User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 90

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

You are known for being strongly against advertise. I know you don't hate them but you believe in Wiki is a sacred place or unique that it doesn't have advertise. Don't get me wrong. I'm not supporting advertise nor do i care about it. But here is the thing i love wiki (in wiki projects in any language, basically overall wiki) and i'm trying to help it better. As you can see knowledge is just too much even with English Wikipedia, the leading way ahead of any other languages, is still long way until finish everything in human knowledge. Any other language wikis that behind English wikis are even more so much behind. At this rate, it would take other languages wikis thousands of years until they finish all human knowledge. Why English Wikis are so ahead of everything? Because the United States are the richest country in the world, according to GDP overall. In most Asian and Africa countries are the way that at the bottom. Why? How can you ask them to help writing something while they could starve to deaths? It just doesn't work, people simply don't care because they are freaking poor. They have a long way to go until they do care about building some kinds of knowledge for their descendants. Even after they have enough food to eat, they still have better things to do than contribute to Wikis. Countries with high developing Wikis are countries are consider as rich country where they have a pretty good and leisure life.

Plus in the economy crisis as today, not many people has money to donate. I bet the donation money is getting lower since 2008 right? So let say if you allow advertise on wikis then you would get huge amount of money. Look at facebook, all they do is allowing advertise and they made billions. I believe Wikis can do the same thing. You can have an option for people to hide ads if they don't want to see them. Tell you what, most people just simply don't care whether or not if there is ads. Do you think if wikis allowed ads, many people would stop contribute, donation, or trust wikis? No. It's not going to lower wiki reputation. Perhaps because of ads, it could attract more people into wikis. Anyway my main point is you can spend that billions of dollars from ads companies on the poor countries in Africa and Asian. I'm pretty sure it would boost the growth of Wikis to the point that we have never seen before. Perhaps we would cut the time require to write all the human knowledge of any languages to about a hundred years instead of thousand years. I don't see anything bad to ads. I think ads would really give Wikis a BIG GIANT LEAP. I even think that many more people will love wikis more when they know all the money you got from ads, you will spend them all for the poor. I think allowing ads even give you better reputation and Wiki overall better reputation and development. And again i'm saying this because i want wiki to be at its best and i want it has enough information in all languages in the world to serve all people in the world not just English speaking people. So as it is right now English wikis are the only way considered as efficient enough, still has a long way to go but efficient enough.Trongphu (talk) 03:45, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

English Wikipedia is so much bigger because 1. it's the oldest wiki, 2. it's the language that most of the WMF staff speak and 3. there are, as you say, a disproportionate amount of English-speakers on the internet. It's both a blessing and a curse that is the focus of most of the WMF's attention. We have almost 4 million articles written here, many of which are great. On the other hand, this means the WMF sometimes exercises an iron grip over what we do and it's major volunteers previous three words added at 03:07, 7 December 2011 (UTC)periodically subjects us to patronizing comments which show utter disdain for the people who give them jobs something to do and display a complete lack of ability to recognize when they're in over their heads and other people know what they're doing better than them. As to ads; your points are all valid, but I think we're set in our ways without ads. The lack of ads, especially popups, was one of the things that initially attracted me to the site, and I (personally) would like to keep it that way. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:20, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
  • English WP leadership is a relative illusion and due to banning ads: The so-called "leadership" of English Wikipedia depends on which topics are viewed. For sports, English WP has perhaps over 1.5 million articles, including more than 64,000 articles on footballers (soccer - see: WP:How many footballers). However, for data about towns in Austria, the German Wikipedia has far more details. For towns in Turkey, the Turkish Wikipedia has more details. The common Swahili term for "elephant" is "tembo" but the Swahili Wikipedia will also note "ndovu" (article sw:Ndovu) as a common Swahili word to name elephants. However, regarding Bruce Springsteen, there is a Swahili article "sw:Asbury Park" about Asbury Park, New Jersey for African interest about the Jersey shore, so the idea of leadership is relative.

    English Wikipedia has extremely limited information about any famous corporations, due to avoiding the spread of commercial advertising. Compare the amount of non-ad general topics in Wikipedia versus the knol pages in Google Knol, which has allowed more commercial topics and has contained many, many thousands of advert pages. If English WP allowed more advertising, it might cause more corporations or companies to try to force numerous articles to mention their products. Currently, English WP is not where general consumers go to get current information about buying recent products. Hence, companies-in-the-know do not see Wikpedia as a consumer forum, where people are anxious to read ads about which products might suit their needs. By comparison, the Google Search results (for each language) will list some commercial websites, so paid-ads in Google can expect readers who are already searching for commercial products, rather than the ancient history of some topic, as in Wikipedia. -Wikid77 16:43, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
Well your second paragraph makes sense, unlike the first one. Progress. pablo 19:55, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
I was wondering if I was the only one confused; notwithstanding, my comment on the WMFthe link amended 03:07, 7 December 2011 (UTC) above still stands. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 21:24, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
  • I was explaining that English WP is not leading in every topic, such as information about towns in Austria, which are better covered by German Wikipedia, or towns in Turkey with more details in the Turkish Wikipedia. Plus to read about Asbury Park in New Jersey (USA), readers of Swahili Wikipedia already have some information. Beyond those, the Japanese Wikipedia is certainly gigantic enough for many topics, but when checking enwiki coverage of towns and topics for India, there are many hollow areas for improvement, where "gurdwara" and "Trichy" are examples of trying to expand coverage about India in English Wikipedia. Wikipedia's vast store of information involves all the other-language Wikipedias, as well as enwiki. -Wikid77 00:20, revised 00:27, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Well of course! Each language of Wikipedia has something topic that better cover than English Wikipedia just like Vietnamese Wikipedia has more stuffs about Vietnam than en Wikipedia, same thing to China and many other different languages... But well everyone has to admit that English Wikipedia is the largest overall. English Wikipedia is leading in the amount of article and the depth of average article. In general, English Wikipedia is way ahead of any other language of Wikipedia.Trongphu (talk) 17:45, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it is. And as I've said above, I'm not sure smaller projects would really like the WMF scrutiny under which we operate; per what I said above, it's a very double-edged sword to be so big. Comments like the one I linked above would be rather demoralizing to a small upstart project (not that it isn't maddening to us here, but we can absorb the shock a bit better). The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:51, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Point of fact here, TBOTNL, are you aware that David Gerard is not an employee of the Foundation? Your link seems to be implying that he speaks for the WMF in some way. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 20:58, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I stand somewhat corrected; I think I misread his userpage and mixed up my mailing lists. My bad on that; I've somewhat amended it. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:07, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Trongphu, it ain't gonna happen. In the moment wikipedia allows ads, I'll quit. I'm not gonna be a corporate slave, and I certainly won't volunteer to be one without compensation. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:43, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

More to the point, Trongphu, Wikipedia aims to be neutral. Advertising, in advocating you to buy something, do something, or think a certain way is - by definition - not neutral. The two just do not go together. WilliamH (talk) 11:08, 6 December 2011 (UTC)


Jimbo, do you think administrator attrition is causing editor attrition or more the other way around, on balance? Are there any ways that the more quickly declining admin ranks could be caused by decreased editor retention? There are several reasons that fewer admins cause editor biting. Consider how fast WP:ANI is archived compared to about five years ago during the fastest growth period. Is there any reason to believe that admins make better decisions under one fifth the available amount of time? If it were entirely up to you, how would you prefer Foundation resources be allocated towards editor retention and admin retention, in terms of percentages of the entire budget? My opinion is 25% for admins and 1% for editors. (talk) 12:59, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

As neither admins or non-admin editors get any resources that I am aware of, dividing zero as you suggest should not be difficult. Personally, I think the barriers of entry are higher standards (thus, anyone cannot just edit it, at least for an article which is watched, without a significant risk of being reverted for good cause) and too much drama (the subsequent condescending note or block notice left on talk). I happen to agree that we are no longer just looking for bodies with fingers, and it is more important to concentrate on keeping experienced editors (who get bored or offended, and leave) and giving them resources to do their jobs.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:32, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, but in fact according to [1] the foundation has decided to devote considerable resources to editor retention, which seems foolish to me as it has leveled off to a slope sustainable for decades, while all the admins will be gone in less than seven years at the rate they've been leaving. I hope that Jimbo will be able to address the question. (talk) 15:08, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Section break to indicate the question above remains unanswered

I added the section break in hopes that Jimbo will not miss the original question above. (talk) 07:10, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Getting helpers for admins: I have been wondering if more users could be asked to be helpers for admins, such as researching troublesome user actions or other ways to compile diff-link reports of evidence needed by admins. Perhaps we need WP:WikiProject Admin Helpers, to formalize a group of people who could help admins collect and prioritize issues, without having admin powers. Also, the processes such as WP:Mentoring could be expanded where over-zealous users might be coached into milder actions, rather than escalate conflicts to the point where admin intervention seems necessary. Some frantic users need to make fewer edits each day. For requests to change protected pages, some requests are unreasonable and some admin helpers could write the long explanations when requests are excessive. I think a lot of admin time is consumed for explaining "no". Many times, I have seen an admin warn, "Both of you need to be more civil or everyone will risk consequences" as an indication that the admin is too busy to check if one user is more hostile than the other. Perhaps helpers could investigate a conflict and report (with diff-links) to admins that one user was causing 90% more of the problems than another. Those admin helpers might show evidence that they are becoming qualified to become future admins. -Wikid77 16:45, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
There have been repeated proposals for "administrators junior grade". Most have fallen over the question of unbundling admin powers. If you want to start an association of helpers, feel free and be bold. Just do it, don't ask for anyone's approval. There are enough friendly or tolerant admins that it shouldn't be a problem there, and just avoid the others. I am an admin, but I rarely use my bits except in connection with my own content work, with which I am much too busy to be involved in AN/I or similar drama. However, I understand there are other administrators who might be more useful to you.--Wehwalt (talk) 16:51, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
I proposed a concept I called Tour of Duty. It wasn't exactly "admin helpers", but that was one of the aspects. It hasn't gone anywhere, but perhaps I haven't reached out to the right people. I still think it has merit, and could be used to accomplish some of the goals you mention.--SPhilbrickT 13:43, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
That's all we need is more people that think racking up A7s on prospective contributions at the New Pages front gate is akin to a first-person shooter... I can't imagine a worse name for an Administrative Helper program. What is needed is for "Quality Control" to become a formal function, like "Content Creation" and to separate this from the banhammer, which is related to yet another function, called something like "Rules Enforcement." I don't see any critical lack of Quality Control workers, or in the number of people wielding banhammers... They need to be better disciplined to stop chasing off new Content Contributors. WMF is on target here. Carrite (talk) 20:11, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh, heavens. Rather than speculating, try looking and reading what actually happens on project. The project is losing editors and admins for precisely the same reason: it's given itself over to bullying. I cannot think of a page that I've worked on (and this includes topic areas that ought to be utterly innocuous and non-controversial, like taoism-related articles) where I don't run across some 'experienced' editor with chip on his shoulder (and a bad attitude about it) harassing everyone: newbies, other seasoned editors, admins who try to intervene. On controversial topics such editors are the norm, and they band together in gangs. Most talk page discussion immediately (and by immediately I mean within roughly five posts total) cease dealing with the topic entirely and focus efforts on enforcing silence from the other side through an endless stream of policy-bashing, threats of sanctions, incivilities and etc. It's an idiotic way to create an encyclopedia.

What's happening on Wikipedia is precisely what Aristotle was thinking about when he declared that democracy was the worst possible form of governance. The project is dominated by a smallish contingent of editors who are excessively driven by emotion and ego: they get so wrapped up in their own personal goals that they are willing to do just about anything to satisfy those ends. It doesn't matter whether they have actual content-goals or whether they are merely fighting to preservation a particular self-image (and in fact, as far as I can tell, the former is in most cases a function of the latter); they turn every discussion into an extended psycho-drama, where they obsess about the trials and tribulations of being forced to work with "those editors" and about how "those editors" are ruining the project and must be dealt with. Reasonable discussion has no attraction for them, because reasonable discussion is nowhere near as viscerally satisfying as abuse, and (given that reasoning is not exactly their strong suit anyway) far less sure in its outcome.

Aristotle is not the be-all-and-end-all of political theory - there are numerous strategies to ameliorate this particular problem of democracy that he was not aware of - but still, once the psycho-drama has been institutionalized as the decision-makling norm it becomes nearly impossible to uproot. It's a fact of political life that consensus-style decision-making of any sort cannot work where participants are allowed to scream at each other, and yet once it has been allowed (as it has been here for years) the best screamers will scream bloody murder to defend their right to scream. And why shouldn't they? Screaming at people is an effective political tool if it's allowed, so forcing them to be civil and reasonable would disempower them.

Let me just point out that among those few people I know of in the academic social sciences who have given wikipedia more than a cursory thought, it's a joke. High-sounding ideals masking a swamp of adolescent pride and petulance. Don't get me wrong, I love the ideals (which is the main reason I bother with the project at all), but the implementation is so piss-poor that it's laughable. Well, if one takes the right perspective on it it is, otherwise it's just intolerable. You'd retain editors and admins more effectively if more people had a sense of perspective and an appreciation for how ludicrous it all is, but since they don't, you're going to continue to lose them until the project is pwned by whomever is left. Keep your fingers crossed that the last man standing is calm, reasonable and far-thinking… Face-wink.svg --Ludwigs2 17:04, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

Ludwigs, if you approach all topics like you've approached the discussion at WT:NOT then it really doesn't surprise me that you're not finding much joy in being an editor here. Wikipedia is not a democracy - it relies on consensus decision making not on simply being in a majority. Part of this requires accepting that your views do not always match with that of the consensus and either working with the consensus or moving on. Thryduulf (talk) 17:16, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
See what I mean? This is a standard tactic on project - ignore the content discussion and try to suggest that the editor raising the issue is somehow flawed. What Thryduulf said in this post is absolutely unnecessary for a rational content discussion - if he's correct, consensus will win out and the point I'm raising there will be forgotten, if he's incorrect then consensus will support my position and his will be forgotten. The only value to comments like the above is to shift the discussion away from rational considerations onto emotional ones: in this case, trying to invoke feelings of shame and fears about in-group conformity. What he said, frankly, is the intellectual equivalent of telling me my mother dresses me funny.
And please keep in mind that this is not animosity brought on by a long-term dispute. He has been saying this to me since the second or third post he made on the topic. He is unwavering in his consistent emotional gambits to get me to be quiet.
Now that's fine. I'm an adult, and I can usually cope with childish tactics. But not many people have the emotional resilience to sit through endless minor pisspot behavior of this sort, and people who don't see the humor in it the way I do are simply going to get frustrated at the adolescence of it and leave. Hell, even I get frustrated by it at times. So we're back to the point I made above: we're losing editors and admins because no one wants to deal with endless streams of personal assaults fly out of everyone's mouths here. Take it as you will… --Ludwigs2 18:34, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
What is the evidence that such tactics are not a result of the stress everyone is under because, e.g., admin backlogs are usually a problem somewhere these days? (talk) 19:17, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Other that rejecting Ludwigs' characterisation of the discussions at WT:NOT as false, there is little else I can do but recommend those interested party to read the last month or so's postings at WT:NOT and judge for yourself. Those in relation to proposals to change the Wikipedia is not censored policy, which are the outspill from earlier and ongoing discussions about images at Talk:Pregnancy and Talk:Muhammad/Images. "Attrition" is a good way of describing the attempts of a small handful of users over the past several years to enforce their views regarding censorship onto the community despite repeated rejections.
I'm not denying that there are editor retention problems, nor that some admin actions might be driving them away, but Ludwigs' is not the put-upon and bullied content editor he makes out, but rather one the projects prominent exponent of WP:IDHT. All the evidence required may be found at WT:NOT and the recent archives of that page. Thryduulf (talk) 19:27, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
I am just chiming in. Ludwig, you need to tone down your posts dwelling upon being "bullied" or having to fight out with small swarms of insular, emotional users. The fact is that these posts make it far more difficult to work with you—it is a huge turnoff—, and nobody agrees with this assessment anyways.AerobicFox (talk) 19:53, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
AerobicFox: I don't actually need to tone anything down. I'm not complaining about being bullied (sorry you see it that way), I'm simply pointing out how much of our decision-making process is given over to bullying people off pages. I don't much care if you personally disagree with the assessment; the assessment stands on its own as a matter of observation and analysis. You can believe whatever you like, but anyone who looks with an objective eye will see what I see.
I'm also not trying to claim that my behavior is perfect and everyone else's is horrible - that's ridiculous on the face of it. This is not about creating heroes and villains (at least not for me); this the way the system works, and there's no good or bad to it except to the extent that we like or dislike this kind of interaction.
You go do as Thryduulf suggests: look at any of the pages I've been involved with recently and examine the quality of discussion. You'll find that something like two-thirds of the arguments made by people who oppose changes are not content statements, but efforts to close the discussion, usually accompanied by mild insults of one sort or another and/or hyperbolic fear-mongering (accusations of tendentiousness, bad faith, fanaticism, prudery; assertions that any change is going to result in rabid hordes of <whomever> running rampant and damaging the project). fully half of the remaining third are unresponsive repetitions of boiler-plate comments, usually given in a declarative voice rather than a discussion tone (e.g., I must have heard fifty different instances of editors stating baldly "This is not going to change, and nothing you do will make it change"). If I'm unpleasant to work with it's because I find this kind of silliness amusing and don't give it much heed, and that's got to be irritating to people who base their entire reasoning style around these kinds of tactics. But I have to admit that my sympathy for difficulties on that particular point run a little thin.
@ 67.6: I'm not really trying to ascribe motivations here. Stress of many sorts probably factor into it. I don't think admin backlogs are the cause of the problem (any more than understaffing at public high schools is the cause high-school bullying). It's only a contributing factor to a problem that is caused by factors endemic to the structure of the situation. --Ludwigs2 20:49, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Avoiding reasons why people left: Although bullying is a factor in why people might want to leave Wikipedia, it would be WP:UNDUE weight to ignore other factors. Look at former users and consider how to avoid why they left:
Burnout: Some people had spent too much time each day.
Backlog: The backlog of unfinished work seemed too overwhelming.
Boredom: Been there. Done that. Time for a new hobby.
Cruft: Facing too many minor articles: villages of 50 people, 80 episodes of one TV show, a minor event from the 1800s, etc.
Addiction: People spent obsessive hours and neglected personal life.
Distraction: People left for a "short" wp:Wikibreak and never returned.
Edit-banned: Users were banned from editing due to many advertisements or vandalism.
Hence, there have been many reasons why people left, beyond bullying, so everyone needs to budget their time, focus on articles of new interests, seek helpers for backlogs, and take periodic breaks so there is no need to "escape" forever. -Wikid77 11:23, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Well I can't argue with the thought that these are all factors, but except for the 'cruft' point they are all personal factors outside of the project's scope. If people get burned out or distracted or abuse the project that's their own lookout, and there's not much we can do to encourage them to change their minds. However, at least the first three of these (and maybe 5 & 6) are grossly exacerbated by the system of bullying. I mean seriously: do you think I enjoyed spending a month on the Pregnancy page being told I was a nipple-fearing prude and that NOTCENSORED prohibits prudes like me from making changes to the encyclopedia? Anyone less ornery than i would have left the project in disgust after a week. Don't think that I'm claiming my orneriness as a good thing - it's not - and don't think I absolutely reject the concept of using a nude image there - I don't, and a few people made some good, rational arguments in support of it. But most people lack the centeredness (or perhaps it's simple masochism) that allows me to suffer through endless waves of variations on "You're a bad person for wanting this, so shut up and go away before you get blocked." --Ludwigs2 15:51, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Editing as an IP

Resolved - WP:AfD already stated "unregistered" users to request at WT:AfD. -Wikid77 07:43, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

After retiring a while back, I've been editing sporadically recently as an IP. A few minutes ago I decided to nominate Harry Price (games programmer) for AfD as a clear case of WP:BLP1E, when I discovered that I have to be a logged-in user to start an AfD. I understand and agree with the idea that IP users shouldn't be able to create articles, but can concieve of no reason why legitimate IP's should not be able to raise legitimate questions about the notability of articles in the traditional way. Unlike with creating articles where WP:AfC exists, there appears to be no mechanism to allow these people to create AfDs. The danger posed by disruptive AfDs is minimal in comparison to that posed by disruptive articles, or even disruptive speedys, which any IP can make as far as I know. I'd appreciate you and your freindly talk page stalkers comments. (talk) 20:18, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and nominated it for you - Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Harry Price (games programmer) - I'll leave the commenting there to you. You should probably bring up the more general point at the village pump, or somewhere similar. --Ludwigs2 20:59, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Currently (as of 3 minutes ago), IP editors cannot create new articles. I have noticed "90%" of vandalism has been posted by IP editors, so they are a big danger to popular or busy pages, such as WP:AfD logs. The concept is "WP:Assume Good Faith" but not "Assume Mother Teresa" so we remember how the unprotected pages often get hacked. For example, a year ago a well-meaning admin had de-protected several string-handling templates, used in hundreds of pages, and within a few months, almost all of those templates had been vandalized, and all those templates, soon, were re-protected. Do not carry cash in your top pocket, or your hand, while walking down the street in many large cities (except perhaps Tokyo!). BTW: Template:Str_right was hacked by IP-edit on 20 Oct 2010 to insert nonsense "{{}}}" in "nocategory={{{nocategory|}}}|{{{{}}}{1}}}}}-{{{2}}}}}}}" (diff-link) but reverted and re-protected 2 hours later. --Wikid77 22:55, revised 07:30, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
    • An afd discussion page is not an article as I said above, they are in a different namespace. WP:IPs are human too might be helpful. None of the statisics I have seen show anything close to 90% vandalism by IPs, most are closer to 60-70%, so I don't know where that figure comes from, and all of the stats I have seen show that non-vandalism makes up a significant majority of IP's edits. We run the risk here of stigmatizing a significant proportion of our editing population based on something as trivial as whether they have signed up or not. (to clarify, I am not saying that banning creation of AfDs stigmatizes IPs, but comments like those above do). Also, as I have noted above, why do we ban AfD creating by IPs and not CSD? What real harm could could come from allowing IPs create AfDs? If a nom is disruptive, any non-admin can close it as a speedy keep. I will take Ludwigs2's advice and start a village pump thread about this some day. (talk) 23:29, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
We do not want an AfD posted by an IP which redlinked to "serge pascal wawa sfondo" (when the Ivorian footballer article is "Serge Wawa") as done, twice, by your IP (see Special:Contributions/ Also, we do not want any editor to go to multiple pages and link to "alburtt einsteins". Some decisions need to demonstrate a history of WP:Competence, and a rotating IP address which has posted vandal edits or unlikely redlinks does not bode well for creating a proper subpage for WP:AfD. Please understand that this is not to be used as an improper generalization fallacy for "stigmatizing" IPs. How do we contact to ask a rotating IP to clarify "wawa sfondo"? I have stated numerous times that WP should consider a system of "trusted IP addresses" where a specific IP (or IP range) was known to have a track record of high-quality edits and would be allowed to edit popular semi-protected articles. However, we do not want anyone redlinking or nominating the wrong article for deletion ("Albert Einstein, oops should have nominated Albert Eynsteen"). I hope that clarifies the reasons for trusted users to submit AfDs, and not IP-editor AfDs. -Wikid77 06:54, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
      • IPs can't create any pages even outside article space (I believe). I don't know if page creation rights can be set per namespace. But a really good reason is that starting an AfD by hand is almost impossible. I know because I once tried and failed. It's not even properly documented. I know only one editor who still does it (Uncle G). So practically everybody uses Twinkle for the purpose. I didn't want it, but I had to install it so I could nominate articles. I think IPs can't install it. Therefore the first step before allowing IPs to start AfDs would be a reform (simplification) of the AfD process. Hans Adler 01:17, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
        • Well, nominating an article for deletion is kinda-sorta getting into governance. It's one thing to edit articles, and we welcome and thrive on IP article editors. But saying that an article shouldn't exist at all is a step above that. The usual paradigm is that if one wants to get into governance issues one generally gets an account (as a practical matter, edits to policy pages by IP's are generally viewed with gimlet eye, for instance). A few people build admirable editing careers as IPs, but that's sort of idiosyncratic since there's no good reason for doing that, really. I don't see a huge problem with asking editors who want to get involved in governance issues to get an account. Granted, it's arguable whether saying that the Wikipedia should not host an article on a particular topic is governance issue. But a case could be made that it is. Herostratus (talk) 04:08, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
          • Unregistered users can only create pages in Wikipedia's talk namespaces. Providing more fine-grained control of this restriction would require a change to MediaWiki; this was one of the stumbling blocks of the autoconfirmed article creation trial. Re: unregistered users and AFD's, as it says here: "If you are unregistered, you should complete step I [adding {{subst:afd1}} to the top of the article], note the justification for deletion on the article's talk page, then post a message at Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion requesting that someone else complete the process." Graham87 06:29, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Mister Wales Sir

Can you please add stuff from here(Bots,formats,etc)over to the wikia?

~Anon from the Wikia — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:00, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Ask Wikia questions at Wikia, not here: It is probably best to ask such questions, about changing some other website, within that website, rather than here. Otherwise, it just distracts from Wikipedia issues without involving the users of the other website. Discuss with users at the Wikia website instead. Thanks. -Wikid77 15:27, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
He owns part of the Wikia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:40, 6 December 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.

--JN466 19:31, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Right, but even so, this is not the right place for Wikia questions. I'd email with your specific requests.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:27, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Duolingo (free language lessons)

"With Duolingo you learn a language for free, and simultaneously translate the Web."  You can see "Duolingo" at
Wavelength (talk) 00:08, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Looks like it could become a better version of Tatoeba. Adapting the difficulty levels to users' abilities is just what is missing there. Apparently there is more money in Duolingo, but Tatoeba has been around for a while and has started with a huge database of English–Japanese translation pairs. And I can tell from experience that it's fun and can become kind of addictive. Hans Adler 00:25, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Mike Goodwin

You might want to weigh in on a discussion at Wikipedia:Bureaucrats'_noticeboard#Retired_.22.28WMF.29.22_accounts. There is a discussion about removing admin rights from former staff members who were granted the rights through their job with WMF. (IMO, this is a case where the foundation should chime in for reasons I deliniated on that page.)---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 04:40, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

I'd ask for Mike Godwin's input. It looks like the WMF already did chime in there and they have a good process overall.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:25, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

BLPs and school projects

How do you think we should deal with an article like this? That particular version of the article was written by User:Engl101kilpatrick, apparently for a class. Unfortunately, the sourcing is spotty, at best; it's not clear where all of the details about Herren's drug abuse come from. I don't think the author is making things up; Herren's personal demons have been explored in a book and a documentary film. However, I feel uncomfortable leaving the article that way; thus, I've decided to revert to an older version.

That said, I'm also worried that I might be screwing the student over by getting rid of his work. Part of me wants to look for more sources and clean up his additions to the article, although it's probably not appropriate for me to be doing the student's work for him. What is the best course of action in cases like this? Is this too rash? Thanks. Zagalejo^^^ 04:59, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Once his edit goes live, it's no longer homework. Especially on a BLP, I think you did the right thing, and anything else you can improve would be great too. That said, you might leave a note on his talk page explaining that your edits are very much a part of the wiki process and he should feel good about getting the ball rolling. Cheers, Ocaasi t | c 07:34, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, I left him a couple of notes, so hopefully he won't get too discouraged. Zagalejo^^^ 07:46, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
This all sounds great to me! :) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:17, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Hamid Karzai, redux

Jimmy, the External links for this article were discussed earlier, along with those for Hugo Chavez. (Archive from your Talk page.) This is the current non-resolution. There appears to be a consensus of one (Chzz) against adding them, so s/he wouldn't add them. The reasons against adding them are apparently the same ones used before, by Chzz and (Admin) KillerChihuahua, in the Hugo Chavez article (which eventually added the links, but that discussion was more about using them as a hostage to change the body of the article). Without canvassing, there's no way to get any more input. I suppose I could invite KillerChihuahua back to the discussion as s/he participated earlier, but I would point out this (about KillerChihuahua) from the Archive:

And now I see you deleted EL for David Cameron, a few minutes before deleting all the relevant EL for Ed Miliband. And you didn't stop with collected news articles - you deleted ALL the usual MP links including voting record, Hansard speeches, etc., etc., etc. THEN you only reverted your Ed Miliband comments, and you blamed User:Off2riorob for not noticing you didn't actually change the Miliband article, just added 'edit comments' in your edit-reedit changes. Well, since you didn't revert your David Cameron deletions, you're obviously being quite economical with the truth. What on earth are you trying to accomplish here? I truly hope someone knows the Wikipedian way to stop you, because I admittedly have no idea on the proper procedures. (talk) 19:07, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't see that there were any consequences for his/her behavior, although I suspect an "ordinary" contributor would have been summarily banned. So no, I don't believe in inviting someone prone to such destructive temper tantrums, and this certainly wasn't the first time. I don't know of any way to address this within Wikipedia rules. Hamid Karzai is an important world leader, constantly in the news, and imo it's a no-brainer to include these links in his article, and the same for people of similar stature. Googling provides No one article can be so perfect that our readers can't benefit by being provided with collections of other views and Karzai "in his own words". What is the point of Wikipedia if it's not to educate its readers? However, I'm not interested in devoting all my waking hours to arguing this (obvious) point, one article at a time, especially with Admins who do NOT play by the rules yet are treated with kid gloves. (And I'm certainly not the first to point this out.) Consensus on the principle, fine. I thought that had been accomplished. Consensus on hundreds if not thousands of articles, one by one, repeating the same arguments, is not fine. If as many Wikipedians were interested in world leaders as are interested in movie celebrities, it might be different. They aren't. So, I leave it to you. (talk) 17:34, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

I think this should be left to article talk pages. I personally find saved searches a poor thing to add as an EL, especially since there would be a very high rate of linkrot. However, perhaps consensus disagrees with my view, why don't you engage there and see?--Wehwalt (talk) 18:02, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, but just exactly how does one "engage" with an empty room aka Talk page? I waited two months, and then posted another request. Are you suggesting I canvass? btw - the last active contributor to the article was banned as a sockpuppet. I doubt assorted bots would be interested or capable. So who would I canvass if I followed your suggestion to do so? As I said, I thought the general principle was established in the Hugo Chavez discussion, and didn't have to be repeated. As for "saved searches" and "linkrot", I don't see the connection with the links I suggested. Sorry. Perhaps you should follow the links to the previous discussions. Anyway, I addressed this to Jimmy directly because he's been involved in the related Hugo Chavez discussions. If the answer is to try to get people on various partisan Afghan forums ginned up enough to converge on this Hamid Karzai article and create enough of a kerfuffle that more editors are attracted to the resulting carnage, I supposed I could do that. Doesn't seem all that helpful in the long run, but it does seem to be how most articles get sufficient attention these days. Or Bel Pottinger. (Which is of course meant as a joke, but I am serious about how one is supposed to get consensus without people.) (talk) 18:40, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Old discussion archived without response

Hi Jimbo. Please can you give a definitive answer to a discussion which dropped into the archive while you were away. It's at User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 89#Response please Jimbo. I'm having the usual problems trying to repost it here thanks to over-eager admins, as explained in the section immediately below that one. Malik P. Mark Johnson the 3rd (talk) 15:02, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Of course, let's not forget go all the way back to the supporting documentation, including WP:NPA's, WP:ABF, etc starting here. I'm quite happy that I brought the issue originally for viewing - it proved to be entertaining and insulting at the same time. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 15:24, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I can answer. Yes, I 100% support blocking a sockpuppet under those circumstances. I think that there's virtually no reason why any user ought to create a sockpuppet account, and a reason like that one is just not even remotely good enough. What the penalty should be for a user in otherwise good standing who screws up and then apologies is a different matter. But the block itself was exactly the right thing to do.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:45, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

WikiDefender Barnstar Hires.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For the way you have been dealing with the Bell Pottinger affair in the media! :) PaoloNapolitano 18:30, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Ethical blindness

I saw the story here. Why do you say 'ethical blindness'? Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and the whole point of it is that there is no editorial, or ethical view, on contributions. Crowdsourcing should ensure, and indeed has ensured, that the truth will out. Surely ethics does not enter into it? (talk) 22:52, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Ethical considerations enter into every human activity. Herostratus (talk) 03:47, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
So should Stormfront sympathisers not be allowed to edit the article about Stormfront? There have been discussions about this before on Wikipedia, and it was concluded (I think) that someone should not be prevented from editing Wikipedia simply because of the views they hold. But there are several questions tangled up here. Even if you hold that ethics does come into it, who is to decide, on an encyclopedia, which is the right ethical position? To do that you would have to set up an ethics committee, and decide which editors were ethical and which weren't. But that is antithetical to the principles of Wikipedia. Note what Michael Irwin says here [2] in an early Wikipedia discussion about editorial control - " I am leary of any "editorial boards" or "validated" material coming back from Nupedia to Wikipedia automatically. " The whole point about Wikipedia is that anyone can edit, and any attempt to impose a central editorial or even 'ethical' standards board is wholly opposed to everything Wikipedia stands for. The systems and controls of Wikipedia - namely of hundreds or thousands of faceless editors monitoring content - are all that is required. (talk) 08:15, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia is and should be an inherently ethical enterprise. Bell Pottinger lied, mislead, and behaved in manners not consistent with our values. The idea that Wikipedia should be aggressively amoral and hope like hell that somehow "crowdsourcing" (a misleading term) will lead to truth is just wrong. I expect people to behave in a thoughtful, kind, responsible and ethical manner when editing Wikipedia.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:13, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Did they actually lie? That's important. There was an accusation of vote-stacking. Where was that? (talk) 18:29, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I would have thought that acting in a way that might damage the reputation of one's client is also an ethical issue for a PR firm.--Boson (talk) 22:26, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Bell Pottinger and Berezovsky

Apparently you were on IRC earlier and asking for information in relation to BP. If you refer to Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents#Boris_Berezovsky -- I am advising you of this due to Wikipedia:Bell_Pottinger_COI_Investigations clearly stating that this article was edited by BP editors, yet issues in relation to the admitted COI editor still stand, and that is unacceptable as per my comments at the ANI (and on the investigation talk page). Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 00:19, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Yet another reason why adding material such as this should not be, imo, at all "controversial". Not only is it important in its own right, it's also the last bulwark against articles which are spun. Some of these articles are caught, such as this one, but I suspect many more are not. If we truly want to inform readers.... (talk) 19:11, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
It's unfortunate that Russavia is taking "the correct POV" to mean "her personal POV, all others will be removed". Whitewashing and blackwashing are both non-Wikipedian, which is why an assortment of reliable, international- recognized sources are useful in External links and Further reading. I still don't understand why this concept is being fought against, other than the obvious desire to spin an article in one direction or another. (talk) 16:10, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Lord Bell interview

See here. I think this appeared today in the Evening Standard's lifestyle magazine. The Wikipedia manipulations are also mentioned there. After you challenged the first response that the company didn't break the law by pointing out that it said nothing about ethics, he now managed to address your concern by saying something that is literally true and superficially adresses your concern:

"on the basis of what has been reported so far, I can see no example of people behaving improperly, though perhaps behaving indiscreetly."

Yes, this appears to be a problem. So far the press have just mentioned in general terms that Bell Pottinger were behaving improperly w.r.t. Wikipedia, but it appears that so far no specific example edits have been discussed in detail. I think you should ask him which of his clients you should pick for a detailed analysis. Hans Adler 11:36, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh, and I really think he should fire whoever is in charge of his PR for allowing him to give interviews in this situation. Hans Adler 11:37, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Update: I see the people who brought us the secret video have already taken care of this. Bell Pottinger targeted environmental campaigner on Wikipedia Hans Adler 18:42, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

problematic editors

jimmy, will you see my talk page about problematic editors? i don't know why my previous comment was erased from your talk page. i thought wikipedia took potential and definite pedophilia issues seriously.

However, "outing" editors who you believe are pedophiles will get it removed. If you want to email WP:OTRS feel free to do so (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 23:27, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Better to email WP:ARBCOM, not OTRS. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 07:44, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, we take the issue seriously but the right way to handle it is not a public witch hunt. Email is better.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:31, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Auto-archived question about cause of attrition

This was archived by MiszaBot III before Jimbo had responded. (talk) 21:41, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo, do you think administrator attrition is causing editor attrition or more the other way around, on balance? Are there any ways that the more quickly declining admin ranks could be caused by decreased editor retention? There are several reasons that fewer admins cause editor biting. Consider how fast WP:ANI is archived compared to about five years ago during the fastest growth period. Is there any reason to believe that admins make better decisions under one fifth the available amount of time? If it were entirely up to you, how would you prefer Foundation resources be allocated towards editor retention and admin retention, in terms of percentages of the entire budget? My opinion is 25% for admins and 1% for editors. (talk) 12:59, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

As neither admins or non-admin editors get any resources that I am aware of, dividing zero as you suggest should not be difficult. Personally, I think the barriers of entry are higher standards (thus, anyone cannot just edit it, at least for an article which is watched, without a significant risk of being reverted for good cause) and too much drama (the subsequent condescending note or block notice left on talk). I happen to agree that we are no longer just looking for bodies with fingers, and it is more important to concentrate on keeping experienced editors (who get bored or offended, and leave) and giving them resources to do their jobs.--Wehwalt (talk) 14:32, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, but in fact according to [3] the foundation has decided to devote considerable resources to editor retention, which seems foolish to me as it has leveled off to a slope sustainable for decades, while all the admins will be gone in less than seven years at the rate they've been leaving. I hope that Jimbo will be able to address the question. (talk) 15:08, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Editor attrition is likely to be expected for a project involving documentation of knowledge. At the beginning all the easy stuff that just anyone can do is done. Ahem, Barbie, Easy bake oven, Kim Kardashian
Then it is followed by the harder work of citing and rewriting the more complex and technical articles for accuracy and completeness. That work is not as much "fun" so not as many people want to do it (or due to the costs of published scientific papers and industry standards, not many people CAN do it).. Tumor necrosis factor-alpha
In the end I think it'll be either the obsessed or the asbergers/autistics (or the in-field scientists/engineers -- which may or may not be classified separately from those already mentioned, heh) that really flesh out the niggly ultra-technical stuff.
So the slowdown seems entirely expected. It will likely never drop off completely, though it is possible for some articles to be eventually be "locked for completeness" at some point, just to reduce the vandalism hassle. DMahalko (talk) 15:17, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
This is broadly correct. By about 2007 Wikipedia already had articles on most things that most people care about. What is left is cleanup and QC, along with fleshing out more technical or esoteric topics. Those activities don't attract the masses. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:31, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree, and believe that supports the assertion that the Foundation should be focusing on administrator retention instead of general editor retention. (talk) 00:04, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Berkman Center banner ad

I'm sad to see this ugly banner ad at the top of Wikipedia. I thought ads had no business being here? Your close ties to the center shouldn't override our endeavor to be a neutral and adfree website. ThemFromSpace 23:20, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

I suspect that if there is not a strong community response, it won't be the last one, and there will be a decreasing amount of affiliation with WMF. However, I doubt that this is the most effective forum.--Wehwalt (talk) 23:29, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
While this is not an ad per se, I was wondering about that banner as well... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 23:57, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps better for the project would be to maintain a page in the Wikipedia namespace (or maybe on Meta or the Foundation wiki) that lists studies such as this that are looking for Wikipedian volunteers (that the Foundation is happy are genuine and appropriate). This page could be prominently featured in the usual centralised advertising for internal pages. To offset some of the reduction in visibility, it could be part of a series of "Have you seen?" banners pointing to internal things and shown to users no more than once per day. Other things in the sequence would be things like Commons' picture of the year contests, Arbitration Committee elections, GLAM projects, etc. It's probably worth me pointing out that I clicked the banner and took part in the study (I like taking part in things like that) and my participation earned a small donation to the Foundation. Thryduulf (talk) 00:13, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I'm happy to see that banner. Because it's just that, a banner. "Ad" is from Advertisement and Advertisement != Research. Also ads try to sell stuff and could make a conflict of interest with the article of the product they want to sell or brand itself. Research doesn't have that problem. A banner from a research project is not less or more annoying that a fundraising banner, and if it helps to raise money to the Wikimedia Foundation then I'm happy. I just finished the experiment and if they indeed transfer the money (I'm skeptical by nature) I'll donate half of it to Wikipedia.--Neo139 (talk) 05:07, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Hope you feel as happy when the ads are for Wikipedia's "marketing partners".--Wehwalt (talk) 07:35, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
This response is absolutely uncalled for and offensive. Your argument is incoherent and false and insulting to good people. The idea that the Wikimedia Foundation legitimately wants to support research relevant to Wikipedia by assisting researchers in recruiting participants implies that we are about to take paid advertisement is just mind-boggling and the exact opposite of AGF. Let me be clear about this: there are no plans to take advertising in Wikipedia, and no relationship between announcing on behalf of research projects and taking advertising. I strongly support such banners and think people should be ashamed of themselves for behaving in a silly manner about them. Crippling academic research into problems that we genuinely face serves exactly what purpose?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:03, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
What I said was fair comment and I stand by it.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:07, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, I support the general idea of this initiative in principle, but I am also slightly concerned that there is an issue about transparency. I would like to know the background to the research and details of why/how the researchers and WP are partnered. This is just so that I can feel informed. When you talk about "Crippling academic research into problems that we genuinely face" you may well be making a valid point, but I have no idea because I don't know where to look for information about what problems the research is looking into. If it's very obvious that the research is likely to be of benefit to WP, then I am sure that would put a lot of editors' minds at rest. --FormerIP (talk) 16:10, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, I'm unaware of the Foundation being secretive about anything, so it seems like an easy enough thing to ask them. But I'd like to challenge the assumption here that everyone needs or has a right to be informed about every detail of everything affecting the website at all times. That's just not generally a good use of the Foundation's time and resources, and it also reinforces what I think is a very unhealthy conservativism in the community about change. We need to break out of the idea that every software feature (for example) needs get "consensus" support (defined as high as 70% in some people's minds!) for even some very major software changes. We need to break the idea that the Foundation needs to get permission to run banners in support of research projects. We really need to break the idea, which is preposterous nonsense, that if we don't scream bloody murder and get out the pitchforks, that the Foundation is going to start running paid advertising soon. Not every slope is slippery, and most things are better handled by getting informed before protesting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:34, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Let's see: we have an outside organization, unaffiliated with Wikipedia, paying a bunch of money (much of which will be funneled to the foundation) so that they can put a banner with their logos for everyone to see. If it looks like a duck, and swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. Buddy431 (talk) 18:58, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
A bunch of money? Where did you find that out? --FormerIP (talk) 20:33, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, assuming Berkman actually come through, it's like $25 average for 2000 survey-takers, which works out to $50,000. I'm not sure how much of that's going to get donated to the Wikimedia Foundation, but it's probably not insignificant. Buddy431 (talk) 22:12, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, well maybe that wasn't a great idea. But I don't think it's fair to suggest that that effectively makes it a paid advert. It's sort of vaguely like a duck, but it isn't one. --FormerIP (talk) 22:22, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Let's be realistic though from the foundations POV it's close to chump change. Personally I suspect the amount coming to the foundation is likely to be under $10k (for starters I actual suspect the average for survey per participant is likely to be closer to $20 if not under) but this is true even if it's $50k. The revenue in 2010 was $21.5 million [4] so even $50k would be only ~0.23% of that. And the worth of a real banner ad is surely far higher. In other words, the financial incentive for the foundation is minimal at best and frankly if they 'sold out' for a slight possibility of $50k whoever did that was an idiot. Nil Einne (talk) 20:10, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, your last sentence is exactly what I'm saying. I'm not suggesting that WMF should have sought my permission for the banners and I don't want them taking down. But I would have liked for there to have been (for example) a convenient link to basic information about why the banner was there (e.g. "WMF is collaborating with Harvard and Sciences Po on a research project that we hope will..." etc etc). If there had been more information, then there would have been less protesting, I think. --FormerIP (talk) 18:50, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Ask me again when that happens. For the moment, I prefer a non-profit organization to be self-sustainable with a 5-hour banner about a research by a university, displayed to users only, rather than a 6 week aggressive fundraising campaign. I don't get mad at Mozilla Foundation because Firefox uses Google as default search engine. That way they can hire more employees and make a better browser while keeping it free software. You can change it to Yahoo if you want, or remove it. The same principle could be applied here. I use Wikipedia not because its banner-free (which I find amazing) but because it's contents are free and good. With more money, they could hire more employees and make a better encyclopedia. And if something can make Wikipedia better while remaining free without annoying the users (or with little impact like this banner) then +1 to that. (BTW, I agree we should discuss this somewhere else) --Neo139 (talk) 09:02, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

What ad is this? Can I get a link? I've long since suppressed the damned banners, since my contributions consist of my work as an editor and admin. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:23, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

See WP:ANI#Harvard/Science Po Adverts. Note, though, that they seem to have been disabled for the moment as per Brion at Meta. They were supposed to appear to a small sample of editors, and instead may have been showing up for everybody. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 15:44, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Only just noted this discussion... Jimbo; I see the point you are making (although having looked at the survey I am not convinced it will be of any material use to us due to various flaws in the design). However I think this has sort of brought to a head the dire lack of communication with the community. In this case, no communication :) I realise that the community is conservative and resists change (in a sense this can be an important defence mechanism) but that isn't necessarily solved by simply imposing change without discussion. That way puts the community and foundation on a collision course - not helpful. In this case a banner targeted specifically at English Wikipedia editors is something I think is reasonable for us to have given input on (without having to subscribe to every mailing list and keep a close eye on all the meta pages...). One element of feedback I have picked up from the "other side" (i.e. RCOM) has been that they have no policy or benchmark to pick up from English Wikipedia as to what form of Central Notices the community thinks should appear. Rather than leave it to a case-by-case basis I have opened an RFC to form some degree of guidance for committees such as RCOM wishing to post banners onto :) Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Central Notices Hopefully this will help iron out future situations! I know every time this happens I moan about lack of communication, sorry about that, but we are terribly communicators and I will continue to constructively moan till it improves :) --Errant (chat!) 12:09, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

Just to add further, on this specific incident. A number of very reasonable concerns were raised by editors - many of these were later addressed by RCOM and the people conducting the survey. But this, I think, proves my point - simple communication and answering those concerns *before* the launch would have caused a lot less issues... and at least given the community time to react more calmlydifferently :) --Errant (chat!) 12:14, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Mebbe. Or the ad might not have run because of community opposition. Perhaps rather than invent something new, why not put it in the Signpost?--Wehwalt (talk) 12:19, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Also, Errant, I would not suggest saying, even with smiley, that people on one side of an argument are something other than "calm". What that implies is emotion-based reasoning, rather than argument based on reason. Editorial boards and Rush Limbaugh use that technique all the time. It has no place here.--Wehwalt (talk) 12:29, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Oh ye gods, come on... --Errant (chat!) 12:37, 10 December 2011 (UTC)

An update on SOPA and answers to some questions

First, I am not in Washington today, having been advised that a phone call later in the week will be as effective. The meeting at the White House today is not with Obama, but rather with various senior advisors to the President.

Second, a "Founder's letter" is going out in the next couple of days from a variety of co-signers. I'll be a signatory to that.

Third, I am hopeful and optimistic that the OPEN Act is a viable alternative, but apparently the supporters of SOPA are going to try to ram it quickly through the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, and that will make it harder to stop and/or significantly improve the bill before it goes to a full vote. Time is not on our side here.

Fourth, a couple of people had questions about what we are doing so far, and in particular about our lobbying firm. Geoff consulted with Mike Godwin who recommended Jim Burger of Dow Lohnes, and we've retained them to help us with this matter. We will of course remain well within IRS guidelines on acceptable levels of expenditures on lobbying. And of course this all goes into the accounting in the normal way. I'd like to note that there are no restrictions on the community lobbying, which is part of the point of my starting the poll up above to begin a conversation and an initial "pulse test" for what the community would like to do.

Fifth, just to put everyone at ease (mainly hostile and paranoid people, to be honest), I am in constant communication with Sue, we are talking to the board, I'm talking to our lawyer, etc. Any action that I personally take will be to represent the Foundation and the Community, as always.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:12, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Arbcom appeal of ban for conflict of interest

Hi Jimbo. I've gone ahead and appealed my ban for conflict of interest.[5]TimidGuy (talk) 12:16, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

That's fine. I recommend making sure that other interested parties are informed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:18, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia spokespersons

Jimbo, I note in the BBC's coverage of the Bell Pottinger affair that they quote "David Gerard, a UK-based spokesperson and volunteer for Wikipedia". This seems odd, considering the recent statement made on this very talkpage by a WMF employee which states that David Gerard is not a WMF employee and appears to state that Gerard does not speak for the WMF. It might be helpful if you clarified who the WMF's spokespersons actually are. If Gerard is not a spokesperson, why does he continue to be credited as such? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 14:30, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Since when did the press let facts get them in the way of a news story? If DG is listed in someone's rolodex under that heading, that's all the "fact checking" they need. — Coren (talk) 15:01, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I think most organizations would take steps to correct any such misconception. They would contact the reporter to set them straight and ask for a correction. They would ask the person involved to stop speaking to the press unless they make it clear that they have no official capacity with the organization. It not clear to me who the spokepersons for the WMF actually are, or if Gerard is the de facto spokesperson, which is why I asked here. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:14, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
As far as I know, David Gerard is still a UK press contact. We have many press contacts, volunteers, in many countries around the world. David's been doing that for years. Now that the UK chapter exists, has funding, and has started hiring people, I expect that role will eventually transition into the chapter, but for now, there's nothing at all unusual or wrong about this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:17, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
This is pretty much the case. I started doing the volunteer press thing in 2005 because we needed someone to do it, and kept on doing it. As Wikipedia became ridiculously popular I cut back severely, as dealing with press storms and working a day job started to conflict badly, so WMUK do it and I'm backup. And my phone number is public so I still get calls, and stop by the OTRS queue every now and then, and so forth.
To answer what I suspect is Delicious' real concern, I try quite hard not to give my own personal views (you can get those on the mailing lists) but my estimate of community consensus and ideals. I also stress I don't work for the WMF and am speaking as a volunteer. So far I've yet to be lynched by the Wikipedians or hideously embarrass the Foundation - David Gerard (talk) 15:23, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I wasn't questioning your ability or your impartiality, David, merely your status. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:47, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'm sorry for being so touchy - David Gerard (talk) 21:32, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
Delicious, you have a woefully uninformed (though unfortunately common) perspective on the press, and clearly didn't read the comment already there on the page when you commented on my talk page. I'd have hoped you'd have paid more attention to detail were the matter as important as you consider it. I must apologise, that's uncalled-for snappiness on my part and you really didn't deserve it. I'm sorry.
To quote myself: "Press quotes may resemble words actually said by the person they're attributed to, in some circumstances. (This is then called "reliable", while the person's own words are called "COI".) That was a 20-minute phone call compressed to a sentence."
FWIW, I gave my title (as I always do) as "volunteer media contact". The journalist then wrote something, the subeditors then edited it some way, and what ended up on the page bore a familial resemblance to anything I said. This is par for the course. The process is one of throwing out as robust soundbites as one can come up with on the fly and seeing just what the press can do with them that time - David Gerard (talk) 15:16, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I merely noted the apparent disconnect between the BBC article and the statement by a WMF employee, and asked who the spokespersons for the WMF are. I did not read the discussions on your talk page when I left you that message. I take it from Jimbo's answer that you are one of several "press contacts". Is there a list of these anywhere? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:27, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
David is listed here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:35, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
That's the UK list - the Foundation one is - I'm there in "other regional contacts", and my phone number is in lots of lists and will probably be so for years (Alison Wheeler's no longer on that list but still gets calls) - David Gerard (talk)
David's also listed on the UK list, under Wikimedia community volunteers. (David, I'm not sure we checked with you before adding you there - hope that was OK?) In general, all of David's comments here get a +1 from me - it's fantastic that he's doing this media communication. I think those that view media spokespeople as having to be from WMF or a chapter, rather than from the community, need to change their viewpoint - the community can (and should, for a number of reasons) always have its own spokespeople too. Mike Peel (talk) 11:41, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Mike, you have raised an interesting point. Anyone who edits Wikipedia should be free to give their opinions and impressions of what the community wants. A "community spokesperson" is by definition someone who speaks for the community. Surely that person should be chosen by the community? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 12:13, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
That's more a shape of sentence that looks appealing on the surface than something that would actually get the job done. e.g. Volunteers for even quite important jobs on the wiki (e.g. arbcom) have a visible tendency to just vanish and become uncontactable as they will; the media always want to talk to someone locally by preference ("Is there anyone in XXX who can talk to YYY within the next hour?"; when most of WMUK lived oop north I did lots of the London radio/TV stuff just by virtue of actually living here); getting calls and saying "Sorry, not me any more, talk to ZZZ who's in a different time zone and won't be awake for eight hours" throws away the opportunity to deal with a story and try to somewhat alleviate someone writing complete rubbish; when a big media storm hits, it tends to be all-hands-in dealing with a flurry of calls. In practice, finding volunteers who want to do the job (public person, real name, somewhat public phone number) and fit the "local" criteria is harder than your suggestion posits, which is why the job tends to fall to chapters. And the media are, IME, utterly unable to distinguish the various internal roles and see the whole vast complicated movement as just "Wikipedia"; editor, chapter, WMF, it's all the same to them. But perhaps I'm being unduly negative and you have a more detailed plan that would actually do the job of supplying reasonable-quality media input from us, whoever "us" is, given the amazing distortions that happen to quite simple sentences in practice - David Gerard (talk) 10:29, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
I was just responding to Mike's suggestion that there be a "community spokesperson". As you point out, there are very practical reasons why having "press contacts" is perhaps the most simple solution, but those press contacts have no status to speak for either the community or the WMF, apparently. If I felt there was any desire to change this arrangement, I would propose something, but despite the apparent inability of the press to accurately quote or credit you, everyone seems to be satisfied by the current state of affairs. My original question was an attempt to understand the disparity between what a WMF employee had stated and the credit most often used by the press. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 17:58, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd call it "better than nothing" rather than "satisfied", but I think it is better than nothing. The press have a hierarchical mental model of all organisations. Talking to them isn't necessarily actually a good idea at all times, but OTOH we are a top 10 website living off public donations so that we will talk to the world is not an unreasonable expectation. I think the idea is that somehow we'll get the ideas across if we keep pushing. Our media relations are mostly a lot more reactive than proactive. ("Our" there means the Wikimedia movement in all its sprawling glory.)
If you (or anyone else) feel inspired to dive in talking to your media locally and explaining what on earth we all do here - which, and this is important, is largely a mystery to the general populace - do feel free to join in ad-hoc if you think you can. People who can explain stuff well in distortion-resistant soundbites are always good, as is making Wikipedia not mysterious to the general public - David Gerard (talk) 20:28, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
By the way, this is a useful illustration that Wikipedia does press the way it writes an encyclopedia: ad hoc, volunteer, and somehow more or less works with rough edges - David Gerard (talk) 15:39, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
(e/c) Par for the course, like I said.

I'm going to sing my one note song again and wonder aloud "When the hell are we going to stop pointing at news media as examples of reliable sources?" – they are barely adequate sources at the best of times. I know we're never going to wean the community away from those rags as sources, but can we at least stop pretending they are somehow venerable or exemplary? — Coren (talk) 15:28, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

As a journalist I almost take offence to that (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 15:40, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not saying news media don't have their place, BWilkins, or that they are unreputable. But as encyclopedic sources, they suck. — Coren (talk) 15:43, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
The point of Wikipedia, as opposed to something like the Encyclopaedia Britannica, was that "current events" could be covered in-depth and be kept more-or-less instantly up-to-date. That, generally, means news sources. If and when the facts change, we change our minds (articles). So what's your alternative to using the news media? (talk) 18:42, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Use them, don't canonise them (as WP:V does) - David Gerard (talk) 10:38, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
The worst thing is when the best books on a topic and a newspaper article disagree and an editor tries to use this one article to rewrite a page. --Guerillero | My Talk 17:19, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Coren above makes a good point about "news media", a journalist output can vary from reliable to complete "work of fiction" presented as "factual". The real issue is that they are preceived on Wikipedia as a reliable source when they are little more then a well written blog done by someone who is under a deadline. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 14:16, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
"well written"? Cite? Tom Reedy (talk) 03:41, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Evidently, we as Wikipedians need to hold them to account to have better epistemology than we do ;-) - David Gerard (talk) 22:18, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

congrats. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:34, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

The first link doesn't seem to go anywhere, and I couldn't find it in a quick look at the history. The second link shows behaviors from an admin that I think are absolutely unacceptable and I hope more people will look into it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:30, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
First link needs the full-stop on the end of the URL (but software treats that as a period, not part of the URL). Should be wikt:User talk:SemperBlotto#Why do you waste my time instead of helping.  Chzz  ►  15:20, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Fixed. Dcoetzee 18:43, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

ta[skyp:sven0921 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:52, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

The above user has been blocked multiple times by the Wiktionary and Wikipedia communities for abusive behavior, repeated personal attacks, disruptive edits, and sockpuppetting. The fact that SemperBlotto, a Wiktionary bureaucrat, generally does not warn before blocking vandals, is well known to the Wiktionary community. There isn't really anything that can be done about it, because SemperBlotto handles an enormous amount of vandal patrolling, and the wiki really would fall apart without his effective patrolling as much as he does, because we really don't have enough patrollers. The Wiktionary community has discussed this issue before. --Yair rand (talk) 00:03, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I see his point. When you warn a vandal, are you really telling him anything he does not already know?--Wehwalt (talk) 09:58, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Notability of secondary schools

I have clashed a few times with people about the notability of secondary schools (or highschools or whatever the name may be). The is no official guideline for declaring all secondary schools as notable. Having challenged that, the people of WikiProject:Schools pointed to this mail of you out of november 2003.

Are you still convinced that every secondary school is automatically notable? Or do you think that even secondary schools should be tested on WP:GNG? Night of the Big Wind talk 15:50, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

I have written about this topic several times since then. We know a lot more today about what works and what doesn't. I think virtually all secondary schools are not notable, and there should be significant third party reliable sources about them before inclusion. Far from being held to a lower standard than other things, I think that due to persistent problems with vandalism and boosterism, we should apply a very strict scrutiny today. I should warn you, though, that people who are happy to use WP:JIMBOSAID when I agree with their position, are not normally persuaded by WP:JIMBOSAID when I don't. :-) So, all I can really do for you is remove even the slightest implicit historical endorsement from me of that position, and then the issue should be debated on the merits.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:01, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps Wikipedia should be "layered" - that is, allowing "non-notable schools" (heck - all "non-notable" stuff) to be in a sub-pedia which would not be indexed within the mainspace, but which would be reachable through master articles which make clear that the material within such categories may not reach Wikipedia mainspace standards? Each such layer master article could then establish guidelines to prevent abuse of the system. Collect (talk) 16:19, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I largely agree with Jimbo here. I really don't understand how this "All secondary schools are notable" idea arose.
@Night of the Big Wind talk - Since we can't use WP:JIMBOSAID, perhaps a policy RfC is in order?
@Collect - An interesting idea. Perhaps a village pump discussion? NickCT (talk) 17:02, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, my view is that at a practical level, writing articles about secondary schools is a great way for kids to learn how to edit Wikipedia. They usually have expertise on the topic as well as enthusiasm, and any errors they make will have limited impact. Looie496 (talk) 17:23, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Encouraging kids to edit Wikipedia is a great idea, but there are plenty of good places for them to do it. Their usual habitat is in the popular culture article space, since they have a lot of knowledge in that area and it's popular, large, and rapidly developing. They may also be able to offer feedback about accessibility of topics covered in schools. Notable local topics (such as notable places, people, or events found near to them) are also always an option. Dcoetzee 17:40, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Nominating one for deletion results in a large amount of drama and little constructive result.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:44, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
@Wehwalt - re "Nominating one......and little constructive result" - You've noticed this too, huh? I thought it was just me.... NickCT (talk) 17:59, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I have opened a discussion on WikiProject:Schools. As expected, they do not like my proposal to remove the "always notable" tag. Night of the Big Wind talk 18:12, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I'd worry about using too much of a blunt instrument on this. "Almost never notable", I think, is a good rule of thumb in principle. But if carried out aggressively, I think the result, in a UK context would be that all state schools get deleted and all fee-paying schools get kept. There's probably a natural and unavoidable bias in that direction anyway, but we should avoid systematising and amplifying it. --FormerIP (talk) 18:40, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
It would be nice if we can use it for newly written articles. The discussion at WP:Schools is already down to fingerpointing :-) Night of the Big Wind talk 18:46, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Not sure if that was in response to me, NOBW, but my concern is the same whether we are talking about articles created in the past or articles that may be created in the future. If a proposal creates a systematic bias (which I think your proposal on the Project page does), then I think it is really better to do nothing. --FormerIP (talk) 19:40, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
It is a draft propasal, so I like to hear what is the systemetic bias I create. Night of the Big Wind talk 19:51, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
This discussion should be moved to the project page. There is no point it being discussed in two places. Edinburgh Wanderer 20:03, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Requests for comment/GoodDay

You were involved in a discussion about which an RfC/u is in progress. Your input would be welcome. Thanks, Daicaregos (talk) 23:08, 12 December 2011 (UTC)


Dear Wikipedia or whom it may concern,

Your idea to black out all of the Wikipedia pages is very good. I like it alot. However, you shouldn't just black them out, you should make a logo, a message which will replace all the Wikipedia pages. The message could be something like "This is what the Government did" or "This page has been shut down due to the Governments SOPA Act and I The founder of Wikipedia now face jail terms" or "This is what will happen to your favourite website if the SOPA act gets in" or "Under the SOPA Act Wikipedia will be no more, protest today" etc. You could have a different add for each page you black out. Therefore, not only can't people access there beloved Wikipedia page, they can see a message, the reasoning behind the Blackout. This will let users understand the reasoning behind this and understand the law you are actually trying to protest.

Overall, I like the idea of OPERATION BLACKOUT WIKIPEDIA, but you should add messages to each page you Blackout. The messages will help people who think the site may have been hacked or something went wrong with there internet etc to fully understand the reasoning behind OPERATION BLACKOUT WIKIPEDIA. Plus if people ifnd out that you could go to jail or be taken down under this new act, I think people will be outraged and want to do something.

Maybe you could start a Wikipedia Petition(I know there is many petitions out there, but face it how many people would actually see them?) It'd be better off if you started your own petition because millions of people visit Wikipedia a day and would see it and be like what's this. Then they will sign it and leave a message that they have hand typed themselves and you can take the millions of petitions as well as the Blackout Operation into full force.

Good Luck stopping this ACT/LAW that will ruining the internet and every site on their. It is a stupid law, due to every site having some form of copyright material on it. Have you ever seen a site without a piece of copyright material like a video, some music or an image? I don't think so... So lets jail every website owner on the internet for 5years that'll teach them for sharing a Youtube video or a Wikipedia page that they didn't make or own. Therefore, I am 100% with you and wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do. But whatever you decide, you must decide fast as time is limited and this needs to protested and put into full action as soon as possible to maximize the full force and effectiveness of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 01:24, 12 December 2011‎

No, lying is not a good message. Imagine what people would think after they find out that the government didn't black out the site nor arrest the owner and replacing the encyclopedia with blatant lies was just a way of protesting some bill (granted, some very very evil bill). A better message would be to tell them if you don't want this to happen for real in the future then call/write your representative to vote against it. And if the illusion of representation has faded, start a war. That's how America was born, btw. Represent. (talk) 02:32, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, whatever the community decides to do, if anything, it's really crucial that we be absolutely 100% factual in every regard and not exaggerate. There is no risk of me going to jail under SOPA, for example, that's just not the issue at all and pretending that it is would be wrong.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:48, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

SOPA/Blanking out pages

Hello Wikipedia. I would like to take a moment, if I can, to talk about SOPA, and if you blank out the pages. Just like most of you are, I am outraged by what SOPA *may* do to the internet if the bill passes. And just as much as everyone else, I hope we can take a stand against SOPA and protect websites that matter to us (Wikipedia included). Now, to my concern. I understand that you want to blank out the pages of Wikipedia sometime soon. If you do so, could you Please have an option for us to not have the pages blanked out. I know I may be just a person, but I rely on Wikipedia to get information, and by blacking out words, or having pages not show up, it makes it hard to get that information. I'm hoping you will consider the preceding and at least have this option available to users who would like access to Wikipedia's content without being "blacked-out." Thank You. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 04:29, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Radiokid and welcome. Do not worry too much about it. I ran some tests and our "mirror sites", that is the sites that take the free content we produce and reproduce it with ads, will still be available in the unlikely event that there is a strike. Personally, I believe that now that Jimbo Wales (a founder of Wikipedia, who still likes to keep his fingers in) has what I think he wants, a talking point he can convey to influential others, all this will fizzle out. However, if I am wrong, just go to the mirror sites. Possibly Google cache will also be available. Good luck!--Wehwalt (talk) 09:32, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

We need to occupy the internet and take it back

The internet is a free flow space exchange of ideas and knowledge regardless of user's socio-economic class. I fully support you doing a wikipedia blackout. While I use wikipedia 3-8 times a day, people need to understand what is at stake. And perhaps, this moment, the tunisian food vendor that sparks other groups like Twitter, Facebook, or even Google. (talk) 07:57, 13 December 2011 (UTC) OccupytheInternetSpreadDemocracy 12/12/2011 at 11:57pm

Lobbyists (second thread)

Jimbo, above you mention lobbyists working on behalf of Wikipedia and/or the WMF. Could you please give the name of the lobbying firm or the registered lobbying agent who is doing this work? Is the expense for theses lobbyists itemized in the WMF's annual report? Thank you. Cla68 (talk) 01:24, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

I also ask for answers to these questions.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:22, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

This may be only in the EU at present.[6][7] (talk) 10:45, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Most interesting. However, Jimbo referred to paid lobbyists in the context of an American bill, so I would imagine that is DC-oriented.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:53, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Before I answer, I'd like to spend a moment, as usual, and likely without positve result as usual, calling Cla68 out for his persistent tendency to be hostile in his tone, and to assume bad faith at every possible opportunity. The name of the firm is Dow Lohnes, and they were recommended to us by Mike Godwin. And of course all the accounting will be done properly and reporting done according to the best practices of our accountants.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:16, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

What hostility? I note a please, and a thank you - so it cannot be tone. It must be the subject of the questions, although I would be hard put to see what of itself is objetionable - as they seem legitimate ones (and have been answered as such). Perhaps it is the habit of one or two editors to ask questions regarding the conduct of the business Wikipedia; one which I think is laudable, if transparency is to be maintained. I am pleased to see, however, that the query was answered (and I would not attempt to guess in what manner of tone). Very disappointing. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:50, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it is hostile and juvenile to ask "Is the expense for these lobbyists itemized in the WMF's annual report?" As if we're running some kind of secret slush fund or something. The answer is that we follow the law carefully, have a top notch financial staff and a top notch auditing firm. Cla68 is no newcomer - he knows or should know what the answer to the question is going to be.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:11, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
What you've done is assumed bad faith on Cla68's part.--Cube lurker (talk) 16:15, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not an assumption. It's a fact proven multiple times over a long period of time.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:32, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree with Jimbo on this one (even if I disagree entirely with his proposal) -- I don't really see where all these suspicions of untruthful or misleading information are coming from, and Jimbo has been very clear about the parameters of this discussion and how they relate to his believes and the WMF Karthik Sarma (talk) 01:33, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
That's strange. I contacted Dow Lohnes and asked them if they were representing wikipedia. Their response was "no." Is there some sort of mistake? (talk) 15:34, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I read the query the same exact way as Wales. Aggressive. Then again, I read Wikipedia Review, so I don't need a scorecard... Carrite (talk) 03:53, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I can't think of a single reason why I should think that you're telling the truth. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:11, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I was just looking through Dow Lohnes's registration records with the House and Senate. They do have a few clients, though I'm sure they would like to forget Bernard Madoff Investments! I didn't see WMF, but I understand there is a 45-day grace period after hiring. I can't get a stable URL, but it's all public record and searchable.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:07, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

My gawd...Cla68, is there ever any end to your baited questions?MONGO 18:11, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

MONGO, Cla68 is orders of magnitude nicer than a couple of the people Larry Sanger had to deal with when he was here, and yet Jimbo never seemed to have a problem with that. In fact, Jimbo has a history of not assuming good faith and disrespecting the projects most important editors, like Giano and Bishonen, and now Cla68. These editors have created dozens of featured articles - they are vested in the project and care deeply about it. Jimbo simply cannot expect the project's top contributes to behave like sycophants. If Jimbo wants respect, he might consider giving some where due. --PumknPi (talk) 18:51, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
No one doubts the contributions of the contributors you mention. However, I stand by my comment.MONGO 20:07, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Interesting that Dow Lohnes is a redlink, there are quite a few hits for them on Google news. Mark Arsten (talk) 21:22, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

It wasn't always a redlink. Given the "Bell Pottinger affair", the history of the article is interesting too. --SB_Johnny | talk 22:18, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Ahh, silly me, I should have noticed that. I can't see the history, but there is a bit of irony considering the closer's comments. Mark Arsten (talk) 22:45, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
  • If the WMF has hired a professional lobbyist, then there should have been some mention of it in this year's or next year's publically-released budgets. Jimbo, how much has the WMF allocated for lobbying expenses for 2012, and will it be increasing that amount in order to fight against the SOPA bill? If so, how much? Cla68 (talk) 23:06, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Given the above discussion, allow me to add a few points. The Wikimedia Foundation has been considering a number of approaches with respect to the proposed SOPA legislation. As one would expect when troublesome pieces of legislation are pending on the Hill, we are working with an established Washington firm, Dow Lohnes, to advise us on the status of the different bills and the political environment surrounding those bills. They are invaluable for understanding the political processes and timing of the different pieces of proposed legislation. We may hire other firms as well, depending on our needs (e.g., PR). We have considered the possibility of seeking to influence the legislation by discrete amendments, but, in the end, we have chosen to launch a strong public opposition to SOPA.
Just this afternoon, we received a 71-page new version of the bill ("Amendment in the Nature of a Substitute to HR 3261"). Mark-up on the bill is scheduled for Thursday.
We are reviewing the new bill with our Washington firm. There may be significant changes from the original version. I intend to report back after our analysis is done (and welcome any analysis from the community).
The primary share of the budget for this comes out of the legal budget, which I will allocate according to our needs re SOPA. We of course are complying with registration and reporting requirements.
Needless to say, we applaud the community’s opposition to this legislation as it sees fit, and we, at the Foundation, look forward to supporting all efforts to strike down any version of this legislation that attacks the Internet so directly.
Geoffbrigham (talk) 00:53, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
An interesting article. Geoffbrigham (talk) 01:42, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
This just in from Washington: Although no guarantee for accuracy, it is reported that the Judiciary committee plans on voting on the new version of SOPA Tuesday morning. Geoffbrigham (talk) 02:08, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Geoff, ignoring Techdirt's commentary, it looks to me, based on the portions of the act quoted in the article, that the proposed law would not apply to Wikipedia as it is not a foreign site. Can you comment?--Wehwalt (talk) 13:33, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Wehwalt, I linked you to the complete text of the proposed legislation above, did you not read it? unmi 15:09, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I did, but Geoff linked to a more current version. Many thanks,--Wehwalt (talk) 19:41, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Wehwalt, my recent blog hopefully may prove somewhat helpful. Take care. Geoffbrigham (talk) 07:42, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Got it thanks. I'm gathering from it that the major problem WMF sees is, leaving aside the affects that SOPA may have on other websites, is that there may be additional costs to assure compliance with law.--Wehwalt (talk) 10:25, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

You want clout?

Threaten to move WP's servers and WMF to the civilized country of Canada from The Evil Empire. THAT would get the attention of the pols (and the news media, which is another way of saying the same thing). Carrite (talk) 02:38, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

So far as I know, there is censorship in Canada about "hate literature", which means that Wikisource archives of manuscripts such as Henry Ford's The International Jew would be prohibited. I'm not absolutely sure which way the balance would tilt - Canada apparently has made great strides since the 1990s when they would confiscate gay magazines at the border - but even if they could match or exceed the U.S. on free speech, there's still the question of whether having main offices in the U.S. and servers in Canada just means that two different countries have a whack at censoring any given material.
If WMF were to consider "moving the servers" in response to some issue, perhaps it should do so less literally and rather devise some less centralized storage scheme with multiple synchronized copies of articles in various countries where they are legal, or even TOR archives, users communicating directly with Wikipedia web sites in several countries at once to start their searches in each and see which is allowed to answer, etc. Wnt (talk) 04:16, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Donations to foreign charities are not deductible. Tax law is not my field, but I would expect the IRS to be rather shirty about maintaining WMF as a US charity if the bulk of its operations are elsewhere, especially if the WMF leaves loudly. I would not expect any cosmetic changes to the proposal to impress the IRS.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:25, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not a tax lawyer, but donations to Canadian charities are sometimes deductible for US purposes. The censorship in Canada problem might be more serious. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 08:50, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
As a practical political matter then, I find it unlikely that the WMF would keep its US tax exemption if it leaves amid controversy, burning causeways as it leaves St. Petersburg.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:22, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
That's why I'd like to see a less centralized solution. If Wikipedia has a seamless network of mirrors in several countries, that's just backing up data and "conserving bandwidth on the Internet backbone". No one needs to notice until a court actually issues an order under SOPA and suddenly nothing happens. Wnt (talk) 21:21, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Wnt, here's a link to a copy of The International Jew at the Toronto Public Library [8]. WorldCat is a handy website for finding the locations of hard-to-get books.--Brianann MacAmhlaidh (talk) 08:52, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I am most pleased to be proved wrong, though there are too many mentions of Canadian customs having a list of banned books and seizing "hate literature" at the border for me to be entirely confident. Wnt (talk) 21:21, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Why not move the servers to the Caribbean? There, the WMF wouldn't have to pay any taxes and the internet laws are probably more liberal. It could save the WMF a ton of money. PaoloNapolitano 11:56, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
The WMF doesn't pay taxes already - it's a nonprofit charity. And I think it highly unlikely that "internet laws are more liberal" in the Caribbean. Bandwidth and electricity would be expensive. As I outlined elsewhere on this page, moving the Wikimedia Foundation is not a particularly appealing option for a lot of reasons.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:32, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Canada? Fugetaboutit. The taxes are waaaaay higher than in the US. Not to mention the 13% sales tax...... PaoloNapolitano 12:02, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Canada?? Why not somewhere where the free speech will be guarantied? I'm sure some small country which will profit a lot from having the Wikipedia servers could be more generous in terms of legislature and legislation. For example somewhere where never a website would be pushed down. I dont think USA is the case of Italy, I believe noone in the Congress will feel hurt if Wikipedia goes down. You can pressure Italy with such an action but you cannot pressure USA Congress with that. Better think of moving it. Canada or wherever you feel appropriate. --Aleksd (talk) 12:40, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

  • In case you have not been following the Politics in Canada, the new government armed with a majority is planning to introduce Internet Surveillance Legislation. We don't have EFF here standing up for our rights, like they do in the US (using the courts etc.). Here we have a smaller group:
  • --33rogers (talk) 01:17, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
    Come to think of it, would Wikimedia Foundation be willing to help out, by putting their name on the list of Campaign Members? Hopefully then it will bring back this issue to forefront again in the media. --33rogers (talk) 01:22, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Funny that Canada should be mentioned: Geist: U.S. could claim millions of Canadian domain names in piracy battle --Patar knight - chat/contributions 03:17, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

It is my understanding that some of these proposed bills like SOPA and Protect IP will make it so that if a website's servers are in a different country the US can simply block access to the urls from within the US. In addition, I believe Canada has similar proposed bills as well. MsBatfish (talk) 01:46, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Here is a link to a news article on one of the related proposed bills in Canada, which could also affect Wikipedia users and all media users [Canada: Stop Making Our Copyright and Digital Laws Worse - HuffPost] MsBatfish (talk) 05:00, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Leave Canada out of this, leave the US out of it. Wikipedia is a global encyclopedia. Who really gives a crap what happens in the US if they don't live there? Are we going to blank the page on Kyoto as Canada pulled out of the protocol? Wikipedia should not be promoting any agenda, period. As a Canadian, I really have no interest in suffering through a Wikipedia "blockade" to protest another stupid American law. I'd be more worried about Guantanamo and other anti-terrorism laws that allow arbitrary detentions than this law. You don't like the law, write a letter to your Congressman. Typical American attitude, we'll do what we want, to hell with the rest of the world... Wikipedia is acting as the cathedral, not as the marketplace it's supposed to be. All Hail the mighty Jimbo, and do whatever he wants. Oaktree b (talk) 05:09, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Because these bills affect Wikipedia. It is not just some law that Jimmy doesn't like. They affect the website's ability to function. This is something that all readers and editors of Wikipedia and Wikimedia should care about, regardless of where they live. MsBatfish (talk) 05:17, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Reminders to avoid infringement

Meanwhile, WP editors can improve efforts to avoid infringement of copyrights (re WP:Copyrights). In many legal cases, a lawsuit is won, or curtailed, by the party who wins "the paper chase" with better documentation which can refute the alleged charges. If more WP editors re-doubled their efforts to stop potential cases of infringement, then those actions could be cited to help curtail infringement cases in the early stages. If the evidence shows the defendant clearly resisted the illegal actions, then the lawsuit loses credibility and can be ended sooner. Fortunately, many WP editors have been quickly blocking the use of copyrighted materials, but more can be done.
The following category typically contains fewer than 200 articles, but wider participation could reduce the category towards zero, several times per month:

With Wikipedia blocking even more attempts to post copyrighted materials, then there would be less substance to sustain any charges of infringement. This is a pro-active effort where many editors could help to reduce future related problems for Wikipedia. -Wikid77 16:55, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

While we're at it, I still fail to understand why people who simply copy-paste huge chunks of text into wikipedia don't simply get blocked immediately and indefinitely, talkpage access removed, without discussion or recourse. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 17:43, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Confession: one of my early edits here, many years ago, was a cut-and-paste copyvio, performed before I grasped that Wikipedia was one of the few sites that genuinely cares about copyright protection. Under this policy I would have been cut off, and never edited here again. Is that really the consequence you seek? I've gotten better..... --Orange Mike | Talk 16:47, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Often the material comes from a web site that the editor is associated with, and the editor does not even realize that copyright is being violated. Looie496 (talk) 18:39, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. We have no way to tell when potentially infringing material was added by the copyright holder, except in a relatively small proportion of the cases. There is a difference between erring on the side of caution and paranoia. (talk) 01:08, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
While I'm always in favor of ratcheting up our efforts to avoid infringement of copyrights, I would like to say that the law is still a bad law, and that Wikipedia getting directly in trouble for copyright violations is not my primary fear here. It's rather that we'll be forced due to the high risk to pre-vet all contributions, with no material improvement in copyright policing, but with significant increase in costs. Additionally, parts of the law suggest to me that we might be forbidden from even linking to certain websites in a purely informational way - that's a violation of our editorial integrity.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:50, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia receives about 200000 edits per day (more than 2 per second). Even after filtering out minor edits, pre-vetting contributions would not be expensive, it would be impossible. Geometry guy 19:30, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Wikipedia:WikiProject Editing trends/Raw data/Revisions per day --MZMcBride (talk) 19:39, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
We've already seen the parade of horribles. What I would like to see is a solid legal opinion.--Wehwalt (talk) 19:51, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, both the current and former lead counsel for the Foundation agree that the law is dangerous and should be fought, and they combine roughly 40 years of legal experience specializing in intellectual property law and freedom of information. How much more solid would you like it? — Coren (talk) 20:25, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Link? A lawyer's job is to tell us what the law says and means, not whether it is "dangerous" and "should be fought". --Mkativerata (talk) 20:29, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
The lawyers probably know what their job is. Pretty sure "legal opinion" is one of them and that "dangerous" and "should be fought" falls under that category.--v/r - TP 20:39, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a link handy, because I know this firsthand. That said, Jimmy took the time to mention this above, so it's obviously not a secret either. — Coren (talk) 20:58, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
So when Wehwalt talked about a "solid legal opinion" you were of the view that "Coren's word about what two lowly legal professionals thought about the politics of the law, as relayed by Jimmy" cut the mustard? --Mkativerata (talk) 21:01, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Coren, what do you prefer at ArbCom? Conclusory sound bites, or evidence and analysis?--Wehwalt (talk) 21:05, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
You're welcome to do your own analysis, as I have. You asked for "solid legal opinion", and there is little more solid than the support of some of the foremost experts in the field – Mkativerata's patronizing dismissal of some of them notwithstanding – though I suppose you are more than welcome to solicit an opinion from another expert of your choice (though I expect a substantial analysis will cost you a pretty penny).

That said, yes, I will take even the informal opinion of lawyers who have a record of successfully arguing against damaging legislation before the SCOTUS over the musings of Internet pundits. — Coren (talk) 21:32, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Coren, perhaps we are talking at cross purposes. When I say a legal opinion, I mean a written (or electronic) legal analysis, setting forth the various issues, the relevant case law, and stating the issues the proposed legislation might face if enacted, what might happen with regulations issued by the administering agency, that kind of thing. I'm not asking for a thumbs up or down from the lawyer, what I want is discussion to enable the client (i.e., me) to make a decision. That's more than a few words. I wouldn't mind reading one by these two lawyers, although I'd much rather have one by a dispassionate, uninvolved lawyer who is expert in the field. That is what I mean by an "opinion".--Wehwalt (talk) 21:53, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
That's what I want too - preferably by Thursday, and at no personal cost to myself. Geometry guy 22:04, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Actually, according to Geoff the latest word is that the House Judiciary Committee might be voting Tuesday (today) morning, so yes, I hope that Geoff takes time out of actively negotiating to write up Wehwalt his own personal report, since apparently Wehwalt is the client here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:46, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Don't take this personally, Jimmy, I can empathise with Wehwalt's desire for a detailed analysis, and I'm pretty sure he didn't expect Geoff to drop everything then and there – GG was just being a bit snarky and hyperbolic. — Coren (talk) 19:06, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
No, I wasn't. I was instead injecting a bit of light-hearted humor into the discussion: Wehwalt appreciated the joke (see below and his talk page), and I also empathise with his desire for expert analysis, which is why I was happy to find some (also see below). Please take a little more care when characterizing other editor's contributions. Thanks, Geometry guy 21:40, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Peace, peace, everyone. I got GG's joke and his point. Let me explain. By mentioning it here, on a widely read page, if it is read by someone in authority and they think it is a great idea, then it happens. If it does not, no one is offended.--Wehwalt (talk) 21:52, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
It's normal that Jimmy would rely on internal counsel for this, and I'd love to read a detailed opinion from Geoff, but I wouldn't expect lawyers to publish their opinions pro bono unless they are passionate about the issue (one way or another). What you are asking for is feasible, but a very expensive proposition; and one which I at least don't see as requisite to figure out where I stand.

My own analysis is simpler; I read the proposed legislation, read the opinions that were expressed publicly, and followed the money.  :-) — Coren (talk) 22:05, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Interesting that this section turns to the immediate concern about the pending law. I still think, independent of any possible legislation, that wikipedia needs to take a tougher stance on copyright violations. Why is it that somebody often gets 3 warnings (e.g. 3 chances to violate the law) for blatant copyright violations before getting blocked? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:59, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Partly because copyright law is complicated, and most people simply do not understand it. "But it's publicly available" is a common meme that is hard to deprogram. We'd rather turn an editor around than exclude them outright if we can. — Coren (talk) 22:05, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
And that's what I simply don't get. All other disputes, vandalism, incivility are internal wikipedia matters. This one isn't. There should be absolutely no stupid excuses made for these copy-pasters. Block'em, right away. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:24, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
Please excuse me for placing this bit in the middle of this thread, but I felt it fit here best. You mention vandalism and incivility are blocked (sometimes at the first offense). Both of these matters involve bad faith editing; which is why we tolerate them less. Placing copyrighted materials on the site can also be done in bad faith, but I think the point is that because it generally is editors trying to improve the encyclopedia but unintentionally hurting it, we give them a chance to learn from their mistakes. I would rather give a copyright violator a second chance to learn and become a non-violating productive editor than an uncivil editor who is repeatedly uncivil. Second chances are for honest people who make honest mistakes or slipups.--v/r - TP 15:53, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
MPAA/RIAA/BRIEN/..... are already abusing their limited (not really limited) power. See 'Megaupload song' for more details.. they have taken off a song they hold no rights to using the automated youtube tool that was created to prevent copyright infringement.. and not just once... if they are already abusing the system now, what will they do when SOPA gives them essentially unlimited power to censor? These despicable bastards will stop at NOTHING. so we have to stop them. NOW! — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shinigamidono (talkcontribs) 22:04, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Very funny gg. Seriously, I expect there will be pro and con legal opinions on this available online. I confidently expect that any final legislation will be equally unacceptable to both sides (such being the nature of compromise) and will kick the can down the road another five or six years instead of addressing fundamental copyright reform.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:18, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

And Coren, no of course I would not expect WMF to release internal documents. However, a slightly sanitized executive summary would probably not be a big deal.--Wehwalt (talk) 22:19, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Right on cue, an analysis by Lawrence H. Tribe, Harvard University Professor of Constitutional Law: [9]. It is 23 pages, but the first two already contain the following:

  • "Conceivably, an entire website containing tens of thousands of pages could be targeted if only a single page were accused of infringement."
  • "Absence of knowledge of specific infringing acts would not be a defense. Thus, the definition would effectively require sites actively to police themselves to ensure that infringement does not occur."
  • "Faced with such pervasive uncertainties, many sites will predictably be chilled from engaging in fully protected and lawful speech"

Geometry guy 22:22, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

That is good to know. Do you have one for the other side? By the way, Jimbo's call is now all over the internet, thus the many IPs coming in and !voting. He has certainly transformed this talk page into something rich and strange.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:01, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Honestly, I don't think you're likely to find one. Obviously I am biased, but I fully expect that proponents of the bill are going to be speaking in soundbites given that an analysis of the proposed law is something they'd rather not occur too much. — Coren (talk) 18:59, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Semi-automated pre-vetting for infringement

I think the checking for copyrighted additions could be simplified, greatly, by automated checking of the edit-diff comparisons. Most tiny 8-word edits should be allowed by infringement laws. Plus, a large number of edits (of the 200,000 per day?) are already vandalism hacks, or the reverts (which usually improve the text). Of course, denying updates for vandalism would be a fantastic benefit, with articles rarely scarred any longer. However, recall that some reverts have been Bots restoring hacked, vandalized or BLP-vio edits because the repair-edit contained dis-allowed URL links, and so the bot would be the cause of re-adding copy-vio text (or image-links). Meanwhile, multi-part edits with short deletions and short inserted phrases could be passed automatically. However, beware any 99-rights-make-a-wrong editor, who would make a long series of tiny adds, or tiny deletion edits, with the combined effect of creating a whole paragraph of plagiarized text. Such problems could be reduced by per-article-edit-limits, where a suspected, nominated editor could only make "8 edits" per article per day, to avoid the piecemeal slanting of text that has occurred in the past. They could still make daily edits to construct sections of plagiarized text, but by slowing the total edits per day, then other editors might have time to review those changes, to see if a copyvio-skyscraper was under construction by such repeated "99" small edits to the same article. With those cases handled, then only new articles or whole new sentences (over 9 words) would need to be closely pre-vetted. If the new laws led to "zero tolerance" of infringement, then the long additions would become pending changes. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:16, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

You paint a vivid picture of the potential future editing environment, However, since pending changes, and indeed edit histories, can be viewed, they could also be copyright infringements, so you need to cover that risk too. Geometry guy 21:42, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
URL links are a major part of the issue - while you might exclude them by machine, the effect would simply be for people to specify them without the incriminating cues (like trying to cite sources in a Yahoo News discussion). Meanwhile, Pending Changes remains a very clearly unworkable mechanism for any purpose.
I think it's also appropriate to take a step back and look at such paragons of liberty as Hudong and Baidu. Though unqualified to say if it's true, I've read claims that it is not uncommon for them to contain large copyvios.[10] If the United States accepted a Great Firewall approach as valid doctrine, perhaps these corporations would provide a freer alternative, which Americans might access via HTTP tunnels and other dodges. Wnt (talk) 21:56, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I look at an article like this and then wonder what-if Hudong launched an English version head to head with Wikipedia just as we start our blanking SOPA protests? Hudong currently has 5 million articles which is as great as Wikipedia. --Alatari (talk) 13:02, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Judging by the conversation here, I don't think a blanking protest is going to happen; in any case, I don't think Hudong will overwhelm Wikipedia unless America abruptly turns its back on its tradition of free speech and decides that the Chinese model is the right way to go - in which case both the free speech and the copyright lobbies would lose. Provided the Supreme Court wasn't stolen last night I don't think that's going to happen. The real effect here is that the MPAA is pandering to the delusions of its members. Copyright can't be saved, we need a new system, and the longer movie and music authors bash their heads against our Constitution the more money and opportunities they're going to lose. Wnt (talk) 13:43, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Arguably, the Supreme Court was stolen December 10, 1971, when Rehnquist was allowed in; or when Abe Fortas was filibustered out of the Chief Justice position. --Orange Mike | Talk 16:59, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
So far as I know, the Rehnquist court hasn't really been particularly bad for free speech compared to its predecessors [11]. Now to be sure, I don't really want to defend Rehnquist, but the problems with defending free speech date back to John Quincy Adams. I think the "fire in a crowded theater"/"compelling state interest" argument is plainly false, and it has left the First Amendment full of holes for a full century - even so, for the court to uphold the principle even that much was a step forward in its day. I want someday for the court to have the courage to uphold it full and free, as a genuinely correct principle, and for institutions which conflict with it, such as copyright, to be recognized as unworkable and replaced. But I see no reason to believe that the court is suddenly going to decide the U.S. should be like China. To the contrary, decisions like Citizens United (over which I disagree with fellow liberals) suggest that it is becoming more determined to uphold the principle. Wnt (talk) 22:07, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

How do you propose to allow material added by the copyright holder under such a system? (talk) 01:10, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

This is already a complicated process. The copyright holder must contact OTRS. There are several reasonable ways to adapt this to the proposal. Hans Adler 22:05, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

The proposal seems to essentially involve something like limited flagged revisions, with a focus on catching copyvios before they get put into articles. I don't know the technical aspects of it but one possibility would be to somehow incorporate the Duplication detector (a very useful tool for looking for copyvios) into the structure so that any "large" edit over some threshold number of characters gets automatically run through it and flagged for checking if it matches a long enough string (say, more than 15 words). Of course it wouldn't stop folks who are intent on committing copyvios/plagiarisms, wouldn't catch copyvios from offline sources or from google books, but since a lot of the problems stem from ignorance (people think it's okay to copy paste stuff from "stuff found on the web") it would catch at least some of them. Likewise, it would probably result in a few false positives, particularly in cases where long, attributed quotes or very lengthy citations are used, but that's why it should flag it for review, not outright reversion. Again, this wouldn't solve all copy-vio issues and problems but might put some dent in them, giving the way overworked folks at CCI a bit of breathing room. Volunteer Marek  22:21, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Hello good sir.

I need you to clear my name,people keep bothering me,and telling me I'm something that I'm not.They don't want Ips to be able to edit WikipediA. comment added by (talk) 22:08, 12 December 2011 (UTC

Whatever it is, your gig for using Wikipedia as a tool for harassment of real life people is up. –MuZemike 01:07, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you ( are bringing this up on Jimbo's page? He is not in charge of what editors do or say on Wikipedia, nor can he tell people to "clear your name". Perhaps it would be helpful for you to read more about how Wikipedia works. There are many useful pages in the WP:Help section. Some editors have different personal opinions about things such as editing while only using an IP and not a registered username. These are sometimes just their personal opinions. For example, if someone "doesn't want IPs to be able to edit Wikipedia" that is just their personal viewpoint and it isn't a rule right now. But there are some guidelines about editing ethically and what is or isn't a good use of an IP-only account. You are still expected to follow Wikipedia policies and guidelines. If you want to completely avoid editors "bothering" you about being unregistered (an "IP"), you can register an account. It is really easy to do. Either way, I would highly recommend you read the following:
If you have trouble understanding something or have any questions, there are many admin and experienced editors who are often willing to help. Just make sure that you are polite and respectful and don't ask them to do something that they are not capable of doing or shouldn't do. Try to stick to questions about how Wikipedia works or more information on what an editor thinks you didn't "wrong".
You can ask for help at Wikipedia:New contributors' help page/questions or on your own Talk page - just add {{helpme}} in front of your question in the latter case.
I hope this helps. MsBatfish (talk) 02:22, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

FURTHER NOTES: In addition, from reading this user's Talk page, it appears that he/she may be a "persistently disruptive" editor using multiple IPs to make disruptive edits and to subvert bans or blocks. See User:Salvidrim/Tailsman67. says on his/her talk page "Tailsman67 will be back in 2 weeks,and so get ready.Tailsman67 isn't a vandal,he just doesn't get this place.", this may explain why a lot of editors are, as you said "bothering" you. And if you "don't get this place", I strongly suggest you read the pages I linked above before doing any further editing.
Jimbo, I'm sorry that my good-faith reply to this user has taken up so much space on your talk page. I hope it does some good :-) MsBatfish (talk) 02:41, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

The bill sucks, but often, so does Wikipedia

Wikipedia's shameful partisanship on issues such as global warming have diminished it in my eyes, and I'm sure in the eyes of many other people, as a useful resource.

So I dont think a strike would be particulary effective.

There is a lot of internet, and only a small part of it is wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

The HIV page is hopelessly biased. Well founded verifiable facts that Anthony Fauci dosen't like are removed. --Filterbypass (talk) 23:06, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Strongly Opposed to 'Strike' in opposition of SOPA

Firstly, remember that the English Wikipedia is active in more countries than the United States - basically, you'd be depriving people in completely different countries of a resource they need because it's all kicking off in another country.

Also, remember your requests for money - 'Wikipedia should never be a propaganda tool' - you are basically tearing up your own rule book by allowing what is effectively propaganda against America. The laws are being debated in that government, not on the Internet or on Wikipedia.

Knowledge can be free, but you must acknowledge that this is not the only tool for gaining it. Even if your site was shut down, there are countless other sources of information that one can gain knowledge from. By blanking your site, you are simply making one optional service on the Internet unavailable. There are still other sources, even books.

Also, respect your government. People who use Wikipedia have elected these governments through the process of democratic vote. Would you also provide some form of official vote for people to have their say without editing your talk page?

Please consider this with an open mind. (talk) 13:11, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Cough. unmi 13:29, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Sometimes you have to say "screw all rules, I'm doing what's right" instead of saying "no matter what's right I'm going by the book". The end doesn't always justify the means, but in this case I'd say it's the lesser evil than doing nothing.
SOPA would also threaten Wikipedia. This isn't propaganda, this is self-defense. (talk) 13:35, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Completely agree. It's self-defense, not just political protest. And the other Wikipedia-sites should join in, because SOPA will affect them too. Landgang (talk) 14:33, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I will remind the anonymous vandal with an IP at 81.110 that opposition to a particular legal proposal is in no way "propaganda against America"! Dissent is not treason; and that the fact that the current Congress is elected has nothing to do with the right to oppose vile legislative ideas. --Orange Mike | Talk 17:12, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Re: "Please consider this with an open mind", you might want to examine your own thoughts for openness. In particular, the idea that supporting or opposing a particular government policy is "propaganda against America" is the sort of thing that you find in North Korea, not in a free and democratic society. "America" is not equal to "the current policies of whoever won the last election". and opposing the latter is not the same at attacking the former. --Guy Macon (talk) 19:45, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

The concern is that all languages of Wikipedia might be hindered

  • The concern is that all languages of Wikipedia might be hindered by requiring the intense pre-vetting and pre-screening of edits to avoid infringement, if the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act became law. This would include the English Wikipedia, and any other-language Wikipedias displayed or edited in the United Kingdom. It is difficult to see how anonymous volunteers could be held responsible for WP:COPYVIO content, without blocking all major additions of text and images until cleared, by officially appointed moderators, using an exhaustive search of Internet and library sources about the topics. Most likely, all existing pages in Wikipedia would need to be taken offline (or display at most the first 9 words), to be pre-scanned and fixed for any copyvio content, before being allowed back online for further display or editing. Even the edit-history pages would need to be kept offline until any long quotes from copyrighted sources could be erased from edit-summary comments, dating back to the creation of the pages. Naturally, many other websites would face similar offline pre-screening to avoid infringement prosecution or lawsuits, so there would be worldwide opposition to the U.S. Congress passing such a law which could cause so much overhead in displaying webpages. Meanwhile, there is talk of having sister corporation websites, based in other nations, to allow Wikipedia editors to continue functioning on those non-US-based websites, but not be displayed by U.S. Internet service providers until the U.S. Wikipedia sites could be returned online. Fortunately, all this is likely to take a year before the effective date occurs, so there should be ample time to decide a course of action. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:21, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Wow. I find your thoughts saddening, particularly the part about "until cleared, by officially appointed moderators." This is precisely the old system of publishing that was common at least during the years 1970 through 1990, even the present, and possibly beginning much earlier than that, where big-money, ownership-connected corporate-publishing firms were "the moderators", and they seemed to largely be, basically, misleading mass numbers of folks, at least in regards to fiction writers. I'm reminded of the idea that one can't turn back the clock of time, yet that does seem to be what you describe would accomplish, were this legislation to pass. Of course, the group moderating would likely be a different group, such analogs are never perfect, but the entire concept of compulsory "learn to read and write", so a financially-connected group can later "shut you up" or "prevent you from having a publishing platform" (censorship), are the basic patterns to which I point. Such a hypocrisy-filled world is little different from an inferno. Most volunteer editors, myself included, do not have access to a copy vio testing tool, where our possible edits could be self tested against most all known existing writings, and since those software tools are rumored to exist, the question regarding who, precisely, becomes the moderators, is essentially answered. Gzuufy (talk) 19:12, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Another Idea...

I think that Maybe we can Block united states Ip's , During the Votation (: Or earlier, the day before, two, and if they approve It think you should lock the North American ips permanently.

Nicolás Cabrera (: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

That's a bit more subtle and conservative than flat-out blanking. I like it. :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo Wales I support taking down Wikipedia

I strongly support the idea of taking Wikipedia down as to make a statement against SOPA/PIPA. I am a DIY Artist who gives away his Art freely and I am not only concerned with my ability to do this but I am getting angrier all the time at Washington. SOPA/PIPA are unfair to us all and will bring real Censorship and government control to the Internet.Chris Dodd of the MPAA even said it will bring China-like Censorship but I know he will love that.The MPAA & RIAA will now do anything and pay anything so they can hold on to their way of doing business which refuses to advance to a modern method. They have paid out millions of dollars to Senators and Representatives so I say to you we need more people to stand up for America and our way of Freedom. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jordankratz (talkcontribs) 20:56, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

SOPA does not just affect the US

I apologize for starting my own section, but there is a lot of noise on the page and people are missing an important point. Moving the servers would solve nothing as SOPA defines its scope as all websites directed at a US audience. In other words, if someone in the US reads the page, the law affects you no matter where your servers are or what domain extension you are using. Thank you for your attention to this point. Elinruby (talk) 22:27, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

What's more, it also affects all .com, .net, .org's, and the entire North American registry-zone, even if no-one in the U.S. ever looks at it. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 22:29, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
True; under the original SOPA, it counts all IP addresses in Canada - including those used by the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial governments - as domestic under US law. The same is true of some 20 Caribbean nations. Whether that remains true under the revised SOPA I'm not sure, but I wouldn't bet against it. Melicans (talk, contributions) 22:46, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Apologies if I sound annoying or anything, but I'm only 15, and I live in Australia - will SOPA affect me in any way? -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 00:06, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Your IP address doesn't go through anything in the US to give you access, so you won't be considered "domestic" like Canadians will. However SOPA does (potentially, but almost certainly) affect major websites such as Google, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia; anything ending in .com, .org, or .net falls under SOPA, I believe, regardless of where in the world the registrant lives (because those domain names are through the USA). So any of those websites - probably several million all told) could be affected. Melicans (talk, contributions) 00:16, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Wow, thank you. Love it how the major media outlets down here reported on this ...not. :/ -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 00:26, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
That is unapropriate what you say and impossible in terms of law, but I believe "SOPA does not just affect the US" because USA maintains a leading role in Internet and authoring legislation and sooner or later this will be taken over many other countries. After all it all started in the USA and the other countries are just following, if the legislation in USA thighten too much this will affect not imediatelly but in time legislation in other countries. --Aleksd (talk) 12:53, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

A suggestion

Seeing as how the publicity generated by the proposal has attracted the attention of many ... "newly-registered" accounts to vote in the poll (as well as apparently some harassment), which has more or less quashed any usefulness that such an exercise had in the first place, how about the "polling" be closed at this point? It might also be a good idea to next time suggest this kind of thing in a more neutral venue. Volunteer Marek  23:49, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Concur. The poll should have served its purpose by now. Geometry guy 23:52, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking the same before you posted. Anyone feeling bold? SmartSE (talk) 00:03, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Yes check.svg Done ;-). --SB_Johnny | talk 00:19, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Disregarding, say, everything after new votes started being added at the top, what's the tally? (talk) 03:03, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Taking into account that I only caught maybe half of the non-bolded votes, and taking into account that I'm going to bed right after this, I expect a margin of error of about 25 votes either way (though I probably missed the oppose votes), but my tally was:
Support votes: 440-ish (potentially anywhere between 415-465)
Oppose votes, including one to the effect of "I'm not in America so laws affecting Wikipedia's servers don't affect me," and anoter to the effect of "but we'll all lose millions if SOPA doesn't pass because we're all published writers like JK Rowling": 50-ish, error probably favoring the upside (so up to 75).
If anyone wants to go all Al Gore on this, they can recount themselves, but I don't think it's going to matter. Even a quick scan of the page gives the impression of support having more support. Ian.thomson (talk) 03:38, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Are you saying SOPA=Manbearpig? That's about right. Are you serial? Let's flood that mine, never mind if a lot of good, veteran, editors who think this whole idea is nothing but a cheap publicity stunt and will completely destroy whatever reputation Wikipedia has left gets scarified in the process - just because a whole bunch of "new accounts" showed up and created an illusion of "support" for it.
Jimbo can make a slide show about how he defeated SOPA and present it to the Washington committee tomorrow. Anyway, the whole thing was wack from the start, with Jimbo putting it on his talk page (which - no offense, but has always had a "court of the sultan and how can we please him" feel to it (and honestly, that's not even a criticism of Jimbo himself just of the second rate groupies who can't even muster up the nerve to kiss some real rock star ass), even before the latest influx of sycophancy showed up - though to be honest he does invite it) rather than starting a proper RfC in a neutral venue. At this point the whole process has been thoroughly contaminated.
It was done in a bad faith manner. As far as I can make out it was done unilaterally without prior approval from the WMF - though the timing suggests that Sue and WMF then scrambled to cover Jimmy's ass on this. It was certainly done in a way which the community would not approve off had this been any other Wikipedia editor doing this. As I said before, had anyone else but Jimbo done this, it would've been reported to WP:ANI and the user in question would've had been blocked for WP:ADVOCACY or WP:SOAPBOXING. And then once it was posted it was conducted in a way which would've probably earned the person who harassed the oppose votes an indef block. Jimbo should just come out and say "I'm a special kind of Wikipedia editor" (which he sort of is) or just drop this whole pretense of "gee shucks, I'm just another regular guy putting forth an idea". You can't have it both ways.
Anyways, just in case someone steps over the line and gets over eager to please; I always wondered (my people from Huntsville probably had some head buttins' with your people from Huntsville): "War Eagle" or "Roll Tide"?

 Volunteer Marek  04:12, 14 December 2011 (UTC) If someone can please read and/or respond to the comment I made two sections above this one, I would appreciate it. Trying to get answers about this Wikipedia "blackout" deal. I do feel that this is an issue that hasn't been addressed here yet, and not sure if anyone has read it yet. Thanks. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 03:54, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

See the section in discussion where I noted the variety of industrial relations metaphors under the headings of symbolic actions, economic actions and direct actions. It could vary from Wikipedia being 404 indefinitely and never coming back online to a "Jimbo is watching you donate" type message at the top of each page. The community hasn't decided what it wants to do, but, it is arguable, that the community has decided that it would like to do "something." For symbolic protests, the effect on the provision of service by en.wikipedia would be minimal. For economic or political actions, the purpose of the action is to inflict harm on others by removing the free service. Fifelfoo (talk) 04:04, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't see a reason for negativity here. I posted all those news links above - of course newly registered editors are weighing in on this. Wikipedia has just poked its nose into an ongoing fight, and it's been noticed. Sure, there could be the inevitable sock or two, but it makes no difference when the vote is so lopsided. The straw poll is what it says it is and this exercise of power is entirely appropriate for Wikipedia's founder - this is why we are lucky to have a founder, to bring together the community, lobbyists, news outlets, and activists in some reasoned way, and not just float around like a stick of wood on the ocean. And I agree 100% with Fifelfoo (there's a first time for everything!) in his comment above that any number of approaches are possible. I do myself oppose a full service outage because there may be schools relying on us, people are newly diagnosed with diseases they want to look up every day, there are scheduled public events we've written about that people would count on us for, etc. Wikipedia's strength is in providing information, not withholding or biasing or exploiting it. But this will become clear as the conversation continues. Wnt (talk) 05:12, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Isn't disruption the whole point? Half-assed measures will generate some publicity (heck, just talking about it has), but nowhere near what is necessary to create the sense of urgency needed here. SOPA is a big fight between industry groups far more powerful in Washington than "the people", they won't care about an advertisement on Wikipedia even if it makes the page 3 of the New York Times. But a shutdown of the sixth largest website in the world, visited by tens of millions of Americans daily? That's a massive disruption, likely to generate (or help generate) a global backlash and intense media hype against SOPA. A shutdown, as opposed to benign action, will create a sense of urgency in Congress, will give a huge boost to the anti-SOPA lobbyists, and perhaps most importantly, will find its way at the top of the briefing notes of the POTUS alongside Jimbo's home phone number courtesy of the NSA. Well, perhaps the last part is a bit of a stretch, but we shouldn't underestimate how important Wikipedia has become. The point is : that kind of disruption will get noticed, very, very much. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 05:36, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I agree. Randy in Boise doesn't know what SOPA is and doesn't care about some poll on this talk page or brief news articles on tech sites he doesn't read. Blocking his access to vital Wikipedia articles (e.g. list of Glee episodes) is the one thing that might make him take notice. TotientDragooned (talk) 06:02, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Given the closure of the straw poll, it is probably incumbent upon editors who wish to follow up the feeling in the straw poll with action to take concrete proposals to workshopping, or to directly take coherent proposals to a location for all of en.wikipedia centralised discussion. Normally I'd suggest that the proposer of the straw poll and the owner of the talk page do it; but, given the expression of sentiment, it seems that any editor with a coherent view of what should happen, or a willingness to carry the bag in developing consensus, could take this up. Fifelfoo (talk) 06:15, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

All the "single purpose accounts" are a concern? Really? This isn't a deletion discussion where SPAs are a concern. Those "single purpose accounts" have also been e-mailing OTRS. I haven't been taking down numbers, but we've had plenty of e-mails to info-en queues supporting a shutdown or protest against SOPA. There's another name for these single purpose accounts: readers. There's a big difference between coming and expressing support for a political protest on Jimbo's user talk and spamming an AfD with canvassed, self-serving keep votes that completely fail WP:ATA. That people are unable to see this difference doesn't exactly surprise me. Apparently, despite "IPs are editors too", there's a long-standing attitude that unless you're an admin or have written a few FAs or whatnot, one cannot have an opinion. —Tom Morris (talk) 10:16, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

I agree with Tom. Please note that newly-registered accounts (or IP addresses) are readers too, and should not be discounted, nor taken as a joke. We should all keep in mind that the very reason we do what we do and volunteer here is for the world's readership. I see no reason they can't have a say in whether or not we shut down operations. m.o.p 12:54, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and also no. Because this was posted all over the net (Reddit, Hacker News, etc.); there was no explicit call to come vote (and skew results) but the type of communities it was posted in naturally have that effect. We have an influx of a specific type of reader - particularly those for whom blanking Wikipedia satisfies a common goal (a strong opposition to the bill). By nature, the online communities this came from specifically support any opposition to the bill - but that only represents a portion of our readers. So although it is nice we finally got to poll some of them, it's not necessarily representative :) (also for numbers, see: [12]) --Errant (chat!) 15:38, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

TimidGuy ban appeal arbitration case

An arbitration case involving you has been opened, and is located at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/TimidGuy ban appeal. Evidence that you wish the Arbitrators to consider should be added to the evidence sub-page, at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/TimidGuy ban appeal/Evidence. Please add your evidence by December 28, 2011, which is when the evidence phase closes. You can contribute to the case workshop sub-page, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/TimidGuy ban appeal/Workshop. For a guide to the arbitration process, see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Guide to arbitration. For the Arbitration Committee, Alexandr Dmitri (talk) 09:42, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Alternative Idea

Hi, I'm a long-time user, used to edit frequently but have moved many times and forgot my PW, etc. so consider me a newbie if you want. Just floating an idea. If, instead of a strike, those who worry about the "encyclopedianess" of Wikipedia being compromised, how about having the site ONLY serve up the wikipedia page for SOPA, temporarily uneditable, with an explanation of why this was done (current event, etc.) Otherwise I think it's needless to say that I obviously support the proposal, strongly. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:42, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Your input would be appreciated

Your input would be very welcome in this discussion. Pesky (talkstalk!) 11:34, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Original Barnstar Hires.png The Original Barnstar
i give you this barnstar for co-creating Wikipedia! - Dets65 (talk) 16:05, 14 December 2011 (UTC)