User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 92

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Say No to SOPA

Hi, Come on peoples stop being lemmings, pull back from the cliff and think about it, then just say "No".

Thanks for listening, now start acting on it. Regionallink (talk) 19:54, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

What difference does that make? In the end, the lemmings are going to make the jump, anyways. –MuZemike 22:03, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
That is actually a common misconception, lemmings don't actually partake in mass suicidal dives.AerobicFox (talk) 00:33, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
They do in the computer game, which I believe had a reputation for fact-checking. --FormerIP (talk) 02:48, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Unlike Disney: White Wilderness (film) --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:07, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

How many power at digit sign

the world wide web have to regulate by order. we know that the regime would find easely, if they was a powerfull tool. To do with simple do's. If the web have to be closed, frame will be not these query feedbacks. The power of money isn't exist in the ideas of pathfinders. The regulation like asking for yukon daylight in some digit insignia. For my web is gived no chokepoint. We should hang out sometime or they're a bad match. Give a sign --Nikklau (talk) 20:13, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Hearings substance so far

Just listening to this hearing for a short time, this bill is going to give the Attorney General (the one that just lied to congress) unprecedented power. What a bunch of crap I am hearing so far. Pfizer made some good points as to online pharmacies and fake drugs, Motion Picture Industry, same old story, piracy of movies, etc. Mastercard made some good points, now for Google who the committe chairman has blasted in his opening statements. Google is doing a good job speaking for the people and stating the proposed legislation is overbroad and lacks "due process" will work with the Congress to stop foreign websites in violation and has been doing so. - (Fifth Amendment violation). She also talks about free speech (First Amendment) issues vt someone states that the ACLU is primary against SOPA from First Amendment. Google is being blasted by everyone and are trying to cut short her answers and not let her complete her answer. Afl-CIO for the Act saying the Act will save jobs and protect police, firefighters and soldiers against defective equipment. Google representative is not being allowed to address the fifth amendment issue of being able to shut down a website with just a court order and no due process. They have constantly cut her off and done everything but gag her so far. She is finally able to talk and now is saying she agrees with choking off sites like WikiLeads at the revenue site the, shortly, cut off again. Senator Lofgreen introducing many letters and written testimony by entities against the bill and complaining that they were not allowed to testify and that only one company, Google was allowed to testify against the bill. Google representative did get to state that E-bay and sites like it have created thousands of jobs. Representative Issa also introducting written testimony by electronic association and is complaing that many against this bill have not been allowed to testify at this hearing. He, too is receiving alot of static and they are trying to cut him off. He is proposing a new modified bill that would include due process and injunctive relief through ITC for the stopping of rouge and illegal websites instead of this bill which wants to evade it and give Attorney General absolute power. Rep. Jackson-Lee asking Google rep to comment on how this bill will affect newly created small business. State providers could be cut off within five days without any due process. She or Google rep. mentions WikiLeaks is going off because providers are cutting them off and she thinks that is the way to go allowing providers instead of the government doing it. Don't really understand Rep. Maxine Waters question - Google rep repeats her concern for due process not being in this bill. (It would be nice if she did not begin every answer with "SO...". Right now Lofgren seems to be our only friend. She is against the bill and has stated it in the hearing. There is a former NSA expert Stuart Beers (Sp?) that has some technical concerns that this will somehow interfere with Homeland Security applications on the net. Not a geek, do not know what that means. Can't watch anymore but I would hope someone else would take this up for anyone who cannot watch themselves.Mugginsx (talk) 19:44, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Even the process for debate of issues has been compromised in this country. Time to take the power back. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:30, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I strongly support a blackout of Wiki to protest SOPA.

This needs to be done sooner rather than later. This type of blackout will show all of America the void in social benefit, by censoring the sharing of information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Please read the statement(s) I made above this one. I am still in proposal for *some sort of strike,* but not a full blackout of the website. I feel that now is the time to come to a fair idea of a protest. Blacking out the entire website is not the answer. I am in support of a full-page protest with an explanation of what SOPA is, and what you can do to protest. I am also proposing banners at the top of each article that can take you back to the full-page protest. It would not hinder one from searching for an article, nor interfere with others lives and/or businesses etc. Please support my backing on this so we can all come to a fair and reasonable decision. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 22:23, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Blacking Wikipedia is exactly the right answer. If not, it would not be supported by 90% of the participants in the poll. --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 23:44, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Not sure which poll you are referring to. This poll has a majority against blacking out Wikipedia, which I would have been strongly against if I was aware of the proposal.AerobicFox (talk) 00:30, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I would've definitely been in opposition of that. It was just too soon. I think we would need some time to work this all out. If we decide to vote on this, we would need at least a day's notice before going anywhere. And I hate spouting off on here like this, but for someone like me, I just dread of something as dramatizing as Wiki going offline. As long as it doesn't happen overnight or without some time for us to get the message, I'm cool with that. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 00:48, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
You have linked to a discussion with 15 Users. I am speaking about the poll right on this site with more than 500 Users and an agreement rate of 89,4 in favor of a blackout. --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 08:55, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I made an account purely so I could weigh in on this topic. I use wikipedia regularly for my work and my writing, it one of the finest resources available on the net for authors like myself, and even knowing it may make my job more difficult for a few days or weeks if this site performs the strike, I am strongly in support of such an action. Better I suffer a few days than for all of us to suffer for all our days.DungeonBrew (talk) 01:44, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I have an idea. If enough people agree, can we do the blackout over the weekend? --Radiokid1010 (talk) 02:28, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Blacking out Wikipedia is, actually, the answer. You keep saying it's not without providing an argument as to why not. As far as protests go, limp-wristed half measures like you propose never work. Leave that for the politicians and apologists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:24, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Blackout pointless if you don't provide numbers for representatives

There is no point in blacking out Wikipedia if you don't follow Tumblr's example and connect people with their representatives. You can make a point or you can make a difference.

That said, I strongly support. --Nyellin (talk) 05:29, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

That's a good idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:02, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Exactly. Put up a (wiki) page describing SOPA, why it's bad for Wikipedia and the internet and provide names and contact info for every member of Congress so the populace can flood Washington with their stance on the issue. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 16 December 2011 (UTC) already has a pretty great system set up where you enter your info and they direct connect you to your representative by phone, and e-mail is an option too. We can link to them instead of rolling our own. Dcoetzee 16:47, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Good ideas we have here. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 17:40, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Meta-talk: SOPA talk page section twiddling

In good faith today, I reorganized a bunch of headings under the SOPA main talk heading. I'm of the opinion that new people don't want to add their comments onto what's already there, and want to "stand out" as a new section.... but then if there's no immediate followup comment from others, their new sections slide off into archive-bot oblivion, since they are posting separate.

I hope that my header-to-subheader shuffling was an okay thing to do. Nobody has mass reverted all those section edits so I'm assuming it was proper. (For the separate SOPA comment sections that already dropped off into archive land, I'm not going to bring them back out.)

If one were to be really nitpicky, the now-merged sections should reorganized further, under the two main poll and discussion sections. (But it's hard enough to follow everything already, so doing a "proper" re-ordering may just confuse everyone and not help at all. (Unknown.))

If there's no issue with this, then I'll probably eventually "merge up" some more of these new separate sections at the bottom, up over the non-SOPA talk. DMahalko (talk) 05:53, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Perhaps stop expanding the first thread ("Request for Comment: SOPA and a strike"), and let it auto-archive (into /Archive_90 or /Archive_91), to focus on newer issues of this talk-page. Because the proposed wording of the SOPA bill has been changed in the past week, then further comments about the bill are not discussing the same issues as when the poll was first requested. Major websites will no longer be considered as "dedicated to theft" of copyrighted data. I think you should let the SOPA poll auto-archive, and let other issues rise to the top for consideration by Jimbo, so that this user-talk page does not become the "Everything-ever-said-about-SOPA forum". -Wikid77 (talk) 08:17, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Okay. I was under the impression that that section has some sort of anti-archive setting on it, and Jimbo would force the SOPA topic to archive when he got tired of it. DMahalko (talk) 08:28, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) I'm not going to do any reverts and what not, but I'm really not a fan of your talk-page engineering. What's wrong with letting threads go as they go? If Jimbo (after all, it's his talk page) thinks it's getting out of hand, he should feel free to manually archive the crap as he wishes. And personally, I agree it's kinda out of hand... As Jimbo seems to be a fan of accessibility (per his user page "reform"), he shouldn't let his talk page go more than 200K (not very accessible from my older computer (read top-end 2008 Lenovo laptop)). I can't imagine how it is using a 56K connection or an older computer... That said, talk page engineering is wrong. Leave it to Jimbo to manage it if he feels the need to do so. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 08:32, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Say no more, I'm not going to move anything else. I was just trying to help keep the major sections in order, since the archiver has no sense of chronology of events. When the main section finally archives it'll be past the point the discussion is done, and anyone trying to read the archive later, will have to skip all over the place to find the other disjointed sections that archived ahead of the main section. (Is 500k huge for a talk page when there are no images?) DMahalko (talk) 08:51, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Leaving multiple threads is faster for some readers: As noted, some older browsers (or hand-held devices) do NOT handle large threads well, and Jimbo is accustomed to the auto-archiving and looking in archives for related topics. We accept the good intentions to keep the SOPA threads together, but actually, auto-archiving tends to archive many related threads, together, into the same large archive (/Archive_90) or the next in sequence. That is why talk-page refactoring (and moving topics) can obscure the typical pattern where most old unreplied threads really do archive within a week of each other. -Wikid77 16:34, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Why not blanking all supporting house members biographies and replace them with an denouncing explaination?

I think it would be appropriate to find out which house members are supporting the SOPA and then to blank the Wikipedia article pages indefinitely while showing something like The english language Wikipedia community has decided to take this page down indefinitely, because of XY is supporting the SOPA, a proposal of yadda, yadda, yadda until the law ist off the table.

I guess most of them are seeking re-election next year and most of them won't like to be shown as supporters of Internet censorship.

The same should be done for every organization supporting and lobbying for the SOPA. --Matthiasb (talk) 08:57, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I think this would be seen just as a message against those people. I think it would be the best to show the consequences of SOPA. By the way: What would we have to do at the german Wikipedia to show banners or pop-up windows as a support to a wp-en blackout? --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 09:29, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Keep in mind that the #2 search result is most likely their laudatory official biographies.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:42, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, people tend to look at number one result firstly. @Liberaler Humanist: Off course it is a message against those people. That's the trick. --Matthiasb (talk) 17:10, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

BECAUSE THIS IS AN ENCYCLOPEDIA NOT A WEAPON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!--Cube lurker (talk) 17:14, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

@ Matthiasb: It's one thing for Wikipedia to take a stand against a law that directly (arguably) threatens it's existence. It's a complete separate issue to launch a political opposition against the people behind the bill.--v/r - TP 17:50, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

yes do it please

yes definitive you must make this it very important to show how much damage can do the law sopa dont matter how much time will be close wikipedia we need to show many people posible the real damage of this law and i agree to close wikipedia for show him that can make maybe destroy this censoring law

PD sorry mi english language in not good on that — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I propose a strike for articles of active American politicians

Rather than pull the plug on the whole of Wikipedia, why not just those articles for politicians active in the USA (including Obama)? This would be newsworthy and felt by the right people (and their PR agents and political parties) and barely have any impact on our shared mission for open knowledge. I think this would be easy for a majority to support with a credible consensus and it would be technically easy to achieve by locking the articles to admin-only and replacing with a temporary SOPA strike notice. -- (talk) 09:47, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

No. They'd love it. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:54, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I am afraid you correct Seb. There are powers at play here much bigger than even Wikipedia. Mugginsx (talk) 11:44, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Hm, well as I live in the UK and don't pretend to understand the power struggle in American politics, it sounds as if I will remain unable to understand the SOPA strike rationale (particularly if it remains as unclear as these mysterious allusions to powers) or why so many people think that the best action to take is to withhold knowledge from the general public rather than other, more direct, action. -- (talk) 14:10, 16 December 2011 (UTC)


EVERYONE should watch yesterday's hearings and find out what is really happening you can still see it today at:

You can catch discussions in ##sopa on freenode. (talk) 11:04, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Here is another site: I have never been more ashamed of my governement than yesterday. They insulted the intelligence of every American with their cheap antics. I was at a Senate Hearing years ago and research and wrote the testimony for the National Commander and though the proposed bill was contenuous, I did not see the blantant dishonesty and disrespect and just plain ignorance that I saw yesterday. They were laughing at us! Not Wikipedia specifically, but the "little people" and small website owners who wrote in. See Conyers testimony in the beginning. I was never so ashamed to be an American as I was yesterday.
And watch toward the end where the co-chairman actually has the audacity to BRAG about the plantium record he got from the Motion Picture Industry for his works against anti-piracy while he is voting on a bill and the MP Industry representative is tesifying before him. Talk about a blatant conflict of interest!
To think my husband "volunteered to serve" and years later, died of wounds sustained in Vietnam so that buffoons like this can be in office! They have all heard from me and I am not through yet! Everyone call them and keep calling them. Lofgren is our only ally that I can see. They even ignored a former National Security advisor and would not let him testify. Look who they want to give all this unprecedented power to: . There is no doubt that this Administration wants unlimited power over the American people like never before, including Nixon. Stop talking about it and do it! Mugginsx (talk) 11:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Bogged Down in Bureaucratic Procedural-ism and Whining

I see a lot of good points being made on what to do about SOPA. I also see a lot of infighting, bureaucratic wind-bagging, hang-wringing and limp-wristed blather about the process by which the process for voting should be processed by the editors who will eventually agree on the process for processing consensus. Come down off your cross, make a decision and act. Stop being just like the rich old corporate-owned guys in Washington. They've failed the American and world people. So will you if you don't stop acting like them. (talk) 14:42, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Nice rant, not sure it helps. -- (talk) 14:45, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I support you. I am against SOPA.

No to Internet censorship. Yes to blackout the pages for a day. Like, that page has a photo of his dead founder. Wikipedia could have a note against censorship. Cmarziali (talk) 16:14, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

That was only Apple's homepage, not the whole website. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 16:48, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Media Poll

There's a poll being run by this site, which for some reason Yahoo News indexes as the L.A. Times,[1] running here. But if people here go to vote there, they won't change the result much. ;) Wnt (talk) 16:58, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks. voted. I hope everyone votes there too. Here is something you might find interesting as well: List of Those Expressing Concern With SOPA and PIPA at: Many tried to testify and were not permitted. Mugginsx (talk) 17:06, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks; I added something about it to the article. In case some people have the wrong idea from the discussion here, I should point out that SOPA and OPEN Act articles are not seeing a lot of editing activity - the last 50 edits on SOPA go back three days, and I don't know if I've ever had an article as much to myself as the one on the OPEN Act, except maybe the two about Chinese herbal gout medicines. As much as people like to write their support here, remember Wikipedia's strength is in getting the information out, factual and comprehensive. Shine enough light on this and everyone from local news reporters to AFL-CIO shop stewards will look it up and feel more confident to start having their say. Wnt (talk) 18:05, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, fine, but write to your representatives' and encourage others to do so. Representatives really do pay a lot of attention to mail volumes. It doesn't even necessarily make sense to do this (poll are probably better gauges of public feeling) but they do it anyway. Calls are good. Snail-mail letters are excellent. E-mail is OK if you don't want to do either of the first two. Do not use forms, write a couple sentences in your words. Tell a friend. Herostratus (talk) 18:26, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Qorvis also editing articles

After Wikipedia:Bell Pottinger COI Investigations, I thought you might be interested in taking a look at Wikipedia:COIN#Qorvis. Cheers SmartSE (talk) 18:25, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Hugo Chavez

Hey Jimbo, Somebody posted at Talk:Hugo_Chávez#A_general_philosophical_remark_about_.27academic.27_sources Have you considered responding to it? Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 03:15, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Large RfC re first sentence of WP:Verifiability resolved and proposal defeated

FYI, the large RfC at WT:Verifiability regarding "verifiability, not truth" has been resolved, and the result is that the proposal was defeated. See Archive 53: RFC-Compromise proposal re first sentence. --Bob K31416 (talk) 02:50, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

The proposal was not "defeated" - rather, it enjoyed a supermajority success but we have gotten ourselves into a constitutionally untenable position in which a vocal minority can force a perverse conservatism at odds with some of our most cherished and fundamental principles of WP:BOLD and WP:IAR. It's a sad day for Wikipedia and evidence that it is time for some larger scale changes to our governance processes.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:19, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Here's a previous idea that might be added to approaches to consider. --Bob K31416 (talk) 10:37, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I wasn't involved in the RfC but the outcome looks reasonable. IAR and BOLD only work when there is broad consensus that the changes are good, but it is evident from the strength of feeling and clear, solid rationales on both sides that there is no such consensus on this occasion. It's also clear that not all those voicing their support supported the entire proposal (and equally not all those opposing opposed it all), which makes any claims based on numbers almost impossible to verify. Thryduulf (talk) 11:16, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Anyone that knows me knows that I do not pander to anyone, but I must say, and editors can take this anyway they want and no doubt will, that I look forward to the "larger scale changes to our governance processes" that the Founder promises. These insults to him are getting out of hand and I think that editors who state them should go to an alternate site and see how far their remarks go. Mugginsx (talk) 11:47, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
If you are referring to my comment above: how else would you describe his role? Wikipedia:Role of Jimmy Wales gives some guidance of what he is allowed to do, what he promised to do, how he kept those promises, and how the community reacted to those incidents. Fram (talk) 11:55, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I notice that "my comment above" was removed. Jimbo Wales, please indicate which elements in my statements were not "grounded in fact". Claiming that something is a personal attack doesn't make it so. Fram (talk) 11:57, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Fram, you remarks were not, by any means, the worst but to answer you, the reality is, the Founder does not deserve these comments and could get fed up and just make Wikipedia go away and then where would you and I and everyone else be? I have had many hours of pleasure and education here and personally do not like the thought of it all going away because some editors (and I know you and do not put you in this category) just like to see their individual outrageous comments in print and do not actually have any core beliefs as to what Wikipedia should or should not be. The primary fact is that he created and maintains this enterprise and deserves respect for that reason alone. Mugginsx (talk) 12:06, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
He created it, the maintenance is in hands of the Foundation and the thousands of volunteers (he contributes to it as well of course). I doubt that he could just close it down, and there would be quite a few replacements overnight if he did anyway. But having respect for what he did initially doesn't mean that we should be silent on what he has done wrong afterwards, or that we can't point out the discrepancy between his comments about a "constitutionally untenable position" (whichever constitution he is referring to) and his own position and some of his own actions. He sees the closing of this RfC as a symptom of what is wrong with the wiki-government and as a sad day for Wikipedia, while I believe that some of his actions (resulting from his unique position) have damaged it much more than this difficult but well-thought out RfC closure (that it is unsatisfactory is hardly the fault of the closure, but the result of how the RfC was and how it divided the respondents). Fram (talk) 13:38, 15 December 2011 (UTC) (signed only after the follwoing comment was made, earlier only timestamped by mistake).
I have a problem that regularly instead of four tildes, only three appear. No idea what causes it. Some AGF that the unsigned aspect was not intentional would have been better. Fram (talk) 13:48, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I withdrew my comment. You might need a new keyboard. I had similar problem, not with tildes, but letters and other keystrokes not appearing. Mugginsx (talk) 13:51, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Fram (talk) 13:54, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
As a general comment, I do not think a Wikipedia, without its Founder, would be anything like it is now and would eventually fail. It is his brainchild and his innovation and he is an integral part of its preservation. I am not well-versed in the bureaucracy of Wikipedia but I will say that all organizations, corporations, institutions that live and breathe undergo changes as need may dictate. In addition, I and many others have noticed a particular mean-spiritness from within Wikipedia toward him in particular and the project in general. I do not know if this is some power-struggle or just editors that like the looks of their words in print expressing no core beliefs (as I said before), and the worst offenders are SPA's created, it seems, only to offend yet wanting to be anonymous and continue to edit under another username. I want to stress that these comments do not apply to Fram obviously but to many others. If Mr. Wales changes a rule or on rare occasion countermands a decision or unbans an editor due to a extenuating circumstance while trying to maintain the credibility of Wikipedia in a changing negative atmosphere or a particular situation that, it seems to me, it is his right. I have not seen any real evidence of abuse by him but I have by others. I believe I know some of them though they hide behind a temporary IP and they are, for the most part, troublemakers. If they made any of the same kind and tone of statements on an article talk page to an editor they would be immediately blocked by an administrator and for good reason. If I have explained this badly I think most editors understand the gist. Mugginsx (talk) 15:36, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Well-stated, Mugginsx. To explain to the naysayers, perhaps borrow from a well-known adage, "Jimbocracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms which have been tried." No one is perfect, and anyone might make some mistakes along the way, but many of Jimbo's opinions have shown how much better Wikipedia could be, now that we see more active editors are joining rather than leaving. If more admins made decisions in line with Jimbo's ideas, then article quality (and accuracy) could be much better, much faster. Make no mistake about it: this period is the re-birth of Wikipedia, as a growing global community, rather than drastically shrinking as it seemed 2 years ago. We need more guidance from Jimbo's opinions, but not condemnation if some ideas do not work as well. Very few other people have been here as long, answering questions, and offering solutions for 11 years. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:15, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)Here's my understanding of Jimbo's message.

The first sentence was, "The proposal was not 'defeated' - rather, it enjoyed a supermajority success but we have gotten ourselves into a constitutionally untenable position in which a vocal minority can force a perverse conservatism at odds with some of our most cherished and fundamental principles of WP:BOLD and WP:IAR." —

1) The supermajority was 62% support, 34% oppose, 4% neutral from a total of 444 editors responding. The opposition minority was about one third of the participants. One can say that consensus is not determined solely by numbers, but one can also say that consensus is not determined by ignoring numbers. The fact that there were so many editors involved also gives more significance to the percentages. Hence we have an instance of a minority of a third, controlling what is in the policy. This may be what Jimbo was referring to with the phrase "constitutionally untenable position".
2) The reference to WP:BOLD and WP:IAR I think refers essentially to the principles that editing Wikipedia shouldn't be like using a keyboard immersed in something as viscous as mud. Ideally it should go easily with editors helping rather hindering each other, keeping in mind the fundamental idea that the purpose of editing is to improve Wikipedia, which is essentially expressed by WP:IAR.

The second sentence was, "It's a sad day for Wikipedia and evidence that it is time for some larger scale changes to our governance processes." — I think Jimbo is expressing here his concern that the process didn't work very well in this case, and a new approach is needed for policy pages. Previously I offered for consideration an approach for clarifying policy pages.[2]

--Bob K31416 (talk) 15:43, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't think it is a bad thing for Wikipedia to work toward having a sort of "constitution" and not to change the core policies by simple majority. In this case I think a weaker compromise, written without the apparent invitation for editors to naysay sources without proof, could pass by a supermajority. Wnt (talk) 16:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Of course, if we consider WP:V as part of the constitution of Wikipedia, then in many countries you would need a clear 2/3 majority in favour of changing it, or it would stay as it was. No idea if the US expects a 2/3 majority for constitutional changes as well. If it does, then it makes Jimbo's comments even less convincing in my opinion. Needing a 2/3 majority to change basic policies isn't a bad thing. Fram (talk) 08:43, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I think many people under-appreciate the nuanced approach that Jimbo takes to the project. He's opted for a tricky balance between maintaining certain controls (to keep the whole thing from spinning out of whack) and allowing it to develop on its own (without undue interference from on-high). There are not many people in the world who have the presence of mind to strike that balance effectively: most people (as we can see from countless talk page discussions) try to exert authoritative control over every minor thing they dislike. That's what happened at wp:V. 'Verifiability not Truth' is not just a slogan, it's a control paradigm, and because it's used to control talk page discussion and article content, many editors are deeply invested in maintaining it at all cost, regardless of how senseless it looks given more than a moment of reflection. As J says, Wikipedia is in a constitutionally untenable position - literally, our political constitution is unable to cope with the social forces operating within its purview - and that is never a good thing. I sometimes imagine that Wikipedia is on its way to its second great distinction: the first online community ever to suffer a popular revolution. YeeeEEEEeeeee!

Jimbo, in my (highly educated) opinion, what we ought to do is hold a Constitutional Convention: something that will craft a set of difficult-to-alter core policies, administrative structures, decision-making paradigms, etc., etc. Our current system was created by agglutination, with bits added and modified at need as people saw specific problems. Agglutination is fine for small communities (and even for large communities if there are certain rigidly-observed safeguards - think English Common Law), but for something like Wikipedia agglutination lends itself to demagoguery, hysteria and factionalism, and a lot of badness get mixed in with the good. If the Foundation has the money to spare, hire me: I'll set up the structures for the convention. There's a lot that goes into planning something like that (from creating a system for choosing representatives to setting up proper discussion fora to building specific rules for the convention itself), and I live in the US, so you know I could use the income. Face-smile.svg --Ludwigs2 16:56, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Ludwig, I like your anaysis of the situation and you certainly summed it up better than I. There must be an ultimate fail-safe mechanism and this may be the answer. Mugginsx (talk) 17:15, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Where's the straw poll with all the votes? Is there some sort of permalink available to that in the archives? Also, did anyone check the straw poll for sockpuppets? I'm highly suspect of some of the opposition to the strike and I'd like to take a closer look at the group who apposed it. Thanks Cowicide (talk) 22:09, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

How to change the governance process

Here is the proposal I've made before: we should have three committees, ArbCom, AdminCom (responsible for selecting and overseeing admins), and PolicyCom (responsible for writing and maintaining policy pages). Each should be roughly the same size as ArbCom and members should be elected in the same way as arbs. I believe that this additional level of structure would dramatically reduce the level of chaos and malfunction in the system. Looie496 (talk) 17:36, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

So basically, you're saying that, as a community, we have failed to get anything done and should instead create more "authorities" in which to appeal to – virtually, a bunch of "editorial boards". –MuZemike 17:42, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm saying that as a community we are bad at choosing and managing admins, and bad at managing our policy documents. Looie496 (talk) 17:51, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
Looie: not a bad system as written, but it won't work under current project conditions. The hardest part of designing a system like this is fail-safing the selection process of the committees, but with our current 'pageant-style' election system and utter lack of rational constraints on the people elected, this will result in more entrenched factionalism and less productive behavior. You're still trying to patch things up, but this tire is so leaky it needs an entirely new tube. --Ludwigs2 18:36, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
So, instead of the community choosing and selecting admins, we basically leave it to yet another cabal (though you can argue that every such "committee", looking at ArbCom, is also a cabal in itself). –MuZemike 22:01, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
There is no cabal. Funny thing is (and it really is funny, when you think about it), most editors on Wikipedia really want to do the right thing, except they are high-tension wires when it comes to reaching a consensus about what that right thing is. I get in terrible, terrible fights with people I mostly respect as editors because I find their conception of the right thing to be rigid, uncompromising, and counter-productive. Because the projects are not properly constituted, they lack a moral compass, and as a consequence suffer greatly from attribution error and small-group dynamic artifacts. As I've said before, it's a Lord of the Flies situation here, and that generally does not bring out the best in otherwise good people. --Ludwigs2 18:18, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
The main problem I see with this proposal is that work for one of the two neww committees might well turn out to be just as demanding as work for Arbcom. I am not sure that there were enough appropriate candidates even in this year's Arbcom election, so I doubt that these committees would be a net benefit. Hans Adler 20:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)
I was just thinking that. I can see great potential for inconsistent decisions as well.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:26, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

I volunteer for PolicyCom; that's where the lobbying money from PR firms will be. --GraemeL (talk) 22:07, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Me 2 - I have plenty of relevant experience and I even offer a discounted professional hourly rate. -- (talk) 22:11, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

With arbcom receiving less than 800 votes, we're all in a walled garden of delights here. Fifelfoo (talk) 22:23, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Plus; it's exactly the sort of legislative situation that we're seeing hard to influence r.e. SOPA. --Errant (chat!) 09:36, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

BLP case follow-up

Further to a recent discussion here on this page, now archived at User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_89#BLP_case, note Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Tahir_Abbas_(3rd_nomination). --JN466 11:32, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm very curious as to your definition of "getting things right" vs encyclopedic integrity. More at the AfD, re your !vote. Feel free to respond here, there, or not at all. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 08:53, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Should we also voice opposition to the National Defense Authorization Act 2012?

You know, he one that allows detention of US citizens pending a waiver from the Secretary of Defense. (Section 1032)

The bill has been said to both allow the detention of US citizens by some individuals and not allow detention of US citizens by others. After reading the bill myself it is still not clear whether US citizens can be detained and if the issue is so murky the bill should be rewrote so that it is clear what it's intentions are.

Spitfire19 T/C 15:09, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

What's that have to do with Wikipedia? CharlieEchoTango (contact) 15:23, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Precisely. I do not think it would be helpful or wise for us to get involved in general activism outside our core issues that directly affect our work such as internet policy and freedom of speech.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:24, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I just felt I had to at least bring it up for discussion. Spitfire19 T/C 15:47, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
The best activism we can do - on any issue - is to develop the relevant articles and get all the facts out there. Whatever the debate, whatever the issue, the truth is always on the right side of it. Wikipedia is by nature an activist organization, because - provided it remains uncorrupted - its very nature opposes demagoguery, lies, secrets, and all the machinations of self-serving elites who use the ignorance of the common people as an excuse and a means to deprive them of political power. Wnt (talk) 16:58, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
That's just it. I'm trying to get additional help just trying to understand what the bill actually allows and it currently is unclear. Spitfire19 T/C 17:47, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm sure there's someplace on the internet that discusses it. Wikipedia is not a forum for such discussions as it really does not affect us. We don't necessarily have specialists in the NDAA (2012). (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 12:50, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

SOPA update

Geoff has posted an estimated timeline. This will be informative for ongoing deliberations about when to do something, what to do, and what the triggers/process should be.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:37, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

Update: apparently in what is a minor minor minor victory, the markup session today has adjourned without a vote, and so this means that we get a couple of weeks reprieve before the House Judiciary Committee takes this up again. [3]--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:59, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Just as an aside, we're trying to use the page Jimmy linked above as a one-stop clearing house for info. If you want to know where we are in the process, the best place to look is the Sopa initiatives page. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 21:08, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I would like to make a suggestion regarding the proposed strike. Instead of a sitewide strike, how about limiting the blackout to the politicians and companies who are pro-SOPA? For those in favor of the bill, this would give first-hand experience of how damaging censorship can be. With big elections coming up, how many politicians would risk losing one of their major social media outlets? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pikewood (talkcontribs) 21:12, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
There's space on the page that I linked immediately above for just that type of suggestion.  :) -Philippe (talk) 21:17, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I would not want Wikipedia to hold a black-out with a "black list" of articles (re fears of other websites maintaining "hit-list" categories of wealthy Jews, etc.). Instead, the main point is to explain to people how working and maintaining articles on Wikipedia could become even more difficult and expensive to continue. This could be done with WP essay pages, explaining how each hypothetical regulation would likely impact the writing or display of articles. Because the wording of the proposed SOPA bill could change each week, it is difficult to estimate the exact impact to websites such as Wikipedia. -Wikid77 (talk) 02:34, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
As I understand it, the most powerful thing we can do is get people to call, write, and (especially) visit their congressional representatives. That might be best accomplished with a banner campaign culminating in a one-day "strike". Among the ideas that I have liked so far, and they seem to be popular with others as well, is that the blackout should not prevent people from getting to the content, it should allow them to it with a click. I've been talking today with a friend who has been involved in digital phone activism for years, and he was telling me about really interesting solutions to drastically increase the response rate. (Steps including making it easy for people to instantly have the phone number to call in hand, or much much better, to allow people to enter their number and then a VOIP system calls them back and then makes the connection for them - higher response rates and it is possible to track the success rate and length of the calls). Thanks to the two week delay, we have time to plan an action, if the community chooses to take one, which is both minimally invasive and has maximum impact. My understanding that getting 30,000-40,000 people to call would be a big impact. Tumblr apparently got 100,000 people to call. I don't know how high Wikipedia can go, but our audience is huge.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:20, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Making it easy to phone House and Senate members is likely to work well, given the volume of calls likely if Wikipedia sponsors a call for action. However, there are some restrictions on who can lobby the US Congress. I'm fairly certain that only US citizens and permanent resident aliens are legally allowed to offer campaign contributions, but it's probably legal to phone – but it would be good to make sure. Would it make sense to advise people outside the US to contact their country's US embassy instead? I have no idea whether they're equipped to take calls of that nature, whether they'd bother to forward them to Congress, or whether anyone in Congress would care. —Steve98052 (talk) 04:42, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the most effective thing that non-US people can do regarding this is to raise it on forums etc, and if possible with the media. There's no question that this will have ramifications outside the US, but I suspect that relatively few people will be aware of it. I doubt that US embassies will take any notice - they aren't supposed to get involved in party politics, at least officially. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:56, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
That's not party politics, fwiw. There are Republicans and Democrats on both sides of the debate. And I'm convinced that most embassies are aware of it, if only for the sake of following what Congress does; taking notice and getting involved is quite different. That said, directing calls to embassies is not a good idea, and they likely won't forward anything to Congress not by an US citizen (well, why would they?). CharlieEchoTango (contact) 06:14, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
With regard to Jimbo's point about making it easy to call: has done it already. Probably a useful website to link to in the case of a US-geotargeted campaign. sonia♫ 05:06, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I support Wikipedia taking action against SOPA, but I will vehemently oppose linking to this website operated by an <label removed> organization, or any other partisan websites. No, no, and no. Opposing SOPA on save-the-project grounds or even tangentially libertarian ones is one thing, but associating with <label removed> is entirely different. I'm already uncomfortable opposing SOPA because of the inevitable association with actual pro-piracy groups, I wouldn't want my name anywhere near anything operated by Demand Progress or worse, WikiLeaks. Short : I vehemently oppose linking to political websites other than solely focused on SOPA, but I happily support linking to an in-house manifesto hosted on CharlieEchoTango (contact) 06:57, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the concept was to take advantage of their investment in resources to get people in touch with their Congresspeople, but I can understand if you think this would create the appearance of association. Reproducing their system is going to have a cost though. Dcoetzee 07:19, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
In any event, I doubt that any outside political services could handle the volume, and of course I agree with CharlieEchoTango that we should not link to any groups who do not have a very narrow mission related to our own, and certainly not to identifiably left or right wing organizations. Finding people with good technology to partner with is a good idea, to make sure what we are doing is highly effective and also cost-effective.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:59, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with not working with organizations not solely working on Internet or free speech matters, but I object to this clearly opinionated label of "anti-West leftist organization". No matter its merits or demerits, why can't extreme political language like this be kept away from a discussion like this? Consider the idea that not everyone sees virtue or pro-American qualities in far-right orgs either. Stevie is the man! TalkWork 15:59, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
You're right, let's not make a political discussion out of this. I censored myself to prevent further controversy over my choice of words. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 16:06, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I feel as though too much activism on Wikipedia's behalf, in opposition to SOPA could potentially turn into a rip of credibility of the Wikipedia project. The option of a full "Black out" should remain off the table, as the chance of a negative consequence is far too high in my opinion. What I could envision being done is a banner link on each page, linking to further information and a well placed "What Can You Do To Help?" sort of section. Bills like SOPA (low media coverage, vague wording), are difficult to fully understand, and the full consequences are not easily seen upon a first look. Providing a totally accurate and factual information blurb, and how the bill could affect Wikipedia, seems to me, the best route to take. Mobilizing calls to Congress could be huge, and attract a large amount of media attention as well. A simple quick-lookup insert for congress members on an information page could reap thousands upon thousands of calls. Patrick 58291 18:46, 17 December 2011
I fully agree with this. Let's not completely blank the Wiki for some American law. Put up a somewhat less disruptive banner at the top of the main page, or initiate a protest elsewhere. Most people that see this will simply move on and go elsewhere if they have no interest in American politics. I log into Wikipedia to check a quick fact at work, I don't want (and shouldn't have to) listen to some person's disagreement with a law that is not in the country where I live. You can certainly make your point with a banner saying click here for more info, but don't get in people's way if they need to look something up. Google is only a click away, and we have to play for the middle of the road, neutral point of view. Keep the protest simple and unobtrusive. Oaktree b (talk) 04:09, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
@Patrick 58291: What kind of negative consequence? The only possible negative consequence is that the US state then uses SOPA to block Wikipedia, which of course is the biggest risk with SOPA and the major reason to protest in the first place. --OpenFuture (talk) 07:28, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Merde. The worst Geoff's been able to come up with in the parade of horribles is that we might have to remove links to infringing sites. And that's assuming we are an internet search engine, which is rather unlikely in my view. Since few torrent farms are reliable sources (er, of article content), I do not expect a heavy burden, and what there is will fall on editors.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:45, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
That is assuming SOPA is not misused, of course. Which it will be. In any case, the question was what the negative consequences of protesting would be. And since the only ones that might take a negative view of Wikipedia protesting SOPA are the people who are for it, those possible negative consequences has to be very minor. --OpenFuture (talk) 09:05, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
You're kidding me. The great unwashed doesn't know or care about SOPA. They will, however, be irritated at us for not being available to give them the information they want. As for misusing laws: hmm, I'd guess you'd say that Google being fined (yes, I know it was a forfeiture) $500M for promoting Canadian online pharmacies was a terrible miscarriage of justice?--Wehwalt (talk) 09:12, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I feel you not only underestimate the general public, but I also fail to see what the problem is that people who don't care about their freedom gets irritated with Wikipedia is. I haven't heard of this Google fine, but on the face of it it does seem like a terrible miscarriage of justice, yes. I don't see why Google should be fined because they help people find cheaper medications. That is only a good thing in some weird world of twisted evil. --OpenFuture (talk) 10:05, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
If you are not familiar with it, google it. I assume.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:20, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
@OpenFuture & others: I am not so much worried about the effects of SOPA on Wikipedia (as I feel they would be minimal), but the effect of credibility for Wikipedia. There is still the lingering myth floating around that Wikipedia is not a credible information environment. Too much activism on an issue that more than likely won't have a totally destructive effect on Wikipedia, could possibly further this myth, or create the impression of too much political involvement. I agree with Oaktree, in that the protest should not be intrusive, but rather simple and informative. People will do their own mental gymnastics. Wikipedia is known for its ability to provide information; as long as this course is kept, the rest will fall into place. Patrick 58291 13:54, 18 December 2011
────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree that the protest is best kept less intrusive - but this conversation reveals that we really don't know enough about the consequences of the bill, and if we can nail those down in black and white it does a lot more than a black page or big font to get the message out, not to mention being highly useful to us for any planning of compliance or for legal action based on the harmful effects. This goes beyond merely working on the SOPA article - we should have some sort of workshop in project space where people actually run through real scenarios, with some experts to advise. For example, if an article links to a news report that contains the AACS key, can we cite it? If we do and AACS disagrees with us, what happens? Wnt (talk) 19:55, 18 December 2011 (UTC) (I've since posted some of my questions to WP:SOPA initiative/Questions as a subpage of WP:SOPA initiative) Wnt (talk) 14:05, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Consult with Geoff

Jimbo, before you make a call for action (phone calls to Congress), ask Geoff how he thinks the substantial part test regarding lobbying by charities would apply to urging people to call their representatives, and how that will affect the WMF's tax-exempt status. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:12, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

I'll ask Geoff to explain it here, yes.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:56, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Please have a look at Geoff's answer to the question in the 2011-12-15 IRC office hour on SOPA, read after [18:14:02]. --Atlasowa (talk) 12:54, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

That doesn't elaborate on the specific case in detail. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 17:52, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it covers it quite well.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:33, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

When to act?

Markup resumes on December 21st, earlier than expected. SOPA is moving fast. I'm just wondering about whether you have any plans for for some sort of timetable? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 17:36, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Ho! Best Freudian slip I've seen in news reporting:[4] "A controversial measure aimed at stopping online privacy..." Wnt (talk) 20:06, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Nice. – Preserved for future lulz. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 20:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Peer review

I requested a Peer review on the SOPA article as the first step to making it FA. I thought that Wikipeians would be all over this and it would be FA in 24 hours. Seems that I was wrong. Rich Farmbrough, 19:08, 17 December 2011 (UTC).

The odds of an current issue which has some controversy becoming an FA while it is a current item is... highly unlikely... too many changes would be made on an ongoing basis and too many contentious issues might arise.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 22:48, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, it has to be stable to even make GA, and if the underlying bill is still being marked up, there's no way the article on it can be stable. Plus, I would like to remind everyone that if SOPA or PIPA are defeated, they will merely keep coming back as new bills, amendments, and riders with less lead time to oppose them until they are rammed through. Such is life under the unlimited anonymous contributions allowed by Citizens United and so you should ask if you want to waste effort striking at the branches or do something about the root. (talk) 08:02, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
So you are saying you want WMF to protest Citizens United?--Wehwalt (talk) 08:13, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
I took him to mean that concerned Wikipedians might consider joining Rootstrikers and/or Get Money Out and/or United Republic. Which don't have articles, oddly enough. Well, they aren't the sort Bell Pottinger et al would be interested in, are they? (talk) 22:07, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Precisely. (talk) 01:20, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Concrete proposal available for workshopping, further concrete proposals solicited

A concrete proposal is available for workshopping at WP:SOPA initiative; and, the workshopping of further concrete proposals is solicited. Editors watching this user's talk page may have an interest in this, as may this user. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

National Internet Blackout Day

First off let me just say that I love Wikipedia and I think it is an incredibly useful site. I sincerely appreciate their efforts to keep it free for users as I donated to their fund that will help keep it that way.

I am 19 years old and have been keeping close attention to the SOPA bill hearing. The bill itself makes me fear for my future as a young American, for I think it is a direct infringement on our personal rights that our country was founded on, Freedom of Speech/Expression. If it passes I will feel as if I'm being watched by a Big Brother authoritarian whenever I try to enjoy some time surfing the World Wide Web. I have done all I can in this situation, contacting my state representative, signing petitions, and encouraging my friends and family to do so too. But the hearing for it is next Wednesday and I think those who oppose the bill should really step up their game and make sure that the government gets the message that the majority of the American public disapproves. And what better medium of communication could we do this by than through the internet itself?

I know that Jimmy Wales was considering a black out of Wikipedia, and I think this would send a remarkable and prominent message, as well as making people more aware of SOPA (for I have noticed many people don't even know what the bill is all about) and encourage them to contact congress in an attempt to set it dead in its tracks. Wikipedia could set the example that could encourage other popular websites on the internet such as Youtube, Reddit, and Google sometime before the hearing continues on December 21st. If sites did this all on the same day it would completely maximize the effects we want to set forth. We could call it, as proposed by Reddit users, National Internet Blackout Day.

SOPA must be stopped for I believe it goes against America's most prided property, and could only lead to more government controls in more aspects of our lives that I for one am not okay with.

For liberty, Anni Christensen — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:20, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

I can see where some of us are going, but let's not go overboard by just getting every website to shut down for a whole day. Again, not everyone knows about this. I still think people need to be informed about this. Shutting down of blacking out a whole website for a day would just set a crash-course of confusion for many people. We should address it to people in a way that gets their attention without going over the top. Believe me, I'm very aware of how this bill would affect the internet, but don't go overboard by doing something this extent in such a short time. I do agree with the above comments Jimbo made. Contacting our local congressmen should be the main idea for when/if this bill makes the house floor. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 22:43, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Contacting congresscritters will accomplish what exactly? Nobody was ever given a right or a freedom by people in power. Those rights were fought for and taken by individuals. I'm not saying it's time to go Galt, but yes, this is one of those times. Viriditas (talk) 09:19, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Rather than take down the entire site (404, really? People depend on Wikipedia, it needs to stay online at all times... that's what the donations are for.), I propose that the homepage be altered in a comedic yet serious way in order to send the message, yet still allow the user to click through to the normal homepage, along with banners or some other small thing on articles which will let those interested follow up on the issue and take action. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:50, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
That people depend on Wikipedia is the whole point. And that's why a one day blackout is a good idea. --OpenFuture (talk) 07:43, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
In all respect probably the best way for google to make the issue known is to change their home page/logo but that is not in the scope of Wikipedia and it is their decision to do as they wish. With regards to Wikipedia I feel that a medium-length blackout is a good idea (3-7 days) with a banner added to the top similiar to how donations are handled afterward.Spitfire19 T/C 03:21, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

ANI notice

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. It's not directly about you, but about the Golden Glory logo placed on your page. --NellieBly (talk) 18:20, 18 December 2011 (UTC)


Here the results, have a nice day! --Vituzzu (talk) 21:25, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

The confirmation signature of Bencmq will follow asap. Trijnstel (talk) 21:31, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Merry Christmas and many presents for you and your family

Santa drawn.jpg

--Promenade sur Mars (talk) 12:44, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Excessive templates and formatting "br"

18-Dec-2011: Back to the other major concerns which you have emphasized during 2011, the English Wikipedia still has a staggering number of templates, many thousands of which I doubt are needed. As a computer scientist, I along with others had been somewhat shocked, when you raised the issue of too many div-tags ("<div>") and templates being used in your user-page and others. However, looking at the vast of ocean of WP templates, copied into many minor variations, has confirmed that you are indeed right about excessive use of templates (and div-tags where they seem totally unneeded). A related issue, raised by your concern about div-tags, is the old obsession with coding a line-break br-tag by "<br />" as being, specifically, "<br space />" when the simple "<br>" tag (without the space-slash) is automatically converted into "<br />" when a WP page is formatted for transfer over the Internet. NOTE WELL: There is no need for pages to contain the space-slash form "<br />" because "<br>" generates exactly the same result in the MediaWiki markup. So the obsessive overuse of the space-slash br-tags is another case of widespread unneeded complexity in pages. In wondering why you, specifically, had noted the excessive complexity with unneeded templates and such, I think many of us had simply accepted the whole mess in general, while being distracted by editing all the myriad details, instead of seeing the "big picture" as you seemed to note. Of course, the infobox templates are still needed in the thousands, to format specific data for thousands of major categories, such as nations, cities, musicians, actors, footballers, films, songs, sports, species, etc. However, by focusing more on simplification, then many unneeded templates can be removed from pages, and people can just put a simple "<br>" to break a line, without the excessive space-slash "<br />" complexity. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:17, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Of all the complexity issues, you have to pick this one? Both <br> and <br /> are havid HTML/XHTML tags. The space-slash is not needlesly complicated; it is just valid markup, just like <references />. Edokter (talk) — 19:03, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, I will agree that the space-slash form "<br />" is not as complicated as the financial calculations for commercial loan payments using the Actual/366 calendar, but if people were told that full stops, or periods, at the end of sentences had to be replaced by "<fstop />" (with the space-slash), then I think that would be considered needlessly complicated, compared to even "<.>" to end a sentence. Remember, the MediaWiki preprocessor markup could use any token to indicate a newline break (such as "\n"), so it is enough to use "<br>" to indicate a line-break, until "\n" is recognized as being an even simpler notation. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:11, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Of course you can use the template{{Break}}, to avoid leading people into mark-up. And you can drastically cut the number of apparent templates used by replacing most redirects them with their canonical versions. And templates can be made easier by having standards, like using full words, not running words together, using sensible capitalisation.
People like Andy Mabbot, MSGJ, Platikspork, Magioladitis, Dr Blofeld and myself have put a lot of effort over the years into merging templates. For example, we now have two portal templates in general use (which will become one), one for template building and one for banners, whereas there were hundreds. Of course we get opposed at every turn, generally by folk who see it as an assault on something they wish to WP:OWN but also by folk who should know better, including admins and arbs. Rich Farmbrough, 19:26, 18 December 2011 (UTC).
Re the painful "space-slash" in <br />: I have opposed that once or twice (and have particularly opposed some edits which only inserted the space-slash in multiple articles). The explanation I was given is that whereas Wikipedia uses HTML Tidy which inserts the space-slash (in case there is a browser somewhere in the galaxy that needs it), some other sites which copy Wikipedia content do not. So, the aim is to ensure that perfect HTML is produced on all sites (including those who have copied content). Johnuniq (talk) 02:31, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that explanation trying to ensure mirror websites get "perfect HTML" in pages from Wikipedia. I guess it is unfortunate that those pages might also contain vandalism or outdated text to ruin the effect of the perfect HTML on mirror sites. Those concerns about mirror-site perfection have inspired the essay "WP:Wikipedia is free not gift-wrapped" (WP:NOTGIFT). However, it is interesting to note there are many ways to rationalize any opinion about formatting text. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:24, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
I hope the slight snearing in my message indicated that I also find the explanation unpersuasive (i.e. I believe wikitext should be optimized for the convenience of editors at Wikipedia, and ugly and totally unnecessary "corrections" should be banished). I like your essay. Johnuniq (talk) 00:55, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Many editors see MediaWiki markup as HTML: I think a major problem has been that editors believe that Wikipedia pages are basically written in HTML, rather than a special text-formatting markup language (for desktop publishing) with extra parameters "{{{xx}}}" and so they think "<br>" must be changed to be the "valid standard" in HTML (or XHTML). Meanwhile in keeping "<br>", I would also like for Wikipedia to extend the preprocessor to use typical escape characters, such as a backslash, where "\n" would denote the newline break (same as "<br>"), "\b" would be a single blank space, and then add "\*" to be a newline bullet, and "\::" would be a newline-double-indent, etc. From that start, then parameter names could use an alternate escape format, such as "\(xx)" (same as "{{{xx}}}") where a literal right parenthesis would be "\)" inside a parameter value. Perhaps the cumbersome non-breaking space "&nbsp;" could be denoted by "\+" where a non-breaking phrase could be coded as "aa\+bb\+cc" but I realize those additions to the preprocessor would require time to debate. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:51, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
The most likely reason many editors would use <br /> is, as mentioned, they are used to it as the valid HTML standard. If this is an issue, update the Wikimedia software to convert <br />'s into <br>, and add a faq on "why my <br /> was changed to <br>." Alternately, have the software convert it to {{break}}. Nobody Ent (Gerardw) 15:34, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

suggestion to re-format confusing appeal banner at the top of a search result page

Hi - the current appeal banner atop a search result page shows the photo of a person urging support of Wikipedia on the left above the name in bold of the search subject.

Though even a first-time visitor may come to realize that the photo which looks like it's identified as the search subject isn't that person, why court confusion?

One option: re-format the appeal banner so its photo appears both closer to the "Please Read" text and to the right of that text, rather than all the way to the left above what appears to be a caption naming the search subject. Granjacks (talk) 17:10, 19 December 2011 (UTC)


How someone other than you deleted a post from your talk page. Knitwitted (talk) 17:38, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

That's the wrong diff, you meant this. Looie496 (talk) 17:51, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your help! Best, Knitwitted (talk) 18:09, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
That happens really frequently. I've noticed there are a few people who patrol Jimbo's talk page and user page and delete stuff. -MsBatfish (talk) 00:10, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Voice recognition software

Hello Mr Wales. I was just wondering if voice recognition software could be used with Wikipedia. Such as for the search engine. Just an idea, I wonder if it could work. --TrebleSeven (talk) 19:31, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

This is a very important question. With the advent of intelligent software assistants like Siri and the slow movement towards the transparent computing paradigm (ubiquitous computing) Wikipedia will have to go in this direction as user environments decouple from hardware and extend out into the real world. Viriditas (talk) 22:00, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Update. IBM has been talking about the future of bioinformatics headsets in the news today, which reminded me of the brain–computer interface currently manufactured by Emotiv Systems.[5] As an aside, I'm personally interested in buying one of these and testing it out on Wikipedia. Has anyone tried to edit or develop with it? Viriditas (talk) 02:23, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Maybe, it would be amazing if Wikipedia would have this software. One word = 1000! What do you think of this, Jimbo? --TrebleSeven (talk) 09:45, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Feasible SOPA strike of English wiki

Dear Mr. Wales,

The concept of a possible and seemingly incredibly likely blackout of the English Wikipedia in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (and hopefully provisions of the PROTECT IP and National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012 as well) working its way through the dredges of the United States Congress appears to be a grand and noble prospect. Though I highly doubt the success it will generate - due largely to the deep-seated corruption of the US Government - a drastic but desperately required action such as this will be utterly significant in the sense of bringing about public awareness to this and similar subjects of vast importance. As the US Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, continues to departiclize in a dark and unknown oblivion never to be discussed again, the knowledge and concern of the People will be the only possible salvation. The idea of a Wiki blackout may very well trigger such an occurrence.

When the governments (and the corporations and special interests that control them) become destructive in their ends and means, it is up to the citizens of the world - united behind the concepts of liberty, justice and equality - to throw the stone that shatters the glass house, or blow the breath that causes the house of cards to collapse, if you will, even if only in the metaphorical or intellectual fashions. As information and world news censorship keeps expanding into the recesses of totalitarian control, when total suppression of all opposition prevails, without the desire of the People for serious change, no difference or alteration will be made.

I want to keep this brief, so with most of my primary points already stated, all that remains to say (or reaffirm) is this: PLEASE earnestly consider your prior - and possibly also current - position. A Wikipedia blackout, even temporarily, with a forwarded link to a separate page that details the reasons behind it, in my belief, will make a hugely significant difference, not just in terms of online freedom but all other aspects of freedom for Americans as well. With the support of Wikipedia, its parent company Wikimedia and other subsidiaries, the US Constitution, and the people who support it, might stand a fighting chance.

Thank you for your time. God bless, and keep up the great work. (talk) 05:53, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

We're working on this. See Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative, Wikipedia_talk:SOPA_initiative, and Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Coordinated_SOPA_reaction_in_early_2012_RfC. @Jimbo: Can you please place a message on the top of your talk page directing users to the discussions I've linked to? --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:40, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
And here's the slippery slope. So now we're not just going to protest SOPA we're also going to protest the National Defense Authorization Act.--Cube lurker (talk) 17:14, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I didn't see anything about the National Defense Authorization Act in the links, just in the remarks of the editor initiating this thread. If there was anything about the National Defense Authorization Act or other unrelated matters, that would be completely unacceptable, I would say, and you could count me out. And the editors screed about the United States government being corrupt and rights departiclizing in a dark and unknown oblivion and so forth is not helpful and only muddies the waters. Let's stick to our knitting. Herostratus (talk) 17:43, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I also couldn't find anyone mentioning the National Defense Authorization Act, except for the IP post just above. That demonstrates that the slope isn't slippery—the consensus for any protest is limited only to SOPA. First Light (talk) 18:02, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
For clarity, yes I was refering to the OP, and not the links. And a month and a half ago the sugestion of Wikipedia protesting the National Defense Authorization Act would have been laughable. Today it receives links of where to discuss it.--Cube lurker (talk) 18:18, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
NDAA 2012 was previously discussed on this page. That discussion is archived and viewable at User_talk:Jimbo_Wales/Archive_92#Should_we_also_voice_opposition_to_the_National_Defense_Authorization_Act_2012.3F. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 18:22, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you, the existance of that thread is my point exactly.--Cube lurker (talk) 18:25, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I fully agree with only protesting SOPA. We are not listed as a Political Activist Group with the IRS. I believe we are in the group of charitable organizations such as 501(c)(3) status and so we should take care not to lose our status, and for another, Lets keep our eyes on the prize, i.e., defeating SOPA through individual calls and letters. Mugginsx (talk) 18:46, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Cube lurker, even with those links, I'm still not seeing a single Wikipedia editor who is even mildly supporting a protest of the National Defense Authorization Act. One IP here raised it, and another editor just asked the question, without supporting the idea (which was quickly shot down). There is no slope, slippery or otherwise. There is a full stop after SOPA. Nobody but you is suggesting otherwise. First Light (talk) 20:37, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

You can feel free to look up the exact specifications (as I hope you will) of how certain provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2012 set the proverbial stepping stones for laws such as the SOPA and PROTECT IP acts to become law. Read into Section 954 of NDAA FS2012. It sets a serious precedent, and in the case of internet freedom that is incredibly dangerous, as it can be reflected upon and viewed by Congressional and Executive leaders as a substantial reason to pass SOPA and/or PROTECT IP. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:06, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Article Feedback Tool V5 & BLP concerns

See Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5 and Wikipedia talk:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5#Will this appear on our watchlists. This new version will drop the ratings, replacing them with comments. "Experienced editors and administrators will have the option to feature posts more prominently, or hide offensive posts." I'm concerned that this will make BLP violations easier than having to edit an article, and so far as I can see comments via the feedback tool will not show up on watchlists which include the relevant article. So possibly more work for Administrators and 'experienced editors' (this not yet defined) at the same time that it may be more difficult to detect BLP violations. I think we need more enWiki editors involved in this. Dougweller (talk) 19:02, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't know exactly how it is going to work. Have you raised these concerns with the developers? You have a valid point about watchlists for sure.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:02, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I raised it at Wikipedia talk:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5#Will this appear on our watchlists. The response seems to be no, and another editor has also expressed their concern. Dougweller (talk) 21:59, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
The latest response is that the public is very unlikely to see this and that putting it on the watchlist would probably be a good idea and will be brought up with people in a couple of weeks. Dougweller (talk) 07:30, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

You've Got Mail

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.

cyberpower (X-Mas Chat)(Contrib.) 02:56, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

SOPA markup postponed until January --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:47, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

No matter what they "officially" give as the reason for the delay - the amount of the amendments (25 according to this source), and the delay itself is a sign of alot of opposition, so keep calling and writing. Mugginsx (talk) 15:45, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Arbcom Appointments

This is a pre-announcement that there will be no surprises. As usual, I write up a ceremonial "state of the wiki" sort of thing each year to go along with the formal appointments. That'll take a couple more days to complete, and I didn't want anyone getting antsy about it. All is well.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:41, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you Jimbo. I look forward to it. The most interesting man in the world (talk) 16:31, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Praise for our mental health articles

For your information, User:Doc James has just pointed out this recent study. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 00:24, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia's Ignore All Rules policy

Here is the entirety of the text of Wikipedia's "ignore all rules" policy: "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it." Doesn't exactly seem to mesh with a culture of protecting legitimate intellectual property rights, does it? Improving and maintaining Wikipedia > rules that protect real people's real work? Townlake (talk) 18:02, 16 December 2011 (UTC)

I wouldn't call "copyright violations" as "improving Wikipedia". That would harm Wikipedia and so the rule couldn't apply. The rule works.--v/r - TP 18:12, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Townlake: I just read it again and it doesn't say or mean that at all. I think you need to read it again. Mugginsx (talk) 18:34, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Precisely.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:36, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
US law is non-negotiable, and entirely outside our control, even for actions that otherwise improve the encyclopedia. Of course there are a very large grey area of cases that are either untested or have conflicting case law (e.g. if I heavily paraphrase a document but retain its overall structure, is that a copyvio or not? what about a long quotation like 2-3 paragraphs? answer seems to be "it depends/not sure"). At Commons we run into these all the time, particularly when it comes to threshold of originality. Dcoetzee 00:09, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I do not believe the first is copyvio as you have described it. Apparently copyright lawyers' do not either or we would have been sued a long time ago and successfully. People's quotations are not copyrighted. If those quotations are put into a book and the book copyrighted and book is exactly quoted and in large measure that is different. Mugginsx (talk) 08:56, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Case law is all over the map. Recently Warner Bros. and J. K. Rowling vs. RDR Books held that fictional facts, detailed plot summaries, and paraphrased character descriptions infringe unless they are accompanied by sufficiently detailed commentary and analysis of the sort that WP:NOR forbids. If its standard were applied to Wikipedia I'd say that most if not the vast majority of our articles on contemporary fiction would be considered infringement. On the other hand cases like Feist v. Rural allow verbatim copying of vast compilations of facts when no creative expression is involved. To make matters even more confusing, the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA permit blatant infringement to exist as long as it is properly addressed in response to requests from the copyright holders. So we have strikingly contradictory rules which most editors don't understand, resulting in vastly misplaced motivations and effort. Let's just say that most of the work to address copyright on Wikipedia is not exactly futile, but is seriously close to worthless, in terms of protecting content users including the Foundation from liability. (talk) 07:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Crep. Someone tried to publish for profit a lexicon to the Hogwarts universe, based entirely on JK Rowling's books and other info she's published. I do not see that the case is at all applicable to Wikipedia. We are not profiting off other people's work.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:57, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Copyright law does not say "If you give the infringing material away it ceases to be an infringement." Collect (talk) 12:33, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Not quite, it does say that "the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes"is one of the 4 specified US fair use factors, which gives us quite a leg up. In the Rowling decision, that factor was negative, and here it is always positive. DGG ( talk ) 17:36, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Except that the license under which we publish is explicitly commercial, as are many of the Foundation's trademark branding agreements and downstream users. (talk) 01:19, 19 December 2011 (UTC)
Copyright law is not a Wikipedia rule, although we have a rule that highlights the law. In the statutory chain, laws always come above rules. Therefore, IAR cannot be invoked to ignore a law that's higher in the food chain. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 12:48, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
This is logical. However, the policy does not say this, and offers no differentiation between a "law" and a "rule". The policy is stated as simply as possible, with zero explanation, and ends up looking like a wild overreach. You can't count on users to read 15 other pages for explanation of this policy when the policy page itself doesn't go into any detail. Townlake (talk) 04:58, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Are you suggesting that copyright infringements improve Wikipedia? That's the only scenario in which the policy applies in the manner you describe. —David Levy 05:31, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
You, I, and Jimbo all know the answer to that. But I sure didn't learn the answer from the IAR page. Townlake (talk) 06:02, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Your complaint is that the policy page lacks an exhaustive list of the things that do and don't improve Wikipedia? —David Levy 06:32, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Strawman. Townlake (talk) 06:52, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
No, it's a question. Please feel free to explain what you actually meant when you noted that the IAR page didn't teach you that copyright infringements don't improve Wikipedia. —David Levy 15:46, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Your invitation to join you in additional unproductive dialogue is declined. Townlake (talk) 20:18, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
That's your prerogative. But please don't expect people to understand your concerns if you decline to clarify your ambiguous statements. —David Levy 20:53, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Errr, there's a nice big box at the top of WP:COPYRIGHTS that says "This page documents a Wikipedia policy with legal considerations" ... seems to cover it in the text itself for all intents and purposes. There's also not a policy entitled WP:PleaseDontEditWikipediaAtABar,GetDrunk,ThenDriveHome :-) (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 21:49, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
The copyrights page is a different page from IAR. You're coming at this from the nuanced perspective of a Wikipedia veteran, but there's no experience requirement to edit Wikipedia. Townlake (talk) 01:52, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Come on people, I think the reader knows that a "rule" means a Wikipedia rule, not any and all laws of their jurisdiction. Pity, as I'd hoped to strangle a few deletionists and tell the police it was IAR. It's even Wikilinked in the policy if they look. Wnt (talk) 04:57, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
It is very easy to use Wikipedia to commit copyright infringement, believing that one is actually helping Wikipedia and the infringement is really no big deal. You think this is obvious, but editors frequently commit copyright infringement here, so I do not think it is obvious enough. And your joke about physical violence is inappropriate. Townlake (talk) 14:40, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Mr. Wales, The way I feel about the shutdown is; If you're going to do it, do it soon, because there may not be a chance to do it in the future. Even If we fail at making a major indent on the bill, It will potentially raise massive opposition of the bill. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:17, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your contribution to this conversation. Townlake (talk) 14:40, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

"Ignore all rules" stands alone in triumph for its remarkable features as a Wikipedia icon. It is both Wikipedia's best policy, and also its worst named policy. Geometry guy 01:22, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't doubt that the policy is well-intentioned. The problem is that it sets a certain "tone at the top" that all rules are subject to being reasonably defied; that's Wikipedia's culture. (The "tone at the top" issue is why I brought this issue up on Jimbo's talk page.) IAR's simplistic philosophy manifests in copyright rules routinely being ignored, whether or not violators are actually aware the IAR page exists. Townlake (talk) 14:42, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
It is the title that is simplistic, not the content of the policy. If the policy were called something like "Improving Wikipedia comes first" or "Above all, improve Wikipedia", it wouldn't cause nearly as much trouble. Geometry guy 00:26, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
That's simply false. I've quote the policy in its entirety at the top of this thread. The title summarizes the policy perfectly. Townlake (talk) 04:47, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
If you ignore a law because of "Ignore all rules", wouldn't Wikimedia be sued if someone finds out? Then Wikipedia would be shut down Forever and that would harm Wikipedia (obviously). So, WP:IAR does not apply if you're breaking a rule set by a government (local, state, or federal). Am I right? Agent 78787 (talk) 05:06, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Copyright violations occur routinely on Wikipedia -- the Did You Know area was particularly notorious for such issues until recently -- but these violations haven't yet caused Wikipedia to shut down forever. Townlake (talk) 05:12, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Is there evidence that WP:IAR is a factor in the copyright infringement problem? I've seen the policy "invoked" inappropriately on numerous occasions, but I don't recall ever seeing someone cite it to justify a copyright violation or any other legal infraction. —David Levy 06:22, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
You and I completed our dialogue above. Townlake (talk) 06:37, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I'll take that as a "no". —David Levy 07:17, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

SOPA-Protest at WP-DE

As there is a consensus about the dangers of SOPA, we are working on solidarity action: de:Wikipedia:Initiative gegen den SOPA. Are there any suggestions for what we could or should do? --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 19:47, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm seeking the justice

while regretable, this is way out of the scope of what an encyclopedia can do. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 21:55, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Last chance for justice or Human rights, the United Nations and Sweden. The reality.

On the 12/21/2011, I went to the District Police Station in Västerort on Sundbybergsvägen 15 in Solna (Stockholm) with a statement that my life and the lives of four people are under threat. I asked for a protection. I was refused. A police officer said that the police does not responsible for my life and safety in general.

Around 15:30 the same day I went to Svenska FN-förbundet, Skolgränd 2, Stockholm, with a statement of the violation of my human rights in Sweden and asked for a protection. Employee Svenska FN-förbundet said it is not his job, he will not consider the violation of human rights. I need to go to Migrationsverket with this question. Since my status at the moment is asylum seeker. They just forget that I am a human… The reality is that the five people just want their rights to be respected. It is regulated under the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, but in Sweden it is just words. The last hope is to search the justice at the Swedish royal family. It is a small chance , but the hope that they do not spit on the lives of 5 people and a violation of the law. But the chance to become the first colonist who populate the Mars is more probably for me than to get an appointment at the royal residence, and it is a fact. If there are people for whom human rights - this is not an empty word, please help, tomorrow at my place may be somebody else. Please, advise. My e-mail is Thanks in advance for your help. I'm not sure that this letter will be published at least one newspaper in Sweden, so I send it to all that I know the media around the world. I will fight for my rights, the rights of my friends and everyone who needs it. Even if it would require to storm the headquarters of the UN. P.S. all the necessary documents proving that I was right there are with me, but they just do not want to read, otherwise you'll have to solve the situation. And in Sweden, appears to be a real problem. An open letter to the press can be translated into any language with the condition do not distort the meaning and facts.

Последний шанс на справедливость или

Права человека, Организация Объединенных Наций и Швеция.


21.12.2011 г. я обратился в DistrictPoliceStationinVästerortonSundbybergsvägen 15 in Solna с заявлением, что моя жизнь и жизнь еще четырёх человек находится под угрозой . И попросил о защите .Мне отказали . Представитель полиции вообще заявил, что полиция не несет ответственности за мою жизнь и безопасность .

Около 15:30 того же дня я обратился в Svenska FN-förbundet, Skolgränd 2, Stockholm, с заявлением о нарушении моих человеческих прав на территории Швеции и попросил о защите. Сотрудник Svenska FN-förbundet сказал, что это не его работа, он не будет рассматривать вопрос о нарушении прав человека. Мне необходимо обратиться в Migrationsverket с этим вопросом. Так как мой статус на данный момент asylsökande. Просто забыли, что я человек, всего-то.

Реальность заключается в том, что 5-ть человек хотят просто, чтоб их права соблюдали, это регламентировано Международным пактом об экономических, социальных и культурных правах, Международным пактом о гражданских и политических правах, но в Швеции это просто слова. Последняя надежда на поиск правосудия в Швеции - это Шведская королевская семья. Есть маленькая, но надежда что им не плевать на жизнь 5-ти человек и на нарушение закона. Проблема только в том, что шансов стать первым колонистом, который заселит Марс, у мня горазда больше, чем попасть на прием в королевскую резиденцию, и это факт. Если есть люди для которых права человека - это не пустой звук, помогите пожалуйста, завтра на моем месте может оказаться любой. Посоветуйте что мне делать . Заранее благодарен за помощь.

Я не уверен, что это письмо будет опубликовано хотя бы одной газетой в Швеции, поэтому я разошлю его во все известные мне средства массовой информации по всему миру. Я буду бороться за свои права, права моих друзей и каждого, кто в этом нуждается. Даже если для этого понадобится взять штурмом штаб квартиру ООН.

P.S. все необходимые документы подтверждающие мою правоту у меня имеются, просто их не хотят читать, иначе придется решать возникшую ситуацию. А для Швеции, по-видимому, это настоящая проблема.

Открытое письмо для печати может быть переведено на любой язык с условием не искажать смысл и факты.

~ ~ ~ ~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vilgelm tuve (talkcontribs) 21:02, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Agreed that this is out of WP scope. Isn't *all* political action out of scope? Or political action for protecting lives (the above appeal may as well be an hoax, but that was not your claim) is not within WP scope, but political action protecting WP's status (see SOPA actions above and around ) is? Human Live 0 - WP 'live' 1! Wow! - Nabla (talk) 03:40, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Centralized place to discuss proposed action against SOPA??

There seem to be numerous different discussions regarding proposed action against SOPA (such as a "blackout", banner, etc) at various locations, including several at the Village Pump, several at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative, and there have been several here, among other locations (and there are likely many that I don't even know about). This makes it really confusing for people to find out where to discuss or to know where their voice will count. Can't we just have one clear location where discussion takes place?
I am really worried that we will end up doing nothing at all, not because we decided to, but for the sole reason that we discuss it until it is too late without ever reaching any kind of consensus either way and/or that the discussions are all over the place and about so many different proposals so there is no way to even determine whether there is consensus for/against a particular action. -MsBatfish (talk) 20:15, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

(talk page stalker)Do you really believe that Wikipedia may get affected by SOPA? If Wikipedia stays strict to copyright as it is now, it shouldn't really have any issues. My primary concerns are that several thousand sources may disappear and will as a result affect a lot of articles.—cyberpower (X-Mas Chat)(Contrib.) 21:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not trying to start yet another discussion here on whether or not people support/oppose any action. I am merely asking whether we can have a set location for such discussion. -MsBatfish (talk) 21:23, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not asking for one. There is no doubt that Wikipedia will take a blow when SOPA is in effect however, Wikipedia won't be shut down.—cyberpower (X-Mas Chat)(Contrib.) 21:30, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Cyberpower, Batfish is asking about a location for the discussion, not for a discussion. Posting your opinions about the issue doesn't in any way answer the question of where to have the discussion; it makes the problem worse. ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 01:13, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you Hi878. I am still waiting for a reply to my question. And I've noticed several users asking the same question - just one example being Wikipedia talk:SOPA initiative#Can I vote somewhere? this post. That user was (so far) just given links to a number of the many discussions currently taking place. I was hoping someone like Jimbo might be able to help get a more centralized discussion going, or amalgamate all the discussions onto one page or something, or at least explain why that won't/can't happen and what our best course of action is as users. It seems like ever since the initial "straw poll" here on Jimbo's talk page the subsequent discussion has been fractured and no single discussion has had anywhere near the user input.
I would have thought that most users - regardless of what their stance is on a particular proposed action - would have agreed that there was a need for a more centralized discussion. Even if someone is totally against any action regarding SOPA whatsoever, wouldn't they still want a place to voice their opinion and have it count for something? Wouldn't they feel frustrated if, say, there ended up being a major action taken that they felt there was no community consensus for but only the results of 1 of the 100 discussions about the topic were taken into consideration when making the decision? -MsBatfish (talk) 08:46, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Centralized Discussion = Good. Fragmented = Bad. Hijacking thread about centraizing with comments about SOPA = Annoying. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:15, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

How to remember the planets

Formerly how to get me popular

i have just joined wikipidia and i have made an article called how to remember the planets but it got deleted. i spoke to user:amire80 about it on the 19th and he has not replied since, so i was hoping you could bring it back to life.

--Oscar45596524 (talk) 08:59, 23 December 2011 (UTC)oscar45596524

Oscar, your zest for Wikipedia is appreciated. You already know that encyclopedia articles are for things that are notable and reliably sourced. As beneficial as memonics can be, they're not typically worthy of individual articles. For example, the more famous one for the memorization of planet order is "Man Very Early Made Jars Stand Up Neatly" (formerly "Nearly Perpendicular")... and you'll note we have no such article. Good luck as you move forward! (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 14:45, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I have no opinion on whether it would be possible to have an article "List of mnemonics for the planets" or some such, covering all notable historical examples, but I would enjoy reading such an article, if it were reliably sourced. I doubt if an article could be written on any one mnemonic unless it has some kind of long and storied history.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:32, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
See Planetary mnemonic (permanent link here).
Wavelength (talk) 17:30, 23 December 2011 (UTC) and 17:33, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I am revising the heading of this section from "how to get me popular" to "How to remember the planets", in harmony with WP:TPOC, point 12: Section headings.
Wavelength (talk) 19:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Admin blatantly lying on ANI report

I apologise for bringing this here, but I don´t know how should I procede when confronted with this situation, as it is not admin abuse which could be reported, but equally harmfull and seious in my view. The admin User:AniMate has done this in the past, defending a disrupting editor which he fances and discrediting reports done against them. The latest one has just happend here. I did my best to solve a very difficult situation and my attempts there were sabotaged. When I reported the case, I found myself being further ganged-up at the report itself with all users simply wanting to keep the numerical advantage and avoid serios discussion. I faced disruptive behavior and trolling. I please ask for advice. FkpCascais (talk) 15:59, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Why don't you make another incident at the noticeboard about this. And then you ask a experienced admin like X!, Fastily, Tiptoety to review it. By my experience I am sure it will be forwarded to for mediation. --Ankit Maity Talkcontribs 17:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, yes I'm a liar, DIREKTOR is a liar, everyone who disagrees with you is a liar or troll that must be blocked so you can win content disputes. I have some advice. Focus on content. You've been given a list of sources that advance a position you disagree with. Try finding reliable sources that back up your position rather than trying to get other users blocked or extending protection. Rather than focusing on me or DIREKTOR focus on sources and stop trying to win disputes by trying to get everyone who disagrees with you blocked. AniMate 21:46, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
This complain of mine has nothing to do with article content, but with participants attitude. My complains already archived at least additional sources to be brought, as otherwise I was being ignored on that for 3 entire days and the users insisted in adding the accusation of ethnic cleansing with 2 sources, one not even dealing with the subject (Tomasevich) and another, BBC, obviously not enough under WP:UNDUE beside not even including the expression. Such a severe accusation cannot be dealt in such a light manner, and ethnic cleansing is the sort of conclusion that definitelly needs some academic consensus, and certainly cannot be attributed and provided lede importance with one non-scholar source. My complains were perfectly reasonable.
I analised the sources and cited adequate policies. The other users were derailing the discussion hoping that their numerical advantage will make the trick when the article protection is lifted, as I am alone there, and decided to continue with trolling attitude which constantly included phalse personal remarks and all very much unrelated to the article content. When I complained, AniMate has made two interventions at the report providing phalse statements and hoping to turn things against me. This sort of interventions of his are not unusual when the subject at ANI is related to DIREKTOR. It is absolutelly ironical, malitious, and outrageous, that he advises me to focus on content, as that was exactly what I asked the other participants to do all these days. Also, the demagogy of AniMate that I want to get everyone blocked is absolutely phalse. Yes I would gladly see DIREKTOR blocked, but not because of the dispute itself (he actually does more harm to himself inside discussions by his attitudes), but because he should be warned about his continuos disrupting uncivil behavior in these sensitive discussions, and honestly I am sick and tired of being confronted with that. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia where healthy discussions between educated and civil people should take place. I actually get along quite well with numerous editors whith whom I severely disagree on many subjects, and I really don´t care at all that much of "loosing a dispute", but what I do care that the disputes are done correctly. I really don´t care if someone is going to be blocked, and, if you notece, I never asked for a block anywhere. All I want is to have discussions without disruption, to have a consensus building without constant dirty tricks, and if a block will lead to that, I will welcome it, just as any other measure that will have such an effect. FkpCascais (talk) 01:05, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Forwarded to admin Fastily. Please continue discussion if needed.--Ankit Maity Talkcontribs 07:45, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Ankit Maity, thank you for all. I didn´t followed your advice as I wasn´t sure at that time what exactly to do (my mistake). In the meantime, having good-faith in the editors that will discuss, Causa sui denied my request for keeping the article under protection. And while I lost time discussing, the other users just return to edit-war... I have no words for this... FkpCascais (talk) 08:24, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Request for removal of "not truth" from the policy Verifiability

The two words "not truth" in the first sentence of WP:V have been, and are the source of considerable disharmony, dysfunction and wasted time at the talk page and policy page of Verifiability, with no end in sight. They are part of a phrase "verifiability, not truth". Is there any authority associated with Wikipedia that can simply remove just those two words, which appear only in the first sentence of that policy? Their removal would not affect the meaning of the policy since the rest of the first sentence contains the phrase "not whether editors think it is true". Also, there is an essay Verifiability, not truth for anyone who wants to use the phrase and refer somewhere for its explanation. If there is such an authority for removal of "not truth", I request that "not truth" be removed. --Bob K31416 (talk) 23:57, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Many users dislike non-consensus changes: There are many times where single-person leadership is more much effective ("unity of command"). However, many users have objected to such leadership, so consensus decisions have been preferred. I think a wide-ranging WP:RfC about removing the phrase could reach a 2/3rds consensus, if enough people knew to !vote about the poll. The prior RfC was defeated at nearly 66% support to move "not truth", but many editors did not respond to that RfC, and gave the impression that more than 1/3 of editors like the phrase which was not verified and not true(!) most likely. -Wikid77 (talk) 01:12, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Using images from countries with which the US does not have copyright relations

Thought it only fair to inform you that I've used this mailing list post of yours, which essentially says we should respect the copyright laws of other countries even if the US doesn't have copyright relations with them, in a discussion at the Possibly unfree files board where there is discussion of keeping images from Iran as they're PD in the US. As this e-mail is still listed at WP:C I'm assuming it's still current "policy". Dpmuk (talk) 01:18, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Also mentioned at Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2011 December 22#Template:PD-Iran in US. Dpmuk (talk) 01:25, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

File:Wikipedia Change The Ratio Logo.jpg

Wikipedia has this new file at

  • Wikipedia Change The Ratio Logo.jpg

Wavelength (talk) 20:37, 19 December 2011 (UTC)

Wrong in so many ways. How many XY editors do we have to shed to get to 50:50? Nobody Ent (Gerardw) 18:03, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
...or how many sex changes men would have to make. –MuZemike 18:07, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
A sex change wouldn't affect the ratio of cytogenetically male (XY) vs. cytogenetically female (XX) editors. Also, this is discrimination against editors with aneuploidy. That logo implies that people with Turner syndrome, Triple X syndrome, or Klinefelter's have no place here. (Ok, that wasn't a serious objection). MastCell Talk 18:12, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Who says editing is a zero-sum game? Diversity is an additive, not a substractive, movement. The more women around here, the better. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:13, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
As ratio is a relationship between two numbers, there is nothing inherent about the goal which indicates whether reaching it is additive or subtractive. If the WMF goal is to increase women editors, a goal of "600,000 by 2015" would be appropriate, "fix the ratio" is not. Reliable sources indicate diversity is not inherently additive: [6]. Nobody Ent (Gerardw) 18:32, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Well it would be here. It's pretty amazing to get pushback on this -- amazing, but not surprising. Herostratus (talk) 18:49, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Could someone explain to me how edits by male editors differ from those by female editors? Yes, I know, it's a participation thing, isn't it. Hoorah. But hang on, I thought my gender didn't matter here. In fact, my gender is undisclosed. So how do we get that Big Ratio exactly? So let's hear it for those downtrodden aneuploids! Or maybe we really are all just part of an elaborate social networking experiment. Martinevans123 (talk) 21:53, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
I asked that question once in jest and the quite serious answer I got was "they swear less". To which my girlfriend said "fuck that". :) Gender equality is missing the point (on WP). However; more female editors would be good because what we do have divided amongst gender is interests - and a lot of female-interest topics are under developed (although interestingly in my ad-hoc study earlier this year our current crop of female editors don't much edit those topics either, so it is probably not a gender thing as much as an internet-person thing). All of which could be summed up as; more diversity==good. Gender is an easy diversity target (but not the only one) for us to tackle. --Errant (chat!) 22:00, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
A reassuringly reasonable response, thanks. But, needless to say, when do we undisclosed third gender editors get our day? And, in the mean time, to which on-line encyclopedia do we flee to escape gender altogether?! Ethnic origin in User Preferences next maybe? Martinevans123 (talk)
It's probably better not to think of it too much in terms of gender; or, rather, ignore much of the gendergap stuff. Eventually it will become not-PC to mention gender at all. This is kinda my bugbear but it annoys me that the foundation took the brain-dead route and cast this issue in terms of male/female inequality without realising that, as an approach, it is both highly sexist and also wrong :) That's not by definition a problem - but it does (from my observation, and I realise this may present an unpopular view) encourage the more, umm, opinionated types to soapbox. What the inequality thing seems to consistently miss is that this is not a "too many guys" issue, it's about a the internet sub-culture in general. It has been obvious for many years that people who contribute (as opposed to consume) the internet are for the most part young males of a certain type. In that respect we actually do a really really job of having a broader range of not-that-sort-of-person. Even if we are a bit light on one gender.
I can't remember the exact words for it, but it is some sort of cause/effect fallacy. i.e. "There is an inequality problem on Wikipedia. There are less female than male editors. Therefore increasing female participation redresses the balance". This is of course just sexism rendered in a more modern and palatable light (you will find it widely expressed in modern society, unfortunately) - eventually someone important will twig that it's not about gender but *people* and that they are confusing the actual gender inequality issue (i.e. men historically screwed women over both metaphorically and literally, and the vestiges of that persist in modern times) with simpyl having a large group of a particular class/type. You could almost certainly do the same studies with another minority (jews, blacks, etc.) and get broadly the same results (and indeed with have, to wit the global south issue, which amusingly is part of the same problem, but no one seems to have noticed).
It's an unfortunate historical side effect that when someone says the word "inequality" people default to creating one of a few binary groupings and wax lyrical about them. I talked to a gender equality person a few months ago whose theory was that Wikipedia was too combative, that this was sexist and that it put off women from participating - completely oblivious to how sexist their own theory was (toward women). She'd identified a problem, but had got lost by picking a broad group of people (women), generalising them in a ludicrous way, and proclaiming this as a universal theory. And I think that sums up the whole gender gap stuff; the issue has been identified (inequality) but no one seems to be fixing it, rather they are standing around being sympathetic, conducting studies and theorizing (I mean that as a general criticism; I know some very smart individuals who are actually doing pro-active things to address this). Gender is purely misdirection and hopefully soon we will get over it. --Errant (chat!) 22:55, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you and I are reading different source material; I've never seen the WMF, or really any of the people active in addressing the gender gap, frame the discussion in terms of equality. The gap represents a huge missed opportunity, and a source of imbalance in Wikimedia content... but I don't think "equality" per se is implicated, so perhaps you are countering an argument that has not been made. Nathan T 02:25, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Phew! Thank goodness. Can't wait. Martinevans123 (talk) 23:06, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
If you have less than 10% female participants in an enterprise like ours, that indicates a problem. All the handwaving and crying of reverse sexism and making excuses in the world doesn't alter that. If 90% of your sales people, or engineers, or executives, or partners, or whatever are male, then there is something systematically wrong with your enterprise. Everyone understands this (which is why enterprises like that often end up explaining themselves to a judge). And in fact you (Errant) apparently recognize this since you write with apparent approval of "individuals who are actually doing pro-active things to address this". So why all the false analogies, excuses, and denials of the obvious in order to defend the indefensible? Herostratus (talk) 03:56, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Just purely out of curiosity... I'm sure the percentage of all truck drivers who are male is over 90%. What is "systematically wrong" with the enterprise of shipping and transportation that has caused this imbalance, and should it be addressed? Nathan T 02:25, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
1. The "reported number is 13%" 2. Voluntary self response surveys suck 3. At least some research [7] indicates some women participants in the internet may hide their gender. 4. As the link I provided above indicated, "ratio" solutions are likely to reduce male participants. 5. Saying "50/50 ratio is a stupid goal " ≠ "Wikipedia has no problems" Nobody Ent (Gerardw) 04:08, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
The most recent number was 8–9%.[8] If women are lying about their gender, they seem to only be doing it on Wikipedia. Similar surveys of other online communities usually show a majority of females these days. I do think having a more balanced ratio would actually benefit the encyclopedia. We seem to have a lot of articles that are presented from a predominantly male point of view. The dating article was almost comically biased for a while. And then there was the time when the shorts article was illustrated entirely with women in hot pants. Kaldari (talk) 08:08, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Similar surveys of other online communities usually show a majority of females these days; wow, source for such studies? I'm very very dubious on that one. In terms of the bias that's less to do with lack of female editors than with the type of editors. And ties back to my point that you are confusing equality issues with having 50% women. The problem here is not a gender issue, it is the predominance of a certain type of person. One activity I have seen is people giving talks at the girl geek dinners. Which is great, don't get me wrong, but it fails to realise those have a high ratio of exactly the same sort of people. They just happen to be female. :) If 90% of your sales people, or engineers, or executives, or partners, or whatever are male, then there is something systematically wrong with your enterprise.; what about secretaries? Mine workers? Lumberjacks? Nursing? All of which are predominantly one-sex industries. These help identify the fallacy, and inadvertent sexism, in your approach. Which is to assume ideally every job should be 50% of each sex. That's stupid. Equality is really about opportunity. I have the same opportunity as anyone else to go work down a mine - but I'd hope that anyone interviewing me would reject me as unsuitable (lacking the characteristics that make a good miner). Equality is that when a woman applying for the job exhibits those qualities she doesn't get rejected for her sex. You are right; corporate culture used to be disposed against women (less so nowadays). The key issue here is; more diversity is good. But casting it along gender lines is ignoring the actual issue in favour of something politically advantageous. What we need to offer here is equality in opportunity - to contribute and become involved. Which means taking the "power base" away from the current type of person that sits on it :) --Errant (chat!) 11:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not going to dig too heavy into the drama llama and obvious troll-assholeness that was involved in sharing this logo (which was created by two women who have been interested in and have done some blogging and outreach related to Wikimedia projects with women), but, first, a study was released a few months ago in the United States that states that women are more active in social media aspects of the internet. Here is a briefing of it from Mashable. While Kaldari states, I'm presuming sarcastically, that women in Wikipedia are lying because they're the only one's complaining (paraphrase), anyone who is active in open source communities is generally well aware of the extreme gender gap in the landscape, and Wikipedia is an open source community. This study, (unfortunately) from 2006, discusses that an estimated 2% of participants in open source are women. It's early, and I haven't caffeinated yet, but, if if people want to argue about this, then they really need to open their eyes and stop stating the non-obvious and denying the concept. If they aren't happy with the focus or interest people are putting on it, perhaps they can focus their energy on something that interests them more. We have problems in the community, and it moves beyond Wikipedia, and into roles of leadership within technology, cultural organizations, and more. As a woman who is active in both, I've experienced the best and worst of people - men and women - and I'm well aware of the lack of women's roles in these communities. Perhaps your experience in England is different, perhaps different than my experience as a woman in the community in the United States. I wish I could say that I was given the same opportunity as you, but in the United States, that's not always the case. Here, I'm a bitch for being driven, but if a man acts the way I do, he's a strong man who people want to be around. That's just one example, but, I'm glad you have had a good quality experience in England. Where I don't think any women serve on the Wikimedia UK board and that there are only one or two women active in the chapter (perhaps I'm wrong). Wikimedia is also aware that this needs to move beyond gender - it needs to move into Indigenous communities, in the United States, African American and Latino communities (and beyond), we desperately need more diversity in order to make the encyclopedia and its related projects of ultimate value for the world. By exploring opportunities to bring more women into the community, and work on user retention and creating a more welcoming environment, we can start that process. What the heck is wrong with that? On another note, I don't think any of us are begging for equality in jobs. I don't care if we have more female lumberjacks, hockey players, etc, just like I don't care if we have more male executive assistants or make up artists. What I do care about, is that those people who wants those jobs who aren't of the "typical gender," are giving the same opportunity to have those jobs as the "appropriate" gender. I think the majority of supporters of equality would probably agree with me. SarahStierch (talk) 16:02, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Hey Sarah; I agree with your analysis - except I argue that casting it as a gender issue is largely misdirection. What frustrates me is that your reply seems to come across as seeing my views as the standard anti-feminism sexist stuff. I'm sorry that it came across like that because (as I hope you will see in a moment) that's not me at all :) It feels a little like you have not read or thought about what I have tried to say. I've done a lot of outreach with kids and technology (not for Wikipedia, in general) and fighting the "internet is a boy thing" issue is a real challenge. But really it's "internet is a geek thing", because I get the same line from probably 90% of the people I try to get involved. One thing I have learned is that if you pursue the gender issue it doesn't really get you anywhere in solving the problem and simply polarises on a small fraction of the issue. As I suggested above - you could get 50:50 parity of male/female editors (and that is a good thing) but the problem would still be there - because everyone will be the same sort of person. As a friend of mine puts it; if you put an average guy and an average woman in the same room as an aggressive alpha male they are likely to both have similar negative emotions (even if the reasons for them are different). The problem in that room is not a man, it is a type of person. I readily admit to being within that "type" (young, white, middle class, educated, time on my hands) - but we do need to do something about it. I just don't feel like what has been done so far has moved in an ultimately productive direction. As a driven woman in the tech scene I can see how it would be difficult for you in many arenas. That I am sure is a gender issue. What we struggle with here, I argue, is a lack of diversity. and the key thing is; one thing I like about Wikipedia is that no one appears to treat each other differently because of your sex.. partly because most don't reveal it, and partly because it's an impersonal medium. --Errant (chat!) 17:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't think Sarah was just responding to your personal argument Errant. Many of the other responses in this thread have been "standard anti-feminism" stuff. I agree that part of the issue is that Wikipedia "is a geek thing" and we need to increase diversity overall. However, people who are actively making an effort to do outreach to other communities and demographics should not be ridiculed by our community (as this thread is doing). The bottom line is we need more diversity and we need more women to make a better encyclopedia. Addressing that issue isn't easy and there are a lot of different strategies to try. Making fun of the people who are trying (like the 'tribal councils' joke below) definitely isn't going to help. Also, I would like to point out that women aren't just the majority of social networking users, they are also the majority of bloggers,[9] which undercuts your argument that contributing content on the internet is mostly a guy thing. Kaldari (talk) 18:24, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I appreciate Kaldari pointing out that I wasn't intending to respond directly to just Errant - Errant, I never intended to come off sarcastic (except my comment about the trolly reason for posting the icon in the first place), and I regret that my writing my have came off that way. And yes, I was providing more of a general response to the negative aspects of the community seen in this section of Jimbo's talk page and a bit about your own experiences. Again, never meant to come off attacking or sarcastic towards you! I also openly admit - this is like beating a dead horse for me these days, it's really tiring and I just get "fed up" having to sometimes express myself over and over again about how there are problems, and we need to solve them. So, nothing personal :) SarahStierch (talk) 19:16, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Heh, don't worry about it, my fault too. --Errant (chat!) 19:25, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Well... I'd see blogging as a social media really, but it adds strength to your point. Take an online *community* though (which is what you started with) and you will find it predominantly male. I do agree ridiculing the effort is not appropriate; as I said, some good work is being done. However it is fair to criticise, I think, stuff that is wrong and long term not going to help. Like this image - which comes across firstly as slightly passive aggressive and secondly has the unfortunate consequence of soap-boxing about "the ratio", which is a bad thing. Just my view of course. --Errant (chat!) 18:41, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, you have a point with the lumberjacks and mine workers. It does take tremendous upper body strength to edit the Wikipedia -- some of the longer articles weigh over 250 pounds. Herostratus (talk) 13:31, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
You've kinda proven my point there :S --Errant (chat!) 17:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that the assumption that open source communities are inevitably male dominated is necessarily true. Some do have a pre-existing balance which they are likely to reflect, such as as collaborative software projects. But I don't think it is correct to compare WP to those. In terms of collaborative content and media, which is the bracket in which WP best fits, I would hazard a guess that WP does have a gender balance problem in comparison to its peers. --FormerIP (talk) 19:50, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

The logo is all white. I'm glad to see you want to add more red. Please contact the relevant tribal councils and representatives. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 12:38, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Is this the usual dose of ridicule or do you have something to say? --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 15:35, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Why should I, or anyone else, care what the gender of an editor is? "Comment on content" and all. This is a poorly designed logo for a poorly thought out idea that comes from a flawed belief that a gender gap is somehow wrong. More female editors would be great. So would more male editors. I don't see why we should prefer one over the other. Wikipedia should try to attract as many editors as possible, but casting this as a gender issue seems deeply misguided. Prodego talk 19:50, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Why should we care that Wikipedia is written almost exclusively from the male POV? That the article Rape by gender focuses more on rape of men than rape of women has surely nothing to do with said male POV. Or that it took many weeks to correct a citation error in the article Semen which stated that "women praise the taste of semen" when the source actually said "Let's put it this way: We didn't hear one woman praise the taste of semen." Definitely has nothing to do with the fact that 90% of Wikipedia editors are men. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 22:04, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
On the other hand, if you take a look at the main article on Rape it focuses mostly on the rape of women by men and the article on the causes of rape is almost entirely restricted to that kind of rape. In fact, it appears very much like the reason Rape by gender focuses so much on male victims is because discussion of it has been punted to that obscure article. (Even that's not very sympathetic to them; it uses statistics based on a controversial and rather gender-biased definition of rape.) makomk (talk) 17:33, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I am skeptical that the first depends on anything but what the particular author of that page chose to write, and that the second is even a relevant point at all. Prodego talk 22:51, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Skepticism can be a good thing: Consider your own argument that we should not give a fuck about the fact that Wikipedia is written almost exclusively from the male POV: This is not something many would understand, but there you have it. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 23:16, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Where did Prodego say that? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 08:20, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
"(...) flawed belief that a gender gap is somehow wrong" --> there is nothing wrong with the gender gap --> "Why should we care that Wikipedia is written almost exclusively from the male POV?" But let me rephrase: it is not just that many editors do not give a fuck, they actively support, rationalize and defend Wikipedia's systemic bias. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 13:18, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
No. That is your interpretation, and it is a misrepresentation. Prodego never said that. You said it. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:57, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Very sadly (although I am not unduly depressed by it), you are entirely wrong. Prodego wrote that the "belief that a gender gap is somehow wrong" is "flawed". It is misguided, "flawed", to believe that it is a problem that Wikipedia is written almost exclusively from the male POV! I will admit that it requires more than a Second Grade education to connect the dots. Whether or not this disqualifies you is not for me to say. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 15:35, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
It is your interpretation that all males will introduce male POV. If there is a POV, that needs to be addressed, but the notion that it can only be addressed by changing a gender ratio is incorrect. This is similar to saying white people cannot write neutrally about the KKK, and all Germans will always write favorably about Hitler, or whatever else. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 15:48, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I am afraid it is not just an "interpretation" that men have a point of view that is male and women have a point of view that is female. It is similar to saying that Germans have a point of view that is German, whites have a point of view that is white, Conservatives have a point of view that is Conservative... do you get the point? Imagine if 90% of our contributors were Conservatives. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 15:57, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
No I don't get the point. The last example gives your fallacy away. No-one happens to be born Conservative. This is where your interpretation comes in. "Male" is not an ideological choice. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 16:01, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
By your unusual mode of thought, men can think, feel, and edit like women and speak on their behalf (just as whites, your argument goes, can speak on behalf of blacks and Germans can speak on behalf of all other nationalities). So women have nothing of their own to contribute. Thus, it is no problem that Wikipedia is written almost exclusively by men. Yawn, rationalization of systemic bias 101. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 16:27, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
You understood correctly. The fact that somebody happens to be female contributes nothing. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 16:29, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Aha. Women's voices, experiences, and point of view can be subsumed under those of men, or omitted altogether. Why would an encyclopedia, or articles like rape or pregnancy, need female contributors or a female point of view when men can speak for both themselves and women? Thank you, Seb, for explaining so fully. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 16:43, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Those who happen to be born male are very well capable of repeating what reliable sources say about rape; just like women are capable of reading and repeating what sources say about testicular cancer. We're not writing a blog where one's personal opinions are published. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 16:50, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Those words are out, with no possibility to take them back: "The fact that somebody happens to be female contributes nothing." You work under the misapprehension that the male point of view is the norm, that women have no unique knowledge or point of view that would benefit an encyclopedia, and that women read, process, interpret, reproduce, and retain source material in the same way as men. So much misinformation boggles the mind. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 17:30, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I have no intention of taking them back. This is where we obviously disagree. And your stance boggles my mind just like mine boggles yours. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 17:50, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Your belief that women have nothing to contribute to an encyclopedia and that men should remain the norm for both sexes is incredibly foolish at best. This is hardly a matter of opinion. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 18:22, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
It seems we're taking about two completely different ideas. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 18:34, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
(Personal attack removed) Your belief that if someone doesn't give a damn about cats then that someone must be someone who worships dogs... boggles the mind. You must also think that Jimmy's hobby must be burning down paper encylopaedias. (talk) 18:41, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Dear IP, Seb can hate or worship whatever person, group of people, animal, plant or mineral he pleases, but when he starts supporting Wikipedia's systemic bias to the detriment of the encyclopedia's quality, it's time for some swift correction. Why would I think that Mr. Wales is doing that? Please do not project your odd fantasies and dreams onto me. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 19:00, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
That IP should just be disregarded. But Sonic let me try this again (if I may): Here's what I'm getting out of this "outreach": You want to walk up to a random female that you know nothing about and say "I need you to contribute to wikipedia." Why? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 19:03, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
IP's comment is a perfect example of the problem. Why do I want to counter Wikipedia's systemic gender bias? If I weren't such a kind fellow I would probably say something about your question. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 20:14, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Please do. My question is serious. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:17, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
To make it better? To improve the coverage of subjects that the current heavily-male editors ignore, pervert or distort beyond recognition? Because it's better to get more viewpoints than fewer? (It's 2011, for crying out loud; why are we still having these conversations with adult human beings?) --Orange Mike | Talk 20:27, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Turns out that that random female is a radical conservative who believes women should be subservient to their husbands. Just like the random Native American you recruit could be a convetr to Christianity who believes that the colonization of the Americas was the enlightenment. So... I'm suspecting you're thinking of a specific type of person rather than somebdy who just happens to be female. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:30, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Awesome. Where do we get that "type" of women and Native Americans or any women and Native Americans for that matter? --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 21:04, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Come to rural Arizona; there's a bunch of'em. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:07, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
But you're already there, it seems? So why don't you... Ah yes, you support and defend Wikipedia's systemic bias and the last thing you would want to do is reach out to under-represented groups. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 21:32, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Hah. The difference is that I occasionally mention wikipedia to anyone, regardless of gender or ethnicity. But alright, if it is indeed enough to you that somebody is biologically female or Native American while parroting the dominant point of view, I must say you do have a high degree of integrity. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 21:41, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
IKR. It's a self-perpetuating problem obviously. It's pretty appalling. Maybe we should just go with the flow and post a "No Gurls Alowed" logo on this here clubhouse. Herostratus (talk) 14:51, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
It is fascinating to see the four golden steps of backlash: 1) Deny that the gender gap exists. If that does not work, 2) claim that there is nothing wrong with the gender gap. When others ask why you do not care that Wikipedia is written almost exclusively by men and from the male POV, 3) be indignant and say that you have been misunderstood. When all else fails, 4) go back to arguing that the gender gap does not exist. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 15:43, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree quite strongly with the statement "The fact that somebody happens to be female contributes nothing". The gender of an editor is a property of that editor. It does not define that editor, or their contributions. I am not so brash, as Sonicyouth is, to identify all people of a gender as a unit which is different than another. You say that we are claiming "men can think, feel, and edit like women and speak on their behalf". Ignoring "speak on their behalf" - Wikipedia isn't some platform for people's personal speech or opinion, I would say that one's gender, ethnicity, or age do not define their contributions. I do think that men think, feel, and edit like women, that in fact every person thinks, feels, and edits in the same basic way. I'm interested in why we have a gender gap, that's something useful to know. I do not think a gender gap is a problem in and of itself, though it could be a symptom of one. That's certainly something we would want to investigate. Sonicyouth, you are a difference feminist, you believe men and women are fundamentally different. Seb and I (and I hope I do not overstep in speaking for Seb) believe that there are no inherent differences between the sexes. Read more. Prodego talk 07:15, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
If you believe that a randomly selected group of women (or a group of blacks, homosexuals etc.) would always select, read, process, interpret, reproduce, retain, and choose to emphasize the same aspects of source material in the same way as men (whites, heterosexuals etc.), then I advise you to familiarize yourself with reliable research. If you think it is "no problemo" that articles like Racism are written almost exclusively by whites, and Homosexuality by heterosexuals, and Pregnancy and Rape by men, then I do not know how to help you. Prodego, you deny any group that is not male, white, straight etc. a unique set of experiences, opinions, and approach to gathering and processing information, and this is why you believe that those who belong to under-represented demographic groups on this project do not matter. Read more and please come up with a better rationalization for Wikipedia's systemic bias. --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 10:45, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
The missing group is not, though, specifically female. Indeed - many of the female editors we have here have similar biases and viewpoints to the male editors. As I raised above the diversity issue is a lot more related to the type of person editing than their gender. --Errant (chat!) 10:37, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Could someone clue me in on a couple things? First, what is the "obvious troll-assholeness that was involved in sharing this logo"? I put in on my userpage because I think it's a good idea (obviously that's about as effective as an "End War" bumpersticker, but that's a different issue). Should I not do this? I'm genuinely unaware of what's going on here and don't want to be used by trolls (or assholes). Second, re the "very smart individuals who are actually doing pro-active things to address this", what are these pro-active things? I want to help out if I can (I'm not a "very smart individual" unfortunately so perhaps this is not possible, but maybe). Herostratus (talk) 14:51, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Reading through the above discussion, I can reflect on a few things. First, the idea that if any enterprise is 90% male, that's indicative of a problem, doesn't resonate with me. I'd say it's more indicative of a possible problem, if that ratio is due to harassment or discrimination. On the other hand, what if 90% of the applicants are male? Having done hiring in the past, I can tell you that there are fields where very few women apply (and the converse is true in other fields, note the ratio of female to male nurses for an example). So I think the question to ask is not "Are most of our editors male?", as we know the answer to that, but "Is there a pattern of discrimination, hostility, or non-acceptance to female editors because they are female?" If the answer to that is yes, then we have a serious problem and we need to fix it. If it's not, and we just don't have as many women volunteer to edit as we do men, then...what are we going to do, force people to? If someone wants to do an outreach program specifically focusing on bringing in more female volunteers, great! More volunteers are always good, doesn't matter what gender they are.
I am a bit dismayed by the suggestion that this will somehow automatically cause POV, though. There's only one acceptable "POV" on Wikipedia, and it's not the "male POV" or the "female POV", nor is it necessarily halfway between them. It is the neutral POV. And as we all know too well, neutrality is only achieved by ensuring that content matches high-quality reliable sources, not by dueling editors trying to push different POVs (this way lies an edit war, not a decent article). If we're failing to adhere to NPOV, that's a problem, but it's not a gender problem, it's a problem of not editing properly. Ideally, when you write neutral content, the reader should have no idea what the author's opinion on the subject is at all, whether the author is male or female, liberal or conservative, what have you. If we adhere to that principle we will have neutral articles, if not, we will not. "Ratio" doesn't enter into that anywhere.
So, sorry for the length. Summary: A ratio doesn't in itself indicate a problem but should raise our attention to check for any possible discrimination. If there's no discrimination, there's no problem, but we always could do outreach specifically to potential female volunteers. NPOV is not a function of "ratios", it is a function of following sources and not inserting the editor's own thoughts or conclusions. And in closing, some of the hyperbole here on both sides is rather unnecessary. Those who don't believe this isn't necessarily a huge problem and advocate treading carefully before we say it is (and may come to the conclusion it isn't) aren't likely misogynists, and those who do see it as a major issue aren't likely radical feminists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Seraphimblade (talkcontribs)
This is good thinking - and to take it back to one of the earlier examples... introducing, for example, radical feminists to the rape article is unlikely to have any better effect than the misogynist editing that has happened before. What it needs is an editor, man or woman, it really doesn't matter, knowledgable about the subject and capable of being neutral. --Errant (chat!) 10:37, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it is not only then that we have a problem. The two most important manifestations of Wikipedia's systemic bias are: 1) a lack of articles on topics that are of interest to under-represented groups, and 2) biased coverage on existing articles. Our NPOV policy won't change that. Off-topic: I am concerned that you have done hiring and do not realize that it is not as simple as "There is no discrimination, women just don't apply..." To quote the OECD, women's labor market behavior "is influenced by learned cultural and social values that may be thought to discriminate against women (and sometimes against men) by stereotyping certain work and life styles as 'male' or 'female'." [10] "If someone wants to do an outreach program"? Those who want to do that aren't even allowed to raise awareness about the gender gap. They say "more women editors" and then get ridiculed and abused by the usual suspects who show up, foaming at the mouth, only to swear up and down that there is no gender gap. Look, you say you do not oppose more women editors. But you have just spent a lots of time arguing that there is no need for women editors. You don't want to help? Fine. But could you at least try to ignore those who do want to increase the participation of under-represented groups? --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 17:45, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Sonic, we probably are largely in agreement here. There are indeed systemic attitudes that I think do inhibit women sometimes. In my experience, women are every bit as competent as men at fields like programming or engineering, but are under-represented in them. But fixing that must be done at a much higher, systemic level, and the reality of it is, if 90% of your applicants are men, probably 90% of your workforce will be men just by the math of the thing. That's not a statement that it's as it should be, just a statement of how it is, and your insinuations there are exactly what I meant by hyperbolic, unnecessary, and borderline uncivil comments. So if someone wants to recruit more women to edit, as I said, I'm all for the idea. If someone wants to correct women being discouraged from pursuing fields like science and engineering, I'm all for that too, as otherwise we may unwittingly deprive ourselves of the next Goodall or Curie (and indeed, in the years of open gender discrimination, we likely already have). But if the issue is societal, that means our imbalance is a symptom of a larger cause, and is unlikely to change here until the underlying issue is addressed. If there is discrimination going on by editors, that on the other hand is something we can and should address on the wiki itself. Answering that question is fundamental to the approach. Seraphimblade Talk to me 05:45, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I very much doubt that we are in agreement here. You wrote, and I quote, "If the answer to that [the question being: Is there a pattern of discrimination against women editors?] is yes, then we have a serious problem". I replied that it is not only then that we have a problem. I wrote that Wikipedia's systemic bias manifest in 1) biased coverage of existing articles, and 2) a dearth of articles that are of interest to under-represented groups. You ignored this and wrote something about engineering and programming, for all the relevance it has to being a Wikipedia editor (none). You think that "discrimination going on by editors" and discrimination in access are the only potential problems. But I think that one-sided coverage which naturally grows from Wikipedia's one-sided demographic composition is also a problem. Some editors try to raise awareness about the the fact that less than 10% of editors are women. If you refuse to support them, could you at least refrain from discouraging and just ignore them? Thank you and Happy Holidays! --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 12:22, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I always make a point of ignoring all female editors, haha. (That's what non-wiki people call a sexist joke, isn't it) But seriously, Sraphimblade is totally right - a female PoV of just that a PoV. As bad as a male PoV. Or any other PoV. There should be no PoV here. If need be, all editors whould be encouraged to write articles which appeal more to minorty readers. All this ratio balancing is completely misguided. (talk) 12:55, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I think that both viewpoints are equally useful. It is a shame that only one is represented on Wikipedia. But now I'll disengage to let poor Jimbo archive this section. Merry Christmas everyone! --Sonicyouth86 (talk) 13:58, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

More female editors

I think that if we really want to increase the number (and percentage) of female editors, we should get rid of jimmy and replace him with a woman. Actually, a quota of at least 50% of women in every area of the wikimedia foundation is needed for a better encyclopaedia. (talk) 17:52, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

We already have Sue Gardner. What's wrong with her? SpeakFree (talk)(contribs) 00:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for Sue's blog! I'm really enjoying it.Gandydancer (talk) 02:23, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

ArbCom Appointments 2011

Having determined that they met all the criteria for appointment, including having already identified to the Foundation, and in accordance with our longstanding traditions and their performance in the election campaign, I hereby appoint Courcelles, Risker, Kirill Lokshin, Roger Davies, Hersfold, SilkTork, and AGK to two-year terms beginning January 1st, 2012, and appoint JClemens to a one-year term beginning January 1st, 2012. In a break with past tradition, I am this year not reserving the right to move people from one-year to two-year seats. The same as last year, I will not make interim appointments to replenish ArbCom unless there is a majority vote of ArbCom that we replenish in some fashion by me calling a fresh election.

I would like to ask all incoming ArbCom members to review the history of the ArbCom, and in particular to familiarize yourself with some of the difficult problems that ArbCom has faced in the past, in the hopes of gaining some wisdom to avoid such issues in the coming year.

Your job is hard. No matter how well you perform your duties, some will say you have been too lenient. Some will say you have been too strict. And some will say that you've been inconsistent or arbitrary. Likewise, some will criticize you for moving too quickly, and others will criticize you for moving too slowly.

Strive to be none of those things, neither too lenient nor too strict, neither too quick nor too slow. And never inconsistent or arbitrary. But know that you will face those claims anyway. Face those claims with friendliness and dignity, and all will be fine in the end.

Finally, last year, I promised to make an announcement "soon" about the next steps in giving up some of my traditional powers, and that announcement is now. To ensure that transition takes place in an orderly fashion this year, I am announcing today that I am creating a Privy Council to advise me on these matters. The initial remit of the Privy Council will be to work with me to review the history of our governance processes and traditions so far, with a view toward us creating and publishing in March a comprehensive report on the current situation. After that, I will with the advice of the council write up an RfC specifically delegating various powers in whatever way seems most appropriate. This RfC will be subject to a broad community vote for ratification, hopefully in June.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:03, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

I think if there is the need to draft new policies, no ad-hoc system needs to be implemented, and the community can take care of it, thru its usual process, or as in this case, following input from yourself, rather than nominating what sounds to me too much like a Wikipedia:Advisory Council on Project Development 2.0, which was really not well received around here or so its my understanding of it (tho most of the issues in that RfC dealt with the arbcom overreaching outside of its dispute resolution functions, so this case, being in that way completely different, might encounter different reactions). Snowolf How can I help? 15:04, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, this is a completely different situation. I need a group of people to advise me personally on how to tidy up a lot of loose ends. I'm pretty sure that most people have never even thought about or realized the depth of complexity here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:17, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Thank you for formalizing the transition: I realize this will require extra time, in the next several months, but I was worried that you would experience "caretaker syndrome" burn-out, in having founded a massive, busy organization that would consume excessive, enormous amounts of your time, because many people felt that you were the one to directly solve all problems, rather than just giving advice and "strong hints" to foster improvements. Also, perhaps the formal structure will help to emphasize, with dedicated workers, how to keep focusing on the major issues to improve. As Wikipedia, worldwide, has ended the user-exodus decline, and begins this new era of increased user participation, perhaps this is the best time to re-define and formalize broad-scope processes to cope with all the thousands of new active editors (such as "60%" support being enough to change a policy). I have been worried that the 2/3rds majority issue is too strict, to adequately reflect volunteer polls about issues, when a "landslide" political election in the U.S. has a margin of perhaps a 55%-44% (with 1% of "others"). Anyway, I hope you will feel free to ask us to help you, with various tasks, during this transition period ...and thanks for all your dedicated efforts over the past 11 years. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:22, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes. One of the reasons we have kept the "reserved powers" of my role is precisely to make possible constitutional change. Most people around today will not remember that when I created the ArbCom, which represents a delegation of powers that only I had, it was felt to be important by many in the community that I retain the ability to disband or radically change the ArbCom as a "check and balance" against potential ArbCom overreaching, etc. Our systems have been stable for quite some time now, so any transition creates many potential problems. This is why I don't want to simply delegate myself - I want advice from people I trust and who have deep experience, and I want ratification from the community for any new arrangements.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:17, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
  • (e.c.) Whilst I think moving on your residual "powers", I think this approach may well irritate some. According to the Privy Council article to which you link, such a body advises a Head of State, which you are not. Privy Councils also typically advise in confidence (or in secret) which is not the way to develop wiki-policy. Your proposal is entirely top-down, and predicated on you being a ruler who exists above the community. Yet, on several occasions when you exercise some of those powers enormous controversy has resulted - off hand, I recall the controversial image policy you declared at commons, the controversy that led to you promising to no longer use the block button, not to mention numerous issues connected to ArbCom. Jimbo, you have important roles as spokesman for the community, as a board member of the WMF, and as Founder (amongst others). However, you are not ruler of the English Wikipedia. You don't have time to do day-to-day wiki-governance and I don't believe the community wants you to try to fulfill that role in any case. Setting up an RfC that calls for the community perspective on what powers you should hold and how to address governance issues is the wiki-way and is in line with a sovereign self-determining community. Please rethink your approach. EdChem (talk) 15:32, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not a head of state, because, among other reasons, Wikipedia isn't a state. :-) As I said above, the end product of what I am doing will be an RfC, one that will be mindful of our traditions (Wikipedia is not a democracy) and, I think, wildly popular.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:17, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo and other editors may recall me asking for clarification last year as to when this "soon" announcement would come. Better late than never, of course, and I welcome this initiative.
The clarification I sought last year mostly concerned the relationship between Jimbo and ArbCom, and I stopped pursuing the request for a couple of reasons: first, Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy has effectively addressed the matter; secondly, it seemed tactless to bring it up again after leaks revealed shortcomings in previous practice. I therefore trust that lessons have been learned about the value of an independent "judiciary", but am disappointed that the changes to ArbCom policy are not entirely reflected in Jimbo's announcement. ArbCom policy now only mentions Jimbo in connection with appeals, and the appointments process is purely ceremonial: there is no longer a right, for example, to move people from one-year to two-year seats, and it is a matter of policy that ArbCom decides if/when interim elections are needed.
This year, I have different issues on my mind, however. The values of Wikipedia (as an encyclopedia edited by volunteers with a mission to make the sum of human knowledge freely available) have been challenged from several directions recently. One important role a figurehead can have is as a representative and representation of those values, and hence of the community that has those values in common. I would like to see Jimbo's role clarified with this in mind. Geometry guy 02:27, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
"Governance processes"? What governance processes? There aren't any. The ArbCom focuses on volunteer behavior, not project governance. Who does this privy council report to, you Jimbo, or the community? If to you, why? Cla68 (talk) 14:12, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
They don't "report to" anyone. And they don't have any power. The idea is that they will offer me advice on how to best move forward on several important governance issues related to me personally. I have certain reserve powers, and I wish to reduce them in a wise manner. I want to take a comprehensive look at governance processes that involve me and think about how they can be placed on a proper institutional footing. I'll be looking for people who are willing to engage with the issues in good faith. The reserve powers are still important, as they constitute one part of our checks-and-balances. It's time to put them on a more institutional footing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:47, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I support this move. The timing makes sense, I was surprised to see that ArbCom members still need to be appointed by Jimbo. This is one "power" that ought to be devolved. However, rather than do it ad hoc, I support the notion of thinking it though in an organized way. Given that these are existing powers, there is no requirement that Jimbo even entertain outside opinions, but it is a wise decision to do so.In the spirit of openness, I hope those individuals will be named publicly. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 17:00, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
I am certainly willing to engage with these issue in good faith, as I think they are vital to Wikipedia, as are the checks and balances reserved powers can provide. In the interim between last years' announcement and this years', the community in general, and Roger Davies in particular, have worked hard to draft, rework, and obtain consensus on a new ArbCom policy that begins to address the issue of putting Wikipedia's governance on a more institutional footing. The policy expects the appointee to do nothing beyond acknowledging the result of the elections (the outcomes of both the vote and the eligibility checks).
It would be helpful, IMO, if Jimbo would acknowledge this work on ArbCom policy as an important first step towards the more institutional governance he seeks: such a statement would encourage editors to see his proposal as something more community-driven than the idea of a "privy council" may at first suggest. Geometry guy 22:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Oh yay Jimbo has put yet another Sam Blacketer on the ArbCom. This can only end well. --Takepianosteps (talk) 22:07, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Political Action by Wikipedia itself

I have placed this on appropriate pages but since we seem to be all over the place I will also put it here:,,id=96099,00.html

To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual.
In addition, it may not be an action organization, i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.'

For a general overview of this and different foundations IRS status look here at Wiki: 501(c) organization . For Wikipedia status look here: Wikimedia Foundation .

It seems to me that this organization would not last long if it lost its tax exempt status.

It is clear to to me that our only safe alternative, and one that Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren of the very same judiciary committee states calling in and sending letters to your particular Congressman as well as the Committee is WORKING. The delay and amount of amendments (25) also indicates there is real opposition. Please check this out yourself. It is all online and from direct sources. Mugginsx (talk) 11:04, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

The key here is the "substantial part" test. It's complicated and I'm not an expert, but as an example, a typical test is to look at spending on lobbying, and the general rule here is that it must be less than 5% of total revenues. We have good advisers, and the Foundation isn't going to do anything that jeopardizes its tax status. Fear about that ought not to restrict community action in this area!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:42, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
That is good to hear and I, of course, defer to your judgment and will amend my remarks elsewhere. Mugginsx (talk) 11:46, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Btw: The Mozilla Foundations Website has this section on its site. --Liberaler Humanist (talk) 19:47, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Where is the evidence that the Foundation "would not last long if it lost its tax exempt status." Donations have been as strong in countries where they are not tax exempt as in those where they are, and the Foundation has been running such a surplus that it could easily pay taxes without any impact to operations, hiring, or any other spending. But take a step back, please; are you really suggesting that financial concerns of any kind should get in the way of doing what is right? Many believe that civil disobedience is a legitimate means of protest. As long as any political or lobbying actions are even tangentially related to self-preservation, there is little to fear from authorities who might want to revoke tax exempt status or a civil jury which might eventually have to decide the "substantial part" test. (talk) 23:19, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
The original questioner seems misinformed. Political activities and legislative activities (commonly referred to as lobbying) are two different things and are subject to two different sets of rules and have different consequences of exceeding the limitations. In general, a nonprofit can advocate for and educate the public about issues, but not for candidates. A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status. We're far, far from that threshold, and the action being considered (i.e., turning off services) is not an expense. Wxidea (talk) 05:05, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Real help needed

Jimbo, can you help us with this difficult subject?

Trolling and disruptive behavior in discussion

It is really questionable, and vise advise will be good. Who should be punished, and who was wrong. Please, read it, and comment. It is hard to know who other can really say neutrally. --WhiteWriter speaks 19:06, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Errr, we don't do punishment on Wikipedia; we prevent (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 19:18, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, yes, but this is unfortunately far beyond prevention now... Anyway, forget punishment, solution needed. Edit war restarted after article protection expired. --WhiteWriter speaks 19:24, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
So it failed at mediation, the ANI incident was not restarted ... what does WP:DR say is the next step? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 20:02, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, you know. Arbitration. But User in question dont want to participate in that kind of activities, and few of them are in furious dispute and conflict for years now... --WhiteWriter speaks 21:33, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Merry Christmas!

Export hell seidel steiner.png Hello Jimmy Wales. You must have a lot on your mind concerning SOPA and the future of Wikipedia. Why not take a break for the Christmas Season and enjoy your Christmas Eve as well as Christmas Day. For us Germans, we celebrate on Christmas Eve and eat festively including wine and beer. Since Wikipedia doesn't have most of the foods that we celebrate with, I hope that this beer is good enough to share our festivities. Merry Christmas Jimmy. —cyberpower (X-Mas Chat)(Contrib.) 20:00, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Merry X'mas~!

--Dave ♠♣♥♦™№1185©♪♫® 01:04, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Season's tidings!

FWiW Bzuk (talk) 02:14, 25 December 2011 (UTC).

Merry Christmas!

Good tidings to you and your kin! :) Wilhelmina Will (talk) 09:40, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

How Wikipedians respond to things written by subject experts

Ronald G. Musto writes an article for an Oxford University Press encyclopaedia and article on the very same topic for Wikipedia. The professional OUP editors put it into the encyclopaedia. The Wikipedia editors nominate it for deletion as original research and an "essay". The contrast is striking and saddening. Uncle G (talk) 09:58, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

There seems to have been one !vote for deletion so far. In any case, the article is original research under Wikipedia's definitions, it is essay-like, and it looks to me to be lacking neutrality and balance in places. While we should welcome contributions from experts, that doesn't mean that we should abandon our standards to suit. I'd suggest that the appropriate response in similar circumstances would be to thank the author for his contribution, userfy the article, and offer to assist with its revision to a more appropriate style etc. Wikipedia isn't The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace, and what may well be an appropriate article in one context need not be in another. It would be a fundamental abandonment of Wikipedia principles to give free reign to 'experts' regarding content. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:32, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Further to this, I note that the article was originally created in 2006, and has had substantial editing since. The problems with the article seem to have been noted as far back as 2009, but with nothing being done to address the issues. One can hardly describe an AfD as premature. AndyTheGrump (talk) 13:45, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

merry christmas

follow this link for a suprise: merry cristmas!!!!! Oscar45596524 (talk) 15:50, 25 December 2011 (UTC)oscar45596524

A Christmas card

Have yourself a merry little Christmas, and best wishes for the New Year. --Bob K31416 (talk) 17:49, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Question About SOPA

Jimbo,I have to ask you something, this may be a stupid question,but if the SOPA is all about foreign hosted websites then how does it affect Wikipedia?--Willdude 132 (talk) 18:16, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Geoff Brigham, the Wikimedia Foundation's General Counsel, has posted an analysis of SOPA and its potential effects on Wikipedia. the wub "?!" 23:52, 25 December 2011 (UTC)


how can you become an admin?????????? can i become one please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oscar45596524 (talkcontribs) 19:03, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Jimbo doesn't normally decide this. See Wikipedia:Administrators and Wikipedia:Requests for adminship, though I would not recommend you try at this time.Jasper Deng (talk) 20:03, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Consider leaving GoDaddy over SOPA

I am proud to announce that the Wikipedia domain names will move away from GoDaddy. Their position on #sopa is unacceptable to us. (More details below.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Jimmy, I understand that you're mulling actions that Wikipedia can take in response to SOPA. Something you could do is transfer the Wikipedia and Mediawiki domain names away from GoDaddy, your current registrar. GoDaddy have come out strongly in support of SOPA. Since a reddit user brought this to light and suggested a boycott, many other site operators have committed to this, including the Cheezburger network and Stack Overflow. Would you consider mooting this with the Wikipedia community? Kyz (talk) 14:31, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I am strongly in favor of leaving GoDaddy over this, but, this being Wikipedia, such a change would almost certainly involve getting the community to agree. Perhaps we should have an RfC on this?
The second issue, assuming that the RfC shows a consensus to boycott of GoDaddy, is technical feasibility (obviously if can be done, but perhaps not quickly) and where to move it. I would like to suggest right at the outset that we do not attempt to pick a replacement, leaving that decision to the engineers at the Wikimedia Foundation. --Guy Macon (talk) 15:19, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Technical operation of the site is a foundation issue, not a community one. If they choose to find someone else to serve as Wikipedia's registrar, it won't really impact us at all. It would, however, represent a message at least as strong as a potential shutdown of the site. It would also create some headaches for the foundation during such a transfer. Resolute 15:24, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Agree with Resolute that this doesn't need a community RfC, and should be a matter for the WMF. I strongly support such an action though if it's feasible. (BTW Jimmy, I believe Wikia's domains are registered with GoDaddy, you might want to do something about that too). the wub "?!" 15:32, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Just so people are aware, there have been a lot of e-mails to OTRS about this, such that there's now an unofficial canned response we're using. I'd strongly support the Foundation moving away from GoDaddy. —Tom Morris (talk) 15:34, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Please do this - anon — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:38, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Here is the reddit thread about Wikipedia specifically btw :) the wub "?!" 15:37, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Although we can't do anything directly, there seems little harm in getting consensus for us to send a message to the foundation that we support them making such a move. So: See here --Errant (chat!) 15:52, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
This is true, and certainly I support such a move. Go Daddy isn't too concerned with the proposed boycott as of yet, but if one of the biggest websites in the world moves away, that will resonate. Resolute 16:53, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Words may change minds, but actions can change the world. This is an action, and it can make a difference. I also hope you will consider requesting this of the board. - CHAIRBOY () 15:54, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Please also note the personal pledges from users in Reddit to Wikipedia if you were to move away from GoDaddy - Mitchipr (talk) 16:10, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Since plenty of people in the press have this discussion page bookmarked, I'd better not say anything until I talk to Sue. So, you know, watch this space. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:27, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Fair enough, and thank you for listening. - CHAIRBOY () 16:50, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

+1. If Wikipedia, as an organisation & community, opposes this, they should oppose companies that support it. No half measures. Grande (talk) 16:40, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Just to add my support, I agree it's a WMF decision, not a community one, and leaving them would send a strong message. It would certainly show the WMF is serious about its stand against SOPA. --JaGatalk 17:01, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I would simply like to note that there is a decently sized ongoing pledge to donate to Wikipedia in the event that the servers will be moved from GoDaddy. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:59, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm wondering how many of those folks will actually carry through with their pledges. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:41, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Leaving vendors according to their service is ok. Leaving vendors because of the political opinion of their CEO is not that wise.--Neo139 (talk) 17:30, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Sure it is, especially if the political opinion of the vendor has direct and dire consequences to your own operations. That said GoDaddy offers pretty sub par service at a cost generally higher then the competition and has actively been involved in predatory business practices. - Ransim (talk) 17:39, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
For what its worth I also concur that its WMF's decision but as a member of the community I whole heartedly support a move away from Godaddy. I have to believe that there are more than plenty of providers out there that could offer the same or better service at a similar cost. Additionally, I also agree that it would send a pretty clear message not only to GoDaddy but to others as well that they should consider the consequences of thier decisions to their customers when they support something as dubious and poorly written as the SOPA bill. BTW, here is a link to some interesting info. Not what I would consider the most reliable source but there are plenty of good links and some good commentary. sopa-information. --Kumioko (talk) 18:13, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
It isn't the "political opinion of their CEO", it's a policy of the company. It is GoDaddy as a company that has lobbied for it. —Tom Morris (talk) 18:19, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Ok, I talked to Sue and we're going to be leaving GoDaddy. She cautioned that since this is a hastily made decision and the staff is REALLY swamped with work right now, and we'll have to choose a new vendor, etc., that you won't see the registrations changing overnight. But we're making the change.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:55, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Great news, thanks for letting us know Jimbo! --Kumioko (talk) 19:07, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
This is an overtly political decision. Poor form. Townlake (talk) 20:26, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Excellent. Two thumbs up, three if I had them. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:36, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

COMPLETELY support this decision to move away. First of all, most Wikipedia users really should not care about this from a technology perspective. GoDaddy, as a registrar, does nothing to enhance the site's service. Registrars are pretty much only used for DNS servers to decide which server is authoritative re: the IP-to-domain mapping. After that, DNS takes over. Also, for all those who are pushing back based on poor political form, what the heck are you talking about? GoDaddy supports something that is the antithesis of what Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia stand for - so then, they should obviously refuse to do business with that entity - it's not politics, it's common sense.Aleding (talk) 19:15, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I happen to be a domain registrar\reseller - please consider talking to me about this move - will not charge much at all to make this happen.Aleding (talk) 19:15, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

Hardly a total reversal. They've publicly claimed to drop support. Have they fixed the damage they've done in congress? Did they not, in the very press release intended for our satisfaction, claim they did no wrong, that DNS filtering is acceptable, that SOPA ought to be regarded as good? Djeikyb (talk) 21:03, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
That didn't take them long; it was what, one day after the movement was initiated that they dropped support? I hope that, despite Go Daddy's abrupt reversal of position, Wikimedia will continue with their decision to move to an alternate service. The damage already done through their support for SOPA and PIPA in Congress is, in my view, untenable. Melicans (talk, contributions) 22:32, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

A month ago they filled a long statement to House in favour of the bill. I recommend reading it. Then they affirmed that position on the blog 22 Dec; the post is now deleted. They wrote:

"Go Daddy has received some emails that appear to stem from the boycott prompt, but we have not seen any impact to our business."

Now they change opinion? It might be not sincere. -- (talk) 16:06, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Item on Reddit

Top item on Reddit at the moment. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:31, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Looks like we'll make more in contributions from dropping Go Daddy then on all those Personal appeals I see all over the Who knew that would be our best 2011 fundraiser. --Kumioko (talk) 18:55, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── GoDaddy just dropped support for SOPA --Guy Macon (talk) 20:05, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Ha, a little late for that. Obvious PR move. Wizardman Operation Big Bear 20:25, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
GoDaddy's reversal would be more impressive if GoDaddy hadn't already declared their support in a submission to a Congressional hearing, or if the GoDaddy political action committee hadn't already given thousands of dollars to candidates who brought forward SOPA. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:13, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

You reap what you sow. If Wikimedia and other organisations attempt to force GoDaddy to change their mind, not by the strength of argument, but by the economic blackmail of "we'll take our business elsewhere", then what you get is a commercial decision to change stance to retain businesses, but with absolutely no conviction in the new corporate stance. What do you expect them to do? See the light with a commercial gun-to-the-head?--Scott Mac 21:23, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

It is a good idea to stay with GoDaddy due to their reversal. It would send the wrong message if we switched immediately after they shifted their stance to match ours. In a future event similar to this no one will take our "threats" seriously if they know we will go along with the threat even if they comply. With that I would OPPOSE a change in domain service provider. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 23:17, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
What "threats"? No ultimatum was issued. This is a "You did something of which we disapprove, so we're taking our business elsewhere." situation, not a "Comply with our demands or we'll take our business elsewhere." situation. As noted above, Go Daddy is engaging in PR, which doesn't negate past actions. There are plenty of better domain registrars that haven't supported SOPA. (And when I say "better", I'm not referring strictly to this issue.) —David Levy 00:03, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
No, of course not. This isn't about convincing Go Daddy's management to "see the light". It's about not supporting a company whose principles conflict with those of the Wikimedia Foundation. —David Levy 00:03, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Eh? So, only do business with people who agree with you?--Scott Mac 00:07, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
It would be irrational to 'do business' with a company that was acting directly against Wikipedia's interests. AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:18, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
False dichotomy. It's neither feasible nor desirable to "only do business with people who agree with you". In this situation, a specific issue and the existence of viable alternatives (keeping in mind that each domain has one registrar at a time) render a particular business arrangement undesirable. —David Levy 00:18, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
We do not live in such an ideal world where we can only do businesses that act 100% inline with our interests. Do you agree with the business policies of your local super market 100% or do you prefer them because they are cheaper than local stores that are at the verge of bankruptcy? This is like saying you will not use your car because you do not support ideologies behind oil producing countries. Nash equilibrium applies to smart business models. GoDaddy simply saw that by siding with SOPA their internet-based business (their lifeline) would be significantly hindered and decided to change their stances. I would feel more comfortable working with companies whose decisions are influence-able by their customers. Furthermore, switching away form GoDaddy could introduce vulnerabilities to all Wikimedia sites. I'd imagine it would be far more difficult to DDoS attack GoDaddy's domain servers than smaller companies whose views would be "more inline" with ours. I realize the servers in question are in all cases ICANN owned probably but the idea is to illustrate the potential threat and I do not want to list more credible threats so as not to give bad guys ideas. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 00:59, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
We do not live in such an ideal world where we can only do businesses that act 100% inline with our interests.
Did you read the message to which you replied? Again, that's a false dichotomy.
Do you agree with the business policies of your local super market 100% or do you prefer them because they are cheaper than local stores that are at the verge of bankruptcy?
I don't have to select a single supermarket at which to shop. But if I did, all else being equal, I'd pick whichever one acted more in line with my principles.
As noted above, each domain must have a single registrar at any given time. All else being equal, there's no reason not to select one that hasn't supported SOPA.
This is like saying you will not use your car because you do not support ideologies behind oil producing countries.
No, it isn't. In your analogy, the car represents a domain registrar. Either way, the Wikimedia Foundation will continue to use one.
I would feel more comfortable working with companies whose decisions are influence-able by their customers.
"Being influenced by customers" and "never supporting SOPA" aren't mutually exclusive.
Furthermore, switching away form GoDaddy could introduce vulnerabilities to all Wikimedia sites. I'd imagine it would be far more difficult to DDoS attack GoDaddy's domain servers than smaller companies whose views would be "more inline" with ours.
You appear to have confused the concepts of "domain registration" and "web hosting". This has nothing to do with the servers on which the websites are hosted.
And as noted above, many of Go Daddy's competitors reputedly provide superior customer service, sometimes charging less money in the process. (So while I wrote "all else being equal" above, some alternatives actually are better.) —David Levy 01:51, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Even if GoDaddy's competitors are superior, switching now sends the wrong message. Also, the overworked engineers at Wikimedia really don't need the extra hassle during the holidays and so near to year-end. --Guy Macon (talk) 02:45, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
What "wrong message" does it send?
Having transferred domain names on multiple occasions, I assure you that it isn't a laborious process. And I don't see anyone advocating that the task be rushed. —David Levy 03:19, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
My worry is that people will not take the foundations remarks/threats (whatever you want to call it) seriously if the foundation goes through with them regardless of compliance by the parties we are in disagreement with. Lawmakers, companies and people in general would disregard any future remarks knowing they needn't bother as it will not change anything. If we are going to switch to a different domain registrar (which is fine), it should not in any way due to SOPA as GoDaddy has changed its views already and we should do so at a later time not in the middle of the heat involving SOPA. Mind you nothing prevents GoDaddy from supporting SOPA again if they realize their unhappy customers are lost for good and their remaining ones have no problems with SOPA. -- A Certain White Cat chi? 14:10, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
My worry is that people will not take the foundations remarks/threats (whatever you want to call it) seriously if the foundation goes through with them regardless of compliance by the parties we are in disagreement with.
It isn't a matter of what "I want to call it". Jimbo factually made no public "threat" or request for "compliance".
Lawmakers, companies and people in general would disregard any future remarks knowing they needn't bother as it will not change anything.
On the contrary, they'll know to consider their actions more carefully in the first place. Conversely, backing down would send the message that it's okay for companies to support (and even "help craft") dangerous legislation and say "whoops, never mind" when things hit the fan.
If we are going to switch to a different domain registrar (which is fine), it should not in any way due to SOPA as GoDaddy has changed its views already and we should do so at a later time not in the middle of the heat involving SOPA.
As discussed above, Go Daddy has not "changed its views". It's changed its stance from "we support SOPA" to "you guys aren't on board with SOPA yet, so we'll shut up for now". This doesn't magically negate the company's direct involvement. —David Levy 18:05, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with David Levy on this one. Lets remember that GoDaddy isn't just a supported they are a major contributor and one of the primary architects of the bill. Thats why they spoke to congress. Because they are very deeply involved. --Kumioko (talk) 23:07, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Reddit user here... Just donating $5 as i said i would . wutsgudhomz — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Really ironic considering they alone caused a 1900% jump in IPv6 usage, when IPv6 was supposed to promote the uninhibited growth of the Internet.Jasper Deng (talk) 05:53, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Did they change though?

Looking up some information on this "pledge" of no longer supporting SOPA, i'm finding information that says that, regardless of their pledge, they have yet to actually remove themselves from the Congressional list of groups in support of SOPA. When asked about removing the company from the list, Adelman said, “I’ll take that back to our legislative guys, but I agree that’s an important step.” When pressed further by the press, he then added, "We’re going to step back and let others take leadership roles." What does that mean?

Until GoDaddy actually removes themselves from the list of groups in support of SOPA, at minimum (preferably also add themselves to the list in oppose), their PR stunt of removing support is just that, a stunt.

For more info: GoDaddy CEO: “There Has To Be Consensus About The Leadership Of The Internet Community”, read that. SilverserenC 01:03, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

I just came here to quote the same article. This is very important to realize. Despite its posturing, Go Daddy remains an official supporter of SOPA.David Levy 02:06, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
GoDaddy has not changed their position. Read here [11] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:14, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
  • This is pretty much the state of things. They refuse to talk or elaborate on the press release and they're still on the congressional list. SilverserenC 20:10, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Blackball organisations that hold different opinions from you. Force them to recant, and demand they entirely renounce their heretical views. That's how to fight censorship. Way to go Wikimedia.--Scott Mac 00:25, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Scott, the persistently shrill tone of your remarks isn't winning any converts to your view of the matter. You might want to lighten up a bit. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:39, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Light or not, I doubt there's many converts to be won from the cult of true believers.--Scott Mac 00:43, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Ad hominem attacks are similarly nonconstructive. —David Levy 01:01, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Um, no, stop using providers that are supporting legislation that can hurt your company's website. That just seems like common sense to me. SilverserenC 00:52, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Why? So any companies supporting this measure because it is good for their particular business should logically refuse to do business with Wikimedia, since it's position may hurt them? Sorry there is simply no logic to this, unless you are trying to punish or deter people from taking the opposite position to you.--Scott Mac 01:13, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
That's their decision, I suppose, though the bill not passing would, arguably, not hurt them, as it keeps the status quo. Truthfully, there are a lot of cheaper and better domain supplies that we should be switching to anyways. SilverserenC 01:20, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Again, no demands have been made. Jimbo didn't ask Go Daddy to alter its stance or threaten retaliation for its failure to comply. This is simply a decision to refrain from doing business with a non-unique service provider whose principles directly conflict with those of the Wikimedia Foundation (to the extent that the former has assisted in authoring and formally filed support for proposed legislation that the latter opposes). Are you suggesting that the WMF is morally/ethically obligated to do otherwise? —David Levy 01:01, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
There is simply no logic to this. Its principles do not "directly conflict" - in the balance betweeen the need to protect copyright (which the WMF apparently supports) and the desire to allow a free internet (which even the WMF can't see as an absolute good) BigDaddy has reached a different view from the WMF. If you are not attempting to change that view by economic pressure (which is, I would strongly suspect why BigDaddy is backing off a little), what are you trying to do?--Scott Mac 01:13, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Again, Go Daddy is officially on record with the U.S. Congress as a supporter of SOPA. The Wikimedia Foundation opposes SOPA on the basis that it would cause substantial harm by undermining fundamental principles that enable the free dissemination of information online. How, in your view, does this not constitute a direct conflict?
The WMF can either continue doing business with Go Daddy or switch to a different domain registrar. Given the context, the former could be interpreted as an implicit endorsement of the company and its practices, an inference best prevented (given the fact that Go Daddy provides no service that cannot easily be obtained elsewhere at a similar or lower cost). —David Levy 01:48, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
How does the saying go? "You vote with your wallet." If a company does or supports something you fundamentally disagree with on the strongest terms, then it only makes sense that you don't support said company. Don't tell me you've never done this. :) --Conti| 01:59, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I have. I do it in order to make a point, and put consumer pressure to bear on the company to change its stance. I boycotted S.African goods during apartheid, and Israeli goods over their form of it, but in both instances the intention is clear - if enough people do it the message may get through that there's a cost to these unacceptable policies. However, apparently that's not what wikimedia is doing. Apparently this is not a threat aimed to change minds. So, short of if being a childish strop, I still see no-one giving an actually, effective, logical reason for doing this. What is it supposed to achieve?--Scott Mac 12:16, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not? I have to admit I did not read every single line of this thread, but my impression was that the move away from GoDaddy was done precisely for the reason you described. Looking at the thread again I still haven't found any other reason for the decision by the WMF other than sending GoDaddy a message and getting them to change their minds. --Conti| 13:12, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
There appears to be some confusion. Of course there's a message: the Wikimedia Foundation doesn't align itself with SOPA. The association with Go Daddy upset many people, who then urged Jimbo to pursue a change. Some were so impressed by his announcement that they donated money to the WMF. The controversy had the potential to sully the WMF's reputation, but it was turned on its head by a commitment to rectify the issue.
And yes, this also sends the message that supporting SOPA has negative consequences, thereby contributing to an environment in which not supporting SOPA is a sensible business decision.
What didn't occur was an ultimatum (i.e. "Drop your support for SOPA or we'll switch to a different domain registrar."), contrary to mistaken assertions above. Go Daddy's involvement runs deep and cannot be undone via a press release. (As noted, Go Daddy "helped craft" SOPA and has not withdrawn its official Congressional support.) —David Levy 21:42, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo is right on this issue. Wikipedia is entitled to participate in a political boycott, but this is a more practical issue than that. A DNS registrar that supports SOPA might be expected to lead the pack in taking advantage of provisions of the bill which as I understand it (IANAL) would allow companies to remove, on their own initiative, information about sites they consider to be infringing, which might be Canadian pharmacies and The Pirate Bay - but it could also be some local chapter of Wikipedians abroad who might have a few museum photos they plan to upload under the PD-Art tag. By moving the registration to a like-minded DNS now, Wikipedia can make sure that GoDaddy, a private corporation, can't choose thet time and circumstances to pick some fight like that and single out Wikipedia for attack without even having a complainant or a legal theory. That's just prudent management, even apart from any political implication. Wnt (talk) 16:56, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
The WMF can say whtever they want and do whatever they want. The political repercussions in the long run will be increased by any "boycott" of anyone or anything - the proper position for the WMF as I wrote earlier is to engage people within the legislative process (which, amazingly enough, it looks like GoDaddy has done) to shape the legislation rather than rail against those who worked on improving it. Count me with Scott Mac. Collect (talk) 17:28, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Agreed. WMF's increasing tendency to try to crowdsource activism is a source of concern.--Wehwalt (talk) 18:52, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
Organization G officially supports proposed legislation. Organization W opposes the same legislation, which it believes would harm its ability to operate effectively.
A controversy arises because organization W does business with organization G. Members of the public bring the issue to organization W's attention, urging it to end its business relationship with organization G (thereby affirming its opposition to the proposed legislation). Organization W complies with the requests.
Where, in any of this, are you seeing "crowdsource activism" on organization W's part? Since when is it required to do business with a company that it believes is acting against its interests? —David Levy 21:42, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

See also . Wnt (talk) 02:27, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

systematic bias in wikipedia. More non-internet editors.

How can you claim neutrality when there is a systematic bias against the point of view of people without Internet. La Valeria esta con Jimena Perrini (talk) 16:42, 24 Decesmber 2011 (UTC)

Gee, that'd mean more if we didn't use non-internet print sources fairly often. Ian.thomson (talk) 1. 6:51, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Those without access to computers can read Wikipedia and also edit, with limitations, using mobile phones. I am commenting here using a Droid X smart phone, and have made thousands of edits that way. The Wikimedia Foundation is working hard to improve accessibility worldwide, and your ideas would be welcomed. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 16:59, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
«Those without access to computers can read Wikipedia and also edit, with limitations, using mobile phones», you are either joking or completely off... - Nabla (talk) 18:10, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not joking, and am editing with a mobile device right now.Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:22, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
cross posted at my talk page, moved it back here:
That's how you characterized my comment on Jimbo's talk page about reading and editing Wikipedia using mobile phones. Since I am not joking I will leave it to you to explain how I am "completely off". About a third of my 15,000 edits have been made with my Droid X smart phone, and it is a fact that such phones are much more common in many less developed countries than personal computers. I attended the Wikipedia in Higher Education Conference in Boston this past summer, and Wikimedia Foundation folks made it clear that improving accessibility through use of mobile devices in less developed countries (the Global South) is an outreach priority. To the extent that the new user (who I've welcomed on their user page) was raising that sort of concern, then the response should be serious and friendly, rather than one based on sarcasm and mockery. That's my opinion. Note: this edit via Droid X. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:07, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Citation needed... Can you prove your statements? Mobile phones with internet access are more common than 'regular' computers with internet access in less developed countries? If so I am surprised but I'll admit I was off. Note that whatever you use is irrelevant, you are a sample of one person, plus I presume you are not even from a less developed country (from the USA, right?) So you are actuality a sample of zero dimension. - Nabla (talk) 02:22, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Here's an excellent overview from the New York Times of the impact of cell phones on the poor and disenfranchised, although its is somewhat out of date as it was published in April, 2008: Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty?. Yes, I am an American and recounted my own personal experience only to make the point that it is increasingly practical to edit Wikipedia with today's mobile phones. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:35, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Here's another from Reuters - less detailed but a bit more up-to-date: Mobile phones help lift poor out of poverty: U.N. study
Thank you. Too much text to read on-screen in a go, so I skimmed through and will read on later, but it might be that *I* was off... My appologies, then. - Nabla (talk) 16:36, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Well this will always be a problem and it cannot be solved. It also applies to people who cannot read, people who don't write books, people whose religion doesn't permit literacy, places without libraries. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 18:16, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Amusing, but we are obligated to provide encyclopedic coverage of the fragments of preliterate societies that remain. We ought to be the information resource for places without libraries. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:22, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
That's not what I was saying; you seem to be operating under the premise that a) everyone on this planet today either has a computer or a cellphone (see above) and b) everyone on this planet today can read and write. Neither statement is true. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:32, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
No, instead, I am operating under the premise that mobile phones are increasingly common in undeveloped regions where widespread access to personal computers and conventional internet access remains relatively uncommon. My premise also includes the fact that folks like journalists, anthropologists and historians produce reliable sources about topics of interest to illiterate people and those who have no internet access in such regions. I believe that it is better for 20% of people in such a region to have access to Wikipedia than 2%. Those 20% talk to the 80%, and answer their questions. Is all that so bizarre? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:01, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Not bizarre, but misses the point. Illiterate people don't produce books. Therefore we won't have anything to cite. Therefore, we can't include their point of view. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 03:20, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Anthropologists and other scholars produce books based at least partly on observations of and discussions with illiterate people. That allows us to reflect their point of view if we try. Isn't that how we have articles on Diné mythology, for example? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 03:27, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not theirs, it's what others write about them. Good example you bring here, those books are full of bullshit. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 03:33, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Why does Wikipedia only allow living people to edit? How can it claim to be unbiased when people who are dead or not yet born cannot edit? It's clearly a totally biased site! Ian.thomson (talk) 18:18, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
One corrective measure might be to write or expand a well-referenced biography of a notable dead person. This is something I have already done quite a few times, recently with George Meany for example. Not everyone can edit, but we can edit on their behalf, even those who are dead. See WP:CRYSTAL regarding those not yet born. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:17, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
*points to earlier comment regarding non-internet print sources.* I still stand by my defense that this site is biased against unborn editors, just as it is biased against editors who do not have access to the internet, and just as the Romans and the people's front of Judea (or Judean people's front, which are we again?) are biased against the man's right to have babies. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:25, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Is it not possible, Ian, that sometimes the best response to sarcasm is a calm and serious one? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:47, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
For that matter, I think Jimbo and Sue need to reach out to non-humans as the statistics show that 100% of our editors are of one species. Resolute 02:05, 25 December 2011 (UTC)
Surely you are aware that bots edit Wikipedia all the time? We already have a decent article on the Search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and on related topics as well. We'll do the outreach when (and if) contact is made, but I'm not holding my breath. On another matter, I see that I am the only participant in this thread who has welcomed the new user, La Valeria esta con Jimena Perrini, on their talk page. Why is that? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:17, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

Anyways. In response to the OP: we don't claim to be neutral in the absolute sense of the word. We aim to be neutral about available sources. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 03:20, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

I think NASCAR is biased against people without driver's licenses. Tarc (talk) 22:45, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

You don't actually need a drivers license to race in NASCAR. Though you do have to be able to drive. Prodego talk 23:40, 26 December 2011 (UTC)
There has been a NASCAR driver too young to have a driver's license source. In a coincidence, the article cites Wikipedia.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 00:15, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Why is the process of adding images to our articles so complex and difficult?

Jimbo, I am a relatively experienced wikipedian (since 2006) and am technically proficient; having 16 patents to my name and been a research scientist who did technical writing for decades, I am not exactly a dolt. Yet, ensuring that proper licenses are used for images has been the most frustrating and trying process of contributing to Wikipedia.

Please see the latest morass I stepped in here on my talk page. I created the solid model depicted in that image and made that screen capture. When uploading, I was asked if I was the creator of the image and I selected the suggested Creative Commons cc-by-sa-3.0 license.

But I fouled up. Again, apparently.

We can’t expect wikipedians to have so much proficiency with copyright law when uploading images. There needs to be better automated guidance shepherding contributors through the process of choosing a license and there needs to be some boilerplate fair-use rationale for the more common situations so we don’t put Wikipedia in the position of expecting legal t's to be crossed and i's dotted by 16-year-old wikipedians taking a break from their homework. Greg L (talk) 21:36, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

P.S. If it turns out that the Creative Commons cc-by-sa-3.0 license I used was the correct one after all and there are no other problems with the licensing I used there, then (that’s conditional on the “If” at the beginning of this sentence) I would submit that there needs to be a better process for tracking down, flagging, and correcting shortcomings in image licenses on Wikipedia. If my understanding is correct, absolutely anyone can go hunting for image-licesing issues and engage the uploading editors about perceived copyright violations. Greg L (talk) 21:49, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

If 16-year-olds performed brain surgery and calculated consumer loans: I wish it could be simpler, but the more people have learned about complex restrictions in copyright laws, the more complex the Wikipedia rules have become to cover those restrictions. Not everything can be simple, not brain surgery, not consumer loan payments with a single credit life premium, and not copyright laws for fair-use images nor freedom of panorama. There are dozens of details to consider. The best solution is to contact a professional brain surgeon, or contact the copyright notice boards for help with complex restrictions in uploading images. This is a case of "a little learning is a dangerous thing" and perhaps an excellent topic to explain that concept to others over a period of several months, or years. I understand the frustration, but keep asking other people for help. -Wikid77 23:07, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Is that a bad thing, necessarily, to have anyone able to make sure that our media is properly licensed? I mean, this is a volunteer project; we AGF in that most people are able to competently make sure that our media meet our standards for both free and non-free use. The same applies for any other maintenance task here. And I hope you made a typo in your condescending statement about your typical tagger, as the person who tagged your image is in fact 61 and not 16. --MuZemike 22:13, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Wow. In your eager rush to find something in my above post to which you can take offense, you overlooked the two main points I was making:
  1. The process of getting the correct license and fair-use rationale is incomplete and overly abstruse, and
  2. It may be wise to require special permission for volunteer editors to ensure they have the knowledge of image-licensing before allowing them to flit about engaging others.
And, no, it is not a bad thing to ensure our media is properly licensed; the question is whether the process for ensuring this is the case so is up to the challenge.

As for my “condescending statement”, it wasn’t a typo and I wasn’t suggesting that the person who tagged my image is 16 years old. Read it again please. No reasonable interpretation would draw such an inference; I was suggesting that the process for guiding uploading contributors was so abstruse that it is unrealistic to expect the younger contributors—like 16 year olds—to understand the intricacies while uploading. My statement made no conjectures whatsoever about the age of the volunteer from England who thought my Creative Commons cc-by-sa-3.0 license is insufficient.

As for “AGF”, it is about assuming that contributors have good-faith intentions; AGF has nothing to do with assuming everyone is competent at everything they try their hand in. That issue is covered by Wikipedia:Competence is required. Moreover, I am not necessarily saying that the tagger is not correct; he or she may be correct about how the 58 top-most pixels of this image require that the whole image be declared to be someone else’s work—which defies common sense.

What is precipitating this whole thread is the image I now placed in this thread. I personally created that solid model, which is central to what that image is about. If following the directions for uploading that image, where one is guided through the process of selecting the correct Creative Commons license for self-generated images, isn’t sufficient, then the process needs to be improved. It may also be time to consider just who is allowed to run around looking for copyright and licensing concerns because the *quality* of the imaging-licensing tagging I’ve seen over the years has varied from perfectly satisfactory to just abysmal. Greg L (talk) 23:30, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

I am sure it was just a good faith tagging. I was wondering, you have created the screw thingy in the program but do you have a right to claim ownership of the screenshot that shows details of a copyrighted program or are screenshots of programs free of copyright? See this screenshot of windows is non free media..? Copyright is quite complicated in general and remember is one of our legal related policies and we have a few users that are prepared to work in that field and do so mostly extremely well for the money, we are grateful to them, and especially the added responsibility there is when you consider making judgments on legal issues has its own possible repercussions. IMO - to comply with CC release, and erring on the side of caution, you should crop the program details from the edge and re upload. I also recommend if you are uploading anything under a commons compatible license that you upload it to commons. - Youreallycan (talk) 23:50, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
(ec four times in a row) Yes, I’m sure it was a good faith tagging too. As for the seeming problem with the copyright notice(s) or lack thereof, you are taking the words right out of my mouth. Those 58 pixels at the top, which show user-interface elements of a program may require that two things be done when uploading images like this: Give a Creative Commons for the “screw thingy”, as you say, and generate a fair-use rationale covering the 58 pixels at top—such language as There are some visual interface elements showing in this image to enable the reader to discern that AutoDesk Inventor is being used to export the original solid model. AutoDesk’s rights aren’t infringed when simple visual elements are illustrated because there is no accompanying output code or source code. Displaying such basic visual elements to show something is considered fair use in order to offer an encyclopedic treatment and critical commentary of the software in question and how it accepts solid models from other programs. The current uploading process expects contributors to show facility and competency in generating boilerplate fair-use rationale like this and that is an absurd expectation. I’ve been around the block a few times, just generated that xt-text myself, and have no clue it is sufficient. Just copying copyright notices from other places is no good at all; the previous time I got tagged was because I had done precisely that: springboarded off someone else’s copyright notice which proved, years later to be fatally flawed. This fiasco all points to how the process greatly needs improvement, which is my point #1, above.

As for cropping, I anticipated that this would be thrown out as a suggestion. Absolutely not. There is no reason to because there are ways to generate a fair-use rationale that perfectly well covers this. Moreover, that’s the whole point of including those interface elements in the image: to demonstrate that the solid model is coming out of that particular program. What is so terribly unfortunate is that there is so much conjecture about the true nature of the problem with the licensing that I still don’t have a clear answer as to what is required to fix the licensing (other than to start cropping). Your suggestion just proved how absurd this image-uploading process is. Greg L (talk) 00:10, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

What's absurd isn't the upload process, it is the difficulty of understanding copyright laws. A couple years ago, I saw a cartoon I liked, so I contacted the cartoonist, and paid a fair amount for the original cartoon, which I now have hanging in my office. It's mine right? Well, yes, and no. I own the original artwork, but not the copyright. I can display it in my house, but I cannot take a picture of it and post it; the cartoonist retained that right. My point isn't an objection tot he law, my point is that the law is complicated, and not always obvious. The process for uploading have to be as complicated as the law it tries to follow.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 00:25, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
((ec}} - I don't see anything absurd about it. I don't think you can release part of the picture under a commons license and add a fair use clause for the border. If you insist on including the copyrighted portion then I suggest you remove the commons license and add a screen-shot non free rationale. Also Greg, please stop enlarging your picture on this talkpage, it's unnecessary to the discussion and the upload has copyright issues at present. Non free files should not be posted on userpages as I understand it, there is a bot that goes around removing them. Youreallycan (talk) 00:29, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Youreallycan, you and I are just going to have to admit that neither of us are copyright attorneys. With such exceedingly small and superficial amounts of the program author’s I.P. being used and with so much of the image overwhelmingly dominated by my contribution, those two images seem to me to rightly be a derivative original that properly required only the Creative Commons cc-by-sa-3.0 license. This all just proves my point again: the uploading process and the guidance for determining what license is required is insufficient for circumstances like this. BTW, the tagger and I seem to be on the same wavelength. He was indeed thinking that fair-use stuff needs to be added to cover the user-interface elements. I think that is overkill for what seems clearly to be a derivative original, but that base has been covered nonetheless. This was far too much hassle for what may well have been overly sensitive judgement call by one of Wikipedia’s many volunteers who enjoy doing this sort of thing. The system needs improving. I’m done here. Goodbye. Greg L (talk) 01:00, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
I am not certain what you were basing your conclusion on as the term "derivative original" does not occur in that link you provided. However from that source, note "In any case where a protected work is used unlawfully, that is, without the permission of the copyright owner, copyright will not be extended to the illegally used part." You can't take someone else's work and put into the commons, even just in a corner of your work. Rmhermen (talk) 03:39, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm 100% sympathetic to your problem here. What you had to deal with is pretty ridiculous. But, what's the solution?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:12, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I just had a weird idea. What if there was an option that people could click, "I don't know much about copyright law, so I give permission for the community to choose the license and fix the licensing terms. Insofar as I have any rights to the image, I'm giving them up but desire for my work to be freely licensed as much as possible." If we did that then copyright experts could simply fix things themselves and notify the user, rather than make the user feel like they need to go get a law degree before contributing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:15, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Jimbo, I've learned more about copyright law in five years of editing here than in 20 years as a lawyer! Intellectual property is a bit of a specialized field. There is such an option on WP's upload page here, but it is rather buried (look way, way at the bottom). Should it be made more prominent?--Wehwalt (talk) 00:20, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Right, I think it is a bit sad that we (particularly those of us who haven't been lawyers for 20 years!) have to become quasi-experts in copyright law. Here's a thought experiment. You're a very happy newbie. You're 19 years old and you were waiting outside your favorite regionally-popular but not super-famous band's concert for an autograph and photo. You asked if you could take a photo and put it in Wikipedia, and the band said yes. The lighting, per chance, was just right. The photo is not bad. You've been a small-time editor of Wikipedia, with 20 or so edits to your name, mostly adding release dates to albums of your favorite bands. So you start to upload your photo. You know nothing about copyright, let's assume. Let's assume that you have a lot of vague and wrong ideas about it, not even sure what the difference is between copyright, patent, and trademark. All you know is, you took a picture, you want to give it to the world, you ask nothing in return, you asked the band and got their permission. Now, you get to the Upload page . You scan down the page until you get to "I need help figuring out what the license is or I need help in understanding image copyright and Fair Use policies". What you get is a discussion page where you can talk to people about it. Maybe you know your question is stupid and feel embarrassed to ask. Anyway, it's a thought experiment. I'm not convinced we do enough to make that process easy for people.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:32, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I agree with you. Like all of us, I do best with clear instructions. It took me two or three years to really understand how to do images around here. I'm no photobucket expert, but I can take an image or find one out there, upload it, evaluate copyright status and all that. If you make a mistake with that with an article at FAC, you learn quickly or don't hang around there. At 19, I doubt I would have had the patience. By the way, I've known a few bands from time to time and uploaded images! Uncomfortably close for comfort!--Wehwalt (talk) 00:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Providing friendlier image discussions: We need to get more editors to provide helpful responses to user photo questions. I noticed that WP:Upload links to WP:Media_copyright_questions, so I went to that page and answered a question which was 2 hours old. Again, this is a manpower problem, where more editors are needed to reply in notice-boards. Meanwhile, the core active-editor group has settled into the same people over the years. I checked back over 2 years (into 2009) and found the same editors who posted gruff user-talk messages, directed at me, are still here among the "active editors who are not leaving". Encouraging other editors to be more WP:civil, more helpful, and respond to user questions is still a big problem. I guess STEP #1 was realizing that image-copyrights are complicated, so people should ask for help. Now, STEP #2 is providing quicker answers to users who upload photos, with questions at WP:Media_copyright_questions. Also, the word "Media" is probably alarming to many users, because for U.S. editors, the word "Media" generally means "TV news networks" rather than plural of "data storage medium". Perhaps STEP #3 should be to rename "Media copyright questions" as "Data upload copyright questions" to avoid the term "Media copyright" which sounds like a debriefing session for newsreporters and photographers. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:08, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Commons has a good interface that steps you through the upload process - particularly in that it deliberately questions to user as to the origin/source of the image and lets them know if they can't upload it (or otherwise helps picks a relevant license). It is definitely something that could (or should) be adopted here. --Errant (chat!) 13:41, 30 December 2011 (UTC)