User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 65

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Biographical inquiry

Hello Mr. Wales. I would like to include an account of why you set up the Wikimedia Foundation and stepped aside as its chairman in your biographical article. I wonder if you could take a look at this quote by your successor and indicate if it's accurate enough for us to use responsibly – I was reticent about using it without checking because it wasn't a critical interview and the remarks seemed somewhat off-hand.

The Wikimedia Foundation was hosting Wikipedia, collecting funds so that we could run the project and we were working happily as volunteers. And what happened is that Jimmy Wales got very involved at first and then in 2005 or 2006 the project became very well-known, lots of visitors, lots of mentions in the press, many requests for conferences. So, Jimmy Wales didn’t quite have the time anymore to be the chair of Wikimedia Foundation. Then, I proposed myself and that’s how I was elected by the board to be its Chair.

Thanks for your time, Skomorokh 15:19, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

That's a very offhand remark. I don't think it is relevant for a biography of me, in any way shape or form.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:34, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
That's understandable; I wonder are you on record (to your satisfaction) anywhere about these events? Skomorokh 16:34, 14 September 2010 (UTC)


There is a discussion at ANI regarding the on-wiki posting (since deleted) of an email attributed to you that had presumably been sent in confidence. –xenotalk 14:35, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm sorry, it won't happen again. Count Iblis (talk) 19:07, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
I published the text of the email myself, just now, so that people will not make the mistake of assuming there was any kind of cover-up here. There was nothing wrong with the email I wrote, at all. I often advise the ArbCom to take a closer look at difficult issues. That isn't code for "change your mind" - they would laugh at me if I did that. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:40, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, laugh, and then Lart him (I'm shocked that the modern meaning of LART isn't the common one on Wiki, but I'm not going to link to the redirect) but who's quibbling? *grins* SirFozzie (talk) 22:33, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
And that's a shame too. I often have to restrain myself from referring to WP:NLT violations as "cartooney threats". --Ron Ritzman (talk) 23:44, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Or redirect Trolling to "Cut it out, Ritzman!".... *grins* SirFozzie (talk) 01:12, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Proposal regarding proactive enforcement of WP:CHILDPROTECT

Jimbo, our enforcement of WP:CHILDPROTECT seems to be almost purely passive and reactive. I am not suggesting that we undertake witch hunts, but as regards users that have already been identified and blocked under this policy, I believe we have a responsibility to prevent them from returning to Wikipedia simply by creating a new account. I have made a suggestion here that I think may help. Can you take a look if you get a chance? Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:05, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Quick question

RFC for PC

Would an RFC be a good idea to centralize community discussion of PC? Ronk01 talk 04:02, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, but I would wait until Friday when we get feedback on the Foundation regarding next steps from their perspective. Hard to really discuss until we have more facts on the table...--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:04, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Hey Jimbo, you might be interested in this small discussion, where a RfC was mentioned. I'd also be interested to hear your thoughts on my tally of each individual option. Cheers, - Kingpin13 (talk) 19:37, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I think your tally is not really valid, but does show what was wrong with the way the poll was organized. It is really hard to interpret what the votes meant exactly, and although I'm pretty sure that your interpretation would surprise most voters, the vote should never have been conducted in that fashion in the first place.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:49, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I kind of agree with you. If I had voted at this poll it would have been in the section of editors opposing the poll itself. I think if you're going to have three different options, you need a separate way to oppose each option, and my count attempts to do that a bit more then the count achieved by dumping all the votes together. However, I'm now intrigued to as why if you don't think this poll is valid, you can use it as a justification for keeping pending changes turn on, when it was clearly (and you seem to admit) skewed? - Kingpin13 (talk) 05:36, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
If we throw out the poll, we cannot surely say what the opinions of the Wikipedia community are, thus there could be consensus to keep, or vice-versa, but we simply don't know. Thus we are in a limbo, as far as I am aware, there was no provision in the trial proposal that allowed for this, so we need to re-poll. But we cannot re-poll without more information. Luckily, timetables will be released sometime later today, and we can re-poll and RfC. Ronk01 talk 05:53, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
So why are we defaulting to keeping PC in for now? - Kingpin13 (talk) 07:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Because it is easier to leave it on (otherwise one million pages would need semi-protection, not the best thing for the servers) Ronk01 talk 16:30, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
strangely we've survived years without PC or semi protecting 1 million pages. Your claims lack a certain ah credibility.©Geni 16:55, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
...and one million pages? I sincerely hope that PC isn't being used on that number of pages, considering we only have three million in total - Kingpin13 (talk) 16:58, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I was making a dramatic overstatement. What I meant was that suddenly semi-protecting all of the current PC pages would probably put a heavy load on the servers. Ronk01 talk 17:19, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry too much about the servers, see Wikipedia:Performance MobileKingpin (talk) 17:51, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
We are leaving it on for now because we are waiting for the Foundation to give us more information about next steps on their end. There's no rush to do anything. That information is coming later today. After that we will vote about what to do in the meantime, depending on the timeline the Foundation gives us. That vote will be *only* about what to do while the Foundation is working on the next version, and will be a simple majority vote ("leave it on the pages where it is, adding and removing it only very very conservatively depending on circumstances" versus "remove it from all the pages where it is, until the next version is released".)
Upon the release of the next version, we'll have a trial, and we'll have another vote, similar to the one we just had, but a lot simpler and trying to avoid the many confusions that the bad voting method caused.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:27, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Why can't we have it off while we wait, as we were promised? If there was truly no rush, I think you'd be more likely to be turning it off. By leaving it on, using straw polls, not actually engaging in discussion, you very much give the impression that this whole thing is being rushed through, without actually allowing the community to properly understand/review/debate it. Also, I still don't understand why the only say the community gets seems to have been through polls, working with consensus is very important to me, and I think it's sad that it's so clearly being ignored in this. I think that upon the release of the next version we should need consensus to have a trial, no? Your attitude to this throughout has been that PC is already approved, because you like it, that it's here to stay, and all you have to do is try to make it look like the community is supporting it, rather than actually listen to them. - Kingpin13 (talk) 21:29, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for having taken the concerns raised into consideration. It's certainly a good argument for keeping it on in the interim that if we deactivate it, the WMF may de-prioritize PC (and an argument that we should subject to the community, as this completely changes the situation). I think I've made my position clear: that we need to properly review the trial and the merits of the feature before making any decision for a more permanent implementation. But I would certainly support keeping it in a limited way in the interim if there's too high a risk to having it no longer developed if we drop it during the reviewing phase. I do support an iterative deployment, as long as we properly review the results and consensus is needed for each next step; and I think we'd have consensus for this, the problem is that none of this was properly discussed and we've got this rushed poll.
Assuming the release happens as planned (in Nov.), I think we should do roughly like this:
  1. as you suggest, we decide whether to keep it on in a limited way on articles or only in WP space, up until the next release. I think this can be achieved through discussion only, but if you want a poll we should still have some discussion on the arguments.
  2. in either case, until the next release we study the trial and try to address issues with PC, policy questions, etc. It will require a considerable organizing effort for this to be successful and is very important in developing consensus around PC, a RFC should be part of this.
  3. a few weeks before the Nov. release, we decide how the new trial should be executed and decide in advance and more clearly how it should end.
  4. when the trial is done, we give ourselves a new reflection period where we continue the work started in (2), we consider proposals for non-trial implementations, we narrow down by consensus until we have a compromise proposal and we submit it to the community. Procedural specifications TBD by consensus. And other proposals which didn't make their way up in the compromise proposal can still be argued later.
Cenarium (talk) 04:21, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Jewish lawyer

I noticed your edit to the article Jewish lawyer; it's an article I've been watching since it came at DYK, though the consensus was not to include it on the main page. The stereotype being described struck me as both offensive and not a common character archetype like those it is grouped with in the list at the end of the page. Much of the content of the page is a summary of history that strikes me as being only tangentially connected to the topic. My question is: do we need this page, either in its present form or at all? Thanks. EdChem (talk) 16:30, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Shylock was a lawyer? I was under the impression he was a money-lender... I think the article needs clean-up, and just because you can write about something does not mean it is notable. What is notable about the stereotype of a Jewish lawyer? We dont have Jewish doctor and I would say that is a more likely stereotype (and one every good Jewish mother wants her daughter to have). Do we have articles on Black basketball player and Irish wife-beating drunk? No offense to African-Americans and Irish people, if you are offended by those titles then you can understand how I personally feel about Jewish lawyer and I hope then say something about the existence of this article. But now that I pointed out those article redlinks I am sure they wont stay redlinks for long... unfortunately :(Camelbinky (talk) 23:26, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I have no strong view on whether the article should exist or not. If it does exist, it should absolutely make clear that it is an article about an offensive stereotype, and no reader should get the idea that Wikipedia in any way endorses or supports the stereotype. I think there may be encyclopedic value in documenting vile aspects of humanity, on the theory that sunshine is the best disinfectant. I also think that such articles can be completely unreferenced claptrap if badly done... Camelbinky, for better or worse, we do currently have Black athletic superiority.
Let me ask you this: how do you feel about articles, generally, which document and identify irrational stereotypes and ideas that may be damaging? Should we avoid having such articles entirely? I'm not taking a firm position, as I could easily be persuaded in either direction. But I'm leaning in the direction of thinking that it is probably important to society that if someone types "Jewish lawyer" into Google, having heard some horrible thing or other, that they are told by Wikipedia that there is an offensive stereotype associated with very bad people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:43, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Articles that are solely on irrational stereotypes and ideas that may be damaging... as I once asked you "If it was an individual person and not a race, would we be so willing to allow such articles or would BLP be called upon very quickly?" and do we want such one sided articles? Even with our best efforts to say "This is an offensive stereotype" I have seen too many articles get too much undue attention from the same editors who seem to be only interested in anti-Jewish (or anti-whatever) information and stymie any attempt to turn the article to a more neutral tone. Do we want articles whose purpose is solely negative? When an editor's contributions are only negative about a race/religion I, in all honesty, can not give any good faith that they have motives of educating people that these are false stereotypes and they truly believe all people are equal. A lack of good faith towards them is a personal fault of mine and I take responsibility for that.
Wikipedia does have a great opportunity to combat negativity, I applaud your belief in what Wikipedia can and should do, but... are any of these articles of the quality that they could do that? Or are they written with the thought of taking together all negative things about X-race or religion and laying them out there so that others can learn more racist things. Are we truly educating people or just disseminating more racist crap? In my mind it goes back to what editors are editing the articles, in light of the fact that banning anti-semites from semitic articles is against our policy, perhaps the path that leads to the least harm is not to have the articles versus the harm of having them.Camelbinky (talk) 03:38, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it is at all true that banning antisemitic editors (or racist editors of any stripe) is against policy at all! I understand and appreciate your argument against having at least some articles, although I'm not fully convinced.
Regarding whether we are talking about an individual person or a race, I'm not sure I really quite understand the comparison. Perhaps you could give me an example or two? We certainly do have articles about people who are widely considered to be offensive racists. David Duke for example. Such an article will naturally describe his views, but *describing offensive things* is in no way a *defense of offensive things*.
Regarding the quality of such articles - I've not reviewed enough of them to have a firm view at this time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Criticism of Judaism is one article I would say is completely negative and does not fulfill its title. Criticism is being used as in a negative comment about something, not in the true sense such as "movie critic" with positive along with negative aspects of the topic. What I meant about comparing these articles to BLP is that if we had an article Criticism of Jimbo Wales that just piled on every single negative aspect of your life that has ever been published would that be acceptable or would it be a POV fork and deleted?Camelbinky (talk) 17:54, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
  • To call all "Criticism of X" pages "attack pages" is disingenous. "Criticism of X" are intended to be pages presenting notable third-party criticisms in a NPOV fashion, not being attack pages. They can attract POV, but that's not what they are meant for. They contain notable information about what third parties' opinions. And, well, I'd be all for Criticism of Jimbo Wales if there was enough material to justify a split article. --Cyclopiatalk 18:32, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree with many of the comments above (particularly by Jimbo and CamelBinky), but I just want to note that a discussion is currently taking place at Talk:Jewish lawyer, primarily about the title of that article (and now others such as Jewish mother) but there has been some commentary further up the page on whether the article should exist. There is quite a bit of overlap between the discussions here and there, although the discussion here has been more wide-ranging. I think the more appropriate place for the discussion is over there, and it would not be a bad idea to move what has already been discussed here over there. I do not know whether that is appropriate or exactly how it should be done, so I will leave that to others. What I do know is that two parallel discussions of the same subject probably should be avoided. (I'm also going to put a link there to the discussion here.) Neutron (talk) 20:05, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Here is my question. Why do we have all of these criticism articles, but no articles like Praise of Judaism, Praise of Islam, Praise of Christianity? Does it not seem extremely POV to create an article or section devoted to single-sided viewpoint of a subject? Zaereth (talk) 23:29, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Because the praise articles would make it abundantly clear that both the praise and the criticism articles are POV forks and therefore neither should exist. Criticism does not mean everything negative you can find, but certain editors seem to think it does and they create these articles to basically point out the negative about these religions. I have no respect for those editors.Camelbinky (talk) 18:15, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Right, "Criticism" shouldn't mean "negative criticism", it should mean outside reception/analysis. There's an essay on the topic, Wikipedia:Criticism, which might be possible to turn into a guideline on how to deal with writing about the reception of topics. Fences&Windows 01:06, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
In a thread lower down on this page Jimbo says "Editors seeking to write hatchet jobs on political opponents should be firmly opposed", why is it that replacing "political opponents" with "races or religions" is not a sentiment expressed by more people?Camelbinky (talk) 04:47, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

More reason why Silly Season should be curtailed on WP

(moved above hat) [1] from today's New York Times makes it all too clear. I recently proposed [2] which pretty much went nowhere, but I suggest that the need for more careful rules considering all BLPs and especially any with the remotest political connection is more clear than ever. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:09, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

The actual edit [3] is not that obviously political or POV - if it were, then someone would have reverted it, if not because it was false then because they didn't like it. The fault is not Wikipedia's, but Rush Limbaugh's - he has no trouble coming up with inaccurate information without our help.
Last but not least, consider that the bad edit was up only for a day.[4] Also consider that Limbaugh lives in Florida, and the author is the "Pensacolian" (where Vinson is based), who just logged in for the first time.[5] I suspect that this prank might have been aimed specifically at him or his ... researcher. And Vinson's article has not been edited very heavily. I don't think that any policy could have prevented this, and it is certainly no excuse for trying to exclude critical points of view from political articles. Wnt (talk) 15:42, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I do not agree with you at all on this one, Wnt. This is a shame, and we should be very concerned about matters like this. I do think this could have been prevented, and being lackadaisical about errors of this magnitude is not the attitude we should have. It's simply unacceptable.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:16, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
The bad edit was not removed by anyone other than the perp at the 28 hour mark. It was not discovered by anyone else, and would still be there otherwise. The "only a day" is only due to the perp stopping the hoax <g>. And it is not necessary that a bad edit be "overtly political", it is enough that harm is done to Wikipedia. And the idea is not to remove anything from articles, but simply to prevent WP being used as a political pawn, which clearly did occur. Requirements of absolute RS sourcing would have prevented this entirely. Collect (talk) 17:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
No requirements we create can prevent people who are too lazy to research for themselves from just taking whatever they find here and claim it as fact. After all, they are already willing to ignore WP:RISK. Regards SoWhy 17:40, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I.e. Wikipedia should do nothing? Seems an odd sort of attitude, especially when WP knows what has happened, is happening, and will happen - doesn't it? Nay - we ought not be an Internet Sgt. Schultz. Pending revisions is one step, one you might not agree with, but it is a step, and one which absolutely ought to be taken. Establishing rigorous rules about BLPs is another step - one which WP can not ignore as a possible means to prevent such from recurring. Simply using disclaimers is not going to cut it when people actually do get injured, is it? Collect (talk) 18:03, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
The edit was done by a named account, now blocked. Pending Changes would have two effects: first of all, a reviewer might have noticed the date and questioned the source - but many reviewers would have simply approved an edit, not obviously vandalism, possibly correcting to the 30th. In the long run, people pulling such pranks will have to set up their account in advance, and do a few edits. This may discourage some pranksters, but how many?
Pending Changes will probably be useful, when the interface works better, but it will never cure everything. Only judgment can do that. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 18:18, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Your argument is based on the assumption that it's Wikipedia's fault if something like this happens - it's not. We cannot prevent such edits from happening. As Pmanderson correctly points out, this specific edit probably would have been approved even with Pending Changes enabled. No, if something like this happens, it's the fault of the person doing it. For example, if Mr. Vinson was injured, it's Limbaugh's fault. No one else's. We should not try to take the blame for someone else's mistakes or laziness. Regards SoWhy 18:30, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I reviewed pending changes carefully on the pages I checked - your point is that some people were not doing what they were supposed to do with pending revisions? Not a really great argument against pending revisions, for sure! Collect (talk) 20:19, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
No, PC was sold and was being practiced as vandalism prevention. This is a hoax, which is a shame to a hoaxer, but not our fault, and not evident vandalism; the only sign it was a hoax was the date, which is subtle. One might well check it and be puzzled whether the source had been taken off line or was invented. Pending Changes will not make us hoax-free; any pretence that it will might increase our responsibility; compare WP:No disclaimers in articles. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 23:43, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Roger Vinson received 22 edits, including the hoaxer's, and has never been semi-protected. If it is not planned for pending changes to affect every article without exception, then this article would not be affected by it. Wnt (talk) 23:45, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Have you read the comments about BLPs in general? Concerns about unsourced or wrong material therein? The proposals for "flagged revisions"? The fact that political BLPs have been discussed in the past? This is not "every article without exception" for sure - it is a well-defined subset of WP articles, and one which ought be dealt with and not dismissed as being an impossible task. Collect (talk) 23:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you, Collect. This is not an impossible task.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:18, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Merci. for those who do not believe - see Carl Paladino where I suggested this edit [6] was intrinsically contentious. The response from the ditor involved? [7]. Which should show the doubters precisely what is happening right here in River City already. Collect (talk) 02:26, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
An Article about cheney shooting a man in the face is intrinsically contentious but ut happend didn't it? And major news sources reported it. and in this case there is a new source that's being talked about. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nydied (talkcontribs) 02:44, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

<outdent>Yes, Collect, that's an interesting example. It's interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it is interesting because the contributor (Nydied) is clearly a single purpose account with an axe to grind, and - per his note to you - he doesn't mind letting it show. But it is also interesting because, if reliably sourced and reasonably widely reported on in the relevant media and in the right way (I can say more about what I mean by that if anyone is interested) then the fact that a candidate for public office has sent out racist jokes to friends is clearly of relevance to his biography. So if this were being added in the right way, by a contributor seeking neutrality, it would be fine. (You have said as much on the talk page, so I am not disagreeing with you, obviously, just observing.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:05, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't see what the POV of the editor has to do with it. It's only the POV of the article that matters. There seem to be enough sources.[8], e.g. [9]. As long as the sources are represented honestly, that should be sufficient. We shouldn't allow ourselves anywhere near to the Kafkaesque situation where one editor is reverted, but the same or substantially similar edit from someone else is then OK. Wnt (talk) 03:21, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Of course. I think you misunderstood me. We are discussing POV-pushing editors on political articles. Any editor who is seeking neutrality should be welcomed. Editors seeking to write hatchet jobs on political opponents should be firmly opposed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:44, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Roadmap for Pending Changes published

Hi Jimbo + Jimbo talk page watchers. We've published the roadmap for Pending Changes, which includes a near-term minor release in early November, as well as a comprehensive review of the feature. Please read that document for more details. Thanks! -- RobLa-WMF (talk) 00:50, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

With this information, I think we can go forward with an RfC, and possible a second straw poll. What do you think Jimbo? Ronk01 talk 03:39, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes - a short discussion of a plan is here: [10]. I request that everyone stay relaxed and let's do this in an orderly fashion. Everyone's assistance there will be welcomed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:50, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
RFCs are not good mechanisms for making such decisions, could it be hold until we have decided to keep it on or not in the interim ? Ideally, the RFC should be included in the reflection on the trial to come (see my cmt above). Thanks, Cenarium (talk) 04:23, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

RuneScape Wikifest

Hi Jimbo,

I noticed that you said you played RuneScape with your daughter. The RuneScape Wiki is having a Wikifest on October 2nd at 5:00 PM UTC, and we wondered if you would be interested in coming.

Thank you,

CookMePlox (talk) 01:07, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

I'll answer you over there... :-) Thanks for letting me know!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:51, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Pending Changes Announcement - Fixed Wikilink

As the discussion is now archived in your talk page archives (Archive 64 to be exact), I have modified the Wikilink at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Closure#Announcement of result to point to User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 64#Announcement about Pending Changes which is the permanent home. Per your Wikipedia user page comments, I boldly edited that section separately to note that the discussion is not to be edited, and if anyone wishes to bring it up, please start a new discussion here; I have done this because of the direct wikilink and people may not see the notice at the top of the page in some cases. I hope this is considered all right, and if not, please feel free to personally revert that edit; I simply am ensuring that people can find the discussion, and am thus doing my part to prevent people visiting that page from trying to add to the discussion and not getting answered. =) CycloneGU (talk) 03:31, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

One point to clarify: In archive 64, Jimbo Wales said "I believe Pending Changes, used properly, can make Wikipedia more open if used on pages that would otherwise be put under some other form of protection." But he also said "PC will be used in places where semi-protection is "too much"". I think it's important to nail down whether the proposal involve a net reduction of unprotected pages or not. Wnt (talk) 07:55, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
A misapprehension maybe? PC allows IPs to make suggested edits. Semiprotection does not allow them to do so. Thus PC is less restrictive in that sense. Collect (talk) 13:27, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I think Wnt's question takes that into account, but the point is that PC could be used on pages that wouldn't be semi-protected otherwise. And that's right. I think it should be used on pages that we currently don't semi-protect because semi-protection is too harsh. But in any event, that's subject to a long term evolution of policy. In summary, thinking about the problem in this way is really the wrong approach. The right approach is to think, in any given case, whether Wikipedia is improved by the use of the tool or not.
Also, of course, all of this is premature. We aren't even sure yet that we are going to keep the tool. That's what all the testing and refinement is about, to see if it can be made useful enough to gain consensus.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:40, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, so the nub of this is whether the number of protected pages will increase, and whether moving an article from unprotected to pending changes is more restrictive than moving one from semiprotection to pending changes is unrestrictive. If the total number of pages fully, semi or PC protected were to be the same as the number previously protected under full or semi protection then clearly pending changes means more open editing. If a lot of pages that were unprotected become protected under pending changes then the picture is more mixed - some pages are much more open to editing others slightly less so. If we made a major change and put pending changes on lots of articles that were previously unprotected then some people will consider the result more restrictive but we are comparing two very different things - semi protection stops IPs editing while Pending changes merely makes it clear that someone will need to OK that edit. Some people would consider that applying pending changes to all articles with just a few high traffic ones being semi or fully protected would be more restrictive, others that pending changes on all BLPs would be more restrictive. There is an argument that applying pending changes to 3.4 million articles is overall less restrictive to IP editing provided that at least one semi protected article is opened up to IP edits via pending changes. It boils down to personal judgement between not being able to edit and only being able to edit if someone approves your edit. Having recently experimented with edits to a few wikis outside Wikimedia, I think I'm in the fundamentalist camp that what matters is whether or not you can edit. So if all articles were protected via pending changes and only one semiprotected one was opened to IP editing I would consider it a net reduction in barriers to editing, as I regard whether or not you can edit an article as many millions of times more important than whether that edit goes live in milliseconds a few minutes or even a few hours. ϢereSpielChequers 14:08, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

You get what you pay for

You are eventually going to have to switch over to paid Arbs. The current system is idealistic but not feasible in the long run. I realize you probably aren't ready to agree with me on this but when you do come to the same conclusion then pop off an email to me and I'll help you set up a better system. Cheers. TheGoodLocust (talk) 01:47, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't know about that. I've watched a number of cases go through the process including Giano II, ADHD, Piotrus(sp?) and the case that resulted in TS resigning as clerk. The process may be cumbersome but its also effective, and by and large I've agreed with the decisions. The CC case seems to be the exception that proves the rule, and I don't think paychecks would have prevented this exception from occurring. --*Kat* (talk) 07:30, 14 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I'm wrong; I've never claimed infallibility (papal or otherwise). However, to make this clear, while volunteers can do adequate jobs for more menial tasks, they are much more likely to have monumental failures since they don't really lose anything if they really fuck things up - some things shouldn't be done by hobbyists. TheGoodLocust (talk) 01:59, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
While I haven't always felt this way when I was involved in an ArbCom case, in general I think that the the slowness, inefficiencies, and potential capriciousness of the ArbCom help discourage people from seeking their help. If they were reliably fast, efficient, and fair then they'd be overwhelmed with requests.   Will Beback  talk  02:17, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
That is certainly a resounding endorsement! ;) TheGoodLocust (talk) 02:20, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Wikipedia survives since 2001 run by volunteers, with little trouble. If the system had to fuck up, it would have already done since long time. Therefore I see no reason to change the way our community works -you know: if it's not broken, don't fix it. Nor I see why Mr.Wales should mail you for that -do you have any truly outstanding qualifications on open source encyclopedias management? --Cyclopiatalk 02:22, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Why should we pay ArbCom when most editors think its a joke? Do you realize how many times on the talk page of the WP:Policies and guidelines (or any major policy or the essay WP:5P) someone (other than me) has to say to another editor "who cares what ArbCom said?" It was an attempt at bureaucracy by those that think regular editors are children and a burden to be controlled through the strict application of "rules" and "laws" and discipline. We have no laws, we dont need a judge or jury. If we should get out of line Jimbo has always been there to gently lead us back to the path, unfortunately some around here dont like the idea of there being someone above them and therefore have made his continued ability to do so much harder. I understand he has voluntarily given up much of his "power", but I think that was a mistake. Scrap ArbCom and allow Jimbo to settle disputes (if he so wishes, it would be alot for one person, understand if he wouldnt want to). He's one of very few in Wikipedia I would trust with unlimited authority and accept that they knew better in any ruling that differed with my own. ArbCom I trust not, remind me of the Lord of the Flies. Cant wait for their ruling- Kill Piggy!Camelbinky (talk) 02:32, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
In your rant, you apparently forgot that Jimbo has no problem with ArbCom and, in fact, does communicate with them. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:13, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
And I'm not allowed to disagree with Jimbo's decision? I think ArbCom causes more trouble than they fix and there has to be a better way. And I find the characterization of "rant" to be awfully close to the line of incivility. Perhaps you should word your posts more carefully. Thanks.Camelbinky (talk) 03:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I'm sure the Romans said the same thing as they grew beyond manageability. My qualifications? Call me Cassandra. TheGoodLocust (talk) 02:29, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
This sounds like the other shoe dropping. First ArbCom demands greatly increased powers in Wikipedia talk:Arbitration/Policy/Draft (which as I've been told is just a description of "how things are", and any vote about it would be purely hypothetical). Then payment for hired professionals is suggested. After that, I suppose the next step is to formally harmonize with the Internet Standard, and add something to the TOS that ArbCom can ban anyone for any reason, and delete anything without notice.
But hiring professional arbitrators, when you don't hire physicists or molecular biologists or Islamic scholars or schoolteachers to contribute... it would express, very clearly, the sort of priorities one finds in American schools, where conformity is paramount above education. Wikipedia, currently, is a beautiful and rare throwback to an older age - a place where knowledge is valued in itself, not as a means to get a job or dupe an audience into voting against their own interests. The day will come, no doubt, when Wikipedia, like modern art and music and science and religion, exists solely to do homage to the divine couple of Mammon and the Great Whore, but that day is not today. Let's not make it tomorrow either. Wnt (talk) 05:32, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Not to dupe voters? I couldn't disagree more. The Barack Obama article, during the election (can't say how it is now, but probably not much better), was frankly a piece of whitewashed garbage that sounded like his campaign wrote it. Obviously it isn't feasible to hire professional editors for most of the articles on wikipedia, but it is feasible to setup a professional administration to minimize wikipedia's ongoing use as a tool for propaganda. There are several ways of doing this, but the bottom up method certainly isn't working - a top-down method has a shot at it though. Wikipedia is just too rich of a target for manipulation - if people aren't doing it already then you can be sure that some organizations will hire interns to setup multiple accounts, edit wikipedia to gain experience and then adminship - and then use that social capital to massage the articles to their organizations liking. TheGoodLocust (talk) 08:40, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I admit this point to an extent (though I think the Republicans are worse about this) - the problem is, ArbCom isn't helping with every article, and the problem doesn't take a huge committee to figure out. If you post a fact to an article about a company or political candidate that is "defended", you get reverted within the first 15 minutes. The problem is that while WP:NOT is a strict law, WP:NOTCENSORED is treated more like a good idea. If we could agree to stop these snap-reverters who remove sourced, relevant information, then the problem would be greatly curtailed. Wnt (talk) 15:55, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I strongly agree with this sentiment. Wikipedia needs to formalize inclusionism as its philosophical stance - WP:UNDUE and WP:BLP are abused beyond the spirit of the rules. TheGoodLocust (talk) 01:20, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Receiving a salary does not suddenly make one neutral. There were many criticisms of that mainstream journalists became Obama fans and skewed their coverage of him. Yet they were paid to be neutral. (In fact, if the mainstream coverage of Obama was biased then it's inevitable that the Wikipedia material would reflect that.) Wikipedia is targeted for manipulation by many, including paid advocates. But creating a salaried bureaucracy is not necessarily an effective way of responding to that problem.   Will Beback  talk  09:48, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Moreover a salary can be and often is a conflict of interest, which is allowed here (and should be allowed), so long as edits are encyclopedic. Meanwhile, I wouldn't be so rash as to say journalists are paid to be neutral. They're paid to produce content which fits the publisher's goals, which are most often not neutral, nor need they be. Keep in mind, verifiability, which is the pith of encyclopedia building here, is not at all the same thing as neutrality. Gwen Gale (talk) 10:07, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
The criticisms, IIRC, were particularly aimed at the big TV network journalists (ABC/CBS/NBC) which I believe do aim for journalistic neutrality. Anyway, the main point is that paying the ArbCom would not necessarily make them more neutral. Since the ArbCom avoids involvement in pure content disputes, it would require an expansion of its authority to impose "neutrality" on topics.   Will Beback  talk  10:14, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Network journalists are in no way paid to be neutral, they are paid to seem neutral. ArbCom shouldn't be given sway over content, their gig is dealing with only the worst behaviour worries, a thankless job. Gwen Gale (talk) 10:17, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Certainly you get what you pay for - only you wouldn't be doing the paying, would you? Do you feel confident that a payed ArbCom would vote against the wishes of the person paying their rent if the community so desired it? Weakopedia (talk) 09:14, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Buyer beware. Paid arbitration would thwart the volunteer roots of en.WP, in ways foreseen and unforeseen. Gwen Gale (talk) 10:14, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to see ArbCom cases handed out to juries—long-term editors who would sign up for jury duty; whose names would be chosen randomly before a case; and who would only be accepted to decide a case if they had no obvious conflict of interest. Their brief would be that they must be as fair as possible. Most people, if you expressly trust them to be fair, will usually rise to the challenge. The elected ArbCom would oversee jury selection, adherence to policies and good sense, and appeals. It would mean we'd need to elect fewer Arbs, and that power would be less concentrated. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 11:06, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
ArbCom as it currently stands does not deal with content issues but only makes calls based on behavioral conduct. What we truely need is a panel which will get involved in content issues as this is were the real issues lie. ArbCom's lack of consideration of content is why IMO it frequently fails. Money does not address this issue.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:19, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I like SlimVirgin's idea of juries, but an alternative could be to follow Jewish practice (still sometimes followed in Hasidic religious courts in places like Brooklyn and Jerusalem). Three permanent judges, and no lawyers. One judge takes the side of the "defendant" and does the research and advocacy for that side, and the second judge does the same as the role of the "district attorney", the third judge then mediates the discussion among the three and they come to a fully informed decision (and often its unanimous because one advocate in his research figures out "oh, this guy is sooo guilty"). The judges alternate so that one judge is not always on the side of the "state procutor". Problems with this or any jury system in Wikipedia would be this- at places like AN/I editors are already too lazy to read the full issue at hand especially long-standing disputes and I dont know if we could trust editors to do a full-fledge in-depth analysis and due deligence on an issue. Too often I see "I warned both parties" as a default, and this type of laziness to not figure out who's at fault is not needed here (and this seems to be more an Admin response, regular editors seem to do more reading and research).Camelbinky (talk) 17:49, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
I think SV's idea is an excellent one. I'd love to see it implemented.--*Kat* (talk) 23:33, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree, it is a very good idea. Some time ago, I proposed something similar, see here. Count Iblis (talk) 01:59, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
As do I. ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 01:07, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

Mediawiki software proposal

Wikipedia editors are quite polarised on the view of inclusionism vs deletionism with the middle ground largely unoccupied. Why not have 2 views on the site then? A 'deletionist' and 'inclusionist' view. The same database is used, but articles can be tagged not to be included in a deletionist site.

Therefore everyone is satisfied.

The software changes would be trivial. Where can I propose this idea? Genjix (talk) 19:47, 15 September 2010 (UTC)

Is this a joke? That'd be like letting pro-Israelis and pro-Palestinians having their own preferred versions of Rachel Corrie, or liberals and conservatives their own abortion articles. Besides, what would you present to the outside reader, who wouldn't have the slightest idea of what "deletionist" or "inclusionist" means? Tarc (talk) 19:52, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I'll say it again. To me, the whole idea of deletionism versus inclusionism seems utterly ridiculous. In the world of writing, an inclusionist is usually called a writer, while a deletionist is usually called an editor. Both are necessary to produce good writing. A writing teacher once told me, ""When you write, fill your work with every sort of detail you can imagine, the sky ... its color, the shape of the clouds, the furnishings in the room, and the railing on the stairs. Then put it away for a week ... a month ... a year. When you're ready, come back and read through it all, the boring minutiae, and cut, edit, and strip every thing that is not absolutely essential to the story. Then read through it again, and you will find that it is all still there. That's what makes a good writer." I think James Michener put it best when he said, "I may be the world's worst writer, but I am the world's best rewriter." For good writing to happen, deletionism and inclusionism must go hand in hand. Zaereth (talk) 20:07, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
The question is naively put, but the concept behind may make some sense. Zaereth: your comparison doesn't work because an encyclopedia is not a unitary monolithic thing like a novel, is more of a network of connected individual nodes (article topics). Your example is OK for individual article writing, but I feel it's not the best for the whole project. Now, it could make sense to have some kind of inclusion levels in WP, so that material that is judged, say, of questionable notability but otherwise verifiable, can be nonetheless included in a sort of "secondary material" namespace. So that they are accessible to readers potentially interested, can be wikilinked, but still not considered "full" part of the encyclopedia. Or, even better, we could simply have Wikia integration of some kind in the linking/categorization mechanism: this way it is clear that it is an outside resource, but still we can take advantage of it. --Cyclopiatalk 20:39, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
The "secondary material" namespace is called the internet. We are under no obligation to include every bit of drivel anyone cares to write. The refusal to make judgments is itself a judgment. As Zaereth said, we have both to create and to judge. I don't think there is a way around that. Revcasy (talk) 20:50, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
Not so fast. First, "the internet" is not a wiki (well, not all of it) and it is not meant to be an encyclopedia. Second, I am not talking of "every bit of drivel". What am I saying is that for certain topics, integration with external but similar projects could be plus. For example, imagine articles about well known fiction stuff, like Star Trek. Notability of a lot of minor ST characters is questionable and may be deemed inappropriate for us. Still, if someone really wants to know more about these characters, what's wrong in wikilinking their names so that they go to the appropriate Wikia? That's the kind of scenario I am thinking about. Making things easier for everyone: we don't have do directly deal with sub-wikis, but we can use them to generate a more complete experience. --Cyclopiatalk 18:26, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
Very good Cyclopia. Your proposal is worded much better than mine and implementationally makes more sense. Genjix (talk) 11:32, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Personally, I think the key to this in a project wide scope is organization. I think it's great that we can have an article such as dogfight, where the historical term is defined and brought into modern context, with links to the modern term, ACM and BFM, which branch off further into Barrel roll, Aileron roll, Split S, The Scissors, etc... This keeps the information easily accessible, yet not boring to the majority of readers who've come here, say, for just the history. The Japanese swordsmithing article can be branched out further into the polishing and fitting articles, and so on. I think of it like having a so called "parent article," (which is something like a dresser, where the drawers are all neatly labeled), and the "subordinate articles, (the drawers, where everthing is neatly filed and easy to find.
Quite a majority of readers, of any encyclopedia, are only going to skim through an article, looking for something in particular. Why not make it easy to find. Instead of "Deletionism versus inclusionism," I think the argument should be about organization and' presentation. Making the writing informative and easily accessible, yet interesting and tasteful, is what I think would be most beneficial to the project. Basic guidelines of good writing usually work equally well for non-fiction as well as fiction.Zaereth (talk) 21:55, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
A novel is meant to be read from start to finish, but an encyclopedia article need merely have one article or section that tells you what you want to know. In a novel it is not essential to know precisely how the spacecraft operates, but in an encyclopedia, that's exactly what you want to see. Wnt (talk) 15:47, 16 September 2010 (UTC)
A deletionist standpoint is that the immediate value of Wikipedia is important, as dodgy stubs and poorly written trivia scare away potential users. Inclusionists argue that they're a starting point for later expansion. Besides your philosophical standpoint, or what you think others should think, the matter stands; a bi-view Wikipedia would solve the debate. The deletionist-view being a subset of the inclusionist-view WP. Genjix (talk) 11:43, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
There is a related suggestion at meta:Inclupedia (the proposer is banned by ArbCom from the English Wikipedia). Fences&Windows 00:13, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. Beautiful suggestion indeed, regardless of the proposer. --Cyclopiatalk 00:52, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Nice project. But it's just a hack for a limitation of Wikipedia. Wikipedia can easily be modified to handle this in an integrated way. Take this quote:
If we want to satisfy people's concerns about potential backlogs of harmful/illegal content waiting to be deleted from Inclupedia, we should probably set it to delete it from Inclupedia by default, and let the deleting sysop at Wikipedia check a box to not delete it from Inclupedia, if he deems it to be deletable only by reason of non-notability.
That sounds like a great idea. Why doesn't Wikipedia already have this? Genjix (talk) 11:55, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
It may be a good idea, but wouldn't it be much simpler to sort deleted articles here into two categories, say, "deleted" and "deprecated"? I wish that every user could read all the deleted content, but many here insist that American censorship is too strict for that; but it should be possible to mark some of the deleted content as merely "deprecated" and allow users at least to read that, by setting some option. Wnt (talk) 17:54, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
This would be beautiful, but I can hear the screams of deletionists from here saying that they won't allow, ever, "deprecated" content on WP. Integration with an external site or the Inclupedia seem both the best proposals, so that deletionists can relax (WP itself remains strict) and inclusionists can relax too (information is available and integrated with WP). --Cyclopiatalk 18:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
It's been done Deletionpedia. People lost interest.©Geni 17:57, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Deletionpedia was an external site - they couldn't just mark a bit, but had to archive articles and then pull out the ones that were deleted. And whatever reason it was shut down for, it wasn't loss of interest - in the article, it talks about "extremely high server load". If the site were live I'd still be using it. Wnt (talk) 18:07, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Agree -in fact, I wanted to put up one version of DP myself, some time ago (Hmm, put some dust off of these scripts...) --Cyclopiatalk 18:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
I should point out that there exist people who believe in a sort of "middle ground," even if only half-seriously. Ever heard of AWWDMBJAWGCAWAIFDSPBATDMTD? elektrikSHOOS 23:47, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and they will be happy whatever happens. Isn't this awesome? Face-smile.svg --Cyclopiatalk 00:46, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
Fact is they are a minority. Most users are quite polarised ideologically.
Why is this a big deal? Just add an extra column to article entries in the database with a single flag. If the flag is active then the article shows on the main Wikipedia (maybe for unregistered users). Otherwise only for users registered (and maybe with the option enabled in their accounts). Editors still edit the same Wikipedia; undesirable trivia is moved to separate articles and flagged as not for inclusion in the public Wikipedia.
Having a Wikipedia including everything is a great thing for me. Yet creating a public version with only high quality articles would dispel many accuracy criticisms. Good Wikipedia PR ;) Genjix (talk) 22:19, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Quick poll on interim use of Pending Changes

The poll is at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Straw poll on Interim Usage.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Compromise Solution to PC

I agree with Jimbo, stay WP:CIVIL as you dispute. I do think though that we need to at least consider implementing a compromise such as this brilliant one by User:UncleDouggie (Douggie's Pending Changes Solution) or consider having a pause period while we let consensus sink in and then have a better managed poll-I still have a slinking suspicion that it was weighted unfairly towards PC supporters.--Novus Orator 05:01, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

UncleDouggie's solution is certainly brilliant, IMO, but managing a reasonably productive discussion is likely to be difficult so long as the current PC trial is active. --Yair rand (talk) 05:24, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
It's brilliant, but it has the serious flaw of being easily-bypassed and redundant once filter details are known. The Edit filter is by-and-far one of the weakest means of antivandalism we have and it should not be combined with PC because of it. —Jeremy (v^_^v PC/SP is a show-trial!) 05:27, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Exactly, if the edit filter worked in the manner the proposal suggests it does, I wouldn't have to spend an hour a day on Huggle. Ronk01 talk 06:01, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
If the edit filter were magical, we wouldn't be discussing this at all. It needs serious improvement as it's our front end protection. We equally need to look at the bots, Huggle, potentially PC, and all the way down to watchlists. The problem needs a systematic analysis and solution. I spent a whole night on Huggle, as explained on the linked page, and I came away with several new ideas.—UncleDouggie (talk) 07:59, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I've added the previous feedback to the linked page, including referencing the groundbreaking work of User:Cenarium, of which I was originally unaware. We can spend all day bashing the current edit filter, PCv1 and the vaporware PCv2, and we won't have done a thing to address the vandalism problem. Together, the smart people here can find a better solution. It's obvious that instant visibility is a problem no matter what we do, and we can fix that without banning editing or requiring PC.

I had another idea today: Make the edit filter silently accept all edits, but post the ones that would currently be rejected as rejected revisions. This would reduce the Huggle load for sure. A large number of Huggle reverts are preceded by an edit that the edit filter rejected. The editor then tones it down just a bit and it goes in, just to be reverted by a Huggle user. We would need to show the rejected revision to the original editor for a time, perhaps an hour. I know there are still some substantial drawbacks, but a more robust system might be able to minimize them. We don't need to debate this here and now; I throw it out as an example of the things that we should be spending our time talking about instead of taking polls. —UncleDouggie (talk) 07:59, 19 September 2010 (UTC)

I strongly support such work. I don't think polls should be allowed to slow you or anyone else down. Go for it. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:58, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Bad idea. Get yourself the filtermanager right and read the majority of those filters; most of them are designed specifically to counter long-term vandals. Having the filter accept all their edits would be counterproductive, especially as regards Grawp and his 4chan sheep, whose aim is wasting administrators' time as a form of harassment, not vandalism in the purest sense. —Jeremy (v^_^v PC/SP is a show-trial!) 19:16, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
No one ever suggested that we should give up the 'disallow' action. This just gives us another action: 'delay pending review', that can be used for the appropriate filters. (And obviously, disallow takes precedence on delay, as it does on the other actions like tag.) Cenarium (talk) 20:55, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Please read the comments of people who actively work with the edit filter now, on (Douggie's Pending Changes Solution); this solution is technically infeasible. Even if it was possible, it would require tens of thousands of filters, and would slow down editing to the point that would have a severely adverse effect on the project. Risker (talk) 21:26, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
    • Hm, I think you misunderstand what is being proposed, this is just another action a given filter can do, see WP:Deferred revisions for my old proposal. And I am familiar with the edit filter, I also asked Werdna a while ago about that and he never said it was 'technically infeasible'. There are several issues to overcome, but it's not 'infeasible'. Cenarium (talk) 22:31, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think I actually understand it quite well. It would require thousands upon thousands of regular expressions to catch even a fraction of the problematic edits that are identified by PC reviewers, particularly as many edits are only problematic in specific contexts and each context would need its own regular expression. Can it be built? Probably. Is the cost (in lost good edits, slowness and unresponsiveness of the system, and massively increased load on servers) worth it? Well, let's just say that several admins spend considerable time trying to keep excess edit filter demand from happening now, with a maximum load of 1000 conditions per edit. So, sure: if we find a way to run every edit through possibly tens of thousands of conditions in the system's maximum time of 0.5 seconds - which is difficult even today with the small number of edit filters we have - it's possible, although there are complaints about system slowness when the edit filters are taking even half that time to review edits. The other issue (giving people another crack at their disallowed edit) is a completely different issue, and yes, it's possible too. It will only require several months of rewriting the current software. Whether something is feasible is a different issue than whether or not it is possible. What questions did you ask Werdna specifically, and what was his precise response? Risker (talk) 23:13, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
Catching all bad edits is a vain pursuit that we don't intend to undertake, I reassure you. A few filters could catch dozens of bad edits a day which would already be good compared to nothing. Look at the talk page, where technically-minded people commented. There are issues, but no deal-breaker as you seem to state categorically. I had asked Werdna on his talk page (it can be found in the history), and his answer is in the abuse filter talk archive. (I don't have time to search, sorry.) I also asked on IRC, I don't remember if Werdna commented on irc or not (that was in January 2009). Cenarium (talk) 23:54, 19 September 2010 (UTC)
I would say BLP articles are the only real key places where PC edits should be placed. Elsewhere protection seems to do fine from what i've seen during my time here, I don't understand the issue. Doc Quintana (talk) 00:05, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I've responded to the performance issues on the Pending Changes Compromise page. I'd like to keep the constructive discussion, including constructive criticism, over there so it can outlive Jimbo's merciless archiver. Nonconstructive discussion can stay right here. :-) —UncleDouggie (talk) 01:41, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Watchlist Notice for PC poll

Jimbo, should a watchlist notice be implemented for the PC poll? Ronk01 talk 15:12, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

As this is a switch off or keep on poll I would say all notices are worthy. Off2riorob (talk) 15:21, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I am in favor of very broad notification.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:39, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Then I would recommend implementation of a watchlist notification. Ronk01 talk 15:46, 20 September 2010 (UTC)Persoall
Perhaps someone with a bot could notify the commenters in the previous straw poll, there was about 700 of them, shall I do it? Off2riorob (talk) 16:06, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
If the poll is not yet active, we should wait until it is. Once it is, we can discuss notification. But due to my edit conflict, I now see that it's already added, so alrighty. =) CycloneGU (talk) 16:38, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
EDIT: Just saw the poll comment above. No need to notify me, I'm going there right now. CycloneGU (talk) 16:39, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Watchlist notice added. Rob, if you can do that, that would be great. If not, I believe MZMcBride might be able to help with your idea. NW (Talk) 16:36, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Is this a simple yes or no, 50.01% majority is what happens situation?

Is this neutral enough notifier?..Something like this to all the users that commented to that poll...

Hi, as you recently commented in the straw poll regarding the ongoing usage and trial of Pending Protection, this is to notify you that there is an interim straw poll as regards keeping the tool switched on or switching it off while improvements are worked on and due for release on November 9, 2010, the poll is only in regard to this issue and sets no precedent for any future usage. Your opinion as regards this issue is greatly appreciated. See here - Wikipedia:Pending changes/Straw poll on Interim Usage - Off2riorob (talk) 17:13, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure sending this message specifically to a group who has already voted a majority yes is a great idea. It's not an unbiased sample of users and potentially leans the result of this poll a certain way. A watch list notice to all users is, in my opinion, sufficient and was enough to make these users vote in the initial poll Jebus989 17:34, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
That is untrue, I notified all the previous commenters for the previous poll in the same manner. Here is an example of one of the many I notified of the last poll, there is no reason at all not to notify the commenters from the previous discussion in the same way. If there are no more objections I will start to notify.Off2riorob (talk) 17:59, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
In reply to Jebus989 - WHAT?!? So you want to ensuree that, say, 400 supporters of the previous straw poll are not given any opportunity notice, in any which way, to have their voice heard?
Not at all... everyone has the same watchlist notification we had for the first poll. It's fair, balanced and really obvious to any editor who checks their watchlist; plus it has a handy 'dismiss' button so it is not pressuring the user to partake as a talk page message might. This is a sensitive poll, currently at 50/50 definitely not suffering from a lack of input. (edit: but of course, the more participants, the better) My only point was that a single user in favour of continuing PC should not be messaging a large number of people of which 65% are also in favour of PC to get them to vote. WRT WP:CANVAS and #6, I think it's worth discussing before implementing Jebus989 18:38, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Have you given thought to the fact that people who previously voted would see this notice and think they have already commented, and thus not go to the new one to comment? This applies for both sides, BTW. Also, some people don't HAVE a watchlist and don't intend to use it, so they will never see the notice. CycloneGU (talk) 18:56, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for discussing this. I don't think either of those points are particularly strong arguments, I imagine 95%+ of those with accounts who voted in the first poll do have a watchlist, whether they look at it or not is a valid point but if they don't, they managed to find the first poll without a talk page notification somehow (I see Off2riorob did send some talk page messages but certainly not to all 400+ participants). Talk page notifications for everyone would be great, or messages to a stratified randomised sample but neither of these suggestions are practical. Due to the high levels of tension and distrust voiced in the last poll, it could become an issue if the currently 50/50 poll quickly becomes in favour of keep just because of these 'canvassing' messages, especially if they are being sent from highly involved users Jebus989 19:18, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
There is one thing I disagree with. These are not "canvassing" messages as there is no request to support either side. The notifications would be sent to all those who have yet to participate (I suggest we wait a couple of days to see who hasn't gone to the new poll, personally). And even if they support the first poll, they might decline the second - or vice versa, though less likely. If this was a canvassing attempt, work would have to be done to pick only the most preferred people to canvas; since this is not the case as everyone would receive them (again, except perhaps those already participating), why not? CycloneGU (talk) 19:34, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
I do understand your point. I've said what I wanted to say anyway so I'll take a step back from this now. Thanks, Jebus989 19:54, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
In reply to Off2riorob - I'll think of a better wording. The poll that was considered garbage was your making in the first place, and while I mean no offense in saying that, people have previously said you tried to direct the poll to a pro-support stance. I disagree, but I'd rather not see this happen again. CycloneGU (talk) 18:24, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps we don't need to bother notifying after all, seems to be well linked up I appreciate and accept your points about the previous poll, thanks Off2riorob (talk) 19:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Straw Poll Notice: Wording How about something along the lines of this?

"Hi there. You recently commented in the straw poll regarding the ongoing usage and trial of Pending Protection. Improvements are being made for a new version of the Pending Changes software due for release on November 9, 2010.

I am writing to notify you that there is a new interim straw poll which you are asked to provide input for. Please read the page for further information on what is being voted on. Your feelings on this matter are greatly appreciated.

Go to the poll here.

Thoughts? Again, this is just for notification, we'll let the poll page do the explaining. CycloneGU (talk) 18:32, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

A message has now been delivered by EdwardsBot (on request of Off2riorob) to about 661 users. Also, see this section I created about concerns of canvassing. Cheers, - Kingpin13 (talk) 11:44, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Straw Poll

The straw poll is running at a consistent 50%-50% with some editors, as expected opposing the idea of tossing the previous Straw poll, and considering that poll (which was less than 1% away from consensus) to be "broad consensus to turn PC off permanently" (that is a paraphrase of several editors, not the comment of one specific editor.) Perhaps the goals of the poll should be made more clear? Ronk01 talk 19:12, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Where is the straw poll?! Tommy! 19:22, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
Heh, just found it, thanks! Tommy! 19:27, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
This obviously shows that some people still will not cooperate. Would it be reasonable to remove that section and just have people vote for 1, 2, or none? Making up 3, 4, etc. is not helping. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 03:33, 21 September 2010 (UTC)


As no consensus will ever be found, could you flip a coin and pick a date system for Jesus? —Noisalt (talk) 22:45, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I flipped a coin. It landed tails up.--*Kat* (talk) 03:25, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Nonsense. It was heads. I was going to show you the picture but I decided it was too large. CycloneGU (talk) 05:55, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

E-mail Sent Today

I have sent you an e-mail today, Jimmy, about ten minutes before this post (adjust Wiki time and e-mail time for EDT). Please let me know if you have received it, and I am interested in your thoughts on it, either by reply or by a comment here. CycloneGU (talk) 19:03, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

I had a major computer crash yesterday afternoon, and I'm just now getting back to slightly functional. I am going to be downloading and installing Thunderbird soon and downloading my email.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:59, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Sorry to hear about that, but glad you got back in. =) I've had my laptop crash once (not long after the year warranty, too...), and I panicked. *LOL* It led to having to buy a new one a few months later. CycloneGU (talk) 21:13, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Poll Opposition

Someone started a new section on "oppose the poll." Since we agreed that that was not an option, should it be removed? Ronk01 talk 03:34, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I boldly closed option three (oppose the poll) as it was decided that opposition to the poll was not an option. Ronk01 talk 04:58, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Reopened. It most certainly is a valid option, as having a "vote" is in seeming contradiction to a core policy. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:02, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Closed again, option three is specifically forbidden by the rules of a 2 option poll. I will not start an edit war on this, but it is not a legitamate option. I have reverted to my version. Ronk01 talk 05:07, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
It's not a voting option; thus, I have removed the words "Option 3" but left the section. I still think the section is unnecessary, but who am I to argue? CycloneGU (talk) 05:49, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
The last time this was added it caused a new poll to be started. All this section does is divert the useful votes into an unneeded section. —Ғяіᴆaз'§Đøøм Champagne?9:37pm 11:37, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
For heaven's sake, if people aren't going to follow the rules, they shouldn't bother voting. This is a vote, one where a simple majority wins. There's no "consensus" needed, and this was already decided before hand, so option three should be removed because it's not helpful to any cause. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 12:43, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't matter to me if such a section exists or not. Votes to oppose the poll won't be counted, but if people want to oppose the poll, I see no harm. I'd be interested to learn more about the reasons people might oppose taking a poll. Perhaps they just want me, or the Foundation staff, to make a decision without community input?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:55, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, obviously they do not oppose the poll on the grounds that they want a decision without input from the community. I believe the issue most of them have is that they see the use of polls in this way as inappropriate, and against the spirit of consensus. *shrug* I regret that this discussion has degenerated to the point of melodrama and personal attacks on you, but the discussion leading up to this poll should have made it clear that there would be an issue with taking things in this direction. It is unfortunate, but not surprising. Revcasy (talk) 20:37, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I did not make a personal attack, maybe my comment could have been slightly more civil, and I apologise for that. All I was saying is you have the ability to read, so read what people's reasons are, rather than speculating on them. I'd rather if you didn't accuse me of making personal attacks, as a comment like that coming from you will be taken as the truth whatever. I've also seen you accuse two (or maybe the same person twice, I don't recall) other users of making personal attacks recently, when it was questionable as to if those were actually attacks. - Kingpin13 (talk) 21:00, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
"If you are capable of reading" was a snarky personal attack. Thank you for apologizing for it. The main thing I want to emphasize here is that I am very eager to read everything, to respond to everything, but of course like anyone, I am sure I will miss some things.
As long as we are discussing this, I'd like to talk about another statement that you made recently that I found both false and unfair to me: "Yes, it would be fine it Jimbo just came straight up and said that he was overriding consensus. But he hasn't, he keeps trying to hide behind consensus." I am not overriding consensus, and I am not hiding behind consensus. I am firmly and adamantly vocal that the will of the community (the entire community, not just a vocal minority) must be respected, and further that for this feature to be accepted permanently, it needs to achieve consensus. I am strongly supportive of our traditions, including revising and improving in an effort to address concerns and gain consensus. Consensus is a process, not a one-time vote, and it involves a long process of serious dialog about this: what is great about it, what is bad about it, how it can be improved, what metrics we should be thinking about in coming to decisions, etc. I'm very opposed to the notion that pursuing that kind of process amounts in any way to me "overriding consensus". I don't think those who are opposed to PC do their position much justice by taking that approach - instead you might want to take a look at the perfectly sensible reasons that those who supported it, supported it, and think about how to achieve those goals while at the same time lessening whatever negative impacts there are.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:11, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
It was uncivil, I admit, and I apologise for that. It wasn't a personal attack, and it wasn't meant to be taken as me saying you couldn't read. Rather as me saying you can read, and you should utilise that ability, rather than speculate (why speculate on the community's feelings, when you could just read them?). I appreciate the time you're putting in to actually discussing this with volunteers, and also that it's easy for you to miss things, but I think you're doing a good job of following up threads atm :). It appears to me, that you say you support consensus, but then you use polls and ignore the minority, which seems to be trying to give the false impression of following consensus, when really you're not. I'm very pleased to see here, in this discussion, you show understanding for what consensus is, most of the users I've spoken to seem to think it involves numbers and can be measured with them. However, what I really want to see is you actually putting this into practice. How does a poll passing with 50% without anybody listening to the discussion (rather just counting the numbers) promote consensus? In the poll you want users not to take part in dialogue, here you say dialogue is important. Which is it? What you say or what you actually do? It's no surprise that I get the impression that you are saying you have consensus, when you don't (i.e. "hiding behind a false "consensus""). I don't think you are overriding consensus, I think you are trying to make it look like consensus supports you when it doesn't (a majority of editors support you, not consensus). However, some users at that discussion were suggesting that as you could 'technically override consensus, that we should ignore it (when actually you've said we shouldn't). Sorry for the ramble :). Best, - Kingpin13 (talk) 21:35, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I appreciate that we are having this dialog. I particularly appreciate the opportunity to respond to some of your points, particularly where I think you've overlooked some facts. First, polls are a part of our traditions and I make no apologies for using them. I'm a big fan of our particular way of doing polls, with comments. Therefore, when you say "In the poll you want users not to take part in dialogue" you say something that simply isn't true. Indeed, I specifically wrote: "Brief comments are, as always, welcomed and will guide community thinking. " This is quite normal for any poll, very much in line with our traditions. I am strongly encouraging people to talk, to focus on what is wrong with PC and how to make it better.
Second, you say that I am "ignoring the minority" - but I am not. I'm working very hard to find ways to accommodate everyone, through a cycle of discussion/polling/requesting software improvements, etc. There is simply no sense in which anything I am doing is about ignoring the minority. I have stated several times that the minority opposition raised valid points that the new version of the software needs to address, and I also think that there are some other valid concerns which aren't about software but about policy, and those needs to be addressed. My goal is to get to consensus, which means to find a way to preserve the positive points that the majority sees, while resolving the valid complaints that the minority have raised. There is no magic wand to make that happen, and I don't believe that the right approach to getting to consensus would have been to say "Oh, ok, 35% oppose it, so let's drop it forever". No, when I see 35% of the community opposing something, I know that there is plenty that needs to be fixed.
Third, you say that is is not surprise that you get the impression that I am saying I have consensus, when I don't. Well, to me it is a huge surprise :-) , since I have not said even once that I have consensus. Indeed, I have said repeatedly that PC doesn't have consensus. I am working to accommodate everyone, I am working to build consensus, I can't understand where anyone would get the idea that I'm claiming consensus. Quite possibly I would recommend reading what I have to say, rather than what other people have said that I say or claim that I mean. I won't embarrass anyone right now, but let me say: there have been some real whoppers thrown around.
And finally, the question about the 50% poll. This is just a quick poll to get a reading on a relatively unimportant point about what to do between now and the new version, which is due out on November 9th. Due to the poor construction of the PC trial poll, including ambiguity about what was supposed to happen at the end, there arose a valid question as to whether it is supposed to be turned off. Some have taken a hyper-technical definitional approach, and seem more or less inconsolable, that the trial should have been switched off. Others think it should be left on. There's no obvious answer, but rather than me making a decision by fiat, I thought it better to just take a quick reading to see how people feel about it. I think that's in the spirit of cooperation, dialog, democratic decision-making, etc.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:14, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it was poor construction at all to say that a two-month trial should last two months, and it is far from hypertechnical to point that out. A two-month trial lasts two months, and, after the trial is complete, one analyzes the results. A major part of a trial being "complete" is shutting it off. I strongly suggest that when you begin the next trial, one of the features of the new protection software is that it prevents any protection state from lasting past the end of the trial period. That way, when the trial ends, the trial protection state will automatically and simultaneously be undone.—Kww(talk) 23:21, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think we can implement that feature into the software, but a bot could do it easily enough, I'm sure, if that's what we decide to do. I can tell you this much: the trail of the next version will come with very clearly specified outcomes based on a variety of vote outcomes. The dates of the poll will be specified in advance, and a date for action will be specified in advance. Ambiguity is not good.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:46, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
I thought the November 9th trial had an end-date of December 31? Or is the end date again not an end date? Incorporating it directly into the protection interface should be pretty trivial: compute the end date of the protection, and, if it is after Dec. 31, 2010, set the end date to Dec. 31, 2010.—Kww(talk) 00:04, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
You might want to go back and re-read what I have said about the dates, as you have got it all wrong. November 9th is when the Foundation hopes to deliver new software. At some point soon after that, we can begin a trial of it. December 31st is the day by which, if the Foundation has not delivered new software, we will have another poll on what to do in the meantime - based on whatever information we have available at that time. There is no guarantee that there will be an endpoint at which the feature is turned off - that will depend on the outcome of the vote. If we again get strong support - stronger than we got last time, but still not to consensus, then it will make no sense to *automatically* turn it off at that time. Imagine, for example, that it gets to 75% support and with 25% still requesting additional software/policy changes. Then it's pretty darn good, and we are on the right track, and we wouldn't want to turn it off then - we'd also not want to say to the Foundation that we accept it as the permanent version, and we'd ask them for another round of changes. That process of back and forth improvement along with discussion and debate is what consensus is all about. On the other hand, if the new version and our experiences with it give rise to a drop in support, then it can make sense to talk about turning it off while we really go back to the drawing board.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:24, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo, to be quite honest with you, that's really not acceptable. I know my idea on this, and I'm not the only one, was that when we agreed to a trial, "trial" means what it commonly means—we try it out, we shut it off at the end of the trial period, then we discuss where to go from there (be that that we're done with it for good, we're willing to trial a new version with improvements, there's consensus to turn it on permanently, whatever the discussion comes to). While it may not be your intent, a lot of people are feeling quite betrayed and ignored here. There wasn't consensus to continue. Given that, well—it was a trial. It needs to go off until and unless there's true consensus for another trial, or there's true consensus to turn it on permanently. I don't think anyone expected a nose-counting vote to determine the outcome of this, with a simple majority allowing it to stay on indefinitely, and if there was going to be such a radical departure, we should've known that before we agreed to the trial. I for one wouldn't have agreed to the trial at all if I knew it was going to be run like this, and I strongly doubt I'm the only one. Seraphimblade Talk to me 01:00, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

You seem to be mistaken about one important fact. The current poll, which is running roughly 61% in favor of leaving it on during the interim while we wait for the next version to be released, is not a poll to leave it on "indefinitely". I agree with you completely that the first trial and poll caused a lot of problems by being poorly constructed. But I promise you, there is nothing "indefinite" about the current vote, and I promise you, the poll at the end of the second trial will have absolutely clear specifications for what is to happen next.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:11, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Can you promise us that if it's called a two (or whatever) month trial it'll last for two (or whatever) months, and not longer? Because a lot of the anger has been caused by the novel use of "two months" to mean "rather longer than two months and with no definite end date". Or, put another way, people feel misled (and that's putting it kindly). DuncanHill (talk) 01:24, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I can promise you that the dates and outcomes will be well-specified so that we don't have to have this kind of conversation again next time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:27, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Thank you. DuncanHill (talk) 01:32, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I don't have much opinion on this one way or the other. I'm not very computer savvy, and really never had the time to figure out exactly how to use the pending changes. I do, however, find polls to be a good way to measure what the differing views are, especially when discussions become as long and drawn-out as this one. I can't remember witnessing a time on Wikipedia when one was used for any other such purpose. That being said, consensus is a group coming to a compromise about the best way to procede toward a common goal. While it is not the same a majority vote, consensus is also not the same as unanimity. It is impossible to please everyone, but it is possible to listen to valid concerns of both the minority and the majority, and to work toward a solution that can be acceptable to most, if not all. I think Mr. Wales puts a lot of effort into that, probably more so that many of us are willing to do in return. Zaereth (talk) 01:41, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Re: Straw poll

Hi Jimbo, in regards to the straw poll, can I ask if you meant for option 1 to be close and option 2 to be keep or was that an unintentional mistake? I just thought I'd ask since the options (Close and Keep) were switched around after you made the poll. Regards, —Ғяіᴆaз'§Đøøм Champagne?9:29pm 11:29, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I'm unclear what you are asking, but anyway, it seems fine to me now. I don't think the ordering makes any material difference.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:12, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Oh ok, I just thought that you might have ordered it that way for a reason. Regards, —Ғяіᴆaз'§Đøøм Champagne?9:31am 23:31, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Somebody is making money on WP articles

There is a publisher that is turning WP articles into books and selling them--sometimes for a fair amount of dough. The discussion below has some good examples of articles affected. Can't you do something about this?

--*Kat* (talk) 03:25, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Unless they're failing to follow the terms of the CC-BY-SA, no one can do anything about it. It's explicitly allowed to make commercial use of free content, provided that you follow the license. If I attribute properly and keep the same license for the content, I can go sell books of Wikipedia articles all day long, for any amount of cash that anyone will pay for them. Part of making free content is understanding that people can make commercial use of it (so long as they obey the license) and that they will not owe you a nickel if they find a way to do so.
Now, if someone's not following the license, they're still infringing on copyright just like anyone, whether their use is commercial or not. In that case, probably anyone who did nontrivial work on the article can nail them for it. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:21, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Actually, come to think of it, anyone who buys those books is pretty much getting ripped off, since they could just get it all for free here. I really don't see any reason why anyone would buy those books. Set Sail For The Seven Seas 307° 12' 45" NET 20:28, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
Believe it or not, there are still places in the world where connectivity to the internet is slow, unreliable, or non-existent. Buddy431 (talk) 21:42, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
There's alway's Wikipedia download, although if you can get the amazon website, you should be able to get Wikipedia. Set Sail For The Seven Seas 326° 48' 30" NET 21:47, 21 September 2010 (UTC)
If they were selling for five or ten dollars apiece (enough to cover the publishing costs) that would be one thing. But some of those books (and not necessarily the long ones) are going for fifty bucks. That's just nuts. Having the books pulled isn't enough. The publisher needs to be shut down.--*Kat* (talk) 02:25, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Kat, really, so long as they're complying with the license, they can sell them for a million dollars apiece, and if someone will pay that, so be it. No action is even possible against them unless they're violating the CC-BY-SA. If they're complying with the requirements to attribute and to leave the books under the same license, what they're doing is absolutely 100% legal. Commercial reuse is explicitly allowed under the CC-BY-SA. The books can't be pulled, neither the publisher shut down, if they're complying with the license every contributor here agrees to license under. The license doesn't specify any maximum dollar amount for commercial use. (Of course, anyone is free not to buy their stuff...) Seraphimblade Talk to me 02:50, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
There is a list of 1009 book titles at User:PrimeHunter/Alphascript Publishing sells free articles as expensive books.
Wavelength (talk) 23:01, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

I defy someone to do the math on my hourly wage at $12.63 for four years of non-stop Wiki editing :) At least I was offered a signed jockstrap. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:53, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Signed by whom?--*Kat* (talk) 08:09, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, assuming that one of those four years is a leap year, then that is $442858.30. Is the signed jockstrap worth that much? Set Sail For The Seven Seas 238° 22' 30" NET 15:53, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
If it was signed by Jimbo, at least that. Any other member of the WMF, you might get a few hundred for it with proper marketing. If signed by an's pretty much useless other than for what a jockstrap does. If signed by a regular user...give it back to that user, he's missing a jockstrap. =) CycloneGU (talk) 16:09, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
While they are not the official print on demand partner of the Wikimedia Foundation, these people are still making a favor to Wikipedia.
  1. They create or at least identify a stable version.
  2. They make Wikipedia content citable and usable as a reference. They even give it a isbn number!
I only wish they did their work better. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 03:00, 22 September 2010 (UTC)


I have the Strall poll in my watchlist and it's weird seeing your name. THanks anyway.--intelati(Call) 01:38, 22 September 2010 (UTC)

Person Attempting to change poll instructions

Jimbo, User:Hobit is attempting to change the closing instructions from simple majority to "as outlined in WP:CONSENSUS" thought you would want to know. Ronk01 talk 19:05, 23 September 2010 (UTC)


If the Jimbo Wales who added me as a friend (My name on there is Consterlast) on UnAnswers (Wikia) happens to be you; than thank you for being awesome! Yousou (talk) 16:25, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Possibly a poser. ResMar 17:07, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
It's me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:15, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

French Wikipedia reaches 1,000,000

Hi, I'm a writer for the Signpost, and was wondering what you opinion is regarding the French Wikipedia's breaking the 1 million mark? Thank you, ResMar 01:39, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

By my last check, it was at 983K ( two weeks ago) Must have grown a lot. Buggie111 (talk) 01:52, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
~300-400 articles/day. You must have checked more then 2 weeks ago. See the draft for context.ResMar 02:15, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
It was 900K in May. Buggie111 (talk) 02:54, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Félicitations to the editors of the French Wikipedia then! Ronk01 talk 03:42, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Bravo and merci indeed! CycloneGU (talk) 06:15, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
bravo!-- ♫Greatorangepumpkin♫ T 13:53, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Congratulations! Bravo! Félicitations!. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 13:59, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Bump to avoid archiving. ResMar 12:25, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
I am excited and pleased that French Wikipedia is now the third language version to pass the 1 million article mark!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:36, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Congrats to them. That's a lot of hard work. ···日本穣? · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WikiProject Japan! 06:58, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Someone should change the 'other languages' bit on the mainpage then. :) Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:41, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Congrats! Jmanfffreak (talk) 20:57, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Competition on Wikipedia Vandalism Detection

Jimbo, I've written up a brief overview of the recent vandalism detection competition on the page with my proposed compromise for pending changes. You may find this useful in plotting the course for PC. I would appreciate for any comments to be left on the proposal page to keep things together. Thanks. —UncleDouggie (talk) 00:19, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Fascinating. I strongly support work like this!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:34, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree, it sounds promising.--SPhilbrickT 12:31, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


Per your question we have these two pages that deal with things in more depth Epidemiology of bedbugs and Health effects of bedbugs Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 09:18, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Hello, i was wondering if you could give your opinion about this essay

Could you also improve it and/or make it more accurate? Thanks PacoPedroPerez (talk) 23:19, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Maybe take some ideas from Wikipedia:We aren't Citizendium and Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not MeatballWiki? /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 04:05, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
The essay is fine but incorrect. Wikia does not own those domains.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:10, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
There's a problem: various locator services list these domains as belonging to Wikia or Michael Davis, one who has been a board member of the Wikimedia Foundation. PacoPedroPerez (talk) 13:36, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Yep. We transferred the domains to them years ago, but they never completed the transfer from a technical perspective. I'm bugging them to do so now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:01, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

your active?

Wow i didn't know you were active!--Danny(Monster2821) (talk) 05:05, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Assange is not the enemy

I was disappointed to read of your recent criticisms of Wikileaks' release of the Afghan War Diaries as "irresponsible".[12] As I commented previously, my opinion is that when the military is being careless with secrets, forcing the press to cover up for them doesn't really make anyone safer. Though after what happened to Assange, it's hard to know any more whether anyone in the public eye adopts their opinions by belief rather than fear of censorship "by hook or by crook". Wnt (talk) 08:51, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

My own views reflect the stance of responsible human rights organizations. [13]. Unfortunately, as is commonly the case, the press only reports on the most "interesting" or "conflict-oriented" bits of what was said. In fact I said that I have mixed feelings about Wikileaks.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:02, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Proposed deletion of Lucy Noland

Hello Jimbo, I have removed the prod tag you placed on Lucy Noland, as the article was discussed at AfD on 30 June 2008. Compliance with policy/procedure is the only reason I did this; I have no prejudice against opening another AfD. Cheers! —KuyaBriBriTalk 13:56, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Policy doesn't allow a prod when the AfD was more than two years ago? That's not right.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:04, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Policy doesn't allow a prod, ever, when there was a previous deletion discussion. The idea behind this is that a previous discussion indicates that there are people objecting to the article's deletion, hence they would object to the prod. --Conti| 12:07, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Ok, that's just wrong. There should be some kind of time expiry on it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:08, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Why? If you want to have the article deleted, you can always use AFD. Allowing a PROD after consensus was to keep an article is much more likely to cause controversy, no matter when the previous AFD was, while a new AFD usually does not. Regards SoWhy 12:14, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Speaking in general, not just of this particular case, I think that it is clear that decisions taken, let's say, 9 years ago, or 19 years ago (it will happen before we know it!) should have little or no impact on decisions taken today. Virtually every "don't keep doing the same thing over and over, it is annoying" rule should come with a time limit. The rule against PROD-post-AFD is a sensible one in the short term, but after 2 years, I don't think so. If two years is too short, how about 87 years? :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:30, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
I think 450 years would be ok. Cutting up aside, I think 2 may be too short, though not harmful and you may be onto something here, perhaps 3-5 years. Gwen Gale (talk) 14:37, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what bearing this will have, if any, but this article has never really had a proper deletion discussion. Both were short-circuited by odd nomination rationales...#1 was because the subject requested deletion when they actually didn't, #2 simply because a link expired. Tarc (talk) 15:01, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Good point. I think what your insight underscores is that this really is a borderline case, and slightly more interesting because the problems with the article (and there are problems) likely have more to do with us, namely our inability to maintain it over time, than with any sort of absolute lack of information.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:34, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Actually, this seems pretty clearcut, doesn't it? Proposed deletion is the way to suggest that an article is uncontroversially a deletion candidate, but that it does not meet the more stringent criteria for speedy deletion. If no editors object, nominated pages are deleted after seven days. An article may be PRODed only once. This process reduces the load on the articles for deletion (AfD) process, but should not be used to bypass discussion at AfD. Once an article hits AfD, the option of shortcutting by PROD is done and any further deletion nomination needs to be run through AfD. —Carrite, Sept. 30, 2010.
    • Yes, it seems clearcut to me that such decisions should have a time limit.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:02, 1 October 2010 (UTC)


i just wanna say hello! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:03, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

hey, how are u?-- ♫Greatorangepumpkin♫ T 15:39, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Something interesting to look at

If anyone is bored and looking for something interesting, please see Censorship in Malaysia. I raised a question on the talk page that, a few days on, has not been answered. Perhaps someone with better knowledge of Malaysia could find a proper source more easily than others?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:44, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

This would interest the editors at Wikipedia:WikiProject Malaysia. -- Wavelength (talk) 14:31, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Lucy Noland

I'm totally baffled by this AFD... Seriously, you file an AFD with the sole reason being "the source is broken" then !vote "keep" in the AFD? What the hell, Jimbo? Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 19:55, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I voted keep because I was wrong. I wouldn't get too wound up about it. (Also please don't misrepresent the situation, my reason was not "the source is broken".) :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:10, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Still think it was a totally bizarre choice of AFD. You should block yourself for 2 seconds for such a disruptive nomination. :D Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 20:14, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't think it was so bizarre. It was an error. I did google searches a couple of weeks ago when I first noticed the problem and found nothing useful. I failed to look in Google News, which was stupid. Mea culpa. But my view is that there is a systemic problem here of bad biographies poorly maintained. Take a look at the vandalism that I reverted back on September 9th. That was in the article for a couple of hours. I found it only by sheer chance - I randomly went to recent changes noticed it on my watchlist. What I found was a bad biography, badly vandalized, with only one actual source for most claims, and that source was a 404 not found page which was originally at an IP number in the first place.
I think deletion is a reasonable thing to do, if no one is willing or has the time to fix such a mess. In this particular case, people have stepped forward saying that it is easy enough to fix it. I hope that's true, so I voted to keep.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:21, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
And to think I get yelled at for the same thing. Ten Pound Hammer, his otters and a clue-bat • (Otters want attention) 20:26, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

(Edict conflict so I may be behind of discussion) Maybe I am way off base here (apologies if so), but I think Jimbo was trying to make a point. There are some tricky legal problems with BLPs that have no refs or haven't been updated in years. What one editor may find as a trivial statement of fact, make be construed by the subject as a misrepresentation of truth and libelous... especially when no refs are given And there are hundreds (if not more) BLP articles left unsourced. I admit to not being the most accomplished editor...and a bit of a deletionist when it comes to articles with no refs...but I would really love to see articles without refs speedy deleted after a reasonable amount of time. Regardless if the subject (BLP or not) is obviously notable; if the article's creator doesn't take the time to include at least one of two refs, then that is just being a bit lazy IMHO, and it should be deleted until someone comes along willing to do it right. (I would like to see this for all articles actually, but especially w/BLPs). Anway, perhaps this has been hashed out before, and , if so I'd appreciate someone directing me to the discussion b/c I'd like to participate. The Eskimo (talk) 20:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

To be clear, I wasn't trying to make any point by nominating the article for deletion. I was simply mistaken. I thought the only real source had gone offline, that perhaps Lucy Noland was no longer working in television or whatever, because I did a poor job of searching for new sources. Having said that, I am generally sympathetic to not keeping articles around that we can't responsibly maintain.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:47, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, I would suggest that this is evidence of the fact that the AfD process has become far too adversarial. Most AfD's become "our side" vs. "their side", and some of the comments in AfD's show that a number of people take these things far too personally. Also, a number of the same people vote Keep or Delete in many AfD's, rarely "switching" to the other "side". As I am sure you know, some go so far as to label themselves or others "inclusionist" or "deletionist". Into this partisan environment comes Jimbo, who takes a position and then is persuaded the other way, and "votes" contrary to your original position. What? Someone with an open mind in a deletion debate? With the ultimate goal being to end up with a good article, and not just keep or delete? You must have seemed like a fish out of water.  :) Neutron (talk) 23:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
The problem being that "It's a good article" isn't deemed a sufficient argument. It's often not taken into account when nominations are made, and it's a red flag to deletionists if the argument is made in a defense... —Carrite, Sept. 30, 2010.
 :-) Thank you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:56, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Re to the Eskimo, yes this has been debated several times and at length, the English Wikipedia could choose to adopt a policy of requiring new articles to have a source - The German Wikipedia already does this, but opinion here is against that. See Wikipedia_talk:Criteria for speedy deletion/Archive 37#Should unsourced become a speedy_deletion_criterion?. But standards have radically changed over the years, a few years ago it was the norm not to give sources, then it became the norm to do so, and earlier this year we introduced "sticky prods" so that new totally unsourced BLPs get deleted unless someone adds a reliable source. There is a large backlog of articles to work through that need referencing, and there are still longstanding but intermittent editors who have yet to grasp the new arrangements. But I believe we have raised our game re BLPs, and are continuing to do so. However I would suggest against using the "just being a bit lazy" about edits done in wikipedia's earlier days and in accordance with the policies of the time. ϢereSpielChequers 08:20, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of which, are we on track to have all old unsourced BLPs given at least one sourced and cleaned up by the 1 year anniversary of "the January incident", so we can move on to more important matters in terms of cleaning them up? Intuition tells me "no", but I admit I haven't actually run the numbers. NW (Talk) 13:16, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
nope, we missed our September 1 deadline of getting the backlog down to 20,000. Still haven't hit it, in fact. (talk) 19:35, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, time to start preparing for a dramalicious January. NW (Talk) 19:48, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
 :) Kevin (talk) 22:12, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
Of the 50,000 articles which were unreferenced BLPs in January less than 16,000 are still unreferenced. The only reason the target wasn't hit was that people kept finding old unreferenced BLPs that hadn't been tagged as unreferenced BLPs and adding them to the category. There are less than 25,000 tagged unreferenced BLPs in total and the trend is still downward. Hut 8.5 10:16, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
To be honest I wasn't confident earlier this year that we would be able to project tag the 12,000 unreferenced BLPs that lacked project tags; That large task has been completed and all the remaining known unreferenced BLPs have been listed to at least one relevant project. In some cases all that the project has done is prod for deletion the hoaxes and non-notables, but that in itself is a useful thing to have had done. Other useful things we've started doing are deflagging Autopatrolled editors who still create uBLPs, but we are still finding such editors. I suspect that one reason why the number of newly tagged uBLPs is so high is that we lack editors looking through them and applying the new sticky prods - there are rarely more than a 130 articles so tagged at any one time. ϢereSpielChequers 11:44, 2 October 2010 (UTC)


I am simply asking Jimbo this question- What is your personal view as both a regular editor and/or as the Founder (or grand-poomba or whatever) of Wikipedia about the WP:5P and their status? I see talk about them being "where policies flow from" (how, I dont know since policies predate it), that they are our "founding principles" (how, I dont know since you didnt create it and the Foundation never imposed it), then there's the opposite end of the spectrum of "a simple nice essay"; and of course every view between the two has been voiced by one person or another. (I'm not forum shopping, for those who will of course start screaming that, I am simply looking for Jimbo's personal viewpoint and not any intervention by him or declaration by him).Camelbinky (talk) 19:53, 30 September 2010 (UTC)

Solid hardcore policy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:28, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
The observation that some policies predate the Pillars sounds like proof that the policies cannot flow from the Pillars, but it isn't quite as convincing as it sounds. It is quite plausible that the early policies were written by a small group with a shared, but unarticulated view of the key elements of this place. As time marched on, and more and more joined, it became desirable to codify those principles, so that newcomers could read them, rather than have to tease them out from practice. The first writing of the principles wasn't a collection of people deciding from scratch what would constitute good principles, but formalizing the principles that had been used to create the existing policies.--SPhilbrickT 11:55, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. Another way to put it: our constitutional arrangements are British, not American. People looking for a deductive model aren't going to find one. There's a lot of stuff that is now articulated policy that was just obvious commonsense back then.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:59, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
FYI: I have quoted a little of this discussion at WT:Five pillars#Solid hardcore policy. Johnuniq (talk) 01:06, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

A? b? or c? or another choice/no comment?

Just ignore this question if you find it misinformed, not that I would need to tell you that. The other day I came across a curious state of affairs--one that I simpy can't imagine has never been addressed previously(?). ---- The page with regard to titling policy (wp:diacritics) says to go with English usage, that is avoid diacritics, in titles, by relying on the preponderance of English language sources (or words to that effect). But actual page titles throughout Wikipedia actually regularly include diacritics despite the fact that applying the guideline would result in their not being used. That is, the guideline suggests a no diacritics default position but real life out there in the hastings actually defaults with native diacritics unless a name or word has obviously become anglicized. Examples: Type in "Spain" and you get Spain; "Mexico" and you get Mexico, "Mexico City," Mexico City; but type in "Juarez, Chihuahua" and what you get is Ciudad Juárez with a diacritic. Likewise, if you type in "Penelope Cruz" you get Penélope Cruz with a diacritic. The thing is, English language sources simply don't use them.

For example, a recent AP story reads, "It was at turns defiant and deferential, part plea and part plaint, a message as much to the drug gangs with a firm grip on Ciudad Juarez, the bloodiest city in Mexico's drug battles, as to the authorities.... 'We want you to explain to us what you want from us,' the front-page editorial in El Diario in Ciudad Juarez asked...."

No diacritics.

Yes, a handful of newspapers sometimes use diacritics; for example, when the San Antonio Express-News published this piece from the AP, it put a diacritic in the piece's title while it left it out of the story itself.

Only the storied New York Times went to all the effort of going in and adding in all the diacritics: "It was by turns defiant and deferential, part plea and part plaint, a message as much to the drug gangs with a firm grip on Ciudad Juárez, the bloodiest city in Mexico’s drug battles, as to the authorities and their perceived helplessness. A police officer worked at the site where Mr. Santiago was shot dead. He was killed while leaving a shopping mall after lunch. 'We want you to explain to us what you want from us,' the front-page editorial in El Diario in Ciudad Juárez asked...."

Likewise with Ms. Cruz. Not that this is terribly scientific but what follows was an experiment where I put Cruz's name into the search bubble at news sites selected at random. It was only on my eighth try (the Miami Herald) that I got a diacritic:

  1. Sep 22, 2010 LATimes: " Quiz: Who won Oscars for foreign-lingo roles? Seven actors...two women speaking Italian and Penelope Cruz...."
  2. Feb 11 WSJ ("Speakeasy"): "...Penelope Cruz may team up with Johnny Depp...."
  3. Sep 14 WaPo ("Celebritology 2.0"): " Penelope Cruz and husband Javier Bardem are expecting...."
  4. Sep 20 Daily Telegraph ("Stars and Stories"): "...Javier Bardem was...celebrating his recent marriage to...Penelope Cruz."
  5. July 14 Latina magazine: "...Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem's top secret Bahama's wedding...."
  6. July 18 CBS News (60 Minutes): "Penelope Cruz. In a rare interview.... Charlie Rose reports."
  7. Sep 14 NPR (Monkey See blog): "...Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem are now expecting...."
  1. Sep 24 Miami Herald ("People: Celebrity Roundup"): "Spanish stars Penélope Cruz and hubby Javier Bardem are expecting...." (But also note that in the piece's headline, the diacritic is missing.)

So the score is, being generous, 7–1--it takes seven hits of her name's use in the English-language news media that don't use a diacritic to find one sole use that actually uses one! (Conversely, World Book Encyclopedia, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and certain other reference or high-brow sources use diacritics in such cases; for example, with concern to Ms. Cruz's name:
-The New Yorker: NINE ... The singers are a distinguished company: Sophia Loren, Penélope Cruz...."
-NYT profile: "One of Spain's foremost leading ladies of the 1990s, Penélope Cruz has managed to make her mark with international audiences...."
-Lede of Britannica bio: "Penélope Cruz.... Spanish actress known for her beauty and her portrayal of sultry characters. She achieved early success in Spanish cinema and quickly established herself as an international star.")

Sooo, anyway (ahem) finally, my question. A, Would you think it best to let the discrepancy remain between the guideline and the actual usage predominating throughout the encyclopedia (perhaps citing "Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds")? Or, B, Would it be better to either mount a Wikiproject to bring article titles into line with the simple, "use English when possible, as found in the predominance of sources" guideline? Or, C, Would it be better to figure out how to tweak the guideline to come up with similar choices as that made by the New York Times or the Encyclopaedia Britannica?

By the way, as I was thinking about this question, I observed that there are zero, apparently, high brow sources in the U.K. that use such diacritics. Which made me wonder why. And the tentative answer I came up with is this (and I'm probably wrong, but thought my reasoning was interesting anyway). In Britain, a minority speak Received Pronunciation and the masses speak something between that and Cockney. The voice of the BBC is R.P. (although this R.P. seems, to my ear, to be evolving to something less-and-less distinct from standard American broadcast English as the years go on, in my opinion). In any case, a BBC presenter will say eye-raen for Iran, I think(?), for sake of consistency. (That is, he will not say "France" the way it is pronounced in France, either, but says everything in what passes these days for Received Pronunciation.) However, a CNN anchor will say ee-rahn for Iran, depite the fact that he will say "France" like an American. Why? Because it is considered elite in the U.S. to adopt native pronunciations when doing so wouldn't come across as hoity toity. So, I see a similar principle with the NYT and the Enc. B. (now published in Chicago), etc., writing Juare`z and Va`clav Havel, etc. Anyway, maybe this guess or theory is waay off.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 17:21, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Might I point out that the BBC doesn't use received pronunciation anymore, at least according to Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass. They have started using accented or more "underclass" language in order to appeal to a wider audience and to sound less intellectual...since intelligence is apparently considered a bad thing in England nowadays. SilverserenC 17:29, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
The BBC seem to suggest that it has more to do with recruiting outside a limited social group. The "dumbing down" of accents seems to occur more in "yoof" programming, though adult programming does seem to feature more diverse regional accents than it once did. Incidentally, the BBC broadcasts to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, too. The regional accents I hear on the BBC tend not to be working-class accents: there are Glaswegian presenters on the BBC, but a working-class Glasgow accent would be nearly unintelligible to most people in Britain. TFOWR 18:19, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I personally would prefer to not have most diacritics with a few possible exceptions such as ñ in Spanish, as it changes the sound, which many English speakers acknowledge. Those such as á, simply indicate stress in most cases, which most English speakers would not remember. If there is an insistence in using diacritics in titles, the we should also have a rule with a redirect from a version without them.Thelmadatter (talk) 17:35, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

I don't think there is a rule, but I believe having the unaccented/unmarked title as a redirect to the other is standard operating procedure. — Coren (talk) 11:23, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

My view is very sympathetic to those who think that the excessive use of diacritics in English Wikipedia is a problem. There are many complexities, and as has been indicated in this discussion, a few rare exceptions. But in many cases, our usage is just ridiculous and wrong in English. My favorite example is Stanisław Lem, which contains in the title a letter that unquestionably does not exist in English. We may as well title Japan as 日本, in my view. At the same time, this is an old issue and I recommend against anything drastic.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:49, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

I will never understand the English language way of dealing with foreign letters (pretending that they don't exist and have no meaning, that is). You guys really need your own special letter so the rest of the world can ignore that in retribution. :-) --Conti| 13:08, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Like O.E. þorn? No þank you. Þat would be silly. Such an orþographically þemed meme would unlikely to take off, I þink. Except maybe on a sign for "Þe Olde Book Shoppe."--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 18:37, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't complain. Most Brits can get over Europeans constantly mangling the pronunciation of English letters.--Topperfalkon (talk) 13:19, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
But at least we try! --Conti| 14:52, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, Jimbo! Note to all who read this page: I've started an RfC on the wp:DIACRITICS guideline's wording here.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 16:13, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Thelmadatter, have you seen The Economist's style guide on accents (with a tip of the hat to User:Philip Baird Shearer/PBS)?--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 07:02, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

This is largely a reply to the original query. The lack of diacritics in newspapers owes more to technical limitations than to a belief that they shouldn't be used in English. Certainly in the United States most newspapers follow Associated Press style, which was -- and still is -- designed to be transmitted by wire and used by a wide variety of systems. AP style drops accent marks of all sorts for one reason: plain vanilla text causes the fewest technical problems. Or, to quote the AP Stylebook directly: "Do not use any diacritical marks on general wires because they cause garble in many newspaper computers." In addition, up until very recently, most newspapers wouldn't have had the ability to include the full range of accents and diacritics, as the physical fonts they used didn't include them. And in general, newspaper style puts speed and efficiency above other concerns.

Thanks to Unicode and widely available electronic typeface that support a wide range of letters, Wikipedia can do better than that. As Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden correctly notes, serious reference works do normally include diacritics. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a newspaper, and ought to get it right, not use shortcuts. To title the relevant article "Antonin Dvorak" instead of Antonín Dvořák would be absurd, regardless of how newspapers handle it.

(On the side note, the BBC does refer to Iran as "ee-ron," in keeping with its usual policy of going with the pronunciation for place names that would be used by English speakers in the place in question. Which is not to say that this is necessarily consistent across all announcers. For personal names, it goes even further, opting for the pronunciation used by the individual, not Anglicizations.) -- Shmuel (talk) 11:41, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

I just wanted to say that while I think Shmuel's position is a respectable and plausible one, it is also not one that I personally find thoroughly persuasive. Just as it is not a shortcut to refuse to write 김정일 for the leader of Korea, since those symbols are not in English, it is similarly not a shortcut to write Anontin Dvorak, the correct spelling of his name in English, rather than write the name with symbols that do not exist in English, but which happen to look similar to English, being based on the Latin alphabet as well. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:49, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
But these symbols do exist in English - at least, they are regularly used in many (though certainly not all) good reliable English-language sources (Britannica uses them a lot, for example). On this issue it can't be said that one form is Right and others Wrong - either way is OK; but by choosing (as we do, although the guidelines aren't allowed to say it) to use the forms with squiggles except where there's a very well established form in English, I think we make a better encyclopedia, simply by delivering more information (the squiggle-less form is deducible from the squiggly one, but not vice versa). --Kotniski (talk) 15:21, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I also think Jimbo's position is a respectable and plausible one, even if I disagree with it, and I further concur that it's not worth fighting a war over. That said, I agree with Kotniski; I don't think it's at all clear that the symbols in question don't exist in English, and I think including them imparts more information without hurting those who ignore them. I would also question whether, say, "e" and "é" are really two different letters, or one letter with an accent mark added. If you look at it the latter way, then it stops being a question of "do these letters exist in English?" and becomes a question of "does English use diacritical marks?" An answer of "no" is reasonable, but recasting the question does explain why some of us make a distinction between, say, Korean and Polish. (One might also ask how "naïvité" made it into Merriam-Webster's as the preferred spelling if English doesn't use such marks... Personally, I think the answer is that there is a long history of works -- particularly scholarly works -- including them, even as there has also been a long history of works -- particularly popular works -- leaving them out. Both traditions are valid, which becomes a bit messy when you consider that Wikipedia embraces both the scholarly and the popular.) --Shmuel (talk) 20:40, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Wouldn't it be better to go with one option or the other? ...between, say, WP's following (A) The Economist's stylebook: generally leaving diacritics off (except, aparently, when they help English-speakers pronounce something correctly), or (B) encyclopedias that generally use 'em? What we do now is if somebody has a squiggle on or under a Roman letters in hi/r non-anglicized name and that person is lesser known/new to the scene, we ignore the NYT and leave the squiggle off (cf. Ines Sainz); but as soon as someone graduates to Britannica's including that person in its Year Book, then WP includes them. So, a present-day "Vaclav Havel" writes a play. Somebody writes up a Wiki BLP about him under "Vaclav Havel" (the way The Economist refers to him, ignoring other high brow pubs that just lurve them some diacritics). After some time goes by, a print encyclopedia writes up an article about the person and boom! his WP entry changes to Va`clav Havel. This is the natural result of following WP's simple, longstanding policy of essentially following use most common in the sources, giving preference to other encyclopedias; but I think it would be more elegant for WP to adopt a style guide that would fairly closely mimic/anticipate usage either by The Economist or else by The New York Times, instead of the present hodgepodge.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 18:25, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

There is merit in that, but there is also great merit in us not getting too agitated and having an internal war about something. I don't agree with all that we do now with diacritics, but as for me personally, I just can't bear fighting about it. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:12, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
It's certainly not worth even a single revert over, but I think exactly the opposite to you on this Jimmy. I think that latin alphabet titles should keep all of their diacritics (or letters not found in English), but with redirects from all of the more usual versions (so that someone looking for Juárez can find it with Juares). We are, in the end, an educational reference work and we should err on the side of "most correct" rather than kowtow to centuries-old technical limitations; the argument to usability is solved neatly with redirects without need to compromise.

Granted, if you leave the latin alphabet then the practical aspects begins to win over. That's what a good lede is for.  :-) — Coren (talk) 21:04, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the main problems tend to arise with names that are written basically in the Latin alphabet, but have an odd letter that isn't obviously a Latin letter plus diacritic (as you get in Icelandic and German), or isn't recognizable as equivalent to its normal English transcription (as in the Croatian form of Djokovic). I don't think there's a perfect solution for these - there's bound to be a clash of styles at the boundary, wherever the boundary might be drawn (as can be seen from the different solutions adopted for different Djokovic's).--Kotniski (talk) 17:18, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

6th pillar: timelessness, temporal encyclopedia, diachronism

What do you think of this 6th pillar? There are many articles in Wikipedia that refere to modern issues, but they may not be timeless. After some years they may not be important enough to deserve to be included in an encyclopedia. For example, let's consider a PC game that has been released before three months; the game may have been important temporarily, but after some years it won't be important enough. -- (talk) 11:34, 1 October 2010 (UTC)

Well this is a can of worms. The standard line is that Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia, so we can afford to include articles about all sorts of things that would never be included in a print general encyclopedia (or even any specialty encyclopedia). I happen to think this is sophistry. Just because you can do something does not mean that you should.
I am going to throw out my personal fantasy to be shot down. WP should have much more stringent requirements for anything that has happened in the last 50 years, and also for BLPs. Not only should there not be an article about Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (random example), it would take some serious convincing for me to agree that there should even be an article about Pong. Please note that I do not mean to single out games, there are tons of other non-encyclopedic articles out there that I would be happy to see go. Revcasy (talk) 12:40, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
It does seem, at least to me, that books, movies, tv shows, video games seem to get a free pass on qualifying as "notable" just because there are alot of "fans" of those genres who are interested in working on those articles and having them around. I personally think this is a problem, we dont have articles on every human being ever born, why an article on just about every video game? Pong, I would say would pass notability because it was one of the first successful games ever, it will (and already has) gone down into the "history books" as a notable first. I dont see Call of Duty 4 being well-known by anyone 10 generations from now when we are playing video games on the chips that are implanted in our brains.Camelbinky (talk) 21:43, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Too specific for a pillar dontcha' think? It's explained pretty clearly in NTEMP. edit: I skipped over your comment, Revcasy, but it's pretty unbeleivable...EB obviously has an article on Pong, I would be amazed if any comprehensive, respectable written encyclopaedia didn't. Of course your 'personal fantasy' will be shot down, you're suggesting the deletion of an article about a game which 'launched the video game industry' simply because it happened within some arbitrary time limit within which you've decided notability cannot occur? Jebus989 21:54, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
It may deserve an article, but I don't think we should be writing it (and don't get hung up on a specific article). I will wager a steak dinner against anybody who cares to take the bet that if you take a snapshot of every article on WP that covers something that has happened in the last 50 years and put it in a time capsule, when we dig that time capsule up 50 years from now over half of those articles will be not just embarrassing, but painful to read. We just do not have the perspective to write about recent things well, or to even tell what should be written about. Revcasy (talk) 22:17, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I dont have a problem with these articles since they dont get in the way of creating articles of more academic import.Thelmadatter (talk) 22:58, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
Revcasy, while I agree with you on certain recent pop culture things having articles I disagree with your arbitrary timeframe and your hypothetical time capsule. Ever read an Encyclopedia Brittanica or any encyclopedia from 50 years ago? Or 75 or 100? Embarressing, wrong, (and in lots of cases out right racist). The good thing about Wikipedia is that... it simply cant ever be frozen in a time capsule! New information and facts get published and we incorporate the info (fairly quickly in my opinion) and update the articles, we freely admit we are "a work in progress", in that way we are very much like a scientific discipline, we are always refining and advancing and will never reach the end.Camelbinky (talk) 05:48, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • One good point about writing articles about contemporary subjects that may (because we can't tell) have only temporary notability, is that it is excellent practice in the writing of articles; there are lots of references available and there are lots of editors willing to discuss how to write the content. Lots of people are going to be exposed to the project because they are looking for information on their new favourite subject, lots of people will be tempted into editing the subject and (if not bitten - something we do have to look out for) become part of the editorship. Those articles, like computer games, current sports and media stars, household technology, and the like, are the points of entry where people learn how to write good articles and find out how enjoyable article writing is of itself. Removing these types of article both disenfranchises a section of the editorship, but also may diminish the pool of good article writers of the future. The editor now disambiguating links in the Justin Bieber or World of Warcraft articles may be the person hunting down the authoritative source on Polynesian cultures in a few years time (and there are going to be very many more people whose interactions with the project start with a search for a popstar or computer game than with Easter Island belief systems). Lastly, the issue with snobbery (and even inverted snobbery) is that the line is always drawn progressively higher - best to throw away the pointy stick before it starts. LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:31, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
My perspective is exactly the opposite of that of Revcasy, a kind of perspective which is based, in my humble opinion, on a tremendous shortsightedness. Imagine if we had the equivalent of a Wikipedia from the Roman Empire. An inclusionist Wikipedia, full of details on not-so-famous characters, politics trivia and the like. Imagine how a powerful, incredible source it would be for us, today, in understanding that culture. Our knowledge of the classical antiquity suffers from the predecessors of people like Revcasy or Camelbinky, throwing out stuff from libraries that wasn't considered important enough at the time -while we would consider it invaluable today. To me WP:NTEMP has a completely different meaning: it means that once something has been picked up by sources, it is notable forever, regardless of our personal judgement here and now. It means it has became a piece of our culture that should be preserved forever, no matter how trivial can seem to us, because our descendats could use it to reconstruct our culture, our way of life, our history in unprecedented detail. Revcasy talks of time capsules: well, we are the time capsule, a constantly updated catalogue of notable, public knowledge, for generations to come. --Cyclopiatalk 22:10, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I see many good points Less Heard, but do question some of your logic- if these contemporary subjects whose notability is in question are incubators, as you say, for new editors then why not allow individuals to write articles on any living or dead person ever, because by your logic we should not draw the line so high lest we be snobs (and I personally think a little snobbery is a good thing btw). If we allow people to create articles about themselves, their dog, their girlfriend, go to the articles of their home towns and put blurbs about themselves then hey they might become the next authority on Easter Island because we let them have their way and edit what they are interested in. Brilliant idea, will double the number of editors we have. Another point is that there is a difference between an article that you can find many sources on and an article that has notability. Just because you can find plenty of published material by way of reviews in magazines and such on a certain game does not mean the game is notable and should have an article. I'm not saying disenfranchise anyone, I'm saying hold them to the same standards we hold everyone to, if you disagree and think they are please let me know, I'm just basing this on personal experience, but I am open to being wrong if someone has some knowledge about the AfD percentages and outcomes regarding books, movies, and such.
  • As for Cyclopia- basically the same thing I said above, why not articles on every single person alive and dead then? It would be invaluable if we had detailed profiles on every single person who lived in the Roman Empire; and for other timeperiods historians are attempting to do such a thing, for example the New York State Museum and the New Netherland Project has the Colonial Albany Social History Project detailing profiles on EVERYONE that lived in colonial Albany, New York, does that make each of those people notable enough for Wikipedia? I'll make articles on each person and expect your support on keeping them at the AfD's that will follow. I find it hilarious when people think of Wikipedia as the accumalation of all possible knowledge in the universe "for future generations to reconstruct history"... is there some cataclysm that is going to befall us in which Wikipedia will be the only thing left? A website on servers which need electricity and which people will need electricity to access versus libraries such as the Library of Congress... my bets are on libraries surviving and the internet not.Camelbinky (talk) 22:24, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • It would be invaluable indeed, but there are serious practical and ethical concerns (mostly privacy and verifiability) that require us to refrain to do that and stick to public, notable (in the meaning of WP:GNG) knowledge. But once we have set the inclusion limit to WP:GNG (that is, N>1 sources covering a subject), there should not be any snobbery concern anymore on what we should include and what not. And the point is not some millenaristic cataclysm in the future. Apart from the fact that WP could (and should) be snapshotted on some long-duration media, the point is that I see WP as part of an information thread that could potentially go along forever -so that WP itself could be dead in 10 years, but its content could possibly be still around in some form for centuries. In short: removing subjects on the basis of some high-brow but vague and probably biased "enciclopedicity" criteria brings no benefit, both to the encyclopedia itself and to the nurturing of new contributors. If you want a more academically geared project, join Citizendium. --Cyclopiatalk 22:43, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
If you believe that WP:GNG is saying that as long as there is more than one source an article is ok to write about I think you need to read it again... Just because you can write an article does not mean you should. There is, last I saw, an article regarding a "haunted" tree in New Jersey that has basically one source, a website about haunted places in Jersey, this article was up for deletion, dont know how it has turned out or even if it has closed but that is the type of thing that really probably does not need to have its own article on Wikipedia. Call me a snob fine, but you can get just about all information in the universe without having stand-alone articles for everything. I've created probably close to two dozen articles on hamlets in Albany County, New York and could create another 3 dozen of just one or two sentences but I hold off because I personally think it would be irresponsible to create stubs that have no notability other than- they exist. I think it comes down to "we are not an indiscrimate collection of knowledge", and that is still encoded in our policy; you can want Wikipedia to be whatever you want for future generations, but policy still says it isnt what you are describing.Camelbinky (talk) 22:58, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Merging material into existing articles instead of creating tiny stubs is perfectly fine, of course -it can be better, if it helps to better structure and compact information. Your example of the tree is not meeting GNG clearly (a website about haunted places in Jersey is not multiple RS), so I don't understand what you mean by that example. About "indiscriminate", well, GNG is exactly the criteria that we need to make it discriminate: we have a selective sieve that keeps only stuff which has been covered in more than one reliable source. --Cyclopiatalk 23:21, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
(resp to Camelbinky)I am not advocating the deprecation of WP:Notability, but the retention of the current understanding of what is notable. Popular culture articles may or may not endure, but it is better for editors to practice and hone their editing skills on subjects where there is a large number of other editors wishing to share their experience - and discover the nuances of writing content that remains - rather than making their mistakes within article area's not so blessed with friendly more experienced eyes. The open editing ethos of WP ensures that there will be those whose first edits do not not conform to the best practices and standards desired, but the fact that they are likely to be expended in areas where those errors can be rectified and explained (as popular culture subjects are) means that those articles have a function over the basic one of providing information - they are the cradle in which new editors become the valuable contributors of the future. Nothing I say means we should lower our standards or expectations, because we apply them to these articles as much as any other, just recognise the usefulness of some content over and above whether they are notable in the long run. LessHeard vanU (talk) 23:49, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
I can definitely respect and understand that. I guess it simply irks me that sometimes it seems these pop culture articles get a pass on certain policies especially regarding notability that I couldnt on the topics I work on. But then again I know there are those out there that get bent out of shape about geographical/political placenames (hamlets, villages, etc) seemingly getting a free pass on notability based on "they exist", so it really is just a matter of me not appreciating what I dont work on and so I need to be more open-minded and realize pop culture is just as important as articles on towns, cities, and counties.Camelbinky (talk) 04:42, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
It sounds like a platitude, but really this project is very much a "horses for courses" enterprise; what motivates someone to write upon a particular subject is not as important as that they do it according to the rules, policies and practices pertaining. Even when they don't, as long as they wrote in good faith then they can be gently directed toward the proper way of doing things. We should take pride in each time someone uses WP as a reference and gains a little more understanding of a subject, whether we were involved in the editing or not or even if we think the subject unworthy. (You can't make yourself more open minded, or if you can it is a lot of effort, but recognising that every person has their bias and admitting to your own is certainly a start - well, it is for me.) LessHeard vanU (talk) 09:39, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I question that there even are secondary sources at all for many things that have happened in the last 50 years. For example, is Tacitus a secondary source for the death of Augustus? It happened before he was born. In history, the more recent the secondary source the more favored it is (and should be) as a reference, while on the other end of the spectrum, writers very close to the events in question are invaluable as primary sources. How can we write articles about things that have happened very recently and claim that we are using secondary sources? I would argue that we cannot. Every source we use for recent events meets every practical definitional criteria of a primary source. No wonder that, as I think we all agree, our recent events articles will eventually be seen as unreliable and biased. Revcasy (talk) 12:33, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
You question the existence of secondary sources? This encyclopaedia contains information on more that just historical figures, how about science: recent discoveries, Nobel Prize-winning research? You would argue we should not have an article on RNAi because it was discovered within a decade? Here, for example, is a secondary source on a personal interest of mine, toxin-antitoxin systems, it's a review paper and certainly exists Jebus989 14:13, 3 October 2010
I question the existence of secondary sources, for relatively recent events, yes. I am not prepared to take it as a given that a review paper is a secondary source in the true sense of the word. However, maybe there are cases where it is alright to use primary sources. Note that I never said that WP should not include any articles about recent events, or discoveries, or living people. Rather, I said that the requirements for articles on which we have not had time to gain perspective should be more stringent. Example: 1. Is it worthwhile to have an article about the Brain? yes, with the disclaimer that we do not understand it completely. 2. Would an article written about the Brain 50 years from now be more informative, complete, and just better than the one we have now? yes. The answer to the first question, even about scientific topics, is not always so clear-cut however (should we have an encyclopedia article about something that just says basically "we don't really understand this" or risk misleading people with the false impression that our grasp of it is more advanced than it actually is?). And given that the answer to the second question in every case will be "yes", should that not give us pause in writing about many controversial subjects? How much more-so when we step out of the realm of hard science? There are no scientific review papers (almost, kinda secondary sources) on the media coverage (primary accounts) about Justin Bieber for instance. Revcasy (talk) 16:20, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Your suggestions are absurd and show a real lack of understanding about an encyclopaedia. We should add a disclaimer to things we do not fully understand? What do we 'completely understand'? Nothing? We are not 'misleading people' by providing the knowledge we currently have, no article starts with 'The following information in this article is everything that is, and will ever be, known about this topic. No further information will ever be added, it's entirely complete'. For this reason, we should write no articles, lest they be - shock horror - improved and expanded in the future!! We can't have that now can we, because if someone goes back 50 years through the 'history' tab they will see an embarrassing incomplete version! Jebus989 16:41, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Ditto, and amen to Jebus989's comment.Camelbinky (talk) 16:49, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Wow. I never expected to spark such a heated debate about something I saw as a casual conversation about a sort of thought-experiment. I am sorry if I offended with lack of understanding of an encyclopaedia. I think that there is more at risk than scrolling back to an incomplete version in a history tab though. There is, of course, the possibility that we are entirely wrong about some things, or that we are promoting beliefs in "facts" that are simply not true, or attitudes which are biased and will be repulsive to future readers. Nevertheless, I withdraw my comments on the grounds that I never intended to provoke any unpleasantness. Revcasy (talk) 21:58, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
It's not a heated debate, I avoided personal attacks and commented only on your suggestions. The logic behind them is vacuous and frustrating though, I admit. Think about the education system, our parents were taught very differently to ourselves and not only in the sciences. But textbooks from these times should not have never been written, you can't build on/improve/disprove knowledge which you do not have access to. They have since been corrected and published in future editions. It's impossible to write an encyclopaedia using hindsight (note: this is just information pertaining to the present, if a time machine has now been invented, future readers please don't be repulsed) Jebus989 22:21, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I did not mean to imply that you had not been civil, sorry. To be honest, you have a point. This is why it is useful (for me at least) to try out ideas in discussion. Dialectic, you know? (A blatant digression: I hope I am never accused of a lack of humility given how much apologizing and backing down I do on WP.) My comments were mainly motivated by frustration with the amount of energy expended on what I believe are very ephemeral topics. And perhaps more seriously, I also wish there was a way to guarantee that we as a community are not writing something equivalent to the "Negroes" entry in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica without even being aware of it. Revcasy (talk) 13:47, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

The information in an encyclopedia is filtered, these isn't any encyclopedia that just stores knoledge. -- (talk) 15:28, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo What's your opinion?

Vietnam War

I'm writing to inform you of some rather incredible fabrications which are prominently displayed in Wikipedia's article on the Vietnam War. Wikipedia's article claims that 3 to 4 Vietnamese died in the war. This is an extraordinary charge even more extreme than the official Vietnamese government propaganda statistics. Even more jaw dropping is Wikipedia's claim that 1.5 to 2 million Cambodians died in the war--this is nearly ten times the real number. The Chomsky cultists who control the page have repeatedly censored all other sources besides an obscure "encyclopedia site" explicitly referencing Communist propaganda.

In order to accurately assess the number of deaths in Cambodia during the civil war and the subsequent genocide, I recommend you read the article "Counting Hell." It can be accessed here, and is the most comprehensive source available:

The most exact demographic study on deaths during the war by far is “Vietnamese Casualties During the American War: A New Estimate,” by Charles Hirschman et al., in the December 1995 issue of Population and Development Review. It concludes that the most widely cited/accepted estimate--1.5 million or more Vietnamese, which was the claim of North Vietnam and which is used uncritically by US school textbooks--is actually too high. The real number, it suggests, is closer to an even million.

The actual number of Cambodians who died in the war could not have been higher than 300,000. The lowest plausible estimate is about 150,000.

Wikipedia's article on Operation Menu claims: "Operation Menu was the codename of a covert United States Strategic Air Command (SAC) bombing campaign conducted in eastern Cambodia from 18 March 1969 until 26 May 1970, during the Vietnam War leading to the destruction of over 1,000 towns and villages, the displacement of 2,000,000, and the deaths of over 700,000 to 1,000,000 Cambodians." Seriously. This estimate is three to ten times higher than any demographically possible estimate for the entire Cambodian civil war, and it explicitly attributes all deaths in the war--all deaths, soldier and civilian, on all sides--to American bombing, in truth only a minor factor. Demographic studies have proven that the US bombing actually killed about 40,000 Khmer Rouge fighters and Cambodian civilians, and that the Khmer Rouge killed at least 1.8 million civilians from 1975 to 1979 (see Marek Sliwinski, Le Génocide Khmer Rouge: Une Analyse Démographique (L’Harmattan, 1995), pp41-8). Wikipedia also states, as an undisputed fact, that the bombing brought the Khmer Rouge to power. There is no mention of the alternative viewpoint: "Although Sihanouk designated all insurgents "red Khmers," or "Khmer Rouge," in reality there were two main indigenous insurgent groups. One was the Khmer Viet Minh, modeled on the Pathet Lao, that Hanoi held total political authority over. The other was called the Khmer Krahom, a fanatical Maoist cult that would soon be led by one Saloth Sar, who would later become infamous for his genocidal brutality under his assumed name, Pol Pot. Both traced their roots back to a common cadre trained by Ho Chi Minh in China from 1925-30. At Geneva, Hanoi had attempted to secure a KVM "zone" in northeastern Cambodia that would have been modeled on the Pathet Lao zone they secured in Laos. This amounted to an attempt to divide Cambodia into Communist and non-Communist halves, like Vietnam.

By 1968, the KK had 14-15,000 fighters, while the KVM had 12,000. North Vietnam had invaded and occupied large chunks of Cambodia. Nearly half of the country was faced with North Vietnamese or other Communist occupation. The Viet Cong was active in the country with about 30,000 troops, and worked with the KVM to launch invasions of Cambodia from North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese had 60,000 troops on Cambodian soil. This would be the equivalent in the United States of nearly 4 million armed and organized troops from Mexico and Canada overrunning most of the country. These figures are from 10 months prior to the start of any US bombing, which began in late 1968 under President Johnson.

By 1969, the North had accelerated its long-term plan, dubbed "Campaign X," to conquer Cambodia. By 1970, it had the supply lines, troops, and logistical support necessary to force the collapse of Cambodia. Sihanouk had long done little to disguise his support for the North Vietnamese Communists, but now he grew afraid. "Hanoi," he said, "could easily force the collapse of both Cambodia and what is left of Laos if it was not faced with American opposition." Therefore, he encouraged the Americans to bomb KK, KVM, VC, and North Vietnamese "sanctuaries" in Cambodia so as to send Hanoi a message that it had better back down immediately.

In 1970, North Vietnamese troops invaded and attempted to overrun the entire country of Cambodia at the request of the KVM, who had surrounded the capital and hoped one small push would be enough to overthrow the weak Lon Nol regime. Nixon responded forcefully with an incursion and bombing campaign to force the North Vietnamese 1973, the Khmer Krahom fell under the control of its most fanatical members, led by Pol Pot and Ieng Sary. They were beyond the control of Hanoi and sought to completely annihilate Cambodian society and restart from scratch. When they besieged the capital in 1973, Nixon bombed 20,000 of them to their graves, saving Cambodia from a Communist takeover. However, the overthrow of Sihanouk and the violent madness of the Khmer Rouge left the country in chaos, and the situation remained delicate." This is from Conservapedia, a site in general far less comprehensive than Wikipedia, but one whose article on the Vietnam War is ultimately considerably more accurate.

As best as can now be determined, then: Between 700,000 and 1,000,000 North Vietnamese, 400,000 and 600,000 South Vietnamese, 150,000 and 300,000 Cambodians, and 30,000 and 50,000 Laotians were killed in the war over a decade and a half. Meanwhile, 500,000 to 1,000,000 North Vietnamese; 700,000 to 1,000,000 South Vietnamese (about 500-600,000 killed and 200-400,000 drowned: 200,000 executed according to Vietnamese government records smuggled out of the country by Communist defectors and authenticated, 155,000 who attempted to flee the final Communist offensive massacred by invading troops following the Highlands assault, 170,000 killed in concentration camps according to irrefutable demographic studies and Vietnamese government records, 70,000 killed in the first 90 days of post-war reprisals, 30,000 in renewed fighting from 1973 on, 200,000 to 400,000 drowned according to the most authoritative source—the UN Commission on Refugees, presumably tens of thousands more considering those among the millions of slave laborers who were killed, those who were executed subsequently, and other excess deaths—even assuming very conservative overlap among these and other estimates of discrepant causes of deaths—I presume, for example, that most or all of the 70,000 killed in the first 90 days of the Communist victory are already counted among executions, although it is possible that good records were not kept of them); 1,700,000 to 2,500,000 Cambodians (probably about 2,200,000 under Pol Pot—not even counting 300-400,000 under Samrin, Vietnam, and the 1979-94 civil war); and 150,000 Laotians were killed by the Communists in democide. I am sad to say it, but Wikipedia’s numbers are, quite literally, made up. I can even tell you who made them up: Noam Chomsky, the extreme left-wing propagandist and genocide denier who famously claimed that Pol Pot had saved hundreds of thousands of lives and killed only a few thousand at most (he cited a Nixon and Ford administration statement that the Communists would kill over a million people if they took power in Cambodia; rewrote history by implying it suggested that one million would die due to the conditions left by “the US war“ regardless of if the Communists took power; and asserted that less than that number had died since the Communist victory, therefore the Communists had saved their lives—even though the Communists had actually murdered more than two million people in cold blood, which is twice as many as Nixon predicted they would kill, and Chomsky was crediting them with saving the lives of dead people who they had murdered—a predicted population of 8.5 million for 1979 was reduced to 6 to 6.5 million when 1979 actually came around through their massive genocidal slaughter). A figure of 4 million Vietnamese was simply invented by Chomsky in one of his writings, and he described it as a probable guess on the basis of nothing. Actually, it referred only to civilian deaths; Chomsky apparently embraced an astonishing figure of 5 million Vietnamese dead in the war. The source for the 1.5 to 2 million in Cambodia and Laos (Wikipedia later suggests 50,000 deaths in Laos), cited in the opening paragraphs of Wikipedia’s article on the war, is more problematic even than this. Chomsky himself claimed that 500,000 to 600,000 had died in Cambodia (he attributed all of them to US bombing, of course). This was far higher than the widely cited 100-300,000 figure, but Chomsky (in his typical propaganda style) proved how “balanced” and “intellectually honest” he was by criticizing the Khmer Rouge propaganda figure of 600-800,000 dead in the war as too high. Given that Wikipedia’s figure of 1.5 to 2 million is literally two to three times higher than the highest estimates claimed in even the most extreme official Khmer Rouge propaganda; I simply cannot even begin to imagine why anyone would take such an assertion at face value. However, the far-left radicals who control this article have repeatedly censored all other estimates in the name of “objectivity”.

I feel you should also know that this kind of propaganda is not an anomaly on Wikipedia. As a self-avowed Objectivist, perhaps you really ought to look into some of the other articles on US policy abroad these Chomskyites have written. Ordinary users can do nothing about these claims because legions of leftists will censor them in a matter of hours if they dissent from the revealed word of comrade Chomsky. Nearly all of the high-ranking editors support these claims, while mobs of leftists can simply use majority rule to define a consensus when their numbers are so overpowering. (talk) 02:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

1. Please log in. 2. If you are able to produce high quality references, there is no way for anyone to reject them under the rules of Wikipedia. You may appeal it if they do. 3. It is far better to simply stick to the facts, rather than attacking other editors. Doing so is useless and, really, beside the point.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:50, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

You know what I hate?

I hate when conversations (i.e the two above Vietnam War) get so long it takes like a half-hour to figure out what everyone has to say and where you stand on something. Battleaxe9872 وکیپیڈیا 15:51, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Yeah, it may take a while, but that's just an inherent part of such endeavors. If they're important, then they should be afforded the patience necessary to read them to examine the issue properly, IMHO. Nightscream (talk) 22:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
The fun part is reading a wall-of-text, then finding out it wasn't worth the patience. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 12:40, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Please be a giant dick, so we can ban you

Several editors decided to nuke a page they disliked.

Can somebody explain to me the merit of allowing so-called "humor" pages like Wikipedia:Please be a giant dick, so we can ban you to exist in the Wikipedia:Namespace, and how doing so is consistent with Civility? Some anonymous IP editor who didn't like a Talk Page message I made, which at the time I thought was perfectly inoccuous, and responded with this message, in which he admonished me to see WP:PBAGDSWCBY for advice about what he called "veiled personal attacks". I explained what I meant by my prior message, insisted I meant nothing impolite about, and apologized if it conveyed incivilty, but I also stressed to him that his response was certainly incivil in itself, but I'm wondering why pages like this are allowed to remain on Wikipedia. It may disclaim itself as a "humor" page, rather than a policy or guideline page, but aside from the disclaimer, it certainly has the resemblance to a casual surfer to policy pages, and I don't understand why Wikipedia would even allow "humor" pages in its own namespace. Can anyone explain this one? Or did this page, which was created in April 2007 as a redirect to Wikipedia:Assume bad faith, and changed to an article in its own right the following month, just slip between some administrative cracks somewhere? Nightscream (talk) 22:55, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree you were not being uncivil (and not meaning to be a dick myself but there is no such word as incivil btw). However the merits of humor based essays can sometimes be hard to see, they are indeed helpful to some. In a Wikipedia that is becoming, unfortunately, more and more "do this or you your contributions suck and we'll mildly insult you" "dont do this or you get blocked as your first warning" humor is a good way to get a point across without being a dick (something those that work on policies should start doing a better job at). In this particular case many individuals might be doing, in good faith, things on the list at WP:PBAGDSWCBY and not realize it is being dickish and annoying to other editors, and that essay gives constructive examples of how to do certain things correctly. The essay has merits, just because it is humorous shouldnt be a problem.Camelbinky (talk) 23:44, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
For me, I don't particularly care for such essays, and never have. I think they are unproductive and snarky, and give the wrong (unprofessional) impression of what we expect of others. People who read such essays in an attempt to understand how to behave, may very well get exactly the wrong idea. I am not talking about just this essay, but all in this vein. At the same time, essays like WP:SPIDER give valid advice without the snark and "irony" of being rude to someone while telling them not to be rude.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:58, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I think there is merit to some "humorous" essays, but this is not one of them. One problem is that it seems to be intended to make a serious point, but as Jimbo says, it is too "snarky." A related problem is that it violates the cardinal rule of humor: It is not funny. It should either be deleted or userfied (if that's the correct term.) I have it watchlisted, if an appropriate nomination tag appears on the page, I'll be there. (Aside to Jimbo: I agree about WP:SPIDER, but the problem I have with WP:SPIDER is that "cabal" template. I think it is the same kind of snarky, unfunny thing as the essay Nightscream writes about. I'd like to see that template deleted, or permitted only on essays in user space. They also could have done a much better job of photoshopping you into that photo, including choosing one where you are standing upright and not leaning on a bar or something.) Neutron (talk) 01:22, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
A lot of "essays" are frequently quoted as if they were "policy". Some examples are WP:ATA, WP:NAC, WP:DTTR, WP:GARAGE, WP:HAMMER and WP:COMPETENCE. That's why I sometimes call them "pseudo-policy". One thing that the "humor" tag does is make it clear that the essay you're reading should not in any way be interpreted as any kind of "directive" and shouldn't be quoted as if it were. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 01:42, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
It seems fair to question why we keep an essay like the one above, when we have deletions like this one. The highly notable casualties of a major political movement are unwelcome, but we have space for this Encyclopædia Dramatica article? Wnt (talk) 01:55, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Different issues apply; however, I tend to agree with Jimbo, not because I usually do so, but because humour, especially oblique humour, can be misinterpreted according to local cultural values. It is perhaps better to avoid making too much out of what is essentially an opinion, or group of opinions, and I agree that essays are too often elevated and equated to policy and guidelines. The three should be clearly separable, stated as such, and not misrepresented, especially to inexperienced editors. Rodhullandemu 02:10, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo I have two questions-
  • Would the essay in question be more palatable if it was without the snarky prose intro and instead incorporated in a different way the list of things that are border-line "dickish" and what the proper action without the "full dickish" action listed as well. I do think such a list, in proper context, could be useful and educational, I really think some editors do certain procedures in a way that can come off as annoying or rude without realizing and a list of this could be good to point them to procedures and processes that are more in line with making everyone else's life easier as well. Would you support a wholesale effort to change all "humor" essays into serious essays or would you rather see them deleted?
  • Second- WP:BEANS is an essay (one I disagree with in regards to adults on Wikipedia, no one vandalizes because we say "dont vandalize") that doesnt really have humor but does give advice and it is one of the essays that are quoted around and used to justify changing policy (and recently wording at WP:5P). So my question is- do you think there should be a more rigorous vetting process for essays such as there are for guidelines and policies to make sure that essays are more helpful than hurtful since they are quoted around so freely.Camelbinky (talk) 02:32, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't really like the use of the term 'dickish' but sure, there is no question that the essay could be improved. I'm reluctant to suggest a more "rigorous vetting process for essays" just because it sounds like just one more thing to argue about. :) I'd rather see people working on unsourced BLPs and the like.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:56, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Of course WP:BEANS has humor. Interesting that you should bring it up, as it could be used to justify an MfD on WP:PBAGDSWCBY. I'd do it myself, except I don't treasure the thought of winding up as prime example #1 should the MfD fail. I agree with Neutron that some pages can be funny. WP:ABF is one that I enjoy, although I suspect it's a matter of personal opinion. Can WP:PBAGDSWCBY be saved? Maybe, but it would take a lot of work and the title is pretty hard to work with. I sure wouldn't take it on as I do have other things to do. —UncleDouggie (talk) 03:09, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I also agree with Neutron on not using the "cabal" template in the Wikipedia namespace. But if it is to be used, it should always be paired with a "humor" template, which WP:SPIDER does not have. —UncleDouggie (talk) 03:14, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Is there any reason why this should not redirect to [14]? It doesn't add anything. Rodhullandemu 03:20, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
(ec) More seriously for just a moment, the last time I checked there is a cult of the "giant dick"; once dicks achieve critical mass editors spontaneously break out into adulating phallicism while admins sweat in fear of impalement. WP:PHALLICISM, now there's an essay still waiting to be written. PЄTЄRS J VЄСRUМВА TALK 03:30, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I would not be upset at all if all of these humor essays just went away. But I can see how it might have merits, if nothing else just as an outlet to get the creative juices flowing, and a break from the mundane. Perhaps a sentence added to the bottom of the "humor essay" disclaimer at the top of the page that alerts editors to use extreme caution when linking to this essay in the course of a talk page discussion, as it may provide evidence of one's own incivility. The Eskimo (talk) 17:55, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't see how Wikipedia is the proper venue for getting the creative juices flowing or providing a break from the mundane. Contributors can go elsewhere for such things, especially in light of the aforementioned problems presented by such pages. Nightscream (talk) 04:01, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I like a bit of humour to keep spirits up - but this whole "dick" meme ought to be expunged from Wikipedia, Meta and elsewhere - it creates the impression in some minds (even experienced ones) that it's OK to call someone a dick or their behaviour dickish, which decidedly is not OK.--Kotniski (talk) 08:49, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Essays like "Don't be a dick" may have had their place when Wikipedia was a much smaller community, with the work of editing, administrating etc. all done by a fairly small number of people who all (or mostly) "knew" each other. I can see where a comment like "hey, don't be a dick", coming from someone you are used to working with and have some respect for, might have actually served a purpose, and the recipient of the chastisement would take it as it was intended. Now, with Wikipedia having grown so large, and with (in my opinion) a number of veteran editors and administrators behaving pretty badly sometimes themselves, it now just serves as an insult that will fan the flames of whatever dispute it is thrown into. Neutron (talk) 15:08, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Anyone willing to weather to unavoidable sh** storm if we start a deletion discussion on the article's talk page The Eskimo (talk) 21:19, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, I've decided to be a wet blanket and proposed the question of deletion on the essay's talk page. The Eskimo (talk) 22:02, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't care about any ****storm. Any decision like this should be predicated on calm, sound reasoning voiced by both sides for or against a given decision, as should each participating editor's responses during that discussion. Removing "essays" like this that one is the correct thing to do, so I don't mind participating there. But should there be a deletion discussion disclaimer at the top of that page? And for that matter, isn't there a section of Wikipedia specifically designated for Deletion Discussion? Nightscream (talk) 03:49, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Someone at WP:Civility suggested that I take this to WP:MFD. I tried going there, but the guidelines to follow under the "Before nominating a page for deletion" section seem impenetrable. I don't know which of those categories that page would fall into. Nightscream (talk) 09:16, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
It's in the WP: space, so a nom for deletion can indeed be posted at WP:MFD. By the bye, guess I should say, I've never been too thrilled about this "d***" "meme" anywhere on WikiMedia. Gwen Gale (talk) 10:41, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I completely agree. In such cases I tend to assume that because I am not a native speaker I am not getting the nuances right, but the image on that page seems to be clear. To me the "dick" language looks as if it is part of a system of peculiar sexually charged male bonding rituals. I find that repellent, and I would not be surprised to learn that this is a factor in our low percentage of female editors. There are factors which we cannot and should not change, but this is not one of them. References to "dick" should be deprecated now, so that after a few years they can be sanctioned as incivility when used inappropriately. Hans Adler 11:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
See also Schmuck (pejorative), it's more or less the same thing. There are some words which aren't fit for luzzing about between strangers, much less between strangers who didn't grow up speaking the same language. I believe this is the kind of thinking from which Jimbo draws his comments now and then about "professionalism" on WP. I don't put it the way he does, but I broadly agree with the notion. Gwen Gale (talk) 11:46, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Not really. A schmuck can be a hapless, clueless, clownish person. A dick is somebody who's annoying because they are full of themselves. Before going after WP:GIANTDICK, it may make sense to take care of WP:DICK first. WP:DICK is often used in earnest, whereas WP:GIANTDICK is obviously satirical, like wp:delicious. I am not sure it is wise to delete these essays: Although satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon. - Wikipedia Jehochman Talk 12:15, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
The Jewish folks I've known in, say, LA, have always used the word schmuck spot on like American WASPs I've met use the word dick. These almost always have been men/boys, by the way (both "groups"). My own take is, the only reason some Anglo-Saxons take the word schmuck as more benign (or whatever) is, they aren't aware of the Yiddish meaning (or are only dimly aware of it). I've also heard born-English speaking Jewish men use the word schmuck as a straightforward synonym for the male anatomy, as likewise I've heard the word dick. Only sayin'. Gwen Gale (talk) 12:45, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
In any case this is the kind of word that can be exchanged between consenting individuals but should not be encouraged as general terminology. And no doubt the existence of these pages does encourage use. There are currently about 300 pages linking to WP:Don't be a dick. I am actually surprised it isn't more, but maybe the overuse is a recent phenomenon? Hans Adler 16:34, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I've seen it flash by here and there (too often for me) for all the years I've been editing here. Gwen Gale (talk) 17:20, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

WARNING: Personal opinion to follow: For truly appalling bad taste in so-called humorous essays, can there be anything worse than Wikipedia is the Holocaust? Bielle (talk) 17:28, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Wow, that's a jaw-dropper. How odd to be totally in agreement with the sentiment, yet appalled beyond measure at the choice of metaphor. Karenjc 22:13, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I think that's very different. When people say "don't give a fuck" there isn't much of the original imagery left. You would never think of illustrating this phrase. Whereas we do have illustrations for "don't be a dick", and (at least to me) there is a cognitive dissonance when the phrase is applied to women. Also, WP:Don't-give-a-fuckism is a much more positive page and much less prone to abuse (in fact, rather hard to abuse) in disputes.
I see the point of WP:Wikipedia is the Holocaust but think that one is in sufficiently bad taste that it should be removed or replaced by something with less power to offend. On the other hand it's not clear how this kind of page could work with any comparison that doesn't involve a large amount of relatively recent suffering. Hans Adler 19:06, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Nominated for deletion as it does us no credit whatsoever and IMO is utterly misguided. Rodhullandemu 22:33, 6 October 2010 (UTC)