User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 69

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You inspire me...

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Mocha2007 (talkcontribs) 19:29, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

A tiny suggestion

Can Wikipedia have a general community/discussion page where users can discuss general aspects of Wikipedia, its structure, talk among users and so on.....you know some sort of a forum to discuss general topics. 117.199.156.60 (talk) 10:52, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


Go to WP:Village pump. Gwen Gale (talk) 10:54, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Hello, goodsir.

"Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing." a quote. by you.

this quote gives me the imagination that anyone can create and edit an article on wikipedia from their knowledge, and others will share in this aswell. however, i have seen that his is a farce, the moderators and other people who control wikipedia knowingly restrict the sharing of knowledge simply because one thing may lack 'notability' but who can really define or say something is notable or not? an article, about a gaming website, game engine, a programming language, and a community, has been deleted numerous times for not having notability. yet, there are articles out there, with no sources at all, nothing besides one external link (A+) yet, this article, about a big part of many people's lives is not allowed to flourish and grow on this place you claim to be the sum of all human knowledge due to people thinking it's simply not important...but that's the exact opposite of what you claim wikipedia to be. 96.227.32.219 (talk) 01:36, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Can you be more specific about what topic you think there should be an article about, but which got deleted? I find that, like anyone, I don't agree with all the decisions that get made in the deletion process, but I also think that we get it right more often than not by a wide margin. The key, for me, is generally verifiability as opposed to notability.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:46, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with the IP: it's really disingenuous to describe the Wikipedia project as trying to be a "sum of all human knowledge". That's not what we do here. We collect knowledge that we consider to be "encyclopedic", a very much restricted set from the "sum of all human knowledge". Even if you include information in the other Wikimedia projects, there is just some stuff that's not appropriate for any project. I admire what you are trying to do in your little stump speech, but I think that by describing Wikipedia (and related projects) as you do, you set up unrealistic expectations of what their true goals are. Buddy431 (talk) 16:02, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
The word "knowledge", like almost any nontrivial word, means different things to different people and in different contexts. For instance, it does not mean the same as "information" or we would not need two words. Whether "encyclopedic knowledge" is a proper subset of "knowledge" depends essentially on what is meant by "knowledge" and what is meant by "encyclopedic". Indeed, it is such a difficult task to pin down exactly what we want "knowledge" to mean on Wikipedia, that we only attempt to define it by what is not included. Most of the exclusions are covered by "indiscriminate information", although several instances are discussed separately.
The aspiration itself, to give everyone on the planet free access to the sum of all human knowledge, provides a context for what we might mean by "knowledge". What do we aspire to disseminate freely and widely via Wikipedia? Geometry guy 21:44, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
The article which I was referring to in my opening post would be BYOND. 96.227.32.219 (talk) 22:55, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Closure

Mr. Wales, you didn't respond to the diffs given as requested.[1] The case is pretty clear, the topic ban was done without fact or a justifiable reason. The arbitrator led topic ban was an act of coercion. Their actions leads one to believe that they thought I was guilty, and without ANY evidence there was no other way for them to have control. They wanted me to plead guilty to their bogus claims to get a lesser sanction. They got the proverbial nuts to this concocted falsehood and so they imposed there threatened topic ban. Mr. Wales you know that all of that was wrong.

I've never had the chance to make the case of harassment, even though these same arbitrators had stated my complaints would be examined during a topic ban request. I'll do so now quickly. I was harassed through 5 topic ban attempts. Harassment occurred for over a half year and I'd guess that there are hundreds of examples to draw from. Many were aware of it and did nothing. I mentioned it often informally, such as with my mentor[2], with appeals directly to administrators [3][4][5] and an appeal to an arbitrator.[6][7] Arbcom was formally asked to look into it.[8]. Finally I e-mailed arbcom directly hoping for it to stop: ("....Serious misconduct has happened again. This misconduct has been pointed out many times by myslef, and it still has never been addressed. This is abuse, plain and simple, and their is no justification for ongoing abuse. I'm all for turning over a new page, but make sure you address problems before we move on. I'd also appreciate it if someone would look beyond that "wall of words" and analyze the case that I have made. I did not upset the apple cart, and they had no justification for doing so. Thank you,Scuro") Here was Arbcom's response:"Thank-you Scuro. We have received your message and will consider it, along with what has been said at the amendment request. XXXXXX"

If you don't believe that I was constantly harassed perhaps the statements of those who were sympathetic of the harasser make my case:"...I'm less than thrilled by certain other anti-Scuro comment here..."[9]...and..."I agree that comments such as those noted above by Scuro should not have been made, nor should comments claiming he has meatpuppets, etc without substantial evidence provided to prove such a case. Otherwise, the words do nothing but to agitate the situation, and I urge XX to be a bigger person and to stop that please..."[10] Or perhaps you will believe their own statements: "...I will freely admit that my major problem is losing my cool and personalising things when under stress"...[11]...and... "...when I lose it I go much too far..." [12] In the end after 6 months of harassment this person admitted to a "few" instances of harassment and got off Scott free. This person never got even an informal warning for their behaviour. Mr. Wales wikipedia has a duty of care to it's contributors and it failed in every instance to offer even the slightest bit of care.

I want you to know that I have always worked with the best interests of wikipedia at heart. I had zero noted misconduct issues until I encountered my harasser. There has been only one time when I actively broke wikipedian rules and that was my first edit war. I had been blocked off the page for a 1/2 year and was frustrated. [13][14]With my second 3R I was acting with the best of intentions and if it had been examined at that time I'm sure the restriction would have been lifted. I never had the time to appeal, while under the 3R restriction a topic ban was filed and 6 people voted for the topic ban before I was able to post one word in rebuttal. Even though it was reported that there was a majority to proceed to a topic ban request there was no majority. The first topic ban request went forward meeting NONE of the requirements of holding a TBR. Throughout the dozen or so sanction processes it is remarkable how often people noted that there was no evidence for a topic ban, yet these requests continued with predictable certainty. Mr. Wales from my perspective the wikipedian sanction process can't be called anything but dysfunctional and inadvertently harmful to those it should be watching over. Your non-response message is clear to me, not even an apology is coming my way. For closure I would feel some measure of accomplishment if you could respond to these questions, why can't all of this happen to another contributor, and isn't time that there were changes made to the sanction process? If you ever do plan to reform this system I would be happy to work in good faith to improve wikipedia. I've got plenty of ideas! :) --scuro (talk) 14:51, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Please take a look at WP:TL;DR - can you be more concise please? – ukexpat (talk) 17:00, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
This user was WP:topic banned from editing ADHD and related articles for 6 months in June 2009, then extended to 12 months in Nov 2009. The user was also involuntarily placed under WP:mentorship for a year in June 2009. See Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/ADHD. Is the ban period over now?
So in summary, I guess this user is still sore about all that and thinks they were wrongfully sanctioned, and so wants to see ArbCom "reformed", and "just some questions answered" by the founder. DMahalko (talk) 19:59, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
DMahalko your facts are wrong but please dig further into the issue, I welcome anyone's scrutiny.
There was no initial topic ban in June 2009, it was an editing restriction and I did edit those articles at the time. The only term of mentorship was for creating proper citations. The topic ban came after 4 previous unsuccessful attempts. There never has been misconduct beyond the initial edit war and there is no reason why I should have been topic banned.
You can use the word "sore" to describe my state of mind, I prefer the term motivated. A major wrong was done and I'm wondering if there is any accountability within wikipedia.
Since you took the trouble to respond perhaps you can answer these questions for me: Do you think it is right that arbitrators create a successful topic ban based only on coercion? Do you think it is right that a contributor can be harassed constantly through 5 topic ban requests and about a 1/2 dozen other processes and nothing is ever done? Do you think Mr. Wales should speak to these issues?--scuro (talk) 02:33, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I have no interest in this one way or the other. ArbCom seems to be a fairly established way of handling disputes around here, and standing alone on this issue you're not likely to get Jimbo or them to upturn the whole system just to please you.
You could go edit the ADHD article on Citizendium if you think you aren't being treated fairly here.
You could also move on, put it behind you, and try to focus on editing articles unrelated to this matter. Do you know anything about pillow plate heat exchangers? I could use a picture of one for the article. DMahalko (talk) 04:38, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
It's the Internet, scuro. If you're getting that worked up about it, you need to take a step back. Pestering the co-founder of wikipedia about a topic ban that arbcom handed out a year ago isn't going to get you anywhere, and it will cause you far more stress than it's worth. Go edit some other area. If your inability to edit in that domain is causing you this much grief, that's a good sign you're editing for the wrong reasons. Throwaway85 (talk) 08:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
DMahalko's first post mentioned "topic ban" by the fourth word. There is no better real life example of why wikipedia should take the issue of bogus topic bans very seriously. I waited the year until the ban was over to make an issue of it. There should be no confusion about what this is all about. It's not about my, "inability to edit any page" or my huge desire to edit these pages. It's about integrity, it's about real justice, it's about my reputation, and it's about the travesty that happened. If those things don't concern Mr. Wales than he should state this. I'd be gone from this project in a second.--scuro (talk) 10:00, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Arbitration Committee Elections December 2010

On behalf of scrutineers of Arbitration Committee Elections December 2010 , I have published the results here , Mardetanha talk 00:01, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Greetings, Jimbo. The results of the 2010 ArbCom elections have been released here. While the final scrutineer has yet to verify them due to personal circumstances, the tally is unlikely to change. We invite you to announce the appointments of the successful candidates at your convenience. For the election co-ordinators, Skomorokh 02:24, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Noted. Regards. Wifione ....... Leave a message 10:15, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I believe you missed...

...my earlier post, so I am here to bother you again. We have designed the card the we are using you for, and it is getting to the point where it can be called complete. You can see it here. If you could take a look, and tell me what you think so far, I would be grateful. ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 02:03, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

List of US vital sites

Would you/WMF oppose the creation of a list article of US vital sites based on wikileaks "vital" sites for the US be created? There is sufficient mainstream media coverage. (Early discussion here.) Smallman12q (talk) 02:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

I doubt if WMF have an opinion. I would vote against, because list articles are very often lame, and this one would be lame. Wikisource?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:13, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I favor the list. This one would not be lame. If the relevant article about this incident doesn't carry the full list, then a separate list would be very appropriate. It would be weird for us not to host the list. Anthony (talk) 18:33, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
How is that an encyclopedia article? It is not. There is no need for is to host it. Other sites will do a fine job of that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:40, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
"because list articles are very often lame"? WTF? Sorry, we have a featured list process here by the way. List articles can be very useful, encyclopedic, well sourced, well written, elegantly illustrated, and you're saying you'd deny a list article should be written because "list articles are very often lame"? Bad call. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:51, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
As I pointed out on the page where this is being discussed (see first post in this thread), it is not even clear that the list (or the full list) is even available. All the links given so far appear to be about the list but not the list itself, and a vaguely-worded statement in a BBC article suggests that at least some of the details have been removed from the published version. But assuming that the list is available, what would the corresponding article actually be about? Would it be the "secret list" itself? If so, see Jimbo's comment above about Wikisource. Wikipedia itself generally does not republish primary sources even when it is allowed under copyright law. Conversely, if the article is simply a list of "sites considered vital to the U.S.", to which editors could add other locations (based on reliable secondary sources), then it would probably become just another opportunity for an edit war. I think we have too many "list" articles with vaguely defined criteria already. Neutron (talk) 19:06, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm objecting to Jimbo's generalisation of the usefulness of list articles. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:09, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
That it is possible to have great list articles doesn't change the fact that very often, they are lame.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:00, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll vote !vote for banning list articles. But, while we have them, this not-lame list should be among them. Anthony (talk) 19:11, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Voting is evil, remember? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Is there a WP policy on sourcing articles to material marked "Secret" or similarly classified by the US or other governments? I'm not sure there are secondary sources yet for the list (ie., for the full set of specific sites in the list). WikiDao(talk) 19:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes. WP:NOTCENSORED. That said, in this particular instance I don't see the point. Listing all sites is pointless and boring. Listing selected ones without secondary sources is WP:OR. Summarizing secondary sources in an article (not a list) would be fine, however, and such an article could and should link to the primary sources as well. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:10, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Note however the Wikipedia's servers are located in the USA, and therefore are subject to US law concerning publication of classified information. Wikipedia policy can't trump US law. Looie496 (talk) 21:02, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
As far as I know, in the US only the original release of classified data is illegal. Later redistribution is not. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:11, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
You are correct. Once another source releases the information to the public, which is the only way we'd really get a hold of it anyways, it becomes publically distributable with no possible penalty under the law. Otherwise, the US government would end up having to also go after all of the newspapers that published the information. SilverserenC 21:15, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Silver seren, I would recommend against making pronouncements on the legality or illegality of things as there is the danger that readers may mistakenly think that your opinion represents some kind of informed authority on your part. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:34, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
He might have added a brief disclaimer, but let's face it, people don't normally consider a brief comment on a Wikipedia argument page as legal advice. Cool it. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:40, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Cool it? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Yeah. Or find a more exciting outlet? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:09, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the answers. It looks like they're gonna get real legal about this one, probably best for WP (and wikisource...)to wait it out (per eg. WP:NOTNEWS?) as much as possible. WikiDao(talk) 22:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
They are free to prosecute the original releasers of the information, yeah, they just can't prosecute any later distributors of information that is essentially public after the initial release. And, no, i'm not the foremost person on the subject, but I am quoting what has been said in numerous news reports. Of course, the US still has no idea what exactly to prosecute Wikilinks under anyways. They're likely just to go for the Espionage Act. It'll be interesting to see the Supreme Court's stance on that, since it'll be the first major use of the act in a prosecution like this. SilverserenC 04:24, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it is important to note that my reasons for wanting us not to publish it has very little to do with whether the original source was secret/classified/whatever. Indeed, the only reason I would take note of that at all is to note that it gives some people a thrill to stick it to the man by publishing such stuff, an impulse we should resist as having nothing to do with the core question which is: is this an encyclopedia article (and it is not). We don't publish the text of Hamlet. We don't publish original sources generally. There is no extra motive of public service at stake here, since the list (if released fully, which is not clear to me at the moment) is going to be mirrored on thousands of sites all over the world instantly. I also agree with the point about WP:NOTNEWS in the sense that we can wait awhile - we are not a news site, we are an encyclopedia. If it is encyclopedic, it will be so in a week, a month, a year. There's no hurry.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:00, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough...Smallman12q (talk) 01:47, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
The cable describes it as the "2008 Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative (CFDI) list (CI/KR organized by region)". So it may be a notable list that should be detailed in full, like the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. Wnt (talk) 03:44, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
On a separate note, what should be the position of the community in general towards these cables? Should they be viewed as reliable secondary sources on the subjects they describe, and referenced just as we would reference a newspaper article or academic journal? Is it acceptable to link to cables hosted on WL, or are we restricted to those published by more mainstream press sources? Throwaway85 (talk) 11:05, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
It's easiest to ask, I think, is it even possible to say that they are reliably reported on wikileaks in the first place? For all we know, this could be an old draft or it could have been altered or seeded with false information by the source. Certainly, the US government's reaction cannot be used to validate it. — Coren (talk) 11:50, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
The same holds true of any journalistic organization. Reliability, for our purposes, is determined by adherence to editorial standards, which it appears WL does. I think, however, given the novel nature of this issue, that an RfC might be in order to gauge the attitude of the community as a whole. OTOH, given the polarizing nature of the issue, that's likely to turn into a giant clusterfuck. Throwaway85 (talk) 08:50, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

We likely should do what we did on the "climate gate emails" - WP is not in the business of promoting "stolen material" and hence should restrict itself to citing only what outside reliable sources say, and not go to the putatively stolen material as a source. (I am, of course, positing that the US government dd not intend the release of the cables etc.) Collect (talk) 11:11, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

The situation is not analogous at all. The hacked CRU emails were written by individual researchers to a small group of known recipients and with a reasonable expectation of privacy. They are under copyright, and distributing them is undoubtedly illegal (although in practice not prosecuted), and morally at best iffy. The cables, on the other hand, were written by US federal employees in the course of their official duty for the benefit of a large and largely anonymous administration. They are not protected by copyright, and while the individuals may well have some expectation of privacy, it's very debatable if a democratic state has a valid expectation of privacy for this kind of data. Distributing the cables is not illegal, and certainly morally less ambiguous. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:55, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, Jimbo, that makes sense. Thanks for explaining that. I've got a bit yet to learn about policy and practice here. And thanks for your clear explanation too, Neutron. Anthony (talk) 14:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

(ec)Legal opinions on WP are not worth the paper they are written on. Diplomatic dispatches are, indeed, the property of the government, and protected. Classified material and diplomatic dispatches are not intended for public dissemination, and are as protected as are, for example, your own private letters to others. Read up on the aftermath of the Ellsberg cases, where "prior restraint" (preventing the NYT from publishing the Pentagon Papers) was not allowed, but prosecution was allowed of those who leaked them. Your argument would suggest that if someone on June 4, 1945 got a hold of the Allied invasion plans that they would have been legally justified in printing them. I think not. Collect (talk) 15:05, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
They are protected by secrecy laws, not by copyright. In the US, these laws only make illegal the original release, not the republication. Note that in your first example, the prosecution went after the leak, not the NYT. Same here. The documents are not protected by copyright. The person originally leaking the documents violated the law, but later distributors do not. Invoking Godwin is never a good move, but your second example is underspecified anyways. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:37, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Please note that approximately 400,000 to 500,000 users have access to SIPRNet.[15] SIPRNet handles material up to Secret rating, and all of the cables are Secret or less, and is one of the networks described as being used by Bradley Manning. Reportedly he could download as much as he wanted and nobody watched or cared. The U.S. reportedly is instituting security measures,[16] but the point is this: I think that if Uzbekistan's spy agency didn't have a complete set of these diplomatic cables for their archives before Bradley Manning ever started listening to Lady Gaga, they should have some explaining to do. Wnt (talk) 18:37, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
  • It is contestable that diplomatic cables may be protected by the Espionage Act of 1917. Distributing information in bad faith to damage the national security of the United States is a crime, per op ed piece in today's Wall Street Journal. I for one would not want to get this close to the line of legal-illegal, and suggest that we not allow editors to do this. Although we assume good faith most of the time, if an editor were to start posting information that facilitated attacks on critical infrastructure, it might be arguable that they were acting in bad faith, and it might be arguable that we should not conspire with them to do that. Morally, it is wrong to publish information that could harm the public without some sort of compelling benefit. (See Pentagon Papers for a counter example of when such publication is permissible.) I don't see how publishing this list would serve any public interest whatsoever. Jehochman Talk 15:52, 8 December 2010 (UTC) and 19:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Are you seriously claiming that the unabashedly shameful precedent set against Eugene Debs and other social reformers who opposed the draft during the world's dumbest war should be applied to people who repost information that is already broadly and permanently available in Western democracies? I don't know what part of Syria people like Lieberman and Palin come from, but I sure wish they'd go back there.
In any case, Critical Foreign Dependencies Initiative has reached the "barely usable" mark. From reading over the list I should say, by the way, that there is nothing astonishing here; in fact, it is a very poor document by Wikipedia standards. Pages we have like List of international submarine communications cables cover the same things, but are far more complete and up to date. The impression I get most when I read the DHS summary that they have a list of 300 critical foreign infrastructures, then see where they count the same communications cable and oil pipeline once for each country it touches, and where they pick out a bunch of random border crossings --- the impression I get is that they padded this document like a high school term paper, relying on secrecy to make it sound like a quick, superficial document was some kind of intensive security plan. Wnt (talk) 18:05, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
What are you talking about? Wikipedia ought not be misused as a mirror for Wikileaks. They can publish whatever they do, but they are a primary source, of limited use to us. Wikipedia primarily uses reliable secondary sources. We ought not copy of link to their stuff excessively. Jehochman Talk 19:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I was responding to your comment about law above; where policy is concerned, of course complete primary documents of historical significance belong on Wikisource. However, some notable lists belong on Wikipedia, either as stand-alone list articles, or as sections within encyclopedic articles about the lists. Above I've chosen one such example. Wnt (talk) 20:33, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Jehochman: Perhaps you'd like to review the definition of primary source. WL is a 'secondary source', publishing documents and editorials relating to the primary source, which in the latest case is the US State Dept. Throwaway85 (talk) 08:50, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Hmmmm, the list does not mention Wikipedia or any other Wikimedia projects. Count Iblis (talk) 18:44, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Quick question, seemed a bit odd...

Why does Wikia hold the registration for wikileaks.com and wikileaks.net? (whois links) Is there a relationship between the two organizations, or is it just domain-squatting? Throwaway85 (talk) 14:19, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Is this question pertinent to Wikipedia? NickCT (talk) 15:14, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
It is neither a relationship nor domain squatting.  :). Wikipedia:Wikileaks is not part of Wikipedia has a quote from me about it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:40, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
The judge in Julian Assange's hearing got the two confused.[17] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:08, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
If the registration is stuck with wikia's email address, so that suggests some level of control even if Wikia doesn't own it anymore. Can you update the registration email addresses? If yes, make two new email aliases for "domains@wikia.com"...
Administrative contact: wikiLeaks_is_not_part_of_wikipedia_but_owned_by_assange@wikia.com
Technical contact: this_contact_info_was_not_updated_when_transferred@wikia.com
 :) DMahalko (talk) 19:21, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Jimbo: Thanks for clearing that up. I'm still curious as to why Wikia held the registration in the first place, however, if you wouldn't mind shedding some light on that. NickCT: I'm aware it has nothing to do with Wikipedia, but Jimbo did start Wikia, so it obviously involves him. I asked him here as it's the first place that came to mind. Throwaway85 (talk) 22:23, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I would argue that it does have something to do with Wikipedia, just because some people seem confused about Wikipedia and Wikileaks and this confusion doesn't help with that at all. So while I usually redirect all discussion about Wikia to Wikia, it seems important to make sure that community members and anyone else reading this page has all the information.
To answer your question, when Wikileaks first launched they put out a press release calling themselves something like "the Wikipedia of secrets". We had no idea who they were, whether it was a scam or spam or who knows what, so some domain names were registered defensively. We contacted them immediately to see what was going on and they apologized for being careless with the Wikipedia name and everything was sorted right away with no problems... except for them actually concluding the technical aspects of the transfer.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:18, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
When wikileaks finish the domain handover that would be great because as a wikipedia contributor that no longer ties me to random things that wikileaks people may or may not do. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:06, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I noticed in one of the signpost articles linked to by the page you referenced, it said that your registration of the wikileaks domains was "[done], apparently by Wales out of concern about the name." I was looking for some more clarity, and found it. Thanks again. Throwaway85 (talk) 02:15, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm... This is an interesting story. I see why you posted here now Throwaway85. I find it interesting that 1) Wikia picked up the names. Why not the Wikimedia foundation?, 2) That Mr. Wales wanted to pick up the names at all. I mean I understand the concern for trademark protection, but this strikes me as somewhat aggressive, & 3) That Wikia retains the registration. It seems as though handing them off to Wikileaks is a courtesy (a generous one at that). Perhaps I'm wrong, but could Wikia not defensively cancel its registration of the names? This would prevent the kind of questions legitimately raised by Throwaway85.
Anyways, I'm just thinking out loud. Not really looking for answers. NickCT (talk) 14:38, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Nick: From Jimbo's answers and the stories I've read, it appears the transfer was completed many moons ago. However, Wikileaks did not complete the technical side of the transfer on their end, thus the domains are still listed as belonging to Wikia. As for why Wikia grabbed the names, not Wikimedia, I suspect that, as a for-profit organization, Wikia had more to gain by protecting its brand, and certainly more justification to do so, than did Wikimedia. Wikimedia, when not financed by Jimbo's previous endeavours directly, has operated off of the generosity of its users. It would be a much harder case to make that buying the wikileaks domains was an effective and responsible use of their funds than it would be for a private, for-profit organization. This is doubly true when a Wikia holding, because Jimbo founded both companies, effectively protects Wikimedia as well. Throwaway85 (talk) 08:41, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────

Re " Wikileaks did not complete the technical side" - Yes I understand this, but I'm pretty sure Wikia could just cancel the registration so that they would no longer show up in a WhoIS search. Wikia seems to be holding the names, waiting for Wikileaks to pick them up, which as I said previously seems generous. Why not just dump them? I want to register them so I can charge Assange through the nose later on ;-)
Re "wikileaks domains was an effective and responsible use of their funds than it would be for a private, for-profit organization." - Perhaps, but I would have thought registering domain names was cheap enough to make this inconsequential. NickCT (talk) 21:43, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Regarding the five pillars and the WP policy/conventions

Jimbo, this is just a quick question. Are there any situations when any of the five pillars of Wikipedia have to be ignored for the sake of WP policies or conventions (Such as WP:TITLE)? In other words, are the five pillars of Wikipedia (such as WP:NPOV) dominant (superior) to the the policies/conventions, or how exactly do you think it works? Thanks and happy holidays.--MarshalN20 | Talk 01:48, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

The five pillars are simply a summary page of Wikipedia's foundational principles. It is not a policy page itself. And as with any policy or guideline, WP:IAR applies if, and only if, the policy or guideline prevents you from improving Wikipedia in good faith. -- œ 14:27, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, yes strictly speaking; but the foundational principles override any policy because, well, they are the basic principles behind the project.  :-) — Coren (talk) 15:27, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick responses.--MarshalN20 | Talk 02:41, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

You and Julian Assange...

Good afternoon Mr. Wales! I am sure you have seen that your wiki-counterpart, Julian Assange, was just arrested on some international arrest warrant based on two sexual assaults he allegedly committed in Switerland. I was wondering if you have ever feared becoming the target of some international manhunt or being accused of some trumped-up rape or sex crime due to your work in promoting this wiki? Haven't you ever seen the Parallax View? Thanks in advance, Tamiamiboy (talk) 16:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Dubai is not in the United States, despite the fact its country name starts with "United". Sweden and Switzerland have even less in common.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:02, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
WikiLeaks is not a part of Wikipedia. Excuse the large text, just trying to clarify. --Perseus (tc) 18:05, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately a lot of people I mean a lot of people including government officials even in the US don’t know the difference and probably don’t care to know the difference. The entire Wiki process is seen by some security establishment types as detrimental to control of information. So don’t be surprised that we too are put under a watchful eye. We may also see a temporary dip in donations as people shy away from donating to anything to do with a wiki title as they are not clear as to what the US government will do with Wiki Leaks going forward. Kanatonian (talk) 18:18, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Tamiamiboy brings up a good point - Have you - Jimmy Wales - ever been targeted for your participation in knowledge aggregating communities? (ex. wikipedia, wikia, etc.) If you & people like you are being targeted then this represents a huge factor in the information war. People like you should be protected by the citizens of the world & we just want to make sure that nothing is happening. Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.69.2.116 (talk) 18:23, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
How would the "citizens of the world" go about protecting him? By conducting DDoS attacks on organisations perceived to be opposed to him? That probably wouldn't be terribly helpful. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:24, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I've never had any real problems of any kind. The normal hassles of travel from time to time at various border crossings, but nothing serious.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:52, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
The other day, I took a picture of an ethnic food item in a corner store. When asked by the owner as why I took the picture, I said I am a member of the Wikimedia/pedia community and was going to post it and he was really alarmed and asked me whether I was going to post it in Wiki Leaks much to my amusement. I had to explain to him the difference:)Kanatonian (talk) 22:34, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Even if your "editors" keep saying that Wikipedia doesn't advertise businesses, that it is neutral, what they are doing proves the other way

KeepInternetSafe&Clean (talk) 01:28, 10 December 2010 (UTC)Dear Wikipedia, here is my very bad experience with your editors. They don't accept my arguments, they blocked me, they asked me to "talk" with them and here I am waiting the whole day and nobody replied. I am coping/pasting bellow, the whole bad experience, I know that you don't have time for that but it seems that Wikipedia editors are like dictators. Repetitively I asked SarekOfVulcan to "dialog" as he recommended yesterday but he doesn't want to, and also no other editor. I told them to discuss together how I want to change a page (www.softpedia.com) but they don't want to talk about my point of view, which I think it is valid. When there is an article about a for profit institution, where they say who they are, what they do, and "how...they do", the how part to me means publicity. Somebody added in Sep/10 a Criticism section, mentioning that were reports about "disguised ads, malware, ad-ware" on that website and the software that they offer publicly and free for download. I added a few more facts with the sources that I could find. Your editors keep deleting the whole section now, reason, no reliable/verifiable source. My argument to Wikipedia is, ok, you don't accept my sources as reliable, but you accept Softpedia saying as proof? This to me is pure and clear self plug, advertising, condoned, accepted and defended against "vandalism" by some editors. Please, I hope to get some reasoning explanation to this issue. Thank you.

The dialog bellow is at this link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:KeepInternetSafe%26Clean#You_are_being_discussed_at_ANI

cut and paste removed - Wikidemon (talk) 01:35, 10 December 2010 (UTC)


Finally somebody got back to me but to have a dialog?...no, he doesn't discuss my two points or/or, he just want me to go his way or otherwise to shut up. Here is his post:

"Please stop this commenting on other editors. We are all volunteers, not your personal punching bags. Slagging people as "unprofessional", "arrogant" et cetera is not going to make them want to spend their valuable time helping you to understand this place. You have been repeatedly invited to identify a reliable source publication that discusses the problems you are concerned with. That remains the best thing for you to do. LeadSongDog come howl! 05:12, 10 December 2010 (UTC)"

It is useless, just a waste of my time.KeepInternetSafe&Clean (talk) 13:33, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

You being rude to people isn't really very nice or helpful, don't you think? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.25.109.195 (talk) 16:21, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
@KeepInternetSafe&Clean. The "malware" paragraph has been removed today [18]. By the way, this article has zero third-party sources..... --Enric Naval (talk) 12:01, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


--Finally the first wikipedia rep that makes sense, thank you Enric Naval.

I am sorry that I lost my cool, but I was too aggravated by the frivolity (can I say this or is considered attack) of the other editors' approach of this issue; instead of acting by and obeying the Wikipedia policies, they were just preaching them to me, but they were actually violating them. If I would have found the "first nomination for deletion/Softpedia" page from 3 years ago, where you guys debated this article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Softpedia), I would have used those arguments also and probably it would have saved time and nerves to a few of us here.

Thank you again Enric. KeepInternetSafe&Clean (talk) 14:58, 11 December 2010 (UTC)


This is a disgrace; I HAVE BEEN BLOCKED ABUSIVELY BY OhNoitsJamie and MuZemike . The reasons that you mention are only LIES. I did not vandalize any page, I apologized in the beginning of my post here ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Softpedia_(2nd_nomination)), and I neutrally answered to your guys request to find sources. I demand to unblock me right away and an apology because you are accusing me without any base. I apologized for the first posts about two weeks ago, and after that I was very civil, but I cannot say the same about you OhNoitsJamie. 69.114.240.113 (talk) 04:46, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Countless vs. Millions

The first paragraph of Jimbo's page states: "I am proud of founding Wikipedia and grateful to what it has offered to countless people worldwide." The word "countless" implies puffery IMO, and seems inaccurate in the face of Wikipedia actually having a count of editors and readers. If Wikipedia's editors and readers are actually being counted, why the use of the word countless? I propose we revise the sentence to read: "I am proud of founding Wikipedia and grateful to what it has offered to millions of people worldwide." Or to actually just stating the number of people as 365 million people.

What do you think wikipedians? — Preceding unsigned comment added by JDIAZ001 (talkcontribs) 07:39, 10 December 2010 (UTC) --JDIAZ001 (talk) 07:45, 10 December 2010 (UTC) yea, I second the bot.

Puffery and accuracy don't apply on a User page. Even though this page is highly trafficked, don't forget that it's not governed by content policies like WP:NPOV. Qwyrxian (talk) 07:48, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. The content policies do apply to article pages, such as Jimmy Wales, but not to user pages, such as User:Jimbo Wales. Instead, user pages fall under guidelines such as WP:USERPAGES. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 07:56, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

Point taken. I agree with you both on policy governance in regards to user pages. Any comments on the usage of the word countless and my proposal to use millions instead? Remember that an actual count exists per my original statement. --JDIAZ001 (talk) 08:13, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

I am happy with a change to millions. I doubt if I wrote any of that sentence anyway. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:53, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Just my thought on it ... stating a number that way starts to remind me of the old-style McDonald's signs with "over x million served" (or later "over x billion served" - but you get the point). Why not just say "I am proud of founding Wikipedia and grateful to what it has offered to people worldwide", with no qualifier. --- Barek (talk) - 17:10, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
How abt "...as of yet, as many as 120 the whole, wide world--or about X% of those who have worldwide web access"?--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 14:20, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia

Hi Jimbo. I'm sure this question has been asked somewhere before, but I'll ask anyway because I couldn't find any information. If you were to print every article in Wikipedia in a series of hardcopy encyclopedias, how much would do you think would you have to sell it for in order to break even? Many articles are small, but I think most would probably take up two or more pages. Also, on a paper quality scale of 1-10, with 10 being handmade French goat hide parchment and 1 being fast food restaurant toilet tissue, which number would you choose? Too low and the information could easily be ruined, too high and the cost would increase even further. No need to answer if you're too busy, it just seemed like an interesting question. Have a nice evening.-RHM22 (talk) 04:01, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Are you planning for time travel or the zombie apocalypse? I've given careful consideration to both of these scenarios and decided it would be more efficient to store it on digital media and pack a laptop/solar charger.
In all seriousness, they're working on it. That said, they've been working on it for years and show no signs of nearing completion, so I wouldn't hold your breath. Throwaway85 (talk) 07:30, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
You may be right about that. It does seem to important to store the sum of all human knowledge on some backup in case of the collapse of the internet or some kind of super hacker from North Korea or something.-RHM22 (talk) 15:23, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Cyberbullying

Following your note of encouragement, I have created a very rough draft of a potential essay at User:Timtrent/Cyberbullying, a draft I have placed there for convenience, and open, naturally, to all to edit. At the right time, I or any other editor will move it to the correct namespace, but it is not yet ready. I have copied the comments from the Village Pump page and placed them on the talk page there. I invite you, since you expressed some pleasure at seeing the start of the initiative, and all others who wish, to go there, view it, comment upon it, and edit it, with a view to turing it into an essay reflecting consensus, followed, I would suggest, by an editor proposing it as a guideline, possibly a policy.

There will be, I think, some kudos accruing to Wikipedia if we can do this well. It is, or should be, part of our being good citizens. That is one of the reasons I hope for your personal interest, ideally for your involvement. You may be 'just another editor', but this type of initiative is worthy of your personal touch, too. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 14:32, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

The Simple English Wikipedia already has a proposed guideline on it at simple:Wikipedia:Cyberbullying. Albacore (talk) 14:50, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Please feel absolutely free to take the best of each and place them in the other. I have simply created something that I feel may be appropriate. It is up to consensus to take such things forwards. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 15:21, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Deportivo Italia (Spanish Wikipedia)

Hi Jimbo. I am disappointed by the abuses done in Spanish Wikipedia by administrators who are related politically to local president (I should say dictator) Chavez. One of them is Oscar [19], who has erased in a hidden and sudden way the Anexo: Historial del Deportivo Italia en la Copa Libertadores from the Sp.wiki ([20]). Is it possible to do something against these continuous abuses? I have registered my name on the sp.wiki and they quickly banned me, as they have done with other supporters of the Deportivo Italia (we are a group of Venezuelans exiled in the greater Miami area). Venezuelan topics on Spanish Wikipedia should not be in the hands of those political groups. Thanks --LegaleBDA (talk) 23:35, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

I am another venezuelan exiled here in Florida, and I was banned in the same way by this Oscar (& his pro-Chavez group inside es.wiki). You (or someone of your staff) really have to do something against the abuses of Oscar & Chavistas: they behave like owners of es.wiki in Venezuelan articles.--Loideal (talk) 19:15, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

For the record, both users above are the same (a checkuser certified it) and belong to a sockpuppet farm for edit warrioring about a soccer team.

So far it has been found: BDA, BdLM, Consilinario, Loideal, LegaleBDA. And I come here to inform you since your name has been invoked here Magister Mathematicae (talk) 22:00, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

I live in the greater Miami area with other 3 million people. Here I have friends like "Loideal" who is a venezuelan exiled in southern Florida since 2003. I say that because I am not Loideal or the others shown above: I cannot understand what kind of certification can be given by a "checkuser" who probably is confusing IPs from the same Florida public libraries (or from earthlink, etc...). I can give my Florida driver license with photo and name showing that is different from the one of my friend Loideal (he agrees too). But the real problem here is not related to the checkuser/sockpuppet problem, but to the disappearance without any notification of the article in sp. wikipedia titled Anexo: Historial del Deportivo Italia en la Copa Libertadores. What has happened with it? User Magister Mathematicae is creating a mess with checkuser/sockpuppet problems, but he is not answering why and how has disappeared the article. He seems only interested in a cover up of his friend the chavista Oscar (and others linked to president/dictator Chavez of Venezuela), using the accusation of "sockpuppetry". But I contacted Jimbo only to denounce the abuses of Oscar & Chavistas: they behave like owners of es.wiki in Venezuelan articles, as my friend Loideal has written. (And I am happy to see that I have hit well: the reaction of user:Magister Math is the proof of it!) Wikipedia must be free, really free and topics on Spanish Wikipedia should not be in the hands of those political groups (linked to Chavez). Regards, Jimbo.--LegaleBDA (talk) 21:23, 10 December 2010 (UTC).
For the record, as an italovenezuelan living in Ft. Lauderdale I want to write my support for LegaleBDA & Loideale. The chavista group is a shame for sp. wikipedia; admin Magistermathematicae should find what has happened with the annexo, instead of losing time with checkusers.--Qyork (talk) 16:18, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia + Wikileaks

With all due respect, Jimbo, you frankly haven't been clear enough yet with everyone that you're not involved in Wikileaks. So I have a suggestion; it's pretty subtle, but it might get the point across. We could display this on the site notice:

Animated Kaleidoscope.gifCircular-slice.gifColorRotate.gif
Attention nitwits:


WE ARE NOT WIKILEAKS
ColorRotate.gifCircular-slice.gifAnimated Kaleidoscope.gif

I'm also thinking we could prevent anyone from reading the encyclopedia until they've clicked twice agreeing that they understand there is no connection.

Thoughts? Magog the Ogre (talk) 00:28, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

That would work for many, but I doubt that'd suffice for journalists.  :-) — Coren (talk) 00:34, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
We should just stop the denial and start claiming that we are Wikileaks. Some investigative journalist will find us out and smear the truths all over the web... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:40, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I love it; alas it's not gonna help. I made something similar for the forum at meta, yet people still post their rants ("traitors!" and such). Face it: people don't read. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 00:41, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
If that banner was used, the response would go along the lines of "You traitors! Now you're trying to hypnotize us!"
On the positive end of this matter, at least Wikipedia is getting free advertising (even if for the wrong subject, but it's still better than nothing).--MarshalN20 | Talk 02:44, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I don't know what the fuss over this Wikileeks is anyway! - Amog | Talkcontribs 07:14, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
If we used this, people will think we're Myspace. ;) --Dorsal Axe 16:02, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Wales

Dear Mr. Wales! I think, that you did really a great job! Not so many people are able to do that! Thank you for Wikipedia! Your example gives me support with my idea of the "positive world". We have unfortunately got used to the information about conflicts, tragedies etc. We hear it from TV, radio, we read about it newspapers, internet. But my idea is that we have to start studying and promoting the positive experience of the coexistence of different nations, cultures, traditions. The world is so interesting! And not only murder and rape are represented in it! Your Wiki-works are also doing a lot for gathering and sharing with others positive information. Thank you! And good luck in all your new projects! With best wishes, Anna <email address removed> —Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.76.98.165 (talk) 19:34, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Technical osmosis?

Is something in the water/air supply at Randolph School that lead you in a high-tech direction? After all, Huntsville today is noted as being among The States' cyber citadels (along with the likewise pine-forested (coastal plain and) rolling hills of Durham, sub-tropic Palm Bay–Melbourne, desertly alpine Boulder and likewise cotton-aired but mediterranean Santa Clara Valley in Californeeya).--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 04:27, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Good question. I went to high school with Brian Reynolds.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:49, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Did the young (um, –– -ger) Virgil Griffith--schooled at ASMS and later creator of the WikiScanner app--drink from the same aquafier?

(---from today's NYT)--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 05:45, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Griffith's hometown, Tuscaloosa, is 150 mi down I-65 + I-20/I-59 from H-ville.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 06:04, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Another one on Wikileaks (sorry)

Hi Jimbo if you are about right now. I was wondering if you might have an opinion on whether a novel hatnote is or isn't appropriate on the Wikileaks page in order to tell people that the Foundation doesn't run Wikileaks. My view is that it isn't. I agree with the POV that Wikileaks has chosen an inappropriate name for itself, but we don't normally place hatnotes in order to defend brand identities and it sets, in my view, a very bad precedent if we start now just because it is our own brand identity that (admittedly) faces a challenge.

If you see this some time after it was posted then I'd still appreciate you checking the Wikileaks page and the Talk:WikiLeaks#Note_about_association_with_Wikipedia relevant discussion.

I think it is in the best interests of the encyclopaedia that wikipedians do not start shaping it in what they (wrongly, in my view) perceive to be the interests of the WP brand identity. --FormerIP (talk) 03:24, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

The hatnote (Note: WikiLeaks is not associated with Wikipedia or the Wikimedia Foundation.) is intended to inform readers so they don't think Wikipedia is writing an article about itself (WikiLeaks). The hatnote is not any kind of attempt to defend a nonexistent brand identity. Johnuniq (talk) 03:37, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I think such a hatnote, thoughtfully worded, is a good idea. Not necessarily permanently and not made in a critical or praising manner, just a neutral note like many of the informational notes we have on Wikipedia entries.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:32, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
If the hatnote were worded in a standard manner (eg This article is about x, for y see z) then it wouldn't be such an issue. There seems to be a view, though, that the hatnote needs to be worded as a public service announcement, rather than a disambiguator. This may give the impression that WP is happy to play fast-and-loose where it's own interests are perceived to be at stake (more to the point, IMO, it actually means that). --FormerIP (talk) 04:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
This is a real issue: many people are genuinely confused and think that "WikiSomething" implies that Something is part of Wikipedia. If the problem were common, there would be a standard manner for handling it. However, the problem is very rare and is easily handled by the nonstandard hatnote, as is currently at the top of WikiLeaks. Johnuniq (talk) 04:18, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikia Email

Please check your Wikia email, it is extremely important.  JoeGazz  ▲  14:29, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I have notified ArbCom of your concerns.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:40, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Jimmy, I am sorry if I did not clarify this, I did not want it sent to Arbcom, they refuse to listen. If you can get them to listen and allow the user to identify herself, then that would be fine. Thanks.  JoeGazz  ▲  22:45, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes

Hi Jimbo, I've kind of lost track with what's going on with pending changes. Version 2 was meant to be released some time in November, but I can't find any indication of this happening (although it's perfectly plausible that it did). If it did I'd like to be informed, if not then I'd like to know if we can still expect it before the end of December. I don't know if you know this, or if you can find it out, but it would be great if you could let me know either way. Cheers - Kingpin13 (talk) 16:57, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

The guys at Village Pump- Technical would probably be closer to this than Jimbo. Rodhullandemu 17:02, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
User talk:RobLa-WMF is a good person to ask about the updates, he is closely involved, a paid employ on the pending tool. I think there has been some updated changes to the interface. Development status is here - Off2riorob (talk) 17:03, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for those links guys, got me a bit more updated :). Looks like an update of some kind was rolled-out near the end of November. I guess the question is, is this update considered the new version, so that the "hard stop date" at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Straw poll on interim usage no longer applies, as a "new version" has been released. And if so, where do we go from here? - Kingpin13 (talk) 23:31, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

BLP policy and religious identification

Jimbo, I see you're around, so I will take the opportunity to ask about the thoughts behind a particular section of WP:BLP. Although it specifies categories, I believe that this advice applies equally to prose: "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 their notable activities or public life, according to reliable published sources". That (i.e., my interpretation) would seem in keeping with the overall principle behind the policy. Is that a fair statement? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 21:51, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Yet another curiously misplaced post -- one would have thought that this editor's first destination would be WT:BLP, but instead he comes here. Now why would that be? Whatever Mr Wales has to say on the matter, I doubt DeliciousCarbuncle's view will be shared by the community. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:56, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
I was hoping for some thoughts on the intention of the policy from someone who was instrumental in its formation, rather than an interpretation of the policy as it stands. I have taken your suggestion and started a discussion at WT:BLP. Thanks. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 22:15, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I don't agree with DC here. Categories present a particular problem, as they don't allow nuance (someone is in or out) and where it is disputable, Wikipedia is putting them in our out, which may compromise neutrality. Text allows for nuance. We can record someone's remarks about God-doubts, and then record that some people have called them an "atheist" and then let the reader decide. We can say "X had a Jewish upbringing, but has described themselves as atheist" without worrying about whether that makes them a Jew or not. Where there's doubt, or no self-description, we should avoid saying "X is religiously a Y", but that doesn't preclude us saying "Z has described X as a Y" where Z is a reliable and relevant source.--Scott Mac 22:23, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

For the record, and as I've said at WT:BLP, I agree with Scott's point, although I would be interested to hear Jimbo's views on the intention of the policy regarding identification of religious affiliation. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 23:36, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
As far as I can tell, I agree with you both. Text does allow for more nuance; nonetheless we ought to be careful, thoughtful, and respectful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:09, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia needs cartoons

Branding Jimbo's face failed, so why not a mascot?

The wikipotamus? :) 96.255.4.139 (talk) 17:02, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually, it seems to have been a big success. But sure, a wikipotamus, why not? :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:16, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Mascot. Fences&Windows 20:02, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I do agree on Jimbo, We do need cartoon to help people fathom what the article is saying Redde Lynix (talk) 20:50, 12 December 2010 (UTC)ReddeRedde Lynix (talk) 20:50, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Not possible Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Ecchi --Niabot (talk) 21:31, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
The imcomplete globe logo seems like the perfect "mascot". Not much else is needed, unless maybe if you could make it rotate (wonder what's on the other side).--MarshalN20 | Talk 21:43, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
We have already a mascot: Wikipe-tan --Niabot (talk) 21:51, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Ugh.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:07, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I've never been a fan of this type of thing, which I think associates the project with some pretty dubious undercurrents. Some of is is just about ok, but occasionaly it crosses the line (see this - which seems to associate the project with porn and an image obviously associated with a minor).--Scott Mac 00:27, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
There is WikiAfterDark for that. Tofutwitch11 (TALK) 02:48, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── WP:MYSPACE anybody? A mascot is just asking for people complaining. It undercuts our reputation and turns articles that read professionally into, well, jokes. Mr R00t Talk 'tribs 01:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

I really hope this wasn't a joke that I misinterpreted. Mr R00t Talk 'tribs 01:07, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
@Scott MacDonald: You should read the article kawaii. It really helps to understand this kind of drawings. (not to speak about the age of a fictional figures, which is is also fictional) One bad example is nothing against the hundreds of other pictures. btw. nice and creative joke. --Niabot (talk) 02:44, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Kawaii art makes me want to punch someone. With a fork. HalfShadow 04:08, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
The Wikipede fits the bill. [21] My76Strat 04:11, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Not very sure about the idea of a cartoon. At the same time, I think the face of a millionaire is not the best way to get people to click on "donate" (not that I am saying there's anything wrong with your face, Jimbo). Maybe a picture of a sad-looking child and a message along the lines of "Just $5 will allow her to edit-war for 8 days" would do the trick (?).
Just a suggestion. --FormerIP (talk) 04:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Signature

Can I please have your signature on my guestbook. You are a true inspiration Mr. Wales!  Socks 01  02:37, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure if he does guestbooks, ohh and you best provide him a link, don't keep him searching. Tofutwitch11 (TALK) 02:44, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

German

Hey Jimbo, it says on your userpage you are learning German, with a current de-1 skill level. How goes the quest? Have you gained enough further knowledge of the language to be bumped up to the intermediate or advanced skill levels? Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 13:57, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually I believe for awhile I was up to de-2 but now I am rusty and down to de-1!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:13, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Neutral public stance on WikiLeaks and Assange, please

Dear Jimbo, just a reminder of our brief exchange at The Signpost week before last, in which I raised issues with previous negative statements you had made about WikiLeaks and Julian Assange (without even tagging these statements as personal opinion).

It is a highly politicised and complex matter. Please note that many Wikimedians support the actions of WikiLeaks in releasing so-called secret diplomatic cables, and are contemptuous of statements that "lives are put at risk". I ask you to consider this when responding to any public questions on WikiLeaks.

It is against the interests of WP and the Foundation to make any statements about WikiLeaks beyond emphasising that the two organisations are totally different. Let's not dilute that message. Tony (talk) 08:55, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

Seconded. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:18, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Unseconded. he is a thief, not a hero. Try him for treason. The names of the lives that he has put at risk will never be released, and so will be assumed to not exist... Lock him in a hole until the end of time. Done. Locke'sGhost 11:47, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Obvious sockpuppet is obvious. --Conti| 11:51, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
I will continue to say what I have been saying, which is quite measured and very responsible. I strongly support than in open societies we must value the possibility for people with evidence of wrongdoing to go public with that evidence. I emphasize that we are in no way connected, and I merely echo the concerns that have been raised by Amnesty International and Reporters without Borders. I recommend to Wikileaks that they be careful and take things slowly and thoughtfully. I'm happy to defend those comments to anyone, and I think that even strong supporters of Wikileaks can take those words to heart and not be offended by them.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:30, 11 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply; I certainly hope those supporters might take heart from your statements about WikiLeaks. If I might comment on your post, it's not only "wrongdoing" that is included in WL's leaks, but information on which individuals and organisations base their power and go to great lengths to construct as secret; and it's a rare instance in which the chasm between what the people know of how political leaders think and what they tell us is bridged. While it must be unnerving to have one's thoughts that were communicated in confidence suddenly made public, I'm guessing that you have already accepted the benefit to the world of the release of some of the information in the second category (e.g., on US impotence in locating their gift of nuclear materials to Pakistan; and what Arab governments think about various matters).

On a slightly different tack, there is consternation about the damage to the WMF and the WPs that appears to be arising from public (and journalistic) confusion about the common "wiki" prefix. You have in the past spoken with Mr Assange. I wonder whether you might consider contacting WikiLeaks to ask for their help, whenever it seems possible, to clear up this confusion? What would be in it for them? You'd tell them that Wikimedians, chapters of the Foundation, WPs, and you, are receiving a flow of "leaks" that should be going to WikiLeaks. It is therefore very much in WL's interests as well to distance the two organisational structures. Tony (talk) 05:23, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I believe Mr. Assange is in jail at the moment, so I am guessing he's not available for brand strategy discussions. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:32, 12 December 2010 (UTC)
Joking aside, news reports indicate that he has been given limited internet access to prepare his defense - he has not been convicted of any crime after all. Geometry guy 23:48, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

Related to this matter, there is also currently a thread at WP:ANI concerning the creation of Wikipedia articles using classified materials leaked by Wikileaks as sources. --JN466 15:28, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

I believe I used the term "WikiLeaks", not "Mr Assange" in my post above in what was a good-faith suggestion. Even if this was an attempt at humour by you, it either misses the point or suggests you are not taking the matter seriously. Tony (talk) 03:21, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • This is a highly publicised and highly political incident; the perceived fallout from Wikileaks may have caused Jimbo to release the statements and comments he did. However, the media being like what they are like regarding qualified messages and nuances, I believe Jimbo ought to stop repeating those nuanced statements once and for all. It's so easy to get unwittingly sucked in to these vortices that even seasoned media veterans and politicians sometimes come unstuck. Jimbo ought to merely state in clear and binary terms as to WP/WMA's lack of links/affiliations to Wikileaks, full stop, so as not be embroiled in the WIkileaks controversy. --Ohconfucius ¡digame! 03:24, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
    • Both the Times of London and Der Spiegel have run stories in which they show that w*leaks "redaction of information regarding informants" was a job that was done with all the skill of elementary school students. Now... I am going to ask you... to *think*. Put yourself in the shoes of the US State Department, or (in the final analysis) of Obama. Let's say Afghani Joe Blow, an honest shopkeeper trying to earn an extremely modest living, was also on one occasion an extremely minor US informant. W*leaks did its usual shitty job of "redacting" [Assange is incompetent in every relevant area except uploading and downloading, which are also skills most ten year olds can master], and Joe Blow's name (or even merely a set of circumstances that can be puzzled together to identify him) fall into the hands of his neighbors, and Al Qaeda. Joe Blow gets decapitated, after someone uses a power drill into his skull.... Now. You are the State Department. You are Obama. You learn about Joe Blow. Do you publicize this?... No way. Informants will cease to exist. They will think, "Anything I say can and will be posted on the Internet by some Australian twit who has delusions of grandeur." No. People will die because of w*leaks -- probably have already died -- and the irony is that everyone including w*leaks has a stake in preventing it from being published.Locke'sGhost 01:28, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
In case you missed it, Wikipedia is not a soapbox for advocacy of any kind and this also applies to talk pages. 79.163.37.209 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:38, 14 December 2010 (UTC).
Not worth responding to. Tony (talk) 03:45, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't have access to the Times of London. Here's one, scroll to the bottom for goodies: Wikileaks: damage is done say human rights group. Assange friends are apparently fatally incompetent. They should do something productive, like creative mood music for video games. I feel confident that they can handle that. Locke'sGhost 03:51, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
  • To be fair, The Times has an excellent motive to point out mistakes by Wikileaks—the fact that one of their biggest rivals, The Guardian, is getting all the exclusives. wackywace 11:00, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

ArbCom announcement schedule

I'm doing some due diligence on the elected candidates and expect to make appointments early to mid next week. I believe the due diligence is purely a formality, and do not expect to deviate from the order of the election results. None of my due diligence is "political" in any way.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:46, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

I believe it pries into previous felony convictions, which is extremely political. That question should not be asked. We all know that felony is partly an instrument used against non-whites and against poor people: the proof is in their vast over-representation in the rates of conviction. American drug laws have, in some cases, been deliberately constructed to put as many African Americans in prison as possible: in some jurisdictions, the penalties against crack, for example, which has been far more popular among blacks than other racial groups, are way out of proportion with those against cocaine, a drug predominantly used by wealthy urban whites. We do not want to stray into an area that is so political and in many cases arbitrary. It is none of your business. Tony (talk) 15:28, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

It seems that significant discussion of the nature of "due diligence" has taken place off-wiki. If that is the case, I find it regrettable, and urge you to communicate on-wiki and contribute to community discussion. The establishment of process off-wiki may once have been an acceptable modus operandi, but that is no longer the case, especially if such off-wiki discussions prejudice subsequent community discussion (e.g., concerning arbitrator identification). I trust you will bear this in mind, as to do otherwise is most definitely "political". Thanks, Geometry guy 00:00, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

For what it is worth, I am not answering these due-diligence questions as they are neither specific nor useful IMO. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:14, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
In my opinion, the only questions that should be asked are those which relate directly with to the arbitration functions which are the only things that arbitrators do. I rather doubt if any of Mr. Wales's questions were so related. Should I run in a future year, I will not answer any question either. I applaud John's position, and hope the other successful candidates act similarly.--Wehwalt (talk) 02:34, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
You are correct; they are not related to arbitration, and they are different from the ones that Elen listed at Wikipedia_talk:Arbitration_Committee_Elections_December_2010#Due_diligence_process. I would have answered most of the ones Elen listed, but the ones Jimmy has asked are even less relevant IMO, and one requires that I say something that I don't agree with. I hope Jimmy will disclose the questions he has asked arb-candidates. John Vandenberg (chat) 02:41, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I hope so too. This off-wiki-chat and prying into identities is exactly why Giacomo fought that election; while his chances of getting in were always slim, I hope he may have helped some in raising the awareness of these issues. Congratulations on your integrity, John, and condolences on getting in! :-P Bishonen | talk 21:29, 13 December 2010 (UTC).

According to Wikipedia Review, the questions sent to new (prospective) Arbitrators were:

  1. Do you have any undisclosed COI/sock puppet/behavioral issues within the framework of Wikipedia that I should know about? Anything disclosed in the election process is not my concern here.
  2. Is there anything serious about your real life identity that might reflect negatively on Wikipedia?
  3. Do you agree that your service here can be terminated for misconduct?

I don't see any reason not to post these questions publicly. --MZMcBride (talk) 07:29, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

No need to go to Wikipedia Review to get the questions as they were posted here. You can be forgiven for missing it because Jimbo doesn't apparently know about the page (or the village pump), and seems to like using his talk page to post general announcements (on the assumption that everybody should be watching his page, I assume). 75.23.39.47 (talk) 07:38, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Woop woop woop!

"The popularity of Bustin Jieber".

That is all. HalfShadow 21:45, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Bustin must have written that article title himself. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 23:51, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Inflammatory essays, again

Two months ago, I started a discussion here on that inflammatory "humor" essay Wikipedia:Please be a giant dick, so we can ban you, pointing out that it has no place on Wikipedia, serves no constructive purpose, and will simply be cited by uncivil users hoping to circumvent WP:Civility, under the rationale that hey, it's hosted in the Wikipedia project namespace. This occurred with one editor here, and despite this, the result at MfD was Keep, and the discussion here went nowhere.

Now I've discovered another such "essay" being used in this manner, Wikipedia:Competence is required. In a discussion on Talk:James Randi, user Steven J. Anderson, who is in a disagreement with User:Kazuba, ended his most recent talk page message by saying, "That policy is non-negotiable and trumps consensus. If you're having trouble understanding any of this, you may benefit from perusing WP:COMPETENCE." The issue, of course, is one of disagreement, not understanding, since editors who understand policy disagree about its proper implementation or interpretation all the time. But that essay allows people like Stephen J. Anderson to level thinly-veiled insults at other users.

Jimmy, as much as I generally respect consensus, these pages need to be removed from Wikipedia, regardless of the threadbare rationales offered for them, even if it means a unilateral decision from the top. They offer nothing except fodder for churls to insult others during editorial disputes. Nightscream (talk) 05:05, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

HEY! Stop being a giant dick! HalfShadow 05:07, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
While I'm ambivalent about the first essay, I think WP:COMPETENCE is important. Editors may misuse it, but it points out the (to me) important fact that while anyone can edit Wikipedia, if that person's English skills, logic skills, writing skills, etc., are so low that more effort is spent fixing those edits than is gained from the contributor, then that person may not be an appropriate editor. Similarly, if someone can't, for whatever reason, edit collaboratively (either do to language problems or emotional problems) and engage in talk page discussion as necessary, then that, too, indicates the person may be in the wrong place. Perhaps WP:COMPETENCE should be renamed, but I do think the essay should continue to exist, as people will invoke the underlying principle even if the link itself does not exist. Note that it is not an essay "kept because its humorous," but one that's far more widely used, and I believe used appropriately. Qwyrxian (talk) 08:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I suppose what we all agree upon is pretty simple: editors shouldn't make snarky comments to other editors, and shouldn't use links to essays to be snarky, and essays are less desirable to the extent that they invite that kind of abuse. One approach might be to rewrite them to be less offensive.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
But that's all those essays are going to be used for. Can you give an example of a citation of that essay that won't be taken as an insult by the editor to whom the comment is directed? If there are areas in which an editor needs work, such as a newbie editor, the more experienced editor can simply point them to the related policy pages, templates, resources (Help Desk, Noticeboards) in question. That would offer not only a more precise resolution to the specific problem, but it would be a constructive solution with which a good faith newbie could genuinely improve. By contrast, citing that essay just sends the message, "You're incompetent." How is this beneficial? Nightscream (talk) 15:09, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The dick deletion discussion on the essay was an epic failure, accept that not everyone (anyone?) sees this in the same dire terms that you do and more on. As for competence.... editors try to be helpful and accommodating for new users, but sometimes there's a basic level of, well, competence, that has to be expected. We're not a teaching institution. One particular case that drives me nuts are those who can not understand 4 tildes to sign a post even after being told multiple times by multiple people. If someone can't string 1~ 2~ 3~ 4~ together, then there's not much one can do with them. Same with having the ability to write basic, coherent sentences, verb-tense agreements, etc... The bar is set pretty low to edit here, and having an expectation that users meet that bar is not a bad thing. Tarc (talk) 15:37, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I kind of agree with Nightscream that whoever is pointed to WP:COMPETENCE is likely to feel a bit insulted. The essay is specifically targeted at people who "lack intelligence", are incompetent, immature, etc. The essay can almost only be used for personal attacks. If someone really is "incompetent" to edit Wikipedia, it's much better to point them to WP:V, WP:N or whatever policy is relevant to the discussion than to this essay. Laurent (talk) 09:49, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if it is possible to gather some empirical evidence. How often are these essays referred to? How often is the reference unhelpful and insulting? I think that an MfD accompanied by a serious analysis of these questions could likely be successful, if it can be shown that these are predominantly causing trouble.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:53, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree. It would also be useful to bring to the MfD some input from a social scientist or two, and some philosophers. I'd like to see some discussion of the moral implications and social impact of ostracism compared with patience and mentorship in cases of incompetence. Anthony (talk) 14:25, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
As someone with qualifications in one of those(citation needed), I found WP:PBAGDSWCBY quite useful as a new editor because it was a quick way of realising that editors who cause disruption subtly over very long periods, do more damage than those that can be swiftly and painlessly reverted, blocked and ignored. And no, I didn't discover the essay by being pointed at it in a dispute. Maybe most people don't. In any case, these essays shouldn't be used to tell people "you're incompetent, don't edit"; that is indeed uncivil and is not their purpose. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 15:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
You can go to the essay and click What links here. We have well established procedures for dealing with insults. I hope we don't have here a campaign for dumbing down Wikipedia and replacing clear language with politically correct doublespeak. If somebody's editing is incompetent, it is not an insult to say so, as kindly as possible. Jehochman Talk 14:44, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think this idea of another MfD is pretty horrid actually. If people misuse an essay or cite it in an uncivil manner, than sanction the user, not the essay itself. This is a "guns don't kill people..." kinda thing here. Tarc (talk) 15:40, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I just looked at article talk pages that link to WP:COMPETENCE. It breaks down to about 50:50 in my estimation: half of them use WP:COMPETENCE gratuitously, and half constructively. Anthony (talk) 17:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

That's par for the course. About 50% of Wikipedia comments are polite, and 50% are nasty, snarky or combative. Jehochman Talk 17:39, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

A social scientist or two and some philosophers to help determine if people feel insulted when they're called incompetent, Anthony? C'mon.

Civility has nothing to do with political correctness, doublespeak or "dumbing down", Jehochman. It's merely a matter of recognizing that there are ways to level constructive criticism that are constructive and useful, and those that are not. The problem with your hypothetical "If somebody's editing is incompetent..." is that what's incompetent is subjective, and there are far less inflammatory ways to describe what's wrong with someone's edits. You don't need an expert in psychology to know that someone will feel insulted if "you're incompetent" is the approach one takes.

When a newbie user began editing some articles relating to The Real World, much of which I re-edited or reverted, he took umbrage at that. I had to explain what I felt was wrong with some of his edits, portions of which included somewhat subjective areas related to good writing that are not entirely detailed explicitly by policy or guideline. Rather than saying, "You're writing is incompetent", which would not provided an avenue for improvement, or induce a friendly atmosphere for discussion, I explained to him my rationale for my edits to his material, citing policy where applicable. The fourth and fifth paragraph of the link I just provided in particular displays my approach. That fifth paragraph in particular pertains to matters of common sense good writing, in which I explain some of the criteria for writing a good synopsis. On another occasion with a different editor, I even related my own personal experiences as a newbie, and provided diffs illustrating the difference between what my overly detailed synopses looked like before and after I was admonished by others to trim them down. This is the right approach to take. Saying, "You're incompetent", either explicitly or obliquely via a linked essay, is not. Period. Nightscream (talk) 20:31, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

That's a nice story, but the absence or presence of such essays isn't gong to make people act any more or less civility than they already do. Tarc (talk) 20:55, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
You're wrong. Period. (See? Everyone can do that!) I've only seen people invoke the incompetence clause when someone has shown repeatedly that they cannot or will not learn Wikipedia's rules and guidelines. I'm sure people will sometimes misuse it. That's not a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Some people are still missing the fact that the essay is explicitly written as advice to people dealing with potential incompetence, not as a link to be given to people who are themselves (allegedly) incompetent. So anyone handing out the essay link as a way of implying or stating "you're incompetent", is plainly misusing the essay (and being uncivil). That's not the fault of the essay, any more than the existence of a policy about dealing with vandalism is responsible for incorrect accusations of vandalism. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:14, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I see Chaser has installed this at the top of the essay.

It The essay is poisonous, pompous, ignorant, arrogant and mean; it encourages impatience and discord, and is the kind of sentiment that appeals to inadequate people, out to trumpet their own dubious worth. The project needs an essay covering incompetence, but not this pretentious, incendiary, derogatory dross. Anthony (talk) 03:47, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I removed it as I found it to be insulting as well, and there's no justification for it based on some stray comments here by, what, 1 person? Tarc (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say that the presence or absence of such essays will alter people's civility, Tarc. My point is that it provides ammunition for the uncivil, and without providing anything productive on the flipside.
Demiurge, that essay provides little or no advice on how to deal with problem editors. Most of it is simply a description of behavior. We already have policy pages on how to deal with edit disputes or tendentious editors. That essay offers nothing to supplement that. Nightscream (talk) 04:12, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't provide ammo. If people arguing to be uncivil then they will be uncivil, and should be admonished appropriately. That someone misuses or misquotes...again, how many times have you been told that it doesn't mean what you say it means?...it is not a valid reason for deletion. Tarc (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

It indeed provides ammo to those inclined to be uncivil, as the example I provided at the top of this discussion illustrates. Covering your eyes and ears and pretending it's not there does not change that. This point is not predicated on what the essay as a whole says or means. How many times do you have to be told that? You're not refuting the logic or reasoning of my position, you're just engaging in rote repetition of an counter-position, without consideration of my point of view. Its use by WP:CIV violators is part of the problem. Another is that it does not provide any resource for addressing problems of "competence" beyond the aforementioned policy pages. Indeed, why should an "essay" even be in the project namespace when it hasn't been and has no likelihood of being adopted as a policy itself? It's superfluous. At the very least, let users put essays on their User pages, or better yet, on their own websites, which would reduce the appearance that Wikipedia approves of such things. Nightscream (talk) 02:35, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

The Wikipedia does approve of such things, as seen in the last MfD. Tarc (talk) 15:47, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
How much time should be devoted to tending an editor who fundamentally is not suitable for Wikipedia? People who are blatantly disruptive are easily handled, and POV pushers usually are ejected after considerable effort. But what about cheerful editors who do not understand policies like WP:NOR, or who make many unconstructive edits? The approach of giving as much time as is required to such editors is not sustainable, and that's why WP:COMPETENCE exists: it offers the good advice that sometimes it is necessary to get unconstructive editors to disengage from Wikipedia. You are quite correct that COMPETENCE should not be invoked early in an editor's career: many people have no clue about NOR and NPOV when starting. However, the COMPETENCE essay is important to show that time is a finite resource, and we are here for the encyclopedia, not to battle with people who will not or cannot follow procedures. Johnuniq (talk) 04:19, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Seriously? There is nothing wrong with WP:CIR. You have to draw the line somewhere, and this essay seems to be a good way to explain to incompetent editors why they are being blocked. The message needs to be made, and there is no way of saying "sorry, but you don't have the skills required to edit Wikipedia" without sounding a tiny bit rude. But regarding WP:PBAGDSWCBY, that is an essay which should be deleted. access_denied (talk) 04:25, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

3.5 m + articles

Hi Jimbo! Wikipedia has now crossed 3.5 million + articles. What would you like to say about the milestone? :) 123.211.40.244 (talk) 15:41, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

Wow, we sure do like to type. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:25, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Well, some of us do!  Giacomo  20:39, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Lol. Tofutwitch11 (TALK) 21:35, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
Just imagine how many we'd be up to without the dramaz. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:37, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
probably a lot less.  Giacomo  20:39, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Or how many less there would be if we insisted on sources... Kevin (talk) 21:51, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
And those are the only ones that were tagged..Tofutwitch11 (TALK) 02:46, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Over 3.5 million articles, I couldn't have done it without all your (plural) help. GoodDay (talk) 20:46, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Clearly, we deletionists need to work harder... ;) AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:53, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm not happy with the terms "deletionist" or "inclusionist". How about "get it right-ionist"? The sources are there, or they're not, and they are adequate to support an article here, or they're not. But taking a generalist stance without regard to the merits of individual articles does not help, and arguably breaches neutrality policy. A step back from one's personal preferences should be commended as completely embodying what we are trying to achieve here. Rodhullandemu 04:00, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Maybe I should have put the ';)' in bold? Or maybe I should leave my sense of humour out of Wikipedia entirely (do I hear loud shouts of 'please do!). I wasn't being serious, and yes, I think Rodhullandemu's "get it right-ionist" stance is correct. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:34, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
We need a good essay (or even policy!) to point WP:GETITRIGHT at :-). --SB_Johnny | talk 19:01, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Discrimination to ethnic signs isn't admissible

Hello, Mr. Jimbo!
Forgive me for my English. I badly know it. I write by means of translator Google.
I am compelled to address to you, as to the founder of the project "Wikipedia".
I on a nationality the Greek since recent time I live in Greece.
Not so long ago I was registered in your project. And here I am literally today have faced discrimination on a racial accessory on pages of Russian language section of your project. To me have forbidden to write and communicate with participants in my native language which is Greek.
I consider, the granted circumstance not admissible and breaking my rights.
In this connection I ask you to take measures to that anybody and never in your project limited people in the right in free dialogue in their native language.
Thanks!Κοράκι (talk) 04:36, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Do you speak Russian? If so, you should be able to communicate in Russian on that project. If not, why are you attempting to edit the Russian project? It is generally considered necessary to have a good grasp of the language to edit on that Wikipedia project. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:13, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes. I freely speak Russian and on the Greek. But agree, this my right: to communicate and write in my native language. And nobody should expel me for it from the project. Otherwise, it is already possible to consider it as nationalism and a genocide in separately taken project. Wikipedia after all wasn't for this purpose created...

Instead of apologizing for misunderstanding yesterday my profile there has been blocked it is termless. And in general, in Russian section of the project Wikipedia reigns a complete outrage. Each manager interprets rules at own discretion. How to it it is favourable.Κοράκι (talk) 05:53, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I can only recommend that you not write in Greek on the Russian Wikipedia. Beyond that, I am afraid I have no useful advice except please try to relax and get along with people. Saying that not being allowed to write in Greek, in a Russian language project, is genocide is... well, not very polite.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:38, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, mr. Jimbo Wales! Allow to ask a question. And polite will be if, suppose, in streets of Athenes to the American, the Australian or the Englishman who in the native English talks to the friend or asks passers-by how to pass on any street. And during this moment the policeman will approach and will tell: "cease to speak English here or go away to itself to the USA, Australia or Great Britain and speak there in the English"?
In my opinion, no... And anybody so doesn't do...
To us, to Greece, comes millions tourists a year, but anybody doesn't expel them from Greece only because they speak in the native language...
You declared time and again both in a press, and on the Internet that Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia. In her there is place to rudeness, nationalist prejudices, no bias of judgements.
And what turns out actually? Me expel from the project only because I speak and-or I write in other language... Κοράκι (talk) 09:25, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Dear, Ανδρέας. Your account was blocked indefinitely not because of your refusal to use Russian instead of Greek, but because of a legal threat (ru). To be unblocked you have to settle the conflict with your opponents by coming to consensus. So I would encourage you to contact your opponent(s) and find a solution, e.g., using Greek followed by Russian translation. I look forward to your return to the project. Btw, you can write to me in Greek if you want. ;) --Glebchik (talk) 18:30, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
Κοράκι, no, it is not your right to use your native language wherever you'd like. If you came here, to the English Wikipedia and refused to speak English, it could result in a similar block because most people here would not understand anything you wrote. Part of a collaborative project is being capable of collaborating. If you don't speak the native language, it becomes much more difficult to edit collaboratively. People will try to communicate with you in your native tongue but, if you are incapable of writing in the local language, it makes things very difficult for those trying to help you. And it is not equivalent to walking around Athens without speaking Greek. I'm not saying this to be rude, but to be helpful. If I were to go to Athens without speaking Greek, it would be both frustrating to myself and anyone there who doesn't speak English! — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:56, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Portal Publicity

As an enthusiast and creator of Portals on the English Wikipedia, I was curious if there might be a way we could increase the amount of publicity we give to Portals on Wikipedia. This would help the average non-editor find out how helpful they are for research. Currently, even featured Portals seem to be neglected by the members of the general public who don't have time for the extra searching required to find them. Just a thought. Cheers!--Novus Orator 06:15, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Since there are 29,401 pages with a multiple portal box and over 3 million with one or more portal links (although many of those are talk pages) it seems to me that portals are getting plenty of publicity. Why do you say that they are "neglected by members of the general public"? Rich Farmbrough, 10:43, 15 December 2010 (UTC).
Personally I think that portals are actually overpublicised, considering the prominence they have on the main page and the staggering stats Rich has just shown. Jenks24 (talk) 17:16, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Funds

Hey Jimbo....I recently read this blog at a Pakistani website and was actually wondering, can Wikipedia really close down if it does not meet adequate funds? Is displaying advertisements going to be the ultimate choice? Mar4d (talk) 16:26, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I feel confident that we'll get enough funds to continue our existing donation model. We always have. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


The freeness of Wikipedia

I just have a question. In those "personal appeals" above, there are two contradicting statements. It says Wikipedia is based on numerous donations so it can stay being free, but certainly if my use of Wikipedia is thanks to other people paying for it, doesn't that stop it from being free?

Just because I'm not paying for it doesn't mean others aren't. Basically, the $16 million in "donations" is the price tag that we all as a community have to pay for all of us to use it.

That doesn't sound like "Free" to me. Feedback 17:00, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

It's free, but that doesn't mean it has no cost. People donate time, effort and, yes, money in order to pay that cost. But it will always be free insofar as anyone will be allowed to use and reuse whether they are able and willing to contribute, or not. — Coren (talk) 19:00, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
TANSTAAFL. Nothing in this world is truly free. Something has to be exchanged for something else to exist, whether it's basic chemistry to provide food for an organism, or paying the bills & internet connection fees for Wikipedia. Wikipedia is free as in "freedom of speech", not free as in "free beer!" It takes money to run Wikipedia, but at least it all comes from donations rather than charging us to even use it. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 20:10, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Iraq War Misappropriations

Dear Jimbo,

I am whistleblower in the case of Ubl v IIF Data Solutions who has the second largest non intervened case in U.S. History with potentially billions at stake and none of the mainstream media will pick up my story.

At Stake in the Ubl Case: Safeguards Protecting $50 Billion in Taxpayer Dollars from Waste, Fraud and Abuse

The Washington Spectator had enough courage to step out and write on the matter: Did a Federal Judge Hand a Blank Check to Defense Contractors?

I am very familiar with the Iraq fund scandal and the Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair and the Wall Street Journal article, Alan Grayson was my initial lead counsel. The defendant initiated and signed an $11 million dollar settlement. Settlement Agreement

The Department of Justice while in the judges chambers when the settlement was constructed and executed withheld their signature for 16 months on the basis of attorneys fees or defendants ability to pay, even though the defendant has grossed over $187 million since 2000.

The case was whitewashed because General.........incomplete more later


—Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.88.42.59 (talk) 04:17, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

You had me worried there, I thought you had been got just as you were typing...
If none of the mainstream media will pick up your story, Wikipedia is not the ideal place to start changing that. It's an encyclopedia, not a news outlet.
However, if there is already coverage in at least some respectable sources as you say, then maybe someone will make a mention of that somewhere here.
However, as a self-described whistleblower, maybe the people you want are Wikileaks. Or, if they are a bit too busy at the moment, try one of the organisations being set up as an alternative or splinter group to them. There's been at least one such group in the news lately.
Finally, as a whistleblower with potentially billions at stake, please be a bit more careful with where you leave your IP address.
--Demiurge1000 (talk) 08:46, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

ArbCom request for comment

Hello Jimmy, we already send you mail but got no response anyway there is strong need to discuss one case which was handled by arbcom we tried to discuss it on wiki but it was deleted: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Sophie, please read it and tell us what you think about it arbcom is of no use as they refuse to talk with us if there is some justice on wiki I would appreciate any response or please let us even discuss it Petrb (talk) 15:44, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I will repost

We request comment on following case, Sophie (talk · contribs) is a regular wikipedian, participant of counter vandalism unit and project articles for creation, she was blocked indefinitely by arbcom with explanation that she is pretending that she is minor or a minor with provocative behavior, she was notified that if she wants to resolve this she must email arbcom. When she was blocked several users disagreed - see her talk with no explanation from arbcom. She submitted an email (and got the mentioned answer), then she asked what she can do to resolve this, as she is willing to proove her age, and contest the reason of block, however arbcom started to ignore her / stopped answering because issue is already resolved by them. She was also suspected from sockpuppetry and there were many unclear things, but she is willing to explain all of them and she already explained them to many of us, however had no chance to explain it to arbcom because they refuse talk with her. One of our theory is that she had conflict with some administrator on irc, then she posted inappropriate and negative comment on his name and that was a real reason for block (and also why they refuse to talk about it), the comment was seen by many of us, it was "stupid" but appeared as a comment from 13 years old wikipedian who she is, although that action may be subject for some punishment from side of admins we disagree with indefinite block, it was childish and stupid but it was not anything she should be blocked from editing for, from her edit history you would see that she never attempted to post unconstructive edits and is no threat for wikipedia and its users. We don't want to aim this against someone nor to punish anyone from arbcom for this, we only want to peacefully resolve this issue. I will not be surprised if someone revdel it because censorship is modern trend of admins on wiki.
read also comments by users on deleted page I hope you don't ignore community as arbcom do Petrb (talk) 15:55, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I am aware of this issue. I support ArbCom in this. I think there are likely facts that you don't know, facts that it wouldn't be appropriate to post publicly due to this possibly involving a minor. This has absolutely nothing to do with irc, and the person running that account has received a full explanation from ArbCom.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:32, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
She already sent explanation to all of us and I don't know what clear is on it, anyway why they refuse to talk with us? why they refuse to talk with her? Why all discussions regardint this were removed? See her talk page - it was admin protected. Why? That is what we wanted comment on we did not want to discuss private stuff Petrb (talk) 16:44, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget that she wants to proove that she is 13 and from explanation we have seen that was one of main reasons she was blocked for, and concerning second reason she never get any explanation what it was - I reviewed most of her contributions and she never did anything wrong apart of that conflict with admins, just tell me if the findings were so important that she has to be blocked indefinitely because of them. And I don't understand why you could not tell it to her. Petrb (talk) 17:02, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
As I said, you don't seem to have access to all the facts. This is a potentially sensitive matter possibly involving a minor, and I think you've been misled. I urge you to drop it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:15, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I assume this message meant that you are going to block me if I continue discussing this, anyway keep in mind that I only want to peacefully resolve this issue, it's not easy if you talk with someone who got blocked and doesn't even know why and many things looks weird on both sides, imagine that you would not be founder of wiki, you had same issue, some of your friends was blocked and all people who can do anything would stopped talking with you and him and what is even worse they would deny you from any attempt to discuss it with anyone by removing all you post anywhere about that case. What would you do? Petrb (talk) 18:02, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

If people with more information than you have tell you clearly that there are real-life issues that prevent the matter from being discussed openly, you have two choices, either you trust them or you don't. If you trust them, then drop the issue. If you don't, then I'm sorry, but there isn't much you can do but "vote with your feet" and leave the project. Regardless, when certain kinds of information (such as personally identifiable information about legal minors) are in play, the protective rules outweigh transparency, and that is Wikipedia practice. You may not like it, but it is there for a reason. -- Avi (talk) 18:08, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I was asking why they ignore her - that informations so private that even she can't be told about and she is such threat to wikipedia that no one should talk to her? I never wanted to discuss private stuff publicly. Petrb (talk) 18:17, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Drop it mate. Yes, something more than a block without talk page access with a cryptic log summary is a pretty shite way to treat a volunteer editor (I block vandals and show them more respect than that), but this is ArbCom. While I don't trust ArbCom's collective judgement, I trust Risker, the arb who implemented the block. There are obviously things you and I don't know, but I can't imagine Risker doing something like that without a good reason. You should be content with that, both because it's true and because it's the closest thing to an explanation you're going to get. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:25, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Petrb, ArbCom has talked with her, repeatedly both via email and responded to her when she's messaged us individually on IRC. She has been given all of the details of exactly why she was blocked and it's been discussed with her directly. If you're being told otherwise, someone's pulling your chain. Shell babelfish 21:03, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Being misinformed is not a valid reason to block anyone. Cool Hand Luke 02:27, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Urgent Appeals

Let me tell you, Mr. Wales, I use Wikipedia frequently. I've tried adding to the project by contributing, but most times, the admins do nothing more than crap all over my contributions because their not notable in the internet sphere. What it seems has been forgotten in this project is that notability is not strictly limited to the internet, but includes books, radio, magazines, etc, etc. I'm not some vandal and I'm not updating trivially. I truly care about this project, but I am not willing to fund something that operates the way the moderators/admins do around here. Fix that problem, and you'll see some cash. Until then, I'll be pressing the "x" in the box every time I see your pleading mug at the top of a topic. If Wikipedia disappears, I have Google. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.24.147.160 (talk) 17:05, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Could you perhaps provide us with some examples? Yes, notability can be shown with materials not available on the Internet. Did your deleted contributions make specific references to those books, etc.? Without examples, we can't evaluate your complaint. LadyofShalott 17:11, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Typical Wikipedia response to this complaint. We'd love to help you solve this problem, but we can't fix our hoier-than-thou attitudes until you provide a list of problems so we can delete them and slap a band-aid on this festering infection. Been there, done that, won't waste my time again trying to do this. 134.24.147.160 (talk) 17:53, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Without specifics, what specific help do you expect? You may not be a vandal, and you may not be updating trivially...but quite a few other people are, and unless you explain the situation, it's going to be difficult to assist you. --OnoremDil 17:59, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
So, you expect me to come to you with the same list I've typed out and had disregarded before by the same Wikipedia mods/admins? That's hilarious. Maybe I'll take this as a prompt to keep a detailed list such that I can present it EVERY TIME I have an issue with how draconian you are. 134.24.147.160 (talk) 19:05, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
What was your goal in starting this discussion? If you don't want help, I can't. If you do want help, give specifics. If you're so frustrated about being continuously disregarded that you refuse to even discuss the situation, perhaps the issue isn't with en.wiki, but with how you think en.wiki should be. I'm afraid I don't see what positive response can be given to such a generic complaint. Though I very much prefer to keep discussion public, please feel free to email me if you feel the need to avoid having a public conversation about the issue. No guarantee that I can help, but I will try. --OnoremDil 19:11, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Case where PendingChanges would have helped

This edit shows an anonymous ip number self-reverting vandalism which was in this article for 16 hours. It looks like the ip number vandalized one evening and reverted the next day.

I saw it for the first time a few hours after that while reviewing my watch list. Had this been a good-faith edit, the wait time for review might have only been as long as 19-20 hours (when I got to it) even assuming no community special attention to the PC queue. With that attention, I suppose a good faith edit would be approved much more quickly, and this bad faith edit rejected before the public ever saw it. I just note this here for interested parties to consider.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:31, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

It's hardly serious vandalism from a BLP perspective. The bad stuff is the stuff that gives plausible misinformation and a wide use of pending changes won't help with that.--Scott Mac 17:37, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Absolutely correct, but not relevant to the point I am making.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:40, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
PC would be helpful in certain situations. That isn't breaking news. It also is limiting in other situations. --OnoremDil 17:47, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
thePeerage.com? Is that a reliable source? I'm not saying it isn't, but it's not clear from a quick review that it's known for it's fact checking. It doesn't appear to have an article here..not that en.wiki articles are end-all on being reliable sites. I'd think that should be the issue you have with the article instead of someone saying that the children (who's names certainly aren't noteworthy) are 'rabid' fans of random clubs. --OnoremDil 17:45, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd ask over at Wikipedia:WikiProject Peerage and Baronetage about the reliability of that site. I think that it is generally considered ok for basic information, although perhaps not the best possible source. I'm not an expert on that point.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:07, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
It is relevant. Deploying pending changes across the tens of thousands of articles you'd need to in order to prevent stuff like this, prevents a more targeted deployment, which would be needed to properly review additions to vulnerable BLPs. The question is which is more of a priority, reducing embarrassing vandalism of the type that does not harm subjects, or giving more effective tools to prevent real damage. --Scott Mac 17:46, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok now that you've clarified, I see the relevance of the point you are making. However, isn't that just a function of the empirical question of how long it takes to review additions to PendingChanges protected articles? I don't see this as necessarily a tradeoff - I believe we could deploy PendingChanges very widely indeed, and still have a perfectly acceptable response time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:07, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
No, I disagree. It is a "deep or wide?" dilemma. If you deploy it very widely and generate a fast response time, then the trade-of is that reviewing rights need to be handed out on demand at a low threshold, and people will be under pressure to work fast, that means that the quality of the review (and the reviewer) will be very poor - only obvious stuff will be picked off. So, yes, petty vandalism edits like you've mentioned above get filtered, but really dangerous BLP stuff will be entirely missed, because the dangerous BLP stuff is the stuff that looks plausible to reader and reviewer. That's a poor trade-off for me. If makes our embarrassment and annoyance at vandalism a higher priority than the much rarer occasion of serious BLP damage. The type of wide-screening you propose will get the "is a dickhead lol" stuff, will probably miss credibly-written stuff about a Kennedy Assassination, or a malicious change of date of death, and would certainly miss plausible lies with purported sources. An opportunity squandered. Better to use it on much fewer underwatched BLPs and have a relatively small but dedicated team of BLP savy people review.--Scott Mac 18:17, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
What do you mean by, the dangerous BLP stuff is the stuff that looks plausible to reader and reviewer. While reader I understand, I'm not seeing a large attack surface for things that a reviewer will find plausible yet would cause harm to the level of dangerousness. I agree that it's possible to put plausible non-truth in an article and fool a reviewer, but that's not material I would tend to call dangerous. Jclemens (talk) 01:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
It is fairly simple. To defame someone, you have to say something untrue and prejudicial about them which people might take to be true. "George Bush sucks big cocks LOL!" is not really capable of damaging the reputation of the subject, because it isn't likely to create a false impression of the subject. But statement like "John Smith was declared bankrupt in 1989" or "had an affair in 2010" or "..was investigated by the police for..", if untrue are potentially highly damaging to the subject. Here's the point - something which is obviously untrue to the average Wikipedian reviewing an article, will also be obviously untrue to the average reader. Untruths that are less likely to be believed are less dangerous than untruths that appear credible to the uninformed reader.--Scott Mac 01:20, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
So you're assuming our reviewers would be too stupid to check out such a statement? Really, I don't doubt that errors are possible on occasion, but I tend to think our reviewers can do a reasonably good job at perceiving such statements and rejecting them unless the edit comes with an accompanying RS. Jclemens (talk) 01:52, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree with you Jclemens, although note that Scott Mac's general point about there being a tradeoff between deep and wide does make sense. I just think it's not nearly as difficult as he seems to think, and I think there are easy ways for people of different "styles" to work together. For example, if I'm the sort who enjoys doing fast "vandal patrol" type work, then I can just pop along quickly rejecting things that are obviously vandalism, and leaving the rest for others. If the edit is not obviously vandalism, I just ignore it... which is what vandal patrollers generally do right now (and is part of why we have problems, although I am not blaming them - that's not what they are doing, they are vandal patrolling). But since the article is under PC, ignoring an edit causes no BLP harm - and what will naturally happen is that the oldest things in the queue will tend to be things that are tricky to decide about - and people who (like me) prefer to do slower but still lightweight fact checking can take care of those.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:57, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Pending changes would often help with low-traffic BLPs, avoiding many cases where vandalism isn't reverted, e.g. the two months old vandalism here. It wouldn't help in many other cases, like the three year old very serious BLP violations reverted here which claimed about a living politician that "earned a reputation as a scheming and corrupt leader and a major force in Oruzgan's flourishing opium poppy business. X is illiterate and demonstrated no administrative competency, often favoring his own Populzai tribe in legal and administrative decisions and enriching himself on public funds." and "has four wives (a fifth was killed under unclear circumstances, it is rumored that he murdered her)". (note; these allegations were removed in September 2009[22], but reinserted by an IP the next week[23]). Whether it is Pending changes or some other mechanism, I do think that we need more BLP patrol and content protection of BLP articles (and protection of articles on companies, parties, ... as well probably). Fram (talk) 14:17, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

ArbCom appointments

Having completed my due diligence, I will formally make ArbCom appointments tomorrow, likely before noon UK time. There will be no surprises; I just need to finish writing up my annual appointment essay.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:39, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Hmm, I had an interview with the Independent this morning that I wasn't aware of; set me back a bit. Soon. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Re political blogs as reliable/verifiable sources when the Big Media aren't

This is just a heads-up on an issue regarding political blogs as verifiable/reliable sources in arenas where the major news media very explicitly aren't, and where blogspace has by necessity picked up the lead on covering facts the major media refuse to or just won't or wilfully distort (because they are affiliated with the ruling party/faction); please see Wikipedia_talk:Canadian_Wikipedians'_notice_board#blog-originating_news_stories_re_BLP and farther up the same page there's more on "blogs as reliable sources"....because where I live, the major media are NOT reliable sources, not for politics anyway (yeah, dead babies, gang murders, car crashes, sex killers, they'll report on that stuff, but when it's political news theyr'e just shills/advertorialists). I think teh WP:BLOGS/WP:RELIABLE pages/guidelines need addressing to cope with situations like this; whther it's re China, Iran....or Canada. Just because a news page is hosted on a self-publishing source like a blogsite doesn't mean it's not reliable or verifiable; especially when the news broken is eventually, if reluctantly and often in distorted fashion, finally picked up by the major media....Skookum1 (talk) 19:00, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

My other comments on this subject were not higher on that same page; they are here, though say pretty much the same thing.Skookum1 (talk) 19:05, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
This is a related matter.Skookum1 (talk) 19:37, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I've taken this to WP:BLPN but believe it is a wider issue than simply BLP....Skookum1 (talk) 21:15, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps a discussion at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard would help? Malcolmxl5 (talk) 02:15, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Edit summary accuracy

Mr. Wales; I realize that you have a right to control the content on your own talk page. However, I question one of your edit summaries in removing one of the sections. Specifically, you described this removal as "rm trolling, personal attacks". While the IP was certainly just trolling, User:Convenient flag was, at least at face value, not. It's quite disingenuous of you to remove two user's posts in one edit, and describe it merely as "rm trolling, personal attacks" when only one user was engaging in trolling and personal attacks. I do hope that you'll be more accurate in your edit summaries in the future. Thank you. Buddy431 (talk) 19:19, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

I can't say that I see a problem with the edit summary. I think that a message by a user with a single edit to proxy attention for a banned user could reasonably be called trolling. There are processes for requesting review. The process doesn't begin with posting screeds and then alerting Mr. Wales to them via socks or meatpuppets. --OnoremDil 19:30, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
The idea of what constitutes trolling differs from person to person. For example, I think having the KKK symbol on one's userpage is equivalent to holding up a sign saying "I am a troll", but others may not agree. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 19:43, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Seems a pretty reasonable summary to me. Off2riorob (talk) 20:03, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I guess my definition of Troll (Internet) is narrower than yours. I see a troll as someone who "posts inflammatory... messages... with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response". I don't think that the first poster was looking for an emotional response here (unless he's being a pretty good actor about it). I agree with Onorem that this post probably doesn't belong here, but I don't think it's trolling. Sock-puppetry does not imply trolling, nor does attempting to elude a site ban. I suppose DC is right; what constitutes trolling differs from person to person, and I'm on the narrower end of the spectrum. Still, I like to see people be accurate in their descriptions, and I don't think this edit summary was. Just my opinion though. Buddy431 (talk) 21:32, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
My definition of trolling is similar to yours. My judgment of the first poster is different from yours. Both were trolling, adding zero value. We are here to build a high quality encyclopedia, not to give people a free speech forum to POV push their ideas.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:06, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Happy Christmas to you and yours

Dear Mr Wales,

Thank you again this year for your personal appeal. We will donate as we always do. I hope even more our contributions to the encyclopaedia further it forward to being the fountain of all knowledge that you envisaged. Nobody knows everything I am not pretending that, but I hope just little by little they get better.

Our sincere best wishes to you and your family.

User:SimonTrew and User:Monkap.

Si Trew (talk) 09:31, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo

My coleague and I are having a debate about the definition of a sport. Can I ask for verification of what the definition offered by the article for Sport is based upon, as I'd like to know how the criteria is defined and who by. I am particularly intrigued by the difference between a sport and a game. Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.43.48.142 (talk) 11:14, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.43.48.140 (talk) 14:32, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

A question about arbitration

Mr. Wales,

I have a question about something involving arbitrator neutrality. I’m not really sure who I ought to ask about this, but I guess I should probably ask you, since as far as I know you’re the only person with the authority to answer questions about the role ArbCom is intended to play.

I know that in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest, it’s expected that arbitrators will recuse themselves from cases involving articles that they’ve been involved in. What I’d like to know is, does the same principle also apply to specific editors? For example, suppose that I were a close personal friend of a member of ArbCom, and regularly talked to them off-wiki, including about things that have nothing to do with Wikipedia. In that situation, would it be appropriate for that arbitrator to be proposing or voting on arbitration decisions about me, or should they be recusing themselves in that case also?

This isn’t an entirely hypothetical question, but at the moment I’d prefer to discuss it in just a theoretical sense. I’m not sure what I’ll do if the answer is that this isn’t appropriate, but I’d at least like to know whether it is or not. --Captain Occam (talk) 18:45, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

In that case, the arb should recuse themselves. My advice would be to ask them to do so by email and, if they don't, email another arbitrator you trust and/or Jimbo. I would advise against going into anything more than hypothetical detail on-wiki. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:57, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the advice.
I have one other question: what should I do if the decision proposed by an arbitrator, about a user who's a close friend of theirs, has already received support from a majority of arbitrators and is likely to pass? I’m not clear on whether it’s too late for them to recuse themselves when other arbitrators are already voting in favor of their proposal. Is e-mailing the arbitrators or Jimbo still the best thing to do in that case? --Captain Occam (talk) 19:14, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Well one would hope that arbs don't just fall into line behind the drafting arb and actually review things for themselves, so hopefully it's not a major issue, but the best thing to do would still be to email that arbitrator and, if you're not satisfied with the response, email another active arb that you trust and explain it to them. If it's time sensitive (ie it can't wait for them to pick up an email and make up their mind) then do both at the same time. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:13, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Something I ought to mention is that I was sanctioned in the same arbitration case where I’m now concerned about a conflict of interest on the new motion that’s being proposed. I’m a little concerned that if I start e-mailing the arbitrators about this issue, it’s going to look as though I’m just being spiteful about my own sanctions. If you still think this is the best idea, though, I’ll follow your advice. (And yes, it is somewhat time sensitive.)
Are you sure it’s preferable that I not mention any of the details of what this case is and who it involves? Everything relevant has been stated on-Wiki, including the relationship between the drafting arbitrator and the editor about whom he’s making a proposal. And I would feel a little more confident about what to do here if I were told that this is the best idea by someone who’s aware of all of the details. --Captain Occam (talk) 20:45, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Well if you prefer to, you could raise it on the arb's talk page and maybe email the ArbCom mailing list. My only concern about raising it publicly is that it's likely to cause unnecessary drama. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:59, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think it’s probably too late to avoid drama about this. Another editor, Vassyana, has already raised this issue at AN/I. The thread is here, if you’d like to comment there.
I suppose it’s possible that the AN/I thread itself will resolve this issue. If it doesn’t, though, I’ll try your suggestion of e-mailing some of the arbitrators and/or Jimbo about this. --Captain Occam (talk) 21:12, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

(od) I guess you're referring to me though it's a bit difficult to recognise myself from the version of events you have provided. What follows is the facts.

Mathsci contacted the committee by email on 18 August to ask a procedural question about the privacy policy. I replied on behalf of the committee (with a copy to ArbCom) and mentioned in closing that I was running out of time as I was about to go on holiday to XXX in France. As this is close to where Mathsci lives, he replied inviting me to meet him for a drink/meal (also disclosed to the full committee). When I was about to return from holiday, on 4 September, I remembered Mathsci's invitation and phoned him to make my excuses for not taking him up on it. The conversation drifted into a discussion of the cost and quality of local broadband providers, and the quaintness/prettiness of the neighbourhood. Incidentally, other than a follow up email later that day, kindly advising me how to deal with the braying of a neighbouring farmer's donkey, I have had no subsequent contact with him.

To see the record straight, I am not a close personal friend of Mathsci (or indeed a friend in any sense of the word); I have spoken to him once (not regularly as you state), and our conversation neither touched on arbitration matters nor influenced my opinion of him. There is nothing secret or surrepitious about any of this and indeed Mathsci has already mentioned it online. Arbitrators do interact with, um, litigants all the time in varying contexts (email, Skype, meet ups, IRC, Chat etc): it's the nature of a wiki and being available.

The motion represented existing publicly-stated consensus among arbitrators and was impelled by a general reminder from another arbitrator that it needed posting.  Roger talk 21:21, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

All right, I’m sorry for saying you’ve been in contact with Mathsci regularly when that wasn’t the case. Mathsci has referred a few times to what amounts to a friendship with you, so when he mentioned his phone conversation with you, I assumed that this was not just a one-time event.
However, this does not completely assuage my concerns about “cronyism” (which is the term that other editors seem to be using when expressing concern about this issue.) Ideally, I think arbitrators should avoid any contact with the editors involved in a case while making rulings about those editors. To you, Ferahgo and I are nothing but a bunch of text and some userboxes on a computer screen, while Mathsci is someone you know on at least a semi-personal basis. It’s difficult for me to believe that ArbCom could completely avoid letting this affect their decisions regarding him and me. This is especially the case considering that most of the editors who have interacted with me and Mathsci an approximately equal amount have been expressing the view that it’s a problem for him and me to be treated unequally. Even people whose editorial viewpoints are more similar to Mathsci’s than to mine, such as Maunus, Ludwigs2, and VsevolodKrolikov, have agreed about this. --Captain Occam (talk) 22:15, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Your concerns about appearing to be an anonymous cipher are easily remedied. Email me your Skype details (and cellphone if you like) and we can discuss ways of resolving your currently unhappy relationship with the topic.  Roger talk 22:28, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
While I appreciate the gesture, I’m not sure how helpful that would be. You’ve apparently known Mathsci for a few years, whereas I’ve only been active at Wikpedia at all since 2009, and my first interaction with ArbCom was a primarily negative one this summer. Friendships take time to form, and it doesn’t work very well to try and make one on the spur of the moment just to remedy an imbalance like this.
If by my “relationship with the topic” you mean the race and intelligence topic, I’m also not sure what there is to discuss. I’ve stated several times that my current desire is to just forget about this topic at Wikipedia, but I don’t feel like I’m being given an opportunity for that, when one considers I have an even stronger desire to be treated fairly. I got pulled back into this issue around a month ago when Mathsci posted an AE thread accusing me of sockpuppetry, the drama caused by his AE threads are what resulted in EdJohnston’s new sanction against me, and the fact that I (and a number of other editors) consider this sanction unfair is what’s led to the current drama. All of my involvement in this topic for around a month has been related to protesting what I consider the imbalance in how Ferahgo and I are being treated. If you have any advice other than to just let this issue go, then I guess I can talk to you via e-mail or AIM (I don’t use Skype). But if that’s going to be your only advice, I’m already following it as well as I’m able to: I’ve already disengaged from the articles as far as content is concerned, and I don’t really think I can disengage from discussions about the fairness of my own sanctions. --Captain Occam (talk) 23:05, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
What on earth are you talking about? My first contact with Mathsci was during the arbitration case and my only "personal" contact the one described above. What is the source of all this stuff? "Close personal friend", been in touch "regularly", "apparently known Mathsci for a few years". It's all completely untrue.  Roger talk 23:09, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
One of the things which was discussed prior to the arbitration case is that Mathsci was friends with several members of ArbCom. Based on what Mathsci said about his recent interaction with you, I assumed you were one of the examples of that. I guess I may have been wrong to assume that—I’m going to try and find out more specifically which members of ArbCom were being referred to in that discussion. --Captain Occam (talk) 23:20, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
The only former arbitrator I know slightly (and that was from RL) is Charles Matthews who blocked me in 2008. I later bought him a tomato juice at a wiki meetup. I don't know where Captain Occam is getting these ideas from, but please could he stop? Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 23:31, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Mathsci, you know that this was discussed at length before the arbitration case. You were involved in that discussion. I don't remember the details anymore of which arbitrators this was discussed with regard to, but I've asked someone else who was involved in that discussion who hopefully does. --Captain Occam (talk) 23:37, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
I know no such thing. Please could you stop writing things like this? It is not in your best interests at present. Mathsci (talk) 23:40, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Captain Occam, if you could provide a diff or link to that discussion, it would probably help resolve the concerns here. Shell babelfish 23:46, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Steve Smith's recusal because of interactions on WR? Mathsci (talk) 23:58, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Shell: it was discussed a few times. Before the current discussion, the most recent discussion about it was here, while the arbitration case was underway. As is evident from the fact that we were referring there to an earlier discussion about the same issue, this wasn’t the first time we discussed it. The discussion about this in which Mathsci participated was the earlier one, but it’s probably going to take me longer to find that discussion, because I can’t remember anymore where it took place.
I’ve just asked Ludwigs2 in his user talk if he could remind me of more of the details about this. Based on his comment in the thread that I linked to, it’s apparent that he remembers Mathsci bragging about his friendship with members of ArbCom. I suspect that he remembers more of the details about this than I do, so I think we should wait for him to comment there. --Captain Occam (talk) 00:02, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Please stop writing in this way. I don't know any members of ArbCom. I've participated in previous ArbCom cases, but that's it. Mathsci (talk) 00:06, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

(od)Erm, you did notice that Ludwigs2 said "Mathsci may have friends on the arbitration committee (I don't know if that's true or if that's just another elements of Mathsci's preening bluster)". Since that's a rather vague insinuation which he admits to not knowing the truth of coupled with a personal attack thrown in at the end by someone who's been in repeated disputes with Mathsci, do you think it's possible that there isn't really anything to the accusation? Shell babelfish 00:10, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

What Ludwig has said (in that discussion, and elsewhere) is that Mathsci has bragged about being friends with members of ArbCom. But since I don’t remember anymore where Mathsci actually said this, I suppose it’s possible that Ludwig and I are both misremembering it.
Why don’t we wait for Ludwig to comment here, and see if he can remember more of the details about this? If he can’t, and I’m not able to find this discussion either, then I guess we’ll have to accept that there’s no way to prove it’s the case. If Ludwig can find the link to the discussion in which Mathsci talked about this, though, it shouldn’t matter whether the link was provided by Ludwig or someone else. --Captain Occam (talk) 00:22, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
It's probably worth bearing in mind for the future that serious accusations without serious evidence are regarded as personal attacks. There have been a number of these here so the quicker a line is drawn under this the better.  Roger talk 00:33, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Or perhaps we could stop repeating insinuations for which there's no evidence until such time as that evidence is provided? I thought it might be pertinent to consider the source when making unsupported allegations as you've done here repeatedly. What matters here is not who said it but whether or not it was said at all or has any truth to it. Shell babelfish 00:33, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
After Roger Davies told me he hadn’t interacted with Mathsci prior to the arbitration case, the only thing I’ve said about Mathsci’s friendship with arbitrators is that this was discussed. It was discussed, although whether what was said in that discussion was correct is a separate question, and one that I don’t claim to have the answer to at this point. I’m sorry if I’ve made myself sound more certain about this than I am. If I’d known that mentioning this discussion in response to Roger Davies would have been taken as a personal attack, I wouldn’t have mentioned it. --Captain Occam (talk) 00:50, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
(e/c) @ Occam: Heavens to Betsy! I am not your advocate, and while I am happy to throw in my two cents' worth in the interests of a just outcome, you need to recognize the extent to which you've made your own bed here. If (when this whole debacle had started) you had been able to let go of things and accept problems in stride, you'd have lost a few debates but you'd have gained the reputation of being calm and reasonable. You didn't, and now you've lost the debates and the reputation. It's not unrecoverable if you really want to get back in people's good graces, but you can't demand respect from others (no one can). You have to earn it, which is not likely to happen if you keep on this way. If you want more detail on how to do that, see me in my talk. And if you do, don't argue with me this time like you did the last time I tried to get you to choose a better path.
With respect to Mathsci, what I actually tried to point out in the arbitration (repeatedly) was that Mathsci works very hard to give the appearance of being a 'made man' in some Wikipedia old-boy network. It's a tactic that he uses (and that is - unfortunately - used by a number of experienced editors) to intimidate new editors who seem to be pushing POVs. It's highly effective, if skanky: most times I see it used it acts like a hazing, forcing the new editor to learn Wikipedia norms through fear and self-preservation (and often giving them bad habits in the process, but that's a separate issue). Sometimes - with editors such as you and me, because yeah, it's been done to me too - it backfires and then all hell breaks loose. However, the truth of the matter is just this: Mathsci has an extensive history of good contributions and an established presence on the project which has earned him the benefit of the doubt from a lot of admins and regular editors; he has (through shared interests) developed a small number of loyal friends who will jump in feet first to defend him when they see him in conflicts (which isn't always a good thing); and he has some decent skills at manipulating emotional frames in discussions. It's all fairly vanilla wikipolitics and there's nothing more nefarious about it than that, except that he (like you) has a hard time letting go when he ought. This is the internet - don't forget that the underlying reality is nowhere near as interesting as people are wont to present on-line.
@ Shell: Mathsci had at that time had tried to get me blocked for mediating at MedCab, and had leveled a continuous and nearly endless stream if insults, threats, and pure fabrications (read that as 'lies' or 'unsubstantiated delusions' as you prefer) against me over the course of a couple of months, and was generally going out of his way to try to ruin my reputation on project in sordid form (at which he probably succeeded, for whatever it's worth to you). If you'd like to understand the level of anger I was feeling towards him at the time, please recognize that 'preening bluster' was the nice, self-censored version of how I wanted to describe his behavior. Plus, within the context of that debate that phrase was entirely accurate and I stand by it, even if I might prefer a more level-head phrasing now. enough said? --Ludwigs2 01:54, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Ludwig: I’m definitely aware of what you’re saying about me, and I think you’re probably right about how this affects me. The problem is, this really isn’t about the articles anymore—it’s about what people are saying and doing about me and Ferahgo specifically. The current issue started when Mathsci posted an AE thread accusing me of sockpuppetry. Should I have just ignored that accusation? And should I have just let it go when EdJohnston sanctioned me, but wasn’t willing to tell me what the sanction was based on?
I have a very strong desire to be treated fairly. When I think that isn’t happening, I tend to protest. If I’m only going to dig myself in deeper by doing that… well, I guess that’s something I need to learn.
I would appreciate it if you could clarify what you’re saying about Mathsci. Is it that he doesn’t actually have any special relationship with the arbitrators, but just tries to create that impression? If that’s the case, I would still appreciate it if you could link to what Mathsci has said to create this impression with regard to ArbCom specifically. Roger Davies and Shell have both said that claims like this need to have evidence to support them, which is completely reasonable. But I don’t think I even know all of what things Mathsci has said that you’re referring to, so it would be helpful if you could provide diffs. --Captain Occam (talk) 02:14, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Occam, Mathsci pumped out what must be 1000+ edits on the R&I issue, over maybe a half a dozen pages (not counting user talk pages and voluminous subpages - now deleted - of his own user account), many of them archived. Finding single quotes is a serious chore that you can do as easily as I, but if you do you'll find that most of the comments are simply bluster of the "This is against the rules and I'm going to write the authorities and demand action!" variety. Mix that in with a lot of strongly worded demands calling for people to be blocked or banned, and a tone of voice that's carefully crafted to sound knowledgable and authoritative, et voila. Sorry, but that's a trick that every college professor learns early in their career - do you think students have a natural inclination to listen to old guys in out-of-date clothing? I think Jimbo's suggestion below is well put, and I think you should step back with grace and accept whatever choice Roger decides to make on the matter. Think of it as a first step in rebuilding the community's trust, and just breathe your way through it. --Ludwigs2 03:49, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Despire there being no evidence here of anything improper at all, I think that the ArbCom should avoid as much as possible even the appearance or hint of impropriety. The ArbCom is large enough that a recusal or two doesn't affect things. I will therefore recommend (not order) that Roger recuse from this case, to eliminate this as a possible topic for complaint going forward. At the same time, I will note that despite the massiveness of Wikipedia, we are a small community in the end, and Arbs will quite often know people who are involved in cases - that's not generally a cause for recusal, and I'm not suggesting (nor do I believe) that Roger has any conflict of interest here. I'm only recommending recusal to eliminate this as a possible topic for complaint!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:01, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Great idea! Now, whenever an ArbCom-related event looks like it's going against someone, we can look forward to lots of unsubstantiated accusations and insinuations so that arbitrators will have to recuse themselves. Fabulous, more drama, less resolution. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:29, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
What? How so? An 18 arb committee... if three or five or even eight, recuse themselves, how does that suddenly devastate the effectiveness of the committee? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:43, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
The problem isn't the deliberative outcome; that probably won't change. The problem is the game playing such a standard encourages. Hurling accusations (and Captain Occam's seem particularly baseless) does not help the project. Cool Hand Luke 03:48, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Please note that all Jimbo suggested here is that arbiters should take a somewhat more nuanced approached to considering recusal. It's still up to the arbiter to make the decision, and I'm quite certain that no arbiter will feel compelled to recuse him/herself if they suspect gamesmanship. This is simply a matter of balancing various factors in order to make sure that decisions have the greatest legitimacy in the eyes of involved editors. --Ludwigs2 03:58, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Well no, he specifically suggested Roger recuse himself based on various insinuations and other claims that have since turned out to be nothing more than misremembering. There's no nuance here that could be a concern. Shell babelfish 04:52, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I tend to agree about the facts of the case, but I also know that legitimacy often rests on more than facts: appearances do sometimes matter. If Roger decides that there are no pressing reasons not to recuse, he might do it just as a good-faith gesture so there are no doubts whatsoever. or he may decide not to recuse himself and find some other means to satisfy Occam's worries. It isn't really about Roger or Occam at this point, but about ensuring that the decision itself doesn't seem less legitimate than it is because of lingering shadows over the process. --Ludwigs2 05:59, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Yes, that would be helpful. Roger has explained the extent of his personal interaction with Mathsci, and while I’m not going to claim that it would constitute a conflict of interest, it matters that arbitrators avoid even the appearance of bias. The idea would be that Roger recuse himself not because of anyone’s accusation that he had a conflict of interest, but because this would eliminate even any potential for editors to worry that his recent communication with Mathsci on the phone and via e-mail has influenced his decision.
Xxanthippe expressed a similar concern here, so this also shouldn’t be thought of as something that would be done only for my sake. --Captain Occam (talk) 06:12, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
As Roger Davies says correctly the phone call was in early September. Nothing about wikipedia was discussed at all. Roger was just fascinated to find another Brit living on his doorstep in France, where he has long had a second home and now a noisy donkey as his neighbour. I've also had a phone calls in the past from another administrator, Elonka, and even an email from Jimbo Wales. Newyorkbrad has publicly hinted that the issues in WP:ARBR&I have not been unresolved and that the case might have to be revisited. Whatever ongoing problems there are do not seem to concern me, since arbitrators of their own volition have initiated lifting my topic ban. So presumably those ongoing problems could involve other users sanctioned by the case. If Captain Occam wishes to resume editing in the area of his topic ban, making serious accusations about members of ArbCom would not seem to be the best way to go about that. Even more so persisting after being told to his face that he is in error. In that respect, Captain Occam appears to be in a serious conflict with ArbCom at the moment. I hope that he manages to resolve that. Mathsci (talk) 09:39, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Occam, before you respond to this last post of Mathsci's (and this might be a good place for you to practice not making any response at all - perpetuating this argument will do no good whatsoever), please notice that this is a mild example of that 'authoritative manner of speaking' that I was discussing above. No offense, Mathsci, but in this one paragraph you've managed to name-drop two arbs, an admin, and Jimbo, promote yourself as entirely blameless, assert that Occam is in conflict with ArbCom rather than with you, and engage that classic school-marm trick of talking to people in the third person to give the appearance that you're speaking from general principles rather than personal belief (that's an easy trick, to whit: "if Mathsci really wanted to create a civil, friendly editing environment he would find it in his heart to speak to people directly and openly"). I doubt you're doing it on purpose - it's probably an innate stress response to the conflict - but you are doing it. Don't you see how intimidating that can be to someone who doesn't understand the nature of it? --Ludwigs2 15:35, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Ludwigs2, these comments are inappropriate. The confirmed meatpuppetry of Captain Occam has already been described by a member of ArbCom on ANI. You yourself have made a large number of misleading comments on wikipedia with no basis in fact and, as a member of ArbCom has remarked, they appear to be personal attacks, Perhaps now is a good time for you to draw a line and stop making comments like that. Thanks, Mathsci (talk) 18:04, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Mathsci, I made a set of observations about your behavior, and asked whether you recognized that behavior of that sort might intimidate new users. It was a good-faith effort at communicating with you about (what I perceive as) a pervasive problem, and I was expecting you to respond in one of the following ways:
  • to clarify that I was not describing your behavior correctly.
  • to note that I was describing your behavior correctly, but explain to me that no editor (not even a new one) would be intimidated by it.
  • to note that I was describing your behavior correctly, and that it would intimidate some editors, but that it was necessary to behave that way for clearly defined reasons.
  • to note that I was describing your behavior correctly, and that it would intimidate some editors, and to ask for suggestions about better approaches.
There may be other reasonable responses to the question you could have made, but the response you gave above - essentially resorting to a completely unsubstantiated attack on my character - is neither reasonable, appropriate, nor productive. Not a problem, I'm just clarifying; let's forget it happened.
Now, if you would care to make an appropriate response to my question I'd appreciate it, and if you don't care to make any response at all that's fine as well. --Ludwigs2 19:43, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I have spoken kind words about you, re the importance of your involvement in the never-ending debate on Talk:Communist terrorism. The words I wrote were genuine, as I thought, rightly or wrongly, that it was your natural habitat on wikipedia (possibly—I'm just guessing—it coincides with your RL expertise). At the moment it might be helpful if you recognized that you might have made a misjudgement and leave this as another of your "okie-doke" moments. Enough said? Mathsci (talk) 20:16, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I've spoken kind words about you as well, in this very thread, and you've made harsh comments about me elsewhere quite recently (in wp:AN, if you recall), so I think our relationship is a bit too complex to tally things up in tit-for-tat fashion. Face-wink.svg And please, it's 'okie-dokie' - 'okie-doke' is a deeply midwestern variant, and I'm decidedly coastal. Oklahoma would not appreciate my sense of humor. That being said, please refer to my edit summary. --Ludwigs2 20:54, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
There it was a missing "i" (something very British I'm sure). In other other places it has been a missing "s" (also, something very British). That is wikipedia for you :) Regards, Mathsci (talk) 21:38, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

It is a convention in some parts of the English-speaking world that administrators of justice, such as judges and magistrates, distance themselves from the general community and live a socially restricted life. This reduces the possibility of any perception of bias arising in their professional activities resulting from contact with people that they might meet in the course of their social life. The same should apply to those granted disciplinary authority in Wikipedia. Roger should have recused himself already. Xxanthippe (talk) 00:16, 18 December 2010 (UTC).

Proper sanctions?

Jimbo I was hoping to get your opinion on something. In response to an AE request by User:Cirt, and in fact in response to a direct solicitation by Cirt to check out the AE request, User:Future Perfect at Sunrise imposed a very odd sanction on User:Delicious carbuncle.

  • "I am therefore imposing an indefinite topic-ban for all Scientology-related edits on User:Delicious carbuncle, including but not limited to an interaction ban against bringing forward any further Sc.-related complaints against User:Cirt in any forum." [24]

Overlooking the fact that apparently the sanction should be voided based on improper process, I am wondering what your opinion on the sanction itself is. How can one admin impose a so called "interaction ban" that bars one editor from engaging proper Wikipedia channels to file complaints about the policy violations of another editor? Particularly, how can this be done unilaterally without any community consensus? Cirt took carbuncle to various noticeboards until he achieved his result - including BLP/N, AN/I, and AE. This result has been extremely controversial. Yet now carbuncle is apparently not allowed to file any requests about Cirt? See here how Future Perfect at Sunrise proceeds, on the basis of his/her own unilateral, controversial and probably illicit sanction, to remove an AE request filed by carbuncle against Cirt and then to edit war to keep the request removed - see this complaint on his/her talk page for more reference. I was at a loss for words when I saw that. How can this be allowed, even by the letter of the law?Griswaldo (talk) 12:34, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Ok, sounds like nothing for me to opine upon, then. I was about to say "It is probably premature for me to offer any opinion" but there was an edit conflict. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:50, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Well I was less interested in the technicalities of it, though I'm glad that it was overturned for those reasons. I was more interested in the general principles involved when one admin single handedly bans a user from filing reports about the policy violations of another user. Is there a precedent for that sort of thing, and if there isn't shouldn't we question it when it does happen? or does that not matter because it was overturned, for completely different reasons, but overturned regardless? Setting such a precedent really troubles me, since IMO editors should always be free to report policy violations when they see them. Thanks.Griswaldo (talk) 14:02, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Just for the record, I filed the request for arbitration enforcement with the belief that I was not restricted from doing so, based on these comments from Jehochman. While I found the sanctions against me somewhat questionable, I was prepared to abide by them. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:32, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

To answer the philosophical question, yes I would consider any ban on a user filing appeals to be rather extraordinary and to be avoided in most cases. I wouldn't say that the right to appeal can never be restricted, but it is basically a declaration that someone is a vexatious litigant, and that should be done quite carefully. I'm reluctant for people to read too much into these philosophical remarks, because I think there can quite often be good cause to ask people (firmly) to just relax and lay off of a pet issue for awhile. I applaud Delicious carbuncle in this case for being prepared to abide by the restrictions and generally taking things calmly. And without having really tracked this in any detail, I'd say that as a matter of personal advice, it might be great for you, Delicious, to ignore Cirt and Scientology-related issues of all kinds until, oh I dunno, maybe after the New Year? (No one should interpret this as in any way actionable! I'm just saying, were it me in Delicious' shoes, I'd find all this drama boring and I'd go do something else for awhile. :-) )--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:40, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for your thoughts Jimbo. I agree that there are times when people should be asked to step back and times when the community should ban users from filing reports, but as you say that should be done with caution and only when it absolutely necessary. Cheers.Griswaldo (talk) 13:57, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Arbcom appointments announcement

1. Precisely as last year, I am requiring all successful candidates to identify to the WMF or to me personally (but preferably to the WMF) before being seated. This is currently in-process or completed for all the successful candidates.

2. All candidates are already in contact with me by email. Risker, as last year, is assisting with the on-boarding process.

3. I am not appointing anyone who gets less than 50% support. Fortunately, the lowest candidate needed to fill all available seats got 56.7%, so we are not faced with any issue there.

4. I have done some due diligence on all the incoming candidates and found no reason not to appoint. I have received no objections from anyone, ArbCom or otherwise, to any appointment. I therefore know of no reason which should prevent any of them from serving admirably.

5. Newyorkbrad, Casliber, SirFozzie, Iridescent, Elen of the Roads, Xeno, David Fuchs, Chase me ladies, and PhilKnight are hereby appointed to 2 year terms beginning on January 1, 2011, and expiring December 31, 2012. (Tranche Alpha)

6. John Vandenberg, Jclemens, and Shell Kenney are hereby appointed to 1 year terms beginning on January 1, 2011, and expiring December 31, 2011. (Tranche Beta)

7. Precisely as last year, in the event of retirements or vacancies for any two year seat (including the seats held by existing ArbCom members), I reserve the right to move any of the one year appointees into a two year seat. I will not make interim appointments to replenish ArbCom unless there is a majority vote of ArbCom that we replenish in some fashion by me calling a fresh election.

Some notes:

1. In a break with past practice, I did not even look at metrics other than percentage of votes. In the past, I reviewed several ways of ranking, and looked at admin versus non-admin votes, but this never made any material difference so I dropped the practice.

2. All 12 appointees have agreed to identify to the Foundation. 2 years ago this was voluntary and unanimous. 1 year ago this was mandatory. This year, and in years going forward, it will continue to be mandatory. I am interested, though, in having a community discussion about the particulars of the identification process, to advise me in detail about what is desired for next year.

3. I was planning to announce today a relinquishment of some of my traditional powers, as I have been doing over a long period of time, however writing that up in a precise manner is proving to be more difficult than I thought, despite my having thought quite a bit about what steps to take next. I will make a further announcement about that soon.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:43, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Have you considered offering Risker a proper and oficial paid job with the foundation?  Giacomo  22:42, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Don't be silly, Giacomo. The WMF can't afford me. (And on a side note, all new arbitrators have identified to the WMF.) Risker (talk) 23:12, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

New discovery

I would expect you to be the first to know, but I can't find any note of a message related to this on your talk page. Anyhow, Tim Starling claims to have found three archives of Wikipedia, the oldest from March 2001. This means that the oldest surviving edit (though not on the Wikipedia, but in the archives) would be to HomePage, reading "This is the new WikiPedia!"

This edit is presumed to be you, but I haven't heard anything on it. For more information, see Wikipedia talk:UuU. I have not personally opened these archives, but it would be interesting to see what you have to say about it. --67.180.161.183(talk)00:00, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

It's cool. :) I haven't heard how old the oldest edits found are, though. I know what the first edit was to the main page of Wikipedia, because I wrote it: "Hello, World!" I wrote. But there's a reasonable chance - I don't remember - that I deleted that at some point during the first day of testing. The old database was not a "database" really. Every article was stored in a text file in a funny sort of format. Deleting an article could be done by literally deleting the file. So it is very likely that many of the earliest earliest edits are lost forever. It's fun though, that the history has been extended backwards by a few weeks.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:33, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
This got my interest hormones activated and so I tried to work out who did the edit. I don't want to burst anyone's bubble, but it looks like the edit has been discovered before, in 2007. There's a barnstar for it here: User_talk:Eiffel and a link on the associated userpage. All the same, think the Time Team approach to Wikipedia is very cool indeed. Please keep digging and maybe one day we will be able to accurately reconstruct what life was like in 2001. --FormerIP (talk) 00:41, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
The "UuU" edit was discovered in March 2004. Graham87 04:55, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Can I?

Hello,I'm from Persian Wikipedia Can I Make your Userpage on Persian Wikipedia? Do you permit me? (Faramarz the WIKIpedian[[Talk/|]] 19:07, 18 December 2010 (UTC))

Wikiman of the Year: Bieber

When the pageviews of readers are considered, the "Wikiman of the Year" (in terms of reader interest) has been with article "Justin Bieber" having similar pageviews (57,200/day) to those of Lady Gaga for 2009 (even still, Wikiwoman for 2010). In fact, the trending reader interest, from 2009, had been that Wikipedia readers think "YouTube" is the hot topic, while interest in "Facebook" had been declining during 2009. Instead, a nouveau-retro movie gets made as "The Social Network" and the Time Magazine 2010 "Person of the Year" is chosen as the Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg. I wonder when will "they" get the message that YouTube was the Wikipedia focus for the future. Wikipedia has the real answers, but people are still not reading it enough. Things to ponder. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:51, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Jeez Louise that is a lot of hits. I doubt all my articles together get that, unless it's a day when they've found Natalee Holloway again.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:53, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Merry Christmas!

/ƒETCHCOMMS/ 05:03, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Actually, I wanted to give you this one but I thought something prettier and without an evil clown Santa would be nicer :) Cheers and have a nice Christmas, /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 05:24, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Is this now "ordinary incivility" on WP?

[25] was reported on ANI [26] as being beyond the pale. One admin unblanked the post saying it was only "ordinary incivility." Where would you draw the line? (I personally suggest, by the way, that it passes the bounds of BLP as well). Thanks. Collect (talk) 23:14, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

I think it is extremely far beyond the pale. The user should have been indef blocked on sight, the post blanked. Admins who don't see this should reconsider.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:37, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Looking at the action of the admin (SarekOfVulcan who has in my experience, generally shown a mature approach to trolls), I think the question was whether the post should be revision deleted, or just blanked. (I think everyone agreed that the post should be removed.) According to RevDel policy, RevDel is appropriate for "Grossly insulting, degrading, or offensive material", and not appropriate for ""ordinary" incivility, personal attacks or conduct accusations". The policy lacks guidance on which personal attacks are grossly insulting, degrading or offensive, and which ones are only moderately insulting, degrading or offensive, but I'm not sure adding that guidance would improve the policy. Sjakkalle (Check!) 16:23, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok, super. Yes, I agree that it should be blanked, but I see no reason for the extremes of RevDel.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:16, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

legal situation in Italy?

I saw this and thought it was probably worth notifying you. I have no information as to the provenance of the message, except that it seems at least possible it's the chap himself posting. Apparently a 'Judge in Rome has sent 9 to trial for defamation' - including you. God knows what the next step should be, and sorry to bring bad news... have a merry chrimbo regardless :-) Privatemusings (talk) 03:44, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

I have no information of any kind which would tend to even suggest that such a thing is true. It might be that some legal action has taken place in Italy, at least conceivably, but I haven't heard from any lawyer or court about it. So I very much doubt it. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:15, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Personal appeals

Hi Jimmy. While it's clear that your "personal appeals" are working for now, but the parodies have become a meme, and some people seem to be disenchanted.

I know it's been a bit of a rough year for you, and I'm genuinely sorry to see that, but I do wonder: could you see the "Wikimedia garden" moving forward and growing without the benefit of your green thumb?

I guess I'm just trying to offer a synopsis of my sense of what's been said here on this page and elsewhere. I strongly believe in and support Wikimedia's mission, but I have grave concerns about how the fate of the project has been tied to your personality (not that you don't have a great personality, of course).

Do you think it's a healthy thing for a crowd-sourced and hyper-democratic project to rely on one single guy's mojo? --SB_Johnny | talk 17:30, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

(Before I start, I wanted to note that the link to people who are allegedly disenchanted is a link to an operation who demand advertising in Wikipedia and who are trying to offer a service of paid editing - I don't think 'disenchanted' is the right word.)
I think Wikipedia is much much bigger than I am, and I believe very strongly that Wikipedia should outlive me. One of the things that I'm very happy about these days is the state of the Foundation and the Board - a lot of very good people have worked for a very long time to get us to where we are today, and one decision that I made early on is one that the most valuable things that I could do is help us to avoid the Founder's syndrome. Outside of the curious situation of fund raising, the Foundation is strong enough to stand without me without any problems.
Regarding the fundraiser, the evidence is sadly clear. The banners with my face, which I only reluctantly agreed to after testing proved their efficacy, outperform by a wide margin. I have been joking for awhile now that like Colonel Sanders, after I pass I will be turned into a cartoon symbol. :) (Drawn, presumably, in the style of manga, ha!)
Inside the community, too, I encourage the development of institutions that are robust enough to deal with change and stable enough to preserve our values. The current situation in case something were to happen to me is "In case of my untimely death or inability to perform my capacities, the ArbCom is hereby authorized to figure out what to do, subject to ratification with a 50% + 1 vote of the community. In the interim between them coming up with a ratified proposal, the status quo is to be considered as much as possible. I will amend this succession plan from time to time upon the recommendation of the ArbCom and Community, until such time as we figure out a more long-term and binding way of dealing with it." I think that we should think in the coming year about constitutional matters, but I shall say more about this in my ArbCom appointments announcement, likely late this afternoon but possibly tomorrow morning.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:56, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
Bit busy today (goat issues again) so I'll give a reply in the morning, but as far as the "disenchanted" thing goes: I think their point was more that there needs to be much beefier funding in order to have some staff dedicated to editorial work. The bit about it being great PR for you personally but not necessarily for the project isn't just snark, either... avoiding the negative aspects of the Founder Syndrome may be one of those "stitch in time" things, and the "personal appeals" might actually be a step backwards there.
I hope that makes some modicum of sense... I'm a bit distracted by events in the barn but wanted to pre-empt the archive bot ;-). --SB_Johnny | talk 22:21, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
It makes sense to me, but I'm not entirely with it, right now. If you have one paid "editorial staff", then she will be universally derided and vilified since her edits will never match up to the expectations of all the thousands of editorial staff who are not paid. So you will need ten, and have them act as a committee. Once you have ten, you will see that having ten paid editorial staff is not enough, since the unpaid editors still have a concensus and are more productive. So you need 100 paid editors, or maybe 1000. And then you need adverts, to pay for all those editors that you just accidentally hired. See, this is going nowhere. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 22:29, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

Not be be morbid, but I was recently married and had to change some things in my will (which always feels a bit surreal in the few times I have had to do this), so my interest was piqued by this discussion. What exactly would happen to WP if something happened to you? I assume there is a plan for this...but is there an "heir to the throne" (someone in the Wales family), or would the Board choose a new "leader" (for lack of a better word)? The Eskimo (talk) 01:17, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Jimbo has answered this, elsewhere on this page. So read the whole page, and you will find it. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:20, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh yeah, he said "In case of my untimely death or inability to perform my capacities, the ArbCom is hereby authorized to figure out what to do, subject to ratification with a 50% + 1 vote of the community. In the interim between them coming up with a ratified proposal, the status quo is to be considered as much as possible. I will amend this succession plan from time to time upon the recommendation of the ArbCom and Community, until such time as we figure out a more long-term and binding way of dealing with it." but then he explained how and where he was going to expand on that, so maybe you should read what he actually said, rather than me quoting it. It's all on this page. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 01:23, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Just my opinion here, but I think it would be better (both for Jimbo and for WP) if the baby was delinked from the founder's parenting in a less abrupt way than whatever he puts in his will! Sheesh. --SB_Johnny | talk 01:46, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok, back to the topic: the issue with the fund raising approach and the founder syndrome is pretty simple: by focusing it on yourself, you give "uninvolved" people the impression that it's "your site", which attracts some of them, but alienates others (and I suspect it alienates more than it attracts). This means that the donors (and just as importantly potential new editors) are biased toward those who support the founder. Your position as the "appointer of the elected" supports that impression as well.
The point is this: separating your identity from Wikipedia's identity should be something you pursue actively, if indeed your motivations are as purely altruistic as you've expressed to me elsewhere. That separation will be good for Wikipedia for sure... whether it's good for you depends on how it happens.
The BLP problem in particular needs above all else an expanding base of new and active editors who can handle the workload created by the (alarmingly rapid) expanding number of BLPs. BLPs are a unique problem that other encyclopedias haven't had to deal with like WP does, after all. --SB_Johnny | talk 19:55, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
  • It is interesting that Wikipedia funding has confirmed that people are still interested in the person, not just the wiki-system. Hence, perhaps we need to promote other interesting people to help "put a face" on Wikipedia, as a means to bolster the basic support for Wikipedia. Never the less, the pictures of Colonel Sanders continue to sell KFC chicken, even in Jamaica, so I think it is great to have pictures of the Wikipedia Founder to provide continuity between the past and future generations. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:51, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

I also don't think 'disenchanted' is the right word. Perhaps a better wording might be: "some people are open to discussion about other ways to contribute to the goals of Wikipedia"     Eclipsed   (talk)   (code of ethics)     18:10, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Why don't these folks take their suggestions/ideas to Brittanica? (I'm really asking. They seem really bright, so I'm sure there is a reason--that is, assuming that they have not, as of yet.) I mean, there are for-pay alcoholism clinics, such as Betty Ford's, and there is AA. Why mix the two? As for the association of the personality of Mr. Wales and the project: Likewise, somebody or another probably was gonna eventually come up with something or another somewhat akin to AA. But it just happened to be Bill W. Ditto our own Jimmy Wales's vision that made WP happen the way it has/is! <smiles> --Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 06:26, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Saw you

hello,

I recently saw you in the TV :D, but I don't know exactly where and why. Please explain me; I would be grateful about your comment. Thank you.-- ♫Greatorangepumpkin♫ T 17:45, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Hi, I'm not sure what you're asking me. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:08, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Good interview in The Independent

Jimmy, I thought your comments on WikiLeaks were pretty good. I'm pleased the WMF is avoiding getting caught up in the complex politics of WL. Tony (talk) 10:05, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Excellent choice of media too: in a world of partisan and sensationalist journalism, The Independent is about as close to NPOV as newspapers get (at least in the UK). Good luck with your anglophile ambitions. The winters are rarely this severe, unless climate change is to blame... Geometry guy 12:00, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I cannot comment on that due to remedy three of the climate change arbcom case :). But it is darn cold outside, -7 on my way to work this morning. I listened to Jimbo's interview on BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday and whilst I thought he did very well in general I was a little disappointed that his justification for enwiki was based on people being able to find a general summary about Queen Victoria. I was also concerned that he didn't mention that we should strive for quality of information, because surely the more wikipedia becomes a dumping ground the less its utility. I am not just talking about preventing complete fabrications here as is covered in the independent article but about a real focus on quality information. Polargeo (talk) 15:25, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
I did not give a "justification for enwiki" based on that. I don't think that's a very accurate summary of what I said at all. And I talked a lot about quality - perhaps you missed part of the interview?
The Queen Victoria example was a more or less random example (anyone could come up with dozens more) of a topic about which we have - in the English speaking developed world - no real problem of a *lack* of information, so that one of the key roles for Wikipedia is to provide precise summary information. This is in contrast to many languages (particularly in the developing world) where the problem is not just a need for a summary information but indeed a need for any information at all, on many topics. Therefore, Wikipedia is likely to play a somewhat different role in different cultures.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:18, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I was being a little flippant. I thought you interviewed very well. Of course QV was given as an example but I just think the message that people can go to wikipedia to get information that they can trust more than the barrage of information from a google search is something that wasn't really stated. I think there are issues with wikipedia tending to be overly inclusionist with information at the expense of quality coverage. I do agree with your drive to provide information to developing areas of the world. Polargeo (talk) 16:28, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
You're completely right, Jimbo. We really need to work on the quality of articles now, as we have the quantity. I honestly think there needs to be a really big community-wide effort from experienced editor and anon alike -- hopefully endorsed, or at the very least, supported by you/the WMF, and advertised through the sitenotice -- by as many editors as possible to improve, say, five articles per day in one or more key areas (sourcing, neutrality, formatting). I notice that there is such an effort doing that now -- the Great Backlog Drive -- but it's very out of the way. The amount of problematic articles may seem daunting but if just five hundred editors worked on five articles per day, we'd get plot summaries done in a day, trivia sections in two, unreferenced BLPs in a week, fact tags in six weeks, and all unsourced articles in two months. Sceptre (talk) 21:20, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

About last night

When we saw you last night at the Wiki fundraiser you agreed you would be on our pub quiz team. Just to let you know the pub quiz is on Tuesdays and we're a man down. We'll see you there? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.107.151.215 (talk) 14:45, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

Send me an email? Use the "E-mail this user" link on the left. Due perhaps to the absinthe, haha, I'm not sure I remember this exactly, but it does sound fun. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:04, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
Question one: "This man founded the site Wikipedia, the largest collaborative project in the history of the internet."
Jimbo: "Dang it, I really should know this one. Umm... Sergey Brin and Larry Page"
Just kidding :D good luck! Sven Manguard Wha? 00:23, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Remove banner for Donating users?

I think one thing that would help spur user donations is the added incentive of having the banner removed (for example, via a cookie) after donating. I know I can write a user script to get rid of it, but I'd feel like I bought something with my donation: namely not having to feel guilty every time I see Jimmy's dejected face (not trolling, I swear). Thoughts? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 129.2.143.212 (talk) 19:27, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

This is actually happening at present; the WMF banners are being removed for logged-in users for now, however local chapter banners may still appear. Rodhullandemu 21:24, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

How does it feel?

Just out of curiosity. How does it feel to have started a project that became this successful? Did you ever have any doubts about it? Did you honestly expect Wikipedia to turn out like it did? --Wornwinter11 (talk) 20:17, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

According to one of the first edits on Wikipedia, they "weren't so sure" :) Laurent (talk) 13:30, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Guess it paid off pretty well then! :) --Wornwinter11 (talk) 13:31, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Hey Man!

How have you been lately? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 125.239.243.251 (talk) 14:40, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks!

Just dropping by to say thanks for starting a project that is pretty awesome and (dare I say it?) fun to work on Face-tongue.svg If I could donate to the Foundation, I definitely would! --- cymru.lass (hit me up)(background check) 21:27, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

House of Lords

Signpost says you are interested in the House of Lords. Gilbert and Sullivan wrote a comic opera about the house of lords: see our article on Iolanthe. -- Ssilvers (talk) 23:16, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Happy New Year 2011!!!

Happy new year 06463.jpg
Happy New Year 2011 !!!
Dear Jimbo Wales,
New Year is the time to enjoy, party and rejuvenate oneself with a new spirit and enthusiasm. It is also the time to forget the past and begin a new life. Let us make the New Year’s resolution to:

I take this as an occasion to wish you and your family the best in the days to come on Wikipedia and in real life. May this New Year invigorate you, bringing you more happiness and content. Happy New Year 2011!!! and Happy Wikipediaing --Soumit Banerjee (talk) 09:07, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

Inflammatory essays, again

Two months ago, I started a discussion here on that inflammatory "humor" essay Wikipedia:Please be a giant dick, so we can ban you, pointing out that it has no place on Wikipedia, serves no constructive purpose, and will simply be cited by uncivil users hoping to circumvent WP:Civility, under the rationale that hey, it's hosted in the Wikipedia project namespace. This occurred with one editor here, and despite this, the result at MfD was Keep, and the discussion here went nowhere.

Now I've discovered another such "essay" being used in this manner, Wikipedia:Competence is required. In a discussion on Talk:James Randi, user Steven J. Anderson, who is in a disagreement with User:Kazuba, ended his most recent talk page message by saying, "That policy is non-negotiable and trumps consensus. If you're having trouble understanding any of this, you may benefit from perusing WP:COMPETENCE." The issue, of course, is one of disagreement, not understanding, since editors who understand policy disagree about its proper implementation or interpretation all the time. But that essay allows people like Stephen J. Anderson to level thinly-veiled insults at other users.

Jimmy, as much as I generally respect consensus, these pages need to be removed from Wikipedia, regardless of the threadbare rationales offered for them, even if it means a unilateral decision from the top. They offer nothing except fodder for churls to insult others during editorial disputes. Nightscream (talk) 05:05, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

HEY! Stop being a giant dick! HalfShadow 05:07, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
While I'm ambivalent about the first essay, I think WP:COMPETENCE is important. Editors may misuse it, but it points out the (to me) important fact that while anyone can edit Wikipedia, if that person's English skills, logic skills, writing skills, etc., are so low that more effort is spent fixing those edits than is gained from the contributor, then that person may not be an appropriate editor. Similarly, if someone can't, for whatever reason, edit collaboratively (either do to language problems or emotional problems) and engage in talk page discussion as necessary, then that, too, indicates the person may be in the wrong place. Perhaps WP:COMPETENCE should be renamed, but I do think the essay should continue to exist, as people will invoke the underlying principle even if the link itself does not exist. Note that it is not an essay "kept because its humorous," but one that's far more widely used, and I believe used appropriately. Qwyrxian (talk) 08:48, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I suppose what we all agree upon is pretty simple: editors shouldn't make snarky comments to other editors, and shouldn't use links to essays to be snarky, and essays are less desirable to the extent that they invite that kind of abuse. One approach might be to rewrite them to be less offensive.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:04, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
But that's all those essays are going to be used for. Can you give an example of a citation of that essay that won't be taken as an insult by the editor to whom the comment is directed? If there are areas in which an editor needs work, such as a newbie editor, the more experienced editor can simply point them to the related policy pages, templates, resources (Help Desk, Noticeboards) in question. That would offer not only a more precise resolution to the specific problem, but it would be a constructive solution with which a good faith newbie could genuinely improve. By contrast, citing that essay just sends the message, "You're incompetent." How is this beneficial? Nightscream (talk) 15:09, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
The dick deletion discussion on the essay was an epic failure, accept that not everyone (anyone?) sees this in the same dire terms that you do and more on. As for competence.... editors try to be helpful and accommodating for new users, but sometimes there's a basic level of, well, competence, that has to be expected. We're not a teaching institution. One particular case that drives me nuts are those who can not understand 4 tildes to sign a post even after being told multiple times by multiple people. If someone can't string 1~ 2~ 3~ 4~ together, then there's not much one can do with them. Same with having the ability to write basic, coherent sentences, verb-tense agreements, etc... The bar is set pretty low to edit here, and having an expectation that users meet that bar is not a bad thing. Tarc (talk) 15:37, 13 December 2010 (UTC)
I kind of agree with Nightscream that whoever is pointed to WP:COMPETENCE is likely to feel a bit insulted. The essay is specifically targeted at people who "lack intelligence", are incompetent, immature, etc. The essay can almost only be used for personal attacks. If someone really is "incompetent" to edit Wikipedia, it's much better to point them to WP:V, WP:N or whatever policy is relevant to the discussion than to this essay. Laurent (talk) 09:49, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I wonder if it is possible to gather some empirical evidence. How often are these essays referred to? How often is the reference unhelpful and insulting? I think that an MfD accompanied by a serious analysis of these questions could likely be successful, if it can be shown that these are predominantly causing trouble.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:53, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree. It would also be useful to bring to the MfD some input from a social scientist or two, and some philosophers. I'd like to see some discussion of the moral implications and social impact of ostracism compared with patience and mentorship in cases of incompetence. Anthony (talk) 14:25, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
As someone with qualifications in one of those(citation needed), I found WP:PBAGDSWCBY quite useful as a new editor because it was a quick way of realising that editors who cause disruption subtly over very long periods, do more damage than those that can be swiftly and painlessly reverted, blocked and ignored. And no, I didn't discover the essay by being pointed at it in a dispute. Maybe most people don't. In any case, these essays shouldn't be used to tell people "you're incompetent, don't edit"; that is indeed uncivil and is not their purpose. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 15:02, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
You can go to the essay and click What links here. We have well established procedures for dealing with insults. I hope we don't have here a campaign for dumbing down Wikipedia and replacing clear language with politically correct doublespeak. If somebody's editing is incompetent, it is not an insult to say so, as kindly as possible. Jehochman Talk 14:44, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
I think this idea of another MfD is pretty horrid actually. If people misuse an essay or cite it in an uncivil manner, than sanction the user, not the essay itself. This is a "guns don't kill people..." kinda thing here. Tarc (talk) 15:40, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I just looked at article talk pages that link to WP:COMPETENCE. It breaks down to about 50:50 in my estimation: half of them use WP:COMPETENCE gratuitously, and half constructively. Anthony (talk) 17:33, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

That's par for the course. About 50% of Wikipedia comments are polite, and 50% are nasty, snarky or combative. Jehochman Talk 17:39, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

A social scientist or two and some philosophers to help determine if people feel insulted when they're called incompetent, Anthony? C'mon.

Civility has nothing to do with political correctness, doublespeak or "dumbing down", Jehochman. It's merely a matter of recognizing that there are ways to level constructive criticism that are constructive and useful, and those that are not. The problem with your hypothetical "If somebody's editing is incompetent..." is that what's incompetent is subjective, and there are far less inflammatory ways to describe what's wrong with someone's edits. You don't need an expert in psychology to know that someone will feel insulted if "you're incompetent" is the approach one takes.

When a newbie user began editing some articles relating to The Real World, much of which I re-edited or reverted, he took umbrage at that. I had to explain what I felt was wrong with some of his edits, portions of which included somewhat subjective areas related to good writing that are not entirely detailed explicitly by policy or guideline. Rather than saying, "You're writing is incompetent", which would not provided an avenue for improvement, or induce a friendly atmosphere for discussion, I explained to him my rationale for my edits to his material, citing policy where applicable. The fourth and fifth paragraph of the link I just provided in particular displays my approach. That fifth paragraph in particular pertains to matters of common sense good writing, in which I explain some of the criteria for writing a good synopsis. On another occasion with a different editor, I even related my own personal experiences as a newbie, and provided diffs illustrating the difference between what my overly detailed synopses looked like before and after I was admonished by others to trim them down. This is the right approach to take. Saying, "You're incompetent", either explicitly or obliquely via a linked essay, is not. Period. Nightscream (talk) 20:31, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

That's a nice story, but the absence or presence of such essays isn't gong to make people act any more or less civility than they already do. Tarc (talk) 20:55, 14 December 2010 (UTC)
You're wrong. Period. (See? Everyone can do that!) I've only seen people invoke the incompetence clause when someone has shown repeatedly that they cannot or will not learn Wikipedia's rules and guidelines. I'm sure people will sometimes misuse it. That's not a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:43, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

Some people are still missing the fact that the essay is explicitly written as advice to people dealing with potential incompetence, not as a link to be given to people who are themselves (allegedly) incompetent. So anyone handing out the essay link as a way of implying or stating "you're incompetent", is plainly misusing the essay (and being uncivil). That's not the fault of the essay, any more than the existence of a policy about dealing with vandalism is responsible for incorrect accusations of vandalism. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 21:14, 14 December 2010 (UTC)

I see Chaser has installed this at the top of the essay.

It The essay is poisonous, pompous, ignorant, arrogant and mean; it encourages impatience and discord, and is the kind of sentiment that appeals to inadequate people, out to trumpet their own dubious worth. The project needs an essay covering incompetence, but not this pretentious, incendiary, derogatory dross. Anthony (talk) 03:47, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

I removed it as I found it to be insulting as well, and there's no justification for it based on some stray comments here by, what, 1 person? Tarc (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say that the presence or absence of such essays will alter people's civility, Tarc. My point is that it provides ammunition for the uncivil, and without providing anything productive on the flipside.
Demiurge, that essay provides little or no advice on how to deal with problem editors. Most of it is simply a description of behavior. We already have policy pages on how to deal with edit disputes or tendentious editors. That essay offers nothing to supplement that. Nightscream (talk) 04:12, 15 December 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't provide ammo. If people arguing to be uncivil then they will be uncivil, and should be admonished appropriately. That someone misuses or misquotes...again, how many times have you been told that it doesn't mean what you say it means?...it is not a valid reason for deletion. Tarc (talk) 15:28, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

It indeed provides ammo to those inclined to be uncivil, as the example I provided at the top of this discussion illustrates. Covering your eyes and ears and pretending it's not there does not change that. This point is not predicated on what the essay as a whole says or means. How many times do you have to be told that? You're not refuting the logic or reasoning of my position, you're just engaging in rote repetition of an counter-position, without consideration of my point of view. Its use by WP:CIV violators is part of the problem. Another is that it does not provide any resource for addressing problems of "competence" beyond the aforementioned policy pages. Indeed, why should an "essay" even be in the project namespace when it hasn't been and has no likelihood of being adopted as a policy itself? It's superfluous. At the very least, let users put essays on their User pages, or better yet, on their own websites, which would reduce the appearance that Wikipedia approves of such things. Nightscream (talk) 02:35, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

The Wikipedia does approve of such things, as seen in the last MfD. Tarc (talk) 15:47, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
How much time should be devoted to tending an editor who fundamentally is not suitable for Wikipedia? People who are blatantly disruptive are easily handled, and POV pushers usually are ejected after considerable effort. But what about cheerful editors who do not understand policies like WP:NOR, or who make many unconstructive edits? The approach of giving as much time as is required to such editors is not sustainable, and that's why WP:COMPETENCE exists: it offers the good advice that sometimes it is necessary to get unconstructive editors to disengage from Wikipedia. You are quite correct that COMPETENCE should not be invoked early in an editor's career: many people have no clue about NOR and NPOV when starting. However, the COMPETENCE essay is important to show that time is a finite resource, and we are here for the encyclopedia, not to battle with people who will not or cannot follow procedures. Johnuniq (talk) 04:19, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
  • Seriously? There is nothing wrong with WP:CIR. You have to draw the line somewhere, and this essay seems to be a good way to explain to incompetent editors why they are being blocked. The message needs to be made, and there is no way of saying "sorry, but you don't have the skills required to edit Wikipedia" without sounding a tiny bit rude. But regarding WP:PBAGDSWCBY, that is an essay which should be deleted. access_denied (talk) 04:25, 16 December 2010 (UTC)
"But what about cheerful editors who do not understand policies like WP:NOR, or who make many unconstructive edits?" You point out the particular policy/guideline/consensus in question! What part of this is too difficult for you to understand? "Competent" is a meaningless term, because it's a vague, general catch-all term that does not precisely denote the particular problem in question. If a newbie editor violates Policy X, Guideline Y or Consensus Z, all you have to do is cite them. Those dedicated and industrious enough to continue editing here on a regular or large-scale basis will be inclined to learn them. This has long been the S.O.P. on Wikipedia, so what do we need a redundant essay for, and one that's only moderately well-written at that, whose likely effect will be to offend, more than to inform? Do you really foresee an editor being directed to that essay, and then having some sincere ephiphany that causes him or her to leave Wikipedia? Why would we even want that? Don't we want editors ignorant of such policies to learn them? Now I know you said it shouldn't be invoked early in an editor's career. But what long-tenured editor needs it invoked? You're obviously not talking about vandals and the deliberately disruptive, because you raised and put aside that type of editor in the beginning of your message. So if you're not talking about intentional vandals and disruptive editors, and you're not talking about newbies, then who are you talking about? Long-tenured editors who still don't know the policies? Who are these? Can you point to examples of them? This is why your message makes absolutely no sense. If "incompetent" editors shouldn't be on Wikipedia, and you seem to be genuinely unable to form coherent logic, or convey a cogent point, then doesn't your participation in a discussion like this violate your own stated principle?
"This essay seems to be a good way to explain to incompetent editors why they are being blocked." Again, this makes no sense. Editors are blocked when they intentionally violate policy. These include vandals, or people discovered to deliberately violated policy in a way that is harmful to Wikipedia, like Essjay or Brian Chase. That essay obviously doesn't apply to people like this, because competence refers to one's ability or skills, which has nothing to do with the deliberate disruption to the project caused by these people. Violators do what they do because they want to disrupt the project, not because they lack the competence to edit correctly. So what editor would this be relevant and applicable to? Can you provide examples?
The sheer mindlessness of these arguments, and your inability to see such Mack Truck-sized flaws in them, makes me wonder if the only people who need such essays are those who advocate them with such threadbare rationales. Nightscream (talk) 06:28, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
It would be uncivil of me to point out the couple of editors I have encountered recently who have COMPETENCE problems, and I do not have a record of those I've noticed who were indef blocked. The issue is that WP:NOR (and other policies) rule on what content will ultimately prevail, and they are no help with a problem editor who doesn't clearly and repeatedly violate WP:EW. An editor can cause an immense amount of trouble by repeatedly fighting issues, only to backoff when heat from several other editors is applied. Each of the editor's incidents (per WP:AGF) can be viewed as a misunderstanding, and we hope they will absorb the standard procedures. It's after a couple of flair ups at a noticeboard like WP:ANI that the COMPETENCE essay is sometimes useful to remind those assuming good faith that we are here for the encyclopdia, not to hold the hand of those who are not able or willing to abide by standard operating procedures. Anyone lurking on the noticeboards sees a couple of examples each week. Each violation of WP:NOR or whatever policy is too small to warrant an indef block (particularly since sanity prevails when a few experienced editors remove the offending edits); it's the overall impact of the problem editor that needs to be considered. Johnuniq (talk) 07:20, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

One more time: Deliberate policy violations have nothing to do with competence. Unless your operating with a completely different definition of "competence" than the one found in proper reference sources, competence refers to possession of required skill, knowledge, or qualification. A person who edit wars, even after they are cautioned to stop, is not guilty of lacking skill or knowledge. He is guilty of deliberately violating policy, which is a matter of character, not ability. Deliberate intent to violate rules with and lacking skills because of ignorance of them when being new to the project or to a given guideline have NOTHING TO DO WITH ONE ANOTHER. Again, what part of this are you not getting? Did I not state it clearly enough in my previous message? Nightscream (talk) 13:41, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

(sigh) You're not getting it. We're talking about people who have a fundamental inability to follow Wikpedia's rules. Your key problem seems to be, "If they aren't following the rules, it's malicious, not inability!" Which is really a non-sequitur. Whether someone is deliberately choosing to not follow NOR or is simply unable to understand why it matters, they are unable to abide by our rules. You seem to be focusing on the former to the exclusion of the latter, and now apparently claiming the latter does not exist. I can only speak from personal experience. I have seen editors who simply cannot comprehend why we follow certain rules, who eventually got blocked because of it. Unless you want to assume bad faith, and say they were trolling, it seems their rules violations were not malicious but based solely on an inability to understand why those rules mattered.
Now, if you want to argue that competence is irrelevant because a rules-violation is a rules-violation... well, that's your opinion, and you have a right to it. But it's also irrelevant to the existence of WP:COMPETENCE. You've made it clear that you don't like the essay, but I fail to see what new reasoning you've given besides WP:IDONTLIKEIT. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 16:16, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

No, you're not getting it. I explained why this concept doesn't work, and not only do you not get it, you even described my position in a way that was completely inaccurate, despite the fact that I described it in detail REPEATEDLY. One more time for the cheap seats:

There is no such thing as people who have an "inability" to follow rules, except in the loosest possible usage of the word.

There are people, particularly newbies who are willing to be team players on this project who are ignorant on the rules, in particular when they start out, will learn them if they want to, and there are people who refuse to do so, even after those rules are cited. For the first, we educate them. For the latter, we take administrative action, such as blocks and bans. Citing incompetence is relevant to neither one of these.

That's two classes of policy violation, as I stated at least two or three times above. Not one, as you indicate in your statement, "Your key problem seems to be, If they aren't following the rules, it's malicious, not inability!", further proving that you're either too lazy to read my posts carefully, too dense to understand them, or too dishonest to respond to them for what they actually say. Again, this is an ironic observation, because it outlines those two classes of editor problems precisely. But if I'm wrong, then please explain why you attributed to me this idea of one type of problem editor when I repeatedly described two.

By insisting on this ridiculous concept of editors who someone want to learn the rules, but are "unable" to do so, you are describing a class of editor that doesn't exist. But if I'm wrong, and this isn't a preposterous chimera, then please point to one example of an actual editor that this accurately describes.

"I have seen editors who simply cannot comprehend why we follow certain rules, who eventually got blocked because of it." The fact that you use this wording to describe blocked editors does not mean that it's accurate. If you cite rules over and over, and they continue to violate it, it's because they don't want to follow those rules, and not because they "cannot comprehend" them, which would require you to have some window into their mind, which you don't have. Words to that effect are simply a rhetorical device, and demonstrate an inability on your part to describe problems accurately. They do not describe ability or lack thereof, because the problem with refusing to follow rules is one of character. Not ability. How, after all, can you claim knowledge about what's going on in the mind of that person on the other end of the Internet with such certainty that you would insist upon such a specific diagnosis? How do you know that the person refusing to follow repeatedly cited rules isn't just refusing to do so? What evidence do you have that makes such a conclusion so absolute in your mind? Like it or not, your insistence on this conclusion is simply a matter of you choosing to believe what you want to believe. It doesn't reflect any reality of what's in the mind of the problem editor, regardless of how deeply you delude yourself into thinking otherwise.

Why you think that an accusation of trolling requires bad faith, but an assumption about their abilities does not, is a contradiction that you apparently rationalize by sweeping it under the carpet of your cognitive dissonance.

"You've made it clear that you don't like the essay..." No, I have not. That's simply the distortion that you insist upon, because you lack the ability or willingness to understand accurately the position of the person you disagree with, as you demonstrate so clearly. The only thing I've made clear is that the essay is inappropriate for the reasons I've given here, which have nothing to do with the aesthetic whims implied by your characterization of "I don't like it", a tactic you're employing because you're too either too obtuse to comprehend, or too dishonest to disagree without employing Straw Men arguments. Nightscream (talk) 02:53, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

"There is no such thing as people who have an "inability" to follow rules, except in the loosest possible usage of the word."
This quote is why I say you don't get it. Your refusal to believe that such a user exists is the problem here. There are people with mental disorders that prevent them from following our rules, because they simply cannot comprehend them. I have dealt with such users, and their competence to edit the encyclopedia can be a serious problem.
And yes, you've made it quite clear you don't like the essay. Sure, you have reasons for not liking it, but that doesn't alter the reality that you don't like it. Also, nice ad-homs. Suddenly I'm "too obtuse to comprehend" your argument. No, I comprehend, I simply disagree. You're taking this way too personally. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:37, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
It would be the height of irony if Nightscream was taken to WP:WQA for repeated incivility in this discussion. Tarc (talk) 14:03, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
restart
A community building an encyclopedia should be collegial, not revel in sociopathic self-deprecation glossed over as humor. The whole "dick" discussion left me feeling crude, rude, and smarmy. Is there really any wonder why editors don't treat each other with respect? PЄTЄRS J VЄСRUМВА TALK 03:32, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
I couldn't agree more; but there is, for some reason, an element of competitiveness and superiority here that deserves to be quashed and decisively so. I haven't read the above discussion in depth for two reasons- I don't believe it belongs here, if anywhere, and it is arguably outside the scope of Jimbo's powers, although of course he remains able to offer an opinion, should he deem it appropriate. Even given his recent commitment to resolving the ArbCom elections, I take it that absence of even a holding response should give some clue here, and I think this topic would be wisely regarded as dead as far as this page goes. Rodhullandemu 03:47, 19 December 2010 (UTC)
(ec) With all due respect Peters, I think you're confusing cause and effect. These essays are written because that's what editing Wikipedia has become. They don't create the problem, only reflect it. It's sort of like blaming heavy metal for teenage suicide (in interest of full disclosure, I might as well fess up that all of my essays contain subliminal messages if read backwards). While we can all waste our time complaining about these kinds of essays, even ban or delete them, that does nothing to address the underlying problem that motivates such essays in the first place. (added after ec with Rodhullandemu's comment: ... uh, never mind). Volunteer Marek (talk) 03:54, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

For what it's worth, I do agree that the essays are only symptomatic of a much deeper problem pertaining to civility, and the cracks in the system created by the Wikipedia's emphasis on decentralization, and apparent aversion to decisions by top-down authority (when necessary). I brought this discussion here because I felt that the problem was not being resolved or even heard through normal channels. Tarc pointed out how the last MfD approved of such essays. That's an example of why I brought it here, because those in the MfD just don't get it. You wouldn't see such essays in an encyclopedia that enjoys unreserved respect and credibility among the general public like say, Britannica. Yet despite the fact that we all want Wikipedia to eventually grow to enjoy that same level of respect and credibility, we're averse to taking more decisive action on serial policy violators (taking up to three years to ban them for anything more than a couple of weeks), and continuing to insist on bandaid-on-bullet-wound solutions after they persistently use multiple socks to evade bans, refusing to make registration mandatory for all editors, refusing to crack down on incivility, and of course, allowing such ridiculous things a poorly written or profane "essays" to populate the project namespace. How is Wikipedia supposed to improve if we don't refine it by dispensing with such drivel? It is because these are such systemic problems that I felt bringing it to Jimmy was the only reasonable recourse. Nightscream (talk) 17:17, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Nightscream, the concensus at the MfD (or MfDs) was to keep the essays, so you came here to appeal to Jimbo because the concensus isn't good enough for you. Jimbo calmly suggests that perhaps the essays should be re-written to be less offensive (which someone else makes an effort towards by tagging the top of one of them). You're still not happy with this, so Jimbo calmly (how can he be so calm when the end of the world is clearly at stake!) suggests gathering some empirical evidence about how the essays really are generally used, and then trying another MfD based on that evidence, if appropriate. You disregard this suggestion, and instead subject us to multiple angry rants which come rather close to accusing us all, ironically, of incompetence. Is this a constructive way for you to behave?
The contents of Wikipedia essays - still less any ANI discussions that refer to them - do not get sent out on CD to recipients of the "official" versions of Wikipedia, any more than a snide remark made in the tearoom of the Britannica's offices gets printed onto dead trees and shipped out with the rest of their encyclopedia. So that parallel is just silly.
Also, editors to whom the CIR essay refers really do exist - even though I personally think the community should be a good deal more forgiving than it is, in deciding where that boundary should lie. Can you really not see that?
Finally, you may feel that civility is a problem requiring urgent attention, but there seems to be a substantial (or at least, noisy) group of editors who think that the problem is actually over-enforcement of "civility". Or perhaps it's just "the wrong sort of civility" - but either way, decrying it, and concensus, and everything else, doesn't actually move us forwards. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 17:56, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

Why not write an essay about all these problems? Also, you can create a Wiki-Project to asses all essays for civility or other issues and categorize them based on a rating for such issues. Count Iblis (talk) 23:27, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

I'd say that half of the problem with essays comes from the overly cute shortcuts, like WP:COMPETENCE. It sometimes seems like people think up a shortcut name, then compose the essay to fit it. Overall, I think essay-writing has gotten out of control.   Will Beback  talk  04:09, 20 December 2010 (UTC)
The essays and essay-writers have always been the ones in control ;-). If you don't like an essay: this is a wiki, anyone can edit. {{sofixit}} --Kim Bruning (talk) 14:18, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

The Hand That Feeds You: This quote is why I say you don't get it. Your refusal to believe that such a user exists is the problem here. No, the problem is your refusal to illustrate this assertion when I repeatedly ask for evidence or examples of it, or even respond to my request. You don’t get to have people agree with you at face value when you make such an unlikely assertion. Matters of empirical fact are determined by evidence and reason. Not dogma. The reason I am skeptical of this assertion is because it’s a conclusion that requires you to have knowledge of these editors’ states of mind that it does not seem likely you may possess. Because of this, I strongly suspect that you insist upon this because it’s what you want to believe, rather than because it’s a conclusion you based on evidence and reason, to the exclusion of all other possibilities, simply because heated disputes can often result in participants assuming the worst of each other. But this conclusion on my part, just like any other, is provisional. Stop dodging this request, and I’ll amend my skepticism accordingly. But you don’t get to have people swallow anything you say to them just because you think you’re entitled to it.

The Hand That Feeds You: There are people with mental disorders that prevent them from following our rules, because they simply cannot comprehend them. I have dealt with such users, and their competence to edit the encyclopedia can be a serious problem. And to that I have two questions: First, how do you know these users have mental problems? Are you saying that you not only have the training and qualifications to diagnosis mental illness, but in Wikipedia editors across computer terminals? Second, how does citing that essay fix the problem? If a person’s mental disorder precludes them from understanding a policy or guideline, how would they be able to understand citation of that essay? (It is because of questions like this that you and others here refuse to answer that make it very difficult for me to think that your desire to cite such essays is motivated by something other than a poor disposition you have for those editors.)

The Hand That Feeds You: And yes, you've made it quite clear you don't like the essay. Sure, you have reasons for not liking it, but that doesn't alter the reality that you don't like it. Wrong. Not liking it implies some type of aesthetic or whim as the basis for my opposition to it, which is not the case, as I’ve already made clear. Such essays are inappropriate for reasons I have provided that are based on objective criteria, and not subjective feelings. If I see someone getting mugged, and report to the police, the legal proceedings are not going to describe the act in terms of something I saw that I “didn’t like”, they’ll be described in terms of measurable criteria that the community should be able to vet with logic and reason.

Your refusal to understand my position in a sincere manner, and your deliberate and repeated insistence on distorting it in this manner, illustrates how you have made this personal, not I. That’s not an ad hominem argument, that’s simply a description of your behavior. Whether your behavior is due to poor character or lack of ability in conducting a dispute properly, I don’t know, but if you really don’t like having your incompetence pointed out, then stop exhibiting it, and for that matter, try explaining how insisting on the right to do so with others by citing that essays is not a form of hypocrisy on your part.

Demiurge: Nightscream, the concensus at the MfD (or MfDs) was to keep the essays, so you came here to appeal to Jimbo because the concensus isn't good enough for you. And in your opinion, is there something wrong with expressing problems with MfDs to Jimbo? In general, I think consensus is a fairly good way to decide certain matters, but putting aside that I was not a participant in those MfDs (I wan’t even informed about the second one, even though I was the one who raised problems with it), consensus discussions, like all things, are not absolutely perfect. While I don’t take opposition to consensus lightly, in this case, it was necessary. Essays like that serve only the negative, and offer nothing positive.

Demiurge: … so Jimbo calmly suggests gathering some empirical evidence about how the essays really are generally used, and then trying another MfD based on that evidence, if appropriate. You disregard this suggestion… I did no such thing. This appears to be a complete fabrication on your part.

Demiurge: and instead subject us to multiple angry rants which come rather close to accusing us all, ironically, of incompetence. Is this a constructive way for you to behave? Let me try to explain why I have taken the approach I have during this discussion. I apologize for the length of the following, but please bear with me. The best methodology of examining matters of fact and/or reason in a manner that is intellectually honest, civil, and decent is one requires recognition of a number of principles, some of which are the following:

  • Matters of empirical fact are determined by evidence and reasoning. Because there are often multiple possible explanations or answers for a given question or problem. When multiple lines of evidence or reasoning seem to converge on one of them, to exclusion of others, that answer tends to be the right one. Matters of fact and reason are not dogmatic. They are not determined by fiat, authority, flat assertion or emotionalism.
  • All conclusions, ideas, rules and principles, and facts are provisional, and are subject to reevaluation, modification, proper interpretation, or falsification when new evidence, reasoning or context is presented that calls for it.
  • The best-established conclusions are those that survive the scrutiny of solid counterevidence and counterargument. To this end, a person should try to mentally disprove their own conclusion, and abandon it or modify it if they’re able to do so. If someone else does so, this should be acknowledged.
  • Provide evidence and reasoning for your position, and/or against your opponent’s, and if he/she hasn’t already, request it. Explain why a given conclusion is the right one or the wrong one.
  • Avoid logical fallacies, and other ways in which thinking goes wrong.
  • Respond directly to your opponent’s arguments. This means, among other things, that you should be able to state that position as accurately as he/she does. To do this, you must understand it. You can’t do this if you react emotionally, distort it, or engage in Straw Man arguments, much less fabricating statements to him/her that could not be considered reasonable paraphrases or inferences. If it shown that you have made a significant error, or that your argument has been refuted, in whole or in part, then be honest and respond by addressing this. Do not stonewall on serious questions or criticisms put to you, because this is may strongly convey the appearance that you know you’re wrong, and simply don’t want to admit it, especially if you engage in it repeatedly.
  • When offering criticism, make sure you use wording that descriptive more than it is purely profane, inflammatory, pejorative, emotional or personal. If challenged, be prepared to either point to the behavior that the criticism accurately describes, and explain why it is not merely an insult.

Most people I’ve observed do not adhere to these practices. I get that. This why, even though I’ll operate according to them when I participate in such disputes, I usually don’t bother bringing them up as I did here. The reason I do so here is because it’s relevant to the discussion on competence, and I believe a number of you have opened the door on this point by insisting on the right to cite an essay that basically tells people “You’re incompetent”. One of the many problems I see citing such essays is that no one wants to be told that they’re incompetent, and I wondered how you would all react if you were told this. And the great thing is, I didn’t have to do so without any basis, because indeed, some here provided plenty of it:

Of the thirteen people who had participated in this discussion by the time you made posted your last message (it’s now up to 16), I leveled this point at three of them, and I will explain why I will now include you, Demiurge, as the fourth. (This truth is far from your mendacious accusation that I have leveled this criticism at “close to all” of the people here.)

The Hand That Feeds You, Johnuniq and Access Denied, all conflated lack of ability or skill with the deliberate intention to disrupt Wikipedia. When I pointed this out, they and others, such as you, argued that there were editors who disrupted the project on an ongoing presence whose problem was not one of intent, but ability. I pointed out that this assertion is specious, because such behavior is far easier to conclude as one of deliberation, and that to conclude ability instead requires us to be able determine their state of mind, something I don’t think any of us here can do. The HandTFY in particular claims—get this—the ability to not only diagnose (or conclude from some other means) mental illness in editors, but through their editing behavior, rather than (I assume) in person. (Now if this is not an accurate understanding of what you have indicated guys, then by all means correct me.) Nonetheless, I could be wrong, so I asked for examples of such editors repeatedly. Did anyone even respond to this request? No. Nothing. No one even acknowledged it.

TheHandTFY and you, Demiurge, have both misrepresented my position here, and repeatedly, either by distorting my words, or outright fabrication of ideas that I never expressed nor implied. You attribute calm to Jimbo, but assert my position to be based on emotion. When I corrected you on anyof these points, did any of you acknowledge the correction? No. The only one I can think of that responded was TheHandTFY, who, after alleging that my problems with the essay are aesthetic, replied to my statement that my problems with it are based on objective criteria with what essentially amounted to insistence on the original assertion, even though I’ve provided numerous cogent arguments in this discussion that aren’t based on aesthetic whims, and he provided no counterevidence that said otherwise.

Now to borrow your own words in a way that shows how arbitrary they are: “Is this a constructive way for you to behave?”

These arguments of yours are not competently-formed or competently-expressed. I debunked them for the poorly made canards that they are, and all you can do is repeat them and make things personal, while simultaneously imagining that I’m the one doing so. Now normally, I try not to place emphasis on the methodology if I can avoid it, but I wanted to see how you would react when your competence was called into question. Well, I could’ve done so by citing the principles that you failed to adhere to. This would’ve not only have been precise, but would’ve been a better way to address the problem. But instead, I essentially called you and others “incompetent”.

So what was your reaction?

You complained. in other words, you get to say, “You’re incompetent!” to others, but when that same criticism is leveled at you, you don’t like it. Now if this is not a rather hypocritical double standard, can you explain why? Either it’s okay to call someone incompetent, or it’s not. And if it’s okay, then that means that statement can be leveled at everyone, including you.

If you can’t explain otherwise coherently, then you’ve just illustrated why having essays like that in the project namespace is a Bad Idea, and how those that argue otherwise are fooling themselves, if they think that such things in the project namespace will improve the project, either for its users, or in the public consciousness.

And all the MfDs in the universe won’t change that.

Demiurge: The contents of Wikipedia essays - still less any ANI discussions that refer to them - do not get sent out on CD to recipients of the "official" versions of Wikipedia, any more than a snide remark made in the tearoom of the Britannica's offices gets printed onto dead trees and shipped out with the rest of their encyclopedia. So that parallel is just silly. But a snide remark made in the tearoom of Britannica’s office isn’t visible to those read that encyclopedia, so there is no appearance of credence or status given that remark. The same does not hold true for things in the project namespace, which is why the analogy is valid.

Demiurge: Also, editors to whom the CIR essay refers really do exist - even though I personally think the community should be a good deal more forgiving than it is, in deciding where that boundary should lie. Can you really not see that? How can I, when I’ve asked repeatedly asked numerous editors during this discussion to point me to examples, and the only thing I hear in return is the sound of crickets?

Demiurge: Finally, you may feel that civility is a problem requiring urgent attention, but there seems to be a substantial (or at least, noisy) group of editors who think that the problem is actually over-enforcement of "civility". From this I strongly get the sense that you’re referring to something that has nothing to do with “over-enforcement of civility”, much like those in this discussion who made a deliberate confusion between lack of ability and deliberate disruption. My time on Wikipedia has shown that more often than not, the problem pertaining to civility lack of it, and lack of enforcement of it, rather than the opposite. This is illustrated both by editors who bleat about policies pertaining to criteria for inclusion of material in articles, but who take all the policies pertaining to proper conduct during disputes, such as CIV, AGF and NPA, and fling ‘em out the nearest window, and by the administrative forces that are so loathe to take decisive action with unambiguous policy violators. Of course, this conclusion is limited by my experiences, and I could be wrong, so could you point me to evidence of this school of thought, and/or examples of this over-enforcement of civility?

Demiurge: But either way, decrying it, and concensus, and everything else, doesn't actually move us forwards. Addressing a problem by bringing it up for discussion indeed “moves us forward”, in my opinion. Even if nothing changes, the expression of such things by some members of the community has inherent value. What should be done instead? Do you feel that those you disagree with shouldn’t be encouraged to voice their dissent? You could simply choose not to participate in such discussions if you find them to be that much of a problem, or else explain why their arguments are not sound. But I don’t see you doing that.

Count Ibilis: Why not write an essay about all these problems? Also, you can create a Wiki-Project to asses all essays for civility or other issues and categorize them based on a rating for such issues.

Kim Bruning: The essays and essay-writers have always been the ones in control ;-). If you don't like an essay: this is a wiki, anyone can edit. I don’t think essays belong in the project namespace, as I’ve stated repeatedly. Writing an essay to address this, editing the essay, or creating a project to assess, categorize or rate them (something I don’t know how to do, and don’t want to, since it would increase the amount of time I already spend on WP) would seem to ignore this. The proper way to bring attention to a problem is to discuss it. But people here feel there is a more appropriate area on WP to do so, I’m not opposed to it. Nightscream (talk) 04:29, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

(Without weighing in on the matter) Why is this matter being discussed here of all places? Wouldn't the Village pump be more appropriate? Isn't this a matter for the community to decide and not try to lay the responsibility on the leadership?
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 05:12, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for the suggestion, Berean. I'll consider putting out some feelers there. Nightscream (talk) 05:48, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

Wow, that was one hell of a screed, Nightscream. Also, a ton of bad-faith assumptions from you. I am not going to link to specific editors, partly due to WP:BEANS. ANI regulars will be familiar with at least one user whose own mother has attempted to intervene (without success) at getting him to behave here, and his socking was a constant problem. And yes, people do self-identify as Aspergers and other disorders which make it difficult for them to properly interact in a social environment such as this.
I do not cite WP:COMPETENCE "at" such editors, as it's not meant for them. It's meant for the rest of us, to help deal with such issues, as has been stated previously in this very discussion. You also have a unique understanding of the phrase "not liking it." I'm not going to argue semantics with you.
Finally, I am tired of your repeated smear against me for simply stating my position. This quote is especially ironic:

Whether your behavior is due to poor character or lack of ability in conducting a dispute properly, I don’t know, but if you really don’t like having your incompetence pointed out, then stop exhibiting it, and for that matter, try explaining how insisting on the right to do so with others by citing that essays is not a form of hypocrisy on your part.

"Poor character?" And calling me incompetent while you're railing about WP:COMPETENCE being impossible, because we cannot judge competence? That's not just bizarre, it's a blatant personal attack, and I'm growing increasingly tired of it. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 13:51, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. "Please be a giant dick" is humorous. I don't find it that funny and perhaps it's a WP:DECORUM violation, but it's useful point of discussion about Wikipedia's social norms and a pointed observation about some extreme behavior one sometimes sees. "Competence is required" does address a real and sometimes vexing problem, which is that some editors are indeed incorrigible and off the charts for creating bad content despite their good intentions. At some point one must conclude that these editors are never going to get it and it is not worth any further effort. It's a little more subtle than that of course. Whether or not they are mentally different in a clinical sense (as seems the case but who knows?), there is a familiar pattern of strange behavior. There are likely some false positives, some editors who can be reformed after extraordinary effort and patience, or who will turn around once they sober up or get past grade school, as the case may be. But we have to keep in mind the primary goal of maintaining an encyclopedia, with being a training ground for people who are not very good at it being at best a secondary goal. Further, a community consensus is sometimes needed to banish someone for incompetence, or else every new person who stumbles on the situation will rush to their defense and nothing ever gets done about it. Both essays are rallying points for experienced editors who care a lot about Wikipedia to communicate among themselves, not intended as remedial help for the editors described in the essays. It's pretty important that we have a place to discuss the tough issues in a frank if humorous sense rather than being so fearful of strong language that this stuff goes unsaid. - Wikidemon (talk) 14:15, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
Please be a giant dickshlongish putz.

Fixed.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 18:12, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

The irony, as I made clear above, The Hand That Feeds You, was intentional, because it highlighted the double standard exhibited by wanting to call others "incompetent", but not wanting to called it yourself. Now you're saying that oh, we don't really want to cite "at" others. Well, then how would you cite it? If you cite in any discussion which the hypothetical problem editor might be privy to or become aware of, the effect may be the same. Unless these communications Wikidemon mentions are all done via private channels, you can't guarantee that those being discussed won't learn about them, and keep in mind that Anthony estimated above that half of the citations of that essay were not very respectful. So just how many of these Aspergers-afflicted editors are there that justify the existence of that essay? By refusing name any, you not only make it impossible to lend any credence to this assertion, but you potentionally contradict any future citation of that essay, at least if you plan on citing it when discussing such editors with other members of the community.

The fact remains that there are plenty of extant policies, guidelines and WP resources designed to address incorrigibility. That essay adds nothing to those resources.

As for smears, you and others have deliberately and repeatedly attributed ideas and statements to me that I never stated nor implied, so you don't get to whine about "smears", when my highlighting your methodological flaws at least had a testable purpose to it. The fact remains that you and others, rather than simply disagree with my position with rational arguments, have sought to belittle it by claiming that it is motivated by emotion or aesthetics, whereas yours is motivated by more calm, objective criteria. That's not a "unique" understanding of your words, it's an accurate one.

But if you can point out where I've made bad faith "assumptions", by all means, point them out. Nightscream (talk) 19:48, 21 December 2010 (UTC)

WP:COMPETENCE is not about subjective situations where one could reasonably find a double standard. It is for cases where one editor is making unquestionably bad edits and the community has not found any gentle way to make them stop. Most of the rules are based on a premise that editors should be given every chance to improve, that they want to and will try to do so, and that with enough goodwill all around they will fall in line. COMPETENCE talks about what happens when an editor runs out of chances. Sooner or later an editor heading in this direction will find that these contributions are not welcome. Everywhere in the world, people who do a poor job in a place where quality is expected will eventually have to face that fact. There's no easy way to shield them from that, and hiding behind coded language and procedure can make things worse. Editors affected by Aspergers receive particularly harsh treatment around here (and elsewhere), particularly when the reason for their actions is unrecognized and attributed to simple misbehavior. I think it would be enormously helpful to develop some resources and essays, perhaps even some outside-world support groups for Wikipedians with that specific condition rather than throwing them into the grinder. Online content sites can be a great outlet where Aspies can participate constructively, enjoy themselves, and be part of a community, so long as they and the community avoid pitfalls like getting into flame wars or contests of will. It's sad when an editor with Aspergers goes before AN/I or ArbComm on complaints of tendentiousness, disruption, and technical rule violations, when it seems that all it would take is some more understanding and awareness on all sides. - 20:48, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
And as I've stated numerous times, the refusal to learn and follow the rules has nothing to do with "competence" or lackthereof. That's intransigence. Not incompetence.
As for objectivity vs. subjectivity, objectivity (or at least, greater levels of it) is easier to establish when you have a given metric that can be used as a standard. If one adds material to an article without a source, and it doens't fall into that very narrow range of information that is so obvious and widely known that it doesn't require one (e.g.: "Christmas is on December 25"), then the notion that that violates WP:V is a fairly objectively measurable statement. But just talking about "incompetence", which is vague, is not. This is why narrowing down a criticism or set of criticisms to the particular policies and guidelines in question is a better approach, and one that we already have at our disposal, hence the superfluousness of that essay, in addition to its subjectivity, inflammatory nature, et al. Even if that essay is cited in private communications only, as TheHandThatFeeds suddenly suggested above, what use does doing so over say, citing the relevant policies in question. Are there not sufficient resources that adequately document the procedures for dealing with serial policy violators? Does that vague, badly written essay really provide something unique that's not already in those resources that don't exhibit these negative traits?
You keep going on an on about people with Aspergers, but you, like everyone else here, refuse to point to anything that documents this phenonmena, let alone justifies that essay as a possible solution to it. If the project is doing to ban people on this basis, then it stands to reason that some of these persons, if they are more than just mythical, can be named, particularly after the fact (if they've been banned). It doesn't seem to be in the best spirit of openness and transparency to use this argument, which seems to go out on a fairly substantial limb, but refuse to document it. Nightscream (talk) 21:37, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I'll avoid the impertinent stuff. Terrible editing takes a wide variety of forms, and the particulars are not the issue. Whether terrible editing is a product or poorly exercised free will or a lack of ability does not really matter either. This essay is about what we do when we have tried everything else within reason and are beyond the point of further inquiry or effort. It's not a matter of metrics - you don't have to define day or night to prescribe what the community has decided to do when the sun is out. Indeed, competence is not the precise word for it, though it is a perfectly adequate word to use because everybody knows what we're talking about and defining it properly would involve coining and defining a new term. I'm not "going on and on" about Asbergers. For good reason I'm not going to name names either in the service of a debate on Jimbo's talk page. People who know what I'm talking about recognize this, anyone else can probably find a more focused discussion on it or use the search bar. I mentioned it in one post as an aside because I think that's a separate issue we ought to address at some point. - Wikidemon (talk) 04:49, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually, Wikidemon, competence is precisely the right word. I have had conversations with editors on project who were painfully and obviously unable to follow the basic threads of reasoning required to fully understand the issue they insist on talking about (you see a lot of this of fringe-type articles, from both sides of the aisle - you'd be amazed how many people on wikipedia take science dogmatically as a belief structure). There is no sense in being mean about it, obviously, but there are points where you have to put your foot down and let people know that they are not making sense. And yes, I see that as a kindness: if no one ever points out when we say stupid stuff, we would all continue to say stupid stuff endlessly. To reiterate one of Wittgenstein's more famous quips: "Never be afraid of saying foolish things, just pay attention to the foolish things you say." It's the second part of that quip that's the hard bit, and essays like COMPETENCE are useful to point editors to the fact that they are not listening to themselves.
Beyond that observation, I see no need to get involved in this discussion. later! --Ludwigs2 05:32, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Claiming "irony" doesn't let you get by with personal attacks, Nightscream. And I did NOT suggest that these things are done in private communication. You're twisting this entire discussion and claiming implications that are not there. I can't have a debate if you insist on moving the goalposts. That's the last I have to say to you. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 22:29, 21 December 2010 (UTC)
I think the real problem here is less that the page exists than that it has a cute little abbreviation "WP:COMPETENCE", which sounds just like "WP:CENSOR" or "WP:VERIFY". There are so many policies and so much emphasis on policy in recent years, that you should be able to tell the difference before even following the link, just from the namespace. Since people won't easily get out of the WP:<policyname> habit, we should move all the essays to "Essay:Competence" and so forth. And it would probably be best if there's no set abbreviation for the "Essay" part... Wnt (talk) 18:44, 22 December 2010 (UTC)