User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 58

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Archive 57 | Archive 58 | Archive 59

Maybe this can be done?

Excerpts copied from above, continued...

No, this is fine and interesting. What I would suggest here is that the point you want included in the article is a sensible one to include. A reader may well wonder to what extent Hutaree beliefs or "Militant Christian" beliefs reflect mainstream/historic Christian belief and practice. I don't personally see any reason to privilege 3rd century (or 6th century or 12th century) variants in that analysis, but the general idea of making sure that the reader does understand that Hutaree beliefs are pretty unusual and not consistent with mainstream understanding of Christ's beliefs and teachings is of course a fine thing to include.

I believe, though, that the observation you want to make is not particularly original or creative (no disrespect intended, of course, I think you know what I mean!)... it's just a sensible point. As such, therefore, it must be easy to find plenty of contemporary critics of violent Christian sects who will make this sort of obvious point? No need for us to make it ourselves.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:49, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Scott, you need to find a reliable secondary source which makes the point for you, directly about the Hutaree. If your point is that the Hutaree are un-Christian, find a reliable source which says that, summarize it and link to it. You can't make stuff up, that's the essence of WP:NOR. Wikipedia is not MySpace or a forum where we post our personal opinions or observations about the world. Crum375 (talk) 19:11, 21 April 2010 (UTC)
It finally starts to sink in.... Duh! After seeing some of your points on the ongoing AfD discussion about the soon to be deleted Eric Ely article, I think I'm on the 'same page' now. It seems to me that you really do have a certain vision that Wikipedia editing should generally follow some of the same types of rules and guidelines that apply to other encyclopedias. It seems to me that the vision of Wikipedia that you hold, though certainly not as strict as other encyclopedias (or I would not be here writing this) is that Wikipedia is not really intended to be a place where new ideas (or even recently rediscovered very old ideas) are meant to be thrashed about, unless some published writer has first "thrashed them about in his book or widely respected, well established, and professional website first". Please correct me if I'm still mistaken.
So, if this is the case (and if it is then I can certainly appreciate it and support it fully), .... if so, then I have a very modest proposal here that I think might be slightly helpful to others. What I think 'threw me' and what got me to this page to ask you these questions was this idea that the admitted 'editorializing' that I did was classified as a type of research 'OR'. This particular usage of the term 'OR', by its fundamental nature, seems to me to be a certain type of a 'misnomer'. The question that occurred in my mind immediately was, 'Since when does editorializing = research?' Now, I get the general drift of the intentions here, and I'm not disputing the intention at all. At this point, I'm only asking, isn't there a more accurate terminology you could use here to accomplish the same thing?
I think that the biggest thing that I 'choked on' in this process was exactly that question, 'does editorializing = research?' I also think that this terminology may have tripped up others too. I don't think that the problem here is the intention at all. I think it may simply be the terminology currently used. Here is my modest proposal:
  1. Generally replace the word Synthesis with the word Editorializing in the policy. I think that this might clear up a whole lot of confusion in this policy for many. While the word Synthesis does basically do the job, it seems to me that the word Editorializing is more to the point and more descriptive, accurate, and informative of the issue you are trying to address here. It also inherently gives editors a concrete example of something less abstract, and more easily understood or grasped.
  2. Move the current WP:SYN policy out from under the WP:NOR policy page as a mere subcategory. Research implies looking things up. Synthesis implies putting together the things you looked up. They are really two distinct processes. One is not really a subcategory of the other. But I would propose moving the current WP:SYN policy to a new category like maybe WP:EDZ, or something like that.
Regarding all of these suggestions, would you think that these ideas might be a step in the right direction, a step in the wrong direction (or possibly slamming into a brick wall at 90 mph)? Scott P. (talk) 11:33, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I heard that penny dropping right over here in England :-) Let's not advocate wholesale changes yet, though. You might suddeenly get why these tings are where they are... Synthesis is used in a precise technical sense, but do feel free to offer suggestions at the relevant talk page as to how that can be made less ambiguous. Guy (Help!) 20:30, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Sounded more like hitting a brick wall to me. ;-) Scott P. (talk) 21:15, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Definitely a penny.   pablohablo. 21:17, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
How about a penny hitting a masonry structure? (Compromise is always best.) Scott P. (talk) 21:19, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Hey, he could finally be taking the big flight over the pond back to the US, who knows? Scott P. (talk) 22:16, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Hi Jim

I occassionally "trip" through you talk page/"neighbourhood chat room" and it just occured to me, do you ever feel like This Guy ?. Hey have a great day. And if you have a sec. It would be an Honor "Guessbook" Mlpearc MESSAGE 15:04, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Good one. Jimbo, the Bartender ^_^ A vodka martini, please. Shaken, not stirred Hive001 (talk) 16:42, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but the important thing is: Coach, Woody or Sam? Certainly not Carla. Guy (Help!) 20:20, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

Where do you live?

Jimmy, in a recent edit here, you mentioned that you live in Florida. Back in December 2006, Newsday said that you were considering moving to New York. As recently as March 2010, it was said that you were being filmed in New York. Hunch is based in New York. You're also the Chair of Wikia, which is out in San Francisco, I believe -- along with the Wikimedia Foundation! And, we all know that you're something of a power traveler, so maybe "nomad" is a better description of "where you live". Anyway, without invading too much of your privacy, do you think you could explain to us what is your overall situation in terms of your place of residence, vis-a-vis Florida, New York, and California? Do you have apartments everywhere, or do you actually own real estate? Where did you fill out a census form this year, for example -- I think that's a pertinent question! -- (talk) 14:43, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

My sole residence is in Florida. I rent, not own. When I am in New York or California on business (often enough), I stay in hotels.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:19, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Comment At the moment, he's in London (I think). ManishEarthTalkStalk 15:04, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
So he's off the train finally? KillerChihuahua?!?Advice 15:07, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm in Rome, actually. :-) Practically a resident, as I'll be here for 2 more days.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:18, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Because of that darned volcano? I was 2 days off from being stuck myself. Well, when in Rome, do as the Romans do (What exactly they do I'm not sure...) ManishEarthTalkStalk 18:32, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
He must be setting down roots! Scott P. (talk) 15:32, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Some people publicize their movements on TravelPod. -- Wavelength (talk) 15:58, 22 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the Romans eat Italian food???? Sounds like a great way to pass the time. That and a little Chianti. Thelmadatter (talk) 19:19, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Need to speak to you

i would like to speak to you about something administrators are not taking seriously.

when you get this, could you please email me on

Thank you.

Sghfdhdfghdfgfd (talk) 20:46, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Obvious question: why should Jimbo email you without any particular reason being given? He has two email addresses listed here, and it might be more constructive if you emailed him and set out your concerns, and leave it up to him how and whether he replies. He's a thoughtful, but very busy guy and might be unwilling to reply to such vague requests. Rodhullandemu 00:12, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, I need to speak to you about something too. Please friend me on facebook and add the "Farmville" app if you don't have it already.--Milowent (talk) 00:14, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Now, that's funny!--Epeefleche (talk) 00:21, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I'm uncertain whether this is innocent or trolling, but Jimbo travels a lot, is very busy and (I'd guess) doesn't have much spare time to sign up to Facebook pages. Please see my advice to Sghfdhdfghdfgfd above. Rodhullandemu 00:22, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
I think it was neither a naive inquiry nor trolling, but parody. Newyorkbrad (talk) 00:44, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
OK. Fine, I missed that. Meanwhile, Jimbo, can we discuss doubling my salary sometime, on account of all the work I put in here? I've been advised that no commercial organisation could afford me, but I am confident that Wikipedia can. Rodhullandemu 00:53, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia has scarce resources, but that's OK - we'll just double your sponsorship. Stephen B Streater (talk) 05:30, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Double zero is still zero. Woogee (talk) 05:33, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
-) Fun. Well, so I wonder what "" is.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:22, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Seems to be someones wiki media experiment, looks harmless enough. Off2riorob (talk) 10:56, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, it looks entirely "harmless" in the way that Wikipedians think lots of things are harmless. Seriously, is Wikipedia populated mostly or entirely by child porn freaks? -- Manny Modern (talk) 13:16, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
The meticulous organisation of that page suggests a collector. Sick. Claritas (talk) 18:17, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, since you're working on requests, could I get an autograph?--Morenooso (talk) 11:00, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
Ideally, you should put it in the public domain for inclusion on Jimbo Wales. But as Rodhullandemu, if you want put on a check for one dollar, that would be the price of peanuts. --Morenooso (talk) 11:04, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Site seems to be a half-developed website of unknown purpose (claims "missing persons"), with some porn code-word index. Google only matches one or 2 pages containing the word "the" there, and Google might need another 3 weeks to index whatever new pages they're really planning. See Google for "  the" -Wikid77 17:52, 23 April 2010 (UTC)
The idea was explained online before,[1] but the author deleted it for some reason. I saw it before that - it was nothing sinister-sounding - just a plan to get a wiki started to help find missing persons. It's not much different from editing some of the disputed biographies above, but for a good cause. Wnt (talk) 23:08, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, I guess (sniff, sniff) Jimbo did not take my request for an autograph seriously (sniff, sniff). All levity aside, could you imagine being the owner of a Jimbo Wales autographed one dollar check? I can!!! --Morenooso (talk) 07:43, 27 April 2010 (UTC)


Mr. Wales, there is a new situation involving Don Murphy, who goes by the pseudonym ColScott. He is banned from Wikipedia, but he has continued advocating off-wiki harassment of people who edit his article. This time he contacted someone who has nothing to do with the situation, and he is very disturbed by what happened. You can see the thread at WP:ANI. I recall that you had a phone conversation with him sometime ago. Perhaps another one is in order? It is time to do something. Erik (talk | contribs) 19:00, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Archived to Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive610#Legal_threat_.28above.29_now_real_harassment. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 00:32, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Please also refer to here for more information. SilverserenC 01:52, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Your help and advice

Sir, I know that the "discussions" that took place over several different forums regarding the now-deleted Eric Ely article were mostly very civil and conducted fairly, I do have this one request for you, though I am unsure if there is anything you can do other than speak up for what I see as unfair bashing of editors I consider to be friends. Here on your talk page this comment was posted-

  • Jimbo, I agree with your assessment of the article. I do not understand why this article has been allowed to remain on Wikipedia, since it is an obvious political attack piece. Further, I do not understand why the main editors Bearian and UpstateNYer have not been asked to resign their admin bits. If admins cannot be trusted to uphold the principles of Wikipedia, should they remain admins? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:33, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

That comment alone, while not very nice and definitely not within the spirit of AGF, would have not been so bad by itself, this has since been followed up with comments that have continued along similar lines at the Schenectady City School District talk page towards User:UpstateNYer regarding that article regarding what I assume is Eric Ely information being added. Included in the comments by Delicious and User:RicoCorinth that seem to be at the very least not giving UpstateNYer full AGF is a comment in which Rico said-- You were one of the two admins that created a smear file on Eric Ely -- that Jimbo called "a hatchet job" -- by collecting all the dirt on him in one place. to Upstater. Upstater is in fact a co-founder with me of the New York Capital District Wikiproject, an admin, and a creator of many very fine articles including GA's (and possibly an FA?), has not ever been in any "trouble" on Wikipedia, and has often pulled me back from the brink several times, I have had less work with User:Bearian and cant speak for his reasons for creating the Eric Ely article but I can say Upstater had honest reasons of trying to support a fellow wikiproject member and make an article that he thought deserved to be saved better, admins User:JulianColton and User:Daniel Case are two unblemished editors who I believe can vouch for Upstater being an upstanding and well-intentioned hardworker. I know this isnt AN/I or the wikiquette board, but if you are being misrepresented by Rico in how you feel about this editor I beg and plead with you to speak up at the Schenectady City School District talk page with maybe just a word about AGF towards fellow wikipedians I know I would feel better. I know I am very distraught by how he is being represented as anything but a very high caliber contributor to many articles over many years and I've never seen him comment so obviously distressed and act unlike himself at that talk page. Thank you for your time and I apologize for the long-winded post.Camelbinky (talk) 05:57, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

My very first impression of the article was that it must have been written by someone trying to defend Ely against the already published allegations, by showing that there were numerous good things that had been accomplished on Ely's watch. The biggest problem seemed to me to be what I would call Wikipedia's papparazzi-proctoscope-problem. When Nixon left office he complained, "since I was president, the press had every right to look me over with a microscope, but not a with a proctoscope!" It seems to me that sometimes on Wikipedia the smallest mistake of a person can be magnifyed by the "proctoscopes" of the press until it is way out of proportion from the actual mistake itself. Scott P. (talk) 01:21, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Flagged Revisions

I know I must seem like an annoying pain by now, but any news on your planned poll, or other developments? NW (Talk) 23:23, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

Try Beta, I'd suggest (above on the first line); Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#Flagged_protection:_update_for_April_22 is another choice. Why should we need another poll? Quote (Flagged revisions): "It was announced in August 2009, after a poll found that 80% of the users were in favor of it." --Chris.urs-o (talk) 07:24, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe NW is supporting the notion, which I have floated, that we should not wait for the Foundation to finish with the programming on the version we approved, but look for a configuration/social rule set that we can get consensus on to use while continuing to wait, with the version we approved to be turned on the moment it is available. The challenge in doing that is finding a lightweight but still useful version that will get widespread support. In part, all of this depends on how much longer it will take for the Foundation developers to finish the version we want.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:43, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if you might take a look at a suggestion for a lightweight version I developed earlier: Wikipedia:Targeted flagging?--Scott Mac 15:00, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, Jimmy is correct in his belief about my belief. The sooner we get something deployed (Scott's proposal looks the most optimal for now), the better. Could we please get the default version of FR turned on until William Pietri and his team are done with our customized version? NW (Talk) 19:22, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe it is a shame that so long after August 2009, IPs (Wikipedia:Sock puppetry) can still publish on the main page their: "Hello", "'I' was here", "'NNN' is gay", changing numbers (so destroying datasets), hate pages of BLPs, and so on... Of course, sometimes it gets only 90 seconds live; but it is still a major misuse of donations and voluntary work time,... --Chris.urs-o (talk) 10:15, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Image Dumps

Hello Jimmy wales, Please provide Image dumps. We can use it for our personal purposes. Please restart the image dumping. They do not need to be under CC-BY-SA and We don't need it in that license. We will check license for public uses and We will not use them if we are not permitted according to the license. Please provide us image dumps Please!...... Many get uses by it. Rishikeshan (talk) 13:47, 25 April 2010 (UTC)Rishikeshan

Hi, I'm not the right person to ask about this, as I have no information about it, nor any direct control of it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:35, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Complaint against "user Direktor" again

Jimbo declines to intervene; please find a more appropriate venue for this
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Resolved: Jimbo declines to get involved; please take to a more appropriate venue
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Sorry if I complain again against user:DIREKTOR and his group of meatpuppets (like user:AlasdairGreen27). The problem is based on the fact that they already behave like "owners" of, and scare whoever (admin or user) wants to post something they don't like on articles related to communist Yugoslavia and Tito. Please read how quicky their "freindly" administrators moved to help them here: [2]. Sincerely--TrisR41 (talk) 16:24, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

As one of the freindly admins, I would note that TrisR41 is a self proclaimed (see User page) block evading sock of BisR41, whose only edits were to this page calling for the banning of User:DIREKTOR. Although DIREKTOR has had been sanctioned in the past for their own nationalistic pov policy violations, the campaign to have him removed (mostly because he is a Communist, or is at least represented as such) is somewhat counter productive; I have sanctioned DIREKTOR in the past, but now find myself mostly in the position of trying to limit the damage and disruption created by a group of editors who disdain his contributions to the encyclopedia LessHeard vanU (talk) 17:52, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
That is not true: admin LessHeard vanU (with others like admin Excirial, Johnsson, etc...) has ALWAYS helped the six-times-banned user DIREKTOR every time he requested help to attack those who disagree with his communist & ethnic-nationalist POVs. See what just has happened with user:FkpCascais, blocked for complaining about verbal offenses from meatpuppets of DIREKTOR. He is offended and who is blocked? FkpCascais. Unbelievable! Wikipedia needs to grow in a "peaceful" relationship between users; and this DIREKTOR is always fighting with someone (just look at his talkpage and contributions).
See User_talk:BisR41. A good faith new account who has a grudge with DIREKTOR on his first post? Not a chance. The new version is a self-proclaimed sockpuppet of that sockpuppet account. I'm not sure how many of them are blocked by now, but the amount is substantial. Oh and Jimbo, you might want to hand out a few blocks yourself in this case. Half the admin population apparently consists out of meat puppets ^^. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 18:54, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, this post of admin Excirial shows how deep is the problem here. I guess only a few admin are helping the group of DIREKTOR and his meatpuppets (may be half a dozen, certainly not half the total!)....and all seems with communist and/or yugoslavian "roots". I remember that months ago DIREKTOR wanted that one of his group could be nominated administrator...and now here we have Excirial....the problem is getting worse! For example: who dares to post something against their dear Tito? He will end attacked with edit wars like many users (the list of these wikipedians is very long.....but some admins don't care about: they only "like" to block whoever disagrees with DIREKTOR's group).
Or... DIREKTOR gets blocked or othewise sanctioned when he violates policy (or ArbCom rulings, etc) whereas there is a concerted campaign by some editors to have DIREKTOR removed from the project only because of his pov and alleged alliances (witness the oblivious noting of D's supposed ethnic and political orientation as justification for their complaint). As long as D's pov is incorporated per WP:DUE and WP:RS, then he can edit the articles as he sees fit. It is, after all, how WP is supposed to work.LessHeard vanU (talk) 19:49, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Have you ever considered that some people just dislike sockpuppets who's only intend seems to be attacking other editors?
For the record: I am not a communist, and i have no Yugoslavian roots, i have had no previous dealings with DIREKTOR as far as i can remember, and frankly i only vaguely associate the name "Tito" with Yugoslavia as being the ruler of that country before it dissolved for whatever reason there was - for further details i would have to read the article as i only received summary coverage of it in college. In other words i really don't care the conflict is about, and i don't care what people decide to be consensus. What i DO care about the way it is fought. Sockpuppets, Harassment and edit wars are big no-go's in my eyes. In other words, those actions won't result in me having good faith in your intentions. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 21:36, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Since my name has been involved in this discussion, I feel free to say a word or two. Despite not knowing the exact reasons behind this user, Tris41, complains (I have an idea but it is not the occasion to enter in details here), I simply want to say that many of his complains make perfect sence. He may not allways choose the best words or arguments but he is right about a number of issues he has been posting here. I have been experiencing this increadible behavior on part of this people and the way they are protected is really unbeleavable. I wouldn´t mind if that was just about "protection", we all have our preferencies, it´s human, but it isn´t just about that, and their actions already made a number of innocent victims. I even receved threats not to complain any more... Someone should really take a look to this situation because I see nothing but harm to WP. I am avaliable for any further clarifications. Best regards, FkpCascais (talk) 19:43, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Where DIREKTOR violates policy, he gets sanctioned - see his block log. Bis/TrisR41's concerns are that DIREKTOR is permitted to edit to his own preferences, which a number of editors do not care for. Providing DIREKTOR edits within policy there are no grounds to have him blocked or banned, regardless of his personal views. I realise that this makes those admins who apply policy in this matter unpopular to these unhappy editors, but that is the situation. LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:00, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, I am not a "unhappy" editor, and the problem is not only direktor or just his edits... FkpCascais (talk) 20:12, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
@User:Excirial, can you please respect the comments order and don´t add comments in between? It may not be the case, but such edit can change the sence of further comments... You can answer anyway (using @ or there are also other ways), despite having comments in between, or you can begin a new section, if appropriate. It would be appreciated if you corrected that. Thank you. FkpCascais (talk) 21:48, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
@User:TrisR41 please don´t forget to sign your comments. Thank you. FkpCascais (talk) 21:50, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
The usage of indention shows if something is a direct response to a certain comment, which allows for a more structured discussion. Adding comments "In between" is extremely common (Just have a look at ANI and you can see plenty of examples) while using @ on the other hand isn't. The "Why" behind that is easy; Using @ only allows for a single discussion threat to run at a time. If i wanted to reply to a user half a page up posting it at the bottom might very well interrupt another discussion in progress as people might have moved to a different topic. If several editors did this the discussion would become unreadable Example:(@ User1 up 4 comments, " What do you think of" (Next comment) @ User10 up 5 comments "That is a great joke!" (Next comment) @ user17 up 20 comments "I don't agree with you"). Have a look at WP:INDENT as well. Excirial (Contact me,Contribs) 22:19, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
lol, that was a great explanation Exciral, :) , thanx! But, are you sure your exemple is good for this case? I´m saying this because the exemple you gave (user 1, 10, 17...), that conversation is completely not impossible... It even makes some logic... FkpCascais (talk) 01:16, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, none of this seems to have anything to do with me at this point. :) So I'll leave you all to it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:43, 27 April 2010 (UTC) {----

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wikipedia is racist

Look at the homepage where it has a Today's featured picture showing President Idi Amin. It makes him look dumb on purpose. This is racist. The Queen of England would never have this done to her by Wikipedia. Do this to the King of Thailand and you will be jailed. Please change this featured picture. This drawing is also in the Idi Amin article.

If you do not respond, this will mean that it is ok to put cartoon drawings for any and all national leaders. This is not a threat but a way for you, if you are too busy, not to waste your precious time yet still give a defacto answer. I understand that you are a busy world famous technical guru and leader of the biggest website in the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Assorg (talkcontribs) 03:32, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

It's an unflattering caricature. The King of Thailand's role in supporting a military coup that has resulted in ongoing unrest is also worthy of derision. Electroshoxcure (talk) 03:50, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia is not censored which states, Wikipedia may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive, even exceedingly so (see Wikipedia:Content disclaimer). Anyone can edit an article, and changes made are displayed immediately, so Wikipedia cannot guarantee that articles or images will always be acceptable to all readers, or that they will adhere to general social or religious norms.. --Morenooso (talk) 04:30, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
it is ok to put cartoon drawings for any and all national leaders : Yes it is. Welcome to freedom of speech. --Cyclopiatalk 08:47, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I disagree with all the responses so far. First, "worthy of derision" is not a concept with any validity whatsoever in the Wikipedia context. Second WP:NOTCENSORED is only a valid response to the notion that Wikipedia should be censored, which was not suggested in this context. Third, I think it fairly obvious that we would not, and should not, typically use a caricature as the primary photo of anyone. There could be exceptions, but as a general rule, a caricature as the primary illustration for a "straight" article (i.e. not one about the caricature itself, etc.) is simply not right - there is too great a risk of bias.
The key to neutrality is that it is neither desirable nor necessary for Wikipedia to mock or "deride" an unpopular figure, no matter how much we think that unpopularity is morally correct. All that is necessary and proper for Wikipedia is to neutrally present the facts. In the case of Idi Amin, the facts themselves are sufficient to convict him in any rational person's mind as not heroic.
Finally, to answer the specific allegation raised by the original poster, I think this would not be a case of racism... that Mr. Amin was African is not likely to be the cause of this problem. However, I do agree that it is a problem, and call on those who had an initial "knee jerk" defense of it to think a little more about it. The question is not "are we allowed to do this?" The question is not "should Wikipedia be censored?" The question is: "what is the best and most neutral and high quality thing for us to do?"--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:32, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Important amendment: I see that I overlooked one important detail. This is a "Featured Picture" not "Featured Article". Therefore, assuming the caricature itself is of suitable historic importance for some reason, it is perfectly fine to feature it. I still think that WP:NOTCENSORED is not the best response to the concern raised. And I absolutely still think that "worthy of derision" is correct. However, I no longer disagree with Cyclopedia, because in the context of featured picture, of course it would be OK to feature a caricature of any world leader, assuming the picture is actually worthy of being featured of course!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:34, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
There's far too much hagiography and censorship on Wikipedia. What's needed are more accurate descriptions of historical figures, their accomplishments good and bad, and their significance. Idi Amin was a brutal African dictator. If his article doesn't get that across then it needs to be fixed. Neutral Point of View requires the inclusion of negative as well as positive achievements. Electroshoxcure (talk) 16:20, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree that there's any hagiography or censorship. Go and look at the Idi Amin article right now. Neutrality is sufficient, we don't need to bash people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:03, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed the Idi Amin article seems okay and gets across his historical role, although the text could certainly be improved and organized better, but that you don't see problems with promotional advocacy or censorship here is frightening. Electroshoxcure (talk) 17:20, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

This conversation has caught my interest, Mr. Wales. Not so much thesubstance of it, but in your usage of the word fact. I'm curious, can you explain how you'd define this word in the context of Wikipedia? There seems to be quite a bit of confusion over it, and I'd like to understand it from your point of view. Zaereth (talk) 17:54, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

I am not Jimbo, but as I understand it, when he says, "all that is necessary and proper for Wikipedia is to neutrally present the facts," he uses "facts" as shorthand for "material published by verifiable reliable sources." Crum375 (talk) 17:59, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
As do I. Zaereth (talk) 18:00, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
That's a very big and deep question, which I'd best decline to answer in the general case unless I put in plenty of effort. However, in the context of this particular conversation only, I can say that I was not thinking specifically of "material published by verifiable sources" (though I'm of course in favor of us doing that!) but rather of the distinction between "factual" writing and "polemical" writing.
If I were to write an opinion editorial about Idi Amin, I would likely say something like "Idi Amin was an evil man and a brutal dictator. The world is better off without him, and those like him, with their hands on the levers of power. I hope that broader access to education and knowledge will play some small role at least in toppling tyrants everywhere." If I were to write an encyclopedic biography about Idi Amin, I would likely say something like "Amin's rule was characterised by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000[1] to 500,000." I would want to back up each and every one of those assertions with the highest quality source that I could find.
My own personal view of human knowledge is that reality does in fact exist, and that it is - with effort - knowable. There are facts of reality, and we can know those facts of reality. This says little, though, about how we might best productively work together best - and much of Wikipedia policy is designed to both strive for an accurate representation of the facts of reality... and the peaceful generation of consensus statements by people who may not always agree on all those facts.
In my speeches I often give an example of two people who may disagree about abortion. They may never agree on some aspects of the issue. But they can agree on things like "The Catholic Church position on abortion is X" and "Opponents have criticised this position on the grounds of Y" and so on. Those things have two great merits: they are facts, and they are facts that nearly everyone can agree upon.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:16, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
What people on opposite sides of the fence would agree on is "X has written A", and "Y has written B." It then requires give-and-take and consensus to decide how to best summarize A and B, and how to put them in perspective relative to each other. The problem with the word "fact" is that it connotes the existence of some ultimate "truth", or that one published view is "better" than another, while our content policies only recognize verifiable reliable sources, and the relative prevalence of their views. Crum375 (talk) 18:27, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your response, Mr. Wales. That also goes along with my knowledge of encyclopedic writing. Thanks for your response Crum, for I understand your concerns. I'm sure if you look at the sources I've left you all on literary journalism that they'll indicate there is no "ultimate truth" in encyclopedic writing. I'll leave this quote again, in case you missed it before:
We journalists often take ourselves too seriously and, when we do, we talk about our mission to communicate truth and our duty to report with objectivity. Truth, however, is elusive. Because truth deals with conclusions and values, each of us have a different idea of what truth is and what it isn't.
It is journalism's job to provide facts, concepts, ideas and emotions --as we sense them-- but not conclusions. Conclusions are what the reader, listener or viewer comes to.
Objectivity, which is supposed to be the soul of journalism, simply does not exist. The moment a reporter uses his or her sense of newsworthiness to decide what to keep in his story and what to leave out, objectivity has vanished. What passes for objectivity becomes the reporter taking the job of a tape recorder, methodically taking down what was said and making no effort to check its veracity. Nor does such a "reporter" make any effort to get another point of view.
Better that we, as journalists, pursue attainable goals; accuracy, balance and fairness without bias. That we can do. Not only can we; we must. --Robert M. Knight
Once again, thanks for your response Mr. Wales, and sorry to bother you. Zaereth (talk) 18:50, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

Faux News accuses Wikipedia of being a child-porn distributor has the Foundation's official response to this
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Any comment? (talk) 23:26, 27 April 2010 (UTC)

If you actually read the article, you'll see that it is Larry Sanger, not Fox News, that is making the accusation. In any case, it is weeks-old news. You can read more about it here: Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2010-04-12/Sanger_allegations.
I'm attributing it to Fox because I don't want to violate WP:BLP. (talk) 23:43, 27 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm also "one little admin here", but Sanger probably wrote or contributed to some of our major policies, so he's hardly unaware of them. It follows that he will either subscribe to them, or suffer the consequences. I have no fear of what he might do to me, since my health issues tend to prescribe my abilities. But if my last action here before I conk out is to block any editor for major breach of non-negotiable policies, then I'm perfectly happy to let that be my epitaph. At least people will say "he did what was right". Rodhullandemu 00:27, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Also, the article says that "Wikimedia Commons" is the parent company of Wikipedia. If they can make a mistake like that, then... well... I wouldn't worry too much. --Deskana (talk) 11:56, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Block Larry Sanger?

  • I was just on the verge of blocking Mr. Sanger, for what seems to me like a violation of no legal threats, but frankly I'm just one little admin here and I don't want to be at the center of a firestorm. However I thought I might bring this to your attention to see if you had any comment on Mr. Sanger retaining his editing privileges here. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:18, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Don't do that. Prodego talk 00:21, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Why not? He's clearly not a productive editor here, the opposite in fact, and that he has access to some publicity should not prevent us from doing the right thing. I'm going to get some sleep now, but if in the next 24 hours nobody gives me a good reason for retaining his account, I'll block it indefinitely. Rodhullandemu 00:27, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
It's a sticky question to be sure. On the one hand it could be viewed as petty, but on the other hand wouldn't we block anyone else who was actively involved in trying to get WP busted by the FBI without a second thought? That's why I'm trying to kick this decision up the food chain a bit, it's probably not something that should be done by a single rank and file admin. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:29, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
It's only sticky because of who Sanger is and the power he thinks he has. His animus to us since he left, however that happened, is patent and he comes across like a kid who didn't get the candy he thought he deserved. If he wants to whinge elsewhere, he can do that, but his presence here is disruptive and anathema, and I don't see any reason why we here should give him the platform or the time of day. And it's exactly the sort of thing that should be done by a single admin, because this project is about its people and its principles. It's not about "kicking it upstairs", because doing so is an abdication of the judgement accorded to admins, although the drarmahh here is such that it wouldn't end there. My feeling is that it should. Rodhullandemu 00:39, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

James Marsh's comments are spot on:

“As Wikipedia becomes an authoritative source in law, politics and news, it makes a great target and medium for people with all kinds of questionable agendas.”

“Wikipedia is like the Wizard of Oz. You never know exactly who is standing behind that green curtain. And that’s the real risk here.”

Advocacy, propagandizing, and other efforts at perverting content by individuals and groups is a very serious problem and its something that Jimbo and other Wikipedia higher ups do not appear to take seriously. On the contrary, admin and editor cliques regularly collaborate to advance their personal agendas. The inappropriate content and BLP problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Electroshoxcure (talk) 00:42, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

don't block He is not an idiot. Blocking him will probably play into his hand. Drawing more publicity to a non-issue. Personally since he is not your average troll blocking him is proably best for ARBCOM to decide. Weaponbb7 (talk) 00:44, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
This is my concern as well. Blocking Sanger likely would generate additional media attention and come across to many as an attempt to silence a prominent critic. Allowing him to retain his editing privileges probably harms the project substantially less than removing them would. —David Levy 00:55, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Blocking is commonly used on wikipedia to silence critics, so nothing new to see here. Malleus Fatuorum 01:16, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
He hasn't made any legal threats per WP:NLT. He has made a report to the FBI. You can't block someone for informing a law enforcement agency about something which they consider may be an offense. It is up to the agency to deal with as they see fit. Ty 01:23, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Don't do it. It would help him through the argument of "See, I even got blocked from the site" as well as per Malleus. It's a stupid idea IMHO. Not much good could come out of it.--White Shadows you're breaking up 01:24, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I believe that a block here would be appropiate. Larry Sanger believes he's more important than he actually is so his yelling and screaming about being blocked from a website he's reported to the FBI will be nothing more than headlines on TMZ. If a block does blow up into a some "media whirlwind", eventually it will come out that Wikipedia has a policy against legal threats against the site meaning the editors (not the foundation itself) simply followed that policy. Malleus makes a good point as well, Sanger is no longer a member of the foundation and is simply another editor thus he should be treated like another editor.--Giants27(Contribs|WP:CFL) 01:34, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, he should be treated just like any other editor, but we don't block people simply for being dicks, otherwise this place would be come a ghost town. If a policy line is crossed, it can be dealt with appropriately. Absent that, a block right now simply smacks of pettiness and cowardice. Tarc (talk) 01:46, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I agree, he hasn't actually "done" anything yet. You might call WP:NLT on him, but he technically hasn't made a threat. He took an action. Those are, sort of, different things. SilverserenC 01:48, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
My 0.02... I am a county-level law enforcement officer. This situation would be similar to a former chief of police getting pulled over for, say, aggressive driving. Law enforcement officers (admins) have "police discretion" on pretty much all matters of whether to arrest/not arrest, write moving violation/not write moving violation, etc., etc. In our hypothetical traffic stop of former police chief Sanger, the admin has him pulled over for multiple moving violations, some of which are arrestable (blockable) offenses. Now (I haven't seen the diff for what's going on, but...), if former police chief Sanger is being a d***) and throwing his weight around (i.e., "Don't you know who I am..."), the police officer is in a predicament because of the political repercussions. Although the officer (admin) is within his rights to take whatever action is prudent, the former police chief still has political pull within the county, so the best course of action would be to call the 10-car (the duty sergeant...or perhaps the nearest 'crat in our case). Because we aren't privy to all the intricacies of the domestic dispute between Sanger and WP, we don't know what the legal repercussions would be (if any...or it could be the end of the world as we know it. So, in cases like this, it is always better to pass the buck, so to speak, which is exactly what the admin involved is doing. --It's me...Sallicio! 02:44, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Well put. I think it's pretty clear that Larry Sanger is doing this for the press, I have not seen any indication he tried to resolve this with the foundation or Commons before writing a letter to the FBI and making sure that the TV news people knew he had done so. That makes it part of the seemingly never-ending grudge/feud/whatever between himself and both Jimbo and the project as a whole. While I do firmly believe that he has violated NLT, I am also cognizant of the way this could reflect on WP, and it may even give Larry another chance to play the victim for the press. Therefore it seemed best to bring it here. As to the substance of the claim, that he violated NLT, we normally block people just for saying they are going to take any kind of action involving the law toward WP. NLT is quite clear: "it is required that you do not edit Wikipedia until the legal matter has been resolved to ensure that all legal processes happen via proper legal channels." Mr. Sanger reported Wikipedia to the FBI for what most people would consider a damn serious charge. Distribution of child pornography is something law enforcement officials take a very dim view of, with good reason. As I've said, I think Mr. Sanger is more interested in publicity for Citizendiom, which he was careful to plug in his letter despite it's utter lack of relevance to the matter supposedly being reported. That in no way diminishes the seriousness of the accusation. Beeblebrox (talk) 03:43, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Get over yourselves. This is real life, not part of your wikigame. @Sallico, your analogy is ridiculous and contrived. You forgot to mention that the ex police chief wasn't pulled over for speeding - he was pulled over for expressing a concern to the proper authorities that his ex colleagues were involved in the distribution of child pornography, and his ex colleagues are the ones who have just stopped him. They are the ones getting the nightsticks out as they exit the vehicle. @Beeblebrox, stop fitting policies to your prejudices. Sanger didn't make legal threats, and he isn't taking legal action. It isn't his case, it's the FBI vs wiki, if they choose to pursue it at all. Given wikis response, that a community, even a community of wikipedians, has some say in what can be considered child pornography, I think he made the right decision. Wikipedia has not shown it is capable to taking a responsible attitude, especially where children are concerned. Weakopedia (talk) 04:50, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
While there are no vandals associated with this discussion, I suggest that WP:DENY is still applicable and the issue should be dropped. Blocking Sanger (even for a few minutes) would be massively unhelpful to Wikipedia and massively helpful to Sanger. Johnuniq (talk) 04:46, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm not exactly sure how my response is "contrived," but whatever. The analogy is sound. Police = Admin. Breaking law = breaking policy. Action or inaction. It seems pretty simple and easy to follow. My point was: do nothing about the "Sanger Situation" except notify the powers that be, because the issue lies many, many pay grades above an admin. Seems simple enough to me, but what do I know --It's me...Sallicio! 06:28, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
First, did he make any legal threats on Wikipedia via his account here? And reading it, I think the "WP:no legal threats" policy speaks of litigation (civil suits filed personally) - I highly doubt it's a "don't call the police" policy. Wnt (talk) 08:12, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Blocking under WP:NLT is commonly misunderstood. It is taken to mean "you did something bad by making a legal threat - we block you as punishment because legal threats are not allowed". That is not the right attitude. If you are genuinely libelled, a legal threat is an entirely legitimate response. The reason we block you is because legal disputes cannot be resolved on wiki. Thus as long as litigation is a possibility, it is not appropriate for the complainant to continue to interact on wiki. Sanger has made no legal threat. He has not stated any intention to sue Wikipedia or any Wikipedian. He has not indicated any person legal dispute with Wikipedia. He has only stated he is of the opinion that certain things may be illegal. Now, either he is wrong or he is right - but that's a decision for the FBI and the WMF to make - it is not a legal dispute between Sanger and anyone.--Scott Mac 08:52, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Precisely. Perfect condensation of the points, Scott. SilverserenC 08:55, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict... it's also not something to be resolved with "open letters" on Wikipedia talk pages) I don't get it. Sanger's seemingly willful refusal to understand American child porn laws, and the flamboyantly demonstrative, alarmist way of going about complaining, are too convenient a fit with his other protests that Jimbo and the rest of Wikipedia are on the wrong track. Although the substance of his ostensible gripe this time looks like something on the losing side of a 1950s free speech/censorship incident -- complaining about widely available 100-year-old mainstream images -- it's not the content of his soap boxing per se but rather the fact that he is using Wikipedia as a soapbox and then making a publicity stunt out of it. If he wishes to call a legal complaint, however misguided, to the attention of the appropriate officials he either has or can google contact information for Mike Godwin and the local court house. Going straight to the press with this, and posting open letters on assorted Wikipedia pages, are achieve only attention, not resolution. All the same, is there any reason why we can't just ignore it and archive or delete it if he posts anything inappropriate? Is he causing any active disruption here that needs to be stopped? - Wikidemon (talk) 11:33, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
There it is. Using Wikipedia as a platform for open letters to the WMF isn't appropriate. Remove them, and remind him of the e-mail and fax numbers of the WMF. We are not a bulletin board. Open letters to the community inviting them to consider some aspect community of policy or practice are fair enough - we all do that all the time. However, attempts to use Wikipedia to contact the WMF are misguided - and the person should be redirected to the proper channels. Blocking is, however, unnecessary. His posts are misdirected and perhaps misinformed (ymmv) they are not, however, disruptive of community activity.--Scott Mac 11:52, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Turning round again with a One, Two, Three, he jumped up, but with no greater success. Again and again he tried after the tempting morsel, but at last had to give it up, and walked away with his nose in the air, saying: "I am sure they are sour." — Coren (talk) 11:26, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Invitation to the Guild of Copy Editors Backlog Elimination Drive

Hi Jimmy, I'd like to cordially invite you to participate in the WikiProject Guild of Copy Editors May 2010 Backlog Elimination Drive. There is currently a backlog of over 8,000 articles with the {{copyedit}} tag, and we'd like to improve the general quality of the encyclopedia by clearing the entire backlog, if we can. While I realize that you are busy, I'd like to invite you to sign up for the event and then symbolically copyedit a single article. Your participation will inspire others to get involved, and the overall quality of the encyclopedia will benefit. Thanks for your time. ɳorɑfʈ Talk! 03:08, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

Nice participation in America: The Story of Us

I saw your little speach about giving knowladge to the world after it described the post system after the Boston Massacre. While this page is for serious wiki problems, I just want to say that you did well there. Are you going to appear in any other episodes? Buggie111 (talk) 18:18, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

The interview was wide-ranging and the producers told me I appear throughout the entire thing, more or less. Not necessarily every episode. Anyway, thank you for your praise, it means a lot to me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:29, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

I saw this as well, and was impressed. Apparently, it was a record for the History Channel (despite criticism that it featured "too many celebrities"). Not sure if you consider yourself a celebrity (in or out of Wikipedia) or not, but I'm happy with the idea of being a bit more mainstream to generate interest in history. I look forward to seeing you again on Sunday. bahamut0013wordsdeeds 12:11, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Addendum/P.S.: did you get the chance to interact with the other guest speakers?
No, I don't consider myself a celebrity, haha. I hope I'm not, anyway. I didn't get to interact with anyone else - we just filmed it in New York.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:12, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Your date of birth

Hi there Jimbo. Over the past few months, I've read a couple of news articles which state that the date of birth stated in Jimmy Wales is different to the one you actually quote. We've just had this thread on the talk page of your biographical article - inconsistent dates for your DOB really needs to be fixed. Have you got any reliable sources for your date of birth? If not, would you be willing to forward your birth certificate (or other appropriate documentation) to OTRS so we can finally put this issue to bed? Quite frankly, I couldn't care less on what exact date you were born, but I understand the concerns that we can't even get our founder's birth date correct. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 00:27, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Just to add, I've just been told that there's some history involved here (which I wasn't aware of). Please be assured that I ask this in the utmost good faith - I was merely responding to a couple of news stories I've read and then the talk page discussion I saw. I'm certainly not trying to dig up old wounds. If you want me to desist, then that's absolutely fine - I just think that there must be a way to solve this once and for all. Kindest regards, Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 00:52, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

This is navel-gazing beyond all reasonable belief. I have no wish to weigh in on Talk:Jimmy Wales because it's simply a waste of time. And Jimbo's birth certificate, as far as he is concerned, is hearsay evidence, or at best a self-published source. We deal with ambiguities in birthdates, such as those at Ludwig van Beethoven and George Harrison by using appropriately sourced footnotes, and I see no reason why this (with the utmost respect) should be a special case. If it's moot, let it be moot, as long as we reliably source some reasonable approximation, bearing in mind that that verifiability trumps truth here. There are thousands of articles requiring serious attention out there. This is not one of them. Rodhullandemu 01:03, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I have solution that will solve it for once and for all; Jimbo, I have a friend who works in a carbon dating lab. If you are prepared to provide a sample of tissue, your date of birth can easily be pinned down to within about 16 years, although the downside is that you might end up being cloned. Up to you, of course. Rodhullandemu 01:47, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Why do you have to weigh in with a sarcastic comment aiming to mock my question? I asked it in good faith in hope to solve a problem. All too often in this place I see people jumping in with sarcastic diatribes when someone is asking a legitimate question. People wouldn't do that in real life - It's the bravado that people get from hiding behind a screen and they most probably lack the same confidence in real life. Specifically Rodhullandemu, I've seen this far too many times from you with different users - it's certainly not what's expected from administrators so knock it off. Ryan PostlethwaiteSee the mess I've created or let's have banter 11:38, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate what you're saying here Ryan. People are sarcastic much too often. Humor can help in many situations, but it has to be used carefully because it can begin to overshadow legitimate questions and legitimate work.
According to my mother and father, I was born August 7th. I celebrate on the 7th. But all my legal documents say August 8th. I only discovered this when I was 14 and gathered my documentation for the first time to apply for a driving learner's permit upon my 15th birthday. I actually was turned away on August 7th because I wasn't legally old enough. I'm guilty of tongue-in-cheek humor about it.  :-)
It was late at night, around 11:30PM. The doctor probably got back to his office a few hours later, misremembered the time, wrote down the wrong date. As I was the first child, and knowing my mother in particular, I trust her memory. Mothers do take note of such things, more accurately that doctors on long shifts.
My mother prefers that the article simply says the 7th, perhaps with a footnote explaining that the legal date is the 8th. There is reliable source - a newspaper as I recall - who looked up the driver's license records and has the 8th. If you want to edit my biography, be aware that there are SPA accounts (one in particular) who do nothing else except attempt to cast every detail of my life (even my birthday) in the most negative possibly light, for example quoting a tabloid/fashion magazine for details of my life that are completely false.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:33, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but your mum's a primary source with a clear conflict of interest ... just not good enough, I'm afraid!   pablohablo. 01:20, 1 May 2010 (UTC)


Congratulations on participated into the the advertising campaign by Maurice Lacroix :) I just saw the advertisement in one of the most popular Polish daily newspapers Rzeczpospolita and my first thought was Hm, who is that man? I know him! ;) Kubek15 write/sign 10:43, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

New York Times

I don't know if you are already aware of this, but the New York Times claims (in the fourth to last paragraph) we are currently using flagged revisions and that it has caused "a steady desertion by amateur editors and an increasing dominance by experts." Just thought I'd let you know... Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 20:11, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

It seems very strange to me that an article about the competion between socialist and democratic political systems would ignore the cultural genocide being carried out in China against minority groups (ethnic cleansing), the severe social repression and limits on speech there, and the Chinese communist government's support for oppressive totalitarian regimes (some of them mentioned elsewhere in the article) that include Myanmar, Sudan, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea. As far as the misleading link in the story, given its long history of fabricated and one-sided stories, it's a serious problem that the New York Times is relied on so heavily here and purported to be a reliable source. After all, this is an encyclopedia building project that is supposed to be aspiring to build and maintain articles that are accurate and represent a neutral point of view. Electroshoxcure (talk) 20:29, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
It's an editorial. Perhaps I should write a response.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any indication that it's an editorial. It seems to be in a section called "currents". Are you perhaps assuming it's an editorial because it reads like an opinion piece rather than an article produced with high quality journalistic reporting? Electroshoxcure (talk) 22:16, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
It is transparently an editorial from the content. I don't agree with your negative assessment of it, even through I disagree with it and it does contain some factual errors. Can you please add an email address to your account?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:24, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The article appears to me to be in the "World section" under the "Americas" subsection and is subtitled as something related to "currents". There is a separate Opinion section, but this article isn't in it (at least as far as I can tell). I agree with you that it's transparently an editorial, but so is most of the content I've read in the New York Times. Is it appropriate to impose our personal standards and appellations on how their content should be cateogrized or do we go by how they market their material?
I suppose I can turn on my e-mail account but my personal preference would be to buck the Wikipedia tide of e-mail lists and off-wiki coordination in favor of greater transparency and accountability. I don't have anything to hide and I think all the secrecy is a rot at the heart of this endeavor. Electroshoxcure (talk) 22:47, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
I disagree that privacy and secrecy are the same thing. You seem to have an axe to grind against the media (or at least the New York Times) randomly editorializing. I'm sure you can also appreciate, then, that they read everything I write publicly. So there are questions that I simply decline to answer publicly unless I'm prepared to make a formal statement with a lot of work and consultation with a lot of people. However, I'm a normal person, and I like to have normal conversations with people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:37, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
When semi-protection was activated years ago there were also articles that foretold the end of Wikipedia.   Will Beback  talk  22:19, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The trend of decline in contributor and article growth here has been reported on frequently (for example: [3] and [4]) and typically focuses on the oppressive bureaucracy and the often abusive administration practices carried out here by the Wikipedia regulars. I'm not sure what the opinions in the NYT story are based on but, as is often the case with stories in that paper, they don't seem to have much basis in reality. Electroshoxcure (talk) 22:31, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, I never understood why the press is considered a reliable source at all. I don't involve myself in politics and rarely read the "traditional media" at all, but if coverage of society and politics in the press is anywhere near the quality of science reporting, I'm surprised the Times hasn't yet published an article on how François Mitterrand was just elected emperor of New Jersey. Our own guidelines on reliable sources insist on peer reviewed publication or publishers with a "history of fact checking"; I've not seen a television network or print newspaper that qualified under either. — Coren (talk) 23:13, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
According to present policy, Fox News is a "reliable source" on Erik Moeller's views in his BLP (if we have one, I haven't checked). Reading English Wikipedia sometimes seems like reading a press review rather than like reading an encyclopedia. I am not sure we can do without the press altogether (think court reporting, or popular music), but we could think about privileging scholarly sources more strongly against press sources. That's a policy that the German Wikipedia has followed for some time (in particular, privileging scholarly sources where scholarly sources and press sources are in conflict), with good results. --JN466 03:48, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
[5] While I agree that the coverage Erik received in Fox News is unfair, there are no doubt hundreds of other BLP subjects out there who have received similarly unfair press coverage. They get to have it in their Wikipedia biography, but when it is one of "our own", the article gets protected for a month to prevent addition of the controversial material. Sorry, this is too easy a solution, and it is intellectually dishonest. --JN466 21:56, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, since you mention systems that "ignore the cultural genocide in China"—we could do with another pair of eyes on this draft article* (updated link to Article Incubator), which is currently not welcome in mainspace; it's the outcome of this moderated discussion, following on from an earlier AE thread against the editor who wrote it. --JN466 03:48, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
That was the comment above Jimbo's... Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 04:26, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
You're right. It was late. :) --JN466 09:06, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
What a crappy New York Times article. They start out praising China (I assume) for "low levels of corruption... and a secure pension system" (!) (cf. [6] [7]). And on Wikipedia they link to Flagged revisions in the sentence, "Wikipedia has added new layers of rules and editing, and the result has been a steady desertion by amateur editors and an increasing dominance by experts." ... but flagged revisions hasn't started yet, and whatever Wikipedia's current disease is, it began sometime in 2007. And then for the crowning touch, they say "Web sites are now considering whether to require... real names". Gee, I'm waiting with baited breath to see how this works out for Citizendium.
Any time the NYT wants, I'll write them a better editorial about something more substantive, and most other editors of Wikipedia could do the same. Wnt (talk) 20:24, 30 April 2010 (UTC)
They have started on the german wikipedia. The results don't look good.©Geni 11:12, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
User:Geni, could you explain where do you see that the results of flagged revision do not look good on German Wikipedia? It is live on German Wikipedia since August 2008! It is true, a second opinion tends to be conservative for good faith edits, but obvious, clear cases of vandalism get less, I assume. If it does not get the main page, there is no point to vandalise. The disease of Wikipedia is its success. It gets many hits. I believe, interest groups want to publish their message too, and disturb the voluntary work, tiring editors looking for consensus. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 18:49, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I had a look at here and here, I'll look later again. I believe that they are ok and sysops of the German Wikipedia are less stressed. I believe that: vandals are not new Wikipedians and reverts and undoes are not new articles or new edits. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 10:14, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Unexplained deletion of cited material on Bianca Jagger's article

Jimbo, hello. While doing some work on the WP Musicans page, I saw your request concerning Bianca Jagger. Specifically, you mentioned that in 1981 she had an encounter with a death squad. I found two reliable sources and documented what your diff in this section on the article talkpage Talk:Bianca_Jagger#New_section_added_2010-05-01_concerning_an_event_related_to_Jimbo_Wales. I previewed the citations to one admin but this morning a different admin, Arthur Rubin reverted the cited text added to her article without an edit summary. In private to the first admin, who I don't want to disclose at this time, I identified one problem with her article: there seems to be detractors who do not want to see her image changed. Whether it because they resent her, think Jagger is just a jet-setter or phony, I am not sure but those seem to be the main camps for the detractors. If you could look at the deletion, I will post on the talkpage that an unexplained revert took place. Thanks in advance, --Morenooso (talk) 16:08, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

The second admin, Arthur Rubin, also reverted 14 citations I provided concerning Jagger's awards. I documented all my work on her talkpage and the 14 award citations have been on her article for the last three days. --Morenooso (talk) 16:17, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

About some negative processes in the Russian Wikipedia and in the Ukrainian Wikipedia

Dear Sir:

Let me propose you to read the following messages:

"About bulling",
"About defamation",
"About disinformation",
"About kompromat",
"About psychological trauma",
"About defamation (II)",
"About bullying (II)",
"About incitement to ethnic hatred".

The mentioned messages are written by me. They are in Wikimedia Forum, and concern some negative processes which take place in the Russian Wikipedia or in the Ukrainian Wikipedia.

My native language is the Russian language. Therefore, execuse me if you find a mistake or mistakes here.

My real name is Галактион Терёшин, and my real IP-adress is (talk) 16:32, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Just curious...

After reading Wikipedia:Role of Jimmy Wales and noticing that the quotes there of yours tend to be over a year old at least, especially about what is to happen "in case of your untimely death", I was curious if you have had more thoughts about what will happen if you should feel you want to "retire" or heaven-forbid something causes you to be unable to be active here. History is full of benevolent dictators, philosopher kings, and beloved manor owners whose successor (even though "trained" by the beloved one) ends up being arrogant, unloved, and often a revolt occurs. (For examples see: Stephen van Rensselaer and the Anti-Rent War; or King Solomon and his successor Rehoboam)Camelbinky (talk) 18:27, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Kira is much smarter than I am. Have no fear. ;-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:05, 2 May 2010 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo. I know this is a hot button for you. An editor is inserting highly critical and contentious material into a BLP, from a non-RS (I believe) article.

The subject of the BLP has already brought a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the article author over his alleged defamation of the subject in his writing. He dropped the suit after a number of years. But now an editor is insisting on putting contentious language from an article by the author into the BLP. I think per various guidelines it should be deleted immediately. The editor edit-wars with me whenever I seek to delete it (or another, well-intentioned editor puts it back in with a "citation needed" notation).

I raised the issue at BLPN, but so far without effect. The matter is discussed here. Many thanks.--Epeefleche (talk) 18:22, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I didn't see anything you wrote on this that I disagree with at all. The source is not good enough.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:05, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Epeefleche here. But unfortunately, anyone who looks at Epeefleche contributions [8] will find that he constantly add materials to biographies of Muslims that cast them as supporting terrorism based on questionable sources like Op/Eds. Now, the case is about Steven Emerson is treated differently by Epeefleche, and to know the reason you have to read that article. --—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 10:06, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo

Jimbo, Have you read or approved this essay? I'm getting pretty tired of people trying to coddle you in what you can or can't respond to. Would you mind clearing this up because frankly everytime someone brings something to your attention someone who disagrees shows us that stupid essay which isn't even policy. Do you really need that level of stewardship or can you take care of your own problems as I believe? Hell In A Bucket (talk) 14:32, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

IIRC, you were pointed to this essay 3 times now (with the Brews ohare thing), and it looks like you indeed "lost" it, as you ended up as "indefinitely restricted from advocacy for or commenting on Brews ohare, broadly construed". DVdm (talk) 14:43, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
At the same time, it should be deleted, as it is wrong in some important particulars and is very often used in a way that is unpleasant for me and for people who are just trying to talk to me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:45, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
It shouldn't be deleted then; it should be edited (and you would be welcome to do that!). WP:ATD. --Cyclopiatalk 14:54, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
And it's not really true: appealing to Mr. Wales often does get him to wade into a dispute. Not always, but often enough to make it a worthwhile course of action for someone unhappy with a decision. Buddy431 (talk) 15:58, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for seeing past the b.s. above Jimbo. It's people like DVDM that make this place a hostile environment to edit in. I appreciate that you added the blurb on the top, that should at least help with the numerous times people throw that around on your page. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 16:07, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia: where genocides are born

See The Destruction of Thracian Bulgarians in 1913 and Genocide of Ottoman Turks and Muslims. The "no consensus defaults to keep" works wonders for the determined POV pushers. Pcap ping 17:35, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

And whatever the merits or faults of these articles is, I agree that no consensus defaults to keep can often if not always be a serious problem, with editors able to just say Keep with no valid policy or guideline reasons and if there are enough of them, voila, no consensus! Dougweller (talk) 17:47, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
If the reverse were the case, the same problem would apply of course. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 21:11, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that "no consensus defaults to keep" can be a problem. I see it often in BLP-related issues. (I haven't reviewed or studied the cases mentioned here.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:11, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Arguments are weighed so just saying "keep" wouldn't be enough. When an AfD outcome is a no consensus determination that is not the end, it just moves the discussion and editing efforts forward in exploring other options for article and content improvement including a possible merge, improved sourcing, trimming, expansion etc. as needed. There are often determined campaigns to get rid of content based on people's POVs so we should continue to be very careful about prematurely throwing out articles and losing content forever when all that's needed is collaborative improvement and appropriate modification. Unpopular subjects are often thrown to AfD immediately before articles on controversial subjects have much time to develop. My comment isn't specifically related to the appropriateness of the subjects noted above because I haven't looked at them or read the articles, but the AfD discussions seem to be progressing appropriately as far as I can tell. Electroshoxcure (talk) 18:25, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Arguments should be weighed, but it doesn't always happen in my experience, yours obviously differs. And you must have seen people arguing for notability, for instance, when it's clear they aren't using the word the way we use it. A large number of Keeps with arguments that are basically 'it's important to me', or 'all these blogs discuss it', and a small number of policy based 'deletes', can end in a no consensus decision. Dougweller (talk) 18:40, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
  • It seems that this is a critique of the closing admin, since it is their job to weigh the arguments, and the voluntary editing ethos of the project, since the admin self selects. I suggest, as is noted elsewhere, that (nearly) all actions can be revisited. If an AfD defaults to keep, and there are concerns that the numbers of those commenting rather than the rationales provided were instrumental in bringing up that decision then there is no impediment to bringing it to AfD again - noting that reference to policy, guideline and practice is paramount. Similarly, AfD's resulting in delete can be taken to DRV where such claims can be tested. Of course, if the same decision by differing admins is the result then the editor needs to review whether it is they who are not as familiar with policy as they thought they were. LessHeard vanU (talk) 18:53, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, the onus is on the closing admin to discount votes that are without merit. However this often does not happen. From my pre-admin days I recall these two afds where users were making up new criteria to keep out of thin air. I don't want to pick on anyone in particular here, but the closing adminupon further review the first afd was closed by a non-admin even came by my talk page to let me know that although I made logical policy based arguments, there were more people on the opposing side so he had no choice but to keep it. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:28, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Not every disagreement with a AfD result is a criticism of the closing admin, though. I genuinely do think that admins are making appropriate close determinations on some BLPs based on current policy but with the net result that the wrong decision is often made to keep, because policy so heavily favors that option - incorrectly I think, in the case of BLPs of borderline notability, I think they have the potential to cause substantial harm and that we should move the goalposts.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:34, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
    • I was commenting specifically on the examples given by Pcap, but there is a general point that the one admin who adjudicates may or may not be as well versed in policy - and trends in applying it - as the situation demands, and also a case may be made that those participating in the debate may not include anyone presenting the most appropriate argument from policy. It is a risk that comes with the nature of Wikipedia; and really it is a testament to the concept and the volunteers that much actually works most of the time. LessHeard vanU (talk) 19:57, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
  • "BLPs of borderline notability": like Boba Phat? Pcap ping 12:51, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

"No consensus defaulting to delete" for BLPs has been proposed multiple times, and always rejected by the community, with good reasons. --Cyclopiatalk 13:15, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Wellllll, maybe, but there have been deletion discussions which have ended in "no consensus" yet the BLP was deleted without much fuss being raised. These may not be the norm, but I think editors in general are becoming more mindful of BLP concerns. With Jimbo onside, I think the tide may be turning. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:46, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
So... "lets ignore the multiple consensuses that occur at the Village Pump and other places because we disagree with and now Jimbo is on our side...". Lovely. I respect Jimbo ALOT and I think he protects Wikipedia from alot of bad that would occur if the "majority" got to have its way without him intervening from time to time... but this is one instance where I think consensus has been right. How many times does consensus have to reject something before the issue is dropped? "Try, try again until the other side gives up"? That's not winning through the force of your arguments, that's making people so disgusted with defending their position that they let you have your way. If you could give bullet points on each and every point as to what you see wrong with borderline BLP's and why they should default to delete instead of keep then I think a proper debate could be had, I for one have never seen one argument for delete that I couldnt have a BETTER counter argument to.Camelbinky (talk) 19:02, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
You seem to be confusing my expression of an opinion with an invitation for an argument, but then again you seem to mistake just about everything as an invitation for an argument... Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:48, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
Please. SilverserenC 20:54, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
The question I posed wasnt for you, Delicious, it was for anyone. If you arent willing to have a debate on your "opinion" and back it up with facts that can be proven/disproven then I dont understand the reason of giving an opinion, Wikipedia doesnt do votes, decisions are based on presenting a case to prove your side, which is called debating, not everyone putting their opinion and counting who voted what. A debate is a legitimate and IMHO the only legitimate way of discussing anything, if you read my post as an argument then you need to read WP:AGF. I can give an "argument" respectfully, debating is a fine gentlemanly exercise that should be used more often in Wikipedia; you give your points and the other side can challenge the legitimacy of them. This isnt a political correctness zone where everyone's opinion is equally legitimate even based on faulty assumptions. My questions still stand and I look forward to ANYONE in answering them and starting a true debate based on the facts and not on opinions.Camelbinky (talk) 23:58, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Bullies don't like consensus unless they can game it with offsite harassment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:23, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Question about Usurpations

I was reading Wikipedia:Changing username/Usurpations, and I really don't understand what the following quote means.

"rare exceptions are made where old edits do not require attribution under the GFDL or CC-BY-SA." -- FreeOpen (talk) 02:19, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

One could argue that some edits are inherently ineligible for copyright, and therefore do not need to be attributed to the user. I believe this would tend to be minor things, such as adding a comma into a sentence. --Deskana (talk) 02:27, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I also believe that a user can state that their contributions are released into the public domain, meaning that they would not require attribution. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 02:39, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Ok, from what I understand that applies to articles. Does that also apply to talk pages and Userpages? -- FreeOpen (talk) 02:45, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I believe so, especially since that it states at the bottom of every page and at the bottom of every edit box that the content is released as such. You may also want to consider asking this at Wikipedia:Help desk. You'll get a much faster, surer, and probably more detailed answer there. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 20:16, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

My problem with wikipedia

Jimbo, Genesis creation myth has been renamed, but the POV pushing continues, because a minority of very pushy editors is insisting that the sources who call it a "myth" are the only correct ones, and all the many sources by prominent theologians we have found speaking for any other POV are simply unworthy of their consideration. Now they are threatening to have me banned from wikipedia because I keep putting an NPOV tag to show that the article is disputed. There have been probably hundreds of editors who have objected to them. But in their fantasy world, there actually is no dispute whatsoever, because anyone who doesn't accept the myth definition hypothesis is simply mistaken, according to them. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 11:00, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

I haven't looked into this at all, although I'm glad to see the title has changed. If you could post just 2-3 diffs showing what you are talking about (not too many please!) that would be helpful. I would hold off on putting that tag there again - the 3 RR is important - and instead make your case that the article is disputed, on the talk page. I should add that I am not here endorsing that you're in the right, or in the wrong - I really haven't looked into this at all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:25, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Til, the POV-tag that you slapped is still there. Nobody is threatening to have you banned. Some contributors pointed to and kindly explained about WP:3RR on your talk page.

Have you ever had a look at WP:Appeals to Jimbo? DVdm (talk) 11:41, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

Could you just read this one section of the debate? Talk:Genesis_creation_narrative#Source_request_again. Slim Virgin asks repeatedly that three "academics" currently working in Universities who disagree with the myth POV be furnished. Even though no other article insists on such high standards of credentials, I eventually supply four academics currently working in Universities who disagree with the myth POV. Slim Virgin's credentials seem to be even higher still, for she denies that they are academics currently working in Universities. I respond that yes, they are academics currently working in Universities, and then the thread just dies with no further response.
Many editors, including myself, would have no problem with the lede saying "Many scholars consider Genesis to be a myth". But that's not good enough, they want it endorsed that Genesis simply "IS" a "myth" (by any definition one cares to choose). The problem is that while this is clearly a "point of view" that not everybody in the field shares, it is being accorded such priority as to redefine other terms such as "neutrality" and "scholar".
That page says that if I appeal to Jimbo, I have already lost. It looks to me like neutrality is losing. I have contributed much to building English wikipedia and African wikipedias. Obviously the African wikipedias don't come right in and indoctrinate the reader in the first sentence of an article with a circular argument like "The Bible is a myth, because it is a myth". But if English wikipedia is going to do that, it is an obvious charade and I will stick to building African wikipedias. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:43, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I've read that section. I think it clear that you've answered SlimVirgin's objection quite persuasively and clearly.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:17, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
How do you mean Jimbo? I believe the gist of the points counter to Til's aren't that no one has ever claimed that "creation myth" is a bad descriptor of these passages, but that this view is 1) very dated and 2) a fringe position within scholarship. The argument is over how much room one needs to give a fringe position in the introduction to the article. Til wants to include language that makes it seem like there is a lot of opposition when there isn't. This is what people object to. We should not be saying "many scholars ..." when referring to a position that is very rarely challenged by anyone. This gives off a false impression and hurts our credibility. If anything I could see an argument for including the opposing position with the disclaimer, "some Christian theologians ..." or something of that nature. (Disclaimer: I was an avid proponent of changing the title to the current one).Griswaldo (talk) 13:37, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I mean that he was challenged to produce something very specific, and he clearly did that. Maybe the request was not the right one to have made in the first place, but he did meet the objection quite persuasively. Can he produce 3 academics who are currently employed as academics who take a particular position? Yes, he can. Not only that, but they didn't just say something ambiguous and in passing but addressed the question head-on.
I think your tentative proposal here for a compromise way forward sounds promising.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:56, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually for a short time we had my proposed compromise version in the text: "The Genesis creation narrative, found in the first two chapters of the biblical Book of Genesis, is distinguished from other Ancient Near East creation myths by its monotheistic outlook." Given that the first two chapters of Genesis (i.e. the subject of the article) so obviously satisfy the normal technical definition of creation myth that people have to redefine it as "myth about creation" (as some of editors like to do) or as something connected to polytheism (as a few theologians do) if they want to disagree, that seems to be about the right weight for the argument that it's not a creation myth because it's monotheistic. Unfortunately that wasn't enough for the creationists, who insist on casting explicit doubt. [9]
One thing we must be a bit careful about: This is not a fringe article, and it's not even exclusively a theological article. It's an article about a text that is thousands of years old and of interest to many disciplines. Therefore we can't give much room to creationism in the main text: neither to presentation of its arguments nor to its debunking. (On the other hand a section about the topic is fine, so long as the discussion stays mostly in that section.)
Some theological reference works are written for a large audience and omit the term "creation myth" in this context to prevent alienating biblical literalists. I think this is a form of self-censorship in some cases, and pure lack of scholarship in others. (E.g. one of the reference works that Til Eulenspiegel brought up, which defines Genesis as follows: "The opening chapter of Genesis is a majestic festive overture to the whole Bible. [...] We sense God’s concern for man’s well-being as he assigns the plants for his food.") Others, like the Oxford Companion to the Bible or the Oxford Dictionary of the Bible ("The biblical myth of the origin of the universe.") are very open about the text's nature as a creation myth, and don't qualify it in any way. Hans Adler 14:25, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Hans, that was me who provided that source and not Til at all. I stand by it as a mainstream Christian literary analysis of the text. It mentions nothing about historicity, and it doesn't do so on purpose. The authors are leading Christian scholar in the Anglican and Protestant world and are usd all over Wikipedia as reliable sources. Concerning the topic of this article their view represents a significant percentage of biblical scholars. I mean, if people can praise the literary creation of something like "Death of a Salesman," surely you cannot begrudge Genesis. SAE (talk) 18:57, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think "creationism" has anything to do with this at all. Not only do we not need to present it or debunk it, no one I have seen has suggested that we should. That's a red herring.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:29, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately creationism and other more literal beliefs in divine creation do loom in the background for two sets of editors -- actual creationists and atheists who feel like they need to keep creationists in check. I think the whole situation is an unfortunate side effect of the culture wars outside of the Wikipedia and I wish people would leave it out there but alas that will never happen. That said I think Hans makes very good points about the fringe factor regarding Til's view as understood within academic communities (as opposed to religious communities). According to Slimvirgin's reply it seems like Til produced only one scholar that satisfied her criteria, by the way, and not all three. His sources are usually either from dead or currently dying extremely old scholars who are virtually from another era ... and they tend to all be theological, which means they are written to coincide with religious worldviews and not with the arts and sciences of the academy. We can't lose track of these types of distinctions.Griswaldo (talk) 14:50, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
'Currently dying'? How sweet. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:28, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Your comment made me go through Til Eulenspiegel's comments on the article talk page, and in fact I couldn't find any creationist arguments from him. However, such arguments are definitely present. E.g. Padillah's position seems to be that the story may well be a creation myth, but that we should avoid any implication that it is not literally true. Here is that user's proposal for the beginning of the lead: "The Genesis creation narrative, is a biblical description of how the world and man came to be in their present form. Found in the first two chapters of the Book of Genesis, is distinguished from other Ancient Near East creation myths by its monotheistic outlook. As with other technical myths there is no consensus on the veracity behind the narrative with several prominent scholars holding to a literal interpretation while others recognize the story as fictional and even an allegory to...". Hans Adler 16:56, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
After re-reading all the above carefully, I caught that Griswaldo suggested "some Christian theologians" and Jimbo said it looked promising as a tentative compromise way forward. So just being very bold here, I'm going to try that out and see how it goes... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:45, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Whoops, I didn't realize it was edit-protected... "Never mind!" Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:46, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
No problem. You can be bold on the talk page. DVdm (talk) 17:47, 1 May 2010 (UTC)
Can anyone see how transparently political this is becoming? According to this hypothesis, several nations that have Christianity or Islam as their state religion are committed to doctrines that are pure myth. There are other states with no state religion, or even with doctrines explicitly opposed to these, who would just love to have it endorsed by a "neutral" source like wikipedia that these states practice "myth" and "denialism" as their official doctrine. That is why the struggle for FAIR neutrality must and will continue. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:01, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Til, what state religion is committed to a literal interpretation of the Biblical creation myth? I'm completely baffled by your comment. Please clarify using examples.Griswaldo (talk) 12:11, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
On what calendar date did any state religion that considers it canonical ever repudiate its canonicity? Calendar date, please. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:43, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Way to not answer the question. You've made an affirmative claim, I'm asking for evidence. Please provide it. Your allusion to canonicity does not answer the question in the least. Please provide examples of specific state religions that treat this narrative as a literal description of creation. The answer should include the specific states as well. Please also note that Islam does not accept the Hebrew Bible as literal history, so that half of your vague claim is completely perplexing.Griswaldo (talk) 12:52, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
The question is a red herring, because I haven't been arguing for a creationist interpretation. Suffice it to say that doctrines holding the book "canonical" consider it something other than a "myth" per the most recently issued decision on this (Council of Nicea), and furthermore, states that adhere to such a doctrine obviously have never admitted to subscribing to "myths". The "claim" about Islam is relevant because it should be seen as transparently taking sides when the Quran is declared a "myth", when the Book of Mormon is declared a "myth", when Scientology writings are declared a "creation myth", or when the writings opf any widespread living religion you don't like are declared by wikipedia a "myth". Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:09, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
We are not talking about "the writings" of Christianity, or any other religion, we are talking about a specific part that is a myth. This is an encyclopedia, so we normally use technical terms in their technical sense only. If someone says "the bible is a myth", or "the Quran is a myth", the they are clearly using the word in its colloquial sense.
Myth is a literary genre, and the article is about a text which falls very clearly into this literary genre. Are you arguing that the article should cover the text from an exclusively theological POV? Hans Adler 13:24, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Certainly not. Rather, I am arguing that the POV of many Christian theologians regarding the canonicity of their own book, and their explicit POV that it is not a myth, is a widespread and significant POV, and not so FRINGE as you are eager to paint. It's one thing when you argue that personal views of editors are inadmissible for consideration. But you are taking it to an entire new level by arguing that the reliable sources for whole schools of thought and major world theologies are inadmissible for consideration because you are declaring them wrong and FRINGE. That's POV pushing. Various Muslim views are relevant to articles about their doctrines and are mentioned impartially (or should be), ditto for various Mormon views on their books, various Scientologist views on their own books, various Hindu, Buddhist and Jewish views on their own books. It's part of the definition of "Significant point of view to a topic". Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:48, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I think what you are saying only makes sense from a theological POV. If you go at the text from a literary criticism POV there can be no question that it satisfies the definition of creation myth, and indeed also of myth, in our respective articles. I can see two explanations for the existence a school of theologians who are taking care to define these terms differently, so as to carefully exclude the text under discussion: (1) It's special pleading. They are elevating an accidental feature of this particular myth (monotheism) to a major criterion that makes it ineligible to be a myth. (2) It is a major criterion because they are not actually doing literary criticism but establishing myth and creation myth as theological terms that are somewhat similar to the ordinary technical terms but serve a radically different purpose and need to be compatible with myth as "a word that occurs in the NT, where it refers to false and foolish stories that are to be rejected as misleading and dangerous" (Harper Collins Bible Dictionary, which however also explains the modern meaning and, very interestingly, avoids the term creation myth completely, speaking of the "Canaanite and Babylonian creation accounts").
We needn't choose between these two interpretations, because the current text in the lead ("Genesis [...] is one of several Ancient Near East creation myths, differing from the others in its monotheistic outlook.") clearly establishes the context so that it is clear we are using creation myth in its technical sense as a literary genre. The "monotheistic outlook" part can then be read depending on somebody's personal choice above as follows: (1) It's a creation myth, and it's also monotheistic, which is significant to theologians. (2) It's a creation myth in the sense that it is just one of many similar texts, but it's a monotheistic creation myth, i.e. not actually a creation myth if you use the more restrictive theological term.
It is true that the view favouring the restrictive definition of creation myth gets less attention than the inclusive one. But I think this is justified for several reasons: (a) Wikipedia is a general encyclopedia, not a theological one, and this article is not about a highly technical theological question. It's actually as valid to see this as an article about Jewish history, literary criticism or mythology as it is to see this as a theological article. (b) A majority of theologians appear to define "creation myth" in the normal sense as a literary genre with no special pleading. (c) We have seen that at least one theological reference work openly and without any qualification refers to the text as a creation myth. Hans Adler 14:39, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Regarding (c) - We have also seen many sources for the diametrically opposing POV. Which brings me back to my unanswered point - who are you, or any mere wikipedian editor, to declare these published theological sources inadmissible and FRINGE for purposes of determining what neutrality is? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 15:23, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Well, maybe calling them fringe was a bit strong. I don't know. But I have meanwhile had a look at some of the relevant literature, and it looks to me as if there is a pretty strong consensus among modern Genesis experts that there is nothing wrong with referring to this story as a myth. (It appears that those who don't, among the experts writing for other experts, are those who are using a functional definition of myth as something related to a cult. Nothing to do with monotheism, actually.)

Of course there is generally reason to be suspicious of writings by theologians. To the extent that they write about purely theological constructs they are the experts and of course we need to follow them. But where they write about reality there is a very real danger of wishful thinking and teleological arguments creeping in. After all, theology is entirely based on wishful thinking. Let's look at your quotations for not calling it a creation myth:

  • "Since pagan god-stories concern not history but nature, and since Scripture recounts nothing of Yahweh like the celestial goings-on of these god-stories, it seems clearer and sounder to follow Scripture's own usage and reject myth as a non-Biblical category." – Perhaps it only looks like that because it's taken out of context, but this appears totally confused. The story is not a myth because it's historical rather than natural? Please. This doesn't pass the giggle test. Unless he is using words in a seriously non-standard way. (By the way, according to his Wikipedia article he seems to have creationist sympathies.)
  • "Genesis' story is not a myth, for it does not in fact tell us anything about what things were like when there were no things. Its tohu webohu is not an antecedent nothingness-actuality like the Great Slime dismembered by the Babylonian Marduk, nor yet an eternal egg or womb or pure potentiality of primal matter..." – This is blatant nonsense. It's only an argument as to how the story is different from other creation myths. How many of the numerous classical myths tell us anything about the time when there were no things? Are they all not myths?
  • "The Bible itself is perfectly aware of its opposition to all mythological religions. It brands them as idolatrous, and I think that the revelation of scapegoat delusion in mythology is an essential part of the fight against idolatry. Here we could go, for instance, to the story of Cain and Abel, and compare it to the myth of Romulus and Remus. In the story of Cain and Abel, the murder of one brother by the other is presented as a crime that is also the founding of a community. But in the Roman story this foundation cannot be viewed as a crime. It is a legitimate action by Romulus. The point of view of the Bible about such events differs enormously from that of myth." – This does not sound like a critical approach to the text to me. It's an interpretation with an open "us versus them" mentality, using "mythological", "idolatry" and "myth" as fighting words. Also, the argument used for distinction is unconvincing, at least without a lot more context.
  • "Not only is the Bible not myth; it is the source of whatever "demythologization" has occurred in the world and will occur in the future." – The question is not whether "the Bible" is myth. That would be myth in the colloquial sense. And the technical definition of "demythologisation" is such that a text can be "demythologised" and a myth in the technical sense at the same time.

Before we can go into theological word games in the article (and other, similar detail from the POV of mythologists and literary theorists) we must tell the reader what the text is. And the most succinct way of doing so is to say that it is a creation myth, because that's the narrowest literary genre to which it belongs. Any sources you have presented that seem to claim otherwise are not speaking about this literary genre. Hans Adler 16:03, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

I beg to differ. Would you like to see the sources here again? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:07, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Also when you get into an editor who is debating logic with what published viewpoints are, you're stepping into OR territory. It doesn't even matter if the published viewpoint uses what you consider bad logic, it is still a published viewpoint and speaks for itself. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:10, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
It's not enough for a viewpoint to be published. It's trivial to find statements by notable people to the effect that the Egyptian pyramids were built by aliens and that astrology is a science, and with a bit of digging we can even find such statements by people who have positions in universities. Just think of the lists of "scientists" who, according to creationist propaganda, are rejecting evolution.
The question of the literary genre of a text is not a theological question any more. A bit more than a hundred years ago the question of how the world came to be ceased to be a theological question and became an exclusively scientific question. We have moved on since then. Theologians no longer have the authority to make all their favourite texts exceptions to the normal rules of literary criticism. ("It only looks as if the text was written by two different people in different ages, and later put together by someone else. But we know it was really written by Moses.") Nowadays literary criticism is routinely applied to all kinds of religious texts, even (and particularly) by theologians.
The question of the literary genre of this text is one of literary criticism, and by that standard the sources you have presented appear to be fringe unqualified / pseudo-scholarship, as they are not following the principle that scholars want to find out the best approximation to the truth, but instead playing the justification of religion game with the text. Hans Adler 16:26, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

I think I'm beginning to get your point. The authority of User:Hans Adler is qualified to trump the viewpoints on Genesis expressed by Victor P. Hamilton, Mary Nwachukwu, Dallas Seminary, Somers & Christmeyer, Warren W. Wiersbe, Sidney Greidanus, the NLT Study Bible, Thedor Gunkel, Conrad Hyers, Frank Flinn, Claus Westermann, Robert Jenson, John Goldingay, Richard E. Averbeck, Mark Meek, Gary Stern, etc. etc. etc.; and the authority of User:Hans Adler also renders all these authors' viewpoints that Genesis doesn;t met the definition of "myth" inadmissible with respect to neutrality, because User:Hans Adler has determined that they lack sufficient knowledge of the subject, and are therefore either just wrong, or using the "wrong" definition. Furthermore, any other author whomsoever who presumes to defend any text that User:Hans Adler et al have determined to be a "myth", will be similarly disqualified, by virtue of the very nature of their viewpoint - and thus wikipedia readers should not be troubled with having to endure reading about these viewpoints, since a few editors, knowing what is best, have done everyone a favor and kept it from their eyes.
Opinion duly noted, now would you mind terribly if Wikipedia gets back to fairly covering ALL the significant viewpoints notwithstanding what you have divined about their worthwhileness? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:04, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I think I got your point as well. Apparently you don't want to argue for the quality/applicability of the sources.
We want to know whether (or rather, to what degree in terms of scholarly opinion) the first two chapters of Genesis form a creation myth. We have two kinds of sources that we can use:
  • Sources that treat the term creation myth as a neutral term with a technical definition.
  • Sources that treat the term creation myth as a fighting term that disparages a certain type of stories about the origin of the world.
So long as we stick to sources of the first type we are on the safe side. It's just normal scholarly debate. There may be a few poor contributions, but they are likely to be in a minority. The problem is in the sources of the second type: Authors who want to "defend" the bible against the application of the term "myth" or "creation myth". I don't know where you found your first source (Packer); it doesn't even have a proper reference that I could use to look it up if I had a theological library handy. Your second source (Jenson) is on Google Books, and it couldn't be clearer about the matter:

The oddity of narrating an absolute beginning raises the second problem: Can such a narrative be truly historical? [...]
The great mythic stories of origin cause no problem here. Myths intend not to narrate any particular events but rather to evoke something that happens in all events, and they show this by the rhetoric of their storytelling. [...] Is not then the story in Genesis after all to be read as myth? There has been continuous pressure on Christian theology to read it that way, whether or not under the overt label. [...]
[...] Genesis is not a myth, for it does not in fact tell us anything about what things were like when there were no things. [...] The fathers were clear about this: "The heretics say, 'But there was also the darkness...over the deep.' Again new occasions for myth...! 'The deep' is not a fullness of antithetical powers, as some fantasize, nor is the darkness an original and evil force arrayed against the good." Genesis' reference to emptiness and formlessness, and the darkness and "waters" of chaos, is not a presupposition of creation but to the inconceivable beginning of creation, made inconceivable by the absence of presupposition.

Some things are clear from this:
  • Jenson is not speaking about the literary genre of the text, he is speaking about its interpretation in a theological context.
  • Jenson does not at all use the word "myth" in its normal sense. He uses a very special definition that can only apply to creation myths, and not even to all of them. Using an eccentrically narrow definition of a term is hardly appropriate when you try to prove that something does not fall under the term, and would require a very good justification. There is no such justification. For all we know, "logical/ontological" vs. "historical" is merely a difference between the Genesis creation myth and the other related creation myths which he happened to notice.
  • Actually, there is a justification for the narrow definition, but that's even worse than none at all because it's teleological: For him, the text must not be called a "myth", and therefore arguments need to be found to defend the text against the "continuous pressure".
That's a very good illustration of the problems we can expect to find in sources of the second type. I hope it's not a typical example, because if this isn't an honest slip-up, then it's an example of pseudo-scholarship: Of blatantly and pompously making up meaningless arguments out of thin air.
  • The Girard text: To judge from Google Books that's from an early essay of Girard's where he proposes his "scapegoat theory" of myth. (The title of the edited version is "The myth of Oedipus, the truth of Joseph." The original title was even more programmatic: "The Bible is not a myth".) This is the third substantially different redefinition of myth, all with the transparent goal to make the word not apply to biblical stories. To sum it up, according to your sources something is not a myth if it
  1. is monotheistic, or
  2. does not speak about what was before the beginning of the world, or
  3. does not blame specific persons (scapegoats) for some evil.
That Genesis 1-2 is not a myth is the only thing these three theories have in common. (Oedipus? For Girard it's myth; for Jenson it isn't because it doesn't mention anything that was before the beginning of the world.) That's not surprising because that's very obviously what a certain type of theologians want to prove. Now contrast this with the simple definition of a creation myth as "a symbolic narrative of a culture, tradition or people that describes their earliest beginnings, how the world they know began and how they first came into it", which obviously applies here.
Finally, here is a test question for you: Is the Apocryphon of John a creation myth? Explain why (not). Hans Adler 19:58, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
What Til is not being honest about, perhaps inadvertently and forgivably, is that the encyclopedia has numerous mechanisms that help the reader contextualize and understand why we are identifying this narrative as a creation myth, and what a creation myth is according to us. None of the scholars mentioned disagree that this narrative would fit our rendition of a creation myth here on Wikipedia. No they have, as Hans has shown, their own ideas of what myth is, and they claim Genesis does not fit those versions of myth. Well it doesn't but so what? We're using myth in a very specific way here and we're letting the reader know clearly in what way that is when we present the content.Griswaldo (talk) 21:30, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
And so we should rename the article back to "Genesis creation myth". DVdm (talk) 21:34, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
NO, because it is not commonly used as a name, and NO because in a title the mechanisms I refer to are precisely not present to help anyone contextualize the term correctly.Griswaldo (talk) 21:53, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Well YES :-), because for this "anyone needing help contextualizing", the lead will immediately contextualize the term correctly. It will say that this "Genesis creation narrative" is a creation myth with such and such properties in such and such religious belief systems. That is the context it gives now, and is the what it will keep giving. So we can save this "anyone" a frown upon reading the first sentences: "Ha? They say it's a myth, so then why don't they reflect that in the title?". It should be the other way around. The article should be "Genesis creation myth", and the lead should explain that this "Genesis creation myth" is a creation narrative with such and such properties in such and such religious belief systems... which is exactly what makes it a myth -- by definition. That would not produce a frown upon this "anyone". The way it is now, is completely upside down - and that sounds really silly. DVdm (talk) 22:42, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Just my two cents here, but the first thing I would consider is that the term myth, in an analytical sense, means any story dealing with supernatural beings, often dealing in some fundamental truth. (The Viking creation myth is an interesting one, in that it seems to start before the beginning.) However, most religious people are going to take the term to mean "a ficticious story," which is taken as an insult. Often, the word is saved for religions that are no longer practiced, or used in an analytical sense, (ie: Genesis as creation myth). With a little care, most information can be conveyed concisely without becoming offensive. Zaereth (talk) 23:55, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Zaereth, you said that "most religious people are going to take the term to mean "a ficticious story," which is taken as an insult.". But these same people here seemingly agree over an opening sentence that says that it "is one of several Ancient Near East creation myths". They don't seem to mind this (or some very similar) description. If some people still take the term as an insult, then we should not have this description in the lead. As it is now, we are deliberately misleading the readers, or at least the "title watchers", because we have an article about a myth (as unambiguously stated in the lead), but we don't say in the title of the article that it is a myth, because we might insult people who only look at the title, and thus we seem to hope that they don't read the first sentence of the lead. This is not only silly, it is, at least i.m.o., downright dishonest. DVdm (talk) 10:05, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Why do we have to be more careful than the experts writing in the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament ("One field in which creation as a topic is important is myth. Demythologizing is no more, as in Bultmann's time, a token of modernity. [...] In contrast to the traditional understanding of myth as polytheistic, as beyond history, as closely connected with the cult, characterized by a cyclic understanding of time, being related to the annually returning seasons, to the growing and dying of vegetation throughout the year, a more actual definition was already formulated by C. Colpe in 1966. [...] In the primaeval history of Genesis, where just one God is acting, we meet with a 'monotheistic myth', as our lamented friend B. Uffenheimer formulated several years ago. Thus, there is no reason for excluding myth as a biblical form of world-understanding. It allows transcendence to be expressed in the form of stories in which God appears on the stage acting like a man. (The initiated reader knows that this is just a form to show in pictures what is in itself inexpressible.)") or the Oxford Dictionary of the Bible? ("The biblical myth of the origin of the universe.") Because we are self-censored and they are not?
But perhaps you can help. The current wording is under attack from both sides, with the good argument that "distinguished by its monotheistic outlook" is problematic given that the story contains some elements that are at least superficially polytheistic. Perhaps you can find a better formulation that is short, correct, explains that the genre of the text is that of a creation myth, and doesn't offend those who like to use "myth" as a fighting word against all religions other than their own. Hans Adler 00:32, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I really don't have much time right now, but perhaps a simple synonym could convey one meaning without the negative connotations of the other. Allegory, maybe? (I'm not sure why this is separate from the Book of Genesis.) Perhaps it could be rephrased to indicate exactly which definition of myth is intended. This is something I'd have to take quite a bit of time to think over before making any suggestion. I'll read the talk page some more and give it some thought. Zaereth (talk) 01:20, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Look Hans, it really doesn't matter how long-winded you make your replies. No amount of longwindedness in the world could ever justify your pretensions to have the authority yourself to outrank all of these published, reliable sources, declare them inadmissible, and engage in this censorship of theological views you don't like or approve of. It's incredible to me that you keep dodging that point and arguing your own supposed expertise against the sources. Your own sense of self-importance must be immense. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 04:35, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
It's incredible to me that you think you can push a particular POV just because you can find random sources somewhere for whose suitability to the purpose you are not prepared to argue. This is not how an encyclopedia is written. In a relaxed atmosphere, when all editors trust each other, it can be done that way, but not in an article that is under extreme attack from two sides. Hans Adler 10:27, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
But Hans, reliable sources are supposed to speak for themselves, and what these ones are all saying about the definition of "myth" is fairly pointblank. Conrad Hyers, himself no creationist nor literalist by far, has the intellectual integrity to admit the following factual statement: "an impressive array of biblical scholars have argued that both myth and mythical modes of thought are absent from the Bible." [The Meaning of Creation, Hyers, 1984, p. 99.] I have faith that, in the long run, wikipedia does not lack the intellectual integrity to admit to a similarly worded statement, well though you might. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 11:33, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
It's no wonder that they are arguing that, given that there appears to be a history of using the term as fighting term against other religions. Which is a way in which we are not using the term. There are certain groups where you can't call something "tea" if it's not an infusion from the plant camilla sinensis. "Herbal tea"? No, according to them there is no such thing and the term should be illegal. We can cope with the situation perfectly fine, having articles on tea and on herbal tea in peaceful coexistence. But when we use the word we must make it clear which sense we mean, and when evaluating a source we must understand which sense the source means.
If a source says hibiscus infusion is not tea, then it is obviously talking about tea in the narrow sense and it's unusable for arguments to the effect that we can't call it a herbal tea.
By the way, I would obviously not be opposed to a statement like this: "The Genesis creation narrative is a creation myth, although some/many biblical scholars use variants of the term 'myth' that ensure that it is not." If we can do this without OR.
This is not a mere matter of finding "scholarly" sources that say something, just like it is not enough to find a few isolated "scholarly" sources that claim waterboarding is not torture or evolution is implausible. How much weight to give such sources that contradict common sense and the consensus of experts outside a certain circle is a matter of NPOV.
By the way, I am of course interested in how actual theologians write about this. Rather than rely on the sources that you are feeding us I browsed through the special volume Creation in Jewish and Christian Tradition of the Journal for the Study of the Old Testament. It turns out that these experts are using the term myth exactly as I expected: With intellectual integrity, to use your words. I.e. they are freely applying it to the bible, including the creation story. Hans Adler 12:16, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Hans I would very much expect to find what you found as well. Til is correct that there are theologians who share the view he is lobbying to include in the lead, but I don't believe it is mainstream. As I tried to point out on the talk page, there are two similar readings of "myth" that are coming into conflict here. See - Talk:Genesis_creation_narrative#On_the_view_that_only_polytheistic.2C_pagan_and.2For_.22idolatrous.22_religions_contain_myths. There are religionists who want to retain a notion of myth as false religion and secularists who want to retain a notion of myth as false science. The former group therefore argues that there is something different about Judeo-Christian stories that excludes them from classification as "myths", and the latter group therefore argues that there is nothing different between any religious stories and therefore includes all of them in the myth category. Neither of these POVs should be heavily represented in the entry. We need to be very cautious about both.Griswaldo (talk) 12:31, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you all for taking part in this thread. My purpose here was to illustrate the mentality that has been an obstacle to any kind of compromise for years, and you've done an exemplary job in helping me do that, at least. This is exactly the way it has gone for years; proponents of one POV will only very grudgingly make the smallest concession that any other valid POV exists, or any other valid interpretation of scripture beside their own interpretation of scripture, and their declaration of what "genre" all humans are obliged to consider it, according to them. But it's never quite enough to make them see that their interpretation is after all a POV, and not the redefinition of the very concept of "NPOV"... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 11:35, 5 May 2010 (UTC)


Recently poked my nose back into the West Papua subject via the Talk page, which has exposed the bias which the WikiProject Countering systemic bias creates instead of abating.

In the West Papua example, Melanesian information is squashed and filtered by the larger Indonesian demographic group. Say some person tries to correct mis-information on the West Papua pages, he is instantly reverted and if he goes to the Talk pages he will be engaged in dialog with people who claim to be 'neutral' but are in fact members of the Indonesian demographic. Six years ago I was set-upon by a group of people who "knew" black people could never organise an independence movement, who "knew" West Papua was offensive to the Indonesia and therefore Wikipedia should rename the region as Western New Guinea; then Merbabu alleged he was trying to help resolve mis-communications Wik and Gzornenplatz were having with me, but the truth is that the Indonesian demographic has been pumping Wikipedia full of politically approved distortions.

Distortions in Wikipedia claim Indonesian accounts of Austronesia, Java Man and a thousand other Indonesian concerns including West Papua are the undisputed fact; but I think Wikipedia should allow other people's accounts to also be heard. Java Man is a skull cap or two, the 'man' is speculation not fact; West Papua is known in the English speaking world as West Papua not Western New Guinea which Wkipedia has been promoting for six years. True, Indonesia does not like to admit Sukarno was an Axis leader, but he was; the Pacific War would have been impossible without the oil that Sukarno (not the indigenous people) supplied, and the fact that he called for Japan to declare war on the US during the 1930s should no longer be written out of western history books.

And why on earth is 'Western New Guinea' history being claimed as part of the Indonesian history project? Perhaps because readers looking for the West Papuan side of the story will stop reading the article if they see it is labled as an Indonesian approved account - why bother reading the same old same old. Both the Melanesia and Netherlands projects would have better claim to the article. I think the Indonesia history info-box is misleading and should be removed.Daeron (talk) 22:06, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

This is not the place for this message and is clearly showing signs of no understanding of general process - as a generally WP:SPA on issues of New Guinea this user has not even attempted a general conversation at the WikiProject Indonesia noticeboard [10] - which is the correct location. There is no sign of this user having visited that specific location.

If this message was not so imbued with lack of WP:AGF and in fact tends toward un-supported WP:PA at a user who has not in fact been involved at the comment above - I would have been willing to try to actually walk this user through the soapboxing - but I think it is beyond that.

There are many claims and assumptions in the above message that I would challenge - definitely not here - this is not the place for it.

Whoever might review this case - might notice the alleged connections between the three named user above are not provided with any diffs - to show the collusion. A lot of the claims and assertions are very close to WP:OR and are not backed up with any sign of having provided WP:RS in any discussions to date.

I recommend that the above user be directed to the Indonesian project noticeboard, however painful that might be - and be subject to the requirements of the project - that is usually waiting for quite some time for the very few active editors to actually see a well explained reason why this current message is not in fact close to soapboxing and disruptive. I would also suggest that the user learn of the adequate processes available before even thinking coming here.

  1. No sign of seeking WP:THIRD - which I have inflicted upon myself recently - I would recommend the process on the basis that those who respond are excellent at the job
  2. No sign of explaining anything Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Indonesia
  3. No sign of actually trying to ask for mediation at any other level apart from this page
  4. No sign of Wikipedia:ANI or seeking any admin assistance ( I can think of at least 5 MILHIST admins who would be excellent arbitrators with the knowledge )

I think the last resort of this page was unnecessary and there are many other avenues that could have been explored SatuSuro 12:59, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Systemic problems with the Wikipedia concept might still be of interest for Jimbo. The extensive use of Wiki-jargon SPA/AGF/PA/OR/RS/THIRD/ANI whether the above author realises it or not, obscures the English meaning and introduces some ambiguity. Although I did refer to a specific example (WP and RI to use non-wiki jargon), the systemic problem are editors who further their POV by using Wiki-jargon to discourage edits from the public about that Wiki-person's pet topics. In this case Merbabu and I share a WP:SPA; each alleges they are unbiased editors and each alleges the other's edits are motivated by bias. I went to the Talk page and suggested a solution to problems discussed at the top of that page, in response Merbabu said " amongst those supporting independence from Indonesia (such as, User:Daeron), the editor who's proposed the move.". Even the occasional editor is aware that POV is a serious allegation inside Wiki.Daeron (talk) 22:17, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
The systematic problem is the POV concealed by WP:SPA editors using Wiki-jargon and relentless editing efforts (thousands of edits a month) to gain greater Wiki-standing than the occasional editors. That is a problem Jimbo will have to consider at length, I can not see any systemic way to distinguish between editors who make thousands of edits because they love Wiki from those who do so because they will go to such lengths to have a slight advantage when promoting their POV. As to the example case, if other Wiki users had asked me - or if they read my previous edits without bias, they would have discovered my edits have on the whole been to give greater exposure (via Wikipedia) to facts which have already been published elsewhere (even if you have to pay to buy books or read newspapers) and to disclose both sides in articles which involve on-going disputes (such as WP etc.).Daeron (talk) 22:17, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Anyone reviewing this section might like to view - sections 26 and 27 date 22 and 23rd March 2007 regarding transmigration SatuSuro 02:54, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, in any event, this all seems to have nothing much to do with me. A couple of notes: First, I don't mind being told about various situations, as I do like to keep an eye on things, and issues of systemic bias are very much on my radar. Second, though, I do agree that in this particular case, it seems a bit premature to bring the issue to me, when it hasn't much been raised by you, Daeron, in some relevant places. Third, and on the other hand, I do agree that answers which quote too many wiki-acronyms and jargon may be off-putting to people, and should be avoided. If someone clearly is asking a question in the wrong case, then it's very likely that they don't understand all our jargon, and being introduced to it in this way is not likely to feel as nice as I hope we try to make people feel.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:46, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Fair enough point taken - the user has been around for over 3 years as edit history shows - it is not as though he is a new user SatuSuro 09:42, 5 May 2010 (UTC)


Please don't put us on akward situations. I don't know if you're aware, buf User:Jeff G. has been going wiki by wiki asking for local blocks of Thekohser linking a couple of threads on some village pumps where you mention you consider him globally banned. [11] [12]

The problem is, while I support the idea, things are not doing properly and it's opening room for the local trolls to take stab at us because "just because someone said that jimbo said..." and also it is unnecesarily suspicious that he's being listed on the equivalents of WP:AIV as a vandal that needs immediate local blocks so people is asking "why this one needs to be locally blocked as vandal when they have tools at meta to lock accounts"?

We'd be more than glad to local block him on all wikis but I kindly ask you to tell us directly instead of having a third passing the word so as not to unnecessarily leave us in this position. You can just drop a note on meta (no take the inefficient route going wiki by wiki s as Jeff is doing).

Or even better, why local block him wiki by wiki when there's global lock? I have no problem globally locking him should you drop me a note on meta in case you don't want to do it yourself. All we need is a clear statement on meta. Otherwise we're just setting us up for trolling from the WR and the alike for this passing-the-word-around when there are proper and more efficient ways to handle it.

We just want to protect us from local trolls and WR trolls. I'm sure you understand. -- m:drini 12:43, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Drini, I apologize for that. I didn't know there was a tool on meta for global lock. I appreciate you letting me know. I thought the only way was local blocks, and figured it best not to go on any big campaign to do it (why bother?) but just let it be known and be taken care of as necessary. But if there's a global lock, that's obviously the right tool to use.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:08, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Alright. Global lock in place. -- m:drini 14:54, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Thekohser's account is now globally locked per this log. However, the SUL account status utility shows that his accounts on Commons, enwikisource, and usability are unattached and unblocked, so the lock may not apply to them.   — Jeff G. ツ 21:26, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
If there are any further infractions, it may be necessary for us to confiscate the man's computer and prohibit him from using the internet for a matter of years, or perhaps even for the rest of his life. So I hope he will learn his lesson now. Everyking (talk) 04:35, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Every user has the right to fork. It's my understanding that this user has already created a wiki of his own, so he's welcome to copy material under the GFDL and edit there.   Will Beback  talk  04:39, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
You might also want to look at SUL user Reshoketh (Thekohser backwards with init caps).   — Jeff G. ツ 06:26, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
It would appear that your authority is being tested on Wikisource, Jimbo. On Cinco de Mayo, no less. Are you feeling a bit like Charles de Lorencez? -- (talk) 02:07, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
If he breaks rules on wikisource, then he should be banned on wikisource. If not, he should not, simple as that. The concept of "blocks are preventative, not punitive" should be held in the highest regard, for this or any other user. Tarc (talk) 02:17, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Flagged Revisions Poll

Ok, I've been holding off on doing this to see how things stand on the programming. I've just received some very good news that we are getting very close to being able to do a production run of the Flagged Revs / Flagged Protection schema that we have requested from the Foundation. Therefore, I'm going to hold off on a poll. (For those who are just tuning in, I was planning to do a poll to try to find a version of the German Wikipedia's version of flagged revs that would get broad community support here. Now, hopefully, that may not be necessary.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:39, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Thx. I'm very eager to see this thing live. It is time that Wikipedia can not be used by teenies as free www publishing tool anymore. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 16:35, 5 May 2010 (UTC)


It would appear that your authority is being tested on Wikisource, Jimbo. On Cinco de Mayo, no less. Are you feeling a bit like Charles de Lorencez? Ardri Malachi (talk) 16:18, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

About defamation (III)

Dear Sir:

Let me formulate my request to you in Russian, that is in my native language.

Администраторы Ilya Voyager, Yaroslav Blanter и Leonst используют по меньшей мере один сервер благотворительной организации Wikimedia Foundation, Inc для того, чтобы распространять клевету обо мне. В данном случае я называю клеветой:

1) утверждение администратора Ilya Voyager о том, что мне свойственно "деструктивное поведение",
2) утверждение администратора Yaroslav Blanter о том, что мне свойственно "деструктивное поведение",
3) утверждение администратора Leonst о том, что я "систематически оскорбляю пользователей",
4) утверждение администратора Leonst о том, что мне свойственно "деструктивное провокационное поведение".

К кому из официальных представителей благотворительной организации Wikimedia Foundation, Inc мне следует обратиться с просьбой удалить с сервера или серверов благотворительной организации Wikimedia Foundation, Inc указанные утверждения администраторов Ilya Voyager, Yaroslav Blanter и Leonst?

Галактион Терёшин (talk) 14:59, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I can't read Russian, but I used google translate to get the gist of this. I do not know anything about your dispute, but if someone would like to pass along some advice to the Russian Wikipedia administrators, I would say that if there are negative comments about this user, of any kind, whether true or not, and he's upset by it, then it is going to just be a lot easier for everyone to simply delete those comments. And then, Галактион Терёшин (Galakteon Tereshin) you'll probably just want to walk away with dignity.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:09, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you very much for your answer, Sir. Галактион Терёшин (Galakteon Tereshin) (talk) 16:05, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Dear Sir:
Dr Bug is an administrator in the Russian Wikipedia.
I have sent Dr Bug the following message:
"Dear Dr Bug,
5 мая 2010 года я побеседовал с господином J. Wales о клевете (см. рубрику "About defamation (III)" в разделе "Talk" страницы "en:User:Jimbo Wales"). Пожалуйста, посмотрите содержание этой беседы."
Administrator Alex Smotrov deleted the mentioned message (at 12:31, 6 may 2010 (UTC)) and blocked my IP-address (at 12:29, 6 may 2010 (UTC)).
Галактион Терёшин (talk) 16:51, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Talk:John E. Sweeney

I answered some of your comments. Three of the incidents, out of context, appear to be trivial, but they were a series of well-reported incidents about a sitting congressman and rising star in politics. In particular, the Frat party incident was perhaps the biggest single controversy that lead to his defeat, and ultimately, to Gillibrand becoming US Senator. I'm not going to quibble with you on the other two, but the Frat party was his Waterloo. The stupidest events often change history. Bearian (talk) 17:26, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I am prepared to believe you that the incident was, in fact, important and had the impact that you suggest. However, nothing in the section that I removed, nor the sources that were linked, would lead me to that conclusion, so the section was clearly flawed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:38, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

File:Las Vegas7.JPG

Jimbo, there's a situation at Commons:Commons:Deletion requests/Images of Stan Spanker that requires your immediate attention. - Stillwaterising (talk) 00:51, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Image deleted, quite appropriately. What's the rush for my attention?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:03, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
The response was appropriate but much delayed. Wikipedia spokesman User:JayWalsh told AFP: "We don't have material we would deem to be illegal. If we did, we would remove it." I requested that these images be deleted on April 13th (over 3 weeks ago) and in point #2 of my deletion request noted "Some of (these images) seem to portray non consensual sex with minors. File:Las Vegas7.JPG shows a young woman performing fellatio blindfolded. The description reads "Girl has to do blowjob."" User:Lar is on the ombudsman commission and an oversighter, and his response was to block me, which is basically covering this up, despite my multiple requests that he put it to Village pump and/or upper management (on his Commons talk page). - Stillwaterising (talk) 06:56, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
Eh? The blocks you received were for unacceptable behavior such as edit warring and personal attacks, not because you identified an image that needed deleting. This sort of mischaracterization is not helpful. ++Lar: t/c 13:40, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Face lift

I thought wikipedia was supposed to be getting a "face lift" in late April. It is now May 7 and still no change... It looks very awkward the commons being in vector and wikipedia in Monobook. Makes it inconvenient for unregistered editors with a search box in a different place. Has this idea been scrapped or something, of not, why the delay? Dr. Blofeld White cat 12:54, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't know anything about it, I'm sorry. If someone does know about this and happens to be reading here, maybe they'll give us all an update.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:03, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Here. Sole Soul (talk) 14:49, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

OK thanks, perhaps that should have been in the announcements. Correct if I'm wrong, I saw the original "late April" announcement but didn't see the May 13 one. Regards. Dr. Blofeld White cat 16:15, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Political repressions in Russian Wikipedia

I need to inform you than I have banned in russian Wikipedia by Ilya Voyager ( WP: UB # 2-3 : the persecution of members by treatment to the employer). Really I wrote only one one private e-mail to Memorial volunteers that work with some wiki project (Google translation) dealing with the history of Soviet dissidents's edition Chronicle of Current Events (samizdat). Memorial (society) deals with violations of human rights. I wrote to volunteers that one of Memorial's members and active Wikipedia's user bears a significant share responsibility for setting in russian Wikipedia almost totalitarian regime - that opposes to the wishes of authors of the Chronicle of Current Events. Well, the mode is virtual mode and "shooting" in it is virtual, but the censorship and persecution of dissidents are quite real. Full history (long) you can see here with Google Translation. --Evgen2 (talk) 22:14, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Evgen, you will no longer receive support from him against totalitarism and censorship. He has changed sides. -- (talk) 22:20, 7 May 2010 (UTC)



I believe you should pay your attention to this petition. vvvt 12:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Re: Bianca Jagger article

Jimbo, as per your post at Wikipedia:WikiProject_Musicians#...Expansion_Expansion_section per Jagger's article, I would like to make a humble request. If you would place your digitally scanned signature on your public article, that would be a highlight in my Wikipedia editting career. It's a long story about how I found that but I say, "Hey, if he cares, then I should look into this." Not in it for the reward, I feel like I have really learned something about her and my editting skills. Thanks in advance, --Morenooso (talk) 15:35, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure what you mean. My digitally scanned signature?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:38, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Using a blank white piece of paper, please sign your name as you would normally do (as on a check or for an autograph). I would imagine you have access to a scanner. Scan your autograph; upload the JPEG file either here or to WikiCommons and then posted it in the infobox ala Ronald Reagan and other famous people's infoboxes. Sorry if I wasn't clear earlier. --Morenooso (talk) 20:20, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Ronald Reagan Signature2.svg
BTW, that's what Ronnie's looks like sans the infobox. I think it would make a historic contribution to your public article just like other famous people. And if you ever run into Jagger, maybe you could gets hers too if I could be so WP:BOLD. --Morenooso (talk) 20:25, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Why would someone living permit such a potentially damaging image to be displayed? Are we now promoting forgery clinics? Bielle (talk) 04:50, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea why we include the signature for anyone (let alone living people) except some specific groups (e.g. artists) where their signature is an essential part of their public (not their private) image. For everyone else, the signature is as irrelevant as their fingerprints, eye colour, shoe size, ... Combined with the problems it may create for identity theft or other kinds of fraud, including signatures is something that should be done only in those cases were the relevance is clear, and not as a basic aspect of every notable person. Fram (talk) 06:54, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Fram. We really should not have images like that. Certainly, I wouldn't upload mine.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:42, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. --Morenooso (talk) 12:04, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

This should not be used as precedent to remove the signatures of public-sector executives (Governors, Mayors, Presidents), nor those of artists, to head off a dispute I've seen already about a billion times. Hipocrite (talk) 14:44, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't think it should be a precedent, no. But I think that's a dispute that is worth having. In a few cases, the signature will be sufficiently noteworthy to include in the article. But for the most part, I really doubt if it is a good idea. I think that one factor to strongly consider is what the provenance of the signature is. If it is from an autographed object that ended up sold/scanned/etc., I don't think that is good cause to republish it. If it is from a published item, then that's fine.
Speaking from my own experience, I have sometimes been asked to sign something for publication. I have refused. Seth Godin (I think it was Seth, I can't quite remember with certainty right now) and I were speaking at an event once, and we both refused - but allowed them to publish signatures that were not ours... it made a nice design element.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:14, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh, no doubt. I'm not saying don't have the fight about it, but when someone says that we need to remove the signature of Bill Clinton from the Bill Clinton article because we don't have a Jimbo Wales signature, that argument isn't going to fly. Hipocrite (talk) 15:28, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely 100% in agreement with you on that. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:06, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Is a signature copyrightable? Signature says they aren't in the U.S., but that looks like "original synthesis" to me, because I know fonts can be copyrighted. There's an argument for fair use with a signer of public proclamations, but if someone starts scanning celebrities' names off their checks at the restaurant... Wnt (talk) 22:13, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
In US copyright law, fonts are both protected and not protected. You should never try to use the copyrightability of fonts as the basis of any sort of reasoning about copyright. --Carnildo (talk) 00:53, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I have no idea about the copyright status of signatures. I don't see why they wouldn't be but I haven't read that article nor any case law about it and I'm not a lawyer. My argument is about BLP issues rather than copyright. Certainly, I think we have general agreement that signatures scanned from privately autographed objects aren't appropriate.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:09, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
I've always thought it odd that it is a fill-in in some of our templates. On a risk-reward basis, whether for a living person who may may face identity theft, or the estate of a non-living person whose autograph may be be a valuable commodity for collectors, I don't see the reward tending to outweigh the risk. I think we might benefit from a bright-line rule narrowing or eliminating the practice of reflecting signatures on WP.--Epeefleche (talk) 14:10, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Epeefleche in that they are mostly useless non-encyclopedic information, but for some individuals their signatures are commonly published so someone somewhere is figuring that it is important enough to put in these books in the first place. Books on US presidents often have their signatures; and all the way down to a book about the history of Albany, NY has signatures of each mayor at the beginning of each chapter (the book is organized one chapter per mayor regardless of time in office). So maybe instead of black and white, yes or no, on signatures how about- if its published in a secondary non-copyrighted source (thereby excluding memorabilia, autographs, laws, public documentation, etc) then its acceptable. I would imagine that is very similar to the way things are done already, but I've never seen it "codified" in our policies as such regarding signatures, maybe we should?Camelbinky (talk) 21:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I would support that as a bare minimum. But would propose that we add to it "available online". That way we avoid the problem of someone claiming it is in a book or other publication that none of us can easily verify. We also avoid exponentially increasing the availability of a signature that is in a one-off 100-page magazine, for example, but not available in any real way to the general public. Thoughts?--Epeefleche (talk) 07:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

An educator weighs in

I know that you've been facing criticism for some of the tough decisions that you've been making on the Commons, but as a professional educator in a conservative community who is concerned about the possibility of Wikipedia being blocked in schools, I would like to applaud you for doing what you think is best for the project, and for learning as a whole. Kansan (talk) 20:07, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

history repeats itself
And, to the anonymous IP, I think your comparison of the removal of pictures of fisting to actions taken during the Third Reich speaks for itself. Kansan (talk) 21:03, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, we do have to think of the children. SilverserenC 21:31, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
You'd think that the tasteful way that Wikipedia approaches pornography and sexual content, due to the extensive editorial oversight such controversial topics gets and review through the deletion process, would be a preferred way for an educational institution to have this material presented to children. Censoring it here only means they'll use other means to learn that information and every kid knows about general Google image search. Outright censoring of already highly over-sighted content here just devalues this resource. The information and every conceivable image of it is available freely on the internet with little effort involved in finding it. At least here the information is tasteful and over-sighted. So I respectfully disagree with this policy and your comments Kansan. — raeky (talk | edits) 21:48, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I have a lot of respect for that viewpoint, and am fully aware that this is a far better environment for the curious child than can be found elsewhere. Knowing that Wikipedia has some very powerful enemies (FOX) has made me very pragmatic, I guess. Kansan (talk) 22:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
First of all thank you to both of you for thoughtful remarks, and what I'd like to do is synthesize and point out that there is likely no tension at all between your respective positions. (Clearly, since you both almost agree already.) There is an important point to be made here, though, and this is a good context in which to make it.
I'd like to apologize for putting some NSFW links here, but this issue deserves a frank discussion.
Raeky, I absolutely agree with you that one of the strengths of Wikipedia is that we generally handle these kinds of issues with good taste. And I'm proud of that. Let me give one example.
Google search for 'bukkake'. I am happy to point out to even the most conservative parent that Google isn't about to change, that such things do exist in mass quantity on the Internet, and that for society, it is a good thing that the Wikipedia entry is the first link. In this way, anyone who has heard the term and wants to know what it means can get a very calm, responsible, adult explanation. Nearly all of the other links are all extreme hardcore pornography, full stop.
I am proud to be able to say: if you search for pornographic terms at Wikipedia, you will not get pornography, you will get responsible explanations handled in a mature way.
However, that argument for the educational value of Wikipedia is completely destroyed when what you find at Wikipedia is: hardcore pornography. That image does not *add* to the educational value of the article, it *destroys* the educational value. There is no one who gains an understanding of the issue by looking at that image.
Note well how this may not always be the case. If an article is about 19th Century erotica, it may very well be the case that understanding is significantly enhanced by viewing an example of it. How to best handle that issue in a manner which is responsible and adult is a good question - I would support putting such images behind a warning filter, but I also consider the question of historical erotica to be a red herring or side issue that is of much less importance than what I'm on a mission about these days.
So, Kansan, I don't think it is mere "pragmatism" that argues for removing these images. I think it is absolutely the natural extension of Raeky's point: Wikipedia is great because we handle difficult material in a responsible and sensitive way. And Wikipedia is diminished and seems immature and juvenile when we do not.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:02, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
No need to bring up the nazis – good old East German book burners from 1955, also concerned about the children, will do.

"That image does not *add* to the educational value of the article, it *destroys* the educational value. There is no one who gains an understanding of the issue by looking at that image. Note well how this may not always be the case. If an article is about 19th Century erotica, it may very well be the case that understanding is significantly enhanced by viewing an example of it." -- I don't get on what basis you differentiate here. What makes the one sexually explicit illustration educational and the other sexually explicit illustration not only non-educational but destructive to educational values? And yes, it is a good question, because it concerns one on the thoughtfulness and legitimacy of decision-making. Decision-making that used to be that of the community, and you, Jimbo, have pretty much asserted with your mass deletion of images in use in several Wikimedia projects' pages in their main name-space at the time and "recommendation" to other commons admins to do the same, that the communities are too stupid to figure these things out on their own and needed you to barge in with the "shoot first, ask questions later" approach. With this "mission" of yours, which I am not entirely clear about and which seems to consist in pleasing the ugly and shifty concept of morality of some american conservative media, you have damaged several projects that you have not founded, projects in an international scope, you have disrupted their decision-making processes and you have alienated their contributors and administrators. They are asking in the hundreds for the removal of your founder flag, which has from a software-side enabled you to do what you did. What you did, Jimbo, was not "responsible and sensitive". It was the opposite. It was giving us as the community the finger. --Asthma bronchiale (talk) 05:00, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Re your behavior on Commons

After five years on Wikipedia, I thought the project was ruled by consensus, not by Jimbo Wales. I'm sorry to learn I've been wrong. If anyone else did what you're doing now, they would be stripped of their sysop rights and be blocked for abusing them. You are seriously abusing your position and I'm sorry to see such a double standard, where different rules apply to you than to anyone else. This dictatorial behavior of yours is doing serious damage to Wikipedia (by deleting useful content) and especially to its reputation (by proving that it's not ruled by consensus after all, but by you). Please stop. Entheta (talk) 21:51, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo, it sounds like you have done the right thing. I lost my beaurocrat-ship at simple.wikipedia about a year ago, for taking a similar stand. I support your common-sense stance on that material apparently of no redeeming encyclopedic value. Blockinblox (talk) 22:42, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
My antique studies in constitutional and administrative law tell me that there are three ways of dealing with a issue; (1) Doing the wrong thing, (2) Doing the right thing the wrong way and (3) Doing the right thing the right way. In this case, I think we have (2). In particular, deleting images with the proviso that they can later be restored if "encyclopedic value" is established seems to me to be somewhat putting the cart before the horse, because it is not open to "yer average editor" to view the deleted image and offer an opinion based on its merit. It's a fairly strong argument, of course, for deletion, that the image is not used in any article on any language Wikipedia, and Commons is just being used as a gratuitous webhost. That, I think, is not the purpose of Commons. However, once CommonsDeletionBot and ImageDeletionBot have trawled round removing deleted images, we have a fait accompli which denies the collaborative nature of a Wiki. I have seen many explicit images used for vandalism, and have added them to the image blacklist as far as en:wiki is concerned; that does not imply that those images are lacking encyclopedic value in their appropriate context. This issue is obviously going to run for a while, and its backdraft may be unwelcome. Meanwhile, we have lost some committed admins and other editors on Commons, and that is a disappointment to me. Rodhullandemu 23:01, 7 May 2010 (UTC) are alluding to nonfeasance, malfeasance and misfeasance I assume. But what Jimbo was faced with mainly was the issue of doing nothing (nonfeasance) which couldn't be the option in this matter...I think it is safe to say he didn't do this with intent to harm, so he's not performing in a malfeasance about all anyone could reasonably argue is that there has been misfeasance but under the situation at Commons, the best option in regard to this matter was the nuclear one at present.--MONGO 05:55, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
It is a problem that Wales is allowed to wreak havoc as he pleases, following not consensus but his own whims. Normal admins are trusted by the Wikipedia community. As far as I can tell, Wales is not trusted by the community but is allowed to do as he pleases because he is who he is. It's an antiquated double standard that has to stop if Wikipedia is to be taken seriously. Wikipedia can either be a serious encyclopedia or Wales's personal playground. Not both. It's time he's treated as any other user, and not allowed to play dictator. His global adminship should be removed and he should only be admin on individual projects if the users trust him to be admin. Entheta (talk) 23:09, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree with Rodhull, it may have been a better approach to go through it first instead of afterward, but Commons does host an awful lot of images that are nothing more than homemade porn that nobody else wanted to host. I think an important point hat is being missed here is that these images are being removed from Commons, that's all. There is no public burning in the village square, and as far as I'm aware no repercussions for those that uploaded them other than needing to find a new place to post such images. I think it would be a good idea though if you could publicly emphasize that Wikipedia can be filtered to avoid seeing any offensive images, and that schools and parents should take an active role in insuring that children are not exposed to such content. That part of this that really galls me is that FOX is making hay out of it, like they "won." Whatever happened to reporting the news and leaving it at that? Beeblebrox (talk) 23:13, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that many of them indeed should be deleted, and obvious ones could perhaps be speedy deleted, but Wales have been deleting lots of pictures that it's not obvious they should be deleted and that means he's abusing his admin rights, rights that he hasn't earned like most admins have and that it doesn't seem like anyone can take away from him. Entheta (talk) 23:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Well, I kind of disagree. Jimbo started this project, but over the years has progressively relinquished editorial input, in that he is no longer prepared to summarily desysop admins, although holding the Founder flag, he could easily do that. It's not a simple issue, because it is by no means clear how much of Jimbo's original power and influence he has surrendered to the community at large. Whilst I would agree that some sort of overriding function should be available in emergency situations, in reality there's little that Jimbo does that cannot be done by Admins, who as you rightly point out, are trusted by the community. More complex issues are properly dealt with by ArbCom, or in extreme (i.e. clear and present danger) cases, by the Foundation. Ultimately, however, it's up to Jimbo to ascertain and define his role here, and I have no doubt that he would not make any major changes to that without serious consideration. Rodhullandemu 23:21, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

The problem is that the God-King was warned about the porn problem on Commons for months if not years. Instead of taking the opportunity to correct the problem then in a slow, methodical fashion, he chose to label the people alerting him as trolls and ignore the problem. Now that the news people are on the case he has to work extra fast to cover up the problem. (talk) 23:25, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, but I think your comments somewhat unworthy and unhelpful. Jimbo is a busy guy, and has somewhat moved on from day-to-day involvement here. His actions may be influenced by recent events, but to my mind, the problems needed to be addressed. Commons is not a junk-box for any old shite image, and especially not those that have no "encyclopedic purpose" - in short, Commons is not Flickr, and exists for a purpose, which is to provide free images primarily for the various Wikipedia projects, and any other website that can benefit from such generosity on the behalf of individuals. Rodhullandemu 23:38, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well I have experience in all the lame and illogical arguments that are used to demonize you from going through this on :simple:. But my point then is still valid. While these things may not be illegal in your jurisdiction, they are certifiably illegal in some jurisdictions on the globe. And wikipedia has no borders. Blockinblox (talk) 23:35, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Entheta, if you had made those comments about any other user I'm pretty sure you'd be getting a warning at the very least about uncivil comments and lack of AGF. Regarding two of your faulty premises here are my personal responses-
  • First- "Wales hasnt earned his adminship" so YOU say; um.... there'd be NO Wikipedia if it wasnt for him... so how did he not earn it by simply coming up with the idea and doing the hard work before any of the rest of us ever even thought of a community of average non-professional online users actually working together to do anything productive!
  • Second- "Wales isnt trusted by the community" so YOU say; I see differently. He's protected Wikipedia many times from those that would pile on a topic claiming "consensus" to do something; he's been our philosopher king and our benevelont dictator. You dont have to agree with him or his methods, but basically, if you dont like it go somewhere else and start your own online encyclopedia! I'm sorry, but if you had disagreed with practices at a Walmart when Sam Walton was still alive do you think you'd have the right as a customer to say "Walton has no right to make decisions at Walmart! Customers and employees dont trust him!"? Like it or not, for right or wrong, we are nothing more than customers AND employees of Wikipedia, though very empowered we may be in making decisions, ultimately it is NOT our company.Camelbinky (talk) 23:53, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
  • First. I can agree that he earned adminship but not for all eternity on all projects and that different rules should apply to him.
  • Second. Well I was under the impression that Wikipedia was run by policys created based on consensus and that Jimmy Wales wasn't free to change policy as he pleases. This isn't Wal-Mart or any other company and I didn't think Wales was the president and policymaker of Wikimedia like the CEO of a company. I guess I was wrong. Entheta (talk) 01:03, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Yup.Camelbinky (talk) 01:43, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Then WP:CON is obviously incorrect and should be rewritten to reflect that fact, that Wikipedia is not ruled by consensus but by Jimbo. Entheta (talk) 01:51, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • It was my understanding that some other admins at Commons actually started this, and Jimbo decided to endorse their actions and eventually join in. It may be going a bit too far, but a "porn purge" was actually a bit overdue. It seems like a lot of users are objecting to this because Jimbo is involved. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:48, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree Beeblebrox and pointed that out at the Village Pump where there is a mini-rebellion against Jimbo where the proposal is to upload the images directly here to en:Wikipedia and try an end run around Jimbo (like he isnt watching or something!). I pointed out that alot of the users seem to be endorsing the idea because they think Jimbo crossed a line and not actually any reason in supporting the images (I of course was told that wasnt true, but seriously if you read the reasons any logical sane person will see many of them are simply anti-Jimbo !votes).Camelbinky (talk) 02:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

:I would like to see Jimbo's comment on this discussion ? Mlpearc MESSAGE 02:31, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Mr. Wales please consider reading these few pages Community Consensus, Dictatorship and sysops open for recall. Thank you Mlpearc MESSAGE 03:14, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oh, and further reading here The Dark Side Mlpearc MESSAGE 03:22, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I reckon the porn problem on Commons has been present for a while, despite being minor in proportion it's noticed, and needed addressing, it reflected badly enough on Wikipedia already (PR-wise). But the way the problem is tackled matters too, and what annoys me most here is that plenty of images which were in actual use on local projects have been deleted. Local projects rely on Commons, and Commons has a responsibility to local projects; and if Commons' inclusion or deletion policies change inconsistently without regard to local projects, then it means local projects can't trust Commons, in addition to damage the content of local projects. As you know most Commons contributors are equally unhappy with how the actions were performed, dozens of editors retired and admins resigned... Yet most would have supported a better handled cleanup. Cenarium (talk) 05:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
See here for my comments on this at commons. You may not be aware, but many files which have been deleted were used in articles and their use had been approved by local projects; on en.wp several drawings and classic paintings whose use in (some high visibility) articles were long-term and established were deleted without notice. It is not appropriate for Commons or admins at Commons to, so to speak, break the contract with local projects by deleting those images without alerting local projects in advance. To elaborate, if an image has been deemed appropriate for use by a local project, then commons should not disregard the local project by deleting it without notice, it should notify in advance so that the local project has the opportunity to upload locally. When inclusion policies at commons change, local projects should be notified, as was done with changes in licensing I think. Not doing so results in articles displaying redlinked images or they are taken away by the delinker bot, so local projects are in a mess, if they even notice what happened. The option of undeleting later is of no use as the harm is already done to local projects and fixing the resulting mess is not easy. This situation reduces the confidence of local projects in Commons (hence the willingness of people to upload at commons), which is already variable due to some other issues. Cenarium (talk) 07:06, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Between here and the village pump I've noticed something that leads me to ask- Why is it that its ok for users to make comments about Jimbo that if I were to make about another editor I'd be given a "stern warning" at least, and possibly a 24-hour block?! And its not like this is the first time editors make such snide remarks I'm sure. It would be considered an "ongoing" rude behavior towards the same editor. Ironic the anti-Jimbo's want him to be "equal" and just one of us, but yet they have a double standard about saying things about him that if he ever said about one of them they'd be calling for his head (which they already do anyways).Camelbinky (talk) 06:43, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Mostly because the admins who would step in know it would be counter productive to issue blocks, as 1. its inevitable we'll be accused of being political/ass-kissing/keeping the little guy down/what have you 2. It would be a massive timesink dealing with the potential fall out from that 3. theres the threat of a wheel war lurking around the corner. 4. Its inevitable someone will raise "free speech" and "truth to power" issues which have the remarkable ability to increase the tendancy of the forehead to gravitate towards the palm, and 5. no one ever ends up behaving anyway.--Tznkai (talk) 06:48, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Upon reflection, that was a bit cynical, but thats basically what it is. We put up with a lot of crap because Jimbo is something of an acceptable target, by virtue of being a/the founder, and policing the bad behavior tends to cause a lot of high octane drama. Its deplorable, but most of us don't have the time, energy, and brilliance to fix the situation.--Tznkai (talk) 06:56, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Not too cynical...number 5 seemed close to spot on in some situations.--MONGO 07:19, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I have never commented on Jimbo's actions before and I have never been "anti-Jimbo" but what I've seen now is obvious abuse of power that shouldn't be tolerated of anyone, including Jimbo. If anyone still believes that he is trusted by the community they may want to look at this. Entheta (talk) 11:46, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I understand the use of having a Founder - of having someone who is clued in to what's going on and intimately familiar with the project. It is even at times useful to have someone willing to be the bad guy, so that something short-term can be done which is not laid down as precedent. But this has been poorly handled.
  1. I understand that you're not involved in the day-to-day running of things. But if you jump back in and take on a major crusade like this, then you should get some group of people thinking over the details ahead of time. There's been much more confusion and consternation over this announcement than was necessary, given which items currently appear to have been restored.
  2. Central to this is the charged and vague term "pornography", as in the "immediate deletion of all pornographic images". What I believe you meant, and what I think/hope is what has remained deleted in practice, were user-generated photographs of a sexual nature with no clear usefulness for Wikipedia or other projects. But when you started talking about "pornography" many people were shot straight back to the bad old days of the Communications Decency Act and women being censored on AOL because they talked about "breast" cancer.
  3. It is clear that Wikimedia Commons may not be up to the task of being the free photo archive of the world, especially if your sponsors take flack for it. Your focus on what is within the scope of the project was a better considered criterion. However:
  4. Any work of art, by which I mean drawings or other media requiring technical skill in the pursuit of aesthetics, should be immune from deletion. Even an amateur portrait has enough effort put into it that Commons should see it as a valuable asset to hold in the public interest if the author donates it. Sites like Flickr do not maintain records of past public licensing and are not a satisfactory substitute. Even amateur works are a precious asset to future anthropologists, sociologists and psychiatrists who wish to understand the nature of this age.
  5. Even drawings of explicit child pornography are protected by the First Amendment[13] and can be invaluable. Consider Mike Diana, who was convicted of felony obscenity before the 2002 decision cited above - his illustration of a child being molested by a priest was meant to call attention to such abuses at a time when few in the church were admitting they were happening! If he grants us copyright permission and we archive a copy of his Boiled Angel, that's something to be proud of — as part of the fight to defend morality.
  6. Quality illustrations and photographs of sexual topics should be retained. It is impossible to make Wikipedia child-safe, because anyone can edit it, and we shouldn't even pretend to try. Even if you could wave a magic wand and make all the sex images disappear, the site is still not safe for unprepared, unattended children because abusers/kidnappers could proposition them for meetings or direct them into other online forums.
  7. FOX News will be back. They will take your conciliatory gesture as a sign of weakness, and there is no core essence principle more fundamental to Republicanism than to kick the weak when they're down. They'd have you banning Democrats from editing Barack Obama if they could - and every time you give them what they want, they'll have more contempt for you than before. Wnt (talk) 21:50, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Democrats should not be editing Barack Obama and neither should Republicans. That is why there is so much fighting in that article. Wnt, your analogy has hurt your point you are trying to get across. Getting sexually related images off Wikipedia can be justified if Wikipedia just came out and said that from now on, it will follow the customs of 12 countries in deciding. They could choose 2 per continent (3 for Asia, 1 for Australia). For example, Wikipedia following the customs of the United States, Panama, Chile, Peru, Australia, Qatar, India, South Korea, Romania, Spain, Egypt and Senegal. Image 0001 (hypothetical) could be judged as unacceptable in 6 countries so deleted. Assorg (talk) 05:15, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
The fallacy in that is the question of what a country's "customs" really are. If you mean laws, then there is no averaging allowed — the U.S. isn't going to give an inch on those things it actually prohibits, and so what you describe could only be to add more layers of unnecessary regulation. And if you mean beliefs, ideals, well, ideals are made by individuals and groups, and our custom, our ideal, is to embrace the widest possible base of knowledge. That's the custom we should embrace in every country, and we do so in these discussions, this "consensus" behind policies rejecting censorship of the content. People in all nations are welcome, though they are segregated by the languages of the wikis in which they participate.
Your quibble about the Democrats mistakes the practical situation in the U.S. Because of the two-party system the vast majority of editors are on one side or the other, and FOX News is on one particular side also. My point is that FOX News is not a neutral arbiter here but has a well-known point of view that it would love to impose on others. Wnt (talk) 08:45, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

coup d'état

What ever happens, I hope that there is not a community ban and desysop motion against our leader, Mr. Wales. If there is a consensus to community ban, Mr. Wales could still use his palace guards and fight off the freedom fighters.

I would have been in favor of a discussion about the proposed deletion first with a passionate written "speech" by Mr. Wales at the end to settle the dispute. The result of getting rid of nudity would still be the same but it would have been a neater situation, much like the King of Thailand saving the country from a military coup rather than the leader of the Khmer Rouge dictating their way.Assorg (talk) 05:36, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

There are many editors who support Jimbo's actions (I'm one). Such editors normally wouldn't bother posting in a forumdiscussion like this because there is no point (Jimbo doesn't need more acclaim, and the OMGFREESPEECH people are having trouble listening atm). If any serious coup/RfC were held, there would be plenty of expressions of strong support for Jimbo. Johnuniq (talk) 07:53, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Gee, where do I sign up to be a palace guard? ;) I completely agree with Johnuniq. I wish Jimbo NEVER had uttered any comment about giving up any rights to anything, its one thing to voluntarily choose not to use power in any cases that come up, its another thing to actually make the declaration that he WONT use it or will give it up; I believe that any comments he made giving up rights or saying he wouldnt use them was a mistake. I dont believe the argument some have made at the village pump (proposals) that many editors wouldnt have started editing in the first place unless he had is a valid argument. We are here to edit an encyclopedia, we dont come to Wikipedia to have "power" in making new rules on how an encyclopedia should be made. Anyone who did come to Wikipedia for that reason is someone we dont need. Wikipedia would be drama free if all we were allowed to do was edit talk pages and articles and only Jimbo and the Foundation could do policy. Less editors sure, but many editors dont do actual editing anyways, they focus on policy pages and AN/I and drama filled stupid things. Wish Jimbo would start from scratch, I for one would abandon Wikipedia and follow him, taking the time to move all the articles I worked on/created with me.Camelbinky (talk) 18:05, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

From what I can see, Jimbo was in a damned if he does and damned if he does't situation. I dont think there was the luxury of time. The Foundation is physically located in the U.S. and U.S. laws can shut it down if it comes to that. While Im sure you can and maybe should argue for the restoration of certain images... there existance is known I think youre being too hard. Id rather see this than the existance of the whole project threatened.Thelmadatter (talk) 18:24, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The Foundation and its legal counsel have clarified that at no point were we in legal jeopardy. Additionally, contrary to Jimbo's earlier claims, they chose not to enact any new policy. --Alecmconroy (talk) 00:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


Just curious — have you ever tried to edit, only to find that someone blocked you at random? I notice that various people have blocked you several times, even aside from the Robdurbar incident. Nyttend (talk) 13:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

No, that's never happened to me. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Marketing Week essay

Hey Jimmy,

Did you actually write this brief essay which appeared in the May 6 issue of Marketing Week? Or was it part of a speech you gave? Ottre 15:31, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

As the words seem similar to mine, but not what I would have written *exactly*, I think it's written down from an interview or conversation. I'm not really sure. Did you have a specific question about some detail of it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


  • When you gave up the use of block tool you've said "Soon, I will be making some announcements about the upcoming ArbCom elections that are in the same general spirit - and which go far beyond the proposals that even some of my harshest critics have recommended. (I think they are wrong about their criticism, but I also, perhaps surprisingly think they are too mild in their reform proposals.) When this will happen, or did I miss something? Sole Soul (talk) 12:46, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I think you missed something. But at this moment, for the life of me, I can't remember. But this related to last year's ArbCom election.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:40, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Global Group rights

If you could, please don't edit global group rights on any wiki except for meta [14]. It's very confusing to have these changes spread out over multiple wikis, so try to remember to use meta. Thanks, Prodego talk 17:45, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Oh, oops. I just did it again on en - but to remove my ability to edit them, so I won't be doing it anywhere after this. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:50, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you

Hi Jimbo, as an administrator both here and on Commons, I just wanted to echo here my sentiments at meta:Requests_for_comment/Remove_Founder_flag#A_word_of_thanks_to_Jimbo; although your recent actions at Commons were reckless, your surrender of your own technical privileges was thoughtful and showed faith in the community. I hope you will continue to participate in content contribution and policy discussions both here and on Commons, and I can assure you that your voice will be heard. Dcoetzee 02:11, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Since I don't want to create an account at Wikimedia (why can't we log in there with Wikipedia accounts?), I want to join in here and thank Jimbo for doing the right thing. Imho he really went too far, phony criticism by a right wing newschannel doesn't create an emergency that warrants such heavy handed actions, but Jimbo showed self criticism and reacted on the controversy in an exemplary way. Kudos! Hmm, btw, I read about this in the news, but I can't find an official statement in either Wikipedia nor Wikimedia news. Where is it? Gray62 (talk) 08:51, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
The closest thing to an official statement is the Foundation's QA. See other collected sources, or wait for next week's Signpost. Dcoetzee 09:06, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
One important thing to note is that the criticism wasn't phony. Commons had and still has a very real problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:15, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Your mileage may vary. However, it's my opinion that the criticism by FoxNews wasn't driven by any honest concerns, but simply by the desire to create a scandal that drives the ratings up. That's what I call phony. A simple google news search, showing the low coverage in the news, proves that the vast majority of the MSM didn't see this as a scandal, not even as a serious issue. No misunderstanding, I'm totally for a serious discussion in the community, and the honest critics here sure have a point, but what Fox did was self servingly creating a storm in a teapot. Gray62 (talk) 09:29, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I thought I could be proud...

I've recently been talking heeartly about wikipedia with my friends at the university. I was proud about the project and what I had contributed. But in ilght of your recent actions, I feel ashamed, and the wikiprojects is no longer anything I can be as proud with. I hope this panic delitionism cease so I can keep recruiting people without bad feelings. Thanks. [IP] 22:50, 7 May 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Let your friends know their are still plenty of places on the internet where they can see pictures of a shemale getting ass-fisted free of charge... Beeblebrox (talk) 23:17, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
OMG linkpls. Tarc (talk) 23:20, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Be careful what you wish for:I'm actually kind of surprised how easy it was to find that. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:29, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Which is the crux of my above agreement, increased censorship here is not going to make this information unavailable to children. — raeky (talk | edits) 23:36, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's a really lame argument. "It's easily available to my kids elsewhere, so it should continue to be available here." Oh, and I love that part about it being "tasteful." What makes you the judge of what is or is not "tasteful?" Some pervert getting his jollies off of being able to post pornographic images of himself and others under the guise of "encyclopedic content" is hardly "tasteful." Pig in a dress and all that. As for being over-sighted, that's exactly what Jimbo and others are now doing, so quicherbichin. You can't have it both ways. You like over-sighting, but not when it goes against what you personally do or do not agree with. Seregain (talk) 20:39, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
zOMG you actually took the time to find a link for that? No way in hell I'm going to click it, but you must have metaphorical balls of steel to look that up. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 23:40, 7 May 2010 (UTC)
Yea, actually don't click that link unless you want to see some industrial grade porn, it's pretty nasty. It didn't take any time at all to find though, maybe thirty seconds. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:50, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
30 seconds? is all you need. -Atmoz (talk) 05:35, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Reading this, I just needed to time myself : 20 seconds. Wait... I'll find another one... yep... 25 seconds I found a video this time. Iluvalar (talk) 23:47, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
  • For those complaining, I would be interested to know what photos have been deleted that someone says are depriving the encyclopedia of true educational content vs. rank pron. Autofellatio, Pearl necklace (sexuality), any sex position, Urolagnia, Threesome they all still have illustrative graphics. From what I saw of Jimbo's initial comments that started things, this is a matter of reeling back in some places where it has truly got out of hand.--Milowent (talk) 03:09, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Such as those images used for works by artists? I don't think deleting those are helpful. SilverserenC 03:13, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Examples? Hit up my talk page if this gets too off topic. If we are running around like chickens with our heads cut off, I want to know whether its warranted to get the axe myself.--Milowent (talk) 03:18, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
[15] John Vandenberg (chat) 04:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Is it being used to illustrate vibrator use on Wikipedia? I haven't had occasion to ponder whether wikimedia is also a depository for galleries of such work.--Milowent (talk) 05:03, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is. And even if not: in articles like Félicien Rops we have a small box Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Félicien Rops. The more pics of any kind we have in these artist categories the better. --SibFreak (talk) 07:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. In terms of editorial judgment, I guess there can be debate about how many dildos need to be displayed on a page about dildos. Since wikipedia is not paper, it could be unlimited. My acceptance of jimbo's actions were considered in terms of being comprehensive and educational on a wikipedia page. The analysis is different if the goal at wikimedia commons is to have unlimited size galleries of this type. That's not needed for wikipedia's goal, but it may be for the commons' different goal. If that's the goal at the commons, do we want there to be as many pictures as possible of pearl necklaces? (This is a serious question.)--Milowent (talk) 11:57, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
My serious answer is: yes, why not? Why should we want unlimited images of, say, Phobos surface and not of pearl necklaces or other sexual content? What is different in them both documenting notable aspects of the world and humankind? --Cyclopiatalk 17:36, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't normally support Jimbo, and he probably doesn't want my support, but it's perfectly reasonable and correct to delete superfluous pornographic images that could potentially be harmful to the project. It would be better if such decisions were taken locally, but if there was ever a time when Jimbo's intervention was appropriate, this is it. Everyking (talk) 01:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

The relevant point about at least most, hopefully all of the photos that have remained deleted is that they are outside the Commons:Commons:Project scope, which specifically excludes "private party photos" and "photos of yourself and your friends". The word "pornography" is a tremendous distraction from the actual policy. Wnt (talk) 04:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

THANK GOD we undeleted the photographic image for autofellatio!! I'm sure we have all our ducks in a row when it comes to 18 U.S.C. § 2257 and this image. JBsupreme (talk) ✄ ✄ ✄ 14:21, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


Dear Jimbo,
I feel deeply sorry that you decided not to reply to these serious concerns related to the international character of Wikpedia.
Knowing your position on it would still be very helpful to ease serious discomposure in other projects. Kind regards from Germany, --Nemissimo (talk) 12:34, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I've been replying to this and similar comments here and there - I'm sorry that I overlooked this one.

I am aware of cultural differences between the US and Europe - they are quite small, perhaps much smaller than you realize if you don't have a lot of experience in both places. I don't think that's really the issue, and casting as a "US versus Europe" issue isn't something that I find very enlightening.

On the other hand, I do think that serious thought about respecting cultural differences around the world - no easy matter at all - is going to be very valuable. I can share with you experiences from slum schools in India - where the parents are very keen on education and also very conservative. I'd love to hear from school teachers in Europe about how parents would feel about their children seeing some of the more extreme hardcore pornography that was being hosted on commons.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

If you've been to Europe, you should know that children see more graphic stuff just walking by a newspaper stand on the street than they would on Commons. In Europe there just is not a general shunning of the display of nudity or anything sexual if children could see or become aware of it, as it is the case in the United States. --Asthma bronchiale (talk) 18:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to have to say that's simply false. I spend a lot of time in Europe, and I've traveled to nearly every country in Europe. I am observant and go into shops and look at magazine racks, newspaper stands, etc. And I can say with confidence that I've never seen anything remotely like this (warning: NSFW) on any newstand in Europe. The one exception I can think of is in Amsterdam, just next to the red light district, where I did see porn openly displayed. Even there, it was just the covers, and they were mostly not themselves graphic. (There was nudity, yes, but nothing like graphic hardcore pornography.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:32, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo is right, as a European I can confirm that that's simply not true. No porn at newsstands in Europe, even though nude pictures without any explicit sexual action is allowed in many countries. The reason for this is to safeguard the children, of course. There are laws prohibiting exposing minors to porn. So, this stuff is confined to areas where only those of legal age are allowed. However, I doubt that you'll find autofellatio pictures there - too few people are fans of that to establish a market :D! Btw, afaik the US Supreme Court will soon decide if similar state laws in the US are a violation of the freedom of speech rights of minors. If the Supremes allow restricting the access of minors to porn, this will be difficult to implement in Wikipedia. Any mechanism for checking the legal age of users will be unpopular and costly.Gray62 (talk) 08:35, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Asthma bronchiale - I think that perhaps you need to reconsider your comment. Europe may have a much smaller physical mass than any other continent (except perhaps Australia), but it is hardly a cultural monolith. Can you state without question that the same community and national standards hold true in Turkey? Georgia? Romania? Bulgaria? I think we both know that they don't. I don't fully agree with some of the deletions that were done as part of this situation, and I am glad that they are being re-examined; however, to suggest that the cultural differences of one part of Europe should override those of a much larger percentage of the world population (not just the United States) is just as absurd as saying that the cultural sensitivities of another group should override those of Western Europeans. Let's not play that game, please. Risker (talk) 19:22, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I've started Wikipedia:sexual content/FAQ to provide a view on this and other questions. Comments welcome... Wnt (talk) 21:37, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

If you want WP a safe for work, safe for families place, shouldn't it be enough to include in Mediawiki a "filtering" mechanism, like a checkbox saying "Enable NSFW content", instead of censoring content in the first place (Just like Google does with the filter in search)? You may be right in preferring kids not to stumble upon autofellatio images by chance on WP/WMC, yet there is nothing right in preventing people who want those images for informative purposes to see them. I know such a mechanism has often been proposed (and rejected), yet it could be implemented if you may wish, and get the best of both worlds. --Cyclopiatalk 17:45, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Hi Jimbo, I'm sure it's unintentional, but could you have the abusefilter-private right removed from the founder group? As noted in m:Abuse filter#Notes, "The "abusefilter-private" right should not be assigned to any wiki as it provides unlogged access to user IP addresses who trip any filter". Thanks. Tim Song (talk) 22:08, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm afraid I don't see what you're getting at, nor what the caution means. The right isn't assigned to any wiki, is it? What does it mean to assign a right to a wiki? Why do we have a right at all if it isn't to be assigned to anyone? In any event, I won't be using it, because I don't even know how - nor care. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:17, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
The abusefilter-private right allows those who have it to see the IP address of any edit by using the AbuseFilter examine interface. The right isn't assigned to anyone (except the founder group), because it is essentially an unlogged form of checkuser. It exists because on some wikis, it might be desirable to view this information, but on the WMF sites it isn't used due to privacy concerns. Prodego talk 16:44, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Removed from the founder group. -- Avi (talk) 04:22, 11 May 2010 (UTC)


Great to meet you today, even if it was very brief. I look forward to the next time you're in London, and speaking more over a glass of whatever you fancy. Best regards, WilliamH (talk) 23:56, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, likewise. matt (talk · cont) 12:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

About "Petition to Jimbo"

Dear Sir:

I have read "Petition to Jimbo" which is in Wikimedia Forum. And I am not surprised that "Petition to Jimbo" has been written by administrator VasilievVV who belongs to that community which consists of administrators Ilya Voyager, Yaroslav Blanter, Alex Smotrov, ...

Галактион Терёшин (talk) 11:15, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Dear Sir:
Administrator Ruslick0 blocked my IP-address ( after he [or she] had read my previous message.
If you did not ask administrator Ruslik0 to block my IP-address, and you allow me to appeal to you, then you may unblock my IP-address.
By the way, Mr [or Mrs] Ruslick0 is an administrator in the English Wikipedia, though his [or her] native language is the Russian language.
Галактион Терёшин. Галактион (talk) 23:06, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


There is a thread at AN which mentions you. –xenotalk 15:54, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Couldn't this just be a banner at the top? :) (stolen from chzz) James (T C) 21:17, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Clarification re Founder

Hi there,

Regarding the recent changes to the permissions of Founder, could you possibly please document it on a wiki page, in some clear manner, or else ask someone else to do so? We've seen the log on meta and the changes to the global group permissions, but it's difficult to see exactly what has changed, and I understand that some changes have not been recorded.

No complaints, criticism or opinions - just, it would help us to evaluate the issues if we could see what has happened, and in the interests of openness.

Many thanks,  Chzz  ►  21:14, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't have the least clue to be honest.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:28, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Ah, fair enough; I'll ask Avi to take a look. Thanks,  Chzz  ►  21:47, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

In a nutshell, the global Founder group now has no "special" action privileges outside of any autoconfirmed user, but has the ability to see just about all information. The idea being that as founder, Jimbo should be able to access all information on any wikipedia project, but have no special global "disciplinary" (block, CU) or editing (protect/delete) privileges. I've summarized the rights associated with the global founder group below.

Name of right Brief explanation
abusefilter-log, abusefilter-log-detail, abusefilter-view, abusefilter-view-private Can read restricted and unrestricted edit filters and logs
apihighlimits Use higher limits in API queries
autopatrol Have one's own edits automatically marked as patrolled
browsearchive Search deleted pages
centralauth-merge Can merge own local accounts into own global account
checkuser-log Can access the checkuser logs to see that person X ran a check on person Y or IP Z - but not the actual checkuser data
createaccount Create new user accounts
deletedhistory View deleted history entries, without their associated text
deletedtext View deleted text
edit Edit pages
globalblock-exempt Not affected by global blocks
import Import pages from other wikis
importupload Import pages from a file upload
ipblock-exempt Bypass IP blocks, auto-blocks and range blocks
minoredit Able to mark edits as minor
move Move pages
noratelimit Not be affected by rate limits
oversight May view a previously hidden revision
proxyunbannable Bypass automatic blocks of proxies
purge Purge the site cache for a page without confirmation
read Read pages
rollback Quickly rollback the edits of the last user who edited a particular page (equ. to global rollback)
sendemail Send email through wikipedia interface
suppressionlog View the suppression logs
suppressredirect Given option not to create a redirect from the old name when moving a page
suppressrevision Review and restore revisions hidden from Sysops. This does allow the ability to suppress, but currently there is no way to separate view suppressed revisions from actually suppressing them. This is in the pipeline for the developers to address. When the permissions are split, I am sure Jimbo will be happy to maintain solely the view suppressed ability.
torunblocked Not blocked when using a TOR node
unwatchedpages View a list of unwatched pages
upload Upload files

One other note, the ability to edit protected pages is inseparable from the ability to protect the pages. Currently, Jimbo can do neither through the global founder flag (although he is a local EnWiki admin). I hope that clarifies any issues. -- Avi (talk) 22:23, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

I notice that I am 'autoconfirmed' (according to your chart above) meaning that I can edit semi-protected pages. I took away from myself a separate right to edit semi-protected pages, mainly because I thought it was excessive and the whole point of this was to make a grand statement that technical rights are not the issue. It's a shame if autoconfirmed gives me that right back without me realizing it. Are there weird side-effects if I ask for autoconfirmed to be removed?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I think you could be trusted more than an IP or account under 4 days old. Edit semi-protected pages is not a concern. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:54, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
As Jimmy said, he's hoping to "make a grand statement that technical rights are not the issue," which I would take to mean he's not thinking there is a consensus he can no longer be trusted as an autoconfirmed editor (keep in mind, he's still an admin on en:WP). There is some truth to this, by far most helpful content editing here needs no more technical access than that given to an IP. Gwen Gale (talk) 08:01, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. I learned it from Obi-wan. It is not about technical rights.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:09, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Then Jimbo, what is going to happen? I have a lot more faith in you as founder, than in certain ingrates who seem to want to take over control of this project for their own ends. (talk) 10:12, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Per your request, I have removed the "autoconfirmed" right from the global founder list. You will now have to become autoconfirmed on each site individually. If there are any side effects, please let me know. -- Avi (talk) 12:30, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Vote for revoking you as administrator on nl:wikipedia

FYI : Tuesday 11 may 2010 starts a vote to revoke your adiminstorship on nl:wikipedia : nl:Wikipedia:Afzetting moderatoren. Regards, Aleichem (talk) 03:42, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. I just removed my bit there - didn't even remember that it was set (it's from years ago).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:59, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Your user groups are currently a bit deceptive; they show that you're not an admin on Wikimedia Commons even if you have deletion rights. Which you shouldn't have (essentially per WP:COI) as long as you are willing to let outside media (or fear of bad PR) influence content decisions. This is a matter of principle, and far more important than the question whether or not we should host a few hundred legal pornographic images. Please follow community opinion and resign your Founder flag before you do more harm. Thank you, —Кузьма討論 09:45, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Кузьма. This would not have been a problem if you hadn't let the media (Fox News? x_x) influence your decisions. It wouldn't have been a problem at all. Aditya Ex Machina 14:38, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
It's not about Fox News, but in any event, you perhaps missed my announcement that I've removed virtually all the rights to do things of the Founder flag already - I can't even edit semi-protected pages! :-) If that's an important matter - well, it's already resolved. But I don't think it is important. I think what is important is upholding our educational mission.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:43, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
As long as you still have your founder flag and can give yourself back the admin rights, it is important. You have shown yourself to act against consensus and wreak havoc like a vandal. You are not trusted by the community and as long as you have any special powers (that are usually given to users because they are trusted, which you're not), the credibility of Wikipedia and all the Wikimedia projects is absolute zero. If you want what's best for the project, not just for yourself, you should give up all your rights and preferrably also resign from the foundation board and let people who want what's best for Wikipedia take over. Just to be clear, I've never had an opinion about you before the last few days but after these last few days it's clear that you've abused your position and outstayed your welcome. Sorry. Entheta (talk) 14:50, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Disagree. In some unique cases, Wikipedia needs a final arbiter who can summarily cut to the quick and do what is necessary for Wikipedia and its community. I, for one, trust Jimbo and would vote no on revoking him as administrator where I on the Dutch version or here if it spills over. --Morenooso (talk) 14:54, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the reason why so many people were angry was because they felt that you gave higher priority to a news article than community discussion. Wikipedia's image and reputation does not depend on news articles by a sensationalist media group like Fox News. Our reputation depends on the quality of our articles on the encyclopedia. The BLP problem, for example, was serious as it directly affected articles' content. The porn thing could have used community discussion though. Unilateral action was not necessary, and was perhaps a bit too bold. I don't oppose the removal of images themselves, but it could have been done without generating so much heat.
Finally, I appreciate you giving up the Founder rights. I think Entheta is too harsh in his comment above about resigning from the board, etc. etc. I truly believe that you want what's best for Wikipedia, I just think you're doing it sorta wrong. Aditya Ex Machina 15:00, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
The most important thing for any government - whether monarchy or democracy - is to have a separation and balance of powers. Jimbo got carried away, not so much because he was deleting material personally (which really was outside the well established community consensus for what needs to be maintained), but because he threw unqualified support behind some admins who were doing the deletions.[16] Once some admins were better than others, reasoned deliberation was eclipsed by controversial deletions.
But we should not make the same mistake ourselves. Jimbo's status as Founder means that he is fundamentally trustworthy - a rare virtue among those in charge in any situation. If we destroy all of that power, then who will stand up to the Wikimedia Board or some cabal of administrators if they make some unreasonable decision behind closed doors? Those in charge will always make mistakes - the key is having others in a position to challenge those mistakes. Wnt (talk) 17:03, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I strongly disagree that anyone is "fundamentally trustworthy" no matter what they do. That means Jimbo gets to behave any way he pleases just because he had a great idea and started Wikipedia years ago. These last few days he's been acting like a vandal and done tons of damage to the project. I think if anyone would have done the same they would have been permblocked. The question here is not who's to stand up to the board, but who's to stand up to Jimbo when he's abusing his powers after going into panic mode after some Sanger/Fox News story. He's out of control and a danger to the project. His priviliges should go and the best thing would be if he left too. He's not doing this project any good anymore. Entheta (talk) 17:29, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Please provide diffs to support your comments and accusations of vandalism, just looks like housekeeping to me. This is not Freenet . Off2riorob (talk) 17:33, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
In case you missed it: This entire thing is about him going berserk and deleting hundreds of files against consensus, dozens hundreds of users having tospend time nominate files for undeletion, undelete them, find where they were used in dozens of projects and put them back. He acted with absolutely no respect for the other users and casued them hundreds of hours of work for no reason. If that's not vandalizing I don't know what is. It's certainly much worse than any vandalism I've ever seen in my years on the Wikipedia projects, including being an admin on the Swedish Wikipedia. Entheta (talk) 17:38, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
This is not Freenet . Users are so brave and vocal and demanding when they assume no responsibility for anything, go get your own five thousand dollar an hour lawyer or put your identity on your userpage, it is so easy to assert that someone with multiple responsibilities including legal issues when you are an unidentified user who imagines he is protected by someone else's five thousand dollars an hour lawyers, yea yea. Off2riorob (talk) 17:33, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
That's got absolutely nothing to do with anything. If this was about legel matters he would have deleted a few files that were potentially illegal, not delete hundreds of old paintings and illustrations made by Wikipedia users. Have you seen some of the files he deleted? It's beyond ridiculous. There's absolutely no justification for what he did. He went into panic mode because he got some bad press. Entheta (talk) 17:49, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes it has it has got everything to do with it. So what, a few sexy files, move along. Do you want some bad press? No you don't , you are a anonymous user with no responsibility at all. Off2riorob (talk) 17:53, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
No I don't want bad press but that doesn't mean you have to go into panic mode, ignore consensus and policy and start deleting tons of pictures that had absolutely nothing to do with the issue. "So what" you say. Shows the same kind of arrogance Jimbo has shown the last few days. You know, people actually spent time uploading files. Some spent lots of time making very good illustrations just for Commons only to have them suddenly deleted for no reason other than Jimbo's complete lack of respect for the entire Wikimedia community. Entheta (talk) 17:58, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
You don't want anything, you don't want your identity to be known, you don't want to pay for your own expensive legal lawyers and you don't want publicity under your real name that you want the sexy pictures to be kept (how does it feel when the writ drops through your letterbox, you don't know and you don't care) you just want to claim that someone who has helped to create the very project you have the pleasure of enjoying has done a awful thing by removing some sexy pictures that you don't want to be deleted. I am sorry but it is you that is arrogant without any justification.Off2riorob (talk) 18:10, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
If you want to know my name you can find it on some of the files I have uploaded on Commons, it shouldn't be too hard. Because someone asked, here's a list of some of the files that were deleted: File:Félicien Rops - Sainte-Thérèse.png (historical image), File:Édouard-Henri Avril (27).jpg (historical painting), File:Wiki-fisting.png (educational illustration), File:Wiki-facial.svg (educational ill), File:Reyna Leone at Erotica LA 2005 4.jpg, File:Masturbating hand.jpg (tasteful photo with educational value), File:Franz von Bayros 016.jpg (historical illustration). If you're trying to tell me any of these files needed to be deleted for Wikimedia not to be sued you must be joking so stop your melodrama about lawyers and writs. Entheta (talk) 18:16, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Obviously Jimbo pulled a boner with a few historical paintings, but the error has been undone there. I honestly believe our laborious AfD process throws away a higher percentage of educational material that shouldn't be deleted. (e.g. I think it was more of a mistake to delete Igne Lynn Collins Bongo last month than any three of the above). The focus now has to recognize but get over some of the initial clumsy mistakes and ensuing panicked counterreaction, and try to circle the wagons, uphold existing policy, and put up a unified defense the next time FOX News attacks us. Wnt (talk) 19:58, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to see those images, so I can know what you all are bitching about. Speaking as someone who hasn't seen what he's done, and can only rely on your squealing, you look like a bunch of silly, precious fools. Has one of you compiled a gallery somewhere of the images he deleted? Anthony (talk) 18:02, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

It's hard for the average user to collect images after they're deleted... and hard to predict which will be deleted. We should appeal to Encylopædia Dramatica to help us house our excess collections... Wnt (talk) 19:58, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
This topic has started to degrade into personal attacks against other editors. As per WP:NPA, comment on content and not the contributor, please. --Morenooso (talk) 18:04, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
See my response to Off2 above for a few examples. Entheta (talk) 18:16, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm sure you're not a bunch of silly, precious, reckless idiots, I'm just making the point that you look that way to someone who only knows Jim deleted some offensive material, the presence of which was potentially harming Wikipedia's reach, particularly into schools. Entheta, those files you point to have all been restored, and rightly so. I'm assuming he deleted a bunch of this kind of thing that, though well-drawn, doesn't belong anywhere. Or am I being a Philistine, too? Anthony (talk) 00:59, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Useless discussions stick to this talk page like flies - blgh.
Since you weren't active on our project we won't really miss you, but I think it's a pity you decided to drop your special status. Cross-wiki contact and discussion is an underestimated thing, in which "well-known" users like yourself can play an important role. I respect your decision though. Thanks. Woodwalkertalk 17:15, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
This user was very active in our project, maybe build it, and i will miss him as one of our administrators, but that does not have to mean there will be no more cross-wiki contact nor discussion. Aleichem (talk) 01:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo, I can imagine what you have been going through these last days since the attack from Larry Sanger and Fox News started. I hope it all will end up happily. In any case you have my sympathy and my solidarity. --Hispalois (talk) 21:51, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo, to begin with, the countless pointless images were uploaded by a bunch of total scalawags, who should know how wretched they are. Now, who do you think is raising such an indignant stink about their deletion? You need to stand up to this kind of coward - not let them run the show and tell you what "must" be acceptable to everyone else. In many countries, they would be arrested for what they promote to the detriment of mankind. I support what you have done so far 110%, and so do many others in the silent majority. Blockinblox (talk) 02:24, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Blockinblox, thank you for your kind words. Please don't remain a part of the silent majority. I think a lot of people still have a hard time understanding where people do not share their worldview are coming from. Thoughtful statements and reflective arguments will have a strong impact.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:16, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Important Comment: When you don't stay part of the silent majority you get a gagg order imposed upon you by small minded people afraid to lose their power. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 13:35, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Now, now, no need to insult Jimbo Wales on his own page... Fram (talk) 13:43, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
No, with this kind of lack of understanding, remaining part of a silent group is preferable, you should consider joining him in that effort. Countless undeletion requests dealing with your out-of-process and against community spirit deletions show that not all the photos were uploaded by a bunch of total whatevers. You used an incorrect deletion rationale and deleted many images that were legitimately in use, and much of your 'work' has been undone. Bear in mind that when someones work is in a large part undone by the community they usually get a warning for having been disruptive. Dubbing everything you disagree with as 'pornography' was unsupportable in this case. Undermining the legitimate use of images on other Wikis was disruptive. Bear in mind that people who undertake mass deletions to make a point are usually given more than a warning. It looks like sour grapes when the community is unable to support your actions in whole, and rather than accept it you agree with those classing all the uploaders as cowards. Many of the files have been reuploaded - not by cowards but by committed volunteers who understand deletion process and the concept of consensus. If name calling is the best you can resort to, remaining part of a silent faction would be prefereable. Weakopedia (talk) 06:13, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, you are normally rather strict on personal attacks , but when someones makes some very blatant ones ("a bunch of total scalawags, who should know how wretched they are", "this kind of coward") on your talk page to support you, you consider it "Thoughtful statements and reflective arguments"? Deleting historical artfiles out of process because you panicked, and then deleting them again and again and warning the undeleting admins not to editwar, that is cowardice (as every bully is a coward only taking on those with less power). Fram (talk) 06:47, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
No, that was necessary boldness. It takes boldness to face down these cowardly criminals who exploit children illegally. But they deserve far worse. (talk) 13:20, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't believe that it has been claimed that any of the images now deleted were child porn, so you'll need another argument. And the images that were editwarred, like the Rops artwork, were definitely not child porn. No criminals were involved in this. Fram (talk) 13:53, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes it has been claimed - just google recent news for wikipedia. (talk) 13:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Anyone can claim anything they like; simply making a claim does not make it true. If FoxNews purposefully ignores the difference between nudity and pornography then they are doing a disservice to their viewers, especially when it makes them run around like Chicken Littles screaming "Wiki hosts CP, Wiki hosts CP!" which is not and never has been true. That doesn't mean it has never been uploaded, but it certainly never remains once people are alerted to its presence. As for scalawags, I suppose it is better than being called a stuck up, halfwitted, scruffy-looking nerfherder. :) Tarc (talk) 14:08, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. When I said that it hadn't been claimed, I meant by the people involved here and at commons, not whatever the media make of it. Fram (talk) 14:18, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Ah, of course... "I am, and none else beside me". (talk) 14:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)