OI stands as the single most pointed policy point on this subject. I am finding through reading at these three discussions that consensus among experts in the field and thoughtful observers appears to be that some very faithful restoration is acceptable, and that any restoration should be identified clearly in the caption and through details on the file page. I also see the potential for a vetting process, although how that can be accomplished it is not clearly available to me. I think the drawback here is that you create a subset of the "Encyclopedia anyone can edit" that becomes the "Encyclopedia where only the JWEG can edit certain images" which is as sure to stir some controversy as are flagged revisions. Back to my original request, I am hoping to find a venue where the participants here and at the HOP discussion can combine to discuss a policy or guideline on historic photograph restorations. Also, if it is felt that is premature or this discussion needs to continue here please comment. Jimbo, any thoughts on the need for a centralized debate for this topic? Sswonk (talk) 00:55, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo's talk page really isn't a central forum for community discussion, despite appearances to the contrary. I suggest Wikipedia talk:Images if you want to establish or modify guidelines for retouching or altering images used in Wikipedia, with an invite to editors at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject History of photography to participate. Projects themselves don't make encyclopedia-wide policy or guidelines, but do participate in the process within their areas of interest. —Finell (Talk) 02:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Actually Wikimedia Commons, which hosts all of the images currently under as discussion, is a multilingual project which is unlikely to respect any local en:wiki discussion. Any parameters established at this site would only really affect captioning and the small minority of historic images that are hosted locally because they are public domain in the United States but not in their country of origin. Durova308 02:27, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
That's right. It's mentioned at commons:Commons:Fan art#Does Commons want fan art? Isn't it original research? that Commons doesn't follow the policies here at all. They have no original research provision I can find. Thus, establishing a guideline here would need to address that. We can still, and I believe should, have a guideline on which methods are acceptable and what level of manipulation is considered helpful. That would entail saying "simply being present on Commons doesn't qualify an image as encyclopedic". Easy enough. Sswonk (talk) 03:30, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

(od) Finell, regarding your suggestion that a discussion occur at Images, I think that makes sense for something in the future, and I already suggested NOR talk which is another place to consider for aspects of the debate. But there is a good amount of talk going on at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject History of photography, and an editor there has suggested continuing discussions at their project talk page for a while before moving ahead with project-wide guidelines discussions. I agree with him on that, and everyone who has contributed here can and is encouraged to head over there to continue our back and forth and provide input. Thanks everyone for helping out with thoughtful comments and direction on this topic, I appreciate it greatly. Sswonk (talk) 03:52, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedian consensus

I have found this a hard thing to realise, is this an example..Edit-warring by a single editor against multiple editors is a losing cause. Right or wrong, you won't win. If you can't persuade other editors at the article to support your position, it's best to give up on the issue and work on something else. Accusing other editors of bad behavior won't help you; nothing will help except to get support from other editors. Off2riorob (talk) 19:34, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, I think there's another way. Assume good faith, and realize that the other editors opposing you may have a point. Use reason and kindness to persuade them of a reasonable compromise position. Watch the movie 12 Angry Men (the original, not the awful remake!) for ideas... :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:13, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

That is really wonderful advice, Jimbo, and how it should work, in theory. But in reality, Rob, here is how to win edit wars:

  • Hang out on IRC and make friends there especially with some admins.
  • Learn the alphabet and do them favors- back them in their edit wars, vote with them on RFAs, XFDs and FAXs etc. They owe you...Now you are part of a clique and a crew!
  • Add or delete something from the contested article and see how your opponents respond. If they revert get one of your IRC crew to try and trick them into violating 3RR.
  • If that should fail, get one of your IRC crew who is a policy wonk or Wikilawyer to find some other policy your opponents have violated (there is bound to be at least one!).
  • Time to call in the big guns- one of your admin pals (remember one admin is worth dozens of Wikipeons, especially one with a lot of cabal credits).
  • While doing all this, ask yourself; What would Chancellor Palpatine do?. The answer: ALWAYS remain polite on-Wiki. Off Wiki feel free to let go your anger and hate, boy!
  • That should get rid of your casual opponents, the more stubborn ones might require longer and other means. For instance, go after their contributions by putting them up for deletion or FAR or copyright vio. Even if you do not succeed, you will force them to expend time and effort away from the articles you care about.
  • Become an admin yourself if you think you can round up enough supporters. Those few extra buttons can make a big difference against opponents, especially if they lack them. Also you can do bigger favors for your crew. Now you're playing with power!
  • Remember-Reciprocity is the pillar of human intercourse and one far bigger than the 5 pillars of Wikipedia.
  • Sockpuppets are illegal, immoral and potentially hazardous. But nearly everyone who is anyone uses them. If you decide to use them too be smart and don't get caught.
  • If you do get busted, not only for socking but for anything, apologize profusely and promise never to do it again.
  • If your reputation and username becomes too soiled, get a new username or start over with a new account.

Hope you find this little guide helpful, and remember what Machiavelli would say if he were alive today-Don't get mad, get even!-- (talk) 02:02, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

So you are saying that receprocity (so emboldened, and so spelled) is a dick? (Wikipedia has a page about that too.) -- Hoary (talk) 02:11, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I like Jimbo's advice. Contrary to the statement above, most editors are pretty receptive to courteous communications, discussion and suggestions, and gaming isn't a very pleasant way to about editing even if it can sometimes be effective. I don't think it's necessary to "butter people up", but showing respect certainly helps.
There are article discussion pages that are exceptions and the dispute resolution process for those is fairly crappy. The content noticeboard and other non-sanctioning noticeboards like the one to request a third opinion can be useful and provide new and sometimes interesting perspectives. Once parties are entrenched it can be very hard to keep calm and stay civil. I suggest finding lighter article subjects to work on for balance and to stay diversified so you can maintain sanity.
I also think it would help if admins learned to use a variety of tools other than the block button and threatening templates. Mediating is an art and collegial communication is often in short supply on Wiki.
Things sometimes change with time too, so leaving something and coming back to it weeks or months later with a fresh approach sometimes works.
I would be very interested to see a trial of a content committee like Arbcom that would work to resolve disputes (especially very specific issues that are minor in scope but causing major disruption). Having a trusted group willing to consider and address content issues in an effort to work out appropriate compromises instead of just sanctioning parties involved and seeking to end disputes by attrition seems a much better approach than what we do currently. I don't understand why we have a committee to punish but none to help solve problems in a collegial and collaborative way. In theory mediation is supposed to do that, but it's not binding and all it takes is one editor to object to participating and it's over before it started. ChildofMidnight (talk) 04:10, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
One of the major issues I've encountered is that POV-pushers tend to be far more dedicated and profilic than editors who don't really care too much about a topic. Often times, the POV-pushers will win the argument simply because neutral editors get tired and quit. A dedicated POV-pusher can easily Wiki-Lawyer a single sentence or word and drag it out for months at a time. Yet, the admins are reluctant to do anything about it. Even when the Arbitration Committee has ruled against something, the admins are reluctant to enforce the Arb Com. If you ask me, the era of the enclyclopia that anyone can edit is over. We just don't realize it yet. We need editors who pass basic qualifications. And we need editorial oversight. Editors who repeatedly violate Wikipedia policies should be banned outright, not given slaps on the wrists and allowed to keep damaging Wikipedia. (talk) 04:46, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
(e/c)If I may, we must insist that genuinely neutral editors must step in to mediate on content disputes such as you (i.e. ChildofMidnight) mention. I don't like the sound of this "trusted group." Human beings are not -- without incentive -- generally "trustworthy". If they were, there would be no need for laws, no need for courts, and no need for police. The moment one is "trusted" one has power. And power, as we all know, corrupts. Especially if, again, one has power without the incentive to use it properly (e.g. a salary).
What I find happening over and over is that we will have a dispute about content in a page about, say, climate change. So far so good. Two editors will fail to reach agreement such that one will escalate to a noticeboard. At this point, the system usually fails, because editors who answer the escalations are themselves involved with strong opinions on climate change. This, to me, is very bad practice. If I issue a query to the RS/N in a climate change dispute I would like other editors with strong opinions on climate change -- whether they're on my side or against me -- to remain silent so that genuinely neutral editors can discuss the matter. But, as far as I can see, this doesn't happen -- ever. A query to the various noticeboards usually just brings in more climate change editors, often the same ones every time.
I believe that if this behaviour -- mediating on issues where you are yourself known to have a strong opinion -- could be stopped, the system would work. Alex Harvey (talk) 05:00, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback, I had the idea of a rolling randomly chosen group of editors deciding on the simple disputes, say, seven editors randomly chosen and changed every two weeks,if chosen at random they would be almost guaranteed to be neutral, the third opinion and RFC seem to be a bit weak at the moment. Neutrality is the key, but as we know people tend to edit the articles that they have an interest in. I have found that helping to improve articles about people you don't like at all is a good experience, thanks for the comment Jimbo, i'll have a look at that movie, 12 angry men and see if it gives me any insights. I would say that in my experience at Wikipedia, of all the nuances that make up wikipedia that consensus has been the most elusive. Off2riorob (talk) 08:46, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
This is the standard problem: having people who know nothing about complex issues deciding the matter does not work William M. Connolley (talk) 09:51, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
That is just the kind of demeaning comment I would expect from you.Off2riorob (talk) 11:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it was a demeaning comment at all; it just seemed to be common sense? And while 12 Angry Men was a great film, I don't think real life works like that. Faced with a phalanx of POV editors, the neutral (or neutral expert) editor has little option but to cut and run. Little grape (talk) 12:21, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Saying to people, ow, the problem is actually people like you talking about things that you don't understand is demeaning. Off2riorob (talk) 12:52, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
But that's not what WMC was saying. The "people who know nothing about complex issues" was not about you, but about the "randomly chosen group of editors" you suggested. Fram (talk) 12:58, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that's how I read it too. It wasn't personal, it was just a general point from which I inferred that expert editors' contributions should carry a little more weight. Little grape (talk) 13:06, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Personally I don't see that, I was talking about third opinion request and RFC about minor issues, content disputes and the like and any seven neutral editors would easily be able to make simple decisions regarding these sort of issues, I felt that he was talking about my comments regarding consensus and his statement that that was the problem, people like me who don't understand the complex issues talking about them. I would appreciate him clearing it up, was he talking about me? Off2riorob (talk) 13:12, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
You're wasting everyones bandwidth on this page by not reading what I wrote. Like I said: this is the std problem whenever this comes up; it applies to the doomed "neutral" editors idea. Minor issues don't need fixing this way, because they are minor, and can be fixed already. Major issues can't be fixed this way, as I said William M. Connolley (talk) 14:08, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Bandwidth wasting? Moi? You do have a point and I am sure there is a place where we can agree on this, and I look forward to working towards consensus with you on this, best regards and thanks for clearing that up. Off2riorob (talk) 14:38, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I think the idea has merit. Instead of the RfC which brings in more POV editors, a group of genuine, serious, neutral editors could assess the situation and firstly decide, do they actually have sufficient expertise to mediate, or are there more complex issues that require some experts to be brought in? I would be surprised to find that too many disputes are really about technical matters of theory and so forth. It's usually one editor or a group of editors trying to suppress or exaggerate a particular view and similar such things. Alex Harvey (talk) 15:04, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
May be ”edit-warning by single editor against multiple editors” can be a way to understand the strength of the rules in Wikipedia. By recognizing the problems one can test the strength of the rules. i.e.: NPOV vs. POV. One can point to a set of problems and present them in easily verifiable way. The resolution of the problem should coincide with the rules. If this does not occur then the rules have to be enforced in other ways or changed. Without rules sometimes even creative people tend to spend they creative energies to ultimately self-destructive ways. It depends on the genius nature of the rule to be helpful enough to enforce and direct a creative process possibly called, LIFE. The Ten Commandments are old but they help to remain on track. Wikipedia is one of the few truly genius invention in our time it has been working. (Salmon1 (talk) 15:07, 2 September 2009 (UTC))

Experts almost by definition are some of the most opinionated editors on subjects in their field. A committee to resolve content disputes wouldn't need to have expertise in a field, only to be able to read and understand the arguments and weigh the evidence and apply our policies and guidelines. This would provide a productive dispute resolution mechanism for knotty issues that could encourage discussion and compromise, and I think it would foster an improved level collaboration. In the present model Arbcom defacto decides the outcome of disputes by force of sanctions on good faith editors after a tortured and antagonistic process of determining who is most at fault. ChildofMidnight (talk) 16:48, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

Experts almost by definition - no, this is incorrect. You are abusing "by defn". You might mean "in my experience"; in which case I'd also disagree with you. Having complex disputes resolved by people who know nothing about them is Bad. Wiki persistently refuses to face up to this William M. Connolley (talk) 17:09, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
This is one of the areas I would disagree with you, there is nothing complex about a content dispute, and it requires no experts at all, who are the so called experts you are referring to? We are all amateurs here, for example mr w m connolley is opinionated about global warming but he is not any kind of expert is he? seven neutral editors could easily say, have a look at the sources and decide.. put it in or take it out or add both sides of the story. Also your description of people as knowing nothing about it is wrong (imo) a little knowledge can be a good thing. Off2riorob (talk) 17:18, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I totally agree with this from COM ... A committee to resolve content disputes wouldn't need to have expertise in a field, only to be able to read and understand the arguments and weigh the evidence and apply our policies and guidelines. This would provide a productive dispute resolution mechanism for knotty issues that could encourage discussion and compromise, and I think it would foster an improved level collaboration.Off2riorob (talk) 17:34, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Your words here are still a waste of bandwidth. As to expertise, arbcomm (not always a reliable source) rather disagree with you Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Climate change dispute#William M. Connolley as expert. You are demonstrating rather neatly that when discussing something, it is a good idea to have a clue William M. Connolley (talk) 17:41, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your comments, I thought that there was some kind of discussion going on here, but your repeated accusation of my wasting bandwidth just shows me that there is only one opinion that considered worthwhile by you and that is your own. Off2riorob (talk) 17:59, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
Also , william, we do not need experts as they are often opinionated, we have reliable sources and npov and so on, these things are designed to remove our need for so called experts. Off2riorob (talk) 18:07, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
If the rule NPOV—which is clearly defined—is firmly enforced then theoretically all the disputes can be resolved. Since Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view and without bias while providing reliable sources as references to the articles, the once called amateurs soon become competent editors to the Wikipedia, Free Encyclopedia. According to NPOV, this rule is not negotiable and expected of all articles and all editors. The question still remains how to enforce this rule in the most efficient, firm and collegial way? (Salmon1 (talk) 18:26, 2 September 2009 (UTC))
There is/was a proposal that basically said that there are too many disputes for ArbCom to handle them all and that we should create new ArbComs to handle each of the problem areas. So there would be an NPOV ArbCom, a Edit War ArbCom, etc.. (or something like that. I don't remember all the details.) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 18:36, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I've observed that people who cynically claim that dispute resolution strategies work in theory, but not in practice, haven't tried them in practice. In my experience... well, I've written down some suggestions in a couple of places. Don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em. The second one especially—arguing on Wikipedia is quite fun, and almost always a waste of your energy. People want to single-handedly persuade the other guy, but that almost never happens. After two rounds of debate, diminishing returns kick in real fast. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:38, 2 September 2009 (UTC)

I would say that at wikipedia,the last thing we require is diminishing returns Off2riorob (talk) 19:50, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
What? I'm sorry, but I don't understand what you just said. Who's talking about "requiring" diminishing returns? What does that even mean? I'm just saying that arguing with one other person over a content issue is a stupid approach, when there are thousands of other people around. Who's requiring what? -GTBacchus(talk) 20:16, 2 September 2009 (UTC)
I am doubtful that there is really anyone on this thread who hasn't actually tried the dispute resolution process. I think that most would learn pretty quickly that you can't win a content dispute on your own. The point that is raised is the difficulty in bringing in genuinely neutral editors through actually following the dispute resolution process.
The first time I escalated an issue was on the Richard Lindzen biography when I noted the dispute at the BLP/N per BLP policy. An editor promptly appeared who appeared to be quite neutral: he was very polite, and sort of agreed in principle with the objections I had raised, and then he even did a rewrite that improved the quality of the article. But he was rather hesitant to actually remove the negative material. Having agreed that it should probably go, that was that. It stayed. It was only much later that I realised that the editor himself was a regular climate change editor, whose POV matched my opponent's. I finally dropped the matter.
It wasn't for a few more months when a most incendiary, unreliable source was linked into the article that I escalated to BLP/N a second time. This time, a GW skeptic & admin answered my escalation, but still, note, not a genuinely neutral editor. Anyhow, being an admin and more experienced with policy, he made a better argument for removal of both the incendiary link, and the material from the original dispute. I was then emboldened to provide more arguments and more evidence, and together we won this (and even then, only because one of the opposing editor's friends was finally willing, as it were, to "cross the floor" on the issue). A happy ending, perhaps, but it took a lot time and energy.
The question is: did I not follow the process correctly? Or does the process just not really work where the subject is controversial? Alex Harvey (talk) 12:58, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
"I am doubtful that there is really anyone on this thread who hasn't actually tried the dispute resolution process." That depends what you mean by "the dispute resolution process". There's not 100% agreement on what the process actually is. Some people seem to think that it includes accusations of bad faith, meat puppetry, etc., etc. Time and energy are definitely needed investments in all but the trivial cases, and the patience of Job is also helpful. This is a lot to ask from a volunteer. What you describe sounds about right; I'm glad you stuck with it and that it worked out for you. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:30, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
This is an extremely minor part of the overall problem, but I know a few editors have suggesting creating an external links noticeboard. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:39, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
External link notice board may very well be a creative idea to enforce NPOV. When considering external link, the problem to confront is, how to reconcile with pseudo name and real life identity as to its rule in Wikipedia. (Salmon1 (talk) 16:36, 3 September 2009 (UTC))
  • Until there is an effective process for dispute resolution there will be a high level of frustration, incivility, and editor attrition. We have processes for deleting articles, deciding who gets adminship and sanctioning editors who violate the rules, but there is no way to get effective mediation and to work out disputes with a panel or arbitrators moderating and applying policy with a committment to impariality and our core values. ChildofMidnight (talk) 16:26, 3 September 2009 (UTC)
    • I think ChildofMidnight makes a good point, and I don't know what the solution is. Since we're all volunteers, it's difficult to set up any kind of incentive to stick to the core policies. Currently, dispute resolution tends to go in favor of the most persistent editors, although just what they persist in doing varies from editor to editor.

      A persistent POV warrior who manages to avoid being caught by any behavioral policy can often get their way. A persistently polite and patient editor who learns how to use low-drama forums such as WP:3O and various project talk page can often get their way. A persistently good writer who builds up good reputation-capital in the form of Featured Articles can often get their way. A persistent IRC denizen who builds up their supply of friends in the right places can often get their way. An editor who combines two or more of these strategies can be quite powerful.

      Ultimately, a lot of disputes go to the last person typing, after wearing down the opposition over the course of weeks and months. I like to think this isn't the best possible system. -GTBacchus(talk) 17:21, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

New entries to Jimbo's talkpage archives not shown

...Cos he's maxed out the list template's allowable 50? ↜Just M E here , now 16:38, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Alfred "Ed Moch" Cota

Hello Jimmy... sorry to bothter you, but I am having a problem with some individuals here at WIKI that think I am some sort of work of fiction (as best I can put it?). I have attepted to create, edit, and contribute additional source information that is challanged most if not all the time. In some cases, I have "First Hand Information", in other cases, I have "collobrating Information" that helps improve certain vague wiki articles. When it come to my own personal biography, some here challange my background. I even had some people that know me for what and who I am that have professional backgrounds... even accurate source documentation (ie: Robert L. Smith of Los Pobladores 200 organization presented an uploaded accurate biography on myself. After a few months, that has been removed from WIKI. Someone does not like or thinks my biograpgy is bogus or something? I assure my reputation speaks for itself. One of the auguments I have had here in WIKI, is my choosing to use the word "Alledged" in reference to my association to Major General Norman Cota of World War II Fame. I choose to use the word "Alledged", because "Cota" is my biological last name... as I use "Moch" as my legal name, due to personal family reasons of respecting my privacy at being adopted. So why must I be "challenged" by WIKI, when I have tried to explain my reason. Some of my documentation also appears in GOOGLE and YAHOO, along with various published-radio Internet interviews, with some FOIA, National Archival documentation as well. So I am quite real.

I can go on and on in my complaint, but I could use some positive cross feedback from you to help clear up some of my problems and challenges. Thank you for your understanding Aedwardmoch (talk) 23:18, 4 September 2009 (UTC)AedwardmochAedwardmoch (talk) 23:18, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

It is generally best to avoid advocating for a biography about yourself in Wikipedia. The important thing is reliable third-party sources.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:42, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
He's probably talking about me. Frankly, I think he doesn't 'get' WP:NOR or the criteria of WP:RS. His autobiography A. Edward Moch has been speedy deleted six times. A user RFC for tendentious editing is long overdue. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 23:18, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Your children are savage and misbehaving

Resolved: Case closed. ACNE was BLOCKED on The Road Runner Show and Porky Pig later said: "I believe, I believe... that's all folks!"

Someone was blocked. Their case was on WP:ANI. They provided an explanation. The polite thing would be to transfer their explanation to WP:ANI. As a result of this doing this (and offering no excuses for the person or any commentary), people are attacking me and calling for me to be blocked. People have invaded my privacy and looked up IP data (and they found I am "unrelated" to the blocked person).

You need to stop this childish and savage behavior. If not, nobody with any brains is going to want to write for your encyclopedia.

Is anybody going to block Acme Plumbing? Who then was a gentleman? (talk) 06:31, 3 September 2009 (UTC) Acme Plumbing is  Unrelated, just someone trying to be helpful by cross-posting DBZF's talk page comments. However, someone should ask DBZF about edit warring while logged out and the other two accounts operating from his home. Thatcher 20:42, 3 September 2009 (UTC) ..."Curiouser and curiouser." Durova310 02:47, 4 September 2009 (UTC) (A renewed attack)

Acme Plumbing (talk) 03:53, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Acme Plumbing is already blocked from editing. Indefinetly too. Should keep him out of trouble cause nobodys gonna unblock this bad boy. RascalthePeaceful (t) 18:01, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Don't, I say, just don't. What I can see here, is that he is making continous harrassments, and somehow the notice above "If not, nobody with any brains is going to want to write for your encyclopedia" is what Acme Plumbing had left on your talk page. Do not unblock Acme Plumbing until he is clear of those harrassments. Certainly, he is a bad boy.--BoeingRuleOfThe9th-700 (talk) 14:09, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Speaking from experience, if the crazed disgruntled folks can't tighten up their narrative so that it's at least mostly understandable, the appeal falls flat. I'm sure something sinister happened here, but I don't have the strength to wade through that breathless stream of thought to figure it out. -- Thekohser 18:59, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

If his harrassments continue, I suggest that he should be community banned from Wikipedia, as he is abusing our editing features for such words, in front of us, in our talk page.--BoeingRuleOfThe9th-700 (talk) 11:45, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Ashida Kim

As the nominator in Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ashida Kim (2nd nomination), you may be interested to know that its sixth deletion discussion is now at Deletion Review. You can follow it at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2009 September 4#Ashida Kim. For what it's worth, your question of October 2005 remains unanswered almost four years later, despite my pressing for it to be answered here and again here. Ironically, the badly sourced biographical content that so incensed the subject back then is still being replaced into the article even now. You can read my thoughts on our perennial failure to apply policy here, in the face of a determined effort by the owners/members of a WWW discussion forum to out-vote it again and again, at User talk:Backslash Forwardslash#Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ashida Kim (6th nomination). Uncle G (talk) 07:35, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Huh. What a mess.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:40, 5 September 2009 (UTC)

Just a note: UncleG's comment can now be found at User talk:Backslash Forwardslash/Archive 7#Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ashida Kim (6th nomination). Graham87 15:11, 6 September 2009 (UTC)

Role of the Public Editor?

Jimbo, I first heard about the project from some friends of yours at the CBOE, I was clearing First Options at the Board. I remember the first time I came to the site - it was barren beyond belief, articles half written - major topics like States and continents unlisted.

I signed on and have been adding content since before 9/11. I've always prided myself on the quality of my edits, interesting content addition has always been a forte of mine. I travel extensively and have edited from small dark rooms in Tibet to overly bright cafe's in the Galapagos - I estimate I've easily made over 10,000 edits from dozens of nations over the last 9 years, and that's a very conservative estimate. (I've even created articles as an IP since after that was blocked off through requests to account holders. :) )

I've done all of this as a Public Editor, anonymously.

Around 2006 or so there was a cultural shift, anonymous editors began to become suspect - this was actually not the worst thing, the scrutiny made for strong editing as every ref or edit was considered fully, but fairly.

Lately though, certainly for the last year, IP editors have become the peons and plebes of many here. IP's routinely have the most basic and solid edits reverted and rejected - discussing or resisting is met with easy bans, page locks and wholesale reversions. It's a common and painfully true complaint of editors with an account that Administrators give little time or effort into considering a dispute before applying their not inconsiderable powers. The situation is far more pronounced when an IP is involved.

Much of this is institutional, the politics of social networking may have begun to pervade and poison neutral interaction and traditional consensus building. Those of us who historically have contributed evenly across topics of all kinds are giving way to the Gatekeepers and committed ideologues that seem to have entrenched themselves and built unspoken alliances. Pattern editing, in which one works from a specific identifiable angle across multiple related topics in order to paint an ideological picture throughout related articles is increasing rapidly. The historic individual edit-warriors, adept at skirting the rules while manipulating the levers of Wiki for their own ends are slowly being replaced by a growing body of a much more sophisticated animal - individuals that now have an objective and goals. Far short of the legendary "Cabals", but the pattern of evolution is not promising.

I've been inside most every nook and cranny, and grown with this project since its inception but now it seems nearly impossible to edit as a member of the public.

What are your thoughts on the role of the Public Editor? (talk) 14:00, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

I am not sure why you are referring to an unregistered editor as a "Public Editor". We are all public editors. From what I see, unregistered editors are usually less experienced (although there are exceptions) and are less aware of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, which make their edits less likely to conform to Wikipedia's standards. If you consider only IP edits that are sourced and that have reasonable edit summaries (which many IP editors leave blank, contrary to guidelines), good edits stick and bad ones don't. There is one IP who has very substantially, and very effectively, rewritten articles relating to Euclid and Euclidean geometry. He or she had no problem with good edits being reverted and has become a very respected editor in math articles. I see a lot of good edits by anons that are not reverted. —Finell (Talk) 08:30, 5 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, "unregistered editor". It's a critical part of the success of the project and the source of much content, for many it's also their first and most important interaction with the encyclopedia. (talk) 04:30, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
While blatant vandals tend to be IP users, I'm seeing more and more spam coming from registered users. So I try to not judge a situation based on registration status. One frustration I have with IP users is that it can be impossible to ask them a question about their edits. WP:BRD rarely works because they don't have a watchlist. In the case of something that is questionably sourced, reverting is often the only option. Of course I leave an edit summary when doing so. But new users often don't check the summaries, which can leave them frustrated that their changes were taken out. I think this situation is getting worse as articles mature and new edits stand out for being poorly sourced. UncleDouggie (talk) 12:04, 6 September 2009 (UTC)
"Articles maturing..." This may be one of the more important variables at work here, defensive editing is definitely on the rise as people feel they have a controlling interest in a topic they've invested time in. (talk) 01:51, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
I agree this can be an issue, although it's not really what I was referring to here. In patrolling recent changes to articles on which I've had no contributions, especially BLPs, people will throw stuff in with no sources, or sources to a blog, while the article already has lots of well sourced material. I'm not talking about obvious vandalism. The only choice is to take it out with an edit summary and let someone with more experience in the subject put it back in later with a source if appropriate. Cases like this tend to get resolved more easily for registered accounts with talk pages, etc. It is more of an issue with editor experience than user type. However, it's harder to help people build experience when they're an IP user. UncleDouggie (talk) 04:07, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
One of the more interesting things I've noticed with intelligent IP edits I've witnessed recently is an immediate suspicion of puppetry (which itself is quite obviously soaring). I honestly wonder if its not time to abolish IP editing entirely, a half measure like delayed edits requiring approval by registered editors may cause more harm as Gatekeepers reject based upon their opinions rather than a vandal/no vandal consideration. (talk) 12:58, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
No, doing so would have no benefit, at least as long as creation of an account has no cost [with its broadest meaning] to the kind of people who now make edits that are uninformed or malicious. -- Hoary (talk) 03:13, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Interesting article.[6] A serious study came out just last month finding:

"We consider this as evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content, especially when the edits come from occasional editors." ... ("Note that edits related to vandalism and edits performed by robots are excluded.")

An article that discusses the study can be found here: Also interesting to note is a comment left by a reader at the study page: "I just did a few random edits as an anon IP. A day later, about 1/3 of them were reverted, despite being accurate. 2 or 3 years ago this wasn't the case. Hypothesis confirmed." Nothing more than anecdotal, but interesting nonetheless. (talk) 03:00, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

It's an interesting study but this inference seems odd. This "growing resistance" looks to me like an epiphenomenon. Anyway, if you want to increase the chances that your edits will be taken seriously, you're free to get a username and stick to it (and to advise your chums to do the same). -- Hoary (talk) 03:13, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Here's another article on the study: [7]
Chi's team discovered that the way the site operated had changed significantly ...Today, they discovered, a stable group of high-level editors has become increasingly responsible for controlling the encyclopedia, while casual contributors and editors are falling away. Wikipedia – often touted as the bastion of open knowledge online – has become, in Chi's words, "a more exclusive place".
I really am open to the idea of dropping IP edits entirely - the potential damage caused to the project through what could be exaggeratively called almost a fraternity level of hazing to those wishing to contribute to the project as an IP is not a net positive. Not even close in my opinion. The level of frustration endured should not be overlooked, and its importance should not be discounted. (talk) 03:49, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
The quote from an unspecified reader -- it proves very little. I can easily add a dozen accurate facts to that many articles, but perhaps most would deserve removal. Accuracy isn't enough: the additions need to cite reliable sources. Now, it could very well be that people are a lot more suspicious of unsourced additions by IPs than they are of the same by logged in users. I'd say they're right to be suspicious of the former and wrong not to be suspicious of the latter. In view of the large percentage of new content that's unsourced, if there is indeed a growing resistance to new content, this doesn't trouble me in the slightest. What's your own experience of the reaction to your addition of reliably sourced, non-trivial new content to articles? -- Hoary (talk) 03:58, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
I note the quote above, and I can relate to it on a personal level. For a period earlier this year, I was using insecure computers so didn't want to log in particularly, and decided to do some nice relaxing wikignoming (spelling corrections, noun/verb agreement, formatting refs, stuff like that). I was flabbergasted to realise that at least a third of my completely uncontroversial edits were being reverted. To a large extent, I blame tools that permit easy reversion; we made them for clueful editors to revert vandalism, and instead they're being used by unclueful editors to build up their numbers and revert without thinking. It's only my own experience again, and it's anecdotal, but it certainly hit home. And yes, once I realised I was being reverted for *good* edits, I stopped editing. Risker (talk) 04:50, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Somebody should give it a go and log the results. Clueless reverters shouldn't have tools that encourage the exercise of cluelessness. -- Hoary (talk) 05:22, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
OK, I did it. Ten good copyedits to random articles as an IP user. Not a single revert after one hour. I'll check again tomorrow. On one article I deliberately made a good edit, but not the best edit, because it would have taken more time. Within a few minutes another user showed up and took the time to make the best edit. He or she was a rollbacker who had been fixing vandalism all night, and they still took the time to stop and fix this not so popular article the right way. I was so impressed I gave them a barnstar. It was their first award despite hundreds of incidents of fighting vandalism and making copyedits. Somewhere there's a very confused user wondering how in the world they got a barnstar from an IP user with only 10 edits! I think the lesson here is that the system can work very well. However, there are those who act too fast or abuse the tools. I'm reminded of the mantra for those on dab repair: it is more important to disambiguate correctly than to disambiguate quickly. The same can be said for reverts. Perhaps we need to look at some random samples of reverts to IP edits and see just how many good edits were reverted. Perhaps we can even identify a few bad apples that are hurting more than helping.
I'll also throw in that I've seen lots of good edits from IP users. I think it would be a mistake to ban them and it wouldn't slow down vandalism. OK, it would slow down gross, opportunistic vandalism, but ClueBot already catches this. The tougher cases won't be impeded by needing to create an account. My comments further up were aimed at encouraging frustrated IP users to create an account because it would be easier for us to help them. UncleDouggie (talk) 10:25, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Similar story here. Nine edits (some trivial), to not-randomly-chosen articles. After more than an hour, none has yet been touched by anyone else, but then most of the edits were to articles on obscure people. When I'm wider awake, I'll try editing articles that are likely to be on more people's watchlists. -- Hoary (talk) 15:54, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
To Hoary's Question, "What's your own experience of the reaction to your addition of reliably sourced, non-trivial new content to articles?" Well, within the same dynamic IP I recently made edits to the BLP's of a Republican Congressman and a visible commentator of the left. Both were resisted with repeated reversions and extensive discussion, both had NYT's ref's rejected. Both contained accusations of POV against me. In one my edits eventually stuck - in the other not one period, comma, word or ref from any source was retained in any way. (talk) 20:48, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Why don't you give us some links to demonstrate what you mean, because at the moment you are showing the other problem with IP editors (particularly those with dynamic IPs) which is that you have no history outside of the six or so edits that are traceable to this IP. Also BLP edits are the most closely scrutinised (and for good reason) of any edits, and (in my experience) most IP edits to BLPs tend to be vandalism, and that may be small edits or it may be page blanking, and I know a lot of other registered users find the same problem. The same can happen with registered users (usually the ones without user pages) but it is easier to see it with IPs. I have seen good IP edits, and there are good IP editors, and I hope the Flagged Revision trial will help IP editors to edit more, and also help registered users to stop so much vandalism from being visible (both of which are the main problems with pages, too much protection, and too much vandalism), both of which hurt the overall project. Darrenhusted (talk) 22:35, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
What if I were to tell you that one article had a claim of an award - but that no one, even in discussion, was able to say what the year of award, title of work, or even affiliation - not even the award itself is named or linked ... and that just this tag:[citation needed] was reverted on site. No removal of the specious claim, just a request for citation. Can you envision an appropriate argument that defends the revert of a tag when applied to a specific claim of award - when no reference exists of any kind, reliable or not? (talk) 23:28, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
If you were to tell me that, then I'd want to look and see for myself. Let's have the diffs. -- Hoary (talk) 23:36, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

(edit conflict) <outdent. Without diffs, it's difficult to evaluate. In specific cases, it depends on the vigilance of individual editors, either because they have some vested interest in watching an article, or that someone has brought it to their attention, or they've picked it up in watching Special:Recent Changes. Any way, some vandalism is always, sadly, going to slip through our processes. In the particular case you mention, if it was that important to you, you could have looked into it, one way or the other, rather than leave it. This is a human-based system, and therefore subject to imperfections, intentional or otherwise. On your last point, where no reference exists, we should omit it, per WP:RS and probably WP:NOT. Rodhullandemu 23:45, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

OK, for discussion purposes here only - and not as a content dispute for purposes of the article itself. Here's the sentence with the disputed tag, "She received a regional Emmy award, along with two colleagues at WDSU-TV, for the documentary A Grave Injustice,[1] on the theft of artifacts from New Orleans historic cemeteries, and a Louisiana Associated Press Award[citation needed] for her reporting in Israel.[2][3][4]" And here's the dif. [8] I made several edits in addition to that one - all are defensible (and each and every one of them was also entirely reverted), but I believe this one stands alone as a fairly pure example - I doubt anyone here would disagree that citing even just the existence of the named award is a bare minimum, let alone the year of the award, title of piece or professional affiliation on that unknown date. Again, I'll emphasize that it was a tag as specified by WP:CITE. (talk) 01:38, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
  1. ^ Suncoast Regional Emmy Year 2000 Emmy Awards
  2. ^ CNN Reporter Profile
  3. ^ University of Montana Winter, 2005 Collegian
  4. ^ National Geographic News July, 2001
The award seems to exist. I haven't yet found anything else to show that she received it. It would have been prior to 2001 when the NG article was published. UncleDouggie (talk) 01:59, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I'll just add that when I'm not foolishly editing articles that have a connection to left/right interests I sometimes cajole[9] editors into creating articles for me to fill.[10] (talk) 02:06, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for the diff. Let's look at it:
She received a regional [[Emmy award]], along with two colleagues at [[WDSU-TV]], for the documentary ''A Grave Injustice'',<ref>...</ref> on the theft of artifacts from New Orleans historic cemeteries, and a Louisiana Associated Press Award{{Citation needed|date=August 2009}} for her reporting in Israel.<ref>...</ref><ref>...</ref><ref>...</ref>
(Ellipses are mine.) Right now I can't be bothered to look at any of those three references at the end. Let's assume that none of them backs the claim that this person got a Louisiana Associated Press Award. If so, when adding the "citation needed" flag why not also rejuggle the sentence so that none of them appears to back it? If on the other hand one or more of them does "authoritatively" (by WP's sometimes dodgy criteria) state that she won this thing, but you have good reason to think that this is untrue (e.g. because no such award exists) then you're right to say so. And I see that you did just that, here. So this is less an editing/reversion matter than a non-communication matter: you come off there as tiresomely repetitive, your opponent as stolidly blinkered.
Meanwhile, I'm up to 13 anonymous edits on 10 discrete articles and not a single one has yet been reverted.
Where is the best place to continue this discussion? Not here, I think. -- Hoary (talk) 02:15, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
I did rejuggle the refs, but it proved too contentious so I settled on adding just the tag. The three refs are largely identically written self-bios that make the vague claim of the award and are widely plagiarized in the article itself with several verbatim lifts, The self-bio do not cite any supporting info as to Title, Date, Affiliation, Year, etc... As the self-bio makes the claim I left it in under a broad interpratation of BLP but added the neutral tag as directed by WP:CITE. (talk) 02:28, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

(after edit conflict)

I looked into this out of concern about the alleged anti-IP bias. The already-cited National Geographic article supported the Louisiana Associated Press Award, so's {{citation needed}} tag was not warranted and properly reverted.'s later reverted edits deleted apparently-sourced (I didn't check the sources) facts with no edit comment. I would revert such an edit by a registered editor. So is not a poster boy or girl for the unfairly maligned IP editor. Frankly,, I wish you hadn't wasted about 25 minutes my time on this goose chase (yes, I would say the same thing to a registered editor in the same situation, and have done so more than once). —Finell (Talk) 02:38, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

So a claim of an award, with no date, unknown media, unknown employer, unknown title, and no known details whatsoever is complete and beyond reproach? (talk) 02:50, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

This seems to have been something of a content dispute, or a series of little content disputes, about a TV talking head who has minor notoriety for once being less than supremely patient with "TEA Party"-goers. The whole thing looks too silly to me, but I do see some merit in what the IP says about this elusive award, now "sourced" to three pages of which two don't even mention it. I've written more on its talk page, and suggest that the discussion of it continues there rather than here, as Jimmy Wales, whose page this is, has (understandably) expressed no interest. -- Hoary (talk) 02:53, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

I'll remove myself from the conversation as I have become a distraction, thank you for considering the topic. I urge you to continue the discussion of the reports findings without me as the greater subject does merit attention. (talk) 03:10, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

As promised, here is the result from my test of editing 10 random articles as an IP user. After one day, not a single revert. My barnstar awardee went back and made yet more improvements to the article I had originally edited. A little praise goes a long way. On the Susan Roesgen article, I agree with the recent comment by Finell. I'll add that it would be nice to have details on the award, as suggested by, because it may have been a fairly minor recognition. However, this is an issue for the article talk page. If consensus is to keep it, I don't see any reason that it can't stay. I don't think the outcome would have been different if had been a registered user. UncleDouggie (talk) 05:26, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

But if he had been one, he might have appeared to resemble User:Iadmitmybiaswhycantyou?, or any of several others who have been indefinitely blocked. -- Hoary (talk) 09:10, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if you feel that I'm a sock of some type, I'm not[11][12], nor am I wedded to that article.
I also don't feel that I am in any way a poster child for Anon's - hardly. I am not representative of the class, I am however exceptionally experienced as an anon and strongly suggest that the cited reports findings be considered for the benefit of the project.
I'll close by underlining my earlier statement - I have no ideological bias regarding anonymous editing, if it benefits the goals of the project we should abandon it. Period. I only ask that serious discussion be given the broad issues raised above. The current direction of change, unwatched and left to its own devices, may not be in the best interests of all of us concerned about the greater good of this institution. (talk) 18:29, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
I think the recent ubiquitousness of dynamic IPs is part of the problem. I had the same IP address for nearly 3 years, but my ISP has recently upgraded to dynamic IPs. I forgot to sign in last month, and found vandalism warnings on my the talk page. It took me a moment to realize what had happened, and that this was not my usual IP address. What this means is that now it is increasingly rare for an IP editor to have any kind of history at all, which does make it difficult if an IP address has a history of vandalism, but good editor just happened to be assigned that adress. Also, dynamic IPs ensures that users will almost never receive any messages sent to them, as they will be assinged a new IP address each time they use their computer. I have been frustrated on several occasions by a new editor who keeps making the same or similar non-prodictive editss, though in good-faith, simply becausa I could not contact them directly. This is made worse by the fact that many new editors don't even know that edit summaries exist, much leess know how to check the article's history for comments. I think the increase use of dynamic IPs is swiftly changing IP editing on WP, IP users are not just being treated as second-class editors, they have now been effectivley made second class editors by the Open Editing system itself. Something needs to be done to address these issues before it becomes even worse. - BilCat (talk) 00:38, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Your guestbook

Hi Jimbo! I noticed you have lots of people requesting for you to sign your guestbook here. Have you looked there lately to take the links they put there for you to sign theirs? RascalthePeaceful (t) 14:27, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Oh, no, I hadn't! Thanks for pointing me to it. If I get the time (not this week, sadly!) I would love to go and sign everyone's in return...--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:31, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
There are drawbacks to being popular. Lack of personal time is one of them, and finding you don’t have the hours in the day to do all the things people want you to do.--BSTemple (talk) 16:19, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Upcoming ArbCom "advisory" election

Dear Jimbo

I write concerning the arrangements for your appointment of arbitrators pursuant to the December "advisory" election. I wonder whether you will agree to a change in these arrangements, specifically, a declaration before the start of the electoral process of:

  1. how many candidates you will appoint; and
  2. whether you will extend the term of any sitting arbitrator or make any appointment beyond the scope of the election results.

There may be two key advantages in these changes: first, greater community confidence that its opinion will be directly reflected in the composition of ArbCom; and second, that the voters, candidates, and ArbCom itself will know in advance the size of the Committee next year, with important considerations for the planning of arbitrators' workload and leave, and the delegation of specific business.

Thanks in advance for your time. Tony (talk) 08:42, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes. I intend to keep the size of the ArbCom the same, unless there are compelling arguments offered now and with majority support of the sitting ArbCom. And second, I intend to form a new review committee composed of former arbs and checkusers, tasked specifically with doing "background checks" on the winning candidates for sockpuppets, past bad behavior, etc. Their reports will be the only thing that I would consider legitimate as a reason to not appoint, that is to say, I want my "appoint" role to be purely ceremonial this time around. And third, I will insist that all ArbCom members identify to the Foundation before taking office. I have discussed some of the details of this with ArbCom but haven't yet gotten around to reaching a final conclusion about the details - and I welcome input.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:09, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo: that is all good news. The only other matter that that might be worth considering in the medium term is a reduction of the norm of the three-year term – it seems long. I believe terms are 12 months, staggered via six-monthly elections; that seems like the other extreme. If you're in a mind to discuss something in between with ArbCom, I can't image there would be opposition from the community. Thanks! Tony (talk) 15:42, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for raising these issues, Tony. No matter the size of the ArbCom, it's important to know in advance how many Arbs we're electing, because that can determine the voting patterns. I also agree that the three-year terms seem long. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 19:28, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Jimbo: In my opinion, full disclosure to the Foundation of an arbitrator's identity, background, and details of commercial affiliations is essential, and a lesson to be learned from history. In the future, I would favor such a requirement, along with verification of the credentials and the sort of on-Wiki background check that you propose, when a Wikipedian becomes a candidate for ArbCom, with the investigation to be completed before voting starts; that would prevent possible controversy after the election, if a winning candidate is found to be unfit for the office. As for the term, I am not sure that three years is too long, but one year is too short, in my opinion. It is important to have a contingent of experienced arbitrators in such a demanding, powerful, and responsible position. I suggest looking to present and past ArbCom members for guidance about the term. —Finell (Talk) 19:52, 8 September 2009 (UTC)
Finell, I agree with your points about full disclosure, before the election. It's all a bit of bother, but it can only raise the prestige of ArbCom. As for arb terms, the staggered-terms system does provide both experience and new blood simultaneously (if we can reduce the rate of departure through mishap, that would be even better). I'd not ask the US President whether s/he would be OK with a change to a one-term limit or an extension to three terms: conflict of interest. Tony (talk) 02:35, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
While I can see the arguments for it, it reeks of WP:OUTING, and is likely to have a chilling effect on candidacies. Just informing all of the participants that they will have to be verified if elected should have the same effect for less work on all sides. If it works for the IOC (where medal winners are drug tested), it should work for Wikipedia. AKAF (talk) 07:03, 9 September 2009 (UTC)
It's one thing to be an essentially anonymous registered editor. It is quite another to be an anonymous candidate for ArbCom and the power that it wields over all of us. The Foundation should check the qualifications and background of candidates before the election, not afterward to invalidate the vote. —Finell (Talk) 00:45, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
The current committee is a hair away from being completely publicly identified, some of them against their will—don't you think that is chilling? If you want to remain anonymous, you should not run for ArbCom, period. It's probably practical advice to make it known from the get-go, but it shouldn't be a requirement. Cool Hand Luke 18:10, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
That is excellent news - thank you, Jimmy! --Tango (talk) 00:30, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

"tasked specifically with doing "background checks" on the winning candidates for sockpuppets" This is TOTALLY against CU policy, ie, CU is not for fishing. RlevseTalk 19:53, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Disgraced sockpuppeting arbitrators are also contrary to policy – what alternative would you suggest to prevent these slipping through?  Skomorokh  20:02, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
By that logic ALL USERS should be CU'd and investigated as all puppeteers are a disgrace. RlevseTalk 00:20, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
All users are not is as sensitive position as ArbCom are. As long as it is made clear to candidates that this will be done before they decide to stand, I don't see any problem with it. If you have something to hide, don't stand for ArbCom. --Tango (talk) 00:30, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Simply make it clear in the election criteria that all candidates must agree to be checkusered. Cla68 (talk) 00:35, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Sorry if I'm missing the point, but I can't see what the issue is. All ArbCom members must be identified to the Foundation, is that right? (If not, then they ought to be.) If all members must be ID-ed, how can it have a chilling effect to ask that all candidates be ID-ed?
I think we need to stop pussy-footing around with this. We've had a few bad situations with ArbCom members not being quite who or what they said or implied they were, so let's put an end to it and introduce some professionalism. (a) Let's be told exactly who we're voting for, (b) let's be told how many places we're voting for, and not have the number changed after the election closes; (c) let's have a secret ballot, and (d) let's allow the results of that ballot alone determine who is appointed, and not have Jimbo or anyone else decide it. All these measures are long overdue. Playing around with anything less suits only people with vested interests in secrecy or cabalism or unprofessionalism. Let's move beyond all that as a community, and have free and fair elections. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 01:08, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
In the past, Arbcom members have not been required to identify to the Foundation, despite CU data and OS issues flowing across the Arbcom list regularly. This should be addressed at all levels. In regards to Checkuser, it is not a panacea; it will only be useful to prevent candidatures like Catherine de Burgh.
The only solution is to ask the candidates hard questions, such as divulging their previous accounts as required by policy at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy#Transparency, and kick the shit out of them if we find out that they lied. If we dont ask the hard questions, and dont insist on clear answers, these problems will continue.
Needless to say, I agree we should stop pussy-footing around, and that your recommendations are long overdue. John Vandenberg (chat) 04:55, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that information, John. I didn't realize ArbCom members weren't required to identify, which seems absurd. What is the procedure for sorting all this out in time for this upcoming election? SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:02, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
If I'm not mistaken, that "past" refers to AC elections prior to the last, and in any case, after the recent little kerfuffle as far as I know all AC members are fully identified. So that issue seems to be solved already, it's now a requirement for AC membership. I still see no reason for candidates to provide identification. The serious vs. unserious candidates become apparent within the first week, and we've never had a case that I know of where a candidate was elected but couldn't fulfill the ID requirements (though there was a young and very capable fellow who withdrew based on the age-of-majority limit). In any case, if a candidate-elect fails whatever scrutiny, election proceeds to the next candidate in line, so we never get "screwed" by a hoax.
To SV's points, a) we are told who we're voting for - the editor associated with the pseudonym they selected on signing up. Their record is open to examination (but we'll never know every one of their email, IRC and gchat missives). Once those candidates are selected to serve, they need close scrutiny by WMF staff and current and former AC members - but only because they will be privy to sensitive information. Mere candidacy shouldn't require the same level of examination. b) as I recall, the number of places assigned last go-round was premised partly on planned departures to which most were not privy, and partly to address workload issues and Arb availability and participation. I personally have no big issue with the "executive decision" which gave the current result. Given the "short tail" of the ACE2008 results, I think it was admirable in fact, and I'm not aware of any damage that resulted (feelings maybe, but not in terms of actual operation of the site); c) I seem to be in the minority on this, but I thought TenOfAllTrades made very cogent points in the RFC and I personally favour open outcry elections. They allow the site editors to explicitly give their opinions with their votes, and I for one am always very interested in the opinions of my fellow editors. I rarely agree, but I do like to read how wrong all you other people are ;) TOAT made an excellent point that open-style voting lets others quickly identify fringe candidates and focus their limited time on scrutiny of issues with the realistic candidates. And open voting would have indicated pretty quickly that Lady Catherine wasn't a viable candidate last time, so we wouldn't have needed a CU - enough people had a clue there. And d) well actually, it's not all that uncommon for "other people" to decide the results of an election. I can think of at least one election in a major country in the last 10 years that was eventually decided by a majority vote among just nine eminent persons.
So no, SV, I don't think I have any of the vested interests you describe above, and I disagree that your proposals are the only way to achieve "free and fair" elections. Free and fair is such a nebulous and abused concept that I don't even want to touch it (as in, didn't Stalin hold "free and fair" elections? Like that...) Sorry Jimbo and all others for the long post! Franamax (talk) 05:50, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Any project which have either oversighters or checkusers will have sensitive data ending up in the hands of the arbitration committee. The wmf:Access to nonpublic data policy was very strict about identification, however Arbitrators have become exempt due to the wmf:Resolution:privacy policy update April 2008 (see "users elected by project communities to serve as stewards or Arbitrators"). Irrespective of that, the meta or en.WP community can determine requirements for their own arbitrators and candidates. On meta, meta:Arbitration Committee and meta:Wikimedia Arbitration committees election processes are the relevant pages. On English Wikipedia, WP:ACE2009 is editable ;-)
The executive summary of the ArbCom secret ballot RFC is that a "return to secret ballots for ArbCom elections has been resoundingly endorsed" so now we need to execute that.
IIRC, the technical infrastructure for the secret ballot is already being discussed somewhere.
I think it would be a good idea to ask the Board election committee if they would oversee our upcoming Audit-subcom & Arbcom elections, as they have recent experience, they provide necessary external oversight as many are not regulars here on en.WP, and their authority comes from the WMF board.
John Vandenberg (chat) 06:25, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
(undent) John. Please. "Executive summary" - when did we start having those? Did you mean the closer's comment? And in this case do you mean the comment by the same editor who initiated the RFC [13] with an advocative statement and then closed it with a similarly advocative statement?[14] "Resoundingly endorsed" will henceforth be truth on this matter? You're a fair-minded editor imo, I'd have expected better. If you guys have determined an agenda on this, I'd be happier if you would just tell me straight out... Franamax (talk) 09:21, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Given the technical limitations of the Checkuser extension, it would be pretty simple for a maleficent user to avoid getting caught - if they know when the CU will be done. I'm not going to say how, but if they can't figure it out, it's not too likely they'll answer the candidate questions well either. I agree with Rlevse on this, it's against CU policy and I don't see why it's necessary or even helpful. Franamax (talk) 01:19, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Franamax, forgive me if this is a tangent (there are important issues being raised here and I don't want to bog us down if this is a less relevant detail), but if someone wants to be an Arb, they will have to ID themselves, so why would they not want to do it in advance? If people who aren't serious stand, they do affect the pattern of votes. There's no need for that. We're not children, we don't need these games. If ArbCom is to be taken seriously (and I think it ought to be), we need to start making the process by which people get there a serious one. No funny user names, no sockpuppets, no candidates who don't really want to be elected, no voters who think they're electing seven Arbs only to learn they've elected 10. No BS. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 08:22, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
This is getting hard to sort out, my post immediately above is specifically about using the CU tool to scrutinize candidates, I think that's a serious issue of itself. But in response to your presumed meaning, I've never been a fan of "the next bridge might be too hard to cross, so let's burn the one we're standing on". :) Nothing that I've seen proposed addresses the specific concerns you raise, though I agree they are serious concerns. Identifying yourself to an impersonal organization is a big deal, or at least should be. Many people here know my real name and where I live, but they are people who (whom?) I have come to trust. Even if I chose to stand for AC, I would expect to maintain my privacy until I actually had to fax a photocopy of my driver license to prove my identity to the Foundation - but I'd still never just tell you my name. And I'd never expect you to tell me your name either. Main point is, the more people who know your name (and credit card numbers etc.), the more likely it is that your personal identity will be abused. It's a fundamental principle of data protection - don't provide it unless it's absolutely necessary. I see no reason at all for editors here to provide information in advance of their acclamation to a position. Think about it, AC candidates fall into three categories: really solid contributors (whether article writers or not, NYB being an excellent model); pretty damn solid contributors who think they might have a chance but either withdraw when they see in the open-voting process they aren't gonna cut it or proceeed to the bitter end; and the frivolous candidates, just like (in my country) the Rhino party and the Marijuana party. Those frivolous candidates are perfectly valid in "free and fair" elections, and asking them to provide ID in advance won't stop them at all. TOAT's point about open elections just means that they will be quickly discounted, and the rest of the editorship can get on with the voting process.
And since I've never myself seen where someone has hoaxed through an AC election, only to be discovered as a faker in-between the election close and the appointment of Arb members, I just don't understand what all this is meant to prevent. What problem are you trying to solve? Franamax (talk) 09:03, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Jimbo: would the review committee be tasked with anything else? Such as allegations of inappropriate conduct by sitting arbitrators? The lack of any independent review body may have contributed to several problems, such as arbcom list leaks and a few rather bad spurts of drama. Durova315 01:43, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

And Jimbo, could you just confirm that "keep the size of the ArbCom the same" means 17, as I believe it was after the previous appointments? Tony (talk) 02:30, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
His announcement last year said 18, unless I missed something subsequent. MBisanz talk 06:27, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Matt, this chart seems to have been maintained until now, yet when I squint and count (including FT2), there were 17 at the start of 2009. Any idea where the discrepancy lies? Tony (talk) 08:04, 11 September 2009 (UTC)
Deskana, I think. He announced his resignation during the elections and, in Jimmy's note, seems to have been included in one count (18) and excluded in another (17).  Roger Davies talk 08:29, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

←Thanks, Roger (e.c.). Jimbo said this, at the link provided by Matt:

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

No interim election was held, despite further falls in numbers by three, through misadventure and resignation: that's 18 down to 14. May I put to you that greater certainty, stability and community involvement need to be built into the system? The second ArbCom policy draft, promulgated some months ago—and due for updating to the third draft "by September 15"—includes these significant provisions that have a bearing on the discussion above:

Candidates must (i) meet the Wikimedia Foundation's criteria for access to nonpublic data, (ii) disclose in their election statements all their prior and alternate accounts, and (iii) not be legally deceased in their country of residence.

The Committee may call interim elections, in a comparable format to the regular annual elections, if it determines that arbitrator resignations or inactivity have created an immediate need for additional arbitrators.

These matters need to be sorted out urgently—certainly before the start of the electoral process in December. In addition, the Duties and responsibilities at the opening of the second draft clarify that ArbCom's role is not one of governance, but that of the peak magistracy of the project. Arbitrator Vandenberg confirmed this here. The point is that voters should know whether they are probing and electing candidates whose skill-set matches that required by a judicial body alone, or whether the skills appropriate to wider governance (which can't help but be political) should be at issue when they form their judgments. Tony (talk) 08:54, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Jim Hawkins

This article has been AfD'd a second time. The discussion for the first AfD was blanked by you]. This now means that anyone referring to the old AfD cannot see the previous arguements for and against. As it was yourself that blanked the discussion I'll bow to your judgement as to whether or not to revert the blanking.

The subject is against having an article about himself on Wikipedia. I believe that as a former broadcaster on a national UK radio station he passes the notability threshold to have an article. We wouldn't delete Barak Obama's article if he asked us to, would we? Mjroots (talk) 07:23, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The previous AfD was blanked, not deleted. Anyone can see the old arguments by looking through the history of the previous AfD. The only difference the blanking has is that Google doesn't pick it up, AFAIK. Fram (talk) 08:55, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Fram, I know that, but it is extra effort required to see previous arguements. As I said, I'll bow to Jimbo's judgement as to whether or not to unblank the discussion. Mjroots (talk) 08:58, 10 September 2009 (UTC)
Articles for deletion debates are set to be noindexed according to MediaWiki:Robots.txt, so they won't appear in Google results. However, some unscrupulous mirrors or spam sites might still be indexed by Google. Graham87 15:16, 11 September 2009 (UTC)


FWIW, you've become a unit of measurement.[15] Cheers, Durova315 18:23, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

Just what we all need, another reason to feel inadequate. It's bad enough that we guys get around 10 emails a day telling us that we don't measure up. And our significant others get them too, which is even worse. Now we have this new measure of Wikipedian, er, potency? And what about those of us who are more appropriately measured in millijimbos? —Finell (Talk) 01:41, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Is it okay to spam our blogs here, if the post is related to Jimbo? -- Thekohser 13:15, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Ashida Kim (7th nomination)

Based on the outcome of this deletion review discussion, I have re-listed at AfD an article you previously nominated for deletion at AfD several years ago. I know you are busy and probably not following DRV minutiae every day, but it is an unusual case so I thought it would be best to inform you. Best regards, IronGargoyle (talk) 00:52, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Oh Jimbo......

I wish you're on TV again. I would like to see you appear in one of our local TV stations.Best yet, MetroTV. They have an English program, and if possible, they would release an English talk show. Please, just come here.--BoeingRuleOfThe9th-700 (talk) 03:22, 14 September 2009 (UTC)

Posted my invitation on Facebook, BTW:)--BoeingRuleOfThe9th-700 (talk) 08:48, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
For those wondering where "here" is, the above request comes from middle school student in West Cilandak, South Jakarta. -- Thekohser 13:29, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
"Here" means Indonesia, my homeland.--BoeingRuleOfThe9th-700 (talk) 13:45, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
That sounds lovely! I don't have any current plans to come to Indonesia, but I met with someone here in China who wants to arrange for me to come. If I do come, please be assured that I will contact the Indonesian Wikipedians and we can discuss how I can help the community get more exposure from my visit!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:40, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and how about the Philippines, too? Blake Gripling (talk) 02:54, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikimedia Italia in trouble

Hi Jimbo, you will certainly be already informed about the maxi-lawsuit against Wikimedia Italia and Frieda. I used a subpage to draft out a few notes which imho could be of some interest for the generality of the users, given that Wikimedia Italia is receiving the lawsuit instead of "Wikipedia", so it intimately regards WP. If you think that the page would be inappropriate, please delete it and excuse me; otherwise please move it where you think it should be better to put it. At the moment I believe that what happened needs to be known abroad and that WMI and Frieda need to feel 'Pedians around them. Thank you :-) --g (talk) 11:03, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

How unfortunate that in Italy a plaintiff can readily bring action against a party (or parties) who are not directly responsible for the damages caused the plaintiff. However, that being said, I believe we will see that by playing off the name and reputation of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation, it's just this sort of thing to which chapters and chapter heads are making themselves vulnerable. And, even more unfortunate, I think you will see just how amazingly aloof the Wikimedia Foundation will make itself on this particular crisis; Section 230, self-preservation, unwillingness to be seen as a responsible publisher, and all that. Good luck, Frieda! I hope your service to the cause of the Foundation was worth the ensuing legal hassle. -- Thekohser 15:49, 15 September 2009 (UTC)
I hope Mike and perhaps the EFF can help them out a bit. Assistance in finding good and experienced italian legal representation, is probably the first point of order. This isn't the first problem we have seen in Italy is it ? I remember someone else from Italy threatening with a lawsuit. Not sure if that ever went anywhere. Does anyone have the links ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:07, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Was that Giovanni Di Stefano? Hut 8.5 12:22, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Was it this [16]? (talk) 13:45, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Security issues in Mediawiki

Jimbo, were you aware of the 37 security holes that have been identified in Mediawiki software? Patching these should be a priority, in my opinion. Do you share that opinion? -- Thekohser 17:32, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

The security holes in question don't apply to versions of MediaWiki 1.13.4 or later, as far as I've seen. The current release version is at least 1.15, and Wikimedia runs the Wikimedia-specific branch of 1.16α. I'd say that those bugs aren't a priority anymore. :) {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 03:36, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
Security issues in software are omnipresent. Only by not working on the functionality of the software and continuously focusing on and investing a lot of time in a single version of the software can you ever hope to come close to eradicating most security issues. The alternative is to hide your issues from the public, but that does not hide them from hackers. Security issues will always be present, and when they become known, developers should fix and users should upgrade. Anyone who does not know these things, should not be involved with maintaining software. The 'false sense of security' is a problem of users, who by nature often put to much trust in what they do not fully understand. The same can be said of teenage girls who think they can trust the person on the other side of the webcam. (small hint, there is only one solution, it's called education and not Free software-bashing). —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:02, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Dear Mr Wales;

I would like to inform you of this page: Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Desiphral. Basically, I spotted some paid editing adverts lately and went on sites such as Elance to investigate. I noticed that Elance user Tayzen, who was banned per an AN discussion, is still at it. In my opinion, users evading bans through sockpuppets and adding egregious corporate vanity for personal profit is of grave concern to Wikipedia. Don't get me wrong, I spot plenty of articles that are obviously paid editing, however most of them are on pretty innocuous subjects ("the history of spas"). However, this user has responded with attacks, refusal to cooperate, misrepresentation of my words and overall bad faith. Your input on this matter is appreciated.

Thank you, Triplestop x3 22:31, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

What are you asking be done? Unless I'm missing something here, the system worked well to get these sockpuppet accounts rapidly blocked. UncleDouggie (talk) 04:27, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I assure you, no amount of blocking and/or banning and/or tarring and feathering is halting (or even slowing) the paid editing phenomenon. Good luck. It's the encyclopedia "anyone can edit", as far as I can see. -- Thekohser 11:45, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
It is most certainly slowing "the paid editing phenomenon". The blocking and banning of known paid-editing accounts discourages many potential paid editors, spammers, et cetera. The threat of being outed is significant enough that I've observed ("in the wild") at least two independent non-Wikipedians consider and then dismiss the idea as carrying too much risk of backlash. Virgil Griffith's WikiScanner software has helped that impression, too. You're an outlier, Greg—your success in this field is atypical. Save the gloating for a real victory. {{Nihiltres|talk|edits}} 19:52, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Not sure where to take this, so posting it here

Hi Jimbo, It is 8:43pm, eastern time and this article,, looks blank. There's a title, and then the categories, and nothing else. At first I thought some prankster had blanked the article, but when I went back in the article's history, they all look the same; blank. I'm thinking this must have something to do with the software updates that are being applied at this moment. Since I don't know who is doing the applying, I'm bringing this to you. --*Kat* (talk) 00:47, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

It comes up blank when I look at it, but not if I access the current version from the history.[17] Ty 01:26, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I did a dummy edit from that one (current from history) and it seems to be OK now. Strange. Ty 01:29, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Explanation: Wikipedia:Village_pump_(technical)#Vanishing_articles.3F Ty 07:43, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Kewl, thanks Ty!--*Kat* (talk) 19:10, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Belly Dancer

Shake your body like a Belly Dancer! You are my favorite wikipedia editor. --Pigboy 25 (talk) 01:28, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

User was blocked as a vandalism only account. See talk. —Finell (Talk) 04:51, 17 September 2009 (UTC)


Sorry to come here but I simply don't know where else to go with this. And I hope maybe someone can tell me if I got it completely wrong.

Long story short, I recently noticed that a banned user from Wikipedia (see W:User:Petri Krohn, and W:Wikipedia:DIGWUREN#Petri_Krohn) had taken his ss and nazi obsession to Commons by uploading a number of pictures with living people using 'waffen-SS' in the naming conventions. I suggested a rename to the uploader and after 2 weeks with no response listed the images for deletion pr possible defamation. Commons:Deletion requests/Waffen-SS Sinimäed. However, this turned into a discussion and an attempt to find a consensus with W:User:Petri Krohn. And since Krohn refuses to rename the images [18], nothing has come out of it. So my question is, should we worry about a number of living people getting labeled with the SS tag on Commons or does everything in this case work like it suppose to? Thanks!--Termer (talk) 07:05, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

I am sympathetic to the idea that images should be accurately labeled, and particular care taken not to implicitly insult or defame anyone through an unfortunate choice of name. Knowing nothing about the particular images or context, though, I'm reluctant to weigh in with a specific opinion about this specific case. It looks like a useful discussion is ensuing over there, and I think it likely that a compromise can be reached in the usual way.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:12, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

I'd request a total ban

Hi Jimbo. I've seen a lot of blocks lately, and it seems to be ineffective as bans are not stopping the vandals; instead, this matter increases the rate of vandals per day. So I'd request a total ban in which users are unable to open any pages on Wikipedia, and the ban is no longer allowed to be appealed. How's that sound?--BoeingRuleOfThe9th-700 (talk) 09:23, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Sounds perfect for the encyclopedia "anyone can edit"! -- Thekohser 11:16, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
You're joking, right?--*Kat* (talk) 19:23, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, on one part it sounds perfect, as to prevent users from persistently vandalizing Wikipedia, but on the other hand, it wouldn't be fair for most of these guys, who are doing a research on a project.--BoeingRuleOfThe9th-700 (talk) 06:37, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Notice of something you should be aware of.

[Redacted] --Alexia Death the Grey (talk) 10:42, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
I have redacted the above question to Jimbo, since it relates to an Arbitration matter to which Alexia Death is a party, and is a matter in which the Arbitration Committee has specifically requested that participants make efforts to avoid conflating the matter. I suggest that Jimbo is aware of the matter being before the Committee, and I consider that he would be reluctant to comment on it while the situation is being dealt with. Should Mr Wales feel otherwise I am certain he will remove my comments, re-instate Alexia Death's, and respond accordingly. I shall not be reporting this to the ArbCom case, since this is a highly trafficked page and Committee Members will likely be aware of it. LessHeard vanU (talk) 12:49, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

As I'd already brought to this talkpage's attention

<-- This navigational template to Wales's talkpage archives (left margin) no longer includes its most recently added archive pages (cos I think its template maxes out at a total of 50 entries). Any suggestions on how to work around this limitation? ↜Just M E here , now 08:56, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps this would be better at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical)? --Malcolmxl5 (talk) 22:12, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
A solution that doesn't require waiting for the developers is to merge every 2 archives into 1. Move the contents of Archive 2 into Archive 1; move the contents of Archives 3 and 4 into the now empty Archive 2, and so on. —Finell (Talk) 01:50, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I have a much easier fix. Check out User:UncleDouggie/test2 and you'll see all of Jimbo's archives. The template works just fine. It's whatever bot is building User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/archivelist that's causing the problem. We could just create a User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/archivelist_manual for now and update it manually. I did just this but put the page at User:UncleDouggie/test for my test. It could just be moved over. Then, change the archives template at the top of this page to point to it as I did in User:UncleDouggie/test2. Note that I disabled search because I don't have Jimbo's archives in my userspace so it doesn't work. It'll be fine in his userspace. The new archives line should be:
{{archives|archivelist=User talk:Jimbo Wales/archivelist_manual|small=yes|collapsed=yes|search=yes}}
We might also setup a second archive tree if we're worried about having the list get too long, which I suspect is the reason the bot currently bails at 50. I don't know if we can build one index for both trees together. If not, one would have to search in two places to find everything. I'll leave this experiment for someone else. The search box on Jimbo's page is currently able to pull up "Ashida Kim" out of archive 50. Perhaps a judicious choice of basename for the second tree will make it all work. UncleDouggie (talk) 06:24, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
Wow, thanks, Uncle Douggie. Geez, would you or some other technowiz (or at least non-technophobe) pleez incorporate the fix onto Wales's talkpage? ;^) ↜Just M E here , now 00:14, 16 September 2009 (UTC)
  • Note: I've created a manual archive list, for now. (Per Unc D's suggestion above - straightforward enough that I uz able to follow em w/o problem!) ↜Just M E here , now 18:16, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

There is an ideological censorship about porn in the Hebrew Wikipedia, this is the current policy: here translated to English. You cannot create an article about a porn star unless she or he became famous for something else (like Traci Lords because she is a singer/actor or Ilona Staller because she is a politician). "Character's life there is another aspect to meet the criteria of encyclopedic value. Action porn is not enough to win about Hebrew Wikipedia." "Not displayed pictures of her body except the portrait of the character, even if the figure wearing a Catholic nun.", "There will be no external links to sex sites." and etc.

You can talk to User:Yonatan or User:Amire80 to confirm this.

I think it's a strong violation of the global Wikipedia (The Free Encyclopedia)/Wikimedia rules and of WP:NOTCENSORED policy.

I think you should force them to change this policy.

Sorry for my bad English.


Considering the amount of Kayfabe and complete and total lack of any reliable sources that we see in many or most of the English Wikipedia entries in this subject matter, I believe that the compromise reached by Hebrew Wikipedia deserves broader study as a possible model for adoption elsewhere. As we have over the years significantly trended towards a more careful and nuanced understand of the ethics and responsibility relating to our task, and particularly when dealing with biographies of living persons, earlier decisions have often been usefully reviewed.
As a formality, I should say that I am not proposing any drastic action, nor am I taking sides on the particular question at hand. I am merely suggesting that the question of what to do about this really low-quality part of Wikipedia is worth thoughtful consideration.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:18, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
I think you didn't get me. The ban porn articles not because there are no reliable sources. By they way there are, like AVN, if you look at a porn bio on you'll probably see than every claim is backed up with a source. The doesn't have the same standards of adding references to articles, If you look at the featured articles in most of them don't have footnotes at all.
They ban porn articles because they think porn is immoral: proof on section "break".
I think this "compromise" is violating the "constitution" of Wikipedia.
We don't ban porn in Hebrew Wikipedia because we think it's immoral. We ban it because most of us believe it has no encyclopedic value whatsoever and only serves to make Wikipedia something very inferior. Yum2 (talk) 17:04, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. we have guidelines for porn to ensure encyclopedic value and encyclopedic writing style. Daniel B (talk) 17:22, 17 September 2009 (UTC)
That's a lie and you know it. In the link I gave many users openly admit they are support banning porn because they think it's immoral. Read the discussions there: [19] (5 pages) and [20]. Most of users admit they want to ban porn as an ideological decision.
Hello Jimbo,
I write in for over two years, and I know most of the things about this compromise. This anonymous user who writes here is probably hakham Hanuka or someone else from his kind of trolls. I'm nothing in wikipedia experience compared to you, but I strongly recommend to ignore his next messages about this topic. It appears he has remained a troll as he was in 2004-6. BTW, it will be great to see you again in Israel. Broccoli (talk) 18:19, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Why come to english wikipedia for hebrew one? its just a bit wierd...srry...besides, without evidence, u cant prove he's that person...edit here, then. Porn on Wikipedia...well, sfar as i know, that aint its goal. thansk. Tubesgirl (talk) 21:29, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

Although Jimbo speaks English and some German, T-girl, I believe he ne'ertheless likes to scan random input about Wikipedia from across the globe.
Wishing a sweet New Year to Broccoli and Jimbo's other native Hebrew-speaking correspondents above! ↜Just M E here , now 19:19, 19 September 2009 (UTC)


Hi Jimmy!! Is it right that you're a millionaire because of founding the Wikipedia? BigKing197cm (talk) 17:18, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

No. See Episode 1 of Stephen Fry in America: Stephen Fry: "So you're a dot com millionaire?"; Jimbo: "Uh, no". Rodhullandemu 17:55, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

So why not? He was the one who founded Wikipedia. I'd like to hear an answer from Jimmy Wales personally. BigKing197cm (talk) 19:36, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

King, which do you think might be more responsible for Wikipedia's success: user fees or advertising revenue? PhGustaf (talk) 21:47, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes but what is the reward for Wales because of his idea creating the encyclopedia? BigKing197cm (talk) 23:37, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

King, try reading Jimmy Wales. This is an encyclopedia, after all. Regards, Hamster Sandwich (talk) 23:43, 18 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, he did get to block Giano and Bishonen. And I'm confident he got his expenses covered for Wikimania 2009 in Argentina. Is his salary discussed in his article? Is that information public? And how large is his expense account? Is he a director of any companies? That's a good bit of business if you can get a piece of it. Inquiring minds want to know! Jimbo? What's the company car??? ChildofMidnight (talk) 02:40, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Since you asked some detailed questions here. (1) I covered all my own expenses, as I have for several years, including flights and lodging costs, for Wikimania 2009. (2) My salary and all compensation of any kind from the Wikimedia Foundation is zero. (3) This information is public. (4) The amount of expenses that I request annually from the Wikimedia Foundation - including travel to board meetings, etc., is zero. (5) Of course I have other business interests of various kinds. These are appropriately disclosed to the Board in accordance with our policies. (6) I do not have a company car from anyone. I drive a 2004 Hyundai Accent. -- In the interest of completeness, I should say that sometimes there are staff dinners, board dinners, etc. which are paid for by the Foundation for all participants, and as with all the participants, I eat for free. I do accept snacks at board meetings. I once ate some M&M's in the office. I hope that's not too scandalous! I am not, by answering these questions, inviting an open inquisition into my personal affairs, though!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:57, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
The Fisker Karma (what a cute name!), a feel good extravagance that would make the God-King look hip and stylish while flaunting his conscientious devotion to environmental idealism
A foreign car??? I knew it! Actually, I think an upgrade might be in order. Maybe a nice Cadillac or Lincoln? Or are those too fuel inefficient for the PC crowd you travel in? A Honda (as long as it's made in America) would be okay too, and the new Mazda 6 looks pretty sexy (and is manufactured at least in part on home soil). The Volkswagen Jettas are popular for their fuel economy (especially the diesels) but there have been reliability issues lately (and they're manufactured in Mexico and not the USA). I guess you could buy something foreign to promote the international aspect of the project. I'm partial to the Maserati Quattroporte or maybe a Lotus? Think how fun that would be to tool around in! Anyway, don't a cheapskate. What about that company busting out electric sports cars? Fisker Automotive is it? If you need to borrow any money please contact User:Drmies or User:Ched Davis. But I bet you do okay on the side. Don't let Ayn Rand down. All for one and one for all. Thanks. ChildofMidnight (talk) 16:01, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
I can see you're still thinking it over, and I don't blame you. It's a big decision.
In the meantime, how was Argentina? Was there a report somewhere? What's new besides the flagged revisions on BLPs? Are we still going ahead with the Microsoft merger, membership fees, and limited advertising promotions in select articles? ChildofMidnight (talk) 08:28, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you for your suggestion. When you believe an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes—they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). This is an editable encyclopedia, after all.... Regards, Hamster Sandwich (talk) 02:47, 19 September 2009 (UTC)


Be's ye scurvy dogs knowing what day it be? Thars roight, me hearties! All ye fine lads and lasses be wanting to foller th' NPOV (Nautical Pirate Ostentatious Verbalisations) fer thee rest of tha day, I'll be wagering! Old Fluffybeard the not too demonstrative Pirate (talk) 00:20, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

That time again? OK, Jim, lad, but don't ye knock it back all at once!! Rodhullandemu 00:24, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
You guys sound sorta like Scots or Aussies &c ( - how are they sposed to celebrate this day then?) ↜Just M E here , now 19:19, 19 September 2009 (UTC)
Thy says they Scots an' Ozzies be not pirates? Well, tis a pretty thing to tell an ol seadog! LessHeard vanU (talk) 19:39, 19 September 2009 (UTC)


Hi! :) --A3RO (mailbox) 19:51, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Just wanted to say hi. I would be happy if you left me a message on my talk page so I can gloat. *glee* :) --A3RO (mailbox) 20:46, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Hi A3RO. According to a study of introductory messages' success rates at a particular on-line dating site (see here), the greetings associated with posts having highest response rates were---- well, in their own words:

#3 – Use an unusual greeting. We took a close look at salutations. After all, the way you choose to start your initial message to someone is the “first impression of your first impression.” The results surprised us: ¶ The top three most popular ways to say “hello” were all actually bad beginnings. Even the slangy holla and yo perform better, bucking the general “be literate” rule. In fact, it’s smarter to use no traditional salutation at all (which earns you the reply rate of 27%) and just dive into whatever you have to say than to start with hi. I’m not sure why this is: maybe the ubiquity of the most popular openings means people are more likely to just stop reading when they see them. ¶ The more informal standard greetings: how’s it going, what’s up, and howdy all did very well. Maybe they set a more casual tone that people prefer, though I have to say You had me at ‘what’s up’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Guess I shudda started my post with guten tag, huh? (The same site says men respond better to shorter initial posts whereas women do so to ones a bit more lengthy. So, I guess if you're male, A3RO, you've already have quit reading this.) ↜Just M E here , now 01:06, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

I scanned through it. Yes, it made no sense to me. :) Blah! I'm a social butterfly. I aint needin' nah manual to tell me how fly a fox is, nah mean? :) - In the words of Marina, "intelligence is sexy.." Salutations! --A3RO (mailbox) 03:05, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Alsatian in

Hi Jimbo,

  • What should i do, to be allowed to setup a wiki for language_code 'els' or 'gsw-fr', i am living in Alsace and would like to create a wiki in alsatian, not german nor alemanic but alsatian ?

Thanks for a short answer. citizen from Soultzbach-les-bains ( Alsace / France ) (talk) 20:35, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

You might find this interesting. For an actual answer, there's a page somewhere. I'm sure someone will post it here soon. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:41, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

m:Requests for new languages? Hut 8.5 20:58, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

The future

Thanks for the letter from you and Michael Snow (attorney) (that appears on the top of Wikipedia pages).

  • 1) I'd like to see a more collegial and collaborative editing environment on Wikipedia and less of a gangland atmosphere and police state. I think a board of mediators to work through and help resolve content disputes is the best way to accomplish that (instead of the adversarial Wikicourt arbitration system we have now).
  • 2) My other suggestion is to begin compiling a collection of notable primary sources that includes important historical documents and major speeches that are in the public domain. A proper sum of all knowledge is more than just an encyclopedia, it must provide access to the words that have shaped history and the original accounts of the events themselves in the words of those who lived them. A comprehensive encyclopedia does not go far enough in allowing unfiltered access to critical source materials. Allowing people to read for themselves what major historical figures had to say in relation to major events would open a critical window of understanding onto the history of humanity. An encyclopedia article on the consitution or Martin Luther King's speeches is not enough. The texts themselves need to be readily available.

I know this is a pretty radical departure and substantial new direction I'm suggesting, so I'll willing to give you a couple weeks to put it into practice. Thanks. ChildofMidnight (talk) 22:38, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Wikisource already exists for this purpose. Majorly talk 22:57, 21 September 2009 (UTC)
Can I claim to be one of its founders? Now we just have to implement the rest of my proposals. And since it's half as much work it should only take a week or so. I don't know how wikisource works, but when we have something mentioned in an article (like the magna carta) there should be a link to the actual document itself and not just the wikipedia article on it and the source discussing it. Wouldn't that be cool??? ChildofMidnight (talk) 01:40, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
We already have that as well: Template:Wikisource. See the article "A Modest Proposal" for an example. (and the Magna Carta article) -- œ 02:15, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Interesting. Do you think a link in infoboxes would be more useful? "Documents/ speeches related to [the subject] are available at Wikisource"? Or maybe a more specific statement: The text of the U.S. Constitution/ Magna Carta/ I have a Dream speech/ public domain song lyrics/ is available at Wikisource. The link seems rather buried down there at the bottom and on the side. If I'm reading about the U.S. constitution the link to it should be made pretty obvious, no? ChildofMidnight (talk) 18:44, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Russian Wikipedia

In the Russian Wikipedia administrators and checkuser use their rights for other purposes, block and check the political opposition with more useful contribution in the articles, as well as checking accounts without a valid reason for check IPs.

Serial vandal Аурелиано Буэндиа disclose personal information — has been unlocked the decision of the Arbitration Committee, and continues its activities on other sites, while the political opposition blocked and can not write anything.

The most recent violation — blocking User:Courbd and the removal of useful comment in the user talk of Kalan.

Dharma Station (talk) 12:32, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Letter from Michael Snow and Jimmy Wales in the Hebrew wikipedia

In the Hebrew wikipedia, your letter looks like this: Read a letter in Hebrew.jpg ElNuevoEinstein (talk) 12:43, 22 September 2009 (UTC)

Right-to-left-to-right woes. Could you suggest a proper message? (In Hebrew, I would expect). — Coren (talk) 13:11, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
What about this: עזור לנו לתכנן את העתיד של ויקיפדיה ומיזמי אחות שלה! קרא את המכתב הזה של ג'ימי ויילס ומייכל סנו! The words קרא את המכתב הזה must link to the letter. ElNuevoEinstein (talk) 14:30, 22 September 2009 (UTC)
A few small revisions: עזרו לנו לתכנן את העתיד של ויקיפדיה ומיזמי אחות שלה! קראו את המכתב הבא מאת ג'ימי ויילס ומייקל סנו! The words קראו את המכתב הבא must link to the letter.

Some help please about Wikipedia

I there Jimbo, as the creator of Wikipedia I thought you would be the best person to ask about this: How do I delete my user page and all its subpages too? For personel reasons I have to do this even though I'd rather not, and I do urgently need to know how to do this. It would be great help, thanks. Ross Rhodes (talk) 12:10, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

I deleted your userpage and 35(!) subpages. I only left one talk page archive which was archived in your user name space. If I have forgotten any pages, just drop me a note or tag them with {{db-userreq}}. Fram (talk) 12:57, 23 September 2009 (UTC)
Thank you so much Fram. (talk) 16:06, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


i saw that oneirophobia and transaction go are the same person, can you made it? i saw that he don't respect my edits -- (talk) 12:15, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, I just don't see it, from either of the terms above, or your contributions. Please feel free to put some specific diffs on my Talkpage. Rodhullandemu 00:36, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


Just wondering how does it feel knowing your article is only a B-Class? It doesn't look anything like a B-class to me. I dont know if you are allowed to edit it due to conflict of interest (I think thats what its called), but cant you say something on the talk page? By the way, I have noticed you haven't edited Wikipedia in a month but on your talk page and few other pages. Is there any reason for that? I was going to tell you about what I do on Wikipedia (mainly reviving Pokémon articles like Charizard and Jynx, and hoping something pops up to make Lucario notable enough for an article), but I lost my point. Blake (Talk·Edits) 19:02, 23 September 2009 (UTC)

Warning to journalist

This is just so that you aren't caught off-guard. Uncle G (talk) 00:15, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

I mention you in an arbitration

I make it a practice to notify editors if I mention them in any proceedings. Please see my statement/evidence at Case/Eastern European mailing list. VЄСRUМВА  ♪  22:05, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for the notification. It doesn't look like any of that has anything to do with me at all though. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:41, 24 September 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this case may strongly discourage people of participation in the project. I made a comment here. I believe arbitrators should not even read any stolen private emails, but make their judgement only on the basis of on-wiki evidence. What do you think? My personal view of this incident can be found here. Biophys (talk) 15:49, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Please also note where I question why we tolerate incivility and open threats (this involves a reference to you specifically). You may also be interested in my comments on consensus. VЄСRUМВА  ♪  22:00, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

{{bio-notability}} tag

Hi Jimbo,

I would appreciate your input on the appropriateness of the {{bio-notability}} tag for living people. When applied to a page, a message appears: "This article may not meet the notability guideline for biographies. ... If notability cannot be established, the article is likely to be merged or deleted." Depending on how it is used, it seems to me that it can be used to assert any editor's opinion that a person is "a non-notable" whilst leaving the burden of proof on others to prove him wrong and without having to worry about the verifiability of his opinion. This seems contrary to the spirit of the BLP policy where the burden of proof otherwise lies with the editor who adds or restores negative material. I raised this at BLP/N and the consensus was against me, although I believe that opinion was swayed by the editors involved in the dispute. What are your thoughts on this -- do we really need this tag at all? Best, Alex Harvey (talk) 14:10, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Here is the link to the BLP noticeboard discussion. Alex, you may wish to clarify what you mean by "opinion was swayed by the editors involved in the dispute"; to me it sounds completely tautological. Baccyak4H (Yak!) 15:35, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Hi Baccyak4H, you're quite right; badly worded and not relevant anyway. I have struck it. Alex Harvey (talk) 03:22, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

The letter from Jimmy Wales and Michael Snow

Hi there! I was just thinking about this thing. I am always open to help here in wikimedia in any form I can, I always want, but watching at that letter (specially the task force section) makes me think that it´s only for expert/qualified people in some special aspects (I don´t understand it very well, maybe I´m wrong). The fact is that I am only a humble physics student in real life, I can contribute to the regular editing in wikipedia (formatting, researching for the creation of articles, helping other users, etc...), but I´m not involved with political issues, software development or governace models. So I just wrote to you to clarify this. Is there something in which I can help to this or you would say that it´s preferred for me to stay in normal edits within the community? - Damërung . -- 19:28, 25 September 2009 (UTC)


If you are busy, feel free to disregard this, but if you have a minute or two, please peek and let me know what to do, as I'm not sure where to turn at this point. In summary, I met the qualifications for a name change, but it seems to have stalled due to my being polite, following protocol, and unknown activities taking place by another user of which I am not aware.
I put in for a simple usurp on one wiki (the en wiki), and within a few days someone else had taken my home wiki (fr), changing it to (jp), and without any direct communication to me, seems to be seeking to stall my name claim even though I met the requirements. You can view the goings on here.. ..
The primary puzzlement is that no one is giving me any specifics or link records about how this other user is achieving these takeovers, without contacting me, after I've filed and qualified, and continue to be expected to follow the rules, even as it's unclear which rules this other user is following, if any.
Thanks for your time if you can, and no problem if you can't... OiseauTemp (talk) 08:24, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

I think there has been a big misunderstanding Oiseau... Its not that the jp user flew in and subverted your efforts to get the name: he(or she, you never know) already had it. When a user registers for any wiki, they are automatically registered on en wiki, commons, etc. etc. So when the jp user registered, he(again, or she) created an account on en wiki. Now you want the unused name, the jp user won't give it up, and there's not much left anyone can do.
It's like me buying four hamburgers even though I only intend to eat one. You can't just take one because you're hungry, you have to ask for one (e.g. WP:CHUU). I say no, I'm saving them for later. You get no hamburger.
Trust me, I know how you feel. I'm in the middle of getting a name change as well, and I can't have the name I want because someone registered and made one edit from it. But thats the way things work in this wikid world. - Drew Smith What I've done 08:53, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

.. Greetings Drew (and Jimbo, et. al.)
I want to thank you wholeheartedly for your kind response.. :) was (and is) very encouraging, and helps me to get through things like this when I realize that someone cares.
What's more is I think you've made me realize that I must somehow not be clear enough.. maybe too much information.. maybe too much explanation.. maybe everyone is overwhelmed with things to do, and doesn't wish to investigate every single point.. and maybe I need to find a way to explain what happened from a more clinical point of view.

I get encouraged by things like MBisanz saying I have a good claim to the name, and then that path just goes quiet. I get encouraged by the ClueBot showing that I qualify, then noone acts on that either. I've gotten encouraged and subsequently disheartened so many times in this, when it seems so matter of fact to me, that I guess I just have to try hard to get my emotions out of it, and just recap an objective timeline as best I can. This will hopefully show you that while you are a partly correct in that there has been a misunderstanding, and I am deeply grateful for your caring empathy, on one point you have shown me I wasn't clear.

The jp user did not already have the name.

I will try to show my case with an objective timeline, and be as clear as I can. Please forgive me if I am not, and feel free to ask if anything still seems unclear...

  • I am Oiseau on 3 wikis, the formerly Home Wiki of the French word Oiseau (fr), the Commons, and the Meta.
  • On Aug 27, I registered with the Commons in order to begin extensive editing of mostly film-oriented topics. This shows primarily that the jp user did not already own the name.
  • On Aug 29, encouraged that registration was moving in a positive direction, I discovered that the fr wiki had been vandalized by someone else many years ago, and made a pledge to the fr admins to clear up that name in the Wikipedia world and proceed with editing toward the worthy goals of the Wikimedia Foundation, and they accepted. I then proceeded to register on Meta also.
  • I momentarily considered SUL (on Aug 29 also, and put in a request), but after some research when I saw that a jp user seemed active, my (Achille's heel apparently of) politeness kicked in, and I withdrew my SUL request (on Sep 4), deciding to pursue only the en wiki name usurp there, since the account was never used, and appeared to be abandoned. I would be satisfied with those 4 wikis (fr, commons, meta, and en) in order to effectively edit and write for the Foundation.
  • Clarification - At this point, the Home Wiki is fr, as it should be, since Oiseau is a French word, and I plan to edit in both French and English.
  • On Sep 8, apparently, the wiki software changed my Home Wiki from FR to JP. Unbeknownst to me, it was at this point that my courtesy had permanently backfired.

My questions and regrets:
.. I question why I never received any replies from the JP user, or any other notifications of any kind, yet I was told that one is supposed to Post a request in the other person's Talk Page at the very least, when wishing to use a name that is already taken. Summary - They never answered my posts in their talk page, and never placed any in mine. Frankly I don't see how the SUL was even granted, since applying for it (as the software seems to prompt) means you have to sign in on the Home Wiki, and I owned the Home Wiki... so I see a glitch in the system which noone has looked into.
.. I regret being polite and courteously respecting the jp user's active use on the jp wiki pages, by withdrawing the SUL I had initiated before them. While courtesy is imperative while editing Wikipedia, this episode has taught me that the political aspect is still at least somewhat ruthless and CYA ... a disappointing discovery.

If there was any sort of consolation, I would like to still have the en wiki rights (only), but as user WJBscribe states (and I guessed), the default operation of the software (at this point) would probably assign it elsewhere... unless the jp user SUL was reversed temporarily, and reinstated after providing the en wiki account to me. The only way that could happen is if anyone of sufficient admin rights would initiate it, if I have proved myself effectively.

Other than that, it's been a disappointing journey.
I will continue to edit objectively (as Oiseau) and not let this color my content in any way. Admittedly it has taken much of the wind out of my sails, and I may not be as prolific as if I thought city hall was behind me, I suppose, but that's no reason not to serve the system of knowledge itself as best I can.

Thanks again for your time and diligence... OiseauTemp (talk) 03:48, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

I am sorry that you have found this experience disappointing. I think there are a few things that are worth clarifying so that you fully understand what has occured and why.
  • If I understand this discussion correctly, at that point you had made only one edit to frwiki. You learned at that stage that there was an editor on jawiki with more edits. It would have been helpful if someone had suggested to you at that time that it was unwise for you to establish yourself as "Oiseau" as this would end up leading to a conflict between your rights to the name and those of the jawiki user. From that point onwards, one of you was going to end up disappointed.
  • No one approves requests to unify global accounts. Special:MergeAccount allows the homewiki owner to unify a global account automatically. The determination of which account is the home wiki is also made automatically by the software.
  • You say at one point the software recognised your frwiki account as the home wiki, which means you had made more edits than the jawiki user at that time. You could at that moment have used Special:MergeAccount to create a global account, giving you rights to the name "Oiseau" on all projects. It might be worth bearing in mind how the jawiki user might have felt about that - they had been using the name longer than you.
The automatic allocation of homewiki status to accounts with the most edits does produce problematic results. In this case, the fact that you feel unfairly treated is a bad result in itself. I also think you need to understand that by continuing to edit as "Oiseau", you run the risk of eventually losing your prefered name on all Wikimedia projects. The ultimate goal of SUL is to have only one user using each name on all projects. In the end, one various issues and arguments are resolved, I understand that global account holders will (either automatically or through renames by bureaucrats) be given control over the name on all wikis. I don't know for sure when that will happen, but at that point you might have to be renamed on frwiki, meta and commons. If you want to make sure that you are not forced to change name at a latter date, I recommend that you change your name from "Oiseau" on all projects (leaving those names to the jawiki user) and change to a name that does not have any conflicts on other projects. Sorry to bring more bad news - but I think part of the problem is that things haven't been fully explained to you and want you to understand what is likely to happen next. WJBscribe (talk) 13:29, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

WJBscribe - My heartfelt thanks for your taking the time to at least explain some things, and show some empathetic standpoints here. The fact that you found things worth clarifying goes even further to provide comfort. :) Rest assured the point is moot now, and I am satisfied with that, but just a few notes to clarify on my end also...

  • I don't recall at any point where I had stated I had one edit vs theirs. It was more like my dozen to their three dozen at the time... but they had a one year jump on me, so I figured we both had a lot to contribute at a similar worthwhile pace... live and let live, ya know?
    The main point is (by what I understand now to be the software's interpretation) is that they had more edits one one wiki than I did, at the time their SUL was processed.

This is really the only part I still don't understand. How do you even get an SUL started and approved when others are also using the name? When I've tested it, the software says I must login at the home wiki to initiate it, but I had the home wiki and so I don't really know how and where that occurred.

  • As for establishing myself as Oiseau, I did that independently of knowing anything about SUL at the time, and I have been Oiseau in a wide range of applications and establishments, probably before the jp user was born. My main mistakes were respecting their space (which was not reciprocated), and waiting too long to discover this SUL feature of Wikimedia, and how it currently functions.

I have made hundreds of contributions over the years just using my IP (another basic reason you can take heart that I am not deeply upset), but when I was able this Summer to make a contribution as Oiseau on something that was near and dear to my heart, I got a kick of inspiration and just thought it might be a chance for me to establish a thread of consistency. I fully intend to live up to that as Oiseau on the wikis where I serve. I also cannot help but be subliminally haunted by a deja vu that I might actually be the en Oiseau too but lost my password. I recognize this as conjecture, so I cannot press the issue unless I possibly discover it on some old computer someday.

  • "You could at that moment have used Special:MergeAccount to create a global account, giving you rights to the name "Oiseau" on all projects. It might be worth bearing in mind how the jawiki user might have felt about that" - True, and again, that's exactly what I did. I wanted to respect the space they were using, and had no idea at the time that they did not feel the same way about me, as I never received any contact, nor any replies when I began contacting them.
  • run the risk of eventually losing your prefered name - If I have an inkling of the system protocol after all this, at the very least, I understand that if they should ever press for it, they must ask and receive my relinquishment of the name. I have my email on file, and there is also the Talk Page route. Given the amount of time and consideration that was afforded to the jp user during my case, I would hope that any admins would grant me that same consideration before leaping.

So I am not worried about that, with humble thanks and deference to your comment. :) ...Having seen how this progressed,
- I don't believe the jp user will pursue it to that extent. I do not get the sense that they are willing or even possibly able to edit the other language pages, no more than I would make as qualified an editor as they are in their language, despite their bluff to appease an admin who finally got a response from them.
- In fact, isn't the goal of Wikimedia to contribute good sources and clarity of information? I feel I can do that sufficiently in comfortable languages on the fr, commons and meta... maybe the en someday, but I am finding peace with that aspect of it for now. I never needed the jp, and even now I don't hold it against them for being protective of their name in their language... who knows, perhaps this instigated a hard-to-translate fear in them that they might lose it. I hope I've made it clear by now that I never meant to impose on their jp editing, and still don't.
But if Wikimedia is about clarity of information, I still feel I am the better editor on the en and fr pages, and I intend to uphold that. Perhaps a topic that might be worthwhile for discussion among admins and programmers about the SUL concept... is it really beneficial for names to be global if someone else has a better command of the language on a different wiki? Or is the process too far entrenched to rethink it? Believe me, it's not sour grapes :) ... Just worth some thought. I wouldn't claim to be a good editor on the ru or cz or arabic pages, etc. As one might say as a bird/oiseau, Fair Skies to you, and thanks again for your time and consideration. OiseauTemp (talk) 09:11, 28 September 2009 (UTC)


I am sorry if you feel this as a waste of time but what is your religion? I have not found any information on your Wikipedia biography or anywhere. You have stated that you are an objectivist. Does that make you an atheist? EvilFlyingMonkey (talk) 14:19, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

That's not something I feel comfortable answering here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:53, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps, Jimbo believes "...that there is a reality or ontological realm of objects and facts that exists independent of the mind.". :)prashanthns (talk) 04:26, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Flagged Revs

Hi Jimbo, any news on the status of Flagged Revs? has had very little activity of late. Kevin (talk) 02:17, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

I asked Sue for an update, and she's going to talk to the tech staff to see what the holdup is.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:30, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Thanks. Did you arm her with a big stick? Kevin (talk) 09:45, 28 September 2009 (UTC)


Thanks for the correction; I generally work with topics vastly different from this, so I'm amazed how much information pops up so quickly, even a free photo! Nyttend (talk) 03:43, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Interview request

Hi Jimbo, I thought I'd inform you of these messages: [21], [22] & [23], just in case you need to get involved. Marek.69 talk 13:51, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Huh. I think the main message should be "this is totally routine and boring, why on earth would you write about it?" :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:45, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

True, 'Wikipedia BLP gets semi-protected'. Wow. I suppose the arrest might be a big story in Switzerland, though. Marek.69 talk 20:38, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Pedantic, I know.

You realise that the opening line in the recent "Letter from Michael Snow and Jimmy Wales" makes no logical sense.

"It is hard to believe that less than a decade ago, Wikipedia didn't exist."

"Less than a decade ago" could be six months or 4 years, when wikipedia did exist. Surely this needs to read "more than a decade ago" or simply "a decade ago". For most of the time covered by "less than a decade" wikipedia did exist.

Additionally, I'm not very sure that the comma belongs in that sentence.

Now, my writing is far from perfect and your prose is better than most. But in any good article sloppy writing like that gets copy-edited by someone who picks it up. Can I humbly suggest that you get a few good writers (and there are plenty round here) to copy edit any high-profile public statements like this?--Scott Mac (Doc) 09:53, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Lead Image on Humans

Hello Mr. Wales, I am not sure if this would concern you at all but there is a dispute going on right now over the replacement of the Pioneer Plaque as the lead image on humans, by a selectively bias photograph of an Akha male and female. The plaque image has been used for years, and the Akha image only replaced it within the last 3 weeks. It also is distractingly discriminating in it's choice as lead image. Can you please look into this issue? There is an on going mediation request, but I am not sure if the user (Silence) who decided to change the image is going to submit to mediation.

Thank you, KgKris (talk) 21:57, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Having reviewed the issue only briefly, I have nothing helpful to add to the content discussion, which appears to be proceeding nicely and in accordance with best practices. The one thing that I did come to very quickly is that I like Rivertorch's thoughtfulness very much.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:09, 2 October 2009 (UTC)