User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 75

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Quick information,

The name of Nigeria was excluded as a country in the Editors survey 2011(In which country do you live?) .Earlymen message me! 03:55, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Hello JIMBO WALES,I have decided to choose USA to the question: In which country do you live? in the ongoing wikimedia Editors survey 2011(Since Wikimedia foundation is located in the U.S.).When Nigeria is included on the list,help me select Nigeria please.I live in Nigeria currently.Earlymen message me! 04:10, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Plans for Editor Retention and Community Building

Panyd, who was the de facto leader of WP:CONTRIB, was one of the few users actively working on editor retention and community building, and was doing so with a WMF budget. Now that she is gone, and Chase me ladies, I'm the Cavalry and Mono have also left Wikipedia, WP:CONTRIB is dying.

Quite frankly, Wikipedia as a community is tremendously socially disfuntional. We treat each other poorly, and really are not even surprised anymore that such treatment leads to a high level of attrition among the core 10,000 or so most active and committed editors. I do believe that if something isn't done, Wikipedia won't see 20, or if it does, it'll be a shell of what it is today.

Is the foundation doing anything to try to improve the community? I saw questions related to that on the recent questionnaire, but as far as I know there really isn't any movement on the issue foundation side, and as for the user side, there are more people making the situation worse than are making it better, by a large margin.

Thank you, Sven Manguard Wha? 04:29, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Well let's see.. Just speculating here but, Chase me ladies is likely just busy and will be back once he gets some free time, and Mono could've left in a fit because his "Smart Cover" article got criticized/merged/deleted and the DYK rejected. These are just guesses but those were the most recent events in their contribs history just before they stopped editing. I think it's important that we figure out what the major reasons are for people leaving. We need to discover what is the most common reason for departure, and not just simple reasons like "Retired" but finding out why users retire. I've been meaning to compile a table of users and their reasons for leaving but first wanted to get a large enough sample of the user base. So the past year I've been going through old user lists and visiting random user pages, tagging their talk pages with {{not around}} if they haven't edited in over a year. Now that I have enough to work with, along with those listed at WP:Missing Wikipedians, I will go through the transclusions of {{not around}} and {{retired}} and start putting together a table of standard reasons based on what their user pages say or the last events in their contribs, eg. Dispute with another user, Got burned out, Got bored, Got a job, or just Disappeared. I don't want to speculate too much though.. many users leave statements on their userpages explaining what made them want to leave so that should help. Anyways.. should be interesting.. I'll see if I can get it done this weekend. Another editor already started me off, the list is at User:OlEnglish/list of reasons why Wikipedians stop editing if anyone wants to help/add to it. So does this sound like it would be useful? Bad idea? Any privacy concerns? -- œ 07:59, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
If you use a sample size of 1001 users (as in political polling), then I think you can sample users in a "halfway random" manner to get a 97% confidence level of predictions, rather than require true random sampling as needed for a 29-user sample size, relying on normal distribution of samples. There is no need to wait to count responses among "10,000" users, because a sample of only 1001 former users should identify the major reasons people have quit. We know the reasons people have said why they would stay: if they knew their work would help the readers, and knew it would not be deleted, and they knew other users would not get angry at them, then they would stay. The lowest reason people cited as a reason to stay: if the editing were easier (only 9% of new users cared about that issue). -Wikid77 06:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
That's a wonderful idea. Two suggestions though: First, I'd make either add descriptions to those categories, to give us a better idea between "policy dispute" and "wikipedia has changed" and "I give up", etc. or I'd make more general categories like "Change in off-wiki circumstances" "on wiki dispute" and "demoralized". Second, I'd notify the signpost when you get this done, we need to see your results, we really do. Sven Manguard Wha? 19:19, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
I have often thought that it would be a nice thing to have if we had a bot or something tag a user page with a template of some sort if they haven't edited in say 6 months, maybe a year. I was thinking something along the lines of No edits since XXXX. This would not only allow us to have a tracking category to see the inactive folks but would also be a tipoff to anyone leaving a message on the talk page of the likelihood they will get a response. Other bots could potentially be programmed to skip the page as well (rather than edit a page knowone watches). --Kumioko (talk) 16:30, 21 April 2011 (UTC)
STX: See User:Mbeychok and
Wavelength (talk) 00:14, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
FWIW there exists this: Wikipedia:Missing Wikipedians. Whether its up-to-date or germane to any of this I don't know. Herostratus (talk) 02:09, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I was going to mention that page also, until I noticed that someone had already mentioned it at 07:59, 21 April 2011 (UTC).
Wavelength (talk) 02:35, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Can I get an answer to my question about foundation end community work please? We got off topic. Sven Manguard Wha? 18:06, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

  • I am trying to see where your question is focused. Are you wanting Jimbo to discuss the plans to help new users? For example, WMF is proposing the "article incubator" concept, to help newcomers create new articles, as draft subpages, and allow experienced users to assist them in avoiding the speedy-delete and instant WP:AfD processes which are often traumatic to new users. -Wikid77 06:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
    • Thats nice, it's a start, I'd also like to know if staff and funding are going into this. With Panyd MIA, the funding issue becomes less clear, and with staff, the "make Wikipedia less hostile" and "keep good editors longer" objectives tend to get muddled with the somehow related "make nice with chapters" objective and the "spread to Asia" objective. I really have no idea if we have staff dedicated to this issue, other than the community liaison, who most of the time does Q&A. Sven Manguard Wha?
      • Yes, staff and funding are going into this. At the board level, we generally regard it as the number one issue above all else. The strategic plan is a good place to start reading about this, and input and help is very much welcomed by the Foundation. As with many of your comments, I can only say that you are simply wrong when you say that with staff, the "make Wikipedia less hostile" and "keep good editors longer" objectives tend to get muddled with the somehow related "make nice with chapters" objective and the "spread to Asia" objective. That's just not true.
      • As a side note, you might want to consider what role you personally can play in making Wikipedia less hostile. You've attacked me (below) in an extremely unfair manner because I didn't respond to this thread quickly enough to suit you. That's just wrong, and you should apologize for it. WP:AGF is really important. Just to let you know: my parents are visiting me this weekend, and I got up this morning and quickly checked Wikipedia and saw that thread and wanted to respond. The irony is that the main reason I wanted to respond quickly to that was as a courtesy to you personally because you were being so hostile and had your facts wrong. So, rather than thank me for the explanation, you attacked me further for not responding to this thread. That's not nice.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:02, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
        • Jimbo, I definitely agree with the second part of your post. Manguard has been throwing his weight around gratuitously and acting pompous/arrogant. I think you would not be surprised to learn that he is a suspected sockpuppet. See his earliest edits, especially his use of "userspace", removal of welcome template, and a warning to an IP. Fahwa · talk · 22:37, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
        • The 'user' above was blocked as an attack sock, the seventh one in three months. Just FYI. Sven Manguard Wha? 03:35, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Whatever you want to be or say you are, the truth is that you are a community leader. There are three related properties that make a good community leader that are at issue here. One, you must know how your actions affect the community. Two, you must consistently communicate effectively with the community. Three, you must be able to push and protect your message.
For a long time I have felt that you don't fully appreciate how your involvement in pressing issues effects those issues. Take Pending Changes. The discussion on PC not only involves PC itself, but your endorsement of it, with sizable groups both supporting it and opposing it on the grounds of that endorsement. Were I you, recognizing that my imput was polarizing and distracted from the issues being discussed, I would stay away from pressing issues and let the community work them out. Instread you jumped into the RfA mess recently. If you put forth an idea, a camp will spring up and say "So sayeth Jimbo, so we shall do" and another camp will spring up and say "Jimbo's word is not law" and those two camps will dominate the discussion while the issue at hand becomes a tool of the debate, rather than the focus of it.
As to the second point, while your page has an open door policy, I waited for several days for a response and did not get one. Other people mentioned other things, but the core issue was not addressed. I appreciate that other things were happening. Had the incident with the watches not come into play, I'm sure that both my interpretation of the time spent waiting and your eventual response would have been different.
However the issue with the watches did come into play. I, being completely unaware of the situation, did not know the background to it. Yes, I responded with shock and anger, yes, I did assume the worst, and I should not have done so. In all honesty, my view was colored by my already strained view of you because of the PC/RfA thing. However at the same time, I got three emails, one from a 'top 40' contributor, as well as the response by Seth here, before I heard anything of the altruistic motivations or that the proceeds were going to charity. I got ahead of the facts, but then my fears were validated, all before anyone rose to your defense on the issue.
I apologize for calling you unethical. The recent revelations on your motivation and on the destination of the proceeds fundamentally change my view of the situation. I also apologize for my general impatience in these issues, and for not waiting to hear your side of the story. I am still uneasy about your role in Wikipedia, I am still apprehensive about your involvement in high profile matters such as RfA, and I still believe that the community will strangle the life out of Wikipedia before we can print off the Wikipedia is 20 tee shirts. I should not have let these things manifest as an attack on you. For the sake of reconciliation I will push those issues on you, at least not now. I'll think I'll stay away from your page for a while though, I don't want this to flare up again.
And thank you for the reading material. I'll look at it soon.
Here's to hoping things all work out for the best. Sven Manguard Wha? 23:55, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
You know, while I think this is great work and I'd be interested in seeing it, it's probably worth pointing out that this research has already been done. See the former contributor's survey for the results. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 00:36, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

arbcom isn't responding and may not have received my e-mails

Hello, this is my IP user, I have lost hope in being unblocked, but I have poasted this message on 3 other admin pages, due to lack of response from arbcom. I've officialy lost faith and hope in being a user in Wikipedia, but here's the message: Hello, I have sent 2 coppies of my unblock request to arbcom, one in march, and one in early April, but no response, so I am seaking advice, what else is there for me to do, I'm totaly out of ideas and I have lost faith in wikipedia. what can I do? (talk) 06:24, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

What is your account? mauchoeagle 06:41, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Indef-blocked User:Comet Egypt Franamax (talk) 06:50, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Thx Franamax; an appeal came in on Jan 15 and was declined. We have an email in March, which was responded to. No sign of an email from them in April, but further appeals have buckley's chance anyway. John Vandenberg (chat) 08:59, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

All i got was the bounce back thing that lets me know it is going to a moderator, but that's it. I tried again in april, maybe it didn't send. I'll try again when my e-mail is up and running again. thanks for your time. (talk) 12:29, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I'd suggest you take note of the "but further appeals have buckley's chance anyway" comment - see here if you don't know what that means -- Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 09:52, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

@ - you are not the only ones they ignore. It happens all the time and they are ignoring you on perpous so you will say blocked. (talk) 02:57, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Diamond watches and the encyclopedia that anyone can edit

File:Jimbo advertising watches.png
Free access to all human knowledge.
Buy these watches.

Hi Jimbo,

File:Leo advertising watches.png
Across the mall, competing jeweller Grahams had to make do with a less handsome model.

I was surprised to see the good names of Wikipedia and yourself being used to promote upmarket jeweller Angus & Coote. Don't get me wrong—I'm delighted we're now seen as such an upper-class and exclusive club that our image attracts the kind of people who buy diamond-studded watches. But I wonder if this has your blessing?

Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 16:04, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Really? So you've sold yourself out? I get it, you're a celebrity, but this can't be good for Wikipedia's reputation. Sven Manguard Wha? 18:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I bet that poster is across the hall from the store, and a clever camera angle has been used. (Never mind, I was pointed to [1] on my talk page) Wnt (talk) 21:48, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Sure the ad wasn't for Maurice Lacroix? (see especially youtube video) Jebus989 21:55, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Ah yes, it's in an Angus & Coote store, but the watches in that particular display are all Maurice Lacroix (I can see that in my original high-res photo). In case the image is deleted, its text reads FOLLOW YOUR CONVICTIONS / "FREE ACCESS TO ALL HUMAN KNOWLEDGE. SOME CALLED IT IMPOSSIBLE. I CALLED IT WIKIPEDIA." / Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. It's just like the image in the link Wnt provided. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 02:45, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
IANAL, but assuming that the photo isn't under a restrictive copyright, and since the text says nothing about endorsing the watches (or anything about watches at all), I'd think they're within their rights to decorate their store as they wish. Lawyers could argue that this particular store decoration implies a de facto endorsement, but I don't think they'd have a very strong case. It'd be amusing and instructive to watch them argue it (as long as I wasn't the one paying for their time). It is for this sort of reason that it's not easy to get subjects to release photos of themselves, quite understandably. Herostratus (talk) 05:25, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) As I indicated above, I have a serious problem with this, especially if Jimbo had anything to do with this. Wikipedia has enough issues with corporate incursion and neutrality without the single most visable icon of the project endorsing a corporate entity. Now I don't think a Checkers Speechesque full public accounting of Jimbo's finances is in order, but I think that the community deserves to know how much money he's getting from endorsements and how much money he's getting as our speaker, because this dosen't seem right. Somehow it feels like we're doing all this work for free and Jimbo is making out with bags of cash based on our success. Sven Manguard Wha? 05:59, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
I think Jimbo Wales is entitled to make some money for succeeding with an idea like this. It's not like you joined Facebook and all your effort on your homepage is making somebody a $200 bazillionaire. Besides, you can just as well interpret this as the watch companies advertising Wikipedia. Especially in the U.S. there is not much respect for people who are geniuses or did something great for humanity but are still poor. It used to be that when a band appeared in a commercial it meant they'd sold out - now a band turning up in a commercial means that they've "made it". Not saying I like that, but these ads may well increase the respect Wikipedia is given. Wnt (talk) 07:56, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Sven and Herostratus: the video Jebus linked begins with, "Hi, I'm Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia and ambassador for Maurice Lacroix." That's followed by a whole lot of stuff about authenticity and how Jimmy's always stuck to his convictions.
Wnt: True, in fact I see these ads as evidence Wikipedia must already command respect. Advertisers don't pick their imagery without extensive prior research into the reactions of their target audience. So Wikipedia must be highly regarded among rich, pretentious Australians who are dumb enough to be influenced by an ad that has nothing to do with watches.
Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 09:10, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
For further amusement and/or outrage, depending on personal taste: Beijing airport and a street in Shanghai. This is actually pretty old news, but in this particular case half the money went to the Wikimedia Foundation, and my share was donated to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity I also found it amusing and great fun to do a fashion photo shoot for the cover of Men's Vogue in Italy and another fashion photo shoot for Vogue UK which will appear on newsstands soon (the June issue).
I haven't yet started a campaign to have the first line of my Wikipedia entry changed to read "Jimmy Wales is a fashion model also known for..." Ha ha.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:13, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Must feel pretty good actually to have that kind of global coverage in cities like Shanghai and Adelaide. Not to mention increasing exposure of wikipedia... Only a matter of time then before Sanger starts modelling for Specsavers or Vision Express... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:25, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, I respect what you do for the foundation. We've been over the discussion a zillion times that advertising is not accepted by the community on Wikipedia, since it could lead to conflicts of interest even if it would be phenomenally profitable and/or were used towards charity (we could raise tens of millions). How do you see these situations as different? Ocaasi c 14:47, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Remember Jimbo comes here, as a Wikipedia admin-editor, to make suggestions, but Wikia is his 2004 commercialized website. Perhaps people forget how the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation is only part of his life. Also, in American culture, being on a magazine cover is not equated with commercialism. No one accuses an actor, who appeared on a magazine cover, as having "abandoned the acting profession" to become a full-time salesman. Many people read magazine covers, or glance inside, without feeling compelled to buy the issue. Also, such magazines are found in many American libraries, where people can read the articles without buying the magazine. Many other editors have jobs in commercial companies, but still edit articles on Wikipedia. -Wikid77 02:48, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
I find it telling and annoying that Jimbo would respond to this thread but not the one asking him what the foundation was doing for/about Wikipedia's community. Am I to interpret the non answer as apathy towards the question or, even worse, that the foundation has no plans to deal with these issues? Sven Manguard Wha? 20:46, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Sven, I respond to lots of threads on my talk page, in email, and everywhere about the Foundation and the community. You are way out of line here, in more than one way, most importantly in that you don't have your facts right. If you want to know what the Foundation's plans are for the community, then why don't you get involved in the Foundation, which is doing a lot, instead of just hollering blindly and wrongly at me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:55, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Also, I think many people should focus on suggestions made by Sue Gardner (Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation), how even in 1992, academic discussion forums seemed too hostile for many women (see: Sue Gardner's Blog, The problems seen in Wikipedia have existed, years earlier, in other projects: look at how other projects have changed. However, Sue noted currently there is limited funding for the Wikimedia Foundation to directly fix these issues, so volunteers should seek other volunteers to change systems to reduce hostilities, encourage more women to edit, and try to make Wikipedia a more pleasant experience for new editors. -Wikid77 02:48, 24 April 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, congratulations on what is clearly a win-win-win situation: Raising money for the Wikimedia foundation, raising the profile of Wikipedia by having people associate it with other high quality products, and also donating some of the proceeds to Considering a couple of the comments above, the latter is rather ironic, since is dedicated to "taking a stand for civil digital discourse." If you keep the income from such things for yourself, that would also be fine in my opinion, though it is nice to see you taking the high road here. Fashion models don't typically have a very long career, so you might want to have a back-up plan :-). First Light (talk) 21:03, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:55, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, you look pretty chic...almost badass even.--MONGO 22:47, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Article on Wikipedia's problems with fringe articles redux

Again, this really has nothing to do with me
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

See [2] - I've just discovered the article was written by Peter Damian. Dougweller (talk) 18:02, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

Indirect and possibly unintentional 'outing' (see the above collapsed thread) — the same information has been recently posted and revdel'd on this page (edit: it was posted and revdel'd in that discussion actually) Jebus989 18:35, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Note that an IP in the thread above just said that he is the author of The Logic Museum,[3] which says in the May 11 2008 entry, "My ban from Wikipedia is now over, and I am back as _____ ______.". Now I'll admit, I don't actually see it said in the WP:OUTING policy that when a banned user posts publicly giving his real name under an IP, that you can cite his WP username from a document he takes credit for. But he is rather much asking for it. Some careful clarification of these policies may be in order. Wnt (talk) 20:52, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Outing? If it is, I'm surprised and apologise. But I can't see how it is. Dougweller (talk) 21:08, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Regardless of the carelessness or past history or current criticism of the editor, the request to not be outed should be heeded. I think the above posts (1 and 3) should probably be collapsed or gutted. There's not much point discussing someone who is not a part of the community and doesn't want to be associated with it anyway. We take decent care of the community internally, enough to not want to look like were seeking revenge for a negative write-up somewhere else. Ocaasi c 21:11, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
Has he requested to not be outed? I would think he wouldn't care one way or the other. SilverserenC 21:14, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
You don't have to request not to be outed. But when you out yourself on a third party site, and you explicitly take credit for that site while posting on Wikipedia, does that amount to outing yourself? Wnt (talk) 21:45, 22 April 2011 (UTC)
I would say yes. If you purposefully acknowledge your identity in relation to something, then it is not outing for someone else to use your name in relation to it as well, since you've already outed yourself. SilverserenC 23:00, 22 April 2011 (UTC)

I don't give a fig about 'outing'. Everyone here knows who I am. I do care about when I write for an independent publication raising issues that many people here think are valid, and then I find I am hounded by Wikipedians who are writing to the editor of the publication trying to get me 'banned' from there as well, or publishing blogs saying that I am mentally ill. I do care a lot about that. I think most of the mess has been cleared up now, and a grudging apology made, but Wikipedians, get real. You can't ban people from real life. Edward. (talk) 07:27, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

I'm not hounding you or asking for you to be banned from a publication, but I am, with good reason I think, not pleased that you've had an article published without letting at least the editor know who you are on Wikipedia. If you'd made that clear I wouldn't have made that complaint and written "I also feel that ASKE needs to make a statement about this and not just leave it the way it is - I don't mean allow a response, make it clear that the article was accepted without the knowledge that it was written by someone community banned from Wikipedia." (as in archaeology, context is key to understanding) . I agree with you that we have a serious problem with fringe articles, but the answer is not to tell skeptics not to edit Wikipedia. Dougweller (talk) 07:59, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

So hang on a minute. The person who just attempted to out me and has published untruths about me on WR is now here complaining that he has not been treated with due consideration as regards privacy? Fainites barleyscribs 09:55, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

OK I think this is where you have a problem. But then you have stuff like this and this. Your point has some credence when I Google this and I see your claim (or at least the claim of someone who claims to be you, the Wikipedia administrator) that someone has hijacked your signature in order to present you as an advocate of pseudoscience. My sincerest apologies if the accounts I linked to were hijacked in this way. But that confirms the problem I was discussing with Doug in emails today: the incredible difficulty of establishing conflict of interest on Wikipedia. There is the problem of people using made-up signatures or usernames, and the impossibility of establishing RL identity. Added to and compounding that, there is the problem that Wikipedia itself regards any allegation of coi as a personal attack and harassment etc. That is the root of my problem with Wikipedia. A serious, comprehensive and reliable reference work should be taking coi very seriously. There should be a process that allows such issues to raised in a civil way, and giving them priority. There should be compulsory declarations of coi for any fringe type articles. There should be the severest penalties for those who misrepresent coi. Currently the reverse is true. Again, my full apologies if those links were truly forged. Edward (talk) 10:51, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
OK. Apology accepted. No doubt you will now rush to correct the position on WR. I can assure you I do take utterly false allegations that I am a practitioner of what I have stated in a number of places to be a pseudoscience rather seriously. I offered to disclose my true identity and profession to ArbCom in the Attachment therapy arbitration years ago because the same nonsense was being claimed there based on "information recieved". The long term banned editor concerned contacts editors and fills them with all this nonsense about anybody he has had a brush with on Wikipedia. You are being used to settle somebody else's very old grudges. Fainites barleyscribs 12:36, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
OK OK. I will put something on WR. I have to say that this looks like an obvious forgery. (talk) 13:12, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
And see my apology on WR here. (talk) 13:16, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Haven't seen that old 2008 fake posting before. It certainly doesn't sound like me! Fainites barleyscribs 13:18, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Helping users with more admins and article incubator

It is too bad that User:Hpvpp (in User_talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive_74#Why I resign as editor) said would not be checking to see your response, but at least realized some admins are far too busy to dwell on being extremely courteous. If there were more admins, then each could take more time to work politely with upset users. Also, editors earlier, who noted his copyright concerns in the above topic, have revealed a nightmare: imagine the frustration of creating a new article, based on another article's text, only to learn (reluctantly) how the original article was a major copyvio (of a journal), and then having to learn why just substituting every 4th word is still a copyvio, when the initial intent was to create a new article, to help expand Wikipedia's coverage of notable subjects. Then, the prior article gets deleted as copyvio. The stress level would be enormous, and so I think Sue Gardner and others have a great solution with the "article incubator" concept: when someone wants to create a new article, but finds the exact contents would be a copyvio, so replace that with a general request, inside the incubated page, to expand particular issues from the linked journal-page, and other people could help paraphrase technical language or find rare sources (such as books rather than webpages) to help the editor expand the draft. New editors (1-year of experience) shouldn't face the stress of creating new articles alone: paraphrasing technical journals can be a mindfry to avoid miswording the concepts. Looks like the article-incubator tactic (begun in September 2009) should be widely used, and soon. The intro is WP:Article Incubator and the category is:
           • Category:Articles in the Article Incubator - has about 84 pages now.
So, I guess more people should be advised to place draft articles in that category. -Wikid77 15:59, revised 16:30, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

the school for the blind

Could you please have a look at the BLP noticeboard Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons/Noticeboard#Abdul_Rauf_Omar_Mohammed_Abu_Al_Qusin. thumb|. (the humorers title of this thread was chosen to keep good spirit while discussing serious issues as BLP and leadership.) No i am not forum shopping. There is a clear 3:0 consensus at the BLP noticeboard by all uninvolved editors to delete this useless image that shows the individual in a disparaging light. Nevertheless it seems impossible to even enforce decision involving BLP and copyright issues like this one. Jimbo we need to turn this project around. We need a stronger oversight that tells the blind what they can not see and that encourages people with good vision. Am i blind? How about your vision? IQinn (talk) 23:20, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

How do I join the Department of Fun plz answer me. I'm new to Wikipedia

All right, I am very new to Wikipedia and I don't know how to join a group called "Department of Fun." Could you help me out with my question. Please don't ban me if it not following the user talk guideline. Superwikidude (talk) 00:15, 24 April 2011 (UTC)

Provided user with link. Dru of Id (talk) 17:53, 24 April 2011 (UTC)


After reading so much content related to editor retention, I have written an essay, describing possible reasons why we don't have a very big community compared to sites like Facebook. Please post your comments at User talk:Jasper Deng/The outsider's view. Frankly, this essay is pretty lean, but, it's my view on this issue.Jasper Deng (talk) 04:49, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

May I.....

Tusker Beer.jpg

Dear Jimbo, thank you for the work you have put into Wikipedia. Since I'll unlikely get around to buying you a real beer, and since I'm sure you already have more barnstars than you can fit in a closet, please accept a photograph of a bottle of our local beer from an inexperienced but keen Kenyan wikipedian, as a token of thanks Pi (Talk to me! ) 00:17, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Can I assume it's brewed in Kenya? And, is it any good? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:56, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
It's both :) Pi (Talk to me! ) 01:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Ooooh, I want to try it. I love locally brewed beers! Do we have an article on this one? Quinn STARRY NIGHT 02:23, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Thanks, Pi! I'm sure I'll come to Kenya at some point, and when I do, I will try to remember this beer and look you up. Do you meet up with other Wikipedians?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:10, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

OK. Tusker Beer redirects to East African breweries which is not a bad article. The Kenyan beer article however, is only a stub. Pi should bring some to a Wikimania... I know we generally frown on primary research, but I think we can make an exception in this case! :D! Thelmadatter (talk) 12:28, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject Beer (shortcut WP:BEER) may be of interest.
Wavelength (talk) 14:28, 26 April 2011 (UTC)
Glad to here you're contemplating coming down. We're hopefully getting a Kenya chapter set up soon (although I'm not personally involved). I have met some wikipedians at English meetups (where I study). At request, I will look into making a Tusker article :) Pi (Talk to me! ) 16:38, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Heads up

Just FYI I fully protected User:Jimbo Wales/guestbook/icon as a high risk template, per the WP:RFPP request made by someone and since it got some vandalism. Feel free to revert, since it's in your userpage. Hope you're well, Steven Walling 07:06, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

You're on to

Jimbo, I've figured out the true secret of Wikipedia's success. It is ironically because it promotes--not suppresses--fringe theories. My evidence is laid out here.--Hodgson-Burnett's Secret Garden (talk) 15:32, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not meant to promote or suppress anything, due weight for all! Jebus989 09:00, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

new wiki skin

Is there any good reason why This Skin(a variant of monobook) is not the default skin on Wikipedia? also you should try it out on the article in the example, it looks even more superb with the old skin I made but it does have a few bugs.

e.g. doesn't work with [internet explorer|IE], not that anything works with that anyways. --Glas(talk)Nice User skin 22:22, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

This is a really beautiful skin. Can you do a few things with it?
  1. Base it off of vector? Or make it vector compatible?
  2. Widen the views menu so it's harder to trigger sub-menus accidentally, while scrolling
  3. Remove the white space from the top of the page
  4. Fill in the background to the Personal tools menu with white so there's no interference from the underlying article
Nice work! Ocaasi c 22:32, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Requested MoMK helpers at WP:ANI

After testing the reactions to expanding text with real details, I have asked for any admins to help, take turns, to watch the expansion of the article, starting perhaps next week, circa 3 May 2011:

That ANI topic briefly mentions your preliminary investigation of the article (linking #Open letter), and your willingness to offer suggestions to editors to help expand details, NPOV balance and reliable sources. I am hoping with enough people, working together, there will be no need to escalate confrontations. I think resistance can be overcome by several editors, backed by an occasional neutral admin. I have also asked for support from Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Crime and Criminal Biography. In both cases, I noted this article is in the Top 1000 most-read articles of 2011 (stats: Feb 2011), so there will likely be 1 million people reading the results. No reply needed. Thanks. -Wikid77 09:12, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

ATTENTION PLEASE!! Denouncing Islam can give you a ban!

This is an outrage! see what's going on here.. this admin is familiar with blocking users because they denounced islam [4]and he titles the blocking with "personal attack" so Shariah Law strikes here too? let me know please! --Not There (talk) 14:47, 26 April 2011 (UTC)

Um... If anyone wants to talk to me about a block I made, please feel free to write to my talkpage at en-WP - as might be noted from the above link I have never edited the Arabic language Wikipedia, including the user and talkpages. I would comment, generally, that denouncing the religion (or lack of) of any user can easily be construed as a personal attack, and in my capacity as an admin I may administer a block if I feel it is warranted. That is, any religion. No acceptions.
I apologise, Jimbo, for using your talkpage to make a comment about my general attitude regarding the equality of religious tolerance among contributors, but even at the risk of feeding the troll. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:18, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Upon further review, and the use of the Google translator, I am not certain that I am involved in blocking anyone per the pages of "my" (I think my Username is protected across all Wiki's?) ar-WP account. Oh, well, thanks for the platform... LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:23, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • It is a scam... linking brings up "your" pages on ar-WP, or a facsimile of, and appears to be trolling for an anti Muslim response. What fortune that my admin alter ego (this is LessHeard vanU's non admin editing and anti-impersonation account) was the first foolish to make the link... LHvU (talk) 21:02, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
  • Actually, I think you may be mistaken, LessHeard vanU/LHvU (obviously I don't have a user page on to be redirected to, if that is what has happened to you). What I see is a week long block (the second link above) by an admin of a user:Matthew XVI on, labeled 'personal attack' (or similar), which followed a warning three days earlier. A brief glance at user:Matthew XVI's recent contributions on (there are only five in the last ten days or so) suggests the block was appropriate. But plainly, this is a matter that should be dealt with on (talk) 21:40, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Expanding WP tornado articles

I think more articles could be added to explain dangers of tornadoes and what, historically, has been done to prepare, because often only prior knowledge, having read about tornadoes (beforehand) is valuable when needed. Google hits seem to center on these titles:

There might be other common titles, and I will ask with WP:WikiProject_Severe_weather, which has helped write some featured articles about tornadoes. When treated as a historical subject, then I think those topics can be explained without being tedious how-to guides, but rather, a general survey of crucial factors in preparing or evacuating if possible. For instance, people might hear the "freight train" high-wind roar and go to a window to look, but perhaps there is documented data about how many seconds people have to take shelter before the winds reach their direction, and how long to wait (historically) before emerging from shelter.

It's not just tornadoes needing more articles, many areas of Wikipedia, for a variety of mysterious reasons, lack articles about major common issues (for instance, I just recently created "third-party sources" which had never existed). Hence, I don't see the lack of major articles as a failure, but just as an unusual set of gaps which I am trying to explain how such articles get overlooked. No need to reply, unless you have any additional suggestions. -Wikid77 17:56, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Just a few cautions about this...for one, be careful when it comes to WP:NOTHOWTO with regards to tornado prepardeness. This is the reason that our articles about current outbreaks don't include tornado safety information and why our tornado warning article (at last check) only includes general safety rules. Secondly, tornado evacuations are so far as I know unheard of except for evacuating the scene of a tornado after it has struck. Tornadoes are unpredictable enough that the best of lead times you can reasonably expect is 30-45 minutes, which is not enough for a large-scale evacuation without causing increased risk, due to people trying to evacuate being caught out in the open or in their vehicles, which is very deadly (see Wichita Falls Tornado Outbreak). Lastly, WP:SEVERE suffers from an extreme lack of active participants (so far as I know, we have about three on that active list that are actually active in WP:SEVERE articles), and those few there are tend to focus on event articles, so you may have a difficult time finding editors to participate from that project. I would be willing to help, yet I too focus on event articles in general so it wouldn't be my top priority. All in all, the editors we usually relied on for featured articles about severe weather in general, like Tornado, have gone inactive for the most part, while the ones active in WP:TROP seem to stick to primarily contributing within that arena or severe weather events related to tropical cyclones. I would suggest asking WikiProject Disaster Management and other relevant WikiProjects in addition to WP:SEVERE, because asking WP:SEVERE alone will probably achieve next to nothing. Also, if you want some articles already partially developed, I would highly recommend starting with Tornado watch and Tornado warning. I've been trying to make some progress on those for quite a while, but I'm having immense difficulty actually getting around to major improvements (call it a case of not really knowing where to start). All in all, WP:SEVERE could really use some help, but we just can't seem to find it...I'm wondering if Jimbo perhaps has any suggestions on how to develop a thriving, active WikiProject, because if so, I would be more than willing to listen to it. Ks0stm If you reply here, please leave me a {{Talkback}} message on my talk page. 18:42, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
(I already updated "Safe room" for tornadoes). I think Jimbo, and others talking with the Wikimedia Foundation, are trying to attract new editors, who might have more free time for new articles, without prior commitments to older articles. Also, there appears to be a need to encourage pleasant forum-type discussions, particularly requested by women writers, so they can chit-chat with others to ask around for help at bottleneck issues (in other words, engage in friendly chatter before coming back only with crisis issues). The policy WP:CANVAS has had people terrified, for years, to talk and say, "Hey, you agreed you like this so I am inviting [only] you folks to join the discussion of 7 new articles". I was topic-banned (3 months, oh wait, "92 days") when I told 2 requesters than an article was new, but only told 1 hater (viewed as "vote-stacking" 2-to-1! really). Hence, those are some ways to attract more editors. However, internet sites are notorious for hateful discussions, so Wikipedia must go beyond, somehow, to keep talk-pages pleasant, enjoyable. (20:17, 28 April 2011) Wikid77 revised 06:56, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

new page in different language about the same topic

Hi Jimbo,

How do I create a new page for my colleague in Spain to enter the Spanish version on my Bahco page? He says that he cannot link his article about Bahco to the English original version.

thansk for your help. --Theresemk (talk) 13:32, 29 April 2011 (UTC)Theresemk

I have added the link to the Spanish article on Bahco to our page. Normally a bot will come aiong and add the English (and other) link to the Spanish page soon. Fram (talk) 13:53, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict} If I understand your question correctly, I have linked the articles by adding the text "[[es:Bahco]]" to Bahco, and I added similar text to the Spanish language version to link it to multiple other articles. I hope this helps. -- Ed (Edgar181) 13:55, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Userfied versions of deleted articles

For how long may userfied versions of deleted articles remain in userspace? I ask as a number of these pages are showing up at WP:MFD and I am unable to find a relevant policy which give an explicit length.Smallman12q (talk) 20:04, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

I could offer you nothing more than a personal opinion. Perhaps someone else reading this can direct you to relevant policy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:30, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
There is, to the best of my recollection, no hard and fast rule. But "about a year" is the generally accepted standard. Once a page is userfied there is a tacit agreement that it will be worked on at *some point reasonably soon*. For articles with BLP considerations that tacit agreement is a little stronger. Ultimately userspace drafts create potentially risky clutter (especially as people do keep forgetting to remove them from the categories!) so they get cleared out now and again. --Errant (chat!) 21:56, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
They should stay, forever, unless/until there is a reason to delete them. Deletion does not save any disk space. I disagree with the 'clutter' comment; if they're in cats, the cats should be commented out or prefixed with colons.
If something contains BLP violations, it should be deleted immediately, of course. Same for copyright violations. The normal deletion policies and guidelines all apply. However, we're not working to any deadline; you can't find a relevant policy, because there isn't one. Unless there is some reason for deleting it, it shouldn't be deleted.  Chzz  ►  00:59, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
My first question is why in the world is this being discussed here? Policy discussions belong at the village pump or at the very least in the Wikipedia namespace. Wikipedia talk:User pages already has a thread on a somewhat related topic and it's on the watchlist of people who care about this issue. That being said, I strongly disagree with the idea that pages deleted by consensus should be allowed to be archived indefinitely in userspace. The point of userfication is to give an editor the opportunity to improve the article so that it meets the community's requirements. In the case of BLPs deleted on grounds of notability, I think this is even more important. Non-notable people should be left alone and not only in the article space. Thinly sourced BLPs should be deleted and not just from the article space. Note also that to most readers, there's little difference between a mainspace article and a userspace page that looks just like an article. So while we should of course tolerate userfication for purposes of editing, userfication for purposes of archival should be discouraged. Pichpich (talk) 03:10, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
The most relevant policies would be WP:FAKEARTICLE and WP:NOTWEBHOST. -- œ 07:31, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
I've started a thread at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)#Userfied_versions_of_deleted_articles. All opinions are welcome=PSmallman12q (talk) 12:21, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Any of the pages can be deleted; I'm not arguing about that. I'm just saying that there is no specified time limit - nor should there be. The existing deletion policies cover this just fine; if you think a page needs deleting, nominate it for deletion. No problems.  Chzz  ►  16:43, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
That's not true though IMO, there is a lower bar to userspace drafts - they often consist of stuff deleted at AFD and userfied for improvement. So many are below par in the first place - we should allow a reasonable time for them to be improved, and then MFD them. --Errant (chat!) 17:15, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Which part is not true? Of course the requirements are lower. The criteria in CSD is different for user namespace, and MFD has clear guidance. There is, however, no deadline. Chzz  ►  18:16, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
Chzz is absolutely right, the only reason for deleting something is a reason. "Because it is there" is not a reason. "Because it is old" is not either. "Because it breaks the law, BLP, would tend to undermine the project" are good reasons. Disk space is not a good reason, saving database dump size is not either, since we have dumps that exclude user space (and could be a little more fine grained if needed). Namespace pollution may be a good reason in parts of template space (primarily short names) but not in user-space. And so forth. Rich Farmbrough, 10:59, 29 April 2011 (UTC).
The most important reason to remove crud is that to let it accumulate (even in userspace) will promote an outlook that crud has some acceptability, and that userspace can be used as a webhost. Johnuniq (talk) 00:49, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
One man's trash is another man's treasure. Every deletion process alienates the editors who worked on that content. Thus, deletion should be nominally restricted to the things by people whom we want to show the door: BLP violators, serial copyright violators, spammers, vandals, kids who violate WP:NFT, and other such folks. Userified content should never have been allowed if it fell into one of these types of content in the first place.

On the other hand "notwebhost" means something very specific, which is not comprehended in the above comment: it's not your personal hosting service, for things that only you or your family will care about (e.g., pictures of the grandkids, holiday letters, and other sorts of stuff better left on Facebook). Jclemens (talk) 01:06, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Exactly. I've got OVER 9000!!! drafts, some of which I haven't touched for ages.  Chzz  ►  04:21, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
If its in your user space and its existence is challenged and your not working on it then you have no good reason to host it on the foundation servers - save it locally and accept deletion if challenged or improve it and replace it to the article space. Off2riorob (talk) 21:49, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Jimbo, as there doesn't appear to be a definitive policy, could you offer your personal opinion?Smallman12q (talk) 22:59, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

There is clearly plenty of guidance within current guidelines and policy - if you don't accept or you want community guidance on such a simple issue perhaps you would benefit from or prefer to open a WP:RFC. Off2riorob (talk) 23:04, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Off2riorob, OK, so let's take that example - User:Chzz/Userfied/Over 9000. Not a great example, perhaps, but it'll do. So - I asked for userfy to check it out (ages ago), and I have not had time to actually look and work on it, see if I can make it a worthwhile article. I vaguely hope to do so one day, but it is one of a list of over 9000 things that I'd like to do. So - should it - and all the others in my userspace - be deleted? I don't think so; I can't see a good policy reason to do so. I don't think, really, I am 'using Wikipedia as a web host' for that page?  Chzz  ►  02:41, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I can't speak for the other 8999 but you should likely do some housekeeping and tidy up a bit. In regards to that one - Its never going to be an article, you haven't touched it for over a year, its as such valueless to the project, why don't you keep it local on your computer if you like it? As for a policy or guideline reason to delete it - that page is not here to build an encyclopedia is it. Ask yourself, what excuse would you use to attempt to get it keep it in your userspace if I challenged its existence? Off2riorob (talk) 09:52, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
I would look for reliable sources, of course. I suspect it is notable.  Chzz  ►  12:50, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Great, I no-indexed the article and nowiki-ed the category for you while you improve it. Off2riorob (talk) 12:55, 1 May 2011 (UTC)


Note, the archive bot was a little over-keen and archived this after just 14 hours [5], so I'm reinstating it.  Chzz  ►  18:25, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

It's a bit of a ghost-town over at RfA; I remember a month back, you said you were "seeking feedback via email for some ideas of an alternative process" etc, in Archive 73#RfA is a horrible and broken process. Has anything come of that? Cheers,  Chzz  ►  09:48, 27 April 2011 (UTC) At the time of posting that comment, there were no RfA candidates. There is one now.  Chzz  ►  01:02, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

For the record, the bot archived the comment after about 1 day and 6 hours, as directed. Graham87 09:27, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Actually, it didn't, it probably just didn't recognise the timestamp from Chzz's second statement, which was in "small" tags, and based itself solely on the first, "normal" timestamp. Fram (talk) 09:35, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Oops! That's bizarre. Graham87 10:32, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I have asked, on User_talk:Misza13#Over-keen. But, this really is an 'aside' to the actual query here!  Chzz  ►  02:46, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Hiya Jimbo

Featured article star.svg

Jimbo Wales has been inducted into the Order of the Mop,
for their commitment and dedication and is entitled
to display this award for being a fantastic admin,
Kind regards, thanks and happy editing,
James (TalkContribs) • 10:30, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Admin mop.svg
For a userbox version go here.
You are member number: 42

It is only fitting the co-founder (:P) of Wikipedia be awarded this. Thanks for all the work you've done for the 'pedia over the years. —James (TalkContribs)8:30pm 10:30, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Intl Filipino Moels

I am wondering why when i do a search on Filipino International Famous Models. No real Famous Models that made it Internationally. There is a page with a bunch of guys that are locally Famous. But none have really been Top Intl Models. I wish us Male and Female supermodels that made a name in the Intl scene like myself, Mimelanie Marquez, Rose Ranola, And Anna Bayle...etc etc could be given acknowledgement on your site. Thanks Robby Tarroza Stewart.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:18, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Melanie Marquez has an article. This is the beauty about wikipedia, it is up to you to find notable topics and write about them. If you can find reliable sources for Rose Ranola, create an account and contribute! I must say though that a current google search does not indicate notability... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:20, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

You were just waiting to hit that "Move" button, were you?

I saw this :) –MuZemike 23:40, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

And look at this, completely shameless ;) - Kingpin13 (talk) 23:47, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
I find it reassuring that there are bigger geeks than me I.Thelmadatter (talk) 00:18, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, I plead guilty. I had my finger on the mouse button ready to do the move. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:44, 30 April 2011 (UTC) {{ygm}}  Chzz  ►  08:49, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't be guilty - congrats on being up so early for such a lovely event. The move I mean, lol. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was you that moved it, seems like the other 200 editors working on the page were still bickering about what name they were going to use even though there were statements already stating what it was going to be.
PS - nice to see you became part of the big event lol 11.43am: My colleague Laura Oliver reports that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has taken it upon himself to edit Kate Middleton's page on the site. Chaosdruid (talk) 09:16, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I had a slight leg up because most of my "ordinary" editing centers around the UK peerage, and so I already knew how our naming conventions have worked for the royals, so while other people were puzzling it out, I just wrote it in the box and waited for the words "I pronounce that they be man and wife together..." Fun stuff. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:49, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of which - if Wedding dress of Kate Middleton does make it to DYK, what do you think the rollover text be on the piccie of the two of 'em on the balcony? I thought, probably, "The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge" would be OK - or is "HRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge" valid? without getting too unwieldy, I mean. "Will&Kate" or "Mr & Mrs Louis" would be fun, but I know there's no chance of that!  Chzz  ►  11:32, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Your wish has been granted Jimbo. Check out Wedding dress of Lady Diana Spencer, Wedding dress of Princess Elizabeth, Wedding dress of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Coronation gown of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon , Coronation gown of Elizabeth II! Sometimes it takes a lousy AFD to make things happen. Its not an obvious topic one would think of but given the sources in books seems to meet requirements... I'll aim to get all these beyond stub status and DYK them on the front page, that should do the trick.... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 11:37, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo, on the subject of UK Peerages, I'd like to see your comments (if any) on this: [6]. I thought about being bold and removing the entirely non-notable younger sons of Dukes from the list, per WP:N, WP:CRYSTALBALL (in case anyone argues that they might become Dukes), and WP:THISISTHE21STCENTURYWHYSHOULDWECARE but since you seem to find the subject of interest, perhaps you have a different view? AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:56, 30 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree with WP:THISISTHE21STCENTURYWHYSHOULDWECARE as a reason for anything, nor do I think that WP:CRYSTALBALL applies. I also don't think that WP:N has much to say on this point. However, I think the section should be deleted unless it can be sourced with reliable sources. Such lists are often used by jokesters and worse seeking to give themselves a nice title.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:55, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Even 1863 has sources and pictures!!.♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:27, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

This has nothing to do with royalty, but IMO the dress worn by Marilyn Monroe when she sang "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" *must* have had enough sources written about it to be worthy of an article. But then, what would I know? :-) Graham87 03:50, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Non-royal iconic dresses providing they have extensive coverage are notable. I've made a start on Wedding dress of Grace Kelly and Wedding dress of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Her pink dress worn on Nov 22 1963 is also said to be "iconic". I am pretty sure Liz Hurley's dress from 1994 or whenever it was has enough coverage to make it notable, it was talk about by the media for ages and is always referred to as "that dress". If Marilyn's dress has major coverage then why not. I think maybe Jimbo was getting carried away with 100 stubs about wedding dresses, but certainly if we can have almost 100 Linux stubs we can have 10 articles on the most notable wedding dresses and certainly 100 articles on individual garments from dresses and costumes to medieval armory. Dresses and feminine topics are not my thing of course, but I accept that for wikipedia to be a truly comprehensive source with some effort made against systematic bias then we need to cover these topics as notable fashion articles. But its not just wedding dresses, it things like individual medeival garments or whatever which were worn and have coverage in museums and books, from country to country. Its a poorly developed part of wikipedia for the reasons as Jimmy says, the site is dominated by male geeks who are not interested in writing about fashion and clothing of any shape or form. Somebody made a joke about having an article on Neil Armstrong's space suit, but if it is well covered in books why not. It was certainly used on a monumental occasion! A quick search though seems to indicate it is not covered..... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:28, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

There you go. Pink Chanel suit of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis is proof you can make a pink dress encyclopedic. I was not convinced but I managed to do a decent job on it. When do I get my wiki knighthood? ♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:10, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Mensch5.png The Barnstar of Integrity
I think your intention's regarding this move, and the implications of this barnstar, significantly coincide. And I'm just enough of a geek to give it to you. My76Strat (talk) 04:04, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Deletion review for User talk:David Tombe

An editor has asked for a deletion review of User talk:David Tombe. Because you closed the deletion discussion for this page, speedily deleted it, or otherwise were interested in the page, you might want to participate in the deletion review. DuncanHill (talk) 23:23, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Please link. I'm worried by this. Hengist Pod (talk) 23:42, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Deletion review#User talk:David Tombe. DuncanHill (talk) 23:45, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Editors editing India articles: assertive? Follow WP policies? Here, take this indefinte topic ban!

Jimmy, I've been topic banned indefinitely from Wikipedia from editing India related articles. Since more than 90% of the articles I've edited fall in that category, it means that I am pretty much banned from Wikipedia for good. I am unaware of the precise reason for my ban but it stems from a report I made at AN/I about what I thought was gaming the system on part of some users who wanted to use the ambiguous term "South Asia" for India at List of Indian inventions and discoveries. Majority of the editors who formed "consensus" for my ban were editors with whom I've had content disputes and I do not consider them to be uninvolved. Since no precise reason was ever cited for my ban I am left guessing that it was perhaps my raising three RFC/As, one about Churchill's racist view towards Hindus ("I hate Hindus, they are a beastly people with a beastly religion") and another one about the use of templates when the same content is repeated (Presidencies and provinces of British India and British Raj). Or perhaps the ban has to do with my pointing out systemic bias at the Ganges/Ganga article by creating a table showing that zero editors from India prefer Ganges and all of them prefer Ganga, where as most editors from the West prefer Ganges over Ganga. Or perhaps the ban was handed out because I proposed the creation of a separate new project to address the various nomenclature issues about Indian names. Or perhaps it was because I pointed out problems of systemic bias and racist views when people were talking about distributing CDs of Wikipedia articles to Indian children. Strangely I received no responses to the solutions I proposed for this and I was banned before I could act on a response I received at the village pump. In short I have no clue as to why I've been banned despite explaining my editing philosophy on Wikipedia which involves 1RR. The ban was handed out by a newbie admin and my efforts to have it overturned have been rejected by Arbcom. Jimmy, I come here as a last resort in part to see if the ban can be overturned and in part to confirm or get rid of the message being senthere, which is, "if you are an editor editing India related articles and are assertive, raise RFC/As (and walk away from them if they fail, as was the case with my RFC/As), use AN/I and other processes to work within the Wikipedia system then you are not now and never ever welcome here!" Zuggernaut (talk) 15:16, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Note: Zuggernaut, you are misreading the sanctions placed on you. You are banned only from Indian history articles and from the two list of Indian and South Asian articles. Other than that you are free to edit any other India articles (that's my reading anyway) and, in fact, you should do so in a constructive way if you want the other bans listed. (You are also restricted from interacting with Fowler&fowler and are on a general editing restriction/probation but those are not topic bans.) --rgpk (comment) 22:33, 1 May 2011 (UTC)
Wow, Zuggernaut still thinks it is appropriate to claim that, due to racism, Churchill chose to not send food to prevent a famine—without any acknowledgement that the year was 1943 and there was a bit of a disturbance at the time which obviously would have been the overriding factor in any decision regarding where to send resources (that's the background to the "I hate Hindus..." mentioned above). Johnuniq (talk) 02:04, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
To be honest, from my interactions with the Indian Project and Indian articles and editors, there is a lot of work needed to fix a great number of the over 82,000 articles on the Indian Projects books. Many of them are either in poor English, have multiple copyvios and plagiarism, contain lots of superfluous information, are repeated two or three times when each separate caste wants their own page on the same topic, have numerous issues with refs and notability, as well as the project not seeming to have enough members to deal with the problems nor to even work out a way of monitoring their "own" articles - admittedly this is because they have so many.
I really suggest that any Indian Project member who can put this amount of work in should perhaps be really concerned about what I am saying and divert their attention from article creation and favourite topic editing to housekeeping for the project as a whole and those 82,000 articles. Even if the problems can be said to only be 15% that is still over 12,000 articles that need looking at and fixing. Chaosdruid (talk) 12:29, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
I've promoted three India related articles to GA level, one on Hindu philosophy (Upanishads), another on caste (Deshastha Brahmin) and a third one on Indo-British history (Third Anglo-Maratha War). That's a pretty broad range (and not just my favorite topics or "my own articles") which covers the topics of philosophy, caste/relgion, and colonialism and ranges from Bronze age to present day. I have not created any articles but for each article I've worked on in depth, I've created numerous simple and complex templates.
Editors like User:MatthewVanitas, User:Shreevatsa and I have frequently worked collaboratively via the WT:IN to address some of the problems you point out, the article on the Maratha caste is an example. However, as I've said on the India noticeboard before, people need to stop removing content they think is "superfluous" or in poor English under the edit summary "cleanup" or something similar. Adding a {{fact}} tag and giving it ample time is good enough for content that has no sources.
The root cause of the problems with India articles is not the disproportionate ratio between the number of articles and editors but the over-zealous admins in this area who are either scaring off, blocking or banning potentially positive contributors because they either do not want to work hard to examine the underlying subject matter or are just mouse-click-happy.
  • Many of the drive-by and IP editors in this area can easily be converted from being "vandals" to good, long-term and positive editors by simply pointing out the way Wikipedia works (they might have to try 2 or 3 times but it is still a victory if we can convert even a small percentage of these editors). However none of the admins (in India related topics) are willing to work hard on that. They choose the easy path - blocking and banning.
  • When they revert, issue warnings, they are neither meticulous in examining edits nor do they AGF. The failure of AGF is colossal. In my first encounter with SpacemanSpiff from back in August 2010, the admin undid my change without checking my sources and defaulted to an assumption of bad faith. I had no interaction with him prior to this and I wondered why I received this sort of treatment. The admin then posted a warning on my page about sources and original research both of which had zero credibility as the same diff and my sub-page shows. The admin then calls my content "crap" in the middle of an unrelated discussion on sock-puppetry. In sticking around and continuing editing, I was an exception to the norm because most India editors will give up and move on when they encounter such behavior. Sadly this is a pattern with SpacemanSpiff as he issued similar warnings to Yogesh Khandke. SpacemanSpiff has never forgotten that first incident and gone after me since then. He is the one who proposed this current topic ban against me.
  • Unless there is a better process to appoint (and remove admins) in this area, the project will continue to have problems.
  • There are very few true and real vandals and though SpacemanSpiff may have helped fight some of them, he has damaged the project on the whole. Unless he and other admins like him go, I do not see an improvement here. Zuggernaut (talk) 05:09, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Massive reader interest at MoMK

While still trying to identify a broad range of reliable sources for MoMK, the pageviews of the article soared to 18,387 in the Sunday (May 1) stats [7], but I found no related news yet to explain such massive readership (views of AK also rose 2.5x higher). A daily rank near "18,400" equates to the 70th most-read article that day, equivalent to U.S. singers "Beyoncé Knowles" and "Taylor Swift" during 2010, or combining the redirects would rank near "Doctor Who" of 2010. The DNA hearings are expected circa May 21. Meanwhile, another troublesome user has vowed to quit. Things to ponder. -Wikid77 00:02, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

'Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy' debuted in Canada Sunday May 1 at 6pm ET. The interest is no doubt from this. The movie is error filled and is misinforming the viewers. Both Knox and Sollectito are suing Lifetime and I hope they win. It should have never been produced until the appeal is over and the huge number of mistakes is unforgivable. Is this controversy in the artilce btw? Issymo (talk) 22:19, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, pageviews of that film also rose ~2.5x higher. See film talk-page: Talk:Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy, but I think more explanation of film discrepancies, from sources, could be added into that film article. Meanwhile, the film is sending thousands of readers to WP, making work on these articles more valuable. -Wikid77 23:27, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

GOCE drive newsletter

Writing Magnifying.PNG

The Guild of Copy Editors – May 2011 Backlog Elimination Drive

The Guild of Copy Editors invite you to participate in the May 2011 Backlog Elimination Drive, a month-long effort to reduce the backlog of articles that require copy-editing. The drive began on May 1 at 00:00 (UTC) and will end on May 31 at 23:59 (UTC). The goals of this backlog elimination drive are to eliminate as many articles as possible from the 2009 backlog and to reduce the overall backlog by 15%. ! NEW ! In an effort to encourage the final elimination of all 2009 articles, we will be tracking them on the leaderboard for this drive.

Awards and barnstars
A range of barnstars will be awarded to active participants. Some are exclusive to GOCE drives. More information on awards can be found on the main drive page.

We look forward to meeting you on the drive! Your GOCE coordinators: SMasters, Diannaa, Tea with toast, Chaosdruid, and Torchiest

You are receiving a copy of this newsletter as you are a member of the Guild of Copy Editors, or have participated in one of our drives. If you do not wish to receive future newsletters, please add you name here. Sent on behalf of the Guild of Copy Editors using AWB on 07:28, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

Deletion of usertalk page

Why was User talk:David Tombe deleted? User talk pages are deleted via MfD, and even then rarely. DuncanHill (talk) 20:41, 2 May 2011 (UTC)

Very strange, usertalk page deleted 12 Mar 2011, last contribution 22 May 10, but new user account at 19 April 11. DuncanHill (talk) 20:51, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Nothing strange about it. As a part of his departure from Wikipedia, he asked that his user and user talk page be deleted, a request which I granted after consultation with ArbCom. Later, he asked for an account rename as well, and that request was granted (not by me, but I did make the request on his behalf and strongly support it). Subsequent to that, the account was created to prevent vandalistic recreation and more drama. Why are you asking?If you want, you can take it up at WP:DRV.
I think, by the way, that current policy is wrong. In general, departing users who request it should have their user talk page deleted without the drama of MfD. The Right to Vanish is seriously undermined by this silly notion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:06, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I was asking because that is what we're meant to do if we see an admin action with which we disagree, especially one which is contra policy. DuncanHill (talk) 23:12, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Right. Have fun with that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:13, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
Which means what? DuncanHill (talk) 23:16, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
It means that I hope you will have fun and enjoy yourself.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:22, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
He's right. That is what you are meant to do when you see an admin do something strange. You ask them why and then, assuming they give a good reason, you carry on with your day. --Tango (talk) 23:20, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
You are right, current policy is wrong. It says that vanishing a good reason to delete a user talk page, but that you need to go through MfD. What is there for MfD to decide? If someone wants to vanish then they want to vanish, so why would MfD ever reject the request? There have been cases in the past of people abusing the right to vanish, but MfD isn't the place to deal with that. --Tango (talk) 23:20, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree, but wanted to add - just to be clear - that this deletion was 100% consistent with policy and a very conservative and cautious view (one which I don't share) that we should delete user talk pages only rarely.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:22, 2 May 2011 (UTC)
The policy that you linked to says, Whenever there is a request to delete a user talk page, a bureaucrat should be consulted. Community consensus is that bureaucrats should delete user talk pages only where there is a compelling reason to do so—related to serious privacy concerns and the potential for real-world harm. Otherwise, user talk pages should be deleted only at MfD. - are you therefore claiming that you were acting as a 'crat?  Chzz  ►  21:12, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
See the DRV at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2011 May 2#User talk:David Tombe. Several members of ArbCom have confirmed that they were consulted prior to the deletion. As at least a few ArbCom members are bureaucrats, and ArbCom decisions would hold precedence above bureaucrats, the consultation made would seem to meet the requirements of the guideline. I can see an argument that perhaps Jimbo Wales should have had a bureaucrat made the actual deletion instead of doing it himself - but that's just a procedural technicality as the ArbCom decision existed at that point, the outcome would be the same. --- Barek (talk) - 21:38, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
Hmph. Yes, for this, the result is the same; it's just startling how often the actions of Mr. Wales are discussed in terms of "procedural technicalities", and I believe that if other admins had taken similar actions, there would have been further debate. Clarity regarding which hat Mr. Wales is wearing, would help (in future).  Chzz  ►  22:21, 3 May 2011 (UTC)
It's unlikely that anyone would have cared if it hadn't been Jimbo that deleted the page. There will always be someone that opposes his action just because it was he that did it. Frankly I'm surprised that Jimbo doesn't just discretely ask someone else to handle these kinds of things. I'm sure that there are plenty of trusted, mature admins (well, at least some) that could act responsibly and discretely on his behalf. Peacock (talk) 22:35, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

() Honestly, if Jimmy had done that (asked some other admin to do it on his behalf) then the fuss would likely had been over how he's trying to evade scrutiny by having someone else do "his dirty work". By tradition, Jimmy is the final appeal people reach for; that he ends up with those delicate matters to handle is pretty much inevitable. I'd much rather he does those things himself after consultation than try to fob it off on some unsuspecting admin — especially since he intervenes directly so rarely in the first place. — Coren (talk) 23:08, 3 May 2011 (UTC)

In my mind, this is a situation similar to asking for oversight at ANI. It just calls undue attention to something that should be handled less publicly. Consensus is that it's better to contact oversight by email. And despite the lack of transparency, it's better for everyone involved for it to be handled discretely that way. If Jimbo had requested someone else to look into deleting this user talk page, the user's right to vanish wouldn't have been compromised by it being exposed in high visibility places such as Jimbo's talk page, at DRV, and elsewhere. Peacock (talk) 12:59, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
I find it difficult to disagree with you, but I also am mindful of the questions raised above about transparency - this was a transparent way of doing it, whereas asking someone else to do it might not have been so clear.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:21, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
It's a fine line to walk, I suppose. And I'm sure you'll get criticized either way.  :) Peacock (talk) 23:46, 4 May 2011 (UTC)
The fine line is audacity, and the attribute belongs to those who suggest, in the name of transparency, that they should have access and say. Transparency is ascribed in the record; That high level consideration had been given! In the absence of a victim, wronged by the process; Where is the reason for inquiry? Jimbo, you're a stand up guy. Stand tall! My76Strat (talk) 00:01, 5 May 2011 (UTC)

A forum on wiki

Hi, I think you should create a forum on Wikipedia or another WikiProject. Since the users can't post their own thoughts on talk pages, they could post them to the forum. Waiting for your answer. + Emroski (my wall) (what I did) + 17:32, 4 May 2011 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) We have multiple IRC channels for discussion of Wikipedia already; other forums exist, for what they are worth. Here, we also have individual article Talk pages, and more general pages such as the Village Pump, and pages for issues that Admins need to know about. Apart from that, is there anything that isn't covered by those? Hengist Pod (talk) 00:13, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Don't we post messages only about the development of Wikipedia on the village pump? I mean, our thoughts and what we feel about an event, a famous person, etc. + Emroski (my wall) + 12:16, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
No, that is not the purpose of Wikipedia. We are not LiveJournal or MySpace, we are a reference project. If you want to blog, get a blog account or join Facebook. --Orange Mike | Talk 13:25, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
Then I think it should be opened as WikiForum name or something else. I know Wikipedia is not a social forum. + Emroski (my wall) + 13:12, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Why Wikipedia and Arbcom can utterly ruin your life.

Not sure anything is being asked of me, nor sure how I can help
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Do a Google Search for my username. It's my real name.

First page that comes up, if you're in the UK, anyway - which I am, is a WikiSynergy page,

It's an attack site. And what does it use to attack me?

Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Matthew_Hoffman - an ArbCom case which the ArbCom themselves, years later, admitted was false, should never have been taken, and involved Charles Matthews, then an arbitrator, abusing his powers to attack someone who accidentally disrespected him.

The case was about a block that had happened three months earlier which Charles Matthews asked me to undo, giving no reason, while I was about to head into exams. I offered to hand off to ANI. However, Charles Matthews was upset that I didn't just undo a block that I did not remember because it was several months previous, and didn't have time to investigate as I was in the run in to exams. This wasn't good enough for him, so he decided to vindictively go for my head - and this after the user in question had been unblocked.

The blocked user was undeniably a single-purpose account, and an ANI thread had reviewed an accepted the block and presumption of sockpuppetry, and an independent admin had reviewed it, and declined to unblock before Charles came around.

Calling it a "test case", he called, for my head, and before I had even given my evidence, UninvitedCompany had, at the request of his fellow-arbitrator, written a proposed decision calling for me to be desysoped, and many pother things. Because, you know, rushing to judgement before the defendant has had a chance to defend himself clearly shows this isn't a kangaroo court.

Charles Matthews went mad, attacking many respected admins. Quotes from him:

  • "At best User:Moreschi regards policy as an inconvenience for admins. And User:Jehochman here is a meddling hypocrite, at best. On a later occasion User:Adam Cuerden validated a controversial block of User:Jehochman's."
  • "I cannot see how it is acceptable to summarise a user in the block log, which is an indelible record, as a "vandalism-only account", when it is no such thing."

Oh, really, Charles Matthews? And yet, four years later, noone can see that block log, but your attack page is the first ranking in Google. Further, knowing that this was a possibility, I was forced to fight this case through my exams, since I'm the only person of my name in the world. This resulted in me having to drop out of university.

Oh, and late in the case, they admitted that no other dispute resolution had occurred. So they opened an RfC. The RfC came out strongly against a desysop. UninvitedCompany stated that the community were simply "circl[ing] wagons" and thus could be ignored.

Meanwhile, Arbcom circled wagons around Charles Matthews.

Charles Matthews never received any negative consequences from this case, except for losing his next election in a landslide of anger at him. As mentioned before, the next arbcom reviewed, and declared the case was a farce.

The Arbcom has now accepted that the case was a mistake from start to finish. But they refuse to make any meaningful amends. The top-ranked page in my name is an attack page based on their ethical failures. They could issue a statement, attempt to edit the attack wiki, discuss the problem with others, or many other options. They will do none of those.

Wikipedia has ruined my life.

Adam Cuerden (talk) 00:13, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

comment - user has posted this content at multiple locations and seems sadly quite upset and has also added retired templates to his userpage. At this location there are a couple of replies from Arbitrators - Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Why_Wikipedia_and_Arbcom_can_utterly_ruin_your_life. - Off2riorob (talk) 01:22, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

It's too bad we can't organize a DDoS attack on the WikiSynergy page. SilverserenC 01:26, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Do we know if that site/the people who are contributing to that page are, like Adam, in the UK? There was a programme on BBC Radio 5 live about cyberstalking and online harassment and how UK police are clamping down, so Adam might have some offline recourse. StrPby (talk) 02:09, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
More discussion on this. Cla68 (talk) 05:28, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

A Little Help

At Talk:2010–2011 Ivorian crisis, a merge discussion has been going since early April. No one has merged the articles yet due to the large consensus in favor merging. So, can you merge these articles? B-Machine (talk) 15:05, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

This is not something to request here - someone who is experienced in the content there can WP:BEBOLD - Go for it - and merge anything that is not duplicated or move the sections that required moving over and then redirect the merged article. It looks like a quite complicated merge that will require a bit of understanding of the topic - I suggest you ask the merge nominator to do it or any experienced contributor there. Off2riorob (talk) 16:32, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
If you know of any, give me some names. B-Machine (talk) 16:53, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Well - its not actually clear what the WP:consensus is there - discussions can take time here - you need to ask there on the article talkpage. Regards. Off2riorob (talk) 23:12, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I have to agree with Off2riorob. Doing a merge requires sensitivity to a wide range of concerns that gave rise to consensus (or near-consensus?) for a merge. That means having some understanding of the content, which in this case I don't have.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:29, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Are we talking about the discussion at Talk:2010–2011 Ivorian crisis#Clarified requested move / merger proposal? If so, there certainly isn't anything like a consensus. 6 editors favored a merge, six opposed it. That is a perfectly even split, not a "large consensus in favor merging" (sic). You've been had, I'm afraid. Prioryman (talk) 20:05, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

BLP and talk page discussions

I'm curious what you think of statements/discussions like this. (I'm not involved in any of that.) Tijfo098 (talk) 06:59, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

The remark she made, "I would also strongly suggest that this Mitchell pov-warrior withdraw his "borderline racist" charge. "British" is not a race - it is an institution with a history of genocide, not least in Ireland. Sarah777 (talk) 06:55, 10 May 2011 (UTC)" is clearly not racist. It's badly written, as it seems to say that "British" is an institution - which makes no sense. "British" is an adjective, for one thing. Even if we interpret it as "The British" - it still makes no sense, since "The British is an institution" or "The British are an institution" aren't really what was meant. What she meant here is *Britain* I suppose.
In any event, even when a user makes a blatantly racist remark and gets blocked for it (and I strongly support such blocks), it is better for admins to be temperate in wording and not draw that conclusion directly, as it just leads to hurt feelings and more fighting. I would stick to wording like "behavior inappropriate to the standards of Wikipedia" with a link to the precise diff that will make it obvious to anyone reviewing the situation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:35, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Err... ANI is surely fast moving. I was referring (and linking) to the "Mindbunny making attacks" section which is about various (not so nice) comments made on talk pages/noticeboards here about some public figures. Tijfo098 (talk) 08:55, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
WP seems to be turning into an avenue of political legislation. I fail to see the relevance of oter avenues in determining WP policy.
Furthermore, per WP:Consensus people (admins) start vote-counting to get their version sanction as at ITN. Where admins increasingly go by "power corrups and absolute power corrupts absolutely" to take it on themselves to determine what is right adn proper rather than consensus in threatening warning on blocks.(Lihaas (talk) 12:13, 12 May 2011 (UTC)).

Revisiting the reform of RfA

Dear Jimbo, a while ago you raised the matter of how the RfA process fails to serve the project well now days. A current RfA reconfirmation presents an interesting scenario in this respect. Many participants acknowledge significant and continual problems in the applicant's handling of adminship, particularly WP:INVOLVED, and the applicant has thus far given a less robust commitment to do better on the CoI thing than some participants were hoping for. On the other hand, a lot of people (including me) admire the editor's bravery in voluntarily submitting himself to this trauma; but it's concerning that this appears to have swayed many towards support. An alternative explanation is that there is an undercurrent in the community for softening the WP:INVOLVED policy, or at least not applying it strictly. It's unclear to me.

I quaver at singling out one RfA: it doesn't seem fair since the applicant has already exposed himself enough and is regarded as having some strong features as an admin. So this is intended as a systemic, not a personal example of how "the big deal" you explicitly did not want may have evolved into a very distorting factor. Ideally, I think it should be a badge of honour to be an ex-admin, or to have an official break from admin duties. The trauma of the process infects so many aspects of the admin system.

I don't expect you to respond publicly; this message is just to remind you that a lot of editors were keen to listen when you talked about reforming RfA a few months ago. Tony (talk) 16:55, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

I hear you. I'm basically at a loss as to what the right solution is. When I last explored this, and people sent me ideas, and I bounced ideas off of people, nothing emerged as obvious. Some themes that do seem to make some sense would be a different route to adminship that would be open to editors generally known to be good editors, with elevation to adminship being "probationary" for some period of time, and with a mandatory recall process - so that if it goes wrong, the community can correct it. But each of those elements is subject to a myriad of valid and not-so-valid objections. What does "generally known to be good editors" mean? By what rule or process is that determined? What does "probationary" mean - what does someone have to do to fail the test, and again, who decides? And finally, are there examples of good and functional admin recall processes that don't just involve the same drama that we are seeking to avoid in the first place? I support reform and I'm willing to throw my weight behind some reforms - but we need to make sure we do this with wisdom.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:09, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Just to help you think out of the box, here is an idea that I first had when Giano once again complained about misbehaving admins: Let's accept the reality that WP:Wikipedia is an MMORPG. MMORPGs don't have admins, but the have a magic system. Here it could work as follows (plagiarising myself from User talk:Giano II/archive 14#Credo accounts): Every user is in principle able to cast spells such as "block", "unblock", "delete" etc. However, a spell costs mana, which you can obtain through content building and some other forms of constructive work. You get a tiny little bit of mana for every edit in article space that isn't a revert. Any such edits in the month before an article becomes a GA are worth more mana points, and even more if the article becomes an FA. The mana required to block a user depends on the user's mana. You can block whoever you want, and you can unblock whoever you want, even yourself. Hans Adler 17:39, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
How many FAs are required to block Jimbo? This is a great way to encourage top content contributors!  :) --Wehwalt (talk) 17:53, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Linking adminship to content contributions, as one potential avenue to (probationary) adminship, is a good idea. Admins should ideally know how to build quality content. --JN466 19:07, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Thats makes the rather flawed assumption that the FA process doesn't have it's own dissfunctions. Oh and we are are still clearing up the mess from the last GA meltdown. Rasing the stakes in those areas=trouble.©Geni 19:11, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Should I have put a smiley face in there? I do not support the proposal and was merely joking.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:17, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
The entire proposal was a joke, of course. But the idea was inspired by my positive experience with sites such as Reddit and, which are automating the reputation stuff that we are doing by hand. Hans Adler 19:23, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
You know, anything can be considered an MMORPG. Take professional basketball for instance. Players earn EXP by scoring points, GOLD by making money, charm for media publicity, etc. In fact, one could also consider that life is an MMORPG. There's not much a difference. –MuZemike 15:12, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually according to the Uncyclopedia, Wikipedia is a MMORPG. As for the RFA special attention should be placed on ensuring that RFAs are cclosed on the their respected close dates. Over the recent RFAs, two (2) RFAs have been closed past their due dates, which could play a determining factor in the results of the RFA.Captain Marshalls (talk) 06:21, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Jimmy, it is again clear from your comment that you continue to give this crucial matter your focused attention, for which I thank you. As you are most likely aware, a mandatory admin recall process at WP:CDA was !voted down last year (with the admin vote against it being the deciding component [8]) and it is my view that entrenched admin resistance to reform is the biggest single hurdle concerned Wikipedians face. I continue to feel that not only is Rfa broken across the board, but that the community process available to fix the problem is broken as well. We are stuck, and need a serious shakeup which may well require "adult supervision" - a binding edict from the highest levels of Wikipedia and the WMF. The current reconfirmation Rfa mentioned by original poster is a good case study of the faultline. Thanks again for staying focused on this issue; wisdom is indeed called for. Jusdafax 19:31, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
    Zee highest levels of the WMF make cross project rulings and I can't see say the italian wikipedia reacting too well to being randomly what to do about their adminship process.©Geni 19:57, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Much about the admin process is broken. It is a volunteer system where everyone does their best. But since it is often the domain of the young, being a Wikipedia admin is quite an accomplishment for some where retaining the privilege is more important than doing some good with their powers. Accordingly, many are reticent to step in and stomp on editors who have a long pattern of disruption because there is no single act worthy of more than a 24-hour block. Admins also have their peer group with whom they backchannel and—what with the seeming great accomplishment of just becoming an admin—many are reluctant to run afoult with the good ol’ boys’ club. It takes an uncommon amount of independence, self assurance, and immunity to social pressure to just Do the Right Thing®™©.

However, admins are granted their responsibilities, privileges, and powers by the regular wikipedian community and they are continually beholden to serve the interests of that community. With regard to reconfirmations, there has been a natural concern from the admin community that if a robust reconfirmation process were to take root, good and proper actions such as stomping disruptive editors who have a cabal of followers, or actions such as blocking an I.P. who continually writes stuff like “ROBERT POOD HIS SHORTS IN GYM CLAAAAAASS" will result in the admin being ‘voted off the island’. This sort of concern has been raised on numerous occasions. I personally find that mentality to be utterly offensive because it is the argument used by despots: “The electorate is too ignorant to be trusted to understand the challenges I face and do the right thing as I lead my country.” It is a notion I utterly reject as it violates a fundamental value I hold dear: Leaders shall govern only with the consent of the governed.

I propose that the simple solution is to Just do it; to put into place reconfirmations for all admins each year. A year may seem short, but it is an eternity in Wikipedia time. But, I further suggest that the criteria for pass/fail be kept flexible at the outset so that the proper and desired outcome generally occurs during the reconfirmations. To address the legitimate concerns from the admin community, you, Jimbo, could exploit your leadership role by serving as a respected adviser where you look at the total record of a given editor and assess whether or not the record shows an general pattern of useful and consistent service to the community. Then you would look at the RfA results and propose !voting threshold criteria for properly gauging a consensus so the process typically results in the desired outcome (retaining good admins and jettisoning the bad ones). For instance, if a number of good admins came up for reconfirmation but there is something about the whole RfA reconfirmation process where an inordinate number of editors who have only been active for less than one month comprise a preponderance of “oppose” votes, then you could lead the way with a proposal on how to craft RfA reconfirmation criteria that accommodates this circumstance unique to RfA reconfirmations. I propose that your basic objective would be to scrutinize a handful of RfA reconfirmations of admins who are well regarded and a handful who are not. I should think it would not be a difficult task to craft some decent RfA reconfirmation guidelines to start with; they can always be further tweaked to improve them. Greg L (talk) 20:23, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Errr you are aware that admins as a group tend to be very experenced users right? Thats not the best group to try and sell the jimbo in the leadership position to. We've only just cleaned up the pending changes mess for zeuses sake.©Geni 21:14, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
  • You are confused about what I am supposedly confused about, Geni. I am perfectly aware that Admins are very experienced wikipedians. In the grand scheme of things (speaking as someone who has hard-earned gray whiskers) admins, as a class, tend also to be shear youngsters where becoming an admin is a great and wonderful accomplishment such that many fear to be bold for fear of being ostracized by his or her admin peers. But four years of experience as a wikipedian (age 14 to 18) does not necessarily equate to great wisdom, does it? The whole process of slowly earning one’s admin stripes as of late on the English-language version of Wikipedia tends to reward politically correct sloganism more than anything else.

    As for Jimbo selling himself into a leadership position with the admins, that wasn’t on my mind at all. Jimbo doesn’t need to inure himself with admins nor does he need to curry favor with admins for a successful reconfirmation process to be instituted. All processes on Wikipedia are decided by the community, which is—for the most part—comprised of regular rank & file wikipedians, not admins.

    The community does not need buy-in from the admin community to institute change in our processes. If I am incorrect about that point of fact, please provide a link to the relevant page on Wikipedia policy. However, arriving at a workable and good reconfirmation process can be helped along if admins get the right attitude, stop circling the wagons, and start behaving as if they recognize that they continue to be beholden to the community that granted them their powers in the first place. The English-language version of Wikipedia can easily and quite quickly get into line with the practices of the other-language versions of Wikipedia and it’s about time the admins acted as if they are part of the inevitable solution. Greg L (talk) 22:06, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

Trying to do anything without the buy-in of a group of 764 experienced editors isn't practical.©Geni 22:32, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, that much hasn’t gone unnoticed. Impressive. Greg L (talk) 01:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Just an observation. We have a monarch (of limited and ambiguous powers) and a House of Lords (admins). But we don't (yet) have a House of Commons. At their best, the Lords are experienced, thoughtful, wise, and taking a long view. At their worst, they are humans like anyone, defensive of turf, etc. Lords are seldom in favor of Lords reform. I'm making no proposals, merely pointing out a useful analogy.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:15, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The Commons analogy is indeed interesting, and you would seem to me to be going in a direction you mentioned earlier, with a class of "admin lite", for lack of a better term, who would not be subject to Rfa, but some other process of nomination, confirmation and de-adminship. Enacting this overall process into place through existing Wiki-mechanisms would be a fascinating circus, and there's the rub. Having studied the process of adminship, very much from the outside, I am still of the opinion that in times of stress - meaning, the wide gulf between admins-for-life and non-admins and the broken Rfa spectrum - the benevolent monarch should reserve the right to rule by decree. Let the 'Lords' (not all, but some) howl; something's gotta give. That's how I see it, anyway. Jusdafax 08:48, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
That's true. We have a slightly cobbled monarch. And then there is, well its not so much a "House of Lords", more like a band of opportunistic robber barons, focused on protecting their considerable privileges. These are often children, and children or not, they were selected when they were admin wantabees on the efforts they made to delete articles, thwart vandals, add categories, put the wind up spamsters, and most particularly grease current admins by following them around and supporting their every move. They were selected for focusing on fringe activities in Wikipedia. Then there are, I apologise for bringing up this indelicate matter, the great unwashed and inconvenient serfs. And amongst the serfs are the content editors who provide most of the real content in Wikipedia. The longer these content editors contribute, and the more creative and valuable their contributions, the more they are liable to be punished (blocked etc) by marauding administrators. This is the slow descent into hell that is the all too common experience that Wikipedia offers its best content editors. The administrators are elevated to a somewhat godlike status where they endure for life, a form of immortality. They can rarely be removed, and then usually only if they offend other administrators. It doesn't really matter what they do to the content editors, and often the more savage they are, the more other administrators and admin wantabees circle to protect them. --Epipelagic (talk) 10:52, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I think one of the major reasons that admins are opposed to a reconfirmation process, is that they know that no matter how good they are, they are going to be unfairly mischaracterized with these kinds of childish generalizations. Peacock (talk) 13:25, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
While I support the idea of regular reconfirmation, I think 1 year is far too short. Everyone (mostly) has lives outside of Wikipedia, and an RFA -- especially a contentious one -- does tend to dominate your time for a week, if you care at all what other people are saying about you. I'd suggest approximately two years, with some flexibility in the dates so your timing two years ago doesn't ruin your vacation this year.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 13:13, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I think routine reconfirmation AfDs are really a bad idea. :/ There are a couple of fabulous users I'd like to see become admins who are dead set against it because they rightly do not want to subject themselves to the gauntlet. Making it an annual or biennial gauntlet is going to make that hurdle seem even more daunting. I know mine is just one more opinion in a sea of many, but I think what we really need is an effective and efficient way to deal with admin error and admin abuse--by offering appropriate guidance or sanctions. Current community processes for this do not seem to be either. Everything is fraught with drama; users who do not enjoy that kind of thing are more likely to leave Wikipedia than to face the uphill battle of getting others to support them in dealing with admin issues. A lighter weight process of evaluating when admin complaints are (a) frivolous, (b) legitimate, but correctible by discreet, diplomatic instruction, or (c) legitimate and potentially requiring more authorative intervention might help. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:36, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

My problem as an administrator with any reconfirmation process is that knowing you'll have a less chance of passing RFA a second time is a turn-off running for the first time. In the time that you gain adminship, especially on a shaky RFA, you do sometimes make enemies and there is more to scrutinize you with. It seems like, having to face RFA every X made years will make the Y (amount of administrators) fall anyway because no one will want to run in the first place. I know I personally wouldn't pass a reconfirmation anyway due to my mental background and honest lack of any work the last several months due to college, which ends tomorrow afternoon until September for me. Any real RFA reforms is going to have to come in the process itself, including the feeling that its like a confirmation hearing for a SCOTUS justice. That feeling you get at RFA is that people are grating you left and right for what will you do in situations becomes rather problematic. I think the less heinous atmosphere at RFA might actually improve the RFA nominations per month and year. Reconfirmation personally is a turn away for more than it speaks for.Mitch32(Can someone turn on the damn air conditioning?) 13:41, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Admins are generally very against this RfA term idea, an example of the Lords not being in favour of Lords reform? There is a paper that analysed the effect of 1-year terms on admins at (link) and the long and short of it was, unsurprisingly, admins work harder when seeking reconfirmation, like a pre-election politician. And part of the point is, MRG, that if every admin was having an RfA every year, they would become less of a gauntlet and more of an everyday occurrence, several per day infact. So that new applicants would rarely (if ever) be the lone RfA receiving wikiattention from any bored editors Jebus989 14:12, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
That certainly would be true if every admin was having a reconfirmation hearing every year; we've got 1,785 admins at this moment. We'd be listing them at a rate of nearly 5 a day. Is that really an efficient and effective approach? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:45, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Depends how you're measuring the vague terms efficient and effective. Would it increase admin activites? The data above implies it would. Certainly time would be spent closing RfAs, but only in contentious cases where there isn't a cut-and-dry percentage — and these are the admins that should be under scrutiny anyway. If you're saying editors' time would be wasted in participating, I agree somewhat, but we could reasonably expect the average number of !votes to decline if RfAs were going on constantly. I also agree with SoV that 2 year terms are more reasonable for this larger userbase (compared with Jebus989 14:52, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, it also rather begs the question of what behavior we want from admins. Is pressuring them to increase activity always best for the project? In terms of real world politics, I tend to think that politicians who behave a certain way in the hopes of securing reelection are not necessarily putting the attention to doing the job properly, which will sometimes anger people when done right. Too, while greater levels of participation are fabulous, we are dealing with volunteers here, and volunteerism tends to ebb and flow with interest, energy and time. To me, it seems that routine reconfirmations would siphon off time and attention from other activities by the admins up for reconfirmation as well as those who like/dislike them. And it would do nothing to address the immediate needs experienced by Editor A when Admin B is mistreating him (for up to one or two years, depending on length of reconfirmation). An efficient method would attend to those admins who do cause problems without generating unnecessary process around those who do not. An effective method would reform inappropriate admin behavior where possible and remove from adminship those who prove unable (or unwilling) to reform, with a goal of providing fair hearing to all parties. We don't want to lose or alienate any good volunteers, admin or otherwise. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:17, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

What about having editors nominate admins for reconfirmation? Has this ever been considered? For example, if X number of editors "nominate" an admin, he/she then has to be reconfirmed by an RFA. If they pass, they are safe from being nominated again for a year or two; if they don't pass, they are no longer admins. This way, there isn't any wasted time trying to reconfirm admins who are well respected by the community, and we can focus on reconfirming only those that may not have ongoing community support. Peacock (talk) 15:28, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

This exists, see WP:AOR Jebus989 15:39, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Of course adminship is a volunteer effort, so if an admin's interest ebbs then losing the tools they're not using upon the completion of their term is no big deal — the community thanks them for putting in their time. In fact set terms are a better representation of the 'ebb and flow' of interest; volunteers in the real world sign up for a set-time too, then they move on elsewhere. No alienating need be involved. By all means continue community measures to address immediate problems, that's a separate issue. By making the gain/loss of adminship more dynamic it could ultimately restore the 'nobigdeal' attitude that JW once idealised. Rather than admins acquiring special status, they can just be seen as those spending a bit of time doing the dirty work. They can then return to normal encyclopaedic editing when their term is up, or ask to continue. It's a paradigm shift from this "trial-by-fire all-important move into the upper echelons of the community", to a low-drama "sure, I'll help out at AN/I for a bit" Jebus989 15:37, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I disagree with you there: "losing the tools they're not using upon the completion of their term is no big deal". :) I am the most frequent admin at WP:CP. There are, of course, a few others who pitch in occasionally. I can think of one nearly inactive admin who pops in to help out there once a month or so. I am always happy for his help. I'd be happier for his help six or eight or twenty hours a month, but I don't denigrate what I get. A competent admin putting in two hours of work a month is two hours to the betterment of Wikipedia; if adminship is truly "no big deal", removing the ability for him to do those two hours of work makes no sense at all. We don't need to reduce the number of good admins we have; we need to increase them. Mops belong in the hands of every competent and trustworthy editor who wants to use them to help out, however often. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:49, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, to be clear, the statement you are quoting says "tools they're not using". I have no qualms with less active users doing important work. I have no "X hours per week" limit. Using the tools for two hours per week is still using the tools. Also, I by no means wish to reduce the numbers of good admins. I think you may be too entrenched in the current admin + RfA system to objectively analyse alternatives Jebus989 16:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't know; perhaps those who are invested in the idea of a reconfirmation process may not be quite objectively considering that less time-consuming methods might meet those same goals? --Moonriddengirl (talk) 16:56, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Reconfirming is only part of the issue. The key power bit is the ability to block well established editors. A relatively small number of admins could be elected on the basis of giving them that power alone, using a process similar to the the present RfA. The rest of the admin tools should be unbundled. Any suitably experienced and reliable user who requests the use of a particular tool should be given it. It would need some sort of reviewing board which decides who shouldn't get the tools, and removes them, perhaps just for a period, if they haven't been used well. Thus, any suitably experienced editor who want to block vandals can request the tool. Similarly, any suitable editor interested in deletions can request the page deletion tool. And so on. We already do this for some "admin" tools. This is a much fairer and more democratic way of allocating administration tools and privileges. Most admins don't need the full range of admin tools. It avoids the inequities of the current system, where content editors are largely shunted aside, while draconian powers to jerk content editors around are put in the hands of editors who are not competent content editors. Proposals, like the one I just made here, get no oxygen at all on Wikipedia discussion pages. Administrators and their retinues of administrator wannabees circle until the inconvenient ideas have been suffocated and the perpetrator cowed. --Epipelagic (talk) 21:05, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I think there is much merit in Epipelagic's analysis and also in Moonriddengirl's foot note above. I am not an admin. I have been around for more than 6 years and have over 170000 edits to my name but have no wish to be an admin. The idea of having an hierarchical role appals me and the thought of answering inane questions from other admins/editors appals me. But trust me with a few tools than I would find useful (and take then away if I get it wrong) and I could be much more productive. Why not have s suite of adminish tools allocated by a cabal of highly experienced editors(you may call them admins if you will) and we can all contribute at our level of competence, experience and interest. Make RfA history.  Velella  Velella Talk   23:46, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Perhaps a good way to make sure the system is indeed reformed, instead of having a lot of debates at RFCs that go nowhere, is to let editors elect a committee that will work out the fine details for a new system. To prevent deadlocks within the committee, the election candidates should form parties consisting of like minded editors. The party with the most votes wins the elections and they then form the committee. Count Iblis (talk) 22:58, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

  • I'm not so sure about the finer points here, but I think the idea of an elected committee has merit. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I’m for anything except inaction. There are far too many admins who got their sysop powers many years ago when all that was required was the Wikipedia equivalent of knowing the secret knock on the clubhouse door. The current process for desysoping is a ridiculous and impractical hurdle that overly protects admins. Since we are all volunteers and Wikipedia has to remain a fun hobby, there are clearly ways where the community can have yearly reconfirmation votes without dispiriting the good, hardworking admins we want to retain.

    The words of Geni were prophetic and shouldn’t be taken lightly: Trying to do anything without the buy-in of a group of 764 experienced editors isn't practical. To address this reality (and to acknowledge the simple reality that if just 10% of admins vote on an RfC, they can drown out the voice of the community), I suggest that if any process is to be successful, Jimbo has to be engaged throughout the process, offer suggestions intended to break logjams, and the rest of the community needs to avoid jumping his bones over “imperious behavior” or other such smackdowns. As the founder of Wikipedia, he is uniquely situated to help here. Greg L (talk) 01:59, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

  • I agree completely with Greg L. I believe that's the problem and potential solution in a nutshell. Well done! Jusdafax 02:31, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I'll reiterate what I suggested on the wikimedia site. A simple step would be a term limit like policy of two month sabbaticals every year for admins. (Staggered throughout the year, of course.) This would break cycles of interaction between an individual admin and specific users. This would give them a break. It would be impersonal, so there would be no need for comments from anybody about the admin. Gerardw (talk) 10:34, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I can really see the value where there are problems, but it does not seem to me at all a good idea to stop, say, User:Anthony Appleyard from his systematic and dedicated work at WP:RM. I agree strongly that something is needed to deal with admins who create issues and also to reduce the perception that admins are in some way superior, but I can't personally support anything that I think will actually impede getting the necessary work done on Wikipedia. (I've heard others say that, of course, there are plenty of admins on Wikipedia who could do the work, but the point is that they don't, and since they're volunteers, we can't make them. You don't put a workhorse to pasture when it is in good health and good spirits. :)) I believe that an efficient system here needs to address the problem without unduly impacting our resources (community time, well-functioning admins). We need a sensible, streamlined system of addressing admin competence issues and admin abuse. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 13:28, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I utterly reject such notions. It violates the central tenet of a worldview I hold dear: Leaders shall govern only with the consent of the governed. Your analogy: You don't put a workhorse to pasture when it is in good health and good spirits misses the mark by 180°. The issue here is ensuring all admins enjoy the continued support of the wikipedian community though periodic reconfirmation votes. And the challenge at hand is to ensure we come up with a process that best ensures only the bad ones (yes, they do exist) are “put out to pasture.” Any notion that once the community grants admin powers to an individual that it is now a lifetime appointment flies in the face of the reality that all the other-language Wikipedias have term limits. Your argument, Moonriddengirl, amounts to the supposition that the English-language admins are somehow unique among all the other-language Wikipedias in how hard they work or how unduly impacted they would be by actually continuing to be beholden to the community that grants them their privileges. They aren’t. The time has come for en.Wikipedia to get in line with the others. Greg L (talk) 14:39, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  • <blink> You utterly reject the notion that we should let people who work hard and who have created no problems continue working hard and creating no problems? Perhaps I don't understand your position. It seems you may not understand mine, as I have never said that there are not bad admins and that these do not need to be dealt with and I have certainly never argued that admins on Wikipedia should not be subject to recall if they lose the confidence of the community. Term limits are not the only way or even the most efficient way to deal with bad admins, as they will keep bad admins in place until the expiration of their term. An efficient and effective approach should permit them to be dealt with immediately. Interfering with people who are simply doing good work is process for the sake of process. We don't routinely review GAs or FAs because they may have deteriorated——if somebody notices a problem, review is initiated; if problems exist, the article is fixed or demoted. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 16:07, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Quoting you: You utterly reject the notion that we should let people who work hard and who have created no problems continue working hard and creating no problems? No. Precisely the opposite. Those who create no problems and continue to work hard should be reelected so they can continue to do so. Please don’t bother to paraphrase my position if you are going to do such a poor job of it.

    I reject the obvious implication of your position: that the community of regular rank & file wikipedians are incapable of recognizing the good admins who work hard and create no problems and are further incapable of reelecting these good admins. Of course the community can recognize good admins. And, of course the community is perfectly capable of reelecting good admins. The only admins who have anything to fear are the bad ones. Your characterizing reelections for good admins as “interference” betrays that you view being an admin as a entitlement where admins think Great Thoughts and Do Good Deeds®™© that are incomprehensible to the masses, and that admins—once they have been granted their powers by the community—no longer need be concerned whether the community has faith in them.

    It’s just too simple: if a good admin is truly good, a properly conceived reconfirmation process will ensure they get reelected. So, just pardon me all over the place for no buying into your take that reelections amounts to “interference” as admins go about their amazing and hard-to-comprehend duties. And, with regard to your process for the sake of process, if you truly think that proponents of bringing the English-language version of Wikipedia into alignment with the others are motivated by an affinity for “process”, then you need to pay more attention to what others are writing. Greg L (talk) 19:20, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

  • (edit conflict) (I am responding to your initial post; I do not have time to review your multiple-stage revisions)I find your tone oddly combative, and your grasp of my position seems to be as far from my actual stance as evidently you feel mine is of yours. The problem here is that you say, "I utterly reject such notions", but evidently do not understand my notions since, in fact, my whole notion (the one you reject) is that we should let people who work hard and who have created no problems continue working hard and creating no problems. Anything else, you are reading into what I say. I have never said or implied that the community is incapable of recognizing good admins (I can't quite grasp how you reached that conclusion, since if anything I am assuming they knew what they were doing when they passed the RfA in the first place), although I do believe that asking them to reevaluate admins with whom nobody has raised concerns is a waste of productive time. Similarly, allowing admins who are doing good work to continue doing work in no way suggests any degree of entitlement for admins or that their work is somehow "amazing and hard-to-comprehend". Wikipedia has work that needs doing: some is done by new page patrollers; some is done by vandal patrollers; some is done by content creators; some is done with admin tools. Everyone who is working hard and creating no problems should be permitted unimpeded to continue working hard and creating no problems. This is my "notion". Hopefully, that's more clear. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 19:46, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Back from a doctor's appointment, although I'm afraid I won't be around to talk about these issues much longer, as I'm going to be traveling for the rest of the week (a lifetime in wikihours). But I was thinking about this while there and wondering what I might have said that led you to conclude that I believe the community is incapable of recognizing a good admin (I presume with my statement about putting good workhorses to pasture). It dawned on me that perhaps you did not realize that the post to which I was responding is a proposal for "two month sabbaticals every year for admins" and you thought that I meant these workhorses were retired to pasture because the community does not support them any longer (and failed a reconfirmation). If so, hopefully that confusion has been addressed. While I do disagree with routine reconfirmation hearings for admins (believing that a process targeted towards admins with identified issues would a more efficient use of community resources), it is this mandatory break for 1/6th of the year to which I was referring as impeding necessary work without reason. If not, well, I guess I'll remain puzzled. :) --Moonriddengirl (talk) 21:12, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Is it actually true that other language versions of Wikipedia have limited terms for adminship? If so, I'm unconvinced that it is a good idea at all, but am willing to learn from their experiences. As far as I know, there is zero evidence to suggest that there are more problems from longterm admins than recently made admins, and that in fact, it's the recently made ones who are more likely to have or cause problems, due to inexperience. I should add that when I made the comparison to the House of Lords up above, I didn't mean it in a negative way. Wikipedia is not a democracy, nor should it be. (Though it should have democratic elements, checks and balances, etc.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:46, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

As linked above, Swedish Wikipedia has 1-year admin terms and positive effects have been noted in comparisons with sysops (admittedly the study seems to focus on productivity which is not really the issue here — link #2) Jebus989 18:39, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Although I don't personally think that we need to have time limits I do think that there are things that could be done.
  1. I think that if an admin goes AWOL for a period of time then we should, at least temporarily, remove their rights. Perfhaps 6-9 months. They can always rerequest to have them restored without the full adminship drama.
  2. Modularizing the admin rights. Obviously this is a contentious suggestion but most admins only deal with certain areas anyway (vandalism, images, etc) so only a rare few full use the full spectrum of permissions. Many have already been uncoupled. Certainly there are some that Should only be within the admin role but IMO the ability to blcok a vandal or to edit a protected template or article probably are not one of them. If an editor has accrued several of these groups and has shown evidence that they are using them wisely (built up enough mana so to speak :-)) then maybe there could be an expedited admin process and the editor doesn't have to run the full gauntlet.
Truthfully though unless someone just makes the decision that it needs to change andn institutes the change "the community" is unlikely to ever reach a consensus to change the process. --Kumioko (talk) 18:43, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Suggestion: the one thing people really dislike are admins who block established editors without good-enough reason. That's the single most problematic issue, and were it not for that, I don't think people would be complaining so much about RfA being broken. So one solution would be that admins do not have access to the block button for the first year of their adminship. It wouldn't eliminate bad blocks, but it would reduce them. It would also emphasize politically that the block button is the most harmful of the tools when used badly.
Is it technically possible to do this? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 03:55, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


  • I think one of the problems here is terminology. “Term limits” carries the connotation that a good admin can only serve for so long and then they hit the road. This is what the term means in the United States for presidential elections. That is certainly not what I am talking about, nor is it what I think many others here are contemplating. The proper term is reelections or reconfirmations. This is no different than nearly all other elected officials: whether it is a mayor of a city, member of congress, or is city councilman, if they are doing a good job then they run for reelection and win the vote to serve another term. If they suck at their job, they might as well not even bother. The only challenge is ensuring that the process we develop for gauging the community consensus for any given reconfirmation is fair. It’s high time for the English-language version of Wikipedia to catch up with the practices of the others, such as Sweden’s Wikipedia. Greg L (talk) 19:30, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I think the idea has some merit but I see 2 big problems:
  1. the English WP is far bigger than the swedish one with far more vandals and other things requiring admin attention.
  2. The admin process is a stressful and painful quest often emotionally draining for even those that pass. If we require them to re-RFA many may not do it at all and many probably won't do it more than once. The problem we have now IMO is not enough admins and I think that this would run a lot of them off. --Kumioko (talk) 19:46, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, good info, Kumioko. And valid points; en.Wikipedia is a big place and we need more, not fewer admins. I would have thought that the English-speaking world is bigger too and that would even things out. Apparently not. I think it is nevertheless safe to assume that your account is a true reflection of the facts: the English-language version of Wikipedia has a greater shortage of admins than does the Swedish version. So let’s advance forward on that premise. Let’s assume for the moment that we further can agree on the following five points:
  1. It used to be far, far easier to become an admin only a few years ago.
  2. The vast majority of admins are good, mature and bright but there are some thoroughly lousy admins on en.Wikipedia.
  3. For some of these lousy admins, it was clear that they were lousy over six months ago, yet here they are.
  4. These lousy admins who have been identified as being so over six months ago ran afoul with good, mature, and productive volunteer wikipedians on a number of occasions and these wikipedians wanted their heads.Yet these admins still haven’t been de-sysoped.
  5. The above points speak to shortcomings in the community’s ability to de-sysop them.
Do we have that much common ground to make it worthwhile exploring more common ground as to how we might better address the status quo? Greg L (talk) 22:00, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

The reconfirmation Rfa of User:SarekOfVulcan as a case study

Jimmy, you have one of the toughest positions in the world, and while the satisfactions must be considerable, the messes would seem to be many and varied, so it seems worthwhile to keep expressing appreciation and thanks for your vital initial and ongoing work with the project. If you have not already done so, may I suggest a study of Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/SarekOfVulcan 2, closed as successful in the past few hours without a "'crat chat" despite a fairly high percentage of opposes that put the Rfa at the lower end of the descretionary zone. The current discussion at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard [9] is of interest, as is Wikipedia talk:Requests for adminship/SarekOfVulcan 2.

While Sarek is to be commended on one level for submitting to reconfirmation voluntarily, it was argued by some of the over 60 opposers that his buttons, especially his block button, should not be returned to him because to do so under the circumstances would be establishing a precedent. In my view, here is a perfect and timely example of what many of us non-admins see as a system in disfunction; I would be interested in your thoughts regarding this reconfirmation Rfa and the decision. I will notify Sarek of this discussion, by the way.

I fully agree your statement that Wikipedia is not a democracy, which gives me hope for executive intervention (not in Sarek's Rfa which is closed, but in the overall situation with Rfa's and de-adminship/term limits) because what some of us experience is that Wikipedia has increasingly become a caste system where a relative few active admins "rule" with virtual impunity while resisting Rfa reform, an improved de-adminship process and admin term limit proposals. Jusdafax 01:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Do the arguments of the over 165 Supporters count for anything? Obviously to the closing crat they did, and that is a good thing, in my view.
When some of the "over 60 opposers" specifically and openly stated that they were opposing only because it was a reconfirmation RfA, should their opposes count for very much? --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:02, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Most of the 165 support votes came from administrators and administrator wannabees, much more interested in security of tenure than desopping an administrator because he makes life unpleasant for content editors. What is "a good thing" about that, unless you are an admin wannabee? This is why the current processes are irretrievably broken. The people who write Wikipedia are usually focused on trying to do just that. They are not usually hovering around drama boards and RfAs. The admin corps and their retinues have these processes entirely in their control, and are as likely to reform themselves as the military in Myanmar are likely to reform themselves. --Epipelagic (talk) 03:06, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
There were far less of these than people are making it sound like. Also, please note the amount of support voters who echoed concerns with WP:INVOLVED, and seemed to have been voting support contingent on the notion that Sarek has learned from his mistakes with overstepping that boundary, something one could easily argue he has not learned.Griswaldo (talk) 02:36, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Epipelagic, why don't you try and develop a good counterargument, rather than just resorting to calling every supporter immature or biased? Beyond being slightly offended myself, since I have absolutely no desire to be an admin here, I think that if you'd stop making up conspiracy theories and got back to what you were originally here to do - build an encyclopedia - it would work out better for all of us. Ajraddatz (Talk) 03:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That's a very strange interpretation of what I just said. --Epipelagic (talk) 03:33, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
You say that most of the supporters were either admins (suggested bias, conspirators, etc) or admin wannabees (suggested immaturity and misunderstanding of what adminship is), and I'm saying that I strongly doubt that to be true. The problem is hardly a united "admin corps", standing against all of the evil editors trying to get stuff done. Maybe I did misinterpret what you said, but I still feel that the admins aren't the problem with the RfA system... it's the people who consider adminship to be something that it really isn't - a big deal. Ajraddatz (Talk) 03:43, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Well have you read the "Good ol' boys and girls club" in the post below? And a casual scan of the remaining supporters shows a large number of admin wantabbes. I'm not making this stuff up; it is simply a matter of fact. And I'm not suggesting there is anything wrong with this either. It is perfectly natural and to be expected, and I'm certainly not suggesting anything about "immaturity and misunderstanding". All groups tend to protect their own interests. But the processes we have on Wikipedia need to be set up in such a way that there are checks and balances to counter these tendencies. It is also pretty much in the nature of things that content editors, generally as a group, tend to focus on what they came here for, which is to add content to Wikipedia. They don't usually want to get involved in background politics. That is why it is all the more important that we have procedures here to make sure content editor concerns have some voice. But we don't. I'm certainly not trying to put you down if you voted for SoV, Ajraddatz. I think SoV has many good qualities. I was close to changing my own vote, and I would have if I saw clear evidence that SoV had really acknowledged the damage many content editors feel he does to them. But he didn't. I think being a good admin is a daunting and often thankless task, and most admins do a great job. But a growing power imbalance has developed which will only get worse as the admin corps increases in size and becomes ever more entrenched. But it seems there is no place where these concerns can really be heard. Whenever I try to give voice to content editor issues, I just get patronised, and am usually told something along the lines that I should get "back to what you were originally here to do - build an encyclopedia - it would work out better for all of us". --Epipelagic (talk) 04:21, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Ah, so I'm not a content editor, huh? Guess I must have been hallucinating when I thought I created Atwater-Donnelly, Mellie Dunham, Première rhapsodie, Tom Smith (filker), Ostwald Award, Donald Keith, Mameve Medwed, El Universal Ilustrado, Dixie's BBQ, Old Stone Bank, Right Start, Weston Priory, Spa Resort Hawaiians, Robert Macoy, Rob Morris (Freemason), Marshall Dodge, Penobscot River Bridge, Salty Brine, Arthur L. Carter, Vladimir Levenshtein, Doris Allen, STARBASE, and Robert D. Richtmyer. (And yes, I know damned well that none of those -- even all put together -- match up to Winter Palace.) --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 04:32, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, of course you have added some content SoV, and that makes you a content editor as well as an admin. Many admins are among the finest and most productive content editors on Wikipedia. I could reel off a list without thinking. But there is an asymmetry with content editors who are not admin. It is this asymmetry that needs proper procedures to avoid nonadmin content editors becoming devalued on Wikipedia. From now on, should I write "content editors who are not admins" every time I want to refer to content editors? It seems untidy, and I had assumed that readers would know what was meant. --Epipelagic (talk) 04:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Bye the way, I'm seriously not here to make things difficult for admins. Quite the opposite. My focus at the moment is trying to get a little acknowledgment of the unjust and damaging path that content editors have to negotiate (content editors who are not admins, have no focus on admins, and don't want to be admins). And the more such content editors contribute, the more at risk they become. There has to be a better way. --Epipelagic (talk) 05:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

NOTE - There is yet another related discussion here - Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Good_ol.27_boys_and_girls_club.3F.Griswaldo (talk) 02:36, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

The unofficial count of admin vs. non-admin voting would seem to show a substantially higher percentage of admins supported Sarek's Rfa. So, Jimmy's 'House of Lords' analogy would seem to be confirmed; the !vote was 'swung' by admins. Jusdafax 03:02, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
In that thread Mastcell has a very good theory on the cause of that. I think its a very natural impulse that causes this kind of bias, but in the end it points to a possible problem with reconfirmation RfAs nonetheless.Griswaldo (talk) 03:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
So, would barring administrators (who BTW are also members of the community, the last I saw) from participating in RFAs be the solution? To me, that would only serve to "isolate" them more from the rest of the community. –MuZemike 15:20, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
No I do not think that is a solution at all. Of course admins are part of the community, but they are also a subgroup of that community (and of course we have several other subgroups other than admins vs. non-admins). For most community decisions I wouldn't think twice about someone's admin status, but in decisions that directly relate to that status it becomes relevant. That the group which has most to lose is able to exert this much influence on those decisions I think is a problem that is begging for an solution ... just not that drastic of a solution. As others have pointed out, the admins also have a unique perspective on these types of issues and losing that perspective would be detrimental to the process. There might be a way to weight different perspectives, or simply to make the relevant status of voters more transparent. Someone, somewhere suggested, for instance, having different sections for those voting in a reconfirmation RfA, so it is clear if someone is an admin or not.Griswaldo (talk) 15:39, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Let's elect a Government to resolve this

I've just written up Wikipedia:Government detailing my previous suggestion in this thread. This sort of system could be used to deal with problems for which the community cannot reach consensus on. Take e.g. the ongoing dispute about dashes and hypens in the MoS. This even went to ArbCom, but the case was not accepted; the community is making some progress now. ArbCom, cannot rule on content, so a better system would be to elect a committee with the specific mandate to do precisely that. Count Iblis (talk) 02:42, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

We the people of Wikipedia want to establish a government in order to...regulate the length of short horizontal lines? Jonathunder (talk) 03:23, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Gee, that sounded sorta glib. I apologize if I misread your meaning. It’s rather simple: We the regular wikipedians, who do the vast majority of the heavy lifting in editorial matters (as a class), expect that admins stop acting—after they have been granted sysop powers—as if they are somehow no longer beholden to the community that granted them their special privileges and powers in the first place. What part of “leaders shall govern only with the consent of the governed” do admins not understand?

    As a class, if admins’ contributions in edit counts were compared to the edit counts made by regular wikipedians, what would the ratio be? Less than 15%? Less, perhaps? This lopsidedness in all-matters-admin (de-sysoping, RfAs) where admins, who are socially active beyond all comprehension behind the scenes, can easily be addressed with a few rule changes. Someone please explain to me why limiting the representation of admins as a class to the relative proportion of their edits so they don’t drown out the voice of non-admins is somehow unfair in any way. Particularly in matters pertaining to how to deal with granting admins their sysop powers, revoking them, and reconfirmation votes, it is especially important to keep their representation in gauging consensus (!voting) commensurate with their contributions to the project. Greg L (talk) 03:50, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Ah the edit count. The true measure of an editor. Of the top 20 editors in terms of edit count 10 are admins (may be more we don't know if 3 of them are admins or not). You despirate attempt to devided users into editors and admins really isn't a very good description of what is going on.©Geni 08:23, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
... do you not see the inherent contradiction in your premise, Greg? Maybe admins have fewer edits because they have additional responsibilities besides editing? That's the entire point of having admins: someone who can take care of problems regular editors don't have access to. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 14:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
To the both of you: Please read again what I wrote. I did not invite someone to go run about and find who the top three editors were insofar as edit counts go. Geni’s running out to do so is the ultimate in deflecting from the point. I proposed that we identify the extent to which admins as a class contribute to the project in total edits, compare that to non-admins in terms of total edits as a class and then limit admin participation in processes where consensus is being gauged to the true proportion they represent. Why? Because it is manifestly unfair to have admins who treat Wikipedia like it is their privileged domain and are extra-socially active, who then exploit those circumstances to weigh-in in disproportionate numbers on RfAs and other such matters. They accomplish this by backchanneling; we all know that much to be true so let’s not play coy and innocent. As a result of this disproportionate circling of the wagons, Wikipedia, which is rule by consensus, can not discern a true consensus because issues are unduly influenced by those with who are expert in the “secret knocks on the clubhouse door.”

Now, if you know of a better metric than edit counts as a class, please advise. But User:The Hand That Feeds You’s argument that amounts to “We do *extra-special* things that are unmeasurable and which puts us at an exalted plane beyond comprehension” isn’t compelling.

Someone please explain to me why it is right and fair that admins, if they contribute, as a class, say—10% of the edits to Wikipedia and comprise perhaps 1% of the registered wikipedians, ought to be able to weigh in at nearly 50% on consensus-gauging processes such as RfAs and similar issues. Is it as The Hand That Feeds You alludes to: admins add so much *extra-special* value to the project that their value to the project is so unmeasurable it can’t even be approximated by edit counts? That comes across as “once granted our powers, we operate at a plane mere mortals can not comprehend”. Rejected. Those are the very same arguments that despots throughout the world, once they get into power, use to justify overturning popular votes.

Just tell me you two: Since the community grants all admins their special privileges and powers in the first place, where in the world did you get the idea that you are have a perpetual entitlement to keep the job until you decide to retire and there is no need to periodically seek the community’s approval to gauge whether they think you are performing well with your powers? What part of Leaders shall govern only with the consent of the governed do you disagree with? Right now, the admins’ arguments amount to that they can police ourselves and drown out the rest of the community’s opinion by stacking the deck in RfCs and RfAs.

I once saw an admin argue—in writing right here on en.Wikipedia—that the community can not be trusted with reconfirmation votes because an admin who blocks an editor for replacing an article’s content with ROBERT IS A FAAAAG would be ganged up on. Do admins really think the community that granted them their privileges and powers in the first place are *wise* only at that stage and somehow become immature fourth-grade morons when it comes to yearly reconfirmation votes to decide if admins are doing a good job with their powers? What do you take us for?

Yes, Wikipedia is not a democracy. But Wikipedia is ruled by consensus. And things break down when consensus is gamed by backchanneling and by pagers going off, where an elite few, once granted powers by the masses manipulate the consensus-gauging process by stacking the deck in droves far beyond their true representation on Wikipedia as measured by any objective metric (one not premised upon “We perform unmeasurable magic the masses can’t comprehend.”) Greg L (talk) 15:44, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

First, define how you come to the conclusion that admins are a "special class." I'm hearing a lot of rhetoric about "uppity" admins, but nothing to show that this is an actual, measurable, systematic problem. Judging by your flowery prose, I don't think we're going to get anything like a reasonable discussion here, so I'll let you preach on unless you can provide something of substance to debate. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 17:13, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Back towards the beginning of this discussion, Jusdafax linked back to the CDA proposal. I'd recommend that anyone unfamiliar with it go back and take a look at it. I say that because I see a lot of suggestions throughout this discussion (not this particular sub-thread, but rather the whole thing) that have been made before, and shot down (rightly or wrongly) before. I believe that it's useful to learn from past experiences, rather than re-argue old arguments.
  • But directly related to this thread, we do have a branch of government (besides Jimbo and the Lords) that hasn't been discussed here yet: ArbCom. In past discussions about how to remove admins who lose the trust of the community, the discussion always seems to take the form of some users saying that we need a better process, and then other users saying that ArbCom can do just fine at removing admins who really need to be removed, while protecting admins who are unfairly maligned for doing their jobs correctly. And the discussion dies there. So I ask: today, what do we feel about how well (or not well) ArbCom fulfills that role? Is it enough to be able to ask ArbCom to look at an admin who might be a problem? Or do we need something else? --Tryptofish (talk) 15:41, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
    • ArbCom is equivalent to the police guild investigating allegations of police misconduct. Let’s get real here; it’s only Wikipedia, which is a hobby for most contributors. It has to remain fun for people to participate. There are many disruptive editors and admins often don’t do anything about it. And they fail to do so because those who become admins have a swell time with what seems like a splendifourous life accomplishment that makes them feel exclusive and *extra-special*. Odd social motives and peer group-think arises amongst admins, which accounts for odd and inconsistent behavior out of them on occasion. This is human nature and underpins the phenomenon of social cliches and clubs throughout the world and throughout history. The time has come for yearly reconfirmation votes for all admins. Yes, the community can be trusted with reconfirmation votes; arguments that they can’t are shear nonsense. A formal discussion on how to best implement this needs to start without admins circling the wagons and coming out in disproportionate droves to shout down such discussions.

      The community just saw an admin up for an RfA that was curiously snowballed early when it looked imminent that it would slip below 70%. In that polling, the candidate received 86% support from admins but only 66% support from non-admins. Yet there are other really good admins, like this one who had 188 support votes with two opposes (one of which was a troll and the other was a sock). There is variability galore in our admins and the community needs a way of keeping the good ones and jettisoning the bowzers. Greg L (talk) 15:57, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

          • LOL -- "snowballed early"? Guess we know how seriously to take the rest of this analysis.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 17:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
            • Bravo! What a splendid display of why your RfA was so close to failing. Greg L (talk) 21:13, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
      • You know what constantly pisses me off in these discussions about admins? The assumption that admins automatically back up their fellows. When I supported Sarek's RFA the other day, I honestly had forgotten that he *was* an admin, and I supported based on my experience with him. But because I'm an admin, I obviously was "circling the wagons," right? News flash: admins all have their own brains, and generally use them independently of one another. (there, i've said it. i feel better.) Tony Fox (arf!) 16:56, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
        • Don’t take it personally. Classes of individuals are comprised of individuals; there are a variety of reasons why admins are over-represented at RfCs on admin-related business and there are a variety of motives for opining as they do. As a class, police tend to forgive skull-busting that most outsiders see as unwarranted for the crime of running a hundred feet after stealing a case of beer (don’t go too far with that analogy and take offense, now). My point is that we can’t have admins deciding if their own brethren are performing a satisfactory job for the community; that is up for the community to decide. I find the notion that once granted, being an admin is a lifetime appointment is utterly bankrupt. And I’m not alone with that sentiment. Greg L (talk) 17:10, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
          • Tony you are confusing a observable social fact--that 86% of admins supported while only 66% of non-admins did--with some supposed insinuation that you and other admins consciously voted to support only to back up a fellow admin. I highly suggest reading the comment made by User:Mastcell in the linked to discussion. The fact that admins may be more likely to vote for reconfirmation in these situations does not mean they are doing so nefariously. Not at all. It is, as Greg and others have pointed out, a natural tendency. But that doesn't mean it's a healthy one for the community as a whole. Please do read Mastcell's comment. It's right on the money.Griswaldo (talk) 17:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Admins are pretty much always more likely to vote support RFA. Why this is is an open question.©Geni 18:56, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Is ArbCom enough?

Hey, I'm nothing if not persistent, so I'll repeat the question I asked in the section above: So I ask: today, what do we feel about how well (or not well) ArbCom fulfills that role? Is it enough to be able to ask ArbCom to look at an admin who might be a problem? Or do we need something else? --Tryptofish (talk) 17:21, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi Trypto. Being someone who, to date, has never seen the need to take anyone to WP:WQA or WP:ANI, it is difficult to imagine taking a complaint about an admin straight to ArbCom, and I imagine equally difficult for most of the rest of us. ArbCom is sort of the U.S. Supreme Court in these matters, and as such does not lend itself to a complaint about an admin. ANI seems to be the standard place for such complaints, as I am sure you know, but since admins and those looking to run for admin are the majority of the commenters there, it's not the best forum for such complaints, all of which has a chilling effect. In conclusion, very few would take a complaint straight to ArbCom, and the answer to all of this was WP:CDA, which as you well know the negatory admin vote killed. At this point I find myself in agreement with often irascible Malleus Fatuorum, who said yesterday over at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats' noticeboard, regarding admins: "Get rid of the lot of them and start again would be my preferred option." It is actually now time to consider this, radical though it may seem. Jusdafax 22:16, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

An alternative - Prefects

One way to approach this is to look at what an admin can do that an ordinary editor cannot do. These include, but are not limited to, the ability to block editors, the ability to protect or unprotect pages, the ability to delete revisions, the ability to delete or undelete pages and files, the ability to rollback edits. That last ability is something that some non-admins may also be granted. I don't know whether or not it is technically possible, but one approach could be to make these separate user groups. Admins would continue to hold all administrative rights. A new user group could be created (Prefects), who would hold the right to do at least one of the administrative actions, but not all. Prefectship could be a path to adminship, with an editor gaining access to some of the tools, and by demonstrating effective use of those tools, can show their suitability for full adminship. This could be something a candidate for adminship could use as evidence for their suitability in an RFA. Consistent poor judgement in the use of a tool would mean removal of the right to use that tool - this should be something that any admin should be able to do. More editors being granted access to a tool would reduce the overall workload on admins, and over time, increase the number of admins. Mjroots (talk) 05:57, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

It's possible and it's been suggested. It won't however increase the number of admins. In practice people well end up being forced to go through requests for prefectship before going through RFA which will just reduce the number of admins further.©Geni 08:26, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

I really think all this is straying from the Original point...the Admin process needs refinement. I don't think we need to establish a Government whether that be one of a democracy, a republic or a Monarchy (long live the King...Jimmy Wales). We do however, IMO, need to discuss and reflect on what and who should get the admin bit.

As I mentioned before above and in other discussions relatively few admins use the whole tool box. Most pretty much stay in their swim lane. Using myself as an example I have an extremely high edit count (over 245K), I am active all over the place and I have almost no need for admin rights. In fact I'm not sure if having it would benefit me at all now that we have modularized many of the tools that came with adminship (rollback, file mover, etc). That is primarily why I maintain that the best thing to do would be to continue to modularize the toolset, allow users to apply for only the tools that they need and use and if someone really really wants to get the whole set as one and get the mop, the cleaning supplies and the headaches from the intense fumes that go with it, then fine. But most of us simply do not need it other than to stroke our own egos and perhaps lend some credibility to our discussions by being an administrator. --Kumioko (talk) 17:36, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

  • I'd personally be supportive of adminship being completely removed, and replaced with groups that encompass each of the three major elements of it; countervandalism, interface/development/maintenance work, and community work. Ajraddatz (Talk) 22:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I, too, look positively on the idea of unbundling various tasks. Of course, this too, has been a perennial suggestion, and in the past, one of the objections has been that everything that present-day admins do is something where, sooner or later, one needs the ability to block users. As a non-admin, I don't feel very well equipped to evaluate how valid or not valid that objection really is, although it certainly makes sense that WP:AIV, for example, seems to require blocking ability to get anything done. Can anyone provide insight into this aspect of the issue? --Tryptofish (talk) 17:58, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
A sharp distinction should be made between the right to block vandals, who are usually IPs or recent accounts, and the right to block established users, who are rarely vandals and will be blocked for other reasons. If the admin tools are unbundled (and in my view unbundling is the only way out of the current mess) then the block tool should also be unbundled into the right to block vandals (covered by the right to block IPs and recent accounts) and the right to block established users.
  • the right to block vandals shouldn't be a big deal, and should be a tool any established user can apply for if they have a suitable track record reverting vandals. It should be relatively easy to codify this, set out clear conditions under which it is appropriate to block vandals. And it would easy to have something like a review committee, which approves who receives the tool, reviews how the tool is being used, and withdraws use of the tool when appropriate.
  • the right to block established users is a big deal. A very big deal. It is gives asymmetric power to any user who holds it, and is at the core of the current dysfunction. At the moment, this right is given inappropriately to users who are not required to demonstrate that they have any track record whatsoever that might be appropriate to using this particular tool. Most admins become admins on the basis that they do background maintenance stuff. In this way, the janitors on Wikipedia are elevated to what Jimbo likened to the Lords.
The right to block established users is a special tool. Use of the other tools can be managed in a relativity simple way, using for example review boards as mentioned above. But special procedures should be in place to make sure that the right to block established users is handed out only to people who can demonstrate some suitability for this specific task. Perhaps this could be done by using a modified form of the current RfA process. And the users who possess this particular tool could still be called "administrators". Or perhaps, following the British Parliament, "whips". --Epipelagic (talk) 04:25, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
    • To Ajraddatz, yours is a fair sentiment. But would you settle for some sort of workable process (much, much simpler than the first-time-around RfA process) of re-voting for admins on a periodic basis to ensure they enjoy the confidence of the wikipedian community? Assume for the moment that the litmus test for gauging consensus as regards pass/fail is set so only true bowzers (regarded as unnecessarily combative, disruptive, etc.) are de-sysoped. The virtue of this is it requires the least change in processes. Would you agree? Greg L (talk) 23:44, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I think Epipelagic makes a very good point about differentiating between those two different kinds of blocks. In the spirit of exploring different ideas, I would add that there is a second "big deal" in what admins currently do: deleting pages and files, in cases where those deletions are controversial, or where users have worked in good faith on creating content that ends up deleted. How about making a similar differentiation with respect to deletions, with two levels of permissions for deleting content? --Tryptofish (talk) 16:07, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

The current RfA system is not anywhere near being as problematic as suggested. Being an admin is not particularly empowering, and it is frivolously easy these days to remove a "bad" admin's tools (and is done fairly regularly by ArbCom). The problematic power concentrations on Wikipedia do not lie in any official status group like "admin" or "arb", but in numerous uncontrollable social networks. What's really going on is that there are many people who have a problem with other people technically having more power than them; or some people who spoke a bit too loudly before getting the mop now being permanently excluded, foisting resentment against the institution. It's true: too many mediocre encyclopedians are powerful admin-users with too many great encyclopedians having to tolerate apparent status devaluation. Yes, it's really all about status (as most human disputes are), and yes, adminships needs to be more open to those guys; but no, admins need to do what they need to do without worrying about facing popularity contests every little while. For admins anyway, the office is certainly not important enough to be worth the process of multiple reconfirmations; in power terms, adminship is more similar to rollbackship than more senior positions. If there is any problem it is that admins, crats and arbs are selected by voting at all. This means they have to be politicians, uncontroversial socialites rather than committed expert content-editors. This is also at the heart of Wikipedia's failure to increase its respectability. And yes, random blocks are too much of a hazard for good editors these days. That needs to be fixed; there needs to be some way of narrowing the number of admins allowed to block (and thus upset and alienate) some of our most valuable editors. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:51, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

An abstract note for those who like analogies of WP with society (this is not a reply to DoP) - several Japanese prime ministers have unexpectedly resigned recently, in a row, after a brief term in office. None of them was asked to take that post - they all fought for it (yet in some countries leaders stick to their powers :). I happen to know many editors who have drastically reduced their WP activity after a successful RFA. Maybe public service is not such an easy job. Newcomers usually either shout or go away when bitten. Experienced editors and admins usually don't shout - either fight back or go away. Just an observation. Materialscientist (talk) 06:57, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

incorrect map

hi, this is incorrect map of India. please put correct one and remove this —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:30, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

What's wrong with it? Prodego talk 21:20, 12 May 2011 (UTC)


can you review an article (best overview id reckon)? Its notable to standout becayuse it is the (more than likely) the bext ever election article from a non-english speaking country and is at least a GA/A if not FA in how comprehensicve it is. Finnish parliamentary election, 2011Lihaas (talk) 21:25, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

That is a nice article. User:Brianboulton is going to 'peer review' it for you; see Wikipedia:Peer review/Finnish parliamentary election, 2011/archive1. (talk) 17:44, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Derrida and Wikipedia (reprinted from the Jacques Derrida talk page)

Jacques Derrida is among the two or three most prominent and influential philosophers of the twentieth century, and one of the most widely read. It would surely be a great thing if Wikipedia proved itself capable of producing a competent and informative article about this thinker. Unfortunately, a glance at the current state of this article is far from encouraging, and the same can be said for the related articles on deconstruction, and so on. But beyond a glance at the current state, an examination of the history of the editing of these articles makes unavoidable the conclusion that Wikipedia is almost inherently incapable of producing work on this topic of any quality. Put as simply as possible, the problem is this: wherever well-meaning and knowledgable editors have in the past attempted to intervene, to remove the nonsense that has accumulated by uninformed but often enthusiastic editors (whether well-meaning or not), this has in the end always turned out to be a fruitless effort. The insistence by those with little real knowledge that they have as much "right" to "contribute" as specialists (under the misapprehension that Wikipedia is in this sense a "democratic" project: it is not, or rather, ought not to be), and the mistaken belief by others that they are knowledgable when in fact they are anything but, has as its consequence that editors with understanding of the topic are driven away, as they conclude to themselves that it is really not worth the trouble.

This is a great pity, but an inevitable one, if the fundamental situation does not change. I myself am now one of those, something of a specialist in the area, as well as being generally well-disposed to Wikipedia, who can no longer tolerate the thought of trying to "make a difference" to this article. Having avoided even reading the article for a long time, I return to it today, and am immediately confronted by new awful paragraph upon new awful paragraph, a hodgepodge that is clearly the result of every man and his dog adding whatever tidbit of non-knowledge they mistakenly believe they have to offer. To put it as briefly as possible, the article has degenerated even further, to the point of complete incoherence. Readers will learn nothing of significance from this article.

From what I can glean, some of those at the top at Wikipedia, or behind the scenes, understand that the great difficulty this encyclopedia has attracting and retaining qualified and/or knowledgeable specialists is in fact a serious problem. It is a problem that affects some areas of knowledge more than others. In my view, this is one of the articles most ruinously affected by this problem: an article on a topic of interest to many, but that also confuses many, will inevitably be sought out by many readers, and should thus be an article that Wikipedia tries hard to do well. But for the very same reasons it will attract many readers, it also tends to attract too many of the wrong kind of editors (if I can put it like that), who tend to make too many of the wrong kind of edits. The results speak for themselves.

I myself have no solutions for Wikipedia in this regard. What is needed may be clear enough: to reform the culture of Wikipedia to the point that editors capable of writing competently and informatively about this topic have trust enough that their contributions will not only be recognised, but will also not subsequently be undermined by a slow or not so slow process of degeneration (unless they maintain an extreme vigilance against all low-grade additions, a vigilance that is likely to meet with resistance, and a resistance that is likely to result in the eventual loss of the editor from the Wikipedia project). How many potentially committed competent editors have already been lost, probably permanently? But if it is clear enough that this cultural change is needed, it is not clear how to bring about this reform: Wikipedia is clearly and irrefutably an immense success, but this only means that the problems from which it suffers are all the more glaring, to the point that it must be asked whether there is something fundamental in the very structure of the current manifestation of Wikipedia itself that prevents the encyclopedia from reaching even basic levels of competence about topics such as this. This article, and the related articles about Derrida's work, are emblematic of the difficulty of this question.

As evidence that the article has indeed degenerated, I invite editors to compare the current state of the article with the state precisely one year ago:

The state of the article a year ago was probably close to the most coherent and useful it has ever been. What has occurred since then is very unfortunate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

For others who may be curious, here is a diff between the version singled out by our correspondent here as being good, and the current version.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:49, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

There is almost an exclusivity these days between experts and Wikipedia, but I think it's too far gone to be fixed. It's at the core of what Wikipedia has become over time.
Wikipedia's whole dynamic privileges social power. In real life society we balance the fact that 99% of people don't know what they're talking about with hierarchies of expertise ("leading professors", professors, "experts" and so on). We benefit from established but flexible hierarchies the same way our stone-age hunter-gatherer ancestors benefited from appointing the most experienced deer- or boar- or mammoth-hunters to lead these respective hunting expeditions. Even animals have hierarchies of expertise for such things. Now although these are socially-orientated too, we do ensure a minimum level of expertise and that the best minds have, in general, the most say.
In Wikipedia the ideology asserts everyone equal rights and denies that hierarchy should exist (denying human nature); since humans will always form hierarchies, in reality all the ideology actually does is retard the knowledge-based hierarchies we need and allow other hierarchies to fill the vacuum. We could have an expert led 'Pedia, but we've not gone down that route. So now instead of having authority according to value to the encyclopedia, people rise in rank and power according to the size of their social networks and lack of enemies; the election system--for admins, crats, arbs, and so on--is an expression of this. Ironically for an encyclopedia, the structure promotes people who do less article editing than socializing; expert editors will usually not have the time to devote sufficient effort to making friends and creating a base of well-disposed help, and will generate enemies very quickly. This is especially the case in tough areas like history and modern political disputes, areas where they are most needed because of the attraction of cranks to such areas. Experts will always be mixing with more numerous groups of non-experts, even if you filled the place with them (an expert in one place is an ignorant amateur in most others). Sometimes the non-experts co-operate (it would be wrong to say there is absolutely no respect for expertise on Wikipedia), often they won't and tension and conflict result.
Someone like a professor takes for granted that in real life people will defer to his judgment on his subjects, but s/he will get frustrated as soon as s/he encounters a hard-headed misguided amateur (which will definitely happens if s/he tries to stick around!).
Now, at this stage you would hope s/he could fall back on our large admin community to help. But as I've already explained, the "algorithm" that creates this administrative body also ensures that it is badly suited to helping. Wikipedia admins, who mostly have no expertise in anything, tend to favour heuristics that promote social order over ones that resolve disputes in favour of the most informed and knowledgeable. The classic one is WP:EW/WP:3RR. This began as a desire to reduce conflict among editors of equal value, but it has morphed so much that today it is essentially a mechanism for reinforcing the existing number-centric disposition of Wikipedia. Any reverting is simply "wrong" while, by contrast, adding nonsense to an article is not really a big deal, and indeed is positively good if the right people turn up at the place it's being discussed.
This comes back to the badly qualified admin-class point. They are not capable, in general, of solving disputes in favour of the "right" side, but they are capable of looking at reverts and talk pages. The admin class has gravitated over time from being the guardians of good content, to a class that institutionally demean the importance of good content. This can be substantiated by comparing the enforcement of WP:3RR and WP:Civility with WP:NPOV ... the latter has become almost impossible to enforce. Besides the fact that admins are not in general capable of enforcing it, WP:INVOLVED in practice ensures that all but the most well-connected admins cannot enforce WP:NPOV without being regarded as somehow 'corrupt'. The absurdity of WP:INVOLVED is that it actually ensures that anyone with any interest in any area cannot bring superior power to solve a dispute; i.e. everyone with knowledge of an area is excluded from acting in it unless s/he actively conceals the interest.
I could go on, But the worst of it is--and this is why I'm pessimistic--actually changing the 'Pedia will be impossible because the bulk of power on Wikipedia lies in the hands of people with an interest in preventing change; it is, after all, the system that favoured them. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 16:15, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That's another good argument for the proposed policy WP:Government that I started yesterday. Count Iblis (talk) 17:29, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Precisely, Count Iblis. Government. However, Deacon of Pndapetzim raised a good point about 99% of people not knowing their butt from a hole in the ground on detailed technical matters. But from that observation, he extrapolated that the high priests serve for life unless the Vatican wants them removed. The notion that admins, once elected, can only serve until they retire is a sickening violation of the tenet that “Leaders shall govern only with the consent of the governed.” Greg L (talk) 20:47, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
I am of mixed mind on this. I understand the frustration of putting time into an article only to have to be vigilant about it to make sure that over time it doesnt get vandalized or die a death of a thousand cuts. I wont work on articles such as Mexico City, not so much because of vandalism, but simply because I dont want to spend a lot of time fighting with other editors over what should and should not be there. On the other hand, both Derrida's and Deacon of Pndapetzim's comments reek of elitism. There is a downside to this "hierarchy" of meritocracy idea... one, it creates a priviledged class (which one comment above states should be "flexible" though I guess not completely open), which would be protected against criticisms of the 95% ignorant masses. Gee, that is what we have right now in universities, and a lot of academic production, especially in the humanities, is self-serving crap with tenuous connection to the real world. I dont think that a protected class of editors is the answer, but I do think that a protected class of articles is. The problem mostly exists with controversial articles and those which are will known and everyone wants to put their two cents in. Simple answer... pending changes "protection" once an article reaches a certain level of development. (Good and Featured are obvious, perhaps B-level as well). I looked at the differences in the versions that Jimmy pasted and I did not see a huge difference in quality... but yes in focus.Thelmadatter (talk) 19:59, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I think your sentiments about academia are a symptom of the problem. The ideology on Wikipedia mirrors that of society, and in the United States academics are coming under more and more pressure from corporate and even religious "elites". A lot of rhetoric comes out against American academia accusing them of lots of things, like being as self-serving as the politicians and business leaders who attack them. And one of the central derivative ideological precepts behind Wikipedia is that there is a great market of ideas, and the forces of market democracy will end-up producing something even better than truth: the collective expression of the will of the greatest number. But it's ideological hogwash. Some people know and understand more than others about certain topics, and it makes sense to give them more power in a encyclopedia if you want the encyclopedia to be any good! Surely. So, yes, I do advocate "elitism" ... absolutely ... the kind of elitism suited to an encyclopedia rather than the elitism we already have.Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
The problem, Deacon, is that who "know[s] and understand[s] more than others about certain topics" is driven mostly by ideological lines. I'm sure that believers in woo-woo honestly believe that their homeopaths "know and understand more" about medicine than actual medical doctors, or that neo-nazis know that David Irving "knows and understands more" about the history of WW2 than anyone else. — Coren (talk) 20:35, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Deacon in principle but I also think Coren has an important practical point. How do you decide who is an expert and who's not? I have academic degrees in pretty much all the areas I edit (more or less), yet somehow I get the feeling that Deacon would try to gerrymander me (and a few others) out of the "expert circle" where he given the right to decide. And for a good number of topic areas, it probably is the "dedicated hobbyist" who is capable of making the best contributions. People don't have degrees (not many) in "bacon dishes" or whatever (and those are the articles that get most views).
Overall I would prefer for Wikipedia to move towards what Deacon is suggesting (though I'm very skeptical it will happen). I'm not saying that it can't be done. It's just that, like anything, the devil's in the details and it wouldn't be an easy thing.Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:07, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Posh... when you have cases such as Ward Churchill, blatant union activism and the enforcement of "speech codes" you cannot believe that all criticism of academia stems from some shadowy evil corporate/religious organization.... Most professors couldnt hack being on Wikipedia because there is no way they could follow the neutral point of view pillar. Academia gave that up long ago for "activist investigation".Thelmadatter (talk) 20:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I think the truth here is in the middle (though closer to Deacon's position): yes there's some of this kind of nonsense going on in academia and yes it can be a problem. But no, it is not a general or widespread problem (even within humanities). Yes, it is often exaggerated for political/ideological reasons. Finally, a lot depends on discipline. If I had my way, anyone who doesn't have either a math or econ degree wouldn't be allowed anywhere near Economics articles. Especially not the people from humanities. But such is life. (Ok I'm kidding about the last part).Volunteer Marek (talk) 21:05, 11 May 2011 (UTC)


@Thelmadatter, I don't believe that anyway. @ Coren, the English Historical Review isn't packed with badly cited historical fringing, pseudo-x trash, celebrity defamation, and all that. Neither even is Britannica. Simply by assigning more power to the more learned, this place will be shaken up. A place where you gain status through expertise is a place where encyclopedic (as opposed to social bonding) values become central. No-one would seriously advocate that all experts will always be "neutral" or accurate, but you've got a better chance than the free-for-all "loons and pros are bros" socialite run establishment we got now ... surely. ;) Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:17, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That would be Citizendium. It hasn't worked out too wellGeni 21:38, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
That's not what anyone's suggested. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:53, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
"assigning more power to the more learned". yup thats Citizendium.©Geni 22:01, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
This point is fatuous. Medical teams performing surgery do the same thing, it doesn't makes them Citizendium. All the things in Citizedium make Citizendium Citizendium. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 22:08, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Are you pro- or anti-Citizendium? If anti-, how does Citizendium's philosophy differ from your own? --JaGatalk 22:24, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't for instance believe in throwing babies out with bath-water. Perpetuating Wikipedia's important fixable weaknesses because of Citizendum's comparative failure is misguided. There are presumably many complex reasons for this, and no obvious reason for thinking that respect for experts is an important one. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 18:35, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The only “babies being thrown out with the bath water” will be lousy admins. If you fear that, I have unfortunate news for you. What part of “Leaders shall govern only with the consent of the governed” are you not grasping?? You seem to prefer the High Priest approach where they serve for life.

Your argument that the greater community is somehow only smart enough to vote for an admin in the first place but isn’t smart enough to re-vote for them each year is A) nauseating and B) holds no water. All your above arguments (In real life society we balance the fact that 99% of people don't know what they're talking about with hierarchies of expertise) doesn’t hold the slightest bit of water. That simple reality (that the regular electorate are “simple folk” not familiar with fine details) is addressed by having a representative government where elected officials are held accountable to continually serve the interests of those who voted them into office via periodic re-voting for them again during regularly scheduled voting periods when terms of office expire (one year for instance).

That this principle that terms of office can apply to admins on Wikipedia (*sound of audience gasp*) is further grounded in the reality that—notwithstanding your highly revealing “99% rule” (from your above 16:15, 11 May 2011 post) regarding the wikipedian riff raff that gave you your privileges—Wikipedia is not rocket science and the typical riff raff joe for whom you clearly have little regard as to their ability to know what they're talking about with hierarchies of expertise are actually fully capable of comprehending the utter magic that you think you do and can further develop a system for gauging whether the wikipedian community continues to have faith in your abilities.

In the end, your arguments all magically point back to the suggestion that admins on Wikipedia can only serve the interests of the community if they serve for life without concern that they could lose those privileges if the community loses confidence in his or her abilities. Forget that. That’s a loathsome position to take and suggests to me that some admins are more motivated more by an elitist sense of power than by a desire to lead and remain accountable to the community that granted them their privilges and powers in the first place. Greg L (talk) 21:03, 12 May 2011 (UTC)

I really rather doubt that admins as a group have had much of an impact on the Derrida article. Indeed the debate here appears to be over if we trust the general run of editors to edit the Derrida article.©Geni 23:28, 12 May 2011 (UTC)
Greg L, among all that emotive rhetoric, ad hominem and straw maning, I see little to deny that experts are better at adding and supervising content than non-experts: the bottom line for an encyclopedia. Giving more status to experts on encyclopedias is no more a denial of universal human equality than making experienced lawyers judges or confining surgery to qualified medical practitioners. I do agree with you that the bulk of work here can and must be done by non-experts (what you choose to call the "typical riff raff joe"); that's not something we'll ever have a choice about. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 20:06, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Encyclopedic values

Let's forget about academic qualifications. Let's talk about the idea of getting status by commitment to encyclopedic values. As opposed to getting status by social bonding, or vandal fighting or whatever. The problem with Wikipedia is that the current administrative class do not have encyclopedic values in mind. "The admin class has gravitated over time from being the guardians of good content, to a class that institutionally demean the importance of good content." as someone says above.

The argument is that Citizendium failed. Yes, but then Wikipedia has failed, as the Derrida article shows, and as articles like this clearly show. The problem with the current administration is (a) that they don't understand what is wrong with these articles and (b) they don't care anyway, they are more interested in tripe like this. (talk) 09:09, 14 May 2011 (UTC)::

Its hard to speak for "them". Admins I know are either inactive or overloaded with backlogs. Materialscientist (talk) 09:52, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
That they are inactive is a good thing, and those who are overloaded should walk away. In fact all 'vandal fighters' should simply stop vandal fighting. This would have the immediate effect of Wikipedia having to enforce registration for all users - and perhaps a 1-day time lag for newly registered accounts. 80% of administrators could then leave, as their job would be redundant, and the rest could concentrate on building a comprehensive and reliable reference sources. The only people who work on encyclopedias should be those who care about encyclopedias. (talk) 10:06, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I believe one should spend a few months for active vandal fighting/analysis before proposing a solution to it. Materialscientist (talk) 10:20, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
You mean this sort of problem [10], [11], [12], [13] etc., cannot be fixed by preventing IP editing? Why not? And doesn't this block rather contradict your assertion? (talk) 12:34, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree with's assessment at all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:07, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
You don't agree that the primary focus of this project should be on building a comprehensive and reliable reference work? Why not? I thought Wikipedia was about bringing the sum of human knowledge to every person on the planet? That's a laudable and worthy and noble ambition. Why do you disagree? (talk) 15:54, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Don't be disingenuous. Of course I believe that the primary focus of this project should be on building a comprehensive and reliable reference work. I don't agree with your assessment.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:55, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
And just to ask something really dumb, if you advocate forced account-registration — why aren't you using one? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:14, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
@Jimmy. My assessment simply is that building a comprehensive and reliable reference work should be the priority of this project and should trump absolutely everything else - including social bonding or whatever. I also suggested that the majority of the administrators here are not focused on these values, because they have to spend their time on blocking or warning IP editors who write this sort of stuff. This is counterproductive. (talk) 10:36, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
@Seb_az86556 when compulsory registration is adopted, as it inevitably will be one day, I will be the first to create an account. This is my way of saying 'Wikipedia is not ready'. (talk) 10:39, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

<---- Oh yes and this. The idea that anyone should have to spend time on reverting this is absurd. It's not the vandalism that's so bad, it's the vandal-fighting types it attracts. They have the mentality of traffic-wardens, and I hate traffic-wardens. When this is eliminated, and when vandal fighters are eliminated from Wikipedia, I will join Wikipedia and I will make wonderful contributions to its moribund philosophy articles. (talk) 10:44, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Well, good luck. I see vandalism from registered accounts *all the time*, sometimes from accounts who have registered months ago. Linking the ability to edit with registrations will just shift the problem. --NeilN talk to me 13:47, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Interesting that the very next edit you made after posting here was to revert an IP :) As were many of your edits before this. (talk) 15:13, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Registered accounts. As I said, requiring registration will just shift the problem. --NeilN talk to me 15:22, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia logo used in Google Chrome flash banner ad

A number of official google flash banner ads promoting chrome feature the Wikipedia logo among mostly otherwise google owned services. See this image for an example. Do you have any thoughts on this?Smallman12q (talk) 03:54, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't know anything about it. I have no thoughts about it, really. Do you? :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:59, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Ignore it—nothing official about it.  GFHandel.   10:31, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
They simply recognize the value of the Wikipedia "brand" and want to associate it in people's minds with their product. (talk) 11:23, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
The logo is trademarked and copyrighted in a way that requires permission from the WMF in order for it to be used in an advertisement. However, Google has such a strong historical relationship with WP that it is likely some sort of agreement exists -- in any case this is a matter that only the office staff could deal with. Looie496 (talk) 00:00, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Louie and - also, in particular, while Google may just be adding in logos they think look "cool" (the average internet user might not know that YouTube is owned by Google anyway), it's also quite likely that Google using Wikipedia's logo in this way, adds to the brand recognition of Wikipedia anyway. So it's all good. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 00:10, 15 May 2011 (UTC)


Because of a problem, I have this question: do you work at Wikia? I'm very curious. Darkjedi10 (talk) 00:27, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

Questions about Wikia are best directed to I am the Chair of the Board at Wikia, but I don't work there in the sense of having a particular job or salary.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:13, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! I just wanted to tell you that from May 14, 2011 to now, over 200 wiki's from Wikia have been attacked by the User:Meepsheep and associates. Currently, right now, the Total Drama Island Wiki is under attack and seems to be fighting a "battle" against MeepSheep and others. One user even said that the attack was from the group Anonymous. Have a good day! Darkjedi10 (talk) 12:03, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

"Zero information is preferred to misleading information"

This quote of yours was recently referenced in a discussion I was in, in response to this comment. Is that still basically your opinion, or has it evolved over the past few years? Thanks.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 05:07, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so": Mark Twain [14]. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:15, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
"Something ain't better than nothing at all..."; Siouxsie and the Banshees - B-side Ourselves. LessHeard vanU (talk) 11:46, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Mayfair art dealer Mark Weiss in disgrace after admitting poison pen campaign on Wikipedia

This seems to have begun on Wikipedia. Fiction turns to reality. [15]. Please hat with the comment "Not sure anything is being asked of me, nor sure how I can help" (talk) 23:08, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Let's begin at somewhere near the beginning. An IP makes slanderous allegations here [16]on 10 October 2009. See also here [17]. At the very same time, the allegation is repeated in tabloid newspapers. It turns out the source of the newspaper allegation is the same as the source that edited Wikipedia. And now Wikipedia editors can repeat the slur [18]. And even the Wikipedia administration can repeat the slanderous allegations [19] because they come from 'reliable sources'. No one picked this up until Sebastian Shakespeare [20] picks it up in today's standard. What has gone wrong? Why is the supposedly reliable crowdsourced Wikipedia recycling rubbish from tabloids which has itself been sourced from slanderous allegations originally made by anonymous edits on Wikipedia? Nonsense recycled. (talk) 23:31, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

The Standard story is not on the net, but the Daily Telegraph has a report on it here [21]. You are going to say of course that it is nothing to do with you but it is everything to do with you. You are responsible for all the evil that is on Wikipedia. (talk) 23:38, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

The rhetoric above is strident and excessive, but I am reviewing the links. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:40, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Yet please review the links, and read the full article in the London Evening Standard. (talk) 23:45, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
This sits better at the article talkpage - its a content dispute. - Off2riorob (talk) 23:41, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Probably, but if we move it there, the IP will say it is a coverup. Best to address it here?--Wehwalt (talk) 23:42, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
I added a welcome template to their talkpage and they are angry about it - asking on my talk if its some kind of joke - no its a welcome. and the rude boy continues - "No one is innocent on Wikipedia" - disruptive attacking IP block and direct to OTRS - Off2riorob (talk) 23:43, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
You are the rude ones who lie about people and destroy their lives. (talk) 23:51, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
If anything here destroyed your life then you need to get out more.. Move along please Off2riorob (talk) 23:53, 6 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia should not be about deciding which side to block or blacklist or revert or suppress. It should be about open conversation. Wikipedia is not here to lie about Mould (or Weiss, for that matter). That is (allegedly) the tabloid's job. Wikipedia is like the library that puts the tabloid up on the newspaper rack for people to read. The cure to any misinformation here is more, better information. Wnt (talk) 19:41, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Although I do not appreciate the IP's invective, his anger at Wikipedia at this moment is frankly understandable. The Philip Mould article, which I have just checked, does not appear to have any current issues, but I have redacted two instances of apparent defamation from the talkpage. If there are any other concerns about Mould-related content I would appreciate their being brought to my attention.

As I have said before in many forums, the rise of the Internet has been a force for much good, but it also enables the most outrageous lies, slanders, hoaxes, and invasions of privacy to be spread worldwide at the push of a button, often with devastating effect. This is an Internet-wide problem, not a Wikipedia-specific one, but our unique combination of high pageranks and free editing makes Wikipedia pages, particularly our biographies of living persons, an especially inviting forum for the malicious, the vindictive, and the depraved. Short of shutting down the project altogether there is nothing we can do to entirely solve this problem, but we must do more than we are doing. Focusing on the impoliteness of the victim or of someone apparently close to or sympathetic with the victim is certainly not going to help. Newyorkbrad (talk) 23:58, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Thank you and good night. Thank you 'New York Brad', whoever you are. Why is a civilised person like yourself in company with such barbarians? (talk) 00:03, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

Brad - when you close the Pending protection RFC please consider that the protection is duck to water to prevent this and all similar situations, - Wikipedia:Pending changes/Request for Comment February 2011 - one thousand articles are right now being protected from such libelous additions from being published by en wikipedia to all our mirror sites and the whole of the WWW - please don't reduce the protection we offer living people in your close. Pending protection attracts experienced editors that would have dealt with that situation without any dispute or publication to the WWW at all. Off2riorob (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 00:05, 7 May 2011 (UTC).
For clarity, this is not Mark Weiss, the photographer, right?
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 00:59, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
No I don't think so, just someone with the same name.--BSTemple (talk) 07:38, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
"Pending Changes" wouldn't prevent a registered user from adding information sourced to an apparent newspaper publication. Because the Daily Mail no longer serves the story at its former URL (see link from [22], for example) it might be considered retracted, hence not a reliable source. But Wikipedia's most important defense is that anyone in the world can add a link to [23], to not merely correct the slander, but to definitively refute it and cancel out much of the impact of dozens of other sources on the Internet that repeat the first Daily Mail story. At least, we could do that, provided that mention of the reference is not considered a violation of BLP for Mark Weiss... Wnt (talk) 09:41, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Wnt, I believe you are mistaken. Cases like this would be very much helped by Pending Changes. I see no way any responsible editor would have accepted this, and if one did, they'd immediately lose the reviewer right. This is precisely what PC is designed for.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:56, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Only Level 2 Pending Changes, comparable to full-protection, would affect non-IP editing as happened here.[24] This article did not receive that level of attention, or the problem would have been fixed anyway. True, the first two 2009 IP edits would have been stopped by Level 1 PC, or by better Recent Changes patrolling, as they were obvious vandalism - but I doubt a reader would have seen them as anything but puerile vandalism.
So far, the duties of reviewers in PC have not been made clear - especially, I have seen no evidence that they are required to deny additions of apparently verifiable information from newspaper articles. Since deciding whether such articles are well-supported or not is far more time-consuming than simply citing or checking them, this requires Level 2 articles either to be written primarily by reviewers, or else to say only nice things about anyone. Wnt (talk) 19:27, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Until the software is in wide use and well tested, we will have these kinds of problems. Some people make the perfect the enemy of the good, I'm afraid. We desperately need pending changes to solve these problems.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:19, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
One lesson (of many) to be learned here is that tabloid sources like the Daily Mail, The Sun, National Enquirer, celebrity blogs and so forth simply are not reliable encyclopedic sources. Yet we have thousands of BLP content items cited to them. [25] [26] [27] [28] Given our page rank, it is irresponsible to cite them, and not to update policy accordingly. --JN466 13:54, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
We could solve this problem very easily, and radically, by putting these tabloids on the blacklist. Hans Adler 16:28, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree. If it's true, reliable sources have also reported it. However, most of the 'scoops' from these tabloids should be tagged [ not intended to be a factual statement ]. Flatterworld (talk) 16:40, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I like Hans' idea...blacklist the tabloids. Of course, they don't have to include the url to put the refs in & they'd still need to be manually reverted but it would certainly help.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 16:58, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
In purely practical terms, how would you decide what qualifies as "a tabloid"? In Britain (where this story originates) every national newspaper other than the Daily Telegraph is tabloid, along with almost all local and regional newspapers. – iridescent 17:16, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
We can list them, though of course there may be some short amount of discussion.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:29, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
There is a cultural difference in the meaning of "tabloid". In the US, what is meant is tabloid journalism or sensationalism (read trashy). That is what we're talking about here.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 17:36, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(edit conflict)x2 Really this is a subtext of the age-old question: how do you decide what's a reliable source? And current guidelines read "Mainstream news reporting is generally considered to be reliable" (original emphasis). So a guideline change would be the first port-of-call before talks of a blacklist Jebus989 17:38, 7 May 2011 (UTC)

The Sun and the Daily Mail don't do news reporting, or at least not normally. They generally just do news creation and news simulation. In the rare cases that they do report actual news in a usable way and can be used, they can still be cited by any editor, just not with a working link. Admins can edit/fix links if appropriate. Hans Adler 17:46, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Nonsense. The Daily Mail may be frothingly right-wing, but I don't think you can seriously claim they 'don't do news reporting'. – iridescent 17:53, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Iridescent is right, but so is Hans. The Daily Mail is of frightfully low quality most of the time, but - as Hans acknowledges - they do (rarely) get a scoop of some importance. I'm not comfortable with us using them as a source for anything, other than in some very very specific circumstances.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:58, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I am struck by the fact that the IP last night may not have been the best-spoken, but he spoke through real pain. How can we best deal with this?--Wehwalt (talk) 18:06, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
A scoop of importance will be covered by other sources. In such cases, the Daily Mail can be cited, with care, just like we are able to cite primary sources, with care, where they are referenced by reliable secondary sources. --JN466 19:29, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec) I admit I have never actually held this paper in my hands. I am going by the links that I have seen on Wikipedia. If they do news reporting, then it appears that they are not normally used by us for proper news reports.
There are currently 5669 links to and 3717 to Many of these are from BLP articles. To get an idea of how bad the reliability problem of the Daily Mail is, look at this: Talk:Audrey Tomason#Khalid El-Masri connection. An editor asks for a reliable source for a suspicion that he once expressed in his blog and that is in the article without proper source. According to him, his blog is the only source that this suspicion exists. Another editor responds with an article in the Daily Mail, but they just copied it from the blog. If they just copy random blog posts, then there is no reason why we should use them rather than cite random blogs ourselves. Hans Adler 18:06, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Do they make more of their past articles available than other major UK newspapers? That would be one reason why they are used in preference to better news sources.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:11, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I have no idea. But for some reason I just confused Daily Mail and Daily Mirror. The number of external links to the Daily Mail domain is 15,301. Compared to the other two I think I have seen an unusally high percentage of links from talk pages, but there are still a lot of links from BLP articles. [29] Hans Adler 18:24, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Instead of draconian measures like blacklisting or a policy ban, I wish someone would write a bot to put an inline tag on all BLP pages with a Daily Mail reference with a tabloid reference, please verify - with a link from the tag to some page that cites this case as a bad example. The page should ask editors to remove the tag if the Daily Mail item seems genuine, but to remove and report any dubious or plainly libellous cases to a special noticeboard, where editors who are more familiar with the British press can pick over the claims carefully. Another page should index every article tagged by the bot, so the quality of the tag resolution can be audited at random. The person who added the Daily Mail reference could also be invited to participate. In this way the articles would be fixed, and Wikipedia would get some sense of the extent of the problem before deciding what to do. Wnt (talk) 19:34, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
Wishing solves nothing. The best thing to do is move forward today with reliable solutions to these kinds of problems, solutions like PC that are well-tested and that we know will work, rather than wishing for fantasy software that might never exist.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:20, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Pending changes would not have stopped this edit, because it was made by an established editor (now a reviewer), who was relying in good faith on a newspaper, and the Daily Mail is not in fact as bad as people are saying here. Not brilliant, but definitely a cut above some of the other British tabloids, and at times has some interesting investigative pieces. And the newspaper had not used WP as a source; it had relied on a press release, [30] possibly one issued by the anon who had made an edit to the same effect on WP. So everyone was fooled.
If we want to safeguard BLPs properly, we need something targeted. We could consider introducing a "BLP editor" status, and make it tough to get: a fairly large minimum number of non-minor edits to articles; and a lengthy minimum period of service. Any article tagged as a BLP could then only be edited by those people. It would not solve all problems—BLPs could still be created by non-BLP editors, before someone catches and tags them, but hopefully the recent-changes patrollers would spot a lot of those. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 04:48, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't agree. That edit is more than enough to cause the instant removal of the reviewer flag.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:36, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
We could have BLP reviewing as a separate user right. --JN466 13:50, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
The other "gotcha" with that proposal, SV, is that it doesn't deal with BLP edits to non-BLP articles, such as the two I referenced in my ArbCom candidate response page. Any article can have BLP info, and the articles not labeled as BLPs seem to my anecdotal experience to have a longer time-to-remove for problematic info. Jclemens (talk) 06:21, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Jclemens, we really have to get out of the mindset of shooting down proposals with the argument that they don't solve every problem, because the result is that nothing is done, and nothing is solved. BLPs are usually the top Google hit for a living person's name. The most bitter complaints OTRS receives are about BLPs. This is a prime example. Think of what SV's proposal could do to help address this problem, rather than the problems it leaves unaddressed. --JN466 13:50, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Jimbo. We currently have a climate in which editors such as the one in this surreal thread (referring to this discussion) don't get the required negative feedback and are allowed to edit freely until something really bad happens so that they can finally be blocked. There are simply not enough adults here to supervise all of these.
For those not sure it's worth following the link: Over a period of 10 days, an editor kept insisting that this screenshot from a 2009 episode of Weeds (TV series), showing the beginning of our article on the series as it was between April and June 2009 with minor alterations (navigationals tools and Wikipedia branding removed, different title, high-quality series logo added) was a reliable source for the claim (barely readable in the screenshot, and followed by "citation needed") that the title of the series was an allusion, among others, to "widow's weeds". Not a big problem in itself, but if we don't prevent such editors from BLP editing, then we are responsible for the damage they may do later on. Hans Adler 07:38, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
What's funny is that recently there was a big banner headline about making Wikipedia more approachable to new editors, less tied up in policy, less hostile. But here it sounds like the problem is that ordinary Wikipedia editors just don't know policy well enough, and editing of BLP articles (which is to say, all articles) needs to be restricted to some elite subgroup, who can lose their status at any time for accepting an edit with what looks like a verifiable source. Wnt (talk) 09:49, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm arguing for precisely the opposite. By using Pending Changes, we can allow more people to edit, more freely, with less stress, while simultaneously dramatically reducing the incidence of BLP issues. It's win-win.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:59, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. --JN466 13:53, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't call this an elite subgroup at all. Responsible adults (and children who can behave like responsible adults) are not a tiny elite group. Hans Adler 10:13, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
Pending changes still means an inappropriate edit is visible to tens of thousands of logged-in editors—in terms of BLPs, it was using a sledgehammer to crack a nut that often didn't even crack the nut. We should be trying instead to stop bad BLP edits appearing in the first place, because the damage one person can do with one edit is too great. But whenever we discuss it, so many people join in with suggestions and objections that nothing gets done.
As a first step, we ought to start indefinitely semi-protecting BLPs. Then, Jimbo, perhaps you would consider setting up a working group, consisting of 20 experienced editors to make a series of recommendations to the community regarding how to protect BLPs further—with a mandate that the community choose, via RfC, at least one of the suggestions to be implemented within a reasonable time. And if they can't decide, the group itself decides. The group can hold its discussions on a public page if it wants to, but only the 20 should take part. Is that something you'd consider? SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 03:14, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, stopping BLP edits from appearing is a non-starter. That's a social change well outside Wikipedia's scope. As to your suggestion... yikes. A committee to decide if we should hold an RfC to decide on a policy implementation that, if it doesn't work, they can WP:IAR and impose a rule on everyone? I don't see that flying at all. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 23:04, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Something has to fly. We've had a serious BLP problem for years, yet for some reason we don't act. A working group set up by Jimbo, with a mandate to produce a series of options to place before a wiki-wide RfC, would surely be a good first step. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 03:48, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
SlimVirgin is right. It's important and needs a more focused effort than lots of people making drive-by comments. --JN466 08:28, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps we could use a 'whitelist' of the most reliable news sources from each country, whether they're free to read without subscription, and how long they keep archives. In the UK, I doublecheck with the BBC, Guardian and Economist. The Daily Mail cherry-picks and spins, and The Sun and Star sensationalize and over-simplify. What are we trying to achieve as an encyclopedia? The answer to that should clarify which sources are reliable. Reliable does NOT mean 'must be carefully waded through'. Flatterworld (talk) 14:56, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

The problem with tabloids being treated as reliables sources is widespread, and affects not just BLP issues, but basic notability, with the consequent degradation of the idea that Wikipedia is a serious and quality biographer, rather than the world's largest database of tabloid reportage. Sure, a reviewer is theoretically supposed to spot that that edit violates BLP, yet in 2011, we still see Afd closures like this one made by admins, where it is frankly impossible for anyone to argue that there is infact a difference between tabloid coverage and reliable sources, for the purposes of WP:BIO (BLP + GNG). So, we end up with 'biographies' like this, even though the woman has given precisely one interview in her life. Sure, there is a blizzard of 'coverage' about the woman, but you can count on one hand the number of reliable sources who have given her life some actual novel in depth treatment, and even those were published in and around the same single event or for the same single reason. And it shows in the end result, which even after having had much attention from several admins and being 'rescued' by the ARS, is still nearly 50% sourced to tabloids in terms of secondary coverage, and certainly looks nothing like a biography in terms of scope or balance. Even a merge proposal was closed as IAR! By the same admin who closed the Afd! In this current climate, even if people think she's notable, it would be immensly difficult and stressful even just to pare that down to non-trivial info backed by reliable sources alone, as policy demands. As such, I suggest a raising of the overall quality of admins is in order, as the ultimate root cause is of failing to lead by example and make reality match policy, before we start thinking reviewers will have enough clue to stop the example edit above. MickMacNee (talk) 17:20, 8 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Start a biography wiki ("en.wikiography"?) where the community can agree appropriate policies for handling biographies, move all biographies from en.wikipedia to there, and keep biographies off en.wp in future. Doesn't deal with BLP stuff in non-BLP articles of course but perhaps would make BLPs a hell of a lot more manageable. (talk) 20:00, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't see what's wrong with Pippa Middleton. Wikipedia summarizes available sources; it is not a source itself; it is not a biography and its editors are not biographers. When people say we shouldn't have articles about people in the news, shouldn't cover the news, shouldn't let edits show up unless a Reviewer or "BLP Editor" approves them, shouldn't let Google and forums rebroadcast our articles lest mistakes be in them - it sounds like what they want is a few little volumes you can hold in your hand, written by professional editors, copyrighted, with some catchy name like Brittanica. Do you really think that Wikipedia was a mistake after all this time and so much useful information? Wnt (talk) 21:01, 8 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't see much wrong with having an article on Middleton either; but there was clearly something wrong with Mould's article. --JN466 02:53, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Re. [31], Jimbo Wales, above, says That edit is more than enough to cause the instant removal of the reviewer flag.

An editor in good standing added information from a seemingly reliable source. Some six months later, the source was shown to be incorrect. And for that, the user should be admonished?

It's not just the Mail, not at all. RS frequently make mistakes. Wikipedia states facts based on RS. How can the reviewer be expected to perform fact-checking on each news item?  Chzz  ►  14:05, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Chzz, an editor in good standing added an outrageous and false statement from a notoriously salacious and unreliable tabloid. That's not ok at all. It should be a blocking offense to use the Daily Mail - and similar sources - to add negative information to BLPs. It's really really really bad. Pending Changes would put a stop to this immediately and perfectly, at virtually no cost. You ask "How can the reviewer be expected to perform fact-checking on each news item?" - Reviewers should be experienced editors who are familiar with BLP policy, and can be expected and trusted to not do outrageous things like this. It's not that hard. The Daily Mail is not a valid encyclopedic source in most cases. (There are a few rare exceptions, but even those should be subjected to the strictest possible scrutiny.) In particular, relying on a single tabloid source of known low quality to post outrageous accusations of salacious personal details of people's lives is wrong, wrong for Wikipedia, a violation of BLP policy, and not something that anyone should accept cavalierly. It is easy to solve this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:15, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Pending changes could not have stopped that tabloid content from being added as you know it was added by a reviewer - someone with such low standards of content addition as regards tabloid style contentious BLP content has no right to be having Reviewer status and I support his having it removed. Ok, you like adding this low quality sourced tittilation , fine, but we will review your edits and not allow you to review unconfirmed accounts desired additions. Off2riorob (talk) 14:16, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
The problem is that policy has been rigidly and incorrectly interpreted to mean that anything published in a newspaper somewhere is fair game for inclusion on Wikipedia. This line of WP:V absolutism infects even very experienced editors. Now, I can't view the original Daily Mail article, but its title is apparently "Antiques Roadshow star Philip Mould values mistress more than marriage as he leaves wife". I can tell from the title alone that such a source is unlikely to be composed of sober, objective coverage. That's not policy - that's common sense. But common sense is in such short supply here, and so poorly incentivized systemcially, that I can't really fault an individual reviewer. I suspect many other reviewers would have reached the same decision independently. MastCell Talk 17:24, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I agree with as lot of what you said here. We can only speculate but Pending protection would have brought multiple experienced editors to that edit, and I for one would have removed it to the talkpage for discussion. Off2riorob (talk) 17:59, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
From my experiences working on articles about US politicians, Pending protection would NOT have made any difference. Look at who's added the tittle-tattle on those articles - they're reviewers. Who insist that if it's in a news source (and helps their preferred political party, fo course!), then it's fair game for Wikipedia. I've given up trying to for third-party views, mediation, etc., as the support has always been solid for the tittle-tattlers - including from Admins. Frankly, I'm tired of adding "We are an encyclopedia, not a tabloid" in edit summaries and Talk pages. Lip service is being given here, but actions speak louder than words. Flatterworld (talk) 19:00, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Pending protection is not suggested to be a solution for partisan additions from experienced editors - the talkpage and some discussion and publicity of correct policy interpretation are the best chances for that. Off2riorob (talk) 19:05, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Which has of course been a failure, particularly as an election draws near. (When something doesn't work, that's a clue to try something different instead of hoping things will magically change if we keep doing the same thing over and over.) Flatterworld (talk) 20:44, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
As a rule, history tells us that journalists, though often biased, are more impartial on political matters than censors. As my recent experience has determined, the reviewer right is subject to revocation on purely ideological grounds, and mandates the removal of material referenced to reliable sources. From beginning to end, every aspect of PC has been decided without community support, by some small group of people, and such a small group must inevitably end up supporting one political party or the other. Wnt (talk) 05:45, 13 May 2011 (UTC)
I just looked at that link, and your characterization is totally incorrect. It is clear that an editor with no understanding of WP:BLP should not review edits to BLP articles. Johnuniq (talk) 11:00, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

Using Edit filter to catch tabloid journalism

Would it be possible to use the edit filter to flag edits for immediate review when they come in from tabloid journalism? It seems like that may be a viable way to catch additions whether they have a url or not. Anything with the string "Daily Mail" or others that are added could then be scrutinized.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 16:34, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

I believe this has already been implemented by User:John Vandenberg... see Special:AbuseFilter/409. MastCell Talk 17:51, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Looks like it was just implemented and with only the Daily Mail (as a test?). Would be good to add others to it. The results will be interesting.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 18:05, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Yea, it is only a test so far. Matching a newspaper by name and url isn't difficult - the hard part is efficiently finding recent news stories being used. John Vandenberg (chat) 20:36, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I suggest that singling out a specific source which is generally accepted as RS at RS/N to be labelled "tabloid" may well be beyond the reasonable purview of any bot operator. Why not add all government-owned news sources? Al-Jazeera? A few hundred others? Collect (talk) 18:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Look before commenting. The edit filter currently does nothing except logging when it triggers. That's good way to judge whether an edit filter could help in this situation. It's what I expect a good edit filter editor to do before discussing the question, to prevent unnecessary noise. Hans Adler 18:31, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I take issue with labelling the Daily Mail as "tabloid journalism" and implementing the filter in this way. I am no fan of that newspaper or its political or editorial stance, but the fact is that it is a widely circulated, long established (1896), newspaper. Its reliability as a source should be determined on a case by case basis as we do with any other source. What next, blacklisting The Sun, The Mirror, The Times? – ukexpat (talk) 18:29, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
The circulation levels and length of publication of this trashy unreliable paper is irrelevant. It's still trashy and unreliable and should treated with grave caution in all cases - and generally discouraged as a source. Political or editorial stance is irrelevant, too. It's about the quality - which is too low for encyclopedic work.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:13, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Let's be clear about what the edit filter does and does not do. It is currently logging only - it does not prevent the addition of any source. It applies only to BLPs (that is, articles in Category:Living people). Right now, it's only measuring how often, and in what context, the Daily Mail is used as a source in BLPs. Presumably, the results of the logging period would inform any further discussion or changes.

As a separate matter, the Daily Mail is clearly a practitioner of tabloid journalism. It is not the only, and perhaps not the worst, practitioner, but it's a reasonable example of the genre. Circulation figures and date of establishment do not bear directly on whether a source practices tabloid journalism. We can examine it on a case-by-case basis, but we should default toward extreme skepticism when it comes to using tabloid journalism in articles on living people. (Actually, I think we should default to skepticism using tabloid journalism in any article. For example, the Daily Mail's medical coverage is notoriously horrific, and has its own potential to cause real-life harm, but let's start with BLPs).

Consider other serious, reputable reference works, let's say Brittanica. How often do you think a Britannica article cites the Daily Mail? If we want Wikipedia to get better, we have to be willing to hold ourselves to the standards of a serious, respectable reference work. MastCell Talk 18:40, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

ya, Daily Mail is a pretty good test case because is publishes useful material which WP:RSN would consider to be appropriate, but it also contains tabloid trash. I was expected a lot more hits by now. John Vandenberg (chat) 20:42, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
These days the Daily Mail is not any better than the Sun or Mirror. The Daily Mail is pure tabloid trash, and has been for a while. Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 21:18, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

Only logging? Suppose some journalist prints the list of edits so logged ? I suggest the fall-out would harm Wikipedia. In fact, I am fairly sure of that. Collect (talk) 18:45, 10 May 2011 (UTC)

@ Collect, [citation needed] for RSN, having had a look at the first few search hits in the RSN archives for the Daily Mail, "consensus seems to be that it is so-so or semi-reliable" and downright unreliable for some areas such as science reporting. It's not the only paper where flagging up its use as a source could be a useful precaution, the main point is that editors must use careful judgement to evaluate the reputation for fact checking and accuracy of sources on a case-by-case basis. If some journalist wants to print such a list, the reputation of papers concerned would come under proper scrutiny, rather than there being "fall out" for WP. . . dave souza, talk 18:50, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Collect, you have just made a great argument for blacklisting it. If having those refs to the Daily Mail could harm Wikipedia, let's blacklist post haste.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 19:10, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Collect, we need to make decisions on the basis of what makes the encyclopedia better, not out of fear that our actions might be misinterpreted by a hypothetical journalist. I don't see a huge scandal arising out of logged edits (how would such a story even be pitched to an editor? and who would care to read it, outside of our little bubble? Even most Wikipedians don't understand the arcane aspects of the edit filter). I do see potential scandals arising through uncritical repetition of tabloid journalism, given the visibility and persistence of Wikipedia's echo chamber. MastCell Talk 19:23, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I've previously written an essay on this topic of possibly poor sources at User:Fences and windows/Unreliable sources.
I wonder if we can add a rule to WP:BLP and/or WP:RS that negative material about living people or details of their personal life should not be solely sourced to sources with a reputation for sensationalism, gossip or tabloid journalism? Fences&Windows 19:30, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
That sounds like a good direction to take the policy. We should at least wait a few days in order to give the subject an opportunity to react. WP:NOTNEWS needs to be reinforced with blocks. (Wikipedia is better than Wikinews at breaking news stories; we should be collectively ashamed of that) John Vandenberg (chat) 20:48, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
I totally agree about enforcing WP:NOTNEWS with blocks. But I don't think it's just a matter of giving subjects a chance to react. Often the problem is that the tabloids write the most trivial stuff about someone, and sometimes even the better papers repeat it, and many editors don't understand that a sentence in an encyclopedia has so much more weight than the same sentence in a newspaper, in the original gossippy context. Hans Adler 21:11, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Hopefully this fictitious journalist makes an attempt to understand what they are reporting and contact the subject; that used to be expected, but not so much these days... which is why we have this problem. John Vandenberg (chat) 20:52, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Flagging edits from dubious sources is a good idea. But WP:NOTNEWS is a terribly abused policy, which is taken to mean whatever people want it to mean. Something can be in the best newspapers on five continents and there will still be a crowd chanting NOTNEWS like a mantra. (I've seen it happen) A policy of blocking editors for putting in properly sourced edits is not the right way to treat editors. To me it looks like the WP:BLP crusade, such as the Badlydrawnjeff decision, marked the moment when Wikipedia stopped growing and started dying. WP:V and WP:NOTCENSORED absolutism are much better than being absolutist about leaving out material based on vague assumptions, prejudices, and the desire not to say anything bad about someone. It would make so much more sense to tell readers when sources aren't reliable, when articles aren't true biographies but just collections of a few media flurries - just level with them, be honest. The more "authoritative" you try to make Wikipedia look, the more damage you'll do to the remaining cases where some lie slips through. Wnt (talk) 23:02, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Actually, something can be in the best newspapers on five continents and still fall under NOTNEWS. E.g. the recent publicity stunt of making a public offer to Pippa Middleton to appear in porn film for a huge sum. But yes, I have also seen NOTNEWS abused in this way. Hans Adler 07:14, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Piers Morgan was fired as editor of the Daily Mirror in 2004 after falling victim to a crude hoax (curiously, his official CNN biography fails to mention this at all). All of the UK tabloids have fouled up at some point, which means that they should not be used as the sole source for controversial WP:BLP material. However, I'm not convinced that an outright block on these sources is the best approach, and would prefer normal editorial judgment to be applied on a case by case basis.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:46, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
To be precise, Morgan was fired for falling victim to a hoax about British abuse of Iraqi prisoners. In news reporting there are no wrong actions, only wrong viewpoints. Wnt (talk) 18:00, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
Facepalm See last paragraph of this. Hans Adler 20:51, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
  • The 2004 Queen's Lancashire Regiment affair was one of the most serious UK tabloid foul ups in recent years.[32] It made Piers Morgan's position at the Mirror untenable, as the facts should have been checked more thoroughly before publication.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:20, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not just the correctness or otherwise that is an issue here. It's also the focus on totally trivial stuff that is at most marginally newsworthy, let alone encyclopedic. The Daily Mail should almost never be used as a source for the same reason that Mickey Mouse and Friends should almost never be used as a source. It's not about information, it's primarily about entertainment. The only real difference is that the Daily Mail keeps up the appearance of being a newspaper because of its history and because it serves an adult market. Hans Adler 16:03, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
I was going to post something similar to your second sentence, so I will instead repeat it verbatim and bold it: It's also the focus on totally trivial stuff that is at most marginally newsworthy, let alone encyclopedic. Flatterworld (talk) 16:28, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

WT:BLP thread

There is a thread at BLP talk to discuss this further: Wikipedia_talk:Biographies_of_living_persons#Tabloid_journalism --JN466 08:19, 11 May 2011 (UTC)

James Middleton DYK

The James Middleton article is on the Main Page right now in this state with the DYK hook James Middleton, the brother of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, baked 21 cakes for HELLO! magazine's 21st birthday?. That hook is cited to a Daily Mail "story" with the headline "How many MORE skeletons in Kate Middleton's closet?", whose main focus is most certainly not James' cake making skills, or James at all. As I said above, forget about John Q Reviewer, this failure is directly traceable to an admin's poor decision to keep that article at Afd due to his belief that the Daily Mail is "semi-reliable". I've been trying to find out what he meant by that, and get some explanation behind the logic of his closure, but I'm getting no joy whatsoever. MickMacNee (talk) 23:56, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

There is actually another problem there as well: DYK has become a factory for mainpage credits. There seems to be a large number of DYK junkies who mass-produce totally boring articles and put them through DYK. As a result, every single article currentrly gets only a few hours on DYK, and readers have been conditioned to ignore it entirely as it routinely breaks the promise of providing interesting information. Unfortunately, the lobby of DYK abusers has so far prevented reform. Hans Adler 00:02, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Pretty much spot on there, sadly. But let me ask a question. If it encourages people to create more articles with better referencing, is it not worth it? If we're actually in practice using this part of the main page for encouraging content creation that's not necessary a waste. Or is it? Deacon of Pndapetzim (Talk) 00:27, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
While there's some truth to what Hans says, there's really much more important things on Wikipedia to complain about, then whether DYK articles are boring or not (some are, some aren't, it depends on whose reading'em). I also don't think that it's true that "readers have been conditioned to ignore it entirely" - if it was true, DYK articles wouldn't get the huge boost in views that they do. But yeah, nominations sourced to Daily Maily shouldn't be getting checked-off and someone might want to say that explicitly on the talk page over yonder.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:02, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
A voice of a DYK insiderThis is a perpetual problem - DYK promotion entirely hinges on the availability of reviewers at T:TDYK and on the consensus reached there. One of those cases where criticism and talks about reorganizing the system can't substitute actual reviewing help. Materialscientist (talk) 07:12, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Not much harm done. Daily Mail of course is no reliable source and the article was not terribly good at the moment of its presentation (to say the least) but as an other user stated somewhere, a cake baking young man is not a bad role model :-) Bringing this on Jimbo's talk page is - I hate to comment on the person not the case - another run from Mick in his "Delete the Middletons" fight. Adornix (talk) 11:13, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Not much harm done? You don't even know what the issue is. Do you really think I'm just complaining here that James got on the Main Page? Jesus. MickMacNee (talk) 13:20, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

This is frankly appalling. There are BLP issues here. But the wider issue is: is Wikipedia a joke? Do we really have an editing process, designed to put our best on the mainpage, that doesn't vet tabloid junk? DYK has become a disgrace unworthy of an encyclopedia. But will anything be done about it? Nope.--Scott Mac 13:37, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

See above. The process is long set up, editors are lacking. Materialscientist (talk) 13:48, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
The process is flawed, and a flawed process attract the wrong types of editors. I have long said it is time to stop using DYK to drive through increasing number of hooks from increasingly obscure articles and use it to highlight a fewer number of quality articles. Take the hooks from "recently improved" (GA or new FAs) - and encourage people who want stars to improve non-obscure articles. I have no interest in participating in the current stamp-collectors' process.--Scott Mac 13:54, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Not so simple. FA has its section. GAN is too slow and can provide max. one article per DYK set. Further, GA process is much more flawed than DYK, because the nom is approved by one editor and is not verified, this has been abused a lot and just wasn't as visible as DYK. Criteria are different, they can be strengthened and enforced, and its all about manpower. Materialscientist (talk) 14:10, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
(ec) While it would be good to allow GAs, I think the main issue is that we currently have too much boring stuff. Many of the articles under Portal:Battleships/Did you know are quite substantial. The problem is that there is nothing interesting about the hooks. I use DYK myself when I have an article about the pyramid on the market square of a big German city that is built over the vault of the city founder. There is enough weirdness in the world to have a little bit of April Fools Day every day. But a professional cake baker who once baked 21 cakes for a non-notable occasion definitely does not fall in this category. Hans Adler 14:12, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
the simple reason (as Hans mentioned) being that people need these little stars to become admins one day... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 13:41, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
Christ! Obviously there should be better mechanisms for deciding what articles make it to DYK. But it is really silly to make such a drama. This DYK-thing is not very serious. So change it if you can. I really hate those rants about how the WP is going down. Running to The Founder and complaining is childish. Starting a Rfc on this point seems more reasonable. Adornix (talk) 14:05, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't care. You don't even appreciate what the harm is from doing this or how it's completely against WP:BLP, so your complaints aren't particularly relevant. You can call it childish all you want, but you're the guy defending this disaster on nothing but attacks on me and very little understanding of what's even the issue. MickMacNee (talk) 14:47, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
It's not my complaints it's yours. You make a drama out of a small thing. Of course there is a general problem this small thing ist standing for as Hans Adler and Materialscientist could explain clearly. You couldn't but only complained about bad Admin decisions you didn't like. And now I'm going to try to ignore you. Your usual rudeness makes me sad. Adornix (talk) 14:53, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
A small thing? It's a "small" thing to place someone's biography on the Main Page of a high profile site like Wikipedia on the pretence that they are going to read about their notable business career, but are infact being directed to a tabloid story about all the things his family have to hide. That piece devoted entirely two paragraphs to James alone, and in that, aswell as the utterly pointless cake factoid used for the DYK, also managed to describe him as a publicitiy seeking university drop out who likes to wear dresses. You can ignore me all you want, you can be sad all you want. The idea of you even trying to describe that as a small issue doesn't make me sad, it makes me angry. MickMacNee (talk) 15:44, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
You seem to be angry a lot. And you use strong expressions a lot. Especially when not everybody shares your view :-) --Adornix (talk) 16:25, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I think the criticism is pretty accurate. DYK would be a great tool to improve existing articles, I think it's time to allow DYK nominations based on clearing out articles in various cleanup categories, ex: Wikipedia:Template_messages/Cleanup#Verifiability_and_sources It would do a lot more good. RxS (talk) 14:11, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
This is feasible, and was recently proposed here, but needs polishing (solid criteria for acceptance). Materialscientist (talk) 14:16, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
I think generally the volunteers at DYK do a good job, there's usually a mix of science, popular culture, world culture... look at the other hooks in that set: ecology, basketball, astronomy, economics and music. If only one hook out of seven is not to your taste then they're doing something right! Jebus989 15:03, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
You seem to have pretty low standards. As of this writing, the first hook is something totally boring about an opera having been translated, and it even got the image space for a boring photo. The next is a "bicentennial" park commemorating a centennial. That's at least borderline surprising, but not really. Then something about the previous occupation of a TV host that presumably interests some Americans who may have heard of him. Three more totally unsurprising pro forma hooks. And finally something that is actually surprising and puzzling – a rugby trophy that was hidden from the Nazis. This is what a hook should be like. So we have a good hook, a middling hook, a reasonable hook that works only for US readers and four boring things that only look like hooks. Hans Adler 15:34, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
There was never a "Golden Age of DYK": the first five DYKs were Did you know:
It ultimately boils down to whether we want the main page to encourage an "I could do better than that" attitude, or "hey, this looks professional". I personally think DYK (and ITN) showcase Wikipedia at its worst, by highlighting our weakest and most unstable writing, but I can certainly see the other side. – iridescent 16:34, 14 May 2011 (UTC)
After reading this and other talks I don't think it's a question of rules or criteria, which we have and which are quite clear. For example:
Former unsourced BLPs (such as those in this category) which have been thoroughly sourced and in which the prose portion has been expanded twofold or more within the last five days are also acceptable as "new" articles. The content with which the article has been expanded must be new content, not text copied from other articles. (from Wikipedia:Did you know#Selection criteria).
This is reasonable and the James Middleton Artciel should not have been chosen, because it's obviously not "thoroughly sourced". So it is a question of enforcing rules or of improving the mechanism of article selection for DYK. The Afd decision was not the trigger I think but bad decisions within the DYK selection process. It should become very clear to those who participate there that they have to obey some rules and maybe some procedural changes could help. Or do you think the criteria are wrong? Adornix (talk) 15:09, 14 May 2011 (UTC)

"There seems to be a large number of DYK junkies who mass-produce totally boring articles and put them through DYK" and "I personally think DYK (and ITN) showcase Wikipedia at its worst, by highlighting our weakest and most unstable writing." Just how many people are you including within this? Because those are very generalized statements, if you want to showcase wikipedia's worst articles just place Indian and Pakistani villages on the front page..!. Some DYK contributors produce some very interesting articles and are very well written and researched like Tikal and Oaxaca for instance were when they were DYKd, and those editors worked/work damn hard producing valuable content. Others as you say produce content which have major problems with prose and grammar and is barely encyclopedic. DYK is a very mixed bag, I myself have produced a very mixed bag of articles in which quality or interest may differ considerably. Also considering something "totally boring" is highly subjective and for instance a Buddhist temple in Thailand or something may interest some people but totally disinterest other people. Hans Adler for instance may find an article on a complex maths theory highly interesting which would totally bore many people, yet may consider an article about a Bhutanese monk or something to be totally boring and vice versa.. DYK is not supposed to showcase the best quality work. Personally I think any article which is fully sourced is a step in the right direction and if DYK encourages editors to expand/create new content with sources then this usually makes them better than the thousands of unsourced/poorly sourced junk we have on wikipedia. The reason I "mass" contribute to DYK is not because I could give two hoots about being credited on the main page, it is a good mechanism and gives me some motivation to improve articles to a certain standard which were poorly sourced or missing entirely and for the fact that some of the dedicated DYK reviewers can attempt to fix any major prose/grammar issues prior to going out. In fact through working with other editors articles I'd normally add only a few lines too in creating become start class articles and are definitely an improvement on what they would have been without DYK collaboration. DYK ensures they are start class, which is better than stub class surely? Compare that article to another in the category which didn't go through DYK e.g Lac-Baker (New Brunswick), the quality is clearly much worse. Its nice to have a bank of articles for DYK you can look back over. In fact I've done so with many of mine and promoted some of them to GA. Sourced content is usually a good thing and what we should be striving to achieve in every article. The main problem lies in reliance on newspapers as "reliable sources" such as the Daily Mail who think Kim Kardashian getting a cup of coffee and The Only way is Essex "stars" going to Waitrose or something is a news story. Its time we reassessed certain newspapers as sources, I've lost count of the times a tabloid news fodder of the week has been kept and passed off as an encyclopedia article because people claimed "covered in multiple reliable sources". Dr. Blofeld 12:18, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

"Hans Adler for instance may find an article on a complex maths theory highly interesting which would totally bore many people, yet may consider an article about a Bhutanese monk or something to be totally boring and vice versa.." You don't have to make such wild (and incorrect) guesses on what I find appropriate for DYK. You can find all my DYK contributions listed here: I think you will agree that at most the last one is comparable to your two examples of obscure topics. I would consider technical mathematics articles always unsuitable for DYK, and an article about a Bhutanese monk suitable if and only if it has a really interesting hook or gives significant insight into Bhutanese culture for the average reader. Iridescent pointed out that DYK wasn't better in February 2004 than it is now. But it wasn't worse, either, and that's the problem. At the time there was apparently no today's featured article. There was a short list of featured articles on that day: Peerage (demoted in 2006, now C class), Electoral College (demoted in 2006, now B class), Irish Houses of Parliament (demoted in 2008, now B class), English poetry (demoted in 2007, now B or C class), Rudyard Kipling (demoted in 2008, now B class). This was the state of the Kipling article on that day. Our content has generally improved a lot over the last seven years, especially on the main page. DYK has not.
But I do agree with your point about demoting tabloids. Hans Adler 13:41, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't implying that you did, although you have cited that's your interest on your user page so I used it as an example, I was just giving an example that people may have different views on what is interesting.. I try to generally write about lavish architecture, cities and villages off the anglo radar, world culture, even wedding dresses in an attempt to make wikipedia more exciting as a resource, some of my hooks may be mundane as I couldn't find any exciting hook, others may be more attractive but I'd like to think that people find the articles I write about interesting. I'm sure that many contributors to DYK think what they write about interesting. Can you give me some example of the hooks/articles you find "totally boring" ?♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:04, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
"Our content has generally improved a lot over the last seven years" mostly because more editors spend more time on improving existing articles, bringing them up to FA status. DYK articles are still mostly written by one person within a few days. Thus unfair comparison. And I doubt DYK content has not improved. We do require at least one ref. per para whereas many past DYKs were nearly unreferenced. Materialscientist (talk) 13:50, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
OK, so maybe DYK has improved a bit, but certainly not enough. Most of this stuff is just too boring for the main page of a top 10 website. "DYK articles are still mostly written by one person within a few days." Maybe that's the main problem. As we are further approaching maintenance mode, some things will have to change. Hans Adler 14:09, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
Definitely, the standards for DYK are better than they were a few years back. In fact if you look through some of the older DYKs, mine included they are poorly sourced as it wasn't a requirement to have all paragraphs sourced back then.. I'll agree that some DYKs get through when some of the prose is sloppy, I've been guilty of that myself but the general standards are higher than they used to be. But sources as you say Hans are a real problem as unless they are really obvious non RS sources like blogs they are not usually identified unless it is for the hook itself. A lot of the DYK hooks I'll agree like "that the Ypsilanti Automotive Heritage Museum in Ypsilanti, Michigan, is housed in the last surviving Hudson Motor Car Company dealership?" I think, who cares? but I respect the contribution of the article itself even if I dislike the hook. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:11, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
I generally agree with Dr. Blofeld here. My own view, which I think I may have never expressed out loud before, is that it is no longer wise or useful to restrict DYK links on the front page to new articles. At one time, this may have been a good way to incentivize people to write new articles on interesting topics, now it may be leading to unnecessary recentism as well as limiting the scope of what ought to be one of our most amazing and charming front page features. People, including me, love "did you know" tidbits that are interesting and surprising - so why should we restrict ourselves to selecting just from new articles? (And since I haven't commented yet, although my views are well known, I think using the Daily Mail as a source for fluff is a really bad idea, always. There are rare cases where the Daily Mail and similar tabloids are acceptable for use in an encyclopedic context, but every use should be placed under the strictest possible scrutiny.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:38, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
That's an interesting point Jimmy, you mean like DYK snippets from GA or half decent articles rather than those which have been expanded/created. I guess though that On this day.... sort of does that in a way.... But I honestly think people would create these sorts of articles anyway, regardless of DYK... Maybe there should be a restriction against recentism then as DYKs, or at least stricter assessment of those related to current affairs. I have nothing against it in principal but what alarms we is how wikipedia is increasingly becoming a newspaper on many topics rather than an encyclopedia. And it is precisely these tabloid covered articles and popular media coverage that is used as the "covered in multiple reliable sources" so we must have it. Biographies like James Middleton and Ivy Bean in my view are not notable in their own right. I created Middleton family myself with the intent of merging his article. The family is notable I think but he is not notable as a BLP and neither his the mother or father. Ivy Bean, yes the media caused a big fuss of her because she was old and a social network user which is noteworthy in both Facebook and Twitter to mention. But a biography about her life is completely unnecessary and certainly way off being unencylopedic. And then we are missing some extremely important people and traditional encyclopedic subjects from non anglophone countries which should be getting coverage but they are not. We can't dictate what editors are interested in but I believe we have to make bigger restrictions on the trend towards recentism on here. Wikipedia is NOT a newspaper and although we are a very good source for current affairs and should cover topics of lasitng significance like the death of Bin Laden and his compound and the royal wedding we do not need to cover every ounce of information covered on news websites. I think Scott's WP:OTTO sums this up very well and should become a new guideline to prevent the tabloid newspaper story of the day having an encyclopedia article. A lot of new content is a violation of WP:NOT NEWS and WP:ONEEVENT.
I'd also like to point out that the problem is not just in new articles or DYK it is in existing articles. See the Piers Morgan article. Is it encyclopedic to mention every bit of idle banter he encounters on Twitter? Certainly not. His ongoing tiff with Hislop and Clarkson is notable, little else is. It reads as tabloid cruft and way off being suitable encyclopedic content for a biography. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:09, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

@Hans. How about DYK that two kilometres from Al-Sakhir Palace in Bahrain is an oil-pumping well disguised as a hoopoe bird? I thought that was quite novel!♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:08, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

It's great as a hook, but once I had followed the link to the article I was very disappointed only to see the same sentence again and no further explanation. It became clear after I looked at the source, but that should never be necessary. Hans Adler 18:14, 15 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we need more math in DYK: I am very upset at the thought of never putting complex math in a DYK entry. Instead:
I'll stop the list, there, but there are many notable DYK issues in complex mathematics (beyond algebra and simple calculus). -Wikid77 14:48, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
The thing is Daily Mail does have a lot of notable content on things like fashion and restaurants which can be verified as accurate. I used DM as a source once or twice in the new article Green Versace dress of Jennifer Lopez... I'd say that the source needs to be exercised with caution more than anything, but its not ideal...We now have 30 articles on dresses, only 70 more to go.... A lot of other editors have started writing about them too, the royal wedding dress seems to have sparked off! LOL this subject is the last thing I'd normally be interested in but I find the women and their dresses very appealing to look at and write about! Black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley is amongst the highest page views ever for a DYK and now get 300-400 page views per day... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 14:03, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Perhaps we need WP essays on suggested sources: Let's start a WP essay "WP:Suggested sources" which also considers WP:BLP restrictions. In computer technology, publications of the ACM and IEEE are typically good sources, or for films, an essay could suggest IMDb or for Broadway, as a source. However, we need some suggestions (and warnings) about celebrity sources, crime-article sources, rock-band sources, etc. If the Daily Mail is to be used, cautiously, then suggest some restrictions for editors to beware. I agree some topics over a year-old are highly notable, such as Dr. Blofeld's new "Black Versace dress of Elizabeth Hurley" (which hit 16,400 pageviews from DYK); however, the rush to write a WP:Recentism topic seems to prompt people to scramble to link any website as a source. I did not realize a British newspaper could exaggerate, "[the killer] stated he went to the loo just seconds before" the girl was knifed. I'm not sure objective journalists are allowed to say "just seconds before" when 6 minutes have passed. So, we need an essay to warn about hyperbole, as well as factual errors, in news reports, and suggest better WP:RS sources. -Wikid77 16:47, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
    • I'm not sure we need more essays, so much as we need editors who have the basic commonsense to understand that not every "news" item belongs in a serious encyclopedia. And we need to support editors who do have this degree of commonsense, rather than hanging them out to dry. On the other hand, we have tried to codify appropriate sources for medical content, in the form of a guideline (WP:MEDRS). I would say it's been moderately effective. MastCell Talk 17:08, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
      • Too many editors have a simplistic, black-and-white view of reliability. The answer to the question "Is X a reliable source?" should always be "For what?" But we instead have prolific creators of featured content saying things like "major newspapers are indisputably classified as reliable sources under Wikipedia's guidelines, no matter what the topic is." Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 17:19, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Personal Statement: Trident13

Interesting thread! When one of my edits is being so highly debated, pity that those who deny that Wikipedia in this discussion thread is not heading towards an elite band of super editors also couldn’t be bothered to alert me as just a contributor to the discussion - I thank the gracious human being who did. I have three thoughts from this discussion:

(1) Please remove my Approver privileges immediately, as requested by Jimbo and echo’d by his yelping lap dog Off2riorob. I want nothing to do with a procedure which is disappearing - if this thread is followed to its logical conclusion - into its own derriere, and that shows firmly that Wikipedia can’t stand by its own rules of WP:RS. In part I conclude that Wikimedia’s “problem” with the Daily Mail is not that it is not a WP:RS, but that it like many of the right wing press regularly attacks the accuracy of Wikipedia - I conclude that position has a price internally to pay

(2) With the escalating number of paywalls now being placed around various forms of online media, and the apparent exclusion of the Daily Mail and the wider global DM&GT to the “fact” that its a tabloid (I’d like to know the DM’s editors view of that one, and being classed alongside a celebrity blog - I will write to him and ask; you should also remove everything from the London Evening Standard pre-2009, when it also was a DM&GT brand). Resultantly in the UK as WP:RS, you would then just end up at present with The Telegraph, The Guardian and the BBC - I have excluded the Express, you’d be better off with a stone tablet. Part of Wikipedia’s base of standing is in having both a large number of editors, as well as a large number of WP:RS, and a thorough review/edit procedure by peers to complete the circle. If you end up with just three sources because of your own view of whether a source is a tabloid or not, even when its a registered newspaper, then what of the long term goal to be a reputable encyclopedia? I can’t see that an academic would want to create a sustainable lifetime of work on just three main sources

(3) I personally don’t agree with the majority political position of the Daily Mail - right wing froth is a nice summary - but does that mean that I should go around calling it a right wing tabloid, and dismiss all that its reports? It complies with UK laws, is registered as a newspaper, and although the second largest circulating newspaper in the UK, tends to apply a rule of multiple sources before it would print something. This hence makes it slow on reporting most personalised stories which would touch BLP, as opposed to the (soon to be firewall suppressed, and far more akin to the National Equirer or a celebrity blog) Sun. If you can find a mainstream newspaper that doesn’t include the odd bit of sourced personal reporting, then I guess you have found your best WP:RS. If a well funded and regarded newspaper can get caught out by a false story, then by rights of WP:RS Wikipedia will as well; but multiple editors and review is the balance. In example I give you the term sodomy within the article of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, reported by three (I hope you consider them...) WP:RS at some point on Sunday 15 May, and then quickly withdrawn by those sources. Yet your own article became an edit war on the terms inclusion/exclusion. An editor read the sources, and as none of them then used the term sodomy withdrew it from the article, and placed an explanation on the articles talkpage - if you haven’t yet guessed, that editor was myself. And yet, still debate goes on as to what sodomy is, and whether the term should be used in the article; I have even taken a bit of personal talk page slapping! Further still today the live Google cache search from the UK contains the word sodomy in the headline of the FoxNews story - its been amended when you click through to sexual assault. If we were all: perfect human beings; all had the same view of the world, politics and morality; only used a highly limited number of sources; and only used exactly what they said; then after fending off the copyright law suits you wouldn’t have the need for peer review or later editing by anyone. Its because we don’t and aren’t as human beings, and neither are the newspapers and sources that Wikipedia relies on - and that historical perspective moves on - that the circle needs to exist. Strengthening the circle in certain ways will result in Wikipedia being exclusive and exclusionary, which is what I presently conclude the top level politics in Wikipedia is blindly driving towards; while in other ways it will open it up and make it less reliable as an encyclopedia. I don't think its easy driving that middle line, but its surely easier than this?

In conclusion, personally I have never wanted to be an admin or anything further up the seniority pole of Wikipedia, because like many organisations its all gets a bit too political and personal (NB: I see the paywall issue as a bigger threat to Wikipedia long term than many of the internal navel debates: no sources, nothing to add; or the pace of up keep slows to that of publishing/obtaining a library book, which would kill the online project). I have only ever wanted to do something different from that day job and its personal politics, by solely adding to the project, which like many who have been here a long time and have never sought "seniority" is where we get our enjoyment. Perhaps if someone had thought to take the five minutes out to point out the - apparently judged by many - long term error of my ways here to me before, this would have been a different discussion. Its a pity that that enjoyment has been taken away by many, including Jimbo Wales, through direct personal attack: judge and jury, or a mirror on whom? Very disappointed at this time on many levels, I hope you will understand that I will be taking some time out. Rgds, - Trident13 (talk) 18:35, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

PS: My solution to the BLP Problem? Its in the title. As the majority of legal complaints occur in what is edited into personal lives, add where appropraite a personal life section to all living persons articles, and make that alone always second approver/peer review - no matter how non-tabloid the perceived source, no matter how well established/senior the editor