User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 76

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Did you know that...

... the Daily Mail is now used for mainpage DYK hooks? Tijfo098 (talk) 00:10, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

See #James Middleton DYK. Hans Adler 00:13, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
  • I am really getting inspired to write some trendy related essays:
• "WP:Embrace your inner Pippapedia"
• "WP:Avoiding tons of Middletons"
• "WP:Absence of Mail-ace"
Can anyone suggest some other potential titles? -Wikid77 04:18, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
"Wikipedia: the online encyclopedia that anyone can fill with tabloid trash". AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:28, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Brilliant in its simplicity. Or, to give it a more positive outlook: WP:The online encyclopedia that anyone can fill with tabloid trash until they are blocked. Hans Adler 04:58, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

We don't block for that, we revert and only block when they manage to get into a war with several editors. Let us be constructive. All this chat about Daily Mail is nice, but there is nothing specific on it in WP:RS, meaning we can't even revert. Maybe it is better to reach consensus on the WP policy pages (and upgrade the policies) rather than chat here? After all, projects like DYK are operating from the core policies, with some extras on top. Materialscientist (talk) 05:14, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

DYK that Wikipedia is now edited by Paul Dacre?
DYK that if Newton N. Minow were alive today, he would likely make his Wasteland Speech about Wikipedia instead of television? Flatterworld (talk) 21:08, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Hey, at least they didn't put the fucksaw story on ITN! Tijfo098 (talk) 22:59, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Your reaction to Streeter Seidell's image about you?

How did you feel when you saw it, and what'd you have to say?

-- (talk) 07:31, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

Juvenile and offensive.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:48, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
The offensiveness of the image and captions extend beyond the juvenile intent of the prankster who defaced them. I also find it offensive and am prepared to retaliate. Fortunately, vengeance is not my prerogative, so I'll simply add my disgust here and move on. What a pathetic example of freedom! My76Strat (talk) 18:38, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Awww, I guess the little kiddies couldn't find dates, so they had to fill their time with something. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:39, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh, get a sense of humor already. I giggled. You probably did too. —SW— soliloquize 06:37, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Oh, get a sense of decency and cram your sense of humor right where the giggle escaped. Hey you're right; humor does feel good. My76Strat (talk) 19:46, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Snottywong (talkcontribs) 06:07, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Hmm. I find crass humour so... boring and unimaginative... says a lot more about the creator, and those laughing with him, than anything else. --Errant (chat!) 08:54, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't have been bad if it was stupid, insulting and wasn't even funny, just stupid and insulting. Maybe Streeter needs to find a new that doesn't require being funny!. Apparently "College Humour" doesn't have to be funny these days? Perhaps this is just a jealous reprisal because his Wikipedia page hits are a humble 4002 hits in April 2011. Jimbo's page on the otherhand had 34515 in April 2011 and was ranked 736th in Wikipedia viewed articles? Perhaps someone tell Mr. Seidell that Jealousy is an Evil thing! Or perhaps he will read it himself if he should happen by to see this? --Kumioko (talk) 14:56, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Looks like run-of-the-mill vandalism to me....someone must have been very bored and had nothing better to do.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 15:11, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Delete my wiki

hey jimbo. I don't want my wiki anymore, and I want it gone. thanks in advance. Edwin1124 (talk)LAXfresh (Owner Of : "LAXfresh Wiki") —Preceding undated comment added 13:58, 19 May 2011 (UTC).

More RfA and Swedish WP lessons

This is a continuation of the massive thread, earlier "#Revisiting the reform of RfA" (begun 8 May 2011), destined to be achived into the subpage /Archive_75, as the topic:

The admin and user stats for Swedish Wikipedia are (mid-May):

  • Swedish #admins = 98, #users = 225,726     ratio: 1-per-2300 registered users

Since they re-elect for "1 year" (Swedish "ett år"), that "98" is likely to be the count of active admins (compared to enwiki admins=1,262 with inactives). According to the Swedish WP pages about adminship (see "Svenska" link under WP:Administrator), they converted to 1-year terms (plus quarterly re-elections), at the start of 2006, due to excessive debates to attempt to desysop troublesome admins, which led to "protracted conflicts" (Swedish: "långdragna konflikter"). First-time elections could not detect future trouble. The reconfirmation process assigns each admin to a re-election period, quarterly, at 1 of 4 times during the year (each admin is in 1 quarter), to lump them into repetitive groups, and thus faster to process. That apparently avoids the issue of re-elections happening every week, all year. Elections are held in January, April, July & October (months: 1/4/7/10), and anyone un-elected loses privileges at the end of that month. Swedish WP also formerly had many inactive administrators (Swedish: "inaktiva administratörer"), so re-elections solved that problem as well. IMHO opinion, Swedish culture embraces a spirit of truthfulness and limited variety, favoring the "ombudsman" and "smorgasbord" (and they don't like the idea of an "American hero" Oliver North who lies to the U.S. Government). However, there could be a problem when telling "too much truth" in debates to convince others to recall a failing admin. For whatever reasons, it has been easier for Swedish WP to re-vote "NO" (to stop 75% approval) than to convince others to vote "Recall". Note how elections and re-elections are the same process, with all treated equally. That's an intro as to how/why Swedish WP bothers to re-vote, each quarter, for 1-year terms (~24 elections per quarter). I didn't read anything about them denying the block-button for new admins, but that might help. -Wikid77 07:54, revised 14:04, 15 May 2011 (UTC)

IMO a terrible idea. We have a problem that the numbers of admins is dwindling and a major contributary factor is that the RfA is an unpleasant, time-consuming experience. Good prospective candidates for adminship already turn down offers of nomination because they don't want to run that particular gauntlet. People who do run it without being fully prepared often never come back to Wikipedia at all. Insist that we run it every year? You'll be haemorrhaging admins. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 12:39, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking the same concerns myself, and how they can stomach 24 re-elections, every 3 months. However, I suspect Swedish WP has streamlined the process, in the sense of Japanese Kaizen improvements: when something is very difficult to do, then Kaizen advises to do it more often, not less, with the idea that repeated attempts will get easier, or more simplified, each time. To memorize a piece of piano music, I have learned to repeat it 50 times, rather than insist, "That music has so many notes, so many piano keys to remember, how could anyone ever memorize an entire piece of music for piano?". The later repetitions are much easier than the first several, and allow time to polish the rhythm of difficult phrases. Also, realizing the total time needed, to perform 50 repetitions, helps to schedule time and predict when the piano part will be memorized. In a sense, only the difficult parts get repeated "50" times, sometimes at much faster tempo to finish them sooner during practice. When facing 50 admin elections, every 3 months, then quicker methods would be found. -Wikid77 13:29, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
This is a problem that needs addressing. In this case, I don't think the solution is inherently workable. Why? Because we need a much much larger pool of admins, and the Swedish system doesn't strike me as very scalable. At the moment our active admin count is about 750, which means (under your scheme) about 160 RFA's every three months. That's a hell of a lot of work and I suspect it would end up reducing overall participation in each RFA. On top of that we would need new procedures for the de-sysoping of inactive accounts (that's always been a bit of a problem to get past the community). And a group of people to manage the process. And we would still need to keep on top of new RFA's to make sure they were well attended. --Errant (chat!) 13:48, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
The Swedes can do it because they have an average of two (well, 1.88) reconfirmations per week with their current admin population. Enwiki has close to two thousand admins, which would be something like six reconfirmations per day. If we assume that about 750 admins are actually active and would stand for reconfirmation, then we're still looking at fourteen or fifteen reconfirmations per week. That's two or three times the throughput of our regular RfA even at its busiest. If we adopt the Swedish method of quarterly batch reconfirmations, it gets even worse—what Wikipedia editor is going to try to review nearly two hundred candidates? (How many editors can be bothered to read all twenty or so ArbCom candidate statements, just once per year?) In practice, it means that most applications will be rubber-stamped, and only the small fraction of candidates who have accumulated opponents with both patience (revenge is a dish best served cold—and annually) and extensive WP process skills will receive any scrutiny. From there, I see two possible outcomes. The first possibility is that the regular voters at RfA will decide that any candidate that has drawn any controversy over their last year has obviously violated admin norms, and should be desysopped (because adminship is No Big Deal, and because so many other reconfirmation candidates didn't attract such attention). This would gradually deplete our pool of admins who are willing to deal with controversial or unpleasant editors. The second, more likely outcome is that the reconfirmation 'regulars' will see an influx of single-candidate voters, polarized into pro- and anti- factions holding a referendum on the candidate's role in a single issue (The Great Hyphen Wars, let's say) but easily sidetracked into irrelevant bickering and minutiae. These candidates will generally, despite the virulent rhetoric, eke out a passing vote, because "if the issue were anything really serious it would have gone to ArbCom already" or some similar rationale.
Wikid77's point above – in essence, the idea that repeated practice will build skill and efficiency – is an interesting one. I admit that I share Errant's belief that the Swedish system is inherently not scalable to deal with ewiki's much larger admin and editor pool, however if Wikid77's prediction were to pan out, there could be some serious unintended consequences. His piano analogy is particularly – and probably unintentionally – apt. It is true that most people could learn to play the piano reasonably well, given sufficient time and effort. It is true that superficially difficult-to-play passages will often become much easier with practice. Nevertheless, it is also true that most people just don't bother to learn to play the piano. Given a finite amount of editing time, few of us will want to spend hours 'practising' our admin-confirming scales and exercises. After a short period of intense interest in reconfirmations, we will see a small pool (I'd expect to be able to count them on my fingers, possibly on one hand) who from then on do virtually all of the evaluation and reconfirmation. These self-selected virtuosos will wield tremendous power without formal oversight, because they will personally drive the standards by which candidates are judged, and because they will be most expert in 'playing' the system. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 14:42, 16 May 2011 (UTC)
Beware conclusions from false analogy ...or perhaps argument from false premises. If Swedish WP creates 100 new articles per day, then perhaps article creation is not scalable to 900 articles per day: conclusion, the English WP cannot exist. No, everything else in Swedish WP seems to be scalable, and they have templates, and their language has the same general word order as English, so why wouldn't admin reviews and re-elections be scalable? There are more people on English WP to cast the admin-election votes, so I would think there would be a larger pool of total voters. If there really were an excessive re-election workload, then perhaps only recent admins would be re-elected every year, while others went every 2 or 3 years. However, suppose new candidates, who hear their admin-term would only be 10-12 months, would decide, okay, now they want to be admins for a year, knowing the system has a way to easily replace them at the end of the 10-12-month term, with no stigma of "quitter" or "de-sysoped" when they decide not to re-nominate. There are so many possible adjustments, it is too early to fear the "Swedish admin re-elections are NOT scalable" when the focus should be, "Making it scalable, by some adjustments". -Wikid77 18:02, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

There is a project set up to look at the RfA process and to investigate possible avenues of reform at WP:RFA2011. Catfish Jim & the soapdish 14:00, 16 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Yes, I would actually look forward to the practicality of voting in 447 reconfirmation RfA's every 3 months. —SW— comment 06:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
    • Why do you feel the need to post long threads (on subjects which are currently being discussed elsewhere at length) on Jimbo's talk page, when he clearly doesn't care and/or has better things to do? —SW— confer 06:34, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
I think most people, actually, are selectively adding text which they think Jimbo would find interesting, and he tends to ask people to stop posting when the comments wander too far. Plus, for these RfA issues, the page WP:RFA2011 excludes discussion about term-limits or the Swedish quarterly re-election system (which has used 1-year terms for 6 years now), and considering the impact of 6 years, several people mentioned the Swedish-WP re-elections on this talk-page. The enwiki quarterly re-elections are estimated at "160" admins, rather than "447" because more than 1,030 admins (most) appear to be inactive, and re-elections could better reveal the true admin population, which is what happened on svwiki to remove the (Swedish) "inaktiva administratörer". If this topic is extensively elsewhere, then it has been overlooked for 6 years. -Wikid77 14:47, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Surely you can see how that system doesn't scale to the english wikipedia. Can you really imagine having 160 simultaneous RfA's? Things get crazy enough around here when there are 5 RfA's happening at the same time. This might work just fine for a smaller wiki with under 100 admins, where you could spread 25 reconfirmation RfA's over the period of a month (only about 6 per week at that rate, which is manageable). But, for anyone who has thought about it for more than 10 seconds, this clearly doesn't work for a wiki of this size. This would create an unimaginably huge increase in bureaucratic bloat, and would probably require thousands of additional man-hours of just raw voting by our editors to implement. Those thousands of man-hours would be better spent writing articles. And, your math is off. If there are 1,787 admins and 1,030 of them are inactive, then that leaves 757 active admins which would require about 190 RfA's per quarter, not 160. And that's assuming that your 1,030 number is correct. Furthermore, the first four quarters would require close to 450 RfA's per quarter, since all of the inactive admins would still have a right to an RfA. The WP:RFA2011 page excludes this idea for a reason, and the reason is that it's a terrible idea. —SW— confer 16:37, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Inactive admins fail at re-nomination, so no voting there: There seems to be a fear of "450" enwiki re-elections per quarter, but that is highly exaggerated: no new admins need re-election during their 1st year (subtract them), some admins will clearly resign (subtract them), and inactive admins will fail to respond to re-nomination (subtract them), so they get removed with no voting (do not allow votes if an admin fails to acknowledge the re-nomination). Hence, a figure of "160" per quarter has been estimated, as the number of non-new admins, expected to agree with re-nomination. Many admins might respond to re-nomination with, "No, but thank you for giving me an easy exit: I just want to edit now". Perhaps the Swedish WP in 2005, had similar sky-is-falling fears, with some saying, "Herregud, omval kommer aldrig att fungera! ("Oh my God, re-elections will never work!"). Now, 6 years and 27 re-elections later, they found a way to make it work (27 times), with only a "handful of people" to decide 98 admins, and they still write articles in Swedish, and speak English, as well. Perhaps the Swedish Wikipedia should run the first enwiki admin re-elections, but don't tell them, "it's impossible" until they've completed the re-elections. -Wikid77 18:50, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
Clearly you have a unique inability to grasp the notion whereby a system that works for a tiny wiki might not scale gracefully to a giant site. En-wiki is 9.2 times larger than sv-wiki by article count, 64 times larger by editor count, and 31 times larger by overall edit count. It is ludicrous to believe that a system which works well there will automatically work well here. In my opinion, anything significantly more than about 15 RfA's per month would be far too much for editors to keep up with, yet you're suggesting having 150-200 in a single month. If you've voted in an RfA in the last 5 years, it would be painfully obvious that this is a shockingly callow suggestion. A quick look through your contributions seems to indicate that you have actually never voted at an RfA even once, which naturally begs the question: why are you arguing endlessly and trying to give advice in an area with which you have zero experience? Go vote in 10 RfA's and then come back and let us know what you think. —SW— speak 05:58, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Splitting large tasks into parts makes them simpler:  Many complex tasks, which formerly seemed unmanageable, have been simplified by "divide and conquer" and automation. I have a lot of experience solving complex problems, even with the severe 40-level expansion limit in Wikipedia templates. For example, spelling numbers as words:
• {{Convert/spell |2005280|ft|mi}} → two million five thousand two hundred and eighty feet (379.788 mi)
• {{Convert/spell |4.5E6|cm|m}} → four million five hundred thousand centimetres (45,000 m)
How is it possible to change a 7-digit number, while spelling it in words, and convert to miles, within the severe limits of WP templates? By dividing a hideously complex task, into easier parts, and then getting help from other people, the whole problem can be solved much faster. I already noted, an easy way to reduce re-elections would be to switch to 2-year or 3-year terms for the earlier admins. However, other people have helped provide the answer: the well-known Swedish admins get re-elected very quickly. New admins have the initial RfA, at any time, during the year, but re-elections are batched so people are prepared, to work in teams, and simplify the total workload. This is the tactic used by WP:GOCE: How can 64,000 grammar, spelling and punctuation errors be fixed in 31 days? having an Edit-Drive to focus the attention of numerous helpers. Many articles have a staggering 250 text errors, but by working together, then all articles get fixed by the deadline. We have 3,700 highly active editors: ask for their help. -Wikid77 09:30, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Getting people involved in RFA !voting is already difficult; do you have a solution/suggestion to get more people involved? What about keeping them interested? Even if there is a lengthy break between the bulk RFA's. And, due to the constant churn of editors do you have ways to keep new editors coming into RFA !voting? This is not something that could be handled by the current RFA participants; 160 RFA's at once would overwhelm them, because it takes at the very least a few minutes to check on a candidates work. It is a massive task you are proposing in an area that already has issues with participation. --Errant (chat!) 09:51, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
The re-RfA process will become more repetitive (and easier), and should probably be changed into a standardized voting system for most of the decision (with less influence from !vote issues). When the process is easier, then more people will join. The original RfA process could still treat each !vote as an issue to debate, but for re-RfA, move towards a Yes-No voting system, and for close votes, then treat that particular re-RfA as a special case, similar to the original RfA of profiling the person. This could use the Delphi technique, to start as simple "Round-1" of Yes-No votes, but then some !votes ("Oppose-Wait") might cause some long debates, then after debating, return to "Round-2" as Yes-No revote. Such delays could probably push some votes into the next month. -Wikid77 22:23, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Go vote in 10 RfA's and then come back and let us know what you think. Go vote in 10 RfA's and then come back and let us know what you think. Your problem solving skills are quite extraordinary, congratulations on that, but of course that doesn't mean jack shit here since you can't solve a problem you know nothing about. Go vote in 10 RfA's and then come back and let us know what you think. —SW— confess 16:19, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Your divide-and-conquer suggestion is interesting, but it runs afoul of the problems that you so casually mocked and dismissed in my previous response. Are you suggesting that admin review is a process which can be broken down and carried out algorithmically, so that interchangeable, easily trained individuals can each handle small batches (correctly, and with good reliability)? This isn't like creating a complex template, where there are clearly-defined inputs and outputs; we don't evaluate admins eligibility for continued service on the basis of edit count, or number of page deletions and protections, or blocks issued.
At its heart, reconfirmation is presumably designed to catch and filter out administrators who have been engaged in misconduct during the previous year. How does one do this in a fair, efficient, effective, systematic way? At RfA, it is not uncommon for a candidate to receive several fairly quick positive votes before one or more troubling issues (iffy use of rollback, some edit warring in the not-sufficiently-distant past, etc.) comes to light that sinks the candidate's request. If one of the two hundred or so reconfirmations gets a few thumbs up, will anyone waste time on further review, or will they just move on to the next 'unreviewed' candidate?
Does one create a small corps of dedicated reviewers who divide the admin pool amongst themselves, and assign subtasks—Alice will read all of the admin's talk correspondence for the past year, Bob will manually check the reasons for each block, Carol will verify the legitimacy of each deletion? The real challenge is in putting the people familiar with an admin's problems and issues in touch with the reconfirmation process—do we create a 'trouble ticket' management system, where an annoyed editor can say "I can't be arsed to engage in any sort of proper dispute resolution right now, so please just send me an automated notice when Admin X's reconfirmation rolls around, so I can make trouble then". If we make an 'editing drive' out of it, not only does it soak up enormous amounts of valuable volunteer time that could be put to better use, but one must also consider the type of editor would would be drawn to this sort of duty.
Interestingly, the size of the Swedish admin community is below Dunbar's number, while the Wikipedia admin community is far above it. It shouldn't come as a surprise that most of svwiki's admins are likely to have a passing familiarity with each other's work, and svwiki's community of active editors will be more closely-knit. A handful of highly-active editors and admins could probably comment fairly intelligently on the actions every individual member of the svwiki admin corps, and be aware of virtually every single significant interpersonal/intereditor conflict; the same cannot be said of enwiki. If svwiki grows to a size comparable to enwiki, I suspect that its reconfirmation regime will (silently) fail—assuming that it even actually works now. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:44, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

How to become a recent changes patrol

I want to know how to become a recent changes patroller--1966batfan (talk) 02:54, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol is probably one good place to get started with this. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 03:00, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Also, working with the trust of the community to get rollback and twinkle privileges, as well as obtaining Huggle approval, would help you become a RCP  Marlith (Talk)  04:39, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Twinkle can be used by all! (unless blacklisted) No privileges required. Likewise huggle requires no 'approval', just the rollback userright Jebus989 19:47, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Repeated re-RfA can become self-organizing

Continuation of prior RfA topics (begun 8 May 2011), see archives:

Those contained several different suggested re-RfA plans. -Wikid77 16:41, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Remember the goal: To re-RfA to reduce ANI conflicts and edit-war blocks: The reason for spending time to re-RfA will keep admins more responsive to editor needs, and reduce the ANI conflicts which are more time-consuming than the RfAs. Consensus requires both: admin views + non-admin views, as a total agreement. That is the goal.
    Now, to answer concerns of perhaps too much work for re-RfA of admins. Many systems, when placed into a repetitive loop, tend to become self-organizing systems, where obvious subgroups begin to separate or become more easily noticed. Those subgroups are the potential to "divide and conquer" the workload: for the re-RfA process, then people familiar with a current admin will likely want to help decide that admin's re-RfA. The self-organizing principle is familiarity with an admin who, once gaining powers, met more people and became better known, to foster a group of acquaintances (an organization) who interact and can response more quickly in a re-RfA session. Previously, when each RfA was considered almost a one-off, special-case debate, then the benefits of repetition were lost, and there was no obvious "cycle to streamline" as a means to go faster.
    As I noted above, the re-RfA process will become more repetitive (and easier), and should probably be changed into a standardized voting system for most of the decision (with less influence from !vote issues). When the process is easier, then more people will join (rather than fearing the current tedious RfA). The original RfA process could still treat each !vote as an issue to debate, but for re-RfA, move towards a Yes-No voting system, and for close votes, then treat that particular re-RfA as a special case, similar to the original RfA of profiling the person. This could use the Delphi technique, to start as simple "Round-1" of Yes-No votes, but then some !votes ("Oppose-Wait") might cause some long debates, then after debating, return to "Round-2" as Yes-No revote, again. Such delays could probably push some votes into the next month, but many should be quick.
    To me, the current RfA process means "Reply-for-Adventure" because the questions and comments, and debates, roam everywhere, as a "shaggy dog story" to most new users. Many people are "creatures of habit" and prefer some pattern of repetition: most people commute to work along the same routes, rather than treat each trip, to/from work, as a grand adventure: "turn left this time" (no, most always use the old route). The adventure of the new RfAs, in Swedish WP, is still begun on any day of the year, but the more repetitive re-RfA process is quarterly, with a simpler, repeated pattern. That allows being faster, and encouraging others to help with the simpler decisions. -Wikid77 22:23, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Do you edit under any other account names? Looking at your global contributions as Wikid77, I don't see any edits to RfA or its subpages on enwiki, nor do I see any edit at all on svwiki. I don't see any contributions to admin-related (or any) RfCs, nor to any arbitration cases. People here would probably assign more weight to your comments on these issues if there was some evidence of your involvement with these processes. Do you have any firsthand experience with any aspect of the adminship or de-adminship process as it exists now, here or on other Wikipedias? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 23:53, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
I !voted in the current 3 under WP:RfA, but the 3rd closed beforehand. Part of the problem has been lack of seeing an open RfA in time to respond, but I have read many RfA's and RfC's, just to get other opinions. Due to stalkers, I have multiple usernames, on svwiki, dewiki, frwiki, eswiki, itwiki, arwiki ( 20 languages). My focus here has been the term-limit notion for Jimbo, where Swedish WP requires 75% revote (not mere 70%), but is there somewhere else you want to discuss this? -Wikid77 06:50, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
TL;DR. Why don't you go vote in 10 RfA's and then come back here and tell us what you think. No one is going to listen to the ramblings of an editor who has never even been to an RfA, and who is clearly all too impressed with his/her own ability to solve problems and create complex templates. —SW— gossip 00:51, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Got it. Got it. I have !voted in 3 RfA's, so far, and they were much easier than I had remembered, could easily do 20-50 per day, with others helping. Original copyediting is tough: RfA's are much easier. Templates are 100x times worse. Translating German, Italian, Swedish, Greek articles is 500x worse. Thank you for asking me to try the current RfA's: I had forgotten how WP:NOTNOW makes the repeats faster. -Wikid77 06:50, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
could easily do 20-50 per day then you are not doing them well, or diligently. From your !votes it looks like you are looking into edit counts and the RFA answers. Which is fine (although somewhat frowned on as good practice here) - but in RFA you'd like to see at least a few people digging into the edits properly and finding issues to discuss with the candidate. Even then, the minimum it could (should?) really take to check and !vote in an RFA is 5-10 minutes - so you're really volunteering to spend (assuming 5m) anything from 2 to 4 hours a day doing RFA ;) --Errant (chat!) 08:28, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps it's a mistake to assume that a re-RFA needs to be as diligent or use the same standards as an RFA. If the re-RFA uses a lower threshold (say 51% or 33%), and if it's just a matter of reviewing complaints since the last RFA, then it might actually go quickly if the presumption is to keep the admin unless there's strong reason to remove them. Just a thought.   Will Beback  talk  08:39, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, there is that. On the other hand if !votes are not backed up to quite the same extent (i.e. with diffs) I feel it would tend to lead to grudge voting which might skew things (and remove admins willing to make tough blocks or work in difficult areas). Also; that still doesn't make it a quick process, if we are approval voting based on edit count then... it becomes a problem because that is not really looking at problematic actions. There might be a middle ground here... some way to pre-filter admins who will likely get elected. So, perhaps, we could have a week where the list of admins on the current rotation were posted and people could just tag their name to those they felt should be re-Rfa'd. Once an individual got enough tags (say... 10 or 15?) they are added to the list and the next week have to go through RFA. Or something like that? --Errant (chat!) 08:44, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I think it's also worth saying that IMO the vast majority of admins don't need to be de-sysoped. But the "threat" (or the ability of the community) of re-RFAing at regular intervals would do a lot IMO to improving admin/editor relations. It makes our actions a lot more accountable, and it provides regular review of things we are getting wrong and need to improve (which is the better alternative to losing an active sysop). So ideally we need a process where the few serious problems can be resolved, which gives the community confidence in their ability to remove sysops but that cannot be abused. --Errant (chat!) 08:48, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
A core problem with any review process is going to be grudges. Admins doing routine work can become the targets of unsettled advocates who become incensed when their article is deleted or their account blocked, and they can also be attacked for their content work unrelated to their use of tools. When it comes to community input, there are some systemic biases. We can't prevent people from canvassing for opposition off-site, in communities of blocked users, but we forbid them from canvassing for support onsite, where editors in good standing are more likely to hang out. And so on. Until we find a way to account for the fact that admins create enemies in the course of their work we won't have a workable re-RFA system. Since we can't agree on the qualities we want in an admin (does it involve: creating featured articles? engaging in ANI discussions? avoiding conflicts? - RfA voters can't agree) it's hard to say whether any current admin is living up to those expectations.   Will Beback  talk  09:04, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
If there were some clear examples of admins who were rejected because of a few disputed actions, there might be a point there. Can you name any significant number of admins who "lost" because of "off wiki" acts? It would seems Sarek, who had made some disputed calls, was re-affirmed, so I think too much whistling in the wind does not make much sense. So far, I think the use of "grudges" is more fully seen in initial RfAs than anywhere else. In my opinion, the best way for an admin not to get "enemies" is for those admins not to take advocacy stances themselves in controversial areas, if that is what worries you. Personally, I think we should bifurcate responsibilities - admins who wish to be active as an editor in a given area should not wield the mop in that area is a sensible first choice, nor should they discuss any admin actions in their areas of interest on or off wiki in any manner. That way, they will be highly unlikely to get "enemies" as you phrase it. And routing re-affirmations make sense. Cheers. Collect (talk) 10:22, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Sarek's re-RFA was far from clear-cut and only barely passed. It is, or course, impossible to tie any result to canvassing on- or off-wiki. We even get people who show up at discussions saying, "I was canvassed but that doesn't influence my opinion". How do you answer that? But if canvassing were a good thing it'd be encouraged. Even apart from canvassing, the issue of individual, pissed-off editors and socks is a significant problem. Block someone once and they may hold a grudge for years. Block 500 people and it only takes a percentage of them to kill a re-RFA with a 70% threshold. Almost every admin action has the potential of alienating someone.   Will Beback  talk  10:35, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Um -- in other words, you can not provide any example of such occurrences? IMO, opposing the reaffirmation process on the basis of zero cases which went awry does not make sufficient sense. Collect (talk) 14:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm not comfortable with the assumption that adding a "threat" necessarily will improve relations between editors. Since everyone agrees that the "vast majority" are doing fine work, it's not clear to me that Wikipedia would benefit from an annual review, harrassment, and possible retirement of hundreds of admins. It's far more likely to make it impossible (rather than merely difficult, as it is now) to find editors willing to take administrative actions in the most contentious areas, where there are the most dedicated advocates of fringe views. Proponents of homeopathy, 9/11 conspiracy theorists, anti-vaccinationists, global warming denialists, and cold fusion evangelists will have a field day every quarter, as they strive to take down the admins who are now barely (and still not entirely) holding them in check. As Will Beback notes, the canvassing will be epic. Accusations of bad faith and sockpuppetry (true, speculative, or absurd) will fall like rain during the course of discussion. Last year we had a poorly-thought-out process proposal called 'Community De-adminship'; this new proposal embodies many of the same flaws (please, have a look at CDA discussion, including the specific flaws I noted in the proposal). TenOfAllTrades(talk) 13:03, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
The way out of this mess is the one thing most administrators and admin wannabees will not discuss or acknowledge. That is to unbundle the administrative tools, and parcel them out individually to experienced users who request them and can demonstrate a need. Most administrators need and use only a subset of these tools. It would be relatively easy to monitor these unbundled tools, since, taken one at a time, they represent a much simpler challenge than the current system. We have already successfully trialed this approach, since rollback has already been made available to experienced users. The right to block users should also be unbundled into the right to block vandals (covered by IPs and unconfirmed users), and the right to block experienced users. The only tool that needs to be treated specially, is the right to block experienced editors. Perhaps a modified form of RfA could be used to elect these users. The right to block vandals should just be a tool among the other tools. But the right to block experienced users gives serious asymmetric power over the editors who write Wikipedia and don't want to do maintenance work.
The present system takes community janitors who do maintenance work like fighting vandals and spam, or participate in deletion discussions, and elevates them to a kind of nobility. Once elected, they can generally be as offensive as they want to non-admin content editors, and are usually desopped only if they have been offensive to other administrators. The system is highly dysfunction and profoundly demeaning to those who come here to add content. This is hugely damaging to Wikipedia. Being an administrator has become a very big deal, and administrators are afraid they might be desopped and work hard to make that difficult. Most of these problems will resolve or just go away, if we simply unbundle the administrator tools. --Epipelagic (talk) 10:54, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
That RFA creates a kind of "nobility" is a reasonable assessment; I think the better way of addressing that is increasing accountability. Unbundling the tools doesn't necessarily help with that if it is still as difficult to remove the tools. In addition we have a growing problem with new editors being "bitten" and a lot of vandal fighters often tend to be relatively new editors who shouldn't really have the blocking tools (at least for a while). Unbundling the tools also introduces process problems, because there is not really a clear divide between the usage of the tools. Take edit warring; sometimes the best response is to issue block, sometimes it is to protect the page. Under a full unbundling the relevant decision is less thoughtful, and more dependant on which sort of tool user see's the problem first. So these issues need to be addressed in a way that keeps things effective and running smoothly. I also disagree with the theory that most admins use only a portion of the toolset. I use it all, regularly as do a lot of the others (from my observations). The problems of offensiveness and incivility tend to be unrelated to having sysop tools. The only difference is that finding someone to block an admin is harder, although it does happen. Even then, finding someone to block an obnoxious content editor is becoming harder, civility blocks aren't really supported. We could do with looking at what long-term non-admin editors get bocked for, but I suspect edit warring is the most common (and I really don't see how we could argue long term editors should be exempt from edit warring!). The major unaddressed problem is that normal editors (who are the vast majority) get stuck somewhere in the middle of content editors ans sysops. We have as much of a problem with experienced content editors being rude or demeaning to newer editors as we have with the clashing of factions. Fixing such things isn't as simple as unbundling the tools. I think a better start is increasing everyone's accountability for their actions. I'm not ultimately adverse to the idea of splitting out the toolset but right now that is not going to work well. FWIW, when I was just a run-of-the-mill content editor I never had any issues with admins :) the biggest problems I had were with content editors who figured that because I was new they could be abusive and get away with it.. (oh, and vandals - it's a close flip as to who was nastier). Perspective is everything. --Errant (chat!) 11:24, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
The phenomenon I never understood is why good admins rush to the help of bad admins; they, especially, should have an interest in kicking abusive admins out without making excuses. It reflects badly on all of them. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 13:11, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Perhaps use re-Rfa as straw poll: Considering the fears of off-site canvassing to remove targeted admins, then perhaps begin a system-wide re-election as a straw poll, where the results could be used as background information, but still remove (de-sysop) inactive admins who do not confirm a re-nomination. As the loopholes become clearer, then change from straw poll to actual un-election of admins. The Swedish WP uses the same 75% re-vote to maintain an admin, rather than 70% which seems far too easy. In the U.S., a proposed amendment to the U.S. Constitution requires only 2/3 (67%) vote of Congress, but ratification by 3/4 (75%) of the 50 U.S. State legislatures. That is why I noted the Swedish WP's 75%-Support reconfirmation level, as a supermajority. -Wikid77 16:41, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
So your idea is to use straw polls to combat the risk of off-site canvassing and votestacking? You're just full of terrible ideas, aren't you? Straw polls are far more susceptible to such abuse, whereas consensus discussions are (ideally) immune to such manipulation. If you want to manipulate a straw poll, all you have to do is vote a bunch of times from multiple IP's or multiple accounts. This should be painfully obvious to anyone who has any experience with RfA, or really anything that requires !voting on Wikipedia. —SW— spout 17:10, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe there's something to this idea. I don't watch RfA, but I assume that many people who vote do so because of who the admin is. But if a person's task is merely to look through (say) a pool of mixed user talk page edits by admins up for review, presented as a raw mass regardless of who made them, then he no longer is able to cherry-pick a candidate he likes or hates, but must handle the task more impartially, like a Recent Changes patroller. This also prevents a "big picture" perspective, but maybe the importance of big pictures is overrated. First figure out whether the guy knows how to hold a paintbrush. Wnt (talk) 19:31, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Need for-profit Wikiversity-like organizations as Benefit Corporations under Wikimedia Foundation control

Maybe the Wikimedia Foundation can create this. Here is a model: The Mozilla Foundation is a non-profit organization that acts as an umbrella for for-profit subsidiaries. See also: Social enterprise. It has info on for-profit organizations like Benefit Corporations, etc..

From the Mozilla Foundation article: It "owns two taxable for-profit subsidiaries: the Mozilla Corporation, which employs several Mozilla developers and coordinates releases of the Mozilla Firefox web browser, and Mozilla Messaging, Inc., which primarily develops the Mozilla Thunderbird email client."

This also needs Integrated, interwiki, global watchlists in order to take advantage of the already-registered millions of Wikipedia users.

I think if there was some dedicated well-paid leadership (due to the for-profit aspect) combined with the social enterprise goals, then things like Wikiversity and Wikibooks might become much more useful. Advertising could be used too without profit becoming a controlling factor. People could invest money in it. --Timeshifter (talk) 16:00, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

If there is anything the "Great Recession" showed us, it is that "dedicated well-paid leadership" is not what it is cracked up to be, and the unregulated capitalist "business model" does not, as it claims, produce a better more efficient business. Why do so many think that Wikipedia/Wikimedia Foundation would be better off if only they made a profit? Wikipedia, Wikiversity, Wikibooks, etc. are all better off being under a non-profit organization than as a for-profit (and heaven forbid publicly traded) business model where profit (or share price) are the driving motives and "well-paid leadership" is an oxymoron. If you can't do a "leadership" job without excessive compensation then you dont know how to lead in the first place. Enron et al. proved that. And I'm relatively sure that Jimbo's motivation in inventing Wikipedia was not to become wealthy, which is the motivation for for-profit businesses to invent things; which is why we didnt see Microsoft, Google, or Yahoo! invent Wikipedia.Camelbinky (talk) 21:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply. Jimmy Wales is well-paid, and I am glad for that. What I am talking about is that he gets large speaking fees. He also does lots of freebie talks too, or gets airfare, and a place to stay.
Do you know what a Benefit Corporation is? It's a new legal designation for socially responsible businesses. Here is some info:
Explains the Washington Post:
"At its core, benefit corporations blend the altruism of nonprofits with the business sensibilities of for-profit companies. These hybrid entities pay taxes and can have shareholders, without the risk of being sued for not maximizing profits. Companies can consider the needs of customers, workers, the community or environment and be well within their legal right." --Timeshifter (talk) 01:31, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Are you sure (with all due respect to JFK, or possibly Mark Twain(?) [1]) that they don't run the risk of blending the altruism of for-profit companies with the business sensibilities of nonprofits? I think CamelBinky has hit the nail firmly on the head here. Wikipedia works better than economic theory says it should. This is a problem with the theory, not with Wikipedia. Fix the theory. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:51, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Nice username. :) I am not talking about Wikipedia. I want collaborative knowledge work to spread much more widely beyond Wikipedia. I do not see much good work in that area elsewhere. Attempts have been made, but 100% for-profit models do not seem to do very high level work (not like the quality of info at Wikipedia), and 100% non-profit models are marginal and frequently disappear to due lack of funding. Hybrid models of organization seem to be working and expanding in areas outside collaborative knowledge work. --Timeshifter (talk) 03:04, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Timeshifter, I'm a bit confused, and hope you have the answer to this- How would making profit (or as how I interpret what I read about benefit corporations, the proper term would be revenue and not profit) help wikibooks (as a specific example). We could add advertising and make boat-loads of revenue, but what would we spend it on that would actually make a difference? The theory that the benefit corporation business model would be MORE likely to be efficient is flawed... If you're a non-profit with limited resources, trust me you are going to trim fat and be more careful with your expenses than if you were operating under a profit-generating rival business model. If you think of Wikimedia Foundation's various functions such as Wikipedia as more like public services and less as a business this may make more sense. Even the staunchest Fiscal Conservative has never stated that the military would be more efficient if it made a profit (or any revenue at all). If I'm still missing something please inform me on this business model some more.Camelbinky (talk) 05:36, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Timeshifter, I wanted to thank you for bringing this to my attention. I've had a longstanding interest in hybrid models, due to the limitations of both the non-profit and for-profit models. While I don't think "under the control of the Wikimedia Foundation" for-profit subsidiaries is the right way forward, you should feel free to pitch the idea to the board. It's certainly interesting.
Camelbinky, let me give one example of how a for-profit (or semi-for-profit) model might benefit a project. Most of our smaller projects feel a somewhat justified neglect - the Foundation's primary focus has to be on Wikipedia because it is so big. We know, for example, that the software we use at Wikipedia is optimized for writing an encyclopedia, but isn't really awesome for Wikinews (for example). I can envision lots of things that could be done to improve Wikinews with some investment, investment that the Foundation isn't in a position to make. But imagine if Wikinews could raise $4 million in venture capital, with the investors expecting to make a return from an advertising-based business model, but also with the "Benefit corporation" charter giving very clear and legally enforceable rights to the community of editors, for example mandating editorial independence, NPOV, pursuit of quality, etc. You can tinker with this idea all you want, because the precise details aren't the point: the point is that in a hybrid model, the organization can be well-funded, provide a good return to investors, and still pursue social goals.
In the past, I've thought about various ideas about what can be done to help Wikinews realize its potential. I've thought about Wikinews being spun out into a separate non-profit, so that it can have an organization that focuses only on Wikinews... but such a non-profit could very well not survive. Unlike Wikipedia, Wikinews simply isn't popular enough to count on sufficient support from its readers and editors. (Maybe, maybe not... I think not.)
Ok, what about spinning Wikinews out and having it be a for-profit? Well, I don't see how that really makes sense. Anyone can start a for-profit wiki-based news site anytime they want, and in our considered business judgment at Wikia, we've not (yet) seen that as a viable alternative.
But maybe a hybrid model could work. I don't know for sure. But it's certainly interesting to think about.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:20, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Having never worked on anything other than Wikipedia I had not realized that Wikinews and other Wikimedia Foundation projects were having problems. That's interesting, and definitely a very good sign that you in particular have taken time to trying to rectify those issues. I assume in your position that you get access to, or at least occasionally run into and chat with, leaders in the web industry, such as Google. Have you ever been approached by the likes of Google, even if just in an informal discussion, to purchase Wikipedia or any other project? Would you be willing to ever sell Wikinews if the likes of Google were able to make clear promises to keep core principles?Camelbinky (talk) 19:08, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that he could or would talk about it here in the open if he had. I have thought quite a bit about this over time myslef and this issue is and always will be a give and take. No matter which way it goes there will be positives and negatives and people who like it or hate it. Personally though, as long as the money goes to the Wikipedia foundation to further the dissemination of information and maintenance of the Wikiservers and such, I personally wouldn't have a problem with some things in Wiki being done to generate some funds. I am not a proponant of mass advertising on Wikipedia though just to be clear. A couple of possibles:

  1. IMO individuals reading or editing Wikipedia is different than say a business using Wikipedia's information for a profit. I have often thought that if a business (such as a book company printing books of Wikipedia articles) or like Faccebook that creates "site links" to Wikipedia articles and then associating ads on those, used Wikipedia then they should pay at least a small fee of some kind. This would be different than a news agency or book that mentions or references the infrormation. I am talking straight copying or linking for profit.
  2. Another possibility would be for a Business to be allowed to advertise on some Wiki's (though probably not Wikipedia) if and only if IMO that article pertained directly to them. For example if Microsft wanted a small add on a Wikibooks article about them. Although probably not about products or people...just the organization. I admit this could be problematic in itself though and we would need to do a test or maybe a study to see if there is any interest.
  3. Potentially creating and selling professionally bound books on a subject. These should be FA quality in my opinion and well vetted prior to release but I think its doable.
  4. Possibly doing public private partnerships on certain types of data. For example, if an organization wanted to donate money to expand information on a given topic (even a government grant) then some of these might be allowable. For example if the Center for Disease Control gave Wikipedia a grant to build up information related to Diseases or even if Boeing gave money to expand the dissemination of knowledge and infrormation about Aviation related articles, then why not. It should be clear that they are not being given preferential treatment or be tied directly to the development of an article (something like a combination bounty board and WikiProject) perhaps with the payments tied to various milestones (articles created, articles improved, article promoted to FA, etc).

These are just some and there are many many more ideas out there. Its just a matter of hashing through them all. --Kumioko (talk) 19:35, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Jimbo Wales for reading my comments, and for your good ideas. I want to get the hybrid idea out there for more people to chew over. Many interesting ideas have come out of this thread. I doubt the Wikimedia Foundation will be the first to try out these ideas. But if some hybrid successes first occur elsewhere then the admins and editors of some of the smaller Wikimedia Projects may clamor to join in, and the Wikimedia Foundation might allow it to occur. The problem is advertisements of course. I am the main editor and writer of this section: Wikipedia:Advertisements#Arguments for optional adverts, and so I understand the politics. Other than that optional ad method for non-profits, the hybrid semi-for-profit model is the only one I would trust for high-level knowledge collaboration work. --Timeshifter (talk) 08:30, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Yes, it's very interesting. I am not advocating for any particular arrangement in the future, and of course I'm not the decision maker on such things, the entire board of directors of the Wikimedia Foundation is. However, I personally would invite and support proposals for novel institutional arrangements that might be beneficial for some of our other projects that could likely flourish if given appropriate resources. This is not a top priority for the board right now, but I think it's worthy of sustained discussion in the community.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:08, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
A discussion may ensue at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab). I copied the current discussion thread from here. --Timeshifter (talk) 07:34, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

The commercial use of the knowledge.


Perhaps this is just the wrong address, but I have a very basic question, with regard to Wikipedia. The question is: am I allowed to commercially exploit the very knowledge of Wikipedia. (For instance, I am writing a screenplay and I do not know whether or not I am allowed to get some knowledge of it (not any text) to improve my writing. So, am I?)

Thanks for the answer...

Artzien (talk) 14:59, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

See WP:REUSE. – ukexpat (talk) 15:05, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
In general, the answer is yes, of course. Wikipedia doesn't own your brain - no one does, other than you, so knowledge that you get from Wikipedia - or anywhere - is yours to do with as you wish.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:02, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, you're missing the big picture here. If Wikipedia did own your brain, think of the revenue we could generate! :) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:08, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
About 97 cents from mine... Tony Fox (arf!) 17:17, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Talk-pages for psychological thrillers: Because almost everything is permanently stored on Wikipedia, a screenwriter can get dialog ideas from the archives of talk-page responses, especially disputes under WP:ANI. I suspect the late Alfred Hitchcock would have keenly followed the intense drama at ANI, and so too, perhaps, Rod Serling: "At the signpost up ahead - your next stop: The Twiki Zone!" Or perhaps not. -Wikid77 03:56, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately the writer who occurs to me is Jonathan Swift. Looie496 (talk) 15:51, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I think that Alfred Hitchcock would have found that ANI is for the The Birds. As far as the Twiki Zone, at least we do have the WP:Signpost. Dr.K. λogosπraxis 09:21, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Talk Pages Obsolete?

I recently added multiple references to an article, one from a biography published by the ECW Press which is supported by the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Ontario Media Development Corporation. ECW Press is the publishing off-shoot of the Canadian journal of literary criticism published originally under the name "Essays on Canadian Writing" (ECW) beginning in 1974, and another from Courtney Hazlett an NBC reporter on the Today Show reporting on an interview conducted by Blender Magazine, another supporting ref was from the NY Post newspaper. I did not add the content, I merely improved ref's for another editor's prose.
My edits were removed immediately as "Vandalism". Twice.(1)(2), the page was "Locked" - and NOT ONE word was written on the talk page.
One likes to think that Good Faith additions of WP:Reliable Source references containing quotations from an article subject would on Wikipedia merit at least a modicum of respect for the process. However, it appears that if one thought that - they would be wrong. (talk) 11:00, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
It wouldn't have harmed to start a talk page discussion, but no one has stopped you from starting one between 2 May and today. You didn't do this, you didn't reply to the comment on your user talk page, and over and over again you violated WP:UNDUE with the insertion of the very minor "gang" incident, and violated WP:BLP with the attempt to add the article to the category:gang members. Because you are an IP hopping user, the easiest way to stop this was to protect the page. Fram (talk) 11:48, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I didn't add the article to tag "gang members", but that tag was caught up in the revert. I also did not add the initial content, just the ref's. And what is this nonsense about protecting pages from IP hopping users? I'm a readily identifiable single user adding ref's. There is no attempt in any way shape or form to obscure anything whatsoever. You introduce a Red Herring. (talk) 11:55, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
Then I guess that it's pure coincidence that everyone wanting to add this info is an IP user, and that and are in the same range, and that "you" ( complained that "your" edits were removed when posting a link to an edit by The "simple" version was added by[2], the "extended" version you claim as your own was added by[3]. You are "one" editor, but by changing your IP address you can not be contacted on your talk page and may even be unaware when someone contacts you. You are making user talk pages obsolete... Fram (talk) 12:05, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I would encourage the IP to get a user account to dispense with the IP hopping aspect as it appears to be clouding issues for them.
⋙–Berean–Hunter—► ((⊕)) 15:45, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

What exactly is Jimbo supposed to do about this after it's been discussed and resolved at ANI? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 12:44, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Anon, I would be willing to help you with this, if you'll calm down a bit and realize we aren't trying to attack you. I bet you I can find reliable sources for the sentence you want added to the article. But, it's up to you. I see those as your options: (a) go to dispute resolution or request for comment, (b) abide by what near a dozen other editors have explained to you about how things work (and simply give up, or (c) take my offer of assistance (or find someone else willing to assist). Of course, you may have other ideas on how to resolve this, and I am all ears. But in this venue (from someone who's followed Jimbo's page for a long time), all you are doing is drawing more attention to yourself and the content/cites in question. I can guarantee you that you will find more people, anons and registereds, who will side against your interpretation of how such citing works on BLPs. So, I'm hoping you pick one of the other options. Anyway, my offer of assistance is serious and truly meant. Best, ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 16:08, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Talk:James William Middleton

I've proposed to merge this into the article on the Middleton family. Any input is welcome from anybody.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:58, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

That sounds like a sound approach! -Wikid77 04:24, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

OK howz this for a DYK hook: ... that Edward VII reportedly once got stuck in a too-narrow bathtub with Wallis at the Hôtel Ritz Paris? Or is this against guidelines not to have any hook which humiliates any individual even if not a BLP? I thought it quite amusing... Now surely Hans and Iridescent can't claim that this is boring or an illustration of wikipedia's poorest quality content! I think its gone from barely start class to GA standard within just a few hours. It is supposed to be the world's finest hotel though and is really a palace..... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:52, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

Boring is bad, but funny is worse! Adornix (talk) 20:24, 20 May 2011 (UTC)
I disagree. Funny facts are precisely what makes DYK live. However, in this case I have serious doubts about the accuracy of the hook. The one sentence about the incident which is currently in the article is cited to a single sentence in a guidebook. This sentence may well be derived from the information on the Ritz website, which leaves it open whether it happend in the Ritz or elsewhere (quite possibly in the Savoy), and how many lovers were involved. (Two, according to one unreliable source.) The current sourcing is adequate for a little tidbit that gives depth to an article, but not for a hook on the main page. Hans Adler 18:12, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
I have doubts too -- Wallis Simpson was 14 when Edward VII died. Sergeant Cribb (talk) 21:53, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

I'd rather laugh than yawn any day so I disagree... Anybody here think an article on Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case is OK or is it offending BLP guidelines given that he hasn't even been brought to justice yet, its still an accusation... Another example of NOTNEWS and the typical recentism trend I think. unless he is actually convicted of this then it remains unencyclopedic I think, unless I'm mistaken?. I redirected Nafissatou Diallo to the Senegalese painter to avoid somebody redirecting to Strauss and creating an article on it but somebody has since turned it into a dab page. I'm not sure we are permitted to mention this Guinean woman? I saw somewhere that her name has been removed from the article. Any thoughts anybody?♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:51, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

  • We'll have to see if Jimbo has read about this case. Meanwhile, it is probably better to have that article (per WP:CRIME), for concentrated all-sides NPOV balance, rather than keep updating his bio-page with news reports. I think this is another excellent case for a section as "Detailed forensic evidence" rather than the typical stand-off: the "prosecution has suggested he is liable" and the "defense claims there is a mistake". Hence, move from iffy "He said she said" to "He said / she said+video" which recorded some hotel scenes of what happened, with other forensic evidence stated by "2 independent sources". Plus, keep the current "conspiracy theory" or "he-was-framed" viewpoints to support NPOV balance, even if hotel video shows running naked or some such. Perhaps add possibility of "body double" if mentioned in 2 reports. We might need a WP essay on "burden of evidence" when authorities claim hotel video clearly supports the victim's claims. Hence, WP, as typical, would have higher standards for repeating claims, rather than just a "woman and her friend claimed..." when there is video/forensic evidence. However, because of WP:Notability+WP:V, the information needs to be somewhere, in some WP article. -Wikid77 04:24, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

The thing is though we do not have to write about every news report. This is where I think wikipedia is going wrong, media hype somehow makes it encyclopedic. The fact is its just an accusation of a banker hitting on a maid. that the media once again create a frenzy does not make it instantly encyclopedic. Yes they are serious allegations for such a high status official, but until the case actually has more substance I think it is premature to even consider covering it as an encyclopedia article, the accusation can effectively be summarized in his biography at least until he goes on trial . The difference between newspaper and encyclopedia is now barely apparent.♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:50, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Perhaps we need essay WP:BIGNEWS, to guide major news events. This event is not a mere accusation: Dominique Strauss-Kahn was indicted (on 7 counts) by a grand jury, in a "New York minute" based on the forensic evidence, with videos. Similar to a TV episode of CSI: New York, the NYC CSI's searched his hotel/clothes for evidence, prepared it for court, met the U.S. judge's rules of evidence, and the grand jury voted to indict (facing 15-20 years), all done by Thursday. This isn't a slow, protracted trial in Italy, where a girl is held ~360 days before scheduled for trial; no, this is arrest+CSI+indicted in 5 days, 72x times faster than some criminal courts in Italy. For that reason, a perspective as "NOTNEWS" is too narrow; instead, this is WP:BIGNEWS, in multiple reports, raising his bail to $5 million, yet all within just 5 days. -Wikid77 17:56, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

OK so you think it is notable enough already for separate article. But the article still reads like a newspaper.♦ Dr. Blofeld 19:39, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

I see your point about "reads like a newpaper" so perhaps that essay "WP:BIGNEWS" could recommend some NPOV structures, for a rapidly expanding article, so that it is not biased (by systemic bias) when each WP:RS news report is used to alter the article. Already, the "Conspiracy section" of that assault-article has been removed, which pains me, because if ever there was a good reason to have a conspiracy, then framing of a presidential candidate (in a foreign nation with few local French connections) would be it. However, the add/delete edit-warring is a good reason to avoid the bio-page: during add/delete edit-wars then a large article can gain "hidden vandalism" which most people would rarely detect, but a crime article typically gets a {cn} footnote-needed for every claim, and junk is quickly spotted. Regardless, it really bugs me when people so quickly delete "Conspiracy theory" sections; if nothing else, note that a poll of people in France suspected a conspiracy, but don't totally censor the notion of being framed. Look at Google-Search "300,000" results for "conspiracy":"Conspiracy"%20Strauss-Kahn%20suspicious
Removing conspiracy-text seems like "lynching-by-wiki" to remove reports of possible framing of a suspect. That really bothers me, because there are obviously thoughts of conspiracy to frame a politician, so I'll talk conspiracy at: Talk:Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case. I wonder if Jimbo has ideas to keep an NPOV balance for indicted politicians. -Wikid77 01:34, revised 01:57, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Just sayin' hey

Hey Jimbo, sorry to interrupt from the rest of the busy life of being Jimbo. Just wanted to stop by and say hello! Thanks for all you've done,  Adwiii  Talk  22:09, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi!!! --Σ 19:24, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
¡Hola! Qrsdogg (talk) 00:59, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

About Super Injunctions...

Hi Jimbo,

Although the identity of various holders (is that the right word?) of super injunctions has been well known for months, it now seems that foreign (i.e. non UK) media is starting to reveal them and thus we're getting reliable sources... and this is hugely notable, if not always for the holder's biography, at least as a subject in its own right.

Could you clarify how Wikipedia will respond if, like Twitter, papers are served against it in the UK asking a court to compel it to reveal the identity/IPs of users who write about these injunctions to the lawyers of chaps like this one?


Egg Centric 14:03, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

As luck would have it, the WMF published some draft legal policies a few days ago, including one on how to deal with subpoenas. You can see it here: meta:Legal/Legal Policies#Subpoenas. --Tango (talk) 19:49, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, that can be read either way. I (and I am certain many hundreds of other editors) would like an indication one way or the other - or a statement to the effect that there will be no such indication. Egg Centric 21:42, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
There is no "immediate threat to life or limb" for the footballer involved, unless his wife hits him over the head particularly hard with a rolling pin. Anyway, all of this could have been avoided if he had followed the old piece of advice: "Don't do anything you wouldn't want to read about in the newspapers."--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 21:52, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
It would clearly be smart not to add this content if you are based in an area where the legal injunction is in force. Off2riorob (talk) 21:58, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
[4] This. The Foundation isn't going to come out and say 'We will not give out any IPs' or 'We will comply with any prima facie valid request relating to these injunctions' and you are wasting your time trying to get a black and white answer. the first of these is possibly an avenue of liability for the WMF and the second is just asking for it . If you choose to edit in these areas, you do so at your own risk. Bob House 884 (talk) 23:02, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
As described in Wikipedia, the use of "super-injunctions" is the object of the 2011 British super-injunction controversy. Now the case mentioned above describes a Twitter poster using a name "Injunction Super", but in general, how could the average Wikipedia editor know about the existence of injunctions that the British press is not allowed to disclose - especially if he resides in Britain? A Wikipedia editor usually is not an expert on the topic, nor associated with a news service. Since (among other things) in all probability a given editor posting such information has no knowledge of breaking any court order, I hope Wikipedia would offer substantial resistance to any such fishing expedition via subpoena. Wnt (talk) 08:39, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia foundations primary function is to protect itself. If such an unlikely situation were to ever arise your comments would be useful mitigation. nb - Wikileaks is that-away. nbb - this is also not a edgy, smoking gun style breaking news station. Off2riorob (talk) 09:34, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I think that Wikipedia editors should count as part of what Wikimedia is trying to protect. And though I'm not a lawyer, I really doubt that it is valid to run around serving companies or organizations with subpoenas because some undetermined person from an unknown country might have been subject to a court order that prevented him from making some otherwise perfectly legal comment. At least, not in a country with a Constitution and a Fourth Amendment. Wnt (talk) 11:59, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
This doesn't concern those who reside in the U.S. — or do you really think you will get extradited for that sort of stuff? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 12:13, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
I mean that WMF, located in the U.S., should oppose any subpoena for the identity of the editor, who may or may not be British. Wnt (talk) 12:34, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────It looks like the end for CTB v News Group Newspapers. The Scottish Sunday Herald has published this article: [5] . Apparently, "the footballer's" lawyers had not applied for a separate injunction under Scottish law.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 12:38, 22 May 2011 (UTC)

Just to clarify: Wnt - the Constitution and fourth amendment, have absolutely no impact on the WMF's decision as a private entity whether to comply with either requests or court orders for this kind of information. ianmacm - the application was made in the courts of England and Wales, and it therefore binds Scottish organisations just as much as it binds US ones (i.e. not at all), just to say as well that the article on CTB should refer to the case as being under 'the law of England and Wales' or similar as 'British law' does not exist. Bob House 884 (talk) 13:17, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Ryan Giggs has run into WP:DEADHORSE. Scottish journalists also appear confident that David Eady's writ does not run north of the border. Now let's do something interesting.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:30, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
What really matters of course is not kiss and tell crap like Giggs... it's more stuff like a certain Anglo-Indian billionaire and so on... Egg Centric 17:57, 22 May 2011 (UTC)
Well it's over (on this one at least). We can now name Giggs reliably in CTB v News Group Newspapers. Twenty years ago, this tabloid story would have been a fish and chip wrapper within a few days, but the battle of wills that dragged in David Cameron and Alex Salmond looks set to have long term implications for the British constitution.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 16:35, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
As I am neither a lawyer nor staff of the Foundation, I can't speak for them. However, as someone able to closely observe the general opinions of the board and staff and legal team of the Foundation, I can say that it would be very unlikely that the Wikimedia Foundation would comply casually with a request from a non-US court where no ones life is in danger and there is not clear evidence of libel. Certainly, it is perfectly legal for American citizens not currently in the UK, such as myself (sitting in Paris now), to say that Ryan Giggs is reported widely in reliable sources to have been one of the footballers taking out a superinjunction. I won't type that when I'm in the UK, as I'm not currently looking for trouble. :)
My views are pretty clearly reported in today's Independent and should be no surprise to Wikipedians. I strongly defend the right of all people to speak the truth, and that's particularly true in the context of an NPOV discussion of information already reported in reliable sources - there should be no controversy about this at all, it isn't even borderline.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Isn't it funny though how we can name Ryan Giggs yet not mention the name of the Guinean maid involved with dearest Jacques. Based on the same argument of "wikipedia must not be prevented from displaying facts" to censor her name is clearly doing so. One could argue that the very fact she reported it and filed a case against him gives us a right to name her for encyclopedic reasons.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:56, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

R Giggs, a very public person allegedly got an injunction to stop the press talking about his private life with another public person who is giving interviews and desirous of publicity is incomparable a situation to naming the allegedly abused complainant in a sexual assault trial. so - Not really funny - people that have been the subject of such issues are often not named by quality sources and never named by such as AP and the BBC. Off2riorob (talk) 18:02, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Of course a private maid is different from a famous footballer filing an injunction but it still comes down to censorship. Her name is being censored, not because she isn't worth mentioning but for BLP reasons. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:08, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

I would prefer to look at it as protection of innocent not notable people. The name of a not notable one event allegedly sexually assaulted person adds nothing at all of encyclopedic value. A middle aged room maid - is more than enough for the time being.- later as the story develops we can look again at it. - please note after all these months we are still not naming the women that accused Assange of sexual impropriety. Off2riorob (talk) 18:11, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Dr. Blofeld, it is always crucially important not to blur the distinction between what it should be legal to do, and what it makes sense to do. There should be no law preventing the reporting of Giggs name, nor the reporting of the maid's name. But it is not censorship that we have the good judgment that Wikipedia is not a tabloid and that we therefore choose not to publish every single scrap of data on the planet whether it could be harmful to innocent people or not. That isn't censorship, and calling it censorship is philosophically incoherent.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:30, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Thank you

Thanks for the reponse, Jimbo :) Egg Centric 19:36, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

WP:RfA reform 2011

(Courtesy note)
Task Force news: Recent updates include basic minor changes and condensing at the main page, a new project sub page and talk for Radical Alternatives, additional comments on the main page talk page, and messages at Task force talk. A current priority is to reach suggested criteria/tasks for clerks, and then to establish a local consensus vis-à-vis clerking. Please remember to keep all the project and its talk pages on your watchlist. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:07, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Flagged Revisions vs. Full Protection on ANI

Not sure if you watch WP:ANI at all, but you might want to weigh in on this discussion. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 18:18, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

I missed the fireworks, thank goodness. I would recommend the following: that ArbCom injunctions be followed, that no one do anything drastic.
As for me, during the period when Pending Changes is being removed, I'm going to adjust my personal threshold for when I apply semi- and full- protection to articles that I edit as an ordinary editor/admin. (Chiefly BLPs.) I will apply it much more quickly than before. I don't intend to do anything dramatic, but I recommend and encourage admins who are disappointed about the removal of a feature that had 65% support and was demonstrably effective in both permitting wider editing of Wikipedia and protecting BLP victims to follow my lead. BLP protection comes first, in my book, and if people don't like seeing BLPs protected, then we can all work harder to find solutions that allow both open editing and stop the abuse of Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:48, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Request for message

Dear Mr. Wales,

I ask that you request that the Wikipedia community handle this manner in a fair manner. You can do this by writing on my page something to that effect. I am not asking you to intervene.

I am writing as a parent on behalf of my child. He has been harrassed in Wikipedia, including by a person who seems to have done this for several years to many people. This person seems to have support of an administrator, which is why it is so successful. I will be drafting a complaint in the next few days and forward it to what I believe is the proper channels. I do not live in Wikipedia so you could email me but I prefer that you not. Simply make a statement asking that people not game the system by trying to silence me.

My child warns me that I will fall into deaf ears. I am told that the most common way to silence people will be for people to call me a "sock". Cannot write a good argument? Just call the other person a sock. I hope this is not true but I am told that this is very probable. They will use excuses such as that I know how to read and use tildes and say "see, that proves this person is a sock".

Parentsp (talk) 01:56, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

P.S. I am willing to send Wikipedia a copy of my driver's license for identification. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Parentsp (talkcontribs) 01:58, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

They won't call you a sockpuppet; they'll call you a meatpuppet. Yeah, it's dumb. Wnt (talk) 02:05, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Not speaking for Mr Wales, but: gosh, this does not sound good, but can you offer any particulars? If your case is valid I am confident that the Wikipedia community will stand to your defense and the defense of the person you speak of, but we would have to know more. (Granted this would allow the other parties to make a refuting case publicly which could lead to contentious debate, so if you would rather work through private channels that's your privilege of course.) Good luck and may the right prevail. Herostratus (talk) 04:20, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
To echo what others have said... There are good avenues for this sort of concern, including emailing me personally (use the email function here on the site), emailing the Wikimedia Foundation directly, emailing OTRS, emailing ArbCom, etc. It is unlikely that we would see any need for a driver's license for identification, but what I would need is very specific details about how and where someone was harassed, including links to harassing statements, etc. Vague complaints are the most common way that complaints like this rarely may not reach a satisfactory conclusion, as it's difficult to respond without specifics.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:38, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Note: I dropped them a message with my email address. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 08:56, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Requiring users to do some regular editing before allowing them to create articles

Hi Jimbo. We recently underwent an RFC on whether we should require autoconfirmed status in order to create articles. The motivation for doing so was based on a statistical study showing that new editors who get their start doing ordinary editing are more likely to master the learning curve on Wikipedia and stick around, whereas new editors who start by creating an article are more likely to run afoul of basic policies and leave.

The good faith supporters of this idea believe that users will have an easier time swimming if we make sure they swim in the shallow end before they can head out to the deep end. (Or, if you prefer a video game analogy, starting on level 1 is fun, and starting on level 10 is demoralizing.) The good faith opponents of this idea think this would be one more nail in the coffin of the "open" structure of Wikipedia, with maybe the first nail in the coffin being when we limited article creation to only those with Wikipedia accounts.

After a lengthy RFC, there are users who are basically in favor (sharing the "View from User:Jayron32"), and users who are basically opposed (sharing the "View from User:Ironholds"). When you account for the other viewpoints, you see a lot of "yes, but only if..." and "no, unless..." views that add conditional support to this proposal. We're at the point where we are trying to figure out what the consensus is. But in the predictably poisonous atmosphere in most RFCs, there is no consensus about how to assess consensus.

I personally hate vote counts, and think the overall spirit of the RFC is obvious: most people would agree with doing some sort of trial. The opponents would get their evidence proving that this is a bad idea. The supporters would get their evidence proving this is a good idea. And the large number of "yes, but"/"no, unless" people would get to design a solution that maximizes benefits and minimizes costs. But people from democracies are used to voting, so Wikipedians end up arguing about headcounts for black-or-white options, which means that we never get a discussion about "what's the best possible way to satisfy the most number of people".

And even the counting process is subject to whatever point you want to prove.

For the opponents, they see a good 30% opposed to this proposal (Ironholds view), which according to them is enough to close this as "no consensus". (This 30% includes whatever was attracted by opposition canvassing on meta.) The supporters disagree, pointing out that just between Ironholds (nay) and Jayron (yay), there are 70% in support, which according to them represents a consensus to move forward somehow. Then there are numerous other "no, unless" and "yes, but only if" viewpoints that would add "conditional support" beyond 70%, although I'm loathe to estimate whether that's 5% or 10% more support if people can just Wikilawyer over what that number means for consensus. Even if the 70% is enough, we would only have a consensus to move forward in principle, and a consensus would still need to come together on the details of implementation, which for most "conditional supporters" would include a temporary trial.

In the past, Erik Möller of the Foundation has said that "a very large majority, at least two thirds, is generally necessary" when discussing whether to implement flagged revisions. I'm not sure if that's the case for this proposal. Last month, you stated that the community should send a strong signal that we want to test this, and get empirical evidence, and not allow a tiny minority to block progressive change. Most of us are only going to argue about what that even means.

Not to put you in an awkward spot. We know you're not the king. But you're our best contact at the Foundation, and this is a significant enough change that the Foundation has to sign off. So on behalf of the community, I have a few questions:

  1. How do we draw the Foundation's attention to this RFC?
  2. What would the Foundation consider a "clear signal" that the community wants to (at least) test this? Is it a numbers game?
  3. Is there anything we can do at this RFC in terms of counting or organizing it to make it obvious whether the clear signal is there or not?
  4. Is there anything better than a 500 person RFC for assessing the consensus on this?

Get back to us at your earliest convenience. Thanks. Shooterwalker (talk) 16:45, 23 May 2011 (UTC)

Wish I'd seen and gotten involved in that RfC... I know the community is sort of all over the place about Pending Changes, but I think (assuming the code can be made to work in such fashion) that this may be an ideal use of it. PC an entire article created by someone who's not confirmed or autoconfirmed. They'll still be able to work on it, edit it, expand it... but it won't go live until it's reviewed. Considering it (my suggestion, anyway) would only apply to unconfirmeds, it shouldn't be too big of a workload queue. Just a thought... ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 19:56, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Akin to Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Proposal_to_require_autoconfirmed_status_in_order_to_create_articles#Radical_view_from_User:Collect perhaps? Collect (talk) 20:42, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. To effect a similar effect to what's been described, while patrolling newpages, I've been doing my best to jump in on such articles and tag as under construction or other suitable tags to show they've been reviewed and the editor should be given time, then follow up with welcome messages and offers to help. If there was a specific tagging/noindex combination applied to such, it'd make it easier I suspect. ROBERTMFROMLI | TK/CN 20:53, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Even some of those opposed to all PC seem to allow this as a nice potential use <g>. Collect (talk) 21:31, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Now that's just trolling. There are password authentication schemes that would keep out fewer new editors. Wnt (talk) 23:13, 23 May 2011 (UTC)
Um -- what the heck is that comment intended to prove? Once we have "password authentication schemes" - how precisely is that different from "registration" in the first place? And, in any case, how is pointing out that some PC opponents thought the use of PC for new editor/articles was a good idea remotely related to "trolling"? Enquiring minds want to know. Cheers. Collect (talk) 10:15, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

The discussion has been halted today, and an administrator will be evaluating consensus and making a closing summary in the next few days. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:00, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

All I can say about all this is that I like data-driven decision making. For too long, we've allowed emotionalism about certain features of the software to rule the day. There are enough resources now that we shouldn't do that.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:31, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
The only problem is that some data is impossible to get. I would expect that many people edit Wikipedia as IPs, then create an account when they want to start their first article (so while the account is "new", the editor isn't -- this makes any data on edits after account creation and how often the first edit is article creation not useful for the purpose of determining what the user's first edit was). Unfortunately I don't think there is a way to get useful data on this without massively infringing on people's privacy. —Кузьма討論 07:57, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Certainly Snottywong and I came up with some interesting data concerning NPP and why ir's not performing as it should. I agree that emotion driven opinion is not the way we should be working, and unfortunately, some of the longest 'user views' were based solely on personal opinion. Some data is hard to get, but there is no reason to discount fairly sound empirical findings. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:05, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

I see that the discussion is closed (perhaps the village pump is not an ideal place for a discussion of this sort). Personally, I think that the power to create articles is what motivates many users and snares them in as editors (disclosure, my sixth edit was a new article) and anything that discourages assimilation of new editors is a bad idea. Creating an article from scratch and negotiating the notability minefield is an excellent way of learning the importance of sourcing. --rgpk (comment) 16:39, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Not all articles are alike, which means they require different views. One size does not fit all. If someone creates a stub articles for a new Illinois state senator, using the source code of the previous state senator's article as a template, that doesn't require a lot of knowledge or experience, does it? But a very useful article. If, however, one is creating an article about a controversial point about quarks, it might be presumed the writer should have both knowledge and experience as it's not likely a very similar article could be found to use as a template. Then we have the authors who can't wait to write an article about their garage band, formed less than 24 hours ago. Treating all these articles and wannabe authors as identical, requiring identical reactions, guidelines, whatever, doesn't make sense. First define the problem, then work on solutions. I like data-driven decision making too, but first you have to figure out what sort of data you need. I'm seeing quite disparate "first time authors" treated as part of one big pool, and I don't see that as helpful. Flatterworld (talk) 17:36, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the response. Closing the discussion is underway. Hopefully some kind of consensus can be extracted from the wide participation. Shooterwalker (talk) 21:53, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

I have posted my closing summary, they key conclusion of which is that there was consensus for at least conducting a trial of the proposed change. I know that there was some notion of "keeping the Foundation informed" about the community's views on this proposal, so if there is some other place where notification of the results should be posted, please let me know and I'm happy to do so. --RL0919 (talk) 02:16, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Living person Policy on a Meta Level

The Biography of Living Persons Policy is one the fundamental policies Wikipedia strives to maintain. However I have recently come to be aware of a meta level issue of how we handle our interaction with living people. I am going to describe the situation, withholding the names involved to look at the situation objectively without bias.

"Editor A" added a file of a document hosted on the commons Commons to an article on "Organization X." This self-published document is hosted on Commons under Creative Commons licensing. The document makes accusations against a senior leader of "Organization X", specifically numerous alleged crimes that the senior member has committed according to this document. This document alleges all these crimes have been committed, but these allegations have never been investigated by any law enforcement body. Further investigation of similar uploads by "Editor A" shows a large number of files where serious allegations are made against individuals of all ranks of "Organization X." These allegations are all in freely licensed You Tube videos that have subsequently been uploaded to Commons. Further investigation shows that on Wikisource "Editor A" has uploaded multiple freely licensed Blog posts alleging criminal behavior that again, no one has ever been charged with.

The ethical issues raised by this seem obvious to me on in terms of how we look at living persons being treated on the meta level. The way I see it the free license is being taken advantage of to utilize Wikimedia sites as a vehicle to advance WP:SPS containing unsubstantiated allegations against living persons.The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 16:32, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

God no, please, we do not need to metastasize BLP and subjugate Commons by force in order to protect Scientology from well deserved criticism. For example, Commons files are raw data, not a common encyclopedic product; the responsibility of one editor, not many; and not the top Google hit for a search. Wnt (talk) 01:06, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Files which contain serious allegations against living people not supported by reliable sources would be subject to deletion for BLP reasons if hosted locally, notwithstanding their copyright status, on the same basis as text. Presumably, similar procedures apply to commons. While YouTube and personal blogs are outside our remit, self-published material which could not be hosted locally for BLP reasons should not be linked. The status of material as related or unrelated to Scientology is irrelevant to the BLP issues presented. Chester Markel (talk) 01:11, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Such BLP-related restrictions on files uploaded to Wikimedia projects would not be protecting Scientology or other controversial groups "from well deserved criticism". Anyone can set up a website from which to distribute self-published criticism of such groups not substantiated by reliable sources, and promote the site by some means other than linking to it from a WMF project. Restrictions on the use of commons for this purpose only ensures that they cannot use our reputation to bolster their critiques. Protection of living people is the primary purpose of BLP, but it's not the only one. The policy is also intended to protect the public image of Wikimedia projects, which undoubtedly suffers when they host tabloid style content. Chester Markel (talk) 01:23, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
@Wnt, I am not suggesting that at that we need to metastasize BLP, nor am trying to censor criticism of CoS. The is a large difference between fair criticism and criminal allegations. I am looking at the ethical issues of hosting content that makes unsubstantiated criminal allegations against living people. Further more the ethical issues of hosting such content on Wikimedia sites and how it interacts with our established principals with Living people. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 01:32, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Commons is full of self-published information. Is this document realistically useful for an educational purpose? Well, as described at s:Larry Brennan speech at That is Scientology! Reports from the USA (where it is used) the author was invited by the German government to a well-known anti-Scientology event. Searching him online gets you various organizations listing him as a notable opponent. Not to mention a former high ranking member. So I would say the answer is, yes, if you want to know about the current controversy, you can probably find something out by reading what he has to say.
The ethics we need to follow should be based on the idea that the public has the right to learn. That they should not look to Wikimedia as a crudely censored knockoff suitable only for people without money while any serious research requires a subscription to a copyrighted alternative. We should cover what Google covers, what journalists cover, what academia covers, what paywalled archives cover. Wnt (talk) 01:42, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Yes, most material on commons is self-published, and much of it could be construed to make some sort of allegation against a living person in some trivial way. That's not what we're talking about. Material on commons which is problematic for BLP reasons has all the following characteristics:
  1. It is self-published, or at least not published by an organization qualifying as a reliable source.
  2. It makes serious allegations against identifiable living people. (For example, assertions of substantial criminal activity.)
  3. Such allegations are not supported by any reliable source. Thus, if you have a self-published video containing certain claims about living people, but an article published by a credible media organization is properly cited, the policy would not be violated.
Very little of commons content matches criterion two. I quite agree that we should cover "what journalists cover, what academia covers". Self-published scandal sheets are seldom, if ever, paywalled. Chester Markel (talk) 02:12, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
In the example you give, most allegations made by notable opponents of Scientology should already be covered by reliable sources. We don't need the RS to assert the truth of the claims, only that they were made. So a video of someone speaking at "a well-known anti-Scientology event" shouldn't contain very much new, un-citable information. If it somehow does, if claims so outrageous that no RS would ever mention them are asserted, then it is no longer within the realm of "what journalists cover, what academia covers" - it's a self-published scandal sheet, which we shouldn't be hosting. The WMF is obviously not in the business of providing everything "the public the right to learn" from any source whatsoever. Chester Markel (talk) 02:27, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
An obvious exception to the prohibition against linking to any BLP violating material would be articles such as Encyclopedia Dramatica, covering a notable originator of the offending content. Even in this case, specific ED claims about living people should not be described, hosted on WMF in any way, or linked in any manner other than to the main page of the site. Chester Markel (talk) 02:33, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't have enough time just now unfortunately to write about this at length, but I do think it necessary to say this: Wnt, whom I respect very much, is absolutely wrong in this case. But the best place for a discussion of this is Commons. English Wikipedia takes a very strong stance against BLP violations; I'm less certain that Commons has reached the appropriate level of maturity on these cases.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:41, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
A conversation has been started independently of this thread at Commons:Village pump#Using commons to host original documents (permalink) to discuss this loophole in our protection of living persons. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 22:43, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
I am honored to have your respect, truly, and as founder of this project you will always have mine. Still I am disappointed to hear you describe this as a matter of "maturity". For example, The Obama Nation, once #1 on the New York Times best-seller list, has been described as "a political 'attack book' containing smears, falsehoods, and innuendo". Against a living person. But if someone decided to remove it from the shelves of the local public library, would you describe that as an act of maturity? Commons has a similar mission: to archive material, not to judge it. Wnt (talk) 04:24, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Random musing

Could we have a valid article on this guy?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:23, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Tempting fate I think, Jimbo. Given that the most notable thing about Lt. Schwenk seem to be the way almost everything written about him seems to have been wrong, I can state with near-certainty that somehow the God of Minor Wikipedia Articles will ensure we do the same. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:01, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Technically we could, but I hope we don't. His life, though documented, was not really notable, and the current situation has nothing to do with what he did or who he was, but with how reporting is/was far from errorfree. It may make a good Wikipedia:namespace page (an essay to accomplish WP:RS), but it is not the kind of subject we should be writing biographies on. Fram (talk) 14:03, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps we should at least add the NYT article to WP:OTTO as an external link? AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:13, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

Philosophical question

I have noted that some "sock puppet investigations" are closed with indef blocks even without any evidence (I.e. CU are negative, different articles are involved, etc.) on the "duck" basis, with one close even stating that even if the two accounts are totally separate, that if the users have the same opinions and one is banned, that all who share the same opinions should be banned. Whether they are the same editor, or merely friends, or unrelated parties with a strikingly similar point of view does not matter. We can never be sure if two editors are the same person, but when the behavior is both indistinguishable and problematic, any sanction applied to one may be extended to the other(s). I am troubled specifically by the implicit assertion that all who share the same opinions should be banned. Is this, in your opinion only, a valid reason to ban any editor where no other evidence other than "sahring the same opinion" is needed? Is there a likelihood that "duck" has now been stretched to a breaking point? BTW, the editing of the "dick" essay is slow and tedious. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:05, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Without any actual examples, it is hard to answer a question like "Is there a likelihood that "duck" has now been stretched to a breaking point?" of course. Fram (talk) 11:09, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Recent "duck" solutions at [6], [7] (duck declined as reason), [8] duck argument, CU negative, [9] primarily duck etc. In fact, almost all of the cases use "duck" without even the need to cite diffs at all <g>. I think the word "evidence" has been stretched as a minimum. The "duck" rationale has been used apparently well over three hundred times this month alone - many are, indeed, socks, but many are far less clear indeed. What I find troubling,however, is the idea that an opinion is sufficient for a banning per se. Wikipedia was founded on the basis that even people with "wrong" opinions count. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:55, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the examples. I don't see any examples though of "closed with indef blocks even without any evidence". Fram (talk) 12:15, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
[10] undisclosed "behavioural evidence" (not a CU connection). [11] duck block. Lots more IPOF. Collect (talk) 12:55, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
The first one has plenty of evidence. The closing comemnt doesn't indicate on what aspect of the presented evidence it is based (probably the whole of it), but it is not fair to claim that it is done on the basis of "undisclosed" evidence. The second one is closed with a one month block for vandalism. The other account is closed as a sockaccount. This is extremely probable, but it would have been better if it was closed as an impersonator account of User:Muboshgu: this editor gave the first user a warning for vandalism (well-deserved) on 02:25, and the account Muboshgu2 is created on 02:38 the same day... All this info is freely available to any editor (the fact that Muboshgu posted the SPI was a clue...). Fram (talk) 13:33, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
Might you address the actual issue raised - is simply having similar opinions sufficient for topic bans and blocks? Collect (talk) 13:47, 26 May 2011 (UTC)
No, but you haven't provided any evidence that this actually happens, and considering how your examples of "indef blocks without any evidence" were not really convincing, I have my doubts whether the question you pose actually matches a real situation, or is just a rather one-sided representation. Basically, you are asking for Jimbo's opinion of a situation where you don't provide the background necessary to interpret things correctly. Fram (talk) 14:11, 26 May 2011 (UTC)

Collect, I'm not convinced at all. But I don't have time to read through loads of cases. Why don't you pick out your single best example of a close "stating that even if the two accounts are totally separate, that if the users have the same opinions and one is banned, that all who share the same opinions should be banned." Who said that, and in what context?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:58, 27 May 2011 (UTC)

For the exact quote see [12] with the opinion by Jehochman that:
Per the evidence above, Radiantenergy is hereby considered the same editor as Wikisunn for the purpose of applying an indefinite topic ban. Whether they are the same editor, or merely friends, or unrelated parties with a strikingly similar point of view does not matter. We can never be sure if two editors are the same person, but when the behavior is both indistinguishable and problematic, any sanction applied to one may be extended to the other(s). Any further violation of the topic ban may result in an immediate block.
The evidence was substantially that two users both used "n't as a separate word" and that "Radiantenergy" and "Wikisunn" have a "semantic similarity in user name." And that the Radiantenergy editor is an SPA only editing on 83 total pages. The overlap with Wikisunn is on 3 pages. His overlap with (arbitrary example) Will Beback is on 7 articles. Note searching on talk pages shows over three hundred uses of "n't" as a separate word <g>. The "master" has not been on-Wiki since 2007, so I consider it quite possible that someone else might be interested in the topics (most users with few edits are, in fact, SPAs AFAICT). In short, I personally found the "evidence" to be substantially less than compelling, and the dictum that if a person comes alone with the same thoughts as a banned or blocked user, the other person ought to be blocked or banned to be a bit odd at best. So we are left with "has the same opinions" as the rationale for considering him a sock and giving him an "indefinite topic ban". Is that sufficient? Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:53, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
So basically, the philosophical question had little to no relation to reality, and did not state at all that people should be banned or blocked for having the same opinion. Your comparison of overlap is fatally flawed, of course; Will Beback has edited thousands of pages, so any overlap is coincidental. Wikisunn has edited 8 pages, so an overlap of 3 pages is not so coincidental anymore. Whether Jehochmann is right in his conclusion is something that may of course be debated, but preferably with facts, correct quotes, context, ... Can I point out that "when the behavior is both indistinguishable and problematic" (emphasis mine) is of course not the same as "the implicit assertion that all who share the same opinions should be banned." Fram (talk) 13:04, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
I'm with Fram here in that jumping to the broad judgment you made based on this case is unconvincing. And if this is the worst case you can find, it seems like we're doing a pretty good job. This case is borderline, mind you, and I don't mean that in a critical way but rather than the case itself is very close to where I would personally draw the line, and so we can expect that different people's judgments may go in slightly different ways here. I'd have blocked based on the evidence presented, but I'd also prefer stronger evidence in the vast majority of cases.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:21, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
There are no true standards or rules on wikipedia. The facade has been erected for the plebeians. Wikipedia discovered long ago that all that was needed was the illusion of fairness.--scuro (talk) 16:58, 27 May 2011 (UTC)
You know what, scuro? I call bullshit. Not just for your particular comment, but the similar comments I have seen from time to time over the years. And here's why. The Wikipedia is populated by human beings. Of course its going to imperfect. From the crooked timber of mankind no straight thing was ever made, OK? We are political animals. What did you expect? What would be actually useful if you would extend your comment like this: "There are no true standards or rules on Wikipedia, unlike the substantially similar project or entity XYZ which is more functional, effective, and successful, and which we can and should emulate in the following achievable ways: A, B, and C". That would actually contribute something. Or perhaps what you are actually saying is "There are no true standards or rules on Wikipedia, because for rules and standards to be 'true', they must be followed in absolutely rote robotic fashion in all cases regardless of common sense or absurd outcomes." But functional organizations don't work like that. Or perhaps you are just saying that the interpretation and application of our rules and standards results in outcomes that are sometimes unpleasing to you personally. Well welcome to planet Earth. And if you feel that Wikipedia is uniquely or unusually poor in its manner of applying rules and standards, and you don't have any concrete achievable suggestions for rectifying this, then....? You know what I mean? I find comments like yours depressing and destructive with no upside, and why would you want to do that? </rant> Herostratus (talk) 02:01, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
^ What he said. +1. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:25, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
You are afraid of robots? Everybody on wikipedia is afraid of robots. That's the end justification for actions that do a lot bad things here. I bullshit you not!
Hero, the mark of a just society is not how many mistakes it makes, it's if in the end they try and get it right. It's the wild west in here, justice is whatever the person(s) wielding it, can make it do. That my friend is what they call consensus in here. Consensus has no memory and bows to no moral authority. Consensus is the illusion of fairness. And bud, this is constructive criticism, if you don't want to hear it, it ain't my fault.--scuro (talk) 06:25, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
I am afraid of robots. And so should you be. Herostratus (talk) 15:22, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Meat eating robots?!...I ran into them at ANI. They formed a consensus and I had no chance. --scuro (talk) 20:49, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I have seen an illuminating analogy for the treatment of sockpuppets by the DUCK argument: just read "witch" for "sockpuppet" and "witch trials" for "SPI" and all becomes clear. Sergeant Cribb (talk) 16:19, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

An analogy between witchcraft and WP:DUCK...? That would be Monty Python and the Holy Grail, would it not? LessHeard vanU (talk) 16:44, 29 May 2011 (UTC)


You have a new one on your Barnstar page. Rcsprinter (talk) 15:55, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Ryan Giggs

An update on CTB v News Group Newspapers. On 25 May 2011, the initial deadline passed for Twitter to hand over details of users allegedly involved in the privacy breach.[13] However, in a separate case, the 9th circuit of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that Twitter must hand over the details of five British accounts alleged to have been involved in libel of councillors on South Tyneside council.[14] This has set off a fresh storm, so watch your mouth on Twitter:)--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 07:03, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

  • South Tyneside Council seems to have been upset by someone using the pseudonym "Mr Monkey".[15][16] It will be interesting to see if this ends up with its own article like CTB.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:52, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Please take a look

I respect Wikipedia too much for allowing a very bad behavior from an administrator. My first request for help was quickly renamed and closed within a few hours. I am reposting a new entry and hope that you will have a look at it. In the past few second since posting it, it has already been removed, so here is the link to my request for comment I am openend to any discussions. Thank you for creating a truly extraordinary entity. --Ezrdr (talk) 20:56, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

There is a discussion on the issue at User talk:Ezrdr#ANI (and IMHO nothing further is needed). Johnuniq (talk) 04:22, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

List of most popular missing articles

I need some input here. I've proposed a list of say 1000 of the most popular searched for articles in the search engine but which are without articles. I think it would be a good tool to find missing content. Of course they won't all be notable (a few minor porn stars etc) but a list at least would be very useful.Tibetan Prayer 16:27, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

Sounds useful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:31, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

What is the purpose of...

articles such as Death of Michael Jackson and Death of Osama Bin Laden? Within an hour or less of each of their deaths an article is written about it, but wouldnt the information in these articles fall under the Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not regarding being a news outlet? Wouldnt Wikinews be a better place for such information? And in the long term.. would an article even on the death of Bin Laden really be notable as a stand alone article? Am I missing something important that allows these types of articles to stick around when they could easily be folded into the parent article on the individual?Camelbinky (talk) 20:50, 30 May 2011 (UTC)

An article such as Death of Michael Jackson, which continues to get 1500 page views per day two years after the event, clearly has lasting value for readers. Looie496 (talk) 21:59, 30 May 2011 (UTC)
WP:SIZERULE and WP:TOPIC are also involved. When there is enough information for a separate article, it can be created.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 04:55, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Sizerule seems to justify it, but I would say that the Death of Michael Jackson getting 1500 hits is a flimsy excuse for an article that will be irrelevant in 500 or 1,000 years. 2 years past the even is hardly a drop in the bucket of history. Given the state of knowledge about history I dont see the death of Michael Jackson needing to be so in-detail for future readers of the year 3000. If an article isnt likely to be relevant in the long-distance view of history, why have it now? Shouldnt WP:UNDUE come into play earlier rather than later? 1500 hits out of a conservative estimate of a few hundred of millions of Michael Jackson fans, does not end up with a high percentage, basically puts it on par with Albany, New York population of only 97,000. I'd say that article getting one hit for every six residents is a more impressive statistic.Camelbinky (talk) 15:11, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
Most of of our pop culture and biography artcles will be irrelevant to the general public 500 years from now. Your argument doesn't really make sense as we are writing for the readers of today. --NeilN talk to me 15:44, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
True, but some of us draw a different conclusion, namely, that most of our pop culture and biography articles could be deleted right now ... Sergeant Cribb (talk) 16:15, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
In 500 years most of our articles on medicine and technology will be irrelevant. Might as well delete them too.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:33, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
The Death of Michael Jackson is remembered as the event that generated the all-time great amount of traffic on Wikipedia. The Death of Osama Bin Laden also generated a huge amount of media coverage. Both of these events manage to avoid the usual criticisms of WP:NOTNEWS and WP:RECENTISM. It is likely that people will still be interested in these things in a few years' time. Check out Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Otto Middleton for an article in May 2011 that *probably* failed these guidelines.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:47, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
If the editors in the year 3000 think these articles are irrelevant, they're free to delete them. Let them decide. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:21, 31 May 2011 (UTC)
I have no strong view on "Death of..." articles as a general matter. I would say that there are a few broad principles which should guide us. I'm not sure pageviews per day is very important. I am sure that what readers in the year 3000 will be interested in reading is not important at all; here I agree with A Quest For Knowledge: let's let them do what they do when they do it, we are here today. For me, the first and most important question is quality: is there sufficient verifiable information to write a high quality article? For deaths that generated sufficient ongoing scrutiny from reliable sources, there probably is. John Wayne has a short section in his biography, which seems about right. He died at age 72 of cancer, and there is no particular mystery or controversy about it. Death of Marilyn Monroe covers an event that has had lingering cultural repercussions and about which many thousands of pages have been written in reliable sources. That also seems about right to me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:14, 31 May 2011 (UTC)


Ive been researching the cure to narcolepsy since its diagnosis derailed my neuroscience education almost a decade ago (ugly details at and ive only recently found the real cure with our unofficial WikiHug project. Its probably too late to salvage much for myself but I want the debilitating "neurocage" to stop. Can i ask for your advice on the realistic possibilities and barriers in a fullscale "wikihug" iniative? A sort of evolution of the current unsustainable support group systems. Altho I can clearly see the "cageness" of problems, I cannot see the real solution to unlocking them. I can invite you to our secret facebook narcolepsy group to see what we have so far (As a honorary invite that I would personnaly vouch for of course because we rarely invite PWONs) Would that be too big a bite for you to chew on? — Preceding unsigned comment added by ARKBG1 (talkcontribs) 20:35, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Oops. --ARKBG1 (talk) 20:36, 31 May 2011 (UTC)

Hi. While I'm all in favor of Wikihugs, and evolution of a supportive and thoughtful environment at Wikipedia, I'm afraid your post contains a lot of terminology that I don't really understand. I don't know what a 'neurocage' is, nor the 'cageness' of problems, I have no knowledge about nor interest in narcolepsy per se, and I don't know what a 'PWON' is. I do wish you well, though, and it doesn't seem like my direct involvement would be necessary.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:39, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
"PWON" = People With Out Narcolepsy?? Bielle (talk) 00:51, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Sorry for the confusion Mr Wales. Even the most simple communications can be impossible because i havent slept in 15 years. Ill explain WikiHug better after my N Dr starts my GHB therapy on june 6th. When my brain works, I promise ill make sense. (Im just proud that I didnt have a cataplexy attack while writting.) Thankyou VERY much for replying anyway :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by ARKBG1 (talkcontribs) 15:56, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Share option

Would it be possible to get a "like" or "share" button so we can easily share interesting articles on our Facebook accts, Twitter, etc.?. There's been a lot of talk about recruiting more editors, as well as recruiting more female editors. I think this could be a low impact way to help with this. The "share link " could even include a message like, "You can edit Wikipedia too. Just click here." It'd just be a few small buttons at the bottom of the page. What do you think? (Perhaps this has been discussed before. I'd appreciate a "page stalker" linking to past discussions if so.} Quinn BEAUTIFUL DAY 03:02, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I think it's been mentioned at least in passing (by me, for sure). In my opinion this is the one single initiative that would benefit the Wikipedia most, and if the Foundation doesn't drop everything and make hay with this while the iron is hot they're asleep at the wheel. However, it would be a significant project to make this happen (I guess) and would require Facebook etc. to along (which should be doable given Wikipedia's popularity). But I see other websites with a Facebook link feature. Is it that they're idiots and we're geniuses? I don't think so. WHY CAN'T WE GET THIS DONE? Would we rather fail? This is maddening. Herostratus (talk) 08:06, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
The difference is that they are completely careless about privacy while we tend to be obsessed about privacy. Each time you read a page with such a Facebook "like" button, a Facebook server gets a request from your browser, along with any Facebook cookies you may have. This would allow Facebook to know which Wikipedia articles you are reading and in which order, and to associate that information with your Facebook account. The information could be used for targeted advertising and could be subpoenaed. Another difference is that we don't need this publicity. We are currently among the top 10 websites in the world, and there is no indication that this is going to change. Hans Adler 08:26, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
It is absolutely required that the like button be served by Facebook? Could it be possible that we serve all the code, so that people only share anything with Facebook when they choose to do so (by clicking on the Facebook like icon)? I haven't ever read Facebook's like button terms of service, so I don't know.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:44, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
This idea is phenomenally ready for its time. A discrete [share] box, or a sidebar dropdown menu, and Wikipedia is ready not to join but just to facilitate a link to the social media world. (For the truly SM-averse this could be a gadget/preference, opt-in or opt-out). This idea is not for our benefit, to draw more readers, but to serve our own readers and facilitate their access to and spreading of knowledge, part of our core mission. Such a move is not overdue in Wikipedia-time, but as the world is about 6 versions ahead of us, it's just about perfect right now. Ocaasi c 09:56, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Play devil's advocate.... I can imagine people sharing an article that is at AFD... thats a mess that I dont want to think about The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 12:15, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Bad idea, generally: the articles are not appropriate for the "view bite" ( as opposed to "sound bite") crowd with the attention span of gnats and all the other pages would be horrors to have going viral. Bielle (talk) 17:30, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
User:TheDJ/Sharebox. Knock yourself out. Fences&Windows 01:20, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
See also this recent disccussion and the links there. Regards, HaeB (talk) 01:56, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
F and W, would you be opposed to the Sharebox being made a gadget? Ocaasi c 02:18, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Just a note: I have the Wikipedia App on my Samsung Galaxy phone, and, if you are reading an article, and push the "options" button, you have the ability to "share" the article in the following ways: bluetooth, Facebook, gmail, messaging, Twitter, Y!Mail. I imagine there are more depending on what other "share" apps a person has activated on his/her phone. I don't know if this is a function of my phone, or something WP developers did (or something in between), but my point is that the technology already exists. The idea that the ability to share articles will serve as a tool to recruit meatpuppets is a red herring. Anyone right now can easily copy and paste an article's URL into Facebook and share away. Jimmy, my point is that social media is how many, many people choose to get their news and information. It's not a fad. It's not going away. I studied public relations in the late 90s when the concept was "control your message." Well, you simply can't do that any more. The best you can do is to participate in the discussion. And discussion is one of the founding element of article development and the 5 pillars. WP is, at its core, an ongoing discussion. There is an essay (or guideline, or something) that says WP is not Facebook. But it really is if you think about it! Look at all of the discussion pages and non-project space, and user pages, etc. WP is as "social" as it gets, and I hope that you and others are looking in how best to embrace this, and not avoid it. I think there is a sense among some seasoned editors that they don't want the WP to become a "social club" and that "we're here to write an encyclopedia." The two are not mutually exclusive. Just look at how Facebook and Twitter have changed the way we ALL get our information. Wouldn't it be nice if WP was once again on the cutting edge of how we get our knowledge, cause, no offense, I don't think it is anymore (top search results aside. That could go away very quickly.) Anyway, kind regards, and I'll keep contributing here (on the project, not your talk page ;)) regardless of whether or not we get a share button. Kind regards. Quinn BEAUTIFUL DAY 03:18, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:History of non-free content policies

Hello Jimbo, a few of us have been collecting material for a page Wikipedia:History of non-free content policies, a sort of timeline documenting how WP:NFC and related rules have developed over the years. As you were apparently involved quite a bit with this, especially during the early days, I thought you might have some interesting insights to offer from your first-hand experience. Any input would be welcome. Fut.Perf. 18:10, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Unreferenced BLPs - the final surge

Since the Great BLPRFCs Wars of 2010, many editors have assisted in the referencing or removal of over 90% of the Unreferenced Biographies of Living People, bringing the total down from over 50,000 to the current 4,851 (as of 22:58, 1 June 2011 (UTC)). We are now asking for your help in finishing this task. There are two main projects which are devoted to removing UBLPs from en.Wikipedia:

All you have to do is pick your articles and then add suitable references from reliable sources and remove the {{BLP unsourced}} template. There is no need to log your changes, register or remove the articles from the list. If you need any help, or have any comments, please ask at WP:URBLPR or WT:URBLP.

This talk page is watched by over 2300 people. If each of them referenced 2 articles, then the backlog would be virtually cleared. No drama, no mass deletions, just good, collaborative editing.

Thank you for any assistance you can provide. The-Pope (talk) 22:58, 1 June 2011 (UTC)


Can you tell me a little on how Wikipedia works and how you made it. I somewhat quit Wikia (hope this doesn't offend you) because I was blamed and blocked by a VSTF member for vandalism I did not do. I am blocked in the entire Wikia network until November 28, 2011 so I cannot even edit on my own wiki which stinks. F.Y.I I am 18 and I take a lot of interest in wikis. The Kool Egg... That Rox... That Rox Too Well 23:16, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

See History of Wikipedia. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:24, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Should we cite most sentences?

I don't bother you often, but recently something shocked me. I recall few years ago you were in favor of WP:V and WP:CITE. Recently, my arguments that we should cite most sentences have met with sharp rebukes along the lines that "Wikipedia doesn't need many references because they are ugly and unnecessary" (see here, for example). What's your take on that? Would you prefer one cite per paragraph or per sentence? (With no prejudice to talk page stalkers joining in, I am really curious what's Jimbo's opinion on that). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 02:45, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I am strongly in favor of WP:V and WP:CITE. But you are asking about a stylistic matter, and for the particular case under discussion, I think you're wrong. I think it is wrong to repeat the same cite over and over for every sentence in a paragraph, when a single footnote at the end of the entire paragraph does the same work and is much more readable.
In general, it is broadly desirable that every fact in wikipedia (other than "The sky is blue" types of claims that are part of universal human experience) be backed up by a quality source. But the stylistic matter of whether the citation should be at the clause, sentence, paragraph, or section level, depends on the individual case.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:52, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I wish there was an easy way to reconcile this, but situations like this show why I prefer overciting to underciting. Two evils, huh? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| talk 17:24, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
Right. So while we might disagree in individual cases, I think we agree on the broad principle.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:59, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Maybe some day links can be unobtrusively hidden inside each sentence with html so if somes reader like me questions its validity, I could simply click anywhere on the sentence for its "proof" Or maybe embed the proof inside each sentences first letter or last punctuation. Thats might "prettyfy" readability. Idk if "prettyfication" is a priority those, and that might be too technically tedious... Idk. Just an idea. (Btw androids dolphine browser stilll has some kinks interacting with sites like wiki, facebook, etc. writting this comment was difficult) --ARKBG1 (talk) 20:08, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

I tend to cite more than the average contributor, from what I have seen, but then my topics, Mexican locations, dont tend to have encylopedic or academic sources so I have to piece the information together. Im a writing teacher in my non WP life and the general academic rule is that a citation covers everything before it, up to the previous citation or the beginning of the paragraph. So, a paragraph with a single source at the end indicates that all of the information in that paragraph is from the same source. As none of the information in our articles should be first person experience, techinically all sentences should come from one source or another. I have,however, been asked to repeat citations for DYK hooks, as the hook information came from a sentence prior to the one that carries the citation.Thelmadatter (talk) 01:12, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Really, the only places where the common knowledge issue is likely to come up is in the sciences, such as basic information about water and things like that. Practically everything else (though with some possible exceptions) needs a citation as it isn't common knowledge, even within the discipline. But if you're using a single source for paragraphs of information, it really is best just to put it at the end of each paragraph. (Thus, I agree) SilverserenC 01:15, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not so sure, Silver. I think there are lots of statements that are plenty universally known so as not to need a cite. That doesn't form a complete argument against citing, of course. I mean, for many things, even "the sky is blue", if the cite is interesting and valid and stylistically appropriate in the article, well, why not? Michael Jackson was a singer. John Wayne was an actor. Not everyone knows those things (particularly people who don't know much about English-language pop culture) but that doesn't mean that we must cite it, and I'd be opposed to changing this sentence "Michael Joseph Jackson[1] (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, musician, and philanthropist." so that it would have a cite after each of those separate claims.
Balance is the key, as always, even if this leaves us in the deliciously uncomfortable position of not having a simple rule and having to talk about everything all the time. But that's what we do best, I think: chew on things to think up a good solution.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:59, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Featured articles normally demand very dense citation. The best reason for this is because if you cite an entire paragraph from a single source (and therefore a single reference is placed at the end of the paragraph), what happens when the next editor adds an additional fact to the middle of the paragraph? It looks cited, but isn't. Or what happens if the paragraph is split up? --Dweller (talk) 17:07, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Cite every paragraph, sentence, phrase, word and/or character (as required), but please create a mechanism whereby there is a shiny "show citations" button (off by default) for the anonymous reader, and a similar preference-based button (on by default) for the logged-in reader/editor. That way there is no terrifying change to the display of citations for the editors, but the vast majority of WP users (the readers who couldn't give a toss about how the information got there) can have a better experience by not encountering a flood of saccade-inducing superscripted numeric hurdles.[citation needed]  GFHandel.   21:01, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

I have a script for that, I can give you the code if you want it --Errant (chat!) 21:08, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
That's actually a really good idea.Thelmadatter (talk) 15:14, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

Hello Jimbo Wales, can you help.

I am Netknowle.I do a lot of contributions on geographical articles and i have this one problem,i wrote it on Dr.Blofeld usertalk concerning Nigeria's climate information using isohyets,see it Here.Can anybody help? thanks-yours User:Netknowle. —Preceding undated comment added 15:31, 3 June 2011 (UTC).

Red link

Should red link remain a "red link" to prove a point?Smallman12q (talk) 23:23, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

No, it should remain a red link because it's not a subject that should have an article in mainspace anyways. — Coren (talk) 00:20, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Hey, Jimbo, are you the ultimate arbiter of policy disputes? (talk) 04:48, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but what that means is that I retain the power to act in case of really intractable constitutional issues, and I have no intention to use that power to actually decide any particular policy question, but rather to endorse a particular procedure for structural change if it ever becomes necessary.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:46, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Hola Jimbo...

Soy tu fan hombre — Preceding unsigned comment added by MrMaquina (talkcontribs) 03:41, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Disgraceful, thinly-veiled racist comments

I saw on another user's page (User talk:Tothwolf) that you prize respect and civility on the Internet. Perhaps you should police your own web site better, see the comments made at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Foxmail. FuFoFuEd (talk) 13:28, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

What part of that discussion contains racist comments? I did a quick skim and nothing jumped out at me. Can you please be more specific? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:20, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Read it as well. Nothing stands out at all as even remotely racist. -- Avanu (talk) 14:28, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I'm just "going back to China" then, where there's no Wikipedia editing. May the English-speaking self-promoters fill your site with all the goodies it richly deserves, and which I had found plenty here, and may your "good faith" editors delete all the content about foreign stuff that has "no sources". At least a black slave counted for 3/5s of a white man, gook sources seem to count for 0. FuFoFuEd (talk) 16:53, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Rest assured that the admin who closes the AfD is supposed to look at the quality of the arguments, and not a count of keep and delete votes, and even if the article is deleted, there's a deletion review you can initiate.
BTW, here are a couple English-language sources you can add to the article. Sorry, I know it's not much, but it's all I could find.[17][18] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:03, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

<-:::Sorry, which editor has told you to go back to China? That's appalling and they should be strongly dealt with. --Dweller (talk) 17:04, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

By the looks of it, nobody. Unless there is something I am missing, it seems FuFoFuEd is getting bent out of shape because some editors have a (mistaken) belief that no English sources = no English notability. I'm not seeing even the slightest hint of racism in that AfD. Resolute 17:15, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
BTW, if you want to see something genuinely offensive, check out Category:Chinamen which has been nominated for deletion.[19] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:12, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Although the tone is not helpful, I have some sympathy with this complaint. For example, one comment asks "How could we write this?" -- implying that nobody who speaks Chinese can be trusted to write a proper article. There are quite a number of comments in the AfD that I would find unpleasant if I were Chinese. Looie496 (talk) 17:49, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure which comment you're referring to, but I don't think that's what they meant. AFAIK, no one working on the article or participating in the deletion discussion (so far) speaks Chinese. IOW, they're arguing that we lack the expertise/knowledge to write about this topic effectively. I don't agree that that's a valid reason for deletion, but I think that's what they're saying. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:54, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I believe that's my comment, but it certainly can't possibly be the reason why FuFoFuEd is upset; I didn't post anything to that discussion until AFTER FuFoFuEd posted his complaint here. But, yes, your characterization is not far off: I don't doubt the subject is notable. Clearly it is. And of course I realize that we must have some competent bilingual editors. I merely pose what I intend as a pragmatic concern, that there's a difference between citing a few sentences with translations to verify a few facts vs. trying to write an English wiki article where the only secondary sources available are all in Chinese. That sounds like we're translating whole sources to achieve verifiability per WP:NOENG, which seems to raise copyright concerns, if nothing else. Msnicki (talk) 18:05, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
I think you'll find that most people are fairly fluent in Google Translate these days. Perhaps that point should be added to the Notability guidelines. Life isn't nearly as difficult as some would try to make it. Flatterworld (talk) 14:37, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
As noted at the AfD, the sources in question are in Google books, which Google Translate doesn't work on because they're images. Msnicki (talk) 16:31, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Try smartphone ocr apps such as Google Goggles (also Google Translate blog report here) and Cam Translator. Flatterworld (talk) 20:11, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I've spoken out against such comments many times myself. I went through this with uCoz (and a SPA account which was AfDing all such services and software) which is a well known Russian service provider, although I've still been unable to find someone who can translate material to expand the English version of the article.

That said, while I agree with FuFoFuEd in that those comments in the Foxmail AfD were probably in poor judgment, I'm not happy with FuFoFuEd's wikihounding behaviour in AfDing things I've edited in retaliation for me bringing up his behaviour at ANI (including AfDing a stub article where notability was established in the last AfD and closed as keep). FuFoFuEd clearly is not a new editor and with things a few other editors noticed, I can now easily connect him to at least two other accounts (and probably more if I were to process and analyze those account contributions). --Tothwolf (talk) 20:17, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

It strikes me that if anyone's skin is so thin they see bias in the discussion at that AfD, perhaps the rough and tumble of online debate just might not be their thing. This is, after all, the same debate where it appears I've been described a lot less obliquely as "the twit only looking for excuses" and my contributions as "trying to reinforce laziness with stupidity" even AFTER I !voted to keep. I think we should be able to discuss an AfD, including any concerns about what to do about sources in another language, without having to chill the room in this manner. Msnicki (talk) 21:25, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
The comment from Rcsprinter123 "Delete. Just pointless. T'would be better in China." [20] is the one I initially found problematic. The next comment from Flowanda "Delete. New edits, scores of useless, insignificant search results and generic Rescue Squadron attaboys can't disguise the lack of any remotely significant coverage of this subject that can be used to establish notability. [...]" [21] isn't that helpful either. This is the kind of thing that I was speaking out against long before the WMF became more aware of the impact this type of stuff has on the long term morale of other editors. [22] [23] --Tothwolf (talk) 01:18, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
If you suspect sock puppetry, you should report the user at WP:SPI with the evidence related to your case. BTW, this whole discussion has nothing to do on Jimbo's talk page. Requesting him to personally police Wikipedia is just ludicrous, and the way it was done is borderline insulting. Edit: Full disclosure, I'm currently dealing with another spurious AfD request by the same user. Pygy (talk) 10:36, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Re SPI, I'm familiar with it. Both accounts would be stale as far as a CU goes, but behaviourally and edit pattern wise, they match exactly. Neither of those two past accounts is currently blocked, so he isn't evading a block of either of those two accounts. Behaviour wise, I'm not sure there is too much more I can mention publicly without giving away his tells though.

Re these AfD nominations from FuFoFuEd, this is the exact sort of disruptive behaviour which over time has caused me to significantly decrease the amount of article space material I write. Why bother to expand and improve content when someone can create a new account each month to blank or attempt to have material deleted at XfD for their own amusement or in an attempt to decrease the visibility of an open source software project which competes with some other project they are involved with? It is far more difficult to expand, improve, and write new content than it is to bulk nominate it for deletion using automated tools. Perhaps WP:BEFORE really does need to be policy. Sigh. WP:OWB#3... --Tothwolf (talk) 16:53, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Five pillars, again

I'm sorry to bother you with this, because I know you dislike being called on for pronouncements like this, but the endless dispute about how to categorize Wikipedia:Five pillars refuses to die. Your three-word response at User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_65#WP:5P is being put forward as proof that the popular introductory page is, itself, an actual, independent policy (like WP:NPOV or WP:DEL) rather than a summary of the community's written policies, like WP:TRIFECTA (the page that 5P was based on) or other pages about Wikipedia:Principles.

The practical implications are that if 5P is a policy, and 5P somehow conflicted with another written policy (e.g., NPOV), then we'd need to reconcile the pages as if they were equals; if it summarizes our written policies, then we'd just correct 5P to match the "official" policies. The more immediate, and apparently undying, problem is that it is not possibly to simultaneously categorize the page as being a policy and a not-policy, and demands for clarifying its status on that point have appeared every few months for years. (The talk page archives, especially in comments from its original author, consistently assert that it is technically an essay that summarizes critical policies for new editors, but there are always a few people who believe that the page is, itself, a policy. For myself, I have always assumed that the talk page archives were a reliable guide to the status of the page in the community, and that if a change in status were wanted, we could organize a WP:PROPOSAL in the usual fashion for policies.)

Again, I apologize for bringing this back to you, and I realize that WP:The difference between policies, guidelines, and essays is fundamentally unimportant, but if you have a few minutes that you're willing to spend on this, I'd appreciate a response that involves a little more WP:Bradspeak, in the hope of an end to these time-sucking disputes. Thanks, WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:37, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

I like the current situation where 5P is neither fish nor fowl, and hope that 5P remains an unlabeled enigma so editors eventually come to understand what not a bureaucracy means. Or perhaps we could have a setting in each editor's preferences so that some see "policy" when they view WP:5P, while others see "essay", while people who accept life's inconsistencies can have no labels on the page. Johnuniq (talk) 07:12, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Sadly, I don't think that anyone in these endlessly recurring conversations is being educated about Wikipedia's anti-bureaucratic notions. The editors who push for it to be labeled as a formal, officially endorsed policy page (rather than a summary of the written policies that actually reside on other pages) seem to be invincibly convinced that essays are always minority views that can and should be disregarded—you know, like all the other widely disregarded, minority-view essays, such as WP:Bold, revert, discuss and WP:Use common sense. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:58, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I can just say this: I regard the page as solid hardcore policy. It is also a summary of very important policies. I don't know why that's poses any difficulty at all. It's sort of like asking "Is the Bill of Rights policy in the United States?" Yes, of course it is, even though the Bill of Rights is actually just a list of 10 separate Amendments, each of which is also policy. What's the problem here?
The advantage of being clear that this is policy is that we avoid the argument that it is "just an essay". If the cost of that is that, as you say, we have to make sure that it harmonizes with the underlying policies, then so be it. In case of some conflict (is there any?) between the precise wording of Five Pillars and the individual pillars, then harmonization is a good idea, and if the harmonization process leads to a valuable clarifying discussion of the meaning of some aspect, that's a good thing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:28, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your response.
Of course the Bill of Rights is US policy: it is formally part of "the" official written policy. But is every well-written summary of the freedom of speech in the US (e.g., in a good textbook or on the Department of Justice website) also the official US policy? Is possible to draw a distinction between a policy and the description of a policy? How do we determine that this description of the policies is "solid hardcore policy" and that this description is nice, but not truly a policy and that this description is equally accurate but just an essay? Or are all of these policies from your perspective? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:37, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
To take the analogy to the next step, which it has already been taken to in numerous discussion, is that the 5P is Wikipedia's "Constitution" and that policies MUST confrom to the 5P. The 5P is so broadly written that of course there is no contradiction or conflict between the 5P and WP:NOR or WP:V or WP:RS and the other major policies and guidelines that are used every single day. But shouldnt it be clear that the 5P are a summary of and flow from the consensus of what is written in policies, to avoid the inevitable problem that already occurs- that policies can not be changed because the 5P says "xy and z" so broadly that policy shouldnt be written stricter or have the occasional exception to a "rule". The biggest challenge with seeing the 5P as a constitution is the perception by those who do see it as such with the idea that the 5P can NOT be changed for any reason. Being a wiki based on consensus and always changing I think this form of 5P that is static ("set in stone") can be detrimental.Camelbinky (talk) 20:04, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

I gladly quote Jimbo that WP:5P is "solid hardcore policy" as I agree with him, with only one qualification: Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and his statement is not, to me, about whether WP:5P is a WP:Policy or not; instead, it says that WP:5P is as important to Wikipedia as solid hardcore policies such as WP:NPOV and WP:V are, and it is not merely a summary, description, or essay about them.

I have been here since 2007, when WP:5P was already fairly well-established, and have always regarded the Pillars as fundamental guiding principles about what we hope to achieve here and how we intend to achieve it. They distill the principles behind the policies, and hence also their motivation and purpose.

Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy, and I would not describe WP:5P as a constitution, nor would I set the pillars in stone, despite their name. Nevertheless, the analogy with the Bill of Rights is helpful. The US Constitution and the ECHR state broad principles—such as the right to life, liberty, security, freedom of speech, thought and association, and protection from discrimination, torture or punishment without trial—without describing how to achieve these rights or balance them. Many other laws do so; such laws may also qualify these principles (e.g., there are limits to life and security, and there may be consequences for what we say in public), but if they go too far, they become unconsitutional.

Wikipedia is similar: policies are a means to an end, and WP:5P describes that end in a way that individual policies cannot. For example, the WP:NPOV idea that "all views should be fairly represented" may lead some editors to believe that Wikipedia should redress the balance where such views have not been fairly represented elsewhere, and that WP:NPOV should encourage this. Pillar 2 relates this issue to verifiability and hence WP:V, but what really cuts through the wikilawyering (about "due weight" etc.) is not Pillar 2, but Pillar 1: Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia.

We are not here to remake the world, but to describe it - and that empowers everyone. Geometry guy 22:27, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Arbitration policy update

Your talk page is not a noticeboard, but given that it has very many visitors who are interested in the constitutional aspects of the project, I though that they — as well as you — might be interested to participate in the referendum for ratification of the new arbitration policy, which is now open. — Coren (talk) 21:40, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

I am observing it closely and with great pleasure. I think due to my unique position, it best that I not participate directly.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:44, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/United States Congress now has an Asian counterpart

Jimbo, you might be interested in commenting on or monitoring the situation highlighted here over the Singaporean government, issues regarding which, according to the OP, are on a par with apparent US Congress edits in 2006. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 13:14, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Rick Santorum

Hello Jimbo,

Do you find it normal and acceptable that when someone googles "Santorum" or "Rick Santorum" the following Wikipedia article :

... appears as the second result in both cases ?

As far as I know no other potential candidate for President of the United States has to suffer from this kind of attack from Wikipedia.

Thanks in advance for your reply. (talk) 23:30, 2 June 2011 (UTC)

Thats a Google issue, not a Wikipedia one.--MONGO 23:46, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Well it kind of is a Wikipedia issue as well, as we aid and abet what is essentially a manufactured slander. This is not an actual neologism, it is a deliberate coinage by a journalist with the express intent to embarrass Santorum by association. There was a straw poll on the article talk page to at least rename it to something that focuses on the controversy of the creation rather than the term itself, but apparently WP:BLP doesn't apply to politicians that most editors find disagreeable. Tarc (talk) 00:42, 3 June 2011 (UTC) has all the appearances of a BLP you consider this to be akin to an attack page? This is the first I have even heard of it...I would say the coinage has less to do with embarrassment and more to do with harassment.--MONGO 01:02, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
We reflect the reliably sourced world in all matters encyclopedic. If this article is notable, then it should come up in a search. We're not responsible for google's indexing. User:Ocaasi c 00:45, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
It looks as though there was an attempt via Wikipedia to spread the term linking this man's surname to anal discharge; and bear in mind that means the surname of his children and other relatives too. There's a stand-alone article about it, recently expanded; then Template:Political neologisms was created to include the term, and a few days later Template:Sexual slang was created that included it too. There are editors who say this has increased the Google ranking, and editors who say it's made no difference; I don't understand the technical issues so I can't form an opinion. But it certainly looks as though the intention was to spread it far and wide. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 01:12, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
That was not the intention. I am sorry that it looks that way to you. I will of course defer to community consensus with regard to the deletion discussion for Template:Political neologisms, and it looks like the community consensus will be for it to be deleted. Community consensus for the other template, Template:Sexual slang, appears to be to retain the term in the template. -- Cirt (talk) 01:41, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Cirt, I think you'd be doing yourself a favour at this point if you were to remove his name from those templates yourself. Whatever the intention was (and I'm assuming good faith that your intention was just to document this), the appearance is that Wikipedia is taking part in the creation of a neologism designed to hurt a living person and his family. And I think the appearance matters as much as reality at this point. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 02:08, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
You raise a good suggestion, SlimVirgin, I have changed my comment to "remove" the term from the template for Template:Political neologisms diff, and to "delete" the template itself diff. -- Cirt (talk) 02:31, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for doing that. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 03:11, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, you are most welcome. ;) Cheers, -- Cirt (talk) 03:51, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Although I am a lifelong Democrat with liberal tendencies, I personally feel that the very existence of this article is a BLP violation. Looie496 (talk) 01:44, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
The place for the community to assess consensus on whether or not to delete an article is WP:AFD. This article had three (3) attempts to get it disappeared at AFD. All three failed. It has had at least two proposals to get it shifted, merged, or stubbed. Those failed to gain consensus of support, as well. If an editor wishes for the article to be disappeared from Wikipedia, perhaps WP:AFD is an option for that editor. -- Cirt (talk) 01:50, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I do not believe that major BLP violations of this sort should require a consensus in order to be deleted. (I was not aware of its existence until I saw this section, by the way.) Looie496 (talk) 01:54, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
WP:AFD is the proper venue to discuss deletion of articles on Wikipedia. -- Cirt (talk) 01:56, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
It may very well be that the normal Wikipedia content control mechanisms are inadequate to handle an issue that is based on Wikipedia's effect on Google. The whole thing is very 'meta' and even WP:IAR would not work to deflect this sort of issue. It's easy to believe that wanting this article stubbed and the links gone is an attack on Cirt, or part of a political position (that's what happened when I proposed stubbing the article early on in this debacle) when actually it's just a desire that Wikipedia not be part of spreading a vile attack based on Google rankings. StaniStani  02:01, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Looie496, "major BLP violations" do not generate the level of discussion found at Talk:Santorum_(neologism)#Proposal with many of the participants being experienced editors. --NeilN talk to me 02:03, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Experience is not always synonymous with common sense, as we are plainly seeing with a bunch of knee-jerk "it is reliably sourced so we must cover it" wiki-truisms. If there was ever a proper time for a WP:OFFICE action to call the shots, this is one of them. Tarc (talk) 02:16, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Why? It seems the community processes are working. There's a lively debate, and I think the community will come to a reasoned solution. OFFICE only applies when there's an offwiki complaint, anyway.  :) Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 08:24, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
At this point though, "the community" seems to be more interested in seeing an accused homophobe get his just desserts rather than in applying BLP policy fairly or honestly. As for complaints, I am tempted to drop the senator's people a note and point them to where a complaint can be filed. It'd be just as a valid a complaint as that silly kid's book war was. Tarc (talk) 11:39, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
It's not clear that hosting an article on the neologism is a misapplication of policy. If someone could make that case well, the problem would go away. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
But some of the editors who want to apply BLP policy "fairly and honestly" just want to assume bad faith. It's easier than making cogent arguements. --NeilN talk to me 12:21, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Making cogent arguments is always beneficial, I agree. Let me know when you plan to start. Tarc (talk) 13:17, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Ah yes, the old "if you don't agree with me then you have no sense" argument. --NeilN talk to me 03:10, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Compared to the even older and tireder "I can't beat my ideological opponents with intelligent, mature dialog so I will therefore emulate monkeys and fling shit upon their character" shtick that is this artificial neologism, yea, I'm comfy with saying that I am better than you on this point, bro. Tarc (talk) 04:46, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, at the very least we can say the consensus on retaining this article reveals the mindset of the WP editors who set the consensus. I'm disappointed that Jimbo is not personally stepping in and saying "I didn't found this encyclopedia to this end" and just removing it. (A mention in the Santorum and Savage BLPs would be acceptable.) This is the same encyclopedia that refuses to use the word "Climategate" because it is deemed a pejorative. Wow! Yopienso (talk) 03:18, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Just a quick comment from a non-US editor: I had never heard of Santorum before I heard of the coined term as an internet phenomenon. This guy is probably not well known (as a politician, or a hypocrite, or whatever) outside the US, so given the remarkable publicity of this stunt, from the POV of most of the world it's probably very much a BLP1E situation: An otherwise unknown individual who became notable as a victim. From this POV it actually makes sense that the article on the term should be the first Google hit for Google searches from outside the US. Hans Adler 06:31, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
"An otherwise unknown individual who became notable as a victim" -- is this for real? He was a US Senator, and he might be a Republican presidential candidate. It's fine that you aren't familiar with him, but that hardly makes him not notable or unknown. Classic solipsism... Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:47, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I think I made it sufficiently clear that I was talking about the international context and that any statements about notability must be interpreted in that context. How well known do you think random US senators are in Germany, Russia, Thailand, Nepal, France etc.? How many politicians of a similar rank (and no higher) do you know from these countries? And of course the international reporting about the US elections is only slowly starting. I found one report in German that mentions Santorum, with two short sentences: "Rick Santorum has hinted at a candidacy. The ex-senator has a socially conservative reputation." There are a small number of Google News hits in German about Santorum, but they are all in connection with agitation against homosexuals, nothing about him as an actual politician so they wouldn't be enough for a real article. The situation in French is similar. Hans Adler 08:56, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure I comprehend the argument you are making there; are you saying that notability should be international? Because that kinda pre-cludes the vast majority of our articles from being notable :) --Errant (chat!) 09:08, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I am saying that Rick Santorum is nationally notable primarily for being a politician (presumably), and internationally for being a homophobe and the victim of a linguistic attack. I am not drawing any conclusions for articles from that. Hans Adler 10:24, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Hans, I see no evidence at all that the press in Europe has taken note of the incident, or that Santorum is notable there as a homophobe. I am finding zero Google News archive results from Britain, Germany, France, Spain, a single Italian Google News result (cited in our article). Do you have evidence to the contrary? --JN466 13:23, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Not sure where I saw the neologism stuff first; it may not have been a reliable source and it was most likely in English as it is an English neologism. In any case that was the first I ever heard of the person. If I search for "Rick Santorum" on current Google News, the first two hits are about a campaign against some company, based on its association with Santorum. Most notably there is this from Bild. Then there is a very minor mention, and the one I mentioned above. In the archive there is some other stuff, e.g. related to his connections to Opus Dei in an article about the current pope. In French, the first Google News archive hit is actually about Santorum's demand that the road in Saint Denis that is named after Mumia Abu-Jamal be renamed. – Initially I forgot to click on the archive link for Google News, so I guess I overstated his lack of notability. But of course in an international context most people will file the news about him under "one of those American rightwing nuts", and the neologism is the only thing that makes him stick in people's minds. Hans Adler 13:58, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

"Being the victim of a linguistic attack" is not really a strong reason for Wikipedia perpetuating the slur. Collect (talk) 10:56, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

My only thought about the whole thing is that WP:COATRACK applies in spades. There is zero reason for this page to exist. It is arguable whether this nonsense even belongs in his biography at all, but at a bare minimum, a merger to his main article seems appropriate.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:00, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Dude, you're doing it all wrong. If you'd like to share your opinion about the article, you should do it at Talk:Santorum (neologism). (talk) 05:29, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate your comment and am sorry your great encyclopedia adventure demonstrates once again that we sink to the lowest common denominator. Yopienso (talk) 23:51, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
If I were a braver person I would have declared IAR coupled with BLP and merged it to the biography & then locked the article. Sadly I am not that brave :( The article is an example of the kind of mess that can be loaded out of sources to pass AFD --Errant (chat!) 22:06, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
And you would have found yourself reverted and having your adminship reviewed. Guess what? Jimbo's wrong on this one, and so are you. (talk) 02:35, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
You forgot to log in and I doubt what you claim would have happened, or at least if it did, would have led to nothing. Jimbo is definitely correct in that the article is a massive coatrack.--MONGO 02:41, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)No, I would simply be ahead of the curve. Come back in 10 years time and this will be a couple of paragraph's in his biography. We simply are not very good at casting current events in perspective. And I make no apology in calling people out on that abject failing of neutrality, objectivity and historical resonance. --Errant (chat!) 02:43, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm curious how the IP editor can appear to support the santorum article as it stands, yet unilaterally remove large amounts of similar content from Swiftboating ([24] & [25]). Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:13, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, golly, it's as easy as putting words in my mouth! (talk) 03:25, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
The sources documenting use of that neologism that you deleted there seem a lot better than the equivalent sources I am just discussing on the Santorum talk page. --JN466 04:17, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Apples and cucumbers. I didn't delete the article about the neologism-- in fact, I added the word "neologism" to that article. I also removed the listcruft. If you've got a problem with that, you need to go back to wiki-policy-school. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:45, 4 June 2011 (UTC).
My point is that in Santorum (neologism), we have a similar list of everything, from self-published free e-books to the Gonzo Crosswords and the Geek Limerick Contest, that has ever mentioned the word Santorum. I am only saying that the sources you deleted in Swiftboating, like the New York Times, Fox News and Boston Globe, seem to me to have been more relevant sources to document the spread of a neologism than the Gonzo Crosswords or the Geek Limerick contest on BBspot. --JN466 05:22, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
And my point is that you're not arguing with me about that. I don't give a flying fuck if you start removing examples of the word being used from that article. That's OR. (talk) 05:34, 4 June 2011 (UTC)


In the hope of attracting wider input, I've add the RfC tag to the talk-page discussion that was already taking place. Could anyone who has commented here but not there, please add your comments there too? See Talk:Santorum_(neologism)#Proposal to rename, redirect, and merge content. SlimVirgin TALK|CONTRIBS 06:16, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. That discussion seems more productive than most. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:20, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, you may wish to go back and edit your response. In suggesting that the rename be "verbal attack" it appears that you have not even actually read the article in question. Active Banana (bananaphone 16:36, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

FYI, my comment

Please see diff. Thank you, -- Cirt (talk) 00:23, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

As an extra FYI since this thread started with the mention that the Santorum (neologism) article is number 2 on a Google search- Google ranks articles not based on relevance but on hitcount (the actual method is propriotary and not public, but Goolge has stated hit count as the "main component") therefore the more attention drawn to this the more people going to the article and that is why it is listed so high. If the article had simply existed with no drama, it probably would not have made it to page 2 let alone the number 2 spot on page 1. So it is some what ironic that those who want to get rid of the article are the ones making it more visible. I myself, though a staunch liberal, will not view the article and do hope it is deleted, it is ridiculous and there's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more relevant material with which to "attack" this man on his article.Camelbinky (talk) 01:24, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Lets hope the editors at his bio can present a neutral presentation. I spent a year dealing with editors that wanted to make sure some "dry-drunk" nonsense was put in the George W. Bush article, even though it was based on the opinions of "doctors" that had never once examined the then President. The only reason they wanted it there had nothing to do with reliability and everything to do with their desire to smear his article with the opinions of some voodoo medicine quacks opinions.--MONGO 02:21, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. I had to deal with it in the Jerry Jennings article, the mayor of Albany. Having a degree in Political Science I can understand the psychology and motivation behind why lay people and especially political opperatives wanting to smear people on sites like Wikipedia, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Myyearbook, etc. Great outlets with great potential for attack "ads". With no intentional smear to Karl Rove, whom I met during my graduate work at MU, if hehad been in his prime of activity ten years later than he was I'm positive he'd have "indirectly" been quite active in encouraging such work. It isn't necessarily as evil as our strict policies regarding BLP makes it out to seem. Evil from the point of view of Wikipedians (and morality), but from the point of view of people in my line of business- No. It's what we've done for hundreds of years (Just ask Grover Cleveland what it's like to be attacked personally in an election). Should we still let it happen on Wikipedia though, of course not. But we have to understand the psychology of WHY, and that it isnt quite the same as the other libel out there. Which American law has historically been lax regarding libel/slander when it comes to politicians/elections than Wikipedia's BLP policy/guidelines (except notably the Alien and Sedition Laws, which wasnt Constitutional to begin with).Camelbinky (talk) 02:57, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
As Billy Joel put it, "we didn't start the fire". Santorum was already getting his just desserts on Google (and was honored as Most Outrageous Word of 2004) before User:Santorummm started the article in August 2006 (two whole months before, apparently, spoil-funs pointed out to him that Wikipedia is a bureaucracy). And Dan Savage was still trumpeting the site in 2011. Wikipedia did not do this. But Wikipedia should cover the phenomenon with a well written article like the one it has now. Wnt (talk) 07:15, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not here to give people their just desserts. Nor should Wikipedia assist others in giving peo0ple their just desserts. Wikipedia is here to give encyclopedic information of lasting value. What ois shown here is that too many editors seem to think that adding aspersions abut people is somehow a proper use of an encyclopedia. I do not care how despicable a person is - Wikipedia is not here to show how despicable they are. Wikipedia is here to state facts of encyclopedic value. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:11, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Collect completely here, and I'm sad to see an experienced and respected Wikipedian like Wnt suggesting otherwise.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:26, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I posted a suggestion at the RfC that as a (made-up) word, with the current article really about its etymology, it should be merged into the Wiktionary article. This doesn't belong in an encyclopedia in the first place, and that has nothing to do with censoring or political correctness or whatever else anyone wants to label this argument. I'd say the same thing if it was some sort of flattering word. Sometimes we have Wikipedians, with good intentions, who are so concerned about providing all information possible to our readers that they forget not everything people want to know about, or google for, belongs in any encyclopedia (not just Wikipedia) at all. I think that's a wider issue perhaps worth some discussion. Flatterworld (talk) 16:27, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Not really important to this discussion, but Google's ranking algorithms are not based on "hit count" as Camelbinky stated above. Although the actual algorithms used are not known, the general mechanisms are well-known. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 16:07, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Wnt has not said that Wikipedia should give people their just desserts. He said that Wikipedia should cover the phenomenon. There can be reasonable disagreement about what is encyclopedic, but it is very unhelpful for editors to read and interpret so poorly. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 20:19, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I have never seen a definition for what "of encyclopedic value" is supposed to mean, when it is used by people talking about eviscerating an article like this. When are facts from reliable sources about the taunting of a well-known political figure "unencyclopedic". How do you make up your mind? I mean, why aren't birthers unencyclopedic and proposed for some unconventional deletion? How can anyone possibly decide, except by prejudice? Why is "original research" supposed to be wrong when people use it to add facts to an article, but not when they use it to decide what to remove?
I believe in a very simple notion of encyclopedic value, which is that whatever can be reliably sourced and has been found worth adding by an editor is worth keeping. I believe in loot, not excuses. We're here to raid the world's literature and art and media and news for every fact someone can bother to write down. When someone starts talking about giving stuff back, leaving it to the copyrighted media to handle facts, putting the feelings of some politician ahead of the inquisitiveness of thousands of readers, I think that is an overly soft-hearted attitude that has forgotten how desperate so many of us were to have easy access to good facts when we wanted them throughout the 80s and the 90s. This is the flagship of free culture and its primary mission is of overriding importance. Wnt (talk) 01:09, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that there's an important difference between this and the birther article. Birthers are ultimately making factual claims. Our due weight and reliable source policies help prevent false factual claims from hurting the BLP subject, because if the claim is false, we will give a lot of weight to sources that say so. This lets us report the claims of Birthers safely; nobody walks away from the article believing that the claims of the Birthers are true, and the article has no negative effect on Obama.
The santorum article isn't harming Santorum by falsely claiming he did something. It's harming him because saying "<person's name> shit <person's name> shit <person's name> shit" over and over again is inherently degrading even if it doesn't say that the person did anything bad at all. The same policies that keep the Birther article from doing harm don't keep this one from doing harm.
And it is not true that whatever can be reliably sourced and is found worthwhile by an editor is worth adding. BLP has always had conditions that demand the removal of reliably sourced material--see the "avoid victimization" clause. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:04, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Just because some person believes "Bob eats pancakes" is encyclopedic doesn't mean it is. Without structure, guideance, or impediments, we wouldn't have accomplishments. We would just have drivel. I was once told a very insightful thing by a drama teacher. He said that although he didn't like censorship or limitations, they provided opportunities for growth. In other words, these limits give us a reason to seek new ways to accomplish things and often lead to more innovative approaches than unrestricted freedom might allow. Consider the way Napster worked versus the way Torrents work as an example. -- Avanu (talk) 01:30, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Is it just me that finds it rather ironic that Jimbo appears opposed to the apparent POV-pushing issues on this article whilst enabling exactly the same thing (along with socking and vote-stacking) at a different one? (talk) 20:27, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
    Yes. — Coren (talk) 02:31, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
What? I don't even know what that means. How am I "enabling" POV-pushing, socking, or vote-stacking anywhere? My contributions to the talk page of that article have been 100% consistent in insisting that we follow sources. There has been a huge problem at that article with POV pushing, and my remarks have all been in opposition to it. The article has vastly improved already, but it still has some way to go. That's completely normal, and I'm unaware of any current issues with socking or vote-stacking on the article. Let me know if you have any examples, and I'll run the checkuser myself.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:26, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Sarcasm failure, Jimbo: "Yes, it is just him that finds [...]". I wasn't agreeing with him, I was rolling my eyes. I'm sorry if that wasn't clear. — Coren (talk) 10:43, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, whew. Sorry about that. Ignore my email. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:02, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

'disambiguation' page

This is yet another example demonstrating that the 'neologism' article is clearly meant as an attack - and one which would be picked up by the search engines. I googled for santorum and (eventually) found what used to be the Santorum (disambiguation) page: now Santorum. (I presume there used to be the typical hatnote in the Rick Santorum article, pointing to the disambiguation page, as Santorum used to redirect to Rick Santorum. But that wouldn't be obvious enough for those trying to engineer this attack, would it?) I've now fixed the sequence of 'options', but the previous version listed the 'neologism' first - imagine that. Most people would be looking for Rick Santorum, but User:Dravecky (on June 2, 2011) decided to put everything else first (claiming WP:DABSTYLE, although that clearly states to start with a link to the primary topic). Rick's wife's name was added, presumably to 'pad out' the short list of People, and her name was blue-linked - although that redirected to her husband's article as she's really not notable at all. I removed the wikilink as her husband is the only other name in the list. There was also 'Santorum controversy regarding homosexuality, response to an April 2003 interview' - a further unnecessary pad, particularly risible as it didn't mention Rick's name even though it was in a separate section. I removed it, as 'sub-articles' aren't listed in disambiguation pages. That left Santorum Amendment, which appears to be an actual article with actual information - although anyone looking for the amendment would, presumably, include 'amendment' in their search. I can't think of another 'disambiguation page' which has tried so hard to appear needed. Similar issues are handled with the search feature. The point is...some people are going to a whole lot of trouble to game search engines and readers in order to 'help' people know about this made-up word which few are actually trying to find. This certainly isn't the first time we've seen these games being played at Wikipedia, particularly with politicians, but this is the first time the connection had some fake 'deniability' factor. Flatterworld (talk) 15:44, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I hope you will post your analysis to the talk page of the article. I recommend, though, toning it down to be less accusatory. The net effect is that we have been POV pushing this as a "neologism" when it isn't really one - it's an attack. I don't think we need to get into anyone's motives for doing it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:55, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
While I was mulling over how to describe a 'hate crime' attack while avoiding any discussion of 'motive', I went back to the article and saw that Dravecky's reverted my changes. Rather than be tempted into an edit war, I'm going to let others pull the chestnuts out of the fire this time. There are some people, some topics, (and yes, some 'motives') I'd just rather not deal with. (And to be blunt, it's not as if the guy is a real contender.) Flatterworld (talk) 22:50, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Well, I got dragged in by providing a point of information on Wikipedia article stats. See Talk:Santorum and Talk:Santorum_(disambiguation). I don't particularly want to be blocked for violating the notorious 3R rule while I'm being double-teamed, so I really am withdrawing from the field now. Good night, and good luck. (Rule One: NEVER Assume Good Faith when working on a controversial political article. Rule Two: They're ALL controversial.) Flatterworld (talk) 02:30, 7 June 2011 (UTC)


Hi, I have not currently registered an account on Wikipedia, though I enjoy reading it and using it, and occasionally do my best to contribute where I can. I just had a quick question for you, if you wouldn't mind answering it. See, I'm currently a recently-promoted Patroller on a different wiki, which also utilizes MediaWiki, though I find myself slightly confused by some of the coding that is often used on the majority of the articles on the wiki. I have been able to successfully teach myself how to use a few of the seemingly "simpler" things, like <br clear=all>, [[Category:Example]], <dpl> </dpl>, [[Articletitle#Subsectiontitle|Linktitle]], etc., though I'm afraid the majority of the rest remains foreign to me, i.e. things like {{BASEPAGENAME}}, #ifeq, #ifexist, etc., which I've only seen others use, but really have no idea how to use myself. Of course, as I'm now a Patroller, I figured I should probably know most of these things by now anyway (or at the very least, figure them out for the future). I tried looking here: [26] for help, but was not really able to find anything. So, I was just wondering, would there be like a list of different MediaWiki coding text examples somewhere that explains what some of them do...? I suppose that would be too good to be true though... :) I realize you're probably very busy with other things, but if you could please find the time to get back to me, I would greatly appreciate it! :)

(As I said, I currently don't have an account yet, so I'll just sign with my IP address). (talk) 03:45, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Pls see Wikipedia:Cheatsheet, Help:HTML in wikitext and Help:Wiki markup.Moxy (talk) 03:55, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

seeking lurkers

Noting the "just desserts" discussion above, I have been concerned for some time with what the ADL has called "unfounded" allegations about Prescott Bush which have now recently been given vastly increased weight on the "biography of a dead person." See [27] for my position which is currently apparently in disfavour on the article talk page. Cheers to all - this is one more case where it seems some seek to give someone they find despicable (a liberal Republican in this case) his "just desserts." Collect (talk) 13:11, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Please explain how this and similar posts are not a violation of WP:CANVASSING? Fram (talk) 08:19, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
It is never a violation of WP:CANVASSING to call my attention to a problem.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:22, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
It is a violation to seek "lurkers" on a page of someone with a known opinion on these kind of cases, with a clearly non-neutral message. And a personal attack against his opposers as well: "it seems some seek to give someone they find despicable (a liberal Republican in this case) his "just desserts."" Please, if you want to be a defender of our policies, start by upholding them on your very own talk page. Fram (talk) 11:09, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I do uphold policy on my talk page. And I'm telling you, there's nothing wrong with the message. It is not a violation to post to my talk page seeking lurkers. It's no different from posting at WP:BLPN or any other similar place. What I think is inconsistent with our policies is attempts to intimidate people from seeking help from others who may be able to help with an issue. I don't know what your beef is, here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:20, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Giving a slanted resume of an issue on a page of someone known to have a similar opinion, while at the same time attacking those with a different opinion, is normal practice here. That doesn't make it policy. It's too bad but not really surprising that you don't see the problem with this. You believe that the way Collect describes people with a different opinion, and how he is poisoning the well by imagining their motives, is an acceptable method of discussing things and fellow editors? Fram (talk) 11:32, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Um -- I think you confuse seeking neutral observers with an attempt to "poison the well." As for casting aspersions on Jimbo because he agrees with my position on the proper use of Wikipedia and the concept on making a genuin encyclopedia - that speaks rather worse of your motives than of mine. Cheers. Collect (talk) 11:47, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
You were seeking like-minded observers in a post that clearly poisoned the well. I don't see how your description of people who don't agree with you in that discussion can be called anything else. And please, tell me, what are my motives? Your motive is influencing a debate where your position doesn't have consensus, by posting to like-minded users and smearing your opponents. My motive, as far as I am aware, is countering such inappropriate posting. Fram (talk) 11:57, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
If and only if you somehow assume that only people who agree with Jimbo read this page. I suggest that such is a substantially errant presumption, and is contrary to AGF. Have a cup of Early Grey. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:06, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I AGF on those reading this page, and haven't expressed anything to the contrary. What you attempt to do, and what the effect will be, are not necessarily the same. If you had written a neutral message, or at least a message outlining your position without discrediting the opposition by attacking their motives in a very prejudiced and unwarranted manner, then I might have believed that you wanted neutral editors to give their unbiased opinion. As it stands, everything in your post (the locus, the referral to other posts above, and most of all the method of presenting the two sides of the debate) completely contradicts any claims of "seeking neutral observers". Fram (talk) 13:34, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
All I see is a wondrous example of ABF. I said I sought neutral eyes, and that should have ended it. Instead you now appear to be attacking me personally, which I find a tad disconcerting. Note that I was not the one who first said that they felt people should get their "just desserts" on this talk page and that is the person whom you should be arguing with above, not attacking me here. Cheers. Your argument seems to be with that phrase and not with me. Collect (talk) 13:48, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
No, it isn't. My problem is with the person claiming that "it seems some seek to give someone they find despicable (a liberal Republican in this case) his "just desserts."" You made that claim about other editors. To start complaining that I ABF and make a personal attack is highly hypocritical. I am not "assuming bad faith", I am reading what you posted here. No "assuming" is needed to notice that you claim to know the motives and political opinions of those that disagree with you in a discussion, and that you deny that you were "poisoning the well" when the evidence is right there for everyone to see. Fram (talk) 14:05, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Read the earlier section on this talk page, Fram. At this point you seem to be more interested in "proving" that I am despicable than in looking at what the posts said and what the prior thread said. And this is a remarkably bad place to make such assertions about me as you have made. Uploading a few gallons of hot lemon tea. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:14, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
The prior thread was about a different issue. I am discussing the thread you started here, and what you said in this thread. And it seems to me that the best place to make "assertions" about you, if by that you mean highlighting your actions, is at the actual place where those things happened. If you have a problem with that place, so be it, I don't. I note that in all your posts here, you have not once adressed the issue of your comments about the other editors,but go off on all kinds of tangents. Any reason for this omission? Fram (talk) 14:20, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't. But it isn't canvassing, which is what you were complaining about first.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:38, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and in my second post, I expanded upon this, and you replied with "there's nothing wrong with the message." and "What I think is inconsistent with our policies is attempts to intimidate people from seeking help from others who may be able to help with an issue." Now you agree that the post by Collect was not "an acceptable method of discussing things and fellow editors", which is "campaigning", as described in the canvassing guideline. Fram (talk) 11:57, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
No, it was just being rude to some people. It was not canvassing. My point is, I don't like to see people being discouraged from asking whatever they like on my talk page. Rather than turning policy-lawyer on him, we might contribute more constructively by pointing out how his words might make some people feel.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:26, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I freely admit my bias on all biographies of all people on all sides of all issues - possibly due to seeing such folks as made comments collected at User:Collect/BLP. I have hackles raised at such positions, and freely apologize to those who feel that I direct such comments at them. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:40, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I think that the requirement for a canvassing message to be neutral is one of those little overwrought flourishes to policy we could easily do without. After all, I followed his message to disagree with him. Wnt (talk) 00:42, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Because you care about BLPs, you make personal, unfounded attacks against other editors about a dispute over a BDP, not a BLP? The logic escapes me. Fram (talk) 08:10, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
It's summer. It's hot where some people are. You can tell. It's the 'crankiness factor'. They can't help it. Upload a gallon of iced tea instead, Collect. Flatterworld (talk) 03:19, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

News coverage of Wikipedia Paul Revere article

There are 642 articles on Google News (wikipedia paul revere) so far. Which is a whole lot more than the 10 articles about the neulogism discussed above. Flatterworld (talk) 19:01, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Now it's 1081. Not that I'm suggesting we ask Sarah Palin to do an Ambassador advert to attract editors. Flatterworld (talk) 03:13, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Whatever you are doing with your Google News links, it's not portable. When I follow them I get a page in German telling me that it has found "no similar articles", but giving no indication what the original search term was. I think it's better to use the standard URLs that include the search terms. Hans Adler 06:37, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Which is why I provided the search terms. To repeat: wikipedia paul revere. There IS no standard, stable URL which shows the counts, as they're calculated on the fly. btw - here are the Wikipedia view stats. Flatterworld (talk) 17:11, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

You might find this report interesting

"The online encyclopedia has become the chief arbiter of the watercooler dispute." - discusses what Wikipedia does with a focus on the Paul Revere article and Sarah Palin.

Thanks - I liked the word 'wiki-prove' (very descriptive!) and the office shots. Flatterworld (talk) 17:00, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Question because no idea where else to bring it up

Hopefully given the number of people who watch Jimbo's talk page I can at least get an answer of where to bring up what I discovered. Seven hills of Jerusalem appears to have been an article until 2006 but was deleted. I was wondering how I might get the article either reinstated or put into user space to see if it can be cleaned up for reinstating the article. Given that of all the cities that claim to be on seven hills this is probably the most famous and well known, or at least on par with Rome. A google search shows that there is plenty of notability to go on, and not just from Jewish sources (in fact most of the entries seem to be Catholic related). Since I'm just a regular editor I cant see the discussion showing the reason for deletion or see the quality of the article as written and if it is worth saving or just start from scratch. Thanks for any help!Camelbinky (talk) 06:26, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

WP:REFUND's what you want, unless of course an admin happens to see your request and handle it here. 28bytes (talk) 06:28, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you! I will put in a request first thing in the morning should an admin not handle it while I sleep.Camelbinky (talk) 06:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Having just looked at the article, I see no value in reinstating it (a new article may be worthwhile though). It was very, very short, and was basically used as a vehicle to link to an unreliable website. Starting from scratch will be more useful. Fram (talk) 06:47, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
Thank you Fram. I'll get on creating the article once I finish with Lincoln Park (Albany) and the next two articles I have on my list to create so it'll be awhile but at least I have a new project to research when I'm done.Camelbinky (talk) 16:23, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Word of the Day Cacophemism

Seems apropos to me for one or more of the topics above. Collect (talk) 20:16, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

Just want to know your opinion

Hi. I am a wikipedian from Wikipedia in Spanish since 2008. I know perfectly well that each project has its own policies and guidelines. In Spanish Wikipedia we have a "What Wikipedia Is Not" policy and a "User Pages" policy. However, I have noticed a strange kind of campaign against Wikimedia Foundation that is taking place in some user pages [28], [29], [30]. Until I know, Wikipedia in Spanish, as well as any other project, is still a website of Wikmedia Foundation, nevertheless it seems that some veteran wikipedians feel that the project belongs to the community and not to the Foundation. I am confused because no one administrator says nothing about this situation until now. Anyway, I would like to know your personal opinion about this topic, furthermore, your personal opinion about this behavior. Best regards. Jaontiveros (talk) 21:59, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I have no strong opinion about it. I read the pages you linked to, in google translate, and I don't really understand. If people would like to make a formal complaint about something, I'm always here. I will try to understand other languages, but I am just one man who speaks only English and a bit of German and a tiny tiny bit of Spanish.
One of the links seems upset about salaries at the Foundation, but that seems misguided to me. The Foundation pays perfectly appropriate and normal salaries, and is moving forward with work that has badly needed doing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:10, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Change my Username

Dear Jimbo,

Could you please change my username to WikiRigby?

~Wimpy Fanboy my talk sign! 02:00, 9 June 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wimpy Fanboy (talkcontribs)

see WP:CHU. Cheers! Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:02, 9 June 2011 (UTC)


Jimbo, I wanted to excuse myself for having introduced actual dispute events in a comment on mine on the social networking discussion here on your talk page. Reading it now I see that it can be interpeted in different ways, however I was greatly concerned, and since those events were taking place simultaneously I thought it could have been helpfull for better understanding of the issues I raised there.

I was warried about the destiny of a mediation that after long time it is finaly coming close to an end but was being at that moment under attack and risk of failure. The mediation now is going trough its procedings, however back then I found myself very aprehensive and I beleaved giving a note of the case to you would be important. As the mediation has been followed by numerous non-participants, its failure would have certainly provided a wrong message about the viability of the WP:RfM as dispute resolution tool, and also about the credibility of WP on the ability of dealing with major disputes.

This particular dispute is possibly among the most complicated ones, and even historians seem to lack consensus, however by guiding ourselfs by the policies, having a quality NPOV articles related to the issue should become reality. Numerous editors have been following the progress of the mediation, and depending on the success of this one, many of them have been considering requesting WP:RfM in future in other similar disputes. If the mediation had been disrupted and concluded as failure, it would have disapointed numerous editors as a usefull way of solving disputes.

Getting back to the discussion here on your talk page, I honestly beleaved much was in stake back then, and beside being usefull to give you notice about it, it was also related to the subject of social networking. I saw the link between the two as possibly problematic if some precautions aren´t taken before. With the most probable increase of young users that would come from the linking with social networking, the number of disputes and disruption would certainly increase. Usual vandalism wan´t be a problem since looks easy to detect and sysops have the immediate tools like blocking, however the disputes look harder to solve, and with an increase of cases I certainly beleave that some improvements in this area would be decisive as way to keep the house in order. I thouth that providing a real exemple could make it more easy to understand and ti give the idea about the difficulties already found by now, and it was precissely on that moment that the process was finding most difficulties ever. I hope you haven´t took me wrong, but I understood that next time I may have a case like this (hoping not) it would be perhaps better to separate the two issues. Hoping my thoughts were usefull I take this oportunity to apologise once more and to send you regards, FkpCascais (talk) 08:49, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Ok. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:55, 9 June 2011 (UTC)

Integration with social networking sites

Inspired by a question on help desk,[31] I was wondering if any thought has been given to integrating Wikipedia with social networking sites, such as the ability to login to Wikipedia with your Facebook account or the ability to Tweet about an article that you like. I think that these are good ideas in and of themselves, but considering that a) Wikipedia has a dearth of female editors and b) Women rule social networking, integration with social networking might also be a great way to attract new female editors to the project. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 19:30, 3 June 2011 (UTC)

I am generally all for it, if privacy is respected appropriately. The software for this already exists - Wikia uses it - so it would be a matter of just turning it on. But I don't make these decisions myself, and indeed stay far away from it for the most part, so contacting the Foundation to discuss this might be best. My assumption is that if the community voted to request it, the Foundation would implement it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:07, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
I support the general idea here but, A Quest For Knowledge, I do not think that enabling FB login would substantially increase female participation on Wikipedia, that is something of a stretch :) In fact, in my experience (of running sites with FB/Twitter login) it really makes no difference because it is the site that is important, not the login method.
Enabling Oauth would be awesome :) --Errant (chat!) 22:23, 3 June 2011 (UTC)
Adding new ways to login could be useful, however please don't add "Share this" or "Like" buttons everywhere on the pages. All the extra JavaScript will make them slower to load (I think there are already too many scripts being loaded on every pages), and can even prevent them to load at all in countries where Twitter or Facebook are blocked, China among others. Laurent (talk) 07:43, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
Again, I'm not the decision maker, but I think both of those claims are not true... but your concerns are valid and should be researched. First, a snippet of javascript, loaded properly, should not materially affect the load time of pages. (Yes, technically, adding anyting to a page increases load time, but not necessarily materially.) An ordinary image is much larger than any javascript, and the order of loading of javascripts can be done wisely. Second, I'm unaware of any evidence that putting a 'share this' link will cause pages to be blocked, and it seems highly unlikely to me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:18, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
As I live in China, I've seen pages stop loading midway, even on major websites like Wired. When I check what's happening with Firebug, I often see some Twitter or Facebook script or iframe "loading" forever and preventing the rest of the page to load. I don't know the technicalities of this and it's true that, in theory, it shouldn't prevent the rest of the page to load, but in practice it sometime does. Laurent (talk) 06:39, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
It happends everywhere I think. I´m in Europe and I can easily say that around once in 10 times I have some downloading problem because of them... FkpCascais (talk) 06:52, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Irrespective of the technical ease of doing so, adding "Share this" or "Like" links to pages could breach WP:COI in my view. If it is done at all it should be through an opt-in gadget only, perhaps like WP:Popups. Facebook specifically is an advertising and marketing site just as much as it is a social networking site. It is used to create revenue for its investors by gathering people into a commercial setting disguised as a social one. The "Like" button guidelines tell the story of a branding feature in so many words. It is of recognizable promotional value to Facebook, and I see it as intrusive clutter on many of the web pages I visit. Even the prospect of every page having a generic text link which has similar value to drive traffic to a commercial site is basically just as troubling. I don't want to be reminded of the primacy of Facebook everywhere I go, but many times I am. I sincerely hope you consider this view and adjust yours to oppose the inclusion of corporate iconography or backlinks on these pages by default. Sswonk (talk) 04:15, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I see both sides, as someone who does post on my Facebook wall articles I find interesting or ones I've worked I have seen the interest that can be generated if we had a "share this" button; however I had never thought about the points Sswonk mentions and I can see how troubling some things that could happen if we integrated social networks into Wikipedia. Other problems could be if we integrate with Twitter and Facebook are we not endorsing them over Myspace and MyYearbook and the various other smaller sites? We would just be reinforcing their supremacy. I think it was that once had in their advertising "Google isnt better, it's just better known". Also, where does the integration end? Are we falling down a slippery slope going from integrating share and like buttons to eroding our fundamental policy that Wikipedia is not a social site? Given the drama that happens on social sites and the unfortunate acts of bullying and suicide we definitely do not want bleed over of harrassment and bullying and their consequences (either from Facebook to Wikipedia, or the other way around from Wikipedia to Facebook and on to the "real world"). So where is the line on integration and how broad a range of sites are we talking about?Camelbinky (talk) 05:43, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I also beleave most scholars and real encyclopedia enthusiasts will see that most probably as turn-off. Specially the elder ones. Honestly, I am affraid such inclusion will increase the number of youngsters on wp, and, while that can increase the number of visitiors, it will certainly also increase the number of vandalism and disruption. Are we really prepared to it? On the other side the integration with social networking sites seems inevitable, and as happend with numerous other websites in last two or three years, it may be just a matter of time to see an increase of social networking enthusists here as well. If it comes to be the way to go, the type of moderate ideas like the ones Sswonk presented, such as opt-in gadgets or popups seems like a way to go. FkpCascais (talk) 06:21, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Mmmm. Turn off. Yes. This will precipitate a changing of the guard from scholars to 4chan kiddos. But the latter have the greater numbers and enthusiasm, so if numbers and enthusiasm is preferable to experience and domain knowledge, then by all means go for it. – Ling.Nut 01:01, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Colour me unconvinced over this whole "it will bring in 4chan kiddos" thing, it seems like a bit of a fallacy. I doubt some share buttons would affect editor demographics (which is largely not scholarly anyway). I also have some news for you; most of this sites readers are probably closer to "4chan kiddos" than to scholars. And this is the important thing; share buttons are a feature for the readers, not for us. In this respect we are the minority making a decision relating to the vast majority.

As it is we shouldn't be worrying, or making a value judgement, on who our readership is. If scholars are turned off by a couple of buttons (I'm not sure they will be, but lets take the premise as sound) then more fool them, if it makes the content more accessible to more people, then it's a good idea.

Many of the arguments made above amount to IDONTLIKEIT and idealogical views on, say, Facebook. We should get above that and look at things objectively. At the end of the day the aim is to make sharing of our content with other people as easy as possible - it is part of the core mission! And we simply have to choose the most popular avenues to do that. Google is pretty tightly integrated with some aspects of the site - why? Because it is technically superior, widely known and familiar to people. I'm sure some people here object to Google, but objectively they are a sensible choice. If someone could propose a good scholarly news/sharing site to include then I'd support that too! --Errant (chat!) 08:39, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

While I generally agree with you, I wonder if you could explain more what you mean by "Google is pretty tightly integrated with some aspects of the site"? I do think that the vendor neutrality argument is a valid one, not necessarily *blocking* mind you, but something worthy of consideration.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:31, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Just little things, for example ISBN book searches feature a prominent link to Google (and Amazon) - which is the right choice because they are the best places to direct people on that page. I also had in mind that the search page had options to push people to Google, but that has changed. So, yeh, I retract that statement partially :D --Errant (chat!) 11:55, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I would add that I find the ISBN book searches link to Amazon very much a wrongchoice, because it advantages a large corporation over all its competitors (one of whom I work for part-time). --Orange Mike | Talk 14:08, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
More than deserving a dismissive IDONTLIKEIT, not wanting colored icons for outside sites cluttering a page I think is valid. Wikia has the standard set, but Wikia accepts advertisers. If you want to call continuing a completely ad-free environment ideological, I would say that's semantics. I mentioned WP:COI. Although what it covers is not exactly what I had in mind, it sort of parallels it with: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a vanity press or a forum for advertising and promoting yourself or your ideas. As such it should contain only material that complies with its content policies, and Wikipedians must place the interests of the encyclopedia first. Any editor who gives priority to outside interests may be subject to a conflict of interest. What I mean is in there somewhere. By opening the "Like" button gate, the site's atmosphere gets pushed towards the self-centered, "I was here, this is what I read" tenor and away from encyclopedic. No one can deny the iconography is a form of advertising for the social sites. I think using text versions would be non-intuitive. A gadget would also encourage people to become users, seeing sharing tools as one of the benefits of registration, and discourage blatant click farm type SEO usage of the tools to promote a given topic. "Go to Wikipedia and 'Like' my article! ..." Being objective, that is easy. Maintaining integrity can be a challenge. Sswonk (talk) 12:46, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't necessarily think it could be considered advertising - other than a way to advertise Wikipedia on the other sites :) To be specific; to my mind this is not about a "Like" button (that is asinine) but a "Share this" feature, quite often I chuck a WP article of interest that I come across onto one of my blogs, Facebook or Twitter for people to enjoy. I think ways to enable this are a good thing and (as I said) part of our core mission of promoting free content. I do see some of your concerns, and the underlying reasons behind them, but I think they could be worked around using good engineering. For example; I see no reason that it would encourage account creation if we just added it as the generic option on the article (perhaps a "share this" text link in the side bar that expanded). We can get past the iconography issue by using text links rather than pictures. We can get past the whole advocacy issue by designing to the tools to work as information sharing rather than "I like this! Nom!" (so, for example the Facebook button would share the link on your profile, rather than Liking it). The bottom line is that many of our users use these tools to share information, and I don't think we should ignore that on the basis of "I don't want to be reminded of the primacy of Facebook everywhere I go". To put it another way; thousands of people share WP articles on Twitter, FB and other social sites daily, why not make that path easier for them? --Errant (chat!) 13:28, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Another horrid suggestion, trying to gain traction with the suggestion that it will attract women? What are we STUPID ???? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 13:05, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

I have to agree with the reaction Sandy has here. Social media sites are smart enough to understand what you are trying to do when you copy-paste a link into them. Why is the existing copy-paste method not sufficient? Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 02:37, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia's supposed to be a great cathedral, right? But you're still allowed to take pictures inside of St. Paul's. That's all these share links are, a way to show the folks at home what wonder you found. It's not a knock on women, or a bowing to web 2.0 ubiquity. It's just leveraging our content so our users can share it easily. It's opening our cathedral to photographers. Ocaasi t | c 02:48, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
The analogy is flawed. The cathedral is already open—all you need to do is copy a URL, and all the social media sites know what to do with it. The share buttons do not actually do anything, since just copying the URL into Facebook, StumbleUpon, or Twitter (just to name a few) produces the desired result. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 08:57, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I can't help thinking that objection is flawed too - of the form "if the horse has bolted". If people are copy/pasting links into websites surely adding a useful button that makes it a bit easier is a good move? And if people are copy/pasting these links it shows a desire/need on the part of our readership - why are we not meeting that? :) --Errant (chat!) 09:20, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
No. My point is that the buttons introduce no real benefit. (in the case of Facebook, clicking on a share button for the site produces a popup window with a modified wall, where the user still needs to introduce text for the text to go into his/her wall. This is the same exact result as a copypaste to the main wall itself.) More importantly, the buttons introduce significant problems: they a) introduce visual clutter, b) add time to loading pages, particularly where scripts may be blocked, c) turn off existing editors, and d) they provide the illusion of advertising or recommendation, since we would only have a subset of share buttons available. If we put a Facebook button, do we need to put in a MySpace button for neutrality? If we put a Blogger button, do we need WordPress and LiveJournal buttons as well? Twitter buttons force the inclusion of buttons as well? I can keep going on and on, but my main point is that share buttons provide negligible advantages and introduce a host of problems that would be equivalent to a Web 2.0 Pandora's box. Let's not do this. Titoxd(?!? - cool stuff) 09:36, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't find those problems compelling. The technical issues are trivial to engineer around, so is not a hurdle (all of the problems you raise can be worked around). The choice of which sites can simply be objective; which are the most popular community sites to include. Advertising or endorsement; I don't see how it would come across that way, in fact I find that sort of attitude a bit stuffy - this is the internet, the point is to recognize themes and trends and integrate with them. Putting off other editors; every other day editors bemoan some new feature or idea, it's not anything unique to Wikipedia. Nothing is ever going to please everyone, but I am sure we could come up with a proposal that pleases most. Finally; you call them "negligible" advantages, which is a bit of a dangerous dismissal seeing as you are not really the target audience. Why don't we ask what our readers want? We are, after all, here to serve them. --Errant (chat!) 15:03, 8 June 2011 (UTC)

I do not think that we should enable any form of login or voting system that would unfairly promote certain businesses (e.g. Facebook) over those which are not included. Adding "Like" buttons and Facebook login links all over the site is advertising their business (for free). I don't support advertising Facebook on Wikipedia any more than I support banner ads (which is not at all) -- I think it detracts from the credibility of the encyclopedia. It is also unethical to share information about our editors with a corporation such as Facebook that repeatedly violates the privacy of its users. -- Jrtayloriv (talk) 18:42, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

While I understand and respect many of Errant´s views, I disagree with the impression he got that most are against it because IDONTLIKEIT. For instance, I know that scholars are already a minority, just that linking us with social networks will certainly encourage their users to become WP readers, and since WP has editing accessible to all, they will evetually become editors as well. We already have a disproportion of scolars vs others, just that knowing the age composition of social networking users, I beleave that disproportion will grow. I am not saying that is good, or bad, I just beleave it will be a fact. I also make a connection here with the "registered users only" discussion, which, in case of making editing avaliable only to registered users, would have made real encyclopedia enthusists (more likely to register) less minority. Resumingly, I beleave an unchallenged fact is that social networking will increase a number of visitors, but also the number of young editors. Good, or bad, not sure yet.
By now it is already usual to find WP articles at Facebook, because many people share our articles over those sites already, so most users know about us already. As tool of making WP more visible, I belave Google providing our articles top places in their searches has been of major importance. Another aspect indirectly related is that Facebook, for exemple, has started making copies of our biographies, see [32]. It is the copy of Metodi Tomanov article, and not a profile of that person. I supose you Jimbo knew about this and they mention licences on the page. Thousands of our biographies (including dead persons) are copied at Facebook. There they do have avaliable the "like this" bottons, but I think it really seems all ackward. I mean, they like what? The person? The content? The unexistent photo? Seems silly. FkpCascais (talk) 19:45, 6 June 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia's content is provided by a tiny core of editors. If ten people – or even fewer – quit FAC today, then FAC as we know it would cease to exist forever. So alienating current editors is a big deal. And comments above about "making a value judgement, on who our readership is" are way, way off base. The key point is not the readership. let's stop dreaming: we don't need to expand our readership. We are omnipresent. No, the problem would be who our editors are. if we offend people who actually know what they are talking about... then there will be a changing of the guard in editors. If there is a corresponding change in readership, it will be slow slow slow as people realize that the quality content we have killed ourselves for the past four or five years providing is slowly eroding, because the editors have changed.  – Ling.Nut 00:06, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
While I largely agree with Ling, I think it is important to note that much of our new content does come from IP's and first time editors. (There was a Signpost article about this a few months ago.) Ronk01 talk 00:28, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
New content is largely irrelevant. What is real and relevant is high-quality content. Who improves articles? Dedicated editors. Who takes stubs and turns them into FAs? Dedicated editors. Who knows enough about the content domain to actually do so? Dedicated editors. Turning these people off of editing Wikipedia will indeed start a revolution... but the changes may not be beneficial.  – Ling.Nut 00:35, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I would disagree. The difference between nothing and a small stub is enormous, for those who need to know about something they don't understand. Wnt (talk) 00:51, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps Jimbo could organise a summit-type meeting with the heads of Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. and suggest that they use WP accounts to login to their sites?  :-)   GFHandel.   03:05, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

LOL. Actually, this is the point though. Wikipedia isn't FaceBook, and treating 'the internet' as some sort of amorphous continuum tends to discourage thinking about context, and the appropriateness of one's postings. I'm all in favour of encouraging wider participation in Wikipedia (who isn't?), but I think at least a minimal recognition by participants that Wikipedia is a 'different place' is necessary - and 'logging in' helps clarify this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:25, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

I agree, Wikipedia is not Facebook we are an encyclopedia, and thus quite different from networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc. However, we do need to attract new editors, but not at the expense of our already somewhat tenuous (due somewhat ironically to our abundance of popular culture articles) academic image, and that of dedicated editors, like those of us editing this page. (Who actually care about this kind of thing) Ronk01 talk 04:18, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

The only further comment to make here is that statements like: just that knowing the age composition of social networking users exhibit a fatal lack of understanding of the make up of social networking sites. Take Facebook; 60% of its user base is over the age of 18. The most active users are between the age of 18 and 45. So I seriously doubt the assertion that such a move would bring in any greater numbers of younger editors is founded anywhere in fact.

If the issue is that adding buttons to share content (i.e. not Facebook login, nor "like" buttons) would cause 10 FAC editors to quit in disgust... well clearly that is a major problem - it's also kinda concerning that they could hold the Wiki to hostage like that :S I don't understand whether this is an actually realistic scenario (would they really quit?)?

I still think a lot of this is ideologically-based because, as I detailed above, many of the concerns aren't based on realistic metrics. At the end of the day, this site is for readers - we are providing them a service, and whilst we need to meet the needs/concerns of the community we should also take the time to make it as good as possible for readers to use :) I feel many editors often forget that.

The concerns over advertising is an interesting issue, I am not entirely sure that it would cause the problem as expressed if we properly engineered the links/setup, but it certainly is something to be cautious over. --Errant (chat!) 08:51, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

hmmm, your age study is a bit too wide to make conclusions, because going from 18 to 45 is quite a difference. We are talking about a 45 years old Led Zeppelin fan including his Nirvana sons and daughters, and there is even a chance of including a Bieber grand children; all of them possible (probable) Facebook users. I mean, I already see the family getting addicted in editing their favourite top music charts... But you made a good point. The last couple of years I´ve seen people I would never imagine creating a FB profile. For exemple, I "had" to create one as well, otherwise I wouldn´t have receved my 1996 class party invitation (!). It became a must, and you are absolutely right that some missconceptions about social netweorking users are just obsolete by now.
My fear however goes in another direction. It obviously has to do with ones personal editing experience. I am affraid of the wp conflict resolution weaknesses. Already by now, simple disputes between established users are already being a real challenge to menage. Some of the conflict resolution tools are still not even working properly. A mediation request takes months to even start because there are not enough mediators. And when starts, professionals in gaming the system still seem to find their way quite easily. The system is even much weaker if it oposed by a group, and basically entire projects fall into their dominance, totaly against the established policies. A user reporting this still has a great chance of seing his report simply fall of radar. Bringing more ocasional users, totaly unfamiliarised with the policies will further clutter the noticeboards. Those are some of my fears. Perhaps irational, I don´t know.
PS: Just as exemple, a former participant of one mediation has just edit wared the mediator itself in the mediated article ([33]), has been trolling the mediation process all around, liying to administrators and getting them to do what he wants ([34]), and he even dares to report the mediation process at ANI ([35]), and with the help of some admins (intentional, or because they were missinformed), has been having all his disruption forgiven by years. If we can´t solve this by now, it would certainly become much more difficult when we add more users unfamiliarised with the policies. FkpCascais (talk) 10:15, 7 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really sure where to place this comment in the great wall of text, but if I may chime in, I support the idea of integrating social networking sites with Wikipedia and allowing people to login with their Facebook account. The only concern that I have is that it jeopardizes privacy. I would assume that it would always be optional to login with a Facebook account and I would bet that many users (myself included) likely would not use the option, but what happens if Suzy Q. User makes a few edits with herself logged in with her Facebook account and then decides that she would rather not have her identity known? Since she's made edits logged in via Facebook, hasn't she essentially outed herself? Or, would a user logged in via their Facebook be able to maintain a separate contribution history from their Wikipedia login? (My apologies if this question has already been posed... the wall of text is a bit TL;DR, for me). StrikerforceTalk Review me! 14:48, 8 June 2011 (UTC)
I have to agree with those above who don't want f and t ads cluttering our pages. However, a single "Link" button that is user-configurable with a variety of user-developed (but vetted) scripts might be interesting. Example: Click on "Link"; you see the link you're adding and have a chance to type in a text description; you've already entered a Wikipedia setting for a "data field" that includes your chosen social networking site, userid and password; the user-submitted logon script opens up the site for you and automatically submits the link and text, then closes and puts you back on your way. It would be difficult to do this right, but worse than useless to do it wrong. Wnt (talk) 15:18, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Is that really all you guys are talking about? How lazy have people become? What a tremendous amount of work to copy-paste a URL... (How about an ass-wiping button on every wikipedia page?) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 19:50, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Hey, I was talking about something that would login the site for you and submit a post for you, not just copy and paste. ;) Wnt (talk) 20:45, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
The point of enabling a share feature isn't to save editors the trouble of copying and pasting a URL, it's about reminding readers to post links to our articles to promote the project. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:23, 9 June 2011 (UTC)
Speaking of which, do you suppose Jimbo would have the pull to make Yahoo News allow people to post Wikipedia links to their forums? So far as I can tell from several experiments, any Yahoo News comment containing a few choice words of foul language, such as http or www, will automatically be deleted. Contrary to public opinion, it doesn't look like there is any live human moderator in their project - you can post any vulgarity you want as long as you mix in a few non-ASCII characters. If there's a way to persuade them to whitelist*, the project would get much exposure and provide much information. Wnt (talk) 23:43, 9 June 2011 (UTC)