User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 66

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smiles inducement?

david archuleta, wp's most edited (Aol-oct. 6)--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 22:29, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

(Insert facepalm here). An article about someone who "has become in 2010 the subject of a Wikipedia free-for-all,", based on a page that lists the most edited pages from the "Period: 2008-04-24 — 2008-05-23"? Of course "Lady Gaga falls outside the top 5,000.", she only released her debut album in August 2008, i.e. 3 months after this list was compiled... Fram (talk) 08:10, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
In the author's defence, the fact that the list was very out-of-date wasn't that obvious until I made this edit in response to the article]. Graham87 11:15, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Trying hard to beat you Mr. Wales

Latuff cartoons

Hi Jimbo,

You may be intersted in following the discussion now going on on Commons Village Pump about the categorization of Carlos Latuff's cartoons. People have been hurt because of this dispute (some are blocked now) and I fail to understand why we couldn't come yet to a fair and rational solution. I quite agree with you that it is unnacceptable to browse Commons searching for material on anti-semitism and anti-sionism and not finding any of those cartoons. Cheers, Alvesgaspar (talk) 12:09, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

The block was draconian - just a single revert was called "edit warring" and "disruption". Abuse of the admin buttons, I would say. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 12:13, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
That the cartoons are deliberately and unambiguously antisemitic is without serious doubt.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:23, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I doubt that. It is just something some Jewish lobbying organizations say. They also said that about File:Dave Brown's Goya Ariel Sharon.jpg. /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 23:59, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
That one is also unambiguously antisemitic, too. If depicting Jews eating babies is not antisemitic, then what is?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:11, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Wearing a pendant of a Jew named Jesus (who said this is my blood, drink it in remembrance of me; this is my body, eat it in remembrance of me) being executed for blasphemy/sedition on a cross? WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:10, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Cleared of antisemitism. Please be a bit more careful with "there can be no doubt". /Pieter Kuiper (talk) 00:14, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
The cartoon is unambiguously antisemitic. Of this there is no reasonable doubt.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:18, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
With all due respect, did you read the article? Alluding to Saturn Devouring His Son is not an unreasonable practice in creating editorial cartoons. The cartoon was published two days before the Israeli elections, clearly as commentary on Sharon's policies towards Gaza. It contained no Jewish insignia, and no implications of Blood libel. As the PCC properly ruled, it is "unreasonable to expect editors to take into account all possible interpretations of material that they intend to publish" [1]. Just because some people took an antisemitic message from it (that it was accusing Sharon of blood libel) does not mean that this was the intended meaning. To call any cartoon depicting anyone who is Jewish engaging in any sort of eating of human "antisemitic" is frankly unreasonable. </rant>. Buddy431 (talk) 00:52, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I dislike all forms of racism and discrimination in general but... I don't understand. I don't know any of the background and context of that cartoon but what I see is a depiction of Ariel Sharon, a single human being (being criticized). I don't see either any allusion to his condition as a Jewish person, I see no David star or anything else (again, I may not be recognizing some symbol). Jimbo, do you have a rationale through which also others and not just you can reach to the conclusion about that cartoon being anti-semitic? or should we understand your claim as: "The cartoon is unambiguously antisemitic. Of this [I have] no reasonable doubt." as your personal opinion? Foldedwater (talk) 04:33, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Jimbo I am about 90% sure that user:Foldedwater is a confirmed sock of my personal wikihound, a banned user. I am going to file SPI now, so I guess you may ignore his question.--Mbz1 (talk) 04:45, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I think the nature of the cartoons, and similar images, is beyond doubt. However, if they are used in articles such as blood libel to illustrate contemporary examples of that concept, and their use is justifiable subject to general image usage guidelines to support encyclopedic commentary, they should be included. However, we then come up against the barrier of libel, and in that regard alone, we should lean against inclusion, since BLP is, and is intended to be, a conservative policy. Rodhullandemu 00:44, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Opinion Barnstar.png Your Opinion is More Important than You Think Barnstar
Jimbo, I award you this barnstar for your bravery in calling the things with their real names! Thank you.--Mbz1 (talk) 19:09, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Religious categorization and our BLP policy

WP:BLP states "Categories regarding religious beliefs and sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question; and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to his notable activities or public life, according to reliable published sources. " Sadly, it's easy to find lists and categories where this is usually ignored, eg List of former Roman Catholics, Category:Lists of religious converts and of course Category:Lists of people by belief where many of the articles in the category ignore this policy. If we look at an article in one of the lists in that category, Kathy Acker, we find that although it says she was born into a Jewish family, nowhere else does it suggest that she was religious or that her Jewish background was important. Yet she is in 6 different categories of Jews. We have been concerned about our BLP policy as it applies to the general content of articles, we should be equally concerned about our BLP policy in labelling people. Dougweller (talk) 14:31, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree with you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:24, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
There have been a number of related discussions recently in which I was tempted to contact you because I knew you would react in this way. Now that Dougweller has opened the topic, I am no longer resisting that urge. See WP:Village pump (policy)/Archive 79#Self-Identification versus Verifiable Fact. for just one recent attempt to make it acceptable to call living people Jewish based on "verifiability", even when they explicitly don't self-identify that way. This was taken way too seriously by too many editors, and the same editor is currently trying to get BLP changed. Hans Adler 15:44, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Dougweller on not putting individuals into categories based on religion (or sexual oreintation) unless they self-identify as such (and for Jews it is possible to self-identify as a Jew without identifying as part of the religion, many converts and "half-Jews" raised in another religion still identify as Jews). But, disagree with what Hans is talking about, identifying someone in the article as Jewish (or whatever religion, race, etc). If someone's religion or race or whatever has been covered by a third-party reliable secondary source then it was notable for that person writing the article or book in the first place and we must assume it was notable for the reader and for our readers and therefore we should use it. If we didnt then, for example, we would be having President Barack Obama mentioned only as African-American because that is in fact what he personally refers to himself, he does not in fact refer to himself as "half-white half-black" or "mulatto" or various other terms used by some, though he does mention his white mother and grandparents and is proud of them. I see no conflict in splitting the hair and allowing this dual way of mentioning or not mentioning people's backgrounds.Camelbinky (talk) 23:35, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
The editor in question has been pushing the view that an actor with one Jewish parent can be included on List of Jewish actors even if this heritage has nothing to do with their notability and they are on record as saying that they don't consider themselves Jewish. That's the kind of thing that makes me as a German go up the wall because it sounds so familiar. And of course it's original research: If the reliable sources generally only report that an actor's father or mother is/was Jewish, it's not up to us to decide that therefore they are Jewish themselves. In my opinion, not even to the limited extent of including them on a list of Jews with a disclaimer. This is only a small step away from putting people into religious or sexual orientation categories that they reject, also based on "objective" criteria, and doing it without a reliable source is of course much worse. I am having serious difficulties assuming good faith of an editor who argues in this way. Hans Adler 23:46, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I totally agree with you about that Hans. Lists are a dangerous thing, especially about people and putting them in categories and without reliable sources. Without knowing the specific editor you are referring to, (and feel free to contact me on my talk page to let me know who and specifically what they are doing I'd like to help) if it is a matter of the editor adding people to the list of Jews because their MOTHER is a Jew then it may be misguided good faith additions on their part as from the perspective of Jews (well, Orthodox and Conservative at least) if your mother is Jewish you ARE Jewish whether the person identifies themself as one of us or not, being a Jew is not a choice you make, you still have obligations and responsibilities to G-d (and then it's between them and Him if the person rejects their role and duties as a Jew). On the flip side this editor could be a neo-NAZI who likes to pigeon-hole people into categories for nefarious reasons, and then there is every motive in between. Discovering the editor-in-question's motives may be the first step towards "educating" them on being a better editor.Camelbinky (talk) 00:40, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Based on the links above you will have no trouble at all identifying the editor. I am generally reluctant to accuse an editor of being a nazi, and what looks like a real-name account is reason for even more caution. (Even though the name seems to be common enough, as it is shared by a Canadian politician and a US surgeon.) His claim that he is a film maker abusing the encyclopedia as a casting agency is actually plausible, since there is a film maker of that name. But regardless of his motivations it's simply a dangerous idea to change BLP so as to allow extending the awful practice of ethnicity-based categories and explicitly permit "Jewish" categories with inclusion criteria that ignore self-identification, provided that the category's description says it uses Jewish as an ethnic criterion. The proliferation of categories and lists of BLPs that arbitrarily combine ethnicity with other criteria needs to be contained, not encouraged. We have actually had editors copying entries from Stormfront-quality antisemitic sites to such lists. This is no wonder, since apart from such sites only Wikipedia seems to have such lists. Hans Adler 01:13, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I suggest starting the process for wholesale deletion of all racial, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, etc categories, if for some reason I can not fathom there is a legitimate reason for a category that ends up getting deleted during the wholesale deletion then it can be dealt with later and reinstated ("Delete them all, let G-d sort it out"). What is the proper venue for getting that done?Camelbinky (talk) 02:29, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Hans Adler, Thanks for not inviting me to this party; clearly you want to make further Ad hominem attacks against me without me knowing. If you cannot treat me in a civil manner, please refrain from making any comments about me at all. I will address the rest of your comments in due course but for now just remember that I actively encouraged your input into the debate on BLPCAT and you yet again attacked me rather than helping the discussion. There are many editors discussing the issue from both sides and this debate here contains issues that should be raised and addressed there. I do not intend to change BLP personally and have not made a bold edit on BLP, I have however opened the question up to a healthy debate on the subject. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 11:58, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Please note that above I have said that in my opinion you are probably not a nazi. (Although I didn't want to lie and deny that the question has crossed my mind.) That should tell you that I have no inherent interest in attacking you as a person. The problem as I see it is that you lack sensitivity for the impact that Wikipedia can have on the lives of people who appear in our lists and articles. Hans Adler 12:10, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I note that but I also note that you state I was "abusing the encyclopedia" by looking something up in an existing article - that is the purpose of an encyclopedia if I choose to look up Kentucky_Derby_top_three_finishers to help me to decide which horse to bet, on I am not "abusing the encyclopedia" as a tipster. From the five pillars Wikipedia "incorporates elements of general and specialized encyclopedias, almancs, and gazetteers." this information exists because it fulfils wikipedia's purpose as an almanac.
I also note that you state I was "pushing the view that an actor with one Jewish parent can be included on List of Jewish actors even if this heritage has nothing to do with their notability". The debate on that page was whether the inclusion of the actress made the article a bad one - I never attempted to revert any of JayJG's edits on the subject, I simply debated that her inclusion had some merit and that her Jewish parentage had notability in the roles she has chosen to perform and in stories she has written/directed. Also in the debate, I questioned JayJG's stance that any criteria can be self identified - if the latter is true then if a notable white individual claims to be black then we have to categorise them as such, if an American citizen claims to be Nigerian then we have to categorise them as such, if a Woman claims to be a man then we have to categorise them as such - even when doing so flies in the face of a consensus of reliable secondary sources that prove they are not what they claim to be. Thinking I may be wrong in this belief I took it to WP:VPP I did not notify either of you because I was looking to clarify my understanding of Policy in this regard not to debate the argument any further.
I do not lack sensitivity for the impact that Wikipedia can have on the lives of people who appear in our lists and articles, but I do believe that a clear policy should be laid out so that editors (and the people who appear in the list) can be pointed to it. Many of the editors I have spoken to about this have their own interpretation of who is "Jewish" and the criteria required to include/exclude someone from that categorisation. People who do not appear in lists may equally be impacted by the fact they are left out of lists that they feel they should be in (and the Jewish actors list has seen requests from actors who are not yet notable enough to be included.) a heavy handed approach in either direction will impact so we must keep a NPOV and debate a sensible guideline. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:24, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I noted this elsewhere but perhaps not everyone is following that discussion, so I wanted to present it here. We now have a reliable source (well, it is used more than 100 times in Wikipedia and looks like a nice enough web magazine) which says that I am Jewish. In fact, of course, I am not Jewish, not by anyone's definition. (Not religiously, not ethnically, neither by practice nor tradition, nor in any other way.) I am not sure that I would suggest wholesale deletion, although if asked I likely wouldn't say no to that idea. But I very strongly support a couple of principles here: (a) Rigorous sourcing for any religion/ethnic type of material is not too much to ask for, particularly for lists (b) Equal treatment for all ethnicities and religions - the detailed facts will be different in different situations, but we should be principled in our evaluations.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for this brilliant example. If you don't know where the author got the idea from – maybe it started with the conspiracy theory websites that you can find if you search for your name and "ziopedia" and then sickered through to less obviously crackpot media. "Equal treatment for all ethnicities and religions". I am not claiming to have an overview (so I may be stressing the wrong points), but we are of course far from that:
  • The community seems to accept ethnic divisions by "race" or similar criteria in a US context, but less so in other contexts. This may be related to Americans' fascination with the origins of their ancestors, but it has problematic effects. I think it is typically the "marked" case, i.e. non-"white", non-"WASP" etc. that gets such arbitrary intersections, as in list of Black Canadians. (This one is not likely to survive an AfD. Note the misspelled title indicating a general lack of attention so far.)
  • The Jewish case is a very special one and deserves special attention: (1) Religion and ethnicity interact in complex ways. (2) There is an "official" technical criterion (child of a Jewish mother or conversion) that is often cited but not universally accepted, and which contradicts the principle of self-identification. (3) And of course conspiracy theorists who are obsessed with the topic. Under these circumstances I see nothing wrong with treating this case with different criteria. Hans Adler 12:04, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of making special cases for anyone. Religion is a very personal thing. A person could be born Jewish but could, perhaps, prefer not to be identified as Jewish, could be an atheist, or something entirely different. Religion and ethnicity should generally be declared only under two conditions: (1) the person has self-identified as belonging to that religious or ethnic group or (2) the religion or ethnicity of that person is an important part of that person's notability or identity. Of these, the second condition should be the primary reason for inclusion. Other than these two conditions, I don't see why we should go around labeling people as this or that. --RegentsPark (talk) 12:18, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with RegentsPark. Even in the case where a person's ethnicity is an important part of their notability, I do not see a need for ethnicity-based lists. Leaders of neo-Nazi or other racist organizations self-identify as Caucasian, and surely that self-identification is an important part of their notability, but I don't see a list of Caucasians. Listing self-identifiers by religion may be another matter, but the list of people who's religious affiliation is an important part of their notability is much more specific and limited. I would suggest deleting ethnicity based lists (including Jews), but allowing religious ones, and if someone wants to make a list of people who self-identify as Jewish religion, and whose religion is an important part of their notability, let them. Revcasy (talk) 13:12, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
The special treatment of "Jewish" is necessary if our rules for ethnicity are more relaxed than those for religion. There are specific rules in BLP for associating someone with a religion or sexual orientation, but not for similar associations with nationality or ethnicity. Thus we have notability and self-identification as necessary criteria for calling someone a Hindu or gay, but not for calling someone British (they might be Welsh and object to the term – this case is covered in a specific guideline, though) or a Hutu or Tutsi.
I agree with nuking all the arbitrary religion- and ethnicity-based lists and categories, but I have had little support when I argued this way in a concrete AfD. Usually people make fantastic claims about special relevance of some religion or ethnicity to the topic. E.g. if we had a category for butchers, subcategories for Muslim and Jewish butchers would make some sense because of their special practices, but there are people who would argue we need categories for Hindu carpenters because they might be involved in the construction of religious objects. Hans Adler 13:22, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

In the case of Jewish religion/ethnicity/practice etc. ought WP restrict use of categories labelling a person as a "Jewish (something)" to the most restrictive meaning - that is apply only to people who are considered Jewish by a restrictive set of rules (recognized conversion or birth .and. religious practice)? Thus ensuring that no one affected by such a list could be wrongly or misleadingly included? And ought such restrictve interpretation be included for all categories, including political, for any person living or dead? Collect (talk) 14:32, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

If we need to have such categories, I believe that in the special case of the Jews, where it is both an ethnicity and a religion, we should have two separate categories, one for people who are ethnically Jewish, and one for those that self-identify as being religiously Jewish. All religious categories should only be applied to people that self)identify with the religion, and where the religion is a factor in their notability (e.g. priests and monks, obviously, but also some politicians). Ethnicity should preferably not be used as a categorization tool, and should be replaced by something less contentious like nationality (not that that is not contentious, but there are more objective rules: no matter if you are ethnically French, Basque, Breton, Corsican, or any other ethnicity you feel you belong to, you have the French nationality if that is what your passport says). Ethnicity, if used, should only be used for people self-identifying as such, or where their supposed ethnicity played an important role in their life. Fram (talk) 14:43, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
This is a slippery slope that we should not go down. The definition of 'Jewish' depends on who is doing the defining, and this is true both for the religion as well as the ethnicity. There are, for example, Jewish groups that accept converts and other groups that stick to rigid hereditary definitions. There are groups that accept the existence of ethiopian jews and other groups that do not. There are muslims, albeit very few, who have converted to judaism in Israel and can exist as jewish because they share the semitic characteristics. I don't think we should be getting into definitional issues but should stick solely with identification issues because that is better reported neutrally.--RegentsPark (talk) 15:21, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with RegentsPark there are so many interpretations of who is included in Jewish categories that attempts to simplify into either "Ethnic" or "Religous" may miss out people who are genuinely identified and may self identify as Jewish. There also becomes an issue with how sources identify the individual if the identification is just as "Jewish" then by choosing which categorisation of Jewish holds then we're performing synthesis. My overriding concern is that this issue is handled with neutrality because some editors have opposing views from one another which is why I raised this at WT:BLP in the first place. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 15:51, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

I saw a TV show a little while back in which the genes of several people were traced to identify their ancestry. One lady looked Mexican, was from Mexico, and self identified as native Mexican. The DNA test revealed that she had over 50% European heritage. These lists are so simplistic as to mislead more than they enlighten. Nuke 'em. WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Growing up, my parents had some friends, a married Mexican couple, in a big Mexican city. The youngest daughter was blonde, blue eyed, pale, looked Scandinavian. She was 1/4 Chichimeca, 3/4s Spanish (half of which was Castillian), all of which they had fun talking about. These cats mislead far too often and far too much OR goes into them (as with this post). Gwen Gale (talk) 21:51, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
I have never been comfortable seeing human beings categorised. I find many of these categories repellent. Regarding the numerous Jewish categories, I see no need for them at all. If the subject is notable as a rabbi or President of Israel then then the Judaism will be evident - we don't need a category Jew - to me, it's only one step from placing a yellow star on the page. One could take this further and extend it to Roman Catholics, Muslims, Mormons et al and I would support that too, but for obvious reasons those categories don't have the same connotations as a list of Jews. Seeing people here talk of "half-Jews" is even more obnoxious - is there such a being? In short, if a reader wants to know where someone worships, where their father was born (or was not born) or who the subject goes to bed with, let them read the article.  Giacomo  21:59, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Exactly. Content without context is merely pretext. WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:36, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
(e/c) Giano makes an excellent point. I think that categorizing humans in neat little pigeonholes is intrinsically pejorative. Even if the categories end up being perfectly neutral, strictly objective and sourced up the wazoo, they have no encyclopedic value whatsoever.

But, perhaps more importantly, I've never seen anyone make such categories without an agenda. By definition, it's an exercise in classifying "us" and "them": at best, it's dehumanizing, and such demarcations have only nefarious uses. — Coren (talk) 22:54, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

(e-c)As both a Jew (and a half-Jew at that) and the one that used that term (and I'm not sure if someone else did as well) I'd like to tell GiacomoReturned- there is nothing wrong with that term and it is one that is used extensively in the Orthodox community for someone who's mother is not Jewish. Often those who are ritually circumcised (by Orthodox or Conservative) and raised as Jewish even if their mother is not (such as me) will not be called that term since technically we are converts from the age of 8 days old, but a Reform Jew whose mother is not Jewish or a person whose father is Jewish but they themselves are non-religious or raised in "another religion" will be called a "half-Jew" based on the father's ethnicity. This is a Jewish thing, it is not my fault if non-Orthodox Jews find it "offensive", it is no more offensive than Tiger Woods referring to himself as Blasian or whatever. Another thing I have a problem with is, while I agree listing any group as a category is wrong- a list of Jews is more abhorrent than a list of Muslims, Mormons, or Catholics? Really, could non-Jews please stop thinking we are this defenseless group about to become extinct and the worst things in the world have only happened to the Jews. Thanks but we've existed for longer than those other groups combined, maybe not with a great track record but we are still here. I for one am proud to be a Jew even though the others in my own congregation do not consider me to be one from birth and am not afraid to be in that category, one of the first books I ever read on my own was "Jewish Baseball Stars" and it made me quite proud to see the long list of biographies of Jewish baseball stars and how we once dominated that sport (and we also dominated early basketball btw). It is good to point out in an article whether someone is Jewish or not, to have a huge category no. These conversations about classifying people always degenerates into how to classify Jews, and that classifying Jews is worse than any classifying of other people. We really dont want your pity, thanks.Camelbinky (talk) 22:51, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
"it made me quite proud to see the long list of biographies of Jewish baseball stars and how we once dominated that sport" Thank you for the excellent example of us vs. them mentality that such categories promote. — Coren (talk) 22:57, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
First of all there is no problem with me being proud of my heritage and what other Jews have done. Second of all I agree that categorization is wrong, if you read the entire thread you would see I was like the third one to comment here and I even said that. So I'm not quite sure why you care how I worded that, do you have a problem with someone being proud of others of their race, religion, heritage? Hmm, I guess my son (who is half-black, half-Hispanic) shouldnt be proud of there Jackie Robinson or President Obama. Thanks for letting me know that such a mentality is bad and promotes terrible "us versus them" mentality. I'm glad I gave you an excellent example and thank you for the excellent example of people who think it is terrible for individuals to be proud of their heritage, which is much worse.
I don't know that I agree with the extremist deletion tendency here.
The lists and categories are problematic for all sorts of reasons - because they're often wrong or simplistic, often updated or maintained by people with extremist agendas of some sort, and for most of the people so categorized or listed aren't a major part of their identity.
But the idea that someone being jewish isn't encyclopedic or notable (or, black, Hutu, agnostic, Italian, or whatever) ever and that we should do away with the lists or categories seems wrong.
The information is like any information - sometimes useful, sometimes notable, sometimes wrong, sometimes harmful in the hands of the wrong people. It being true that we should manage it better doesn't mean we should not remove it. Georgewilliamherbert (talk) 23:19, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
If a number of people are culturally Jewish and are notable for representing that culture in the arts (Singer, Musician, Actor, Artist, Writer, etc.) surely that is notability enough to create a category or list? If a number of of people have Jewish Lineage and are notable for investigation of or connecting with that lineage or connecting together others of the same lineage (Politician, Historian, Archaeologist, Sociologist, Ethnologist, etc) then surely that deserves categorisation? If an individual is Jewish and is notable for their religious position (Rabbi, Theologian, Outspoken Aetheist, Cardinal, Pope, etc) then surely that deserves categorisation? Even more obscure subjects by may be notable enough to warrant categorisation for instance "Jewish Physicists" is notable when the historical context of the early 1930's and the debate of "German Physics" vs "Jewish Physics" was in force. There is reason and notability for categorisation but the important thing is that is is carried out in a balanced way. Every category has to be considered on it's own notability. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 23:22, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
Even if some/most/all of the categories are notable, they are still heavily abused and are a target for BLP violations. How do we deal with this? Ignore it? Dougweller (talk) 12:15, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I don't think they are any more abused than any other category however they are more likely to receive Good Faith edits which are made with less discretion than is required . I believe the problem stems from the multiple definitions of who can be included within the category and a lack of genuine sourcing to guarantee inclusion. Editors may allow entries to remain which should be dropped and may drop entries which should be retained - it was for this reason that I raised the question at BLP, not seeking to widen the inclusion criteria but to ensure there were firm boundaries that editors could refer to.
We do have a substantial task ahead in that to correct the existing errors means going through every category and list and checking that every entry is reliably sourced as belonging there - and not just "Jewish" categories and lists either because I believe the problem affects any religion, any ethnicity, any nationality related categories and possibly others I have not yet considered. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:22, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Another try? Bar all categorization of living people entirely with the only exceptions being where they openly self-identify with a category, and only for the purpose of fairly broad categories at that. Not just religion. Collect (talk) 14:13, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

You don't think that might affect our encyclopaedic value? Particularly since other encyclopaedias and almanacs provide this same information after the rigorous fact checking that we require. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 14:22, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Other encyclopedias have a Category:Jewish atheists as well, with people like Marty Nemko, whose article mentions neither him being Jewish or him being an atheist? Or with someone like Leonid Hambro, who comes from a Jewish family and self-identified as an atheist, but where neither had anything to do with his notability? Why is it important to categorize David Benatar as a Jewish atheist? Or Nina Hartley? Samuel Mitja Rapoport? Barthold Fles? Fram (talk) 14:55, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I did say that the categories were lacking rigorous fact checking, I also said it was a substantial task to correct them. Individuals such as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Yemelyan Yaroslavsky, and others are notable for their atheism whilst being Jewish. However Collect's suggestion was to "Bar all categorization of living people entirely with the only exceptions being where they openly self-identify with a category, and only for the purpose of fairly broad categories at that." other encyclopaedia's list and and categorise living people into generally non-contentious categories on the basis of reliable secondary sourcing so we don't need an individual to self-identify that they won a Nobel Prize to categorise them in Category:Nobel_laureates we do however need a consensus of reliable secondary sources. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 15:28, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Category:Jewish pornographic film actors? What the !"!!$"? Dougweller (talk) 15:33, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not justifying that one, some of the editors who have contributed to it's creation or commented on it's talk page might.... Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 16:19, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Categorization can be very dangerous. It has proven to be the cause of genocides through the centuries. This is true for Greeks, Romans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, African tribal groups and the list can go on. Categorization has been used as a weapon in the hands of tyrants. In many instances categorization is used to escape individual responsibility. Categorization is a step away from tolerance. (Salmon1 (talk) 17:27, 7 October 2010 (UTC))
Sorry, but Categorization can be very dangerous. It has proven to be the cause of reform through the centuries. This is true in allowing people to get the vote, Stopping mistreatment and enslavement, overthrowing occupying forces and the list can go on. Categorization has been used as a shield in the hands of patriots. In many instances categorization is used to unify those who are divided. Categorisation is a fact of life. However your point is somewhat errant - WP does not categorise people; it should simply record what categories they either place themselves into or are reliably categorised by secondary sources - though it has not be applied adequately BLP should stop most abuses. Taking a position that we should assume bad faith on the part of editors making these categorisation or even on the part of readers using the information is a bad approach and possibly damaging to the encyclopaedia if used widely. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 18:53, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
I entirely disagree with Stuart.Jamieson. In the beginning of the discussion on “Religious categorization and our BLP policy” Dougweller pointed to the accepted rules:
WP:BLP states "Categories regarding religious beliefs and sexual orientation should not be used unless the subject has publicly self-identified with the belief or orientation in question; and the subject's beliefs or sexual orientation are relevant to his notable activities or public life, according to reliable published sources.”

I hope that the majority’s common sense will continue to win the day and the WP:BLP rule will continue to be enforced (Salmon1 (talk) 22:26, 7 October 2010 (UTC))

Yes, and I agree with that policy and have now several times said that if the categorisation is purely religious it has to be a) self identified and b) a person who's religious belief is important as an aspect of their notability. However we're not just talking about Religion or Sexual Orientation in your previous comment you mention "Greeks, Romans, and African Tribal Groups" these are not religious groups - similarly if a stand up comedian tells jokes about the Jewish Culture in which they were raised even if they are not religious then they are likely to be categorised as a Jewish Comedian by reliable secondary sources and their categorisation as Jewish is part of their culture not their Religion but it remains something they are notable for being and a category it seems reasonable to report on. Taking a hard line that all Jewish Categories are about religion, requiring a self-identification and religion to be a notable part of that person's life is liable to affect encyclopaedic value.
Your last comment is confusing, because this isn't about stopping enforcing BLP its about being clear as to how BLP should be applied when a category can be considered in several different ways. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 06:56, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

long term vandal/sockmaster adding these

An editor has posted to my talk page pointing out that many of these seem to be being added by one editor using BT dynamic IP addresses. He adds "Background ishere andhere, and the latest incarnation is (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · edit filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log)." and asks for guidance on dealing with this. Dougweller (talk) 13:53, 7 October 2010 (UTC)


Heh, what's in a name? ("Bloem" is flower ;-) ). Congrats from me two (sic ;-))! --Kim Bruning (talk) 15:33, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

600 000 articles

Russian Wikipedia has 600 000 articles. --А.С.Сидорченко (talk) 05:54, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

This talk page is full of sycophancy... let me let you know that I don't like Wikipedia ONE BIT. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:23, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Self defeating statement, unless the ip editor wants to change it to "This talk page, above this comment, is full of sycophancy... Except for the side bar and page headers, obviously." This would likely be fairly accurate, and - I suggest - an improvement. LessHeard vanU (talk) 10:15, 9 October 2010 (UTC) ps. Your opinion is uncited.
You are welcome to go ahead and refactor any of my comments to remove (or perhaps introduce) paradox. Regards, (talk) 10:34, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia Going Green

Here's what I would like to ask you Jimbo (and anyone else who wants to weigh in), should wikipedia go green? With over $6,000,000 in sever fees it could be a very profitable investment. Could the power consumption statistics at least be released?--Iankap99 (talk) 23:53, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

Where did you get your figures from because I highly doubt server fees are over $6mil. —Ғяіᴆaз'§Đøøм Champagne? • 9:31pm • 10:31, 7 October 2010 (UTC) Sorry 1 mil--Iankap99 (talk) 22:49, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
That's still a massive overestimate. Total "hosting costs" were $822,000, of which the majority went to bandwidth fees. I'd estimate that the total cost for things like cooling and power is well under $100,000, and possibly under $10,000. --Carnildo (talk) 23:50, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, some hosting costs are donated, so the total cooling and power bill for *someone* may be higher than that. But you're right within a a reasonable approximation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:57, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
  • It is an interesting point however, to provide an answer to the question "how green is Wikipedia?" A technology-intensive project such as ours could be addressing that, and if we are seen to be doing so successfully, might even attract additional funding from interested parties. I think it's an issue we should be considering. Rodhullandemu 00:11, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
depends on how you measure it. Per user pretty green since the servers don't do much processing for the vast majority of requests.©Geni 03:29, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
We could paint the servers to make them greener... Or perhaps someone would pay to fit the WMF office with solar panels or something? It's certainly interesting and I'm sure the WMF, like any organisation, could fin some way of reducing its impact on the environment, but it's not as if it has anything like the "carbon footprint" of any of the organisations behind the other 9 top websites for example. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 03:50, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Yea thats all I'm saying, fit it with solar panels. This would even be a profitable investment, to eliminate the costs of power for the next 20 years with one investment. --Iankap99 (talk) 03:45, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
It could fin a way to reduce its impact on the environment? That would be interesting to watch. :) Not be be the spelling police, or anything. ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 04:11, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
So long as it's not olive drab, might look too 'military'. I suppose the trend is for servers etc to become more energy efficient, but who can afford the 'latest' equipment? Or is that being donated? (By the way, Hi Jimbo!, my first post to your page!) - 220.101 talk\Contribs 05:13, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I wonder how much energy is spent (or wasted depending on your POV) contributing to Wikipedia and its sister projects. ~DC We Can Work It Out 05:28, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Wikimedia is a charity with an educational rather than environmental purpose, so I suspect that any significant investment in reducing its carbon footprint would need to be justified on cost grounds. That carbon footprint also includes flying a lot of people round the world for Wikimania, a footprint that could be reduced by moving some of the conference into cyberspace. The last Wikimania had good video streaming but it would be much greener if people could participate remotely by skype. ϢereSpielChequers 07:46, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure at least on question in the last board election concerned ways the foundation was trying to reduce the environmental impact or carbon footprint. It seems if this is something that concerns anyone, they should make sure their vote counts for the next election. Edit: Though so, see Meta:Board elections/2009/Candidates/Questions/1#Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Nil Einne (talk) 12:55, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
Practically, going carbon neutral is likely to involve offsetting carbon emissions, and I was pleased to see, reading the discussion above, that Wikimedia is actually doing some of this (Meta:Press releases/Wikimedia Selects EvoSwitch June 2009). Wnt (talk) 19:02, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
In practical terms it is extremely doubtful if the servers make up a significant percentage of wikipesia's CO2 emissions. The computers of readers and editors probably make up most of them.©Geni 17:11, 9 October 2010 (UTC)
hetzner has 0% carbon emissions? O:-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 14:01, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
This comes up on the mailing lists every once in a while, e.g. "Green stuff." --MZMcBride (talk) 17:35, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

From the snail lady

Hi Jimbo, I just wanted to let you know I sent you an email. Thanks and best wishes, Invertzoo (talk) 23:18, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Russian Wikipedia reached 600,000 articles!

just want to say that.-- ♫Greatorangepumpkin♫ T 15:13, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Dateline NBC

Mr. James Wales. Hi, this is Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC. I'm doing an ongoing investigation regarding the existence of child pornography stored within the Wikipedia Foundation servers. If there is anything else you like to say, you are free to email me at —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:03, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm... if Chris Hansen lives in Connecticut and Studio 3B is in New York, why are you writing from an anonymous AT&T IP address in Austin, Texas? (If you are the real Chris Hansen, you know, your article doesn't have a single free-licensed snapshot of you, and To Catch a Predator could use some still shots and maybe a choice video clip... surely this could help to advance your cause?) Wnt (talk) 19:10, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
This was obviously trolling. If anyone in the media wants to get in touch with me, they know how to pick up the phone and call the foundation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:22, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
"We tried to contact Mr. Wales to get his side of the story, but he did not call back..." ;-) --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:00, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
It looks real to me! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:31, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Not so real, considering on his userpage Jimbo gives the information "If your press inquiry is strictly regarding Wikipedia or another Wikimedia project, you can contact me directly by e-mail or you can call the Foundation office and speak to our communications person, Jay, at +1 415 839 6885." If a reporter wanted to contact him, they would use that method. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 20:36, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Also, that email is from LA, not NY or CT. Ronk01 talk 22:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
im with jimbo, this has to be someone from 4chan Sophie (Talk) 13:45, 12 October 2010 (UTC) is broken

I'm not sure if you know (or care), but is broken. It looks like the CSS page (<>) is on a poorly configured server. --MZMcBride (talk) 03:18, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Assuming Good Faith in the real world

Hey Jimbo! In recent weeks I have found many instances in the "real world" where I am applying WP policy. For example, being in the hotel industry, I am a bit of a specialist in resolving conflicts, whether it is a complaint from a guest, or a brewing dispute among the employees. As I have become more and more involved in the Wikipedia process over the last few months, I have caught myself a number of times telling my employees to "assume good faith" when dealing with a complaint or difficult hotel guest. And, you know what? The message really comes across to them perfectly...and it has really helped to de-escalate some tricky situations. Anyway, I just think that's great, and thought you would like to know. I wonder if other Wikipedians have had a similar experience? Thanks for everything! The Eskimo (talk) 03:03, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I have. WP:OWN is another wiki rule that I have found to be very useful in real life, although not as life-changing as WP:AGF. Hans Adler 09:52, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Now, if only we could impose WP:V on the demagogues that plague politics we'd be all set.  :-) — Coren (talk) 11:20, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
WP:NPOV and WP:CIVIL would be good policies to impose on politicians too Ronk01 talk 16:25, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I think that Wikipedia really is introducing the general public to the idea of providing inline references for a news article. While many news sources still stubbornly refuse to provide links to the documents or organizations they cite, it is no longer unheard of for them to do so. And even some of the Obama campaign documents from 2008 cited a handful of sources. Though progress is slow, I think that this is one of the many unsung contributions Wikipedia is making to society. Wnt (talk) 18:11, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
I also find myself thinking about WP:OR and WP:SYNTH, especially when reading/watching the news. The Eskimo (talk) 18:36, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
While I agree with you on synthesis, I would actually prefer that the news outlets do a little original and secondary research before they write a story. (WP:RS in the real world?) Zaereth (talk) 19:20, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, I suppose a professional journalist would find their job very difficult without OR. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of those silly polls they tend to make up (especially here in Jackson, MS the local news does this ALL the time) where the questions are loaded. (Do you think underfunded public schools could do a better job teaching your children? 99% say YES. Sheesh). But I take your point. The Eskimo (talk) 19:52, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Very cool conversation. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:48, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, one philosophy that I told my mum to use when she was criticising me recently is WP:NPOV. That somehow doesn't seem to be working that well with her though. But in real life, some of the points that I have learnt here, I've found pretty invaluable, especially in my studies and projects, where I've found the concepts of verifiability, referencing and yes, neutral point of view fantastically helpful. By the way, have you ever heard that "The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict"?[2] Wifione ....... Leave a message 12:37, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Please help me with one of your users. Misserma

I am having so much trouble with a crazy woman about an edit on Algernon Capell. I do have proof of my edit about there being two sons. Because of her I left Tutor site. She thinks I am making up this person so I can claim that I am related to this line. I have done my geneology for fun but people like her make you want to stop. I want to get off of this site with my user name. Please check and see how she has acted. My user name is misserma. I do not appreciate her putting this kind of information about me. Thanks for your help. I have tried to get off of here myself but I am not that computer savy. Thanks for your help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Misserma (talkcontribs) 23:28, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

Don't let something like this make you want to leave. It looks like the two of you just don't agree on something. That happens all the time. I would suggest that you take another close look at the information you want to add. You should also re-read her comments to make sure you understand what she is saying. I'm sure the two of you can have a discussion on the talk page, and work out a compromise. If not, leave me a message here, and I'll help you start a Request for Comment page so that other people can look at what is going on. (Also, after you leave a message, and the very end type four of these ~ That's the code for your signature. The Eskimo (talk) 14:44, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

A problem.

Hello Mr. Wales! You probably know this already but just to remind you, your project is in danger of being overrun by policy police. A culture in which everyone is now scared to use WP:IAR or shot down for it despite it being one of the five pillars is developing and in which the most experienced editors remaining aren't article writers but spam fighters. If the project continues with success, great. If it doesn't, remember this is where you should look. FYI. Lambanog (talk) 19:18, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

you know WP:IAR is meant to be a joke dont you? Sophie (Talk) 19:48, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
WP:IAR is anything but a joke, it is one of our most important policies, since it allows editors to use best judgment and common sense to improve Wikipedia. Have you read the policy Sophie? Ronk01 talk 20:49, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree, it is one of our most important policies. Unfortunately, the catchy name is now rather dated: "Ignore all rules" suggests ignoring rules for the sake of it, which is *not* what the policy says. Indeed, the first part of the policy ("If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia...") is much more important to the meaning of the policy than the conclusion "ignore it". Geometry guy 21:19, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
The essence of IAR still lives on in smaller projects- I suppose enwiki is getting so big that IAR as it stands is either shot down, or that it is misused by people in such a way that warrants it being shot down. Only thing these smaller projects lack is the completely blank space to develop policies, as they are always a bit shadowed by this one. There's not a lot we can do but emphasise IAR. It's often downplayed because it appears to undermine the stacks of links that get cited in discussions or fed to newbies. If I may self-promote: WP:Ignoring IAR. It's a very bitsy essay I wrote in response to two particular new users on simple, and is thus in need of some work, but I think the sentiment stands. sonia 09:43, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
im now confused, the page says "Ignore all rules" and your meant to follow the rules so does that mean the polcies are not actully relevent or something? Sophie (Talk) 13:48, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
The page doesn't actually say "Ignore all rules" - that's just the (not particularly apt) title that seems to have stuck to it.--Kotniski (talk) 14:05, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
It basically says 'use common sense.' Ronk01 talk 15:09, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Just for some context (not particularly to Jimbo, but to others reading along), Lambanogis invoking WP:IAR on a content debate on Talk:List of Philippine restaurant chains to ignore WP:V, WP:NOT, and attempts at consensus building. In other words, changing IAR from "Doing what is best for the encyclopedia" to "Whatever I think is best for the encyclopedia, so I can ignore the rules that don't match my interpretation, and anyone who disagrees with my interpretation is by definition not working in the encyclopedia's best interests." Qwyrxian (talk) 12:02, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Just for some further context. All those opposing openly acknowledge they know nothing about the subject. They cannot even provide a common sense rationale for their disagreement. But they obstruct anyway! Common characteristic? No article content contribution history of note from any of them. All policy wonks. Wikipedia is infested with them. WP:IAR I would have thought was established expressly to deal with such silliness but apparently it's never supposed to be applied besides making up 20% of the 5 pillars. I guess it's given undue weight? If the lot of them can make a convincing argument that they could collectively write a good article on the subject in my place I'll give some credence to their assertion that what they do benefits the encyclopedia. But since they cannot even reasonably claim that, no its quite plain all they are doing amounts to obstructionism. Lambanog (talk) 07:08, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
No, we just disagree about what a good (list) article is. So let's work together to decide a compromise/collaborative solution that everyone can be at least somewhat happy with. I really think there's a lot of room for compromise on that list, of which a number have already been listed. The idea that the expert (you) gets to just make all the arbitrary decisions, though, doesn't really seem like a good solution to me. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:27, 16 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 [3]? 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)
Would it be possible to prevent archiving of discussions before they reach their naturalistic conclusion?
Rodhull, could you nominate the Don't Be a Dick Page for deletion? I'm don't understand the nuances of the procedure indicated on the AfD page. Nightscream (talk) 07:19, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Oh, this is back on this page? In case anyone isn't aware, the "Please be a..." page is currently at Mfd, here, in fact the discussion is several days old and is almost over. At this point there is a strong majority to "keep," and based on the discussion there, I doubt that a deletion debate for WP:DICK would fare any better. (I guess that one would be a "redirect for discussion" (or whatever) because the actual essay is on Meta, with a redirect on en.wikipedia.) Neutron (talk) 14:59, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I wonder where the nudge, nudge crowd came from. The constituency at that AfD doesn't look like the normal more or less random selection to me. Did someone notify WikiProject

Immature Humor? Hans Adler 23:18, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Great. I wasn't even aware that there was a discussion until just now, when it ended with a keep decision. This is wrong on so many levels. Nightscream (talk) 06:02, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break

I think the main issue as to why these pages often get kept is because there's essentially no criteria to hold them against. I had previously nominated Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not/Outtakes for deletion as a smattering of irrelevant and unfunny crap, but that discussion got snowed out. Though I can fully understand a WP:CREEP concern, the fact is that there exist a lot of 'humor pages' on Wikipedia that are decidedly not a benefit to the project. elektrikSHOOS 19:50, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

If anything, there only appears to be criteria to keep them. On all of the above humor-related deletion discussions above, I saw WP:NOTCENSORED being cited over and over as a reason the pages should not be deleted. (Whether that actually should apply the same way to non-articlespace is obviously up for debate, but nonetheless.) None of the 'delete' comments were able to cite a policy, and it's because none exists that can apply in this circumstance. elektrikSHOOS 19:56, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

As someone who has supported deletion of the page in question (apparently to no avail), I think you are essentially correct. We do not have a policy that says that we should not have unfunny "humor" pages, which are essentially "inside" jokes among (mostly) administrators, and which are (in the words of the person whose talk page this is) "unproductive and snarky, and give the wrong (unprofessional) impression of what we expect of others." To the contrary, if one accepts the belief that Wikipedia policies are "descriptive, not prescriptive", the fact that the MfD for the essay in question ends in a "keep", as it probably will, may mean that our "policy" permits, or even encourages, essays like this one. That would be unfortunate, but it is one of the side-effects of the "Wiki way" of doing things. Neutron (talk) 20:15, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I just want to be clear as to what some people are proposing- clear-cut "rules" on when and how a "humor essay" should be kept. Correct? Because I would hate to see a push for the deletion of ALL essays that have humor and restrict essays to being humorless informative pages. Humor is good, and a little ribbing and funny sillyness can be a good release from all these serious and heated debates and drama-filled noticeboards.Camelbinky (talk) 20:57, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Humour is necessary and beneficial. And in my opinion there is nothing wrong with the particular kind of humour expressed by that page – so long as it stays strictly personal and doesn't pass into collective ownership. If people think what they say is funnier when they use that kind of language, let them do it so long as they are not actively offending someone (i.e. continue talking to someone about dicks when they said they feel offended by that). It's exactly the same as how most responsible companies deal with potentially offensive language at the workplace: It's OK so long as people don't overdo it and so long as people stop when someone is offended. But such language doesn't belong in project space essays any more than in corporate memos. Such an essay reflects badly on its owner, i.e. in this case the community. In user space I would have no problem with that so long as it's not my user space. Hans Adler 21:51, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

There are plenty of criteria to delete that page. Humor is not 'necessary, as this is an encyclopedia, not a humor website. Pages like that have no business in the Wikipedia namespace. Nightscream (talk) 06:02, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Humor is a necessary management tool when herding cats. WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:54, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, you are entitled to your opinion, but that sentiment did not carry the day. WP:CONSENSUS and all that jazz. Tarc (talk) 15:59, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Tarc, can you clarify your statement regarding"consensus" you speak- I think I am unaware if you are speaking to WAS who commented 5 minutes before you or if you were speaking to the person before him.
It seems humor is an important aspect of our collective personality and Wikipedia-way. Just because a few fuddy-duddies exist doesnt mean we can't have some humor and not take everything so seriously. We dont get paid, with very few exceptions none of us are going to get a job based on "Created X number of featured articles on Wikipedia" being on a resume, and this is a hobby. Yea, we are creating an encyclopedia and that sounds, and is, a very serious goal, but if you manage an office or even just a fast food place with no "fun activities" or company parties, get-togethers, picnics, "corporate retreats", etc, then you are going to have a terrible work environment with high turn-over and low productivity. Despite the news regarding sexual harrassment to the contrary work environments tend to be quite jovial and alot that is technically by law and/or corporate rules harrassment and a "no joking about x" policy it still happens. And if Wikipedia attempts a "no humor" injunction on all of us you will see- lower productivity, higher turnover, and flagrant disregard of the "law" by putting this stuff in user space and there will be a big backlash. If you dont like a certain type of humor- ignore it. I do that with Dane Cook's humor all the time, and yet he still exists and annoys me, but sometimes you just have to accept that great numbers, for whatever reason, enjoy it.Camelbinky (talk) 22:06, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
By the indenting, it should be clear that I was addressing Nightscream. :) Tarc (talk) 22:23, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

One of the reasons (warning:addictive!) is so addictive is because they actually still allow humor there, just like wikipedia used to.

Based on that, it might be interesting to consider what would happen if we actually made humor mandatory; at the least on talk pages.

Of course, if we make it mandatory on article pages, we would start to outperform The Guide, and we may need to worry about extraterrestrial repercussions. ;-) --Kim Bruning (talk) 10:34, 18 October 2010 (UTC) Don't Panic

(Also see: ... you have been warned! ) --Kim Bruning (talk) 10:39, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo, could you come on IRC sometime soon? We need to talk about something that requires a certain degree of privacy. Thanks. DS (talk) 22:09, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

#wikipedia-en-admins connect, if possible. Killiondude (talk) 22:19, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
It's probably a bit tough to synchronize on time if it is urgent. Email is likely best. However, I'm coming on IRC right now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:07, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually there seems to be a firewall blocking me from here. (Frankfurt airport). I'll keep trying, but email is probably best.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:09, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I'm in!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:11, 16 October 2010 (UTC)

Sent you an email

hope you got it :)

Sophie (Talk) 21:02, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


Hi! I blanked the discussion here because Wikia is my "day job" and wikipedia is my hobby and charity work... Please talk to me about Wikia by email at or on any talk page there... I will respond there. (But not until tomorrow, as I am traveling today.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:03, 21 October 2010 (UTC)


Is there a way I can convert my edits from my IP, to my account, Perseus, Son of Zeus? (talk) 15:19, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

That would give me a total of 324 edits. (talk) 15:58, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) You're better off asking that sort of question at WP:VPT, but I'm almost certain the answer is no. —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 16:20, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
No, at least not on Wikipedia. And anyway, this is more situable for the help desk or VPT than the founder's talk page. —  Waterfox  21:45, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
You can normally change your name, but since you don't have a name on the original account, just an IP address, I don't think that'd work. Dream Focus 22:04, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
It used to be possible, but it isn't done anymore. Graham87 03:09, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

No right of reply?

[I am open to people "contributing" their own story about me. I did things in the past that are well documented in tv documentaries, numerous media reports and a number of online submissions. But some of the information being added is very selective and is false. Sources that are being cited are not credible but accepted by Wikipedia due to simply having a web address. I have offered to those that are editing this page to be open to an interview by them on the subject matter. Still awaiting their reply. Chris Porter]

This makes me sad Christopher Porter. He's effectively saying "hey, you are writing about me, well I'd like to set the record straight". Not unreasonable, but it will almost certainly end badly. We research articles on people, but we don't take evidence from the subject, we don't interview them, not even if they offer, (that's OR) and we don't give a right of reply (a reasonable journalist would say "do you want to comment on this?" before running a story.) Maybe he'll be able to point us to third party sources that record his point of view, but unless he can we don't really have any way of helping him. It's just sad - a saw him trying to put his view into the article and I feel just helpless - another BLP train-wreck about to happen. Sigh.--Scott Mac 15:18, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

The pointing in the direction of solid independent reliable sources woul be a big step in the right direction. Like many things in life, it is also contingent on the ability of involved parties to negotiate with others whose opinions and goals differ and may be at odds with their own. A ubiquitous problem really, by no means restricted to BLPs. Interesting to see how it turns out. Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:25, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
One problem is he's not a regular wikipedian, so he don't know how to interact. I tried to communicate through his account User talk:NoteMyVote, but he may or may not have seen the message as he's generally not logging in. We'll only be able to work with him if he learn our rules (and why should he?).--Scott Mac 15:28, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
No he doesn't need to learn the rules if he lets us know what he feels to be broad introductory sources and other editors get on with it. If he wants to edit actively that is a different story but if the discussion is open should be okay, especially if a few more of the diplomatic editors keep an eye out. Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:42, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

I'd like to thank Casliber and others for jumping in to help here, and I echo Scott Mac's concerns.

In the course of my usual BLP work, as well as upon meeting lots of people who have Wikipedia entries that they are unhappy about, it has come up many times that the subject is very likely the unintentional victim of bad/incomplete reporting, and doesn't really have a platform to correct the record in any useful way.

I think we often have an excessive concern that BLP subjects are interested in a "whitewash". This has not generally been my experience, even with controversial figures. What people seem more interested in, rather, is accuracy and truth - even in cases where the media has not embraced those values. This can be tricky. I have given this a lot of thought, but do not yet have a great answer to what can be done when reliable sources say one thing, and the BLP subject says another thing, particularly when the facts in question are not particularly exciting or controversial.

There are also sometimes problems of cherry-picking of sources in order to prove a point. I have personally said to the press hundreds of times over the years that I was always very optimistic at the founding of Wikipedia, citing the anecdote that I had looked at a list of the top 100 websites on the net and seen an encyclopedia site at around #50, and thinking that if we did our job well, we could be in the top 100 or even top 50. Dozens of publications have commented on my self-described "pathological optimism". Nevertheless, citing a single source (which was, as is well known at least partly debunked, the infamous "Essjay" piece which took him at his word) we claim "Neither Sanger nor Wales expected very much from the Wikipedia initiative." (Perhaps someone thought it might make this thin referencing better to cite the same article twice for the same false claim.)

In cases like this latter case, there is a serious need for NPOV editorial judgment. Someone has to do the difficult job of weighing up the sources and realizing that, on balance, a particular source (even if from a generally well-regarded publication) which is an outlier in some respects must be ignored or anyway dealt with as problematic. If we get it wrong even when I have said the same thing hundreds of times to dozens or hundreds of publications, imagine how much harder it is for people who are not interviewed very often, whose only press is 5-10 articles across a span of a dozen years.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:57, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

  • There is also, in my experience of over-viewing BLPs, that "a serious need for NPOV editorial judgment" is not being enforced as much as it should be. I see unsourced and poorly-sourced nonsense being added on a daily basis, largely because some of our editors do not understand the difference between "encyclopedia", "fansite" and "tabloid blog". It's an uphill struggle fighting this kind of input, and as a result, I feel I have to watchlist articles concerning topics in which I have zero interest, if only to keep those articles within policy. To be honest, I am not a junior school teacher, and don't see why my analytical expertise should be wasted on dealing with such issues. I should have better things to be doing here. Rodhullandemu 00:09, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you completely. I am hopeful that Pending Changes, applied liberally to biographies which have had any problems at all, will be majorly helpful. But I also think that the ongoing tightening of BLP policy is something that should be accelerated.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:14, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Pending changes may solve the problem of readers seeing the unsourced, speculative info, but it doesn't solve Rodhullandemu's problem of having to patrol the edits--someone still has to eventually go in, revert the pending change, and explain why (and then explain why on the article/user talk page, if the problem persists). I'm not saying that PC is bad, just that it doesn't solve the inevitable problems that occur from our being a fundamentally different type of interactive site than nearly everything else on the internet. Qwyrxian (talk) 00:46, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Well, in cases where there is POV pushing, as opposed to random vandalism, there should be a very strong change in behavior of the would-be POV pushers in light of knowing that their edits won't be seen by the public. The more we take away the rewards for bad editing, the less bad editing we will see (on average). There is no perfect security, but there should be things we can do which alter the cost/benefit ratio in useful ways. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:51, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Alas, in political silly season, "experienced editors" who would be unaffected by pending changes are among the offenders. Collect (talk) 11:46, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, not everything is helped by Pending Changes. :) There are no magic bullets.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:18, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

I was just recommended to this discussion. I started one regarding BLP at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy), under the heading "6 To propose Autobiographical as a sub-category" Here's the link:- [4]. You'll notice I didn't get very far, and now I'm exhausted. I shall follow this discussion here, with a great deal of interest. Please read what I had to say, because that's my contribution. JohnClarknew (talk) 22:44, 23 October 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo sayeth, What people seem more interested in, rather, is accuracy and truth - 'even in cases where the media has not embraced those values'. This can be tricky. I have given this a lot of thought, but do not yet have a great answer to what can be done when reliable sources say one thing,

What if the subject of the BLP uploaded documentation/evidence/information from their own personal archives to Wikisource. I'm talking about transcripts or other forms of primary sources. Or maybe just their side of the story.--*Kat* (meow?) 01:57, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure that's helpful in many cases. OTRS is the current best solution, which has the advantage of respecting privacy. I'm pretty sure asking people whose birthdate is in some regard confusing to upload their birth certificate is not a very user-friendly or privacy-respecting solution.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:10, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Birth certificates aren't the only things with the DOB on them. But I get your point. --*Kat* (meow?) 04:32, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
And, to be fair, I get yours as well. More user-friendly ways for people who aren't Wikipedia editors to point us towards useful sources and evidence would be a net good thing, without a doubt.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:57, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
We wrote into the sourcing policy here several years ago that self-published websites maintained by the subjects of articles are allowed as reliable sources in those articles, so long as they're not unduly self-serving, there's no doubt about the authorship, and the article isn't based on that source. We did that so that subjects had a way they could correct errors that the secondary sources (e.g. newspapers) had made about them. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:24, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and that helps in many (but sadly not all) cases. In some cases, subjects quite rightly fear that bringing up some unpleasant thing or other on their personal website will lead to renewed media interest. And when there is POV-pushing involved, it's just never going to be that simple. Let's go back to the original example that started this thread: he used to be a dolphin trader, and now he's had "a change of heart" and his concern is that sources are being cherry picked and misrepresented, and he'd like to put his side of the story on the record. We do have ways of helping him, of course, and one of them is that he could start a blog, prove that it is his, and write his side of the story. I just wish that process could be easier, and I wish that he could have better ways of offering assistance to us that don't put him at risk of some bad press coverage claiming that he's "lashing out at volunteer driven Wikipedia" or whatever.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:38, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
A suggestion someone made a couple of years ago was that each BLP would have a little drop-down section, a pop-up window or similar, where the subject would have the right of reply. A limited number of words, not a long thing, and something only the subject would have access to. It would take a lot of working out in terms of what the rules would be, how we'd be sure we were dealing with the subject, and so on, but I always thought it was an idea that had potential. SlimVirgin talk|contribs 05:41, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with you completely. :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:53, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
That would also have the advantage that with reasonable subjects, we might strive to get the article to such neutrality that a subject might be able to endorse it as "fair and reasonable". I just keep coming back to the fact that good journalists don't publish material on people without contacting them and inviting (at very least) their comment. I suppose the problem would be do we allow them 10 words, or 500 to put a complex counter-case? And what do we do if their response is profanities, or a libellous attack on a third-party? Do we censor? I'd certainly like us to make effort to contact subjects and print any response on the talk page for editors to consider. Although my settled view is that the only fix here is to lift our notability bar for BLPs by a mile: have fewer, on people with more solid sources, where enough editors will be interested in contributing to them, that we can actually maintain them properly. But like that's gonna happen?--Scott Mac 09:10, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
How many "good journalists" are left? Have you read some of the material about "opposition politicians" written in some sources? We need a lot more than raising notability standards (most marginal BLPs are not "hit pieces" to be sure) but much stronger rules concerning defamatory opinion being placed as "fact" in all BLPs. Collect (talk) 11:46, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
"rules" are not the problem, we have absolute rules on not placing opinion, or defamation, or interpretation, or unsound fact on ANY article, nevermind a BLP. The problem is that our policies focus on ideals and aspiration, and not on what is maintainable. What we need to establish is realistic quality control, and a related risk-assessment to our notability threshholds, and the degree of the openness of our editing. That's simply not a question that most of Wikipedia is willing to ask. There is too much eventualist optimism. People say "contentious stuff can be removed", well, yes it can be, but the problem isn't removal (which the BLP policy gives us the tools to do) the problem is identifying the less-obvious bad stuff in the first place. Until we adjust policy to reflect the real problem, nothing will change.--Scott Mac 12:04, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Unfotunately, that'd take about another 10 years or so I reckon, before the 'pedia is in enough of a 'maintenance' phase to be able to do this. Problem is, this (in how it is being done currently) broadly appears to be the only way to get from A to B. All other attempts thus far with expert editors or other procesing of content have failed. These issues with BLP can be broadly applied to many other articles - any article which discusses medical, nutritional or economic issues could be placed in the same basket. The numbers of articles with real-life impact are extremely broad, and slashing content will be catastrophic. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:25, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
That is unfortunately the type of response that's at the root of the problem. A risk assessment that essentially says "the cost to the project is too high" and thus lets third parties pay it instead. Another way of looking at it is to say that the level of collateral damage to innocent parties is too high - so we need to take some pain to reduce it. Frankly, if we can't reduce the risks to third-parties to a responsible level, then it is irresponsible to host any BLPs at all. I don't think we need to go anything like as far as that, but we no need to stop the ostrich approach. The argument that we shouldn't treat BLPs as special cases, because the problems are in all articles is spurious. Ten minutes on OTRS will show that BLPs are disproportionately the cause of legitimate subject complaint - so let's start there. There are a wide range of measures we could take that would reduce the risks to BLP subjects without trashing the project - none of them as cost-free, granted. But if we start by saying we need to be willing to sacrifice some of our ideals here (at least at the margins) we may get somewhere. The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.--Scott Mac 13:44, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not saying there is no problem - my idea (semi'ing the lot of them) is still more workable (I think) and less labour intensive than flagged revisions (though it is not a 'shiny new toy') - it means the onus is on the adder to explain how their information is good rather than the flagged revision reviewer sifting through the added info afterwards. You Scott have mentioned quitting WP several times, so I feel I need to be convinced that the creation of an encyclopedia is actually a goal of yours, and hence trying to marry the two is an aim, rather than just solely BLP protection. Casliber (talk · contribs) 23:18, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
My aims are beside the point - my arguments ought to stand or fall on their own merits. I've never seen FR as worth much - precisely because of the problem of the reviewer. If you deploy flagged widely (even on all BLPs) you'll end up with a low quality of review and reviewer. Such a net may catch obvious crap, but will do little to catch the plausible untruth - which is rarer, but most damaging to subjects. Semi'ing the lot is worth considering - although the determined libeller or POV pusher will only be delayed a bit. It is also quite a high price for the project to pay (no newbie gets to edit any BLP) for a questionable return. Worth exploring certainly. I'd also like us to explore a) targeted flagging and b) reviewing the lower notability threshold for BLPs. If the danger of harm is disproportionately on BLPs, it is more so on less notable subjects, who don't have other bios online to offset ours, and have far less knowledgeable eyes on then spotting crap. We are always more likely to hurt John Seigenthaler than Sarah Palin. Since there is project cost to whatever we do, pay the price where it does most good for limiting harm to real subjects. We need to get smart, not use scatter-guns.--Scott Mac 00:45, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to ask the both of you to step back and reconsider each other in a spirit of AGF. It makes me sad to see two people, both generally on the right side of the issue, having a disagreement this ugly. I think Scott's commitment to building the encyclopedia is really beyond question - his occasional discussions about quitting have to do with exhaustion and a feeling of lack of support on these key issues (the issues where the two of you generally agree). And Scott, I think Casliber's being on the right side of the issue generally means that it's just not really nice to pick on his response as "the root of the problem". (I think I understood what you meant: when good people don't take the hardline stance, it emboldens the worst elements - a debatable proposition that might or might not be true, but I think Casliber felt attacked, which I am sure you didn't mean to do.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:22, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Umm...? Ugly? Nah Jimbo, just a couple of editors from cultures renowned for bluntness sounding off a bit (chuckle). Scott, none of us are impartial no matter how hard we try. We all have ideals which we have to balance with the reality of what is in front of us. Understanding each is helpful in talk with others whose priorities might be different. I think giving some other methods a real workout such as targeted flagging, or maybe autosemiprotection of any BLP with less than 100 watchers or something (some other criterion so the big, easy-to-edit ones are open for IPs and beginners) is preferred. I think any real push on raising notability is going to end in a no-definite-consensus-clusterfuck-quagmire unless there is some heavy handedness from above. I'll take another look at the targetted flagging as a first off. Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:57, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Turns out we're not so far off the same page. Casliber and I have sparred often enough to agree that getting it right is more important than two curmudgeons cuddling.--Scott Mac 08:46, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Okay, read that page. Question is, where is the place to take discussion on criteria for low-notability BLPs (e.g. less than 50 watchers? less than 10 internal links? other criteria??) Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:07, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Overall, I dislike the idea of a 'right of reply', and I believe it will generally be misunderstood by readers and the repository of unverifiable, self-serving claims by subjects (e.g., "I didn't do it", by a majority of convicted criminals). I prefer the current system, in which a person subjected to an article is welcome to set up a completely separate website, which we'll link. That avoids all the complications of word limits, updates as the article evolves, etc.
As for the (IMO serious) problem of unbalanced articles, one approach is simply to raise the standards for inclusion. It's hard to make a credible claim for bias if a dozen independent sources report the same things, over a period of at least several years, involving multiple events. Conversely, it's almost impossible to avoid bias if you're trying to build an article on a few sentences in two media reports that are mostly about something else, and all involve events happening over the space of a day or two. The equation that 2RS=N is not appropriate for BLPs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:46, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
With years of experience dealing with BLPs, I can say that it is pretty rare to have convicted criminals who want the articles changed to reflect "I didn't do it". I mean, it is a valid concern in some very rare cases, but we should focus more on the mainstream routine problems that we can solve, which is exactly what you suggest in the second half of your comment.
Let me give an example where current standards of inclusion (or anyway, the standards of 2 years ago) are probably wrong: Wikipedia:BLPN#Joshua_Gardner. It's been through 3 AfD's, but it's really really hard to see why it survived even one AfD. It's a clear case of a very low notability person being included because of some very tangential relationship to Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:02, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
See above and BLPN. Casliber (talk · contribs) 05:57, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong for an electronic encyclopedia in reporting something that has ten reliable sources. BLP1E should never be ground for deletion -reading the policy, it is grounds for renaming/refocusing the article from the person to the event. --Cyclopiatalk 11:44, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps a larger variety of examples would help: "I didn't inhale." "I did not have sex with that woman." "The divorce is all his fault." "I have never intentionally used steroids." "I am not a crook." "This article reflects the bias of the mainstream media against <fill in minority group>."
We don't have this problem on a significant scale right now, because it's apparent to most people that the community isn't going to go along with unverifiable POVs. But if we create a right of reply, then I believe that this is the type of unencyclopedic material we can reasonably expect to get in a too-large fraction of articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:55, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

In reply to *Kat*, Wikisource does not usually accept self-published documents, and is extremely wary of documents about living people. See s:WS:WWI for the long version, but note that it doesn't go into a lot of specifics. John Vandenberg (chat) 09:10, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes - where are we on this anyway now??

Alright, pursuant to me looking at Scott's targeted revisions, I nosed around trying to figure out where we are at with Pending Changes trial and I got where is the current discussion anyway?? (I figure someone will point me in the right direction...ahoy TPS) Casliber (talk · contribs) 00:32, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Meetup Miami

I'm planning to form a wikimeetup at my university or close by. But I don't want to form a date until if you could confirm if you want to go or not. I want the wikimeetup to attract as many people as possible including many new contributers. Let me know of a date and I'll work the venue situation. Maybe I could have it on campus, on one of the auditoriums. Thanks Secret account 16:49, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Best if we move this to email, because there will probably have to be some back and forth about the date. Miami might seem convenient to me, but it is a 4 hour drive or a flight from my part of Florida, so this is to some extent just like a request that I come to a meetup in England or India. I will come, but it might be nontrivial to find a date that works.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:52, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Alright will email you. Secret account 17:27, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Just did Secret account 20:15, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Climate change ArbCom mass banning (ArbCom's Hammer)

Jimbo, I'd like to say that I was appalled when I looked closer at the recent ArbCom ruling that appeared to arbitrarily ban about 15 or so editors for six months for their involvement in trying to oust some of the worst abusers of Wikipedia (i.e. William M. Connolley & Kim D. Petersen). In the list of banned editors was Cla68! I couldn't believe my eyes. I've interacted a great deal with Cla68 and he is -- or rather was -- nothing short of a near perfect editor. In all the time I interacted he was a model of restraint and fairness. I have no recollection of him ever putting a single word out of place. How can he be dished out exactly the same punishment as William M. Connolley, one of the most famously & consistently abusive editors ever encountered? To be blunt, the only conclusion is as ATren and others have concluded, viz. that corruption in Wikipedia goes all the way to the top. I can only guess that ArbCom was either simply too lazy to look at the case in any detail. Meanwhile, I've quickly found that of the many remaining Climate Change editors, the same hostility and disregard for process remains. I returned to briefly to see if anything has changed, but quickly I've found that it hasn't. Wikipedia needs to reform or die. See also: [5]. Alex Harvey (talk) 13:27, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

As hard of time as I've given Jimbo over the years, Alex, I'm not sure if he'll agree with you that I'm a "near perfect editor," but I appreciate the kind words. Cla68 (talk) 13:36, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Out of interest, since it isn't clear from your response, did you actually read the evidence against Cla68, in particular the diffs? This would seem to be a key thing since your positive experience doesn't disprove he/she hasn't had problems particularly since if I understand your response correctly and a check of your contribs also suggests you've been largely away from wikipedia for a longish while. I myself haven't so I'm not going to conclude the arbcom must be wrong (or right) without looking at the evidence (although as I've remarked before I suspect they haven't done a bad job and I would definitely trust their judgement more then I would people on either 'side' both of which complained a lot). Nil Einne (talk) 02:04, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
P.S. Linking to a blog which links to and appears to trust Encyclopaedia Dramatica, and genuinely thinks TS and StS may be sockpuppets of WMC doesn't seem to give my credence to your argument. Nil Einne (talk) 02:08, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Alex, there are many criticisms that can be directed towards ArbCom, but I think "too lazy to look at the case in any detail" is pretty far off the mark. From watching the case, it is evident that the Committee spent an enormous amount of time on it. They were distracted several times by the need to take account of new battles that broke out, in article space, on the case pages, and across several Arbitrators' talk pages. I have no doubt that there was considerable email activity, both in the form of lobbying from both sides and off-wiki communication between the Arbitrators. Several different potential approaches were evident on the Proposed Decision page. ArbCom was anything but lazy.

I think there is also a common misunderstanding that the decision has treated all the banned editors equally; I believe this is incorrect. Although all are banned under the same remedy, the ban is actually indefinite and the terms only specify the timetable for making appeals for the ban to be lifted. I am certain such appeals will be treated on a case-by-case basis, with post-case behaviour receiving careful scrutiny. I suspect that some editors will probably be expected to show considerably more reform before an appeal will be successful, and ArbCom itself has chosen to narrow bans rather than lift them entirely numerous times in the past. The banned editors themselves have considerable influence on how appeals will be judged by ArbCom, and over how long their "six month" topic bans actually last.

Jimbo has access to the ArbCom email list and so has more insight than we do into how ArbCom came to this decision. I suspect if ArbCom were going in a direction he found seriously concerning that he would have spoken to them privately and directly, rather than waiting for the decision to be finalised and then step in to change it, which would invite a firestorm of criticism. Jimbo stepping in to unilaterally change the ArbCom decision would be a strategic nuclear weapon to ArbCom's tactical nuclear bans. ArbCom has sent a clear signal that they want enforcement to end the warfare and to return the area to wiki-norms, and that they will support broad bans to achieve that goal. It is a blunt instrument to try to deal with this area, but having watched the case-page behaviour, I would struggle to argue that crafting something with more finesse was practicable in this case. There are certainly areas where the decision can be criticised, and it definitely offers some lessons in case management, but the general thrust is both considered and defensible. Hopefully some of the more valuable editors amongst the banned will demonstrate again their value to wikipedia and so receive more favourable treatment when it comes to appeals. EdChem (talk) 02:19, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

On the topic of bans, ArbCom seems to be using a sword when a scalpel might be a better tool, that is, specific, but tougher bans for users who were truly disruptive. As an example, Connolley could get an indefinite total ban with an appeal allowed at one year, since the evidence against him was particularly damning. Just an idea. Ronk01 talk 03:04, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

(my 2c) As long as ArbCom and the rest of us continue in the fantasy that the only problem with the wiki system in controversial areas is the behaviour of an eliminable number of individual editors, and that obvious problems of disruption need to be solved over months rather than hours, and that the content of Wikipedia doesn't matter as long as we have the appearance of internal peace, then there is no chance that any of these matters will ever be solved satisfactorily.--Kotniski (talk) 08:46, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, if you mean that Wikipedia has too many elements of a social media site and not enough of a serious, governable attempt at building an encyclopedia, that is a big picture problem that probably needs a lot more help to fix than just Jimbo's. Cla68 (talk) 11:32, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Yep, that's probably more or less what I mean (and I certainly don't expect Jimbo or anyone else to be able to wave a magic wand and fix it).--Kotniski (talk) 12:03, 25 October 2010 (UTC)


Nuvola apps edu languages.svg
Hello, Jimbo Wales. You have new messages at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Aviation.
You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{Talkback}} or {{Tb}} template.

Mjroots (talk) 09:17, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

First edit to Wikipedia

Who made the first edit to Wikipedia? Wayne Olajuwon chat 00:04, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Me. I installed Usemod Wiki, and then typed "Hello, World!" on the front page and hit save. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:26, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

The traditional "Hello World." Classic.--TalkToMecintelati 01:27, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Gotta love Hello World, although I am sick of it in Web Design by now.--iGeMiNix 02:03, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
What about the second edit? The Thing // Talk // Contribs 02:05, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
No one knows, but knowing me, it was probably me fixing a typo from "Hello, Wolrd!" :-) Seriously though, the early history was lost years ago, which is unfortunate.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:15, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Aw, the first 10 edits should have been keep in history so we can reflect back to what it was then and what it is now.--iGeMiNix 02:17, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
It makes sense the early history isn't here. According to Special:Contributions/Jimbo Wales, this was Jimbo's first edit. ~NerdyScienceDude 02:19, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Nope, Jimbo's first recorded edits using an account are at Special:Contributions/JimboWales, the CamelCased version of his current username. To answer the original question, see Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles. Graham87 03:35, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm slightly relieved to see that my first recorded edits were simply un-camel-casing popular articles. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:09, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Jimbo, I've just incorporated some text from your recent reply into the page Wikipedia:Wikipedia's oldest articles. Naturally feel free to edit the page if you feel that something's missing or needs to be corrected. Graham87 04:07, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The same thing was already discussed in December 2008. However, is it correct that this account was created on March 27, 2001? Also, has your account ever been named "Jimmy Wales" or something different? HeyMid (contributions) 14:21, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

It's worth noting that the creation dates given by Special:Listusers for accounts made before the new user log was introduced in September 2005 are based on the date of the first recorded edit. Graham87 15:25, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any reason to think that database entry is wrong, though. I used to use the "JimboWales" account, linked above. It appears to have been created 23 January 2001 and I'm much less confident that that is correct. At the same time, as I remember it, though, when I launched Wikipedia using UseMod wiki, it didn't even really have the concept of an account. You could log in with a password, but it didn't actually mean anything. Anyone else could log in using the same name and a different password. (Talk about trust!) :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:32, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Are you absolutely sure that's correct? For me, it says Jimbo Wales was created at 20:47 UTC time, but the contribs log reveals that the account made an edit at 18:11 the same day. HeyMid (contributions) 15:50, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
Ah, well, you have a good point and so now I will say there is a good reason to think that the database entry is wrong. However, it does seem likely-ish that was the date when I switched from JimboWales to Jimbo Wales. I always hated camel case.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:54, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
The discrepancy between the two dates exists because I imported some of your earliest edits from the Nostalgia Wikipedia, a copy of the Wikipedia database from 20 December 2001. The creation date feature of the users list was added in January 2009 while the import feature became available to admins in December 2009. Graham87 02:03, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, have you ever thought of writing a book either regarding the founding of Wikipedia or just a general autobiography; or giving someone the authority to do an official biography and interview you extensively? I think this thread shows there are those of us that are interested in Wikipedia early history. And who knows it might be exciting enough to make a movie based on your book, given the acclaim surrounding the Social Network movie about Facebook's founder (which I have read does not portray its Founder accurately).Camelbinky (talk) 16:05, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I am hoping to take some time off next year to write; we shall see if I succeed!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:35, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Who was the first/second person to register on Wikipedia? (talk) 12:08, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

That question is difficult to answer with the surviving data, which is very sketchy. I'd assume it was Jimbo from the messages above, but note his message about how UseModWiki didn't use accounts as we know them today. The oldest surviving edit to a user page is this edit to User:ScottMoonen. Many people from the earliest days of Wikipedia came here from Nupedia. Graham87 13:55, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I wonder: were there any instances of people stealing accounts in the UseModWiki era? It seemed like a relatively easy thing to do. Graham87 13:59, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm, this page seems interesting: Wikipedia:Phase II feature requests/Cookies, logins, and privacy. BTW, the reason for its name is that UseModWiki was known as Phase I , the second wiki engine was the Phase II software, and MediaWiki was originally known sinmply as "Phase III". See MediaWiki history. Graham87 14:12, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I wonder...I found something called Nostalgia Wikipedia... (talk) 14:37, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm interested in the history of Wikipedia policies and how they were developed. I did a little research about the IAR rule, and what I've discovered is that it had a different meaning then. It was the last of list of rules, basically to say: if you are new and the above mentioned rules confuse you, just ignore them. It is now interpreted differently IMO, which is not necessary a bad thing. Sole Soul (talk) 19:28, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Keith jardine

My name is Keith Jardine from Alaska.I've been mentioned in your articals by mistake.In Albuq..... now visiting parents...would like to meet you or talk to you and draw your Keith Jardine from Keith Jardine....<redacted> phone# is available —Preceding unsigned comment added by Keith jardine (talkcontribs) 20:36, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

I've removed your email for privacy purposes; which article are you meaning, please, and I'll take a look at it? Rodhullandemu 21:09, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Direct contact?

Hi there, is there a way to contact you directly? I have concerns regarding receiving abuse from administrators, and related issues. Many thanks in advance. (talk) 18:23, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

On the left of this page, click on E - mail this user. Off2riorob (talk) 18:26, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you for your response on behalf of Jimbo Wales, but I have to say that the "e-mail this user" link isn't there. (talk) 18:29, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I believe you have to be a registered user to use that function. Hazardous Matt (talk) 18:31, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Or just read the last sentence on his user page under "contact me", where it says:
"Other inquiries of any kind can be sent by e-mail to (Press inquiries by e-mail are also welcome.)"
He's pretty good about prompt replies. --SB_Johnny | talk 18:58, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Many thanks, I didn't see it the first time. (talk) 19:20, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

'Tis about me no doubt. Theresa Knott | Hasten to trek 19:44, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

For reference, this is in regard to an AN/I discussion located here:[6]. Best, Rob ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 19:45, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Ah Theresa Knott.... Cussing out the IPs again? Wales will be upset. (note sarcasm). NickCT (talk) 20:10, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Again? I did it more than once? I am innnnnnoccenttt I tell ya! This particular IP is enjoying the drama far too much to stop just yet a while. Theresa Knott | Hasten to trek 20:18, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Your user page

I feel stupid asking you this because your the founder and probably have a reason for it. Your user page gets vandalized daily, why don't you protect it? Inka888ContribsTalk 22:50, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Because there are enough people watching and defending it? :) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 23:12, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Ok thanks, I was hoping to hear from Jimbo about it. Inka888ContribsTalk 03:52, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Hi Inka 888, you pretty much can... go to his userpage, and read what he wrote in the bottom box. It directly addresses the question you have posed. Best, Robert ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 04:01, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

ArbCom elections RfC

Hello Jimbo. You might be interested in keeping an eye or commenting on this ongoing RfC about the upcoming ArbCom elections, as the outcome could have implications for your role in appointing the successful candidates. Best, Skomorokh 16:48, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I am watching it, but so far I see nothing that implicates or impacts my role in appointing the ArbCom at all. I expect this year to be a routine year.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:53, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
I had in mind specifically the Statement by Risker, motivated by these perennial concerns. Regards, Skomorokh 09:54, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
I suppose the core question here is what I am supposed to do in the event that there are fewer than 18 arbitrators available with at least 50% support? The options would include, at least in theory, that I appoint someone who ran but gained less than 50% support, or that I appoint fewer than 18, or that I extend terms of existing arbs who weren't running for election, or that I appoint people on the advice of the arbcom and others based on past experience, or that I call for a second round of elections. Risker's proposal would suggest that I remove some of those options - precisely the ones that I wouldn't consider in the first place, though.
We traditionally have annual elections, but I have the right to call additional interim elections in case of a shortfall in staffing. What I think would make sense is that if, at the end of the election, we have a shortfall of a seat or two, I would likely treat it the same way I treat resignations throughout the year... basically, I would leave the seats vacant. If we had a bizarre situation in which there is a serious difficulty in finding candidates with at least 50% approval at all, I think it would be wise to consider that a serious signal that something has gone wrong with the entire process, and I would call for a wide-ranging discussion about ArbCom composition, function, etc.
One of the core advantages of our traditional "constitutional monarchy" system is precisely that in case of breakdown of process in some way - which is bound to happen although hopefully less and less frequently over the years as we gain experience and deal with various issues, we have an "answer", which is that I am theoretically free to dismiss ArbCom and even dismantle the entire system in favor of something else.
Imagine if the ArbCom angers 51% of the community, and a poll is held which involves 51% of the community demanding that the entire ArbCom resign immediately. Or imagine your own favorite meltdown scenario. There is no rule or policy which would give the general community the right to do something like that, and there are good arguments against it. (One thing we want from our judges is a certain amount of political independence and the ability to take unpopular decisions that are right for the encyclopedia, within bounds of course.) We have the choice of either trying to a priori figure out every possible thing relating to such scenarios, or we have the choice of what we do now: don't worry about it and try to do something sensible based on whatever the conditions are at that time. I think that's a good thing to continue. :)
I am happy when there are processes (like Risker's RfC in this case) that give me sensible guidance, not specific to a particular possibly inflamed situation) as to what to do in weird circumstances. It is my strong preference to do nothing at all, rather acting as a conduit and insurance that thoughtful and deliberate moves aimed at broad consensus in support of our encyclopedic mission is always the guiding principle.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:29, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Thank you very much for this comment, it is a cogent analysis of the hypotheticals and how best to proceed. If you don't mind I'll copy it over to the relevant discussions. Skomorokh 11:30, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Biographies of living persons that cite no sources, again

You and your lurkers may like to lurk at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Unsourced biographies of living persons. Uncle G (talk) 19:51, 28 October 2010 (UTC)


Jimbo, I really need your help. There's an administrator called MLauba who HATES me. He keeps on banning me. I'll admit, I haven't been the best user. I've done plenty of wrong things including creating sock-puppets. But that doesn't give him the right to abuse his sysop powers. I tried reporting him. He banned and insulted me. Now, months after our confrontation, when I try to make amends with him and only ask for an apology, he still refuses to do so and continues to insult me. He's probably gonna ban me for even telling you about this. Please Jimbo, help me! He's too popular with everyone else.--Valkyrie Red (talk) 01:22, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I recommend that you take the WP:Standard Offer. If you can give a specific example of him insulting you (a precise diff, please) then I'll be happy to put forward my general view that admins should never insult users, even under the most absurd provocation. Indeed, I think we should take a certain kind of bemusement in remaining curiously civil in the face of the most outrageous provocations. It's a more clever form of retaliation against hostility, anyway.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:42, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo, thank you so much! But do I report it to WP:ANI or WP:AN--Valkyrie Red (talk) 02:40, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
You should read the link Jimbo put, as he was not recommending you report anyone; in any event, if you do want to report an incident it depends on exactly what you want to report. If it's an etiquette issue, then you want to use WP:WQA. Note that Wikpedia etiquette does not require that anyone apologize for actions that are within policy, so you'll need to be reporting something else, more clearly. If you actually want to claim that MLauba abused his sysop powers, you'll want to go to WP:ANI. You will need to have diffs--that is, specific links of specific times he has abused his power. I will say that the conversation on his page is not insulting, and is exactly that sort of "bemusement" that Jimbo talks about. However, if there were (alleged) instances of abuse in the past, WP:ANI is the right place to go. Note that in going there, however, you need to be aware that your own behavior (including the recent message you left on MLauba's page) will be called into scrutiny as well. I really do think the WP:Standard Offer will be a better choice for you, but it's up to you. Qwyrxian (talk) 03:07, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
You can report it to AN/I as I am guessing you still think this is ongoing based on your most recent exhange and you believe it's an abuse of admin tools (both of which are covered by AN/I). But, you will need to provide diffs to MLauba's statements that you perceived as insults against you. In addition, as you freely admit that some of your actions contributed to the blocks (sock puppet accounts, etc), please be aware that your actions will be brought up as well - simply because they are relevant to whether or not MLauba abused his "sysop powers" - so don't take that personally. That aside, the civility nature is something else entirely, but you will (as Jimbo and I mentioned) need to point it out via diffs. There are instructions/information on the AN/I page that may be helpful to get you started. Please do not forget to notify all involved parties or parties you mention. Hope that helps. Best, Robert ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 03:08, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Civility question: u$e dem big buck$ to help your admin$

  • hey there. I might cross-post at VP; apologies. The question of civility, civility police, etc etc is a festering sore in the admin/non-admin dynamic, especially with respect to edit wars etc. My position is kinda painted here. My suggest is this: break open that wallet, boy! Hire some conflict resolution consultants to produce some sort of... I am out of my area of expertise here, but.. some sort of Internet accessible.. video series? I have no idea what format, but something that admins can watch and interact with, to train them on conflict management. Maybe even regular IRC seminars? Maybe some police department somewhere has resources..? Maybe you can even get this kinda thing free from some Wikipedian whose real-life job is in a similar kind of consultancy..? Train those admins; help them to be all that they can be. Tks. • Ling.Nut (talk) 01:32, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I support the idea of tutorials on this... I'm not sure a video series is the right approach. Nor do I think admins do a poor job of this - quite the contrary. But we can all grow and improve, always.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:40, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I have no idea how people move ideas forward; the only place I know is VP. I guess i'll cross-post. Tks. • Ling.Nut (talk) 01:41, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
I would support making any tutorial avalible to all interested editors, not just admins. Ronk01 talk 02:01, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

May we record your speech in the Mumbai meetup?

Hi Jimmy, welcome to India once again. Will you permit your speech in Mumbai on Sunday to be recorded and put up in Commons? AshLin (talk) 10:19, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Yes.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:30, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. AshLin (talk) 16:39, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Consensual approach to underwatched BLPs

Following on the discussion here with Casliber (which was, actually, quite constructive), I've tried to find a new way to by-pass some of the entrenched arguments on all sides, find out what we can agree on, and open a pragmatic discussion that's wider than the crisis point of unreferenced BLPs. So far, some folk I've been battling with are engaging in a really positive manner. If you are interested it is right here. (If anyone does click on this, please go in with an open mind and remember this is NOT about unreferenced BLPs. It is trying to find out what we do agree on. User talk:Scott MacDonald/Pragmatic BLP).--Scott Mac 15:51, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Yay. I think it is good when good people, who may not agree on all the particulars, realize that we do agree in the main on some core things that can get done effectively.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:47, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

i dont have a good title for that

hey. wouldnt that article be perfect for you to write it, since it has something of that Frank and Francesco Zappa-thing ;) regards, -- (talk) 18:11, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Well, his name is Jimmy Wales, and that is not the purpose of Wikipedia: we are here to give the facts. (talk) 19:28, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
i meant, because the names are somehow consonant. whats the matter with suggesting that? either he likes it or not, i can see no problem... (jimmy wallace was a bass-player, i didn't suggest jimbo wales to change his name, if that's what was misunderstood ;-) regards, -- (talk) 21:29, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

You have mail

Hello, Jimbo Wales. Please check your email; you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template.

Thank you --Alpha Quadrant talk 04:59, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Lies, slander and incorrect information.

i would love to speak to someone at wikipedia prior to contacting a lawyer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JFShea (talkcontribs) 04:22, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Will follow up with this user on his talk page. NW (Talk) 04:30, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

Speech at Mumbai on 31 October 2010

Great talking to you last night. Hope you had a restful flight. Find your speech here :

AshLin (talk) 14:35, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Random IP's quick question

What is the official name of the mobile skin you use here? (talk) 03:31, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

See Help:Mobile access DC TC 05:23, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
That wasn't helpful. I want to know the .css/.js file for the wikipedia-mobile skin (whatever you call it). (talk) 20:27, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Try visiting in a normal web browser and viewing the page source. I am pretty sure the main stylesheet in use is, but I am not that great with web languages, so I am not sure. J.delanoygabsadds 20:45, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Ancestry Dudley et all

Just a note to say I posted on the Jimmy Wales talk page but more specific search starting with J Dudley took a little more time to find [7]

There are various UK sites with family trees but most need payment (damn those currency requirements !) but try this [8] as you can also see emigrations details (and it is free lol) Chaosdruid (talk) 17:47, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

No right of reply? (cont'd)

A shame to archive this discussion. It is, and should be, ongoing. Please refer to the archive. Can we continue? We should look at the legal aspects of suppressing voices. It was well established, due to several attempts to sue WP for defamation (google "Wikipedia lawsuits"), that No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider. (see Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act#Court Decisions on Section 230). This law may well make WikipedSmall textia immune from lawsuits, but in my opinion, it lays a special moral responsibility on Wikipedia to provide fairness and a voice to those BLPs who feel they have been mistreated by the press - and I am one of them. See my website where I sued Larry King/CNN/Time-Warner, and challenged the Mail on Sunday for their style of reporting. But under the current rules, I am forbidden to add those facts to the article, and I feel strongly that were I to do so, it should not be a vulnerable entry, and subjected to instant deletion by other users for cause. There is one, Will Beback (an admin no less), who is practically ordering me to refrain from ever making an edit to any article in which I have a personal connection. See my talk page. JohnClarknew (talk) 16:57, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi JohnClarknew, are you perhaps misreading Will BeBack's statement? "I strongly suggest that you step back from editing articles in which you have an emotional investment and are unable to maintain neutrality." (emphasis mine). You will find information about such in WP:COI and WP:NPOV. And wouldn't filing an WP:RFC been the first appropriate step to take? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 19:52, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
First off, I am a Wikipedian, and proud to be one. Second, I'm trying to show the big picture here. Wikipedia, the site that is, is legally immune. But the users? From what I read, users are vulnerable to lawsuits, and cannot claim protection under the cloak of Wikipedia. Perhaps that's why so many users refuse to reveal their true names, and prefer to remain anonymous. So be it. But this should be part of the discussion of policy towards BLP. I am strongly in favor of ABLP, as a solution. I think it is something to do with suppressing constitutionally protected free speech, (as Larry King and CNN did towards me in my defamation suit, where the court denied their S.L.A.P.P. petition), : Third person entries, not first person. And all existing rules and procedures should be followed. What's to be afraid of, anyway? I hope responders will first do a little due diligence before uttering further mantras. JohnClarknew (talk) 16:37, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
You fail to address the point I made about having filed an RfC being the first step to take, and failed to address that your beliefs do not trump policies (and that there are ways of proposing policy changes, which you also did not wait for it to come to a conclusion[9]), and fail to address the probability that you made an unfounded claim against another editor. None of that has to do with "further mantras". Best, ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 22:02, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
There are some specific reasons I asked JohnClarknew to step away from certain articles, but I don't think it's helpful to rehash those here. Suffice it to say that there is no prohibition on adding relevant material found in reliable sources presented with the neutral point of view, and that self-published sources may be used in BLPs to present the views of BLP subjects and for other non-contentious assertions. However self-published sources may not be used for attacks on others.   Will Beback  talk  22:24, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
John Clark, please read this. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 23:58, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

(<---) No one's asking for a soapbox. You people are beating about the bush, lawyerspeak, and avoiding the central issue. It's not about allowing soapbox style free speech, it's about not suppressing a living notable's ability to make edits just like other users can. There's an editor-with-an-agenda who contributed a couple of obituaries plus the following to the John Clark (actor/director) page: Boshoff, Alison (2010-05-08). "The love child who broke Lynn Redgrave's heart: In the week the actress died, her ex-husband tells of his shame and regret". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers Limited). Retrieved 2010-07-31. and ^ Dan Jewel (1999-03-29). "Bizarre 8 Year Secret Tears Apart Redgrave's Marriage.". People Magazine. In John Clark's webpage, he has this to say about that: Daily Mail at it AGAIN. But that piece of information is kept out of the page by the same editor-with-an-agenda. JohnClarknew (talk) 11:39, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

John Clark, I'm glad to hear that you are only asking for the "ability to make edits just like other users can". I had thought that you wanted more than that (like perhaps the ability to have your edits not subject to deletion like every other editor). All you have to do is to edit anonymously: from a library, a friend's computer, or just change your ISP and register under a user name like "Bob Smith" or "Old Tom". Then when your edits are deleted you will know that the edit is being judged based on its content and not based on the identity of the editor. Welcome to the "Anyone can edit. Anyone can delete. But find consensus rather than engage in an edit war"-pedia. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 21:47, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
WAS 4.250, I understand your solution. But I don't think that Gaming the system is what our founder had in mind when he came up with our site. In fact, there's a policy rule telling you not to do that. Wikipedia:Gaming the system. I do know that in our economy today, many people resort to it out of frustration. Obama blamed Wall Street and bankers for doing it. But I'm old-fashioned and too old to think that way - hey, I'm 78 on Monday... JohnClarknew (talk) 17:11, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia is more flexible than you think. Please read WP:MULTIPLE. E-mail in private your alternate account to a member of the English language Wikipedia arbitration committee and don't abuse the alternate account (if you don't know what that means, then either find out or don't have an alternate account in the first place); then what you are doing is NOT gaming the system. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:00, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Using an alternate account to avoid scrutiny when editing an article where there's a conflict of interest is probably a violation of WP:SOCK. It's certainly not something that we should be advising people to do.   Will Beback  talk  19:24, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
"Using an alternate account to avoid scrutiny" is an example of abuse of the alternate account (hence the need to "E-mail in private your alternate account to a member of the English language Wikipedia arbitration committee"); as is using multiple accounts to comment on proposals or requests, cast votes, or engage in edit warring. It's certainly not something that we should be advising just anyone to do; you are certainly right about that. To use multiple accounts without abuse requires something special ... perhaps something that might take ... oh, I don't know ... maybe 78 years of experience to handle with adequate savoir faire. says "Wikipedia places importance on both the neutrality of articles and the ability of editors to edit pseudonymously. Do not out an editor's real life identity in order to prove a conflict of interest. Wikipedia's policy against harassment prohibits this. COI situations are usually revealed when the editor themself discloses a relationship to the subject that they are editing. In case the editor does not identify themself or their affiliation, reference to the neutral point of view policy may help counteract biased editing.". - WAS 4.250 (talk) 19:58, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Please note that WP:Sock puppetry said to consider notifying ArbCom, not that there's need to do so. Maintaining an account that doesn't use a real name is a reasonable exercise of privacy, considering how closely one's habits can be tracked from the edit timestamps. Of course, using a separate anonymous account to weigh in on an existing dispute in an article about you is another matter. Wnt (talk) 20:17, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
Some editors have trouble using even one account without causing problems.   Will Beback  talk  20:09, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Very true, Will. I say "Give 'em enough rope to hang themselves". - WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:29, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Happy birthday to me... Happy birthday to me...Happy birthday to me me, happy birthday to me. Yes, November 1st. 78. Notice that it's All Saints Day, gang? I plan to enjoy myself, and have a nice day. Sorry for this autobiographical entry, but noone else is doing it. Have a nice day. JohnClarknew (talk) 20:59, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
Happy birthday, John. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 22:29, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
By the way, if you decide to have alternate accounts, Will Beback can show you how it can be done without breaking Wikipedia policies - User:Will Beback NS, User:Willmcw, and User:User2004 are alternate accounts of Will Beback as he explains at Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee Elections December 2006/Candidate statements/Questions for Will Beback. - WAS 4.250 (talk) 09:25, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
There's a big difference between disclosed and undisclosed alternate accounts. I've never used undisclosed alternate accounts, though I've blocked many.   Will Beback  talk  10:00, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I totally agree. Different cases can make different levels of disclosre optimum. Between advice from you and from e-mail to/from arbcom I'm sure he can be guided to a level of disclosure that will allow him to feel as if he can have the "ability to make edits just like other users can". WAS 4.250 (talk) 16:00, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

I would like to debunk the idea that the Los Angeles Times is a reliable source. What better way than to demonstrate with the empirical experience of a BLP notable? This is from the site Showbusiness Meets the Law, a public service free of advertising. Here's the entry with facts about biased reporting by the LA Times examined forensically: Redgrave vs. John Clark. ( A side question - are sworn declarations from the court record considered legitimate references to articles?) JohnClarknew (talk) 19:22, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

I would like to debunk the idea that the empirical experience of a BLP notable is a reliable source. What better way than to demonstrate that but with the Los Angeles Times? (surely you can see the problem here; Bill Clinton is a BLP notable - so obviously he had no "sex with that woman" - NOT) ( A side answer - sworn declarations from the court records can be legitimate references to articles; but they are a primary source, not a secondary source; thus are more susceptible to misinterpretation (All articles must adhere to the Neutral point of view policy (NPOV) fairly representing all majority and significant-minority viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in rough proportion to the prominence of each view. [...] Articles should be based largely on reliable secondary sources.) and willful "original research" (Wikipedia does not publish original thought: all material in Wikipedia must be attributable to a reliable, published source. Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources.) - WAS 4.250 (talk) 12:13, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Bill Clinton is a BLP notable - so obviously he had no "sex with that woman" - NOT: I don't get your drift here. Let Bill Clinton comment on the "page referencing him", not subject to deletion by the WP police force. Now THAT would put Wikipedia on the map, big time! Also, admin Beback disagrees with you regarding court sworn documents, see Talk:John Clark (actor). JohnClarknew (talk) 16:50, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not "admin Beback". An administrator is just another editor, outside of using certain administrative tools. But you can call me "Master Editor Beback". There are over a thousand administrators, but fewer than a hundred Master Editors (6 years, 75,000 edits). That's the relevant accomplishment (meager though it be). ;) Don't mind me, it's just because I've been hanging around so long that I pretend to know what I'm talking about.   Will Beback  talk  11:55, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your honesty. Hard to admit you've been pretending all these years. As for me, well, I've got a solution which will save further embarrassment and allow every Wiki editor to relax. What if I fake my death? Then I can sign on with an anonymous name like everyone else, and can edit away at John Clark (actor/director). Then I'd no longer be a BLP but a BDP (is there such a category?) JohnClarknew (talk) 15:45, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
"Master Editor Beback" is correct. John Clark, you, on the other hand, DO get my drift - you just want to pretend to not hear it. We don't and won't let Bill Clinton place comments that others may not edit or delete on any of the hundreds of articles that mention him; because as we have already established, Wikipedia strives for neutral point of view (NPOV) and therefore does not allow "soapbox style free speech" in the articles; which earlier you denied wanting, but now you clearly return to your wish do exactly that. As we have now gone full circle, I am convinced you know the rules; so I am done here. WAS 4.250 (talk) 15:38, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
Glad you are done. I'm not. While waiting for WP to take the giant step - which it will, you'll see - I'm suggesting that the BLP subject should be able to also add VERIFIED information while also respecting the five pillars. JohnClarknew (talk) 19:01, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── My experience, which dates to near the beginning of Wikipedia (even though the account I finally registered doesn't show it), is that hardly ever works well. It is also the exact opposite of the intent of trying to guard against conflicts of interests because the subjects of the articles (people, organizations, etc), whether they like it or not, tend to have biases with the respective subject matter - and often aren't even aware of it. In addition, many have tried using WP as a soapbox to promote their beliefs or points of views or interpretations against anything derogatory said about them. Using oneself as a reliable source about such things is of course biased in almost every instance it's been done. While you may (or may not) be able to separate your biases from your contributions in such fashion, citing onself is still the implication of bias in such controversial situations. Interestingly, the subject can be cited, if done right. But that does not include using Wikipedia to make a statement. Say it somewhere, hope some reliable source picks it up, let someone edit the article to say "John Clark claims..."(cite to RS) and be done with it. But surely, you are not suggesting that because you said it, and said it here on WP that it's a valid edit to the article, do you?

Honestly, this all seems to be about you wanting to use WP as a soapbox for your retorts to claims made or content in the article. I think (but could be wrong) that you will be waiting a long time for that to actually be permitted. I also think your opening of this topic/section, where you allude to legal issues, may be misconstrued (or properly construed? dunno, as you don't elucidate) as meaning it's something you wouldn't mind testing. In hindsight, you may find it wasn't the best starting point for discussion.

And finally, I don't see what is so difficult about making suggestions and providing reliable sources on the article's talk pages and asking other editors to evaluate and (if they deem fit) include such info. I've got a few articles I have a COI with, and that's exactly what I do. And every time I can back up my claims with a RS, the info gets evaluated and included (and the times I cant back them up with an RS, I dont post the info on the talk page).

The article in question isn't your autobiography, nor will it ever be. Everything you say seems to lead to an implication that you wish/want much of it to be such. It won't happen; regardless of whether you edit as an anon or under your current account. ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 21:49, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Whilst I agree that articles shouldn't be autobiographical, I think John Clarke has some valid points. He has taken defamation action against news agencies. Yet we still use that news agency as a reliable source a represent what it has said as part of his biography. If borne out, this line of action appears to be potentially a spectacular failure of WP:BLP and leave Wikipedia open to the same defamation action that is already actioned on those news agencies.
I agree with you that discussing additions on the Talk Page is a good way forward. I also think that the editor with the COI should be able to remove sourced defamatory statements under WP:Burden; however that editor should clarify the nature of the defamation and the specific unreliability of the source on the Talk page as well so that neutral editors can find a way to improve on the material before (or if) it is re-inserted. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 22:23, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
To unsigned. So what that he's got a defamation case or three filed? Come back if he wins them, or until then, find a reliable source that states he's filed such case(s) and why. That way covers reality. "The (insert source here) claims... which is currently in dispute by (subject) in this defamation case (source/case)." Do you really think we should just pretend history hasn't happened - or do you think instead we should properly portray things as they have happened and as suppored by reliable sources?
The "odd" thing is all of this is covered in Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, which though JC has been pointed to on numerous occasions, it doesnt seem like they are being read or understood (and not specifically/just by him). ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 22:39, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
It wasn't unsigned, I just forgot the colon on the second paragraph. The problem isn't whether history hasn't happened, the problem is that by representing it as fact WP becomes liable for defamation. Per WP:BLP "Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion" -if a defamation case is filed against a source, then that source is in immediate risk of becoming poorly sourced and it should be removed immediately while the source is being challenged in court - if the court finds no defamation then it can be reinserted until such time as it may be challenged again.
The problem is that the scandal may be high profile and receive plenty of media coverage where as the defamation case may not, court records should stand as a reliable source but it may be only people close to the case and having a COI who know that such a case has been launched (or even won) and we should not be continuing to host proven (or at risk of being proven) defamatory material just because no-one has found a source that proves it is defamatory. If someone with COI to the case sees the material and honestly removes it in good faith as long as they then make the unreliable sourcing reasons clear on the talk page then it should not be discouraged and I would think that this agrees with both WP:BLP and WP:BURDEN. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 23:25, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks for quoting policy. Now, let's stop and see how it applies. The claims were not poorly sourced, and where are the well sourced claims of defamation? JohnClark claims he's filed defamation cases, great! Provide links to court documents or RS news stories. As I said, it is all covered in policy, and the desire (by some) is to ignore policy - whether due to ignorance, intent or attempt at creating an article more favorable towards the subject matter - but the reasons dont so much matter in that policy simply needs to be followed. ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 23:43, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

As I said the Court document may not be available online it may take an editor walking down to the court or local office and paying $25 to have a copy of the documents made, and if the defamation suit in it's self is of little press interest (or the press are not made aware) compared to the scandal that created it there may be no coverage in secondary RS. It is not a reason to retain defamatory material for the lack of immediate access to a source that proves that it is defamatory (or at least being questioned). both of the policies I mention above are very clear about this. If the subject of the article (or someone close to them) claims a defamation suit is under way against one or more of our sources then we cannot risk leaving that material in place or the next suit may be against WP. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 00:02, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Interesting, and a very inferred reading of that section (which notes nothing of the sort that applies to this - you keep applying other scenarios as if they fit this one). And why would John Clark need to pay for documents or take a walk anywhere for documents he already has? Where's that info? I am not saying defamatory information should be kept. But I also dont see the quidelines you quote as saying what you claim they exactly say.
He could have brought this to ArbCom, BLP Noticeboard, or a bunch of other places - proved his case, and actually gotten results. Instead, the way I am reading this is JC simply wants the right to remove information on a (possibly true, possibly not) claim he doesnt like, that there is a (possibly real/possibly not) defamation case going on against the (otherwise presumed) reliable sources that have made them. I've seen how cases of article subjects requesting the right to ensure "their" article is written has gone in the past. Have you? His claims are easy enough for him to prove. Doing so in the CORRECT venue, as suggested numerous times, would have ended this a long time ago. Not doing so, to an outsider who doesnt assume good faith on his action, would make it seem he's more interested in controlling the content of "his" article here, then reporting valid defamation and having it removed quickly by the numerous options open to him. I guess I can AGF a little longer, but how long (with a half dozen suggestions on how to properly deal with this expediently) should I or anyone else? ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 00:25, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Court documents are not normally considered to be reliable sources since they are essentially self-published. Opinions by appellate courts are an exception, but that's not a factor here. FWIW I have found a 2004 mention of a case Clark brought against Larry King and CNN, but no mention of the outcome.   Will Beback  talk  00:34, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I should have been clearer...
  • In the presence of court documents of an open case, I would assume it is perfectly valid to mention that the premise of a reliable source is being contested by the article's subject, and give appropriate weight to the subject's objections as stated in the documents (and re-evaluating things once the case has been concluded).
  • In this and some similar circumstances, the matters that have not been addressed are:
    • Are there defamation cases filed? (I don't know John Clark. I don't even know where to look for such cases when they are only vaguely mentioned (ie: "I filed defamation cases against..."))
    • Are they still pending or ongoing?
    • Were they dismissed as "no merit"? (in which case, but sorry, I'd say the information stays as a court has ruled it's not defamatory)
    • Were they won? (in which case, sure, lets modify the article to address that the rs content was disputed by the subject and found defamatory)
And finally, the big one:
  • This could have been resolved by John Clark simply following just one of the links provided and going to the proper venue to resolve this quickly instead of dragging this out for around a week now.
The "And finally..." is the big one. This should be done and over with by simply filing a report in the proper place with the proper information. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 00:59, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

User:Will Beback|Will Beback]]  talk  00:34, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

@Robert taking a walk would apply to an uninvolved third party editor wishing to prove that john clarke's claim of a defamation suit is true. The only way to WP:V that a case exists its to get details from the court not from taking the word (or a self published court document) from the editor with the COI. That does apply in this case as the press only slightly covered one of john's suits and has ignored the other, so we have John's word or we need to find a neutral court document.
Yes John should take his claim to one of those locations, but as I've said before that's part of WP:Burden the removal is unrestricted then the debate about re-including it can be fairly conducted in these locations. Leaving material with any potential for defamation in place and debating it's removal is not an acceptable way to treat either the material or the subject of the article and again it leaves WP open to litigation whilst that debate takes place.
@Will when you say self published, do you mean in the sense of open to tampering by the subject of the case if not provided by the court? The usecof court documents is frowned upon because they are primary sources, primary sources are fine if they represent a statement of fact and we use primary sources like birth or death indexes all the time. Stating a fact like X is suing Y for defamation due to article Z is a simple statement of fact and the source should be usable in debate. Of course if the primary source contains a complex opinion like a court transcript, it should not be used for adding material. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 01:34, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Stuart: There seems more interest in changing WP policy than addressing this issue though. Otherwise, again, this would have been resolved a long time ago.

Additionally, this "it lays a special moral responsibility on Wikipedia to provide fairness and a voice to those BLPs who feel they have been mistreated by the press" indicates not just that, but that a soapbox is wanted, not because of defamation specifically, but because he thinks Wikipedia should be a vehicle he can use to make his voice heard because he thinks he's been "mistreated". I do not and will not ever support Wikipedia being perverted into every public figure's soapbox. Will you? I doubt the community will either.

ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 01:42, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

@Robert I believe Wikipedia should have higher standard of verification and fact checking than a tabloid or Gossip Paper and I don't think it's too much to ask for that as a clarification of policy when it's affecting you personally; "Fairness" is encompassed within NPOV. if an editor has added material which is not neutral (despite being well sourced) then it needs to be dealt with one way or another and if it appears regularly it does not make sense for the same issues to regularly raised about the same article in ArbCom, BLP Noticeboard, or that bunch of other places. This is particularly a problem when an individual's notability is low (but does exist) there may be very few editors who have an interest on working on a biog of the individual and it's in cases like this that biases of a small number of individual editors supported by a bad source or two can do a lot of damage to WP and to the individual by not being neutral and operating unchecked.

In short WP my not be a soapbox but we do have a responsibility to either represent the information neutrally giving equal coverage to the opposite position if expressed by the subject of the article (even if that position is not covered by the press) or by not covering the material at all. note I also said that I support editors with a COI removing non NPOV material by WP:BURDEN as long as adequate discussion about the material occurs before it is re-inserted. I have not yet given a view on addition of material (and as I am trying to get rid of a series of articles just now which fail various criteria, including COI, N, V, Sockpuppet and others; I certainly don't want to contradict myself) Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 17:29, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

The ability of the same voices to pervert ordinary speech to their purpose is making me feel quite sick. Here's the word soapbox. Read about it. Think about it. It is not to be applied to a BLPer who has been trying to offset the blast of biased editing by the same users on a matter of private lives splattered in the pages of the gutter press. I've written about it, and guess what, you don't need to bother with reading it and it is clear that you are not. JohnClarknew (talk) 10:58, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

No John Clark. What is clear is:
  • If your interests were resolving the issue with your article, you would have done so a long time ago by following the appropriate link myself or others provided for you
  • Your real interest is to use Wikipedia as a soapbox. I will not play word games with you on how you wish to define the word. You made the claim, call it what you want.
  • You wish to see Wikipedia's policies changed in this respect - another part of the reason you are here (at Jimbo's page) - but even in that respect, you once again ignore the proper ways of doing it and are trying to do an end run around the Wikipedia community
  • Pick whatever word you think is appropriate to replace soapbox. Use your own website for that.
  • You have provided nothing but vague claims, a statement that implies a thinly veiled legal threat or that gives the appearance you have already consulted a lawyer to see if you could sue WMF and were told no, then claim you want something done about it, get told where to go to have it dealt with properly and DONT try to get the issue fixed. You very carefully use words in a way that does not address any issue raised - or outright ignore any issue raised.
You are simply here to try to make a point and force a policy change with an end run around the community. Things I could (but wont) speculate you are here for is to drive traffic to your site, and create publicity for yourself - but I wont speculate on those things. I'll sit back at this point and watch you continue and see how much further you go without trying even once to get your issues resolved via the proper venue.
Wait! I just thought of something! Since you cant seem to find the right venue to deal with this, and you've made some pretty big claims in your earlier posts, maybe I can help you! I am pretty sure (assuming your claims on the article content is correct). there's a criteria for speedy deletion that can be used to remove the entire entry on Wikipedia about you. Would you like me to file that CSD? Or perhaps you can go to the correct venue to deal with this issue? Your unwillingness to do so seems to indicate (y'know: actions, louder, words) a disinterest in doing so.
Best, ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 15:38, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Advice to those who would make inflammatory statements on this site. Precede your comments with the words "In my opinion". That's your legal disclaimer. Now, I am not a lawyer. Perhaps RobertMfromLI and certain others should consult one for verification. I'm only trying to help them protect themselves from lawsuits. JohnClarknew (talk) 20:00, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've made no inflammatory statements (I guess I could ask my cousin if you truly suspect I should. He's a very prominent expert in this). I've repeated your very own claims. "In my opinion" Claim #1 your actions (or lack thereof) prove or imply. Claim #2, I've quoted you on above. Claim #3, you state in your opening post. Statement #4 fits WP's definition of WP:SOAPBOX - I wont quibble words, Claim #5 is supported by... I dunno... the lack of information you provided and the statements you said. Read that one carefully. Note the use of the word IMPLIES and GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF. I accused you of nothing. That about covers it, so please refrain from twisting my statement into something it is not. Would you like me to provide all the diffs? And please don't threaten me with a lawsuit - that seems to be, in my opinion, what you are implying. If your seemingly clear, directly worded statements do not accurately portray your meaning, then perhaps you should qualify or retract them. And, you once again fail to address any point raised.

One final note, I somehow suspect (and this is just my opinion) that you will not get any answer, much less the one you want, from anyone in the WMF. Since you have failed to follow policy and guidelines in these matters, them entering into the discussion would also violate such... and we all know where that can be taken. ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 21:08, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Shift the burden

The entries for BLP's are in fact CVs of these same people. A Curriculum Vitae provides an overview of a person's life and qualifications. There is a simple answer to what seems to be the biggest contentious and most vexing issue with Wikipedia's current policy. BLP entries are now treated forensically with encyclopedic emphasis. It assumes the burden to be on the subject to somehow make corrections to make sure that the truth is told, but then is downright forbidden to actively and directly do so. The answer which has been staring one in the face all along is that the burden should be on Wikipedia, not the other way around. The rules should be changed. The Notable Person should be able to post their CV on the site, and editors should then have the burden to show that there are lies being told if they can. Yes, that would be an autobiographical entry. The notable person would have the responsibility of preserving the integrity of their CV. The CV would contain unverifiable information. Woe betide the writer if deliberate false claims are made, maybe they should risk deletion. The notable person could say, like politicians do in those relentless political TV ads "I approve this entry." And there would be very little editing by users, perhaps none. Negative comments and challenges could be confined to the discussion page. JohnClarknew (talk) 18:39, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

An article written by one person or for one point of view can use a single self consistent epistemology and make a claim to represent Truth. An article written by any number of people on a site dedicated to "Neutral point of view" by definition can not, since different points of view include different theories of epistemology (e.g. Scientific point of view vs. Authoritative point of view). So as a practical management matter we use verifiability, not Truth; so we can avoid epistemological arguments that can only be argued and never resolved. The Wikipedia policy Wikipedia:Verifiability says :"The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—whether readers can check that material in Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether editors think it is true." - WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:57, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Isn't this the wrong venue. Perhaps you should go back to the entry you started on the Village Pump but were too "exhausted"[10] to continue on? Or one of the other more suitable venues? ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 21:08, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
You write:
  • "There is a simple answer to what seems to be the biggest contentious and most vexing issue with Wikipedia's current policy. BLP entries are now treated forensically with encyclopedic emphasis"
    • Wikipedia is an encylopedia (or intended to be and makes a decent effort at being)
Next big issue is that once WP starts treating BLPs as non-encyclopedic content, it should probably do so for the following as well, since they are BLP or semi-BLP in nature:
  • Pages about bands and other groups (for all intents and purposes, they are a legal entity, and also susceptible to defamation, etc - and have their own point of view on how they should be portrayed)
  • Pages about cities (same applies)
  • Pages about countries (same applies)
  • Pages about businesses (same applies)
  • Pages about states (same applies)
  • Pages about government agencies (same applies)
  • Pages about any organization (same applies)
  • And possibly, pages about various geological features, as they are actually the property of the city, state or country they are in
  • Pages about any religious organization
  • Pages about any religious belief
Once finished, there will be very little encyclopedic content left on Wikipedia. Instead, WP will simply be the personal websites for a lot of different people, groups, organizations, bands, cities, states, etc; with a small smattering of some scientific and math related stuff.
Worse is, I think a compromise may have been reachable that maybe allowed some published primary source claims. But, you went from here [11] which was a mix of content (subject claims, criticisms, etc), to what you wrote here [12] where you want "Negative comments and challenges could be confined to the discussion page" meaning the entire article becomes only what the subject of it wants, and the talk page is used for anything else.
So, since this is the venue you have chosen to discuss Wikipedia policy changes, my answer to that is (as I suspect most of the community would also vote):
  • Strongly Oppose for the reasons given above
Anyway, I'm done here for a bit. I have an article to write for the Star Trek Phase 2 site, coincidentally as it's a "self" piece, it's about the fun I've had on Wikipedia (still haven't decided exactly what I'm writing about in that vein - but with millions of readers, it needs to be good). Best of luck to you... if you do decide to instead chose a route to create balanced BLPs, as I said above, I'd support a proper initiative to do so. ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 01:23, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, one last note. Let's say I agree with you 100%, and so does the entire Wikipedia Community (there's no hidden meaning in this - read it with that in mind). It's still impossible. We'd have to verify the identity of every LP to ensure it was truly them who were making the entries. You've already commented on the difficulty (or absurdity? not sure exactly in what way you were objecting) of such[13]. For LPs, that would require a ton more staff, with thorough background checks, and so on, since they'd be needing to receive and verify a bunch of personally identifying information. Then, add to the mix that a lot of notables would have managers/publicists/lawyers who handle such duties for them. That makes things even more impossible, as it would mean verifying that the m/p/l actually represents the notable as well as their identity. And additionally, it would require being verified on a regular basis to ensure that m/p/l still worked for the notable. Any idea how many BLPs there are that such matters would have to be dealt with? Or, any idea how many single purpose accounts not owned by a notable, but named after a notable, I've had to request a username block/change on? So, even if your proposal is entirely the most wonderful proposal there is, it's still impossible to implement - and the dangers of just assuming "User:John Doe" is "Notable:John Doe" would cause Wikipedia to be sued out of existence in no time since they are the only ones who can create their BLP. Hope you see the problem with your proposal. BTW, everything I post on a talk page that is not actual content contribution proposals, is most definitely, entirely my opinion - dunno how or why anyone would consider it otherwise - I really thought that obvious, especially to anyone with a lot of writing experience. Best, Robert ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 03:02, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
The heading for this discussion is No right of reply? Jimbo commented when it first came up (see the archive [14]) as follows: ...there is a serious need for NPOV editorial judgment. Someone has to do the difficult job of weighing up the sources and realizing that, on balance, a particular source (even if from a generally well-regarded publication) which is an outlier in some respects must be ignored or anyway dealt with as problematic. If we get it wrong even when I have said the same thing hundreds of times to dozens or hundreds of publications, imagine how much harder it is for people who are not interviewed very often, whose only press is 5-10 articles across a span of a dozen years.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:57, 22 October 2010 (UTC). There is a problem in this area, and it's up to us to find answers, and to find them requires thinking outside the box. Look, this is also a think tank and we should be in a brainstorming session. But what we read in response is "same old same old", much of it rubbish, by the usual egos. Hasn't anyone got a fresh idea in their head? Please please let's hear from some other contributors. We need new voices here. JohnClarknew (talk) 09:04, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────There is no problem here; except for one problem editor who is becoming disruptive because he does not much like his biography here. Jimbo makes a solid point; but mostly that ideal is violated by BLP subjects themselves, like yourself, just like you did. WP is not anyone's CV, it is an encyclopedia. Changing policy from requiring public reliable sources for verifying information to allowing BLP subjects to insert "The Truth" would completed destroy the underlying ethics of the wiki. Your crusade is becoming tiresome; the main problem with your article now is that no one can make improvements to it because you're sat on there threatening to edit war to stop anyone changing it!! Which is ironic given much of your writing above... To everyone else; it is probably best just to ignore John in there forums, he tends to go round and round if you engage (and, yes, I have fallen into that trap a couple of times). Hopefully if no one persists the argument John will go back to article work, after all, we are here to write an encyclopedia. --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 16:35, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

John (do you mind if I call you that? Apologies if you do.), hopefully you see the problems with your suggestion now. Lets for a moment, dismiss every claim of disruptiveness or POV pushing against you - I have not looked into it (and have never edited "your" article for that matter) so I wont make claims for or against such in this. I'd prefer to discuss the problem (and solution) you present instead. So, for this moment, let's assume you are the most unbiased, non-POV pushing subject-author there is. That makes you few and far between. Read what Tom wrote and what I did, and you see how much larger of a problem your suggestion creates. And sadly, one set of rules must apply to all. Then, let's look at the scenario you propose. If the subject-author is posting unsourced (or self sourced) claims in "their" "bio" then your check against abuse does not work either. Other editors cannot dispute or dismiss such things by finding very reliable sources that claim otherwise because the information is unsourced to begin with. That means then, that every subject-author can make innumerable claims about themselves that cannot be countered or removed under your proposal. So... in this scenario, we've got your article, based in reality and accurate, and hundreds of thousands? millions? of other BLPs that are untruths, advertising or worse. And a paid, background checked, Wikipedia staff a few hundred times larger to ensure each subject-author is who they say they are.
Here's something funny. I don't edit the Star Trek: New Voyages article, except for some typos and such, because I have a WP:COI with it (I'm one of the producers, webmaster, network admin, "Keeper of the Footage" and the Gaffer). What's funny is there really isn't any reason why I shouldn't. I am the one who writes or publishes our news releases, episode announcements and so on. In one fashion or another, everything cited to external sources usually ends up pointing right back at one of my announcements. Let me rephrase and continue my earlier sentence: "There really isn't any reason why I shouldn't - except that it creates the appearance of biased editing and problem of my COI interfering with the article content" <--- thus I don't add content. I have made some suggestions on the article's talk pages though... but I also clearly state, in each one, who I am, that every editor should consider my possible COI when they weigh any of my suggestions, and so on. Heck, there's information on that page that I know is incorrect, but I dont change it. Instead, I'm more concerned with getting publicity directly to my site. No one on the STP2 team has any interest in seeing Wikipedia becoming our advertising tool (hence we all stay away from editing the article). Let's assume you too are that exception and have no such motives. Then, again, you will find many many others are not and do have such motives. I semi-regularly patrol NewPages and such, and you've (probably) got no idea how many pages on notables and non-notables alike are created by said subject simply to use Wikipedia as an advertising tool. Funny thing is, it's their lack of knowledge that creates their need for such. Search Google for "Star Trek New Voyages" and we come up first and second (main site, and the media site). Wikipedia comes up third. My hard work over the years paying off. Search for notables who dont know how to "get their site out there" and Wikipedia comes up far higher than their own site. That's no one's fault but their own. Problem is, they, instead of fixing their deficiency (to increase their relevance on Google), try to use Wikipedia to advertise.
This brings us up to the crux of this. Providing a balanced point of view for if or when the media over sensationalizes a subject. I agree that perhaps changes can be made to improve that - but breaking the system beyond repair (and possibly putting WP in jeopardy of... really bad things) is not the answer.
Perhaps thus, you, as a subject of this situation, can make a proposal that takes all of that into account. I for one, really dont care so much on a personal level, as I make sure my web properties are properly weighted in Google searches to ensure they come out on top. On a Community level, yes, I care, but since I have no personal stake, other than the suggestions I tried proposing above a day or three ago (which you may or may not have read), I dont have a solution. Best, Robert ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 19:17, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Roving teams of BLP editors should be banned

In my opinion, in order to avoid the appearance of biased editing of BLP'ers, the practice of 2, 3 , 4 or more of the same editors targeting the pages of certain prominent living people should be banned. This could be done by a rule, say, that no more than a certain number of entries (to be determined) may be made by the same editors, especially when they appear to be working as a team. Living notables, currently discouraged from editing on the page referencing them, have every reason to be fed up with this kind of thinly disguised discrimination, and there has to be a way to put a stop to it. Consensus should be required from a larger group of independent writers. (talk) 10:26, 3 November 2010 (UTC) Sorry, forgot to log in. JohnClarknew (talk) 10:29, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

The problem is not with "teams" (which actually do not exist as such, I sincerely hope) as with individuals with specific axes to grind who hone them on BLPs of those they favor with refusal to allow any negative information at all, no matter how well-sourced, and, more commonly, insertion of any scandal or tidbit of negative rumor or innuendo into the BLPs of those they oppose. See User:Collect/BLP for the positions of one POV-pusher (not my positions!) (now, thankfully, banned as a sock master). I am a firm believer that BLPs should be written as conservatively as possible, even if it means leaving out "juicy stuff." Collect (talk) 11:26, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Collect, could you please link to the original discussions from which you copied those posts? Given recent events, and the fact that you're directly quoting someone, attribution would be important here. Risker (talk) 01:40, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Risker: they are all pretty easy to find. For instance, the first one (starting with "Collect moves to pre-empt debate...") can be found here: [15]. You will find various others from that section of Collect's page on that same archive. Hope that gets you started. Best, Rob ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 02:01, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
The rationale was to prevent anyone asserting that it is an "attack opage" and I asked some senior people how to handle it. The solution was to remove anything which instantly reveals names. That the person has now been exposed and banned does not alter what an "attack page" is. Collect (talk) 10:43, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
One of our methods of preventing vandalism is through watchlists, and editors who watchlist controversial articles may well wind up making multiple edits to that article simply through reverting vandalism when it shows up on their watchlist; Rather than ban this practice I think we should encourage it. If an article has a bias we have processes to remedy this, in the case of BLPs that can include escalating matters as far as Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard. ϢereSpielChequers 19:24, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Here[16] was an interesting suggestion on how to deal with such - which would get rid of all editors on a BLP entirely. I disagree with it, but figured it should be pointed out. Others may think it's a wonderful suggestion. I think the system as is, generally works pretty well, especially when people remember the BLP Noticeboard. But that's just my opinion. ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 01:35, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm glad you disagreed with that suggestion, personally I think it deeply flawed. I may be the hemp clad sandal wearing hippy that I was recently described as on my talkpage; But I have a sneaky suspicion that if we allowed living people editorial control of their biographies on this site, some of them would struggle to comply with our policies. We'd also have a bit of an overhead establishing that half a million people were who they said they were, or were authorised by. Plus some very specific problems on the bios of convicted murderers, some of whom might prefer to give more space on "their" wikipedia article to their poetry or pets than to their crimes. Also I can see some awkward child protection issues re articles on child actors and other subjects below the age of majority. As for individuals who are now senile or going that way, I can foresee several awkward scenarios if we allow them editorial control over their bios. ϢereSpielChequers 13:10, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
See "No right of reply?" above. The issue is that when the gossip press has finished destroying a BLP's reputation, the references to which will hang in the encyclopedia until the BLP dies, the LP is not even allowed to insert the phrase "according to People Magazine", or "the subject objected to the accuracy of the report which said, etc. etc." And there are some editors who resist any effort to allow that sort of language to be inserted by the subject. Thus reputations get destroyed, and the misinformation lives on. And certain editors respond by saying "Tough, those are our rules." JohnClarknew (talk) 05:56, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm a bit concerned if the LP isn't being allowed to insert the phrase "according to People Magazine." WP:COI discourages editors from editing pages on which they have a COI, but doesn't actually forbid them, so long as they are careful to edit per policy. Not attributing a source would actually be a violation of policy in a case like this, so the COI editor would actually be correct (per our rules) to force the inclusion of the attributive statement. As for your second point (desiring to be able to state that you object to the accuracy of a report), I don't see that our treatment of "right of reply" is any different than any other encyclopedia, unauthorized biography, or historical treatise. If I decide to write a book tomorrow about Bill Clinton, no one can stop me so long as I don't violate any laws (libel, etc.). I never have to talk to Clinton, nor any of his associates, nor do I have to look at what he wrote, etc. The same principle is operating here--we don't have to ask living subjects about their personal views on things, so long as we don't violate our own "laws" or the laws of the land. I'm personally very glad that embedded in our "laws" is a basic respect for the dignity of public and semi-public people, but I'm also glad that we don't allow living persons oversight over their own pages. I doubt that the legacies of most people accurately reflect how they would like to be remembered--not even the legacies of those are hero-ified or even deified. But (to get back to your point), if "roving bands of editors" are intentionally hiding behind erroneous interpretations of policy, then they should be called to task on it, either directly through our internal disciplinary procedures, or externally, via the OTRS system. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:05, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I havent reviewed the issue John Clark mentions above... but I wonder if it was deemed (by whoever said such) redundant due to the citation under the grounds that the attribution is equally indicative of "according to (source)"? Regardless, I'd be for the inclusion of such in the article. In one of the GAs an adoptee and I worked on/earned, we had to do exactly that. The same applies for some other articles where there were content debates. "(Someone/RS/etc) claim... (blah, blah, blah) (citation)". I for one would pick clarity over such redundancy/wording issues virtually all the time for anything of this nature. Perhaps some uninvolved editors should look into it and re-open that discussion? Best, ROBERTMFROMLI TALK/CNTRB 07:16, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

To the best of my knowledge John has never discussed or tried to add "according to People Magazine" - at least, it has not been an issue he has raised before... just saying. Most of his contribution to his BLP has been, well, POV - attempting to put his side of his divorce story w/o being able to provide a reliable source. This included some pretty severe allegations against his deceased ex-wife and other (living) persons. Most of this stemmed from the fact we wouldn't let him put the allegations into the article. Again; just saying --Errant [tmorton166] (chat!) 09:09, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

RfC on the Schulze method for the upcoming ArbCom elections

There was this RfC whether the Schulze method should be used for the upcoming ArbCom elections. 13 users voted to replace support/neutral/oppose voting by the Schulze method (statement 1 by A Horse called Man). Only one user voted to keep support/neutal/oppose voting (statement by CS55cp). However, the closing administrator effectively declared this RfC void by claiming that the software does not support the Schulze method.

In my opinion, the decision of the closing administrator is false because of two reasons: (1) The sole task of the closing administrator is to see whether there is a consensus. But it is not his task to cast a vote on the issue. When there is a consensus that the Schulze method should be used, then the software should be written. (2) Since the Schulze method has already been used for the 2008 and the 2009 Wikimedia Board of Trustees elections, I doubt that there is no available software.

Please take a look at that RfC. A Horse called Man 18:42, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

The 2008/2009 Board elections were done offsite. ArbCom elections are not done that way. Though I supported your view, llywrch was correct; the proper thing to do is to submit a bug request asking for that feature, which can be properly discussed at the next major election. NW (Talk) 18:53, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I have half a mind to delete this thread as forum shopping. Horse, you didn't get consensus there, not nearly enough for us to drop everything and hire a team of people to do this for 2010. I'm already pushing for an immediate post election RfC on the things from that linked RfC, including your method. We can take it up after the election. Right now there isn't time to code and test this. That being said, this is definitely not the place to put this comment. Sven Manguard Talk 18:55, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
It's actually a fine place to put it, as it is at least conceivable that I might judge the general preference expressed for Schulze strong enough to go to the Foundation and beg them to code this up for us, etc. But actually, I agree with the closing admin - this RfC was not the right place to decide on options that would require last minute coding effort. We must typically choose between viable options. If we want an option that isn't currently viable (and I think we probably do, in this case), that is a separate matter that we can take up with the Foundation in an appropriate time and venue.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:42, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I interpret the Wikimedia website as saying that the Schulze method is already viable. See e.g. here. A Horse called Man 17:47, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Ok, that requires a bit more thought then. If the closing admin thought that you were asking for something not technically available, but in fact it is available, the decision could be revisited. Additionally, though, I'm a bit concerned with the notion of changing something as fundamental as the method of voting, based on an 11-1 !vote. It is certainly an impressive margin, but it is not an impressive number of people. (To be clear: I don't have any opinion about whether this change should happen or not. I very much doubt if it will have any material impact on the results. I just want decisions to be made in an orderly and sensible fashion.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:38, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
In point of fact, Will Beback's simple proposal that we just keep with the prior secret ballot system has the support of 85. Far outweighing the claim that there was any significant support for weighted voting. This was not an "11 to 1 vote" by any stretch. Collect (talk) 11:59, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
The statement by Will Beback was only about whether we should keep secret ballots. On the other side, the statement by CS55cp was about whether we should keep support/neutral/oppose voting. 85 users supported the statement by Will Beback; but only one user supported the statement by CS55cp. A Horse called Man 12:54, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Read Will's statement. It specifically says that we use again what we used before. And again 85 >> 11. Collect (talk) 13:50, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Read Will's and CS55cp's statements again. If approving Will's statement implies approving support/neutral/oppose voting, then why didn't those users, who approved Will's statement, also approved CS55cp's statement? A Horse called Man 14:06, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think another issue is that the Schulze method was deemed unviable for this year (both on the RFC and its talk page). If people had been aware that such a could be implemented for this year, more people would've chimed in. That we had 130+ users express a preference for secret or open balloting compared to just 20 or so who expressed a preference for the voting system should show that it was being discussed as more of a novelty. DC TC 14:02, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Ok. I'll make the judgment call that although there is likely to be strong support for Schulze next year, and I will support that we have a proper RfC on that point next year, for this year, we will proceed exactly as we did last year.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:08, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Charles Whitman article and repercussions from a Puppetmaster's actions

Jimbo, can you please look at the following issue as you seem to have been personally involved at one point. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 21:41, 5 November 2010 (UTC).

Thanks for your help. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 14:56, 6 November 2010 (UTC).

India Tour

  • Hey, Jimbo...Thank you very much for coming in India.Your speech was very inspiring.I am sure that Wikimeetup will attract more Indian to Wikipedia.Very sad that I didn't got chance to talk to you during Q-A session.Are you coming in India in any Wikimeetup in 2010-11??We'll be waiting for you..Max Viwe | Wanna chat with me? 12:04, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Adminship: still not a big deal?

I might have missed it, but the last time I could see a discussion about your views on adminship not being a big deal was back in June 2008.

Do you still feel that it is not a big deal - or do the current responsibilities of admins mean that it now is a big deal?

As you know, your "no big deal" quote crops up from time to time on user pages and at RfA - but the community seems to think that perhaps it is now a big deal - that things have changed a lot since 2003!

Personally, I don't think that it is: I think that if people watched me being an admin, then they'd be forced to conclude:

  1. It really is a janitorial post!
  2. It is not exciting on the whole - and can be stressful from time to time (although I think I've been lucky, not getting much abuse)

Also, what do you think of the way that RfA appears to be going: if the candidate doesn't have a dozen GAs and half a dozen FAs to their credit, they won't make a good admin? Personally, I am not a great article creator (I have 2 GAs, with one which I am - slowly - working towards FA status), but I would like to think that I am not doing too bad as an admin during the last 9 months despite this!

Regards, -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 13:35, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Personally, I think that comment of Jimmy has already been misinterpreted to death often enough. I'm sure he'll correct me if I'm wrong but I remember him explaining, more than once, that the "no big deal" applies to putative status of being an administrator: it doesn't make you any more "elite" or "better" than any other editor. The actual technical abilities of admins have always been a big deal (blocking people and deleting pages on a Wiki are Heavy Stuff) which is why it wasn't just possible to give them to just anyone and it's super-duper-extra important to not misuse them. — Coren (talk) 13:59, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I'd agree - as an admin, I am no more "important" than any other editor - in fact, it could be argued that as I am not a high-content contributor, then I am less important than many prolific editors (registered or IP)! I certainly have a lot of respect for people who can create many articles - I am proud of the two significant articles which I have created, but I am not a great content-adder, just bits and pieces here and there. -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 14:10, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, obviously not everybody agrees. Recently I saw a discussion in which some people had obviously misunderstood things, was going to comment there to contribute the other side of the coin, but realised that it was a discussion section reserved exclusively to admins. Even Arbcom has been taking these things quite seriously recently, and I can't really blame anybody because it's an attempt to solve a real problem. Yet when admin bits are required to comment in a discussion that really crosses a line for me. In that particular case I just stayed quiet rather than put my comment elsewhere for everybody to ignore it. But if this happens more often my frustration is likely to reach the point where I want to do something against it. Hans Adler 14:24, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm curious - where was this "admin-only" discussion? I'm not aware of any such boards, although I may be wrong. -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 15:09, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
WP:AE has rules about sections where only admins can post.--Cube lurker (talk) 15:15, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) WP:AE. The "Result" sections are routinely used by admins for discussion about the merits, thus excluding non-admins. As I said there is a legitimate reason (significant disruption from unstructured contributions by involved editors in the past). But it's a clear symptom of our emerging caste system. Hans Adler 15:19, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Thank you both! I wasn't aware of that, as I've never had to post at AE. But as you say, that's for a legitimate reason. If you feel that you need to respond to an admin's comment there, I'd guess that the best venue is either on the admin's talk page or via email? -- PhantomSteve/talk|contribs\ 15:24, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I understand the reasons, but it's not exactly a janitorial operation.--Cube lurker (talk) 15:29, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

(undent) The point remains, really, even if the exact list of what admins do has expanded over the years (mostly because the list of things to do has so expanded). Admins don't get to block editors because they are better, but because they have been minimally* vetted by the community as sane enough to not go on a rampage. Enforcement of arbitration remedies is an expansion of that — not by virtue of admin superiority but by the fact that it's "close enough". — Coren (talk) 16:09, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

* Not taking into account the fact that RfA has gone completely batshit insane and that they made such a big effing deal of adminship; that's another problem.
I think one of our many difficulties with RFA being broken is that we now have a growing caste of experienced editors who are not admins, and in some cases know they can't become admins, even though they are better qualified than many of our current admns were when they got the mop. This cannot be healthy for the community. ϢereSpielChequers 22:13, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
This is not just the fault of RFA. There is also some positive feedback mechanism from the de-adminnings that became necessary after the expected standard of behaviour was raised. And for content producers there is simply not much incentive to clutter the editing interface with additional buttons. Sometimes it would be convenient if I could block a vandal on my own. Sometimes it's convenient that I don't have to think through all the consequences of some admin actions that I would like to do, so I am glad that I have a reason to ask an admin to do it. Overall it averages out. Hans Adler 22:23, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm not sure it does. I'm far from convinced I'd pass RfA today; I certainly wouldn't pass 50-1! Yet, I don't think that anyone can make a serious argument that I'm a net negative for having the bit. — Coren (talk) 22:46, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Hell if you enable a broken system you shouldn't have the bit. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 01:32, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Not really; admin functions are essential here, like it or not. There's enough hidden work that only admins can do, and actually perform, without ever coming to public attention. WP:CSD, for example, is rarely contentious. You shouldn't assume that admins are gods; the prevailing evidence is that they ain't, and I suspect your sample space of admin work is unduly limited. Rodhullandemu 01:59, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Additional, per Coren above. I'm in no doubt that if I ran a reconfirmation RfA tomorrow, it would sink without trace; however, I didn't apply for the job to make friends, I did it to be able to fight vandalism. However, it seems that once you're an Admin, you're up for grabs for any disaffected user for any decision you make. Accountability is all very well, but abuse isn't, and I take pride in that there has been almost zero opposition to any of my blocks or page protections. That tells me that I'm largely getting it right, and if you disagree, you are free to say so. Rodhullandemu 02:07, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Rod I agree in principal that 90 percent of admin work is non controversial but the dispute resolution process and arbcom should be made to have more checks and balances. Other then extremely clear cut violations like attacks of vandalism the site is run roughshod by the power hungry few. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 04:54, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Hint to the wise, if you're hungry for power, you'll starve on ArbCom. — Coren (talk) 11:36, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Equal hint to the wise the only thing you will starve when at a Arbcom page is a of common sensse by adminstration and arbs. Hell In A Bucket (talk) 14:45, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

The spate of RfAs over the past 10 days or so left me feeling more doubt over the process than I have in the past. There was a fair bit of vitriol flying about. I have repeated often there that we do have a review process (arbcom) but I think there is a doubt in the community that reviews of admin conduct will be heard there. Casliber (talk · contribs) 12:48, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

In terms of numbers of RFAs has been fairly quiet, even by the standards of the drought of the last two and a half years. But an unusually high proportion of the recent RFAs have been traincrashes, and RFA is looking even more broken than usual. Personally I think that weakens the case for augmenting or replacing Arbcom with an alternative RFA style model of desysopping, at some point we are going to have to repair or replace RFA if only because the declining number of active admins will eventually force our hand (its dropped another 20 since the 2nd of October). Making the desysopping method more like RFA looks increasingly like replacing an imperfect process with a broken one, and I think it would be more productive to ask the critics of Arbcom what they think is wrong with the way Arbcom deals with problematic admins. Not that I think Arbcom is anywhere near as much in need of reform as RFA, but clearly there are editors out there who think that we should desysop assorted admins and don't trust arbcom to do so. ϢereSpielChequers 13:39, 4 November 2010 (UTC)


I think one of our many difficulties with RFA being broken is that we now have a growing caste of experienced editors who are not admins, and in some cases know they can't become admins, even though they are better qualified than many of our current admns were when they got the mop.


But an unusually high proportion of the recent RFAs have been traincrashes,


There was a fair bit of vitriol flying about.

First, the "vitriol" at RFA pales in comparison to what admins regularly get away with at ANI, or the abuse heaped on regular, good faith, productive editors who may even <gasp> make an occasional mistake. (See User:SandyGeorgia/sandbox#Admin abuse).

My attention was drawn to this problem at ANI,[17] [18] [19] which led me to see what the heck was going on at RFA, which led me to look into DYK (also here), which led to copyvio issues at DYK being raised at ANI, which led to the discovery of a copyvio at TFA, and we know where that ended up.

Third, I entirely disagree that recent RFAs have been a "trainwreck", although there has been some vitriol. In fact, I would say that RFA is now doing a better job of screening out ill-prepared candidates, which can only be healthy.

Fourth, WSC fails to highlight the distinction between good editors who know they can't be admins, and the (majority of) those who never want to be admins, because of the doublestandard and abuse they've seen.

WSC, what on earth is going on at RFA that ill-prepared candidates were routinely promoted with little inspection? I have found exactly one post each between you and Redthoreau, only three days before you nommed him. I have edited with him, on Che Guevara; did you have any editing experience with him, or did you just look at one talk page, where he is mostly discussing with other editors who share his POV?

Finally, until abusive admins are treated the same at ANI as others, I believe it is entirely healthy for closer scrutiny to be placed on candidates at RFA, just as I believe it is entirely healthy for closer scrutiny to be placed on FACs considering our role in the recent TFA debacle. We aren't shirking our responsibility at FAC; I wish the admin corp would assume theirs in dealing with admin abuse. The admin who mistreated me, stands by his allegation that I "vandalized", and refuses to retract or apologize because he "can't be bothered"-- and he will get away with it because other events have eclipsed that incident. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 14:03, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

My ideas about the problems and their solutions have been clearly outlined in some essays here, here, here, and here. Brews ohare (talk) 15:02, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Please feel free to comment on the Talk pages accompanying these essays. Brews ohare (talk) 15:03, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict)So Sandy, rather than leaving the evidence hanging around on a user subpage, lodge it with the arbitration committee for a circumscribed review of admin tool use/conduct. That is one of the committee's roles, and I do recall we reviewed a few admins in the early part of 2009. It's all laid out succinctly so would be easy to follow. Casliber (talk · contribs) 15:04, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

In all my spare time, with everything I've got going on? As I said, other events have eclipsed that incident, and I think FAC should be my priority in the limited editing time I have now. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:12, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Sandy is right here; as long as there is no way to get rid of admins when necessary, it will always be a big deal. Because everybody knows that once someone is an admin, they need to do something really awful (akin to running into Burger King and shooting 50 people) before they will be desysopped. That's the problem. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 15:27, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Yep. For that matter, I've got a lot going on IRL and need to work on making sure FAC is on track, which should be my priority. I've just lodged a bunch of diffs here that need attention; will anyone deal with it while I'm struggling to deal with my responsibility at FAC? Doubt it. You've got an admin decrying on this very page that he wouldn't pass RFA today, with plain evidence of the problems with that admin. Who's problem is this? Are hard-working, good-faith, productive content contributors supposed to take their time away from content to deal with abusive admins? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:32, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Hi Sandy, I don't equate vitriol at RFA with effective scrutiny of candidates. I've opposed several candidates in recent RFAs, and in one it was my question about their past creation of unreferenced BLPs that torpedoed the RFA. But I like to think that none of my opposes were in any way vitriolic. One of my concerns about RFA of late is the lack of scrutiny of candidate's recent contributions and the over emphasis on the question section. When I oppose a candidate it is almost always with examples of recent edits they've made which I find contentious, as you've raised the issue of the candidate I just nominated, I would just point out that whilst at least one oppose related to his blocklog from 2008, most related to the candidate's answers to the questions in the RFA, especially question 5. Whilst I don't agree with the candidate on the subject, I take the view that RFA should be about whether the candidate can be trusted to administer according to policy, I don't think it relevant that if a candidate wants to change policy in a different direction than I do. Your oppose and some others related to POV issues regarding Che Guevara and related articles, and specifically the discussions in 2008 that Redthoreau was blocked for. I did mention Redthoreau's block record in my nomination statement, and I looked through the block log, deleted edits and many other of the candidate's contributions both before emailing my offer of a nomination and again while writing my nomination statement. At the end of the RFA I still don't see any edits the candidate made in the 12 months prior to transclusion that I regret missing, and while I don't claim to have checked everything the candidate has done, I'm not in the habit of !voting in an RFA let alone nominating a candidate on the basis of "just look at one talk page". As for the allegations of POV that were made in early 2008, yes I was aware of them, and I went through the current Che Guevara quite carefully, I'm not an expert on Marxism or Latin American history, but I did see some very negative information that seemed well sourced, so I concluded that any POV the candidate might have shown in years past was not a current problem. I did not greatly concern myself as to whether the charge of POV in early 2008 and the various blocks were justified, my concern was over whether the candidate was ready in late 2010 to become an admin. Clearly the community didn't agree with me over that, but if anyone has suggestions as to how I could improve my vetting of candidates, they are welcome to do so. ϢereSpielChequers 15:47, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
(ec) As someone who has spent some time in discussion of this issue at the failed WP:CDA attempt earlier this year, I will chime in here with my view if I may... I continue to feel that abusive admins are as big a problem for the project as vandalism is. Both require considerable ongoing effort to discourage and prevent. In some ways admin abuse - including low-grade but continuous abuse - is even worse, as it can have the effect of souring decent content contributors. Jusdafax 15:54, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
It's a question of trust; savvy candidates and POV pushers can go underground until they pass RFA, and then their true colors come out. And that is why editors who know the candidate's basics oppose based on what may appear to be trivialities, and why I never nom or support an editor whose character and editing I don't know quite well. As to the reason for what some are labeling "vitriol" at RFA, consider the problem of children promoting other children at RFA, when none of them know anything of the fundamentals of the project or adequately scrutinize the candidates, because they don't even know how? I wouldn't trust Red with the tools for one second, but to get the Myspace crowd to clue in, you have to give them trivialities, because many of them don't actually ... build the encyclopedia or know how to. By the time a mature, reasonable editor like DGG lodges a good optional question on an RFA, the Myspace crowd has already piled on enough support, or won't even read the questions, to pass the candidate. So something has to change, and lowering standards isn't it. My personal suggestion is that when evidence of admin abuse is put plainly under the nose of the arbs, they should do something about it themselves so content contributors can keep working and not have to spend all their time in DR. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 15:59, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Sandy, that is fine that you "wouldn't trust me with the tools for one second", but your opinion is not the sole arbiter on qualification. I am sure that dozens of users would never trust you with the tools for one second either - but that doesn't mean that you wouldn't do an effective job having them. I am curious how a Sandy RFA would go (I would guess it would devolve into a pile on of unnecessarily vitriolic opposition), and think that perhaps such an experience might make you more humble and civil in the way that you judge and openly criticize others.    Redthoreau -- (talk) 14:18, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
Specifically: why hasn't Rodhullandemu been blocked for the very recent diff I just posted here,[20] considering NW gave him a final warning at ANI?[21] And all Nyttend has to do to save us all a lot of time and agida and ill-repute for admins is say, "Yes, Sandy, I realize you may have made a good faith mistake and it wasn't vandalism". End of story. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:06, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I followed a link from Red's talk page here thinking that maybe, just maybe, we would be focusing on the recent interpersonal interaction atrocities committed in RfA. Sadly I was mistaken, as this thread seems to focus far too much on bad admins and not enough on bad comments. I've only been an account for a month or so now. I edited content as an IP, but never really got into the fray until now. From the prosepctive of someone that has only seen five or so RfAs, I can tell you right now that it is an ugly place. People, including myself, seem to take it far too personally, get far too worked up, for this to be healthy. Maybe it's time to redo the process, maybe not, but in the immediate term, the only way to improve RfA is to force people to be impersonal.
  • The "I've worked with you and I like you" and the "I've worked with you and I dislike you." Need to go. Back those up with diffs, or don't say them, as without examples, they're useless.
  • The "block log" thing is stupid. People get blocked as new users. If you can string along a year or so without being blocked, apparently you've learned something. "Blocked for edit warring in 2008 and still edit warring" and backing it up with diffs is useful, as it shows behavior, not opinion.
  • "Not enough content work" isn't helpful unless the person has done no content work at all, to the point where conceivably they wouldn't know how to do so. "Too much vandalism fighting" isn't helpful unless they demonstrate in this that they don't fight vandalism well (i.e. don't know what is and is not vandalism. Again, show diffs.
  • "I dislike your view on X" is complete and utter crap, and everyone knows that. When an RfA candidate says "this is my opinion, but it won't interfere with me being an admin" then voters better come up with diffs to show the contrary, otherwise its just an opinion. Admins, like all humans, have opinions, and are allowed to keep them, as long as they still act impartially.
  • "Acts immature" or "acts inappropriately" or "combative personality" work, but again, you had better bring the diffs, and you had better not keep reusing the same diff. Everyone makes one mistake. You are allowed a few of them, just as long as it isn't a pattern.
  • "I don't see why not" is just not a good argument. A better argument is "I've reviewed his work and cannot find instances where he acted in a manner that would indicate he would not make a good admin." Even better, cite diffs where the person showed wisdom or grace under pressure.
    • Remember to compliment the good stuff, and not just complain about the bad.
  • Finally "Vote this way to counter rediculous votes in other section" is also complete and utter crap. What you are saying is that you think your view is more important than someone else's opposing view. Focus on the candidate, and place your vote carefully, based on what you see.
As to the questions that get asked, there is only one user who consistently asks useful questions, and that user is Mkativerata. Everyone else either asks for clarifications, which are fine if done in moderation, or ask repetitive prying questions about the user's supposed failures in other questions. So you get the question wrong. Okay, you're going to lose support, but I can almost guarantee you're going to learn up what you missed and never forget it. That isn't an open invitation for three other people to ask why the person didn't do this or that in a previous question. It's rude to keep asking the same thing over and over.

TLDR A lot of arguments made in RfA are crap. Those that are not crap need to be backed up with linked diffs. Only then can we move from opinion to analysis and get good results. Diffs, diffs, diffs in every vote. Show us what you mean when you vote, or admit you can't back your vote up and go away. Sven Manguard Talk 18:53, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

And, naturally, I believe the opposite. The required "discussion" supporting the illusion that RFA isn't a vote is what makes RFA the cesspool it is. If you don't want pile-on opposition, and you don't want feelings hurt over the process, stop pretending that this is some kind of constructive community discussion. In reality, the supporters vote, and the system requires opposers to pile on the negativity to make their opposes count. Townlake (talk) 19:42, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
<sarcasm> How dare you. Clearly since you disagree with me you must be some sort of psychotic animal. Clearly you would make a terrible admin, you'd delete pages randomly, block Jimbo Wales, and post naughty pictures on the main page. Everything wrong with the world is your fault, and that's why you can never be an admin. </sarcasm>
It is my firm belief that if people are forced to justify their votes/beliefs and provide evidence of their assertions, it would end the pile on, of both supports and opposes. Forcing people to think is sometimes the only way to get enough thinking going to reach a productive result. Sven Manguard Talk 20:55, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
At RFA, only the Opposers have to "think"; the Myspace supporters don't have to provide a rationale, or even any indication that they are familiar with either the candidate, or Wiki's core policies. Whoever said, "only one user who consistently asks useful questions, and that user is Mkativerata" isn't paying attention, or doesn't know what sorts of things need to be asked at RFA. Worse, no matter how often candidates flub Mkativerata's excellent questions, editors support them anyway. Conclusion: problems in the admin corp because of lack of adequate scrutiny at RFA, and since they are almost never desysopped, no reason to stifle Opposes, since Supports are automatic. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:20, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
A few years ago, I proposed this to the Wikien mailing list. Now I know it wouldn't work and it's contrary to the way we decide things here but what's interesting about it is that under "plan B", the default assumption would be that the candidate is qualified for the admin tools and will be promoted unless someone can come up with a damn good reason why he shouldn't be. To overlook silly/myspacey/copypasta/follow-the-leader supports and require opposers to have reasonable and logical justifications for their !votes seems to be based on the same principle. (I once joked on IRC that if I were a crat closing an RFA, I would completely ignore the supports and go straight to the opposes and see if any of them had a good reason why the candidate shouldn't be promoted. and no I would never actually do that) There is some logic to this line of thought. The nominator says "I believe that X will be a good admin because BLAH BLAH BLAH" and all the supporters are doing is agreeing with this (unless a supporter has another reason why the candidate should be promoted not mentioned by the nominator) It's the opposer's job to "impeach" the nomination. That is, they need to explain why the candidate would not make a good admin despite what the nominator says. This requires more thought then concurring with the nominator. --Ron Ritzman (talk) 21:24, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Useful was not the right word. The word I should have used was "insightful" and I stated in this thread that I have only seen five or so RfAs. Most of the questions follow the patter of "I don't understand what you said, please comment" or "I disagree with what you said, please comment". The only person who pried at how the candidate thinks and what their knowledge level was, who asked insightful questions, was Mkativerata. As to the other point you made, about how there is not enough scrutiny within RfAs, and support is spammed willy-nilly, may I point out that I support forcing people to justify the supports as well as the opposes. I want absolutely everyone to be forced to think critically about how they vote, not just the opposes. Sven Manguard Talk 23:31, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Mkativerata is asking questions? Given what xe said of my RFA questions, I suppose that I should take a look. ☺ Uncle G (talk) 08:52, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

  • Per SandyGeorgia above, is anyone going to block me? I'm not suggesting that a failure to do so is an acceptance of WP:NPA or WP:CIVIL, but if I've crossed the line, blocking should be preventative rather than punitive, and I would contend that if I were blocked for a comment made more than 48 hours ago, it would be difficult to sustain an argument based on "prevention". Hmmm? Rodhullandemu 04:38, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo hasn't commented on this thread, and I assume because he would want the community to do something about the trainwreck the RfA process has become. That will only happen if threads like this get exposure by happening on the right talk page where the more focused comments would carry some weight, and where we might eventually get some action. Anyone want to be bold enough to copy it over there? --Kudpung (talk) 04:55, 6 November 2010 (UTC)

Either you haven't been watching that page or you should consider using clear sarcasm markers in the future. Given the large amounts of text that have been written on the RfA talk page about this without any consequences at all, it's actually more likely that a reform of the RfA process will be initiated successfully at WP:WQA. Hans Adler 10:57, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
Going back to the early days of WP, Jimbo appointed those editors as admins he considered able enough to sustain and promote the values of WP; over time, that process has (probably quite rightly) been devolved to the community at large. As the encyclopedia has developed, so has its needs from its sysops/admins; and make no mistake, there is an illusion that admins are somehow different from ordinary editors; wrong, wrong, and wrong again. Admins can do a few things that other editors can't, but none of them is irreversible or not subject to community review. That is perhaps the bottom line, and anyone seeking adminship on the basis of power alone, or once having achieved it, assumes that they are immune from criticism, is deluding themselves. I have no solution to offer as regards RfA; it's bound to be something of a beauty contest, and ticking the right boxes before you run. However, experience shows that that isn't a defence against abuse. Rodhullandemu 05:18, 6 November 2010 (UTC)