User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 59

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Archive 58 | Archive 59 | Archive 60


One result of our last image "censorship" debate

Help:Options to not see an image. (Sue has been asking about this sort of thing.) - (talk) 09:54, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Interesting idea, even though I don't think that requiring to log in to enable blocking of adult pictures will help the parents who are concerned about their kids being exposed to porn. Implementing a Firefox Add.On like "Fox Filter" is a better solution,imho. But thx for the link! Gray62 (talk) 11:54, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think those are interesting hints towards solutions but do not really address some important problems. I think we need to serve the interests of our readers in a more efficient way than telling them to go download software.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:15, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Help:Options to not see an image was designed as a response to help users who did not wish to see images (too violent, too sexual, illegal in their county, etc.) that the community had decided should be kept. There will always be a minority with a need for individualization of our educational resources which attempt to best service the needs of the majority who look things up to learn rather than for other purposes. Deletion of any image that lacks educational value has not only the approval of the community, but also is mandated by the Foundation Board. The unsolved issue is educational images that cause PR problems. Some say it would be better to have advertising than to let major financial contributors dictate content. A repository of millions of images that represents a fair sampling of the sum of human knowledge will necessarily have hundreds of sexually oriented images that can be taken out of context. Perhaps every images that is questioned as to its educational value should have a detailed explanation of its educational value to provide context and discourage thoughtless uploads. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:10, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
That and the fact that Wikipedia is not a free (as in beer) image hosting provider, not for porn, nor for any other type of image. Jimmy, a cleaner approach would be to enact and enforce policy that images are removed if they are not being used appropriately. Appropriate uses of images can be enumerated. Pornographic userpage decorations are not an appropriate use of Foundation assets, e.g. [1]. Jehochman Talk 13:25, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Well, no comment on the German userpage per se, but I agree in general with a standard of appropriate use. I think the harder part is saying what uses are appropriate or not, what images are appropriate or not, and in what places.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:29, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that if an image is not used in any article or news story, or someplace else of similar educational merit, then why do we need it? There are a lot of pornographic images (and other images) that are only used for decorating userspace pages. We can apply a much stricter requirement for userpage-only images. Sure, upload a portrait of yourself because this helps morale, but I think there is no need for userspace-only porn. Jehochman Talk 13:32, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I think where consensus has broken down has been in the understandable unwillingness of many helpful editors to bother wading into discussions (deletion discussions among them) about dodgy images, either because they don't want to see the images, or don't want their usernames linked with anything having to do with them. Many such users are likely not prudes at all, by the way.
I would agree that given the goals of Wikipedia, keeping a given image only if it has worth as to teaching would be by far the more helpful outlook, rather than a software fix (moreover one which must be downloaded and/or installed). As to whether images not shown/linked in articles or the project space should be deleted, if there are no technical worries, I think it's more in line with the project goals (of teaching) to keep them, since they may be used later, or at least can be categorized for readers who want more images on a given topic. Taste is indeed highly meaningful, although writing what that means into image policy would always be at least a little daunting.
My outlook is that there is no teaching need for any such images which have been straightforwardly uploaded only to startle or "entertain." Gwen Gale (talk) 14:03, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
"I think that if an image is not used in any article or news story, or someplace else of similar educational merit, then why do we need it?" Because Commons can and should have more images than our articles do, as further illustration. Even though our Félicien Rops article doesn't contain all images by him that we have on Commons, and perhaps some of the Rops images on Commons are not used anywhere else, we should still keep them, as a free, united source for all works by Rops anywhere in the world, even if some of them are blatantly pornographic according to most people's definition of the word. There is a reason that many, many articles on Wikipedia have a link-image with "Commons has more images relating to X": to delete images from Commons because they are not used on Wikipedia would go directly against such basic use of Commons.
This obviously doesn't mean that there may not be other reasons to delete many Commons images, because they are possible BLP or copyrigth violations, having no possible conceivable (slightly educational) use, being inferior duplicates of better pictures (we don't need 500 tourist pictures of the (rather phallic) Eiffel Tower), ... But we shouldn't be using incorrect rules to delete images (and certainly not invent such rules and then only apply them to one kind of images). Fram (talk) 14:20, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
"no comment on the German userpage per se" when the topic is "Pornographic userpage decoration" - now, what does this mean? That German userpages are riddled with pornographic pictures? I just checked about a dozen or so, and found none with such adult content. About 20% or so showed a picture of the user him/herself, but that certainly isn't a problem. And even if it were, it's one of the German wikipedia, not of anyone here. Btw, I AM German, and I don't think this remark is appropriate, Jimbo. I understand you're actually learning German, so here's some essential vocabulary: Du kannst mich mal! Gray62 (talk) 15:03, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, it was a reference to one userpage, linked to by Jehochman, de:Benutzer:Widescreen, which used to have one (suposedly, I can't check) pornographic image as decoration. It was not a general remark about German userpages. Fram (talk) 15:12, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, I hope so. And, sry for going ballistic, but when Jimbo responded to that singular evidence with "no comment on the German userpage per se" that implied that this problem is more widespread. But, afaics, it isn't. And, anyway, that's the German wikipedia, and their problem. Does Jehochman want to prove problems here with evidence from other Wikipedias? Strange.Gray62 (talk) 15:26, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Gray62, I believe you must have misunderstood me. I can't imagine what you're taking offense about. Your English seems to be perfect, but maybe there is a subtle misunderstanding? I think we actually agree 100%. Let me say what I meant, again, in more words. I have no comment about a particular userpage, the one linked above, in German Wikipedia. I do not think German user pages are riddled with pornographic pictures. One reason for me not to comment on a particular page in German Wikipedia here is that this is English Wikipedia. I do read German, but very badly, and I'm not about to get into an argument with anyone about a specific page over there. I prefer to talk about broad principles and to work on policy. I hope these remarks are clear and helpful to you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:57, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, I see, my mistake, sry! Damn, after about ten years in the US internets, I still make such misinterpretation errors every now and then... Danke für die Klarstellung, Jimbo! Gray62 (talk) 17:09, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
  • The image in question had no teaching value. It was purely for entertainment purposes. Wikipedia is not hosting provider for people to upload any old images they find. I agree that images should be kept if they could conceivably be used in an article, even if they are not currently used. However, when an image appears to by non-educational, and it is not currently used in an article, that should be grounds for speedy deletion. Some of these have had deletion discussions up for months with few to no meaningful comments. It should be obvious that anybody can create a commons account and soon upload random images (noise). Our patrolling to remove such images should not require 100 times the effort to delete a useless image as to upload one. That is the current problem, the one we need to resolve. Jehochman Talk 19:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
"and it is not currently used in an article". So, after a picture has been edited out of an article, it can be speedy deleted immediately? Hmm, is that according to the rules? I totally agree that random uploads should be dealt with, but this picture obviously was in an article for quite a while. And users have seen it without complaining. Is it ok, then, to treat it as if it's just another "random upload"? Well, I agree, this is a question that should be resolved.Gray62 (talk) 21:08, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

You can always argue that images have educational value: See the Hogtie bondage article. One image says more than a thousand words, as they say. But we cannot recommend in good faith to schools, whether in the US or in India or in Peru, that they provide minors with access to Wikipedia, as long as they cannot filter such content out. The most recent Fox article is right about one thing: every big website like google or flickr has a feature like safe search. Why not Wikipedia? --JN466 17:18, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd be all for safe search options, if these can mitigate censorship problems like the ones we're having now. However personally I'd prefer WP to stand against all the media nonsense and "think of the children" idiotic moral panic (oohoo, children could see images of naked human beings, how wrong!), like it did until now. We're all looking like a bunch of puritans bending over to FOX, something much closer to my definition of shameful than hosting a few images of naked people. --Cyclopiatalk 18:15, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
The point of having safe search options is precisely that then you don't need to censor, but can still retain a varied audience, including children. As long as each user can define for herself or himself what sort of access they want, I don't think this hurts the integrity of the project at all. --JN466 19:41, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

And I note The Telegraph thinks we have flagged revisions for BLPs. Ah, reliable sources. --JN466 17:24, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Reply to new messages

Hello respected Jimbo, founder of Wikipedia, I would like to ask you what is the most correct way to reply on new messages on the talk page — on the own talk page, or on the query's talk page? Greetengs, (talk) 14:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I do not feel you need to ask Jimbo Wales this question. Just type out your response, sign your post with four tildes, and hit the "save page" button. Also, remember to keep discussion civil. Best wishes. Immunize (talk) 14:59, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
To answer your question there is no "most correct way" - it is personal preference - however, many editors feel that unfragmented discussions are ideal, so replying in place is the "best" way, in this humble editors' opinion. Of course, if we're talking about responding to the recent note you received about a reverted edit, you might do well to reply on the editor's talk page as they might not be watching yours. –xenotalk 21:15, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd say this IP knows about all that. Gwen Gale (talk) 21:20, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Not an Improvement

This new Wikipedia is much clumsier, harder to navigate or edit, and not as user-friendly as the previous one. Please change it back.RM (Be my friend) 15:02, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Oops, I think maybe something was wrong with the computer, not Wikipedia. Sorry! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Reenem (talkcontribs) 15:40, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Race and religion

My question is based on a combination of what is going on at the Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Criticism of Judaism (2nd nomination) and the controversies surrounding AfD of BLP's- Why does it seem (to me at least) that it is easy to put down nasty things (sourced of course) about races and religions, that, if they were about a BLP they would get removed (even if sourced by reliable sources) because as you mentioned about Eric Ely they are damaging to one's reputation. Is it solely based on legal issues about defamation and libel that BLP get protected, but since an entire race/religion/ethnic group cant really sue Wikipedia is less interested in "hatchet job" articles? There have been a slew of articles that get undue attention about negative aspects of Judaism and get titles that make the article hard to put any "positive" things on. Currently its hard to get AfD's based on policy to close out even the most egregious POV-forks because there are those who dont see them as POV-forks. Can anything be done to give race, religion, etc the same protection against libelous articles that are simply the negative aspects of the race et al, put all in one place? (a "hatchet job" as you once coined a certain BLP article).Camelbinky (talk) 23:39, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I would try to avoid creating any article or section devoted to criticism or praise. Zaereth (talk) 01:49, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo SilverserenC 02:19, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Silver, I dont know what linking to an essay that Jimbo himself recently said is wrong and should probably be deleted helps or is relevant to this discussion... please read the addition Jimbo added just last week to the top of the page, we can bring any issues to him as we please.Camelbinky (talk) 03:13, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Congratulations, you just used the Wikipedia:Argumentum ad Jimbonem fallacy. "Jimbo himself recently said is wrong and should probably be deleted" is not a good argument against the use of an essay. Some people feel that taking discussions here is trying to use an argument from authority, and saying that that is incorrect because of another argument from authority is rather circular and pointless. If Jimbo (or anyone else) wants it deleted, he can take it to MfD. Fram (talk) 06:53, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm going to have to agree with Camelbinky, though, on the irrelevance of that essay to his actual inquiry. Notice that he isn't asking me to actually do anything, to overturn anything, etc. He's opening an interesting philosophical discussion about a genuine problem.
There is an irony about these kinds of articles - they seem to be as likely to be started by proponents as detractors. What I mean is that one way to move most criticism about something out of the main article (which is the one that people are most likely to read) is to put all the criticism behind a click to an article that many fewer people will read.
But the net result is often just not right. Zaereth speaks wisdom, I think, from the perspective of good writing - and I like the mild wording "try to avoid" - not a blanket prohibition.
As I've not yet reviewed the specific article in question, I'm only speaking about the general phenomenon.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:46, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you. I wouldn't have mentioned the essay if I hadn't been involved in the discussion Camelbinky is discussing and am relatively certain that he was just trying to get a statement from you that he could use (per Argumentum ad Jimbonem) to support his desire to get the article deleted. SilverserenC 04:45, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Excuse me?! AGF and no personal attacks please! At no point did I EVER entertain the idea of using Jimbo as point, and I never went back to that AfD and tried to either. WTF, seriously? Silver that was totally uncalled for and I'd like an apology. I'm disappointed in you because last time we crossed paths we were in agreement on an issue and you were very polite, I'm very surprised at your attitude towards me. Coming to Jimmy Wales to get his view AND the views of the MANY who watchlist this page is no different than going to the village pump or another user's talk page and discussing an issue. He is an editor who has the right to his opinion and to share it and discuss it. He and those who watch this page know more about Wikipedia than me so I respect their opinions and was interested in a true discussion. Wish the discussion had drawn in more people with their opinions instead of me being told I cant talk to Jimbo about things I dont understand in Wikipedia. Comments with a lack of AGF towards other users is why alot of people, myself including, feel Wikipedia is such a harrassing mean dispiriting place and why I now dont even feel like editing right now. Biting doesnt apply just to what is done to newbies and being polite applies to every aspect of life, online or not.Camelbinky (talk) 22:02, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I...don't believe there is any personal attack in what I said. But, regardless, i'm sorry for saying that, I did not mean to upset you, I apologize. I've just had too many cases where opponents have tried to go over my head on the discussion to try and invalidate consensus, so I kinda lash out in cases like that. Again, i'm sorry. SilverserenC 22:09, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Opinion Barnstar.png Your Opinion is More Important than You Think Barnstar
Likely Jimbo will never see or read this.....If you do, thank you for your recent changes to Wikipedia! The review on Pornographic images is admirable and the addition of your comment on Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo Hell In A Bucket (talk) 04:09, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


Hello Jimbo. I wanted to say that I see no reason why you shouldn't have deleted pornographic images from Wikipedia. Some have argued that they serve some educational purpose, but they also have pornographic value. If teenagers can go to Commons to look at porn, I think that that would seriously hurt Wikipedia's credibility (we already got in the BBC News). Thank you for deleting offensive images. --The High Fin Sperm Whale 03:50, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I second this --Iankap99 (talk) 03:55, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree to this as well. I think that if it weren't for anonymity, the photos would have been deleted a long time ago. You are one of the few people whose identity is surely known. Democracy isn't a good idea when it means a large group of anonymous mob. Maybe that wasn't a good analogy. Anyways, though I believe that wikipedia will never be perfect, it will definitely remain a strong tool for knowledge regardless of the photos. The modern unreliable hitchhiker's guide to galaxy! ;) Mehfoos (talk) 00:13, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Despite my ongoing support for retaining much of this content, as discussion has progressed it becomes apparent that 2257 is intended as a serious assault on civil liberty. It is an underhanded DOJ regulation to impose a new Stamp Act, which makes no accommodation for redistributable content on volunteer run organizations. The narrow margin by which it survived in the Sixth Circuit was in a dating service case where the effect on anonymity was not considered to be relevant. But the burden and chilling effect which enforcement of this law would place on Wikimedia Commons is so overwhelming that it should force another court to choose a wiser verdict.
I think Wikipedia will end up in the Supreme Court against this in the end, whether by accusation or (more likely) by joining a coalition of plaintiffs in some future legal action. The heavy-handed deleting and undeleting has left us with a positive development: all the so-called "porn" is now documented to have some educational use. There is no better test case than Wikimedia to strike down this unjust law for good. Through your actions you've sent a wake-up call to sleepy civil libertarians, and improved the chance of final success. Wnt (talk) 05:16, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
The small "educational use" does not outweigh the amount of children that will no longer be able to view wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Iankap99 (talkcontribs) 05:21, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I've commented at Wikipedia:Sexual content/FAQ on this—an encyclopedia that anyone can edit can never be safe for unwary, unattended children. The WMF also addressed this.[2] Wnt (talk) 06:07, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
It is extremely unlikely, to say the least, that the Wikimedia Foundation would have any interest at all in a lawsuit to overturn a perfectly sensible law. Wnt, if you think that's what my actions would lead to, you're misreading the situation quite badly, I'm afraid.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:59, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, and nor should we. It is not even remotely the mission of the WMF to challenge 'unjust' laws, and if we find ourselves going down a path that might lead to doing so, we're heading in the wrong direction. I for one welcome Jimbo's WP:BOLD actions on Commons, for doing what no one else was willing to do, but had to be done. Thank you - I can now feel proud, rather than guilty, to be part of Wikipedia again. I'm just sorry you had to lose your Founder permissions as a result. Robofish (talk) 11:36, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
It should not go to any court because a lunatic fringe considers that to be their "civil liberty"! (talk) 13:35, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure if you have ever actually read 2257 Jimmy, but there are serious questions around its scope and even judges agree on that and say that it is likely that if actual specific cases are ever presented to them, some parts of the statute are likely to be overturned. The most important problem I personally have with the law is that if you have art + record, then loose record, the art becomes illegal for eternity. Cause we all know records never get lost.... If the records of Rome (TV series) are ever lost, the series would become illegal to broadcast and sell in the US for eternity (although I doubt those records fully exist now, since it is a British Italian production). At least if a copyrighted work becomes orphaned, you know that you can use it safely after 150 years or so. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 13:43, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia for everyone, not a porn site for adults. I think you did the right thing deleting the images :). (talk) 18:31, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Jimbo's actions. Our mission here is to share mankind's knowledge, focusing on helping educate the younger generation. Using Wikipedia as a porn server to titillate viewers is not part of its mission, and is in fact counterproductive. Crum375 (talk) 00:42, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I hope I'm wrong, but as I understand it, enforcement of the 2257 standard would interfere with some, maybe most of the images provided for circumcision, which run the gamut ranging from inoffensive to what some would certainly call pornographic — particularly, because if Wikimedia merely holds a copy of the uploader's driver's license without showing everyone, then the files would not be redistributable in the U.S. But if it provides this information to everyone then there will be fears of so-called "identity theft" with the information provided. But the larger worry is the precedent: if such onerous regulations are permitted, they will not stop with this. Wnt (talk) 01:11, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
My two cents without having read much else on this page: if the images have no purpose to the project, go right ahead and delete 'em (likewise for child pornography). Otherwise, deleting things simply because they have "pornographic value" like the OP suggests is obviously censorship. I won't be making any more donations if administration is going to sanitize everything in the name of bowing to alarmist silliness from Fox News (!?). Anyone who avoids Wikipedia over a few sex pics you'd have to specifically search for to come across is already masturbating over Conservapedia. Sprocket (talk) 03:38, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Just take a look at this extreme example of a user taking this pornography issue to the extreme --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 14:56, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Another thing that really has me worried is that when news gets out that porn is allowed on Wikipedia, a porn epidemic will erupt, as everyone uploads their own to Wikipedia. --The High Fin Sperm Whale 23:01, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


I would like to ask directly for your opinion on WP:PED. Thanks --Jubileeclipman 22:45, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Unless I overlooked some detail, it appears to be well-written and documents longstanding practice. I see no reason for it not to be upgraded to policy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:35, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't it have to go through certain channels to become policy? SilverserenC 07:38, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, it already is policy and has been for a long time. Opinions may vary on what it takes to get a page tagged in that way, of course.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:48, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you Jimbo. I am in two minds about whether this should be tagged as Policy with or without RfC. The former will give unequivocal community support (as it will pass as Policy, without a shadow of a doubt); the latter will be quieter and cause less disruption and fuss (which is the whole point of the !Policy...) More thought required... --Jubileeclipman 13:23, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps Mr. Wales would care to volunteer his layman's opinion on the lay question I asked at the talk page of the page in question: Basically, I do not understand what this is really about. __meco (talk) 21:08, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

rape glorification stories hosted on wikisource

Since recently pornographic images were wiped out, to avoid upsetting sponsors, I am curious about how you feel about eliminating any rape glorification stories hosted on wikisource. One such story is found at [3]

I made the following suggestion last year on Wikisource,[4] but was told that they refuse to censor, and anything out of copyright, no matter what it was, would be hosted.

Suggest guidelines

Keep the current system for anything of historical or educational value. For fictional works whose only purpose is entertainment, I suggest we make a certain rule.

If the entire story is nothing more than pornography, and it glorifies kidnapping, torture, brainwashing, and rape of women, encouraging all the young perverts out there to do so themselves, telling them its alright because she'll enjoy it and thank you later, and keep coming back for more, then it shall not be allowed.

I do not believe things such as The Way of a Man with a Maid have any reason to remain here. Regular pornography I have no problem with, as long as it does not glorify and thus encourage rape.

Dream Focus (talk) 10:02, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

What do you think? This isn't just some Wikipedia article mentioning something exist, but instead actually showing the entire thing! Do those who donate wish their money to be used as a free porn hosting site? Dream Focus 01:38, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Does Jimbo even have anything to do with Wikisource? SilverserenC 02:56, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia foundation includes many things, including Wikisource, Wiktionary, Wiki commons, etc. Its all Wikipedia. Dream Focus 03:11, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Do you also want Wikipedia's The Way of a Man with a Maid deleted? Why have a Wikipedia article if the source itself isn't worth keeping...? And I suppose Henry Ford's "The International Jew" would have to go, or after the first deletion we'd look anti-Semitic for keeping it! A book bonfire is forever looking for more fuel. Wnt (talk) 03:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
An article about something is totally different than hosting it. You have articles about pornographic movies and whatnot, but you don't show all of the movies and images. The International Jew might be something people read to understand the mindset of various historical figures. Is there any possible educational value to having pornographic rape fiction hosted? Dream Focus 05:08, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
The book is actually rather dull, so I didn't read much of it, but skip forward to the third paragraph of Volume 2 Chapter 1. The attitudes expressed seem so absurd to the modern reader that they can't not be educational in some degree. The author glorifies rape, obviously, but in an oddly puerile way - today this is the sort of thing one would expect a 15-year-old to have written (presumably one without much knowledge of women). I think a modern rape fantasy would likely focus much more on physical and emotional violence, as among paragons of amorality, the self-indulgent gentleman has given way to the brutal gang member. It is worth asking why something that reads like a bad Usenet post was used to make two film adaptations. Wikipedia can't delve into such questions much, because there is very little literary criticism available to the searcher for even many quite popular books and film. But Wikisource can present people with the original and allow them to begin extracting their own conclusions. Wnt (talk) 07:56, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I haven't given this issue enough thought to be able to say anything useful about it at the present time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:49, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
That you don't outright dismiss it is rather frightening though. What's next, removing all books with vivid descriptions of child porn, suggesting that people under the age of 18 might enjoy sex, even with adults, and that prostitution may be fun as well for some girls? Hooray, there goes Fanny Hill... Fram (talk) 08:13, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
People donate money to educate people. That is how Wikipedia is promoted anyway. This isn't educational in any possible way. There is nothing to be learned here. Hosting all the rape fantasy pornographic material ever written, as soon as its copyright expires or it is released by its owners into public domain, makes no sense at all. I can see the headlines now: "Think your donations are going for education? Think again! Your money helps expose children around the world to pornographic stories about kidnapping, brainwashing, raping, and torturing women!" I think my suggested guideline/policy would solve everything. Dream Focus 09:09, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Educating people, not only educating children. Pornography throughout the ages is a normal object of study. To study what kind of erotica was written in a certain age and a certain place, and what the reactions were (from publicly available to punishable with the death sentence) are important parts of lierature history, sociology, ... No one is sugesting that every porn story released in the public domain should get entered in Wikisource. Wikisource has quite clear inclusion criteria, and submitting your own creations is not allowed in general. However, we are discussing here works which have been reprinted, probably translated (certainly so in the case of Fanny Hill), made into movies: these books, no matter how bad or immoral, have made an impact and are notable representatives of a certain subculture. To remove these from Wikisource because some donator would object is the worst kind of censoring possible. Fram (talk) 09:22, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think every single thing ever made somehow influences or represents that era. Nor has this sort of writing ever changed, it always the same thing, throughout the ages. We're not talking about some ground breaking masterpiece here, or something that inspired political change. And Wikisource's inclusion criteria is anything whatsoever, no matter what it is, if it was published before a certain year. Dream Focus 09:26, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually, since you're discussing something that is clearly notable because of it's article, that alone is enough reason for its inclusion in Wikisource. The work is clearly notable itself, a movie was made out of it, for goodness sake, so a copy of it should be kept. That is most certainly educational. SilverserenC 09:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I fully agree. In our book burning exercise, we should also remember to remove this purely pornographic text asap. MLauba (Talk) 09:46, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Notable enough to have an article about it on the main Wikipedia, yes. But that doesn't mean it should be hosted on the wikisource regardless of content. Dream Focus 12:28, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
You'd best tell Oxford University that they need to get it out of their stacks. Such a fine institution shouldn't keep smut in its collections, now that anonymous individuals from the internet have determined that this particular work is of no possible academic or educational use. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:47, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I assume wikisource has some AfD-like process. Why is this not being pursued there? Tarc (talk) 14:01, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Why follow process when you can reach for the panic button? Fram (talk) 14:05, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
No, they do not have an AFD process. Almost anything is allowed there. I did discuss it there before. Dream Focus 14:14, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikisource:Proposed deletions... Fram (talk) 14:23, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
If some donors wanted to fund only a portion of the collection, others would prefer to fund the remaining content. To give up collections because some donors might be opposed to them would prostitute the project, and tell other donors that even though their funds and volunteer support are available they are still not desired. Wnt (talk) 14:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
No, actually, I'm fairly certain if they had a list of things to check, for where their donations would be given to, they'd mostly choose things that were really educational. Dream Focus 04:02, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Please check what you want your donation to be used for

  • Articles about history, science, plants, animals, people of historical importance, and other educational things.
  • Articles about books, movies, cartoons, comic books, toys, and other entertainment media.
  • Sex related articles, showing detailed descriptions of every sexual act there is, including pictures of nuns masturbating [5] and other erotic images, plus rape pornographic stories hosted in their entirety.

I'm thinking the last one wouldn't be checked by too many people, and certainly not by any corporate donors. Dream Focus 04:02, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

That's a fairly loaded question. Which of these would sponsors check off?
I think most donors (including myself) donate to Wikipedia as a complete encyclopedia, not as a source of information on specific fields of knowledge. If I'm curious about a topic, I like to find information about it — be it the Anti-Obscenity Enforcement Act or Baseball metaphors for sex. I can decide for myself whether I'm interested in Clerical celibacy or other sexuality-related topics. —Pathoschild 14:47:25, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
The amount of money spent on any one topic of complaint is miniscule, and if funds were allocated by topic, a few free speech fanatics would stand up for it just on principle. Community libraries have been dealing with such issues for centuries — and open, wide-ranging collections have always been the best answer. Wnt (talk) 17:00, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

DreamFocus, the point is that if you don't think something is of educational value for you, you can't assume it is not of educational value for anyone else, and you can't conceivably prohibit people to access material on the basis that you don't like it. You are entitled to your opinions, but we must stay unbiased. Plus, if the book is notable, then it is obviously entitled to stay in Wikisource. When will the censorship craze on Wikimedia end? --Cyclopiatalk 17:14, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

It is NOT educational to host the entire book to let people read it. The book is not notable for educating people or causing any noticeable impact on society. Some people thought it good enough whack material, to turn into some dirty movie once. Having articles about this, is educational, so people will be able to know everything that exist possibly worth knowing. Hosting the entire book, is nothing more than entertainment to those who enjoy reading such things. What could you possible learn from it other than how to get away with raping and torturing people, and how to use mind control on them? Dream Focus 01:47, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
It's called Erotic literature (note: literature) for a reason. It has elements of fiction that aspiring writers can learn from, whether they be seeking to write a historical fiction or a murder mystery. Even people just studying literature in general can learn writing techniques from erotic literature. Remember: it can be the book itself they seek to learn about, not necessarily what's in the book. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 02:19, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Dream Focus: The text is not didactic learning, like an encyclopedia. To use a conventional example, countless students study To Kill A Mockingbird — not to learn about how to rape or swear or discriminate, but for the issues and details and messages underlying the actual text. If you expect to learn mind control or getting away with rape from The Way of a Man with a Maid, you'll be sorely disappointed. What you can expect to learn about are the assumptions and taboos and expectations of its times, the mental model of the author and the characters he portrays, and countless such details one gets from every piece of literature.
Literature has an educational value entirely separate from the straightforward learning of facts. Pieces of literature like To Kill A Mockingbird can present viewpoints in a much more effective (ie, educational) format than encyclopedic articles. This discussion is fairly common; for example, see To Kill A Mockingbird#Controversy. :) —Pathoschild 03:49:14, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Porn on commons


I would like to raise the growing issue of pornography on Commons. I support your cause. However, I think you went a little overboard by deleting old paintings. There are some users that is taking advantage of the confusion of the official stance of porn on commons and used their user page as a pornography gallery. See Therefore, I have proposed a guideline that I think should be adopted in commons Please take a look at it, adapt it, and perhaps make it an official policy. Thanks! --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 14:54, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Maybe I am getting more liberal in my middle age, but I don't see anything pornographic on commons:User:Max Bebo Band and therein lies the problem - what is pornography and who decides? – ukexpat (talk) 15:14, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
IMO, erotic contents not in use in the approate article are pornography. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 15:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Thats were we should have a consensus. Jimbos laid down the law clean things up now we need to reflect on what we can pass off as artisitc and what is pornographic. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 15:40, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
That's so hard to agree about what is pornography. Some people, such as inclutionist, argue, that commons is not a censureship. However, there is a reason of censorship; to prevent things going out of control. How about obvious pornographic content (such as binding+cummage) be nominated to be deleted unless they are used in the appriote article. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 15:49, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) I disagree. The point is that Commons is for hosting images that have some use to the various Wikimedia projects. There may be images that are clear cut hardcore porn that nonetheless serve some purpose, and there may be much milder material that does not. The example of Max Rebo's page is actually a good demonstration of this point. Much of what he has posted there is no stronger than what one might see on cable television, but if all it is being used for is decorating user pages with galleries, what is the point of hosting it? How is the world's access to knowledge improved or the Foundation's goals furthered by Max there having all the softcore bondage images he could find assembled in one place? Beeblebrox (talk) 15:52, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't appear that Jimbo's attempt to lay down the law stuck -- or at least, so far. There's a pair of discussions that needs to happen (on the scale of the unreferenced new BLP discussion) at both Commons and en-Wikipedia. Jimbo's talk page probably isn't the right place for either of those -- RFC time? -- ArglebargleIV (talk) 15:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
RFC added. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 16:03, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Uh, do we really want to do this here? consider the following:
  • There are already several discussions and proposals on Commons itself
  • we can't change policy on Commons from here
  • a policy RFC on a user talk page is a bit unusual, even for Jimbo's page.
  • the RFC category you added it to is patently wrong
  • And RFCs are supposed to have a neutral statement introducing them, this one starts with your personal opinions. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:00, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Re: Is there any RFC on commons? --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 17:08, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

I really don't know, all I do there is upload and categorize my own photographs, but I can tell you that a consensus here will not alter policy over there. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:13, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
That's one of the problems. Commons policy is quite obscure compared to the ones on Wikipedia. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 17:22, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Tyw7, there's no problem with User:Max Bebo Band on commons because that user doesn't exist. Commons:User:Max Rebo Band used to have a large collection of pornographic images he transferred over from Flickr however most of it has been recently deleted. Pornographic images from Flickr have no age or consent verification assosiated with them and are a legal nightmare in concern to American pornographic laws, particulatly in respect to child pornography. Pornographic images should not be allowed without age, date of photography, and consent information. Also, Commons lacks many protocols and guidelines found on English Wikipedia, like RFC. - Stillwaterising (talk) 17:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
There's still some of this user's pornographic images left, like File:Manual Stimulation.png, File:Testicle Cuff with Weights.jpg, File:POV oral sex.png, File:Vulva Silhouette.png, File:Girl Love.jpg, and File:Labret phallic coddling.jpg. - Stillwaterising (talk) 18:25, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I have just undone Tyw7's blanking of commons:User:Max Rebo Band. There are processes, please follow them. – ukexpat (talk) 17:59, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think Tyw7 blanked Commons:User:Max Bebo Band, rather (and) the username was spelled wrong. It has been corrected to Commons:User:Max Rebo Band. Why was the RFC tag "deactivated" by User:Beeblebrox? - Stillwaterising (talk) 18:24, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • As wikipedia's arch-Catholic miserable old bastard I had a look at the links (purely in the interests of research) there's nothing to worry about there, the tasteful nudes seemed to be reasonably engaging and tastful and the BDSM was nothing to get exited about (literally). One image, this one File:Underwater bondage.jpg concerned me, we don't want our younger (and some impressionable Admins) readers trying that at home, so that might need to go, but the rest were very dull - a lot of uncomfortable people looking happy with their lot - drawings and such like, I don't like it, he, she and it probably don't like it, but it's all legal, we are not custodians of the world's morals.  Giano  18:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't have said it if it wasn't the case - here's the diff. Clearly out of process and inappropriate. – ukexpat (talk) 18:39, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • @Stillwaters: I deactivated the tag for all of the reasons listed above. It's a deeply flawed idea to have a request for comment on a user talk page to discuss the policies on another website that we can't influence from here anyway, and as if that weren't enough it was in a category for requesting comment on articles, not policy and the opening statement was not a neutral description of the dispute but rather one users opinions. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:42, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I really didn't mean for anybody to create an RFC here on Jimbo's talk page -- sorry about that. -- ArglebargleIV (talk) 21:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I've proposed an very different approach (in general outline) at strategy:Provide services to facilitate "child-safe" and selective mirror sites. Is this a path toward consensus? Wnt (talk) 18:56, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
How about we adopt many of Wikipedia's policy at Commons. It seems according to WP:USERPAGE, Wikipedia (expend or its sister project) should NOT be used as a personal website/gallery/blog. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 21:11, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Please comment on the growing issue of pornography on commons at your common's talk page. --Tyw7  (☎ Contact me! • Contributions)   Changing the world one edit at a time! 21:16, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
And another problem with porn on commons: since this was in the BBC News, now everyone knows this is an issue. Most likely, hundreds of people will now upload porn, and a pornography epidemic will go through Wikipedia. I think Wikipedia has already lost a lot of credibility on this issue, let's just put it to rest. --The High Fin Sperm Whale 01:47, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Agree, absolutely: The silly, disgusting censorship crusades of editors like Tyw7 and unfortunately even Jimbo are going to make Wikipedia look like Conservapedia 2.0 in the near future. And this really would mean to lose credibility. It is so sad to live in 2010 and see that grownup people still fear sexuality. --Cyclopiatalk 17:18, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Future ?

An item as been suggested for posting in Wikipedia's ITN on 12/May/2300, Earth is too Hot, what is your say on this.--yousaf465' 02:32, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

It looks like most people are opposing it. I would tend to agree. It's a site I've never heard of putting forward a fairly speculative hypothesis. Not really our style, is it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:35, 13 May 2010 (UTC)


Hey Jimbo! I recently created a village pump proposal and request for bot approval for a bot that automatically updates editcounts for use in userboxes, templates and such. We are currently discussing the benefits and drawbacks of such a bot, as well as various different ways in which it could be implemented. What do you think about it? Do you think the additional load on the server of a few hundred editcount checks and edits a week would be significant? Do you think this encourages or discourages frequent checking of editcounts? Could the same thing be accomplished by enabling Extension:EditCount? Do you think it would be a good idea to enable it? Your input at any of the discussions would be very welcome, as would that of anyone else looking at this talk page. - EdoDodo talk 06:02, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't know anything about server loads. I'm generally not keen on editcounts as a measure of anything useful, and making them more prominent seems to me to be mostly counter-productive. My opinions are not very strong, as they are based on anecdotal evidence rather than real evidence. At Wikia, we have found that making editcounts more prominent encourages more editing - for small wikis that's important. For large wikis, I'm not sure whether more editing is actually what is needed - as opposed to quality editing. And it is not 100% clear to me that encouraging people to edit more is the same thing as encouraging people to be kind, thoughtful, productive in terms of producing high quality writing, etc. It's a puzzle and I don't think we have any strong evidence about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:37, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

After reading your opinion and discussing the bot with other editors I started agreeing with what consensus seemed to be (that such a bot would put too much weight on edit counts when quality edits are far more important) and withdrew the request for approval of the bot. Thank you for your input to the discussion. - EdoDodo talk 20:38, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Tolerance of Rude/Abusive users on Wikipedia

Note to others: Please dont interfere here on Jimbo's talk page. I'm talking to Jimbo, not to you. Use my talk page if you have something to say to me. I'll ignore your comments on this page if you arent Jimbo. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Matt57 (talkcontribs)
IF you are going to start attacking other editors you cannot deny them the right of redress, here or elsewhere.  Giano  22:20, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo, is it OK for Wikipedia to treat rude/abusive users like spoilt children and excuse them from breaking WP:NPA rules if they have a lot of edits and are hence useful to Wikipedia? Case in point, here User:Debresser objected to this reply from Bali ultimate (talk · contribs) where he said "What are you fucking on about" to Debresser. On ANI as you can see, admins didnt do anything and asked to Debresser to "grow a thicker skin" and marked the issue as resolved. In another place he said "good little wikipedian that you are" to admin Georgewilliamherbert (talk · contribs) who reported this and requested a block from another admin. Another example is of Giano II who has a long block log (recent examples of aggression: [6], [7]) where you've blocked him yourself too, but he comes back every time because everyone wants him back. I compiled these examples here. Someone who doesnt agree with me will now point out my own imperfect block log (2 valid blocks only though) and may try to provide diffs for stuff I've said myself (rarely if true) but the point remains: abusive users with a lot of edits seem to get away free while being rude and abusive towards other editors (no matter how right they might be in the point they're trying to make). Thats just wrong. Why are these users not given indef blocks and only repeated 2-minute fake "punitive" blocks which serve no purpose? Rude abusive users scare away other potential "big" editors and more importantly create a culture of abuse and dysfunction and in my opinion, should be dealt with an iron hand and be told to leave Wikipedia if they cant straighten up their act. The fact is that these abusive users with a lot of edits are simply trolls and they know they have power over here and they use it and then laugh behind the screen and what do you know, the next time they're even more abusive.

One thing is clear: language like "What are you fucking on about" should not be tolerated here and should not be allowed to go on. The bigger concern is that judging from the comments on ANI, most people here believe such behavior, tone and attitude towards other editors is acceptable and should not be punished. Do you think violating WP:NPA is acceptable and if not, what can be done about this abuse-tolerant culture? Matt57 (talkcontribs) 02:54, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Some context: Menachem Mendel Schneerson, where this happened, is a fringe topic, although you need to read the last lead paragraph carefully to realise this. (The "Controversy" section below consists only of a link to a different article.) I had to read the entire section Talk:Menachem Mendel Schneerson#"Failing scholarship" to understand the context of Bali ultimate's explosion and Debresser's statement that triggered it. It appears that the majority of editors active at that article are uncritical admirers of Schneerson. Hans Adler 09:02, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
There's no justification for breaking the NPA rule and its never "ok" under any circumstances. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 11:57, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I suppose that also goes for Debresser declaring on ANI that it was OK for them to tell Bali ultimate to "stop editing on Wikipedia" (triggering the explosion), and now also claiming on ANI that Bali ultimate "piss[ed] on Wikipedia, including WP:ANI and WP:RS"? Hans Adler 12:25, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Being told to "stop editing" is not an excuse to use four letter words in reply and is not grossly uncivil as using four letter words. Can you please stop responding here now, because I'm talking to Jimbo right now and not to you. If you have something to say to me, use my talk page. I'll ignore comments in this section from other users from now. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 14:16, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
This is not your talk page, and you can't dictate who posts here, much less remove their posts.   pablohablo. 15:42, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Pretty funny actually, I demand to speak to the founder of this cooperatively run website! Nobody else may participate in my discussion of policy! If you want to do that, use email, Jimbo's talk page is pretty much a public forum at this point. Beeblebrox (talk) 15:46, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Civility isn't just a simplistic thing about words. "But I still fucking love you!" is a lot more civil (and may be appropriate in some situations) than "Would you kindly hold your head still while I pull that plastic bag over your head." The same applies on Wikipedia. "Now please come to the fucking point", may be appropriate on rare occasions (e.g. after ten screens of beating about the bush as a last resort before calling in an admin). Not acceptable: "Funny how you continue the same provenly false claim about [...] when it was 1. proven academically dishonest that you used [...], 2. [...], and 3. have been proven wrong by [...] . Its one thing to lie, but to keep up the lie when you are blatantly proven wrong is really disturbing." This is actually a real-life example, and the user who said this was wrong himself, was not an expert, and was talking to an expert. (The user is on a 1-year Arbcom-imposed holiday.) Hans Adler 19:36, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
It seems utterly bizarre, on a wiki, to attempt to prescribe "Note to others: Please dont interfere here on Jimbo's talk page. I'm talking to Jimbo, not to you. Use my talk page if you have something to say to me. I'll ignore your comments on this page if you arent Jimbo"; This is NOT open editing, and if you want to communicate privately with Jimbo, er, this is not the place for doing so. He has non-public email address, but by making the point here, you expressly invite comments from other editors. That's just the way things work here. Rodhullandemu 22:29, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
You're wasting your efforts Rod, I tried to do as he asked and talk to him on his own talk page, and he blanked me comments without responding. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:35, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Seems unhelpful. This is supposed to be a collaborative environment, but of course, there will always be conflicts, and the bottom line is rising above one's ego and realising that. You are clearly beneath his contempt, but at least you are by no means alone in that regard. However, he is within his rights to blank his Talk page, and that we have to live with. There's always WP:RFC or other remedies, but as far as this issue goes, to be honest, unless I am asked to exercise Admin responsibilities (rather than powers), I've told Giano where to go in this discussion, I've told the editor where to go in this discussion,and if he doesn't want it to be public he should not have chosen a public forum for it. End of, as far as I'm concerned. Rodhullandemu 22:51, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Matt's sentiment and evidence is being overlooked for some reasons I cannot understand. Is this a project to build an encyclopedia or a locker room full of football players? Basket of Puppies 23:34, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
    • Matt seems to be on a vendetta to get one user blocked, this has gone far beyond a simple movement to deal with profanity. Tarc (talk) 23:37, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
If Matt has an issue that needs to be dealt with by Jimmy alone, as I said previously, a public forum (at least as Wikipedia is concerned) is not the best venue for that. However, I don't see it as a vendetta, and if there breaches of policies and guidelines, we have processes for dealing with them. WP:ANI is an obvious first place to go, and if it isn't relevant there, a pointer will be provided. Rodhullandemu 23:45, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Again, Matt's sentiments are getting lost in the discussion. He makes a good general point- does Wikipedia condone any level of interpersonal vulgarity? Basket of Puppies 00:00, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. But Wikipedia has effective defence mechanisms against what at one time a lot of people were afraid of, under the term "civil POV pushers": Editors who behave unreasonably for a long time, staying totally calm and civil (actually Debresser didn't), until the opponent explodes and gets blocked for a personal attack. We do not reward this technique, especially if it is being used to keep a fringe article in an unbalanced state. Hans Adler 00:04, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Hans, civil discussion, even when pushing a POV, is required by policy. I am unsure if there is any exception to this. I do see that someone can be baited until they finally lose their cool. This is why every situation needs a holistic and robust examination. However, there are some editors who use vulgarity a natural course. I find vulgarity to be unacceptable on a project dedicated to building an encyclopedia. How do you feel? Basket of Puppies 00:13, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I find vulgarity undesirable but necessary in some situations (necessary in the sense of letting off steam or marking when someone has crossed a line, for example), and in fact I am somewhat tempted to use it right now, given your unreasonable behaviour. Hans Adler 00:30, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
If I may, what this discussion seems to be about is social behaviors, in terms of what is and is not acceptable. History seems to indicate that attempts to control this on a politcal level end in failure. What is acceptable versus what is not, I believe, is determined by the society. That's all of us, doing our everyday activities. I do not condone vulgarity, but would not prohibit it either. Sometimes it does drive the emotional point home very precisely. However, I do believe in trying to maintain some semblance of professionalism, so if I witness an excessively volatile situation I'll usually try to calm the parties down, attempting to not be offended by any mud that may be splattered in my direction. (Doesn't always work, though.) Zaereth (talk) 00:51, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Hans writes, "in fact I am somewhat tempted to use it right now, given your unreasonable behaviour." Excuse me? My unreasonable behavior? I simply want to maintain a professional and respectful standard, be welcoming and avoid driving off editors by being vulgar. How is this unreasonable? Basket of Puppies 01:48, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
You wrote: "I do see that someone can be baited until they finally lose their cool. This is why every situation needs a holistic and robust examination. However, there are some editors who use vulgarity a natural course." That is frankly bizarre, given that the root of this conflict is this discussion, which went on for over three weeks without any vulgarity, with Bali ultimate present. Then Bali ultimate responded to a provocation by Debresser using vulgarity in a relatively mild way, and Debresser ran to ANI to get him blocked. But with your "holistic and robust examination" you came to the conclusion that this block is a cause worth fighting for? That's simply bizarre. Hans Adler 15:52, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

(od) My personal theory is that the frankly shrewish behavior of some is—empirically speaking, of course, not as formal policy—condoned by Jimbo (a regular victim of rudeness) et al. because it can be pointed to as an example of WP being tolerant of its "dissident voices."  PЄTЄRS VЄСRUМВАtalk  01:20, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm afraid I have to agree with you, but I find it difficult to know what to do about it. I feel like I have to put up with a lot more than I would ever ask most people to put up with - but that doesn't mean that I condone it. It's a difficult dilemma.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:29, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
After what happened on this page today, your agreement couldnt have come at a better time. You're the founder of Wikipedia and you were talked down to by anonymous people on the internet (which most of us are including myself) and you were helpless and one wonders how things can get to that point. As I gave the example to someone its like a tenant kicking the landlord out of his own building. It starts with believing a solution exists and I believe it does and the solution can be implemented irrespective of the degree to which you want this problem to be solved. I am talking to some other people and will be in touch. --Matt57 (talkcontribs) 04:53, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo, if you & the administrators ever choose to impliment 'zero tolerance' on foul language by editors? I shant complain. GoodDay (talk) 15:08, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Vector search bar

There has been a number of problems introduced with the new vector skin including the inability of the search bar on some computers to process copied and pasted text (try copying and pasting "User:Jimbo Wales" into the search bar). Most of these queries end up either redirecting to null or here. I've alerted editors at The Village Pump about this issue but the village pump is currently swamped. Hopefully someone here can point me somewhere. These changes should probably be de-implemented for the time being.Marcus Aurelius (talk) 21:59, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't know what you want here with this problem. The Village Pump thread already has the information you need to work around the problem: It is only reproducible if you enter the text via right click -> paste and press enter afterwards. Therefore it's enough to paste the text with ctrl-V instead, or to click the search icon instead of clicking enter, or both if you want. Of course it should be fixed quickly, but it doesn't look like a Jimbo problem to me. Hans Adler 22:59, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I personally think this is an issue for Jimbo, as he holds ultimate authority for Wikipedia and its marketing. I personally find there are several areas of the new interface that just don't work, and I think it should be rolled back so they can be resolved properly. I have just posted at the Village Pump about this as well. My fear is that if we don't act, the excellent reputation of Wikipedia will suffer. And if you don't believe the thing is broken, take a look at these amusing stats: [8]. One of the bugs in the new Search box is that it occasionally interjects "Null" in place of what was really searched for. Hence the Null article, which typically receives 1k-2k visits per day received 28k yesterday alone. Anyway, that's my two-pence worth. I am raising these points at the Village Pump as well incidentally. Thanks, SteveRwanda (talk) 15:51, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Somehow worse today Null got 47,000 page views today. Marcus Aurelius (talk) 04:57, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Would this be appropriate?

As an editor do you think this story would be of any relevance to the Averill Park Central School District or Facebook articles? I dont want to smear anyone's name of course ;) but it does seem like it might be interesting to put in the Facebook article under the "effect on politics" section maybe not now but depending on if the story has an effect on this person's re-election to the school board.Camelbinky (talk) 21:57, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Honestly these little blowups happen all the time. [This story] is from my old hometown. Mini local uproar, then gone. Tarc (talk) 22:04, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
True, but maybe a section on the Facebook article mentioning how the public accessability of Facebook has changed school administration, employee hiring, and politics using stories like the two mentioned here is something that should be put in? Currently the Facebook section on "effect on politics" is sparse and about one event. I'm not saying spell out in detail each event, but perhaps more needs to be mentioned on Facebook's (and Myspace, etc) interact with our daily normal lives and how people are, (to be frank) stupidly putting information out publicly that they dont realize people other than friends are seeing. I guess that's more for the talk page on that article than here...Camelbinky (talk) 22:14, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

an Important question

some russian administators, including that gonna be arbiters tell that

the Wikimedia projects are intended to be educational in nature, and there is no place in the projects for material that has

no educational or informational value

means that all articles that are not educational (e.g. articles aboput films, books, videogames, celebreties and an so on) should be deleted by decision of the Fund,

Совет Поверенных Фонда приказал всем администраторам заниматься очисткой проектов Фонда от контента, который не имеет образовательной или информационной ценности (находится, таким образом, «за границами» целей и задач проектов). --aGRa 10:35, 12 мая 2010 (UTC)

  • Нас это касается, равно как и все остальные проекты Фонда. --aGRa 19:04, 14 мая 2010 (UTC)

in order to solve the situation, is it possible to have ASAP an official explanation about the articles from the Fund? (Idot (talk) 00:13, 15 May 2010 (UTC))

I can't read Russian. But I doubt people would really take that statement to mean that. For what it's worth, you can quote me on this: articles about films, books, videogames, celebrities and so on generally do have educational and informational value, although some don't of course and might as well be deleted. There is nothing about the statement of the Foundation that was meant to imply anything about that sort of question.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:49, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks A LOT! :-) Idot (talk) 03:08, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


Dear Jimmy, I hope you might comment on this new essay that I've written. It basically says that we should consider editors to be co-workers and use language that co-workers use. Thanks! Basket of Puppies 20:30, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Dear Jimmy, while waiting for you to comment, I have already given my opinion [9] on this amazing new essay.  Giano  20:47, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Warning! This editor is known for overusing the words "sanctimonious" and "drivel". - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 21:50, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Ah TSBDY, nice to see you -finished Blenheim yet?  Giano  21:53, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh the repartee! - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 22:02, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Warning: There are basically two versions of this essay, and depending on when you look you may either see one based on this one or one based on this one. Hans Adler 22:04, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

I've not read either version, and I'm a bit swamped at the moment to read either, but let me say this: I think that the idea of treating other people with respect and not using vulgar language to address others is a really good idea. We are all adults, and the occasional swear word, used preferably "against" oneself could be fine - but cursing at others is a symptom of poor communication skills and poor judgment. Anyone can fall prey to that in a moment of anger, of course, and so we shouldn't be particularly draconian about it - but that doesn't mean that we should accept hostility as a matter of course. That Giano disagrees merely shows the truth of what I'm saying.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:31, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I've seen you violate policies before, but never really the one you were actually commenting on, Jimbo. Please focus on the content not the contributor. If you continue to make attacks against Giano for no good reason at all you may be blocked. Hipocrite (talk) 17:34, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Proof that you don't have to swear to be uncivil. Thanks Jimbo.--Cube lurker (talk) 17:36, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Your last sentence is a good demonstration that concentrating on "bad" words is a superficial approach. Nevertheless it is of course a good idea not to overdo it with the swearing and vulgarity, and I am a bit surprised that "my" version of the vulgarity essay is currently under attack from both sides. Hans Adler 17:42, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry but I don't agree that I was uncivil here. Giano has made a very long term case for his right to be uncivil to others. Of course he opposes restrictions on vulgarity. This is merely an observation of fact. I think it quite important that we speak maturely about this - let's not pretend that Giano's position is any different from what it actually is - and for me to say, I think he's wrong, is important.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:55, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Oh I see, how clever. Do I frequently say all these things or fo you just think I do? You cannot even argue a point properly. Just choose the easy and very cheap way out. I wish I could say I was surprised, but at least we all know now that Jimbo thinks this, paragraph of drivel is clever and correct.  Giano  18:01, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't mean to choose any easy and cheap way out. I think you're wrong. I think you are frequently rude to others, and strongly defend your right to be rude to others. That's a respectable position, although I disagree with it strongly. It does not surprise me, nor should it surprise anyone, that you're a defender of the notion that using vulgarity is ok. It's as simple as that. If I'm wrong, and you think something different, then I'm pleased and surprised that you've changed your mind.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:07, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
You can't see the difference between thinking Giano is wrong and writing "That Giano disagrees merely shows the truth of what I'm saying"? One is a considered position that Giano is wrong, the other a statement that Giano saying anything is evidence that the thing is wrong. One is a statement against a position Giano holds, the other is a statement against Giano. You are directly in violation of WP:NPA, and if it continues, you, like any other editor, may be sanctioned. Hipocrite (talk) 17:58, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
(EC) "I happen to disagree with Giano" = Civil. "The fact that Giano disagrees with me proves i'm right" = a baiting dig.--Cube lurker (talk) 17:59, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
You misunderstand me, and of course I invite Giano to stick up for himself here, but I believe he's quite clever and has a very thick skin. Let me clarify for you though: that Giano is on the opposite side of this issue from me should be no surprise to anyone. And that I think this is precisely where he's wrong should be equally clear. I absolutely do not think, and did not imply, that anything Giano says is automatically wrong. It's that he has a well-known position on this and similar issues, and that he's wrong about this one in particular, should be no surprise.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:04, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm no linguist, but that's not what: That Giano disagrees merely shows the truth of what I'm saying. means. Are you sure I've misunderstood, or are you rewriting your statement?--Cube lurker (talk) 18:15, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Ok, let me fill in some implied context, which of course I regret leaving out now, but it seemed obvious to me. "That Giano disagrees (on the issue of vulgarity, one of a range of issues where he always tends to side in defense of incivility) merely shows the truth of what I'm saying (because, as is usual, because Giano is principled and consistent in his defense of incivility, he's wrong on this issue, as always). That's a firm disagreement, but I had no intention to imply that Giano is wrong about everything. He's just wrong about this, as usual - and, it should be said, he's wrong in a consistent and principled way - this is why we should not be surprised. Is that helpful?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:25, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
That's a question that has a civil answer or my honest answer.--Cube lurker (talk) 18:38, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Have you read this [10] are you seriously endorsing it? you thik that is the standards of writing and lower middle class behaviour we should all aspire to? we would be a laughing stock over all of Europe.  Giano  18:07, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I endorse it 100%. And don't play the Europe card - to my knowledge, the abuse of others is not different in the European context or anywhere else. I work with people in a professional capacity in Europe quite often, and I have never found that it is ok in Europe to use vulgarity against others in a work context in case of a disagreement. It's a behavior that is frowned upon by civil people everywhere.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:09, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Sorry that is Americanism through and through. So I will playe the Europe card - suggest that essay as standard office practice ("only use "office talk" when communicating with other editors. If it isn't appropriate to say to your boss or co-workers...") and you would be laughed off the premises.  Giano  18:12, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't agree. Perhaps others from Europe can weigh in here. Is it considered acceptable in Europe to curse at office co-workers when you disagree with them? Or is it expected that one remain civil and courteous at all times, and express disagreements with respect and thoughtfulness? I'll be surprised to hear that it's ok, as I have been in many European offices and worked with many people, and I have never seen behavior that was unprofessional. I don't know how we can get systematic evidence on this - but likely there are articles in newspapers and similar which address the problem of bad behaviors in an office environment.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:17, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Of course it isn't, people get fired for that.·Maunus·ƛ· 13:09, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure that it's indeed not acceptable. Rudeness anywhere is unpleasant, and Europe is no exception. The most ridiculous thing I've heard in a long time is now Giano's position that rudeness is OK because it's acceptable in Europe! - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 14:54, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I suggest reading this version of WP:Vulgarity (as of this writing the current one), because I have written it in the genuine desire to explain the underlying problem and it cites reliable sources from the UK. (There seems to be much less available on this from the US.) One of the sources even says that if all your colleagues are swearing all the time it's fine if you don't if you are not comfortable with it, but should take care not to give the impression of a "holier than thou" attitude. That said, my limited personal experience doesn't include more than an occasional "shit" or "fuck" from a university professor when something goes wrong. Hans Adler 18:42, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
You need to remember as well that it's not just cursing at your co-workers, but cursing at them in front of thousands of strangers and potential customers. Commenters on talk pages and community messageboards should be aware that anything they write may be the first thing a potential new editor sees of Wikipedia "behind the scenes." The benefit to communication of using profanity, rather than rewriting a comment without it, is unlikely ever to be sufficient to offset the effect of driving away potential contributors. Christopher Parham (talk) 21:16, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
@Giano: It depends where you are. Having worked in the law courts, software houses, a metalworking shop and a call centre amongst others I assure you that the language varies greatly- however, using improper language to fellow-workers, and especially to customers, is regarded as a serious disciplinary offence in all of these places. Rodhullandemu 18:18, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
NO, read again, I did not say it was acceptable to curse, I said the tone of the essay was drivel, sanctimonious and daft; it's also unrealistic and naive. You clearly feel it was fine. Do not misinterpret waht i say - try reading it. I have never said it is fine to cuss at anyone. You need some glasses Mr wales and as for you Emu, well we all know how well you read things. Looks to me like the "co-workers" are all jumping on the proverbial band-waggon attacjk me and not bother to actually read what is said.  Giano  18:20, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm having trouble understanding you, then. You agree with the content but are upset about... the style, is it?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:27, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps, instead of jumping on the "Attack Giano" bandwagon, you ventured down off your page and read the encyclopedia you would know I wrote my own civility policy years ago [11] and as far as possible I have kept to it. You read and beleive what you like.  Giano  18:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I have read it years ago, and it's as insufficient now as it was then. Among other things it allows you to insult people's work as "sanctimonious drivel". It's woefully beneath the standards that a gentleman, as I believe you are, should ask of himself and others. I respectfully suggest that you upgrade your position to be consistent with a higher standard of behavior.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:34, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia will never be much of a project if it objects to the language used by the most mundane of literary critics. You and it have a great problem there.  Giano  18:37, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm afraid you're misunderstanding or mis-presenting my position.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:12, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Use of vulgarity addressed and applied to an editor should be avoided as it is in most cases a personal attack, yet using swear words not directed at editors [see essay DGAF ] but used in a comment with a general meaning when it is not directed to an editor but rather expressing the posting editor's feelings at the time should not be "punished" since WP is not censored (or at least isn't yet). If we start censoring such usually rare expressions of momentarily feelings of editors we might as well go all the way and apply a "peep" anytime one uses a "black listed" word.The Magnificent Clean-keeper (talk) 18:39, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think the page that Giano is insulting says anything different.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:12, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oh do learn the meaning of insult, or retreat back whence you came. If you want a demonstration of insults, I can provide it, but I choose not to. You are seeking to win your case by false reference, it's the oldest trick in the book and the easiest to overthrow. I'm astounded that no-one has taught you that. Finally, please never again refer to me as a "gentleman" or having pretentions to be one - that title is something I sincerely leave to "others" and certainly nothing to aspire to. You have deliberatly and very poorly attempted to misconstrue and portray me in a bad light - but don't wory I expect no less from you - and I think you are the loser for it. However, there is one thing that I do admire about you Mr Wales, your spelling.  Giano  20:43, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough, Giano. I'll try to remember never to refer to you as a gentleman again. I apologize for the remark. As to your views on civility, and what they mean in practice, I just invite people to observe for themselves your behavior. I think that will say enough.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Probably reasonable not to call him a gentleman, because a gentleman he is not! incidentally, your spelling is quite reasonable - at least compared to the one who is criticizing you! You should see the number of errors that creep in when he gets mad. Mind you, he does go in to correct them, but every now and then I notice a missing "l", and sometimes an errant vowel creeps into his sentences. Ironic, yet amusing. - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 15:00, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Ok, can we get back to the topic of this thread about whether or not vulgarity should be allowed and if so/if not just how much it is "banned"/"allowed" as I am sure both Jimbo and Giano are not completely 100% for or against vulgarity. This thread has devolved into a back and forth of personal distaste by each against the other and is only peripherally about the original topic.

  • Personally I swear in real life, I have sworn to my employees when angry and pushed to the point where I believe it was needed that they understand that the situation they are in is serious or they were being insubordinate (last week I had to tell one to "get the fuck out" after they wanted to keep discussing why I fired them and I made it clear the discussion was over); and I've been in management for almost 10 years now. Both in my undergrad and graduate college career I swore in discussions, others used swear words in discussions, professors and deans have used swear words to make a point, obviously never in anger, most often we did so in a humorous manner, and my discipline being political science we discussed about VP Cheney using a swear word on the Senate floor and its implications and VP Biden's many slips. I would be sad if someone got blocked for saying to me "What the fuck are you talking about?" because I rambled on too long. How about Giano and Jimbo and the rest of us talk about this- what is acceptable and what isnt and where the dividing line should be and leave the personal jabs out of it. Please.Camelbinky (talk) 21:18, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
In private and among friends, I swear profusely, as do most people I know. My view is that this doesn't make it right to casually or blithely do so in the context of Wikipedia, for a number of reasons. First, as Christopher Parnham points out eloquently above, we are working here in public and for the public, and we wish to attract serious and thoughtful contributors - we should take care to behave professionally. Second, the medium in which we are working - online text - is well known for a propensity to generate unnecessary anger. Thus the invention of the :-) smiley face and other customs online. Third, we have a firm policy against personal attacks and a firm conviction that civility - broadly considered - is a good thing for our ability to work together constructively. Constant sniping remarks in the manner of Giano are simply not helpful - hence his long history of conflict here. (And again, I'm not being uncivil by pointing out that he's had a lot of problems here, and that his incivility is a commonly-cited, and in my view accurate, explanation for it.) I'm sure others could articulate more reasons, or articulate these more effectively than I can. The relation between civil discourse and the avoidance of directing profanity *at* people is obvious and clear. The relation between civil discourse and avoiding profanity generally is more subtle, but something that I think is important. (And it's important not to get too wound up about it - just avoid it, that's all.)
Camelbinky, I generally agree with most of your comments, but speaking for myself, I could never agree that it's the right thing to tell an employee (or soon-to-be-former employee) to "get the fuck out" - short of some kind of emergency in which physical harm is being threatened. It's just not generally helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Not wanting to get off-topic I do want to clarify there were mitigating circumstances in me telling that to the employee, I am quite certain that had I not made it quite clear he had to leave that the conversation would have ended with me being hit due to the words he was using and his manner. I find sometimes that since I am smaller than most of those that I employ that I need to be like those lizards that puff themselves up as a defense mechanism, this was a situation where forceful language and not showing weakness was needed as defense.Camelbinky (talk) 21:39, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough - I wasn't there and I don't know the situation. It's just not my personal style, that's all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:47, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, could you just clarify what you feel is uncivil about this post [12] - you make reference to me and I put you straight, can you explain precisely what your problem is with that. Or do you feel that you are unchallegable and no one has right of redress to you pronouncements.  Giano  22:14, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
What, you don't see a problem with the sentence "Jimbo, sweetheart, this thread has nothing to do with me, please go to the top and start again..."? Calling Jimbo your "sweetheart" is aggressive and uncivil. If you can't see why that is, then I suspect you'll never know. But you are smart enough to know what the issue is there - try not to produce too much confected outrage. You wouldn't want others to think that you were spouting "sanctimonious drivel" now would you Giano? - Tbsdy (formerly Ta bu shi da yu) talk 16:06, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Howdy Jimbo. Is the Vulgarity essay being considerd as amendment to WP:CIVIL? GoodDay (talk) 23:32, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
This type of discussion is becoming a regular occurrence on ANI now. Even the ArbCom only passed an admonishment. So, it's probably fair to say that the only social pressure in this area is going to be endless discussion. Pcap ping 03:26, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Should famous pornographic artists have their entire works on wikicommon?

If a pornographic artist, especially an offensive one, gets mentioned in just two news sources or books, they are notable by Wikipedia standards, and get their own article. They also get free hosting for all of their artwork on the Wiki commons. So if you got famous for drawing caricatures of a famous nun masturbating, or having sex with a statue of Jesus Christ on the cross [13], then you get your artwork shown so people can be educated about your work forever. This example is someone who did this a century ago. Can a modern pornographic artists get free publicity and hosting just by being offensive enough to get news mention? Why is it we don't show any pictures of Mohammad, even if those images were notable enough to get massive news coverage around the world, and cause protests, attacks, and whatnot, but its alright to show pictures of famous nuns doing naughty things? Also, pictures of child pornography are censored, even if such things are legal in some nations(Japan has a massive thriving industry for that sort of artwork, cartoons, and even video games), while pictures of other things are not censored, even if illegal in certain nations. Do we just follow the laws of certain countries and ignore that of others? Some nations outlaw pornographic images entirely. I'm sure its probably illegal in some majority Catholic countries to show pictures of their beloved religious figures having sex as well. Censorship happens to some degree already. How about a new set of rules? Should any images considered sexual in nature be allowed other than for perhaps the sexual articles related to those acts? Dream Focus 02:09, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

This is getting kind of ridiculous, Dream Focus. Wikipedia is not censored, but you seem to be trying to make it that way. SilverserenC 02:15, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Drream Focus has an excellent point I too have been trying to make, one that keeps getting brushed aside. The point is where he said: "Some nations outlaw pornographic images entirely." In point of fact, very many nations (unlike the US) outlaw it entirely. I fear that wikipedia may have to be blocked in these nations all because some reckless types literally consider it their God-given civil liberty to offend the rest of the world. Blockinblox (talk) 02:19, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
"Very many nations"? Not really. And Wikipedia is based in the US, so we pertain to US laws, not laws for other countries. If they wish to block Wikipedia solely because there are pornographic images of an educational nature, that's their problem. Wikipedia is not going to censor itself to benefit them, while causing an informational deficit to everyone else. SilverserenC 02:23, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
SilverSeren, that is your understanding of Law, and it is one f pure arrogance and short-sightedness. Breaking international law is not their problem, it will be wikipedia's problem when it is blocked everywhere except in the few most decadent countries. Blockinblox (talk) 02:27, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I might add the fact that scoffing at Law is the understanding ahown of it routinely shown by a criminal. Not accusing any names directly of taking the moral low ground here, of course... Blockinblox (talk) 02:30, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) You make it seem as if almost every country in the world doesn't allow pornographic images, which is extremely untrue. First off, if we're discussing nations from which we get a good number of readers (since many countries have less than adequate internet, so not very many users come from them), most of them do not filter pornographic images. The most stringent would be the UK and they are not going to block Wikipedia for it. They may filter certain images themselves, but they aren't going to block it. The majority of other European nations have little to no problems with such images. Australia, depending on where their internet laws go, might, but that will be toward the entire internet, not specifically toward Wikipedia. China filters anti-Communist articles, not pornographic images. Russia...I have no idea. I do not believe they filter at all. The other nations of North and South America have some laws, but nothing blatantly disallowing viewing of pornographic images. What else do you have? Africa, the Middle East? They wouldn't be blocking Wikipedia based on pornographic images. Well...the Middle East might, but it would be more than just for that. SilverserenC 02:35, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
So you are, but are not calling me a criminal? Alright then. *rolls eyes* SilverserenC 02:35, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Silverseren, China heavily censors pornographic content. Several thousand people were arrested for Internet pornography last year (2009). I should add that this has very little to do with my own position on the appropriateness of content for Wikimedia Commons, but if we're going to debate this particular aspect of things, let's at least get the facts right. This story may interest you. Another quick thought, again stressing that censorship has very little to do with my own position, but I encourage you to think globally: I care as much about people who are in India as I do about those who live in Europe or the US. We are writing for every single person on the planet.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:11, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, your desire to make content available to all is admirable. But isn't that the point of the free license? If some benighted third world country like Australia wants to ban nudity so thoroughly that they can't be satisfied with using their fancy government censorwall to block a few articles, then people there can copy our content and censor it to exacting specifications for use on a mirror site. If they're going to demand this be done then they should do it themselves, because how else will they ever be convinced it's been done 'correctly'? Wnt (talk) 03:53, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
"Why is it we don't show any pictures of Mohammad...?" Ummm, have you looked at the article on Muhammad? LadyofShalott 02:41, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
So how is it neutral to scoff at the laws of countries in the Middle East and elsewhere that do not show the same confusion or ambivalence about how to define pornography? These countries' laws very clearly define what it is, and it is strictly illegal traffic in any way, shape or form. Blockinblox (talk) 02:43, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
It's called not censored. SilverserenC 02:51, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I just found this wikipedia map that shows countries with known laws; pornography is explicitly illegal throughout the Middle East, Africa, Ukraine, Iceland, China, SE Asia and Cuba. Blockinblox (talk) 02:57, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
The distribution of laws can be misleading. For example, sources I found suggest that Iceland's prohibition is very little enforced against anything but child porn.[14][15] For those who remember how long America kept laws against homosexuality on the books, such contradictions are not unfamiliar. And if we have a choice between letting America or Australia set the rules, let's stick with the people who give us the freedom to make a good resource! Wnt (talk) 03:34, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes. I expect that as the work of recognized artists like Robert Mapplethorpe falls into the public domain (a century or so from now, unless Disney further extends copyright terms in the United States) we will indeed host as much of their work as possible on Commons, just as we do today for the nineteenth-century works of Félicien Rops. Should pretend that artists never employed (or even focused on) nudity in their work, or that there is never artistic or scholarly merit to works which incorporate sexually-explicit content or themes? Should we pretend that Rops only ever sketched fully-clothed women with chastely-covered shoulders and snug necklines, and avoid discussing any other part of his body of work? Shall we tell people that Mapplethorpe only took photographs of flowers, and avoid any mention of homosexuals? Shall we erase – or perhaps (re-)apply fig leaves to – the works of Michelangelo, for their frequent depictions of nudity, often in a religious context?
These images are readily available to the public in the world's libraries and museums; the only barriers to accessing them are ones of distance and inconvenience. As with much other information, Wikipedia has taken tremendous, positive steps to remove some of those barriers. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 04:01, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
You don't pretend they don't exist, nor do you avoid talking about them in the appropriate articles. But you don't need to show it here. I don't think most people want their children seeing that. Parents often have software running to block access to pornographic imagery. Should they have to block Wikipedia as well? At least have a category for all sexual images to be placed in, so that all the commonly censor programs can block access to that. Different nations can also enact easier censorship this way. Dream Focus 04:49, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
In general, we don't 'show it here'. The vast bulk of the Rops images (to take one of your favorite artists) on Wikimedia Commons are not used in Wikipedia articles, and most probably never will be. Where explicit imagery appears in Wikipedia, we aim to use it in a responsible, appropriate context. It is unsurprising, for example, that vagina actually includes photographs of the vagina, or that list of sex positions actually contains illustrative drawings. Potentially-offensive images aren't littered about Wikipedia; they're where one would expect to find them — whether your particular sensitivities are inflamed by breasts, penises, or Justin Bieber.
Your recent campaign suggests to me that you don't fully understand the purpose of some of Wikipedia's sister projects, including Wikisource and Wikimedia Commons. Conveniently, we have articles on these topics, which I urge you to read. While Wikipedia makes extensive use of their resources – and all three projects are maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation – the roles of Commons and Wikisource are different from the role of Wikipedia. This project (Wikipedia) is a general encyclopedia. Wikimedia Commons is a store of free media (images, sounds, and more) intended for use on Wikipedia and elsewhere. Wikisource is a repository of free primary source material, some of which may be a useful reference or adjunct to Wikipedia articles, but which is intended to be a resource for scholars in its own right. Arguing that we should delete (for example) the sexually-explicit works from among Rops' images on Commons is akin to suggesting that we ought to tear out and shred all the 'objectionable' images from a library's art history collection. Similarly, your argument that Wikisource needs to expunge erotic literature from its collection of primary source material treads dangerously close to book burning.
Realistically, children aren't going to stumble across explicit content – here on Wikipedia, or on its sister projects – by accident. (I've been editing Wikipedia for more than five years, and yet I never once managed to inadvertently find a sketch of a masturbating nun — it took you to point one out to me.) If and when kids do go looking for explicit material, it is not Wikipedia's place to act as a surrogate parent. In any event, I can think of nothing more convenient to the curious teenager (and counterproductive to your aims) than a handy categorized list of pornographic images.
Even if we wanted to adopt such a scheme, where do we draw the line of 'acceptability'? Should we censor the project to a level suitable for a sixteen-year-old? A twelve-year-old? An eight-year-old? A four-year-old? Who do you propose should maintain the list of naughty words, phrases, articles, images, sketches, sounds, and ideas? We're largely powered by volunteer labor; who among them will screen the seven million files on Commons and the three million articles on Wikipedia before such a scheme could go live? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 06:01, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
We already have categories added to things. Just make certain anything that has pictures of sexual things is listed as such, and then people could easily censor it from their children. Articles like [Fanny_Hill] have unnecessary sexual imagery in them. Do we need to see her topless in bed reaching over and grabbing the exposed penis of a man? And in this topic I was referring to images only. Since Jimbo Wales already deleted some of the pornographic images that had no purpose at all, I was wondering about his opinion on getting rid of the rest, or at least making it easier for censor software to identify them. Dream Focus 06:46, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Note that Wikimedia Commons already allows WikiProjects e.g. Commons:Commons:WikiProject Chemistry, though they appear to use categories rather than tags for sorting, e.g. Commons:Category:low quality chemical drawings. But you'd need to round up a whole lot of volunteers to do the sorting, and there's no way to guarantee the tags wouldn't be messed around with afterward. I think it would be much less labor-intensive not to reinvent the wheel, and to use client-side censorware to keep track of which images are off-limits, using whatever software algorithms they've designed to spot naughty-bits automatically.
I should mention that I've recently enjoyed a broadcast of The Emerald Forest running from a cable television channel; though they could be missed for more beautiful sights, the film does include video of naked children, some simulated sex acts without any 2257 paperwork and so forth. How many sponsors refuse to advertise on cable TV because such content is available? Wikipedia is not departing from the mainstream of American society by showing the things we do. Wnt (talk) 07:31, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Actually you are departing from the mainstream of western society for the last 2000 years in the name of your activism. My religious guru stated that anyone who leads children astray would be far better off tied to a heavy rock and dropped into the sea, than what they will become spiritually. Not Muhammad who said that, it was Jesus Christ. But you say "America is the freest country on Earth, we have determined that homosexuality is normal, and we must teach our ways to the rest of the planet by any means possible, silencing all those wo resist." Silence me any way you can, but I will not shut up until you do, and I will honestly say that people like you totally make my flesh crawl and my blood run cold. Blockinblox (talk) 10:30, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't care what is mainstream or what is not. The point is that we have to document what is, not what we like. Sexuality, pornography etc. were and are (and will be in the foreseeable future) notable and important aspects of humanity personal and social life. Therefore, we should document it, regardless of what we think of it. I must say that I do not want you to be silenced, Blockinblox. However I very much think that children should not be able to publicly access religious and homophobic fundamentalism of your kind. So, since they offend my sensibility and those of many persons (homosexuals for example), we should censor your opinions on WP, or putting them behind a safe search. Oh, wait, you don't like to be censored? Well, now maybe you begin to see the problem. --Cyclopiatalk 12:27, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
You said "I don't care what is mainstream or what is not." Yes, I think that is now fairly obvious! Blockinblox (talk) 12:41, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks a lot. I appreciate that it is obvious -it is actually a positive thing, you know? Now, back to the censorship issue: Are you keen on filtering out pro-Christian anti-homosexual stuff so that my children don't see it? --Cyclopiatalk 12:57, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
No, I'm more like a reactionary. For every action, there's always a reaction, not surprising. Blockinblox (talk) 13:06, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
And I am not a reactionary; yet I agree with you, I wouldn't want such content to be censored, despite my personal opinions on it. That's all the point. We should not hide content just because we think it is "immoral". We should not let our biases enter into deciding what enters Wikimedia projects or not. I don't want your biases to censor sexually-loaded content. You don't want my biases to censor reactionary content. We can both agree by censoring neither and living and let live. --Cyclopiatalk 13:20, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Blockinblox, I can't deny that your view of Christianity is widespread, but I've never understood it. The Genesis account of creation describes Adam and Eve as being unashamed of nudity when living in a state of grace, but developing an urge to hide themselves after falling into sin. Shouldn't this mean that the acceptance of physical nudity is not wrong, while the perceived need to cover it up with fig leaves expresses a sickness of the spirit? If it pleased God to create penises, isn't it an error for a human to call them obscene? Wnt (talk) 15:37, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Wnt, I have no idea about all that, but I do know it is a crime to photographically depict a sex act in several nations, or to traffic in those images. Blockinblox (talk) 15:49, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Romans Chapter 13 has been interpreted to support either the divine right of kings or Christian anarchism, but do any Christians believe they must follow the laws of many foreign nations at once? Wikipedia is clearly legal in the United States, from which many editors work on it directly, and if other nations wish to tap into the American internet and read our material that is a courtesy we extend to them gladly, but we do not offer them the right to limit and control what it is allowed to contain. Wnt (talk) 16:31, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Finally, Blockinblox, I'd like to address the issue of homosexuality by turning your attention to the author Peter McWilliams. To put things in context, in 1997, the movement for civil libertarianism was quite visible, but it had gone out to a very isolated and embittered perspective, embracing much of the atheist perspective of Ayn Rand, like the mountain climber who proves his strength by climbing out of the atmosphere to collapse and die. Into this setting McWilliams injected a book, Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do, which at first blush is a strong manifesto of libertarianism — but it concealed a powerful defense of Christianity against so many accusations laid against it.[16] For McWilliams' book and his activism, the DEA deliberately targeted and prosecuted him for his personal use of medical marijuana for the well-established purpose of preventing nausea; and after a kangaroo trial where he was not permitted to give any meaningful defense, he was prevented from taking the drug and died from the vomiting. Peter McWilliams was a gay man, caught in the great AIDS epidemic, and I dare to hope that he will be counted among the Christian martyrs in Heaven, for he lived and died speaking the truth. Wnt (talk) 17:41, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Wnt, I really agree with your point of view; nevertheless it is off topic here and has no bearing on the current discussion. :) --Cyclopiatalk 17:49, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I wish I'd been clearer. There are thousands of deeply held spiritual beliefs that Christians disagree about, but which do not lead to rancor. Today when Protestants see a crucifix, the first thing that comes to mind is the cross, not the controversy. I think it is important to stress that people can disagree on such politically charged issues without it becoming a battle to destroy Christianity as a whole. This brings us back to the main point that when Wikipedians choose to carry the widest range of content, this is done not in defiance but with continued respect for America's Christian cultural heritage. Wnt (talk) 19:23, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Should famous pornographic artists have their entire works on wikicommon? - Yes. Now, DreamFocus, stop this embarrassing crusade. If you have personal troubles looking at naked people's bodies (or if some nations have the same troubles), that's none of our business. (That said, I would endorse a "safe search" switch so that we can satisfy the puritans without falling into censorship). --Cyclopiatalk 09:16, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Traditional encyclopedias have moral codes and standards. While such things are not stated overtly you can certainly tell this simply by scanning articles within the encyclopedia. Is wikipedia straying from the traditional encyclopedia model and morphing into something else?--scuro (talk) 15:56, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I, for sure, hope so. We have never been a "traditional encyclopedia", nor I see why we now should be one. We should strive to be something else -something better, also in being more inclusive and more comprehensive than traditional encyclopaedias. --Cyclopiatalk 16:52, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
"Is wikipedia straying from the traditional encyclopedia model and morphing into something else?" Yes. In a way, that's one of the key goals of NPOV (minimizing cultural bias as much as possible), right? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Duplode (talkcontribs) 20:42, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Whose "moral codes and standards"? Any such discussion must begin by answering that question. I think you'll find that while there are very many people on this planet very willing to impose their own standards one everyone else, you'll find few willing to have any of the others' standards imposed on them. — Coren (talk) 23:18, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

The depravity humans have sunk to in these Godless times knows no boundary and those of us who wish to do God's will must eradicate sexual images where ever they are found. It is not bad enough that we host pictures of human sperm, but we have entire articles devoted to nonhuman sperm and humans getting that sperm on their clothes and in their nose. Intra-species bukkake is but the tip of the iceberg. Did you know that all modern biology rests on transmissible variation created as part of sex? Sexuality is glorified into a key aspect of life on Earth by these Godless scientists. We must protect our children from this sin-fest. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:20, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Wanna patent face condoms? God's work can profitable... Pcap ping 03:20, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Discussions of censorship versus good taste are always going to be difficult. I think its important to note that Wikipedia is not considered to be a reliable source by many people. When discussing other, established encyclopedias, I try to keep in mind that they are, and feel that I should aspire to reach that level of respect. When thinking about good taste, I try to keep in mind that any information can be conveyed in an infinite number of ways, and that some are definitely more tactful than others. (Sometimes that may mean leaving out graphic pictures and narratives for a more clinical approach.) When thinking about freedom of speech, I am reminded of a quote by Hubert Humphrey: "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." Zaereth (talk) 22:22, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Haven't we seen this before? Pcap ping 09:14, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
It's not about censorship or good taste. This is an editorial decision about what quality knowledge worthy of inclusion is. Wikipedia doesn't exclude once certain criteria are met. A real encyclopedia must limit what goes in for two reasons: a size limit, and establishing authority. Include lots of drivel and you turn morph into something else.--scuro (talk) 04:47, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Someone needs to adapt the picture on the right for Commons usage. Pcap ping 09:15, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
@scuro: Actually Wikipedia does exclude when certain criteria are met (WP:DEL). What your posts, when considered together, imply is that quality filtering relies on "moral codes and standards" which should be closer to what a "real encyclopedia" would do. And that goes much further than an "editorial decision about quality". --Duplode (talk) 13:23, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia's net has a much narrower mesh then a traditional encyclopedia. You are going to collect many more things that way. One can look at the catch and say look at sheer tonnage we got, or one can look at the catch and say wow it's hard to sort the good stuff from the rest. Traditional encyclopedia's most certainly excluded material based on moral decisions and still do. Morals, and to some degree standards change over time but I think a traditional encyclopedia would always exclude certain material simply because it adds no worth, or it cheapens the overall product. And yes, that can be based on a moral decision. The one knock against wikipedia is it's legitimacy, including lots of drivel no matter of what stripe just gives critics more ammo.--scuro (talk) 15:09, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Putting aside for a moment the issue of "moral standards" and who should set them, the significance of "legitimacy" appears to be, as far as Wikipedia is concerned, overestimated. "Traditional encyclopaedias" are usually printed or packaged in some way that places rather strict requirements on what how much they can contain. Moreover, in the case of a traditional encyclopaedia people generally pay for the physical product, which means customers expect every single page (or compact disc sector, etc.) to contain "useful" information, whatever their criteria of usefulness is. Wikipedia is to a very large extent free of these mundane restrictions, so it shouldn't be judged using the same standards applied to traditional encyclopaedias. Moreover, if I happen to find the information Wikipedia provides on (random example) List of ICD-9 codes pertinent and useful there is no reason why I should be concerned with the contents of List of sex positions before making use of it - and, crucially, the same principle should apply if I was interested in List of sex positions instead. --Duplode (talk) 16:08, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Scuro, why the hell should I give a f**k about what gives the critics ammo or not? All what I care is having a valuable, comprehensive and good resource. If some idiot critic is scared of human sexuality and wants to criticize the project for that, well, let them do it. Why should we put the issues of puritan critics over the value and comprehensiveness of the project? --Cyclopiatalk 18:07, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
One could argue that a landfill is very "comprehensive", useful, an artifact of the times... etc. Some would be very happy that they could find everything there and upon randomly searching the landfill be pleased with their discoveries. Most people don't want anywhere near a landfill. Encyclopedias also exclude material because it is junk. That is a quality assessment and not a space issue. Junk has many stripes...some junk is related to human sexuality. It's two different issues.--scuro (talk) 19:25, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Excluding junk, for sure, that's why we have WP:NOT. We exclude junk like original research, like hoaxes, like non-verifiable material. This is junk and it's rightly left away. Apart from that, information is not junk. --Cyclopiatalk 19:43, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I understand the point you are making but I don't agree that even with using your stipulations, all the rest of info out there is worthy of inclusion. We can leave it at that if you wish.--scuro (talk) 01:03, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Just allow me to add an additional objection: the landfill analogy does not work well. Landfills stink and pollute surrounding areas; information doesn't. --Duplode (talk) 02:22, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Cleansing Wikipedia of Porn

Sir Jimbo: I want to thank you for your leadership in doing this. You know the responsibility you have in protecting our school children and I appreciate it. There is enough porn on the internet without Wikipedia being concerned about "free speech." Your great work will remain great as long as you match "community standards." Keeping your sponsors is also important to enable your great work.Bhabcy (talk) 21:39, 15 May 2010 (UTC)


If the U.S. Government (or perhaps the United Nations) were to offer you a good deal, will you sell Wikipedia to it? (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 14:15, 16 May 2010 (UTC).

Tat's funny... it already belongs to everybody...and if someone claimed to have bought it and control it they would never be able to... (talk) 14:31, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, a charitable, non-profit organization. Even if Jimbo wanted to sell Wikipedia, it wouldn't be his call — and the Foundation would get the cash, not him. In any event, all of the content of Wikipedia is under a free license, which means that disgruntled editors could choose to work on a different project that wasn't under government control. (A variation of this actually did occur in 2002, when editors of the Spanish Wikipedia feared that Wikipedia was going to allow commercial advertising. They started a new project independent of the rest of Wikipedia, and migrated content and editors en masse to the new project.) TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:36, 16 May 2010 (UTC)


Could I please have rollback rights in order to use igloo? Kiko4564 (talk) 21:06, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't think Jimbo will give you rollback rights. Rights which you want can give you any administrator here. I suggest you to ask here Good luck Aleksa Lukic (talk) 21:11, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kiko4564 (talkcontribs) 15:21, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for taking off the images

Good Work Jimbo, I'm proud of you.--Iankap99 (talk) 20:17, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Ditto that. Don't let anyone get on your case for doing the right thing with those images. (talk) 06:55, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

About dialog

One of the teenagers from Moscow interrupted our dialog about some dangerous processes in the Russian Wikipedia and in the Ukrainian Wikipedia. I bear in mind administrator VasilievVV who published "Petition to Jimbo" in meta:Wikimedia Forum several days ago.

Do you want to continue the dialog mentioned above?

Галактион Терёшин Галактион (talk) 08:45, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I am not sure which dialog you mean exactly, but I'm happy to have any dialog you like. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:52, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Re: Pauley Perrette

Thanks for the semi-protection on the Pauley Perrette page. I monitor that page and have dealt with alot of it, but it was getting annoying. Hopefully this will slow it down considerably. Thanks again...NeutralHomerTalk • 10:58, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

You're welcome! I just saw it on my watchlist and I hadn't looked at it in a very long time, and when I did, I saw recent nonsense.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:00, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Questions about Vector switchover

Dear Jimbo,

I am somewhat puzzled about the manner in which the switch to Vector was implemented and was hoping you could shed some light. As far I can tell, certain features were added after the beta test and never shown to users for comment. Other features, it seems, were not adequately tested on Internet Explorer, mobile browsers, or nontraditional Internet devices like Playstation 3. I could be mistaken, but it appears that neither web professionals nor lay Wikipedians with web-rollout expertise were consulted enough to mitigate these switchover issues. Given Wikipedia's traffic rankings, I think it's important to have a stable version shown to unregistered users in order to maintain a good reputation. I am troubled by the fact that most responses to usability issues raised at Wikipedia:User experience feedback are something along the lines of "you can always change it back in your .js file" rather than addressing the substance of the issues or providing a rationale for the changes. We must, I believe, put our best foot forward for all users and not require a login to have the most usable/attractive/stable interface. Further, few of these responses seem to come from those who have been involved with implementing Vector.

User:OlEnglish has pointed out that pages in the help namespace have not yet been updated to reflect Vector, which will make Wikipedia less accessible for novices. Another user, whose name I unfortunately don't recall, suggested that the switchover process seems to have violated #1 and #4 of your statement of principles. I cannot help but wonder why the switch was made before Vector was stable. I don't know how involved you were in the nitty-gritty of the Usability Initiative, but I was hoping you could provide some insight into these issues. Is there a page where the usability team discusses their responses besides this one?

Best wishes, Albany NY (talk) 13:26, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I haven't been involved in software development or usability issues directly for many years. I'm generally vaguely aware of what is going on, as a board member and active community member, but I don't work in the office, and I'm not part of the management team for several years now. So I don't actually keep up with that sort of thing, I'm just an end user like you in that respect. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:37, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I am confused

In your own words "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." If that is the case, then shouldn't Wikipedia be about everything? Or have your views on this changed? Rin tin tin (talk) 12:49, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

My views have not changed, at least not about what our mission is. There are at least two important keywords in that statement: "sum" and "knowledge". "Sum" implies that Wikipedia is not a data dump, not a place for the listing of infinite trivia - doing so is a disservice to our readers. Readers deserve a well thought-out summary, a balanced presentation of the core. And "knowledge" implies that Wikipedia is not the place for every half-baked rumor or tabloid tidbit.

Normally when people ask me this, they have a specific example in mind, though. What's on your mind? :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:35, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Well, I understand if it's not verifiable, it's not going to be included, but if it's a summary, as you say, wouldn't that mean things which are verifiable would be left out, possibly? Rin Tin Tin 16:14, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, depending on the needs of the reader and the overall context, it is true that not every verifiable fact belongs in Wikipedia. As an example, it may be verifiable in reliable sources that some non-public figure of no general notability committed a petty theft in 1997. That doesn't belong in Wikipedia, under WP:BLP1E among other reasons.
In another example, not hypothetical, look at this edit that I made the other day. It is possible that some of that information actually is noteworthy and of interest, but Wikipedia is not a data dump, and so the entire list of (seemingly bi-partisan) political contributions of a prominent man who turned out, it seems, to have been running a ponzi scheme is... well... not that interesting or useful to readers. (Quite possibly, it could be of some minor note that he made a lot of political contributions, but even here I'd want us to be careful of WP:OR in terms of judging whether this level of political contributions actually does raise any eyebrows - maybe it's just random data that happens to be public due to campaign finance laws, and that this level of contributions is pretty low for someone in his position: I don't know.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:23, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
This kind of thing could indeed be in the shallows of original research if it's meant (or even seems) to lead the reader into a given outlook on a topic. However, if reliable sources have already tried to glean meaning from something that might otherwise look like but a data dump of such non-notable information, then there may be no worries about carrying cites to those publications, rather than the raw, verifiable data (so to speak) in the text. Gwen Gale (talk) 16:45, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. I would say that either including raw data (which is voluminous and boring, whereas an encyclopedia is supposed to be a summary to give reasonably quick understanding) or doing a risky synthesis (unfortunately all too tempting to POV pushers) is a bad idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:35, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
is... well... not that interesting or useful to readers.. Why? It is not interesting or useful to me in itself, but how can we decide what is interesting or not to our readers? Why do we have to behave as nannies for our readers? I restored the information: deleting referenced information is not good for an encyclopedia which aims to be the "sum of all human knowledge". I share the OP's confusion. --Cyclopiatalk 19:41, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
How can we decide? We must decide, that is our task. We are authors; we are editors. It is absolutely critical and central to all that we do to make decisions about what to include, what to exclude, and how to write about the things that we include. This has nothing to do with being "nannies for our readers" - it has to do with making good sound editorial judgments.
I'm happy to continue the philosophical discussion here - but if you're going to be making edits to particular articles based on this discussion, let's please be careful to discuss the changes on the talk pages of those articles rather than here - so that editors who are not concerned with the general case can understand what is happening in the article they are working on.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:51, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I was perhaps unclear. Of course we must decide, in the meaning that we must bring articles in compliance with verifiability, NPOV, no OR and all that. But -in general- why taking away well sourced information, I can't understand. I can understand we have to decide where and how to talk about this information, but "if" shouldn't be an option, usually. --Cyclopiatalk 20:24, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
We are not automatons, and there is more to good writing than mere compliance with a list of "thou shalt nots". We must take loving care that articles are highly readable and convey the essentials - data dumps of boring details interfere with that and should generally be avoided. Imagine, as a thought experiment, if we went through public records of Barack Obama's donors and made a huge list of all of them. That is valuable information to have publicly available in the world - but it doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. Remember, an encyclopedia is not an archive, not a library, not a data dump. An encyclopedia conveys an essentialized summary of human knowledge, with the depth of the material depending on the context. Otherwise, it can easily become an unreadable repository and - thereby - become useless for its intended purpose.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:37, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
It is clear we have two very different understanding of what WP should be. Articles should be readable? Yes. Convey the essentials? Yes. But we can have different levels of detail on every subject (see comment to Jack Merridew below), and have different, readable articles on different levels of detail. Now, your example makes it very clear the difference between our two approaches. Imagine, as a thought experiment, if we went through public records of Barack Obama's donors and made a huge list of all of them. That is valuable information to have publicly available in the world - but it doesn't belong in an encyclopedia. - My opinion is instead that yes, it should belong in the encyclopedia. It doesn't belong in the main Barack Obama article, for the readibility and essentiality issues, but in a List of Barack Obama donors, why not? I agree WP is not a mere data dump, but I see no reason not to include sourced, verifiable data.
This could all be jolly good philosophy if there wasn't a serious asymmetry between these points of view. My point of view include yours (meaning that a readable, essential article on Barack Obama could live along the List of Barack Obama donors); yours instead excludes mine. That's what worries me. I can't understand why the encyclopedia would suffer in including such data, while I understand that, if at least some reader benefits of such information, it can help to keep it in the appropriate place. --Cyclopiatalk 21:05, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
This thread is touching on an important distinction; what your use of 'sum' implied; summary, not summation. This would be goodness to nail down, as a lot seek the latter. Jack Merridew 20:05, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I'd want it to mean "summation". I understand people disagree, but I don't see why both viewpoints can't get along together. I mean, we can provide both. We can have articles that present a general summary of a subject, and articles that then cover the details more and more. I think this is the approach leading to the best service to the readers we can do, since it helps all categories of readers potentially interested in a subject. We are not paper, so we shouldn't worry too much about detailing content or not. --Cyclopiatalk 20:24, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I've made further discussion and editing at Talk:Scott W. Rothstein; in short I believe we should try to describe everything but not duplicate everything. Wnt (talk) 22:04, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Editorial judgement is needed not only to know what to put in Wikipedia, but also to know what to leave out. There is way too much verifiable published data from reliable sources. See How Much Information?. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 00:45, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

WP:NOT seems to be a good place to start, and I revert additions that do not comply with it. However, we are now beyond traditional printed encyclopedias with annual updates, and do not conform to old-fashioned models of information provision; however, that does not mean we should become a news service, nor seek to be absolutely up to date. :"Immediatism" may be all very well, but when writing an encyclopedia, a detached and balanced point of view is perhaps more important to have than merely being reflective of what is happening now, because we can't necessarily judge its relevance while it's happening. I think when Jimbo talks about "sum" above, perhaps "essence" might be better, to avoid confusion. Rodhullandemu 01:15, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
We shouldn't be judging relevance at all. That's the problem. Judging relevance of a subject per se will always be subjective and biased. We should only taking care if something is publicly, openly sourced and verifiable. If yes, there should be no objections in including such content (while of course there must be editorial judgment to get it to comply with NPOV, FRINGE, UNDUE etc. article by article). --Cyclopiatalk 01:22, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Your view is extremely fringe, and rejected years ago. Wikipedia is not a data dump.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:55, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I am not talking about "data dumping", and my view is basically aligned with what WP:NOT and WP:GNG say, so it has hardly been "rejected years ago" , let alone it being "extremly fringe". --Cyclopiatalk 03:00, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Editorial treatment of content is determined by policies, guidelines and consensus. Above all it should be determined by usefulness, in an informative and educational sense. That, perhaps, is what an encyclopedia is for. Personally, I don't believe that a blow-by-blow recital of what happens in every episode of Family Guy or The Simpsons is objectively useful or informative; an encyclopedia is by definition something of an academic exercise, and in my view should not descent into trivia for trivia's sake. It is no fault of mine that some editors, and perhaps even readers, view Wikipedia in such terms. I've been accused elsewhere of being "stale" and out of touch, but I do think we have to decide whether we are a mere mirror of popular culture, pandering to whatever its editor think is important, or take a step back and require reliable sources to establish an objective importance. It's no small wonder, perhaps, that I have retreated into editing historical articles, because about those there can be little question. As for availability of sources, that begs the question; whatever is sought to be included should first satisfy the requirement of encyclopedic usefulness. Rodhullandemu 01:38, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
You say " I don't believe..." -Here it is the daemon. It shouldn't be about what we believe or not. What is not useful in my belief can be terribly useful for other people. What is trivial for me can be essential for someone else, and viceversa. Since the existence of articles on the episodes of Family Guy (provided they report sourced, verifiable information) doesn't affect the existence and reliability of articles on other subjects, and viceversa, we shouldn't even discuss about their right to exist. There is no such thing as "objective importance". I fighted a lot, at AfDs and elsewhere, for the existence of articles of whose subject I couldn't have cared less of, in general, because it's not about what is important for me, it's about what can be important for the public. --Cyclopiatalk 01:47, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
"At the last count, about thirty million chemical compounds are known" ( Each of these is important to someone. Each trade in the stock market is published, verifiable and important to someone. You do not seem to have any idea of the sheer quantity of information that your criteria would permit to be added to Wikipedia. That is not Wikipedia's mission. WAS 4.250 (talk) 08:09, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
As an inclusionist, I don't necessarily want articles about thirty million chemical compounds—just those compounds that some editor chooses to write about. The concept of sweat equity applies. Ten professors meeting in a conference room for ten days could never decide as well what to cover as volunteer editors do when allowed to create articles on the compounds they think are important. Right now there are much more modest goals to meet. Half of the thousand entries on the list of minerals still need to be started, many of the 3700 companies on NASDAQ aren't covered, quite a few families of plants are missing, etc. By the time we get thirty million articles started you'll be able to store them all in your phone. Wnt (talk) 18:20, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
The bottom line here, as far as I'm concerned, is WP:INDISCRIMINATE. Obviously that has to be evaluated on a case by case basis, because what is seen as relevant to Family Guy is to be evaluated on a completely different basis from The Bible. There are obviously experienced editors here in their specialist subjects, who have opinions as to what is relevant and useful to our readers, within the context of providing an encyclopedia; that is always open to debate, of course. However, "what can be important to the public" is not necessarily the purpose we have here; for example, we are not a TV listings guide. I also disagree that there is no such thing as "objective importance"; that is the whole point behind WP:N for articles and WP:TRIVIA within articles. Rodhullandemu 02:01, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm hoping experienced editors will forgive me and put up with this post. en.WP is meant to be an encyclopedia, a tertiary reference echoing mostly secondary sources which might be taken as reliable through a consensus of editors. Many secondary sources are flawed. These flaws are scooped up by en.Wikipedia which, for all its wonderful features, has its own flaws like hidden sockpuppetry and lopsided, systemic outlooks but this too echoes things going on in the wider world, never mind the awful education [sic] given in most publicly funded schools in English speaking countries. Citing sources from sundry outlooks helps editors build articles which at least help some of the most glaringly muddled sources speak for themselves. Many readers are smarter than some editors seem to think, moreover the kinds of readers who dig into encyclopedia articles. Trying to fix this by delving into primary sources and allowing synthesis would only make things worse. It's not so much that editors here can't synthesize helpfully, many can. Moreover, experts and experienced editors tend to know the sources in a topic area, or how to quickly find them. Some of them do their own synthesizing elsewhere. The pith is, en.WP is meant to echo already published synthesis, some of which will indeed be sloppy or worse. We do what we can, I guess. Like most of the published sources it echoes, the biggest worries here will be found in the humanities and its topic areas such as history, politics, BLPs, economics, sociologies and culture (widely put). High traffic, core articles in the humanities are often the worst, but this is because the sources from which they're drawn tend to be more or less likewise, although some of the most daunting flaws do get amplified even more once editor input has gone through the net of consensus. Mix in nationalistic and globalistic edit warring from sundry kinds of editors and what one gets is a canny glimpse of the world not as it is, but as it is most widely seen, which is both the flaw and the strength of any encyclopedia. Being a fan of encyclopedias from a young age, I was also lucky to be taught early on to take them for what they are, pathways to understanding, introductions to topics, wholly unworthy of citation for anything. The truly helpful stuff in most articles will be found in the references section. If the article text they support is written smoothly, cleanly and evenly, that's a happiness. Gwen Gale (talk) 07:00, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Whose Irish Catholic?

Hello Jimbo, a while back on the AN/I noticeboard, you were having a discussing about BLP's with some admins and one of them asked you about requiring online sources for citations. As I recall you said that citations didn't have to be online. As a practical matter, not all sources can be online, such as books, especially older ones. I'm asking this because in a dispute over on Michael Collins, editors there are claiming Collins does not qualify to be listed in the category Irish Catholics. Another editor said my citations, which I've provided, must be "inline."[17] It seems to be that requiring all online sources is not practical. And it seems Michael Collins must somehow satisfy a higher standard than the other names listed in the category. Does this category require such a standard and must all the citations that support putting Collins in this category necessarily have to be online?Malke2010 14:49, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Malke, I am not Jimbo, but "inline" is not "online". "Inline" just means you need to include inline citations, so a reader immediately knows where to look for supporting sources, but those sources need not necessarily be online. And the diff you cited is very reasonable, asking that you provide the exact support for the material you propose to add. Crum375 (talk) 15:01, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think Crum375 is right about what you were being asked. The funny thing is - I was about to joke that probably Collins was more Catholic than St. Patrick, but I see you already made that joke on the talk page. :-) At the same time, though, Malke2010, I'd like to recommend that you avoid saying things to other editors like "Then you're not very well read." The truth is - on this matter - I am not very well read, so I have no opinion as to whether he belongs in the category or not. I would have thought so.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:29, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
Hello, Jimbo and Crum375. Thanks for getting back. Jimbo, you are correct about my comment not being helpful. This wasn't helpful either: [18]. And there's more of the same from this editor and another. I think Collins does belong in the category and it seems like the standard that is being claimed is higher for him. I've looked over the names that are included and they don't seem to be all that special. Can this standard be changed? Just on the face of it, anybody not knowing all that much about Irish history, I should think would guess he was more Irish Catholic than St. Pat, as you did. :) Malke2010 16:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

America: The Story of Us

Congrats and good job in the most recent episode! I don't know if you caught it, but they selected to use your comments about the American Dream/prospecting/entrepreneurship. They added nicely to the program and were most enlightening. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 15:34, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks! So far I haven't seen any episodes! Every week people mention it to me, so I guess they are using my footage a lot. It was a long interview. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:19, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

unban from Meta

If i can't get unbanned from Wikiversity, would you at least unban me from Meta? EME44 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:35, 17 May 2010 (UTC).

Appealing to me would not be the right thing to do. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:50, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
This is for recognizing what many people do not: that the User name space is part of the encyclopedia too, and thus editing any user pages are justifiable. Ojay123 (TalkE-MailContribsSandbox)(Respond on my talk page! 22:55, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

de:Wikipedia Diskussion:Meinungsbilder/Verwendung des genealogischen Kreuzzeichens

WP:NPOV is in danger( (talk) 10:34, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Commons conversations

Sorry to be so firm, but I'm going to ask that commons conversations please take place on commons.  :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:07, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

That's not as simple, because your commons talk page is locked for IPs. Perhaps you want to transfer it? Here's the link Regards (talk) 17:43, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, I'm guessing that my talk page isn't the best place to start that conversation, anyway.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:16, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Now you know

Now you know the problems of too much unwarranted trust. Putting a project like this in the hands of children. Allowing anyone, even child porn lovers to freely edit. The problems and your current situation and frustration all come from the anarchy you intentionally included in this monster when you created it. Neglected rule 1: Trust should not be freely granted, it should be earned. Permissiveness does not lead to greater responsibility. Neglected Rule #2: Karma. What you sow, you reap. If you put values in place that are entirely amoral and then promote people who espouse those amoral values, you will get it back. --Blue Tie (talk) 20:43, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Lol. Nice troll. --Cyclopiatalk 21:13, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
(ec) That argument is faulty on both fronts. First of all, those sorts of people crop up no matter what you do. "Child porn lovers" will always be around, unfortunately, and they are blocked if they start uploading it here. Even the definition of child porn is blurry, we have the original cover of Virgin Killer on that page (my uncle has the original version, I love that album). As for the second argument, appealing to "morals" is the weakest possible argument to make, because everyone's morals are different. What's "amoral" to someone like you is probably perfectly fine by me. I can look at images of torture victims, concentration camps, and terrorist attacks without batting an eye- I certainly don't endorse those things, but how is one to understand the horror behind them without seeing them? Besides, whose "morals" should we be following? Yours, mine, Jimbo's? As soon as you start trying to eliminate things that are offensive, it becomes impossible to draw the line. Some people (like myself) are not offended by any images currently up- I may not particuarly enjoy looking at some of these images, but I'm fine with them if they are serving some encyclopedic purpose. Not knowing where the line is would be far more dangerous than having a few images you personally disagree with, which is why we're trying to sort out where the line is now. The Blade of the Northern Lights (talk) 21:18, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
To reiterate what I've said elsewhere: "child porn lovers", as well as drug dealers, murderers, and so on, should be free to edit Wikipedia if they are contributing in a way compliant with policy, and are not using the project as a platform to push their agenda or their sense of morality. I know of at least one case where a jail adopted a program allowing inmates to edit. There is not and should be no "good citizen" requirement to be a Wikipedian. Dcoetzee 22:14, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Since this thread appears to have popped up at WR, let me just clarify my intention: People who upload illegal child pornography, or who pursue relationships with underage editors, should be banned and reported to law enforcement. Users who push an agenda should be blocked or topic-banned. We have the ability here to watch a contributor's every move, and we should use it. I'm simply not willing to block people from editing, say, articles on mathematics or entomology on the basis of off-wiki amoral behavior. Dcoetzee 03:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Freedom and equality are not amoral virtues. They are the foundation of our civilization. If you make a world where people can't edit a free encyclopedia without some official from the Ministry of Propaganda to command them, you'll have a world where rape is routine and woe to the woman who gripes about it. Wnt (talk) 01:32, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I dont understand what Blue Tie is saying, I edit wikipedia (see my user page and contribs) and iv not had a problem. If a person is "that way" then as long as they are not breaking any laws or causing a risk to anyone then i guess they can be on wikipedia. but for images, thats a different thing as they should not have access to, but iv already told that to jimbo anyway :) Sophie (Talk) 12:01, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo, how do you get your page to archive so quickly?Malke2010 18:20, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

See User:MiszaBot III. --Cyclopiatalk 18:33, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Use of the name "Macedonia"

To Wikipedia community, Fritzpoll, J.delanoy, Shell Kinney and whom else it may concern:

Alexandros, I don't intervene in disputes of this nature. In any event, the standard in Wikipedia is to use the most common English language name for the most part, and F.Y.R.O.M. is not likely to ever be the most common name. I am sorry whenever the most common name in English is upsetting to people, but Wikipedia is descriptive, not prescriptive. In my opinion, this F.Y.R.O.M. name is just never going to catch on, and the Republic of Macedonia will remain known in English as the Republic of Macedonia or even just "Macedonia". I know that may not be happy for you, and I'm sorry about that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:02, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
If either of you are not aware, this has been a big issue here. There have even been two(!) requests for arbitration about Macedonia (and related stuff): wp:ARBMAC and wp:ARBMAC2. The second one deals more with the naming. The current guideline for how to deal with the naming issues is dealt in wp:MOSMAC. Rest assured Mr. Kollias, you are not the only one who has brought up the issue of what to call the article currently named "Republic of Macedonia". Buddy431 (talk) 13:00, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

IP using your identity

See [19]. He has been signing using your name to give some sort of award (???) and has edited a comment of another user (that I reported on another issue [20]) on my talk page. At least strange. If it´s you, OK, but if not... FkpCascais (talk) 19:30, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Stop x nuvola with clock.svg User(s) blocked. This is clearly some sort of trolling, but they are not signing as Jimbo, just attributing a quote from Tyler Durden to him. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:50, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, I see, I missenterpreted it. Anyway, people should be more carefull when using Jimbo´s name, specially not for trolling. Thanx. FkpCascais (talk) 19:59, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Just don't expect us all to chant "His name is Jimbo Wales".--Cube lurker (talk) 20:09, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
 :) FkpCascais (talk) 21:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Revolving door policy

Jimbo, I have to admit that you have been very tolerant of other editors using your talkpage. My best boss always said he had an open-door policy but that he expected all to go the right department(s) first and save going to the boss unless it was absolutely necessary or they felt they needed a savior. Once you understood his policy, you never violated because you *knew* that if you had to go to him when it was absolutely hopeless, he would save you. Cheers. ----moreno oso (talk) 20:08, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Page Protection

I seem to misunderstand, on User:Jimbo_Wales/Editnotice you say you trust us, but you have semi-protection on your page, surely WP:AGF (Which you link to) applies to IP's as well?

Also, on your Meta-Wiki Page, you have full protection!

(I am very uncustomed to Meta-Wiki, and perhaps AGF does not exist on Meta-Wiki, or something else applies?)
Limideen 16:03, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

Removing block from record

RepublicanJacobite put this on my talk page and Gwen Gale blocked me for writing: "removed vandalism" in the edit summary. [21]. I would like to have this block removed from my record. Thank you.Malke2010 21:25, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't thnik that it is possible or else my block log would be a bit shorter as well since I was acidentally blocked in October for a sec.--White Shadows you're breaking up 21:30, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Even Mr Wales has a block log. It isn't the end of the world, especially not when the unblock reason gives enough information. Weakopedia (talk) 21:35, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
This block was undeserved.Malke2010 21:52, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
and it is possible to remove it. See oversight and speedy deletion, etc.Malke2010 21:53, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, regardless of that, I believe only the developers can remove such information, and they would be highly unlikely to do so without a very good reason. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 21:55, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
In that case, can they remove the acidental block that I got in October?--White Shadows you're breaking up 22:08, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

They can remove this. It was completely unjustified. If you look at this: [22][23] [24] [25] [26][27][28][29]

I removed the template warning where User:RepublicanJacobite told me I was making paranoid ramblings. I wrote in the edit summary: "Removing vandalism" and she blocked me for that saying it was a personal attack against User: RepublicanJacobite. She really wrote that. I just want the block deleted, which they can do.Malke2010 22:16, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

i need get my accounate back pees


i dont know way my accounate is banned ?? can you opan it plees ??? username is klashss?? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:10, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

No need to bother Jimbo with this. I have immediately restored your account. I didn't need to look at the circumstances of your ban, as your obvious erudition, mature demeanor, and almost preternatural spelling skills clearly mark you as a future editor of distinction... Sheesh. Herostratus (talk) 04:03, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
My good man! Thank you for your expeditious assistance! I shall look forward to engaging in scholarly pursuits here with you in future! Can't talk now, as The Missus and I are off to tea with the Vicar! Carry on! Klashss (talk) 04:55, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Request for comment on flagged revisions trial

I have created a request for comment on the flagged revisions trial, motivated by an unexpected, unannounced and publicly undiscussed change of configuration removing the reviewer usergroup. You may be interested in it. Cenarium (talk) 12:59, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Draw-you-know-who Day

Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. You have new messages at Talk:Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Greg L (talk) 15:22, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Open insults being ignored

Sorry to bother, but how is this [30] possible? I´m being openly and continuosly insulted even in the report itself! Is there a green light for insulting me? Because this [31] already happend. What is wrong here? Am I being "pushed away"? I know you don´t control admins, but I hope somehow this can be solved. FkpCascais (talk) 17:46, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

For the record, since this post was made the user insulting Fkp has been blocked for a week. It is unfortunate that it took several days, but I think it has been adequately dealt with now. --Tango (talk) 02:38, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. The situation was becoming outragious. FkpCascais (talk) 11:17, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

The arbitrariness in the Russian Wikipedia

Здравствуйте, Джимбо! В русской Википедии творится произвол. Мой оппонент ru:user:Ural Anonymous с самого начала участия в Википедии вел войну против сетевого маркетинга. Я постепенно научился обсуждать не участников, а тексты статей. Он стал бомбить АК исками с клеветой на меня. Сначала АК утвердил посредника, который меня вполне устраивает ru:ВП:ИСК583 а потом заблокировал моего оппонента - подателя иска и меня (?!!) бессрочно, не дожидаясь моих пояснений ru:ВП:ИСК586. Прошу вмешаться. Я в Википедии не воюю, а против меня ведется настоящая война.--Trueanswer (talk) 09:49, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Jimbo! In the Russian Wikipedia arbitrariness. My opponent ru: user: Ural Anonymous from the very beginning of participation in Wikipedia waged war against network marketing. I gradually learned to not discuss the participants and the texts of articles. He bombed the AK claims defamation on me. First, the AK has approved mediator, which I was quite satisfied with ru:ВП:ИСК583 and then blocked my opponent - petitioners and I (?!!) indefinitely, without waiting for an explanation of my ru:ВП:ИСК586. Please intervene. I do not fight in Wikipedia, but against me is a real war ..--Trueanswer (talk) 09:49, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Earlier in November 2009 I spoke to you by mail::

(Sorry, I do not speak in English, used the google translator) Hello! I work in the Russian section of Wikipedia articles in the category ru:Прямые_продажи (w:Direct_sеlling). Administrator "Uncle Fred" [32] pursuing me, blocking me with the lock rules violation. Arbitration Committee announces actions "Uncle Fred" lawful, rejected the my first claim of the early unlock me, rejected the my second claim for withdrawing from Uncle Fred flag the administrator and indefinitely blocked for the insults which he had made in the description of the lock ([33]). He insulted me, comparing with the mentally ill ("Кащенко" is the name of the famous Moscow psychiatric hospital), and humiliated on a national basis and the grounds of language ("шо ви" pronounce Ukrainian Jews). Instead of considering the claim on the merits, of insulting me, Arbitration Committee acceded to the insults of the administrator, comparing me in discussions with the trolls ([34], from "[17:58:52]"). Now after the decision of an arbitration committee at my second claim the insults is de jure become the norm of conduct administrators Russian section of Wikipedia. In Russia it is called esprit de corps when administrators protect another administrator - when he violates the rules, he was not punished. Help me, please, I am not allowed to work.--Trueanswer (talk) 10:09, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

A plagiarist on Arbcom - your thoughts?

Jimbo, are you aware that Arbcom member Steve Smith admitted to "rampant plagiarism"? [35]. Steve offered to resign, but someone talked him out of it: "I no longer had the moral authority to serve as as arbitrator, and I immediately announced my resignation to the Committee. Since then, I have been persuaded that this is not necessarily the case."

What's your opinion? Do you think it is appropriate for an acknowledged plagiarist to serve on Arbcom? (talk) 12:01, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

I know very little about the situation at this point. I think it would be good to see an NPOV examination of the facts of the case - apparently some feel that Steve was hard on himself with that description, and he's taking steps to clean up and improve his old work. Note that I am reporting on opinions expressed to me by others, not expressing my own opinion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:01, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

You're quoted at the begining of WWW: Watch

Don't let it go to your head. Wish someone would quote me in a book. Phooey. HalfShadow 03:21, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

That's so awesome! Jimbo needs more recognition. And to have someone like Robb do it... Wow. That's an honor! I'm still on the waitlist at my library but I'm definitely gonna run into the local B&N to look that up:) cymru lass (hit me up)(background check) 03:15, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Jatropha Picture

I'm sorry but I have no way of contacting the Wikipedia but here. I saw the photo of Wikipedia article on Jatropha and I recognized it not to be Jatropha since I am familiar with Jatropha and, I happen to have a plant similar to that attached or showed on the Wikipedia article. Kindly recheck but the picture on the article is that of a variety of a gensing plant (I got plenty on yard). I just this article could be corrected if really having the wrong picture for the benefit of those who wants to view a Jatropha carcas plant. Thanks. More power.

Jay Barsumo, Philippines. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:34, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo, I'm on this Lionelt (talk) 02:48, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

How do I contact you privately?

Is there any way of contacting you privately on Wikipedia? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:40, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Email is good. Use the link on the left?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:43, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't see the email link. Someone deleted my responce to your advice on Circumcision. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:36, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Revert to neutral in Circumcision

Jimbo, I hope you have been monitoring edits and discussion in Circumcision. That utube may have been a fake, but the thesis is probably correct.

Click on view history and select a version you agree with ([[36]]) and then click undo and click save to maintain the honest neutral concensus text. Just don't do it more than twice per 24 hrs. Trying to discuss anything with Jakew, Coppertwin, jayg, and Avi is a huge waste of time. They are a cabal, and discussion a sham designed to waste time with false statements. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:43, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

As I know nothing about the topic, I won't be participating directly. If you feel that there is a problem, I recommend that you find an appropriate WikiProject (this one might be good) and politely ask for uninvolved editors to take a look - I would suggest that you will be more effective if you don't make wild accusations against other editors - focus on the *content issues* as you see them, not on the *editors*.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:53, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for the advice and the suggested WikiProject. I will take a look. Problem is, Wiki has lost so many good editors I have little confidence there would be fairness in several specific topics. Circumcision may be the worst. Seems we're left with mostly editors and especially administrators with (what I thank are) conflicts of interest. All I did was bring attention and link to that youtube and Jakew's history (his own writing). Trolling kids websites to promote circumcision, for example. I understood you were going to have people read some of that stuff, and look at his edits (almost all reverts), and his tactics in Circumcision. Have them look at what's going on (what he's said in the last pages of discussion) right now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:37, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your comments on BLPN with regard to Jensen

Much appreciated! David.Kane (talk) 13:31, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo, I'd like to draw your attention to an exactly parallel issue: WP:BLP/N#Richard Goldstone and contentious accusations from biased sources. I'd appreciate your feedback. -- ChrisO (talk) 16:00, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks very much for that detailed and informative reply. I have to say I agree with your sentiments about the declining quality of the print media. I've asked a couple of followup questions about the general principles involved, on which I'd appreciate your advice. -- ChrisO (talk) 17:37, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I've raised a different angle on this in the Goldstone section and would also appreciate your take on it. Ty 20:26, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Gaza flotilla clash

Hi Jimbo - I was wondering if this article should be protected as it has come under so much attention and various users/IP are making unconstructive use of it. Even internet sites such as the Jewish Internet Defense Force have begun to write about it, exposing natural and inherent POVs. Mar4d (talk) 12:52, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't usually get involved with decisions like that, but in general I would say that this is an ideal use case for semi-protection, and (in the near future when it goes live) for flagged protection.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:43, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

What's the best place to send someone?

I have a community banned user who wants to come back - he's willing to stay out of the topic-areas where he got into trouble, and during his community banning, a few people suggested that a topic-area ban would be sufficient. He'd like to come back, with a mentor, so that he might eventually even be allowed back into his topic-area if things go well.

Where should I send him? What should he do next? What are current best practices for someone in this area?

(As you might guess, I'm asking not only a practical question, but raising the broader philosophical question about how we might best deal with cases like this. :-) ) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:50, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

ANI for a community discussion. This is regularly the place for community discussion to gain a consensus. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 20:50, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

(e/c) There are a couple of ways (best option (usually) first):
  1. Provide him/her access to their talk page (if necessary). Have them make an unblock request, laying out their case, suggesting a mentor if they have one in mind, explaining how/why things will be different, etc. They should make it clear they're requesting an unban, not just an unblock. The admin who catches the unblock request can start a thread at WP:AN to overturn the ban.
  2. Have the editor email WP:BASC. Note that while (I think) this is technically legit, some people believe a community ban should be overturned by the community, and it might ruffle a few feathers (not a good thing to do in an unban request). If you think it's a reasonable request on the merits, but for some reason people dislike this person more than usual, this might be the only practical option, ruffled feathers or not.
  3. You can start an unban discussion at WP:AN yourself.
My take (just observing current mores) on current "best practice" is that this will more likely be accepted if they've sat out the ban without socking for a minumum of 3 months; preferably (but not required) have made productive contributions on another project (simple, commons, wiktionary, etc.); and are very clear on accepting responsibility for their past problems, and make very clear what they'll do different this time. --Floquenbeam (talk) 20:56, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree with those steps: asking them to work on Simple (to see if they could "keep it simple" and accept the basic-words restriction, without Google ranking their articles #1), and then limiting their initial WP enwiki access to only their user-talk page. From reading their new talk-page posts, it might become obvious why they were banned, such as being too angry, rambling about the "sound of one hand clapping", or some obvious severe mindset that would not focus well on getting articles written. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:50, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
    Another variation on this theme: send them to Wikisource, where there is no originality involved, and they can work on the topic which interests them. John Vandenberg (chat) 06:49, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
    I wonder - what do Simple and Wikisource think of us sending users who have had difficulties here to them? I don't think this user has a history of socking, so I will recommend to him to go to his talk page to lay out his promises, and then I will assist him by starting a discussion at ANI.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:37, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
    Ponder on the nature of Wikisource and wonder no more. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:43, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

When is consensus bullying

I feel as though I am being bullied out of Wikipedia when all I do for the most part is qualitatively improve articles by adding citations. I have a group of malign editors that have formed a cohort against me. They have searched really hard to find a few matters of dispute out of my 20,000 or more edits that I have made to this Project. I would appreciate some of your time.
B9 hummingbird hovering (talkcontribs) 10:20, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

Can you point me to where some discussions are going on about this matter? In general, the best advice I can give people is to take criticism seriously, apologize for anything you have done wrong, and pull back from conflict. Of course, if you are right on a content matter, you should press forward in the interest of quality, but conflict often has a way of taking on a life of its own, unfortunately.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:15, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
      • 2009 Board elections "A Facebook functionality with a malleability of IRC. A dynamic, crystal reporting and interrogable, historical and referential database. We could establish as needs committees that report in real time. These committees could be organically determined upon logging in and members may elect their interest areas and the intelligent, impartial, secure system will establish the constituents according to changing priorities. - - - B9_hummingbird_hovering"
      • 16 May 2010 "I may continue editing Wikipedia on the odd occasion to fix a spelling error or provide a linkage but apart from that my input will cease. - - - B9_hummingbird_hovering"
      • 31 May 2010 "Competence is clearly an issue here. The user's unwillingness to participate in a valid RfC doesn't bode well either. - - - AniMate"
      • 1 June 2010 "My name is Beauford Anton Stenberg [...] I don't curry any of your favour because none of you who have signed your name on this page have exhibited qualities that I admire and value. That appears to be mutual. - - - B9_hummingbird_hovering"
      • - - - WAS 4.250 (talk) 16:17, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Hummingbird, might you want to apologize for some of those remarks? I find that people are often very much willing to accept an apology, sincerely given, and it is the best way to move forward with people who have come to dislike you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:32, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I think his newest concern is with this ANI discussion about the RFC. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 07:29, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Hello, Sir

As an unworthy user who is a petty rollbacker (the gladiators of Wikipedia), I doubt that you will acknowledge my comment at any time soon. But it's worth a shot to ask: how's the view from up there? Is it a different experience to edit than it would be to anybody else here? You helped introduce or confirm most key policies here, right? Is it sad or humorous to see lower users in AfD's and talk pages to misinterpret policies and guidelines? And why were your first edits to pages about shotguns? 2D Maestro Immune Diplomat 01:00, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Most of those questions can only be answered by Jimmy, but I can answer the last one: Those aren't his first edits. They are his earliest edits that are still in the database. A lot of early stuff got lost for various reasons. Those shotgun edits were made on 27th March 2001, while Wikipedia was launched on 15th January 2001 and I think we can safely assume Jimmy was editing from the beginning. That means his first couple of months worth of edits are lost (as, probably, are some slight later edits). --Tango (talk) 01:05, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
My back of envelope estimate is that Jimmy would have made 17 content edits between January 15 and March 17 of 2001, based on his edit rate of one content edit every four days, which is roughly the same for his first 50 edits and his overall edit rate. John Vandenberg (chat) 03:45, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Userrights mean little, at least in theory. Therefore a rollbacker would have just as much authority on Wikipedia as a founder. Juliancolton (talk) 03:56, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo edited under another account before this one, JimboWales (talk · contribs); his earliest surviving edit under that name is this one from 23 January 2001. There are more of his edits in his contribution list at the Nostalgia Wikipedia, a copy of the Wikipedia database from 20 December 2001. Also see this message by Jimbo about Wikipedia's first edit, my response to a related query in February 2010, and Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles. . Graham87 05:07, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Free Encyclopedia?

What is your thought about replacing "The Free Encyclopedia" with "The Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit"? I much prefer the latter, and would propose to switch back. Buncatto (talk) 05:44, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Where are you talking about? It's been "The Free Encyclopedia" under the logo basically forever, right?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:37, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
No. Until recently, it said "The Encyclopedia Everyone Can Edit!". Simply saying "The Free Encyclopedia" downplays the strength of the Wikipdeia project. Buncatto (talk) 17:40, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
You are so mistaken, Buncatto. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:47, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
No. Jimbo is correct. Relevant discussion. Sole Soul (talk) 17:50, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
Technically it is not the encyclopedia "everyone" can edit, since there are those we have banned and those that are blocked temporarily at any given moment who can not edit, and that's just for starters. We dont allow vandals to edit (at least not once we recognize what they are). I believe this discussion was brought up at one of the village pumps within the last year. Ah ha, which Sole Soul already linked to, silly me for not clicking links!Camelbinky (talk) 21:06, 28 May 2010 (UTC)
I am glad I could catalyze this discussion. I really appreciate this project, and the fact that anyone can edit. In reviewing the Wikipedia rules, I particularly like the concept of Ignore all rules. Thank you. Buncatto (talk) 06:48, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Camelbinky, don't Wikilawyer. Obviously people in comas can't edit, nor people without arms that are too lazy to learn to type with their feet, nor those in prison without internet connection, or at schools that block them from editing since teenage boys insert the word "penis" into every article they come across.[37] Also, its not a free encyclopedia, if someone has to pay for the servers, electricity, and whatnot, since otherwise no one could access it. But I don't want to Wikifinagle that point. Dream Focus 15:33, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
  • It says "Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." at the top of the main page. The logo on the side could say "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia which anyone can edit." Dream Focus 15:33, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
On all pages that are not protected/semi-protected, the tagline should read: "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. You can edit this page." followed by a button marked "edit" "How to edit" linking to a very short, simple few sentences about how to, and a link to the Talk and Edit pages of the article. That, alone, would double the editor activity overnight. I think that would be a good thing. Anthony (talk) 18:20, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Call me an elitist, but I don't know if we really want to generate an income of editors which are still unable to understand that anyone can edit Wikipedia after so many years of its existence and the subtitle in the main page. --Cyclopiatalk 19:22, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
If we make it easy and obvious, stupid people might start editing? Interesting hypothesis. Only one way to find out, and it could be undone. Anthony (talk) 20:15, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
This is all quite interesting and should be raised with the usability team. Based on my non-Wikipedia experiences (at Wikia), encouraging more people to edit does not result in a reduction in quality, so I disagree with Cyclopedia's view. But, in the end, it is, as Anthonyhcole says, an empirical question. Most things are. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:59, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
What's the usability team? Found it. Anthony (talk) 05:32, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

I have put this suggestion to usability, who referred me to technical and proposals. From the response so far, there seem to be several camps.

  • Me, who thinks it's a good idea.
  • Those who oppose on aesthetic grounds: but usability and ease of entry should not be trumped by aesthetics.
  • Those who oppose on subtext grounds. Making it really clear and obvious to the reader that he/she can edit the article they're reading makes us look less reliable. I can't see any merit in this stance, but perhaps I'm missing something.
  • Those who don't think it will make any difference to reader→editor conversion rates. Only one way to find out.
  • Those who think it will attract the wrong sort. The wrong sort seems to be stupid or difficult people. I fail to grasp the reasoning here, too. And again, only one way to find out.

So, although I think I'm winning the argument, I'm being thrashed on numbers. I sense a blowback against increasing the number of new editors due to the inadequate conversion (reader→editor) process, which has new editors not checking the article talk page, and inserting WP:OR, WP:SYN, WP:POV, etc. out of ignorance and creating lots of work for established editors.

Therefore, when we raise the conversion rate, we'll need to streamline the indoctrination process, so that more converts does not impose more educational chores on the existing editors. Anthony (talk) 10:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Focusing on the major issues, there are 2 extremes of problems when "anyone can edit": (1) when few are experts, or (2) when "everyone's an expert". When few are real experts, WP risks the mangling of expert articles (which repeatedly happens to medical articles, but someone patiently re-fixes most). This is the dangerous case shown by the analogies:
- "the heart medicine anyone can re-mix" or
- "the jet airliner anyone can re-configure" (etc.).
Often "Cocaine" changed from a medicine into a popular crime problem. At the other extreme, "everyone's an expert" so the article gets re-arranged into 87 formats, as a hodge-podge, with chaos caused by "collisions" about what to include. That is what happened to the article "Search engine" which began as a computer concept (such as Google, Bing, Dogpile or Yahoo! Search), but all the other "experts" kept re-writing the article into a mash of chaotic text, so the article became an intro-only stub about searching, and finally a redirect to "Web search engine". So, the solution is the inverse:
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, anyone can learn where to NOT edit.
Those extremes of few experts or many, as witnessed, are why people worry about hordes of new editors. They need to be taught where to NOT edit. -Wikid77 (talk) 03:55, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Well, they need to be taught; inducted seamlessly, effortlessly, effectively. Anthony (talk) 06:01, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

There was no interest at the pump. Anthony (talk) 22:49, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Conference, welcome

Feel free to attend. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 19:21, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. One thing I read recently which I think is relevant is our article on Unparliamentary language. The reasons for civility in that context, and our reasons for civility, are surprisingly similar.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:19, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
For U.S. readers, see Words taken down, which could use expansion. Newyorkbrad (talk) 22:39, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I love it Jimbo, from Unparliamentary language "The most prohibited case is any suggestion that another member is dishonourable. So, for example, suggesting that another member is lying is forbidden" We should introduce that here, then no one could expose all the socks and other odd goings on. Yeah  Giacomo  22:50, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that conclusion follows whatsoever. Surely you aren't suggesting that all inquiry into whether rules are being followed necessitates being obnoxious to others.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:18, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
It does follow. Even polite accusations of lying are unparliamentary. Only using parliamentary language is impractical, even in politics - it is only required in the chamber of the house. Outside the chamber, you can say what you like (under parliamentary rules - obviously laws against hate speech and things still apply). --Tango (talk) 23:30, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
We could still rely upon "Terminological inexactitude" or "Economical with the truth", since these are not classed as Unparliamentary language. Ain't Wikipedia wonderful? Rodhullandemu 23:00, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Or, we could demand more of ourselves than that, and attempt to view civility and kindness towards others not as a straightjacket, but a cherished and honorable goal.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:17, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
We could indeed, but working at the coalface with editors who won't even take "yes" for an answer, let alone "no", is very wearing at times, and it's no wonder some admins burn out under the pressure and other editors just give up and leave. And it's <pedant>straitjacket</pedant>. (Sorry) :D Rodhullandemu 23:25, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
My dictionary (Oxford American) lists straightjacket as an accepted alternate spelling, but I shall gladly change my habit. I agree with you that working with editors who are tiresome is, in fact, tiresome, and I think there are some partial solutions to it. One is to demand of ourselves - and them - a higher standard of behavior. Two is to ban them if they won't comply. There is a point at which the trouble caused by some people far exceeds the value of their individual work, because of the damage that they do by exhausting good people. We too often forget that this is not a public free speech forum, but a private project with standards and norms. Yes, we should try to be tolerant and forgiving. But yes, just as well, we should have limits and enforce them with gentle and kind firmness.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:33, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
No contest on the straitjacket issue, but given the meaning of "strait" as "narrow", as in Straits of Gibraltar, I think your dictionary has fallen into a populist trap. Meanwhile, on the behaviour point, all of us here are volunteers, and human. To expect perfectly perfect conduct in the face of what appears to be a tidal wave of vandalism, although I'm fully aware that that tide, as do most, recedes occasionally, is perhaps expecting too much. And it's all to easy to say that you should walk away and find something else to do for a while; some of us have nothing else to do but try as we might to uphold the noble principles on which Wikipedia was founded. If that means banning editors, so be it; the road to where we are now is littered with the (figurative) corpses of those who have failed to meet our standards, and now seem to be either completely absent or residing in Wikipedia Review. On your last point, I cannot disagree; however, perhaps our message is not clear that we are an encyclopedia, and I've seen more often than I care to count editors who believe that "the encyclopedia that anyone can edit" is equivalent to "a website that anyone can add any old rubbish", good-faith or not. In that sense, we have become a victim of our own success, perhaps, and perhaps I'm cynical in only seeing the worst, but I subscribe to the mailing lists and see general concerns; one of which is that many new articles fall through the net simply because not enough effort is put into new page patrol. In my early days, a spell there, combined with an understanding of CSD, was the best initial experience I could have had. Sorry if this appears to be a rant, but I spend enough time here to have an overview of what's going on. Rodhullandemu 00:54, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
I think we should separate the questions of behavior that we should strive for, and questions of perfection. Perfection is impossible, and not to be expected - and even so, we should ask the best of ourselves. To ask if we can improve, is not to ask if we can become gods, for we cannot.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:03, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Good point; I welcome it, and will feel free to cite it whenever I see an editor criticising an admin for a minor lapse of judgement in the usual places, and demanding desysopping, if not actual blood. Let's be clear that some people come hither and thither with unreasonable expectations and some basic realism about what we are and how we work would be useful. Rodhullandemu 01:32, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Very good. I had forgotten that, we could probably have "You are being entirely miserly with the truth" That should make everone happy - the problem is though would half the children here understand what was being meant. No, I think a direct honest approach is always best - honesty is always the best policy - or am I alone in that view here?  Giacomo  23:03, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
I suspect you are not alone in that view - indeed it is one that I share. However, being honest need not preclude behaving honorably and with dignity and compassion towards others, in any way. A certain generosity of spirit, taken to heart and practiced as well as one can (we are all human and will fail from time to time, no doubt), can work wonders. This is the meaning of "Assume Good Faith" - we ought to take extra care not to turn down the rabbit hole of rancor, when there is ample evidence that the alternative approach of seeking out and praising the best in others - even in the midst of conflict - serves everyone's goals much better.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:15, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, we should stick with AGF which has been shown to work very well (when it is followed). The rules designed for the British Parliament are not appropriate here - we have our own rules and should trust in them, they've worked well so far. --Tango (talk) 03:45, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Sounds as if we might be ready to stop referring to lawyers with "Wikilawyering" (see subtopic below). -Wikid77 (talk) 05:12, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Renaming essay Wikilawyering as Wikifinagling

The ongoing discussion, over the past year (since 10 June 2009), has been to stop using the term "lawyer" as a typical type of devious person, which has become cast in stone, from the November-2005 essay "WP:Wikilawyering". The discussion now is:

We can rename the concept of "Wikilawyering" as "Wikifinagling" and move the essay to that new title, automatically changing name "WP:Wikilawyering" into a redirect. Many people have noted the offensive nature of the term "Wikilawyering" as a troubling slur against lawyers, just as a negative term of "Wiki-student" (if meaning a bumbling, inept, devious newcomer) could be predicted to offend students, especially some graduate students who would reject the notion they were instantly inept or devious. See discussion from June 2009, Wikipedia_talk:Wikilawyering#Offensive Title. The intended view of "wikifinagling" is as a broad term (not just with lawyers) while also tied to "pettifoggery" plus, the term "wikifinagle" can hint at any type of non-court activity which bends the rules. There is no need to describe devious actions as court procedures. This renaming follows the prior renaming of "wiki-stalking" as WP:Wikihounding, to avoid legal term "stalking". Perhaps this would be a good time to finally remove the word "lawyer" in this context. Last year, no one had previously suggested "Wikifinagling". What do you think? -Wikid77 (talk) 05:12, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

  • The dogs may be at the door or someone is barking at the wrong tree but such terminology decreases the ability of editors to deliver the intended message. Editors should spend more effort in putting thier mark on the community in productive ways, there are thousands of populated place(they used to be called towns) that could raised from stub status. Gnomes of the wikiworld unite grab your ring and dont climb the mountains, come on Jimbo there will be another mountain to conquer in moment. Gnangarra 06:14, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that "Wikilawyering" is more often than not the presentation of the the other side of the coin with reasoning; even though often unwelcome to the opposing majority - is it right that it should be referred to at al in a dergatory fashion? Is that AGFing?  Giacomo  07:33, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Well, I think Jimbo is right to climb mountains: someone needs to settle debates about the big issues, and even Moses went to the mountain top. Much of Wikipedia has become "paralysis of analysis" in re-hashing the same tired arguments. I feel we need another 50 policies, to stop endless quarrels, such as:
  • WP:Jobs - a new policy is needed to state no one's profession or job should be mentioned with contempt (like "lawyer"); even where legalized, prostitution is someone's job not a condemnation of them; with medical marijuana the term "drug dealer" should not be equated with criminal.
  • WP:Crime_text - a new policy is needed to ensure forensic evidence cannot be removed from crime articles as "excess clutter, who cares?". The current censorship of the Amanda Knox case (MoMK), where an active editor totally removed the "Detailed forensics" section 3 times (showing Knox called her roommate for 16 seconds, then called others), which listed all the places/cars searched (& major blood patterns) should have been forbidden from deletion, by policy. Forensic data is a neutral point-of-view based on reality: it must be allowed even though not a pro/con viewpoint of guilt.
We need more policies to explicitly stop devious deletions of sourced text, ensure fairness, and stop slurs against some types of people. I think Jimbo is quite right to care about the mountain-top issues. There are many of us to write the history of small towns, or translate articles in German, but the big policies about neutral views of crimes or other specific subjects must be added soon, to stop the endless finagling to remove valuable text from articles: the current WP text for WP:NOTCENSORED is too weak to insist forensic evidence be allowed in crime articles. That's why we need 50 specific policies: people keep re-debating the interpretation of the general policies, leading to extreme paralysis of actual writing. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:23, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
At least it does not lead to extreme paralysis of actual irony. Now THAT would truly be a tragedy. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:59, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
What is needed is firmer measures against those who continue to act and argue against consensus, insist on pushing their point of view, insist on extensive use of primary sources, attempt to change guidelines to allow synthesis and original research and so on. Oh and no, it shouldn't be changed to wikifinagling because hardly anyone would have a fucking clue what it meant. Quantpole (talk) 11:37, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
What's wrong with arguing against consensus or trying to change guidelines that you don't agree with? Just because I'm willing to follow the rules doesn't mean I should or do agree with all of them. Consensus can indeed change, and our rules with it. I think you should revise your list of no-nos. Buddy431 (talk) 00:01, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
  • One basic problem is a misview of "consensus" as though it were the majority opinion: instead, consensus is a "unanimous agreement of all acting in good faith" (often with a compromise). The proof is simple: 2 people debate an issue, one says they've reached consensus, but the other disagrees. You can't have 1-person consensus. That proof is by: reductio ad absurdum. Earlier, WP decided a lot by majority rule, but consensus was favored to keep from angering the minority opinions. So, consensus is NOT a vote (of majority). However, few people understand how to "gain consensus" by offering a compromise solution (of give-and-take), where the majority must give up some stance to meet a middle ground. Anyway, don't blame anyone who doesn't think consensus is unanimous, because it has been treated as the "majority consensus" in many discussions, and "compromise" is not a popular article for them. Just wanted you to know why the angry mob acts that way, rather than seeking true consensus. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:46, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Nope, consensus is certainly not equal to compromise (though compromise is often a good and worthwhile thing). If a minority of people hold a view which is not backed by policy or guidelines, we do not 'meet in the middle' with them. Consensus is not about keeping everyone happy. That is impossible and leads to people holding articles hostage until they get what they want. If you want to use reductio ad absurdum then how about a situation where 99 people all agree that the Earth is (approximately) round but one person thinks that it is flat and that it should be given equal status in the article. There is no compromise to be reached here - even if that person refuses to recognise that consensus is against them they are simply wrong. I would argue that the most important part of consensus is learning when you are swimming against the tide and living with it, even if you don't like it. Carrying on the argument ad infinitum ends up being disruptive. Quantpole (talk) 08:02, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
  • The fallacy is that a minority can interpret the policies in a different manner (one even claimed WP:IAR); hence, the majority has no solid policies to back their view, and we again resort to compromise. Instead, ask them, "Could we mention flat Earth in a footnote, or connect this to the Flat Earth Society?" as a compromise. Otherwise, the majority claims an exclusive hold on the truth of policies, and the minority is always against the so-called "consensus" without their consent. Consent must be unanimous, otherwise admit, "Consensus could not be reached: the people never agreed". Stop claiming consensus without consent. No wonder so many people are upset. -Wikid77 (talk) 04:29, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • OK, not ALL articles get paralyzed, just some. -Wikid77 (talk) 08:58, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

I don't see this going anywhere. OK, I only started practising law in 1974, and moved on in 1982, but the only reason "lawyer" seems to be a term of abuse is that it is perceived as actually a job that requires legal definitions to exhibit clarity, and if they do not appear to do so, to challenge those definitions in appellate courts. If it were not so, there would be no need at all for appellate courts. Doing that job, of course, is perceived by aggrieved parties as "nit-picking", but by clients as "value for money"; but if the legislature does not make its intention utterly plain, of course it is open to challenge by the judiciary, as I have already said. Similar principles apply here in that we try to set out policies in general terms, but whose wording may be open to argument and interpretation; that's only to be expected in a human situation. We don't have an appellate structure here that is geared up to deal with this sort of dispute, and to my mind, nor should we. WP:BURO, you know, and we have better things to be doing. Rodhullandemu 00:28, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

  • Thanks for that explanation. I regret that any profession becomes a Wikipedia slur. Also, WP:BURO seems to be a big problem: most people do not handle generalities well, nor general policies; otherwise, statutes or regulations would not be deemed so effective. Only seat-belt laws have drastically reduced traffic deaths, even though people knew safety policies led to belts in their cars. Someone following a general policy of "freedom of speech" might see no problem with joking on a plane as, "I should put the fireworks from my suitcase under your seat." Unless WP sets more specific rules, people will continue to reject someone else's "truth" about interpreting general policies. The Code of Hammurabi is famous for having set specific rules & meted punishments (circa 1790 BC), rather than decisions by royal decree. At some point, WP needs to learn from its own articles what leads to failures. A system of demerit points that accrues positive or negative points, leading to an n-day block would probably be a good way to enforce WP regs, without blocking a person for every violation. Positive points could be earned by helpful activities, such as processing other violators, or vio-related cleanups. No longer would admins capriciously block anyone on a whim. Thank you for taking time to reveal these crucial problems. -Wikid77 (talk) 05:46, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I tend to disagree on most all of these points. First, I think clarity is achieved by saying more with less, and using easily sourced words and phrases in the manner in which common people speak. Lawyering is often seen as method of obfuscation, by using jargon which is not readily understood by most common speakers of English. While this often starts out with good intentions, as a means to keep things extremely specific, it most often leads to a playing of words, pitting the policy against itself rather than focusing on the overall meaning intended. What users often run into an argument like:
Sure, but let's be clear: "should not" is meant in the sense of discouraging rather than forbidding. WP:ELNO, a subsection of WP:EL, provides guidance on the kind of "[l]inks [that are] normally to be avoided" (emphasis added). This advisory rather than mandatory status is underscored by another subsection of WP:EL, WP:ELNEVER. The latter tells us what should never be linked; logically, therefore, WP:ELNO must express a more relaxed standard, otherwise it would simply be a part of WP:ELNEVER. As a subset of WP:EL, moreover, WP:ELNO "does not apply to inline citations," WP:ELPOINTS (emphasis and link in original). Reliance on [the subject's] twitter feed for points made in the article text is accordingly within the purview of WP:PRIMARY rather than WP:ELNO.
When I use the term "wikilawyering," this is the type of confusing statement to which I am referring. There is nothing clear about the above statement, although it is eerily reminiscent of what one might hear in a court room. (How many of us just nod along do what the other jurors are doing?) Better in my mind that we use the policies as guidelines of good writing techniques, and use those techniques in discussions as well. The world of writing is based upon integrity and reward, and not so much demerits and discipline. Zaereth (talk) 20:07, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
  • When the wording states "logically/therefore" then I think it sounds like mathematical proofs, but I wouldn't call it "wikimathing". The term "WP:Wikifinagle" is used to replace "wikilawyering" as the most devious form of nit-picking. However, I have created a 2nd essay as "WP:Wikifogging" (about rambling over WP:XX, WP:YY, WP:ZZ), where the person might not be devious, just "clouding" the issues with vague, hazy acronyms and wording which does not clarify the issue. When you don't intend to say someone is "devious" then use WP:Wikifog, as not a personal attack. -Wikid77 (talk) 04:29, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Some other group or person is violating my Federal service mark on Wikipedia -- what do I do?


My name is Clell Drumheller and I live in Houston, Texas, where the official Constitution Party of Texas is headquartered -- 7774 Pine Center Drive, Houston, Texas 77095. I am the Chairman and we hold the Federal service mark on the name of our party. I will, gladly, provide proof of this fact at your request.

Some person or group is using our service mark without our permission and making entries that lead to other entities. We do not approve of nor was permission granted to anyone to take such actions. Please, if you can, correct this situation.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.


Clell M. Drumheller, II Chairman Constitution Party of Texas 1-866-cptexas June 2, 2010

Could you point out the article it's being used in? We can then look into this. Cheers. Rodhullandemu 21:22, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, on what pages Clell? All I can see is you editing the page on your own group, Constitution Party of Texas, which doesn't appear to have any logos or other marks being used--Milowent (talk) 21:23, 2 June 2010 (UTC)
I've taken a quick look at this, and it's not at all clear what you mean. But rather than continue removing cited material, I advise you to discuss this article on its Talk page, and there is little Jimbo can do in a straightforward content dispute. Cheers. Rodhullandemu 21:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

(ec)This appears to be related to a dispute regarding and as to which is the real Constitution Party of Texas. One source perhaps worth evaluating is [38]. This is the key edit that is getting reverted back and forth. Hope that helps! Hipocrite (talk) 21:30, 2 June 2010 (UTC)