User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 93

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WP:VER violation

While this looks like a legitimate discussion, it belongs on the talk page of the article
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:24, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

WP:DENY? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:27, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Rather foreseeing. If these refs will not return, some old text will be wiped in future. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:29, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Ignore all rules-if any rule harms Wikipedia itself. So restore these refs, please. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:35, 28 December 2011 (UTC)


i have got a suggeston for a new wiki website, it is called "wikigame" do you like my suggeston — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oscar45596524 (talkcontribs) 17:05, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Have you checked here? (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 17:06, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Minor Barnstar Hires.png The Minor barnstar
I'm awarding you this minor Barnstar for creating Wikipedia. Not bad. Keep it up and I expect you'll really go places. stufff (talk) 18:52, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Gee Jimmy, I never knew you were a minor, or even a Miner ;-)


Seems like we're mentioned on Slashdot now. Just if you're wondering. mc10 (t/c) 22:03, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

I remember when Slashdot used to be the primary source of breaking tech news, rather than posting things that happened a week ago. I miss the golden era of Slashdot. :-)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:23, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

no page

there is a page called remote, there are 14 sentences to do with remote, on the 12th one, the page does not exist. please can you change/edit it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Oscar45596524 (talkcontribs) 09:08, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

In WikiSpeak, this was a dab page with a redlink in the dab list, which has since been removed. Looie496 (talk) 15:48, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Foundation resolution on controversial content

Hi. A while back I asked for your understanding of the applicability of the above to this project [1]. At Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Muhammad_images/Workshop doubts have arisen about the meaning of your response. I wonder if you would consider clarifying your answer for us? I don't think we're asking for you to speak for the board here, just a clarification of your understanding of the resolution. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:16, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

As the editor who raised that concern, I'd like to ask as subsidary question. I would take that part of the board resolution as calling on either Commons or on all projects (whichever it is) to ensure that it exercises due care (as ought to be the case anyway) in ensuring that its content is appropriate to its mission and does not set out to shock without reason. I would not take it to suggest that any existing policy of en.wp is overridden or given a new interpretation. Is my reading correct? For my part, I am asking not just for your opinion but for the opinion of the board as far as you are able to communicate it. --FormerIP (talk) 02:32, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
In an issue as complex and fraught as this one, I am very reluctant to say much about the "opinion of the board". I can say with some confidence that detailed tea-leaf reading on the exact wording of the resolution is probably not the right approach. We crafted the resolution carefully, but not with layers and layers of analysis and opinion from lots of people; resolutions simply can't read in the same detailed way that Wikipedia policies (which are subjected to layers and layers of analysis and opinion from lots of people) can. I would say (speaking for myself) that the substance of the resolution is intended to apply to all Wikimedia projects in all languages, and that commons was singled out mainly because they have the biggest problems in this area (for various perfectly good reasons). In particular, the resolution mentions religious content and urges consideration of educational use and principle of least astonishment. Insofar as current policies do not adequately address those issues (which, by necessity, is up to us in the community to decide) then I think, contrary to FormerIP, that the resolution does imply overriding or reinterpreting (or, best case: rewriting) policy.
All of that was speaking generally without reference to the specific issues in the content debate at hand.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:39, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for that. Andreas elicited a similar response to the first question from Ting Chen. [2] --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:34, 28 December 2011 (UTC)

I have incorporated that into WP:GRATUITOUS. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 13:21, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

And gave it's own WP:POLA section for emphasis. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 14:41, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

And it was deleted. Oh, well. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 05:06, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Policy vs. guideline

A couple of editors pointed out that I've added it to a page that is "only a guideline" (See WP:AN and WP:VPP). I admit that the practical distinction is rather nebulous to me, even though I've read WP:POLICIES. I've added the material to what I though was most appropriate context in order to keep WMF-mandated and community-developed rules regarding controversial/offensive material on the same page. ¶ Should we move the principle to a separate page and tag it as policy-policy? The major problem is that the Resolution does not actually define the principle (of least astonishment), so on a stand-alone policy page it would make little by itself. And I don't know what level of authority the supporting material has (WG report, Image filter FAQ, Harrises report) in imposing Wikipedia policy. Maybe you can offer a solution here? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 20:20, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

AN thread

I should note that there is an active discussion thread on this at WP:AN. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 22:57, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Just because I'm tired

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

God bless Yeats, and all the less besung kings of Éire… --Ludwigs2 05:49, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

  • Promoting improvements as a team sport: It takes extra effort to retain good editors, and support them with quality-focus groups who continue their efforts, when some are called away by their many friends to "go out on the town". Naturally, the friendlier, more helpful people will be invited away from Wikipedia, by their outside friends and families or co-workers, so other fellow editors are needed to fill the gaps when people get invited to outside activities. People with few friends are likely to have more time to veg into Wikipedia and forcefully push their own viewpoints. I think the WP:GOCE Guild of Copy Editors has a good plan with bi-monthly copy-edit "backlog elimination drives" to skip alternate free months. Those free months can allow people more time for other activities. Also, the backlog-drive months provide periods of intense support from like-minded editors also striving for the same goals. That type of periodic-team support helps retain good editors, even if the drawback is alternate-month downturns in efforts. We cannot expect the best editors to be "full of passionate intensity" when their friends invite them away to enjoy other distractions. However, thank you for noting "the best lack all conviction" as somewhat of an age-old problem. -Wikid77 20:04, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

regarding WP:POLA

    • It's not going to pass, because the board resolution is written in a wishy-washy compromise-like way instead of in a straightforward way, so people who don't like what it says will just claim it's too vague to use or needs to be rewritten or such. We need a clear, non-qualified statement or people won't get it. (talk) 21:19, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
      • Yes - the foundation needs to get some balls - and rather that using terms like "urge", just say up front, this is a guideline release - from the foundation. Youreallycan (talk) 21:25, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Clarification#Request for clarification: Jimbo as policy maker

I'm notifying you per instructions there. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 02:08, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

The request for clarification is not a productive idea, and perhaps someone will find a way to have it withdrawn so we can avoid a pointless argument where one side will point out that "Jimbo" has the same number of letters as "Devil", while others will respond that "Jimmy" is the same length as "Angel". Obviously the WMF could enforce whatever they wanted, and obviously Jimbo might have a significant influence on the WMF and many contributors. Other contributors believe their personal freedom is paramount, and never the twain shall meet. Johnuniq (talk) 02:31, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, that 2006 Arbcom finding is obviously no longer applicable, so it would be nice to see it vacated. Tarc (talk) 02:40, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I think it's important to distinguish between his formal powers as Founder and his influence at WP:OFFICE policy-setting level. Interesting enough, the OFFICE policy itself was established by Jimbo. Was that intended to devolve his powers in the policy-making area? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 03:00, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
This looks like process for process' sake. While the ArbCom tends to take into account its previous decisions when it handles new cases, it is explicitly not bound by precedent, and explicitly does not decide Wikipedia policy by fiat. (Both provisions are part of Wikipedia:Arbitration/Policy, ratified by the community in June 2011.) If you want to clarify Jimbo's role in the community, WP:JIMBO might be the place to start. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:03, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the link, TenOfAllTrades. The status of that page is itself unclear. It is not marked as policy. If what is said there reflects the community consensus, then ArbCom can simply reply my question with "yes" (and Tarc will be disappointed.) ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 03:25, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Meanwhile, the WMF has some specific legal authority over all of its subsidiary projects, and it is up to the WMF to define Mr. Wales' role as well as its own. Collect (talk) 13:50, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

A brownie for you!

Brownie transparent.png This talk page is lacking in love really badly. Lucasoutloud (talk) 02:19, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Article feedback tool

I'm doing a food-related DYK about baseball players. So I look up Pretzel Pezzullo, and I find a very colorful, very distracting, very simplistic, to the point of being condescending (especially the faces), article feedback tool, which makes us look very unprofessional. And what exactly happens to the "Praise, Problem, or Question" readers submit? Albacore (talk) 04:56, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

See WP:AFT for an explanation. What you're seeing on Pretzel Pezzullo is a trial version. The final tool will probably look different, and you can affect that by contributing to the discussion at WT:AFT. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:25, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
The correct links are Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5 and Wikipedia talk:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5. Graham87 11:18, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

NARA on-wiki ExtravaSCANza participation

Hello Jimbo and related talk page stalkers. Please take a look at User:The ed17/NARA to brainstorm ideas and a structure on how we can help the National Archives ExtravaSCANza. My hope is that the success of this event will ensure that others will be organized in the future, even without Dominic as a Wikipedian-in-Residence, so we all benefit from the high-quality, formerly non-digitized media uploaded to the Commons. Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:37, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Why don't you guys just advertise?

I'm just an everyday wikipedia user. I do enjoy using it and hope that ti remains available. With that in mind I'm asking, why don't you jusy advertise? Yeah if everyone donated $5 you could stop the fundraiser. You could also stop it if you put a mentos ad in a sidebar. The fundraiser is getting to be as annoying as the damn ads would be. Is it just that you don't want to feel like sell-outs? It seems to me like a pretty easy choice. People aren't going to pay for something that could be completely free if the owners would bite the bullet. You're providing a valuable service. Feel good, make some money, and stop whining.

Paul199.48.24.10 (talk) 20:33, 27 December 2011 (UTC)

And how much could you trust our articles about Mentos, or the conglomerate multinational that makes and sells them, if we were sponsored by them? We decided a long time ago that in order to preserve our independence, we would not take ads. This has been re-hashed hundreds of times over the years, and nobody has come up with a convincing argument to make us change our minds. The fundraising banners are merely annoying. Sponsorship/advertising would be fatal. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:45, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Basically, I think "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." is better than "Wikipedia, proud sponsor of XYZ." Moreover, there's also not to mention that we have quite a few around here who dislike capitalism, let alone having that manifest here. --MuZemike 21:59, 27 December 2011 (UTC)
Because it makes sense, and we can't have that here. AQFK (talk) 00:31, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Not sure if the previous post was stating that to advertise "makes sense" - if so, then he\she is 100% incorrect. The current model seems to work well and if Wikipedia users have issues with seeing the pitches re: donating then guess what, go somehwere else. Besides, if that is really your complaint, then how is seeing a pitch re: donations any worse than seeing an advert which is, when you boil it down, the same exact thing but instead, it's for a product. Not everything is for sale and I love the fact that Wikipedia chose to go the route they have - keep adverts and companies out of the free information business - if it ain't broke, don't screw with it - leave it as is and everything is fine. – Aleding (talk) 02:35, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Why doesn't Wikipedia carry advertisements? Because it doesn't need to. --FormerIP (talk) 02:39, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Adverts would kill Wikipedia. We're already at the centre of every accusation of bias you can imagine; add commercial interests into the mix and you might as well turn the lightbulbs off now. I appreciate that the look of the site is a bit old-fashioned, but a television set essentially hasn't changed its appearance in 60-odd years and people seem to find them quite durable. In short - donations are useful. Advertisements would be lack black widow spiders. doktorb wordsdeeds 22:25, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
It is broke. The servers are horribly slow and we have a terrible, terrible UX. We're a Web 2.0 website with a Web 1.0 interface. Ugh. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 21:59, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
And I suppose the only way to fix that is by going from PHP to Adobe Flash. That will fix everything! (shameless spam) --MuZemike 22:43, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Please substantiate your claims. The servers are slow? By what standard are you measuring? I use the site for several hours every single day and it is one of the most reliable and snappy I've encountered? Do you or anyone else have any reliable test data that supports your contention? As for the "horrible UX" (I assume you meant "UI") - again, by what standard? It seems to work fine for not just for me but also the countless hundreds\thousands of other wiki sites. I missed the part in Wikipedia's mission where the goal is to be super pretty. However, what is clearly broken is this persistent push by the few to essentially clutter the UI for the many and in the process, sabotaging Wikipedia's core mission just to garner unnecessary ad revenue for issues easily solved with the current donation-based model. So then what is the real issue? Are some folks bugged by the occasional donation drive messages? If so, then again, how is swapping that for numerous other ads going to solve your issue? And besides, that is a small price to pay to keep Wikipedia independent and focused on the core mission. Is the issue maybe that some folks don't want to donate because it doesn't fit their particular needs or desires? Then fine, don't contribute - the rest will cover the bill and if any tech issues arise, then we'll get that covered as well. The pro-Advertising folks need to just accept Wikipedia as-is complete with it's core mission and values. If they find they are unable to do so, then rather than trying to redefine Wikipedia's core mission, they need to move on. As an aside, Encyclopedia Britannica is free online and supported by sales revenue - NOT ADVERTISING. Is their site prettier? Yes. Do the majority of Wikipediers care? I think NO. Do the aesthetics provide for a better encyclopedia? Possibly a bit but definitely nowhere nearly enough to justify sacrificing Wikipedia's independence. − (talk) 23:48, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Flash is dead. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 22:49, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
Flash isn't dead - far from it - but it will die in the next 3 years or so. Regardless, it does completely suck - making the move from PHP to Flash would be another horrible idea. − (talk) 23:48, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes, it's horribly slow. Try going through an article's page history looking for diffs. It's slow, painful process.
No, I don't mean UI. UX stands for user experience. It's the study of how users interact with computing devices. UX is now taught at the university level.[3] If you're unfamiliar with usability, I highly recommend Smashing UX Design and Jakob Nielsen. Nielsen, in particular, is a highly respected industry expert. You may have even read about him recently. His critique of the Amazon Fire made headlines everywhere.[4] I've been a software developer for nearly 15 years now and we're in a brand new world where technology is being consumerized. The very idea that we expect non-technical users to modify markup code is insane.
We want more editors to contribute to the project? Hire some damn usablity experts. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:27, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps insane, perhaps not. If you work with it long enough, one gets the hang of it. If you are an HTML programmer, congratulations, you can already control and edit half of Wikipedia's functionality.—cyberpower (X-Mas Chat)(Contrib.) 00:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Also, please read this wonderful column by David Platt. Platt, who teaches software development at Harvard, does excellent job debunking the myth that UX is only about looking pretty. It should be required reading for anyone in the industry in my not-so-humble opinion.[5] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Nothing you have said qualifies as justification for moving away from a donation model to one that requires ad revenue. Your performance experiences are likely due to something else external to Wikipedia - maybe take some of that 15 years experience out for a spin and figure out what it might be. As for the topic of UX, GREAT - thanks for the defining the acronym and yeah, thanks - already knew what it was - as if the name itself was a big enough clue. But I gotta ask - what the heck do you think this is? This is online encyclopedia - not an operating system. With any markup language, there will be a learning curve for the non-techie user - I would have thought that would be intuitive. With that in mind, MediaWiki has a whole slew of stuff that can be combined to create an extremely powerful and functional tool bar to take much of the the markup guesswork out of the equation - I figured that would have also been intuitive. All a user needs to do is create content and then much of the actual formatting can be done using the toolbar - pretty easy even for the layman. And finally, guess what - we are a team - we work together. Where one needs help or has made an error, then others are there to lend a hand. In fact, one could even have a situation where folks work as a small partnership - some take care of authoring, others markup - etc. The Wikipedia system works very well for the vast majority of folks who both consume and contribute. Maybe not for you - fair enough - so then again, don't use it - nobody's forcing you to use it or to even to contribute. I highly doubt that there is any steep barrier of entry for new editors getting involved based even in part on markup language in use. I suspect the main hindrance for not having more folks involved is time, not the "UX". I can assure you that most folks would agree with me in saying that Wikipedia does not require a full rebuild in an attempt to incorporate some usability design methodologies that likely would fail to significantly improve the content nor the site ESPECIALLY if it required ad revenue. − (talk) 03:29, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Markup is easy, English is the problem: A lot of editors have trouble following English language grammar. I worked as a computer lab assistant for years, trying to teach students to write software, and many of them did well. Initially, I thought only a few people could learn to use computer markup languages, until I realized that people speaking the English language was a "miracle" compared to the relative simplicity of computer instructions. Hence, I predicted everyone could use computers some day, and so that day has arrived. The real problem is the "MediaWiki markup" language being so convoluted today, but the good news is that it could be extended with simpler features, such as "\b" to force a blank space, rather than " " to have a space, or "\+" to join words rather than " " which people type as "nsbp" etc. I have worked on thousands of articles, correcting text, and 99% of all problems are related to the English language grammar and punctuation, not mistakes in markup language. However, the markup could be made simpler, and more people can help explain English grammar to editors. -Wikid77 01:33, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
@ I'm sorry, but that's a very disappointing response. Not once did you ask me how the UX could be improved. To me, this indicates you have no real interest in learning on how the usability can be improved, and I have no desire in trying to explain it to someone who's apparently not interested in the topic. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:23, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
You misunderstand - as an engineer, I am always in interested in thoughts and ideas re: making systems better. However, also as an engineer, I know when something needs to be fixed vs. just re-designing for the sake of seeing if it can be done. As I - and many others on this thread - have been saying is that the mission is not to make Wikipedia prettier or to re-design the UI\UX especially if moving to an ad-based model were the only way to make it happen - it's just not a priority. The primary issue with making the statement "Let's improve the UX" is in defining "improving"? These types of things are always subjective and therefore, one will never achieve 100% consensus. Take for example the Apple iPhone - regarded as a pretty awesome UI\UX - but it still has it's detractors - folks simply want to use the BB or Palm. Why? It's just their preference. Net-net - you can only strive for satisfying the great majority which we currently have now so then you need ask, why re-design only to end up with a similar satisfaction level but with a different UI\UX? – (talk) 17:48, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
99. is right. The trade-off is simply too high. Usability questions are usually the concern of those who sell stuff for profit, and their ultimate question is never "How can we make this easier so that people have more fun?", their question is rather "How can we entertain more idiots so we get their money?". That doesn't apply to wikipedia. Screaming for a better UX here is like going to somebody's garden-party and complaining that it doesn't look like the SuperBowlTM. Well, if you let me charge you $100.- and tattoo Coors(c) on your ass while screaming "GOICO, graite cah-insurance!", you can have a mega-party. That's not what we're here for, though. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 18:14, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Just a couple of thoughts about this. First, the fund-raiser banner is - in my opinion, off course - almost as annoying as advertising. Second, concerns about WP articles getting biased due to who makes the money get in are not hypothetical, wmf:Benefactors are of public knowledge (just as advertisers would be) questions about unbiased editing exist already: Talk:Alfred_P._Sloan_Foundation#With_regards_to_the_donation, Talk:Omidyar_Network#Likely_conflicted_editor_wrote_much_of_this_article, Village_pump_(proposals) diff about Google - Nabla (talk) 21:53, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Not going to debate the banner part because that really can't be debated - it's just a matter of preference. However, there is only one real solution in the world would we live in: The removal of fiscal responsibility from the Wikipedia consumer-base which can only be done, while keeping it's current core mission intact, by moving Wikipedia into a charitable realm with the benefactor remaining completely hands-off from the operation. As to the WP article bias - this is not solved by moving to an ad-based model but rather, it would likely be exacerbated. But this issue is also easily solved while also keeping Wikipedia's core mission intact by getting more users on board to help vett the content. Another idea might also to be to get SMEs more involved to help the vetting process. – (talk) 23:18, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Why doesn't Wikipedia start having targeted pledge drives? For example, if there is a given feature request, then why not have it scoped out, preliminary budgetary work prepared, and a funding drive held to fund the project? Anyone else have any thoughts on this? – (talk) 23:27, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Advertising? No. Relying on tens of thousands of untied donations per year guarantees our autonomy better than 30 big cheques per year. Fix the UI/UX? Please. It's a barrier to non-geek editing. I know some geeks don't see it, but it is. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 00:06, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

There is more to the conception of refusing advertising and funding Wikipedia with individual donations than just avoiding the perception of conflict of interest. Contributing to Wikipedia brings a sense of having a stake in the future of the encyclopedia. I feel that my contributions actually make a difference, and I think that the increasing amount of money being raised every year in this manner will eventually engender a sense of ownership in the global society, and Wikipedia will truly become the people's encyclopedia. Accepting advertising will kill that in the cradle, and the encyclopedia would become just another reflection of corporate culture in the same way some formerly great sports arenas, cultural centers, and even some towns have become. I, for one, don't want to read an article about automotive history sponsored by Ford or Toyota, or an article about the History of the United States sponsored by the Republican or Democratic party, no matter how many declarations of neutrality are splashed across the page, and I doubt that anybody else would either. We may stumble along the way, but we will eventually find the path to our destiny if we don't trip and fall in a short-sighted pursuit of funding. Tom Reedy (talk) 03:58, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
One more 'random' thought, and a note. Note, that my previous thoughts do not mean I am for advertising, I am merely pointing that the choice is not "banners vs. no banners" but "ad banners vs. fund-raiser banners", and is not "advertiser related COI vs. pure Snowy White WP", but "advertiser related COI vs. major donator COI". I think WP basic interface is quite simple, to write a piece of very good article text one needs very little knowledge of basic markup (links, headings, not much more needed, tough basic thing would be tables, but they're not too hard to change, once someone started them), what is not simple in markup is the horrible profusion of (many thousands? of) specialised templates, plus the profusion of rules, and the plentiful arrogant users outthere (it is a cultural thing, not most individual's fault, I know I am much more aggressive in here than 'outside', and I am not even close to the most aggressive users, I presume) - Nabla (talk) 18:14, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Could the foundation buy ISO documents for editors to cite?

I want to properly cite an article referring to an ISO standard. ISO sells these things, they don't have a non-professional or non-business public document access method. I don't want to have to individually purchase the ISO standard myself to cite it, and I don't believe that if other editors want to cite it that they should have to purchase their own copy of it in order to comment or edit the article.

I'm wondering what possibilities may occur if the Wikimedia foundation were to buy standards documents. Since I am an editor of the encyclopedia it appears that the Foundation could make access to the document available to editors like me on a professional basis, just as a business might buy the same standard and make it available to its employees in a technical library owned by the business.

How this would work is that all purchased standards would be off-wiki but accessible using a login screen and the editor's username. It is very likely this could open up a whole can of worms the foundation may not want to wade into, since I'm not directly a paid employee of the foundation but working on a volunteer basis only.

The standards organizations (of which there are many) would likely have a fit over this and start lawsuits against the foundation, because "just anyone" who wants access to their standards behind their paywalls could now get access to it merely by creating a free editor's account and "pretending" to be a Wikipedia editor, to view the standards that the foundation has purchased for editors to use for citations.

Is anything workable here, aside from every editor everywhere having to individually purchase each standard they want to cite for an article? DMahalko (talk) 19:16, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

WP:RX ? - Sitush (talk) 19:46, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I have a cunning plan...

I decided to write this ditty
For I have a plan (tis pretty)
But sadly my verse is shitty
Neither well formed nor witty
So I will start again... Dear Jimmy:

Here's my plan. Wikimedia foundation buys subscriptions to various academic journals on behalf of Wikipedia editors (as a group).

Certain editors are approved to use these subscriptions. Admins automatically, plus other users who have specific plans for them - I don't think the permission should be granted automatically, but by a process similar to RFA. The presumption should be in favour of users being given access.

Then you have a check in/check out system. Basically a user in said journal using category can "check out" a subscription to a journal, and use it either until they check it back in, or till it expires after 4 hours or something. In this way, not many subscriptions would be needed.

This will aid enormously with sourcing and research. It will be relatively cheap. I don't really see any downsides (until you put the journals out of business!) - what do you think? Egg Centric 17:13, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

It won't be cheap, Egg. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 08:39, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
That rather depends on what one means by cheap. I expect that an alpha version of this could be done for something in the reason of £10k a month. Now, while you or I would have considerable difficulty (or at least I would - you may have won the Euromillions last week Face-wink.svg) in coming up with that sort of cash and carrying on our lives as normal, it could certainly be done by the foundation. Or perhaps Pearson or someone would like to sponsor it... Egg Centric 12:41, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Individual subscriptions can't legally be rotated like this (unless WMF works out a special arrangement with the journal, which is possible but seems unlikely). The closest real-world alternative would be an institutional subscription. These subscriptions are not cheap but from my understanding of WMF finances they could afford institutional subscriptions to a selection the top journals, if they consider the idea worthwhile. I'm not convinced myself, since it's possible for most folks to get access through libraries and such. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:36, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Do you realize that academic publishers will never give out this kind of group subscription which is obviously going to devalue their copyrights? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 20:20, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Publishers are profit-driven businesses. I'm sure a creative deal could be worked out. Somebody with recent university library experience would be ideal to negotiate on our behalf. Boris, my local med library has all but ceased buying in hard copies of journals and textbooks. They allow visitors to access but not borrow their hard copies, and visitors can access some of their subscribed online journals, but no textbooks. This is now beginning to seriously impact my ability to edit medical articles. And not having to travel across town to check a source would be fantastic.
All the content we want for turbocharging scholarly article-writing is sitting there, a few key-strokes away, just waiting for someone with authority, charm and creativity to open negotiations. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 23:44, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I've made similar suggestions in the past. The fact is that each citation of a scholarly paper in Wikipedia actually drives traffic to the paper's publisher; it's a win-win. See Casper Grathwohl's comments about traffic to Grove Music Online (a site by Oxford University Press) here. --JN466 09:23, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Yep. The heightened likelihood of us linking to their text and driving traffic to them should help in the negotiation. They won't just give it to us, and it won't be cheap. It's a significant budget item for tertiary institutions. However, it would multiply my output by a factor of five or ten, and make the work much more satisfying. You can get off-the-shelf ebook library services that just plug into your institution website. The two universities I patronise (ECU and UWA) use Ebook library and there are several others. As for journal access, if we're going to do this, we might as well subscribe to the same package of journals that top level universities subscribe to. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 11:44, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Special Barnstar Hires.png The Special Barnstar
Hello, Mr. Wales! I just want to show my appreciation for you, because you founded Wikipedia, and because I find you a good man. I do not know you personally, but I still get the feeling that you must be a great person! That's why I'm giving you this kitten! I hope you will come to have a great year in 2012! Greasysweet (talk) 22:39, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
That's one funny shaped kitten! :) the wub "?!" 01:01, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
What are you talking about? All of the cool kittens look like that these days! ~~ Hi878 (Come shout at me!) 01:16, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, most of the kittens look like this! My cat looks like this, by the way. This is not a barnstar at all! :) --Greasysweet (talk) 11:13, 1 January 2012 (UTC) -
File:Cat tapping.gif The Confused Yet Philosophical Kitty Barnstar
Hmm... I'm not convinced with this star shaped cat stuff, but let's see how I feel after a little nap... Happy New Year.

That's Kevin, the always patient cat - he felt compelled to respond... (I am but his posting servant) Begoontalk

Stray kitten Rambo001.jpg Jimmy Wales Fundraiser Appeal edit.jpg
Who would you be more likely to give money to?

Hmmm… Now that I think about it, maybe what the project needs is a cat mascot: Libraries have lions, so it's only fitting Wikipedia should have a cat. Commons could have a contest: $5 donation, and you can submit a cute picture of your cat in the hopes it will be this year's WikiKitty, appearing on all our fundraising banners (and yes, I'm pretty sure that's legal under non-profit laws, within reason…). --Ludwigs2 22:58, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Hey, that's actually a brilliant idea. Come to think of it, that's actually one of the most awesome ideas I have ever read. It is an idea Wikimedia really should consider, as it sounds very realistic. --Greasysweet (talk) 10:14, 2 January 2012 (UTC) -

Quick question...

I thought this was Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, not just certain people. I couldn't tell since I get bullied on this thing left and right from my rather minor edits. What's up with people on this thing trying to boss other people around? I seem to be confused with what this website was originally about, my mistake. Divine intervention? -- (talk) 19:46, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

"The encyclopedia that anybody can edit" does not mean "the encyclopedia that anybody has the right to mess up in any way they feel like". The aim, after all, is to build an encyclopedia, not to promote the cause of freedom. Looie496 (talk) 15:12, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

So now that you've left GoDaddy

...where have you headed now?

(And by the way, Happy New Year.) --Slgrandson (How's my egg-throwing coleslaw?) 21:46, 1 January 2012 (UTC)


Jimmy, I'm still waiting for your clarification on what "consensus" means. In practice, such as this example, it's an Admin's unilateral decision. Doesn't like the result? He "relists it" for "a more thorough discussion". Apparently the "new decision" was based on one (1) comment posted by someone who couldn't be bothered to read any previous comments in this so-called "discussion". So once again, I ask what your definition of "consensus" is. Perhaps some day you'll explain. I live in hope, though not in expectation. (talk) 04:38, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Deletion review process is that way... Or you could, you know, just ask him to reconsider? J.delanoygabsadds 04:47, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
No, it's not supposed to be ""that way. It's supposed to be by consensus, using the usual dictionary definition. Also, your name does not appear to be "Jimmy". As for the Admin concerned, note how he then "implemented" this change - here's an example. He claims in the edit description he was removing the one (1) template per that "consensus". In reality, he deleted every single news media collection. We have PR people at work in Wikipedia, desperate to "cleanse" their articles of any further reading material which might not reflect the point of view they've carefully provided in the body of the article. Why is that being ignored? And why else would we have this determined attempt to delete these news sources? How many examples of this do I need to provide for this to be recognized as a serious problem? (talk) 05:00, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
That admin, User:Plastikspork, tends to delete many minor templates very quickly, perhaps too obsessively, and that can be quite alarming. However, he has listened to reason in the past, if you "just ask him" to reconsider. This is just a problem of balance: we need more people to delete thousands of low-use templates, but not go overboard and delete new-idea templates so quickly. In this particular case, perhaps Template:CNNtopic and several others could be replaced with just "one template" passing "CNN" as another parameter. I hope that clarifies why the rapid removal of templates has been happening. -Wikid77 14:56, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
It is not my job to instruct an Admin on his responsibilities. The clue is that the other Admins refuse to address his actions. If that doesn't worry you, it should. As for multi-item templates, I might agree with you in principle but in reality they end up like this and this. Are those examples of "listening to reason"? Even if "kept" their use is effectively blocked, so there's no point in having them. What I'm saying is...there's no difference in how single v multi-item templates are treated. (talk) 03:18, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to be clear: it doesn't matter whether or not someone's name is Jimmy. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 05:03, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
It is common practice after deleting a template to remove all transclusions, to avoid having things like this: Template:Non-existent page show up in articles. That part is nothing strange. I have no idea why he deleted the other templates, but again, you can always. just. ask. him, rather than speculating wildly about his "nefarious" thought patterns (for which you have no proof, as mind reading is not currently possible). Also, you should know that there is little chance that Jimmy Wales will intervene in something like this. I can almost guarantee that he will do the exact same thing that I did - namely, ask you to talk with Plasticspork, and then go to DRV if you cannot agree with him. J.delanoygabsadds 05:18, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
And another thing: How does removing (what appears to me as) random external links in any way shape or change the content of an article, much less push a point of view? That makes utterly no sense at all, unless the external links are directly contradicting the content of the article. I see no reason to believe that CNN would say significantly different things about Ahmadinejad than our article does. J.delanoygabsadds 05:23, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for making such absurd excuses for the actions of yet another Admin acting outside his remit, and above his pay grade, and repeatedly. (Wikid finds this "alarming", yet blames me. iow, blame the victim and excuse the perpetrator. Over and over and over again.) Thank you for focusing on the person, not the problem - quite un-Wikipedian. Thank you Delanoy for your amazing claim the article says the same thing as Aljazeera, Dawn, NYT, WSJ, Haaretz, the Jerusalem Post, and CNN. If so, this is the very first time all those news media sources have agreed on anything regarding politics and/or political issues. This is the purpose of Further readings links, yet you are adamant in your claims this is about something else. Says it all, really. I'm not so naive and ignorant to believe there's one and only one "correct view" to be expressed n these Wikipedia articles, and I'm 100% sceptical of the motives of anyone who claims there is. Delanoy pretends I'm making direct accusations against a particular Admin. I am not. I am pointing out a pattern of specific actions by several people, none of whom have come up with a rational explanation for what they've been doing, which would include how removing this material helps our readers and how keeping it in causes serious, perhaps irreparable, harm. None. I don't agree that the purpose of Wikipedia is provide articles which say, in effect, "this is what we've decided is all you need to know about a topic, so we're going to actively and purposely discourage you from reading other points of views because we're right and they're wrong if they disagree." The purpose of an encyclopedia is to provide information to contribute to the education of others. Education is not about providing one point of view, by the consensus of one, five, or hundreds, but to provide a starting point and encouraging readers/students to continue with their own research. To purposely discourage this is the opposite of education and brings up questions about the purpose of Wikipedia. (talk) 19:32, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
However, reality confirms that people love to add external links, and the best way to do that is to create a template to make a particular external link appear to have an official status so other editors won't wonder whether WP:EL applies. Google was invented for a reason, and if anyone wants a bunch of external links they can easily find them without relying on Wikipedia. There are many hundreds of people who try to add external links all the time, and a strong pushback is required to keep the place under control. Johnuniq (talk) 21:24, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for sharing your antiquated view of search engines, their use and results. Try reading The Internet Bubble by Eli Pariser for one problem with your idea. Then, try googling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and get back to us on where those news collections appear in the SERPs. That should show you a second problem. Still, I'm interested in why you are so against major international news coverage collections ("a strong pushback is required to keep the place under control", in your words) as External links. What sort of "control" do you have in mind? You didn't address that question at all, let alone the definition of "consensus" as practiced at Wikipedia. (talk) 03:27, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Getting back to the main question, I'd love to hear Jimbo's answer. What is consensus on Wikipedia? I can say (as someone who has studied consensus democracy academically) that consensus decision-making in its analytical sense does not exist anywhere on project, except possibly in quiet corners where no one is looking, or in the internal dialog at ArbCom (I don't have access to their internal discussions, but their results often appear to be what I would call consensus-based). For the most part, the term 'consensus' is only used on project to rationalize authoritative decisions, sometimes justifiably, but more often not. I've put some effort into trying to tighten up the consensus process to approximate what the term means in real-world contexts, but that has always run into stiff resistance. If there's a particular sense to the term on Wikipedia that's different than the scholarly usage, it would be helpful to know what it is. --Ludwigs2 22:26, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Well, apparently "consensus" includes claiming agreement on decisions far outside of the topic and discussion of it. Check Plastikspork's diffs each of which he describes as "External links: remove per WP:TFD outcome for template:CNNtopic)". Every single one also deleted every single major international news collection, not just CNN. No accurate description, no discussion on the Talk page, nothing but unmitigated arrogance and game-playing yet again. I will not make claims I can't prove, but this didn't surprise me in the least because User:Russavia, the originator of the request to delete the CNN template, started out wanting to delete all these collections here. User:Collect doubled down and even deleted the person's official website, insisting it was "irrelevant" to the subject(!), and also deleted several other links. That was later "resolved" by Collect by deleting everything except the person's official website, not restoring even the original BBC, Worldcat and Charlie Rose (interview) links. (You remember Collect. He lectured earlier that the only problem was that I refused to "engage" with other editors when they deleted these links.) Incredible, imo. Still Assuming Good Faith? No possible collusion, offsite or on? (talk) 20:24, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Friendly notification regarding this week's Signpost

Hello. This is an automated message to tell you that, as it stands, you will shortly be mentioned in this week's 'Arbitration Report' (link). The report aims to inform The Signpost's many readers about the activities of the Arbitration Committee in a non-partisan manner. Please review the article, and, if you have any concerns, feel free to leave them in the Comments section directly below the main body of text, where they will be read by a member of the editorial team. Please only edit the article yourself in the case of grievous factual errors (making sure to note such changes in the comments section), as well as refraining from edit-warring or other uncivil behaviour on project pages generally. Thank you. On behalf of The Signpost's editorial team, LivingBot (talk) 00:03, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Did someone just tell the founder of Wikipedia to be sure to refrain from edit-warring and or other uncivil behaviour? Face-grin.svg Mugginsx (talk) 17:44, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I think a bot would be classified as a "something", not a "someone". Neutron (talk) 22:04, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright law and the Internet

You might find these resources to be interesting.

Wavelength (talk) 18:06, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

I think she's back

I think the person that uses the account SlimVirgin may be back, but using other accounts at WT:V, WT:Consensus, and WP:Consensus. --Bob K31416 (talk) 00:12, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

If you have a concern about editors using multiple accounts , and any checkable evidence the place to report is WP:SPI. Youreallycan (talk) 00:16, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Verifiablility not truth proposals are back again.

See Wikipedia_talk:Verifiability.

And there's still people arguing that if a secondary source says a phrase was first used in 1947, and we find a primary source that used it in 1945, we must keep the secondary source. Ken Arromdee (talk) 18:59, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Ken, thank you for bringing that sort of example to my attention. It's a good one.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:22, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
And now one person is saying "I didn't mean it that way, what I meant is that we shouldn't include either date". But there are also references to another person who actually does mean it, in a case where the secondary source says 1909 and primary sources are from before 1909. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:39, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
That VNT issue is going to be in eternal Purgatory unless the WMF does something about it. It's not like we don't actually have a good policy wording about that issue in WP:OR. We do: "Appropriate sourcing can be a complicated issue, and these are general rules. Deciding whether primary, secondary or tertiary sources are appropriate on any given occasion is a matter of good editorial judgment and common sense, and should be discussed on article talk pages." ¶ It's just that VNT is now a cheap beer advert that's distorting Wikipedia's core mission. WP:5P layers NPOV on top of V and of OR as the real content goal. And IAR is parallel to NPOV. One can't possibly claim that writing an article according to a rigid set rules "this type of source always beats that other type and VNT is supreme" is actually based on 5P. But VNT has come to represent the transcription-monkey and for-dummies rule-set approach to writing articles. It's damaging both internally in terms of the enormous waste time around itself and its misapplication, and externally in terms of misrepresenting Wikipedia's goals and machinery. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 20:47, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I have to chime in and second this. I understand the VNT principle is to keep WP grounded in reality and not people delusions of what the "truth" is. But sources that meet WP:V and even WP:RS can also be deluded, sometimes about things that are obvious/common knowledge. So in such circumstances, do we put what every reasonable person knows to be the case, or what some outlandish source says, that is somehow not WP:FRINGE. I've argued before that at some point there needs to be a bar set - a threshold / standard of sanity, for inculsion, that in the ultimate calculation can only determined by thoughtful, common sense editors, using their brains and WP:IAR where appropriate rather than blindly following some dogma to the letter but not the spirit. i loath the day when wikipedia becomes nothing more than a simulacrum of simulacra. we can do better than that. things like WP:FRINGE and article talk boilerplates and FAQs have often been the saving grace, but that's not always the case and there remain many instances of buried treasure and the like that will remain presumably until a very small select few editors very stubbornly and dogmatically applying VNT and some convoluted policies they made up themselves but think they didn't -- expire. things like that are very frustrating to everyone. and i think having improving on that core philosophical idea of what an encyclopedia is and how it works -- something a bit more discursive than just VNT -- can go a long way in alleviating those kinds of problems. Kevin Baastalk 20:59, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
Agree too. How the recent poll, in which over 400 editors participated, with close to two-thirds (276 vs. 149) supporting, came to be closed as no consensus and no change will always remain something of a mystery to me. --JN466 23:12, 29 December 2011 (UTC)
I think that close was in error. It applied the wrong principle. It is not necessary to have 2/3rds majority to make a change to a policy page. It's valuable to avoid voting as much as possible and actually let the wiki process work, i.e. consecutive edits by people of good faith seeking a compromise that takes into account to the maximum degree possible the valid arguments on all sides. When we vote, we end up with this sort of absurdity, i.e. that we have a policy that a very strong majority of people don't approve of, to which there are perfectly valid objections which are not being answered. It's wrong.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:22, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
FWIW, I once saw an MfD with something like 80-90% in favor of keep, but the closing admin closed it as a delete because though those in favor of deletion had stronger arguments. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:35, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
That can be ok, of course. Obviously an admin better have a really good reason, and ought to expect people to challenge it and question why. In a case like this, though, the close didn't take a side, it just said "no consensus". And there are thoughtful people with thoughtful arguments on both sides of this question.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:33, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
As one of the closing admins, I did look at the numbers first of all and thought it was a clear situation. Indeed, when I first saw HJ's conclusions, I voiced my concern that a no consensus was not the right decision. But after reading the votes - a very large proportion of the supporters either supported with provisos or stated that they didn't like it, but vaguely preferred it to what we currently have.
When I weighed up the arguments behind the votes, it was clear to me that there wasn't consensus for that specific proposal to be enacted, but there was a very strong belief that something had to change. I'm confident that something will change on WP:V and soon.
Wikipedia isn't a democracy. We don't work by pure numbers, we work by consensus. There's an argument that consensus doesn't scale - I don't agree with it, but it's a valid argument. Perhaps we should have a different way of changing policy, but that doesn't mean that closes made under the current system were in error. WormTT · (talk) 16:31, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Re "We don't work by pure numbers" — (RfC) But we should not tend to deprecate their usefulness in gauging consensus, especially when there are 62% support vs 34% oppose from 444 respondents. Significant numbers should be given significant weight. The criticism of minor aspects of a relatively small number of support comments shouldn't have overruled the significant numbers, in my opinion. --Bob K31416 (talk) 18:07, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Re "But after reading the votes - a very large proportion of the supporters either supported with provisos or stated that they didn't like it, but vaguely preferred it to what we currently have." — This is not true. Here are tables containing the comment numbers that various support comments had in the RfC. Anyone can check whether the characterizations I made in these tables are consistent with the actual support comments in the RfC and also check whether Worm That Turned's comment is true. Simply take any of the numbers from a table, and look up those comments in the numbered list of support comments in the RfC.
--Bob K31416 (talk) 16:32, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

There's another example at BLP. It doesn't sound like it until you think about it.

[[6]]: BLP subject's wife says "I can send you a marriage license or birth certificate which demonstrates that your article has the wrong name in it."

The reply: "Sorry, we need a secondary source for that". It's actually another case of VnT misuse--it doesn't explicitly invoke VnT, but the idea is still that we cannot prove that a currently-used secondary source is wrong by using a primary source, which is what a lot of VnT misuses boil down to. Ken Arromdee (talk) 06:49, 2 January 2012 (UTC)


Congratulations to everyone involved with the extraordinarily successful fundraising campaign! First Light (talk) 16:45, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Question re IRC from 2007 to today

In 2007, you stated "I consider it well within the overall remit of the Arbitration Committee and my own traditional role in the English Wikipedia community to have authority over IRC as necessary ... from this day forward, concerns about standards of civility in IRC should be taken up with the channel operators, the Arbitration Committee, and me, in that order." (ref [7]).

Is this still operative? An Arbcom member has recently stated

  • "There is not now, nor has there ever been, a "duty" of the Arbitration Committee to supervise the proper use of official IRC channels. That is the responsibility of the channel operators and channel contacts."
  • "That was in 2007. In June 2011, the Arbitration Policy was ratified by the community and does not include any authority in relation to IRC channels. What Jimmy Wales said four years ago has been superceded."

(Ref - Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Civility_enforcement/Workshop#Request_that_Arbitrators_use_their_power_to_gain_access_to_relevant_official_IRC_channel_logs_to_determine_if_they_are_evidentiary)

If Arbcom has no authority over IRC, then who does? Hipocrite (talk) 17:00, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Channel operators and ultimately, the Wikimedia group contacts. NW (Talk) 05:23, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
That answer is only correct from the very narrow perspective of freenode's view of matters. It is worth noting that it is correct from that perspective, of course. But that's hardly the whole story. Beyond that, I am unclear on the correct answer to the question. One hyper-technical view is that I delegated responsibility to the ArbCom and they have given it up now with the ratified ArbCom policy. Does it return to me, then? Perhaps, but (a) I don't really want it, particularly not "raw" like that (b) me having responsibility over a service that I only use rarely doesn't make any actual sense - what should or could I do that wouldn't just cause problems? This is an example of the kind of thing that I plan to include in the RfC later this year of me more formally relinquishing powers. It is only barely arguable that I have any authority over IRC at all, but if I don't, it's better that we clarify that and also make it clear where that power does rest. (The key question here is: are the channel operators and group contacts a power unto themselves, or are they answerable institutionally to the community, and if the latter, then through what mechanism?)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:30, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Note I have raised the practical question of how records of the (equivalent to) bans or blocks from IRC channels were to be kept at Wikipedia_talk:IRC#Records_of_policy_enforcement. I suggest any questions about the current procedure of IRC supervision (rather than possible future governance) carry on there rather than on Jimbo's user page. -- (talk) 11:50, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

The simplest solution here is simply to publicly log every channel using meta:WM-Bot. There is no conceivable reason for restricted channels not to be publicly logged, and indeed they should be in line with the communities commitment to openness. Restricting a channel to admins only is reasonable to allow streamlined discussion on admin matters. But it can be logged publicly. --Errant (chat!) 12:08, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Could you raise that comment at Wikipedia_talk:IRC#Records_of_policy_enforcement as suggested? To be honest, it is far more likely to be read by those involved in IRC there rather than here. Thanks (talk) 12:17, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that part of the issue here may be that "those involved in IRC" have become an entity unto themselves. I agree with ErrantX's suggestion that the IRC discussions be publicly logged in the interests of openness. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:30, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
@ErrantX - Perhaps the logs could be several hours delayed as well instead of "live"?--v/r - TP 19:59, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

ANI Regarding a Thread in Which You Have Commented (Editors for Hire)

Dear Jimbo, There is an ANI currently underway in a matter in which you have been involved (Editors for Hire). Please join the discussion if you like. Thanks. Ebikeguy (talk) 23:34, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Administrator Barnstar Hires.png The Admin's Barnstar
Сергей Мамаджанов (talk) 07:49, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Declining number of editors and donations

Here are some reasons for the declining number of editors, and for the difficulty in getting enough small donations each year without longer and longer fundraising periods:

Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svg The lack of enough moderators and arbitrators drives away editors and donations. More info.
Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svg Non-admin closures of articles and categories drive away editors and donations. See also.
Phase Portrait Unstable Proper Node.svg Rude or speedy deletions of articles and categories drive away editors and donations. See also.


One thing that may change things over time is more community understanding of these problems. Hopefully, more community understanding will generate more support for change to occur. Userboxes are one way to help initiate discussion. --Timeshifter (talk) 15:39, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

I'm intrigued by the 2nd userbox. How exactly do non-admin closures drive people away from the project? Wouldn't they have no impact because non-admins can't close deletion or category discussions as delete? I would have thought deletion would be more likely to scare people away than closing a discussion as "keep" or "merge", or have I completely misunderstood? --Mrmatiko (talk) 16:43, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
More to the point, these userboxes seem to be expressing opinion as fact. AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:47, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Wow. That's the first time I think anyone has suggested that having hundreds of arbitrators would be a positive change. Risker (talk) 16:52, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand the first box, but the 2nd and 3rd are spot-on. We could add the tolerance of incivility from the regulars. Yopienso (talk) 17:27, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I will keep that in mind the next time I delete articles such as Allah and his jews, Justin Bieber Sucks, Wikipedia:Jack off, or my favorite, John R. Niggerlover. --MuZemike 17:40, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I am always fascinated by the idea that new editor retention is the fault of New Page Patrollers. It isn't our fault that newbies create articles that look like shit, and it's not our fault that someone chose to write about their kindergartener or spam their resume 9 times (I am not making these examples up). At my RfA, people commented on the fact that I was the first NPP admin candidate in a long time, and that my kind is a dying breed; when you're on the receiving end of the comments that we're baby-mutilating deletionists responsible for most or all of our editor retention problems, it's not exactly surprising. Of the very few who stick with it, most of us either never become admins after we lose it once or twice or we eventually leave Wikipedia. It happens that I like being here enough that I can put up with it (there are a few things that make all the downsides more than worth it), but I'm sick of people who've clearly never done NPP bitching about how evil we are. I've said as much to Sue Gardner (not my most tactful moment, but it got the message across), and though I and a few other users came up with a solution, it wasn't implemented, so we were left with the status quo; what else do you want us to do? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 18:15, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
The Blade, please review this advice. I find your comment, "It isn't our fault that newbies create articles that look like shit," as failure to uphold the fourth pillar. Yopienso (talk) 02:29, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
It's simply WP:SPADE. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:31, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
It's borne of a year and a half of witnessing the same story replay itself; I know it's not the nicest way of putting it, but I've found in that people don't take it seriously if I don't use a little extra emphasis every once in a while. And while I try very hard to assume good faith with people who are merely misguided (although even that wears on you after a while; if you don't believe me, tell me how you feel after cleaning up the 10th Indian/Pakistani village article you see), people like this or this (the article was mistagged A7 at first, it was a rather vicious attack page) don't need anything but a swift block and a template showing them out the door. In addition, as is apparent from my comments in other fora, I'm still unhappy about the outcome of this, which would have alleviated much of the problem. Instead of having that since August or September, we're spinning our wheels looking for a more complex, harder to implement solution. If I sound extremely frustrated about this issue, it's because I am, and while I'm all for civility experienced editors need to vent too sometimes. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:10, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the specific number of "hundreds" is somehow strange, but a faster and more efficient resolution of arbitration cases will certainly be benefitial. FkpCascais (talk) 18:20, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I too agree that 2 and 3 are valid. Add to this the distasteful RFA process, the bitey attitude of many of our editors, the assumptions of bad faith of good faith, etc. It tries the nerves of many editors. Not to mention the massive IP blocks that are in place including the one blocking the IP series of the entire Department of the Navy including the Marine Corps. --Kumioko (talk) 18:24, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm with The Blade on this one, of course; I'm still surprised he passed RfA, given some folks' attitude to those of us hardened enough to actually do NPP (a/k/a "drinking from the Magic Firehose of Sewage"). Could someboy create a userbox that says, Blunt or speedy deletion of worthless articles and categories drives away spammers, cranks and vandals? --Orange Mike | Talk 20:05, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I am also. Nice to see we have at least one Admin who came up through NPP. I think good editors are driven away by bad editors (in my experience at least). Dougweller (talk) 20:33, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
True. To dig up Jimbo's old metaphor: just because we don't cage people in in our restaurant doesn't mean we are obligated to let them go on rampage if and when they pick up the knife. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 20:41, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
It's not a matter of caging editors but of retaining a sufficiently large enough group of genuinely-public editors to maintain a "patrolling effect" on articles. Without enough people, the article content will become biased due to companies out there selling services to create public-relations type of articles, modify articles in order to provide quotable material to support a public-relations article, "sanitize" negative yet truthful material, remove the results of criminal cases by using the tactic of combining multiple sections into smaller ones, and revisioning of scandals.AnimeJanai (talk) 01:46, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Err... have you looked at the donation-statistics over the years? 2007: $1.5m, 2008: $4.7m, 2009: $8.5m, 2010: $14.5m, 2011: $18m... Doesn't exactly look like there's something "driven away," does it? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 18:27, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

According to their latest financial report WMF has cash and investments on hand of about $17M, roughly equal to a full year of expenses. And contributions exceeded expenses by a very comfortable margin (about $23M and $18M, respectively). So the argument that contributors are being driven away is untenable in both relative and absolute terms. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:43, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Active editors over time.
Thanks, you two, for the stats. This article has a timeline chart of active editors over the years: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2011-12-26/Opinion essay. This table has monthly page views for Wikipedia over years: Page Views for Wikimedia, All Projects, All Platforms, Normalizeds. Here are fundraiser stats over years: Fundraiser statistics - Wikimedia Foundation. It looks like the total monthly page views for all Wikimedia projects in all languages has almost doubled in around 4 years. Pages now have more images, audio, and video. People viewing Wikimedia pages are more widely dispersed. This wider distribution of the viewership increases server, hosting, maintenance, and staffing costs beyond just the number of page views. More and more video hosted on Wikimedia servers add a considerable burden to the system over time due to the high bandwidth needed for video.
We need a lot more money for all the Wikimedia projects in all the languages. It seems like we never have the money to develop global, integrated watchlists that work well. Nor do we have the money to develop a quality visual editor. Wikia has tried for years, and their visual editor is very inadequate. I am an admin/bureaucrat on a Wikia wiki. With the declining number of active editors on Wikipedia I see a lack of quality in many articles. I don't see that great of an increase in small donations this year. We have some large donations. If those are taken out of the fundraising total this year, it puts the number and total money from small donations in a different perspective. I think Wikimedia is losing its creative juice. I find it less and less interesting to edit here. Registered vandals waste my time. Arbitration is very inadequate. I tend to post and run more, because registered vandals make editing such a pain anymore. We need hundreds of arbitrators. We also need more developers. More volunteer arbitrators could be found. More year-round MediaWiki developers costs money. I don't think donations will ever be enough. See Wikipedia:Advertisements for various ideas. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:18, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, that — is different from what you started out with. My conclusion is that we need alot more enforcement, and more stringent rules to fight the vandals that are annoying you so much. As for arbitrators, I don't know what that would do. Do you really believe that the kind of people who don't give a damn about coming to a consensus will suddenly be all tame and nice just because someone with an arbitrator-hat or medal tells them to? And what the heck do you want gimmicks like global watchlists for? Is it really so difficult to have two or 3 tabs open simultaneously? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 02:20, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
You obviously are a newb as concerns the longstanding request by many people for integrated watchlists. We need hundreds of more arbitrators to settle edit wars. We need more money. We still do not have watchlisting of talk page sections. That is something people have wanted for as long as I have been editing on Wikipedia. Developing that requires money for developers. How can you settle article editing disagreements efficiently if you can't see when there is a reply on a specific talk page section? For busy article talk pages with multiple sections it is a basic need. --Timeshifter (talk) 02:30, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I fully agree with Timeshifter, as many articles are stuck in long-disputes and POV-pushers too often abuse and get to remove good editors because of lack simple and faster arbitration tools. For exemple, a RfM takes often months to be accepted, takes too much time, and when it is concluded, it lacks means to enforce decitions. My experience with it ended up being quite painful, where 2 years were lost with the same issues still being unsolved. This ends up being frustrating to serios good-will editors (not to mention possible scholars, who certainly don´t want to loose time with editors gaming the system and no one to enforce policies and decitions). FkpCascais (talk) 03:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't see how more Arbiters of the current breed would settle edit wars (which often at least start as content disputes, although they sometimes turn into personal vendettas). Arbitration as done on Wikipedia is not arbitration in the classical sense. In theory, it does itnot handle content conflicts. In practice, it sometimes does so in rather arbitrary and unpredictable ways (pun noted, but not intended). Mostly, arbitration has evolved into a petty crime court of last resort, which mostly deals with fairly minor and, in the end, not very consequential violation of WP:CIV. Arbiters have a hard job, and they provide a useful service, but arbitration as a process is far from where it needs to be to settle long-standing content disputes (which are often rooted in real world conflicts). I don't know exactly how and where we should evolve our dispute resolution process, and how to manage to resolve content conflicts in a way that is both encyclopedic and consensual, and that avoids WP:RANDY as well as truth by committee. But simply adding more Arbiters is not a constructive step. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:22, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
My first reaction is "You're kidding, right?". We have enough arbitrators? Allowing content disputes to go on for years is a good thing? By the way, I updated the userbox. Separating civility issues from content issues might be a good thing to do. Maybe use different arbitrators for each. That of course would require more arbitrators. But the bottom line is that most arbitration concerns content in the end. Truth by committee is better than truth by whoever edit wars the longest. --Timeshifter (talk) 00:32, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe my typo threw you off. ArbCom does not currently have a mandate to handle content disputes. It never had. It sometimes uses conduct issues as a pretext to overstep its mandate (which may or may not be a good thing - on the whole I'd rather have a community process for that). Getting more arbiters would not change the lack of a mandate. And as long a s ArbCom hears every case en banc, more arbiters would probably slow down proceedings even more. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 02:01, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
No matter how it is dressed up, ArbCom is handling content disputes. It is handling them poorly, because it ignores the content disputes, and blocks those in disagreement over content from the topics in question, usually for a year. It is an ignorant process, and severely abusive to all involved. It oftentimes blocks those currently most knowledgeable about a topic in the hopes that other knowledgeable people will show up. Who oftentimes will again disagree on content. Then the whole topic is put on WP:1RR and some admins are requested to monitor it on an ongoing basis. That last part, the admins monitoring the situation, is actually a good thing. That is what should have happened from the beginning. It took years for this to happen with the Israeli-Palestinian topic area. See WP:ARBPIA (see under "Further remedies"). Admins should be requested to enter into content disputes and make suggestions on how to specifically settle the content dispute, and not just the conduct methodology. Then if that doesn't work, then arbitrators should be requested to make suggestions about the content dispute, not as a whole group of arbitrators though. The focus should be on the topic of content. This of course will require many more arbitrators. Finally, if the content dispute is still not settled, and no content solution is found, then we go to group arbitration of some very specific content. A group of around 5 arbitrators is big enough to be fair, and small enough to work quickly. There is no need to have all the dozens of arbitrators involved for these group arbitrations. There are too many unresolved content disputes that will reach this level. So that would not be possible. And it is unwieldy to have more than around 5, 6, or 7 arbitrators working on a content dispute. --Timeshifter (talk) 20:54, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

I would also like to thank the new page patrollers and admins like MuZemike and The Blade who spend quality time repelling nonsense. I don't do NPP but I spend time combatting vandalism, spam and other misguided stuff, and I am convinced that the most important factor is speed. If a spammer/vandal/troll gets a link (or better still, a page that is indexed instantly by Google) to stay for even a couple of hours, they think their time is very well spent, and they are encouraged to repeat the process indefinitely. Removing their nonsense immediately is the only way to convince them that Wikipedia is not a ripe fruit waiting to be plucked. There are two points of reality in the three user boxes above: First, a small number of marginal new articles are deleted too quickly, and the speedy delete notices are too stupifingly bureaucratic (in a small number of cases where the editor shows promise). Second, it takes far too long to get relief from problem editors who are not clear vandals or other really blatant trouble makers. It should be far easier to get a temporary topic ban or page protection (of the right, that is, established version)—yes, wrong bans/protections would occur, but that problem would be far better than the current problem where good editors are driven away by misguided nonsense. If a page were protected to the wrong version for a month, at least the good editors would have relief, knowing they can turn their attention elsewhere while engaging in a limited amount of discussion regarding the problem page. Johnuniq (talk) 22:59, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

You and the other veteran editors/admins here certainly should know what you're talking about. I agree speedy deletions are often necessary and helpful. Rudeness never is. A good friend of mine is famous for his speedy deletes but is always gracious and gives tips to those poor souls who have no clue what they did wrong. I did not mean to condemn such useful editing. Yopienso (talk) 01:23, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. I tried wading through some of the various article creation proposals spread across multiple wikis. I believe that article creation should only be allowed for registered users after they have been registered a certain period of time, and after a certain number of edits. Rude and speedy deletion of articles occurs for many articles created by new editors. Why put them through that grief? Let them learn about wiki culture a little bit first. Trying to figure out the various article creation proposals is difficult. Trying to follow the discussions is even more difficult. Why do people insist on using obscure wikis like the meta wiki, the strategy wiki, and They have much less participation than the English Wikipedia. Without a global watchlist it is difficult to follow the multiple discussions. Also, I find that the outside people hired or consulted by the Wikimedia Foundation are out of touch with the reality of editing. It reminds of how Wikia hired some bean-counters, and outside CSS experts, and tried to revamp Wikia for more ads. But the hired guns had little editing experience on wikis. Ruined Wikia. I feel some of the same cluelessness from some of the consultants to the WMF. Excuse my bluntness, but it is extremely frustrating dealing with people who are newbs, and those same people are trying to improve the article creation process for newbs. --Timeshifter (talk) 05:19, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
For articles created by unregistered editors, how about creating some sort of sandbox articles waiting to be patrolled first before turned into articles? In case of everything being OK, the patroller could have the possibility of taking it to the next step and turning it into an article, but, in case of having problems, leaving a note at the "article-candidate" about the necessary improvements (including links of policies and time limit for the improvements to be performed), or simply explaining why the articles fails and deleting the sandbox after a few days.
About the foundraising issue, I honestly doubt that the newcomers make any important part of the donators. I would rather guess that well established dedicated editors make much more contributions, am I wrong? Is there any study avaliable about the type of editors and their contributions? FkpCascais (talk) 06:20, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
You mean a bit like Articles for Creation? --Mrmatiko (talk) 08:20, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
We direly need a tutorial for new editors. I propose two levels: one for people like me who just edit existing articles and another for those who intend to create new ones. We should all be required to walk through a tutorial and pass a simple quiz before being unlocked to edit. I sure learned some things the hard way. This would pose no difficulty to the savvier newbies, as they could quickly check off the correct answers if they really are so smart. Here is a case in point; this happens all the time and most certainly discourages new editors. Yopienso (talk) 08:28, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
From my personal experience, tutorials suck (or at least requiring them would suck); for instance, when I play a new video game, I want to play the game and not sit through some tutorial or "Level 0". I certainly wouldn't want to take any quiz on basic gameplay stuff. Why expect the same here? --MuZemike 08:33, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm proposing a one-time tutorial and quiz for first-time editors. Allowing those who think they don't need it to hit an override button could work. The quiz would be on the six bulleted points on the welcome template. A first-time editor experienced with wikis elsewhere could skim through that and hit the button. He/she should still have to read the Pillars and understand WP:VNT, WP:COI, and WP:PSTS before being unlocked to edit.
What I find so senselessly sad is the wanton flouting of the 4th Pillar; it does keep new blood out. If editors received basic instruction and demonstrated competence before being allowed to edit, we would have much less frustration among the established editors and virtually eliminate the vandalism by kids who would never bother to take the quiz. (No, it would not eliminate all vandalism, but would prevent "joy-riding.") Yopienso (talk) 09:18, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
It would be quite easy if talk-page and main-space edits could be sorted; then require new people to have a certain number of talkpage edits before letting them loose on main-space. One learns much more from the discussions than from some tutorial. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:32, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
We experience here Orwellian practices like arbitrary destruction of content, even if it is legitimate. is much better and allows things banned here like original research, fringe theories, etc... Wikinfo plans to import Wikipedia and expand it in directions disallowed here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:23, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Is that why it shows a 503 right now? Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:29, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
It's the middle of the night in the USA; I'd guess they're just down for nightly maintenance.
So, do you think there's merit in pursuing some sort of "licensing" before editing? I would think a new editor would at least have to say (truthfully or not) that s/he had read this page. Or is this impossible drudge-work I'm proposing? Yopienso (talk) 09:48, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
(Asking me? My suggestion is above. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:53, 31 December 2011 (UTC))
Yes, asking you. I can't tell if "It would be quite easy if talk-page and main-space edits could be sorted" means it's easy since the edits can be sorted or if it's difficult because they can't be sorted. User:Timeshifter makes a good argument. I'm serious; if you are, too, I'd like Jimbo and page-watchers to hear a concerted voice requesting basic training for first-time editors, thus reducing frustration and saving time on all sides; I would do well to get my "certificate," too. (Now, that's an idea as the very first level for WP:SVC.) Don't know what to suggest for unregistered users. Yopienso (talk) 10:12, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Maybe I wasn't clear: I'm against tutorials; I never learned anything from any tutorial. I am serious though about the idea of requiring new people to engage in talkpage-conversation first and learn from that. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:16, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks! Wikinfo's back online. And I'm over and out. Zzzzz. . . Yopienso (talk) 10:37, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
While I agree that there should be some form of barrier to article creation, having some extra requirement before editing would prevent wikipedia from being the encyclopedia where "anyone can edit almost every page". How would you accommodate IP editors within this idea? --Mrmatiko (talk) 10:42, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Not at all. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 10:47, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Can you just confirm which part of my comment you were replying to please. --Mrmatiko (talk) 12:30, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
The "accomodating IPs"-part. We're talking about article-creation here, and they can't do that anyways. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:53, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
I like the idea of a tutorial being offered when a new article is started (a tutorial for all editors). But I believe that an editor should be able to override the tutorial completely if they so choose. Tutorials turn many people off. I think the main way to limit the biting of new editors, and the overwork of new page patrollers, is to only allow articles to be created by editors with a certain number of edits and after a certain period of time after registering a username. --Timeshifter (talk) 18:42, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────A fine tutorial has long been offered, as well as a detailed guide to writing a first article and a most helpful primer (an essay to guide the perplexed). Since all Wikipedians (despite accusations of troglodytism and worse) are modern human beings, most of us never look at it.

Quote from WP:CREATE: Articles may only be created by registered users. If you are not a registered user, you may either register now or ask for your article to be created at Articles for Creation. I suggest we further require either hands-on training, as those who hate tutorials prefer (which takes longer), or a quiz for the more academically-minded, which requires plowing through instructions and internalizing them.

This, I suppose, makes me an evil, undemocratic pedant, like all those horrid officials who insist on licenses to drive, to own weapons, to marry, etc. Time, however, has proven that building a wall and inviting the whole world to write on it results in a great deal of graffiti.

Happy New Year, Jimbo and all Wikipedians!! Yopienso (talk) 19:41, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Going back to Timeshifter's last comment for a second, we did propose what you have recommended and got consensus for it; however, as we all know the WMF vetoed it. --MuZemike 19:45, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

I kinda disagree with Timeshifter´s last proposal. It would basically mean that new users would have to vandalise some existing articles before having the right to make their own masterpieces :) I´m exagerating, of course...
I fully agree with MuZemike that large tutorials suck and they will end up being ignored. What I propose is much more simple, that in cases of new articles being OK, there wan´t be necessary doing anything; however, in cases of new articles having flaws, the patroller will provide only the necessary recomendations.
Happy New Year to all! FkpCascais (talk) 19:56, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Click: Test article 2. It suggests reading Wikipedia:Your first article. I think that article should open up anytime anybody clicks a redlink. At the top of that opened article would be a link called "Skip this article, and go to the edit window." --Timeshifter (talk) 22:48, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes!! Here I go labeling myself as a pariah--I created one article years ago as an IP to demonstrate to my students why I would not allow them to use WP. (Then I got hooked.) Now I don't even know how to start an article! (Gulp.) But having that header pop up takes care of the trouble we're addressing here. The only refinement would be to have a radio button or box to click saying the new editor has read the heading. That makes her/him responsible for its contents without forcing a tutorial or wait time. Yopienso (talk) 00:07, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe. The bottom line is that NewPages will still be full of junk. Anyone with a minimal amount of braincells has looked at a few given articles and will probably have noticed the refs and formatting that most of them have. I, at least, concluded from that (before I even started anything here) that that's what I will be expected to produce. Alas, there are people whom this logic escapes. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 04:59, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
To be fair, I don't mind cleaning up some of the formatting, because it can be extremely confusing (just figuring out how to put the infobox in on Noh Poe, without the pushpin map, took me 30 minutes); however, the vast majority of the time I share your disbelief. That's why I waited 10 1/2 months to create a new article, because I wanted to be completely sure I knew what I was doing. I don't suggest that long of a time to wait, but... well, my position on that is above. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:16, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Comment. There is another recent discussion about the declining number of active editors, and editor retention. See: Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia Signpost/2012-01-02/Interview. The discussion is in the comment area after the Sue Gardner interview. --Timeshifter (talk) 21:04, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

About man, who makes lobby for EMI or Apple Corps.

Hello, many time we can see, that not good man makes lobby for EMI: User:Freshacconci. But today he showed self completely. He created a great shame for a large number of organizations, that use the open data platform of Socrata. Including, the United States government ( - Socrata). I ask punish the person who creates the damage to the Wikipedia, including, I ask undo of his last violation (illegal rollback) here: , to provide: no trace of this terrible disrespect. He must be punished for lobby. Exist many cases, when this user made his black business. This is the saboteur. I recommend learn his activity for last 2 years. To look for info (is simply) can be used tag: The Beatles. Thanks for attention! Tom111 Born111 (talk) 19:15, 3 January 2012 (UTC).

  • Probably, this user is abnormal, because when he used TW, he calls (me) and my actions as spam: this violation is directed to the Socrata only (not me). On the page of open data placed not The Beatles 1963, but absolutely other versions of songs, for education and culture (purposes), interactive usage must be (there is info - HOW to do it rightly and legally). These songs were created yesterday only (read introduction there). Now I will make rollback of vandal and offender. I ask support of Jimmy on this issue. Because man, who makes lobby, is bad man. I agree even to change text of the link. Such will: (Redacted). I hope that the honor of Wikipedia is not in danger now. Tom111 Born111 (talk) 19:28, 3 January 2012 (UTC).


I have notified Freshacconci (talk · contribs · count) of this thread. Not that I expect it to stay open very long, but you never know. I am certainly not going to get involved myself, except of course as a spectator*. Egg Centric 19:29, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

*right to heckle reserved

This is a long-term vandal problem, a Russian user who insists that his website that makes Beatles mp3s available for download is 100% legal and cleared by EMI/Apple. Obvious BS, and these links to the changing-url-of-the-day get deleted and the socks blocked. A sock of Crazy1980, I'll file an SPI now. Tarc (talk) 19:33, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I can't imagine why you would doubt that assertion.  :) Neutron (talk) 20:05, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I've also made a suggestion that this website be blacklisted, since they a host for user-contributed content and are being used to house pirated works. --Orange Mike | Talk 20:15, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Er, wikipedia is a host for user-contributed content. Socrata seems perfectly legitimate to me, even if some of its users are misbehaving. Egg Centric 21:46, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
It seems to be a user uploaded site that is not a wiki reliable source, just like Scribd. Youreallycan (talk) 22:29, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
A reliable source uploaded to Scribd could still be used as a source. Same thing here - Socrata itself would not be being used as the source, it would be being used to host the source. A crucial difference. Anyway the discussion Mike started hic est. Egg Centric 22:54, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps, "could" is your primary position here and as such just a supposition and not that you are using such sources to cite content in articles? I oppose and remove any such user uploaded sources on sight - the "host" as you call it is not a reliable "host" .Youreallycan (talk) 23:01, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't believe I have used such a source in an article but I wouldn't rule it out. So long as the original source is reliable it doesn't really matter who the secondary host is. Of course if the source is something someone came up with in the shower and uploaded while at work, and was never reliable in the first place then that is a different matter, but I wasn't talking about that. In my view if the source is only online on one of these websites (and it isn't an egregious copyright violation) then not only can we link to it, but we should. There is no such thing, in my view, as a "reliable host". Egg Centric 23:10, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
A reliable host would be similar to a secondary source with editorial control. There is no editorial control with uploads to scribd or to this other site - or any evidence of permission to upload it - copyright violations et al. Please let me know when you use one of these sources in a wikipedia article so I can open a discussion there, regards, - Youreallycan (talk) 23:14, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
I will if I remember! How about starting a discussion about interpretation of policy on the Reliable sources noticeboard? Or you can just stalk my edits... Egg Centric 23:21, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Feel free to take it to the RSNoticeboard - I think I have had this discussion there previously. - A specific desire to add something would be good to give a focus - I will absolutely not be stalking your edits though, if you want me to join in the discussion please let me know - I have a very small watchlist these days with less than twenty pages on it. Youreallycan (talk) 23:28, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok there is a particular page (local trader - Jimmy may be interested as I think he was one once) I keep planning to get around to writing from scratch - when I eventually do I'll try to insert a source from scribd. In return, have you got any daughters of marriageable age? Face-wink.svg I won't be taking it to the noticeboard myself as I don't particularly care about the issue to make it an issue - I'll defend my position if needs be but I won't actively try to change others' minds otherwise. Egg Centric 23:35, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Scribd is an interesting one that introduces a number of issues. First they scrape documents from the web, and allow anyone to upload. Which means that much of the content is unlicensed or a copyright violation (and so we can't link to it). Stuff that is uploaded directly by the copyright owner would fall under the definition of "self-published" (which limits its use, especially for notability purposes). Unless of course the material is published elsewhere, which begs the question why not link there? :) Indeed it's definitely much more preferable to link to the RS because it's possible to edit PDF's and Scribd doesn't validate documents. --Errant (chat!) 10:00, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • For Jimbo text mainly, with grammatical mistakes, because other nation only: Jimbo, bad boys are in your team. My team consists of people which better of your helpers (my team, is your team in the same time, and CC): . Your not very clever boys loves make rollback of any edits of my people. They can not understand, that this is a very big damage for the reputation of Jimbo Wales and Wikipedia. You and me want the only one (and CC): THE OPENESS. It never will happen if your boys again will be fools. I have 7000 of humans, my partners else have near 15000. I am the part of your system and I ask you to say for you bad boys, that they are often is very stupid. One of Russian made contribution related to Socrata yesterday: Why he was blocked.......I ask. Nonsense. He the such sock like me (plus 15000-20000 else). Can not help any checkers and pings (all develops every day more and faster - progress). Impossible to stop it. Common provider and many of other aspects. Ping - nonsense. As you partner I ask you unblock my human and save his edit. He is not looking for of profit as wolf from Canada. Friend of EMI. Jimbo, you can block me if you want, but this is can become very dangerous mistake. HTML5 and ship with Kaltura ..... My journalists began looking for interesting detals of this ailans. I suggest frienship to you. If no: show me that all right you need restore edit related to Socrata. Be my friend, not enemy. In last case do not wait of good. Give me reply via email (in community displayed) or here. (talk) 05:05, 4 January 2012 (UTC), Александр Болдин.
  • To all participants in this discussion - the individual concerned previously conceded to me that he is a troll. He is not here for anything other than the tedious waste of precious volunteer time; I suggest you give that the respect it deserves. :) WilliamH (talk) 05:45, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • You can become member of my community and will have provider CORBINA, including. No problem. Useful thinkings: My recommendation is to appoint responsible person (for understanding of codes, licenses and so on in different scopes). In every article must be own specialist (master with big box of knowlege by topic). The problem is ignorance of the question exists: they can not understand - legally or no, but rollback of different changes, is easy. Often this is a big mistake. It is the plague of № 1. (talk) 06:06, 4 January 2012 (UTC).
  • Socrata is one of many foreign sites with user-generated content that Wikipedia would probably be forced to put on a strict automated blacklist in a desperate attempt at compliance if SOPA passed. That wouldn't be the end of it, though - we'd have to blacklist the IP number version of the URL, we'd have to blacklist tinyurl and its competitors entirely so that they couldn't be used to point to something like this, and there would still be fresh URL redirects popping up all the time, etcetera. This troll, perhaps accidentally but I think on purpose, illustrates that a random user can indeed link to copyright violations on such sites. I think that the copyright clergy should content itself with the fact that we have policies against such links and take them out pretty quickly, without demanding the kind of hermetic seal that "not violating a court order" implies. I think we should be able to keep Socrata off any blacklist in the hope that easy linking to it will encourage someone to link out to some useful specialized collaborative project there which is informative to readers long after this troll is forgotten. Wnt (talk) 18:44, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Do not call me troll, you must respect me. My suggestion in force. Other helpful suggestion: international interaction between language sections at Wikipedia, by different topics: English and Russian section, for example. In this context can be cultural and educational exchange, including: different materials, ideas, links by topic and so on (via talk pages of article for example). This is interesting for users and else more, is helpful. Is there anyone among the British and Americans here who are not afraid to discuss topics slippery? Briefly: he brave and not afraid of any responsibility. Such human must not be afraid of displaying of its ideas in any form for the attention of big public, he must be frank in the same time). Nothing illegal. Simply Wikipedia on 50% consists of cowards and faint-hearted people. This is the one of the biggest problems here, also. As I spoke already: a big problem in the lack of professionalism that is the cause of illegal rollbacks (and careerism - the number of edits). Lobby - terrible problem. In Wikipedia much of agents of EMI and Apple. Cases which we saw 2 months ago is .... (better to silent). Hero from Canada is one of main actors in the show. OTRS with gladness took permission from hands of one of my humans... and.... I have much of good ideas and hope to discuss them in the peaceful environment. Here, including. In addition. Large problem also: struggle with spam became the madness and nothing more. This thing lost any control absolutely and is a danger only. Copyright for some people is thing, for which human must be destroyed. This madness must be stop at international level. My point: if somebody makes money on creative work, he become not autor automaticly (loses moral right to be in such status and loses right be respected). We all respect Jimbo and his non-profit activity! (talk) 19:17, 4 January 2012 (UTC).
It's a sad thing when even Wnt is calling you a troll. In any case, you cannot threaten us, nor can any of your other "comrades". You know what you are doing is illegal (with or without SOPA, though not just illegal in the United States), but you do not care. Your actions and veiled threats are becoming rather disruptive to say the least, and I ask you to stop. --MuZemike 19:28, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I should apologize - you're right that I didn't "assume good faith" as I should. But your claim that Wikipedia was showing "terrible disrespect" to every user of Socrata by rejecting one link seemed absurd, and I unwisely used the phrase others were saying here. But I remain suspicious that there's some scheme afoot to make it look like Wikipedia is committing some "abuse" that SOPA has to fix. I want to see the copyright system ended, but I want it ended by reasoned proposal of better alternatives in a political way, or by aggressively exercising Fair Use rights when we have a firm legal leg to stand on, not by asking the flagship of free culture to make your links to this stuff for you and see what happens to them. Wnt (talk) 01:49, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I do not want listen sush things. Do not write this again, please. These (your words) threats and some else (if not positive) are not actual currently. The only constructive interaction is interesting as for me, as and for other normal people. To delete old problems in new already year. Be creator (not rollbacker) is very great thing. Believe. (talk) 20:10, 4 January 2012 (UTC).
The only thing you're creating is problems for us with your wanton disregard for copyrights and property rights that The Beatles hold. I will ask once again nicely – please stop. --MuZemike 21:26, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Bad issues not actual. Read above. Are there any restrictions for use of audio OGG at Wikipedia (band, duration of song and so on)? (talk) 21:31, 4 January 2012 (UTC).
You're not getting it – a copyrighted song is still copyrighted, regardless if it in the free OGG format or the non-free MP3 format. Putting a song into OGG does not change the copyright status (or any other license in that regard) of the media. --MuZemike 21:38, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Which ways are allowed? (talk) 21:44, 4 January 2012 (UTC).
    • None, it's copyrighted.--v/r - TP 21:47, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • You wrong if you refer to only this. Millions of limitations are exist (damage to holder by order of government). Do you want fight with it .....Simply I badly know English language (reason of question from me). If not this problem, I would have left them (holder) with no pants on legal grounds. Because I hate when anyone make money creating millions of problems for simple people. These people want learn be cultural and so on. About specialist (opensource, licenses, mark up and so on in this scope). I have idea: Lawrence Lessig can become such specialist (need to try ask him). He is the most brave of all. Highest (MAIN) pro in this context. What do you think? When will appear doubt in editing of such articles, nobody has right make rollback till his expertise and resolution (within a reasonable time). And chaos become smaller. It's the indulgence, including. I have many ideas. (talk) 23:19, 4 January 2012 (UTC).
    • To claim that any Beatles song is free to download or to stream or whatever is a lie, that is the plainest way that this can be said to you. Tarc (talk) 23:22, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I disagree. I will read materials more intensively (in the relation of any works): (there much of useful information). If say about The Beatles, my opinion is such: EMI and Apple not have right for The Beatles in moral sense, because The Beatles is the history, songs were written many years ago. But new collections are not more, than trying to get full pocket of money. Not respectably. Copyright is respected when holder has opportunity to give good and new material (in this case holder has right get money without problem). But EMI (and Apple) lost such moral right (in the relation of songs The Beatles and movies: 1962-1970 nearly). The only rip-off of own works. Nothing more. And fighting with Goolge and Amazon. Our Beatleman thinks the same. Question: Why Amazon sells discs of EMI (albums of The Beatles, for example)? Amazon offender or all lawfully, I can not understand this. Thus: if Amazon has right, why others can not do it. Miracles. (talk) 01:40, 5 January 2012 (UTC).
I don't know if there's any way to interpret the copyright law of the Russian Federation to claim this usage is actually legal in Russia, and I don't know the legal details of lawsuits for contributory copyright infringement in the U.S. when foreign nations do not prohibit hosting of works still copyrighted here. You might have some legal loophole here for all I know. But this definitely isn't the policy Wikipedia follows in WP:EL, and we certainly would need some comprehensible explanation of the case and a careful decision about it before proceeding. Wnt (talk) 02:02, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • This is not a dispute on the subject of copyright, but peaceful debate. It so happens that it is the flag of this theme (title). Do not look at the topic title. This is not actually. Now we are interacting, finding each other's mistakes, it can be helpful in the context of difference between countries, when exists opportunity to find contradictions, trying delete them in the same time. It should be note, Russian law is not interesting for me strongly. I am jurist (was many years ago). American and international legistation are interesting now. Because Wikimedia Foundation and Creative Commons are in United States. I focus your attention again: I do not try currently to defend alien edits in article Please Please Me. Also I want to know in nearest time about opportunity for foreign humans to make a big step via borders of copyright which in motherland, and to become a part of our (Russian) interactive communities after this action, where creative work is free of copyright protection fully. For example: full-length movies with The Beatles (famous example anywhere) are in the public domain in Russia. It means also: almost all video clips (little part of big movie) become open and free for alien citizens (and big films). Our main Beatleman knows better topic related to films. I want to find legal method. Chinese wall is more easy, probably. Not trouble, something may to do. Will see. I will work above this task. (talk) 03:56, 5 January 2012 (UTC).
Your last posting is incomprehensible, at least to me. I have no idea whether you are suggesting that copyright doesn't apply to the Beatles works, or that it shouldn't - but in either case, your views are clearly not accepted as being relevant to the question as to whether we allow links to Beatles materials that we understand to be copyrighted. We have to assume, unless given actual evidence to the contrary, that they are - and your grasp of the English language seems wholly inadequate to present such evidence. You appear to be trying to argue something that you cannot express in the language of this website, and on that basis, I suggest you try elsewhere... AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:43, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Alright, I just spent two minutes on Google and found, alas, "After the breakup of the Soviet Union, however, the Russian Federation enacted a new copyright law in 1993 that has a duration of life of the author plus fifty years. Id. at 393, 436. Because the 1993 law was retroactive, id. at 525–35 (analyzing the problem and concluding that retroactive application was intended), the films were no longer in the public domain in Russia on January 1, 1996, the date of restoration."[8] Of course, it is possible that this prohibition of previously public domain material is contested by other lawyers. Though this may not be directly relevant to what Wikipedia can get away with, the point is, us linking to a Russian site that somehow manages to keep up a Beatles production so that people who type in the name at the search bar can quickly find it and download - this is exactly the thing SOPA would be claiming to ban. The thing is, I think Wikipedia would already be vulnerable to legal action about contributory infringement in such a cases if done as a deliberate policy, and passing SOPA would lead to untold collateral damage as private entities demand by court orer that people like 2.92. can't log in and post such links even for an instant, even to a talk page, under penalty of law. It would demand Wikipedia to be more autocratic than "an encyclopedia anyone can edit" can possibly be. Wnt (talk) 14:46, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
  • SPLITTING THREAD: I have split to #Russian copyright laws (below), because this talk-page thread was wandering into general copyright issues. -Wikid77 16:09, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Russian copyright laws

(continued from: #About man, who makes lobby for EMI or Apple Corps.)

Russian copyrights are personal only and 50-years after: There is extensive text about the post-Soviet Russian copyright laws (1993 and 2008) in WP article "Copyright law of the Russian Federation" (with many source footnotes). According to that article, a copyright can only be held by a person, not a corporation (etc.). For example, a work solely by The Beatles member John Lennon (1940-1980) might become public domain in Russia on 8 December 2030, as being life plus 50 years. However, if a song had multiple writers, such as Lennon/McCartney, then the date is pushed more than 31 years by the longer life span of the additional author. It seems that any so-termed "moral" restrictions in the copyright are reserved for the living person, and would not affect the life-plus-50-years term of a copyright. -Wikid77 (talk) 16:09, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Old Town Canoe

Hi Jimbo. I'm curious if you think this is a notable subject. I also wonder why you think this type of article is attacked for deletion aggressively. Do you think this approach to good faith contributions from editors is part of the reason why so many contributors are being lost? Yes, I put if up for deletion so I would at least have a few days to work on it. Almost all of my previous contributions have been put up for speedy deletion which doesn't allow much time for building. I thought this was supposed to be a collaborative enterprise? With cooperation and assumptions of good faith? That hasn't been my experience in dealing with the administrators here. Take care. Candleabracadabra (talk) 23:53, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

I know nothing of the subject matter (Old Town Canoe) and so I have no opinion about whether it is notable or not.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 04:42, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Afd here...looks like a keeper.--MONGO 04:44, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
@Candleabracadabra: I though many editors are too sensitive about article regrading to not-so-well-known companies so any articles of this kind will get lot of attentions so if they are not well written, they will be tagged speedy deletions or be bought to AFD. Therfore, if you want to write about companies, you should try to write a good article with WP:RS.--AM (talk) 04:58, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Editors for hire

Hi, JW. I'm looking at what you said a few years ago about editors hiring themselves out to write articles for the hiring organisation. It appears at that time you rather strongly considered the practice somewhere between unseemly and corrosive. That is more or less my opinion, though there are obvious questions of how it can be policed if the editor involved doesn't disclose. Has your opinion changed? I'm looking at WWB Too (talk · contribs) in particular. At least he's disclosing that he's being hired by various companies and individuals to write or edit "their" Wikipedia articles (here, here, here, and here, for example), but…h'mm. It appears the community has struggled with the question of whether or not this sort of hired-gun editing is acceptable, so far without consensus. I ask you for your current opinion primarily out of curiosity over whether and how it has changed since your earlier statement on the matter, and without intent to use whatever comments you might have to whack anybody over the head, about the ears, on the kneecaps, or on/in/around any other body parts. Happy gnu ear! —Scheinwerfermann T·C19:47, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

My view hasn't changed at all.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:35, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll leave space for Jimbo to reply, directly, above here. However, before letting this topic ramble too far on assumptions, let me repeat that Jimbo said: the COI editors should limit edits to talk-page comments only, and not edit the articles directly. The COI editors need to wait to convince other volunteers, on volunteer schedules, to voluntarily modify articles to state COI-fostered claims. It is not acceptable to play some implicit-consensus games, such as, "If no one objects in 2 days, I will edit the article to state this is the best product since sliced bread, and buy 10 or more for maximum benefit". Please read other editor comments below. -Wikid77 05:01, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
WWB Too is always very up front and honest about any COI he may have, as he completely was in this case. He is a wikipedia contributor in good standing since 2006. I have worked with him previously and he is a good NPOV writer that closely considers policy. Youreallycan (talk) 19:52, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
Well, count me as curious, too. As Youreallycan notes, and Scheinwerfermann at least acknowledges, I always disclose my involvement where client matters are concerned and, as a matter of course, seek consensus on Talk pages before considering direct edits. I'm very careful and cautious in this regard—in fact, I wrote a favorably received COI compliance guide earlier this year.
That said, I am well aware that the spirit of Wikipedia is in volunteership—and I have been a volunteer here myself since 2006—so I am respectful of the fact that editors will sometimes be skeptical of this activity. In the interests of transparency, I keep a list of past client projects on my user page to make it easy for anyone to see what articles I've been involved with. My goal is always to make Wikipedia better, and I believe any fair appraisal of my work in this regard will find this to be the case.
Actually, regarding your (Jimbo's) comments from 2009, I very much agree with them, and consider my work along these lines to be consistent with your suggestion: "Now, could it be perfectly fine for someone to set up an independent writing service for GFDL / CC BY / CC BY-SA content, to be posted somewhere else, and for completely independent wikipedians to find it useful in some way? Of course." I think that describes my approach very well. Cheers, WWB Too (talk) 22:50, 30 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm very reluctant to even create the appearance of bringing a contretemps onto JW's or any other uninvolved contributor's page, so I will keep my comment here narrow and brief: I don't understand how your activity can accurately be described as writing and posting comment somewhere else for completely independent Wikipedians to incorporate in articles. No, you are writing Wikipedia articles for hire, right here on Wikipedia. Is it possible one or both of us is misunderstanding what JW meant? —Scheinwerfermann T·C03:04, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
As long as you're asking, I may as well answer: the somewhere else in this case is my userspace, where these drafts begin and remain until completely independent Wikipedians agree to their inclusion. I aim to follow all Wikipedia policies and guidelines as I do so, with special care given to WP:COI, WP:SCOIC, WP:PSCOI and WP:PEW. Cheers, WWB Too (talk) 03:27, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Well WWB Too I looked at your work for one of clients, Cracker Barrel. I'm not Jimbo and you didn't ask for my opinion, but I'll give it anyway: what you are doing is really wrong and bad and you should stop doing it.
After looking at this article, I'm just really mad at you, and just generally appalled. Rather than going medieval on you here I'll continue over at your talk page.
As for the rest of you, it's appalling that this kind of whitewashing of egregious corporate malfeasance (and for pay!) is tolerated, at all. It's just horrible. Herostratus (talk) 08:02, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
I've reviewed three of WWB Too's articles and they seem to me to be neutral in tone, well referenced and balanced. What they are certainly not are whitewashes, as for instance Herostratus would have us believe. I fear it is true to say that unpaid editors can have far greater and more deleterious biases than do the better of the paid editors, and that we might do best to concentrate on worrying more about the content of the article and the approach of the editor, and less about seeking to stigmatize the input of paid editors merely because they are paid. --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:19, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, and I am sure that Rupert Murdoch would attempt to maintain the illusion of NPOV, at least for a time, if he were to somehow purchase editorial control of Wikipedia. If paid editors are allowed free reign on Wikipedia, it will not be long before they dominate Wikipedia. Being paid for their editing, they will be able to spend far more time and effort supporting their client's interests than volunteers will be able to spend defending Wikipedia's impartiality. This is a slippery slope, and the final result could be the end of Wikipedia as we know it. Ebikeguy (talk) 17:29, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I agree in part. This is why paid editors don't (and shouldn't) have "free reign"—expectations for such editors should include disclosure, a high standard of behavior (and perhaps guideline familiarity), and a strong encouragement to seek consensus before going beyond non-controversial edits. Cheers, WWB Too (talk) 19:06, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Unfortunately, WP has a history of editors paid to represent the disreputable as reputable. This is not a thought experiment, we've been on the slope for a while already. Ironically, at least the paid POV pushers are forced to do a better job "sourcing" their content under the guise of credibility to collect their paychecks. The issue is how long will reputable editors stick around to counter questionable (at best) content in areas of contention where opinion is elevated to the same level as fact--since WP policy explicitly states that it does not matter whether or not something is true (meaning simply factual, not arguing over "truth"), only that it is sourced. Ye reap what ye sow, folks. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 22:15, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Slippery slope and crack in the dam: Fostering a culture of paid-editing is more likely to be a crack in a dam, breaking wide-open to a flood of self-promotion edits. Look at the ocean of adverts in Google Knol, to the point that many common subjects were written as short introductions to long commercial ads. It obviously did not matter to enough Google Knol editors that the whole place was swamped with commercial ads, regardless of whether the claims were sourced, or even still current claims made against competing products. Meanwhile, the long-term WP editors are likely to react poorly, if they think Wikipedia is becoming overrun with self-paid adverts to be updated and polished by time-consuming volunteer efforts. Few editors I have met want self-written vanity pages to be left in Wikipedia, and I have seen them WP:AfD-axe such articles in recent months. I wish volunteers could adequately police self-promoting editors, but volunteers cannot even fix claims that some former religious leader was the "most influential person in leading people to salvation" during 1950-1970. Wikipedia is not staffed with enough people to moderate self-paid claims in numerous articles. -Wikid77 05:01, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Am I a bad person? I stumbled across this discussion, because I am a paid editor. I was never paid for editing WP. Since age 16, I was paid by newspapers, magazines, advertising agencies, publishers. They paid me, because I did a good job. I did not have to sell my soul, I simply had to write well. Until I did read these pages, I never thought I was a bad person for accepting the money.

Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. “Can” – yes. “Should” – no. You should not edit Wikipedia if you don’t know the difference between “it’s” and “its,” if you consistently spell “their” as “thier,” if you are an all-around lousy writer. Good writing is a gift, and not all are gifted. There are people who have something to contribute, but due to their nonexistent writing skills, they better don’t. It is perfectly OK for those to pay a writer to do a better job.

What we have here is a case of no good deed going unpunished. So there is an editor who fully disclosed that he was paid for writing, and he gets nailed to the cross for being honest. His offence? He broke a rule that never existed. There is no policy against paid writers on WP. The statement by Jimbo Wales was a statement by Jimbo Wales. It was not carved into two slabs of marble and carried down Mount Sinai. It was part of a veeeeeeeery long discussion about paid editing, which ended inconclusively. Instead of a policy, an essay was written.

That essay says that paid editing “is not currently prohibited on Wikipedia. The community has to date, attempted twice to ban the practice, with the outcome twice being no consensus. It is however been made by consensus that editors who are paid, represent a clear Conflict-of-Interest and are Strongly Encouraged to state this on WP:COIN what articles they are being paid to edit and declare whom they are working for before doing so.” It’s an essay, not a policy. Usual disclaimers apply.

If there is a need, we can reopen the issue of paid editing, with the goal of finding a policy. I recommend caution. Disallowing paid editing will not stop paid editing. It will simply drive honest paid editors underground. WP already is being edited by reams of undeclared PR agencies, lawyers, “company employees in their free time,” and what have you. I would rather deal with someone who openly states that he is doing this for a meager living than be flummoxed by an army of irregulars and their sockpuppet drones.

I don’t think we are having an issue with money changing hands. We are having an issue with WP being abused as a propaganda instrument. WP should not be abused for advocacy, paid or free (the latter can sometimes be much worse). There already is a policy for that, we don’t need a new one. BsBsBs (talk) 15:37, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Now, wait, some spelling errors are OK. At the WP:GOCE Guild of Copy Editors, we deal with many thousands of grammar or spelling errors, often correcting 50-150 per article, in many cases. It is a staggering amount of work, but I say let a subject-matter expert expand an article, even with spelling errors. -Wikid77 12:17, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if you're a "bad person" BsBsBs. There's good and bad in everyone I guess. I do know that User:WWB Too is a corrupt hack. He might be kind to animals or have other redeeming qualities, though, and I don't think casting these issues as "not a bad person" is helpful.
I don't know if all editors in the "Wikipedia COI community" are corrupt hacks, but I don't see how they couldn't be. How many are willing to fairly present negative information about their clients? I don't mean "Yeah I'll put in some of the bad stuff so I look fair, and because it's going to go in anyway, so might as well be my weasel-worded minimize-the-harm version". I mean actually doing it fairly and correctly, featuring it if its called for, adding important and damning details, and like that.
If they don't, they're bad Wikipedia editors and should be shown the door by Wikipedia. If they do, they're bad PR people and should be fired by their clients. Either way they shouldn't be here, period.
One of the problems is that it's practically impossible for humans to be fair-minded in this way. "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it". You know, if someone is signing your checks and helping you feed your family, well of course he's a fine fellow. Of course all those bad things they say about him are overblown. It's only fair to clarify this. You see what I mean? It's only human to feel this way.
Public relations is an honorable profession. Trying to persuade the New York Times to cover your client's speech is honorable. Hacking into the New York Times database to alter the coverage of your client's speech isn't. Do you see the difference? One is fine and useful. The other brings disgrace to you, your profession, and your client.
Gaming the fact that Wikipedia is volunteer-written and has an open database isn't an excuse. If you pervert the essence of what the Wikipedia is for, for personal gain, you're hacking our database. You should probably stop doing that.
Incidentally, you're exposing your client to opprobrium by doing that. We're a public charity. That taxpayers aren't supporting us so we can whitewash the facts. Paying someone to corrupt our database is shameful and might be illegal. You want to expose your client to that kind of ignominy? Maybe you don't care.
Driving bad things underground is a good thing. It is an excellent way to minimize bad things. It doesn't eliminate them. That it doesn't is an argument could be used against all laws and so is essentially a nihilistic argument.
Declaring one's COI does approximately nothing. If I declare that my COI is that I'm a flaming nutcase and hate Jews, is then OK for me to write "Jews did 9/11!" into an article? After all, I've declared my COI, so no problem! Not having a COI -- as in, not editing the Wikipedia for pay -- is what's called for here.
Sorry to be harsh but this is bad bad bad and a potential "game over" for the Wikipedia if this gets out. This is much much worse than if we accepted advertising, for instance. I see a lot of honeyed words surrounding a lot of weak arguments and bad behavior. Furthermore, there is apparently a self-sustaining "COI community" here. They're clever and ruthless (after all, they're professional writers and their livelihood is at stake, so why wouldn't they be) and there are also a lot of editors who think that whitewashing malfeasance is not a big deal. I think this is weak-minded, but between these two elements we are screwed, I would say.
I'm not sure what can be done about this. I certainly can't compete with paid editors and corporate bankrolls. I have my own job. Jimbo probably can't do anything. ArbCom can't set policy so they probably can't do anything even if they wanted to.
It's sad. It's a nice project and a nice website. It's just sad to see it go down this path. Herostratus (talk) 04:01, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Calling someone names is bad, uncivilized behavior. It also automatically disqualifies everything that follows. Lose your cool in a discussion, you lose.
  • There is no policy against paid writers on WP. If you don't believe it, read this long discussion from 2009, where everybody from Jimbo on down weighed in and which led to no policy.
  • It's not game over. There had been two official attempts on bannig paid writers, both fizzled. The game is still on.
  • Read the essay on the topic. It was triggered by the discussion. The editor in question seems to have followed the recommendations of the essay to the letter. Executing someone for violating rules that aren't there, and for observing recommendations that are there is lynch mob behavior, plain and simple. BsBsBs (talk) 07:23, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
The above is a classic evading-the-message response. Do you have anything to say about the points made? Johnuniq (talk) 07:51, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
There is no need for a point-to-point rebuttal if the premise is wrong. The correct premise is that there is no policy. No policy, no violation. End of story. Calling someone names totally closes the subject. Stringing someone up for a non-existent crime is lynching. BsBsBs (talk) 09:51, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Well perhaps "calling someone names" is a civility issue, but there is a long-term precedent, "If it's true, it ain't libel" (search in Google or Bing). The recent concerns of COI editing have included contacting other editors to support the fight, and then when those editors badger opponents with multiple, repeated talk-page demands, then not stating that such badgering was out-of-line nor apologizing for contacting them to fight. Those actions seem corrupt. -Wikid77 12:17, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
In regular life, the "truth" defense works only with slander or libel. It does not apply to insults. In other words, even if the other person is an asshole, you can't call him one. By claiming that it is the truth, one is simply perpetuating the uncivil behavior. Also, badgering has nothing to do with being corrupt. If it would, hordes of badgering edit warriors on WP would be corrupt. cor·rupt, adjective: Having or showing a willingness to act dishonestly in return for money or personal gain. BsBsBs (talk) 14:50, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Comment. Last time I found Wikipedia in the news, I posted the link here on Jimmy's Talk page and eventually someone told me to post these links on Wikipedia:Press coverage 2012. This time I added the link there, and just found this discussion. At any rate, I watched C-SPAN this evening, and WWB/William Beutler was being interviewed about his work on Wikipedia on the Q&A show. You might want to watch it here, includes transcript. (talk) 03:46, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, thats a really interesting and well presented interview. William's blog is also worth a look - Rather than attempting to vilify people like this, who are upfront and intelligent proponents of the project, the project would do better imo by employing them. Youreallycan (talk) 12:42, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Great interview, sure, but having paid editors here is really the opposite of what the project is about. The articles in question (Association of Global Automakers, Cracker Barrel) both read like marketing blurb and WWB Too has now moved on to spending incredible amounts of time following up and making sure that the articles conform to his bosses' desires. I have a full-time job and a wife and school and don't have the kind of time necessary to protect articles from yet another problematic user with an agenda - a user with waaay much more time available than the rest of us. For instance, the majority of the sources used in AGA are not available online (at least they're not linked) - it smells to me as if AGA simply handed WWB Too a pile of articles that they liked, and then asked him to write a nice article for them. And naturally no one can then demand that he somehow find new articles, especially on a topic which doesn't interest him, but on a topic about which he is writing only because he is getting paid for it.
I really find this a threat to the entire project. If being a skilled WP editor means that you can then become available for hire to push various companies agendas, then I don't see how there can be any room for independent thought left. But I really don't have time to deal with this kind of nonsense, something I thought we were protected from here at WP. I would rather edit an interesting article than spending hours trying to display the obvious bias in a bland-as-pudding article about a crappy restaurant and a crappy lobbyist group. Here in Wikipedia, an editor for hire is worse than no editor at all.  ⊂| Mr.choppers |⊃  (talk) 15:37, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi, you guys. I am disappointed to learn that User:WWB Too is a paid editor. He posted to my talk page and, call me dense, even with his disclosure there I didn't guess. Based on information in the video, he expects to earn his living doing this. Gee whiz, a lot of us (including Wikipedia) could use a source of income, but he was Johnny-on-the-Spot. I urge Jimbo to post his preference. Mine is definitely to keep this place all volunteer. -SusanLesch (talk) 17:47, 2 January 2012 (UTC)
From the look of the whitewashing job for Academy of Achievement that WWB Too is proposing on your talk page, as well as the article that began this discussion, it appears that he is being paid primarily to rewrite articles on organizations that have things they would like to hide from the general public. WWB Too uses his expertise to write articles that appear to conform to Wikipedia rules, while removing all the "bad stuff" that his clients would rather not see. This is truly deplorable, and I reiterate that it is a slippery slope into a Wikipedia that is dominated by spin doctors and other PR professionals. As a professional journalist who understands the difference between promotional writing and objective writing, I beg my fellow members of the Wikipedia community to prevent this from happening. Thanks, Ebikeguy (talk) 04:51, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes and according to this at Association of Global Automakers he's running a tag-team op -- presumably with other paid editors in the burgeoning "COI Community" -- to prevent his odious drivel from being redacted or properly tagged. Herostratus (talk) 17:48, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
Even if supporters are non-paid, the related issue is a paid public-speaker who is gaining like-minded long-term fans, who can be contacted via Wikipedia user-talk to come WP:VOTESTACK in a small discussion (even if only 2 are contacted, that makes 3 votes). The issue is contacting a "disproportionate number" of supporters, especially in small discussions, unlike contacting 2 to discuss with 15 others, or at least contacting one known opponent not already notified. Even when a guy starts with good intentions for an article, the focus of supporters is rarely to expand negative-balance text in the article. -Wikid77 (talk) 07:10, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Anyway. Well, this guy is pretty amazing. Looking at the Cracker Barrel article, the level of mendacity, cherry-picking facts, misrepresenting sources, and other egregious offenses in service to his corporate paymaster is pretty breathtaking.

He quadrupled the size of the article (here's the diff] from 710 words to 2818 (the not-s0-nice stuff was reduced from 320 words (45% of the article) to 290 (10% of the article, buried deep) and balanced by 410 words of lying flackery. Anyway, I thought this was kind of funny:

  • Added: "[T]here are two separate menus: one for breakfast, the other for lunch and dinner"
  • Added: "[A] group of friends had eaten breakfast at the Lebanon location each Tuesday for over 20 years"
  • Added: "Cracker Barrel's mission statement... states that 'everyone who walks in our front door gets a warm welcome and a good meal at a fair price'"
  • Added: "specialties include... a breakfast platter named 'Uncle Herschel's Favorite'"
  • Removed: All mention of the fact they were indicted for giving illegal contributions to Tom DeLay, part of this highly notable scandal which ended DeLay's career.

LOL. One of these things is not like the other! Which one of these is of actual encyclopedic value in getting a encyclopedic understanding on this entity? But I understand. Something's got to go! Can't have the article be too long! Anyway. If you want to find out that kind of information, why are looking in the Wikipedia? Our editors have to eat, you know! They know what side their bread is buttered on! And why do you want that kind of information anyway? What are you, some kind of commie? This is a Fortune 500 company here, my friend. Let's have some respect! If you want that kind of information, the internet is that-a-way, chuckles.

As I say, that's far from the worst of it, very far; that's just removal of information as opposed to outright lying, which is also plentiful. But I don't have worlds enough, or time, to detail all of that.

But I love this in the "Alleged racial discrimination" section: "In 2004, Cracker Barrel signed a five year agreement with the U.S. Justice Department to introduce effective nondiscrimination policies..." Why did they do that? It doesn't say! You can't find out by reading Wikipedia! Maybe they called up the DoJ and just asked to sign a five year agreement because they're just nice fellows!

Oh wait. "More specifically, the United States alleges that, on account of race or color, Cracker Barrel has segregated customers by race; allowed white servers employed by Cracker Barrel to refuse to wait on African-American customers; seated or served white customers before seating or serving similarly situated African-American customers; and treated African Americans who complained about the quality of Cracker Barrel’s food or service less favorably than white customers with similar complaints. The United States further alleges that in many cases, Cracker Barrel managers directed, participated in, or condoned the discriminatory conduct described above."


This was covering 50 stores in seven states by the way. Nice outfit.

To be fair, some of us suckers volunteers later cleaned up some of User:WWB Too's work, so hopefully it's better now. Hey, we've got the free time!

Look. Apparently User:WWB Too is this person William Beutler. He speaks real nice. He's got a nice suit. He's super polite. He makes it all sound so reasonable! I'm certain that he's sincere. So what? Have you never heard of "doing well by doing good"? Look it up.

I get it: there's no policy against this corrupt hackery. As long the person is out front about it, no problem.

Oh well then. Herostratus (talk) 17:48, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Herostratus, it's very clear that you don't think much of Cracker Barrel as a company. That is a perfectly fine opinion to have. However, the information that was removed was done so consistent with site policy. Likewise the positive information I've added came from reliable sources, and was handled in an encyclopedic manner. It so happens that Cracker Barrel has a very positive public image, in spite of its historical blemishes. Both are appropriate to include, and so they are. Is it more legitimate for Wikipedia articles to adopt an adversarial position with regard to their subjects? I suggest that it is not the case, and in fact that it is contrary to Wikipedia's guidelines to do so. Relevant controversies should be dealt with dispassionately, and material included should be carefully considered.
As to Global Automakers and Academy of Achievement above, I'm seeking to work openly with the community to create or revise articles in such a manner that they are more consistent with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines, not less. That said, there is often room for disagreement, and this is why I state my affiliations up front. As I mentioned at the top of this thread, I always make sure I am careful to follow relevant guidelines and essays related to paid editing, including WP:COI, WP:SCOIC, WP:PSCOI and WP:PEW. I hope you can agree you would rather have paid editors like me than those who would operate anonymously. If I really was a corrupt hack, you probably would never have heard my name. Best, WWB Too (talk) 20:10, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
In my humble opinion, you're holding up the works for everyone involved. Do I have to read WP:COI, WP:SCOIC, WP:PSCOI and WP:PEW just to interact with you? I have to wait for your drafts, and then make your edits for you, otherwise Jimmy Wales will block you. You could have just made your comments like anybody else can and gotten just as good results. Come on. -SusanLesch (talk) 22:39, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
WWB Too, you keep telling us that you are being transparent about your status as a paid editor, but several editors, including SusanLesch who has interacted with you significantly, did not realize that you were paid for your work on Wikipedia until they read this thread or another thread in which you explicitly stated that you were paid for your work here. I strongly recommend that you include a disclaimer stating that you are paid for your work on Wikipedia in every comment you leave on any talk or user page, and that your Userpage contains a bold banner at the top, stating "I am doing Wikipedia editing for clients who pay me for such services." THAT would be truly transparent. Ebikeguy (talk) 00:09, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
With this suggestion of a WP variant of the yellow star, this discussion now officially jumped the shark. This farce needs to end. With there clearly not being any policy against this, the discussion should never had started. The editors who started this were negligent. They accused someone of a crime that does not exist. Those who want to change the rules can attempt to change them, through regular channels, not by running to Mama. Before this is done, current rules (such as WP:COI) should be re-read. Editors also should refrain from behavior which clearly violates existing WP rules, such as uncivil behavior, wikihounding, and more. If there are things to be improved in an article, improve them. BsBsBs (talk) 16:34, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Your equating my suggestion that paid editors identify themselves as such to the actions of the German Nazis against the Jews during the Holocaust is a clear personal attack. WP:NPA specifically states that "Comparing editors to Nazis, dictators, or other infamous persons" is a personal attack. I demand that you redact this comment and apologize immediately.
I did not compare editors to Nazis. Referring to a suggestion that certain classes of editors should have huge warning banners on their Userpage, and disclaimers in every comment "on any talk or user page," I opined that this would be "a WP variant of the yellow star," and I stand by this assertion. BsBsBs (talk) 17:57, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
The "Yellow Star," of which you accused me of using a variant, was a badge the Nazis forced the Jews to wear during the Holocaust. Thus, you directly compared me to the Nazis who were persecuting the Jews. Ebikeguy (talk) 18:46, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
This is turning into a broken record. I am sorry, I will have to ignore you. BsBsBs (talk) 20:31, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
BsBsBs, you are clearly equating Ebikeguy's comment with Nazi actions. You brought up the yellow star, no one else.  ⊂| Mr.choppers |⊃  (talk) 23:39, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Brandmarking individuals, or whole classes of people is inhumane and cruel. Throughout history, it was used to cow, to denigrate, to single-out for mistreatment by frenzied mobs. I shall exercise my right to speak out against it, even if others feign outrage about the words, while lacking the outrage about the reprehensible actions. BsBsBs (talk) 11:31, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Academy of Achievement Contact Information

Although it is difficult to find contact information on their website, I was able to find this email address for the Academy of Achievement, one of WWB Too's clients for whom he is doing paid editing on Wikipedia:<email address redacted - spambots read Wikipedia too Risker (talk) 23:23, 5 January 2012 (UTC)>. I encourage editors who feel strongly on this matter to email the Academy of Achievement and let them know how you feel about their using a paid writer to edit their Wikipedia article. Thanks, Ebikeguy (talk) 04:55, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I am not a thin-skinned guy. However, if the above does not clearly violate WP's no personal attacks policy, then I don't know what does. BsBsBs (talk) 16:34, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I have not personally attacked anyone. Please be more specific. What aspect of WP:NPA do you feel I have violated? Ebikeguy (talk) 16:57, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
If you can't see that the above was an egregious, direct personal attack, then you have no business on WP. Would you feel personally attacked if I would find out who you are, and then I would write nasty letters to your boss or customers, and I would urge others to do the same? That's a real, nasty, hurtful personal attack. WP:NPA, which you just cited, strictly forbids "Threats or actions which deliberately expose other Wikipedia editors to political, religious or other persecution by government, their employer or any others. Violations of this sort may result in a block for an extended period of time, which may be applied immediately by any administrator upon discovery."BsBsBs (talk) 17:57, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I've done nothing that will result in persecution of any Wikipedia editor by their employers, or anyone else. Note that Wikipedia defines "persecution" as "the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group." I have not violated WP:NPA. Ebikeguy (talk) 18:46, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
You have imo crossed the line of Wikipedia:Harassment and you should be blocked. You have encouraged wikipedia editors to take action off wiki to affect another editors real life detrimentally. I want to request you retract the encouragement for editors to do that.Youreallycan (talk) 18:52, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. I have not broken any Wikipedia rules by encouraging editors to contact a company using paid editors on Wikipedia. I did not encourage any harassment whatsoever. The email address I posted was publicly available on the company website. Ebikeguy (talk) 18:57, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Note to Involved Editors - Youreallycan has brought me up at ANI for publishing the contact information for the Academy of Achievement. I would like to encourage the editors following this discussion to weigh in at the ANI discussion. Thanks. Ebikeguy (talk) 19:49, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Anyone who is inclined to do so should also consider that the number of my direct edits to the Wikipedia article about the Academy of Achievement, at this point, is precisely zero. What I have done: I've prepared a suggested alternative draft that is posted in my userspace, commented on the article and user Talk pages to involve all recently involved editors in a discussion, which is ongoing, and disclosed my connection to the Academy at the top of every thread. I would also invite anyone here to consider the content issues under discussion on the Academy Talk page, which are legitimate. Ebikeguy, that goes for you, too. WWB Too (talk) 13:21, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

We simply don't have the kind of time at our hands to compete with a paid editor, especially one who has the skills to keep following the "letter of the law" of Wikipedia, while violating what WP is supposed to reperesent. Volunteers may have their own axes to grind, but at least the personal opinions of various editors represent a democratic effort. It doesn't make me happy to harm someone's ability to earn a living wage, but this must be dealt with now, before WP is nothing more than yet another corporate playing field. If some guy happens to love Cracker Barrel (I eat there on most road trips) then I welcome his edits. If WWB Too is paid to whitewash Cracker Barrel's article, then I feel personally threatened. I have provided thousands of hours of free labor, hundreds of free images, to a project which is democratic. If this is to turn into a contest of which company has the deepest pockets, then I feel utterly betrayed. Thoroughly sickened,  ⊂| Mr.choppers |⊃  (talk) 23:39, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I think it is perfectly appropriate for members of the general public, including active Wikipedians, to contact companies who are funding inappropriate behavior at Wikipedia to let them know that it is not appreciated. I think such activity can and should result in public scandal for the perpetrators and I am happy to facilitate exposure of the facts in the media. Here in the UK, Member of Parliament Tom Watson has been working to expose problems in the media generally (he was a driving force in the hearings about the phone hacking scandal here) and with PR/lobbying firms attempting to undermine and subvert the basic principles of Wikipedia. I'm happy about that and think we need a lot more of it. Those who throw up their hands and say "Ah, there's a lot of this going on, so give up" are the people I want to reach with this message: we have the power to do something about this, so there is no need to despair. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:22, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, as I replied to a user on my talk page, my opinion is that it is not ok to harrass a Wikipedian's employer. It is bigger than this one issue. If you let the line slip here, you'll enter a grey area where it is "OK in some situations" which will greatly discourage editors from contributing when they fear harrassment at the office. Contacting a company that does paid editing is one thing, but when it's just one person than we either need to enact a policy and block him or leave his employment alone. I, myself, have editing METC and several other Air Force articles. Should I fear someone is going to call my Commander about my Wikipedia editing? Don't let this be a grey area.--v/r - TP 13:56, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I am proud of you for taking a firm stand in the face of prominent opposition. Harassment and pillorying is wrong. Encouraging mob rule is wrong and downright real-life dangerous. Publicly countermanding volunteer peace officers who try to establish order is bad leadership. You are absolutely correct that this is bigger than this one issue, and it takes people like you to stand up for what's right. Thank you. BsBsBs (talk) 08:45, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. Sorry to have to throw a pan of water on such a warm and fuzzy lovefest amongst the "COI editor community", but the attempt to place this what Ebikeguy was done under the rubric of "harassment of an editor's employer" looks disingenuous at best. It conveniently disregards the discouraged, highly contentious, and problematic nature of hired/paid editing, and elides the corrosive effect thereof upon the basic precepts on which Wikipedia operates. It is a fatuous, circular piece of contrived PR spin aimed at keeping the necessary spotlight of scrutiny off bought-and-paid editors. This is not even vaguely close to one editor finding and publishing personal contact information of another or posting the fact that such-and-such an editor works at thus-and-such a company. It is more akin to bigots bleating about the intolerance of those who will not accept bigotry. —Scheinwerfermann T·C09:22, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I am not talking about the "COI Community." I am talking about acts of harassment and canvassing for real-life mass harassment against one Wikipedian. TParis was absolutely right to put a stop to this. People are free to THINK and SAY that WWB is a sinner or a prostitute. But they are not right to take direct off-wiki action against anyone for anything. We all have conflicts of interest, somewhere, somehow. Did you and I write about car parts and their regulations while you and I were in the car part business? Were these bad articles, just because we violated the amateur status and knew what we were talking about? Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. BsBsBs (talk) 09:43, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Considering I am the editor whose contributions are under primarily under scrutiny here, I feel like I should weigh in. I'm in complete agreement that PR firms should not, as you say, be allowed to undermine and subvert the basic principles of Wikipedia. There are too many bad actors, like Bell Pottinger and surely many others, who operate anonymously, and with ignorance (or worse: contempt) for Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. But I think there are also good actors—as I try to be—and constructive interactions are possible. Specifically, I agree with your June 2009 comments on paid editing, and believe the fourth paragraph describes my approach very well.
Meanwhile, I'm afraid that issue has been conflated with my actions, and I'm concerned that my efforts have been misrepresented. For example, in the case of the e-mail address posted above, I have made zero direct edits to the Academy of Achievement article; I have only raised content issues on the Talk page. There are legitimate disagreements over, say, the content in Cracker Barrel's article. But it was a bad article before, and is a pretty good one now. It was certainly not a "whitewash" (although that term is AFAIK undefined here; cf. WP:WHITEWASH).
In a nutshell: When I come to an article that is relevant to a client, and I find material that is poorly written, under-developed, unsourced, or POV, I look for agreement between my client's goals and Wikipedia's, consistent with WP:COI. Where there is a difference, I always intend to put Wikipedia first (and yes, this means lots of telling clients "no"). What I do is prepare alternative language to address these problems, which I post in my user userspace, as if userfied. I then bring the issue to attention of uninvolved editors on that Talk page, perhaps also at a relevant WikiProject, and frequently at WP:COI/N. I always disclose my connection to the subject matter, accept feedback and work with volunteer editors to find consensus.
The thing about being a PR professional and Wikipedian: one can be both, and I am. I've spent a lot of time thinking about the two in relation to each other, I think I would be in a good position to help work out acceptable and unacceptable interactions between the groups. Jimmy, if there is any role I can play in doing so, I'd very much like to. Cheers, WWB Too (talk) 14:00, 5 January 2012 (UTC) (also User:WWB in non-COI contexts)
Jimbo- I understand the angry reaction to companies that pay for false or propogandistic information to be added to their own or competitor's pages, but is it always bad if someone is paid to put information in an article as long as they follow our policies and are neutral? Or even if they add ONLY good information, but the information is true (alot of editors like to only work on positive aspects leaving others to freely add negative without argument). I see problems if we restrict those whose jobs are propoganda-prone, for example do we restrict Don Rittner, whose current job is to promote Schenectady, New York as a filming venue for Hollywood productions? The Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper for example is not only set in Schenectady but was filmed there instead of California thanks to Rittner. He gets paid to promote Schenectady, it's his job. Do we restrict him from editing articles? If so there goes the first ever official municipal archeaologist in the United States from editing Wikipedia. A stretch in my analogy between what is being considered to be banned and what Rittner does, perhaps. But where is the fine line, that "this" job is ok to have and continue to edit, but "that" job is crossing the line, even if you respect our policies. At what point do we say to someone we dont want you here because you get paid? At my business I have a marketing assistant manager in charge of internet marketing, whose job it is to go to,, etc and respond to reviews, and etc. I would, within Wikipedia rules, encourage her to get our hotel mentioned in a Wikipedia article. Would we then be breaking the rules?Camelbinky (talk) 20:59, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Where's the rule?

Jimbo: I have a serious, honest question about your last comment in this thread. Let's say you or someone else does sit down and talk with these PR firms. What happens if there is a PR firm smart enough to read all of our rules looks who notices we don't have a single rule preventing someone from being paid for editing? Not one. No policy forbids it, no guideline restricts it, and the last community discussion we had on the issue ended up without any consensus forbidding paid editing. WP:COI (the closest thing) in fact, very explicitly allows people to edit when they have a conflict of interest, though it recommends extreme care and using the talk page rather than editing the article directly, but it doesn't actually forbid it. Won't it be very difficult to make a case when our own rules don't restrict the behavior? As I said the last time this flared up, if you want paid editing to be forbidden, please either get the Foundation to make a top-down rule overriding community consensus, or, as an editor, start another RfC and see if consensus has changed since the last time this was discussed at a community-wide venue. Qwyrxian (talk) 09:33, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Well said, Qwyrxian. This sham needs to stop. It is clear that there is not a single rule preventing someone from being paid for editing. However, this fact is swept under the carpet, and straw-man arguments are brought up by the minute, while civility falls by the wayside, and harassment is condoned. At least the Founder should know, but he engages in the same misleading campaign. He also - scary, scary - mentions it in the same breath as the UK phone hacking, which was clearly criminal. What is done here is spinmeistery of the first and crudest order. It goes to show that spin and flackery are not combated by keeping the paid ones out. The unpaid ones can fill the void just fine. You are right: Get a new rule handed down from Mt. Sinai, or start another RfC, or forever hold your peace. BsBsBs (talk) 13:48, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Here's the thing. BsBsBs is a paid editor. It's one thing (and bad enough) to influence articles for money. But BsBsBs (and other paid editors here) are participating in governance discussions for money. They're not doing it at the behest of a particular client (maybe; not sure what's billable) but they're doing it protect their livelihood. BsBsBs is not saying "This sham needs to stop" because he believes this. He's saying it to put food on his table. (He may also believe it but that's only human and is irrevelant.) The question is, should editors participate in governance discussions when the result affects their bottom line? If there's any sham that needs to stop it is that. Herostratus (talk) 17:29, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
My mistake. The editor had said "I stumbled across this discussion, because I am a paid editor", which I took in context as shorthand for "paid editor of Wikipedia", but in the very next sentence the editor said "I was never paid for editing WP", which I inexcusably didn't pick up on. I retract and apologize. Herostratus (talk) 19:31, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, Herostratus, now it's getting interesting. So I am a paid editor? You know that for a fact? Could you please cite some reliable sources for it? Or are you just pulling it out of a dark place? Now normally I would ask you where I can collect my money. However, since "paid editor" is turned into a bad word here, and since I am running the risk of getting a big virtual "I AM A PAID EDITOR AND ALL-AROUD SWINE" sign hung around my neck, I must ask you to immediately furnish proof (cancelled checks, transfer slips, contracts, sworn affidavits) that prove that I edit WP for money. If you can't come up with that, then I demand a retraction. Today.BsBsBs (talk) 18:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I retract and apologize, see above. I erred. Herostratus (talk) 19:32, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, case closed. BsBsBs (talk) 20:16, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it! (Upton Sinclair). The present state of un/regulation of bought-and-paid editing appears to date back to before commercial interests began to exploit Wikipedia as a promotional venue. Now they're entrenched, their hired mouthpieces will squawk and resist against anything that threatens their parasitic little ecosystem, and they will naturally couch their squawks in terms of the letter of Wikipedia's policies, knowing fully well they're violating its spirit. The Möbius strip of an argument that exposing this kind of parasitic exploitation is against Wikipedia rules looks to me like an early example; things are likely to get much nastier if allowed to continue without some top-down regulation. Those are hypocrites who say banning or strictly regulating bought-and-paid editing will be useless because it'll only be driven underground but aren't in favour of abolishing laws against larceny, rape, murder, fraud, and red-light running on the same those-laws-only-drive-those-activities-underground basis. —Scheinwerfermann T·C18:23, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Talk about attacking soapbox - "parasitic little ecosystem" - I have never heard so much extreme opinionated commentary as comments like this ever at wikipedia. - Youreallycan (talk) 20:26, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
WP:SPADE. —Scheinwerfermann T·C07:57, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I have reached out to Stacey Ferguson, a digital media attorney with the FTC, asking them to make a stand on bad faith, anonymous COI edits. From my understanding as a communications professional, it's against the law for a commercial interest to post "company endorsements" online while impersonating a disinterested party like a volunteer contributor. When I see threats of negative media coverage, I think "that's all you got"? Come back when you have a million dollar settlement. This isn't just against Wikipedia policy, it's against the law. I would like to urge the community to report anonymous bad faith edits to the FTC and I would petition Jimmy Wales to see if he can get the FTC to secure media coverage that involves a lawsuit and financial loss to companies editing Wikipedia unethically rather than threats of the very controversy many companies actively pursue for attention.
That doesn't apply to WBtoo, because he disclosed. While there are FAR more problematic COI editors out there than WBtoo, I disagree that he hasn't violated Wikipedia policies because there are none for paid editing. It sounds like it could be argued that he's violated rules about exercising ownership over articles, engaging in editing wars, disrupting the community process, trying to block controversy as a COI editor, spamming Talk pages, a strange form of sockpuppetry using his colleague to back him up and behavioral problems that fall under "don't stick jelly beans up your nose." I understand the Wikipedia community hates us COI editors, because - as a group - we've earned it. But people are getting better and I'm confident that many COI participants who have the motivation, resources and expertise to contribute can actually make Wikipedia better. They COULD though unfortunately - in general - today they do not.
Right now I'm reading a 100+ page book that is no longer published and is probably one of the last copies in existence. It's also filled with over 100 years of history spanning World War II, landmark films, the first furnaces and other historical information. If I did not have a sponsor, this historical, encyclopedic information would not only never make it to Wikipedia, it could be lost forever. If only WBToo recognized he made a mistake and apologized early, maybe this wouldn't be such a big string. Isn't that really the issue more so than the content itself? He's hardly the poster-boy for this kind of conversation compared to Pottinger and others. Even as a COI editor, I would like to see inappropriate COI edits better identified and punished.King4057 (talk) 03:25, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
David: If you have any evidence that I am exercising ownership over articles, engaging in editing wars, disrupting the community process, trying to block controversy as a COI editor, spamming Talk pages, a strange form of sockpuppetry using his colleague to back him up, please explain what you mean or speedily retract your accusations. Not only have I not violated WP:OWN, WP:EDITWAR, WP:CANVASS, or WP:SOCK (although I think what you mean is WP:MEAT) I believe I have been very cautious in my statements and actions throughout this process. I am not even sure what you think I should be apologizing about, or to whom. If you have specific criticisms of my behavior, perhaps you would be willing to bring them up on my discussion page, where I would be happy to address any concerns. Thanks, WWB Too (talk) 00:43, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
@David4057 - Reaching out - punished - you urge the community to contact harry and john and you have only one singe minor content addition to wikipedia - Thanks a lot David4057 - this place gets worse - thanks for the soapboxing POV. Youreallycan (talk) 00:49, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I chose my words carefully, "it could be argued" knowing that I have only reviewed the comments here and not looked at the edits themselves, which appears as though they might span multiple editors making comments under your influence. Editors have accused you of keeping articles "just the way you like it" in this string. If the appropriate board determined that that was indeed true, it seems to me that it would count as exercising excessive control over the article. I saw one person on the Talk page link to 8 comments from you on his Talk page within just a few days, which is inappropriate. And it appears as though you may have a habit of soliciting a posse of friendly editors to contribute to the Talk page on your behalf.
Going around accusing everyone of soapboxing, if you are a fellow COI editor that works with William, isn't appropriate either. We should be conducting ourselves as professionals, diplomats, historians...
The Wikipedia community has done this plenty of times. Report him to a board, list your accusations, allow neutral, experienced editors determine if they are true and if any punishment is appropriate. I'm not saying they are or aren't but there are some accusations here that warrant investigation. William, if you want me to I will actually dig into all of this and present a neutral case to the COI noticeboard, but I don't understand why you would want to coax me into investigating your alleged violations in detail. I'm not even really interested in WBToo's case, except that his aggressive behavior is creating even more animosity against COI editors. The very animosity I would like to soothe by showing paid editors can be guardians of ethics for positive, ethical COI contributions. King4057 (talk) 04:22, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree that if one took some comments in the threads above at face value, that conclusion would not be implausible. Yet I am quite certain that they are wrong and, while this debate is already way tl;dr, I'm quite certain that any full review would find I've acted reasonably all along. Difficult as this process has been, I've sought to address disagreements in an amicable and constructive manner—much different than, say, Herostratus' sarcastic rant on my Talk page the other day.
Meanwhile, I am certain I have not left eight comments on any one editor's Talk page in the last few weeks, let alone one day (even this one). If someone says otherwise, please provide diffs. And there are obviously some editors who agree with me, but none of them are colleagues, and truth is you know me better than I know them.
This is a contentious topic, which is exactly why I have endeavored to conduct myself in a professional manner—as you say, to soothe pre-existing animosities against paid editors. I'm sorry to say that animosity explains the existence of this discussion, not my approach to editor interactions. I hope you can see that. Best, WWB Too (talk) 05:52, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I think the conversation has already moved on to something much broader than your edits in particular and I never intended to divert this string back to the original topic. This string is called "where's the rule" and is on the subject of a lack of paid editing policies. My point is that there are policies that cover paid editors and can be used for the alleged violations. Lets leave it at that. This is not the appropriate string nor am I the best person to determine any wrongdoing. Nor do I really care enough to divert the conversation to that subject. The fact that this is on Jimbo's page rather than a COI noticeboard, I'm not sure how much of it is about resolving your situation as starting a conversation. I will note/clarify that someone engaged in editing wars and started this whole drama, but I haven't investigated which edits were yours or what your relationship is with other editors. There's certainly been a lot of behavior that's aggravated this. King4057 (talk) 06:19, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
My reply is actually in response to the previous version of your comment, but: Fair enough. It's true that the discussion on this page has broadened, and I agree this is not the place to get into the specifics of my case. It's my plan to bring specific content and policy issues back to those pages in the coming week. Cheers, WWB Too (talk) 06:44, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Apologies for too much focus on User:WWB: The above discussion concerning User:WWB (aka User:WWB_Too) was just as one of the latest users to write based on paid self-interest. We have had other editors who uploaded photos of their artwork to Commons, with rough descriptions, and had bots polish their photo pages with professional-looking infoboxes, where those photos were illustrations in a self-written vanity page (now deleted), but other editors improved the text to give the impression of multi-editor approval for notability or COI writing. There are numerous policies which paid-editors must also follow, so that is the basic issue, and unfortunately, a great many editors violate some of the policies simply because there are so many policy pages, not because numerous editors are evil. I apologize if User:WWB was seen as being insulted, rather than someone who was on the edge of violating many policies, such as WP:NPOV neutrality of content, WP:LEDE summaries of major controversies, WP:NOTABILITY of not mentioning typical restaurant menus, WP:NPOV_dispute to leave tags until consensus, or WP:VOTESTACKING to avoid notifying only known debate supporters. The worry has also included WP:Puffery, and I am sorry if people viewed User:WWB as a quote "bad person" rather than as someone trending outside the policy limits, as many other editors have done. -Wikid77 (talk) 08:38, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Well said King4057 (talk) 17:00, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Well, look

Well until the Foundation comes to its senses let's not just spin our wheels here. Let's make an organized effort to look at ways we can address this. Here's a draft:

This is a draft; I ask all like-minded editors to take a look, join up if you have the time, and let's see what can be done. Herostratus (talk) 21:00, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Why can't you try encouraging covert paid editers to be overt paid editors so they can be monitored?--v/r - TP 23:01, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
OK. Suggestions on how that might be accomplished are welcome. Herostratus (talk) 00:33, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that paid editors really belong here in any form or shape. If someone is getting paid to edit and it becomes clear that such is the case, then ban them. If someone is paid to edit articles and no one can tell that such is the case, then no problem. Let's call it "don't ask don't tell" (wink). WWB Too is the first paid editor I have encountered here, and he makes me profoundly uncomfortable. Uncomfortable to the point where I am beginning to second-guess my commitment of thousands of hours to the project. I am aware that saying "if I don't get my way then I'm leaving" is hardly a productive argument online, but I would argue that the licenses to all of the pictures I have uploaded are invalid if this is to become a for-hire "encyclopedia". While WWB Too's livelihood may be under threat, my leisure time/volunteer effort is cpnversely being threatened.  ⊂| Mr.choppers |⊃  (talk) 07:50, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
  • SPLITTING THREAD: The new thread "#Dangers of paid editing" (below) is a tangent to this one, to reduce discussions about specific users. -Wikid77 02:49, 8 January 2012 (UTC)


I have just been informed that the freenode IRC channels that freenode believes are owned by wikimedia are not actually projects of wikimedia, but rather of some unappointed self-sustaining "group contacts." Is that correct? Why are these "group contacts" permitted to use the registered marks wikimedia/wikipedia? Hipocrite (talk) 13:59, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't have a clear picture into this situation. But rather than "going meta" about it, can you tell me what specific thing you think should be changed? What I mean is, there is a complicated question of who is in charge of the Wikimedia IRC channels. I am 100% sure that the people at Freenode will do whatever I or the Foundation ask them to do, so there's no possibility of a power struggle or crisis from that angle. But I also see no real reason to go that route unless there is some kind of specific plan of action that the community agrees is likely to improve IRC in some material way.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:37, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I want wikipedia-en and wikipedia-en-admins logged. I want the wikipeda-en log available for public perusal. I want the en-admins log available on demand to any admin. Hipocrite (talk) 14:53, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I have been threatened with an on-wiki block for publishing any logs on-wiki. See [9]. I intend to file an Arbcom case regarding this abuse of administrative authority. Hipocrite (talk) 15:23, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I recommend against that. It's been longstanding policy. I'm not averse to a change, but simply breaking policy isn't very helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't intend to post logs to get blocked - that's a violation of WP:POINT. However, there's no way to have the "policy," (which dosen't exist in any form, except from said "group contacts") discussed by the community. Hipocrite (talk) 15:45, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
As demonstrated - I attempted to start an RFC on changing our page regarding IRC, and the very first response was that because the so called "group contacts," say no logging, any publishing of a log would be copyvio. Hipocrite (talk) 16:47, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Which policy says that you can't post IRC logs on Wikipedia? A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 16:55, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
The one where two admins said they would block me if I did. Hipocrite (talk) 16:57, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I have now been kicked out of IRC as a result of the discussion in question. Hipocrite (talk) 16:58, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
My IRC spy (I remain banned) now informs me that I am the topic of discussion in the public channel (which I don't have access to, as I've been banned). Apparently one "Fluffernutter" has called me "very angry," one "Barkingfish" has stated that I am "pro-everyone who is theoretically in the wrong." You see nothing wrong here, Mr. Wales? Hipocrite (talk) 17:50, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
"Barkingfish" has now reportedly called me a "unscrupulous little twat who likes to rule break." This was humorous to one "Fluffernutter." Hipocrite (talk) 17:52, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
And has now, apparently, threatened bodily harm upon me. Hipocrite (talk) 17:54, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know if it would be productive or advisable, but assuming that Fluffernutter is User:Fluffernutter, a en-Wiki administrator, oversighter and an online ambassador, you might want to raise this issue on his/her talk page.Volunteer Marek (talk) 17:58, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Whoever your IRC spy is, Hipocrite, they are not only completely wrong, they are misinforming you. I made the first comment you mention, about being pro-everyone who is theoretically in the wrong, which is based on the arbcom Civility enforcement evidence where you only seem to want the admins dealing with and nothing else. The other two statements you attribute as being directed at you, were not. They were generalised - the first being "If I find someone is publicly logging this channel and feeding it to other users, there's gonna be hell. I don't use channels which publicly log. What I say in here is meant to stay in here, not be sent to unscrupulous little twats who like to rule break." - and the second wasn't directed at you either - people in that channel know I have a very short temper, and the second comment was "you know I get pissed easily - it's second nature. I'm all like "fuck with me once, no problem. fuck with me twice, have lunch through a straw for a month >>>:(" - You will note that the one your IRC SPY claims was threatening bodily harm on you, wasn't - and the first comment was generalised. When a channel says NO PUBLIC LOGGING - it means it. I suggest you find a better IRC spy, Hipocrite, yours is clearly leading you astray.  BarkingFish  18:25, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I suggest further points are raised at Wikipedia_talk:IRC where there has been an active discussion of the topic, rather than this user page, where if any good points are made they will probably be lost in the ether of archives or need repeating all over again. Thanks (talk) 17:00, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, I can't do that. It's not clear that the community has any authority over IRC - while it is clear that if Jimbo told freenode to give him the channel (as he rightly points out), they would. As such, I don't know how to solve the problem without him. Hipocrite (talk) 17:02, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
PeterSymonds doesn't cite a policy.[10] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 17:01, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Might makes right, dosen't it? Hipocrite (talk) 17:02, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
(Hipocrite) As several channel ops have posted at Wikipedia_talk:IRC, it seems an entirely appropriate forum. I would expect that Jimbo will check it over if the various discussions reach any conclusion, or indeed ask for him to get more involved on supporting a policy amendment if it is needed (which as it happens, I also think needs improvement in this area, one way or the other). Thanks -- (talk) 17:09, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll wait for him to say that - thanks. Hipocrite (talk) 17:10, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Okay, in the meantime you may want get on with filing that Arbcom case, as Jimbo has already encouraged you to do. Thanks -- (talk) 17:13, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
No, he said, and I quote "I recommend against that." He has given no positive solution as to how to go about changing the problem over the objection of the entrenched (another one showed up) "Group Contacts." Hipocrite (talk) 17:15, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh thanks, weird I read that the wrong way around. I still think you would make more progress by looking carefully at the arguments put forward at the IRC discussion page and engaging there. The contributors know quite a bit about policy and the technicalities. -- (talk) 17:23, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
It's very clear what the IRC admins who are talking there are saying - they have been saying it for years - Jimbo and the WMF don't own the channels, you can't mess with our playground. Do you see anything different? Hipocrite (talk) 17:32, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

I have to confess to some confusion and lack of knowledge of the specific Wikipedia policies here. I don't use IRC very often and haven't dealt with an IRC dispute in several years. I think there are some general principles that are not in dispute, though. (1) The channels have always been considered "us" in the sense of "part of the Wikipedia project" as opposed to being just out there somewhere. That is to say, even Freenode has always seen it that these are channels which are for the use of the Wikimedia Foundation for our projects, as opposed to just random channels unto themselves. So this isn't like a random group of users congregating on, let's say, tumblr or twitter. These are tools that have traditionally been "internal" to our community. (2) Policy about what one is or is not allowed to post on-wiki is up to this community, not up to channel operators. Having said that, there's almost never a reason for being too dramatic about things, and so a change in policy can and should happen in the usual ways.

Finally, from BarkingFish's description up above, I'm not 100% sure who said this: "fuck with me once, no problem. fuck with me twice, have lunch through a straw for a month". All I can say is that such violent and hostile language is wildly inappropriate for Wikipedia, and whoever did say it ought to take a one week or one month wikibreak to chill out a bit. That's just outrageous. We are here as a charitable community working together to give a free encyclopedia to the world. Language like that is just not acceptable under any circumstances. If that's what IRC has descended to, then I do hope we will re-evaluate the management of the channels.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:06, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

That quote was written by BarkingFish. That is what IRC has descended to - that quote was laughed at by the IRC admin who banned me from the channel for merely logging. The channel admins do not consider the channels part of "us." Hipocrite (talk) 22:16, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I see that I am now guilty by association. I would appreciate if "what IRC has descended to" were not generalized to the actions of 2 or 3 individuals. I'm a #wikipedia-en op myself, and I'm pretty sure I've never said anything like that to you, or for that matter, anyone. In fact, I don't think I've ever spoken to or about you in particular at all. --Shirik (Questions or Comments?) 23:31, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Having just now read the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:IRC, I have to say that in general, I disagree with Hipocrite on the content issues, but also disagree with some of the "constitutional" claims being made there. I think it would be much healthier all around if we made much more clear that these are official channels of the community, not just some random 'other' place. I doubt very much if any real policies would change, but what would improve would be the democratic/consensus authority of the channel operators / group contacts there. Rather than operating under the rather tenuous "the Foundation didn't appoint us and no one has any authority over us but we'll do the right thing," which carries with it significant risks of loss of credibility in the face of genuine problems, it would be much better if the situation were "we are here on the authority of the community based on this RfC and our policies are open to a consensus change process that is clearly defined".

Part of what Hipocrite is upset about here is the seemingly arbitrary authority of the group contacts. If we could clearly point him to on-wiki policy that explains how their positions are validated and accepted by the community, that'd be helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:19, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, that comment you refer to was written by me, but wasn't in reference just to Wikipedia, that is a more accurate description of how I am in real life. I used to be pleasant, but people took so much advantage of my being pleasant that I wound up being a cynical, sourfaced old git. That's just how I am, not only here, but pretty much everywhere, in the real world, on the net, wherever. That isn't what IRC has descended to - that's me, being my usual moaning old self. That other people laughed at it is not my problem, and it's not in reference to Hipocrite, which he thought it was from his IRC spy. I can understand Hipocrite is annoyed by what he's been told, but you shouldn't take every bit of BS at face value just because someone tells you "that's the way it is."  BarkingFish  22:24, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I believe the two issues of "should IRC be publicly logged?" and "Avoid emotive speech" (per Freenode guidelines) are being unnecessarily conflated. There is an obvious groundswell of opinion that public logging is not a good answer. It is also true that there is a serious problem on channels such as #wikipedia-en that highly inappropriate swearing and sexual language is commonly used, even by otherwise well respected Wikimedians (it has certainly been bad enough for me to leave the channel for that reason and say so). If we want a sensible discussion of these topics, I suggest they are kept separate. I also believe that Wikipedia_talk:IRC is probably the best place to discuss these issues until someone creates a specific area to do so. Thanks -- (talk) 22:56, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I would prefer to carry on at a centralised point, Fæ, but since the issue regarding me was raised here, I feel it best to continue it here. No sense in splitting one conversation into more than one place :)  BarkingFish  23:04, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
While I agree with Fæ that two distinct issues are getting conflated, I would take any decisions reached on Wikipedia_talk:IRC as reflecting only a self-selected portion of the community, namely those who frequent IRC. It is clear they are opposed to logging, but this is unlikely to represent what the rest of the community wants or expects. I suggest broadening this discussion, rather than trying to drive it back to what some might call "an echo chamber". Perhaps it is time for site-wide RfCs on ownership, logging, and conduct? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 00:07, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, I don't think the problem that some people have is that "highly inappropriate swearing and sexual language is commonly used". At least that's not the gist of the issue - though the kind of hostile language that is sometimes used (and it really doesn't have much to do with swearing or sexual language, but rather the unabashed hostility), exemplified in the quoted comment above, IS ANOTHER issue. But it's a corollary, not the main lemma. Basically I think people are concerned that all kinds of hi-jinks, smearings and illicit coordination goes on there.VolunteerMarek 00:16, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
By " hi-jinks, smearings and illicit coordination " you seem to be quite accurately referring to another off-wiki haunt of some of the names I recognize in this thread and who are well documented as indulging in such practices. (talk) 00:24, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Marek, as I have explained, the "unabashed" hostility is not mainly to do with WP, it's more to do with me than anything else - the description I posted is how I generally am in life. If you read the piece I posted a couple of lines up, where I replied to Jimbo, you'll see that.  BarkingFish  00:26, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Is that an oblique reference to Wikipedia Review, where Mike Godwin is now a contributing member? Delicious carbuncle (talk) 20:08, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I would support public logging of the IRC. Everything i've ever heard of the IRC channels in general and things that have involved it have all been negative. In addition to the swearing and illicit language as mentioned by others above, there have certainly been multiple past incidents in regards to IRC that have shown coordination against users. One of the very far back incidents being this, showing that problems were fairly rampant even five years ago, not that that's very surprising. Furthermore, I see no logical reason why IRC shouldn't be public. Any sensitive information should not be discussed on there in the first place, it's not even close to anything secure. And, if the information isn't sensitive, why shouldn't it be public? The lack of public logs on the IRC is what has enabled these types of canvassing misbehavior and extensive incivility to continue. SilverserenC 12:10, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
I haven't followed this debate, but apparently there was a DMCA issue about copyrighted ? logs of a non-public IRC channel with Wikipedia Review [11], Wikiversity contains copies of logs [12], etc. It would be safest if someone who knows could work out a legally considered policy regarding reposting of IRC logs from channels with no logging permitted (regardless of affiliation) and added it to WP:COPYRIGHT. I don't whether or not the nature of IRC makes comments into PD "press releases" or allows archiving. Of course, if need be, there is still plenty of room for drama within the confines of Fair Use quotations. Wnt (talk) 15:56, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

You have mail, Jimbo

So I don't template the regulars, just a polite note to let you know that you have mail, Sir.  BarkingFish  23:22, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

In the middle of a conversation about being open, where you claim that you don't need to be monitored because people should just trust you, you send private correspondence to an individual who, by default, stands in a position of judgement. Do you have *any* self awareness at all? (talk) 23:40, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
I have plenty of self awareness thanks. It is my prerogative to send email to anyone I wish, and what I discuss out there is between myself and Jimbo and nobody else. So I'd appreciate you not enquiring as to this any further. I've said my piece here, and I've said what I wish to say to Jimbo directly. Thank you.  BarkingFish  23:50, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your email. As to the anon, geez, chill out. As BarkingFish can confirm if he wants, we're having a perfectly pleasant email exchange. It's perfectly ok for people to email me about whatever is on their minds.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 02:02, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Dangers of paid editing

(continued from thread #Editors for hire)

So far, many problems of paid editing tend to be "self-regulating" in the sense that the greater the danger, then the more likely several people will come to fix the problems. For example, with people who make just a few edits, then they cannot slant too many articles. When people make many edits, then their patterns of slanting become revealed, and in fact, computer bots could scan their edits to look for a pattern of unfair wording. In the case of a public paid Wikipedia speaker, and unknown numbers of his/her fans, then the fame of that person attracts more editors checking for policy violations or WP:TAGTEAMs which overpower opponents as a form of gaming the system. Hence, a person most likely to attract devoted fans is also most likely to be caught for whatever potential policy violations being questioned at WP:ANI. The kinds of users which WP has trouble stopping are gangs of like-minded users who censor opposing viewpoints, because WP policies are designed to catch more people by evidence of adding improper content rather than those who suppress content, where the lack of information is difficult to "see" compared to the glaring violations in the questionable incorrect added text. In that sense, I think the people to fear most are "paid removers" rather than "paid writers". Hence, WP needs to improve policies to deter people who are slanting articles by slowing removing text, just a few phrases at a time, or rewriting articles where the removed text is difficult to spot. -Wikid77 02:49, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikid77 and I may have our disagreements on other issues, but this is an excellent point: I think the people to fear most are "paid removers" rather than "paid writers". It would be a relatively simple thing for a bot to compile for review by a human editor, and it would be a useful thing to have in place, whether the removers were paid or otherwise. WWB Too (talk) 08:14, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, at least it would be good to have a tool to count if a suspected editor had a pattern of page sizes getting smaller after each edit. Then see if notable ("significant") content is being removed, in general. Also, we need to address when paid editors are a problem for other paid editors, such as competition between them tending to over-criticize a competing editor. -Wikid77 22:45, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia won't let me post the external link here, but there is an academic paper called "Detecting Wikipedia Vandalism with Active Learning and Statistical Language Models" that is along these lines for vandalism. King4057 (talk) 10:41, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Problem with anonymous IP editor on Kobe Bryant sexual assault case article

Happy New Year, Jimmy. I hope my past mistakes do not preclude my asking you for advice on a troublesome matter. I'm having some difficulty with a problem IP editor with a history being blocked for edit warring, and who seems to have difficulty following WP:AGF and other guidelines, in regards to his insistence on adding the name of the woman who accused Kobe Bryant of rape some years ago to the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case article. I'll try to summarize in five succinct questions:

1. BLP policy clearly states that Caution should be applied when identifying individuals who are discussed primarily in terms of a single event. When the name of a private individual has not been widely disseminated or has been intentionally concealed, such as in certain court cases or occupations, it is often preferable to omit it, especially when doing so does not result in a significant loss of context. This description would seem to fit the name of Bryant's accuser quite clearly. Because of this, and other arguments brought up during the discussion on that article's talk page, as well as other precedents such as Star Wars Kid, which omits the name of that subject's name even though it appears in sources that are cited in that article, I removed the accuser's name from both the article and the talk page. Was I correct to do so? The other editor,, argues that the article talk page discussion shows only five people in favor of omitting her name, and eleven against it. Now putting aside the fact that I count it as four to six, and not five to eleven, and that this is a problematic endeavour when some editors participate from anonymous IPs (which could allow single editors to chime under different ones), my understanding is that while we do build consensus, editorial decisions are ultimately not based on voting, particularly when policy is clear. Am I correct in concluding this?

2. Editor takes issue with the phrase "widely disseminated" by arguing that her name has appeared in The New York Times. Now I apologize to have to ask you this, since I think this is obvious, but since he insists on splitting this hair, I want to make sure that you agree with my response: My understanding of the phrase "widely disseminated" means that her name is mentioned commonly, across many news publications, particularly reputable ones, to the point where her name becomes a household name, at least at the time that the case first made news, and not that it is merely reported in one publication, even a widely read one like the The New York Times, since that would mean that "wide dissemination" essentially has the same meaning as or criteria as the Verifiability Policy. Am I right here?

Nightscream (whom, full disclosure, I am acquainted with in real life through our common participation in Wikimedia-NYC events) has asked me for opinions on his questions 2–5 here, since no one else seems to him (or me) to be addressing them.

Here, no, I don't think that publication in a single outlet, even one with the stature of The New York Times (probably one of our most frequently cited sources), counts as "widely disseminated". Daniel Case (talk) 17:47, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

3. Editor continues to include the name of Kobe Bryant's accuser on the article talk page, and the IP talk page. If you summarily agree with the above that removing her name is necessary, then is it a blockable offense for someone to continue mentioning her name on the talk page in new talk page messages? And if it's not so clear-cut, would that mean that it's okay to mention it?

I think we're entitled to some latitude on a talk page discussion while the issue is being resolved (much as we allow the temporary use of a fair-use image there if it is relevant to a discussion, while that discussion is taking place). Daniel Case (talk) 17:47, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
We're not. There's zero difference between article and any other pages for WP:BLP purposes. Any material that would be retracted from an article for BLP purposes should be immediately redacted from a talk page. Herostratus (talk) 07:11, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

4. Editor repeatedly violates WP:AGF by accusing me of harboring a bias against Bryant, that arguing that omitting the accuser's name implies guilt on Bryant's part (even though it's common for reputable news organizations to omit the names of alleged rape victims). Although he continued to do this during his block, I decided not to extend the block or ask another admin to do so because I hoped that I could show him how assuming intent on the part of someone, without eliminating other possible motives, is an ad hominem logical fallacy. He responds that "ad hominem is not a logical fallacy if it is to establish bias". My efforts are probably futile, so I need to ask, if an editor continues to violate AGF with repeated accusations, is this a blockable offense?

Yes, especially with a response like that indicating an appeal to logic would be completely lost on the respondent. However, get someone else to make the block. Daniel Case (talk) 17:47, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

5. I know that talk page etiquette allows editors to respond to other editors' messages by placing responses to certain passages in the middle of the first speaker's message-- that is, responding to a sentence or comment directly after it. I dislike this practice, as it appears to mutilate my messages, and makes it difficult to discern the authorship of the individual messages at a glance. When this happens, I tend to remove the responding editor's responses and place them after my initial message. Is this acceptable? Shouldn't the initial editor have some say in that? If so, and editor continues to mutilate my messages, is that a blockable offense? Nightscream (talk) 04:59, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

My interpretation of this practice is that it's easier to interpolate responses between paragraphs where there's naturally space. If I want to fisk someone's response, I put it in quotes and italics within my own grafs. At the very least, if you do this, Nightscream, I'd put in a note of some kind noting the refactoring. Daniel Case (talk) 17:47, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
The name should be included; a long paragraph going on about the accuser's admission to "lying" when neither her handwritten letter nor the paragraph blurb introducing it in puts it that way (the two sources), not so much. I made an edit to that, but the rest of the article could bear checking. Wnt (talk) 16:27, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
No, the accuser's name should not be included - she's a clear BLP 'one notable event' case - and I have to admit that that article is doing a fine end-run around BLP by basically listing off everyone the accuser knows: Poor woman's going to have to move to a new town because everyone who reads wilkipedia will know intimate details of her personal life. This is not a scandal-rag, this is an encyclopedia. stick to the facts of the case. --Ludwigs2 16:48, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
WP:BLP1E is the threshold for creating an article about her, not the threshold for naming her. "Avoiding victimization" in BLP is a statement about pulling names out of primary court transcripts or the like. Once there's a body of published work about a person, including them becomes a relevant detail for an article. Wnt (talk) 16:57, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
WNT, the spirit of BLP is that we are an encyclopedia, not a scandal rag. We avoid unnecessary defamatory or embarrassing material except where it's necessary to describe some notable event. This woman is not notable in her own right, and is only notable because she accused someone famous of assaulting her sexually. We do not need detailed information about the woman herself (her life, her character, her name) because the woman is not significant to the article. The only reason to talk about her at all would be to try to argue Kobe's side of the case; but he had lawyers to do that, Wikipedia doesn't need to.
All this article needs to say is that Kobe (the notable individual) was accused of the crime but the charges were dropped because the accuser refused to testify; maybe present some of the surrounding analysis of the media frenzy surrounding the case. trying to drag the woman into it is irresponsible and unencyclopedic. --Ludwigs2 18:15, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
You're justifying your position with an inexcusable lack of imagination. Certainly I can think of a reason why we'd want to know her name - to know what happened to her. Was she hounded to her grave by Kobe fanatics? Did she take the undisclosed settlement and retire happily to a private island? Or is the truth somewhere between? Now that she's a public figure we have a right to ask such questions - we have a right to ask how damaging the sort of character assassination that came up at the trial really is, how damaging the prospect of lawsuits over alleged rapes is, and to use such information to inform our opinions about public policy and whether the rules of evidence in rape trials should be changed. Wnt (talk) 02:41, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Since we seem to be discussing only Point #1 from my original message at the top, and not Points 2 - 5, can we move this over to that article's talk page? I've responded to Wnt's most recent post above there. Nightscream (talk) 04:27, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

In the context of a male-dominated world, in which there is a stigma (or even deadly sanctions) attached to being a rape victim, we may need to actually create a policy. Balanced against the (Western) right of the accused to "confront their accuser" is also a woman's right to have a private life. It is not for Wikipedia to out LGBT's nor rape victims, is it?
Some contributors have been trying to conceal the facts about blaming the victim and honor killings. It's bad enough to get raped; let's not pile on. --Uncle Ed (talk) 22:18, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a policy WP:BLP#Avoid victimization; the point is, it prohibits outing rape victims from obscure filings, as opposed to naming people who have 55 pages of results on Google about the case already. Wnt (talk) 13:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Again, can we please restrict this portion of the discussion to the article talk page (where a discussion on this has been ongoing since December 9), so that we don't have it in two different places???? Nightscream (talk) 22:48, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

<sigh…> I sometimes think Wikipedia is where people come when they want to publish stuff that even supermarket tabloids won't touch. Some editors just don't get the whole 'encyclopedia' concept. We're not here to dig into people personal lives; we're here to report information that might credibly have import and meaning as general knowledge. The whole Bryant rape case barely qualifies. it's mere 'society column' trivia: i.e people gabbing on about the things 'quality' people do, as they have always gabbed and always will gab - the same stories repeated with an endless supply of different names and faces. I accept that this kind of thing is unavoidable to a certain extent (because we are social monkeys who can't help grunting with excitement over this kind of crap), but we really need to do something to reign it in, because there are many, many people in the world who get absolutely obsessed with ferreting out every gritty detail of people's private lives, given any trivial excuse to do so. it's all just… unseemly. Twenty years from now no one (except the the odd 'sports guy') is going to remember Kobe Bryant - he'll be a statistic in a few books, and maybe one of those goofy late night product-promo guys - and under normal circumstances no one would remember this rape allegation or the woman involved in it at all. So why are we giving this bit of social trivia a memory-life it would never have achieved on it's own? --Ludwigs2 23:27, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

As I mentioned on the article, a TV station (and many other sources) just mentioned her name again recently.[13] People running web searches on events 30 years ago today get many fewer results than they will in 30 years. I should say, I am actually quite disgusted with the way that the accuser has been treated, with her sexual and psychiatric history showcased to the media. But those are the facts, and if Wikipedia is going to cover this at all, it should cover the situation in proper detail. It has public policy implications for all the women in similar situations. We can't erase what is written on the Internet, but we can weigh it carefully and produce a more balanced, careful, and useful summary than any competing source of information. (or the article at present...) If we allow ourselves to do so. Wnt (talk) 01:42, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Wnt: my point is that an encyclopedia is not concerned with information that is of no credible practical value outside of its immediate circumstance. Newspapers have to cover 'current events', yes, and so newspapers are going to cover material like this. And yes it will be stored in their archives for anyone who wants to look it up. But 'stored in the archives' of a newspaper that moves incessantly onward to the next interesting bit of social trivia is a far cry from 'established as a matter of significant fact' in an encyclopedia. 100 years from now people are still going to want information about the theory of gravity and Sigmund Freud; these have passed the test of time. Are you suggesting that 100 years from now people will care a fig about some woman who accused some (by then) ancient basketball player of sexual assault? No. There will be plenty of athletes having sex with plenty of people in that time frame for them to gossip about. The thought of a (by then) 120+ year old Kobe having sex with anyone will do nothing except disgust them.
You have to look at the bigger picture here: an encyclopedia isn't about every little 'sexy' tidbit of information that comes down the pike. An encyclopedia is about knowledge that ostensibly lasts - stuff that will be meaningful to people long after the people involved are dead and buried. I know that Wikipedia is young and the internet travels at the speed of rumor, so it's hard to remember that we are writing for the long term, but still... You'll do a lot better to edit the feminism article than this silly article about a sexual assault case if you're worried about public policy implications. And while I trust your intentions (I've seen enough of you to know that you're both honest and self-aware), don't kid yourself that most of the people wanting to add this woman's name are interested in 'public policy': most are either trying to defend Kobe's honor (out of a misguided sense of hero-worship), or simply following that monkey-urge to know more-and-more-and-more about something scandalous. That's not the kind of thing that an encyclopedia ought to be interested in. --Ludwigs2 07:02, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
The bigger picture here is that we, as a society, have to decide whether the rules of evidence in the courtroom allow a woman's prior sexual and psychiatric history to be brought in when she alleges rape. In other words, if a woman has been subjected to psychiatric hospitalization or other treatment, does this mean she is Fair Game for the rest of her life? This one of the highest profile date rape cases in the past two decades - one way or another, it has shaped public opinion. Those seriously seeking to understand the laws and responses of this society to rape will want to understand what happened in this case, even decades in the future. Wnt (talk) 19:47, 7 January 2012 (UTC)
Did the case set any new legal precedents ? No. Did it go to trial, No. Was an out of court settlement agreed between the celebrity and the complainant, Yes. - this is all standard stuff. There is nothing in the case details that supports your opinion that, " Those seriously seeking to understand the laws and responses of this society to rape will want to understand what happened in this case, even decades in the future" - talk about over egging the pudding. We appear imo to be 'over reporting' this issue considering it from a long-term, historical view. Youreallycan (talk) 20:01, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

User:Bless sins and User:Vice regent

Hi Jimbo. User:Bless sins and User:Vice regent have been blocked because they've edited Wikipedia from the same computer. They were accused of committing sock-puppetry. Bless sins has been editing for five years (15,763 edits) and Vice regent for 4.5 years (4,765 edits). Their contributions only overlap in 183 pages. There is no apparent motives for them to commit sock-puppetry. For all the five years, both of them voted together just in one discussion. Please unblock them or join the discussion at User:Bless sins. Thanks.

(Note that I have no relations with both of them. I am just appealing for them because the block is unfair) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:07, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know about this. I just read the entire discussion and it seems that it is trending towards an unblock. I think that would be the right decision.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:55, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Support for that decision was almost unanimous, and I'm pleased to say they're both unblocked. WilliamH (talk) 03:02, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Sourcing in a WP:BLP

The section at issue has been edited down a bit from its original overstatements, but remains in part at Rick_Santorum#K_Street_Project using what I think should reasonably be considered opinion or editorial pieces, rather than given as absolute statements of fact (that Santorum was a key figure in the K Street project - and then the appended fact that he denies it). Thanks! Collect (talk) 21:21, 8 January 2012 (UTC)

Why is it not enough to go to BLPN (as you have done)? What does coming here add? Disclaimer: I am not the editor sparring with Collect on this one -- I'm just wondering in general why people bring this sort of issue to a user talk page. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 21:57, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
Probably because I strongly invite and support it, I'm guessing. I think it very important that I stay very plugged in to what is going on. I always wonder what agenda people have when they don't want me to know about something.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 03:37, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't saying I didn't want you to know (where on earth does that come from??) -- I was merely wondering about the logic. I'm ever so grateful that you and Collect have explained it to me. Nomoskedasticity (talk) 08:41, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo and I have had many discussions about "silly season" edits on political figures in the past - and he has many times stated that all are welcome here. This is not just a "user talk page" - in some ways it is an adjunct to the Village Pump and other pages for general discussion. Thus my presence here is quite proper and in line. Cheers. Collect (talk) 22:48, 8 January 2012 (UTC)
The Santorum page is seeing quite a flood of activism and partisanship over the last few days, unfortunately. This project really needs to get a handle on political bios being used as platforms to denigrate the subject; the latest is a handful of editors trying to jam the full "frothy" faux-word definition into the article. Tarc (talk) 00:03, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
A huge amount of frothy mixture is being spread on that page, indeed. Also allegations which are made by editorial writers being used as "fact." Collect (talk) 00:09, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Well what about the larger issue of why there is a hatnote on the top of Rick Santorum. Clearly the word Santorum refers only to him, as does that campaign. But I don't have the energy for that fight. Prodego talk 08:03, 9 January 2012 (UTC)