User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 80

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


Please Comment

Two users, including an administrator, wish for me to change my signature because they feel it proselytizes the fact that I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses. My signature does not violate any Wikipedia guidelines. This approaches Religious persecution, a very important subject. Please comment on my talk page. Schyler (one language) 13:30, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

I'd advise you to take this to WP:ANI for resolution, Schyler. I don't see anything wrong with your signature, speaking for myself. It would be a quick thing to get some resolution. Carrite (talk) 17:54, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
This does not belong at ANI. One editor expressed discomfort. Then Schyler asked two other editors for their opinions, and they responded by expressing discomfort -- were they supposed to lie? The admin did not indicate the slightest intent of taking any administrative action. Looie496 (talk) 17:57, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
There is dissatisfaction with the inaccuracy of Schyler's statement of the issue here. No one has objected to the fact that Schyler is one of Jehovah's Witnesses. The proselytizing that caused concern is proselytizing JW's doctrine. Cuddlyable3 (talk) 12:16, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I would recommend simply changing it. Why annoy people for no reason?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:43, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any reason why it should annoy anyone, but it would be less work just to change it. Louislee95 (talk) 02:26, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Ironically I was not aware of the meaning of that sign, but now I few a bit (really only a bit) uncomfortable after learning its purpose. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 02:46, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia Wars: 10 Biggest Edit Battles

Wikipedia Wars: 10 Biggest Edit Battles is on the web today. Number 4 is an old faithful.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 15:55, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

They're missing the debate over whether it's "The Beatles" or "the Beatles" and that dash thing. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:05, 26 July 2011 (UTC)
Fossil fuel for reciprocating piston engines equipped with spark plugs is perhaps the most amusing one I've seen/read/heard about. Resolute 20:43, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case

Given your comments in the British Newspaper The Independent here when you said "As an encyclopaedia, we try to document facts taken from reputable sources. We should not be stopped from recording facts". What are your views on the fact that now Nafissatou Diallo has gone public with an interview for Newsweek that has been reported round the world (see BBC News here) that some here still what to hide her name. VERTott 02:20, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Can you point me to the discussion? I don't think we can or should have a biography about her at this point - if ever - because there is not likely to ever be enough known about her to write a proper biography (the principle behind BLP1E). But if her name is widely reported in reliable sources, I don't see any reason why we shouldn't have it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:49, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I agree about the standalone article, however at both Dominique Strauss-Kahn sexual assault case and Dominique Strauss-Kahn it is removed every time her name is added, discussed at both the talk pages and at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#DSK and the maid (again). VERTott 03:34, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I have no comment about Nafissatou Diallo, but I'm seeing WP:BLP1E being misused - in my opinion - more and more often. In one case I know of, we have literally hundreds (thousands?) of sources about a person, even entire documentaries have been made about the person,[1][2][3] but we're not allowed to create a BLP. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 03:36, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
As per the point of BLP1E; that person has no notability other than an event she was involved in. Writing a biography about her is just splitting content for no relevant reason. --Errant (chat!) 08:28, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
ErrantX: No, that's just the first part of BLP1E. The rest of it, unfortunately, is getting ignored. And I firmly disagree that there's no relevent reason to split content. Arguably (from my perspective), she has a more more interesting story to tell than the criminal trial, not to mention that there are some civil trials coming up with no obvious place to put the content. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 13:00, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Though I'm not sure it really applies to this maid, I agree with this comment - I saw the same thing at Anders Breivik, where the deletionists simply kept claiming BLP1E banned his article, despite clear language in the policy that allowed it. Wnt (talk) 18:02, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Not commenting on the specifics of any case, I would want to mention that notability and sourcing are two different issues. Something or someone can have plenty of sources about him, her, or it and still not pass the notability threshold for wikipedia; at least in theory. -- Avi (talk) 04:05, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Same going on at Talk:Murder_of_Milly_Dowler#Move_to_just_Milly_Dowler. VERTott 04:40, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Not even that, it appears that the mere mention of her name is verboten in the two articles listed above. VERTott 03:45, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, some editors even invoke original research as grounds for removal :) . Count Iblis (talk) 04:02, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
The statement added was not in the citation provided. The edit summary from the user reveals the original research, "it strikes me as totally obvious that she has waived anonymity," - it may well do but please provide a citation to supports that statement. The maids name is now in the related articles as I see since yesterday, after she gave an interview telling her story there was a strong case to include her name and limited detail about her, that inclusion seems to have stabilized now. Prior to her giving an interview as a one event alleged victim otherwise not notable person there was a good case to keep her name out. There are some users that support complete free speech to add anything they can find in a citation, others are very cautious about what they report about people, policy, especially WP:BLP requests a degree of caution, the balance is as usual in the middle somewhere. Users should remember we are not a newspaper - users read newspapers and want to add what they find in them, wikipedia en is not a newspaper and is not governed by the pressures that the sales press are. One of the major problems in these newsy articles is the absolute inability to know, apart from the basic details, what is content that will have long term notability in the story and what ultimately will resolve as valueless. Wikinews is more designed for such reporting. - Personally I would like to add a clause to policy that articles about trials should not be written until after the result is announced and that in the BLP of the subject prior to the result we only host basic detail of the charges, hearing dates, bail conditions. Such content as the prosecutors pre judgment statements that Johnny is guilty and the defense attorney's statement that Johnny is innocent have no long term encyclopedic value at all. The same goes for allegations that an alleged victim is an alleged liar and an alleged prostitute, the ultimate long term value of such allegations in respect to the trial won't be realized until some point in the future.Off2riorob (talk) 08:49, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Difficult to ignore the Trial of the Century and such: In trying to avoid rumors, it is dangerous to suppress all information, especially with high-profile events (some known as the "Trial of the century"). Instead, I think a better solution is to define an NPOV-balanced "article blueprint" (an article-layout format) as to how to structure a crime/trial article, provide a proper WP:LEDE summary (including cause of death, injuries, or major criminal charges), organize forensic evidence for proper levels of detail (mentioned in sources), plus document sworn-testimonies of witnesses (where witnesses are compelled to be truthful), and explain how to avoid or warn of "wild accusations" which are not supported by "corroborating evidence". Plus have a place for sources which report, "It might be a conspiracy...she might be misleading the police". In a sense, these issues lead to concerns about the "WP:Wikirules of evidence", but the information is out there, and it should be possible, in many cases, to get a high-level of dependable information into such articles, including when to allow names. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:27, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
An NPOV article blueprint, seems like that would be a good thing to discuss and lay out in relation to trial articles. I don't think there are currently specifics in the WP:MOS - well we have this but it seems to be about writing an article about a trial after the verdict has been reached. Wikipedia:Manual of Style (legal)#Writing about particular cases - perhaps some discussion and expansion would be beneficial there. I think in this case (as in a few others I have seen as regards the names of alleged victims) - policy and guidelines have served us well - although there was a lot of vocal demands from a few users to name the subject for the last weeks, we did not name her in our article until after the BBC named her, and after she gave an interview to the press, this imo according to policy and guidelines is the standard of reporting in regard to sensitive issues about living people that the project can and should be proud of. - Off2riorob (talk) 20:24, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Yes, expand from Wikipedia:Manual of Style (legal). There are also privacy issues for juror names. In the now infamous Florida trial of Casey Anthony (set free), the juror names were to be released in October 2011, but the U.S. State of Florida is debating to change laws to protect the names of jurors, longer. When a case involves potential child-abuse, then there is a real fear of vigilantes, as with child molesters in U.S. prisons being assaulted by inmates who would risk additional prison time to exact "justice" to someone who injures a child. Jurors can get death threats. -Wikid77 07:13, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
If it is the trial of the century ya could have fooled me, its a businessman accused of sexual allegations he has lost his job and people have moved onto the next story -See here the interest graph - - Five times more people are viewing his wikipedia biography - - which is one of the good reasons imo that we fork out the he said she said titillation from the subjects biography as soon as it gets excessive in the BLP, less people access it in the forked article and it reduces the violations in the BLP parent article. Off2riorob (talk) 17:33, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking of other trials for "Trial of the Century" such as the "O. J. Simpson murder case" for Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, where OJ drove for hours on the freeways when contacted by police to surrender. Writing about those events cannot wait until the end of the trial. Also, if someone is arrested, and sent to trial, but then "87 upstanding citizens" say they were victimized by those police, then per WP:RS, such events get reported, mid-trial. WP cannot have policies which conclude, Police around the world can be trusted as never fascist, so suppress all statements from defendants until the end of the trial (no can do). There's a difference between WP:NOTTRUTH and the reality of WP:NOTBORNYESTERDAY - WP cannot be "puppets" of the police. -Wikid77 07:13, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I didn't come to wikipedia to be a puppet of the police or a free speech advocate, neither of those positions are encyclopedic imo. Ron Goldman is another person that should not have a biography at wikipedia. Hes not notable for anything apart from getting murdered. Oh well, never mind, regards. Off2riorob (talk) 17:30, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • High notability comes from continued coverage: Although Ronald Goldman was initially "just another" murder victim, in the O. J. Simpson murder trial, he was also the subject of the later civil trial which awarded $33 million to his family, who wrote a noted book about his dreams, as a wannabe star, actor, or budding restauranteur wishing to open "ANKH" as an Egyptian-themed restaurant. When his family won the rights to OJ's book and retitled it as "If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer", it became an instant bestseller, with Ronald Goldman mentioned in the book:  more coverage about him. It is important to note how some (most) people gain notability by years of press coverage, rather than by outstanding personal achievements. Meanwhile, God might give a person the "gift of prophecy" to foretell the next huge meteor impact on the Earth's surface, but such a rare accomplishment does not get an article unless it is reported in reliable sources. Hence, Wikipedia has the sign at the doorway, "Abandon all pre-judgment, ye who enter here" where articles are based mainly on the world's attention span, rather than more-objective measures of important major accomplishments. The guy who predicts, or prevents, a major meteor impact might never get an article. But, I do understand your frustrations about it. -Wikid77 19:36, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I appreciate your amusing additions to the discussion. Perhaps when we have a little focus we can meet up at the Wikipedia:Manual of Style (legal) and attempt to improve that guideline a bit, thank you for sharing. Off2riorob (talk) 19:47, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Arbitrary break to make an important point

Let's keep separate two very different issues here. One issue is when we name alleged crime victims, particularly in cases that may be personally quite sensitive (rape is the classic example). The other issue is when we have a separate article on a person who is a crime victim.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:22, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Do we/should we write biographical articles about people that are the victim of a crime? Off2riorob (talk) 17:54, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Excluding those who are famous for other reasons, normally no. However there will be exceptions, for example very occasionally someone becomes notable for being the victim of a crime - Rodney King for example. Thryduulf (talk) 21:23, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
Thats not a biography and shouldn't be under his name. Off2riorob (talk) 22:29, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
I would say Rodney King is a biography insofar as it covers widely and independently sourced slices of his life and moreover, notable things happened both to him and owing to him after that first flurry of news coverage in 1991. Gwen Gale (talk) 22:47, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
For some reason, possibly preemptive? User:Rami R indefinitely move protected=admin earlier this year, the article has been under his name since 2003 and only moved once in 2009. If I was to edit it to the biographical content you wouldn't recognize it. Off2riorob (talk) 23:42, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
What title would you move it to? Gwen Gale (talk) 04:42, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I was not certain and had two or three I was tossing around. Re-naming requires also some editing. I also was considering as I suggested - removing the attachments and leaving the biography and merging the rest wherever it sits better, at least that way we would be able to see if he really is notable and not just notable for one major event with some reports about the rest of his life only due to that primary incident, I think that position is more correct. He is not a notable person that really requires a bio under his name, he is a person that is notable for a high profile event and as such the press have reported other things about him, almost anything they could find it seems. Off2riorob (talk) 08:41, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Biography doesn't mean strictly 'early life', 'education' ... 'death' sections. I'll be the third to say it's largely biographical, and pays due weight to the event with which he is linked (i.e. a large amount of the article) Jebus989 10:24, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I am happy to disagree, imo there is a lot of non biographical content in that article. I don't know exactly were the point is but I do know that is is quite a debated point , users that are often close to the locality or interested in crimes and such issues want articles about these type of people and others don't , personally I wouldn't have put Rodney King under his name but others would - even the added biographical content about him can all be classified as, and then the person that was beaten by the police and the riots started because of him, got a speeding ticket, and then the person that was beaten by the police and the riots started because of him was an alcoholic just like his father. Its all only reported because of the one notability. Users are wanting to create biographical articles about people notablea for a crime or an event all over the wikipedia - Millie Dowler and the child that died Caylee Anthony- and her mother Casey Anthony, the maid that has accused Khan of sexual allegations Nafissatou Diallo and basically all similar people, so some kind of guidance would be good, personally I think BLP one event - WP:BLP1e, or one event (notability) - Wikipedia:ONEEVENT#People notable for only one event insist most or almost all of them do not have a biography created in their name. Off2riorob (talk) 16:56, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that Wikipedia had a chance to use BLP to good advantage by not splashing Strauss-Kahn's face and story on the front page when all we had were news stories about an allegation. There we could have reined things in a bit in the name of caution.
As for the current issue ... it still sounds like this accuser might really be a BLP1E and shouldn't have a separate article. To draw the distinction between her and Bernard Lewinsky, whose article I believe should exist, this accuser is still only known from a few statements about one single event, already covered in another article. By contrast Lewinsky was complaining about the FBI bugging his phones, about being afraid that if he talked to his daughter he'd be subpoenaed, a year later he demanded an apology from a hot shot Hollywood producer and got an answer back (though not an apology). Maybe this accuser will get that kind of by-coverage, but for now, just by the basic criterion of when you merge two articles because they're all about the same thing, she's still pretty much in that position.
Now as for naming rape victims, I think the more important case is to name Anna Ardin in the Swedish Judicial Authority v Julian Assange article. There's been a fair amount of coverage - though largely from the liberal fringe - claiming that she had some past relationship with the CIA that might have led her to make a false charge.[4] Because this coverage is about her and not necessarily about the rape case, the readers deserve to have her name up front, without having to go back to the sources and hunt for it. I'm not as sure Strauss-Kahn's accuser needs to be named, though as she is speaking publicly I don't see a good reason not to. Wnt (talk) 18:02, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Conspiracy theories are no reason to name the alleged not notable victim of a crime. The difference between Nafissatou Diallo and Anna Ardin is that Ardin has not sought and publicity or made any statements to the press. - and one of my personal fire tests - the BBC have not named her. Off2riorob (talk) 18:10, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
The New York Times names Ardin, saying that she made a statement to a Swedish newspaper.[5] Wnt (talk) 18:19, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I see you have not edited either the article or the talkpage in question, perhaps if you want ot include her name it would be better if you started on the talkpage. Off2riorob (talk) 18:21, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I was there a long time ago[6] but was not successful then. Wnt (talk) 18:24, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps at that time the article was not under that title as your not showing as contributed there. The NYTimes is not one of my "personal fire tests" - I also do not think the it is a good reason to add the alleged victims name that she told a Swedish newspaper that the claims that pink fairies made them do it is laughable. Ardin is a slightly different case because she has minor dealing with blogging prior to the alleged assault. I just heard on sky a big difference in these two women - the press are commenting a lot in relation to the maid as, the maid Nafissatou Diallo who has "gone public" - the same imo could not be said about the two women that have alleged assault by Assange - I am watching the maid is giving an interview on Sky right now. Off2riorob (talk) 18:29, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah, the parent BLP - Julian Assange, there is very little detail about the allegations there now, it was forked out of the BLP after the weight and policy issues become excessive there, to Swedish Judicial Authority v Julian Assange - Where it gets a lot less views (stats.grok) - around six percent of the BLP views (stats.grok) - That one is with a hightened degree of cautious editing imo because as it is occurring in the UK it is subject to Sub judice - Off2riorob (talk) 18:49, 28 July 2011 (UTC)Off2riorob (talk) 18:34, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
All this makes me glad that WP isn't based in Britain. In theory, WP should be independent and uncensored, and should print the whole truth. In practice, we fear national censors hovering in every corner, and the encyclopedia inevitably takes on much of the character of the hosting nation. At least in this case that is not an impediment. Wnt (talk) 18:27, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
"we fear national censors" - "print the whole truth" - such a position is untenable in a responsible project. The whole truth here is as per our policies and guidelines. We are not a vocal activist organization in support of free speech, thats for other organizations, such as Wikileaks and the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other supporters of the First Amendment - this place is an online knowledge base of notable facts and people in the manner of an encyclopedia, its not a online activist group. As for where the servers are located - again a responsible project will also take into consideration local laws. Off2riorob (talk) 18:31, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah, but you're wrong. When a hundred thousand people post information about every topic known to man, inevitably any censorship law will make itself known. If your policies are not drawn to precisely reflect the censorship policies of the host nation, there will be places where they fail to align, and you'll either be at risk of legal action, or else end up with another policy. For example, you could carefully implement a set of policies meant to keep you far away from U.S. definitions of child porn, only to find out that small-breasted women in their 20s count as child porn in Australia. To which you can only say, "good thing we're not based in Australia!"
But your more general error is to say that Wikipedia is not an activist group. The goal of Wikipedia - to put all kinds of information, for free, in the hands of ordinary people - that is as radical a goal as has ever been announced. You can say, well why not make the policies so strict that nothing vaguely resembling pornography - or libel - can possibly slip through no matter what country's laws you consider. But when we consider what that would do to decimate our coverage, it's intolerable. Why? Because we have that activist goal to get the information out. It's an organization of volunteers all sharing that basic motivation. We may not wish to risk the project in challenging one nation's laws by direct civil disobedience - but that nation is the United States, not Britain. We care what the New York Times will print at least as much as what the BBC decides. And as long as we're not actually risking the project as measured by the laws of the one nation where it actually happens to be located, we should not go contrary to our core goal of letting people build articles for the education of the world. Now true, maybe the deletionists have some other goal, and it would be interesting to ponder just what exactly that is, but it's not ours. Wnt (talk) 18:53, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Rather than one of us being "wrong" I just see two different interpretations of the issue. I see the projects goals and ambitions as very worthy but not particularly radical, and I don't think we are seen in the worlds eye as radical.(at least now they are in action, originally they were radical indeed) I agree we could and should never never adhere to all sorts of countries differing laws of FOI or lack of it in some of them, I just think, as I said, that, "a responsible project will also take into consideration local laws" - into consideration being the optimum expression. An example being the recent British FOI restrictions regarding super injunctions taken living subjects of our BLP articles - we reported then as soon as they were reported in WP:rs, a position supported by/in an interview with the projects founder, Jimmy Wales. A position I also support - it would have been radical to have reported them without the prior reliable report of them but secondary reporting of such reliably reported notable detail is one of our primary objectives and as such against the British injunction,but not radical at all really. Off2riorob (talk) 19:09, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Conmebol vs. RSSSF: 1983 Copa America goalscorers


In the official records of the CONMEBOL ([7]), Peruvian player Eduardo Malasquez is attributed as one of top goalscorers of the 1983 Copa America. The problem is that this information contrasts with the RSSSF, which claim that Malasquez only scored 2 goals ([8]). I took this case to the WikiProject Football, [9], and it was suggested to include the official CONMEBOL records with the citation to note Malasquez is also a top scorer. I included this fix in the English article. However, the problem is that in the Spanish Wikipedia, users "Roberto Martin" and "Gonchibolso12" keep reverting my edits ([10]). They claim that I must first find the "third goal" of Malasquez. I disagree with them since: (1) Wikipedia is not the place to do original research, and (2) CONMEBOL's official records give Malasquez this award, and it's incorrect for Wikipedia to deprive this man from his achievement. Do you agree with me, or have a suggestion/opinion you would like to add? Best of wishes.--MarshalN20 | Talk 16:22, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Wow, I have no idea. Are there other sources? Contemporaneous press reports?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:28, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
It's surprising that football records from 1983 could get so confused, especially considering goals cannot be historically interpreted (it's either in or out).
I don't have any press reports from 1983. I do have some recent sources, from different media of different countries, for the attribution. Only the Reuters one is in English:
  • In favor of Eduardo Malasquez (3 goals): [11] (Reuters-Mexico), [12] (Caracol Radio-Colombia), [13] (El Comercio (Peru)), [14] (La Republica-Uruguay).
  • Additionally, the RSSSF contradicts itself. In this report ([15]), written by Roberto Mamrud and Karel Stokkermans, Malasquez is placed as one of the top scorers of 1983. The only problem seems to be with Martin Tabeira's report ([16]) which seems to have omitted Malasquez's goal.
  • To make matters even more complicated, the CONMEBOL source also contradicts itself. When you click on their analysis of the 1983 tournament ([17]), it seems to fit perfectly with Martin Tabeira's report for the RSSSF.
I really have no idea what to do at this point. How do you think this information should be presented in Wikipedia?--MarshalN20 | Talk 23:58, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
My idea would be to present both points of view. Explaining that while Malasquez is considered a top goalscorer of the 1983 tournament by the official CONMEBOL records, his third goal is not recorded in the statistics of the tournament. What do you think?--MarshalN20 | Talk 01:01, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

CONMEBOL held the tournament, and their official records are...official. RSSSF isn't official. Group 3: 1 goal against Colombia, 2 goals against Bolivia. Which means Eduardo is credited with all 3. Email Martin Tabeira so he can fix his mistake. If he thinks he's correct, he can fight it out with CONMEBOL. (talk) 02:01, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

The problem is that CONMEBOL's records are the same as Tabeira's (Both have Malasquez scoring once again Colombia, and another against Uruguay). Yet, for some crazy reason, CONMEBOL's official records also have Malasquez as scoring 3 goals. Further adding to this soup, RSSSF's general records also attribute 3 goals to Malasquez, and various newspapers also attribute 3 goals to Malasquez. It's a confusing situation which ultimately deals with a living person ([18]). The people at the Spanish Wikipedia want me to find the third goal, otherwise they won't let me add Malasquez into the top goalscorer's list. I believe this is unfair from their part since (1) they're depriving Malasquez of a record he deserves (given the benefit of the doubt), and (2) they are imposing their own view on the subject without allowing for all the reliable sources to provide their information.--MarshalN20 | Talk 02:20, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Then email CONMEBOL so they can fix their mistake. The point is, they're the official record keepers. We can only report what they report, so if it's wrong the best solution is to ask them to fix their count or add a footnote explaining what happened. That's more sensible than writing a dissertation in the Wikipedia article trying to explain the unexplainable. (talk) 02:56, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
I tried emailing CONMEBOL, but they wouldn't even send me a message receipt (confirmation) e-mail. Considering they're not Wikipedia members, I don't assume "good faith" from CONMEBOL's part. I'm not judging whether CONMEBOL is right or wrong. My point is to include both points of view, using a footnote to explain that "despite Malasquez is considered a top goalscorer by the official records of the CONMEBOL, his third goal does not appear on any of the individual match records." That seems to me like easiest way to clarify a strangely complicated topic. I've made some positive ground with one of the users in the Spanish Wikipedia, but they still refuse to add Malasquez as one of the top scorers (i.e., they agree to having the footnote, but want to keep him as only scoring 2 goals).--MarshalN20 | Talk 03:25, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikimania 2011 - Is Israel really an acceptable place to be hosting the Wikimania conference?

Hi Jimmy,

I'm an agnostic defender of Human rights (that's a brief description to try and highlight my agenda here). I was quite saddened to read earlier on in the year that the very popular Wikimania gathering is to be hosted in Israel this year. I want to keep this brief but my view (which I am sure that I will share with the majority of the free world here) is that Israel is a country that is at a very stark contrast with the core principles of Wikimedia of freedom and equality. Israel does not allow freedom (as you or I know it) for the majority of the Palestinian people it is responsible for as an occupier of their lands under the Geneva conventions. Equality is another major downfall of the Israeli regime, it is transgressing far beyond the inequality of the South African Apartheid regime, I mean there are separate roads for Israeli's and separate roads for Palestinians - There were no separate Roads for Black people and White people in Apartheid South Africa (although there were separate buses for White people and separate ones for Black people).

As a defender of Human rights, I am calling on you to rethink your decision to host Wikimania 2011 in Israel as to do so would be to take a political stand in favour of Israel and show the world that Israel is a normal law abiding country. This is not an issue in which indifference will be accepted by the world. Come August, Wikimania will already have taken sides in this most contemporary of major world problems and that is a position you do not want to be in as it will be a view which history will not take kindly to.

Kind regards, Abu-bakr. Abu-bakrUK (talk) 18:40, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

We had Wikimania '08 in pre-Arab Spring Egypt, where human rights issues were both a problem for attendees and much worse than the situation in the occupied territories, and that wasn't seen as an endorsement of the Mubarak regime. Sceptre (talk) 23:45, 28 July 2011 (UTC)
Shall we never allow a convention in Britain, or in any of the Allied powers, who held these lands in the British Empire and divided them up as they are now? I mean really come on. Obviously the issues there can't be solved in a day, but my goodness, you can't step outside in tons of countries without some kind of problem existing with human rights. Look at a place like North Korea, and tell me how bad people have it. It seems obvious that Abu-Bakr is super biased in this situation being "quite saddened". You want Israel to relax and allow more rights, then the Arab nations there need to make it feel like it can relax. Talk about rights in many Arab nations and its a bit a 'sadddening' thing also. As for me, I think its an excellent opportuinity for people to mix, mingle, and spread new ideas, and generally just get along, but hey if you think just shutting people out is a better answer..... -- Avanu (talk) 00:10, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Heh. Wikimania is attended by lots of good photographers and amateur journalists whose pictures and articles can go straight from the camera and laptop to the public domain. Israel might not be getting the better end of this deal... Wnt (talk) 18:15, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
More people going to Isreal and interacting with Isrealis will only serve to improve Isreal in the eyes of others. Isreal's image in the international community is so tainted by distortion and ignorance that anything "amateur journalists" and Wikipedians do to spread the truth will only benefit Israel. (And I suspect that's what probably concerns people like Abu-bakr.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, Wikipedia fora are certainly good places for people of good will to come together and hash out these difficult questions in a reasoned and dispassionate discourse. =/ It's news to me that "freedom and equality" are core principles of Wikimedia; I didn't sign on for that. The core principle of Wikimedia is "publish free encyclopedias and similar works" and if you want to expand that maybe "freedom of information" in general (and if we wanted to enforce that we would, if anything, look to avoid venues that lack a free press and so forth I guess, of which Israel is not a particularly bad example I don't think.) We don't support "low taxes" or "rights of workers to organize" or "infrastructure investment" or anything like that. We're not against "freedom and equality" (I hope) just as we're not against "low taxes" (I suppose) and so forth, but it's just not part of our brief. Herostratus (talk) 22:54, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia foundational intentions

Dear Mr Wales, in a comment at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style#Comment_from_an_outsider I made the following assertion -

... I hope it’s legitimate of me to assume that the founders of Wikipedia sought to leverage a clear technological and aspirational, idealistic US leadership in the world to give something to the world that wasn’t proprietary.

Having posted the comment, and reading it back one last time after posting, I realised that I should have just asked you whether something like that was on the minds of the people who made this whole thing come into being. Regards, Peter S Strempel | Talk 02:44, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

What makes you think that the rest of the world considers the US a leader in anything? Wikipedia is an international project, developed using technology and talent from many parts of the world. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:52, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
It's a fair point I had hoped to make a little less confrontationally for this particular debate, since my reference is to a debate in which wounded American pride is so prominent. Regards Peter S Strempel | Talk 03:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I can only say that no thought remotely similar to what you propose has ever crossed my mind. I don't agree with AndyTheGrump if he's implying that the rest of the world doesn't consider the US a leader in anything - that's just not true. The US is widely (and, I suppose, properly) considered a leader in all sorts of things, and a laggard in all sorts of things, too. I do agree that Wikipedia is a fully global project, using technology and talent from all around the world.
But I can also categorically reject the idea that I ever thought of Wikipedia as having anything whatsoever to do with US leadership in anything. I just don't think in those terms, and find such thinking to be curiously quaint in a global world.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:15, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Also, for whatever it may be worth in the substantive debate about logical (British) versus traditional (American) punctuation it is my fervent desire that people relax a notch or two. Very little depends on the result, and time might be better spent worrying about things that actually matter. As for me, I will continue to simply write as I see fit, and if people want to change it, I won't moan about it. (But I use the British/logical style which is, apparently, currently recommended by the Manual of Style.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:27, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Yup, that makes a lot of sense - I think that maybe I read more into Peter's post than he intended (in fact I'm sure I did), and evidently I overdid the 'gut reaction against US imperialism' thing too. And regarding punctuation, I have to say that I don't have a clue as to whether one style or another is 'correct' - I just throw in a comma when I run out of breath, A full stop ('period' to our transatlantic brothers and sisters) when I run out of ideas, and a semicolon if I think of something else half way through a sentence. Somehow, this works... AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:01, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Systems founded from a distinctly American viewpoint often focus on so-called American values, with "individual rights" such as the U.S. constitutional freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, right to bear arms (against aggressors or stalkers), etc. Also, U.S. decisions are often made by win-lose voting, where the majority rules, and there is only limited concern to "reach consensus" with the others. Sometimes, systems have a "User's bill of rights" which clearly explain limits to intrusion (or oppression), but Wikipedia does not, currently, have very much of that. In fact, I have seen some American editors get blocked because they begin to "demand" their rights to be heard and treated with "justice" and "fairness" as if they were in an American system "with Liberty and Justice for all". Demanding fairness tends to be seen as "legal talk" which gives the impression of legal threats, so those conversations get stopped. Meanwhile, because talk-pages typically focus on verifiable article text, there is little forum-style, free-speech writing where people might chit-chat, for hours, in extended sessions of derogatory remarks about other people (although usernames are often insulted in brief exchanges). There is no user's "right to privacy" so most pages are universally read, and hence, most rumors and gossip can be detected, and stopped early. If Wikipedia were changed to support wider "freedom of speech" (or other American-style rights) in wide-open forums, then there would need to be more moderators to beware long, slanderous "comical" rants. Currently, the focus on wiki-policies or verifiable text reduces the level of wild accusations being discussed on Wikipedia pages. Plus, strong actions by fast-acting admins tend to shut-down talk of "Let's get 500 editors to vote and make the decision". Considering there are so few US-style democratic processes, it is almost comical to think Wikipedia was founded as being American or US-led, rather than as self-governed by small groups of people writing policies, controlling articles, or seizing power wherever they can. -Wikid77 06:14, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Just to be clear, I don't agree with much of this at all, not as a description of the US and American values, nor as a description of Wikipedia. But thing I do agree with is that there is no very strong sense in which Wikipedia is an "American project". Both of these statements are false: "Wikipedia succeeded because it embraced American values" and "Wikipedia succeeded because it rejected American values". Both are political causes in search of non-existent facts. The truth is that Wikipedia draws deeply on human tradition and wisdom that exists in all cultures, and American or not has virtually nothing to do with anything.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:36, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
What?!? Wikipedia isn't American? I quit. Just kidding. The thought never actually crossed my mind and I don't know why it would cross anyone's mind. I know people love to label things these days, but trying to put a political sway on a global encyclopedia? Maybe thats what Conservapedia is for. Ryan Vesey Review me! 13:49, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
If Wikid77's post was an article, I would feel tempted to put the "citation needed" tag after many of the sentences. I would be interested to see someone prove, for example, that editors from the UK, Australia or Canada are less likely than US editors to ""demand" their rights to be heard and [be] treated with "justice" and "fairness"". To the contrary, I think they would be just as likely as I am to wonder why you would put scare quotes around words like "justice" and "fairness." I find it difficult to believe that the "culture" regarding things like fairness is really that much different between the US and, at least, the other English-speaking countries. Neutron (talk) 16:28, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Those are all good points, because the terms "American values" and "US leadership" can have many different meanings, and can be used as labels trying to connect certain ideas as being specific to the United States. Hence, some people think "US imperialism" while others do not. Instead, the U.S. has collected such a diverse mix, of international cultures, that the term "American values" could be redefined in many ways. No one born in America has to take an "American" test, unless they were considered foreigners seeking American citizenship. Mandatory public education only goes so far. In some areas of the U.S., people rarely speak English, as in border towns near Mexico (or in parts of Miami!). The U.S. public policies maintain the U.S. Bill of Rights, but in small companies, depending on current labor laws, an employer can be free to discriminate against people in many ways, and the boss reserves the right to fire people for any reason, or any word spoken, with no such guarantee of "Freedom of Speech" -- it's still America, but many people get fired for what they said (re Jimmy the Greek, Whoopie Goldberg, Bill Maher or Gilbert Gottfried's Aflac Duck, etc.). For those reasons, there are many different ideas about what "US leadership" could mean. -Wikid77 16:42, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • While Wikipedia itself as a whole of its parts does not have legal or political leanings, individual editors I would say do in fact bring their biases with them, some more than others. "Racial profiling" or in this instance what is going on in this thread should be called "nationality profiling"; which just as with racial profiling at an airport sometimes you are right, sometimes you are wrong, it's a crap shoot. It's simple political generalization from Comparative Politics 101 that Australia as a whole is one of the most conservative-leaning of all English-speaking countries (and not because Rupert Murdoch is from there, he's a product not the cause). Do Australian editors bring biases from their lives? Everyone does, we are human. Americans I assume are bring their ideas and generalizations about how the world should/does work to Wikipedia and other nations do the same. I like Jimbo's international approach and fairness to all, it is reminicent of Ted Turner's original approach with CNN (ban on the word "foreigner" or "foreign country" and an international as opposed to American viewpoint), I'm curious if Jimbo was aware and consciously copied on Turner's philosophy.
  • I have to disagree that Americans would be more combative, insultive, or want more drawn out debate because of the constitutional arrangement of our Congress. Anyone who has watched "question time" in British Parliment can attest to their very unique insultive manners (what seems to be a ten minute speech ending with the question "Is it true your party is incompetant?" probably is not the unwritten constitutional arrangement that was originally envisioned).Camelbinky (talk) 18:13, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
  • As a non-American I've been always been struck by what seems to me two strong American influences in WP, but probably those are the only two I've noticed: one is positive, one negative. The positive is the sense that 1st Amendment trumps all, or nearly does. It can be seen in the way WP:NOTCENSORED has such a strong role, for instance. The negative, IMHO, is a quasi-litigious approach to dispute resolution e.g. the bureacratic and formal approach of most of the dispute resolution processes - the worst being ArbCom. To me that's distictively U.S. Related to that is a quasi-legalistic attachment to divining and defining the meaning of WP:policies (i.e. = The Constitution). DeCausa (talk) 18:33, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────All I tried to do was step the process through in my head. There were a bunch of guys, presumably in the USA, who got together and said: ‘Hey, wouldn’t this be a good idea’. The American leadership or values I read into that might have been no more than they were all Americans.

And as one of the most conservative creatures on the face of the planet, ‘cos I’m Australian, I like the romanticised, idealised version of Wikipedia’s foundation. Hell, I might even ring Aaron Sorkin and get him to dolly up a script about Jimmy’s life. Maybe we could get Russel Crowe to play him (looks a little bit like him?).

Mr Wales, are you really saying there was no idealism, and that Americans didn’t trailblaze here? I didn't think you had white hats and six guns or anything. Regards Peter S Strempel | Talk 20:20, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

White hats and six guns, yes.  :-) But any concept of this being Amercian trailblazing to the benighted rest of the world, no.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:18, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Before anyone thinks I'm just a 'roo riding black hat, I think that DeCausa actually encapsulated what I was trying to say: Americans do try to pretend that their own cultural and social experiences don't strongly colour their rhetoric. My rhetoric, on the other hand, is to be seen as bizarre because I'm not from the Jefferson school of diacritics. In fact I'm the representative of a European tradition that Americans have looked on as troublemakers (like when we asked for help fighting the Nazis and then the Soviets).

So, Mr Wales, are you sure that nothing you did when aiding and abetting the establishment of Wikipedia didn't have just a little bit of American idealism in it? Black and white hats are optional here, but I have to say that London and Washington are the only two places in the world where I can get reliable advice on Homburg hats (and yes, I include Germany in my generalisation). Peter S Strempel | Talk 21:53, 29 July 2011 (UTC)


Closing unpleasant discussion in the interest of harmony
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Recently, your comments indicated that even in a contentious confrontation, an editor should be allowed to walk away from the project with dignity. The comment was made in response to a request to look at a particular individual's conduct and has turned out to be quite telling, as the editor in question has disdained your sage advice and left the project in a most deplorable manner. FWiW Bzuk (talk) 14:06, 29 July 2011 (UTC).

You have a conflict between different people who have put in a lot of time and effort into some project. Because of the conflict, one or more will have to be removed from the project. In this case, that could be some restriction like a topic ban or a site ban. In such a situation, it is very typical for the person who has to go (but till the end was arguing that he/she is right), to leave while slamming the door shut. Count Iblis (talk) 15:16, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure advertising the case to ~2400 watchlisters is the best way to avoid further dramatisation Jebus989 15:55, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
The rant is now removed, but the damage was done long ago... FWiW Bzuk (talk) 16:41, 29 July 2011 (UTC).
He is upset and ranting that is a pretty normal reaction, what did you expect - oh thanks for the rejection? The comment from Jimmy was imo more relating to the users left behinds actions, as in, let such users go in peace and although their relationship with the project has broken down, thank them for their extensive and valuable contributions and wish them well in their future projects. Off2riorob (talk) 17:50, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah yes. Bzuk reminds of a more naive time, when I believed arbcom would actually spend the time to investigate the sort of things people like him get up to on Wikipedia in their efforts to divert people away from examining their own arguments, that are the true root cause of so many conflicts here. This guy is a classic example of someone who addresses the tone and nothing else. You can see Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Wind Jet Flight 243 for a classic example of what is killing this project, particularly now the committee has ruled that out of all these people, it's me who's the clueless asshole. All that effort in one Afd just to get a merge of one article, even when most of the governing principles are written in black and white, particularly how you do and don't make a good case at Afd, and only after IIRC it got some publicity at ANI leading to the late slew of clued up opinions. There are countless others which are just default keeps because people realise Afd closure isn't about strength of argument any more at all, if it ever was, and the tactics of admins like Mjroots et al really are effective, its now all about 'civility', only leaving out all the parts that deal with not ignoring the arguments of others, or not using it as a weapon, etc etc. As we see with the rapid cessation of my editting career, there is a terrible price to pay for not putting up with the faux offence of people who engage in these games, who treat WP:CIV as if it was a charter for their opinions to be weighted equally alongside all others, whether they had any grounding in policy or fact whatsoever. That's why this encyclopoedia is being turned into a fully comprehensive database of every airliner crash that ever happens, violating both a core pillar of the site, and making it completely unusable by any actual aviation historians who might be tempted away from their proper information sources, into 'new media'. There are failures like this all over the project across multiple topics, and arbcom are clearly not interested in investigating the hows and whys at all, even though the causes are 110% behavioural, they seem to simply exist to eliminate the loudest complainents, when of course the likes of Sandstein fail in their attempts at handing out summary justice. Sure, people can try the proper route, I tried to conduct an Rfc on Mjroots for his disgraceful behaviour, to no success, he's still out there making it up as he goes along, asserting black is white and generally smearing people just because they have disagreed with him, etc, etc. Go find it if you want a good laugh at what are considered professional standards around here these days. In my case there's been many oddities, which I've documented elsewhere. More come to me every day, every hour, as I try and fathom what goes through their minds. A topical example - they have found that Delta materially added to the conflict, and once again affirmed what our admin standards are. Yet there's no mention at all of the admins who enabled and rewarded the behaviour. Not in the slightest. This was over his tenatious restoration of the very attack you advised I just have to ignore and retire from the project over, presumably as I'd obviously get no satisfaction from arbcom over it. Forget other venues like ANI too, it's apparently the done thing now for admins responding to reported attacks, to simply repeat them, or otherwise ignore them in their twisted games of payback. I definitely should have listened to you. I had a naive belief that arbcom investigated things though. Thus, on the outcome of that, I've got no problem anymore in calling you, Jimbo, a thief, because that's what you are. Four years of my life you've stolen from me with my labouring for this project under the completely false pretenses that the admin corps exists to ensure all rules and guidelines are followed, and that ultimately, DR is not a popularity contest, at least supposedly not once you reach the pro-team of arbcom. What a moron I've been for believing that. Still, thanks to the mailing list leaks I had a good idea before hand that the case had been prejudged, that the bizarre way it came about was no problem at all, and so I only wasted the 5 days on giving evidence, in return for their measly input to the case of what, 100 words max all in. I've had more contact with my dentist this past week, and he seems to do far more work in far less time than these people appear to do, and ultimatley causes a whole lot less mental stress to boot. So, adios, farewell, thanks for the memories. I had infact expected the formalities to be done by now, but as with everything they do, progress is glacial. If it weren't for her rougeness Bishonen I suppose you could have delivered the coup de grâce yourself. Maybe she'll turn up and do it herself, I know she'd love to being best friends with the one non-admin on this site who gets to complain about what they think is really wrong here without any sanction at all (Sandstein, bless his cotton socks, has been labouring under the delusion all these years that I have the sort of friends Giano does, which he thought explained why his multiple attempts to bump me off all failed in the past), that is if she can remember which cartoon account she's operating right now. Yes, professional standards is apparently where it's at these days Jimbo, That's the way you'll apparently reverse the decline in contributors, and raise the intellectual level of debates here. Good luck with that. You might as well just require id registration, to make people really accountable for when they start talking complete bollocks and the admins who encourage it. Or at the very least start tracking the admins who look at a particular debate and think 'ooh no, don't want to get involved in that' and walk on by looking for the next place they can 'contribute' with a max 5 minutes of thought. What you have now is a rise in the power of these half-wit class of editors who barely know anything about our actual policy concepts down to real details, but who can just about manage to write some buzzwords, and if it all gets a bit technical for them, hide behind WP:CIV at the first opportunity, which pisses off both clued up contributors like me who despite the smears have all the time in the world for respectful people whatever their competence, leading to their ultimate demise, voluntary or otherwise, and also ensuring all prospective new editors who know nothing at all, rapidly conclude this is not a place they want to be, because the bullshit/sense ratio is now way off base and completely unmoderated in nearly every area, except possibly FAR. MickMacNee (talk) 19:29, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand why you found it so important to not have a separate article on that crash. But there used to be discussions of proposed merges outside of the AfD mechanism - there was nothing in that article that required historical revisions to be concealed from readers, or any sort of administrative action at all, so how did it end up there? One person could have done this merge, given a consensus on a talk page. Even so the merged Wind Jet version lacks much of the fine detail of the non-merged article [19], which disappoints me.
Maybe we should create some kind of intermediate status between the stand-alone article title, which you say makes it difficult to search for serious air crashes, and having things merged uncomfortably into small articles. What comes most easily to mind is that we don't have sub-articles in mainspace using "/" - maybe it's time to look into doing that. Or maybe we could set up some kind of priority tag system, a template or category that makes it easier to use searches to pick out your desired important plane crashes from other less serious incidents. But I'm not really sure why the standalone articles seem like such a problem - can you explain further? Wnt (talk) 20:07, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps because, as the world measures such things, it was a non-event? I read it, having never had any involvement in it before. I couldn't figure out why it was in an encyclopedia -in a local newspaper, a two-day story, maybe, but not here. Bielle (talk) 21:27, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

Manchester High School for Girls

Hello, Thank you for your message. I accept that it was a mistake to add those categories without reliable sources to support them. This page may be an adequate source for Baroness Hamwee but the school website does not provide a convenient list of former pupils so I will take the categories off where they are unsourced.--Felix Folio Secundus (talk) 07:31, 30 July 2011 (UTC)


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

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Pouyana (talkcontribs) 11:14, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Dealing with stress

Things to ponder. It is troubling to see people get very upset and "stuck" when focusing on particular wiki-disputes. Perhaps even worse, in comparison, is knowing that there are many thousands of articles and project pages which need to be updated, and could use the help of clever people who are very busy trying to "be right" about some other, specific frustrating issues. Seeing those users having a melt-down, going ballistic, is like watching a person having an all-out conniption fit about locking the keys in their car, when the passenger door is still unlocked. Please, folks, remember: "The passenger door is not locked" - there are many, many thousands of other articles which need to be improved, or written from scratch. If nothing else, hit "Special:Random" 20x times, until an interesting article suggests some new avenues.

We need more ways to re-focus the many frustrated users into all the other important areas, but meanwhile, remind them:

  • m:Wikistress - Meta's essay with 150 suggestions by users (starting in 2003)
  • "Agree to disagree" - article about compromise phrase dating to 1770.

I realize that Wikipedia is not funded to provide therapy for mental anguish, but many of the frustrated users seem to fall into the common trap of fighting over a puddle, while they are actually at the edge of a vast ocean of opportunities. I am thinking about more ways to get editors to see the "big picture" and reduce the current stress levels. -Wikid77 05:12, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Interestingly enough, I wrote WP:YANI just now as the product of my own musings resulting from dealing with difficult editors who believe themselves indispensable to the project. It takes a different tack, based on my particular perspective. Jclemens (talk) 06:36, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking the opposite approach, as "Some people might be indispensible" so ask them to, please, avoid getting burnout or banned from the project. The idea is to get them to realize the danger if they escalate fights and, instead, recommend they just "agree to disagree" for a longer time. Many people imagine they can take a dispute to "wiki-court" and magically, they will get cosmic fairness, as if cleverly discerned by part-time volunteers who have free time because no one pays them to be busy doing clever valuable work elsewhere. Meanwhile, many people report the horrors of 5-minute, hollow reviews of their plight, so more people should know to expect that escalating a confrontation to be judged by part-time, idle, volunteer committee members is unlikely to result in profound, fair justice. Unstructured committees are notorious for making capable people seem slow and unable to solve the simplest of problems. We need to guide more people away from the pitfalls in the current system. -Wikid77 05:36, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Question regarding Wikipedia and ancient browsers.

Hello Mister Wales. You most likely don't have the time to answer this, but I am curious as to if you have a stance on people using ancient browsing software such as Internet Explorer 6 and Netscape to view and edit Wikipedia? Do you think that the Wikimedia Foundation and the MediaWiki team should discontinue supporting old browsers from viewing the site in order to save time from creating special code to make the website appear better for older browsers? Thanks, your most likely first encounter of a brony, Rainbow Dash (WikiBrony!) 19:01, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps be more specific: I'll leave space for Mr. Wales to reply above, but you might want to expand your question, in the writing above, with specific instances where the old browsers are a problem. In computer software, everything continues running fine for years (and decades), until someone adds "special code" which kills the old programs (browsers), not the other way round. I have seen too many computer people who eagerly install new technology (the "new toys") where little is gained (and vast areas are lost or mangled). Formerly, when new releases of software were installed on a computer, the result could be, sometimes, a smaller or faster use of total computer resources. However, for the past 10 years, almost any new software release has had a 99.999% chance of being much larger and much slower than the prior version. The trick is to focus computer technology on the efficient, core minimum, needed to meet a project's goals, and avoid all the bizarre wiz-bang techno-toys that come along from year-to-year, while only changing the fundamental computer components which need to be kept current. With that strategy, each user's end-computer will "die of old age" before the system forces them to be obsolete. Beware of software vendors who artifically "decree" the death of old browsers, as perhaps, a form of planned obsolescence to force the sales of new products where really not needed. There is a rare term, "crapnology" for what is happening: laptop computers dying after 1 year (need 3-yr warranty). For those reasons, old computers (Windows XP) are found in hospitals, or other life-critical areas, where they avoid the new wiz-bang technology, until they are forced to plan a careful upgrade which still meets the critical needs of their users. In small town libraries or third-world countries, the older browsers are likely still in use. That is an area for WP:ACCESS to continually support. -Wikid77 06:16, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
I think we should make a bigger effort that most sites do to support older browsers, primarily due to the fact that we are a charity with an aim to give free knowledge to everyone, and thus we should care a lot about computing in the developing world, and we know that many people in the developing world are using older computers that can't upgrade to the latest browser technology.
However, our support should not be infinite, and decisions should be made by the technical staff based on actual empirical data, difficulty of support of old browsers, etc. It's not really something for me to decide.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:24, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Mark Halperin

There is a discussion to merge "I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday" into Mark Halperin. As you were were the last one on the talk page before, you may be interested...or not.Smallman12q (talk) 22:08, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Comment: I made the merge request, but Jimbo, who knows a lot more than I do about how to do stuff, speedy-deleted it. Sharktopus talk 13:55, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
The content was already "merged" (or duplicated in short summary form), but Jimbo just marked the page for WP:CSD G10 with courtesy-blanking, and another person did the speedy-delete 3 hours later. So, the page was then soon replaced in Google as merely the G10 warning, with no longer a collection of POV insults or name slurs. When the page was actually deleted, hours later, then Google still had the prior phrases indexed, but they pointed to the final short courtesy-blanked G10 page, without the POV-text left to go viral for 3 weeks, as is typically the case. Hence, the POV-text was "speedily" removed from both WP and the Google display. -Wikid77 14:42, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

hello need some help

hello Mr. Wales,

Well i have a problem actually something that is still secret. You may hear about illyrian language and only few things left of it because that language is dead and forgoten. I got it and i have it in my posation, i want to give it to world but ofcourse i cant do that for free. Because was held in our familly over 800 years and more. The illyrian language proofs and dicovers things like Maya Calendar, Pyramids, Stonehange and many other things that people never going to know about. And many things who are they from and what are they. Ive reading many things from Wikipedia and there are so many things wrong for that History that i had to write you this letter to let you know that illyrian language is not dead but was protected till write time comes.

If you are interested and ofcourse you got maybe many massages from other users and visitors please contact me ( i live in The Netherlands and my origin is Illyrian )

Thank you

Tet101 (talk) 13:42, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

Ta-da. — Waterfox ~talk~ 13:49, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not going to publish original discoveries, no matter how important they are. That is not its function. Once your work has been published in some appropriate place and accepted as legitimate by the community, a Wikipedia article about it will be possible. Looie496 (talk) 15:34, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Without justifying conspiracy theories and what-not, for what it's worth technically the Illyrian language didn't "die" it evolved into Albanian (according to some scholars), similar to how Latin evolved into French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romansch, Romanian, Galician, Catalan, and Provence. Dead languages can be revived, Hebrew was just like Latin and only used for religious purposes until the Zionist movement and the creation of the State of Israel. So Tet101, good luck to you.Camelbinky (talk) 22:49, 31 July 2011 (UTC)
Well, you could write up articles about it for ... Wnt (talk) 00:03, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Roger James Hamilton

I have nominated the article for deletion.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

This is with regard to the Wiki Link:<> Our esteemed client is very interested in creating a profile on Wikipedia. Complying with his requirement we gathered some important information about him and formulated the same in the form of a wiki page. However, inspite of all our efforts to make the page compatible with your guidelines we have failed to do away with the error messages which display in the header section of the page.

The error messages are as follows:

-This article is an autobiography <> , or has been extensively edited by the subject or an institution related to the subject, and may not conform to Wikipedia's neutral point of view <> policy. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page <> .

-A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection <> with its subject. It may require cleanup <> to comply with Wikipedia's content policies, particularly neutral point of view <> . Please discuss further on the talk page <> . (July 2011)

-The topic of this article may not meet the notability guideline for biographies <>. Please help to establish notability by adding reliable, secondary sources <> about the topic. If notability cannot be established, the article is likely to be merged <> , redirected <> , or deleted <> . (July 2011)

We will appreciate your assistance in this regard and we will be more than happy to provide you an assistance that may be required from our end.

Thanking you in anticipation.

Cordially Yours, Dev — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dev21seo (talkcontribs) 09:08, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Grawp's ongoing accounts

It has been confirmed that Grawp is still using accounts to vandalize Wikipedia. Someone described this on AN3, and it is certain that this user is active. I would need help for the blocking process. If you have any concerns, contact me on my talk page. Thank you. StormContent (talk) 03:01, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't really know much about this, so I'm afraid I don't know how to help.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:42, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
StormContent, WP:DENY is worth reading on this. Inter alia, it claims that "...stating that a certain individual is involved in very obvious vandalism probably does not enable any better recognition or response to that vandalism..." --Demiurge1000 (talk) 07:49, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm keeping an eye on Grawp's accounts. If he vandalizes a certain page over and over, I can request protection of that page. StormContent (talk) 13:06, 1 August 2011 (UTC)
FYI, Jimbo, the pages being targeted are typically List of indigenous peoples and related articles. It's worth not tagging Grawp's socks because that's what he wants.Jasper Deng (talk) 16:59, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Clearing Google/Bing of attack-page cache

I see you succeeded, by using WP:CSD G10, in clearing the main attack page, as cache copies, from both Google and Bing, which then displayed, "This article may meet Wikipedia's criteria...". Within 1 minute of courtesy-blanking the Wikipedia page, then Google also replaced the cache inside Google Search. However, there were 2 attack pages: article + redirect. I had tried to use "_NOINDEX_" but it did not work to cleanup Google, due to the tricks of how the page was created. The author had used the old create-and-move trick, where the page was indexed under the first title "I think he...", then moved to a second title "I thought he..." (where the old title became a REDIRECT to the new). Eventually, both pages were deleted yesterday:

  • "I thought he was...yesterday" - deleted 11:55, 31 July 2011
  • "I think he was...yesterday" - moved 29 July, deleted 15:24, 31 July

However, Google and Bing had indexed all the name slurs and POV-insults using the original page title, "I think he was..." but then the page was moved (to "I thought..."). At that point, the indexed text could not be re-indexed, because Google and Bing considered the original page as merely "#REDIRECT <new-title>" and when the new page was set CSD-G10, the original page was unchanged (as still the redirect). Perhaps if both, the new page and the old-page redirect, were both edited to say CSD-G10 then both pages would have been re-indexed by Google and Bing, removing the search-match phrases, before deletion.

Meanwhile, I have re-created original title "I think he was...yesterday" with the contents: "This page was cleared on 1 August 2011" to re-index (and remove) phrases in Google and Bing. Google instantly re-indexed the title (within 1 minute), while Bing was a little slower, taking 6-10 minutes. The page has internal hidden notes to explain to editors the unusual step of recreating the page as 1-line about being cleared, due to the G10 issues. This process is like getting rid of fleas and their eggs. More later. -Wikid77 12:22, 1 August 2011
–– UPDATE: Just now (1 hour later), Google has stopped matching WP for most of the phrases in the original page, such as "on tape delay and would be censored" as the text formerly in the page. One WP mirror-site ( is still matching, but links to the new mirrored text as, "This page was cleared...". Hence, in this case, the attack-page was courtesy-blanked within 1-10 minutes from Google/Bing, and later de-indexed (from Google) within 1 hour, although Bing still matched WP to some name-slur text after 1 hour. Quick replacement of text might deter mirror sites from keeping the POV-insult text. -Wikid77 13:52, 1 August 2011
–– UPDATE: Now (21 hours later), Bing has also cleared new search-phrases for the POV-insults. Only the prior exact search-phrases still match in, which might be an efficiency cache, because people tend to re-search the same phrases, and Google/Bing storing those search-results makes the repeated search faster. After Google/Bing cleared the search-phrases, I used {db|1=...test-page} to speedy the redirect page ("I think he...") which updated Google < 1 min (22 seconds). This tactic handled the unusual case of a create-and-move redirect page. Normally, with no redirect pages:

  • Putting CSD G10/blank cleared Google cache < 1 minute & re-indexed < 1 hour.
  • Putting CSD G10/blank cleared Bing cache < 9 minutes & re-indexed < 20 hours.

In the rare case of indexed redirect-pages, they must also be edited (as above), for courtesy-blanking, and left a while to re-index search-phrases to no longer show part (25 words) of prior Wikipedia-page text. I will create a general essay to document and expand on these issues for removing spam or attack-page text which, otherwise, has remained for 3 weeks in Google. Some of these issues are warned in WP:BLPMEND (2009), to correct, or blank, a bio-page before deletion. -Wikid77 11:10, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I have some ?'s

Hi I'm a new user for Wikipedia. I would like to ask some ?'s

1 How do I get my user removed? (when I quit Wikipedia)

2 How do I warn a user about vandalism?

3 How do I upload a picture?

4 How do I block a user?

5 How do I become an Administrator? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Twinmill95 (talkcontribs) 19:06, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

(talk page stalker) To answer your questions:
1:User accounts can't be deleted, but you do have the right to vanish (See WP:Vanish)
2:WP:TEMPLATE and WP:TW are very useful.
3:Pictures can be uploaded using Special:Upload; however, please review our guideline on this first.
4 and 5:You must be an administrator to block other users, which requires lots of experience. See WP:Administrators for more details.
Hope that answers your question.Jasper Deng (talk) 19:15, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

A "interview"

(the quotes are basically saying this won't be used for anything) I have some questions for you. :* is the code for where the question is; ::* is the code for where the answer should be. And no, you do not have to be truthful, of course.

  • Are you planning to rule the world? (answer the remaining questions only if this is yes)
  • Link to or show us what you might look like if you actually ruled the world.
  • What would you plan to do once you rule the world?
  • If you get thwarted in ruling the world, how would you respond?
  • Who would be your rival(s), as in, the one(s) attempting to keep you from ruling the world?
  • What would you do if you encountered anyone that attempted to be in your way, as in to keep you from ruling the world?
  • How would you laugh? On a scale of 0 to 10, what would you rate your maniacal evil laughter?

Hope you enjoyed this! (And if anyone wants to do this themselves, I am planning on copying this to a subpage of my userpage tomorrow) LikeLakers2 (talk) 01:58, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

This is, LikeLakers2, an encyclopedia (or you may prefer the spelling encyclopaedia). Let us try and write some articles rather than busying ourselves with "interviews" and the like, shall we? Instead of copying this to your userspace tomorrow, why not develop a userspace draft instead? Please consider this suggestion. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 02:24, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
Please don't bring this up a second time. Especially on Jimbo's page, directed at me. I told you already that I would do that tomorrow. Thing is, I already posted it, so why would I make a draft of something I already made a final copy of? -_-' You may be an administrator, but please, let me, the non-admin of us two, actually do things when I wish. And I am going to check the rules to see if I even am required to edit articles. LikeLakers2 (talk) 03:13, 2 August 2011 (UTC),
Wikipedia accounts exist in order to allow people to create and maintain articles. If an account is used only for frivolous purposes that have nothing to do with creating or maintaining articles, it is being misused. Looie496 (talk) 03:32, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
LikeLakers2, actually, this was the first time (check the timestamps). I left a more detailed note on your user talk page after the edit here. Also, checking the rules won't do you any good—I hardly think there's any rule that requires users to edit articles, but it's widely accepted that individuals who aren't here to contribute to the encyclopedic content aren't doing us much good. And I'm not saying that in a rude or snarky manner; quite a few people who didn't understand this have been blocked before. I'm trying to stop you from going down the same road—you seem a little more clueful than the rest, if you catch my drift, LikeLakers2. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 03:55, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Editing Template to Blame for lack contributor growth?

Really Jimbo? Yes, Templates can be archaic at times but really that is what is causing it? Or is Huff Po not telling the whole story? The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 20:20, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

It seems like it refers to the editing page more than actual templates. Hot Stop talk-contribs 20:56, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking. The word wasn't used in a direct quote, and I don't think we can assume the reporter knows the details of Wikipedia terminology. Plus the MediaWiki editing interface is widely understood to be a challenge for new editors. --RL0919 (talk) 21:00, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
It's having to deal with WP-this and WP-that and unreasonable people. Gerardw (talk) 22:51, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
FacepalmAh, that does make much more sense. The Resident Anthropologist (talk)•(contribs) 00:45, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what "Editing Template" means, but I don't need an automated analysis to answer your question. My own first experiences are enough to show me there is a cultural attitude that the newbie editor is some kind of plague to be dealt with. If not for some decent interventions, I would surly have left the day I came. And I am not naive to think anyone would have given the contents of their other hand, if I had. There's your answer. Arkmanda (talk) 01:02, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

There is a much easier explanation: wikipedia has come to be seen as a "service" to be "consumed" and most who read it see it as a fence-sitting exercise with no interest to contribute. What I hear is "Do you use it?" - "Sure." - "Do you contribute?" - "No." - "Would you ever? - "No, never." - "Why not? - "'Cause I don't wanna be TV, either." Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:17, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I hope my speech tomorrow is helpful. Suffice to say, HuffPo's summary of the AP story is significantly - let me be generous here - "compressed" compared to what I actually said to the AP reporter.
Seb, the evidence doesn't back up what you're saying. I'm sure that is a factor in some cases, but I am also sure that's been a factor since day one. We have to look at the actual data for one thing, and we have to control what we can control for another thing. But, I will elaborate on Saturday.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:31, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree, we should control what we can control; but some people still have the idea that all 7 billion people on earth would love to be wikipedia-contributors. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 06:48, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Comment Full AP interview here. (talk) 15:18, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
It's simple, Wikipedia runs like a cult. Newbies join and sooner or later come into conflict with other editors. It is at that point that they realize that there are no true rules or real justice in Wikipedia. Only theatre of the personality. What normal person wants to be part of that?--scuro (talk) 12:26, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

There is something in it, I think. Users like me who've been on the net a long time and have been hanging around here like a bad smell for years have experienced some really horrible interfaces in our time, compared to which wikimarkup etc is an annoyance, and a bit of a throwback, but no big deal. Most of those, say, under 20, are probably somewhat horrified when they try to edit something like Norwich City F.C. Player of the Year. Not so much WYSIWYG as WTF? --Dweller (talk) 12:59, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Whenever Jimbo's speech is posted (here I presume) can someone supply a link? Thanks. Jesanj (talk) 15:20, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo, I have got a question for you

Why do we have this avoid weasel words policy? It is completely stupid. It says that we are supposed to say who says what we are stating. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW? We do not know who says these beliefs? They are just beliefs. We do not say "Who says stealing is wrong?". People just say that. We do not know who says that. It just is. (talk) 16:43, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand you. Very often, you can specify quite clearly who said something. If you can point me to a precise example in Wikipedia of a case where weasel words would be a good idea I can look at it and see what I think.
In terms of "stealing is wrong" there are surely hundreds of values surveys that could indicate that most people think stealing is wrong, and you could cite that.
The policy is not completely stupid. Without it, people could argue that any random opinion, with no source, should be left in Wikipedia. That isn't quality.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:27, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


Grawp is still vandalizing, as explained by Jasper Deng at RFPP. I think he deserved the global ban being re-instated. No e-mail access, and also, talk page ability was revoked. This is probably his only account being active (or is there more?). Well, I guess i'm left with no choice. StormContent (talk) 16:37, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, Jimbo, I know you do have the power to ban singlehandedly Grawp from all Wikimedia projects, and I think it's necessary. Legal action may be the only way to stop his abuse.Jasper Deng (talk) 16:38, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Per WP:DENY it's probably best to just email me with FULL DETAILS so I can look into this. I'm happy to ask the Foundation to look into legal options, but let's not give undue attention publicly, as it's unlikely to be particularly helpful. (Some folks get jollies from public consternation.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:15, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'll give a reply via email.Jasper Deng (talk) 18:24, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Hello, Jimbo Wales. Please check your email; you've got mail!
It may take a few minutes from the time the email is sent for it to show up in your inbox. You can remove this notice at any time by removing the {{You've got mail}} or {{ygm}} template.

Jasper Deng (talk) 18:34, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


I've been having fun making some personal templates and userboxes today. (see my userpage to see what I mean) They are pretty basic, mainly because the dynamic subpage listing one is simply {{Special:PrefixIndex/{{FULLPAGENAME}}/}}. I mean, it is basic, as I said, but it still works! I would have used the if thing, but I'm not too used to using that. If you want, perhaps you can take a look at them and perhaps tell me what changes I could make to help make it better and stuff? LikeLakers2 (talk) 19:19, 5 August 2011 (UTC)


I was wondering if this edit [20] is a violation of my topic ban. It was reverted by one of the most "involved" editors in the whole Shakespeare authorship dispute, which I didn't think was proper, as I had asked an administrator to weigh in on whether the topic ban extended to the Signpost discussion of an off-wiki artcle. I assume by now, you have seen the article [21] which is creating all the hubbub. Related question, am I allowed to talk to you about any of this, or does my topic ban extend to this page as well? Honest questions, everyone, so try not to let loose the dogs of war over this inquiry.Smatprt (talk) 22:44, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

I could be wrong, but if it was me, then I probably wouldn't extend it to something news-related, like the Signpost. You might want to ask the admin who issued the topic ban. LikeLakers2 (talk) 23:00, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
As I am not directly involved in the Shakespeare authorship question dispute, and take little personal interest in the dispute myself, I can only answer based on general principles. I would say that yes, quite obviously and unambiguously, if you have a topic ban on a particular topic, it's a really bad idea to start going on about it in unrelated venues as well as the pages in question. I highly recommend that you find something else to do at Wikipedia than worry about this question for the duration of your topic ban.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:13, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Great speech at Wikimania

Jimbo Barnstar.png The Honourary Jimbo Barnstar
Thanks for a great talk at Wikimania. Happy birthday! —Tom Morris (talk) 13:33, 6 August 2011 (UTC)


The notorious evil person has been injected into a substantial number of marginally related articles including Fjordman [22] is a typical edit. Pamela Geller [23], Christian terrorism [24] showing my deletion of a major coat tree <g>. and a substantial number of other articles. Add [25] where I removed clear COATRACK as well. While WP:COATRACK is only an essay, there appears to be a real problem emerging. Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:58, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

This (your first diff) looks like a reasonable edit to me. I suppose it's arguable to what extent Breivik should be mentioned, but that diff doesn't seem to be evidence of a "real problem emerging". MastCell Talk 19:09, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
What about the other diffs? There is a problem with Breveik coatracking that has already emerged. It seems mostly under control at the moment, but who knows how long that will last. There is too much WP:BATTLEGROUND editing going around for my liking all over the project at the moment.Griswaldo (talk) 19:22, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
That may well be. I haven't looked at the situation in depth, but when I clicked on the first diff I was a bit disappointed to see what looked like a garden-variety content dispute being framed as some sort of nefarious, overarching menace to the project. What's more, this diff from Collect's complaint is similarly dubious. Numerous sources have described Breivik's actions as a form of "Christian terrorism" - that's not a BLP issue, nor a coatrack, but a complex subject to be addressed in a nuanced fashion using good sources. If there's a problem, then it's to everyone's benefit to illustrate it properly, and to avoid the temptation to lump in good-faith content disputes in which one happens to be involved.

Incidentally, this happens all the time. Remember the litany of unsavory details and individuals which editors tried to link to Barack Obama, using 22 degrees of separation, during the 2008 election? This isn't a new problem, although at present members of political right are being tarred by association with Breivik, and so a subset of editors suddenly feel it's "emerging" and newly important to deal with it.

But whatever. Cynicism aside, if the problem of coatracking gains visibility and ends up being addressed, then I'm not going to gripe about the details. Carry on. MastCell Talk 19:36, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

It is clearly undue to add to Pamela Geller's BLP, in the infobox that she influenced a mass murdering (reportedly claimed to be insane person). As in - this living person influenced = mass murder. Personally I think such users adding content violations like that should be blocked easily and immediately. Off2riorob (talk) 19:43, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree. That edit was clearly inappropriate. It might be reasonable to explore a connection if one is described by reliable sources (I haven't looked), but even then any such coverage would need to be handled very carefully to comply with WP:BLP. Certainly a context-free link in an infobox creates a totally inappropriate implication. MastCell Talk 19:53, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I haven't investigated much but I don't think adding , and the mass murderer said they liked this person and her blog is any kind of addition that should be added to her BLP, imo its notable only in reference to himself in his life story. Off2riorob (talk) 19:58, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Try [26] which is an obvious attempt at guilt by association. Or the "trivia" of [27]. Knights_Templar_and_popular_culture#PCCTS with an enitre section on Breivik, and remarkably little basis for it. Heck, he even got added to Ted Kaczynski! Controversies_surrounding_Call_of_Duty:_Modern_Warfare_2 is a bit of a stretch. If Breivik played Chess, would it go in the Chess article? BTW, I hold the same BLP values on Alex Sink and Chris Huhne and several hundred other BLPs. Cheers. Collect (talk) 20:56, 4 August 2011 (UTC) And slao the gratuitous bit at [28] marking Screwball's edit war characteristic behaviours (sigh) (note his "edit summary" directed at me: do you even know who he is? he didn't just mention this, he wrote a manifesto and performed an act of terror). Anyone ever quoted by the nut is now fair game for being COATRACKed for Breivik? I rather think this is "silly season" editing run amok one agaoin. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:15, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Yep. Pretty every possible coatrack has been tried. Richard Dawkins? Yup. 'Hindoos' [sic]? Yup. And then there's the No true Scotsman "he's not an X, he's a Y, it says Z in his manifesto" argument - conveniently ignoring the fact that what he hasn't plagiarised from someone, he has contradicted somewhere else. The whole think is a mess, with far too many people trying to spin things in whichever way they can. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:47, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
I have to say the situation is getting pretty ridiculous: Should the Call of Duty article mention Behring Breivik? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:24, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

"If you have a complaint about article content, there are several avenues to pursue. The best and simplest way is to just fix it. You can also open a discussion on the article's talk page regarding the issues which you want to address." [29] Writegeist (talk) 18:03, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

This forum shopping is getting crazy - none of these people going to BLP Noticeboard or here tried to resolves their issues in each article. Also the guilt by association with Breivik is now extending to guilt by association of the actual inclusions - not all diffs are created equal, as MastCell showed. Some of them are good edits, some are not. I wouldn't be surprised that some of the bad edits are by WP:POINT editors trying to suppress legitimate edits by means of making crappy ones. Has happened before, even by editors held in very high regards (or we forget the Allegations of apartheid fiasco)? The reality is there is no systemic need to fix anything, there is editing, be WP:BOLD etc.--Cerejota (talk) 13:34, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

I may as well throw in a mention of No true scotsman [30]  Chzz  ►  00:43, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
While this sounds like a BLP dispute, it's really a dispute between inclusionists and deletionists. Off2riorob also deleted a section in the Breivik article giving responses from those mentioned in the manifesto. (diff ; discussion) There I was in the quite unusual position of arguing in favor of BLP against Off2riorob, that the people mentioned in such a context deserved fair mention of their repudiation of his beliefs.
The standard I would place for whether mentioning Breivik is undue is this: if you are looking up the subject of the article, not Breivik, would you see him mentioned, outside of keyword hits that bring up an article about Breivik with a few lines about the subject? My guess is: Pamela Gellar - quite likely. Do a Web search for her and you'll see what I mean. Christian terrorism - maybe. Call of Duty - probably not. There's a line to be drawn here, but that line isn't to erase all mention of the connection.
This "coatracking" thing is one of these made-up Wikipedia words (like "meatpuppet" and "SPA") that muddy the issue and create friction. If we uninvented all these words we would be much better off. Wnt (talk) 16:21, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Criticism of WP (not by me)

I have recently been involved in a discussion where an editor feels that Administrators at times are not held to the same standard as regular editors. He began a personal user page on Wikipedia detailing the "poor admin actions" that he felt needed to be addressed. This was quickly deleted by an Admin, who described it as an attack page per WP:ATTACK and therefore inappropriate for Wikipedia.

Since this is a heavily-watched page, I thought I would ask all of you about it (and I'm not looking for the Wikipedia:Argumentum ad Jimbonem), although I appreciate any thoughts he has on the matter.

I realize we have a lot of processes on Wikipedia to review actions of nearly any editor, but essentially the question is this. Should there be acceptable for an editor to post questionable (in their view) actions of adminisrators in their user space? Why or why not? Thanks. -- Avanu (talk) 16:46, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Without looking at the page, I'm not sure what I would think of it. However, rather than simply posting a page that might be viewed as an attack page, why not raise the issue in a relevant venue, such as AN/I? Or, although it isn't a "relevant venue" to get anything done, per se, my talk page is one place where concerns about administrator behavior are frequently and productively discussed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:00, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I didn't post the link here, because I didn't want to make that editor the center of attention, but more the question itself. The editor did, in fact, take the page to AN/I and Deletion Review. AN/I said "not really our thing right now". And DRV (despite some vocal opposition) undeleted the speedy deletion because it should have originally gone through a process of Miscellany for Deletion. What a lot of processes we have for a website that isn't a bureaucracy... :)
-- Avanu (talk) 17:21, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Not correct. The deletion review suggested MfD to allow the community to once again assert that maintaining list of "editors I don't like" is not acceptable. I just commented at the MfD. Johnuniq (talk) 02:13, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Right, but it is pretty hard for me to answer the question in the abstract, particularly since I suppose at least some people will know which page we are talking about, and then they might go take my opinion back to that discussion in an inappropriate way. (To be clear, I think it is perfectly fine to ask me my opinion here, and to share that opinion with others - but not if I make an abstract statement without seeing the particular page in question.)
So, an abstract statement: it's ok to discuss problems with administrators, particularly in relevant venues. It's not very helpful to create attack pages. Any given page might arguably fall into either category, if I haven't seen the content I can't say which I think it is. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:56, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Comment - I'll detail the specifics (briefly).

Editor A makes a user page that contains some degree of political statement and essay on politics, which admins discover and say it is WP:UP#POLEMIC and WP:SOAPBOX and a violation of BLP. A discussion ensues in MfD which Admin A closes (with some discretion) in favor of deletion. A deletion review occurs, where again, it is closed by Admin B (with some discretion) in favor of continued deletion. A discussion is brought to AN/I regarding these events.

Editor B feels that these admins applied discretion inappropriately and creates a user page called "AdminWatch" listing 4 diffs with the heading "poor admin actions", along with an intro saying that admins need to be held accountable. Before 18 hours have passed, this user page is then speedily deleted without warning by an admin involved in the prior AN/I discussion.

So begins the drama, over whether Editor B created a "shitlist" or is simply documenting administrative actions with an eye toward accountability. The "AdminWatch" page is temporarily undeleted pending a deletion review, after some discussion, this is closed by an admin in favor of keep (because of the contentiousness), who then immediately puts it up for deletion via an MfD.

So essentially we have two camps. Those who unequivocally see this as a "shitlist" and those who feel that recording records of admin actions that we disagree with should be allowed in the spirit of permissible dissent. "AdminWatch" as it stood 18 hours after its creation ( here ) and "AdminWatch" now ( here ), slightly modified to try and excise any perception of personal attack.

Neither version strikes me as bad. But, the greater issue here, in this editor's opinion, is whether an individual editor is allowed to record what they perceive as 'bad' actions done via the admin tools. Several editors say "we have forums and noticeboards for that, it should be enough. Other editors say, if you're recording an overall or chronic pattern, you can't always immediately bring it to those venues.

The editor that began the "AdminWatch" page has been in Wikipedia for 5 years, with a clean history and seems to be generally willing to compromise, so I'm personally puzzled by the hard reactions I've seen. -- Avanu (talk) 01:53, 8 August 2011 (UTC)


Look this. ANI at times is a joke. The person there says the page was not a WP:SIA page. But it was. I moved a page and at the old place created a SIA page. Why going to ANI and reporting undiscussed page deletions by admins? Another SIA deletion at Bahara, India, claiming Wikipedia:CSD#A10 " does not expand upon, detail or improve information". But the page did expand/improve. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 16:15, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Reported at ANI: [31] - a lot of admins do good work, but some are really just annoying other editors with their deletions. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 01:22, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Some baklava for you!

Baklava - Turkish special, 80-ply.JPEG Happy birthday Jimmy Wales!! 45!!

In Israel/Hebrew we say, "Ad mea ve-esrim", in English until 120, like Moses lived until 120... where can I find that great information other than on Wikipedia?? :D ( Hope I'll be able to contact you sometime - I met you yesterday at the conference (Itamar, itamarm10 on Wikimedia). I currently have a red link but I'm going to try and fix that soon!! Really glad I met you, got a picture with you and most importantly, could even have a chance to talk with you for a bit!!! -and even though I'm not supposed to- Yours truly and sincerely, Itamar Manosevitch / itamarm10 (I was the one who also contacted you on Facebook - I didn't know if you use it, so I'm sending you WikiLove also, hope it's OK) I thought of sending you baklava for you because I know its extremely sweet and you deserve it (and because it's the first option in "food & drink" if I'm not mistaken...)!! :D Itamarm10 (talk) 18:47, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

You got the Wikimania barnstar for your presentation!

Wikimania barnstar.png Wikimania barnstar
Dear Jimmy,

I give you this barnstar for your inspiring presentation on this years Wikimania. I hope you will give it as well to one of the wonderful presentors and indicate your appreciation over their sessions. effeietsanders 22:44, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Happy Birthday

Cheeseburger.png Happy Birthday Jimbo Wales! Have your time. Enjoy! Gave you a burger. Mohamed Aden Ighe 00:00, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Why is Wikipedia losing contributors - Thinking about remedies

Due in part to the Wikimedia 2011 and conversations on this talk page (and in IRL, IRC, and elsewhere), a user started a brainstorming page at Wikipedia:Why is Wikipedia losing contributors - Thinking about remedies, shortcutted by me to WP:LOSE2WIN. I thought I would let y'all know, and hopefully join the effort.--Cerejota (talk) 03:33, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

My identity commitment

while interesting, not really the right forum for this
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Committed identity: 7a28c23e5db47e558c3b45f70d3b3abd391692484da17b6aa30952e516d2c738c03f037d9b5779344412ac99de73d10c54042177a83eb66e854e6d7d1ad8809d is a SHA-12 commitment to this user's real-life identity.
Marthelati (talk) 09:26, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
?? what about it? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:29, 8 August 2011 (UTC)


With all due respect sir, Conservapedia does in fact have a project to re-write the Bible in English with the expressly written goal of removing all liberal "translation distortions". [32] How is stating the fact that those likely in the US to be conservatives (lower-case or upper-case) are likely to find a better home working there is offensive... It would be like answering "Why dont more conservatives watch CNN?" with- "They are too busy watching FOX News"... I'm sorry if I offended you or anyone else, perhaps I shouldnt have put it in a sarcastic form, but I stand by the position that conservatives dont tend to come to Wikipedia because they have found a home more to their liking if they are interested in working on an online endeavour along Wikipedia's format.Camelbinky (talk) 04:10, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Camelbinky, can I put all past antagonism aside, and thank you for providing the most entertaining read of the day, if not the year... Sadly, though, I can't help but wonder whether Conservapedia has been infiltrated by radical ironists, intent on piss-taking of the highest order. Surely these loons can't be for real? Do they really have 'ten guidelines', amongst which is a desire that the Bible should "Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning"? Blessed are the piss-takers... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:24, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Some people don't know how to be conservative, Camelbinky. They know very well how to be assholes though. I tend to think I know very well how to be conservative, and very much so, without too often also being anything of the latter. Personally, I think a translation of the Bible ought to be done with an eye for translating it accurately, not with an eye toward fitting in with some particular political goal. After all, Jesus probably wouldn't have been accepted by Conservatives or Liberals/Progressives. He's too conservative for liberals and too liberal for conservatives. -- Avanu (talk) 04:44, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Conservapaedia is a BAD representation of american Christian conservatism. Their main argument is "You're fat. Hurr durr durr." Jimjones4521 (talk) 05:46, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Camelbinky, I will tell you what is offensive about it. The number of politically conservative Americans who would find such bizarre and extreme views as rewriting the Bible to take out liberalism is so close to zero that it is a total smear to claim that people with conservative attitudes would be more at home doing that. That's an insult of a great many good and thoughtful people who are politically conservative and - guess what - don't have completely crazy ideas. It is seriously exactly like trying to smear politically liberal people by accusing them of being Marxists. It's condescending and inappropriate to smear a huge group of people in such a fashion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:23, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

What about the shitload of Marxists who are serious, long-standing, and happy editors of wikipedia and who work with religious conservatives in stamp collecting articles? They just a smear?--Cerejota (talk) 13:48, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not really sure what your point is, so I'll just say this: we should be welcoming to any and all kind and thoughtful people who are prepared to work together constructively in making Wikipedia useful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:04, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Situation in Russian Wiki is endangered

Dear Jimbo! I have written these scarce lines for to inform you, that situation in russian sector of wiki is highly strange and really doubtfull. There's a group of personalities simply vandalizing within. I think even administators cannot give them a strictly refuse. More of it, I think a few administrators don't use their power in right way, being maybe( I don't assert this!!) secretly confessially biased ( orthodox or moslem ). This's concerning such articles as (find good interpretator in Russian,please!)Севир_Антиохийский ‘Севир Антиохийский (Северий) (456, Созополь Писидийский — 538, Ксоис Египетский) — антиохийский патриарх (512—518 годы), основатель ереси(!!!) северианства. Почитается некоторыми дохалкидонскими церквями как святой.’Обсуждение:Севир_Антиохийский (Discussion) ‘«Севир Антиохийский (Северий) (456, Созополь Писидийский — 538, Ксоис Египетский) — антиохийский патриарх (512—518 годы), основатель течения северианства, которое халкидонские течения считают ересью. Севир Антиохийский, осуждённый как еретик на поместном Константинопольском соборе 536 года, почитается некоторыми дохалкидонскими церквями[1] в качестве святого.» Так выглядитнейтральнее и это соответствует правилу НТЗ.Давайте не будем оскорблять верующих-коптов--Gaulish 11:30, 8 августа 2011 (UTC)Gaulish

Как администратор и опытный участник советую - изучите ВП:ВЕС и в статье о верующих коптах пишите их мнение. В статьях Википедии в утвердительных формулировках излагаются общепринятые и наиболее широко распространенные мнения. Все остальное в статьях о сторонниках отличных взглядов. И НТЗ тут совсем не причем, это не панацея для редактирования статей под взгляды отдельных течений.--Testus 11:33, 8 августа 2011 (UTC)

Коллега в статье Северианство названо течением. Предлагаю обратиться к посреднику. Согласитесь, что Неправославная Церковь, "ересью" являться не может автоматически. Предлагаю обратиться к посредникам. Желательно неверующим. Со ссылками были проблемы, не разобрался. Но я был, кстати, в процессе правки. Ненейтральности с моей стороны не было.С уважением.--Gaulish 11:38, 8 августа 2011 (UTC)Gaulish

Предлагаю написать: « Северианства, признаваемого Халкидонскими течениями ( Православием и Католицизмом ), а также Миафизической ААЦ в качестве ереси.» Чем не устраивает такой вариант? А мусульман 2 миллиарда и более с их тз все христиане "зимми", согласитесь было бы абсурдно писать такое? --Gaulish 11:58, 8 августа 2011 (UTC)Gaulish’

And so on ... Severians seen to be nowadays Coptic Christians! This administrator in facts call their beliefs ( Severianity ) as heresy.(!!!) . For he's seemed to be agreed with passage as Severus is founder of...HERESY (!!!) Severians ( this's considered to be as heresy from point of view of both Orthodox Greek and Russian Churches and for Armenian Myaphisites ), but for Coptic Church this's venerable Saint(((. I can't find any words I'm shocked!. This's a really seem to be may be some confession-biased position as well as in fact secret diffamation of opponent belivers from side of administrator, using playin' with rules. Please help as founder of wiki as an intermediary for myself ,being non-criminal satanist can't hope on anybody else. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gaulish (talkcontribs) 14:40, 8 August 2011 (UTC)


Jimbo, is Wikipedia perfect? Randnotell (talk) 14:41, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

The answer is obviously no, as everybody in the entire universe would agree. Why would you ask such a question? Looie496 (talk) 15:03, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia is not perfect.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:06, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
But it's getting better, isn't it?Randnotell (talk) 03:36, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
blanking rather unpleasant exchange
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Jimbo, if you recognize that, why is it not a matter of policy? Or, to put it in language you'll understand, why not write an essay saying those words, and make that essay the first or second thing people are required to read?
We cannot describe Wikipedia. We can only say what Wikipedia is not.

Randnotell (talk) 16:08, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Isn't the point of an encyclopedia, which seeks to answer all questions, to ask questions?Randnotell (talk) 15:11, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Ah, so you're just trolling. And not just here, I see. Editor since 2006 with a long gap in editing -- could this be a compromised account? Looie496 (talk) 15:24, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
No, actually, Looie, I simply became an editor of a newspaper. It was a student newspaper, but I did a pretty good job. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Randnotell (talkcontribs) 15:42, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I say again, I don't want to be a troll. I want to be the last troll. But the last troll has to be the biggest.Randnotell (talk) 15:45, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Huh? Looie496 (talk) 15:55, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
At a certain point, Looie, all questions are unanswerable. But if I upset you, I am sorry.Randnotell (talk) 16:22, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Not perfect, but perhaps Wikipedia is a self-aware entity? Count Iblis (talk) 18:22, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is a self-aware entity. But Wikipedia may only be a self-aware entity because it represents the collective knowledge of all of its editors.Randnotell (talk) 20:02, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Requests for adminship reform

Greetings, Mr. Wales, your input is requested at the Wikipedia talk:RfA reform 2011 page regarding the future course of RFA reform, assuming you still possess the same concern about the process as you did several months ago. Thanks, Tyrol5 [Talk] 18:46, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Ex post facto: It has been suggested that I guide you to some specific threads that might interest you specifically specifically this, this, and this. Thanks, Tyrol5 [Talk] 03:13, 10 August 2011 (UTC)


It's after business hours EST, so I'll probably try to talk to you tomorrow, Jimbo.

Just wanted to give you the heads up.Randnotell (talk) 01:24, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Looks like my work here is done for the night, Jimbo. Took me a minute, but when I was ready I answered the big question. I want you to read this, if you haven't already. Bruni's doing good work for the Times:

Talk to you soon.Randnotell (talk) 03:10, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

I've loaded the article and will read. Just FYI, I don't keep normal business hours anywhere, but particularly not EST. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:34, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

[Update] I have just read the article, but I'm not really clear on why you asked me to read it. It was perfectly interesting, so thank you, but if there is a particular point you wanted to discuss, I'm ready now. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:36, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

A cup of coffee for you!

A small cup of coffee.JPG Thanks for making Wikipedia. Ice Hockey Hero 14:29, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Why is Wikipedia losing contributors? What can improve morale among new editors?

I read press coverage (AP) of Wikimania 2011 where you said, "We are not replenishing our ranks... It is not a crisis, but I consider it to be important." The story mentions that as Wikipedia matures, there is less need for new articles (and therefore new editors), and mentioned the cycle of life whereby mid-20's males move on to start families or other interests. The story also mentions the complexity of the editorial process.

While the public Wikipedia is very user friendly, peel back the layers to get into editing and discussion, and it's a minefield. New editors are stonewalled by complexity, petty legalese, and a lack of guidelines. There is a frequent culture of disdain for newbie contributors, especially among the legions of deletionists who do not value new blood nor new content. If the poor usability and tone of discussions does not discourage new editors, an overzealous AfD, especially a rude one, is the kiss of death. Those discussions are laden with infuriating guidelines and editors out-maneuvering each other with Wikipedia bureaucracy. WP:OSE feels like hypocrisy to outsiders; and WP:USEFUL sounds callous considering that the sole purpose of an encyclopedia is to be useful. New editors see double standards where thousands of anime characters are included, but mid-list authors and well regarded academics are routinely excluded. Other barriers discourage new editors. COI pops up in AfDs and other discussions, but there are little useful guidelines for lesser-known entities to try to add impartial content about themselves. The exclusive focus on secondary and tertiary sources is inappropriate for many fields of arts and sciences, which have peer reviewed content, or institutions with objects, artifacts, and artworks that they can not include without a secondary source, or seemingly violating WP:COPYVIO (which is silly, a museum should be able to make their own object captions public domain). Notability also has incomplete guidelines on whether to cover article topics that are unlikely to ever be covered by major media. These are just a few things that discourage volunteers, and WikiLove is a small bandaid.

Aside from generic plans to simplify editing procedures... why do you think the number of editors is falling?, and do you have an action list of steps you'd like to see the community take? Any ideas stand out from yesterday's sessions on encouraging participation? Wxidea (talk) 05:58, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Why do you think the number of editors is falling? Simple. Increasingly bureaucratic structure and lack of good faith and no rewards for editors to encourage people to edit, e.g Best Article of the Month award prize scheme or something..♦ Dr. Blofeld 08:10, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Maybe the first thing is true, but... I didn't come here to win prizes... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:44, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
That's because you want to contribute. Many people would make superb editors but simply do not want to contribute unless there is something possibly in it for them.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:06, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
First, Dr. Blofeld, thank you for your first remark, as I think it is absolutely spot-on, and was the overall subject of my Wikimania speech just now. As to the question of prizes, I think that there is good evidence from the German Wikipedia that some prizes of recognition (more than an actual prize that anyone would try to win for the value of it) work very well at new editor recruitment, as well as being a lot of fun for existing editors, even those like us who would contribute just for the sake of contributing anyway. It's worth an experiment.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:39, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Great news Jimmy as I had addressed to both Tony1 and Erik Moller and was uncertain if I they really would consider it. It would make it a lot of fun and the possibility of winning something monthly would surely motivate me and others to produce more quality content. The most important thing is content and if there is mechanism which gets editors to try to produce the best work this can only be a good thing I think/ I have suggested something like a $500 Amazon award top prize, $250 second, $100 third, $50 fourth and $25 fifth decided by a judging panel of trusted reviewers. If you work it out it would be just under $12,000 budget a year which I think is very reasonable considering the budget is near $20 million in this year's drive?. I think we could raise that money in fundraising and invest it back into wikipedia it could produce results. The reason I say Amazon is that as one of the world's leading sites for books (and cheapest) I know that a lot of editors myself included if they received a voucher for producing one of the best articles they could buy more books on Amazon and use it a source to write another wikipedia article. For instance there are some books I want on pre colonial African history and archaeology, a poorly covered area of wikipedia. I could use any award to put towards buying such books. Perhaps you could consider Amazon e vouchers for such a scheme. I understand if you would be wary of this and would rather it be a recognitition prize scheme, which could work, but I think some actual prize could attract a lot more editors.. If it was a recognition only scheme it would have to be something worthwhile which actually would motivate editors of course. I think the opportunity to have a "coveted" Best Article of the Month award and voucher prize would be a great incentive to get more and more editors to come up with the goods and focus on quality. I've said for quite some time that in order to attract more editors we need new and exciting challenges for editors. Its human nature to be competitive and strive to achieve something. If the stakes are right it could encourage new editors to join and write for us. I think it would surprise people how much good content such a scheme could produce. Then of course there could be a Best Article of 2011 Award to be awarded at the end of each year in which the writer/s of the best FA article of the year are rewarded. Dr. Blofeld 09:33, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
You don't have to go to German Wiki to see the value of a bit of recognition; the monthly disambig challenge has been a huge success, as you can see from the stats. --JaGatalk 06:18, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Hmm. Arbcom in a recent case declared: Wikipedia is a serious educational and scholarly project founded on the principles of collaboration and consensus. All participants are expected to conduct themselves according to the standards of collegiality and professionalism appropriate to such a setting.The standards of collegiality expected of all contributors to Wikimedia projects are set forth in the Wikimedia Foundation Resolution on Openness, which urges editors to "promote openness and collaboration", "treat new editors with patience, kindness, and respect", "work with colleagues to reduce contention and promote a friendlier, more collaborative culture", and "work with colleagues to [...] discourage disruptive and hostile behavior". The so-called "mid-20's males" are the reason why reality in Wikipedia is the polar opposite to that. The mid-20s males have created a predominantly confrontational environment in their own likeness. IMHO, that's why new or potential editors don't stick around. DeCausa (talk) 09:49, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
True. As I posted elsewhere:

To answer the question of why fewer women participate in Wikipedia, one should first question the gender distribution of those who start editing Wikipedia and then drop out. There's a difference between having 13% in the start group and 13% in the stay group (proportional dropouts), and, say, 50% in the start group which quickly drops to 13% in the stay group. The latter would imply something about the actual Wikipedia experience and environment which is "not as advertised". One might begin with the definitions of "collaborative", "helpful", "supportive" and "respectful". Not everyone has the same definitions of these words. I'm sure elks butting heads for leader of the herd think that's perfectly reasonable behavior. The male elks likely consider female elks lesser beings because they don't follow suit. The female elks likely consider this an absurd method of choosing who should be in charge, so they roll their eyes and just stay out of their way. Connect the dots, draw your own conclusions. (If you don't like that analogy, try the attitude, actions and talk in fraternities and football teams. It's not that women can't do that, but that they choose not to because they consider it juvenile and stupid. Wikipedia's solution so far is to accept the problematical attitude, but insist all will be fine if only the overt actions and talk are changed. iow, passive-aggressive behavior is being encouraged. Women aren't fooled.) (talk) 16:03, 6 August 2011 (UTC) Moved sig. Graham87 05:36, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Not sure who the above paragraph belongs to p-they forgot to sign. To be clear, my reference to the atmosphere created by "mid-20s males" wasn't about the lack of women in WP (although that's part of it). The atmosphere repels other males as well as women. DeCausa (talk) 17:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I can tell you why Wikipedia is losing editor. Even a more experience editor like me often get caught in a "gotcha" by obscure rules which I clearly don't know existed (after all, I can't read every rule). In addition, if I get accused of some so call "wrong doing" and is convicted, there's no appeal process. If I or somebody else is block by an Admin, we are screw and can't even ask other Admin for help. Illegal Operation (talk) 05:54, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
I would definitely be a lot more motivated if there is a cash price. But giving a certified recognition for a promoted good article or a featured class article, minus the cash prize, would serve to keep me equally motivated. Academics like me run after research journals which take months for any kind of response only for that tiny certificate of recognition in the form of an authorship after a successful attempt. While Wikipedia policies would be defeated by giving out authorship rights, would it be too much if it is given for only that version ID of the page that passed a nomination? This would also help in publicising (by means of what else? resumes, CVS, etc.,) the wikipedia article quality rating system; hardly 1 % of regular Wikipedia users without an account I have spoken to were aware of that. When this gets implemented, I believe, Wikipedia would be much more attractive than those otherwise unknown hard core tech journals for young academics who are into full-time research and publishing papers. morelMWilliam 15:58, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I found this section via the edit history of JaGa. I think if new users are treated by admins like SpacemanSpiff like I was, then they may loose interest. SpacemanSpiff - ignoring consensus - moves articles, reverts article moves that were done to enforce consensus. 4:1 normally would be called consensus - well, not if SpacemanSpiff is the "1". And funnily this SpacemanSpiff is running around and shouting that I did not move with consensus. While in fact he was ignoring consensus. No I am accused of Sockpuppetry [33], because I was involved in article naming consistency on articles related to geography and languages (claimed by User:JaGa). What is wrong in working on naming consistency? Will you accuse everyone doing this and moving pages of sockpuppetry because some years ago another user also was engaged in that field? It is tiresome to get accused by some users who I have not seen working on Russian or Indian geography or on writing systems since I signed up middle of June. To answer the heading : Moral can be raised by working together with new users and not by accusing them. If JaGa has a specific issue, he should say so and not come via Sockpuppetry. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 16:04, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Also, we should invent more games/challenges on a weekly basis. To see which editor can source the most BLPs in a week, source the most unreferenced articles, Best Collaborative Effort of the Week, etc. I know that worked for a bit with the James Bond project. Anything which motivates an editor. Jimmy can you at least consider what I've said and mention it in the next foundation meeting? A website full of challenges, even if not all "prized", would go a long way towards encouraging article development and participation of new editors. I still think though that a formal reward system every month would be the most effective and the majority would simply be challenges or "coveted" titles. I say these things are worth a trial. Ultimately we want as many active editors as possible producing as much quality content as possible. This is what matters the most on here, so I think it would be worth pursuing. Jimbo have you seen Anna's Cafe at User:Anna Frodesiak. Scroll across and click on the stairs. LOL.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:46, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)#How to solve our Feedback response (or lack thereof) problem, that post shows up part of the problem, a lot of the requests on WP:FEED are from new editors, a good proportion of which are ignored due to a lack of reviewers. One new contributor I dealt with there had the article they created nominated for deletion in three different processes (PROD, CSD, and AfD) around 6 times (partly because they removed the db tag a few times). The AfD's nom said that it was a gray area, but nominated it for deletion within 24 hours of creation while the creator stated that he was trying to add references to the article. We need to give our new editors a break, and be less trigger-happy with articles that aren't speedy candidates. I understand and share the frustration of our new contributors, Wikipedia is actually quite an unfriendly place (despite everyone's intention's to the contrary) until a new user gets established. Quasihuman | Talk 23:13, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Why is nobody mentioning the obvious?

Isn't it clear to anyone else that we protect and coddle incredibly rude and abusive editors? Our policies of treating each other civilly and assuming good faith are a joke. I don't want to start naming names, but we've got dozens of complete bullies who are granted immunity because they write good articles. For each one of these people, we lose scores of good article writers who don't feel that they should have to "grow thicker skin" in order to contribute to the noblest project that humanity has begun in modern times.

We've created a Wikipedia where you have to either keep a low, low profile, or be flamed out of existence by people who consider themselves so valuable that behavior policies need not apply to them. We coddle and protect these people, and there's no reason it should be surprising that we're running out of contributors who are willing to put up with the abuse that passes as normal around here. Wouldn't it be worth a try to actually enforce behavior policies?

I look forward to the abuse that is going to be directed at me for saying this, but it seems quite obvious to me that this is a real problem. If we were to stop tolerating the bullying behavior of just a few of our worst offenders, this site would become a much friendlier place for new contributors. Does anyone else see what I'm seeing here? -GTBacchus(talk) 06:04, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

I don't see it everyday, but I see your point. Civility is a pillar in need of some love, its more of a stick so often than a hug. -- Avanu (talk) 06:08, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I can't see why abuse should be hurled at you for this. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 07:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say it "should be", but sometimes things that shouldn't happen, happen anyway. I've been attacked before for suggesting that we should treat each other better. -GTBacchus(talk) 14:30, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
As an "incredibly rude and abusive" editor, I resent the idea that Wikipedia shouldn't coddle bullies like me. I mean, I occasionally contribute constructively! Isn't that worth something?
GTBacchus needs to grow thicker skin and just grow up in general.After rereading my comments I felt guilty about hurling abuse at Bacchus. Redact and apologize The world isn't a civil place. The internet even less so. NickCT (talk) 14:39, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
NickCT, I get that your comment is at least half facetious. However, are we really supposed to accept that the Internet is just going to be uncivil, and be content or complacent about that? You might be surprised how many academic venues in the real world are characterized by civil discourse.

My skin is actually pretty thick, but lots of good writers and potential contributors don't want to accept that a slow but steady stream of insults has to be part of their working environment. I'm in academia, and in my department, we treat each other pretty well. Even here, most contributors are civil, most of the time. What's wrong with them; don't they know the Internet "isn't a civil place"? I'm talking about a minority of abusive but high-profile editors whom we allow to consider themselves above the rules. Why do we do that? -GTBacchus(talk) 15:53, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

GTBacchus, I partly get and appreciate your point. However, re "I'm in academia, and in my department, we treat each other pretty well", I'm also familiar with academia, and in my field (biochem/biotech) the landscape is littered with malicious evil blighters constantly seeking to denigrate or steal credit from their colleagues. Perhaps you work in a more friendly area?
I don't think you can make Wikipedia more friendly than the real world. Additionally, I don't think walking around saying "Hey, what we really need is a little more wikilove", is an effective route to getting anything done.
That said, being somewhat familiar with the AE process, I do sometimes get frustrated that Admins aren't more aggressive in dealing with persistently troublesome editors. But hey, you're an admin. Why don't you patrol the AE and Wiki etiquette pages and crack down a little? NickCT (talk) 16:21, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I get really tired of saying that we could be more civil, and then being told that I'm asking for "WikiLove". I've never, ever asked for that, and I never will; in fact, I have contempt for such an interpretation of civility. Having those words shoved into my mouth is my least favorite recurring interaction here, and it's precisely how people defend their ass-like behavior. It's a dirty straw-man... although I don't think it's intentional on the part of those who use it. There's a communication breakdown, where people think I'm actually asking them for "WikiLove", and I'm not.

As Onorem mentions below, there's a difference between "WikiLove" (blech) and just refraining from being a "malicious evil blighter". The idea that we're either asses or hippies is false and damaging. Do you really not see a middle ground, where people simply behave with a simple professional courtesy, without getting lovey-dovey? Don't hold my hand, but don't stab my back, either. Is that really such an unreasonable request?

As for why I don't "crack down" as an admin... First of all, admins aren't cops, and when we act like cops, we make things worse, not better. Secondly, I have monitored WQA, and when it comes to certain editors, there's actually nothing I can do, because they've got admin friends. They'll bait, and troll, and abuse, and push and push until anyone trying to reason with them takes the least misstep, at which point they go howling to ANI, and I end up being the one blocked, while I'm being slandered all over the noticeboards.

What's your suggestion for handling such situations? -GTBacchus(talk) 18:41, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

re "those words shoved into my mouth ..... Do you really not see a middle ground" - Not my intent to shove words anywhere, and of course I see middle ground. But frankly, I think whether you are asking people to "be nice" or asking people to "feel the wikilove", both requests are equally likely to get positive results.
re "They'll bait, and troll, and abuse, and push and push until anyone trying to reason with them takes the least misstep," - Can I possibly have an example of this to review? NickCT (talk) 18:57, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I know it's not your intention to put words in my mouth, but this "Wikilove" meme is incredibly irritating and distracting when all I'm talking about is simple professional courtesy. I'm suggesting that "f**k off", for example, is something we just don't need to say to anyone on Wikipedia, ever. There really are people here who think they can't get by without saying "f**k off".

The important thrust that's being missed is this: The point of courtesy is not "niceness", but rather effectiveness. We're more effective when we maintain decorum. If you talk about "being nice" or "feeling the love", you're completely losing sight of the goal, which has nothing to do with niceness, and everything to do with cold, Machiavellian strategy, if you want to see it that way. (I don't want to see it that way, but it does work from that perspective, too.)

As far as likelihood of getting positive results, my experience tells me that courtesy is extremely effective. The only times I run into trouble are when I run into people - pretty rarely - who feel that courtesy is too restrictive, and that they need to be able to call people four-letter words when they feel like it. These people are wrong, and they drive away contributors, and they are wrongly defended by a significant segment of the admin population.

Like I said, I'm reluctant to name names, because I'm not trying to get flamed again. I am thinking of an example, and it centered around someone saying something a bit similar to what I think you're saying here. That is, someone who was conflating simple professional decorum with soft passivity and bleeding-heart sentimentality.

This example is spread out over four or five pages, all of which are deep in archives by now, but if you feel like digging, start with the one time I've been blocked, and work backwards as well as forwards. It started with a "f**k off", and ended with my block being reversed. I realize that it wasn't my finest hour any more than it was the other fellow's - I finally took the bait, which was my error, and that's how I was blocked - but it's still illustrative. There's a decent chance your interpretation of the events will be quite different from mine, of course, but that doesn't really affect the point I'm making.

Back to that point, rather than asking people to "be nice", why don't we insist that people refrain from outright abuse? Is that acutally too much to ask? Why are we giving a certain few productive editors carte blanche to bite off heads when the fancy strikes them?

One last thought: In an actual situation, I don't ask people to be nice, at least not when I'm doing it right. That, it turns out, is not how it's done. I treat them with dignity and respect, and they almost always rise to the occasion. The civility policy is for applying to oneself, not to others. Treat it as a rule to enforce, and it becomes a weapon, defeating the point entirely. Apply it to your own behavior, and it is an incredibly powerful tool... until you run into the rare case that I'm trying to talk about. I think those rare cases should be "voted off the island", and I think it should happen yesterday. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:15, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Ok GTBacchus. Well I still don't see much in your comments beyond the point "it's good to be civil". I appreciate the point, but I don't see much pragmatism here. NickCT (talk) 13:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Well... :) You should see it in action sometime. -GTBacchus(talk) 13:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
The pragmatism is this: we need to stop tolerating cruelty and rudeness. Those who think they should be allowed to call others "cunts" and tell them to "fuck off" should be banned from working on this site until they understand why that kind of thing is completely unacceptable. We need to stop protecting and coddling these people. If it becomes generally known that we have no tolerance at all for that kind of behavior, then we'll start seeing the culture change, and kind and respectful people will feel safer working here. The working environment will become less poisonous, and Wikipedia will be a better place.

I was actually quite explicit above, so if you "see nothing beyond the point 'it's good to be civil'", that tells me you didn't read my words. What part of "those rare cases should be "voted off the island", and I think it should happen yesterday" isn't clear? What part of "why don't we insist that people refrain from outright abuse?" didn't you understand? I'm talking about throwing people out of here, and all you see is "let's be nice"? I'm kind of dumbfounded by that. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:48, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree pretty much completely with the OP. I've (always hoping I wasn't serious, but never really sure) had "Suggest WP:CIVIL be demoted to guideline as it's obvious from reading various noticeboards that it isn't going to be enforced as a policy." on my to do list for over 3 years now. Outside of pro sports, I don't know of a profession where people who are talented at what they do are given so much latitude to do whatever they want despite the "rules" like they are here. That said, this is a volunteer project, not a profession. We should be able to make Wikipedia a more friendly place than the real world because we have the luxury of determining what we're willing to put up with. I don't expect things to change because I think the consensus for what "we" are willing to put up with isn't going to change. It's not about WikiLove. It's about WikiDon'tBeAnAss. Potential good editors are driven away because we allow established good editors to act however they want to. --OnoremDil 16:42, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that there's a fallacy here, in that people assume that rudeness and incivility come from the editors - in reality I think it comes much from the machines and modes of communication. Many of us would be unpersuaded by the claim I've seen attributed to certain Native Americans that writing is not really the same sort of honest communication as speaking with someone face to face. But when you go from writing to using bots to warn people, templates to spout canned text at them, Undo commands to revert them - all these technical tools add up to a mechanical rudeness that adds to and amplifies every interpersonal conflict. Wnt (talk) 16:29, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Wnt, if the problem is the technology, then how is it that some of us - many of us I daresay - manage to be friendly most of the time, despite the technology? To be fair, one of the first ways to be friendly and civil is to refrain from using those horrible warning templates that pass for communication so often. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:44, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I think that many civil editors, if taunted enough or pressed with unreasonable allegations and such, might be at risk of losing their cool. Though I admit there's some personal variation, I think a sort of random Boltzmann distribution is at least as good a model for incivility as attributing it strictly to personal character. Wnt (talk) 20:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, sure. Everyone's got a breaking point, which varies with mood, weather, etc. I've never had much of a head for physics, though, so the next time I blow up at someone, I'm gonna go ahead and apologize rather than taking refuge in the statistical inevitability of my outburst. -GTBacchus(talk) 21:46, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Understood. Still, the reason why I compare this to the physics of temperature is to emphasize that I don't think we have to focus only at the "top end of the distribution", on the most uncivil editors. If we can change the tone of the ubiquitous background interactions - bots, templates, the routine practices of discussion forums - I think we could cool down the overall tone without ever needing to confront any editor with threats of administrative action. I think people are in a statistical equilibrium with one another and their surroundings and you can remove the "heat" from anywhere in the system. Of course, this doesn't rule out conventional enforcement as one method of doing so. Wnt (talk) 06:11, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Whew... I like the way you're thinking. It's good to know you're on the team. :) -GTBacchus(talk) 06:19, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't see incivility in bots and templates generically...though there are certainly situations (almost every situation) where simple personal messages would be much preferred. (I'm not a supporter of DTTR though...outside of the ones that welcome the user who's been here for years.) I see blatant incivility in personal (not bot or template) interactions brought up several times a week on multiple noticeboards...and most seem to be basically ignored if the editor that left them is a good content creator. I'm fairly sure that we have a great number of good content creators that are civil. I'd assume that the majority of our good content creators have never bothered looking at a noticeboard. Or is your argument that because we allow people to use bots to communicate at times, we shouldn't expect them to know how to communicate civilly without them..? --OnoremDil 16:58, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The bot incivility is subtle, and maybe not very much, but I think it sets a certain attitude. For example, if you forget to use four tildes at the end of a post, you get this little text one liner about your unsigned post, instead of just, say, your usual signature with parentheses around it. And eventually you get one editor lambasting another for not signing posts, who is just picking up a bot's emotions and making them his own. Also that categorization bot on Commons has a grudge against me. ;)
Templates would be easier to fix, except they tend to be protected and I haven't gained consensus. Most of those WP:user warning templates are calculated to get an angry reaction instead of clarifying how to do Wikipedia properly - I think we would improve civility overnight if we would just delete them all and have people go back to typing text. I was thinking of Twinkle and such as "bots" when I mentioned them above, though I suppose they might not really qualify. Likewise, I think we could replace the nasty block notices with something a lot more low-key - instead of having a big box on the user page saying someone is indefinitely blocked, we could have say a box with a pause button saying "A Wikipedia administrator has requested for -- to stop editing Wikipedia while a legal concern he has raised with us is considered", etc. Wnt (talk) 17:50, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
From a new user perspective the templates are intimidating (which goes back to your point about the medium being a large part of the problem). Quite a lot of correspondence to OTRS is of the form of "What are these big warnings about, I am confused". I think the reality is that we simply don't treat each other very well, or think through our actions - whether that is in being rude to someone, being quick (or too slow) with the block hammer, templating editors with no other explanation etc. Some admins are abusive, some entrenched editors can be jerks; but really that's got nothing to do with the role they play, just who they are.
I've long been thinking that our templates need a radical refresh and improvement to address the issue of user engagement. --Errant (chat!) 18:18, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
While the points here are valid, they seem tangential to the point that certain rude editors get away with being rude because they also produce content. I'm entirely in favor of improving both bot messages and all templates. Both seem like great ideas. That has nothing at all to do with the current subject from what I'm reading. --OnoremDil 18:36, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. This sub-section is headed Why is nobody mentioning the obvious? Actually, I had made a similar point earlier. The problem is the demographic of a substantial part of the editor base creating an environment in its own image. DeCausa (talk) 18:47, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's demographics at all. The number of women and older editors here is impossible to determine because of the privacy policy (hear, hear) and stereotyping any age/sex cohort is invidious. I think GTBacchus is 100% correct. Well, maybe 90% correct: some of the bullies I could name have produced very little content. But they are consistently protected by their friends. The civility policy is indispensable in a massive international project. It's not getting enforced, in fact some admins openly sneer at it. I've been surprised that it was actually quite pleasant to get some "Wikilove"—but that remains an insulting solution to open, admin-supported flouting of an existing policy. The fact it is openly flouted makes it corrosive, far worse than the occasional hot-tempered exchange. There's an unpleasant truth behind all the wink-wink, nudge-nudge about a "cabal"—even though some of them do write good articles, and even though most if not all of them mean well, people who take this project for a debating contest, a ctiminal law court, or a gladiatorial combat make it frustrating and at times even scary to do anything more than fix typos here. Simply get serious about civility and remind people occasionally that reaching consensus does not mean "getting what you want" and the project will not hemorrhage serious editors nearly so fast. Yngvadottir (talk) 20:58, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
The number of women and older editors here is impossible to determine. You obviously missed this: [34] DeCausa (talk) 21:20, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
No, I ignore it. It was self-selected, which is problematic enough especially on issues of privacy, and it was also presented only once, so I was one of the active editors excluded from the sample because I was trying to fix something important when the Foundation stuck it under my nose. Yngvadottir (talk) 02:02, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

You guys are getting there, but I would argue that the title of this thread should be, "Why is no one asking questions?"

What do you think?Randnotell (talk) 01:22, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I would just like to express my support and thanks to GTBacchus for (yet again) bringing this truth about Wikipedia to attention. BECritical__Talk 03:59, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Bring Wikipedia's needs and goals under scrutiny, don't blame other editors

I wish we could have more conservations about how we could better support Wiki-community, how the MediaWiki software can add more social and collaborative tools, how Wikipedia can stay fresh and cutting edge in its second decade, etc. Too often I am seeing this discussion devolve into "Team A is better than Team B" and "Obviously my long-standing foes (deletionists or inclusionists or admins or leftists or meanies or whoever) are to blame!" I hate to see Wikipedians spinning their wheels like that, it feels like another extension of ancient WP:THISALLCAPSPOLICY vs. WP:THATALLCAPSPOLICY type battles that too often bury the whole purpose of Wikipedia. Not only is the finger pointing at other volunteers not especially constructive but it feels almost OFF TOPIC to me. Wikipedia has real structural problems, root and stem issues, like ineffective avenues for real Web 2.0 social mixing and collaboration in the interface itself. I am far from perfect, but I really try to bring solutions to the table in my suggestions. —NickDupree (talk) 05:13, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Isn't one of Wikipedia's needs and goals to have well-written articles? Don't editors help written articles become better?Robbie Ottley (talk) 20:00, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, but blaming other editors doesn't make articles better. —NickDupree (talk) 22:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
You might want to remember that if we want to bring in more editors over 16 or so, making Wikipedia more like Facebook may not be the way to go. Barnstars used to mean something; now they are more like being sent a Brown Magical Giftbox on Gaia or something. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:47, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I would never recommend we make Wikipedia "more like Facebook." I do however want social and collaborative tools to be a focus of the interface, so that collaboration on article rewrites and article creation comes naturally and easily, instead of the uphill battle that it is today. —NickDupree (talk) 22:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Govcom errr ArbCom is a huge part of the problem!

The Arbom croniism and backdoor antics drives reasonable people from this site. True discplinary action comes from them and is sometimes nec but on the whole their whole work is debased by cronyism and corruption in process. Change the assinine format discipline and cases are handled and things might be better...Just saying Hell In A Bucket (talk) 22:58, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

"Things must change!" is easy to say... but you ignore the built in safeguards: 18 seats guarantees philosophical diversity at the same time it allows gridlock. Likewise, saying "it's ba-roken!" doesn't set forth any vision of how it could be better. Since ArbCom elections are coming up in a few months, I welcome you to put together your best take on the above questions, and convince the community to elect you to the committee. Come walk a mile in my moccasins, if you care to. After this summer's beatdown, I don't know how many up-for-reelection arbs will actually be running again. Jclemens (talk) 05:23, 9 August 2011 (UTC)


Where is the evidence that civility issues are actually driving people away? It's not an unreasonable claim, but as of now it's not backed by anything but conjecture. Yes there are uncivil editors around, and yes some of them are protected by their friends, but how many of those editors have driven off others? It may well be that other, less obvious community processes are driving people away. Someone ought to collect some data on this before we start discussing what to do about it. Let's not waste our time trying to find solutions to problems until we know they are problems, and especially if there are other problems we ought to spending our time fixing.Griswaldo (talk) 21:09, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Even if they don't drive people into retirement it creates a poisonous atmosphere. The one thing I have noticed is that when faced with a somewhat overeager young editor many editors tend to snear at them & load the snark or abuse. Which usually exacerbates the situation - there is a lack of empathy where they sit there and seem to say; "well you don't have the skill I do so what the fuck are you doing here kid?". Whereas on the other hand we could be supporting the somewhat annoying individuals on the basis that in a few years they may mature into a solid editor (this is spoken from experience; I was one such example). --Errant (chat!) 21:44, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
OK I don't disagree with you, but I just think there are ways that people are put off that aren't exactly a matter of "civility" as we define it here. In other words there are civil ways to frustrate and anger newbies, and perhaps those are even worse than a few snarky words. I'm thinking, for instance, of using aspects of dispute resolution too hastily -- like reporting newbies to AN/I and plastering their pages with official sounding warnings. In fact the misuse of dispute resolution, which tends to only function because there are inequalities in social capital, can drive away not only new users but also more experienced users. I've been dealing with that very subject in a recent RfC/U turned into arbitration case. This makes me wonder what types of social processes here are more detrimental than others, and I don't think how it seems on the face of it is necessarily how is if we really did some digging.Griswaldo (talk) 22:10, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes, in fact I do agree with that because "uncivil" doesn't have to mean rude words or feelings - a lot of how we treat each other is plain uncivil.As you say - dragging each other around noticeboards, treating everything like a battle (I'm as much at fault here as anyone - but the culture is set that way) --Errant (chat!) 22:27, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
No, no, don't believe that! The culture isn't "set". We create the culture with every edit, with every post. If you want to make the world a better place, the first and last step is to embody the ideal that you believe in. I doubt that you're "as much at fault as anyone", and I believe that you can rise above the muck. What you're saying here, right now, gives me the confidence that you are just a heartbeat away from leading by example. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:44, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, "set" was perhaps the wrong word - I simply mean that is currently the way the community operates. So not following that behaviour pattern is hard because within the context of our "social order" here it appears absolutely fine. --Errant (chat!) 10:17, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Yes it's hard. Worthwhile things tend to be hard. That's why they're worth working really hard on. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:50, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict)I like the idea of asking for data. I'm not sure how you collect it, because the people who are driven away are precisely the people who aren't around for us to ask them why they left. How would we implement an exit interview, or anything like that?

    To reply to one of Griswaldo's points: "there are civil ways to frustrate and anger newbies". That is the result of misunderstanding the word. If it frustrates and angers them, it's not "civil". Civility means treating people with actual respect, and actually following the The Golden Rule, all of the time. Civility leaves no room for reporting people to AN/I and leaving threatening templates on people's pages. This notion that "civility" just means avoiding certain words is a destructive one. "Civility" means treating people very, very well, even - and especially - when they're not treating you well.

    Telling people they're violating the civility policy is almost never civil, to point to a particularly pointed example. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:29, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Incivility has a specific meaning here at Wikipedia, and that's the one I'm using in this discussion.Griswaldo (talk) 22:49, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
    • And I'm talking about ignoring that page, and working with a better definition. Why not define it in a way that's going to get us to a better place? Or, to put it another way, why not eschew doublespeak that makes it possible for "civility" to be something rude and cruel? Or, to put it a third way, if you have to read a policy page to determine what is or is not civil, then you've already missed the point. -GTBacchus(talk) 22:56, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
      • This is actually part of the problem (ill-defined incivility). Example; one editor I saw blew up really nastily at someone who had nominated content for deletion - the nomination was done to make a point against a third editor, but during the subsequent discussion this action was not seen to be uncivil. When, in effect, it could be just as bad as a few curse words. A large part of fostering collegial editing is to get people thinking about the effect their actions might have (or appear to have). --Errant (chat!) 10:23, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
        • Yes, but trying to define it just right on a policy page is also a problem. If people see such-and-such behavior defined as uncivil, and we've got a policy against incivility, then they rudely accuse people of having "violated" the policy. Once I tried to point out that sarcasm (which is defined as language intended to be hurtful) isn't very civil, and people told me I was trying to "ban" sarcasm, which I would never in a million years try to do. "Banning" things is about as stupid as you can get.

          The point is not to present people with a j'accuse, but to lead by example, to treat people better than they're treating you, and to always rise above the mudslinging. If we were to just replace the entire policy page with a nice, non-denominational statement of The Golden Rule, we'd be better off than we are with something that looks like statutory law.

          Your last sentence there is 100% spot-on. Oh, and nobody said it would be easy. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:40, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

          • And how do you propose to do that other than simply leading by example? Regarding the terminology issue the problem is that when you do have policy pages that use terms in specific ways you can't expect people to use those terms in some other fashion. There maybe norms when it comes to civility in the United States, perhaps even more generally in the English speaking world, but without defining something in policy you can never enforce it.Griswaldo (talk) 17:12, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
            • Well, we could document specific ways to lead by example, and discourage those who interpret the civility policy with a legalistic violation/punishment mentality. That would be a start. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:00, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
              • I'm with you but if 90% of the project isn't this wont amount to anything. I guess that's no reason not to try to lead by example oneself, but it's not encouraging either.Griswaldo (talk) 19:02, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yeah, there's the rub. How does one actually change Wikipedia culture? I suspect it starts by documenting desired behaviors in project-space essays, and then citing those pages while leading by example. Eventually, an essay gets enough credibility to be linked in the "See also" section of WP:CIVIL, and then the ideas can start filtering into the policy itself.

It's not quick, and there's not much payoff for a long time, so it would take serious commitment and patience. At least, that's the easiest path that I can see, from where I'm standing. There are probably a whole lot of us who are on the same page; in order to rally that silent population, maybe it would help to make it a literal "page". -GTBacchus(talk) 19:30, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

If you'd like a concrete example, User:Goldblooded is someone who has great potential, but also has a temper (there's a section on my talkpage). I have a very caustic sense of humor (towards both myself and other people), and I displayed it when he started calling me a troll and an idiot; however, once I saw his block and subsequent unblock I realized that he was someone with some potential and just needed a better atmosphere to work in. Though it would have been easy to ignore him I left him a message on his talkpage to try to help him out, and I think it was helpful for him; he's since made some excellent contributions. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 22:33, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
  • It isn't only new users who are driven from the project due to incivility. Experienced editors, who make up a disproportionately large percentage of edits, have been hounded and harassed, on and off Wikipedia. In many cases this behavior appears to stem from ideological disputes, but then spreads to unrelated topics. It's unfortunate that Wikipedia does so little to address this problem.   Will Beback  talk  23:25, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Valid points here about its not only being new users—my impression is that it's particularly content producers who are running into hostility that makes them pack it in—and about it's not only being people throwing outright insults. I admit, many of the specific examples I have in mind fall under Assuming Bad Faith and Battleground mentality. But. Civility is policy. Open disregarding of policy—with admin support—and on the basis of favoritism—is toxic. The other possible reaction to it is to form one's own clique or start being snide and biased back. There are enough possibilities for friction between editors to gum up the works on a big project like this without gross favoritism. Yngvadottir (talk) 02:02, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Neutral point of view

Hi Jimbo, how much weight does fact have over consensus? the search engine is clearly the primary topic but it seems if anyone makes any stupid little argument it does not pass as consensus. Consensus can easily be gamed which is happening here. Is there a WP: page outlining these rules? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:35, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Fact trumps consensus, but only if there is consensus that it is fact. Looie496 (talk) 15:04, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, it looks like the page got moved after all, so that seems resolved.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:40, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

We have a policy "verifiability, not truth". Information that is verifiable but false, therefore, gets added to Wikipedia, although it's sometimes possible to work around the rule by using the factual error as an excuse to conclude that the source is not reliable. Seems like fact has no weight at all (granted, this is a different kind of use of facts). Ken Arromdee (talk) 21:58, 10 August 2011 (UTC)


I am in email conversation with the user.
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Jimbo, I'm looking to become a better editor; not get barnstars or upvotes or even plus ones from a bot. Is there a way you can help me do that? Also, being from Huntsville, did you ever see the Starship Enterprise there? -Robbie Ottley — Preceding unsigned comment added by Robbie Ottley (talkcontribs) 18:54, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Unsolicited advice from Sharktopus: jump into a group project creating, expanding, and improving articles, if you're not sure of yourself as a beginner. Look at Discussion pages of articles to find WikiProjects you might join. But I would also add the unsolicited advice not to edit here under your real-life identity. Making a commitment to Wikipedia that you are a real person is a fine idea. Making it possible for any kook with a phone book to call you at home is much less so, as many editors sooner or later discover. Sharktopus talk 19:27, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the points, Sharktopus. I would certainly not like to receive calls on my home phone. Too bad I only have one phone number, and that's my cell. #BlogginBoutMyGeneration #XKCDRobbie Ottley (talk) 19:41, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo, I suppose I have to reveal my face before you'll respond to my Wikimedia inquiry. But then again, Einstein is probably hacking my email account so it may be hard. And by the way, when I said Starship Enterprise, I meant the Space Shuttle Enterprise [[35]]. I saw the Enterprise this summer in Washington, and I also spent a lot of time watching Star Trek. It's too bad we don't have Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard around yet, but at least we have Capt. Mark Kelly, Commander of the Space Shuttle Endeavour [[36]]. And it's a good thing the Endeavour returned home, so Kelly could be with his wife. I didn't see Gabrielle Giffords vote on the floor of the House of Representatives to help end the debt ceiling debate, but I saw it on C-Span. In fact, I've seen a lot of politicians, but I've never seen Gabrielle Giffords, and that's how I know that she's closer to life than any of them are.

Robbie Ottley (talk) 19:41, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

People wonder why wikipedia is biased...

This random sample of users speaks for itself. we need to be doing more to recruit conservative and centrist editors. Jimjones4521 (talk) 10:38, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

And just how do we attract "conservative" editors when our website insists on keeping articles on lists of Pokemon and Z-grade Youtube videos?♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:51, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

How was this 'random sample' found? And why should we accept that the result of this particular test is a valid measure of political orientations, or that it's 'centre' is meaningful? What Wikipedia actually needs is less POV-pushing of Western (particularly US-oriented) political and cultural perspectives in articles where they have no particular relevance, and more input from a wider range of contributors. AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:53, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Presumably just be checking transclusions of the PolCompass userbox and entering some users' self-reported orientation. It could be argued the authoritarian right are less prone to displaying such userboxes Jebus989
Probably a case of reality's "well-known liberal bias" [37] Hot Stop talk-contribs 15:11, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Conservatives have Conservapedia where they are editing the Bible to remove liberal influences, I assume that takes up alot of their time and therefore they dont have much time to come to Wikipedia and help us out. As for US-oriented Western POV... for good or for bad when the US has been THE ONLY superpower since 1991, A superpower since 1944, and a world power since 1898, yes the US's view of the world is going to be over-stated IN SECONDARY SOURCES. Being a world power, and a superpower, as the UK was from the late 1700s and then passed by the US makes the world's history and culture heavily reliant on the experiences of those powers. We report how history and culture have been perceived by the world, and history is written by the victors; culture is copied from the strongest; this is going to be especially true in an English version of an encyclopedia. And in conclusion I'd like to point out that US culture isnt so dominate as we'd like to say- Transformers, Pokemon, Michael J. Fox, Pamela Anderson, William Shatner, SONY, Nintendo, Toyota, all those things were not made in the US and yet are part of our world culture.Camelbinky (talk) 15:20, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Oh dear. I don't know where to start. Other than your first sentence, which probably has a grain of truth in it, everything you have written, Camelbinky, serves as nothing more than an indication of why a US-centric bias is so prevalent on Wikipedia. (And BTW, history isn't finished yet) AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:28, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Ahh yes, political compass. Frankly, based on where they put the Canadian political parties, I will say at the start that I consider their results to be compeltely disconnected from the real world. As such, take the chart with a very large grain of salt. That being said, their table shows a rather healthy sampling of "right wing" editors. It seems that what you are really suggesting is that Wikipedia needs more authoritarian editors. Well, Just go to ANI for those.  ;o) But really, the entire "we need more conservative editors" thing is crap, because what you are really saying is "we need more AMERICAN Conservative editors." I am a Canadian conservative, but our scale sits considerably to the left of yours. Doesn't mean I'm not conservative, just means I don't fit well into an America-centric view of the matter. Resolute 15:32, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
The "political compass" is self-selected. Libertarians believe there is a third party with its own ideological axis, but those who are not Libertarians might see a two-party conflict or some other scheme not matching this and not find the compass an interesting meme to spread. Wnt (talk) 16:31, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
It's funny how often a discussion quickly falls into claims of American biazzzz (true or not). It's a global project, but it's the English Wikipedia after all and half our editors are American so I'm not sure what'd you expect out of volunteers. RxS (talk) 15:38, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I find this to be a pretty disappointing discussion all around. Camelbinky, you wrote: "Conservatives have Conservapedia where they are editing the Bible to remove liberal influences, I assume that takes up a lot of their time and therefore they dont have much time to come to Wikipedia and help us out." I think that's a disappointing remark. Suppose someone wrote "Liberals are too busy reading Marx and raising taxes, I assume that takes up a lot of their time and therefore they don't have much time to come to Wikipedia and help us out." You'd rightly perceive that as a bigoted and blanket statement.
I also don't think America or Americanism has much to do with the question at all, which is a valid question: are we attracting thoughtful and kind voices from all sides of the political spectrum, to help ensure that all perspectives are presented accurately and fairly? Camelbinky's remark is a good example of a remark that's so aggressive and empirically wrong, that I can easily imagine a thoughtful political conservative might regard as so immature that, frankly, this project isn't worth participating in. So, I'm disappointed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:11, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
@ Dr. Blofeld - Are you honestly suggesting there are potential editors, with a conservative political viewpoint, who conclude, "I was very interested in contributing to Wikipedia, but I cannot, because it contains lists of Pokemon characters"? Seriously? --SPhilbrickT 16:12, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Or perhaps he is suggesting that liberals are attracted to Wikipedia because of all childish things such as Pokemon that we write about. Conservatives are off doing useful things like creating jobs, or something like that.  :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
On a more serious note, I am sure that the makeup of WP editors, as measured by a number of metrics. does not match society as whole. In a trivial sense, that isn't a goal. We don't need to fret about the under-representation of sub 80 IQ, nor should we be surprised that the irrationally selfish are under-represented. On more serious axes, political spectrum, philosophical spectrum, religious spectrum, science versus arts, etc, modest departures from a mirror of society are fine, but significant departures should be a call to action. That said, I'd urge that all efforts be toward encouraging under-represented groups, not discourage over-represented groups. If there are contributors who want to concentrate on Pokemon, that's fine with me. I don't believe I've ever read such an article, nor do I plan to, but some people do, and if our coverage of Pokemon is "too good" relative to other subjects, let's encourage editors in other subjects, not hamstring the Pokemon editors. Paraphrasing Geno Auriemma, who is occasionally criticized because UConn teams win by large margins, 'It isn't my job to hold back my team, it is your job to make your team better' --SPhilbrickT 16:28, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
I think I agree with all of that. One way to bring in under-represented groups is to not issue blanket insults of them, which is what I was concerned about above. (If there really do exist people who are "editing the Bible to remove liberal influences" they certainly are an extreme minority of people who are politically conservative, and so such an insult is not very welcoming to the kind of editor we should want to recruit.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:36, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Not only "bigoted" but also wildly ignorant - liberals do not read Marx, or at least do not subscribe to his theories, since they are not communists or socialists but rather the originators of free market economy theory and the minimisation of state involvement in business affairs (as opposed to the conservative history of endowing the political establishment with the means of "regulating" enterprise). Such a commentator is likely confusing the political liberal heritage with that with the label applied to those who espouse freedom of expression and thought for society (which might include reading Marx, I suppose) - and therefore is quite probably an American Right Winger, whose grasp of history may not extend back much before the Reagan Presidency and might believe that intellectual freedom should only be extended to those who think as they do. It is a terrible thing, to represent a section of society or political conviction with a few comments based on ignorance of the subject - isn't it? LessHeard vanU (talk) 22:23, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Examining the language used in articles might show some sort of consistent problem -- "extreme right wing" is used in 256 places, while "extreme left wing" is found in 68 places. "Right wing extremist" is found in 226 places, and "left wing extremist" is found in 46 places. "Far right" in 4K pages, "Far left" in 2k pages. There appears, on its face, to be a substantial divergence from having the two mirror image terms being used in anywhere equal likelihood. Collect (talk) 16:34, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I misinterpreted that this was an actual political context. Rather I was referring to the (stereotypical) conservatively minded scholarly middle class gentleman who desires a conservative, traditional encyclopedia and finds that wikipedia is full of fictional in-universe cruft obviously written by teenagers/young men and would be put off,. Of course one can ignore that sort of content and try to focus on your own interests but becoming an active editor on wikipedia you will undoubtedly become aware of it. .. There may very well be many individuals from the Conservative Party itself who play with Lego and watch Pokemon. But I seriously doubt you can manipulate the make up of editors on here. Given that we are attempting to produce a neutral encyclopedia politics should be left out of wikipedia anyway and should certainly not influence the editor in their writing. As long as we as an encyclopedia provide as neutral acoverage of all political parties and even by country as possible using reliable sources then this is all that matters. I would have to say that far more important in determining editorial choices, which in turn have a big influence on our proportion of content/bias towards certain topics is gender and age demographics, but as I recall previously we are unlikely to be able to have much sway on which editors we attract unless dramatic changes are made. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 16:50, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
Said it before but WP: is bound to have what Americans call a Liberal bias as WP is about following centrally decided rules, community and co-operation all of which are more intune with the left and centre than the right. A WP is critised for being too right wing as well as too left wing it seems to be getting it about right.Bevo74 (talk) 17:37, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
The fact is though that political stance should not affect content on wikipedia. WP:NPOV.... ♦ Dr. Blofeld 18:34, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
As an American conservative myself, especially in economic issues, I tend to agree with the idea of a liberal bias. But that may have something to do with age as most WP editors are young (in their 20s or younger). Most conservatives tend to be older and yes, with full time jobs, kids and the like. Almost all of my editing is done on non political and non controversial articles about Mexico, as I live here. But I wouldnt touch politically sensitive topics with a ten foot pole because of the slamming that goes on there similar to that with Jimmy noted above.Thelmadatter (talk) 21:32, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure that Wikipedia has a "liberal bias" - those sorts of claims are often either backed by dubious "statistics" or leveled by people who seem to feel that pretty much everything has a liberal bias. What we do have is an excess of editors whose primary motivation for participating in this project is to advance their specific political agenda (right or left). That problem will be worsened, rather than ameliorated, if we "recruit" editors to the project by political ideology. Interestingly, it's typically very easy to identify agenda-driven editing, but very difficult to actually address it. MastCell Talk 22:10, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The problem is people who think there's a liberal bias. I know some conservatives (shame on me :P), and when you explain to them what NPOV means, they'll understand. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:36, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The reason so many people here are liberal is that liberalism is the correct ideology. People are therefore more liberal than they realize. Wikipedia is fact based, liberalism is fact based. Conservativism is bigotry and hate based. Before someone mentions the difference between the obama and bush articles there is a good reason for the difference. Obama has done nothing wrong as a president. Bush has done nothing right as a president. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:37, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • if you think conservapedia is nutty check out New Conservapedia, Jimjones4521 (talk) 04:06, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Jimbo, I've always been curious abou your political beliefs... Jimjones4521 (talk) 04:07, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Outside of my strong opposition to government censorship, and my support for thoughtful reform of copyright law to ensure the safety of work like ours, and to roll back some of the absurdities that have crept into the system over the years, I think that my personal political beliefs have little relevance for Wikipedia. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:38, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Don't be coy, we all know your third favorite website is :)--Cerejota (talk) 13:41, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Get back to basics people, we are an encyclopedia. Political viewpoints are irrelevant to neutral encyclopedia writing and it is irrelevant what Jimbo's political or religious viewpoints are as they do not affect wikipedia or his running of it. Sometime I wish to transfer User:Keresaspa/Nazi redlinks from German wikipedia. Doesn't mean I agree with Nazi policies, quite the opposite. It means nothing.♦ Dr. Blofeld 13:43, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Look at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh - a user says Andhra Pradesh (275,045 km2, 85 mio pop.) cannot be used for dab, but at the same time he has no problem with Rhode Island (3,140 km2, 1 mio pop.) - what is that, an island? There is a lot of more bias regarding India-related topics. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 16:23, 7 August 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Disambiguation - Off2riorob (talk) 18:23, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Conservative editors are being put off by the presence of Pokémon articles? Really? Someone call the quarantine department, we have a major outbreak of stupidity here today. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:56, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

The fault is 'ours', not 'theirs'

It is amusing to consider sheeting home the blame for Wikipedia biases to personal political views. There’s nothing more entertaining than to propose a bias in someone else and then poking the object of ridicule with a stick to evoke precisely the response we think we’re gonna get.

What is really happening here, though, is that many, many people suspend all rationality when they come to Wikipedia and assume alter-egos who, with straight faces, propose the absurd notion that we can derive from Wikipedia guidelines a complete philosophy on life and human knowledge.

Anyone who really thinks that stating two (or more) sides to a debate is a neutral point of view is seriously deluded. Anyone who thinks that opinions expressed in newspapers, blogs or vanity publications are valid perspectives for an encyclopaedia to repeat, in the absence of the kind of critical judgement that rational people exercise every day, is naïve. Anyone who thinks that Wikipedia guidelines are applied and enforced to make individual judgement unnecessary should pause for a second to consider just how bizarre such an assertion sounds. And yet instances of all three examples occur here daily.

Wikipedia is what WE — not an amorphous ‘they’ — make it by our edits, comments and debates. If there’s a flaw, it’s in the consensus decisions we reach. It’s in our failure to consider more carefully the consequences of our self-important, self-righteous interventions.

In 1776, Thomas Paine published a polemic, ‘‘Common Sense’’, that had him branded as a revolutionist and troublemaker. But do we not, today, regard the freedoms he advocated as our birthright? What does that say about consensus in 18th century Britain and her colonies? In the 1930s Americans broadly agreed that ‘niggers’ were less than human, and that ‘kikes’ trying to escape European fascism were undesirables not to be permitted entry to the US. Do we not now recognise these consensus attitudes as a catastrophic mistake?

How do we prevent ourselves from reaching consensus decisions today that appear to satisfy Wikipedia rules, but that may in fact be quite monstrous impositions of prejudices and biases most of us don’t think of as prejudices and biases (yet)? I suggest that can only happen by taking more time to think about the consequences of what we do here, and to consider that guidelines aren’t an excuse to suspend rational judgement, no matter how much a certain fundamentalist, literalist urge in some WP administrators to enforce such a suspension of rationality and judgement is par for the course.

It is good we debate these matters, but occasionally the fault for what we complain of lies within us, not others. The corollary is that it is you and I who must be willing to change our behaviours if we suspect or complain of political bias, new editors being turned off by Wikipedia bureaucracy, etc. Regards Peter S Strempel | Talk 00:21, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Did you see the Andhra Pradesh VS Rhode Island example. It is bias if people from the US/UK think Rhode Island is worth more than Andhra Pradesh. Bogdan Nagachop (talk) 01:37, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
Bias maybe, but understandably so; I would expect Telegu speakers to make the opposite assessment. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:11, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Political stereotypes such as "liberal" and "conservative" mean nothing in practice given the complexity of the issues which these "sides" argue. Political institutions often focus on a handful of "hot" points to operate their organizations of "like-minded individuals", but the opinions soon differ when other topics come up. Everyone has a different opinion on everything. To claim Wikipedia or the media have a "liberal bias" is nothing more than a paranoic political statement. In both cases, the primary objective is to inform the public with the use of reliable sources. The problem is that most media outlets have historically been partisans of yellow journalism (Unrealiability); which range from opinionated "bias" such as nationalism and racism, to such silly (or serious) topic as whether Bugs Bunny is funnier than Mickey Mouse or vice versa. Various Wikipedia articles are also subject to this unreliability, and the ultimate objective of all serious editors should be that of removing (or whatever best fits the rules) such material from Wikipedia. Best of wishes.--MarshalN20 | Talk 05:51, 11 August 2011 (UTC) That being said, what is truly scary is how some yellow press pretend to be "fair and balanced", when they are just as bad or worse than other "news" channels.

Why is Wikipedia losing contributors? Thinking about remedies...

Hi. As a matter of fact there's a lot of people that when invited to join wikipedia immediately declines because of interaction-related problems:

  • Editing it's too much stressing...
  • There's too much flaming people around...
  • I want to be free to call someone X when he deserves it!
  • There's too much to learn and guidelines to read!

I think that wikipedia could evolve, aiming to simplify and automate some user interaction and avoid most common stress sources. This should be adherent with WP main goal since we're not here to act as a social forum. Is there such an already opened discussion page? By now I'll post here some starting suggestions:

  • slow down & promote sandboxes: Most edit warring take place in a short time and worst behaviours emerge due to very short editing life cycle. Users being able to commit only once an hour/a day/X same article would be encouraged towards first-think-then-post. An intermediate sandbox tool could be very helpful. For example: linux operating systems provide full 'per-user-system-vision'. Similarly everybody could be able to commit whenever he wants to the intermediate sandbox (and view it as user-X immediately). Once an hour/a day/... system will merge the intermediate sandbox with a simple algorithm: edits related to distinc sections immediately merged; edits related to a common section with a X policy (First In First Out/Last In First Out/...).
  • avoid tempting problematic users: There are a lot of people who feel themselves as powerful being able to open accusation against other users. RfC - a simple and polite invite to other editors to join talk page discussion and review - should be everything that users should refer to. Administrative tools should be posted and performed by admin only. Somebody could feel this like an authoritative evolution but it could the chance to dramatically simplify interaction and attract a lot of new users - now shifting towards social networks. Blackvisionit (talk) 14:45, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
I think another possibly overlooked reason is the way the Wiki software works. I have a friend who is a very experienced UI designer and Web developer, and when I try to get him to look at a Talk page discussion, he pretty much gives up and walks away. The interface isn't designed for creating clear threaded discussions, and the text really just runs together. Most of us here are used to it, but I can see his points. Also on the page editing side, people have to remember strange codes and templates in order to do certain things. Common styles ought to just be readily accessible from the interface. Finally, process-oriented tasks, like nominating for deletion, or reporting user behavior shouldn't require so many steps or odd templated processes. It reminds me when I tried to buy a domain name in 1998. You had to find a text-based template from Network Solutions, fill in the proper sections, and email it to them. It wasn't really that hard, but it also wasn't that easy, and if you had any questions, it wasn't something you could immediately get help with. (Also domains were $50/year, which was annoyingly high) I realize that implementing technical fixes for these things will take time and money, and so I understand why it isn't yet done, but it would be nice. -- Avanu (talk) 15:03, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
WP recognized by UNESCO tenwiki:World Heritage could be a great chance to invest in required innovation! Blackvisionit (talk) 15:13, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
  • automatic user restrictions handling: Using an adaptive user access system could handle article protection in a very effective way - like linux. Article is given protection level 7, you've just joined WP at PL 0 and you can only read. You partecipate in WP X times without rising any filter and after a week/a month/... you got an extra point... Basic articles are PL 0 and disputed articles PL 10 so to be edited only by cool editors that didn't raise accusation/wikilove/... filters (= getting a -1 PL). Human interaction could still be granted by an admin that reviews the filter report and decides wheter to assign -1 PL. For example: you name somebody 'nazi' -> filter report -> admin applies -1 PL and extra -10 PL (= you're suspended from editing anything). Blackvisionit (talk) 20:20, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
  • They have already done studies showing how many new editors leave when their first article gets deleted, or even prodded or nominated for deletion. Wikipedia has also lost a lot of articles. A lot of content people formerly edited and read was deemed trivia and fancruft and eliminated from remaining articles, so less people going to the Wikipedia for that. They have now determined that the secondary guidelines for notability are meaningless, and that all articles must meet the GNG of having two references found in reliable sources that count as notable coverage. This means another vast number of articles will be deleted which were previously kept, and more people driven away. Dream Focus 22:23, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
OR/RS and common sense intersect and conflict a lot of times. It should be allowed to split articles: first part has to be completely referenced and readable by any user, second part can be experts-oriented and reference to usually-taken-for-granted advanced topics. Blackvisionit (talk) 23:05, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Give new articles that aren't attacks or copyright violations a brief safe harbour. We talk about not tearing the house down while it's being built, but how can we actually do this? When I go to new pages I find myself franticly rushing to fix articles that are getting tagged for deletion minutes after creation. They aren't even articles I created and it still makes me miserable to see them abandoned after the first big scary speedy tag.
    • Automaticly assign all new articles to a no-search-engine category when first started (to give us and them a little breathing time).
    • Have the default New Pages link start at 15 minutes in (with the ability to then go to 0 minutes if one chooses). Right now the New Pages link goes straight to 0 seconds, with patrollers having to make a conscious choice to click to a later page. Cloveapple (talk) 07:05, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I agree. The funny thing is that there's some kind of "new article" template you can put on a new article to stave off the vultures for 24 hours, but not even I can remember what it is, so new contributors don't have a chance. Wnt (talk) 15:55, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Quality vs. Quantity

Oh, I see, deletionists ruined wikipedia, according to Dreamfocus. Cool. I disagree. :)

I think the crisis, while real, has more to do with a simple thing, too much focus on the bureaucratic tasks of the wiki - which are entirely necessary, don't get me wrong - and not enough focus on article quality.

This was not much of a problem during the period when the wiki was being filled with new articles, with stuff from Britannica public domain, with the basic articles any encyclopedia should have. During that period, bureaucratic tasks often had a direct effect on quality - creating templates and categories, reverting vandalism, deleting cruft, etc. Once those articles were basically in place, and new editors came to add material that was not core encyclopedic stuff, when the project started to deliver on its promise, it was then that bureaucracy stopped having an effect on quality. One of the reasons was that the bureaucracy was spread thin, another was that in desperation, people were being made admins after 3 months and a thousand edits, people who stayed around for two years and left. The project didn't build a quality oriented criteria for its bureaucracy, but a quantity oriented criteria. And this permeates then the content, as its bound to happen. So the focus, for many years has been unwittingly in quantity not quality. Jimbo has, in all justice, always fought this battle (even when we have disagreed on specific content - I can see the common thread), and there have been attempts (such as the reviewing system), to establish quality control tools beyond what we have.

I do not claim to have solutions, but I do have a few ideas - but what is important, in my view, that the fundamental, primary, problem today, at least in en-wiki, is not what we do, how we do it, or with which tools we do it, but that we have, as a community, mostly lost focus that quality is everything. To me, the biggest worry is not that we are losing editors and admins, is that a significant amount of FAs (some very long-standing FAs) are going down to GA and even B or worse quality, and that we hit our FA peak somewhere between early 2007 and early 2008, and have been downhill since. Yes the general number of FAs has climbed in a net sense, but this is misleading, because by definition an FA tends to be so solid that demotion is rarer than in a GA - however, if no FA had ever been demoted (which should be our goal) we would have 4,351 FAs, and not the 3,344 FAs as we do today. We have 1,007 less FAs than what we should have, which means that 1,007 former FA articles lost its rating. This is a 25% decrease in expected quality, using the current incentive structure, tools, etc. We are doing less FA reviews that what we did 3-4 years ago, which means less article quality in general.

I am not arguing we lower the standards for FA, if anything, we should set the bar even higher, I am arguing we need to make quality development a prestigious thing, much more than we do today, much more prestigious than being a crat, a stew, or an ArbCombie & Fitch. It is a problem of the incentives being on the quantity side (the glory of adminship, the sea of DYKs/ITNs/Barnstars etc), rather than the quality side (FARs, GARs, Peer-Reviews etc). Until we do not incentivize the creation of quality, rather than the protection and increasing of quantity, we will not solve this problem. The what, how, and with which tools we do this will emerge if we have a serious discussion on this topic, framed in this way, because we are some of the smartest bunch on the planet - but such creative power will not be unleashed until we frame the question in these terms, and put our energy into it. At least I think so.--Cerejota (talk) 00:38, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Just agreed with User:Cerejota in starting an article about this topic. You're invited in joining Wikipedia:Why_is_Wikipedia_losing_contributors_-_Thinking_about_remedies. Blackvisionit (talk) 03:58, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Better social and collaborative platforms: PIVOTAL for recruitment and retention

Wondering why Wikipedia isn't gaining contributors, Jimbo? Look no further than the intense "I'm shouting into the wind, no one cares and no one will help me" Factor. That is what I hear from new users I try and mentor, again and again. The lack of community is what is slowly killing Wikipedia. The MediaWiki platform, at present, is fair to poor at supporting collaboration, and moribund WikiProject corpses are increasingly blocking the path forward toward a new paradigm for a more collaborative Wikipedia. WikiProject History’s collaboration of the month is listed as October…October 2007, from the previous decade. Because I have been working on writing and improving Wikipedia's coverage of the history of Latin America, recently creating an article on Cuban revolutionary and close José Martí collaborator Juan Gualberto Gómez and working on several new Latin America-related articles in my userspace, I really wanted to resuscitate collaboration to aid my endeavors. My target: WikiProject Cuba. I spent over a month, with all the enthusiasm I could muster, posting on the Project discussion pages, posting to talk pages of past contributors to WikiProject Cuba, doing everything I possibly could. Then I waited another additional month and not one person showed interest; despite my best efforts have been unable to revive WikiProject Cuba. It turns out I had wasted time just shouting pointlessly into the void. It is a lonely, sinking sensation, very disappointing and defeating and we can't expect me or anyone else to devote much energy to unfun drudgery of this sort, calling out into the wind. It is time to face reality that a lot of the old pillars of the community that created and sustained the most important WikiProjects in 2006-2008 have left Wikipedia, and the old pathways for collaboration sadly collapsed behind them in many cases. This is why I have proposed no-muss, no-fuss, informal collaboration pages replace some of the most rigomortis-ed WikiProjects.

All of my efforts vis a vis improvements, and proposing changes, to Wikipedia, come from a deep love—an almost evangelical fervor for—Wikipedia and all Wikimedia projects as a force for good. I will never leave Wikipedia no matter what. But we must put ourselves in the shoes of a brand new, yet talented, editor approaching en.wikipedia for collaboration on an article rewrite. Among editors, especially the newer editors, WikiProjects create the impression that collaboration is ongoing when it often isn’t. Thus, it helps prevent new blood from launching new collaborations, stifling the collaborative environment that improves articles, fosters peace and understanding, and retains talented writers. The absence of a cordial, supportive, collaborative platform hurts retention and I think it’s fair to say this absence often leaves behind a caustic “lone wolf” culture that can repel women from the project as well as spurning a lot of non-autistic males .

The Wikimedia team has understood for years that in order to close the startling gender gap on the one hand and the general retention rate on the other, editing must be a much more social experience. The potential “whittling down” each year of our pool of talented writers is the greatest threat to Wikipedia, as we must increase the number of editors, especially expert editors, to be able to fix the sprawling hellscape of weak, inaccurate and incomplete articles that drag down the project (especially in the area of the social sciences and humanities, which Sue Gardner correctly pointed out at the 2011 Wikipedia in Higher Education summit). Retaining good people is the greatest danger to en.wikipedia’s success; though edit warring gets more attention, WP:DONTBEADICK and dispute resolution is crucial to the extent it effects retention of editors. We really need to keep good editors around, and I believe a more social, collaborative platform would go a long way toward that goal. I would like to see a transition to what the Wikimedia Strategic Plan to 2015 foresees as “topical groups” based on editing interests; just the newness of it would draw people in to give Wikipedia a second chance. A more social platform that fosters (and not repels) collaboration is essential, PIVOTAL, to recruitment and retention, and getting there (a better MediaWiki platform) will require a ton of commitment and resources from the Wikimedia Foundation; this isn't something fixed by the typical Wikipedia volunteerism {{sofixit}} response, it is a room and stem issue. I can only hope the Wikimedia Foundation hears us and acts. NickDupree (talk) 05:16, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

I agree with the above for the most part, but there is another way to tackle this that I have almost never seen discussed on this, the most visible page in Wikipedia. I agree that people (male or female) need to be part of a community in order to have a long term commitment to it. What community there is, is fragmented at best. New and existing editors should not only have ways to interact online (making Wikimedia more socially interactive technologically speaking) but I have not seen serious promotion online to the 35+ Wikimedia chapters that exist around the world. I, for one, would have never found Wikimedia México if I had not happened to come across a photo of a meeting in Commons. These chapters, student clubs, programs such as GLAM, will not immediately fix interaction problems, nor do they substitute some kind of online interaction within the Wikipedia domain. However, it does not help that pages related to these organizations, which offer promise for a long-term stable community of supportive volunteers, are "banished" to domains outside in the and with no easy way to find information about any of these programs. One simple quick way to address this would be to put links to chapters and student clubs on the welcome message for newbies and perhaps a message about these on all userpages once in a while (yes, I know it is spam, but the benefits outweigh the drawbacks IMHO).Thelmadatter (talk) 13:29, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your comment, Thelmadatter. Your reply reminds me of a related point, that readers of Wikipedia often don't realize that Wikipedia is volunteer-written, and may not even know there is a community there to involve themselves in. Countless times, new readers have come into the en.wikipedia IRC Help channel looking for "the management," having no clue that me and the other helpers are random volunteers and part of a community. In short, Adrien Chen had a point in his recent piece: "new editors aren't showing up at the same rate. After years at the top result on practically every Google search, Wikipedia has lost its urgency. Kids who were in 8th grade in 2004 have gone through their entire high school and college careers consulting (i.e. plagiarizing) Wikipedia; to them, Wikipedia is a dull black box—editing it seems just a bit more possible than making revisions to Pride and Prejudice."
The MediaWiki platform should engage people in the community, or at least make it apparent that a community exists, with links that go straight to active collaborations, and perhaps even consider something big, like listing major authors of an article via some sort of template, like the "Maintained by" Template, but on the article itself. It is clear to me that big changes are needed to keep Wikipedia fresh, and tinkering along the edges or fiddling endlessly with WP:THISALLCAPSPOLICY vs. WP:THATALLCAPSPOLICY while Rome burns is inadequate. Wikipedia faces a formidable challenge to stay relevant, and clinging to our own variations on the rigid Encyclopedia Britannica model, we risk, as User:Aprabhala noted in the NYT: “it is quite possible that for the 18-year-old of today that Wikipedia looks like his father’s project. Or the kind of thing his father might be interested in.” I would like to see Wikipedia trying bold experiments with social and collaborative tools, acknowledging that WE ARE A SCHOLARLY, ENCYCLOPAEDIC FORM OF A SOCIAL NETWORK in competition for eyes with other social media sites.
NickDupree (talk) 20:29, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't think it's the intention or purpose of Wikipedia to be "a scholarly, encyclopaedic form of a social network," or any form of social network. This is supposed to be an encyclopedia, as an end unto itself. Since it is a collaborative product, it does require some social interaction to produce it (though sometimes the interaction instead interferes with producing it.) If someone is looking for a "social network" instead of an encyclopedia, maybe this is not really their project. I think the goal needs to be to attract new editors to Wikipedia without losing sight of the purpose of the project. I do think it would help to make what an editor (especially a non-technical person like me) sees when he/she opens up an editing window a little less daunting than it sometimes is -- but I don't know if that's the most serious issue. Neutron (talk) 23:23, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Unless there's a Secret Plan to which I am not privy to somehow turn for-profit and do an IPO, Wikimedia projects are not "in competition with" social media sites, and I find any effort to make us into such things repugnant in the extreme. This resembles the more bogus efforts of my youth to make each and every university class and subject matter "relevant" at all costs; a pathetic failure, by and large, however noble the intention. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:29, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
While Im not against recruiting youngsters... after all, I am overseeing the organizational meeting of Club Wikipedia at Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, Mexico City today (wish me luck!). However, there is nothing wrong with having the "father's generation" working with Wikipedia. After all, its the old folks like me (47 years young) that often have the patience and ability to do good research and not just copy/paste.Thelmadatter (talk) 16:46, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
NickDupree, this is likely the worst, most inaccurate description of what Wikipedia is, or should be, that I have ever read: ... WE ARE A SCHOLARLY, ENCYCLOPAEDIC FORM OF A SOCIAL NETWORK in competition for eyes with other social media sites. You may wish this to be true, but I know of no evidence that it is true. The 'ratings' boxes, the 'wikilove' buttons, the 'like' tabs are all backward steps away from encyclopedic reliability and towards facile, juvenile (which is not necessarily related to chronological age) and superficial popularity contests. The contributors you gain by these methods will be at the cost of anyone with anything serious to add to the project. Bielle (talk) 18:05, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
Changing only a single word from a recent issue of The Onion: "[Wikipedian]s need to tailor their products to a younger audience—for example, by misspelling words, omitting or abusing punctuation, and keeping articles to a manageable 140-character length." --Orange Mike | Talk 20:41, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
two cents: I think that it's dangerous to assume that the kinds of contributors who might be introduced to/enticed to stick around the Wikipedia community through new tools like rate this article or wikilove are somehow inferior, malicious, or unserious. I'm currently working with the Foundation's Summer of Research, and have been spending a lot of time looking over contribution histories of recent newbies. We all know that the number of account creators who go on to become Wikipedians is an almost vanishingly small percentage of the total accounts created to begin with, and those who soldier on face some serious hurdles: user talk pages full of warning templates, getting reverted, struggling with markup complexity, trying to find help resources, grokking policy, finding "active" collaborations or even just someone to talk to... and that's not counting IPs who make good-faith contributions, or avid readers who have NO CLUE that there's a whole community living 'behind' the encyclopedia (even today, I have to explain this to people all the time when they ask me about my research). From what I've seen, most of the people who make a few edits and then give up are NOT vandals: many of them are smart, interested, geeky people who could be productive contributors and valued community members. But, for whatever reasons, most of them don't stay. I believe the right design interventions, rolled out at the right time WITH community input and buy-in, can help with these issues: can make it easier to edit, easier to interact, easier to find who and what you're looking for and easier to BECOME a full-fledged Wikipedian. The kind of features and tools that are being considered by the Foundation (which I do NOT speak for) aren't IMHO intended to dumb things down, or Facebook-ify Wikipedia, or make it trendy and sexy: they're intended to simplify certain things that are probably harder than they need to be, and to potentially bring in the kind of people that WOULD edit productively, but are stymied, bored or frustrated by the (bureaucratic and technical) complexity of editing. A lot of online collaboration platforms include "social media"-like features that make it easier to communicate, navigate and work together without turning into Facebook. A Wikilove button need not be a slippery slope to a Farmville plugin :) Jtmorgan (talk) 20:59, 11 August 2011 (UTC)
My position is closer to what Jtmorgan is saying than the unhelpful caricatures of my position above his post. Please note that nowhere in my suggestions have I mentioned Facebook or Facebookifying Wikipedia. The "social and collaborative tools" we need, are not "WikiLove" or anything of the sort; a "WikiLove button" or other "buttons" collaboration.
What I am trying to get at is: 1) Wikipedians are at their best when collaborating, pooling their abilities and knowledge to maximize the strengths of each while editing away the weaknesses of each, all for a goal greater than one person. By far, the most productive writing I've seen has emerged from collaborative editing experiences.
2) Wikipedia is at its worst when collaborative editing has become more a rarity than an every day avenue for building an encyclopedia, and things break down into an increasingly isolated and "lone wolf"-type environment, most of us alone shouting into the vacuum, no community as simultaneously internet culture moves toward social experiences.
Unless we can bring back 1 and minimize 2, retention will continue to be a problem, especially among women, or men who don't see their writing going into the sterile void of loneliness as their idea of fun. Look no further than the piece at the bottom of this Signpost In the news... "I believe that more women would be involved in editing Wikipedia if it were a social activity, rather than an insular one, so I hosted a WikiWomen party at my house to make the experience collaborative." Wake up and realize, Wikipedia should be a collaborative, social experience from the get-go without heroic measures required. Making it naturally collaborative is pivotal for recruitment and retention! Simply, I believe that updating the MediaWiki platform to encourage community and collaboration in certain small but powerful ways could go a LONG way to making editing Wikipedia a more collaborative experience, and that experience has nothing to do with "WikiLove," "buttons" or "Facebook." —NickDupree (talk) 06:09, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
I apologize if you feel we are caricaturing your position, Nick; but for a lot of us, "social experience" smells like a euphemism for Facebookification, and the introduction of the loathsomely smarmy Wikilove was pitched in a manner which sounded a lot like what you have been saying. (Full disclosure: I've been a paid writer since 1984, married to another writer, and there is no less social experience than writing. I think of much of what I do here other than my admin duties as writing and re-writing.) --Orange Mike | Talk 13:26, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
While I don't mind Wikilove, I don't see it as a constructive step toward fixing any of the various root problems with the MediaWiki platform supporting collaboration. —NickDupree (talk) 18:00, 12 August 2011 (UTC)
WikiLove is neither a problem nor a solution. The problem is that those who harshly criticize someone who's acting in a good faith can't be bothered to start out with an acknowledgement and thanks (when warranted) for previous contributions. It's the immediate, nonstop nastiness of these attacks that's appalling and turns people off. The people who make these attacks also seem to have a problem with admitting their own mistakes, with apologizing, and with other social skills most of us take for granted. Even that is tolerable if they aren't in some perceived position of power, responsibility and/or esteem. iow, call them Janitors instead of Admins, and don't put them in charge of deletions (other than the obvious "Joey Siefert goes to Middleton Middle School and he's a jerk because he stole my lunch money." new articles). Let them tag articles with "stub" and perhaps practice writing (or copying) helpful, encouraging notes on the author's Talk page suggesting possible reliable sources. There are no wrong people, just the right people in the wrong jobs. For example, someone compulsive and competitive could usefully work on adding and filling out infoboxes, but letting them 'review' new articles for notability for deletions is always going to end in tears. And here we are. (talk) 18:31, 12 August 2011 (UTC)

Some baklava for you!

Baklava - Turkish special, 80-ply.JPEG Carrotkit (talk) 04:41, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

20 million all-language articles by November 2011

13-Aug-2011: I know you have encouraged a focus on quality, over quantity, but the growth of new articles, in all languages combined, is proceeding at over 6,000 new articles each day (currently: 45,080,706), beyond the thousands of non-notable pages also being deleted. At this rate, we will see another major milestone soon:

  • 20,000,000 articles (all languages) by early November 2011.

That means people can type in 20 million topic names and get some kind of structured information about their subject, in their language(s). Of course, with redirects, there are already more than 20 million logged phrases, but the "official count" of 20 million separate articles will be a count that will be widely viewed, by many experienced readers.

With all the other busy activities, it is easy to get distracted and miss the history in the making, then look back as the moment has passed. So, instead, we can take some time, during the next 3 months, to appreciate the impact of having 20 million formatted articles, in all these hundreds of languages, by November of this year (probably 8 November 2011). As various complications continue to limit the rate of growth, it will probably be another 5 years to pass, before seeing a similar milestone, of 30 million all-language articles, perhaps in 2016. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:27, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

I actually bet we will see 30 million much sooner than that as growth accelerates in the languages of the developing world.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:37, 13 August 2011 (UTC)
You are probably right about reaching 30 million sooner, and even English Wikipedia is reviving, from slower growth last year at 80% of 2009, while growth in 2011 is up to 83% of 2010. I am suspecting English Wikipedia will reach a "steady state" such as 300 new valid articles per day, forever. However, due to seasonal factors or bulk-loading of many articles, the monthly counts are likely to oscillate up/down around the long-term article-creation rate. Plus, the notices are helping to translate articles across languages. Physicists have noted the impact of Galileo's final writings was not just the Latin texts, but the common Italian texts which made him the "Father of Modern Physics". I recently wrote "Recovery of Aristotle" which is another famous example of translating texts into the common language(s) of other people. Helen Keller learned the manual alphabet first (after W-A-T-E-R), then learned Braille, and writing block text, and learned to create typewritten pages, which led to books in English and other languages; hence, her astounding international fame. Multiple languages was a key concept. -Wikid77 16:43, 13 August, revised 06:15, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

Check it out

Jimbo, you really have to do something about your Admins. They are corrupt and ruining your site, even going so far as to blacklist websites that raise concern, so that other users can't refer you to those sites. Surely you have power over them. In particular, users Either way and MLauba--Valkyrie Red (talk) 00:16, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

See this essay. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:24, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Imperial Steward, surrounded by Imperial Bureaucrat and Imperial Admins
  • Ending the imperial admins (emperor-admins): In AD 64, Nero "fiddled" while Rome burned. There have been numerous discussions to remove troublesome admins, and many of us have heard, or seen, the horror stories. Way back in 2006, the Swedish Wikipedia changed to 1-year term limits for admins, where each quarter (4 times per year), they hold admin re-elections requiring a 75% approval (translate Swedish policy "sv:WP:Administratörer"). Otherwise, their adminship expires at the end of the election month. The reason for re-elections, with 1-year terms, was to reduce long-term hostilities where all troublesome admins formerly had to be (unpleasantly) debated, and even when removed, the bad feelings (perhaps from their friends) seemed to be poisoning other efforts. Instead, the re-elections do not need to "dish the dirt" in analyzing the past admin behavior, just count the negative votes to exceed 25%. Also, some admins tire and can easily drop out at the 1-year cycles. As I understand it, Swedish WP just treats it as a pure vote, so people are not required to explain the "horrid reason" to remove each admin. Please note, Swedish WP still has the emergency removal of severely rogue admins, just as English Wikipedia has desysoped several admins, but the Swedish WP allows the 1-year "clean-sweep" to quietly remove troublesome admins, with fewer unpleasant discussions. When users here discussed an admin re-election for enwiki, there were several intense (severe) complaints of "too much voting" but I think it could work well, especially fast for the well-known admins. However, there is the danger that a lesser-known, cooperative admin might lose a re-election, so I suggested extending terms to 2 years, if applicable, to reduce the number of re-elections each year. Another fix might be to adjust the process to protect lesser-known admins from a small band of enemies in a small voter turnout (perhaps have a minimum quorum of total votes, before the vote would apply). Just as with a hung jury, allow a re-re-election to seek more votes to reach the quorum count. History has shown (numerous times), "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" and hence, many societies have changed to using term-limits rather than the imperial "royal lifetime appointments".
However, the same concept of term limits could be used to control per-article edit-limits, where a single user cannot continue to edit an article every day for 2 years, so perhaps force a "timeout" and reject the editor's changes to that article/talkpage for a period of 3 or 4 months, after perhaps 6 months of editing. Use similar automatic term limits for other activities. No one needs to obsess in the same role on Wikipedia, for every month of every season of every year. -Wikid77 (talk) 06:34, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
The quorum/min vote number thing is a good idea.Volunteer Marek (talk) 07:19, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
That crazy quorum idea might be a brilliancy! Instead of having tiresome arguments trying to prove that editor X is a POV-pushing SPA so they need to be topic banned from (say) editing articles related to race and intelligence, there should be a default limit to the number of edits per certain categories of topics per month. A central discussion could increase that limit for known-good editors, and POV pushers would need to get the community to actively endorse their edits to continue! It's nice to dream... Johnuniq (talk) 09:39, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Meanwhile, I looked at a fairly large number of editors (recalling the Climate Change stats etc.) and produced a very tentative concept at User:Collect/counting edits. In addition to a brake on users making more than (say) 10 edits per week on a given article, perhaps a "hard brake" on editors exceeding these numbers on any contentious article might work? Clearly allowing for a 'crat to waive the limit for vandalism edits etc. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:23, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Of course this once again increases the benefit of socking for POV-pushers. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:07, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
It would make them work a bit harder -- I do not think Wikipedia has any real means to totally prevent "alternate personas" currently - too many bad accusations are made at SPI (generally the worst ones are those made just because there is a content dispute), while the major abusers of "alternate personas" are not generally found. The principle here is that this system furnishes one means to identify some who clearly "over edit" a single article, and to discourage them from such practices. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:17, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Yeah also lets hold strawpolls with battered fried butter sticks, petting zoos, and coverbands. I like this here place not being a democracy. I rather focus our energies on developing quality content and then worry about the rest. It is not power corrupting absolutely that has lowered our expected FA output by 25% in 3 years. It is the over-thinking and less editing that has. If anything, the problem we have is that we make it too hard to be admin, hence making it special and political, rather than what it used to be, not a big deal.

The only place I think politics are needed are the Foundation, Stewards, and Arbcom. The only truly corrupting power is Oversight. Admins are just editors with cooler tools and the ability to delete and block. Yeah its bad in bad hands, but nothing that is not self-correcting.--Cerejota (talk) 15:43, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

The gist of this thread seems to be that Wikipedia editors are spending too much time writing articles and not enough time voting on RFAs and bureaucratic procedures. I would disagree.   Will Beback  talk  21:36, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Support I agree entirely. :P--Cerejota (talk) 15:26, 15 August 2011 (UTC)