User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 54

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Archive 53 | Archive 54 | Archive 55



How does deleting articles like this one [1] improve the encyclopedia? Also, if you're going to give Gregory Kohs a role in running this community, don't you think he should at least be unblocked so that he can participate in discussion on the site? I know a lot is done via e-mail and with a lack of transparency, the recent arb voting system is a testament to that, but don't you think we should encourage policy discussion to take place on Wiki? ChildofMidnight (talk) 01:13, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

This sort of conspiracy-mongering makes zero sense, and am sure that if you believe it, you must find this all incredibly frustrating.
As to the question of how it improves the encyclopedia, I would regard that as being at this moment transparently obvious. For over a year the article sat with zero references of any kind. Now it has 5 references, and people appear to have checked the facts carefully. I think that's delightful progress. Those who are saying "Oh, it's so easy to fix these, don't delete them!" have a very easy path to success: {{sofixit}}.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:21, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Please clarify. You seem to be accusing those who disagree with you of being some sort of meatpuppets for Kohs. UnitAnode 04:24, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
There's no conspiracy mongering involved. The recent spate of attempts to speedy delete unreferenced biographies, even ones that have been here for years and have been checked over by numerous good faith editors, was instigated in large part by Gregory Kohs in a collaboration organized off-wiki. My suggestion was that if Jimbo is going to have Kohs play an active role in setting policy, it might be nice to have the discussions take place on wiki so members of the Wikipedia community can take part in them.
Jimbo's argument equating improvements to articles and the addition of sources to articles after they're discussed by the community with efforts to speedy delete those same articles without any review is completely illogical nonsense. An article that is speedy deleted does not get improved and does not get sources added, obviously. That's the point. Deleting things without looking at them is stupid.
Maybe Jimbo needs to spend less time in meetings and hanging out with his buddies at the New York Times and more time getting a grasp of how things work here? Sources can't be added to articles that are speedy deleted without any review or discussion. I thought that was fairly well understood. Jimbo are you confused about that?
And by the way there are several well organized packs of editors who use Wikipedia for propaganda purposes and to push their personal biases, including by disparaging biographical article subjects that they disagree with. Maybe taking a stand on that would be more construcitve than taking a great big dump on many of our best contributors by disregarding their work and trashing tens of thousands of articles without any consensus or discussion. Just a thought. ChildofMidnight (talk) 07:02, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Until you're ready to stop insulting me, please stay off my talk page. This tantrum of yours is neither useful nor truthful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:27, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
He is accurate on the point that 99% of editors cannot just fix something that's already been deleted, nor is it particularly their fault that these articles are here in the first place, so probably don't appreciate the tangible feeling that in this debate, there are two camps, the fixers and the deleters. MickMacNee (talk) 11:41, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
My guess is that a lot of people who are concerned about unreferenced BLPs would consider themselves fixing a problem no matter what their preferred solution is. 'Fixers' and 'deleters' is only one way of categorising the people involved in this debate, and not particularly useful as it views the debate from only one point of view. Dougweller (talk) 12:38, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
You find me a single person in the 'fixing' camp as you want to see it, that has even acknowledged, let alone acted on, the fact that 99% of the articles they are deleting are unproblematic and were created in good faith. If Jimbo now wants to change the ideals of this site, fair dos, it's his perogative. Recognising this change would be the moral thing to do, to let people know what conditions they are now working under. He might think this information he himself solicited over many years is recoverable after being destroyed, but he is frankly dreaming. He might think he is just uniformly expunging unreffed articles in this campaign, he is again dreaming. Look at the recent deletions... Not so much 'unreferenced' as 'not heard of'. Welcome to ignorant Yank pedia, full of shit like Tony DeVito, yet you won't find a single biography on any person that has actually done something notable outside of dumbville USA. MickMacNee (talk) 15:45, 24 January 2010 (UTC)
It would've taken me one button press to delete that article. It took me about three minutes to do a Google search and place a reference to confirm everything in that stub. But I guess it's easier for people to do the button press than to, y'know, actually improve an article on a formerly prominent provincial politician. Now, the argument I know will follow is "why won't people do it for these articles" or "why don't you go do it?" or something. Yes, these articles need sourced. Deleting them will not get them sourced, and we wind up losing articles that could have been saved by one quick Google search and three minutes of work (most of which was finding the "cite web" template again). Tony Fox (arf!) 03:39, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
And, if someone comes across the redlink, and is willing to rewrite a short stub, with references, the problem is solved. UnitAnode 04:23, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
That's great. But who's going to do that? Thousands and thousands of articles have sat unsourced for three+ years and nobody's done anything about them. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:26, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I believe there are over 50K+ of those articles. At a rate of 3 min/article, that's over 2500 man hours of work. UnitAnode 04:29, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Ugh... –Juliancolton | Talk 04:31, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, we might as well just forget it, then. Deleting them is easier than, say, starting a WikiProject to identify the articles in question and improve them before they're summarily torched. Right? Well, whatever. I'm just sayin'. Tony Fox (arf!) 04:37, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
It's not even that it's "easier", Tony, it's that it's right. Unsourced BLPs are a magnet for trolls, vandals, and other problems that could truly damage the subject's reputation. If any deleted articles are sourceable and relevant, they'll be recreated properly, with sources. If not, they won't. UnitAnode 04:39, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
But again: if these articles haven't been dealt with in months or years, what makes you think it'll be any different if we start cracking a whip? I'm all for making an effort to improve articles before deleting them. In fact, I've been working since noon on clearing out Category:Unreferenced BLPs from January 2007 through adding sources, amending maintenance tags, removing unsourced info, and using the admin bit occasionally. I realize though that even if we have hundreds of active editors working every day, it'll take years to clear out the backlog. And we know that's not practical. So, for me, the only option going forward is through selective deletion and systematic recreation. –Juliancolton | Talk 04:49, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
We will have to disagree on the point of summary deletion; it's really not worth further debating it, obviously. Have fun. Tony Fox (arf!) 05:47, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Create a project to fix the problem, you say? Brilliant idea! Surely if you build it, they will come. Lara 05:25, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Lara, unreferenced biographies have nothing to do with BLP violations. Smears are far more likely to occur in articles with references since when they appear in something unreferenced they are easily removed and the article itself usually deleted. Misuse of references is a much greater problem as sources can be misrepresented or their content cherry picked. The articles being deleted seem to all have been created in good faith. This campaign is completely misguided and doesn't do anything to improve the problems with BLPs (and other articles) being used to disparage and smear, and it doesn't address the other problems of bias, promotion, advocacy and other distortions of the encyclopedia's mission. This campaign is doing enormous damage to the encyclopedia and the community by creating a huge rift. I haven't seen anything contentious in the articles I've looked at that have been targeted, and a far greater portion of them seem to have been created and edit in good faith than the rest of our articles. If they weren't clean they would be easily deleted. This contrasts with the problems I come across with our sourced content every day. ChildofMidnight (talk) 06:35, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
"Smears are far more likely to occur in articles with references since when they appear in something unreferenced they are easily removed and the article itself usually deleted. " Oh really? I have deleted articles which stated (completely unsourced) for years that person X was a nazi prison camp guard, person Y was a porn star, person Z was a yakuza member... Some of these may have been correct (although no easy references were found when checking), some of these were probably incorrect, but all of them had had these extremely negative unsourced statements for years. I have just deleted a page on a supposed transsexual for whom no decent sources existed (youtube, myspace, blogs...). It was tagged as BLPunsourced, that's how I found it. Fram (talk) 08:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The rules on unsourced negative or contentious content are clear. So there's no issue with deleting those articles. It's the other 52,900 that's a problem. ChildofMidnight (talk) 17:15, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

We've become complacent in our blind faith in WP:DEADLINE as an excuse for not actually fixing things. It used to be that taking an article to AfD would almost always result in many improvements to it, if it was worthy of rescue. But the indiscriminate efforts of the WP:ARS and of foamy inclusionists who say "it's fixable, KEEP!!!" without always actually fixing it have diluted that beneficial effect. Sometimes a shock to the system is what is needed. Deleting these articles may be the best thing that ever happened to them, in many cases. I've had a stream of people turning up on my talk page, asking for articles to be userified, or telling me that they found sources and restored the articles I deleted. Bravo! I never wanted all the articles deleted in the first place. It's just that the vaunted COMMUNITY had 3 years to do something, and did bupkus. Well, something was done, finally, and good things happened. That's what needs focus here, the outcome. The ends don't often justify the means, but once in a while they do. And the means, in this case... were entirely within policy as written. Those fomenting insurrection need to get a grip. And get fixing. ++Lar: t/c 12:42, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

That might be fine and all, but per the same deadline, I don't see why the admins in question couldn't have spent the last 3 years sending this stuff to AfD. All of a sudden, we have to speedy all this per IAR and BOLD ? —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 12:48, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Lar and his friends had 3 years to do something themselves too, had 3 years to properly discuss such stuff. They didn't. They just waited for the right circumstances to make hell break loose. That said, AfD is not meant for fixing articles (even if I've done it successfully sometimes when dealing with AfD's). Being fixable has always been more than enough, read WP:ATD. Deletion is for unfixable things. --Cyclopiatalk 12:56, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, Cyclopia, actually we (me and my friends as you put it) HAVE been doing things. We have proposed policy rewordings, we participate in all the processes, we take baby steps, we try to find ways to fix it, incrementally. But each time we do, the rabid foaming inclusionist-at-all-costs types shoot whatever we do down. (I'm an inclusionist, but people like you, and A Nobody and a bunch of others with similar mindsets make me embarrassed to admit it, frankly... do you need a catalog of all the things you've thwarted, or can we take it as understood?). I'm sorry that your feelings are hurt that something is at last being done, but just get out of the way, please. A precipitate action has galvanized some positive change... the RfC is proposing a number of good solutions (any of which I would be happy with) to how to improve process in this area and move this aspect (unsourced material) of the larger BLP problem forward. This isn't the final answer to the BLP problem, in fact it may well make some other aspects worse, but it's a start. More work is needed. Other aspects need addressing, But your approach is to stand athwart and yell STOP!, foamily... Well, no, sorry, we're not going to take that for an answer. Lead, follow or get out of the way. ++Lar: t/c 15:03, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
We have proposed policy rewordings, we participate in all the processes, we take baby steps, we try to find ways to fix it, incrementally. But each time we do, the rabid foaming inclusionist-at-all-costs types shoot whatever we do down. - Here another mask dropping. It's funny to see how much people like you care about subjects of biographies, but don't give a fuck about fellow editors. Since you failed, continuously and repeatedly, to get consensus, -per your own admission- now you got what you wanted by mere force. What can I say? Enjoy your coup d'état and have a happy time in your junta. --Cyclopiatalk 15:42, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Consensus doesn't trump core policy, Cyclopia. The sooner you wrap your head around that, the better off you'll be. UnitAnode 15:47, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Consensus is core policy. If consensus and core policy aren't agreeing, why that is should really be looked in to, and the policy changed. See Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. Prodego talk 15:49, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Apparently making such statements is still dangerous despite the recent developments. I've now been threatened with an indefinite block for saying something simular on the RfC. Vyvyan Basterd (talk) 15:32, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
  • My experience with the PRODings I've done has been much the same as Lar's with deletion. While some have gotten snippy in their edit summaries removing the PROD (I was even "trouted" for the first time, in one), most of them actually have taken the time to add sources when they remove the PROD. As Lar said, sometimes it takes large actions to affect large change. Like it or not, the events of the last couple of days are affecting large changes -- or at least larger changes on this issue than we've yet seen on the project. UnitAnode 12:52, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
We can not toss out the fundamentals of the site to try to avoid incorrect statements in BLPs. Wikipedia is based on the assumption that people are contributing in good faith, until we know otherwise. We should not make the assumption that because something is unsourced it is wrong - especially things that are not negative statements. Frankly I don't believe an unsourced article is any more likely to contain incorrect and negative information than a sourced one. Flagged revisions and proposals like this actually do take steps towards solving the problem, by having articles reviewed - and at least on a basic level checked over. It isn't proper editing and fact checking, but it is a step. Another practical step would be to raise notability standards to make sure that article subjects truly are verifiable - which they often are not. Deleting articles that are unsourced does not get us closer to solving this problem, since all it does is remove information that may be useful to our readers, and information that there is no reason be more inaccurate than the many unsourced statements in a sourced articles. Do not let arbcom pull out the principles of the site in to protect us against something that is simply impossible to eradicate so long as we have articles. Do not let something be done under the logic of 'at least its a start' without taking that start to its logical conclusion. The only Wikipedia free of incorrect information on living people, is Wikipedia, the empty encyclopedia no one can edit. Prodego talk 15:17, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The presumption of good faith ends the moment they irresponsibly place unsourced claims about living people on one of the most heavily trafficked websites in the world, then simply disappear from Wikipedia. Remove all such. Good faith contributors will confine themselves to verification, reliable sourcing, and a modicum of responsibility for what, in most cases, can only charitably be described as their work.Bali ultimate (talk) 15:21, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Remember that new editors do not know the rules, do not know the syntax, and do not know who to ask for help. If you delete everything they write, they are going to leave. And even if claims are sourced, we still have to trust that they are not misrepresenting sources or cherry-picking sources to write a biased piece. We don't ask people to write finished articles, we ask them to write what they want, and others will add what they want, and in the end we get an encyclopedia. If we require perfection, we will get nothing. Prodego talk 15:24, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
You're absolutely right. We need to help new editors along if we want to keep the project alive. That doesn't mean we have to walk on eggshells and deliberately ignore problematic BLPs, though. Wikipedia is approaching its 10th year of operation, and it's continuing to make the transition from an experiment into a more professional and responsible project. That means we need to start backing away from the internal bureaucracy and worrying more about quality, particularly with regards with BLPs. We don't have to make it perfect, since that would be impossible barring a click of Special:LockDB, but we should put effort into reducing as much incorrect and harmful information as possible. And, FWIW, the articles I think most people want deleted are years old, so their authors are very unlikely to still be around; if they are, they're probably now administrators who would be more than happy to fix them up. –Juliancolton | Talk 15:34, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
@prodego. Hogwash. The vast majority of these articles were created by people who left immediately after creation. But who cares? When i was a new editor i read the rules and guidelines. That is, I took responsiblity. People who can't be arsed to do the same don't need to be coddled by preserving unsourced, unverifiable claims about living people for years (most of us have been working off BLPs tagged as unsourced since 2006). You seem to confuse a request for enforcement of "minimum standards" with a demand for "perfection." It's just another roadblock to starting to fix the problem. Are there other problems with our BLPs. Of course, big ones. To argue against addressing one of the problems because other problems exist is juvenile. If you can't see the difference, then there's not much to talk about. You just don't get it.Bali ultimate (talk) 15:35, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

@Juliancolton: Exactly. But we aren't going to solve problems with blanket deletion - and mostly because unsourced BLPs aren't the problem. The problem is incorrect (and harmful) statements in BLPs. The proper way to handle these unsourced BLPs is to see if they are verifiable, and if so, source them, and if not, delete them as such. But these unsourced articles themselves are not the problem, and I don't think they are any more likely to contain problem statements than unwatched, rarely edited sourced BLPs. A system like flagged revisions would implement for both sourced and unsourced BLPs at least some level of editorial fact checking - and editorial fact checking is the system every other encyclopedia has used for quality control. @Bali: If every rule had been thrown at me when I was a new editor, I would have been blocked, and would absolutely not be here today. That is what I do understand, if not for the welcoming environment I got back in 2005, I wouldn't be here. That environment, even then, was dieing and without it, so will Wikipedia. That experience is why I believe that WP:AGF is the most fundamental policy. There are more fundamental principles - we are building an encyclopedia, for example - but as far as policies go, Wikipedia really is built on an assumption that people are good. After all this site is built on what these people wrote. Prodego talk 15:46, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

WP:AGF absolutely is at the center of what we do here (I really could not agree more), and most people are here to help. But WP:BLP says (in part) that, when we do come across edits made by people who are not acting in good faith and are trying to harm others, we need to act quickly and forcefully. The argument you are making is, I think, specious because assuming good faith 98% of the time and rigorously enforcing BLP are not at all mutually exclusive. Your suggestion that combing through the unsourced BLPs, sourcing most of them (as would happen), and deleting those that do not get sourced somehow defiles AGF and creates an unwelcoming environment is not remotely convincing to me (and you just assert those things, without offering evidence). In the process of doing the cleanup we can warn authors of all these articles that they will be deleted if they are unsourced (giving them sufficient time to do the sourcing), and explain why it is we need to do that (a friendly, detailed, and standard note to be placed by a bot would be easy to write). I have no doubt that most contributors would not have a problem with that or think the wiki-environment had gone to hell because they were asked to source an article (why on earth would they?).
To your first point, no one knows whether sourced or unsourced BLPs contain (per capita) more incorrect or harmful statements. There's been a lot of back and forth about this but it's a silly thing to argue about in the absence of data. Clearly both of those categories of BLPs do have problems, and what has been proposed of late is a systematic means to deal with one of the categories (the smaller one, since there are hundreds of thousands of sourced BLPs). In the process we would be sourcing a bunch of unsourced articles, which is a good encyclopedic practice whether or not it's a BLP. The fact is that up to this point there has been no agreed upon and collective effort to work on even some aspect of the BLP problem. We seem on the verge of one now, and while it does not solve everything and other solutions will need to be put in place, I'm mystified by the "unsourced BLPs are not the real problem" comments. Obviously they are a part of the problem (no one can credibly deny that), so why we would we not start working on them since it seems we will come up with a consensus based way to do that? Aside from dealing with a bunch of problematic bios via cleanup or deletion (which is the most important thing), we'll have come together collectively to address a portion of the BLP nightmare, and that itself is quite valuable. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:27, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm more agreeing with you than disagreeing BTP. What I'm saying is deleting them outright is contrary to the principles of AGF. Combing through them sourcing what can be verified and deleting what can't is exactly what should be done. Prodego talk 21:19, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
We're definitely in agreement then, because like you I do not support outright deletion (though if we literally could not agree on how to go about combing through and sourcing them—which would be insane at this point since it seems like we're about to do just that based on the RfC—I could see it being necessary as an option of last resort). I think the fact that full-on deletion was pursued initially made some people feel (understandably) that it would continue, but hopefully the outcome is that it only stirred up enough trouble to force us to come up with a process for a longstanding problem (which we clearly were not doing). I actually think the vast majority of editors basically agree on what we need to do now (it's what we are both saying) and are pretty flexible about how to do that, it's just that the heated arguments of the last few days have muddied things a bit and prevented people from seeing the extent to which most of us are on the same page. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 22:19, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

WP:DEADLINE is a false argument. It cuts both ways. We're not on a deadline to continually be hosting unsourced BLP articles, many of which have been around for 3, 4, even five years or more. If anything, we're on a deadline to get rid of these things quickly before we expose ourselves to even more bad press, or worse. JBsupreme (talk) 20:10, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

Anyone who prods any article must show evidence of having looked for sources prior to prodding per WP:BEFORE. Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 20:13, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Yet another bureaucratic hurdle that can be safely ignored if there is sufficient necessity, which this situation certainly warrants. Tarc (talk) 20:20, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Not looking for sources before prodding an article is just plain laziness. Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 20:23, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
You may want to see about getting that explicitly incorporated into WP:DEL#REASON and the Wikipedia:Proposed deletion policy page then. Personally I feel that if an article has been lying around for three to five years without sources with a questionable edit history there isn't much to be lost. JBsupreme (talk) 20:19, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Any good faith editor who cares about his colleagues would always check for sources before prodding an article or nominating it for deletion. Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 20:23, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
That is where you and I, and many others I take it, will disagree. If an article has remained unsourced for five years then it should be summarily deleted. Its not my job to fix it for you. JBsupreme (talk) 20:28, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
It is not your right to unilaterally rewrite policy. Frankly, your actions are far more damaging to this project than letting these articles sit around for a little while longer while the community attempts to form policy is. You are not above the community, no matter how full of yourself you are. Resolute 20:32, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Conversely, "the community", no matter how many gather in gaggles here and there to pontificate, is not above and cannot alter basic BLP policy. Leaving these articles around does far more harm than you can comprehend, apparently. And to A Nobody, reductio ad absurdum statements do not a sound argument make. Tarc (talk) 20:36, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Unsourced BLP articles should be sourced. Removing unsourced material from BLPs without showing evidence of attempting to first source them is not within policy. An admin should make a good faith effort to find sources and discuss with article creators before unilaterally deleting per WP:BEFORE. Outright libelous content should indeed be removed and any specifically libelous edit can be deleted, but the articles themselves (barring they are hoaxes or articles for which no sources exist and for which the deleting admin can demonstrate he thoroughly checked for sources prior to deletion and could not find any) should remain if even as stubs. Moreover, those who seek to reduce this discussion to name calling only enflame the situation or diminish its level of mature academic discourse. Blanket denigration of 331 editors and admins cannnot be considered productive. Yes, I should probably just ignore it per WP:DENY, but others viewing this discussion should be aware who is approaching it maturely and seriously and who is not. Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 20:44, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec) To Resolute, your statement gets right to the heart of the argument and points to a lack of understanding of the spirit of BLP that I see in far too many editors. "Letting these articles sit around for a little while longer" could lead to real-life consequences for one or more people (damage to reputation, loss of current or prospective employment, simple emotional harm at reading lies about yourself online, etc.). The whole point of WP:BLP is that we cannot be cavalier about letting possibly harmful material just "sit around" because we don't know who it will hurt and when. If you disagree with that, then you're not in step with one of the most critical policies on this entire project. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 20:46, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
The problem with that argument is that almost any article could possibly contain information which could cause adverse real-life consequences for someone. If we are prepared to delete articles based on the risk, however remote, that such material could be present then we should shut down the project entirely. Hut 8.5 21:01, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
(ec - though you can never be 100% sure one could reasonably assess prior to deleting something whether it is potentially harmful) Also fundamental to the project is that it is a civil, collaborative, consensus-driven, non-hierarchical crowd-sourced free content site. If you lose that, you have no content at all good or bad. We have standards for content, and one article a day is deemed to have met those standards. The vast majority of articles, though quite informative and perhaps better en masse than any other encyclopedia in the world, are very far from that standard. Most facts in the encyclopedia are not specifically sourced. We all agree, I think, with the proposition that all statements of fact should be sourced or at least sourceable. There is disagreement as to whether uncontroversial unsourced statements about people should be removed until a citation is found. There is a great difference of opinion on how to go about improving unsourced articles about living people, even if people agree on the end goal. All of these things get decided by discussion, debate, and sometimes bold action. Imperious unilateral rule-flaunting is not one of the better ways to muster editors for a widespread improvement campaign. - Wikidemon (talk) 21:08, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Exactly! I have reverted personal attacks on real people made by vandals in articles on fictional things, just as I have seen editors refer to real people as such insulting things as a "shit disturbing creationist" on a discussion page and arguably worse in edit summaries and on user talk pages (I am holding back the diffs, but we all know they exist). Everything from our user talk pages to edit summaries do indeed contain occasional damaging and insulting material on real world people. We react to these by reverting them, oversighting them, etc., i.e. the specific edits, not the articles, talk pages, discussions, etc. themselves. And we certainly do not delete articles that can be sourced because we are too lazy to look for and add sources ourselves. Even when I argue to delete, I still make a sincere effort to check Google News, Google Books, J-Stor,, and Academic Search complete for sources before I comment, no matter how much the article seems unsourceable to begin with. I check for myself and then I indicate as much in the relevant AfD with at a minimum a link to Google showing that sources are not available. If no sources really do exist, then, sure, the article should be deleted as I argue in such instances as at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Haya Hisayo. I am not opposed to removing unsourceable content that is potentially libelous; I am opposed to lazily removing content that can be sourced. Besides, the only way to be sure that we do not cause adverse consequences for people would be to not have a website anyone can edit in the first place. Surely that is not what some are after? Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 21:18, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
@BigTimePeace: Quite the contrary, actually. WP:BLP said (before an admin protected it in their preferred version) that contentious unsourced material needs to be removed immediately. You already have the mandate to deal with material that has the potential to harm, and nothing is stopping you from wading through the backlog to search for such problems. But don't sit here and tell me that the indiscriminate deletion of articles in part or in whole is anything but destructive. My issue is that "fuck the community" is not a valid argument for anybody but the Foundation itself, and allowing individual editors to act under their own personal opinions of what they think policy should be is the surest path to anarchy. You can't save something by destroying its core. Resolute 21:17, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Tarc and Bigtimepeace et al are the embodiment of why nobody ever rushes to fix the BLP problem, and why it will never be fixed the proper way, by the effort of the entire community without doing the dumbest thing ever, deleting and recreating the same content using 3 or 4 people each time, and creating policy by breaching experiment or militant action. And this is their plan for the unlikely cases, never mind the real sources of trouble, which are reffed and usually indistinguishable from the claims in an unreffed blp. It's a real shame these people have zero self perception as they go around dolling out the truth. I find it hilarious that the biggest obstacle to fixing the BLP problem are the people who, if you were that gullible, are apparently the only people concerned about it. Leave it to them I say. I'm sure the seemingly less than 20 people that so vociferously care about BLPs will be able to handle it themselves. Either that or Wikipedia will die the predicted death of a thousand retirements, as the truthers gradually gain control and hey presto, problem solved, no new articles to worry about, and all the old junk deleted without cause or care, because apparently all you need to delete articles is to believe that the only reason anybody would ever have created an unreffed bio stub would be for the most nefarious of intents, and an ability to call anybody who disagrees a moron, as you ask them to help out anyway. Too much of a risk, have to delete them all immediately, without even looking at them. Even if it turns out 99.9999% pose no risk at all, and they were only created because someone asked people to contribute to a user generated encylopoedia way back when. MickMacNee (talk) 21:15, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Obviously you're a bit worked up, but I'd stipulate that you know essentially nothing about me or my views. I've had nothing to do with "breaching experiments" or "militant actions," I've never called any Wikipedian a "moron" in any forum anywhere, I could not remotely be classified as a "deletionist," I myself created unreffed bio stubs in the past and thus certainly do not think they're generally created for nefarious reasons, I did not think it was wise for admins to go on a deleting spree (though I understood the reason and think it has led to a good discussion) and asked them to stop, and my main involvement in this entire argument has been to try to help come up with a consensus based solution where we could begin systematically fixing the unsourced BLP articles and then deleting them if and only if the fixing does not happen (and I think the only way to get folks motivated for the fixing is to put those articles under the deletion gun, so to speak). There is far too much extreme rhetoric on both sides of this debate, and unfortunately I think you are engaging in it yourself above. Honestly I don't even know what your exact view is (and you presumably don't know mine), but it's entirely possible that we would largely agree if you would stop e-yelling. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 21:38, 22 January 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) Who is this "Gregory Kohs" that kicked off this particular discussion. Why is he important to the BLP issue? -- I'm not that crazy (talk) 16:29, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

User:Thekohser. Hut 8.5 16:33, 23 January 2010 (UTC)
Deleted articles on notable people can be started again but with refs, its very simple really. We even have a friendly User:DASHBot to let us know if we create blp articles without refs so this situation actually seems in hand; if you dont like an article having been speedy deleted if it isnt locked you have the rihgt to start it again. Thanks, SqueakBox talk contribs 13:39, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank You

Thank you, merci, gracias, grazie, شكرا. Thank you for giving babies the chance to find all the humains knowledge in this encyclopedia-- (talk) 01:40, 24 January 2010 (UTC)


hello there —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ty&crissie (talkcontribs) 20:34, 24 January 2010 (UTC) Hi! --Tyw7  (Talk • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 02:53, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Ironic section--Just a joke.


Hello, Jimbo Wales, and welcome to Wikipedia! Thank you for your contributions. I hope you like the place and decide to stay. Here are some pages that you might find helpful:

I hope you enjoy editing here and being a Wikipedian! Please sign your messages on discussion pages using four tildes (~~~~); this will automatically insert your username and the date. If you need help, check out Wikipedia:Questions, ask me on my talk page, or ask your question on this page and then place {{helpme}} before the question. Again, welcome! --Tyw7  (Talk • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 02:54, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

No offense but what was the point of that. Haveing read just this page (not the archives) it appears that you are bent on getting jimbo to say something to you. Look, he's just a regular guy like you and me (who happened to be the founder of the 7th most visited site on the web) Im sure that he does not like haveing his talk page cluttered with this kind of stuff.--Coldplay Expért Let's talk 03:06, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Anyways, just wanted to give him the welcome message myself since nobody welcomed him, not that this is needed ;) --Tyw7  (Talk • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 08:31, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

"Fixers" and "deleters" - a way forward

The question has recently come to a head of what to do about unreferenced biographies that have remained unreferenced for a very long period of time. There have been different views put forward by reasonable people of good faith - and an unfortunate lot of heat besides.

I think, though, that it will be valuable to assess the points of agreement - which I believe among those reasonable people of good faith are much greater than the differences.

1. Biographies ought to be of high quality, and one valuable but imperfect tool for improving quality is to make sure that all or most non-trivial claims in a biography are referenced to a quality source. I don't think anyone disagrees with this.

2. We ought to have a process for improving these biographies - leaving them unreferenced permanently is not a viable solution.

3. We have, so far, failed to do so. Those in the "fixer" camp note that it often doesn't take long - 10 minutes or less in many cases - and those in the "deleter" camp don't disagree with that, but note that it is easy to say we could fix them, but the fact remains - these things have been sitting around forever.

4. Deleters point out, correctly, that articles deleted as unreferenced can always be recreated whenever someone wants to write a new and properly references article.

5. Fixers point out, correctly, that it is harder to write something from scratch once it has been deleted, rather than fixing it. Problems include both "having a list to work from" and "having to write everything over from scratch, discarding work that was often not that great but a valid starting point".

Here is what I propose we do:

1. Starting with everything which has been unreferenced for more than 3 years, a three-month notice time starting February 1st, before they are deleted on May 1st. 2. Starting with everything which has been unreferenced for more than 2 years, a three-month notice time starting May 1st, before they are deleted on August 1st. 3. Starting with everything which has been unferenced for more than 1 year, a three-month notice time starting August first, before they are deleted on November 1st.

In all cases, biographies deleted for being old and unreferenced should be put onto a list for those who wish to come behind and work on them further.

Additionally, biographies which are in the queue for potential deletion are of course subject to being speedied if they are merely attack pieces or for other routine speedy-deletion reasons.

After that, we can consider how long is a reasonable life span (I would say one week, but one month could be fine as well) for new biographies to exist in a sad state before they are deleted.

The point of the problem does not lie in the particular timings I have suggest, but the idea of a methodology which attempts to balance the concerns of both sides.

I acknowledge that there may be some who believe that unreferenced biographies should be kept on the site permanently, even if no one is willing to improve them. But that battle has been lost. This is a proposal for a way forward for the "fixer and deleter" debate, not the "should Wikipedia keep low-quality biographies" camp.

I'd love to host a discussion here, but I'm going to make a special request for maximum civility. Insults of any kind should be removed immediately from this discussion by anyone who notices them. I'm not interested in snark and anger, I'm interested in a productive way forward.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:14, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

  • Rather than delete these articles, we could always install flagged revisions and sandbox the content until such times as it has been satisfactorily improved. Best of both worlds. AGK 15:22, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
    • I think that's an interesting point. Hopefully flagged revisions will be available in time to assist in this work in precisely the way that you describe it - but I'm tired of waiting and I also side with those who point out that FR isn't going to be a panacea no matter what. So let's not wait for it. (Experience shows that my beard gets grayer the longer I wait!)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I am probably one of the "unsourced BLPs are not a big deal" guys (not that they're a good thing, I simply think they're not a great problem per se but that libel and vandalism plague all BLPs, not only unsourced ones), but I am happily willing to accept constructive compromise provided that your point 5 is addressed in full. That is, I'd endorse putting such articles in a separate namespace, visible not only to admins but also to autoconfirmed editors, for example, where people who want to rescue them can do. My main concern is with the almost-permanent loss of what is probably harmless and not that bad information which is simply there from the times when WP requirements were far more lenient. If this is addressed, everything is OK. --Cyclopiatalk 15:25, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
    • Just as an aside, I agree with you and would put it this way: unreferenced BLPs are not the problem, but they are a problem. Since we have a pretty straightforward way to find and address them systematically, I think they are a reasonable place to start with BLP reform. To address the "near permanent" thing, I would just say: detailed lists can be kept of things deleted for this reason, and as soon as the flagged revs technology exists to do what you suggest, I'd be in favor of doing it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • A reasonable statement, Jimbo. Thanks. Not sure what you were thinking putting this on your talk page, though. :-) –Juliancolton | Talk 15:26, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
    • Well, the conversation seemed to be going on here anyway, I thought I'd try something that might get people to stop yelling at me and each other :-) and start thinking about how to reconnect to each other thoughtfully and in support of our shared values.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • I'd be interested in something like this, but only if the time frame was shortened to something like 4-6 weeks before deletion in each cycle. At that rate, we could be have the project scrubbed of at least the old ones in a matter of a few months. Also, the time frame for new BLPs to remain unsourced should be shorter as well. Something like 3 days, perhaps. UnitAnode 15:27, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
    • I suppose increasing the speed if we see that the work is going well. But I wanted to be generous in terms of making sure that if people really are serious about wanting to fix these, they have a reasonable amount of time to do it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies of living people. I favor keeping the conversation together in one place. If that place becomes too crowded, we can refactor or start a new page. Jehochman Brrr 15:33, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree with Jehochman. Could we post a "View by Jimbo Wales" there? --Cyclopiatalk 15:42, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
    • I support having a more formal conversation grow out of this one. But I'm happy to host one here in the meantime.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:44, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
      • Skomoroth added your proposal above to the RFC as a separate view. It would probably be best if we could concentrate on the RFC as a place to discuss all proposals, no matter who made them, so that the discussion is not fragmented more than absolutely necessary. Regards SoWhy 15:48, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
        • I think the proposed schedule looks good. However, I want to query your use of the term "unreferenced biography", which occurs repeatedly in your proposal. Is it not a matter of "under-referenced" rather than a binary referenced/unreferenced? A BLP can give the appearance of being referenced, but contain a single false (defamatory) statement that is unreferenced. Where do you draw the boundary? Tony (talk) 01:24, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
          • I think Jimbo's response noting that unreferenced BLPs are A BLP issue and not THE BLP issue answers this. Under-referenced BLPs are a problem that have their own tools to deal with them because some parts of them (the referenced parts) are worth saving. Unreferenced BLPs on the other hand have no part that can be saved on a simple review since they lack any sources. This just deals with those articles. MBisanz talk 01:42, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
(unindent) Thanks for taking the time to understand this and propose a thoughtful solution. For the sake of simplicity we might as well flag all the articles now and assign them into groups - invoking a 3 month deadline 3 months from now is the same as a 6 month deadline now. Also, because of volume I would suggest smaller, more frequent chunks. Finally, I think it could help to impose a very short time limit on new unsourced bios. If people doing new article patrol can catch and give friendly coaching to new editors right after they've saved their first article they'll learn not to do it again, so the rate of unsourced BLP production will be very close to zero. One way or another we'll get this licked. Best, - Wikidemon (talk) 02:02, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I think this is a good outline for a solution. Most of the articles that would be subject to this are valid article subjects, but at the same time, there are legitimate concerns about having mass numbers of unreferenced BLPs lying around. We should be careful to ensure that this doesn't become an inclusionist/deletionist thing and we should be careful to ensure that we don't develop a bias against BLP notability relative to other subjects. One thing I would suggest considering is breaking the groups down more specifically to facilitate the work of people who want to improve them. Realistically speaking, if you tell people to wade through a year's worth of unreferenced BLPs in three months, you may not see very much progress. Perhaps give people one week to salvage the articles for one past month—that will narrow the time scope (providing a greater sense of urgency) while also reducing the workload (so that it doesn't feel hopelessly overwhelming). A stricter standard could be applied for particularly old articles—two weeks for everything before 2006, let's say, and then a week for each month thereafter. Everyking (talk) 02:32, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your support, but I'd like to note that we can and should have a strong bias in favor of caution with respect to BLPs, and that this will include "notability" relative to other subjects. A bad article on an obscure molecule is not (in the usual case, of course examples can be constructed) as harmful as a bad article on an obscure school teacher or similar.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:35, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
While that may be true, if people think that BLPs are going to be deleted on notability grounds rather than referencing grounds, it's going to complicate things greatly and cost a lot of support for the proposal. Everyking (talk) 12:45, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I request that the speed of tagging articles for deletion should be low enough that it is at least possible to source them before they are deleted. It will take a major effort, but it should be possible. We have spent a long time making these unreferenced BLPs, and it will take a while to fix them. If tens of thousands of otherwise useful articles are deleted, we also run the risk that some outside site will host them, and then they are out of our reach for improvement. --Apoc2400 (talk) 16:36, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Rather than setting arbitrary timetables, maybe it would be better to look at a breakdown of just how many articles we'd be dealing with—how many total articles would we have from the whole period from before 2006, for example? With that information, we would be in a better position to know how long a period is reasonable to allow for fixing the articles. Everyking (talk) 18:58, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I love flagged revisions on German WP. Seen in the light of the current discussion of unreferenced BLPs, I'd prefer it if new, unsighted stubs (including all unreferenced articles, as no unreferenced article should be sighted "OK") remained hidden from the public (and from mirrors and from google) until they have been approved. They should behave like any other unsighted draft. But even the present system as implemented on the German side would be great to have here, and a vast improvement. What is causing the delay over here? Is it because we are trying -- unlike the other languages that already have flagged revisions -- to use flagged revisions for BLPs only? And if that is the only hold-up, wouldn't it be worth thinking about introducing flagged revisions across the board? --JN466 21:03, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Hmmm...according to Category:All_unreferenced_BLPs there are 48,565 unreferenced BLP's :¬(
If that is true then there is quite a bit of work to do there!
One thing I would say from personal experience is that once a BLP has been deleted it is often difficult ascertain whether there actually was a previous article or whether one was never in existence - it seems that in many cases there is no deletion log available or history to look at and so one has to get hold of the log by contacting "someone" and that may put off editors from recreating.
For example if a redlink exists it seems fair to assume that there was an article to link to although it may be the case that the editor was simply going to create the linked article later and never got around to it.
I have had to go down the path of requesting a deleted article from an admin who e-mailed it to me and from there I was able to decide whether or not to use the info which was there.
It seems to me that there should be a way of locking a BLP log/history once deleted so it cannot be easily undeleted whilst allowing editors to peruse the old article and decide whether any refs they find could be easily included in a resurrection
Chaosdruid (talk) 22:55, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
You're suggesting that people whose articles were notable but unsourced be page protected? That goes against what wikipedia is about in my opinion. Far better would be to flag protect newly or re-created BLPs. I would therefore propose adopting Jimbo's suggestion, with the caveat that if flagging comes in after 1 May, the affected deletion dates become "as soon as Flagging becomes active". I don't see a grounds for complaint from either "side" if an article is deleted later to ensure that the deletion is more effective. WFCforLife (talk) 01:39, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
If you are talking to me WFC I was talking about once deleted, not prior to deletion. If you were talking to Jimbo - apologies for butting in :¬)
Chaosdruid (talk) 01:55, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

[outdent] "Instead of delete, think hide"? Flagged revisions looks good, though I'd go along with certain deletions providing that trusted editors, not just admin, still have access to the content and history, so that they can look into the possibility of using these as first drafts, working on them, then getting them "cleared" and returned to mainspace. As for new articles, these should start out "hidden" from mirrors, search engines and Josephine Public until "cleared" for live publication. Esowteric+Talk 10:41, 27 January 2010 (UTC)


A yummy cupcake for you! (talk) 03:09, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

*steals cupcake* --Yowuza yadderhouse | meh 17:52, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Banned editors driving policy

Hi Jimbo. I hope your week is going well. There seems to be some confusion about how the recent deletion spree got started. I'm not an expert, but as I recall:

Banned editor, User:Thekohser, coordinated offline with at least one admin to get a list of unreferenced biography articles. I think he also bought or attempted to buy an admin account (Cool3?). He planned to carry out a "test" introducing vandalism to unreferenced biographies. This conspiracy was discovered and a block issued. After that the Wikipedia Review crowd, where User:Thekohser is active, initiated an out of process deletion spree to get rid of unreferenced biographies whether or not the subjects were ntoable and regardless of whether any BLP problems existed. I think there's an Arbcom hearing about co-conspirators, but I find it difficult to follow all the proceedings. Maybe you can provide some clarification since the latest signpost account leaves out most of the events? Do you think it's important that editors know why this controversy is happening and how it got started? ChildofMidnight (talk) 17:50, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

I started the deletions you mentioned, and although I do have a little used account at WR I have nothing whatsoever to do with User:Thekohser. My actions were intended to move things forward here, not to fulfill any agenda from WR. Kevin (talk) 21:53, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
  • If CoM doesn't desist with these bad-faith accusations, it's my view that he should be blocked. I PRODed 171 unsourced BLPs, and it had absolutely nothing to do with User:Thekohser, This isn't the first bad-faith accusation that CoM has made in this regard, and I'm tired of it. The reasoning behind my actions is much the same as that behind Kevin's. UnitAnode 22:00, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Please be advised that making false accusations is a violation of the civility policy. I have not made any bad faith accusations against you or anyone else in regard to the deletion spree, or the off-line conspiracy and Wikipedia Review discussions that initiated and encouraged it. It would be interesting to hear from Gregory Kohs on what his motivations were and what outcome he would like to see. I raised the issue before of whether he should be unblocked so he can take part in the discussion and policy revisions he helped instigate. Cheers. ChildofMidnight (talk) 00:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Please be advised that making bad-faith accusations against Wikipedia editors by obliquely referring to them as "the Wikipedia Review crowd" doesn't make them any less bad-faith. Continually claiming, over and over and over that Kohs is basically the puppetmaster behind what's been happening this last week or so IS a bad-faith accusation, whether you want to admit it or not. Please stop making these conspiratorial claims. UnitAnode 00:57, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thou dost protest too much. Aren't you an active participant in Wikipedia Review discussions related to these issues? I'm still not seeing where you're getting the bad faith assumptions that you're making (irony of ironies). I haven't ascribed any foul motives to those agitating off-wiki, quite the opposite in fact, although the role Kohs has played and what his motivations were remain unclear to me. Maybe you know what his intentions were in conspiring to carry out the "test"? ChildofMidnight (talk) 02:14, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thou dost make shit up too much. Even your headline for this thread is little more than a bad-faith assumption. "Banned editors driving policy" certainly implies that those of us here who were working to rid the project of unsourced BLPs were being coordinated by Kohs. Deny and spin all you want, CoM, but that's what you wrote. UnitAnode 21:04, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Since the test is what initiated the attempted purges, isn't it an accurate if somewhat dramatic headline? Wasn't the test what elicited the clean up efforts? I don't see any bad faith apart from your statements and assumptions. I said I didn't know what Gregory had in mind, and I made clear that I have every reason to believe that the other members of the Wikipedia Review posse were acting in good faith. Why they imagine that the presence of references has something to do with whether content smears or misrepresents people is another issue. ChildofMidnight (talk) 21:25, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I can't imagine why referring to someone as having been an agent of a banned user might be considered assuming bad faith. And referring to people as "the Wikipedia Review posse" is sterling as well. You're way out-of-line, CoM. UnitAnode 21:31, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Much as I'm somewhat loathe to be the one to point it out, User:Thekohser's little experiment seems to be what brought this all to a head. While he does have a sordid history of doing inexcusable things, it's no sin to give credit where credit is due.
OTOH, I really doubt there's any conspiracy behind this: User:Thekohser doesn't seem to be the conspiracy type. WP:TINC, etc., etc. --SB_Johnny | talk 23:59, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, the initial "test" required some off-wiki conspiring to be sure. And much of the discussion encouraging and supporting the recent effort to delete unreferenced bios has taken place on Wikipedia Review. It seems to me that it's important to be open and honest in considering that history and what implications it has for how we approach blocking, banning, policy discussions, IAR etc.
It's my opinion that transparency and on-wiki discussions should be fostered more so that the community is more inclusive and so that everyone with good faith opinions on these issues can be involved. In fact, the intimidation and censorship that I've experienced here suggests to me that sites like Wikipedia Review are enabled and made essential because the atmosphere here is so often toxic and antagonistic towards anyone who has a perspective that differs from the mainstream and those with authority. That's one of the reasons this whole drama has been so interesting to follow. Arbcom and Jimbo ultimately adopted a position that is supported by outside agitators and a minority of on-wiki editors over the established consensus for how we approach article building.
If I'm not getting the history exactly right I welcome corrections, but I think an accurate accounting is important if we are to understand how these developments arose and how these important issues should handled going forward. As Unitanode's comments make clear, there are always those who holler for bans and blocks when an editor says something they disagree with, one explanation for why many outside the box thinkers are no longer well integrated in the project. ChildofMidnight (talk) 00:51, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
The problem is, as usual, you butt in with half-truths and ill-formed accusations into a topic of which you know little about. This is the type of behavior that was identified in your RfC, continued when you attacked the closer as "Incompetent, unconstructive, biased and unhelpful", and persists today. Talk of "bans and blocks" is just about the only recourse left in dealing with you, unfortunately. Tarc (talk) 20:58, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm hopeful that at some point your stalking, trolling and disruptive personal attacks will be made to cease. Please don't interfere in discussion that don't involve you to seek out conflict with me. Your hypocrisy and dishonesty are real problems. Obviously I didn't refer to anyone as being those things, but what your actions make you out to be is of your own making. I tried to bring your disruptive behavior to Jimbo's attention a while back, but he said he didn't see it. ChildofMidnight (talk) 21:18, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Sorry to call you out for a falsehood, but I have been involved in the BLP RfC and some of the discussions in other locations, both here and at the WR, and have this talk page on watch from commenting in the past. So, this is a topic with which I am a) familiar and b) involved. I commented on this particular section here because you are trying to link the movement to address unreferenced BLPs to a banned editor held (wrongly, IMO) in quite low regards in some wiki-circles, and thereby discredit those who are advocating for a more strict approach to dealing with the matter.
As noted above, this is the same dishonest approach...along with wild claims against editors who are critical of your behavior...that has led you into several blocks, a topic ban, and an RfC. I'm sure you did bring your assertion to Jimbo at one point, but I'm hoping that soon you begin to realize that the problem lies with you, and not with everyone else. Tarc (talk) 22:11, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for explaining your assumptions of bad faith. I don't hold Kohs in low regard, and as I explained above, I would like to see a more inclusive community. In the future I'd appreciate it if you could focus on the article issues that conern you instead of attempting to smear and attack me. I don't pursue you, I don't involve myself when you are being blocked for edit warring, and I don't appreciate your stalking and trolling my contributions to try and incite conflict.
There's no question that a lot of the activism over BLP issues has been generated and formented on Wikipedia Review, where you are active. If someone else sees that as undermining the effort, that's their opinion. Wikipedia Review seems to me to be an important sounding board for editors, some of whom have been made unwelcome here, with positions and ideas that are often worth considering. I do think the role that off-site forums play in organizing and influencing Wikipedia's policies and operations is interesting and worth discussing, whether it be the EEML, IRC editor and admin channels, Wikipedia Review, or e-mails. I am an advocate for transparency and accountability, so I think we should try to incorporate and learn from the good aspects of off-site collaborations instead of always attacking them or turning a blind eye. We do the same thing with uncivil and over the top enforcement actions that drive editors and their histories underground. That doesn't seem consructive to me and I think it's something Jimbo should address. It is easy to block and ban people, and it's also easy to create "alternate" or sock accounts. So a pragmatic approach and leniency gives opportunities for editors to learn and improve in a transparent way instead of making more and more rebels and disgruntled outsiders. ChildofMidnight (talk) 22:25, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
It would be hard to "involve yourself when I am blocked for edit warring" when I have only been on the receiving end of 1 15-hr block, so your attempted disparagement there is easily turned aside by reality, bud. :) You, on the other hand, are hard not to trip over at the policy pages, since you are reported there for abuse and disruption so frequently. A lot of nice words above, but it doesn't do much to change the fact that you tried to disparage a group of editors who are interested in deleting unsourced BLPs by making vague hand-waving accusations of off-wiki cabals and conspiracies of banned users. Tarc (talk) 23:29, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

This is Jimbo's talk page. Please find another place to squabble with one another. Thank you.—Finell 23:48, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I am addressing an editor who has made a bad-faith accusation of collusion against other editors working towards the betterment of the Wikipedia's BLP policy. That this user has done the same things in the past, and that I have called him out on it, does not invalidate the discussion. So your concern is noted, but set aside. Thanks. Tarc (talk) 00:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

The sum of all human knowledge

Mr. Wales, can you please save User:Ikip? He's been blocked for trying to save articles here. Nobody have been a greater defender of Wikipedia's ability to protect all knowledge from the deletionists than him. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:43, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

A 12 hour block for spamming an exclusive invitation to an invitation only fake Wikiproject. User:Ikip/Wikipedia:Wikiproject new user welcome. The block was not for trying to save articles, it was for the way he is going about it. Dougweller (talk) 10:12, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Maurice Lacroix endorsement

Jimmy, congratulations on the (what must be) lucrative endorsement gig with the fine watchmaker, Maurice Lacroix. I will certainly add this watchmaker to my list of possible considered brands, as I had never heard of it before. (I currently own a Raymond Weil.) One thing, some of the PR documentation from the Lacroix website says:

"In recent months, Wikia has moved up the internet ranks from 100th most visited site to 75th and may someday even overtake its big sister, Wikipedia."

Your user page states that Wikia is "a completely separate organization unrelated to Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation". Yet, this promotional material with which you are now formally affiliated says that Wikia's "big sister" is Wikipedia. Could you please placate your sporadic critics and once again affirm that Wikia and Wikipedia/Wikimedia are completely separate? Thank you, and bravo on your stance that "If you try to pretend to be something you aren't, that shows through." How true, how true! -- Verizoon (talk) 20:13, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

No, Jimbo needn't bother repeating himself. The organizations are separate, and this is a matter of public record. Given Jimbo's role as founder (parent?) of both organizations, however, it is understandable that some may consider them to be siblings. No further statement by Jimbo is required.
The backhanded congratulations above is the only contribution to Wikipedia from the Verizoon account, other than to create the account's user and talk pages. Everyone knows who Jimbo is. Who is Verizoon and why would he or she make a new user account just to post this tripe?—Finell 23:03, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
Mighty intolerant of you Finell. That's a big BITE on the noob. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 23:23, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

? --Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:38, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

If the ? was directed at me I was chiding Finell for Biting the newbies, not Assuming good faith and a tad Jimbo talkpage ownership issue issue. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 02:02, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Jimmy, while I acknowledge that you have no obligation to share the details of your private finances, I would appreciate it if you would tell us how much you made from this endorsement deal and how much of that you gave to the Foundation. Using the Wikipedia name for personal financial gain like that seems to go against what you've always said about you not making any money out of Wikipedia (although, as far as I can remember, you were always talking in the past tense, so weren't actually being dishonest - presumably you will stop saying that now, though). --Tango (talk) 02:59, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

You are absolutely right that I am under no obligation to share the details of my personal finances. You are also incredibly rude = "weren't actually being dishonest" - how dare you! All of the money associated with this deal is allocated to my charitable giving, which I consider a private matter and none of your business. The largest recipient, as always, is the Wikimedia Foundation. The details of the entire thing were cleared with the Foundation, and Maurice LaCroix very cheerfully at my request donated to the Foundation directly to induce me to agree to this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:42, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi, Jimbo...Sorry to interject, but I think what he meant by "weren't actually being dishonest" was "at the time, that was the truth". Or at least that's how I took it when I first read it. Either way, life goes on :-) ...have a nice day! Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 19:56, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
It is pretty clear what he meant. He was wrong, rude and insulting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:36, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Damn right and it was insulting and ridiculous to even ask you to disclose those details. Maybe when you run for POTUS it would be a valid question... – ukexpat (talk) 20:46, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
What did I say that was wrong? I was asking a question. You used the work of Wikipedia community to get that money; I think it is reasonable to ask what you do with it. It is very much our business, since you wouldn't have had that money without us. I am very pleased to hear that the money all went to charity and am grateful that you shared that information. Thank you. --Tango (talk) 00:06, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well for one thing your statement "using the Wikipedia name for personal financial gain like that"
That is bad faith, assumptive and downright accusatory. You have assumed too much and then stated it as fact.
Secondly you further say that (using your original assumption) "presumably you will stop saying that now.."
This is also stating that Jimbo was dishonest with no evidence of that kind whatsoever
I think that your statement was crass. It also is confrontational and in bad taste.
Chaosdruid (talk) 07:24, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
I think the assumption that he got paid for endorsing a commercial product is a pretty safe one. I certainly didn't say that he was dishonest, in fact I explicitly said otherwise. --Tango (talk) 18:30, 28 January 2010 (UTC)


HI I would like to be a friend to Jenson Button.How can i get him,my name is Joyce from Kenya,my adress is <email redacted>> —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

We don't have Jenson's email address as far as I know. You'd be better going to his website and see if there's an email contact there. Rodhullandemu 21:21, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Designing the future of Wikipedia: (1) slogan


Always open

These are interesting times for Wikipedia ... Let's make the most of them. Item #1. Proofreader77 (interact) 22:04, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia's primordial and primaeval history

Jimbo, I'm wondering if you could help me out with a wikipedia history query. I'm trying to imagine what wikipedia looked like on its first hours of existence. For most people, wikipedia first came to their attention as something that was already up and running, and which they were directed to by search engines.

But there must have been a moment in day about ten years ago, when it existed without any articles or without any edits, or without any registered users. At that point in time, how did anybody know that it existed? I assume that there was a handful of people tipped off about its existence and that the first few articles and registered users emanated from that handful.

It would be interesting to know more details about the early evolution of wikipedia when it was in its infancy. I know that there is a page about wikipedia on wikipedia that deals with some of the history, but it doesn't answer those detailed mechanical questions such as what was the first article, who made the first edit, and who was the first registered user. Presumably there was a period when there were no administrators. And presumably there was a first act of vandalism and a first block.

It would be interesting if some knowledgeable person would write a detailed article on the evolution of wikipedia from its infancy. It would make fascinating reading. I look forward to hearing from you. David Tombe (talk) 05:58, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't exactly answer your question, but you may find Wikipedia:UuU interesting. --Tango (talk) 06:48, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
There's also but not sure if it goes right back to the very beginning. I know there are still some users active that are from those times though, I don't recall the usernames atm however.. -- œ 08:45, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Tango and OlEnglish, Thanks for that information. That at least gives us a start, in that we have traced a user User:Eiffel who was around at that period and will probably remember what it was like. I notice however that he hasn't edited since October 2009. It is interesting the form of username that he adopted then. It was like a website address. David Tombe (talk) 10:21, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

Magnus Manske worked on Nupedia and wrote some of the original MediaWiki code. He might be a good person to ask. NW (Talk) 12:03, 29 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't know why, but Wikipedia's page histories do not go back to the very beginning. For example, the first version of the main page in the history is dated 15:28, 26 January 2002, but it is clear from the page itself that it is not the first main page. The first version in the Wayback Machine is Nov 27, 2002; if you click the prior versions link on that page, you get a message that retrieval is blocked by Robots.txt. There is no explanation why the Wayback Machine does not have earlier versions (it goes back to 1996), or why the most recent version is Aug 22, 2008? Is the Wikimedia Foundation blocking archiving of the earlier or more recent versions?—Finell 00:31, 30 January 2010 (UTC)
The old main page history is here. For information on what happened to the old page histories see Wikipedia:Usemod article histories. mw:MediaWiki history has some interesting historical information as well. Reach Out to the Truth 02:22, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

This all illustrates the importance of getting it accurately documented while it is still fresh in the memory of active contributors. It will always be a matter of curiosity as to how wikipedia first appeared on-line in its infancy, and as to how the public first became aware that it existed and that they could build upon the project. As in the case of Encyclopaedia Britannica, wikipedia has a history. Encyclopaedia Britannica began in the year 1768. But unlike in the case of wikipedia, the first edition would have been published in a static form in an already readable state, with professional editors having already contributed articles.

With wikipedia, the public will want to know what wikipedia looked like the very first day that it appeared on-line. Most active editors today only came across wikipedia as something that was already up and running. I only discovered search engines in 2002, and wikipedia seemed to just follow on from that. But there must have been a period back in 2001 when wikipedia emerged in an embryonic state to the full view of the public, and in which a core of early editors signed up as registered users.

There will be somebody who remembers all this in vivid detail, and it would make a very interesting wikipedia article. David Tombe (talk) 03:32, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

There's a bit of info at history of Wikipedia, and links to old snapshots of Wikipedia articles among other things at Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles. A brief history of early anti-vandalism measures can be found at Wikipedia:Requests for investigation#History. The concept of adminship hasn't always been the same as it is today; see User:NoSeptember/Early admins (20 Sept 2002), the talk page of that user subpage, and the early versions of Wikipedia:Administrators. Graham87 10:51, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Graham, Once again thanks for these interesting bits of information. They do help with trying to put the picture together. But at the end of the day, we ideally need a full scale article on the model of the Encyclopaedia Britannica article that will give a general picture to the reader. The article should be a standard main space article entitled something like The Early Days of Wikipedia, and it should of course be linked in the general administrative articles such as wikipedia. The writers of the article ought to be putting themselves into the position of somebody trying to figure it out for themselves. It should be addressing issues such as how it came to the attention of the public, and what it looked like in its embryonic state. Once sufficient writers from the pool of early editors appear on the scene, the article can be improved on an ongoing basis as a result of questions being asked on the talk page. As is always the case, the article may be clumsy at the beginning, but it will take form as people begin to see its purpose. Sections will then evolve dealing with specific issues like vandalism, administrators etc. David Tombe (talk) 14:19, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

I for one would find it immensely interesting. Wiki is a big chunk in my life and others too. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 15:44, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

It would be a reasonably straight forward project. The early editors would begin it by putting in what they know from memory, whether coherently or incoherently. Talk page discussion would then lead to pertinent questions being asked. As those questions were being answered, the article would be gradually taking form into distinct coherent sections. There would be a section on "The First Day". Then "The First Weeks". The real points of interest are the manner in which it first came to public attention and what the embryonic form looked like. From reading some of the snippets above, it seems like an early team were active in preparing standard topics such as a list of countries. Then I suppose after that they chipped in with their own speciality topics of interest. David Tombe (talk) 02:32, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Is History of Wikipedia not enough? Seems to me that this article including all it's reference links has more information than anyone could ever want to know about how Wikipedia got started. -- œ 05:40, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Old English, Yes, that's exactly what I was looking for. I'll take my queries to the talk page of that article instead. Thanks for the link. David Tombe (talk) 11:57, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Someday I'll have to write a book and tell the oldest stories. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:20, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Hear hear! Proofreader77 (interact) 18:34, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
(Of course, if you put it in sonnet form, it will become a cultural touchstone for centuries to come. :-) Proofreader77 (interact) 18:40, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

The History of Wikipedia article is actually pretty good. It's the very kind of article that I was suggesting should be started from scratch, but it looks like it's already been done. I haven't studied it in detail yet, but it seems that my core question has been answered on the basis of the nupedia, in that it acted as an embryo. But Jimbo, when you go to write your book, please don't follow Proofreader77's advice. Write it in prose so that we can all read it. Leave it to Proofreader77 himself to translate into sonnet form to cater to that specialized clientele. David Tombe (talk) 03:41, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

The revival of rhetorical education will make such a history in verse ... something that every parent will want to give to their child ... perhaps read as bedtime stories ... Which I didn't realize until just now. Thank you, David. Proofreader77 (interact) 03:44, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo Wales

Glück auf! -- Adherent of the Enlightenment 10.0 (talk) 18:40, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Scott MacDonald and Rdm2376

Scott MacDonald and Rdm2376 deleted up to eleven articles per minute which mean they did not read the article before deleting it. I cant se that as bold only ignorant, both to the article and the whriters that once made the article. Reading the article before deleting it should be a minimum criteria. So i really hope you dont think it is a good behavour to delete without giving the article and its whriters a chanse. -- (talk) 22:59, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't really put much value on anonymous complaints, but did you ever consider other possibilities besides the nefarious ones? The articles were stubs, were obvious copyvios or attack pages, or that they looked at groups of articles first, accumulated a list of what was deletable, and then did it? Review WP:AGF, pls. Tarc (talk) 23:32, 27 January 2010 (UTC)
Well it's pretty obvious that a lot of people make their decisions on Wikipedia on just a tag or the cover, rather than the contents, so I'd be surprised if people didn't just put in random refs because a lot of admin culture is just ticking a box, and people vandalise and put heaps of junk in established, nominally not-completely-unsourced articles that stay there a long time anyway. Wikipedia is a lot about deluding onself or tricking the unattentive user by gaming or padding up the statistical counts. YellowMonkey (bananabucket) 00:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, I really now the answer. These people are bored. They can't conribute to wikipedi because they don now how to whrite an article and they don't now how the category system works and other developing things. They are tired of locking for vandalism, talking on discussion pages and so on, so they start to delete articles whitout any background research to look efficent. They becomes A Clockwork Orange wikipedians. It's hard to see this on english wikipedia but it's much easyer to se this happening on smaller wikipedias. English wikipedia needs one year admins with new requests for adminship every year so they become chosen by the wikipedian not dictators -- (talk) 08:33, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Well, bad faith and personal attacks kinda kills any point you were trying to make, IMO. Tarc (talk) 13:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
It's not personal, it's a structural problem. My faith has nothing to do with this. I'm going back to my wikipedia where seeking consensus is better than beeing bold (read berserk) for the cooperation between users. --NERIUM (talk) 20:39, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

They aren't bored. They just like destroying other people's work. And blocking people like User:Ikip so they don't have to answer for their selfishness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:47, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

A well-deserved and long-overdue block. Tarc (talk) 13:53, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • That block of Ikip had been coming for a long time. UnitAnode 20:46, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Obviously disruptive and bad faith block not endorsed by anyone who is neutral or unbiased/univolved. Sincerely, --A NobodyMy talk 21:09, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
    Yet another user that could do with a block for disruption. UnitAnode 21:14, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Do you mean that a sentens like Obviously disruptive and bad faith block not endorsed by anyone who is neutral or unbiased/univolved. Sincerely, ... i a reason for beeing blocked? --NERIUM (talk) 22:51, 28 January 2010 (UTC)
Probably not.   pablohablo. 09:42, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

I have to say though, MacDonald has been deleting not just whole articles but also sections of ones. He just removed entire sections of the article that in HIS opinion, citing poor sourcing (when did NY Times become a bad source?) and arbitrarily decided that the article did not meet standards, and then put a threat on the discussion page to deter anyone from restoring it back by THREATENING TO REMOVE MEMBER'S EDITING PRIVILEGES. And now with Jimbo's own endorsement on his talk page, he has become more and more brazen. I have asked Jimbo for a response, but so far i have not heard a peep from him. --Bud (talk) 11:35, 29 January 2010 (UTC)

And you are not likely to - look at the endorsement he left on Macdonalds page. Paraphrasing, it says 'I haven't bothered looking at any of the edits or deletions you made so I can't actually comment beyond saying that I love big bold moves and I fully support you even without having any personal undestanding of whether the individual edits you made were valid'. Weakopedia (talk) 09:10, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
That is sad. I like Wikipedia but at this point i will have to say i am losing faith in the face of unclear rules, lack of transparency and threats from other editors and admin. I hope eventually it will get better, but for the time being I will no longer bother. --Bud (talk) 21:24, 3 February 2010 (UTC)


Hello Jimbo Wales. I was wondering if you had ever vandalized an article on Wikipedia. Even though you are the founder, could you get blocked from editing? -NerdyScienceDude :) (✉ click to talkmy edits) 22:56, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

While I do not know the answer to your first query (my personal guess is Jimbo has not actually engaged in any deliberate attempts to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia.), his account can and has been blocked.[2] --Allen3 talk 23:51, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
So Jimbo has been blocked. Hey Jimbo, have you ever vandalized an article? -NerdyScienceDude :) (✉ click to talkmy edits) 00:22, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
For 99% of good Wikipedians, I'm sure the answer is no. Almost all edits made by established editors are made in good faith, and are therefore not vandalism. In fact, I'd say that the question is a borderline insult. However, Jimbo was once reverted by an anti-vandalism bot while performing an office action. See this block log entry and the diff of the bot reversion, which can only be accessed by admins. Graham87 02:35, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Also, the edit summary in that diff, which was completely untrue in this case, is "vandalism from User talk:Jimbo Wales (42754653) - reverted to User talk:Tawkerbot2 (42754546)". The previous edit by Tawkerbot2 was another reversion of an edit by Jimbo, but that edit was made while he was logged out. The edit, which blanked the page for legal reasons, was made in March 2006, when anti-vandalism bots were a fairly new phenomenon. If I recall correctly, Tawkerbot2, who had only started editing a few days before the bad reversion, was the first officially sanctioned anti-vandalism bot. The first anti-vandalism bot that I know of was written to combat page move vandalism in September 2005 by Curps. Graham87 02:55, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

BLP in wikipedia space - what nonsense is this?

See [3] - it should be deleted instantly - no process should need to be followed for such BLP nonsense - original creator of the page should be given a stern talking to. (talk) 00:11, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Please post future comments in the MFD
It sources its information...what's the problem with it? Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 00:16, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
It's a Policy page - not an Encyclopedia page. How would you like a Wikipedia Policy page named after you regarding something dumb you did? (talk) 00:17, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how it is different from such things as WP:DDMP, the editor whom inspired the creation of the page is still active. It basically passes on wisdom, so to speak, as to how someone did something wrong and why it should not be repeated (or in the case of the plaxico page, how it is applied to wikipedia). Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 00:29, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
The only major difference I can see between this and Streisand effect is that Plaxico is an internal essay, and the latter is an article, both of which are well-sourced in relation to the facts. I don't think anyone would criticise us if an editor came to WP:ANI complaining about somebody else's image uploads when it was found on examination that his/er own were somewhat dubious. By your actions shall you stand or fall, and that the subject of this article brought about his own injuries through self-inflicted injuries is a documented matter of fact. The only comparable example I can think of is of Icarus, although Daedalus did warn him not to fly too close to the sun. It's a matter for WP:MFD, perhaps, and community consensus, but I don't see it as a WP:BLP violation. Rodhullandemu 00:47, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Note - it's already up for MFD - suggest future comments be concentrated there to avoid fragmenting this discussion.  7  01:54, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
No - I don't believe that there are many Wikipedians who think that it is a good idea to have an "official" Wikipedia essay that uses the name of a living person in a belittling manner. Wikipedia does not exist to make people sad - the idea in the essay could be conveyed without using anyones name - if anyone wants to write an essay about this gentleman they should put it on a Myspace page not on Wikipedia. Has anyone tried to contact Mr. Burress to get his opinion on this Wikipedia essay? Or if it is difficult to get in touch with him, perhaps you could contact his agent Drew Rosenhouse at and ask him to obtain Mr. Burress's opinion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:05, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
  • We should also contact the living descendants of Adolf Hitler in order to ask them whether we think we give him a raw deal. Absolutely not. Reliable sources are here what we live by, or die by. Truth is not negotiable. Use is a different issue. Rodhullandemu 02:13, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Good thinking - I've notified Mike Godwin too - he's handled similar manners in the past. [4] (talk) 02:31, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
So much for satire. Rodhullandemu 03:00, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
Does anyone get the feeling this IP may actually be the agent named above? Maybe my meter o' suspicion is just out of whack after a long day with an essay still to write. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 03:11, 4 February 2010 (UTC)


Look at my talk page; this user is storming me; deleting left and right. User:Fastilysock Daniel Christensen (talk) 04:20, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

WP:ANI before Jimbo, perhaps? Just a suggestion. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 04:47, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
He's merely informing you that he's nominated those images for deletion. Most users appreciate notifications for deletion discussions of pages they're involved with. There are quite a few of them being nominated, but that's not uncommon in Files for Deletion. Reach Out to the Truth 05:00, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia libel in causing seizures?

  • There is some discussion about allowing a video clip of a segment from Pokemon which caused hundreds of children to be hospitalize when they saw in Japan, and may cause seizures to anyone watching it now. [5] Isn't Wikipedia libel if someone sees that and gets injured? The article says only a few hundred kids out of the millions who watched it were seriously injured, but there is still a risk. Hopefully no one with the condition such as epilepsy or who has a child with it, will watch it just to get hurt in order to sue for money, but that is a possibly as well. Since Wikipedia is libel, should it be removed? Dream Focus 07:57, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I think you mean liable, not libel. I'm not just being picky; I found your post quite conufusing until I realised that's what you meant! Olaf Davis (talk) 10:12, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
  • I think "Wikipedia is libel" is right more often than people care to admit. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 11:58, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Perhaps so, but that's a different issue entirely! On the topic of liability, I consider this an ethical concern: we're talking about deliberately republishing material which is known to be hazardous. Contains Mild Peril (talk) 12:42, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Liability is what I meant. Got the two words confused since they sound the same and have similar meanings. Bah. We should lobby the dictionary people to just combine them as one word, this obviously a clear case of something needing a Wikipedia style merge. Dream Focus 12:50, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
The file can be downloaded and played full screen and is at 30 fps.
Due to the expanse of red, it is unlikely that the area will be shaded any differently to the original.
The fact that children may be hurt is surely more important than a libel suit ?
There are many people involved in the discussion on the page ::Talk:Dennō_Senshi_Porygon#RfC:_Should_the_video_in_this_article_have_a_disclaimer.3F
--Chaosdruid (talk) 13:58, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
It should simply be deleted.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:11, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
It looks like copyright infringement as well as a risk to health. It is available in other places on the internet and some have had it removed for copyvio.
I personally agree that it should be deleted and there is already a jpg of it available on the Photosensitive_epilepsy article that should be used instead.
I am reluctant to take that line right now until more of the possible outcome of the discussion is - or does BOLD apply ?
Chaosdruid (talk) 23:50, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
WikiEd doesnt love me anymore  :¬(
Look, Epileptics are sensitive to certain frequencies. Why not reduce the refresh rate of the video to the point where it no longer poses a concern? Flashing lights in and of themselves are not dangerous (see lights on emergency vehicles, vegas, etc). There are specific frequencies that cause issues. Why not just avoid the frequencies? Throwaway85 (talk) 13:37, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
It is a clear violation of WP:FAIR, particularly "Non-free content is used only if its presence would significantlly increase readers' understanding of the topic, and its omission would be detrimental to that understanding." There's no need to even reach the question of whether it is dangerous to some people (though, apparently, it is). I think it is a clear candidate for speedy deletion on both grounds.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:28, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
I disagree with saying it's a clear violation; if it was a clear violation, there wouldn't be an RfC. The problem is the clause "and its omission would be detrimental", which has proven to be the source of many NFCC#8 arguments; it would significantly add to the article as the episode is notable simply for the seizures, but whether omission would be detrimental... it's all a moot point, as failing NFCC#8 isn't grounds for a speedy deletion. On the subject of danger, our risk disclaimer and Content disclaimer deals with that; we don't remove strobing images that aren't unneccesary simply because they may trigger a seizure. Sceptre (talk) 15:39, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Seeing the video does significantly increase my understanding of the issue at least as much as the original image in Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima does in that article. But that is just another example of why the WP:NFCC do not work: what is or is not significant is subjective and open to interpretation. Is there a chance to get the Foundation started on a project to make all Wikipedias free content encyclopedias like the German Wikipedia? —Кузьма討論 16:16, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Jimmy, I disagree with you there. I had no idea what the anime technique called "paka paka" might have been, and seeing the short clip certainly served its educational purpose and would make much of the explanation in the article very much opaque if it were absent. I certainly would opine in the direction that the NFCC are followed and that the video is most certainly not deletable on that ground. — Coren (talk) 16:45, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Comment requested

I recently initiated a discussion on WP:ANI about a long term banned IP vandal who is IP hopping with AOL, continuing vandalism, and what to do about it. I'd appreciate your input, if you have time. Thanks. Connormah (talk | contribs) 23:30, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't see why Jimbo should comment on this one AN/I any more than any other. But you might have a better chance persuading him if you gave him a link to the specific incident, rather than asking him to search the entire long page to try to figure out which incident you are talking about.—Finell 09:26, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
There is a proposal to softblock AOL, and the proposal is gaining traction. That's big. First and foremost, an abuse report needs to be filed with AOL, and it would stand a much greater chance of being taken seriously if a paid representative of the WMF were to file it. All of the previous reports by editors have been ignored, which is part of the impetus behind this proposal. I'll be seeking similar comment from godwin. Throwaway85 (talk) 13:25, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Prod policy

I though prod policy allowed anyone to dispute a proposal. User:Reconsider the static keeps threatening me because he wants a bunch of articles deleted. This isn't fair to new editors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:01, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

When will Flagged Revisions be enabled?

We keep waiting. JBsupreme (talk) 08:19, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

We have a board meeting in the office in San Francisco this weekend. I will report back on Monday what I learn.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:43, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Good news, I hope. Cheers, Jack Merridew ;) 09:47, 3 February 2010 (UTC)
Now that it's Monday, any new information, Jimmy? Fran Rogers (talk) 01:48, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
William Pietri is the man in charge of ensuring that FlaggedRevs are enabled on the English Wikipedia. The most recent comments I see from him regarding this project are here (from January 19, 2010) and here (from January 28, 2010 and February 1, 2010). --MZMcBride (talk) 21:53, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo: According to William Pietri's comments, the reason it is taking so long to implement flagged revisions on English Wikipedia is that the community here requested a special implementation, and this requires extra development work and testing. Given the community's eagerness (which is an understatement) to get flagged revisions working, I expect that the community would rather have off-the-shelf flagged revisions (such as the version used on German Wikipedia) than wait who-knows-how-much longer for a customized version. Could you please discuss the practicability of quickly implementing the standard version of flagged revisions on English Wikipedia this at the board meeting this weekend? Controversy over BLPs, mass deletions, reverts, etc., that results from the long delay in getting flagged revisions is causing considerable conflict and drama bordering on crisis. Thank you.—Finell 02:59, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Russian Wikipedia

Hello, Jimbo! Sorry for not very good English. I am user of Russian Wikipedia and I want to report about gross violations by the administrators and checkusers.

Firstly, I was indefinite-banned due some mythical insults of RuWiki-users in LiveJournal (!) without any diffs or links. Administrator, who banned me, said, that he wantn't analyse texts because it is very hardful for him. How this user can be an admin?

Secondly, afther this, Checkuser DR checked me without any reason, don't report about it and banned all my accounts with mark, that this accounts belongs me. This one violates the privacy policy of Wikimedia Foundation!

Thirdly, administrator User:Yaroslav Blanter delete my article The March of the Black Queen due to vandalism, but this assertion is absurdly! Right, this article later was undeleted, but administrators don't undelete edit, where I wrote, that author of this article is me. This violates my right to name (and CC-BY-SA License too).

Please take any action to stop this arbitrariness. Thank you.--Ole Førsten (talk) 10:21, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

Just to clarify. Ole Førsten was banned from editing Russian edition of Wikipedia because he made a comment in an external blog ( in which he criticized the actions of one of administrators. I cannot give a reference to that comment because the administrator did not specify the exact reason for the indefinite block. It could have been something like: "Look at these idiot's actions". administrators closely monitor the comments on their actions made in livejournal and immediately retaliate if they find any criticism or insults. After Ole Førsten was blocked, the administrators took additional retaliation actions against him. Checkuser DR inspected his IP address and prepared a letter to the customers of his internet provider suggesting that they report the "violator and vandal" to the provider. Furthermore, after Ole Førsten bypassed the block and created the article "The March of the Black Queen", administrator Yaroslav Blanter deleted the article to demonstrate his power. According to Yaroslav Blanter, any article created by a user who criticizes ru_wiki administrators should be deleted. After Ole Førsten reposted the article, it was deleted by administrator Blacklake with the same argumentation: users who come out of favor of administrators are not allowed to contribute to the Wikipedia content. Perhaps you should inspect what is going on at Checkuser activities are of especial interest. Checkusers at (Wulfson, DR, Kv75, Wind, Ilya Voyager) have formed a "KGB" -- an organization that performs secret and undocumented checks of private information. This information is later used for various purposes. For example, checkuser DR obtained the information on user Serebr wiki-mail usage (number of e-mails sent and received) and published that information in Wikipedia. Former checkuser Drbug questioned the legality of other checkuser actions. In response he was pushed out of the "KGB". Now this organization of close friends is completely out of control. The same circle controls the "power" at They started a witch hunting campaign -- a number of users with a reasonable contribution to Wikipedia content were banned because they questioned the administrators' actions. Basically the Soviet totalitarian regime has been restored at Quite a peculiar situation. SA ru (talk) 02:10, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
This is just a suggestion, but it might be a good idea to email Jimbo (don't post them here) specific documents, links, diffs, etc., to back up everything that you say in your post. It will be hard for Jimbo, or anyone, to investigate based on just what you said, without specifics. Just as one example, how is Jimbo supposed to investigate the existence of a "KGB" or misuse of checkuser privileges without anything specific to go on. Likewise, give Jimbo links to the specific retaliations that you claim and links to the pages that you are quoting.—Finell 05:49, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
I do not have access to checkuser logs (but Jimbo has). I base my judgement on my own story of the annoying intrusions in my privacy by checkusers Codemonk and Wulfson which later turned into the harassment and falsifications organized by Wulfson, Kv75, DR and Wind. According to the former checkuser Drbug, the "KGB" started with only minor intrusions into privacy, but ended with massive secret surveillance of the users' whereabouts. He was pushed out of the "KGB" for disclosing this. Recently Kv75 intruded into the privacy of Scorpion-811 -- a user who specifically asked the "KGB" to leave him alone. I do not have resources or time to investigate this abuse. In my opinion, it is simply irresponsible to give checkuser tools to complete strangers. And it is only a matter of time that checkusers bring real trouble to Wikipedia users in one of Wikipedia sections. As far as the actions in retaliation, Ole Førsten has already described how his perfectly normal article was deleted by Yaroslav Blanter simply because Yaroslav Blanter did not like the author. I can provide numerous examples of this kind if you are interested. SA ru (talk) 17:05, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
I got a response from one of the the ru admins about can be found here (it is in english). Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 19:45, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Isn't this administrator superb in insulting people? For your information, the user whom he called a "troll" authored 140 articles. Here is his contribution. Notice also that this administrator removed your message from the ru_wiki discussion page because he did not want it to be discussed. I think you can now make a conclusion who is a troll in this situation.SA ru (talk) 00:11, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
You are superb in insulting people in your livejournal community, that illegaly uses the Wikipedia logo, and your actions are belived in ru.wp as actions of troll.·Carn !? 21:14, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
What is going on in livejournal community is irrelevant because that's an off-wikipedia entity with its own rules and its own moderators. (I am not a moderator, by the way.) I will just very briefly explain to you that you were the first to insult me in that community. So, it makes perfect sense that you received a response in kind. SA ru (talk) 20:11, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
You're another one administrator, and you are just fear the truth.--Rock It! (Prime Jive) (talk) 14:36, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Hello, Jimbo! I present myself as a user Russian Wikipedia and I wish to say a few words about this treatment.

1. I fully support Ole Førsten and SA ru , as personally observed the situation and to testify that everything was as described Ole Førsten.

2. I myself have been harassed by administrators for disagreeing with their policies.

3. Today the administrator Alex Smotrov prowess to the British Wikipedian Ks0stm, in which he informed the Russian Wikipedia community about the petition. This is already a direct offense against the Russian Wikipedia community, as well as administrators denied his ability to know the truth about the situation.

Please take action, with respect --Lion Kevin Bustrap (talk) 11:23, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Note: Lion Kevin Bustrap was found to use open proxies. vvvt 11:31, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
И что? Писать здесь под основным логином, чтобы ваша партия сразу прихлопнула? Джимбо, не верь им, они из здесь достают.-- (talk) 14:08, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Conspiracy theory. --Pessimist2006 (talk) 08:38, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
Ага, ясно. Перечислять, кого ваша партия прихлопнула за «оскорбления на внешних ресурсах»? Только вот "оскорблений" никаких нет, так вы называете любую критику. Кстати, товарищ, что вы здесь делаете, не пора ли вам заступать в наряд по "охране границ"?-- (talk) 13:47, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
  • This situation with blocked user above is part of arbitration case #551 in ru-wiki. The case materials include clarification from administrator and also is open (by mail to AC members) for blocked user's comments. The case is not resolved yet. Thus, i'm not sure if anything shall be done until case will be resolved in russian wikipedia arbitration committee. Vlsergey (talk) 16:49, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
    Your description of the situation is somewhat misleading. This case was first suggested for a community discussion/vote, but one of the administrators canceled this discussion and claimed that the administrators are superior to the community. Only after these events the case ended up in the Arbitration committee where Ole Førsten does not have any chance for success because all the members of the Arbitration committee are from the ruling party. SA ru (talk) 20:28, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Blocking for external activities

Jimbo, please, express your opinion for blocking for external(out-of-wiki) activities. The discussion is now taking place in ruwiki and we would like to know your point of view. Rasim (talk) 17:52, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

A cabal running the Wikipedia... What an original idea. The Russian Arbcom is reelected twice a year, so it's up to you guys to change the "balance of power" as you term it, instead of complaining all over the web. --Ghirla-трёп- 20:26, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh, yes, hypothetically. Just like Russia itself has free democratic presidental elections. In theory, you know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
How can the regime opponents change the balance of power if they were all banned by the regime on false pretenses? For example user:Lvova was banned for comments on her livejournal page in which he questioned the invasions in her private affairs by certain wikipedians. A word against the regime causes an immediate ban. They build their electorate by removing people who vote against them. SA ru (talk) 20:19, 8 February 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo, you must help. Russian Wikipedia = KGB. Look, I am forced to write anonymously — for it checkusers pursue in Wikipedia.-- (talk) 11:57, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

  • Okay, they deleted my article again, called me and ex-administrator user Lvova an vandals. They just feel impunity, but as soon they got some punishment, they stop it.--Rock It! (Prime Jive) (talk) 14:36, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
    Please show the evidence of multiple deletions of your articles. SA ru (talk) 20:23, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Uhmm... This is deletion and protection log of page "The March of the Black Queen", this is same log of article "Stone Cold Crazy". Both articles are about songs by British rock band Queen and does not content any violations, but both articles were deleted and semi-protected. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rock It! (Prime Jive) (talkcontribs)
OK. From these references, it is pretty clear (at least to me) that the following ruwiki administrators are stalking you: Yaroslav Blanter, Blacklacke, Claymore, Jackie, Mstislavl. I would qualify their actions as vandalism because they are deleting perfectly normal Wikipedia content only to prove your inferiority to them. This behavior is also provocative because they are trying to make you angry and show some kind of bad behavior. There is only one more issue to clarify. You were accused of making provocative and insulting comments to the newly created articles. Could you please write here the comments that you made to these articles? SA ru (talk) 22:35, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Comment to first article was "Автор — Ole Førsten", what mean "Author is Ole Førsten"; comment to second article was similar but with additional comment "посвящается участнице Lvova", what mean "dedicated to user Lvova".-- (talk) 08:05, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Let me try to summarize this information:

  1. ru:user:Ole Førsten is a valuable Wikipedia editor who wrote a number of high-quality articles. Several of his articles were awarded Wikipedia ranks of distinction ("good", "excellent", etc.)
  2. At some point a couple of ruwiki administrators started to bully Ole Førsten because in their opinion he was not loyal enough to ruwiki "ruling party". Bullying techniques are well developed at ruwiki. Basically, the victum is blocked for minor offenses (typically, the reasons are bogus) and insulted in various ways. It is quite common that a person is blocked at ruwiki and then called names ("troll", "vandal", "homeless", "inadequate", etc.) For apparent reasons, administrators deny that person an opportunity to respond to these insults and simply delete his comments if he tries to bypass the block.
  3. After one of the bullying episodes, Ole Førsten commented in a livejournal blog on the administrators' actions, calling them "idiots" (or something like that). For this off-wikipedia comment he was blocked indefinitely by ru:user:VasilievVV. The reason for this indefinite block was formulated as "for insulting of a very respectable person somewhere on the internet". When asked to formulate the reason more specifically, VasilievVV stated that he determined "psychological signs" in Ole Førsten. (VasilievVV does not have a degree in psychology or psychiatry.) VasilievVV also used Ole Førsten's off-wikipedia comments made after the block to justify that block. VasilievVV also presented a number of bogus reasons which I will not discuss here to make the story short.
  4. Since it was pretty obvious that an excellent Wikipedia author was blocked in retaliation for his off-wikipedia criticism of the administrators' bullying, many Russian wikipedians questioned this action. They wanted to discuss this issue in the community. The attempt of such discussion was halted by administrator ru:user:Grebenkov who explained that administrators were superior to the community, and the community was not allowed to discuss anything without a permission from the administrators.
  5. Now this issue is being considered by the Arbitration Committee. The Committee is composed of the members of the "ruling party". Voting manipulations were clear during the elections of this committee. For example, groups of voters switched their votes from one candidate to another in an organized manner. Additionally, one of the candidates (ru:user:Scorpion-811) was forced to remove his candidacy after his private information was revealed by the checkusers.
  6. After the block, Ole Førsten started to bypass the block and publish perfectly normal articles in Wikipedia. This infuriated the ruling party. In response, ru:user:DR drafted a letter to the users of Ole Førsten's Internet provider. The letter suggested that the users report "the violator" to the provider. DR offered to disclose Ole Førsten's private information to the provider.
  7. The articles created by Ole Førsten, although being perfectly normal, were promptly deleted by ruwiki administrators ru:user:Yaroslav Blanter, ru:user:Blacklake, ru:user:Claymore and ru:user:Mstislavl. They explained that a contribution from a blocked user can be accepted only under the condition is that his/her authorship is not indicated in the comments to the edits. Ole Førsten's articles included comments like: "Author: Ole Førsten's" or "Author: Ole Førsten's. Dedicated to Lvova".
  8. A number of administrators insulted Ole Førsten in Wikipedia by calling him "troll", "vandal", "flood master". ru:user:Alex Smotrov claimed that Ole Førsten was a troll, and the community wanted to forget about him. None of these accusations are true. Ole Førsten was denied an opportunity to respond to these insults in Wikipedia. SA ru (talk) 14:00, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

The letter to Jimbo Wales

Hello Mr Wales!

My name is Artem Karimov and I am the former editor of Russian Wikipedia and current editor of English Wikipedia. I would like to ask you for help. For help for the whole community of RuWiki.

We all know that there are some basic principles of Wikipedia. Perhaps, the main principle is that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a blog, not an experiment in creating a state and exercising in applying police force towards others and so on. Unfortunately, such things are now happening in Russian Wikipedia. Current administrators really think that they are gods within the boundaries of domain and that they can do all the things I mentioned.

For example sysops of RuWiki has been persecuting users trying to express criticism about sysop actions somewhere outside Wikipedia since circa 2006. One of the administrators (EvgenyGenkin) has even written an essay called "Manifesto about guarding the borders" (Манифест об охране границ) where he described Wikipedia as an organisation with some strict rules where can be only some certain members that have proven themselves loyal. Finally, he concluded that not guarding a borders is the criteria of a dying organisation. This essay has become very controversial and was massively discussed both inside and outside Wikipedia. Despite the consensus sysops closed the deletion debate refusing to delete the essay saying that it "does not violate Wikipedia Pillars". This essay was described as an ideological basis of expulsion of different users from Wikipedia by bullying and blocking.

The main consequence of that is the declining of quality of articles in RuWiki and of reputation of Wikipedia and other projects of Wikimedia Foundation in Russia. For example when you read something like "Calcium may be good for your teeth but dangerous for your brain" (current DYK) an educated person will laugh really long and after that he will never visit again.

Of course there were some attempts to solve this grave situation by some educated Wikipedia editors. The thing is that they are quickly expelled from the project by bullying and blocking. You may ask me "Why?". The answer is: when you think you are God and that you are Truth the first thing you do with the one who disagrees with you is either bully and block.

Maybe I am writing to you quite late (such tendencies started more than 3 years ago) but it is getting really nasty. There is an attempt to "correct translation" of Wikipedia Pillars in order to persecute each dissender trying to express criticism about sysop actions somewhere outside Wikipedia.

So, Mr Wales, the future of the project in Russia is in your hands. I hope that you will help us stop this craziness happening in RuWiki.

Artem Karimov (SkyBonTalk/Contributions 21:25, 8 February 2010 (UTC))


ROFL!!! Man that was sure a good joke you told last week. I even put it up at my work.. one of my co-workers told me to thank you so "thanks". What is the next joke? xD Thanks for all the infromation on this great website. ~Marcus~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by BennyK95 (talkcontribs) 06:01, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Which joke? :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:20, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Just kidding with you Mr.Wales. Sorry I thought it would be funny. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BennyK95 (talkcontribs) 20:14, 8 February 2010 (UTC)


Recently, I tried to create a page for a popular band in my town that met #11 on Notability:Music, it got a speedy delete template on it. I put the hangon template on it and on the talk page I explained why they should keep it. Before I got a reply, one user deleted it. I posted my reasons on that users talk page and recreated the page, then I put all my reasons on the talk page again. The same user deleted it possibly without looking at the talk page. Then it occured to me that Wikipedia is becoming more and more strict about rules and is seeming like a prison. It's people like that that stop Wikipedia from being great. What do you think I can do about this. Glee105 (talk) 23:19, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

To give some background, this is the band whose article was deleted. Bascically, this has nothing to do with "Wikipedia becoming more and more strict", such a page would have been speedy deleted three years ago as well, and any admin would do so. We are not myspace or youtube, we are an encyclopedia, with some minimum standards as to the attention a subject must have received before it can have an entry here. WP:MUSIC is the relevant page for this article. Fram (talk) 12:09, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
The article didn't actually say that they met WP:MUSIC #11 though. To avoid deletion the article had to indicate some sort of importance or sigificance, and it didn't. The second version of the article didn't have any content at all, just a {{hangon}} tag. For something to stay in the article space it has to be an actual encyclopedia article and not a comment by a user. If you want to contest the deletion you should speak to the deleting admin on their talk page (User talk:SchuminWeb) or take the issue to deletion review. Hut 8.5 17:29, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Comment request

Dear Jimbo, I think you could be interested in this discussion, which could affect the whole wikipedia. Wikipedia:Content_noticeboard#User:Stemonitis_and_space_in_front_of_ref_tag. Thank you very much. Have a nice day. --Snek01 (talk) 11:13, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Hate to butt in here, but is this huge debate all about the (mis)use of a space in markup? SMC (talk) 13:41, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
This does seem to be the case. I really don't think Jimmy is going to take up this one. - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 15:28, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

Raising the baton for Adminship (Sing for the mop!)

Wikipedia:Song/The RfA Candidate's Song

At this future-pivotal moment in Wikipedia history, we should not overlook unimplemented innovations from the past ... like demanding candidates for adminship memorize the song above, and sing after consuming a pitcher of beer to demonstrate their readiness to become the living embodiments of Wikipedia spirit. etc etc.

Of course, if Jimbo would sing it, we would all be much inspired ... (and we could consider that his audition for the Wikipedia Western Musical :-) -- Proofreader77 (interact) 19:53, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

You might remember

The Sourav Chatterjee article. After a drawn out AfD, which closed as "no consensus", the article looks like this. I'm curious if it satisfies your personal view of a good BLP article now. Pcap ping 20:47, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

I only looked at the current version, so I'm unaware of any persistent controversies or problems if there have been any. Having said that, I will say that the article is not a great BLP article, that there is no reason in particular to have articles like this, and that they are probably a lot more trouble on average than they are worth. A talented young academic, and a fine fellow I am sure, but...--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:18, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

What is the Jeopardy involved in Copyright Infringements?

Jimbo, To the best of my understanding, the spirit and motive behind copyright law is to prevent people from profiting at the expense of those who did the actual work. But as is often the case, the letter of the law then ends up applying to situations that the spirit of the law didn't originally intend. I may as well explain exactly what is motivating this query. I would like to put a photograph of an old nineteenth century banknote unto a wikipedia article. I found the image as a result of a google search, but I know nothing about the copyright status, or how I would contact the owner.

If this image were to be inserted on wikipedia, nobody would financially profit, and I certainly don't see how anybody else could financially loose. Additionally, in US law there is a special clause about 'fair use'. I read quite a bit about this, but unfortunately, as is always the case, these matters are grey and ultimately it will depend on what side of bed the judges got out of that morning.

And so naturally, everybody tends to be over cautious, and who can blame them? But I'd now like to know something about the precedents. Have we actually had any real cases so far of wikipedia being sued for displaying a copyrighted image? And if so, what was the result? Guilty or not guilty? And if guilty, what was the damage?

Precedents are often the only reliable guide for the purposes of assessing risk. If the precedents look frightening, then quite frankly I couldn't be bothered helping out in this respect. But if there are no precedents, then I may well want to upload a few images to wikipedia articles.

I'd be grateful if you could somewhat enlighten me on this theme.David Tombe (talk) 05:14, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

If it's a nineteenth-century banknote, it'd be in the public domain as its copyright would have expired, at the latest, some time in the seventies. Sceptre (talk) 06:32, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Sceptre, As I understand it, the copyright on the photograph of the banknote is an entirely different issue from the copyright on the banknote itself. In fact, I've never heard of the concept of copyright on actual paper money, because to copy paper money would be entering into the realms of counterfeiting which I assume would knock copyright issues into second place. David Tombe (talk) 11:00, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Looking at a £5 note now, and on the reverse in the middle "(c) The governor and company of the bank of England 2002", though I agree the concept of counterfeit would be a bigger issue but all UK paper money has copyrighted designs. Darrenhusted (talk) 11:34, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Bank of Canada notes are copyright also. Counterfeiting though is a criminal offence, which we have no control over, and is not part of CC-BY-SA "reuse" licensing. You could slit someone's throat with the Wikipedia 1.0 CD too, but we don't include a specific disclaimer with the CD. Franamax (talk) 11:47, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Under US law, there is no new copyright created by making faithful photographic copies of two dimensional images. If the original is in the public domain, the photograph is as well. See Bridgeman v. Corel. Dragons flight (talk) 11:08, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Note well, though, that Bridgeman v. Corel is only a district court case, not an appeals court case, and as such may be only a very limited indicator of the current state of the law in this area. It seems easy enough to get a completely free photo that avoids this issue completely, no? Unless the particular bank note is extremely rare, it should be available at many reputable dealers, and it shouldn't be hard to ask around and find one willing to let you take a nice photo.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:24, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Though not strictly controlling, as you note, the case has been widely followed (as discussed in the article) including a similar ruling by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Both Wikipedia and Commons rely on the Bridgeman logic in their inclusion standards and this practice is encouraged by Mike Godwin. We (meaning the community) have in many instances flatly refused to honor copyright claims made by museums and similar institutions on photographic reproductions of public domain works. Dragons flight (talk) 06:21, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Dragons flight, This link here is not exactly the banknote I had in mind when I started this thread, but it is another very good example. See here, [6]. It is a case of where a picture is worth more than a thousand words. That picture pretty well tells all about currency in the Eastern Caribbean in that period. Sterling coins in conjunction with dollar accounts at a fixed rate of 4s and 2d. I'd like to put a few pictures like this in some of the articles, but there is this worry about copyright. David Tombe (talk) 07:32, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

The particular banknote that I have in mind will indeed be very rare. After writing my post above, it did occur to me that banknotes are copyright, for whatever that purpose might be. I recall reading some years back that the greenback design for US paper money that emerged during the American Civil War was a copyrighted design. Anyway, I think the overall point here is that the law is still too grey to risk hosting photographs that may be double copyrighted, both as regards the original designs and the photograph itself. Nobody wants to find themselves in a multi-million dollar law suit, arguing at length with rational argument, only to find all the effort wasted because the judge got out the wrong side of bed on the morning of the ruling. I just tried googling about the copyright on the greenback design. I confirmed that they emerged in 1862 but the only thing about copyright that I saw was the copyright on the article itself. David Tombe (talk) 15:57, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

As a point of information I have now remembered that what I read years ago, was that the green ink used on the reverse side of the greenbacks was patented. And I think that the question above has now been pretty well answered. The modern US law is of that kind which effectively introduces a get out clause, and then proceeds to warn you to use the get out clause at your own risk. It provides a list of legitimate defences against copyright infringement, but then states in the small print that the judge might not necessarily accept your defence. So best to err on the side of caution, which is what I believe wikipedia is already doing. Copyright law is of that nature whereby applying it to the letter is not always logical, such as in the case of banknotes. Somebody photographing a modern Bank of England note and publishing it in a book for educational purposes is theoretically breaching copyright law, but hardly breaching the spirit of the copyright law. What could the Bank of England lose by the existence of such a publication? It would hardly undercut the sales of their banknotes to the high street banks. And while it's true that the author of the book would profit, the profit would not be on the back of stealing a design as such, but rather of drawing attention to a design that is already in the public domain, and doing so for the purposes of education. One final point. I did hear years ago down at the copyright office, that something is either copyright or it is not. It doesn't make any difference whether it is registered or not, or whether the little copyright symbol is printed on the document or not. The corollary of this is that the existence of the little copyright symbol on a document doesn't necessarily mean that the document is actually copyrighted. And in the case of banknotes, I quite frankly can't see the logic of the copyright. David Tombe (talk) 06:09, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Church of Reality

I am writing to you asking to be a realist and look at the facts towards the argument of whether the Church should be on wikipedia. I believe it should be on because even though it breaches on a ruff topic it also creates food for thought. Below is what i have written to all the editors who want to have this paige deleted.

"Keep: For the love of sanity please let their be a right of free speech. Due to the fact that we are voting for it and against it,makes it is obviously notable enough. I am assuming the church of reality is American made, yet word of it has already progressed to Australia. I hope the Admin reads all these votes to and for this argument and makes a honest decision not just one that supports a larger minority of pissed of religious people."

Thank you for your time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

The AfD is here: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Church of Reality (2nd nomination). Dougweller (talk) 15:25, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
We don't promote things, advocate, or edit with the intent to create 'food for thought', and there being no particular article on Wikipedia is not an attempt to free speech; if the article was found to be non notable according to our standards, then there will be no article on it (unless it becomes notable, as we define it, one day). As an aside, please read WP:YOULOSE. Cenarium (talk) 16:06, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo actually had previously let an uninvolved editor recreate the page, so obviously the appeal did work in that case. Reach Out to the Truth 18:49, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Can you (or someone) point me to that, because I don't remember the details of this. I think the page should be deleted and salted, as it is currently. It's not normally up to me to "let" uninvolved editors recreate pages, but perhaps I've forgotten some special situation or perhaps I will now find that I think I was mistaken at that time or... well, in any event, I strongly support the current decision, and will not be doing anything about it - other than auto-deleting by using a filter all the weird complaint email I'm getting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:30, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
I believe it's at the now deleted Talk:Church of Reality page. I can't recall exactly what you said there, but the protection log shows that you did unprotect the page to allow recreation by an independent third party. Reach Out to the Truth 21:30, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. I found it. I had written: "An independent 3rd party has offered to try to write a good article, and I would like to see that effort proceed. Therefore, I have unprotected the article. I think it is possible that, with the passage of time, there has been sufficient additional press coverage to merit an article. I take no position on that, I am just saying that it is possible.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:51, 5 January 2008 (UTC)" I think that was reasonable, although with another 2 years of time passed, I now think it is extremely unlikely that this will ever merit an article.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:58, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

Potential Copyright Violation

Jimbo, I'm pretty sure the page at violates the GFDL and SS-BY-CA, so I thought I might mention it to you, since you have appropriate authority (I think) to take legal action. Compare that page to, and you'll see what I mean. Mego (talk) 00:36, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

See WP:Mirrors and forks. – ukexpat (talk) 01:57, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Deletion of Unreferenced BLP

Would you agree to a solution where an ultimatum is given: Any BLP that is unreferenced or poorly-referenced after thirty days from the ultimatum can be deleted on sight by any autoconfirmed user. What do you think? The editors involved in the debate over BLP's have expended more energy than it would have taken to source all those articles. PeterbrownDancin (talk) 02:20, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Presumably you are aware that there is both an RfC and at least one active policy proposal on the subject, no? In addition to the obvious process concerns arising from giving anyone a "delete on sight" privilege for things less urgent than copyvios, vandalism, hoaxes, etc., providing for deletion by non-admin users (or a restricted class of junior admins) would require some changes to Mediawiki software. It would be a very slight change involving the user rights variables rather than coding. Still, in my opinion, resources are better devoted to more comprehensive solutions like *cough, cough* flagged revisions. - Wikidemon (talk) 03:03, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
In the interest of full disclosure, I know you were asking Jimbo, and I am not Jimbo.  :) - Wikidemon (talk) 03:04, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Subject to the caveats that Wikidemon mentions, I would certainly support such a rule. I don't advocate any software changes on this front at this time. (We are waiting for Flagged Protection.) And although I would support a thirty-day rule, I would also support a longer time period... particularly during a transition period.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:54, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Er... flagged protection? What's that? - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 21:21, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Flagged protection and patrolled revisions. Basically a version of flagged revisions with the teeth removed, and the said removal of the teeth making implementing it somewhat akin to landing a man on Mars, and as likely to happen in the near future. It is possible that others have a less cynical view than mine. Kevin (talk) 21:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Please note, the originator of this thread is an indefinitely blocked sockpuppet involved in the strange BLP deletion drama. Please discount the whole thing. Jimbo, please don't let yourself be played. - Wikidemon (talk) 12:43, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Flight Time

Could you please check into this decussion and check all links back anf forth thank you [[7]] Mlpearc (talk) 17:40, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

What do you expect Jimbo to do? It's an Afd discussion, no more, no less. Let it run its course. – ukexpat (talk) 17:47, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Mlpearc, I added a note that I think this should be kept, but appealing to Jimbo doesn't help. Have a read of Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo. - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 21:20, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Your thanks to Scott MacDonald

Mr Wales, on 21 January 2010, you wrote on User talk:Scott MacDonald:

I haven't reviewed the specifics of your recent article deletions, so I can't vouch for each and every one of them of course, but I wanted to fully endorse the principles that, as I understand it, you have used in your deletions: unsourced BLPs that have been around for several years are an easy and obvious first target, and your deletions, while unconventional and a bit exciting for some, were carefully considered and I consider this a valid application of WP:BOLD. You have my support.[8]

I just wanted to bring to your attention that many of the articles which Scott MacDonald, Rdm2376, and Lar deleted, have been recreated and sourced. These deletions included a president of a country, Acting Prime Minister of South Korea twice, prime ministers, Grammy winners, the author of Where's Waldo, and a US ambassador during a very historic time in South African's history, etc.

Now that you know the specifics of the deletions, does this change your view? Thank you for your time. Okip (the new and improved Ikip) 13:12, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

It confirms my view, very strongly. It sounds like deletion was just the thing we needed in order to finally get these articles into shape. Remember, the methodology he was using for choosing the deletions was to choose articles which had existed in a sorry state (unreferenced) for a very long time. If his actions motivated good contributors to recognize the problem and take action, that's an excellent outcome. I think it fairly obvious: but for his deletions, these articles would still suck.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:49, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, since these deletions, the backlog of unsourced BLPs has been decreased by some 7000 articles, instead of slowly but steadily increasing. A kickstart may be painful when the kick is somewhat indiscriminately aimed, but at least it gets the motor finally running... Fram (talk) 13:21, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
They're still living people and thus must follow BLP. It doesn't matter if it's Barack Obama or my little cousin, BLP applies to everyone and no-one gets a free-pass from its stringent sourcing requirements. If there are no sources to an article, how can it be verified that the hypothetical Grammy winner won a Grammy? As BLP relies on a deletion-first principle, deletion is an acceptable solution until someone can find a source to verify the hypothetical Grammy. Sceptre (talk) 13:41, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Just to note: I also support a fairly liberal "undelete upon sincere request" policy, and I also support keeping lists of "stuff that got deleted because it was unsourced for a long time" so that people who want to take this on as a hobby can do so. Deletion is a lightweight solution - it's reversible. But if something gets deleted because it is an unreferenced BLP for a very long time, and no one feels like re-creating it - that's a good argument for not having it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:49, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. If someone can trot up one source for the Grammy, we can recreate it with the new text "Bob Smith is a Grammy-Award winning musician." Then we add onto that: what he won the Grammy for, when, add some sources. It's not the job of the people deleting to do that, though; it's explicitly the job of the people wanting to retain.
Funnily enough, if there's one thing that this whole mess has done, it's pushed me further onto the pro-BLP enforcement side (although I've always been on that side, I've never been that passionate about it until a few months ago). Around a year ago, I was opposed to flagged revisions, mostly because it didn't have enough consensus and the trial wasn't well defined enough. These days, though, I think Alison's (and Jimbo's, I think) "flagged revisions for all BLPs" position isn't that bad. As I said on WR the other day, it's worrying that the "school of thought around Wikipedia that protecting people's reputations shouldn't be done if it scares off the newbies" exists, and even more so that it's prevalent. Seriously, anyone who puts protecting new editors and retaining terrible content above upholding ethical and legal commitments to integrity, accuracy, and protection of a person's reputation is quite simply a massive idiot. Sceptre (talk) 14:01, 10 February 2010 (UTC)
Is there a task force for looking at saving, by improvement, articles as well as a task force for deleting them ? I looked at one, a BLP for a Japanese music maker, and there were 5 or 6 people quick to join in on the delete side but no-one other than myself tried to find refs for it - one editor did join in with trying to improve the prose though.
Although that may have been a rarity as Japanese was the major language for sources and it was the oldest on the list of three years unref'd, so probably attracted more attention than it may have otherwise done, it seems that if there are more people trying to delete than there are improve there would be a problem as the smaller number of editors would not keep up with deletions let alone getting the poor articles up to scratch. I also put out requests on the Japanese wiki for help, but as there was only 5 or 6 days to deletion and the artist was less well known it is unlikely that anyone would have seen the requests in such a short space of time
This is why I suggested waiting till flagging - at least then it could be hidden from mainspace while people were given the chance to try and save some of them as the delete process is simple and the sourcing side not so easy. I also suggested useryfying it but instead of transferring to my user area it was simply deleted.
Chaosdruid (talk) 18:43, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
You have hit upon a general Wiki problem. Well sourced articles are of subjects that contributors are interested in which means that for minority subjects there may only be a few interested editors if any. There are generally more editors who will participate in a deletion discussion than will attempt to source an article, possibly because it involves a discussion and a chance to give their opinions as opposed to the lonely thankless business of encyclopedia expansion. The failing of the encyclopedia is that with so many active volunteers Wikipedia is still incapable of mustering support to source article that editors have no personal interest in. Rather than find a way to reliably source a bunch of BLPs that everyone knows CAN be sourced they are simply deleted. This distils the encyclopedic content down to BLPs of people that Wikipedians are interested in rather than those who have a significance to an encyclopedia and further consolidate Wikipedias position as a poor alternative to a real encyclopedia which attempts to cover what is important rather than what they think is fun.
This is only compounded by having a self appointed guardian of all human knowledge, Jim Jones, who in this case for right or wrong has directly influenced the debate by posting on Macs page without fully checking the validity of Macs actions first. Weakopedia (talk) 07:52, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Oops I meant Jim WALES, Jones was a different cult leader. Weakopedia (talk) 07:52, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Well, I definitely feel that the issue needed the attention of the broader community, that's why I proposed to go further with a sitewide plan to better source BLPs. But there are different ways to attract the attention of the community, and the one employed, deleting indiscriminately until being blocked, was certainly not the best one. A RFC would have been much easier, we'd be closer to have consensual solutions now, we would have lose less time in drama or 'recovery' which could have then be employed for more useful activities. The decrease in the backlog of several thousands is due to more people becoming aware of the issue and helping, through the RFC; the few hundreds of deletions (many of them now overturned), are not much in it. We need to coordinate for action on a large scale; a few surges of deletions, however well-intentioned, won't solve the problem (and may create more work so slow down the process in the end). Cenarium (talk) 00:02, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

The use of administrator tools to force the community's agenda leaves a lot of Wikipedians with a strong distaste. When a goal really is laudable and worthwhile the community's attention can usually be garnered without coercive means. It's worth at least knocking on every door before trying something so drastic that sets a dangerous precedent. This may surprise some fellow Wikipedians, but my watchlist of over 6000 pages needed culling. In order to compensate for the wasted time and strife of this affair I have been specifically unwatching BLPs. All BLPs, including referenced ones. I am no longer reverting vandalism of any sort on BLP articles. Expect an equal and opposite reaction when people push as hard as they have here. Durova409 04:13, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
  • That sounds like a problem in your own mind, Durova. If you decide to remove all BLPs from your watchlist, why should anyone else feel bad about that? Do you want a WikiCookie to make you feel better or something? The only "dangerous precedent" here would have been set if a howling mob had been allowed to overrule what clearly needed to happen: a tightening of BLP sourcing requirements. If actually finally having a result instead of simply more navel-gazing causes you to unwatch BLPs, then perhaps the best response might be, "good riddance" as your response makes no sense, unless your announcement of it here was just a spot of petulance or something. Scottaka UnitAnode 04:51, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
"Howling mob"? Good grief, if a considerable part of the community is perceived like this, Wikipedia is in really bad shape. Stefan64 (talk) 09:55, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the condescension is really is off-putting. A lot of people tend to deprioritize areas where that attitude becomes prevalent. Durova409 16:09, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Not to mention it came from someone who ordered me to immediately stop saying I felt was being pursued by a lynch mob. What's good for the goose is good for the gander? - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 21:24, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Please don't import a completely separate dispute into this discussion—how on earth can that yield anything helpful? I'm vaguely aware of the other thing to which you allude, don't care about it in the slightest, and have no opinion about the matter, but it has nothing to do with this thread on Jimbo's talk page, so there is no reason to bring it here other than to stir the pot. If you feel compelled to make a comment about a perceived philosophical or lexical incongruity between one editor's previous statement and a current one (and really you should do your best to resist that urge), you should do it on their talk page, not here. Furthermore you should know better given your level of experience. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 21:37, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

The affair was a big turn-off. The "kick start" cost the administrative corps and the newly elected Arbcom respect among the community. They used administrative privileges against the wishes of many seasoned editors, where the rules did not permit, upon deciding they were right and others were wrong. The cost of improving these 5,000 articles out of process, none of which were any present danger to the encyclopedia, is strife and ill will. We are all (mostly) volunteers here, and to be harangued and abused by those who decided that they are the dogs and we're all errant sheep, is both insulting and unwelcome. Perhaps there is a place in the world for defiant gestures with more bravado than sense, but the real work around here is done by careful productive editing, not by grandstanding. Bold agitators make messes, quiet workers clean them up. - Wikidemon (talk) 12:36, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

When bigger good come from a bad act, does that make the bad act a good act? That is the logic I read here. One can argue that the breaching experiment started all of this; if that is true, does that make it a good thing? Sole Soul (talk) 19:38, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

It's really silly to frame this in terms of "the community" as though "we" responded as a monolith. It is simply not correct to say "the "kick start" cost the administrative corps and the newly elected Arbcom respect among the community"—perhaps what was meant by Wikidemon was "a large portion of the community" and that is certainly correct. However another large portion of the community thought that the "kick start" was, unfortunately, needed. Surely everyone knows there is a real split about the issue, with lots of people of good faith on both sides. That's perfectly fine, and the ensuing RfC and ongoing discussions (which unfortunately seem to be flagging somewhat) will hopefully lead to constructive outcomes. I don't think it's appropriate to continue to rehash the issue of the original admin deletions and determine whether they were righteous, IAR actions that got us going solving a big problem, or unacceptable abuse of the tools which showed disrespect for the community, or something in between. We need to agree to disagree on that (it is a simple fact that the "community" is not going to come to a consensus opinion one way or another) and continue to try to address the BLP issues that most all of us agree are real and very much a priority. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 21:23, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
It's a perfectly normal statement in accordance with the way one describes the opinions of groups of people. There is considerable frustration and disillusionment out in the community. Before the incident the aggregate (or average, or typical, what have you) level of respect the community had for the reliability of the administrative corps and legitimacy / wisdom of Arbcom decisions was X. As a result of the incident it is Y. X >> Y. It's not earth-shaking but it is a real cost, perhaps the main cost, of this adventure. Maverick / rogue use of tools by administrators who believe their interpretation of policy is the right one, accompanied as it was here by block threats, sockpuppeting, insults, and condescension towards nonadmins who oppose them is, unfortunately, a recurring pattern in deletion campaigns. The exact same pattern played out, with some of the same individuals, in the trivia / pop culture flare-up with Alkivar, and Betacommand's image deletion bots. I haven't paid as much attention to other wikicopping and aggressive wikignoming campaigns like date delinking or geo coordinates, but perhaps the problem persists there. What we find time after time is that admins who feel it is okay to plot and scheme regarding use of tools to further their content aims, however noble and right those aims are, seem to think it is okay to break rules on things like alternate accounts, civility, communication, and honesty. The bottom line is that admins ought to respect the limitations on their position, and the dignity of other editors over whom they are given special privileges. Procedures and rules are there for a purpose. They can be ignored in uncontroversial cases where they are just red tape that gets in the way of improving the encyclopedia, but not when they are there to ensure a collaborative working environment. - Wikidemon (talk) 23:06, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Your point is quite valid and I largely agree with what you are saying, however another editor might point out in reply that there has been extreme dissatisfaction among a large number of editors with respect to the lack of progress on the BLP problem, to the point where many have become somewhat or very disenchanted with the project and with key processes like consensus-based discussions. Thus the bold admin actions were heartening to another segment of the community and arguably increased their respect for ArbCom, or for what we are doing here as a whole. This is my point, i.e. it's very much a matter of perspective as to how one evaluates the entire affair, which is why coming to some definitive conclusion about is probably a fruitless task—there is strong validity to the arguments on "both sides," which is a huge part of why the underlying issues have proved so intractable. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 23:25, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Heartening to one segment, and disheartening to another. It means they were, at the very least, divisive. Now, of course it is impossible to expect to please everyone, and that is not the point. But having a coup d'état imposed on the community by people that explicity disrespect the community, has two ugly side-effects. One is that, on one hand, one creates distrust and lack of motivation in many editors -what's the point of volunteering in a supposed community of equals when admins treat you with condescension and ignore community process? The second, and perhaps uglier, is that another part of editors/admins instead now feels emboldened and officially endorsed to do somehow whatever they want. This disintegrates all the concept of consensus and process, because lends credibility to ignoring it if it constrasts with your personal views. If this isn't recipe for disaster, I don't know what is. --Cyclopiatalk 01:15, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, you have well articulated the point of view of someone with your point of view, which I have said is valid. Again, the flip side (for example) is that the concepts of consensus and process already were disintegrating because many people were losing faith over the inability to get anything done about BLP, thus the need for out of process deletions. Those deletions then engendered an RfC that might result in a consensus based process to fix the BLP problem, which would be a good thing both for BLPs and for editorial faith in the consensus process. My point is precisely that it is possible to go round and round like this endlessly when talking about the BLP deletions, and actually both sides are "right" (hard as that might be for the most intense partisans to admit). But such a discussion is pointless and will never come to a conclusion, which is why I'll disengage here now. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 02:22, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
All's well that ends well, no? I've said more than once that the outcome of all this may be positive. All the same it's crucial to bring home the point that antagonism, disrespect, lies and deception, breaching experiments, and so on, are not okay no matter what the objective. I can respect the validity of other people's opinion about policy, but not bad faith methods of advancing policy. We can indeed go around and around, but in the end those who are abusing administrative tools and creating sockpuppets to bolster their position must stop. That is not negotiable. - Wikidemon (talk) 13:04, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Another problem is that real dialog stalls at a dialectic that insinuates the objectors are inclusionists, then disregards the substance of the objections. That presumption is not only bad faith but often quite wrong--the inclusionists are working to save the BLPs (under protest, but they're doing it). Those who aren't inclusionists are walking away: we don't like rationalizations that presume we need to be kicked, spanked, or abused in any other way. Durova409 16:46, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
This is a separate issue so I wanted to leave a quick note. I'm neither a deletionist nor an inclusionist (nor an other reductive "ist" regarding what articles we should or should not have), but I've been doing my own small part to source unsourced BLPs, while putting up for deletion ones that I cannot source because the subjects do not seem to be notable per our current guidelines (see here for my log). I agree that dyed-in-the-wool inclusionists are probably doing the lion's share of the work to address the backlog and I for one very much appreciate that, but they are not the only ones. Part of the problem with this discussion from the beginning has been the inclusionist/deletionist framing, and many people in both "camps" have been guilty of this. BLP is not about (or should not be about) inclusionism vs. deletionism, it's about making sure our articles on living people are accurate and do not defame or mislead, both at this moment and in the future. Everyone should be concerned about that and I think everyone is, but we get sidetracked when the issues gets discussed in terms of the Great Inclusion or Deletion Debate. Finally Durova I understand your frustration, but I hope you are a relative exception in terms of "walking away" from BLPs (I was troubled to learn you had delisted many of these from your watchlist). It's perfectly fine to be upset about the original deletions of BLPs and some of the ensuing discussion, but walking away from protecting BLPs [comment removed per request] just seems like a really ill-advised response to me. All of us should do what we can (whatever little that may be) to help maintain biographies of living people, and we should not let our own internal disagreements get in the way of that. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 17:33, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the refactor. Durova412 22:43, 15 February 2010 (UTC)
Some space must be allowed for calling things as one sees them, which is all I did above, and it was not meant as a slight on you in any way—everyone (including me) does what I described from time to time, but I'm sorry if it bothered you and I removed it. Personally I don't care that you suggested I was being gratuitously condescending (or something close to it), even though I don't think there's any way to read that into my remarks above—if that's your view it's okay with me. It would be great if you could focus on the substance of what I said rather than honing in on one phrase that caused you offense—I think I'm making a valid point, and whatever the exact frame of mind behind it, I think it's unfortunate for anyone to walk away from BLPs largely because they are angry about a particular "political" incident internal to en.wikipedia. The subjects of these articles deserve better than that in my view. --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 18:07, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

(outdent) Try this on for size: BLP is certainly important. So is free access to digitized historic media. Right now the latter is in flux: no industry-wide standard exists for digitization quality, Commons and Flickr are competing to become the standard online site for institutions that share their collections with the public, and the majority of cultural institutions are reluctant to share because reproduction sales have been a traditional source of operating income. It's possible for them to cooperate with free culture in mutually beneficial ways, but many of them don't realize why or how. Within the next couple of years norms are going to emerge that could establish standard practices for decades. That is going to have a major impact--arguably more far-reaching and of greater long term importance than the BLP issue. It would not be wise to allow short term BLP conflicts to derail that time-sensitive work. It would be wonderful if more Wikimedians did outreach to access historic media and I'll editorialize in Signpost, etc. to raise awareness. One thing I won't do is abuse my Commons admin ops to force the issue. And you wouldn't be blameworthy at all if you pulled back from whatever media work you do perform if a group of Commons admins did cross that line. We're all volunteers here. Durova412 22:43, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

I hear you, but I don't know that the situations are all that analogous. Past ArbCom decisions and indeed certain aspects of policy give latitude to admins when it comes to dealing with BLP concerns and indeed enjoin them to protect BLPs through a number of measures—it's become a central policy of the web site. The fact that the ArbCom essentially endorsed the admin deletions (at the time if not going forward), as did Jimbo for what it's worth, suggest that it was not completely beyond the pale. That is to say it's not clear cut as to whether this was "abusing the admin bit" or not. A more analogous situation (and this is coming from someone who's only uploaded a few things on Commons) might be if admins on Commons were charged by policy to prod other editors into doing outreach to institutions with historic media collections, and if the boundaries about how far one could go to do that prodding (can you block them if they don't?) were somewhat fuzzy, leading to a specific situation where admins took measures that were far too extreme for some. I suppose that could be a reason to leave off any work on Commons if it made you mad, but since the whole situation would have stemmed from a good-faith disagreement that reaction would not make sense to me, and in the end the loss would be to the project (with BLP, not working on the problem is a loss to the project and to at least some people in the real world). Anyhow, we can agree to disagree about this obviously, which I guess we've had to do before! --Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 01:52, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Delet an Wikia

Can you delete this wikia:

[] —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Interesting IP-Vandalism

[9]--Müdigkeit (talk) 22:35, 15 February 2010 (UTC)


—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:52, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

NerdyScienceDude has given you a cookie!

NerdyScienceDude :) (✉ click to talkmy editssign) 23:00, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Add a "public interest" clause to Oversight

A proposal to add a "public interest" clause to Wikipedia:Oversight has started at Wikipedia_talk:Oversight#Proposal_for_new_.27public_interest.27_clause. SilkTork *YES! 10:37, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

When an editor says a reliable source is wrong

Hi, Jimmy. There has been a dispute on Union City, New Jersey regarding a local high-rise building called the Thread. A The New York Times article by Antoinette Martin that I cited as one of the sources says that that building is a former embroidery factory. But User:Djflem has asserted that this is not true, that the building is an original building, and that The New York Times is wrong. An anonymous IP editor whose IP is traced to Amsterdam (I don't know if this was also Djflem editing outside of his account) called the source "unreliable". I don't dispute that otherwise reliable sources can make mistakes, but for an editor to remove such info based solely on their assertion seems like OR, just as including such info on personal knowledge would be. What should we do? Nightscream (talk) 21:02, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

If you really can't agree on a wording, this might be better discussed at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard, as they are used to dealing with such issues. Rodhullandemu 21:06, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not a question of wording, it's a question of the veracity of the assertion. Nightscream (talk) 21:06, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia follows the sources. An editor's, or even a group of editors', claim that a statement supported by a reliable source is wrong is irrelevant. If the reliable sources disagree, that is dealt with in the course of normal editing; editors can decide by consensus which source appears to be more reliable on the particular issue or else point out the disagreement and the sources on each side. Not an issue for Jimbo.—Finell 21:46, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

New Feature Proposal

I would like to see a warning page for pornography or other offensive subjects. When you search for or click on a page a warning page should come up warning that the article that is about to be visited contains potentially offensive content. It should ask the user if they want to proceed to the article. Is this possible? What is your opinion? AndrewrpTally-ho! 00:38, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

It's probably possible, but it would be highly resisted by the community. We've got entrenched ideas about disclaimers and censorship, and our content disclaimer already says that articles may be objectionable, so any addition is redundant. Sceptre (talk) 00:45, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I am not asking for censorship, just a warning that an article may contain objectionable content. Or maybe we could have an option that users can select to block those articles or give a warning. 00:50, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
We already have that: it's called the content disclaimer. And defining what is objectionable is impossible. A Daily Mail reader wouldn't find Jan Moir's article on Stephen Gately's death offensive, but a gay man would. A pictorial representation of Muhammad, to me, as an atheist, is inoffensive, but to my Muslim friends, it's reprehensible. You see? Sceptre (talk) 00:54, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
As I said, maybe we could make a warning that an article contains pornography or other adult content if the user requests in their preferences. AndrewrpTally-ho! 01:06, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Again, that's a grey line. Where's the line between pornography and artistic nudity or biological study? Sceptre (talk) 01:11, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
What about swear words? Pictures of Mohammed? Mentions of evolution? Mentions of the consumption of animals? Etc. etc. Pretty much every article is going to offend someone. --Tango (talk) 01:13, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Again, my point is that if there is nudity or adult PICTURE content that can be considered nudity, there should be an OPTION to warn about articles containing those pictures much as google has safesearch. AndrewrpTally-ho! 01:24, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, no, and thrice no. This and similar proposals have been discussed ad nauseam by the community and rejected. It isn't going to happen, so let's move on. – ukexpat (talk) 01:38, 19 February 2010 (UTC) ────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Andrewp, how is nudity somehow more offensive than swear words, pictures of Mohammed, pictures of Holocaust victims, or other such material? You seem to believe the entire world perceives these things the same way that you do - but it's simply not the case. Outside of America and the Middle East, the vast majority of societies simply don't get terribly flustered at the sight or thought of a naked human being. Badger Drink (talk) 02:17, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I think I posted my first (and last) remarks on this topic in July 2006: [10], [11]. Here's my perennial answer to this perennial proposal.
We don't censor Wikipedia, but we try to adhere to a 'Principle of Least Astonishment'. That is, material that under some circumstances might be considered offensive or inappropriate for minors should only appear in articles and locations where one might reasonably expect to find such content.
In other words, if someone goes looking for the article fuck, one should not be surprised that the article contains profanity. Similarly, a reader that goes to the article list of sex positions might reasonably expect to encounter descriptions and diagrams of sex acts. On the other hand, one wouldn't expect to find pictures of sex acts in our article on Minnesota, and such images would be removed.
Trying to decide whether or not content should bear a specific additional warning (or filter) is an invitation to endless argument:
You can see the problem. If someone is going to look at a particular article, we try to ensure that the images and text are appropriate to that article; that's the best we can do. It's impossible to decide what ought to bear a warning, and individuals who go looking for an article about the penis ought not be surprised to find a picture of one there.
Note also that such a system would be impossible to maintain without major changes to the Wikipedia software—how do you evaluate whether an image is pornographic, add the label, and make sure that the image and label aren't changed? Individuals attempting to rely on such a censorship mechanism would encounter periodic failures (technical, social, vandalism- or newbie-related) and be exposed to objectionable content anyway (resulting in angry parents screaming at us). Vandals would start labelling harmless images as pornography or graphic sex, just to black out the pictures in articles or generate spurious warnings.
I hope that clears things up. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 02:38, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

2 Mill

Not that you need to hear it from me, but since I just read about it on Slashdot and as you are a representative of the WMF, congrats on the grant! ~ Amory (utc) 03:24, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Request for disclosure

As evident from this edit, ru:user:DR who is a checkuser at ruwiki, was promoted to the ombudsmen commission. In addition to an obvious conflict of interest (ombudsmen are supposed to independently investigate checkuser actions), this action is very questionable because previously DR was under investigation by the ombudsman commission for an alleged violation of privacy. DR violated ru:user:Serebr's privacy by publishing the information about his wiki-mail usage. The ombudsmen commission confirmed that DR published private information, but did not impose any actions on DR on a pretense that his disclosure of private information did not constitute a disclosure of personally identifiable information. This was a curious decision. Now, after DR was assigned to the ombudsmen commission, it appears that DR may have had secret connections to that commission from the very beginning and possibly influenced it to make a decision in his favor. Assigning a violator of privacy to the commission that is supposed to ensure the users' privacy is of great concern. Therefore, I request that you disclose the secret decision making process that led to this very questionable assignment of a privacy violator to the position of a privacy guard. Who decided that? Were you a part of this decision? SA ru (talk) 12:58, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I know nothing about this particular decision. I am not part of the Ombudsman commission and play no role in their selection nor operation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:28, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for the clarification. I am not an independent party here because DR harassed me pretty badly. Nonetheless, at the very least it does not make any sense to assign a checkuser to the ombudsmen commission which is supposed to inspect the checkusers. This is a conflict of interests. I will request a disclosure at meta.wikimedia. SA ru (talk) 13:47, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
In case you are interested in what is going on in your project, in response to my whistle blowing, the authorities on meta consulted with a secrete source who preferred to remain unidentified but is presumed to be trustworthy on ruwiki affairs, then threatened me with a global ban for whistle blowing and finally falsified the record. Pretty interesting behavior on part of the authorities who are supposed to protect users' privacy. SA ru (talk) 14:13, 20 February 2010 (UTC)


Thank you for your comments about chess. Learn the fundamentals - there are good articles about the rules of chess and several other topics, such as Chess tactics and chess strategy (although the strategy article isn't as good as it should be). Those will link you to many other good articles. You don't have to start learning chess by learning the openings. Bubba73 (You talkin' to me?), 19:08, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

It should be mentioned that Bobby Fischer invented a set of rules for chess960 which avoids the need for memorizing many opening moves by randomizing the position of the main pieces on the back row. Fischer predicted that one day we would all be playing chess with a random initial set-up. The rules are such as to maintain the flavor of the original game: i.e. the two bishops must be on opposite-color and the king must start between the rooks. Castling rules are extended to work with all the new positions. It really is a wonderful version of chess - it means you can focus on playing pure chess rather than spending great amounts of time on memorization. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:47, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

creating Africa

Last month you commented that, back in the day, an editor could feel good about having just created Africa. That would feel nice; +one for the encyclopedia. I've not looked at who did create that, but I did just start a stub on The Zen of CSS Design, which is a book that has had a lot of influence on how websites are built, including this one. This properly should be taken to one of the tiers such as good or featured. I was quite surprised that there was no article until today.

I think a great question for this project to ask and answer would be why we have such omissions when we are so many years into this work, yet we have so many articles that are, honestly, of quite dubious notability and quality. Simply put, a large number of people have poor priorities. Cheers, Jack Merridew 20:20, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

We will never know who created the Africa article, because many of the earliest edits to Wikipedia are lost. The earliest available edit to the Africa page is at the CamelCase title "AfricA", and can be found here. Most people like to write about what interests them, and that has always been the case. The oldest edit that survives in the history of an article is this edit to the page on the American philosopher William Alston, which was made two days after Wikipedia went public. No disrespect to the man intended, but I do not think that an article for him would be a high priority in a fledgling encyclopedia. However, someone obviously thought otherwise, so the William Alston article was created 10 months before the article about the ant. Graham87 07:35, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, Graham, for your comments on the restorations to the database. I don't know that far back. This post is really about unbalanced coverage and poor priorities. I'm looking at the overall goal, here; we're getting stuff backwards a lot of the time. Now — after all these years. Cheers, Jack Merridew 08:17, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Regarding a Sock

An email was sent to you at, title: Important please read it carefully. Thank you. (talk) 21:08, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

Is this a subliminal message?

Hi Jimbo

I saw your picture from france on your user page here and I have discovered a subliminal message:

Hope this was still in the realm of your sense of humor :) Ich sehe gerade, dass ich das alles auch auf deutsch hätte schreiben können...^^

Schöne Grüße, [german user page] -- (talk) 23:15, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia has an article on this: Pareidolia. --Carnildo (talk) 01:18, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
I still think that it is a subliminal stimuli (sensory stimulation below an individual's absolute threshold for conscious perception), because this was intended! ^^
[german user page]
-- (talk) 15:24, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

And that's why you should get your public photos through a Photoshop expert before releasing them. To remove all the little details that can be misinterpreted. --Enric Naval (talk) 15:43, 19 February 2010 (UTC)
Calling Durova, Durova to Jimbo's talk page please... – ukexpat (talk) 16:27, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

An old quote

I am sorry to contact you. But you have been quoted in this discussion regarding the importance of sources, and I believe that you did not intend you comments to be put to use in this way. The comments are used by nonspecialists to justify deleting deep mathematical content which is difficult to verify and source, because it is hard to understand.

The technical material at the page infraparticle (which is of the highest quality, and was written by a great physicist many years ago), has been deleted. Your opinions about sourcing anecdotes were brought up. What is your view regarding mathematical content with equations and so on? Do you feel that it is incumbent upon editors to understand mathematical content that they delete? This debate has been happening in the encyclopedia, and the essay WP:ESCA was written by one editor to promote the view that mathematical paraphrase is OK, even when it is difficult to verify that it is paraphrase.

I am asking you if you can chip in, because I am a technical editor, and I will leave this project (along with most others who left already), if there is no protection for technical content from uninformed deletion by editors that don't follow it well enough to read the sources. I hope you take time to understand the issue, because mathematical text is unlike any other text.Likebox (talk) 19:31, 19 February 2010 (UTC)

I think you are asking two questions in one. Should mathematical/technical content, for example in physics, be sourced? Absolutely, it must be sourced, and this is one of the most important areas where sourcing has to be taken seriously, because we are not the right place for original research. (And as I'm sure you are aware, physics is one area where crackpots on the Internet are numerous.) Should editors without a technical background tread lightly in areas where they don't have much expertise? Yes, of course. But that doesn't mean that these editors can't insist quite firmly on quality, and quality means (among other things) making specialist material comprehensible to thoughtful nonspecialists (this is an encyclopedia, after all, not a journal of physics). It can be challenging yes, but it should be clear and should serve as a beacon of light to the reader.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:09, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

I wasn't asking should it be sourced, nor was I asking about the desirability of simple explanations--- sure both are nice. I was asking about the following: there is material on this encyclopedia, at infraparticle, at BKL singularity which is of extremely high quality, written by experts, which is as clear as the best review articles. The articles follow the sources they cite, in that the ideas are the same, but the equations are not copied from the source, the discussion is mathematically paraphrased. It's the same ideas, with different language.
A nonexpert reader encountering the equations which are not 100% the same as the source can say "This is OR!", while an expert reader would say "No, no OR here." The issue is that when the source is difficult, the article can look like OR to a nonexpert reader, in the same way that a paraphrased Chinese text would look completely different from the original to a non-Chinese speaker.
In particular, the technical content of infraparticle was deleted, and would not be introduced even after a source was provided, because the editors did not understand the concept well enough to see that the article followed the source. This is a big risk for the best text in the encyclopedia.
The material on infraparticle is of the highest quality, and I hope that you can make a statement about sourcing: it is important that mathematical paraphrase be allowed, so that hard work of writing mathematical expositions will not be in vain.
I don't know if you are the best person to contact regarding this, since I don't know how much you follow technical discussions here. The problem seems to be sorting itself out. Thank you for you patient response, and I won't bother you again.Likebox (talk) 17:18, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo's response is exactly what I have been arguing in this instance. And yes, he is the best person to explain the statement of his that Likebox asked about. Now, Likebox doesn't like the answer.
Infraparticle was the subject of an AfD due to insufficient sourcing and poor quality; the result was to stubify the article, to permit expansion of the article with proper, sourced content. Likebox (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log), who has been blocked several times for edit warring, restored the challenged, unsourced content, and since then has been edit warring (with a couple of allies) to keep the unsourced content in. This has been discussed on the article's talk page and is the subject of three current threads at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Physics, where the consensus is that the material should be sourced. Likebox also charged User:Headbomb, the coordinator of WikiProject Physics, with violating 3RR for reverting repeated insertions of Likebox's unsourced material, at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring#User:Headbomb reported by User:Likebox. Now he shows up here, the last resort of wili FORUMSHOPpers.—Finell 19:40, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I am not forum shopping--- I am searching for a clear answer. If Wikipedia cannot handle mathematical content, I will just stop contributing. Wikipedia is not doing me a favor by letting me contribute.Likebox (talk) 21:16, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
You've been given a clear answer, many times, by many people: Per WP:V, all content that remains here has to be properly sourced. By all means write about mathematical content, but collect sources while doing so. After several days of complaining that this was impossible, you eventually did it for infraparticle. To quote your own words (diff) (emphasis added):
Please, do this first, rather than starting massive numbers of threads complaining that this shouldn't be necessary. --Christopher Thomas (talk) 22:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say it shouldn't be necessary to source the material--- I asked that editors patiently try to source dense mathematical material before deleting it. Accurate mathematical text is extremely valuable content, and it must be treated with respect--- it is very hard to write, very hard to proofread, and very hard to reproduce once deleted.
The problem is that even after I found the source for the argument, the argument is still getting deleted, without any discussion of the source, which is very advanced. The only editors that read the source are unanimous that the source appropriately contains the substantive content, but other editors do not address the source at all and argue that the material is OR. This is what will happen to all mathematical text if there is no careful special protection for text such as this. At the very least, editors should understand the text before deleting it, and understand the sources, or discuss them, before deleting the content.Likebox (talk) 22:31, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
You asked "that editors patiently try to source dense mathematical material before deleting it." I always thought that contributors should patiently source such material before re-inserting it after it gets deleted. It looks like you did now, which is nice.

I don't think we should be afraid that all mathematical text will be removed without such "careful special protection" . That will only happen with mathematical text describing subjects that aren't sufficiently relevant or important yet. Some things need patience :-) DVdm (talk) 10:40, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Editor Likebox raises a perfectly legitimate query.
Editor Finell enters the thread with an attempt to undermine the credibility of Likebox by drawing attention to Likebox's block record, and accusing Likebox of edit warring. I observed the edit war in question and noted that the edit war began because editor Headbomb erased material that had been inserted by Likebox close on the heels of an arbitration hearing in which Headbomb was the chief opponent of Likebox. Finell did not accuse Headbomb of edit warring, but rather he attempted to vilify Likebox for having dared to have made accusations against Headbomb, as if to make accusations against Headbomb is a serious crime in its own right.
One issue that wikipedia needs to tackle is the deletionist culture of "I never heard this before, so nobody's going to hear about it ever" David Tombe (talk) 02:41, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Finell definitely has a modus operandi of trying to discredit people/ The most recent example is his suggestion of ownership of another editor of the physics project. He also encouraged someone to not edit because he didn't think him competant to edit it. It is quite funny, everytime you query him about it he clams up or asks if you should be assuming good faith with nary a word of justification of policy or stance. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 02:58, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Observation: As a result of the demand for sourced by me and other editors (including Headbomb), and work on the article by me and other editors (including Headbomb and Likebox), Infraparticle is now reasonably well sourced and is in much better shape. If Likebox had done this from the beginning, as Wikipedia:Verifiability requires, instead of kicking and screaming all over Wikipedia, we could have avoided the unnecessary drama. I'm sorry that editors with long block records, like David Tombe (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) and Hell in a Bucket (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · logs · edit filter log · block user · block log) (and Likebox), don't like being reminded of their records when they continue to weaken Wikipedia by flouting the community's policies and guidelines.—Finell 18:54, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you Finell for a most perfect example of what I reffered to above. By the way when have you ever spoke to or with someone about my block record? And by flouting the communities guidelines you must mean when I've asked you to reference your conduct by policy and you don't? You can't respond to my arguement so you try to discredit me? Wow this sounds so familiar, oh yeah I posted this as your method of operation yesterday. it's right above your comment. You are clearly exhibiting argumentum ad hominem and a Loaded question. Anymore great examples of your cowardice? Hell In A Bucket (talk) 19:15, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I am very proud of my blocks. The "sourcing" of infraparticle was a joke--- none of the references provided at all touch the subject in the article, except for the one reference I provided at the beginning, and other references by the same author on the same subject. At the moment, the opponents can be distracted by smoke and mirrors. It is not clear that this situation will continue.Likebox (talk) 21:48, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Only a toady would ever believe that getting blocked on wikipedia means that the block was actually warranted. Or at least, they would pretend to believe it as a means of 'ad hominem' attack. From what I can see, getting blocked often means that you have said something worthwhile, and that an admin has responded with the block button in a demonstration of cowardice. David Tombe (talk) 00:41, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

When an editor says a reliable source is wrong

Hi, Jimmy. There has been a dispute on Union City, New Jersey regarding a local high-rise building called the Thread. A The New York Times article by Antoinette Martin that I cited as one of the sources says that that building is a former embroidery factory. But User:Djflem has asserted that this is not true, that the building is an original building, and that The New York Times is wrong. An anonymous IP editor whose IP is traced to Amsterdam (I don't know if this was also Djflem editing outside of his account) called the source "unreliable". I don't dispute that otherwise reliable sources can make mistakes, but for an editor to remove such info based solely on their assertion seems like OR, just as including such info on personal knowledge would be. What should we do? Nightscream (talk) 21:02, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

If you really can't agree on a wording, this might be better discussed at the Reliable Sources Noticeboard, as they are used to dealing with such issues. Rodhullandemu 21:06, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not a question of wording, it's a question of the veracity of the assertion. Nightscream (talk) 21:06, 18 February 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia follows the sources. An editor's, or even a group of editors', claim that a statement supported by a reliable source is wrong is irrelevant. If the reliable sources disagree, that is dealt with in the course of normal editing; editors can decide by consensus which source appears to be more reliable on the particular issue or else point out the disagreement and the sources on each side. Not an issue for Jimbo.—Finell 21:46, 18 February 2010 (UTC)

That sounds reasonable, but I'd like to know what Jimmy has to say on this. Jimmy, do you agree? Do responses by others here automatically carry your endorsement? Or do you have something different to add? Nightscream (talk) 17:54, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Is there any other source? Is the editor who claims it is not true a known editor who people generally have good reason to trust? Is the claim in some way crucial to something important, or is it just a bit of trivia now called into question? Can someone contact the New York Times reporter to ask about it? Can someone contact whoever the New York Times reporter got it from to ask about it? I'm generally opposed, of course, to original research, but sanity must also prevail. If the editor is a known editor whom we trust, and if the claim is not important trivia, if the New York Times reporter is willing to retract it (either privately or in the newspaper or a blog somewhere), if someone from the building is willing to say it isn't true - all of those things (or even some of those things) would seem to me a valid reason for simply omitting the claim. On the other hand, if the editor just showed up to dispute this claim, if the claim is actually somehow important (such that we might suspect the denier of having an agenda of some kind), if the NYT reporter stands behind it, if the owner of the building is not willing to refute it, then all of those things would tend to argue for keeping it in place. I do not think there is an automatic formula by which we might answer these things. As an ongoing victim of journalism myself, I know that many times reliable sources say things that are flatly untrue - this doesn't mean we can or should ignore reliable sources, but it does mean that we have to thoughtfully evaluate the totality of the evidence, while at the same time resisting the easy but dangerous lure of original research.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:27, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Strange. This New York Times article (also by the same journalist) says that the building was constructed in 2007.[12] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:46, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
What's strange about that?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:46, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something, but the sources seem to contradict one another. The first[13] says that the building is a former embroidery factory that is now a condominium. The second[14] says it was constructed in 2007 which seems to indicate that it was never an embroidery factory. Oh wait, am I being daft and you're making a point about journalists contradicting themselves? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 23:22, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't see it as a direct contradiction. The building could be both constructed in 2007 and formerly an embroidery factory. To me the word "constructed" (and similar) doesn't imply that there was nothing there before, nor that the former building was completely demolished. A significant reconstruction which kept some of the former structure might be considered both "built in 2007" and "formerly an embroidery factory" depending on perspective. I don't think the available sources, that I've seen, are sufficient to allow us to conclude with certainty one way or the other. (I also think this probably ranks in the 1,000 least important questions of the day, but that shouldn't stop us from being amused and interested in it!)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:46, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Jimmy, the reason I included that bit of info is because Union City, New Jersey was considered the "embroidery capital of the world". The building, which is Union City's first high-rise condominium, is named the Thread, in reference to that past, and so the notion that it used to be an embroidery factory is something I saw as significant. I've tried to contact the NY Times, and someone, though not the article writer, said that that claim is untrue, as did someone at the Thread when I called them. That point has been removed from the article, but I just wanted to know your feeling on when personal knowledge conflicts with a source, in part because I started this discussion before I got a response from those two follow-up sources. Thanks. Nightscream (talk) 00:22, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

If you did some original research (and you did) and you're a trusted volunteer (and you are) and if the information is not particularly important (and it isn't), then I see no reason to not quietly omit it as a pretty clear and simple error. I think we can follow such common sense approaches without therefore going down a horrible slippery slope of OR. Clearly, if reliable sources emerge which would contradict your own research, we'd have a more complex issue to grapple with... or if some important matter turned on the distinction... but as it is, I think we can comfortably make the change.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:46, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

When Wiki is the one being plagiarized...

Greetings and Respect, etc etc. I was researching a topic on the web, and noticed two pages with numerous identical passages - one in Wiki ( Horses in the Middle Ages ) and one on a (competing?) "public encyclopedia" site ( ). The latter looks largely like a simple copy/paste of the wiki article with a line removed here and there, word for word right down to the reference notations, and if so I, for one, am rather offended. (Altho' I suppose the reverse could be true, in which case this is in the wrong place, nm. But, then - how does one know?) I don't know if there is anything that can practically be done, either to determine who is plagiarizing whom or if so, then what - but I thought I'd toss it out.

(And if there is a more appropriate location for this post, I couldn't find it, but I relinquish full control to move this post to wiki Admin, no worries!)--Cuchulainshound (talk) 04:24, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks. – ukexpat (talk) 04:40, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
The footer says "The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL. Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright." Not fully GFDL compliant, but better than it used to be. There are far worse content reusers out there. Reach Out to the Truth 05:12, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Proof: topic ban without specific evidence or real justification

"Fair is foul and foul is fair...".~~WS

I'd like to bring to your attention major problems with the integrity of an arbitrator led amendment motion for a topic ban. Some of these difficulties have already been noted [15] in a previous post to all the arbitrators who judged the case. This post will demonstrate that there was virtually no merit to the reasoning "evidence" provided during the motion. Other important issues not previously discussed will also be examined.

Facts- mentorship collapse and disturbing accusations

  • 57 days after the mentor was to be appointed, one is found.
  • The mentor's stated purpose was,"guidance on Wikipedia's sourcing and citation guidelines".
  • The mentor quits nine days after accepting their mentorship with the comment, "Can't deal with this". [16].
  • A fourth topic ban motion was initiated on this development.
  • An arbitrator commented,"...reviewing User:Scuro/Mentorship and User talk:Scuro/Mentorship...all too often things would get bogged down again with personalised comments about the other editors, rather than focusing on article content. That, ultimately, and the failure to either work together or disengage, is why a topic ban is the option I am supporting here for both editors...".[17]

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT - "Reviewing User:Scuro/Mentorship..." A close examination of the mentorship page overwhelmingly demonstrates my deep concern with 6 months of ongoing and unchecked harassment. [18]

Please explain why pointing out long term harassment is "personalizing" things.

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT - "Reviewing...User talk:Scuro/Mentorship" A close examination of the talk page [19] clearly demonstrates that several of the other principle editors personalized issues with the mentor which apparently forced him to quit the mentorship. [20]

Please explain how the actions of others reflects on my behaviour.

Disturbing accusations

  • The mentor's alleged e-mail correspondence was used as evidence within the arbitration motion.
  • The other party quoted the mentor from e-mails that were supposedly exchanged immediately after the mentor's resignation.
  • The following statements were posted as evidence with the Arbitration motion:
a)"The mentorship failed because the mentor simply could not tolerate scuro for 3 days",
b)"I also have private emails from the mentor which state that he used our protests as an excuse to get out of the mentorship and felt that scuro should never have been appointed a mentor",
c)"The mentor also stated that he was well aware that scuro was abusing his mentorship..." [21]
  • The other party also stated that it was the mentor who initiated personal contact through e-mail. "I know you haven't read the emails I got from mentor... He contacted me (not I contact him) for the first time after he stepped down from mentorship..." [22]
  • The allegations were specifically about an administrator's behaviour while carrying out an arbitration remedy.
  • These highly troubling accusations speak to one of either two possibilities: i)either the mentorship was destined to fail, or ii)we have a contributor who attempted to subvert an Arbcom motion specifically about personalization, with faked first hand quotes from an administrator to smear someone's reputation.
Please explain why Arbcom did not act or comment with regards to these serious allegations.

Facts-folding of two contributor ban requests

  • Over three weeks before the two contributor requests fold, the amendment request is taken off of the open task list.[23]
  • On the heels of the mentor resignation, two previous contributor topic ban motions that contained roughly 20 accusations were closed with the comment, "No action was deemed necessary". [24]
  • Over four weeks before the requests are closed, an arbitrator granted permission[25] for a further amendment within these requests. The amendment was never allowed to be filled.
  • The amendment would have specifically dealt with behaviours occurring within the contributor topic ban requests. The purpose was clearly stated: "repeated assumption of bad faith, the repeated personalization of issues, making false accusations". [26] These issues were also brought up during arbitration. [27]
Please explain why Arbcom allowed arbitration, then the filing of two separate arbitration amendment requests, and then also allowed a fourth arbitration motion. Yet, never allow the thoroughness of an arbitration ruling with regards to very troubling behaviour within all four of these motions.

Facts-opening of Arbitrator ban motion

  • A newly arbitrator [28] filed topic ban motion opens. [29]
  • Even though none of the findings of arbitration, or the requests of the previous two amendment requests really focused on "personalizing" issues between the two principle editors, the arbitrator makes this the basis of the fourth ban proposal.
  • There was no vetted history of this behaviour offered to support the motion.
  • Both parties are required to defend themselves in under 500 words.
  • The case is presented briefly by two arbitrators who pass judgement without evidence. One of the two arbitrators was the arbitrator who filed the motion. [30],
i)"Sadly, it seems this is necessary to give other editors breathing room. I also expect both editors to take this as a final warning about personalizing disputes and related conduct issues".
ii)"...The length of the ban I could see changing, but a definite break is needed here for both of the principal editors".

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT i) - "other editors needed breathing room" An uninvolved administrator had previously provided evidence that I had made less then 1% of all edits on the article. [31] My last edit on any of the articles was August 12th., the last edit on any of the talk pages was Sept 17th. The topic ban was implemented Nov 9th., 2009. After arbitration, which closed July 14th., serious issues only occurred off of the article and talk pages.

Please demonstrate why editors on the articles need "breathing room".

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT ii) - to why a, "break" was needed Why is a "break" needed for someone who has endured a 1/2 year of constant harassment? Many administrators and arbitrators should have acted previously on long standing unchecked abuse which I pointed out numerous times. Arbcom was also made aware of these issues during a previous clarification request [32]. and also during arbitration even though an arbitrator incorrectly stated this wasn't so. [33]

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT - i)"...a final warning about...related conduct issues." The only conduct issues noted in Arbitration, beyond edit warring, were four mild personalized comments from Jan. 2008 and Sept 2008. None of the comments were directed at the party to whom I was supposedly mutually personalizing issues. [34] Conversely, the only administrator who followed the long standing dispute commented positively on my behaviour post arbitration, and he praised my efforts at the time. [35]

Please explain exactly what "conduct" issues there were.

Facts-three final arbitrator comments

  • After observations [36] are made which illuminated shortcomings in the process, both arbitrators make the final three statements.
iii)"...I would urge scuro and literaturegeek and other parties to the case to work together, rather than trying to test or explore the boundaries of the case decision. I note that one arbitration enforcement request has already been filed. If that is needed, sure, but please try and focus on the article content and its sources, and not each other's behaviour. This was made clear in the case, and should be made clear each time further requests are filed. If large numbers of frivolous requests are filed, indicating that editors are looking at each other's behaviour, rather than working on article content, new restrictions may need to be imposed." [37]
iv)"You both have personalized the dispute and continue to dig your claws into each other. I noted very clearly from my intial comment that I was looking towards topic bans, and why. I was allowing both the mentorship and the temporary impovement to prove me wrong, and indeed, I was quite pleased to be proven wrong. I am equally displeased that my good faith was misplaced and things just started going back to the same old patterns..."[38]
v)"The equal weight of the sanctions is based on the observation that they have both personalized this dispute". [39]

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT- iii)"I would urge work together" There were 15 threads created after arbitration which required action. [40] [41] [42] Eight threads are tagged with "not done", "deadlocked", or "unresolved". Using the above post-arb evidence of the attempt to work together, please demonstrate how I did not focus on content. Meanwhile sanction and amendment requests had been filed against me, much of it bogus.

Please explain to me how one is to focus on content when one is wrapped up in formal accusations.
Please also explain to me how one is to edit the article when Arbcom had twice stated that it was best not to edit the article. [43]

FUTHER REBUTTAL TO COMMENT - iii)"urge work together" Both parties were urged to seek common ground under the threat of a topic ban. Good progress was made but it ended without final resolution. [44] MANY other attempts were previously made to seek common ground. [45] [46] These attempts were virtually always one sided, and always ended with the other parties abandoning the process.

Please demonstrate to me where I have ever rebuffed attempts of seeking common ground and resolution.

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT i) - "both personalized this dispute" Arbitrators had characterized the offenses several times as a mutual personalization and that both parties were equally responsible for this.[47] [48] These notions were previously challenged. [49] During the motion the only examples given of personalization were of the other party, "the warning signs for XXXXXXXXXX were in the previous requests for clarification/amendment and in the case itself." [50] No such specific examples were given on my behalf. No vetted evidence has ever been shown to clearly demonstrate my supposed mutual personalization.

Please provide evidence and explain where you saw mutual personalization.
Please explain why Arbcom didn't see to it that the highest standards of evidence and protocol were followed during this forth motion for a ban within five months.

REBUTTAL TO COMMENT iii) - "large number of frivolous requests filled"

  • I had filled one enforcement request for a topic block after the arbitrators statement above. Pre-arbitration, I had been edit warred off of the article for 1/2 a year. [51]
  • This contributor continued to edit war me off the article, even after Arbitration editing restrictions were in place. See topic block link ([52])
  • My only possible " frivolous request" would have been for the same contributor to receive a second topic block.
  • This request noted that the contributor had broken both conditions of his arbitration editing restrictions. [53]
Please explain to me how this block request or any of my requests were frivolous.

Facts-the involved "uninvolved party"-tainted process?

  • An "uninvolved" contributor may have influenced the closing of the second topic block request mentioned above. [54]
  • Pleas to close the request were made in both the edit summary of their final comment, "can an admin close this accordingly please", and also the comment on the topic block page, "I urge an administrator to close this accordingly". [55]
  • Issues had not been fully discussed, both conditions of the arbitration editing restriction had been broken and there was still much to go over.
  • The contributor was previously involved in many sanction processes and had interaction with all the principle editors.
  • This contributor discussed the topic block at length off the page, [56] with the party who was to be topic banned, and did not share what was said. These notions could have been easily refuted had they been shared.
  • Diffs of involvement;
a)Wikiquette alert [57],
b)Lengthy "heated" exchange between the contributor and an involved administrator who filed the Wikiquette alert.[58]
c)Post "heated" debate discussions. [59][60]
d)Taking an active interest in initial topic ban proposal.[61][62][63]
e)Taking an active interest at initial arbitration topic ban request.[64][65][66][67]
f)Taking an active interest post-arbitration[68]
g)Having significant discussions off the topic block page with the party to be topic banned, and not sharing this information or letting others know.[69]

Facts-bogus statements by administrator

  • An administrator added further judgments to the topic ban motion and gave the only differentials within that motion. -"Comment by DXXXXX"
  • It was incorrectly implied that I did not seek mentorship.[70]
  • The evidence offered and conclusions drawn against me were all shown to be bogus.

Facts-bargaining for sanctions while evidence is under discussion

  • Before this evidence had been fully vetted, the arbitrator who initiated the motion was advocating for acceptance of a lesser sanction by all parties,"...If you both are willing to accept the probation in place of a topic ban...".[71][72]
  • Several arbitrators may have discussed and agreed upon guilt before the evidence had been fully vetted. From an e-mail of Oct 22nd, entitled: Re: Wikipedia e-mail (current motions) -"...myself and the other arbitrators feel that stiffer sanctions are warranted, and honestly we are unlikely to be dissuaded from this view...".
  • The request for accepting the arbitrator offer of lesser sanctions is accepted by the other party. I reject the offer. [73]

Facts-final plea for any evidence, topic ban, and concluding actions

  • A second direct request is made of an arbitrator for any evidence.[74]
  • The motion is closed shortly after.
  • The arbitrator who:a)filled the motion, b)made the case, and c)attempted to bargain for lesser sanctions...votes.
  • Both arbitrators who argued the case vote.
  • The motion passed on 8 November 2009 by a margin of 6 to 1, with 1 absention.
  • "Scuro (talk · contribs) is topic banned from all pages, topics, and discussions related to attention-deficit hyperactivity, broadly defined, for twelve months".
  • No statement is made to either party. No further advisement, admonishment, or reminder is made. No other action is taken except that the requirement for mentorship is removed.
  • After the topic ban comes into force many barnstars are given to the other principle editors. Defender of the Wiki

Defender of the Wiki Barnstar of Integrity Three Barnstars are awarded Barnstar of Integrity The Anti-Flame Barnstar

Doing the right thing?

"Don't shoot the messenger".~~WS

In all probability arbitrators may not have been familiar with much of information and context given within this post. Still, there has been a huge wrong done here built on the back of many small wrongs, some of which go well beyond the limited scope of what was examined in this post. The case against the topic ban motion is very solid. The further one looks the greater evidence. There probably will never be a better real life instance of wikipedia "shooting the messenger" as this case where the issues are so cut and dry. Perhaps the only true justification for the topic ban was it's use as a "blunt tool" to end disagreement. Laudable, unless one can demonstrate that those in charge have virtually ignored long standing harassment for 6 months. In that context Wikipedia would look no different then any other large and aging bureaucracy. It would be this continued inability of wikipedia to come clean on obvious major wrong that would prove the point and ultimately do harm to the project. For what is an encyclopedia without integrity and what is an institution that doesn't protect those who contribute to it?

A little background. I'm a small time contributor who edits a few articles that interest me. I've always held neutrality in the highest regard and have always acted in good faith in the best interests of the project. That doesn't mean that mistakes haven't been made but one could easily demonstrate that over time there has been a significant positive transformation in who I am as a contributor. I would appreciate it if you looked into this.

Thank you, --scuro (talk) 05:08, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

You really expect Jimbo to trawl through all this? – ukexpat (talk) 15:07, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Bottom line, there has been a major wrong done here that hasn't been corrected. What Jimbo wishes to do with this information is his prerogative.--scuro (talk) 16:47, 22 February 2010 (UTC)