User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 94

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About a proposed blackout

Jimmy, I think you need to go here. SOPA will kill the US web scene -- and that will affect everyone. The Anonymous suggestion to put the front page as an explanation of SOPA is a good one. It might be wise to give every participating web service an identical page, which clearly lays out the problem, and what frustrated users can do about it that will be effective. John — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.75.174.161 (talk) 02:36, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

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cyberpower (Happy 2012) 12:49, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Thank You

Hi Jimbo,

Thank you for transforming my ANI from a lynch mob into a very productive discussion. Your input and support were greatly appreciated. Cheers, Ebikeguy (talk) 16:13, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Dear Mr.Wales

Hey um Mr.Wales I have been (according to some users) infragmenting copyright violation when I have not. I do not know what to do because I usaully paraphrase alot of the work (keeping scentences here and there though). Do you have any suggestions to what I should do. I would aprecciate that man. Algamicagrat (talk) 00:55, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Hello! I recommend that you stop doing that! That's not the right way to write a Wikipedia article. Paraphrasing is not sufficient and keeping sentences here and there is not right.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:00, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Hello Algamicagrat, a belated welcome to Wikipedia!
Your edit to Paraptenodytes looks a lot like a blog from here. I'm not saying that's intentional on your behalf - far from it - but because they are so similar that's why it will have been flagged up as a copyright violation - something Wikipedia takes very seriously. I don't know if it's maybe something to do with the script you're using (I noticed you used a script called ProveIt for both the edits you were warned about) as I know nothing of that script. Although you say that you keep sentences here and there, if you keep them in large chunks, that will be enough to set off a copyright violation somewhere in Wikipedia. The odd word or so being the same or even the odd sentence might be ok but definitely not whole chunks. I'm sure I must have a template somewhere explaining about copyright, I'll try and dig it out for you.--5 albert square (talk) 01:24, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Hello again, I hope the advice I have given you on your talk page has helped Algamicagrat. I have to agree though with what the other editors were saying on your talk page with regards to the copyright. I notice that you used a blog as well as a reference, I would suggest that you read this to see what is counted as a reliable source on Wikipedia - blogs very often aren't. I also suggest that you read Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing. Any questions, please feel free to ask me on my talk page.--5 albert square (talk) 02:19, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi jimbo

Hi,i no speak good english,but arrive here for that:need you help,wikipedia in espanish no function good,say in spanish ok: Administrators work, not good,follow yours insterests.i be now Blocking policy in spanish,can´t edit pages ,for that lie my location,never,never make Vandalism never make,but help me ,i love edit pages and help and now can´t order you that help me,plis thank you Carliitaeliza (talk) 03:00, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

You should write an e-mail to the Wikipedia helpers. The address is info-es@wikimedia.org. Explain the problem to them. They understand Spanish. Asav | Talk (Member of the OTRS Volunteer Response Team) 04:57, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Proposed Wikiproject Dedicated to a Cooperative Relationship with Paid Editors

Hi Jimbo. You've shown an interest in paid editors in the past, so I thought you might be interested in the proposed Wikiproject Cooperation. This project encourages editors to work collaboratively with people paid to edit Wikipedia and "improve the quality of paid editor contributions." Ebikeguy (talk) 03:18, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I hope this initiative begins with the premise that paid advocates should never edit articles directly, and instruct them about better options, as well as building up infrastructure in the community to ensure that those options are maximally productive. We need to be very firm on this point.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:39, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Sadly, the initiative does not begin with the premise you suggest. It clearly encourages paid writers to edit directly, provided they do so within Wikipedia rules. Perhaps editors who share your (and my) opinion on this matter can try to nudge the project away from encouraging paid, direct editing. Ebikeguy (talk) 14:52, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Just for your information

Just wanted to bring this to your notice yesterday Lcp29 (talk · contribs) went to talkpages of blocked users and offered legal assistance to fight there blocks here.5 of his edits were oversighted and the user was blocked.Today Piranha Solicitors (talk · contribs)is back and giving his name as L Phillips QC his email address and phone number <redacted for obvious reasons> [1] Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 19:22, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Ah yes, the infamous, non-existent L Phillips QC... – ukexpat (talk) 20:28, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Learning to say Portuguese name João

After searching sources, for the name "João" (John), I think I would write the respelled pronunciation as "Zhwah-ow[n]" where the "J" is like the French in "jour" or "bijou". This is another area where WP articles have relied on people who speak "IPAnese" (WP:IPA for Portuguese), but the name is as difficult as some French words. I suspect, "João" almost rhymes with "town" (but with the 'n' as a nasal sound; see forum: [2]). So, the mnemonic would be "João is in town" perhaps.

For anyone who claims English WP does not allow common names in Portuguese, then mention the Brazilian singer/guitarist "João Gilberto" whose wife at the time, Astrud Gilberto you know sang the original 1964 hit song "The Girl from Ipanema" (source: [3]). -Wikid77 03:20, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

English Wikipedia?

Related: Talk:John_V_of_Portugal#Requested move. -Wikid77 13:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Howdy Jimbo. The old diacritics spats were bad enough, now we've got editors wanting to move Portuguese monarchs articles from John to João. Heck help us, if a push begins to move Japanese monarch titles from English to Japanese. GoodDay (talk) 01:37, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Seriously, how many fora are you going to canvass in? I hope you can tell the difference between moving John to João and moving Emperor Ninkō to 仁孝天王. FWIW, I take diacritics on a case-by-case basis, and with this I think João is correct, because the vast majority of history books I've read use his name, not his anglicized name. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:51, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Who's forum-shopping? This is a casual chat with a fellow editor (JW). GoodDay (talk) 04:53, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps I was a little quick to judgment; nonetheless, this is far from the first place you've objected to this particular move. I'm not entirely sure what you want to accomplish here, but I suppose you have something in mind. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:03, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
No, it's pretty much canvassing. How about starting an RfC instead GoodDay. Prodego talk 06:27, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I weren't asking for JW's input 'there'. Infact, JW's is free to 'delete' this entire thread without comment. GoodDay (talk) 13:39, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Undo renames from João x back to John x of Portugal: As an involved editor, I see an ongoing discussion to restore the article name back to the WP:COMMONNAME form as "John V of Portugal" from a recent non-consensus rename/move-over-redirect (on 7 January 2012) to the rare English form "João V of Portugal" (plus "João VI"). Search of Google Books confirms widespread (80%+) English use as "John V of Portugal" dating back over 250 years, to at least 1759. See: "Talk:João V of Portugal#Requested move". This might be part of a growing trend to remove common English titles from enwiki, but I have not checked the data to assess the trend. As I recall, the United Nations seems to keep English names or titles in effect, but I wonder how much the UN had to fight linguistic battles such as this. -Wikid77 (talk) 06:21, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
    I'm finally going to admit this; your post reminds me of reading the Daily Punctilio reporter in The Hostile Hospital. If you haven't read it, read the whole Series of Unfortunate Events (The Hostile Hospital is Book 9, but you need the context; they're quite entertaining, so it's entirely worth it) and see if you can figure it out. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 06:36, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Hostile Hospital echoes ANI: Well, the plot section in "The Hostile Hospital" sounds like a typical WP:ANI thread, with the part: "The party heads to the operating theater, where Klaus and Sunny stall the cranioectomy by describing the past of the knife. Hal appears at that moment and accuses them of setting fire to the Library of Records (WP:3RR?), while Esme turns up with the real Dr. Tocuna (WP:SOCK?) and Nurse Flo and exposes them (WP:OUTING?)." And then they get WP:OUT of the hospital complex or else WP:BLOCK!! -Wikid77 10:37, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I should have clarified last night; I didn't mean to compare accuracy, only the headline style notes at the beginning. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 15:23, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

The entire "use English" trend has gone far too far and it's heartening to see at least a crack in the wall, even if it's not the best choice of subjects. Portuguese kings may be commonly referred to by their English names, but there are several cases where things are commonly referred to by some other name and Wikipedia's usage is to use the official English name anyway. My usual examples are anime, manga, and video games from Japan, but I just tried "tanuki" which is a word, not an anime. 8.2 million Google results for "tanuki -wikipedia -wiki", 975000 results for "raccoon dog". Guess which one we use as the article name. Ken Arromdee (talk) 07:30, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

João VI of Portugal (this is the name used by English speaking historians to call him) was the son of Maria I of Portugal (not Mary I), father of Pedro I of Brazil (not Peter I) and Miguel I of Portugal (not Michael I). He was also grandfather of Maria II of Portugal and Pedro II of Brazil. I wonder what readers would think if they see a "John VI" at the middle of all those Portuguese names. The idea here is not to change the entire Wikipedia, but a single page (which has been done). The problem is that GoodDay is an user who doesn't actually contribute writing articles (such as I do: I have nine FAs behind my back) but only on taking part on discussions over what he believes to be the end of the Anglo culture. Not the kind of editor who is truly useful to Wikipedia. --Lecen (talk) 12:36, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
  • It is Mary of Portugal, not Mary I: It is not "Mary I of Portugal" nor "Jesus I, Son of God" but rather "Mary of Portugal" as 2-400x times more common than "Maria I of Portugal" (see Google Books: Ngram for Maria I/II & "Mary of Portugal"). Fortunately, the clever User:GoodDay has been quickly trying to resist these rename attempts (to rare or non-English titles), for more than 1 year now. In this effort, he is one of the most-useful editors on Wikipedia, to retain WP's world-class approach to naming article titles, continuing the traditions from more than 200 years of scholarship. While the much rarer title, "Maria I of Portugal" had been used in English texts somewhat more during the 1940s, the term "Mary of Portugal" has retained most-common status, as it has held for more than 250 years. For a user reading any related book published during the 1800s, they would expect to see "Mary of Portugal" with "Maria I of Portugal" for linking a WP article. -Wikid77 (talk) 14:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I clicked on the link you gave and the only person who appears is a 15th century Portuguese princess, not Queen Maria. Could you at least pretend that you're not trying to fool us? --Lecen (talk) 16:13, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Very funny. The page "Mary of Portugal" is a disambiguation page and lists several, including both queens Mary and Mary II of Portugal. -Wikid77 13:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Support move of all discussions to this talk page. </sarcasm>. Alarbus (talk) 17:05, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Hahahaha, you'll discourage JW into 'retirement'. GoodDay (talk) 17:09, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Others have tried flooding this page with gibberish and insults for several years, but it still has not stopped Jimbo from giving advice! -Wikid77 13:13, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

John VI is Spanish Juan VI not João VI

Just when I was beginning to tolerate the claims that every word here is actually just the 26-letter English alphabet with a few extra diacritical marks (or a few dozen) added for "cultural accuracy", I checked to see how Spanish-language or French books accept these new words: they don't. At least in the case of "John VI of Portugal" being claimed to be more accurate as "João VI", the Spanish-based texts, searched by Google Books, have far more "Juan VI de Portugal" than any "João VI" appearing in Spanish-language books, during every year from 1900-2008 (see: Google ngram). Whenever any people claim that English editors are biased to reject outside words as "foreign" then ask those same people to find the words accepted in Spanish texts, or German, or Italian, or French texts (compare French title: ngram with João VI versus "Jean VI de Portugal", as 2-13x times more common). No one else except Portuguese speakers think that "João VI" is the name in their language either. In German, it is "de:Johann VI. (Portugal)" or in Danish, it is "da:Johan 6. af Portugal" or in Italian "it:Giovanni VI del Portogallo" or in Polish "pl:Jan VI (król Portugalii)" or Finnish "fi:Juhana VI (Portugali)" or even in Swedish, "sv:Johan VI av Portugal". None of them are convinced that Portuguese is their language with some extra diacritical marks. We do not need a WP:RfC to settle this matter. Just look at how the rest of the world handles words that are not in their language. -Wikid77 Wikid77 (talk) 12:19, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

All very interesting! But I'm not 100% sure what your point is, so I do have one question. In terms of what characters to use, it seems that you are, in fact, arguing that English should be written in 26 letters plus a few extra diacritical marks. But you started out seemingly skeptical of that? I think the fault is entirely mine and I am misunderstanding your position.
My own position is that English Wikipedia is written in English, and that means that we should have a strong bias against using letters from other languages, letters that don't exist in English. There are a handful of diacritical marks in use in English, and there are special cases here and there, and that's fine.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:34, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I guess I was too terse in starting this thread, which evolved into "What Would Other Languages Do" (WWOLD), explained further below. -Wikid77 23:54, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
"~" exists in English. A videogame like Civilization IV has the Portuguese monarch called "Joao II", not "John II". On Victoria II, if you play as Brazil, you'll see "Pedro II", not "Peter II". On Civilization IV: Colonization one of the Founding Fathers is Pedro I of Brazil, not "Peter I". If even on popular culture the name used is Portuguese, why Wikipedia can't in the case of João VI of Portugal? It's so hard to speak "Joao"? --Lecen (talk) 16:07, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It is unclear to me that videogames are appropriate references for the names in English of Portuguese Kings. A videogame will often choose to use unusual names or historical names in order to create a particular feel. Yes, it is valid to take that into account to some degree, but what I'm more interested in here is the preponderance of all sources in English.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:21, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough, Jimbo. I didn't mean that we should use videogames as sources. I was just trying to tell you that even on popular culture, in this particular case, the name used is the native one. I wrote several Featured Articles, including Pedro II of Brazil (grandson of João VI), Empire of Brazil (ruled by João VI's son and grandson) and Pedro Álvares Cabral (the Portuguese explorer who discovered Brazil). Telling you from my point of view, but based on my personal experience writing those articles, English-speaking historians prefer to use the name "João VI" instead of "John VI", as they also prefer "Pedro I" (not "Peter I") and "Miguel I" (not "Michael I") for João VI's sons. A quick search on Google books (with the "English only" option on) you'll find 197,000 results for João VI and 43,400 results for John VI. That's all. Cheers. --Lecen (talk) 17:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Your position is reasonable. I don't think restricting ourselves to the usage of historians is a good idea, but those usages should be given serious weight. I remember many years ago, as an amateur reading philosophy as a hobby, I found it very frustrating when academic books about Ancient Greek philosophers would casually include quotations in Greek, sometimes without even a translation in footnote. That may (or may not) have been reasonable for their purpose - scholarly writing for other scholars - but it is never appropriate for a reference work meant for the general public. We do need to take into account what scholarly sources do. We also need to take into account what other sources (even, at least a little bit, as in your original point, video games) say! My view is that deviating from the 26 letters of English plus a few easy diacritics should be done with extreme caution.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:13, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
You have just hit the jackpot. Your example is perfect. I'm precisely talking about the 26-letters Latin alphabet. And only it. Of course it would be senseless to add Alexander the Great's name in its original, Greek, form. Or Emperor Hirohito of Japan's name in Japanese characters. Take for example Pedro II of Brazil again: at the very beginning of the article, just after his bolded name, you'll see a "Peter II" in parenthesis, even though anyone can pronounce "Pedro". In the case of João VI of Portugal, which is being discussed here, the article has both the Anglicized form of his name in parenthesis ("John") and an easy footnote just next to his Portuguese name which explains the correct pronunciation. Regards, --Lecen (talk) 18:25, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
But what was wrong with having the articles at Peter II of Brazil & John VI of Portugal with ("Pedro II") & ("João VI") in parenthesis? GoodDay (talk) 18:51, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
GoodDay, your previous comments were unhealthy (as can be seen below). I'd really recommend you to take a break for the moment. Lastly, there is no historian who has ever written a biography in English of Pedro I and Pedro II who has called them "Peter". --Lecen (talk) 18:58, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Wales, Lecen has written 9 FAs (I think; working with Astynax) on Brazilian topics, the most recent being Luís Alves de Lima e Silva, Duke of Caxias (passed just the other day). A fistful of the others in this spat simply are the anti-diacritics crowd. Lecen has retired due to concerted incivility towards him by Malleus Fatuorum and SandyGeorga. Alarbus (talk) 17:46, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
What part of English in English Wikipedia, is so difficult to grasp? For goodness sake, let this Wikpedia use english. Let Portuguese Wikipedia use portuguese, French Wikipedia use french, Swedish Wikipedia use swedish etc etc. GoodDay (talk) 16:11, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Last time I read those articles they were written in English, not Chinese. Could you at least pretend that you have no foreign culture prejudice? Please? This "Oh my God, they are writing all articles in another foreign language" is not helpful. Try to write Featured Articles like I did. Now that's helpful. --Lecen (talk) 16:15, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
There's that word again "foreign". This isn't a Canadian -vs- Protugese argument, so why keep painting it as such. GoodDay (talk) 16:23, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

All I've been harping on (and continue to harp on), is that this is the English Wikipedia (meaning English language). I have the name of this Wikipedia, on my side. GoodDay (talk) 16:28, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Again as you have told by dozen's if not hundreds of editors by this point. Diacritics are not non-English. They are part of the English language. -DJSasso (talk) 16:40, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Not part of the English alphabet. GoodDay (talk) 16:44, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
This isn't English alphabet wiki its English language wiki. The diacritics are part of the English language orthography. -DJSasso (talk) 16:48, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
English please, English. I don't want to suffer (along with my fellow 'english only' readers) eye damage, from seeing Czech, Swede, Finnish, French etc etc accents. GoodDay (talk) 16:51, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
And you wonder why people call you xenophobic when you keep making it an us vs. them thing with comments like "english only readers". -DJSasso (talk) 16:53, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Congrats to 'anyone' who can speak/read multiple languages, honestly (this includes my relatives). PS: I've no intention of arguing here with you, anymore. Oil & Water doesn't mix. GoodDay (talk) 16:57, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
So then stop running around insulting everyone that does. (I don't.) But your continued insults and prejudicial comments are not helpful in a collaborative environment. -DJSasso (talk) 16:59, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
eye damage? Alarbus (talk) 19:41, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't study human psychology. Perhaps if I spoke/read languages (besides english), I too would be pushing the 'non-english' usage here & 'english usage' on the other Wikipedias. It's not a cultural thing with me, as english is used across many countries & cultures. GoodDay (talk) 16:38, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

"I dread the day, these non-english groups start wanting entire article content changed..."[4] or ""...When will we 'english only' speakers, get our language Wikipedia back?"[5] These were your words. You could also say: "Get the hell out of my country, foreigners!" It will be just wonderful for Wikipedia's reputation once it's learned that there are editors with a clear xenophobic speech. --Lecen (talk) 16:39, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
There you go again. This isn't a cultural/country thing, as english is used across multiple cutlrues/countries. GoodDay (talk) 16:42, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Consider What Would Other Languages Do (WWOLD): The issue of naming articles using English is not a case of "xenophobia" but rather choosing names that many English-speaking users would expect. The strategy is to focus on English as the main language, and so examine what would other languages do (WWOLD) to re-title articles in their language about the same subject. In many cases, the result is obvious, as other languages use their own language: the Portuguese king "Dom João VI de Portugal" is German "Johann VI." (with the dot in "VI." meaning "sixth"), is French "Jean VI" or Italian "Giovanni VI del Portogallo". Each language translates the name, as English has done for over 300 years. That is why a book from 150 years ago would mention "John VI of Portugal" or "Mary of Portugal". A complicating factor is to avoid a narrow focus on just other-language Wikipedias, per se, but instead to look at names in other-language books published more than 15 years ago. French books from many years ago state, "Jean VI de Portugal". It is important not to confuse the cosmopolitan diversity of English as an open-door acceptance that every subject gets named primarily in its original language, but instead, only name the enwiki articles using the wp:COMMONNAME found in WP:RS English-language sources during the past 30 or more years. -Wikid77 23:54, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
My interest in this is how we're treating Japanese, specifically Japanese popular culture names. In some cases, the majority of English-speaking users use a particular name, and Wikipedia still refuses to use the name for the title, mostly because of "English only" partisans who have written and interpreted the rules beyond all sense. Ken Arromdee (talk) 19:25, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Fundraiser

I was stupid enough to come up with the idea of a Fundraising Dinner and it look like I have been appointed as Official Organizer. So be it, my own fault...

More seriously:

  • Do you have an idea how I can message every Irish/Ireland-based Wikipedia of this project then personally and manually spam their talkpages?
  • What ways to walk to convince you or other Big Shots to attend the Fundraising Dinner? No date set yet, location most likely a hotel in Limerick, Ireland.

Any other suggestions are also welcome! Night of the Big Wind talk 10:22, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

I've never heard of this being done outside the context of a chapter or the Foundation, but it sounds interesting. Because I've not seen it done before, I'm not sure I have any useful advice for you.
I have been to a few fundraising events / dinners over the years, most notably a pretty big event we did in New York City. A major donor donated the space for the event plus drinks, etc. Several staff members came to it. Stephen Walling gave a delightful speech. I gave a speech. In the end, we raised money, around $20,000 I believe, but when we reviewed it and looked at the scalability (not very scalable if I'm supposed to be there!) and the $$$ per staff-time, it wasn't really ideal. The online fundraiser brings in money much more efficiently.
At the same time, people doing local events like this sounds cool to me. :) I'd love to hear how it goes.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:09, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Writers Barnstar Hires.png The Writer's Barnstar
here Jake.edu (talk) 12:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Do you speak Russian ?

Do you speak Russian, Jimbo ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Сергей Мамаджанов (talkcontribs) 06:20, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

No, I do not. I speak only English with any fluency. I have studied German off and on for years, so that with some effort I can make myself understood to a taxi driver in a German-speaking place (though they almost all speak English better than I speak German!) and I can read quite slowly, having to consult a dictionary often. I have also studied Spanish briefly, though not enough to have any serious impact on my ignorance. I studied Japanese at the University level for one year, and for a while many years ago I think my conversational Japanese was about the same as my conversational German is today, i.e. quite bad. But I know nothing of Russian, I'm afraid. It's my desire to continue with my hobby of language studies, but as you might imagine, I don't seem to be especially good at it, nor do I tend to devote enough time to it.
There's an old saying that most people who say they want to write a book actually don't want to write a book, they want to have written a book. I think that probably applies to me and languages. I want to know how to speak several languages, but I don't particularly seem to enjoy the process of learning them.  :-) Still, I will keep slowly plugging away. As I intend to continue working on Wikipedia for the rest of my life, I hope that when I am 85 years old, I'll be here on this talk page giving a much more satisfactory answer. We shall see. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:28, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., at 92, was found by FDR reading Plato in Greek. FDR asked why he was doing so - and Holmes replied "Why, to improve my mind." [6] [7] etc. I trust that you , at 85, will indeed seek to keep improving your mind. (OWH was alays called "Wendell" by his family per my mom knowing them living down the street) Collect (talk) 12:50, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
We should talk to each other in German sometime Jimbo? I happen to be 100% German being fluent in both English and German.—cyberpower (Happy 2012) 13:06, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
In some respects, Englsih is the more ancient language as it retains the "th" sound lost in modern German <g> (Jakob Grimm IIRC). Collect (talk) 13:50, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Hallo Jimmy Wales. Es freut mich das sie auch Deutsch sprechen koennen.—cyberpower (Happy 2012) 14:04, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Danke sehr, aber mein Deutsch ist sehr schlecht. Ich verstehe nur ein bisschen.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:33, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Macht nichts. I habe ihnen einen e-Mail geschickt, es waere nett wenn sie es lesen koennen und mir einen Antwort gibst. Da habe ich nehmlich einen Idee wie man Wikipedia verbessern kann. Hier habe ich es nicht gepostet weil ich dachte ich werde Anschiss bekommen von andere Wikipedia Editierer. —cyberpowerHappy 2015:Offline

</noinclude> 21:57, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Jimmy, I can relate. :-) (I studied German years ago in school, and the teacher had us learn German drinking songs and sing in class. That's the vocabulary that still sticks. I'm sure there's a message there.) However, I later became interested in opera. Reading the librettos and going back and forth between the two columns (original language and English) was actually enjoyable and helped me understand, if not learn in the usual sense, the foreign language. I got much more of the sense of what the author was trying to convey, without having to memorize a lot of vocabulary and grammar first. Try it (especially languages you've never studied, such as Italian and French) and let us know what you think. 99.50.188.111 (talk) 19:40, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Post to WP:Village_pump_(idea_lab): That part of WP:PUMP is for discussing better methods or just an idea ("einen Idee") that might improve Wikipedia. The editors there are asked to refrain from negative comments (so less chance of "werde Anschiss bekommen" from other editors). -Wikid77 12:43, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Blatant plagiarism

At Erich von Däniken the section "Early Life" is entirely sourced to a single Playboy interview (actually to an article setting the scene for the interview) - and (until last night) was lifted pretty much verbatim therefrom (that is, exact and extended sentences and claims were lifted thereform). After I complained that this was copyvio and plagiarism, another editor "fixed" the wording, but all of it is still from the single source. Does "fixing wording" "fix" the copyvio? [8] And I had thought that Wikipedia did not generally accept that "fixing" the wording "fixed" plagiarism -- has this been changed? Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:46, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I think this very much depends on the precise details, which I have not reviewed. What I mean is that "having a single source" for some fact does not imply plagiarism automatically.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:51, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Playboy article is at [9], and the offending edit (insisted upon by one editor) is at [10] with the edit summary of: no copyright violation if no direct quotes. Thanks. Collect (talk) 12:56, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
  • First remember that only a court determines actual "plagiarism" and so the worry starts as a suspected wp:COPYVIO. The goal is to paraphrase the text (and summarize), not in the same word order, and have fewer than 10 words in a row match the original text (unless noted as direct quotes), but only a court can determine actual copyright infringement, and some judges have rejected massive rewrites as still being improper. Because the source document is stored in a blog as photocopy images (~320 kb) of pages (which might have been photoshopped), and Google matches no online text for that wording, then the actual August 1974 issue of Playboy magazine should be found to compare. Meanwhile, any further rewording of the article's related text in "Early life" of "Erich von Däniken" will help to reduce risk of copyvio even if the blog images do match the actual magazine as printed in 1974. Note that all those blog images are likely to be a worse infringement than WP. -Wikid77 15:24, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Um -- then exact sequences on the order of 20 words or so would indicate a problem? <g>. My suggestion was to find WP:RS sources in order to prevent the exact use of sequence of the "facts" presented - but the editor at question seems to think that the single source is sufficient for everything found in that source, presented in the same order as in that source. Cheers. Collect (talk) 15:31, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not plagiarism to use chronological order. Hipocrite (talk) 15:54, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
But using the same order as the article, and where the article is not "chronologically complete" about a person sure is a copyvio. Cheers - why are you so interested in such a clear copyright violation case?
Compare: Von Däniken was raised a strict Catholic, he attended the international Catholic school Saint-Michel in Fribourg, Switzerland. He became apprenticed to a Swiss hotelier following the completion of his formal education and a communication breakdown between his father and the Catholic church.
with: By his own account. he grew up under the twin shadows of a stern father and the Catholic Church. ... At Saint-Michel, an international Catholic school in Fribourg. he soon ran into trouble ... withdrew him from school and apprenticed him to a Swiss hotelier
or: When becoming a hotel manager for 12 years he took frequent vacations to travel around the world, something he could only manage by falsifying his books - and getting into debt to the sum of $130,000 - and he became convicted for the second time of "repeated and sustained acts of embezzlement...fraud...forgery." This resulted in 12 months in prison
with: By the time prosecutors caught up with him—in Vienna, returning from another junket—he was in debt to the tune of $1 30,000, money a Swiss court ruled he obtained by falsifying hotel books. Von Drtniken was convicted of "repeated and sustained acts of embezzlement . . . fraud . . . forgery"—and served a year in prison
And this was after some revisions to the BLP <g>. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:51, 11 January 2012 (UTC) Collect (talk) 16:51, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Please have 2 indepth WP:RS sources for convictions: I think the text about "convictions" can be removed as unsourced "negative BLP" and try to find 2 WP:RS broad sources to substantiate convictions (with details). It could be argued that a 1-source basis for convictions does not meet WP:NOTABLE to be included, if no other source mentions those, especially for juvenile or perhaps expunged records, or even probation violation leading to convictions which do not prove "guilt" but rather tie convictions to having not met the probation tasks, even though the person might not have actually committed the alleged crime (the term "convicted" is often meaningless and merely negative, unless full sources can state convictions were by jury with solid corroborating evidence and upheld on appeal). Hence, there are reasons to simply remove the questionable, unsourced text, regardless of wp:copyvio concerns. -Wikid77 18:34, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm a bit concerned that this seems to be "goal-directed reasoning", in that two completely unrelated approaches are tried to get the same bit of information removed. Von Däniken's conviction was the subject of extensive discussion and criticism in the press. Just going over to de: Erich von Däniken for souces shows an article in Der Spiegel (online here). There is a long essay by Däniken himself, printed in a biography and available (as an arguably unreliable courtesy copy) here. The topic is also discussed in Jürgen Mai, Mr. Däniken, wie haben Sie das vollbracht? Die Erkundung des ganz irdischen Erich von Däniken, a 2003 biography in-print and currently available at Amazon.de. Regardless of the copyright claims this is an important and notable part of Däniken's biography that has been widely reported and commented. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:34, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
An interesting, but entirely erroneous, position. I was not trying to whitewash any BLP - I was trying to eliminate a copyright violation of the first water. IIRC, admins and editors have been banned from Wikipedia for making such violations, and even more so for insisting on using them after the violation has been pointed out. Are you sufggesting that since the information is "true" that therefore copyright does not exist? Or that copyright of "facts" does not exist even where the exact same wording is used? That would indeed be a novel claim on Wikipedia, but one which, wee it made in public, would absolutely ensure the passage of SOPA. Is that the goal? Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:03, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I have made no such claim at all. I pointed out that the argument "the text may be a copyright violation, therefore the claim should be removed" is dubious. The best way to handle a copyright violation is to rewrite the text so as to remove the copyright violation. Removing content is only a poor second-best solution. The number of sources has no impact on our principal ability to write a text that does not violate copyright, although following a single source may make it harder in practice for inexperienced writers to avoid too-close paraphrase. I strongly disagree with Wikid77 when he writes "Hence, there are reasons to simply remove the questionable, unsourced text, regardless of wp:copyvio concerns" (emphasis mine), which I read to refer to the concrete case of von Däniken's conviction. In fact, I disagree doubly (or maybe half?). Of course, unsourced negative text needs to be removed. But in this concrete case, von Däniken's conviction is not unsourced. It is sourced, and, since it was, in fact, a fairly major media event, it's trivially easy to find additional sources. And no, there is no copyright for facts. Indeed, if there is only one or a very small number of obvious ways of expressing certain facts, then there is not even copyright in the expression. Only the result of a non-trivial creative act is protected by copyright. Note that there is a significant difference between fiction and non-fiction - for fiction, there is creative input even in characters, events, and narrative structure. For non-fiction, copyright only covers the creative aspects of expressing the facts. Of course, in the concrete case, the original author for Playboy has made a number of creative choices ("grew up under the twin shadows of a stern father and the Catholic Church"...), and the text is protected by copyright. But that does not affect the underlying facts.--Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:49, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Um -- IOW you assert that the fact that a major copyright violation occurred is dissolved by rewording? I would note that the number of lengthy precise quotes goes beyong "simple statement of fact" here. An interesting concept not findable in any law books, I fear. Jimbo -- is blatant copyright violation solved by simple rewording while still using the same single source for the entire section? I think this is a proper question to pose. Collect (talk) 15:55, 12 January 2012 (UTC) BTW, I wonder if Playboy would consider their copyrights to be useless as they are not valid as they are trivial, non-creative articles? Do you think this would be a good argument to make under SOPA? Collect (talk) 15:59, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I don't use bold face enough, but where in "Of course, in the concrete case, the original author for Playboy has made a number of creative choices ("grew up under the twin shadows of a stern father and the Catholic Church"...), and the text is protected by copyright" do you find the claim that the source is a "trivial, non-creative article" with "useless copyrights" (whatever that may be)? English is not my native language, but I tried to express the opposite, and I don't think I misused any double negations there... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:42, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Trying to get a handle on this. Is it your position that since a copyvio has occurred, the article now is permanently disqualified from being used as a source on Wikipedia? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:09, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I have and reread what I have written, and it is not what you aver I wrote. I have iterated that using a second reliable source should be done when an entire section is a copyvio of a single source, and that claims that "facts can not be copyrighted" or the like is insufficient when such a wholesale violation occurs. I asked the editors to add proper sourcing for claims. And if the only source is the one whose copyright some seem to think is worthless then yes - that material can not be used en masse. And I suspect the legal folks at WMF would tend to say that flouting copyright law is a sure way to get SOPA passed, indeed. I would note the prior statements by WMF and Jimbo that Wikipedia can not be seen to ignore copyright law. Can we ignore the law? Sure. Is it wise? I think not. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:27, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
SBHB asked you a simple question. You failed to respond. I ask it again "Is it your position that since a copyvio has occurred, the article now is permanently disqualified from being used as a source on Wikipedia?" If that is not your position, what exactly is wrong with using the previously copyvioed source as a source if the copyvio is removed? Hipocrite (talk) 16:37, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I answered the question posed. In fact Inoted that additional sources would be great. In fact I noted I so asked the other editors there. Is that clear once and for all? I surely hope so -- answering claims that I said what I did not say is tiresome indeed.

I have iterated that using a second reliable source should be done when an entire section is a copyvio of a single source, and that claims that "facts can not be copyrighted" or the like is insufficient when such a wholesale violation occurs. Collect (talk) 22:39, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Er, well, no, you haven't answered the question posed. The question had nothing to do with the need for a second source or other issues that you have mentioned in your responses. It's a simple question that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no": Do you think the copyvio means that this source now is permanently disqualified for use? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:12, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
You still haven't answered the question. And you are unclear. What do you mean by "should"? Is this your own opinion on best practices? Do you think it's Wikipedia policy? Do you think it should be Wikipedia policy? Do you think it's required by copyright law? The last option is certainly wrong. Wether person X does or does not violate someones copyright has absolutely no bearing on the ability of person Y to write a perfectly legal text using exactly the same source. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:48, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Let's wait for Legal, shall we? I had thought that I was absolutely crystal clear, but apparently you do not understand what I thought was crystal clear. So let's just wait for the result of WMF discussions, shall we? Collect (talk) 22:53, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Why are you asking Jimbo this stuff Collect, and why do you think the WMF legal team needs to get involved? As I explained 23 hours ago at the AN/I thread you opened, tag the article for copyright concerns and list it at the copyright problems noticeboard. That is where the community handles copyvio concerns, and the people there are quite good at it (including the single best editor on this wiki). Franamax (talk) 00:54, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
You do not see any relevance to SOPA in regard to copyright violations? Strange - I thought a great deal of the discussion on the page was directly or indirectly related thereto. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
"Single best editor on this wiki". Not me, then <g> Kudos, though, to User:Moonriddengirl, whom I suspect is the recipient of your accolade - top lady! - Sitush (talk) 01:09, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes. :) Although by day she is mild-mannered reporter Clark Kent at the Daily Planet, and Jimbo should see that she gets a raise in pay. :) Franamax (talk) 01:24, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Where is $50m a year to come from?

Jimmmy, the end of the year's fundraiser has prompted me to send a belated response to your email asking for $50 to help keep advertising out of Wikipedia. We certainly need to do that - the day Wikipedia accepts ads is the day I leave - but I did not donate. Partly this is because I already give a good deal of time, but more seriously it is because although your appeal asks for money "to protect and sustain Wikipedia" and the fundraising appeals generally stress "keeping Wikipedia on the web", I think they are deceptive. They do not mention the reason why so much more money is needed each year: the ballooning growth of the Wikimedia Foundation's paid staff.

2007/8 2008/9 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
WMF staff 15 34  ? 80 136 154 178 188

Numbers are from the annual reports and the Strategic Plan. They may not be exactly comparable, year to year, but the trend is clear. Over the same period, annual expenditure is planned to rise from $3.5m, through $18m for 2010/11, to $51m. These numbers astonished me when I found them, and I think they would surprise most Wikipedians. They would even surprise Professor Parkinson.

The growth of the paid staff is conservative and in line with the growth of capacity to get things done. Review the strategic plan (developed publicly with significant input from hundreds of people) and the staffing plans - I think that they are (a) reasonable and (b) can be criticized by reasonable people. That is, we will not all agree on all priorities. Some people, for example, may think we don't need to update the interface to attract a more diverse contributor community. Some people, for example, may think that programs in the developing world to fuel growth there are impossible and not worth even experimenting with. Some people, for example, may think that supporting the growth of chapters and the growth of GLAM partnerships is unnecessary. My own view is that all of those are incredibly valuable and if we can get the money to do them, we should do them. But I also think that each of these things has to be analyzed from the perspective of metrics: is it working, what is it accomplishing, and is it cost effective?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:04, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Leaving aside the question of whether all this paid activity actually helps to build the encyclopedia, have you, have the WMF, thought how they are going to raise $50m a year? I fear that either we shall be living with more or less permanent fundraising banners (and they are already causing some critical comment) or, worse, by 2015 we may find we have ads after all, because the Foundation's growth plans have outrun the willingness of readers to pay for them. JohnCD (talk) 12:30, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

The length of the fundraiser has decreased over time, not increased. I remain firmly opposed to ads, as does the entire board unanimously, so there's no chance of ads in 2015 that's for sure.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:04, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I think we also need to keep something in perspective here. Wikipedia is one of the top 5 websites in the world but is maintained by currently less than 150 people. Far less than the armies of employees at Google, Yahoo, Facebook and the like. I don't personally have a problem with the growth of the employees as long as we re getting a return of investment. Personally, I would like to see someone planted at several Government locations like the Smithsonian, Library of Congress and National archives to help facilitate working with them (getting info from them, cleaning up and expanding articles about them, establishing WikiProjects and additional editor/readership, setup QRpedia, etc.). The US government has a massive amount of info available but it does us much less good if we can't get to it. There are a pile of other nice to haves too. Some we can get done through the customary volunteer support and others need to be full time jobs; and we can't do a lot of them if we don't have people advocating on our behalf. --Kumioko (talk) 17:22, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

RfC: What to do with respect to the copyright of countries with which the US does not have copyright relations?

A few weeks back I'd mentioned there had been some discussing involving the use of images from countries with which the US does not have copyright relations and that this 2005 mailing list post of yours was part of the discussion. I have now started a RfC on the issue here at which you e-mail is again mentioned. Dpmuk (talk) 16:55, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

This may sound like a bad opinion but, if the US doesn't have copyright relations with that country, then that shouldn't be a problem. But I'm not a lawyer and thats just my opinion. --Kumioko (talk) 17:24, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
The legal side of it, I believe, pretty much agreed on - the images are PD in the US. The issue is whether wikipedia should respect the other country's copyright even though, legally, we don't have to. Jimbo's e-mail suggests we should, and is linked at WP:C, but it seems out of keeping with now current practice hence the RfC. Dpmuk (talk) 17:30, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I do think that if there is a corresponding Wikipedia for that country then the appropriate Copyright laws for that country would apply to that pedia. I think from a legal standpoint that could be argued based on the location of the servers and the foundations Hq's but I still think it should be avoided. I do think that it would be "reasonable" to apply US equivalent laws in lieu but I don't think its required. --Kumioko (talk) 19:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure your view would be welcome at the RfC. Dpmuk (talk) 01:09, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Abusive sysops

Wikipedia:Appeals to Jimbo. JFYI. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:05, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I heartily recommend a visit to User talk:Trongphu and see just how abusive we admins have been </sarcasm>. However, let me highlight a few items:
  1. when you signed up, you agreed to certain community-expected types of itneractions
  2. when anybody fails to follow them, they all get the same treatment
  3. not all admins on en.Wikipedia are white American, and many of us therefore take the "racism" card pretty seriously
When one gets blocked for failing to follow the basic level of decorum, don't blame others for inflicting a different view on you: you agreed to them, and they're the same across the board (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 14:24, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

CULTURE OF THE BEATLES UNDER THREAT

Mensch

MenschBarnstar.png The Mensch's Barnstar
I love you, and you obviously deserve this barnstar. Von Restorff (talk) 15:20, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo plans to black out wikipedia over sopa

  • Just a couple minutes ago I saw a talking head on CNN say that Jimbo plans to black out wikipedia (similar to what reddit did) in protest of SOPA. Dunno if the talking head got that quote right. –OneLeafKnowsAutumn (talk) 04:48, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Well, the community is the one that voted for it, but yes. And Reddit hasn't done it yet, they're doing it on the 18th and we're hoping to have everything ready to do so at the same time. See WP:SOPA for more info. SilverserenC 05:41, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
A message should be posted to the entire community, alerting them to the proposal, for something as important as this. As matters stand the debate is limited to editors who feel most passionately about the bill. — ThePowerofX 10:21, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
We voted for what? Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 10:42, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
To black out the site for a period of a day (though we might lessen it to 12 hours to match Reddit). The site will, presumably from what I can make out from the discussions, be replaced with a message about SOPA. There are also strong rumors that Google, Facebook, and Twitter will be doing the same. SilverserenC 11:39, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
  • In similar news, have you guys and gals seen Wikipedia Blackout? Looks like there's quite a bit of internet support outside of our community as well. Not that that's all that surprising. SilverserenC 05:41, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm getting quite a pile of email and twitter messages. Interestingly some of the email is angry in tone with me, as if I need to be hollered at to stop SOPA. :) But yes, I am seeing quite a bit of internet support outside of our community. I think people expect us to stand up for freedom on the Internet. I hope we always do!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:41, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I imagine someone is preparing a plan B in case this legislation is implemented? http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-57329001-281/how-sopa-would-affect-you-faq/ - Right now wikipedia doesn't support online piracy, and actions take down on any copyright violations at first opportunity, and has a stronger position on non free use that is required in the US. As I have read any of the severe possible affects are not directed as such responsible organizations as wikipedia. As a charity with a focus on an educational mission we should consider also taking a reactionary self protection position rather than an forefront activist one. Youreallycan 16:13, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
"There are also strong rumors that Google, Facebook, and Twitter will be doing the same. - Silverseren" - I am not finding that in my searches, has anyone got any reliable links where these companies are discussing this? Youreallycan 19:10, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Here's an older source, before Reddit's announcement. More recent things include stuff like this and this. SilverserenC 20:36, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the links - Those look more promotional than actual real comments from the companies, you might be right but only time will tell. Youreallycan 20:42, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Drafting an RfC proposal for a Jan 18th SOPA protest

cross posted at WP:SOPA

I'd like to try and very quickly put together a clear, concise RfC proposal, that could run in the next few days. There is little time for ideas to be refined, so the proposal has to be simple, minimally disagreeable, easy to implement quickly, and effective. U.S. tech experts are testifying to congress next week and numerous large websites including Reddit are going to be totally blacked out. Instituting a full blackout on Jan 18th would cause too much uproar, but I think we should do something, and it should be noticeable. Here's the sketch of what I think that should look like.

Proposal outline:

  • Jan 18th
  • 9am - 9pm Eastern Standard Time (New York)
  • Full page click-through information page (no editing lock-out or blackout)
  • Geotargeted for U.S. readers
  • Providing general info about the bill and congressional contact info

What we need for this to happen:

  • Minimal consensus on the above points
  • Detailed language for the RfC
  • Listing at WP:CENT and a site-wide central notice banner

Is this a viable outline? Who's interested in helping put an RfC together in the next 24-48 hours? Ocaasi t | c 10:51, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Seems very viable and workable to me. Could someone please make the timezones for other countries available? I am happy to support the anti-SOPA drive from here in the UK anyway I can doktorb wordsdeeds 10:59, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Looks good. But I wouldn't geotarget it. This is an international community, and the law would create international problems. It's simpler, more consitent, and has higher impact to simply do it world-wide. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 12:58, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
My main hesitation about making it worldwide is that people in other countries really can't do anything about it. While we may (or may not!) wish that everyone in the world had the right to vote for US politicians, they don't. Only US Citizens can vote, and therefore it is generally the case that getting people to phone their representatives from the US is the most effective thing that we can do. Raising global awareness of the issue is also important but it is unclear to me that there would be significantly more press coverage if this is global. It's going to be in just about every newspaper in the world already. If it goes more or less unnoticed in, say, Bulgaria, then - again - that doesn't seem to have any practical impact on the US Congress.
The goal here is not just to make a big noise, but to make a big noise that makes a difference.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:39, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
The international audience may not have too much indirect influence on US lawmakers, but I think a global event would create more buzz, and it would highlight the importance of Wikipedia for all mankind (well, yes, that's a bit bombastic, but maybe it suits the occasion). Many well-connected decision makers essentially already live on the planet, not in any one country. I'm neither well-connected nor a decision maker (to any significant degree), but even I have lived in the US, on Jamaica, and in four European countries. I have worked on projects or visited conferences in 20 more countries between Latvia and Australia. I read the NYT, the IHT and the Guardian more often than the FAZ or the Spiegel. I'm a member of the EFF, not of the Chaos Computer Club. Restricting the protest just to the US seems parochial to me, and, in my perception, it makes the protest appear to be less based on universal principles like free exchange of knowledge, and more based on internal US politics. That said, I support either option, but I prefer a worldwide blackout. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:43, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I iterate my position that making noise is fun - but rarely accomplishes much with governments. Identify the issues, talk with the committee staffers and Congressmen, and work from there (if we have not wasted too much time on generating heat and noise instead of action), Collect (talk) 14:56, 13 January 2012 (UTC)


I always fondly remember those meetings with staffers by Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King that brought the US the civil rights legislation. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:32, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Civil rights legislation was written by working within Congress, just like all other major legislation. Those backing SOPA have done the same - it is up to those seeing problems to also recognize that this is how legislation is actually formed. Parks and King brought issues to the public forefront, but it is those little staffers in the offices who write the laws. Collect (talk) 15:58, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
The question is not how laws are written, but why. In the end, the document probably comes out of a laser printer. Does that mean we should talk to Hewlett Packard? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:16, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Nope - though I appreciate that you think a joke manages to derail a valid issue. Laws are not written by the laserjet - they are written by human beings who generally, actually, try to do the right thing when someone makes a reasoned appoach to them. Playing Becket, though, does not generally work. If you do not know this, I suggest you ask your nearest state legislator in your tyown, and I rather think they will substantiate my point. Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:36, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that is a hopelessly naive view. Laws are usually compromises between different interest groups. Legislators may even honestly try to do "the right thing". But they need to know what is important to their constituency. Few congresspeople will support or oppose a law just because it's a good idea. There are too many good ideas in life to follow them all. Legislators will press issues that they feel matter to their voters and other supporters - whether out of a feeling of duty or because they want to optimize their chances of re-election may come down to the difference between an optimistic or cynical world view, but is ultimately irrelevant to the argument. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:13, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Not "hopelessly naive" bu "realistic from direct knowledge". Cheers. And I again urge you to talk with an actual legislator. Collect (talk) 20:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Worldwide action would be great, but this proposal is not the stuff of SOPA-opponents' dreams; it is what can realistically pass a 2-day RfC starting sometime before Monday. I don't think a global protest is nearly as likely to gain consensus, although I would personally prefer it. Ocaasi t | c 15:01, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Unaware that you were working on this, Ocaasi, the Wikimedia Foundation's Philippe Beaudette already kind of launched one! It's at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Action, as announced at the bottom of the page. Since the WMF might need to get some systems together to help support any action the community may choose to take. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 17:59, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Community consultation on SOPA act

In order to allow time for the WMF to technologically support any action taken regarding WP:SOPA, we need to be able to begin preparing in advance. For that reason, we are launching a discussion to try to determine what consensus may have developed for community response. Please weigh in on the consultation page, at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Action. Thank you. Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation (talk) 17:43, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Brilliant Idea Barnstar Hires.png The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
This is for making Wikipedia. Scientific Alan (talk) 18:30, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

IPv6

At WP:VPT, there are some concerns with problems possibly arising from the deployment of IPv6 on Wikimedia wikis. Your or a staff member's comment is welcome at VPT or User talk:Jasper Deng/IPv6.Jasper Deng (talk) 06:18, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Your input is needed on the SOPA initiative

Hi Jimbo Wales,

You are receiving this message either because you expressed an opinion about the proposed SOPA blackout before full blackout and soft blackout were adequately differentiated, or because you expressed general support without specifying a preference. Please ensure that your voice is heard by clarifying your position accordingly.

Thank you.

Message delivered as per request on ANI. -- The Helpful Bot 16:33, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

Pennants

Activism at Wikipedia?

Is there too much activism in some areas at Wikipedia? In the article The Wonderful World of Wikipedia article at Watts Up With That?, there seems to be pointing out some strange twisting of the reality to suit some political goals. Is the project under siege from some coordinated activists? Just look at the Climategate article that stil has a name that no one else uses and has been actively been buried down by deleting it from navigation templates under possible suspicious reasons (Wikipedia:Templates_for_discussion/Log/2010_March_3#Template:Global_warming_controversy). What can be done to change what looks like unhappy circumstances? Nsaa (talk) 11:14, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

The question makes no sense. Wikipedia IS full of activism, and I (and surely many others) have stopped contributing when the most obvious changes have been met with a barrage of activism by people with much more time in their hands. So the 'pedia has become the realm of the unhinged and a collection of POVs no matter what fantasy world the Big Editors reside. All controversial topics on this site contain zero information as far as I am concerned.mmorabito67 (talk) 10:07, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Not much there. The author points out a sentence in an article in December, which no longer reads that way. --SPhilbrick(Talk) 12:03, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
The problems there (including the gist of the disputed claim) and in other articles remain - as any neutral observer may verify, and this is true in a large number of areas on Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 13:08, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Sphilbrick, I'm not so quick to dismiss this one. How long was the sentence wrong? Is the description of people defending inclusion of a blatant falsehood accurate? This looks to me like a great example of what is wrong with "verifiability, not truth" - to say that an academic journal published an article despite all 4 reviewers recommending rejection is obviously an error, that isn't how the academic review process works at all. That's true even if a newspaper article says otherwise. And it seems in this case there were other sources that were ignored, all for the purpose of POV pushing. I should be clear on something, although I shouldn't have to be clear on it: I have little sympathy for climate-change skeptics in the political press who seem to be not up to speed on the scientific research at all, sometimes exhibiting what I can only call willful blindness. At the same time, nothing can justify inserting falsehoods into Wikipedia under flimsy policy rationales.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:02, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, there's no evidence that Pearce's statement in two newspaper articles and his book is a falsehood. The academic journal published the article on the say-so of one politically motivated editor, as shown in Soon and Baliunas controversy#Subsequent resignations five out of 10 editors resigned over the flawed editorial process, and the publisher told the New York Times that "I have not stood behind the paper by Soon and Baliunas. Indeed: the reviewers failed to detect methodological flaws." Not the usual academic process. All we have here is hearsay on a "skeptic" blog alleging that Pearce gave a verbal retraction of his statements. . . dave souza, talk 18:14, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, A quick glance at the S&B article's talk page from today will show that Dave Souza has been deliberately editing the page to retain false information, and using Wikipedia's verifiability rule as a cover. He continued to do this even after his source (Pearce) issued a retraction this morning, saying that since Pearce's retraction has not been published in any reliable source, the article must continue to reflect the previous incorrect sources. I don't think that WUWT article was fair, and I don't think that we need some sort of policy change (existing Wikipedia policies are sufficient to argue for the removal of the questionable material). But the basic accusation of POV editing against this particular editor (who just called me a meat puppet on your talk page) is accurate. Jsolinsky (talk) 20:46, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I think you would be correct to have concerns about how Wikipedia portrays climate science, but this issue doesn't seem to be the best way to make the case. The S&B article did have a statement from Pearce, but on 22 December, long before the WUWT piece was published, a caveat was added 'this view is disputed by an editor of the journal who states that the paper had "apparently gone to four reviewers none of whom had recommended rejection'. Not exactly a FAC, but a cited claim and a cited counterbalance. Surely there are bigger issues than this. I'd have more sympathy if the issue were still in existence at the time the WUWT article were published, but it reads like someone had a beef, and wasn't interested in the facts. Maybe I'm biased by the view that a writer who doesn't know the difference between "complement" and "compliment" (since corrected) isn't starting off on the right foot.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 21:13, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, SPhilbrick, well put. Would just note that the accusation by Jsolinsky is inaccurate and unfair, as can be readily seen from a look at the article edit history and this edit in particular. . . . dave souza, talk 21:27, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
@SPhilbrick, I think that the article's talk page speaks for itself as to whether or not POV injection is occurring there. Also, the issue WAS still present in the article as of my edit this morning (which did not occur until the WUWT article had propagated to websites that I actually read). Jsolinsky (talk) 23:13, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Souza, mentioned in the article, has it wrong. His "multiple sources" are really one source, a journalist who printed the error in multiple spots, and who retracted the error to two people on two separate blogs. One of the editors he mentions that resigned, clearly said on her university website that none of the reviewers recommended rejection.

This is one of the sources that Souza rejects.

Even if one believes that the review process was incorrect it does not justify forcing a known error into the article in order to libel someone. Souza himself knows this statement is in error since he states above that "the reviewers failed to detect methodological flaws."

If the reviewers failed to detect those flaws then why did all of them recommend against publication like he claims?

I recommend that Souza not be allowed to author any articles related to climate change in light of his dedication to publishing known and libelous lies. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.125.28.149 (talk) 19:54, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi 97.125.28.149, you're correct only in stating that the allegations about Pearce have now appeared in two blogs, both "climate skeptic" blogs with a poor reputation for fact checking and accuracy. We have a significant problem if properly published sources are to be overridden on the whim of activist fringe blogs. Also note that I'm quoting the publisher Kinne who said that "the reviewers failed to detect methodological flaws", that's not my own statement. If Pearce has indeed agreed with these blogs that his publications are incorrect, then he should get amendments published to The Guardian's online articles which continue to make the statements you allege are "libelous lies". That publisher is good at showing amendments to articles, and would be quick to do so if libel were involved.. dave souza, talk 20:39, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
You admit that the publisher says the "reviewers failed to detect methodological flaws." So if they didn't detect the supposed flaws then why did they recommend against publication as you claim? Your insistence on keeping this in the article and that other people must jump through your constant hoops clearly has nothing to do with the factual accuracy of the article. Your claim that the blogs are "fringe" is simply an excuse when many other blogs used in the climate change articles. WUWT is one of the top science blogs on the net. Shouldn't denigrating the WUWT as an "activist fringe" blog automatically disqualify Souza from being considered impartial? WUWT was awarded the 2011 Best Science Blog on the web and is QUITE mainstream. If Souza genuinely thinks WUWT is fringe then either Souza has never read WUWT (and is thus unqualified to edit climate change articles) or Souza has read it (and is too biased to edit climate change articles). Either way, he certainly is stubborn when he doesn't want to admit he's wrong. Your assertion that two separate people would put their name on articles, opening themselves up to legal action, in order to lie about what someone else said is beyond ridiculous. FYI, I do indeed consider it to be libel against the editor to claim that he pushed for publication despite the wishes of every single reviewer of the paper. I reiterate that you are not impartial enough, by any measure, to be editing these articles. Anyone having to deal with such stubbornness would surely be driven away. Or is that the point? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 97.125.28.149 (talk) 20:56, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Woah. Hold on a minute here. Jimbo, isn't there a rule about personal attacks? Souza makes a bald-faced slander: "...the allegations about Pearce have now appeared in two blogs, both 'climate skeptic' blogs with a poor reputation for fact checking and accuracy." I'd challenge him top back that up about any posts at WUWT or CA. Anthony Watts didn't get BEST SCIENCE BLOG OF 2011 being a loosey-goosey poster. And Steve McIntyre at CA is even more fastidious. What they're commenters post is neither her nor there. C'mon, Dave, put up or shut up. And how about a retraction of that lie? Or show your evidence for "poor reputation for fact checking and accuracy." --SteveGinIL (talk) 21:15, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
WUWT? won 'Best Science Blog' the same way his readers freeped this Scientific American poll [11] "...the big problem was that the poll was skewed by visitors who clicked over from the well-known climate denier site, Watts Up With That?". — ThePowerofX 21:58, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, first of all, Souza ducks the question, and ThePowerofX insults the bloggers, also without pointing out where the fact-checking and accuracy of posters on those web sites has fallen short. Anybody can make empty allegations. It takes a real gentleman to insult people with impunity here, in violation of the rules.
Jimbo, I am asking that you at least chastise these people - Souza and ThePowerofX, for their behavioral violations here. Having rules that you don't apply - what's with that? "Denier site" (of course calling up images of Holocaust deniers) - are we supposed to just sit here and take it? And "blogs with a poor reputation for fact checking and accuracy" - we request that you demand this name-calling stop. Just because the people - including a good number of scientists (climatologists, meteorologists, physicists, statisticians, etc.) don't agree with the preferred science hypothesis Souza and The PowerofX side with, does that mean they get top take free shots at us, any time they want to? A big reason that this discussion is civil is because we who don't accept that the global warming science is convincing don't get as personal as those two. So what, if we don't agree with them. Show me a science where everyone agrees on the science being researched. Why does that make it okay to insult us personally because we aren't on their side in this disagreement?SteveGinIL (talk) 06:22, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Sadly, the active editor pool and wiki policies are not strong enough to create and defend neutral articles in disputed areas. All experienced wiki editors know that. Climate change, all nationalistic articles, all political biographies, religious articles, fringe theories and medicine and biographies of anyone involved in such, sexuality articles, and a few others topic fields that I have not listed, all of these battlefield type articles should come with an edit template disclaimer that says, Wikipedia apologizes for any inaccuracies and biases contained within this article and as there is a strong likelihood of opinionated editing in this sector Wikipedia does not recommend that readers use the article for neutral research. - The recent focus on demeaning the handful of people that create articles for a small charge is dwarfed by the bias of unpaid partisan editors in these sectors and the weakness of current wikipedia polices and the difficulty experienced by NPOV contributors in attempting to implement them. Youreallycan (talk) 12:24, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
<ec> How entertaining, a fringe blog seems to be trying to recruit meatpuppets to change articles to support their own version of reality. The blog article refers to a version of Soon and Baliunas controversy at the start of December 2011, and complains that we didn't just accept their November blog commentary about a hacked email. It fails to notice that we looked at the various sources and issues, and after discussion 2meters made this revision on 22 December to meet the concerns. That's the current version, hope improvements can be made.
The blog wrongly claims that the disputed text is only sourced to this article by Fred Pearce, and says that he has told them privately he was "almost certainly wrong". Odd that he repeated a revised version of the statement in this article which was open to comment and revision (there were no objections to the statement) and then rewrote it more strongly in his book, which we now cite. Among the extensive discussion on this issue, on 10 December an editor said they'd written to Pearce asking for clarification, this was welcomed with the provision that Pearce will have to publish any retraction in a reliable source such as his own blog: we can't use verbal comments reported in an extremely dubious third party blog which includes in its article BLP violating assertions about a reputable scientist.
Perhaps Nsaa would like to use the article talk page to propose improvements based on reliable sources? . . dave souza, talk 12:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps we should create a firewall and split the project. with a calm tranquil editing environment with stable undisputed articles and sectors, and all the battlefield articles on the other side of the firewall, with that sector clearly marked as the accuracy and neutrality of the articles included in this sector is disputed. - Youreallycan (talk) 12:35, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
You seem to be proposing a pov fork where alternate realities based on fringe blogs are given equal weight? Doesn't Conservapedia already meet that need? Or perhaps you're proposing that Wikipedia should only deal with undisputed issues. That'll make a very small 'pedia. . . dave souza, talk 12:42, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Not a pov fork, a firewall. Many contributors will benefit from the new tranquil editing environment that would be created. Wikipedia can and should deal with all topics, but all experienced editors know of the biases in these sectors. Some users support it because they support the biases. Are you a contributor to any of these battlefield sectors Dave, do you have strong real world opinions about any such topics? Youreallycan (talk) 12:45, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
@ Youreallycan. don't know what you mean by a firewall. My edits have covered a number of topics over the years, and my strong view is that WP:V and WP:WEIGHT are essential. You seem to have contributed to some battlefield areas since you began editing on 26 November 2011, sorry you feel the way you do, but in the longer run our policies don't seem to require the firewall you're suggesting. . dave souza, talk 12:58, 10 January 2012 (UTC) (though as formerly User:Off2riorob you've had plenty of experience, didn't notice that link at first) . . dave souza, talk 13:04, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
A firewall - a separator - two rooms in the same house, one room with stable articles not attracting battlefield disputes. That room in the house would have "stable status" - awarded on request to articles and if given the article is moved to that room. So creating a room in the house without rudeness or edit warring. Users if they wanted could log in only to that room. The other sector, the disputed, the biased, the opinionated articles would all sit in the other room. The objective would be to get the article out of that room to the stable non battlefield room. The only way to do this in some sectors would be to create a truly balanced article that had fair coverage of all positions so as all partisans could be satisfied with it, rather than what some sectors do now which is have to constantly defend the bias in an article through constant blocking of objectors, article protection and tag team edit warring and sometimes just pure weight of numbers. Youreallycan (talk) 13:42, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I remain of the opinion that certain areas remain magnets for advocacy, and that such articles are intrinsically unamenabe to NPOV due to such magnetism. The WP articles mentioned did, and do, fall into this category as any neutral observer may verify. WP:Advocacy articles speculates on how Wikipedia may eventually have to deal with them. Collect (talk) 13:08, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi Collect, your essay promotes a false equivalence between showing mainstream science and advocacy of fringe views. Policies already deal with these issues, your idea of "neutral" doesn't seem to comply with WP:NPOV. . . dave souza, talk 13:31, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
I fear you did not comprehend the nature of the essay. It most certainly does not promote "fringe views." As for NPOV, it states as one of the possible cources for Wikipedia that pairs of articles (one for each side) might co-exist, thus furnishing the project with NPOV overall while admitting that individual articles representing both sides of an issue might individually (as one of the possible courses for Wikipedia to take) present individual advocacy POVs, which is where Wikipedia is now without making that decision! Cheers - and please note that what you "know" about the essay is quite sincerely wrong. Collect (talk) 14:18, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
See WP:POVFORK. . . dave souza, talk 14:34, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
See WP:POVFUNNEL. -Wikid77 22:57, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
See the essay which states specifically:
The articles which are the subject here are those for which placement of a temporary NPOV tag is substantially insufficient to alert users of Wikipedia that there are major issues concerning the content of an article.
IOW, the essay explicitly sets forth the category of articles covered, and then lists some of the possibile ways for Wikipedia to deal with the problem. No case for an accusation that I back "fringe views" or the like whatsoever. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:53, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It's a little difficult not to read the essay in that way, Collect. Under Proposed or possible courses of action, you list four options. The first choice is the status quo, which you implicitly dismiss as unsatisfactory (else, why write the essay at all?). The second and third choices are to add essentially-permanent warning signs to articles with advocacy or neutrality issues and then wash our hands of the matter—we might as well give up, because writing these articles from a NPOV is just too hard, and our time is better spent elsewhere. The fourth choice you offer is to allow the creation of explicit POV forks. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:22, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It is an essay. Feel free to add additional possible courses - I thought the four choices pretty much covered the field, but clearly you have other possible courses of action on what appear to be quite intractable areas - so please add the other possible courses. As for treating the status quo as "unsatisfactory" - I think that has been pretty well established, don't you? Collect (talk) 15:27, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It is your essay. If you didn't want to suggest those courses of action, you didn't have to. Your statement of the problem and the emphasis of the proposed solutions focuses on reducing the load on Wikipedia's dispute resolution processes—which I think rather misses the point. The status quo is better than any of the options which you offered, from the standpoint of producing an encyclopedia. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:50, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Nope - it is in projectspace, and has others who have edited it. Feel free to add other possible courses. Collect (talk) 16:04, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
That doesn't change the fact that for two years (and until half an hour ago, with the addition of Off2riorob/Youreallycan's poorly-explained 'firewall' proposal) virtually all of the essay content and all of the solutions suggested were written by you. It is 'your' essay in the sense that you wrote pretty much the entire thing. Should I take your demurral here to mean that you don't actually endorse the statement of the problem or any of the proposed solutions that you drafted? If not, which parts of what you wrote don't you agree with? Which solutions do you think are a good idea? If you're not interested in advocating for the essay that you wrote, I'm not sure why anyone else should be. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:16, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
And again - I never asserted any "ownership" of it at all -- and virtually all essays actually do start off by being "written" by one person, but the fact is that several editors were involved in the initial concept and discussions leading to the essay, just as was true on other essays like WP:PIECE etc. And since the essay does not say one solution is ideal, I fail to see how you can view it as anything but what it is - noting a real and generally acknowledged problem on Wikipedia, and mentioning several possible courses of action. "It is what it is" seems a popular term now - and applies here. Collect (talk) 16:29, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
@TenOfAllTrades - you call my thoughts and suggestions, "Off2riorob/Youreallycan's poorly-explained 'firewall' proposal" - You are more than welcome/invited to input, and bounce ideas to resolve this "generally acknowledged problem" by joining a discussion on the talkpage of Collect's essay about it. My suggestion was a starting point, a primary idea in need of development, not a fully defined proposal. Or just ask me any questions you have about it here. Youreallycan (talk) 18:36, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Articles as alternative explanations: In many cases, some topics are so complicated that they require whole articles to properly explain the concepts, even without elaborating all of the opposing views, which would further complicate the explanation. Not all articles need to be based on rare fringe theories, but could simply explain issues from alternate viewpoints. Some examples:
  • "Climate change explained by Global Warming" - focused on long-term warming.
  • "Climate change explained by sunspot cycles" - focused on long cycles of sunspot activity.
  • "Subatomic reactions in quantum theory" - focused on "Quantum theory" notions.
  • "Subatomic reactions in string theory" - focused on "String theory" notions.
  • "City flooding predicted by differential equations" - rate of flow calculated by Differential equations
  • "City flooding predicted by numerical integration" - rate of flow calculated by numerical integration
  • "Education levels in capitalist cultures" - focused on schools in modified capitalism
  • "Education levels in socialist cultures" - focused on schools under socialism.

By the very nature of their complex topics, the articles are separated to keep each from being a massive dissertation on the whole subject. In a sense, the articles could be considered as small chapters in a book which tried to give a thorough introduction to each major aspect. Each article represents a WP:Content fork of a whole subject, and each could link to related articles at many places. -Wikid77 22:57, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

  • This reminds me of an almost identical situation I was involved in with more or less the same editors before I finally burnt out while trying to correct the bias in a related page "some contrarians". Alex Harvey (talk) 03:41, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Where in the dispute resolution mechanisms and ways to propose policy changes does it say "if someone disagrees with you, the first thing you should do is go running to Mommy Jimbo"? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:19, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Right here (see #6). MastCell Talk 19:19, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

[Guess regarding identity of a Wikipedia user redacted]

William M. Connolly involvement? In the comments section of the WUWT article WMC has becoem quite involved defending the actions of souza. As we know WMC is topic banned from AGW related topics. However, in the comments section he has been asked repeatedly if he has been coordinating with Souza, Shulz etc. etc. off-sight which he has a record of doing even before his topic ban. So far William has refused to give a straight answer to the question instead trying to argue that such coordination would not be a violation of Wikis rules. I take Connelly's refusal to answer the question as well as his instance that such offsite coordination would not be a violation of wikis rules as strong evidence that there is in fact such off-site coordination going on between Connelly and other editors and that Connelly still exerts a great amount of direct control over AGW threads with Souza and others acting as his proxy.74.124.124.66 (talk) 21:34, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Omnibus.
As we all know, WMC is not topic banned from AGW related topic. Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus and so on... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:04, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Someone above was asking for evidence that WUWT is unreliable: the latest comment by 74.124.124.66 shows that rather splendidly. As a matter of interest, Fred Pearce and the Guardian have yet to respond to my suggestion to them that if the published statement is now withdrawn by Pearce, the newspaper should amend its online articles and indicate that they've done that, in their usual manner. So far no action, it will be interesting to see if Pearce responds. These allegations of "libel" look very overblown. . dave souza, talk 22:41, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
But Stephan, you've just proved that we *are* colluding. Meanwhile, the WUWT comment thread [12] is well worth reading. I've been having fun tweaking them trying to explain wikipedia to them. But it is hard; they don't much like WP:V and feel that wiki not allowing their fringe science in is censorship William M. Connolley (talk) 22:50, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Blatant violation of Rule 5. For every sin you must be punished. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:12, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Check your sekrit cabal rule book. You should know full well that it is for every good deed that you will be punished William M. Connolley (talk) 09:56, 14 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Coda: an August 2003 email from Tom Wigley to a colleague suggests that Pearce was wrong to think that all reviewers had rejected the paper, and confirms that there was something very wrong with the review process: "I have had papers that I refereed (and soundly rejected), under De Freitas’s editorship, appear later in the journal -- without me seeing any response from the authors. As I have said before to others, his strategy is first to use mainly referees that are in the anti-greenhouse community, and second, if a paper is rejected, to ignore that review and seek another more ‘sympathic’ reviewer. In the second case he can then (with enough reviews) claim that the honest review was an outlier."p. 75 . . dave souza, talk 12:52, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Which seems to show that one person feels that the editor had a strong bias and managed to find only reviewers with the same bias? Sounds like pure opinion from here. Did the reviewers reject the paper? And can any RS source show those reviewers all had a bias? Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:06, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Hi Collect, your disrespect for a reputable published scientist is noted. Your original research is refuted by the EPA who state that "Clearly, scientists, including Wigley, were justified in challenging the scientific merit of the Soon and Baliunas (2003) paper and to question the process that enabled such a paper to be published. It is clear from the e-mail that Wigley believed that Chris de Freitas acted in a way that was contrary to the practice of good science. Like anyone else, Wigley is entitled to speak his mind in personal communications to colleagues." Same pdf source, same page. . dave souza, talk 13:16, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
        • Um -- you seem to absolutely misapprehend what I wrote, and arguning with that sort of misapprehension leads nowhere at all. I showed no "disrespect" for anyone, and addressed only a single issue - that in Wikipedia opinions are opinions are opinions. I trust this will end your substantial misapprehension of what I wrte. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:53, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
          • What substantial misapprehension? You dismiss the published view of a scientist whose work dealt with the case in question as merely what "one person feels" – at Wikipedia we base articles on published views, and not on the unsupported "opinions" of editors such as yourself, or indeed myself. . . dave souza, talk 15:01, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
            • There you go again .... You confuse my belief that an opinion is an opinion with somehow dissing the person who expressed the opinion. Such was not in my words nor in my intent, nor would I suggest it reasonable to claim that such was in my words or in my intent. Let me elucidate - any opinion, even one held by the most wonderful person on earth, remains an opinion as far as Wikipedia is concerned. Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:15, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
              • How do you distinguish fact and opinion? Any example of non-mathematical facts? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:22, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
              • Such postmodernism, Collect, to quote your own edit summary about the scientist's published views, you "believe such opinions are of the same weight as Aesop's fox eating the grapes".[13] Without evidence, your beliefs and your own opinions clearly fail WP:V, no matter how splendidly egalitarian you may think them. . dave souza, talk 16:42, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

(od) A statement of the order of "the reviewers were chosen for a specific result" is clearly "opinion" unless and until RS sources establish that as a fact. The opinion is an opinion and remains an opinion. That is what Wikipedia policies and guidelines agree on. I submit that this fact as to what Wikipedia policies and guidelines state is not just "my opinion" here, by the way. Meanwhile, the claim that this fact is not a fact is simply Monty Pythonesque utterly once more. Example of non-mathematical facts: The AtNo of Oxygen is 8. Jimbo Wales is the name of the user in whose userspace this page lays. WP:BLP is a Wikipedia policy. Is this quite sufficient? Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:27, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

So in this instance it's clearly a fact that Wigley as a scientist has stated that papers he had refereed and rejected were subsequently published by de Freitas as editor, without Wigley seeing any response from the authors. It is a fact that his informed expert view was that this indicated improper editing by de Freitas. It is also a fact that this expert opinion was evaluated by the EPA, as reported above. It is also a fact that you wrote that you you "believe such opinions are of the same weight as Aesop's fox eating the grapes" It is my opinion that your comment is derogatory about a living person, and is at best a borderline BLP vio. . dave souza, talk 20:40, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Wigley's comments, attributed to Wigley, and from a RS can be cited. The "fact" that this means "improper editing" however, is also an opinion - you seem to think that leaping into calling "improper editing" a "fact" is proper, which is one of the big problems in a number of areas on Wikipedia. And your absurd suggestion that I have made any charge against a living person is outrageous. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:39, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Hi Collect, how do you get to The "fact" that this means "improper editing" from my statement that "It is a fact that his informed expert view was that this indicated improper editing by de Freitas"? Your comment looks like sour grapes. . . dave souza, talk 10:49, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia SOPA blackout, redux

I haven't been following the on-wiki discussion in the wake of your proposal; where does it sit? Reddit recently announced that they will be blacking out the site from 0800-2000, Jan 18th. Were Wikipedia to consider a similar measure, it might make sense to do so at the same time, to increase impact.

Thoughts?

Throwaway85 (talk) 23:33, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

This is being discussed at WP:SOPA, if you'd like to get involved. There is also a request for comment on the Village Pump. Buddy431 (talk) 00:55, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
BTW these two links are too hard to find considering how important this discussion is. this discution needs more prominance Inkwina (talk · contribs) 07:21, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm interested in hearing Jimbo's thoughts on this. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:04, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Quickly because I'm about to log out for a couple of hours. I'm all in favor of it, and I think it would be great if we could act quickly to coordinate with Reddit. I'd like to talk to our government affairs advisor to see if they agree on this as useful timing, but assuming that's a greenlight, I think that matching what Reddit does (but in our own way of course) per the emerging consensus on how to do it, is a good idea. But that means we need to move forward quickly on a concrete proposal and vote - we don't have the luxury of time that we usually have, in terms of negotiating with each other for weeks about what's exactly the best possible thing to do. As I understand it, the Foundation is talking to people about how we can geolocate and guide people to their Congressperson, etc. Geoff will know about that. Our task is to decide to do it with a thumbs up / thumbs down vote.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:09, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Where can we discuss it? In my opinion, if Wikipedia threw it's weight behind this, you'd have the entire United States (and world) talking about it. Even if most people didn't see it, you can bet that a wikipedia blackout would be all over the news. --216.131.118.51 (talk) 07:14, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Also wanting to know where to discuss. I am all for it, and hope that it would inspire even more sites to join in making casual users aware of how much the internet (and their life) would be affected by SOPA. wanderingstan (talk) 06:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
The above few lines are already in the news (Washington Post, CNET). You made the right decision to pullout wikimedia foundation domains from GoDaddy. Furthermore, it would be wise to organize a global blackout. I am not in USA. Nevertheless, I fully understand the consequences of such an act. Even if you do not perform a full blackout, you may consider a banner on top of website to express the concern of foundation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ali Mirjamali (talkcontribs) 16:20, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

I just want t say, if youre going to be doing this wiki blackout, it should be worldwide. Because the reality is the effects of SOPA are worldwide too, technically and politically. Just look at the recent Spanish SOPA equivalent Sinde law fiasco, which Spain was "encouraged" to pass into law by the states against the apparent will of the people and even the courts which has twice ruled "rogue" torrent sites to be legal in Spain. Regards 213.107.5.93 (talk) 12:09, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

http://sopablackout.org/ – Here's a blackout website some activists made in case you need some inspiration. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 15:46, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

Another amazing website is http://fightcensorship.info/ If WP goes through the blackout (which I strongly, strongly urge you to do, may I suggest either linking to this website, or having a similar feature hosted on the WP servers? Basically, this website allows users to find their representatives and then contact them through phone, fax, email, and snail mail, all the with the click of a single button. --216.131.118.83 (talk) 16:50, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
I just want to echo my support for a blackout of Wikipedia on January 18th in protest of the internet-destroying SOPA. Designer1993 (talk) 17:18, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

In my opinion, I think we should look at what Reddit is doing. I would definitely be in favor of a blackout. But doing it for a full day would seem a little overkill. If we follow in Reddit's footsteps and do a 12 hour blackout, that would be more than enough time to get the message out there. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 15:25, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

The prelim consideration vote was strongly supported by a long shot. I'm sure another final vote would be a landslide of support. Time for Wikipedia to go dark on the 18th Cowicide (talk) 10:20, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Now see, this is the problem. We're thinking too much about "the majority of people" that voted, Not every single persons vote. It's not fair unless everyone's votes/comments are taken into consideration with the final decision. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 21:42, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

APPEAL TO THE PROFESSIONAL (COPY)

Salem (MO) Public Library's block of English-language wikipedia Wicca article, among others

Several stories relating to the incident described above, including the library in question blocking access to the English wicca article from its terminals, have recently been printed. Several can be found here. I was wondering if you might have any comments regarding the matter. I am proposing an opinion piece on the topic for an upcoming issue of the Signpost, and think any comments you might make would be more than welcome. Thank you. John Carter (talk) 20:15, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

I am tempted to just poke gentle fun at them and say I'm just glad they didn't just hear the name and think they should block all of 'Wiccapedia'. But a more serious statement from me is: This is ridiculous and the librarian who did this should be ashamed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:08, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Here's the library's mission statement: "The Salem Public Library will be a reliable resource center and an advocate of intellectual freedom for the community by providing free and equal access to information, materials, services, and programs. It will acquire, organize, and circulate books, non-print materials and services that help educate, enrich, entertain, and inform individuals of all ages. It will promote and encourage the maximum use of its services and materials by the greatest number of people in its service area." They clearly just need to start practicing what they preach. Carrite (talk) 07:52, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Quite interesting that you can get white people to go on rampage over blocking Wicca while the information that the library also filters all Native American practices as occult and criminal only gets a short mention... Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:06, 16 January 2012 (UTC) Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 11:06, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I was going to comment on the fact that some of the reports appear to be suggesting it was all down to Netsweeper's categorisation. But then I discovered a little snippet on the Church and School of Wicca (originally founded in Salem, Mo) and the allegations levelled at the Frosts and I wonder if a specific keyword ban on Wicca has been enacted in relation to their specific denomination and the implications of it. Of course today many Wiccans distance themselves from the Frosts for the same reason - perhaps the Native american practises are being caught by the same key wording. Stuart.Jamieson (talk) 12:20, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

My morning at Bell Pottinger

(I will cross-post this to Wikipedia:Bell Pottinger COI Investigations as well. I request that specific discussion of Bell Pottinger go mainly there, and more broadly philosophical discussion should go mainly here.)

I had a pleasant morning this morning. Well, as pleasant as one might hope, considering the task that I had set for myself: to go to Bell Pottinger and give a lecture to staff about why their past editing of Wikipedia was not good, and to give them advice on how to do better. For their part of the program, they made a presentation to me explaining what happened from their end, and tried to give at least an explanation (but note well: not an excuse) for their actions. To my surprise, they wanted to have press there, so you'll read about it tomorrow most likely. (Press included PR Week (their invitee) and the FT (my invitee)).

To be clear, outside of one remark from Lord Bell himself (who said that even now he thinks they did nothing wrong, a position I find fairly astonishing, but whatever, life goes on), the apologies from staff were detailed, aware of why what they did was wrong, and I judged them to be sincere. I don't foresee a relapse.

In their presentation of what went wrong, the main thing that leapt out at me is that they did not know how to appropriately escalate. There were other problems to be sure, starting from their default assumption that Wikipedia would be hostile to PR people to such an extreme degree that if they were to self-identify they would be treated as liars. But more importantly, they did not seem to have a good grasp on the ways that one might escalate a problem issue in order to resolve a problem.

One case that they presented in depth, Common Purpose is one that I think Wikipedians in general would be wise to review. Again, to stress, Bell Pottinger's staff did not present their side of the story in order to justify their actions. They were contrite and apologetic. But I asked to understand what happened, and their explanation (not excuse) was useful to me.

The story here goes back a long way, and can be seen in the edit history and the talk page. In essence, a video which wouldn't by any stretch of the imagination survive a moment's scrutiny from experienced Wikipedians as a reliable source was used as as source for some pretty wild claims, including that "Common Purpose is a part of a grouping that wants ultimately 'to kill you'". The organization themselves tried to remove this nonsense but did so in a clumsy way and did not follow community advice on other matters, and ended up getting themselves blocked and their website blacklisted for spamming. Bell Pottinger was ultimately retained to assist.

I believe, based on long experience working with BLP's myself, that had this been posted to WP:BLPN it would have been straightened out immediately. But at the time they were working on this, Bell Pottinger didn't know to do that. So they used sockpuppets and so on. In their defense, they also started their efforts by removing advertising puffery that the client had (again clumsily) put into the article in the first place.

Finally, during the Q&A time, the staff raised some concerns that due to their actions, Wikipedia might be biased against their clients. Some articles were summarily deleted that they suggested should probably be restored. (Including one that existed already pre-Bell Pottinger.) They will send me a list, which I will review personally but also post here for others to consider. In other cases, client articles may now have excessive weight given to the Bell Pottinger situation. Given that Bell Pottinger has taken full responsibility for things, and says that the clients did not know the extent of what they were up to, I absolutely think we need to carefully revisit this issue and make sure that no one is violating NPOV by saddling mere customers of Bell Pottinger with this scandal. It is worth checking to make sure there is no overreaction. (I ask a lot from us in terms of NPOV - no matter how annoying someone has behaved towards us, they always deserve NPOV, it is our highest commitment and moral responsibility, we must never use Wikipedia to slam people we don't like.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:02, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

This is all well and good, but so long as Lord Bell himself continues to be unapologetic, the apologies from staff members mean absolutely diddly squat. The buck stops with him, and all that has been done is he has allowed subordinates to offer likely half-arsed apologies, which mean nothing as they have not come from the top. As to your reviewing of articles, I would remind you that WP operates on the basis of consensus, and it would be amiss for you to be intervening and doing anything with articles outside of process, so I do hope that your reviewing will not involve re-instating anything outside of community determined consensus. Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 14:40, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
You're claiming "consensus"??? What chutzpah, considering your own edit history! I am totally gobsmacked, both by that and Jimmy's surprise that "how to appropriately escalate" is unknown. Totally gobsmacked. 99.50.188.111 (talk) 22:19, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't agree. Lord Bell was also apologetic and it seems that whatever his mysterious views on ethics might be, he's a practical man who realizes they will lose business if they have more scandals around this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:57, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like the meeting was quite productive. And last I checked you have the same right as any editor to "intervene" in articles. Cheers. Collect (talk) 14:53, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, and thank you.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:57, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Seconding Collect; regarding the articles with outstanding issues, I'm sure you and the rest of the community will be able to take a bit of time to inquire. The potential mis-weighting problem, by emphasis on the client's involvement with the media company and this incident needs to be addressed like all recentism—more and better encyclopaedic research. Thanks for doing the outreach work on this. Fifelfoo (talk) 00:42, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for getting so involved and taking on this important outreach task. We should all aim to move on from being adversarial to Wikimedia (esp. the Foundation and Chapters) being seen as a resource to provide help for organizations that will always have difficulty in helping the encyclopaedia with content, due to their conflict of interest highly likely to be fundamentally engrained. I would like to see such presentations and simple print quality self-help material, pitched for such tricky organizations, being captured and perhaps published on the :outreach wiki. Perhaps you would be interested in helping to make a good quality video that organizations can use for their own internal training? I'm thinking of our "classic" problematic organizations such as corporate marketing, religious evangelizing and political lobbying. As for not everyone providing an apology; well they are a PR company, you have to expect a jolly good spin. Cheers -- (talk) 14:56, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I think one thing we should produce is a clear and simple set of best practices. The reason I am focussed on that is that there are many highly questionable practices that are still unfortunately murky in policy - I think because the paid advocates put forward specious arguments and form a bloc against change, but that's a different story for a different day. But best practices will go beyond just "the minimal that is required of you as an editor with a conflict of interest" but rather how you can do the best things, both for Wikipedia and for your client.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:59, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll just chime in to agree with Fæ—having assisted with similar outreach work on a smaller scale, I think it's very important that after we say "you screwed up there", we show them how to do things properly. Whatever we may think of them in theory, pragmatically speaking, the PR firms aren't going anywhere and we would be better off engaging with them for mutual benefit than attempting to shut them out (and thus drive them underground). To that end, I think a set of published best practices for editors with a conflict of interest would be a good thing, and something more useful to point them to than the rather complicated COI guideline. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:08, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
This is what several of us have been using in the en-wp irc help channel to guide paid editors: WP:Plain and simple conflict of interest guide. Ocaasi t | c 15:28, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
There is already Wikipedia:Best practices for editors with conflicts of interest. The "Learn how to ask for help" section at the end could usefully be expanded, but I suggest doing that rather than write another "Best practices" guide. JohnCD (talk) 18:43, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict)It's a complicated issue, not just the Bell Pottinger case but the deeper issue. In a way it brings into play the whole question of "does Wikipeda work?". The Common Purpose video case that you cite is an example of Wikipedia not working.

The theory is that Wikipedia works and articles eventually evolve into an acceptable form. But "eventually" is a long time when a company on which people's livelihoods depend is being unfairly characterized. An important question is, is the intervention of paid agents an appropriate solution? Not in my opinion it isn't. So what else can be done?

You mentioned a possible alternative approach when you invoked WP:BLPN. One thing that has been suggested is a WP:BLP for organizations -- "Articles on Extant Organizations" I guess it could be called. This was suggested while ago by some editor and was more or less shouted down. Is this something that should be re-considered, I wonder. I don't know yet if I'd support this and I can see certain problems with it, but it'd be preferable to accepting the intervention of paid agents, maybe. Herostratus (talk) 19:06, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo, I'm not really familiar with this case but am curious to know how this relates to paid editing, which (by my understanding) you have consistently opposed. To this outside observer it looks like any other paid editing, except at the corporate level rather than an individual contracting his services. Paid editing has happened, is happening now, and will happen in the future, so I'm interested in the nuances of how the project approaches the issue. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 19:02, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm encouraging people to reduce the use of the term 'paid editing' because I think it is overly broad and confuses people, in favor of the term 'paid advocacy'. Imagine if a serious research University encourages professors to contribute to entries in their field, giving them credit towards tenure or community service obligations. Then that's paid editing in a sense, but it isn't the issue that we are concerned about. We are concerned about paid advocacy, that is, someone who comes to Wikipedia at the behest of a client who wants to have a better entry. That's problematic, and most of the hypothetical arguments that we hear about how it might be ok are no different from hypothetical arguments that would suggest that it's ok for regulators or judges to take lucrative side jobs with the people they are regulating or judging. And we have sufficient empirical evidence that paid advocacy results in bad edits often enough that it is a net negative to the project. We also know that it is deterrable (no, not perfectly) and replaceable with better ideas about how advocates ought to approach Wikipedia (namely: don't edit articles directly, instead discuss things with the community). I see no material difference between a PR firm doing this or individual consultants doing this.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
This whole thing sounds to me exactly like the reaction of a user to a bad BLP, except it's not a BLP. Users who are upset by bad BLPs find themselves forced to deal with Wikipedia without knowing all the rules and end up getting reverted and blocked when they're basically just trying to prevent Wikipedia from spreading lies about them. It's a bad idea to treat BLP victims this way, and it's a bad idea to treat the equivalent of BLP victims this way.
If an individual tried to remove material which said his goal is to kill you, and ended up using sockpuppets, violating COI, or otherwise breaking rules to do so, just making sure the individual is contrite would be the wrong way to handle the situation. Yes, he broke the rules, but ultimately, it's Wikipedia's job to be accurate and not to harm living subjects and it is our responsibility to consider their interests. Just because we are talking about an organization doesn't make things any different; the organization is still made up of people, who can still suffer when Wikipedia spreads falsehoods about them. Ken Arromdee (talk) 20:15, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
My impression is that what Bell Pottinger did was not just "correcting falsehoods" (which is a good thing) but also went well into the territory of corporate spin. But again, I haven't followed the story in minute detail. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:03, 13 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, indeed, and they knew quite well what they were doing. From The Independent's story:

Discussing techniques for managing reputations online, Mr Wilson mentioned a team that could "sort" Wikipedia. "We've got all sorts of dark arts," added Mr Collins. "I told him [David Wilson] he couldn't put them in the written presentation because it's embarrassing if it gets out."

How right he was. JohnCD (talk) 11:08, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

That article is an interesting example. And what is most interesting about it is not that Bell Pottinger made some edits to it... a compelling criticism of our process. We need some serious self-reflection on these issues. I suspect that if any more examples such as that one existed the media story could have been extremely different. --Errant (chat!) 16:47, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

The FT's report has Tim Bell saying: “I hope this is the beginning of a process of us getting to know you better and how to use you better.” (Emphasis added.) The irony of the double meaning in this statement of intent, coming as it does from a skilled professional in the bamboozling business PR pro, is acute. Let us not be bamboozled. Writegeist (talk) 01:09, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Seems like your prejudgement is final once made. Strangely enough, most PR professionals are humans who are not out to "bamboozle" at all. I suggest that such an attitude is counter-productive in the extreme. Jimbo has done well here - and I applaud him. ("How to use you better" clearly refers to using Wikipedia, and not referring to "using" Jimbo. I think it is incumbent on all to learn how to "use Wikipedia better" without including misleading "emphasis") Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:02, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, but maybe we don't want to be "used", at least not as a tool in a media image-improvement campaign by some corporation, which is pretty clearly the meaning of the statement. I don't think that that's what we're here for. Herostratus (talk) 15:58, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I fear you read more into the sentence than is there in black and white. This is, alas, a common problem on Wikipedia where people seek out "problems" and avoid "solutions." In this case, I rather think BP and JW are seeking "solutions." Cheers. Collect (talk) 16:11, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
"[M]ost PR professionals are humans who are not out to "bamboozle" at all." Sadly the operatives at Bell Pottinger are not in Collect's supposed majority. See 'Bell Pottinger's executives claimed they had mastered the internet, could manipulate Google searches and whitewash Wikipedia entries on behalf of clients who paid handsomely for the services', [14] 'Jimmy Wales has criticised Bell Pottinger's "ethical blindness" as the lobbying company admitted altering details of its clients' reputations online', and 'Mr Wales told the Independent: "I am astonished at the ethical blindness of Bell Pottinger's reaction. That their strongest true response is they didn't break the law tells a lot about their view of the world, I'm afraid."' Writegeist (talk) 18:14, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Let's look more closely -- one of the edits appears to have been "Removal of the reference to the university drugs conviction of a businessman who was a client of Bell Pottinger." I hate to point this out, bu we have a policy called WP:BLP. I suggest that it is entirely possible that the edit stressing a "university drugs conviction" might have been contrary to WP:BLP, and removal of the minor crime is likely not have been made to "bamboozle" anyone at all. The the Independent says In other cases, damaging allegations against clients of Bell Pottinger, which The Independent cannot publish for legal reasons, were removed from Wikipedia. Has it occured to anyone that if the Independent finds that it would be illegal for them to publish allegations, that WP:BLP might also bar the allegations from being promulgated in Wikipedia? Bamboozle? Or proper action? I daresay that the claim that BP is Satan incarnate would find some editors supporting it, but alas I try to stickk to what the record shows. And if the Independent says it can not publish what was removed from Wikipedia, I rather think we couls assume there is a reason why they can not do so. Ascribing evil motives and "bamboozling" is not how to move on in this world. Hinestly. Collect (talk) 04:29, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah yes of course that explains it -- the hundreds of socking edits were just the conscientious souls at BP ensuring compliance with Wikipedia policy. Poor things, getting dragged over the coals for their troubles. I can't be arsed to continue this. Hinestly. Writegeist (talk) 07:15, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
The Independent is published in London under English libel law, which is notoriously biased towards the alleged victim. In particular, the defendant has to positively prove the factual truth of his statement - it's not sufficient that a fact has been widely reported. Wikipedia is under no such constraint ("Verifiability, not truth"), which I think is a good thing. Also, of course, your logic is questionable. "Here is one edit of Bell Pottinger that I deem good, therefore they are all benevolent" - no, the job of a PR firm is to create a positive impression for its clients, which is in direct conflict with our WP:NPOV, which requires us to paint a neutral picture. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:44, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Two things. First, I believe that Collect may have been misunderstood here. If he's making the point that WP:BLP trumps other policies, he's right about that. If there is defamation in Wikipedia, I want people to remove it, even paid advocates who I generally caution against editing articles directly at all. Any libel in a Wikipedia entry is an emergency situation and should be treated as such. Bell Pottinger's wrongdoing had very very little to do with those kinds of examples. What a paid advocate should and could do about libel would include removing it from the article and posting on the talk page, citing WP:BLP, after which there should be a thorough discussion to determine what to do. And Stephan Schulz, you are absolutely wrong that "verifiability, not truth" is any sort of justification for including libelous claims in Wikipedia. It's one of the things that is deeply perverse about that phrase - that it leads people to abdicate moral responsibility for Wikipedia being the best it possibly can be. We have many many instances of people wanting to insert all manner of nonsense on the grounds that it is "verifiable" in the technical sense, even in cases where it is clearly and plainly false. But this is an argument for another day. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:40, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you for precisely and accurately noting my position on this. I believe you may recall my position against "Paypedia" some time back when "paid editing" was the subject of lengthy discussions. I also now state that "obscure BLP violations" are, were, and shall be, first and foremost "BLP violations." Collect (talk) 13:00, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
You misread me. I'm not defending keeping known false information under VNT - indeed, I've spoken out against that before. But we do not require proof positive of a fact to include it - we trust reliable sources unless there is significant doubt about their correctness. Everything stricter would make for very tough going indeed. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:00, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh, I apologize for that. Yes, of course, I see what you are saying now.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 11:12, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
This case does stress the importance of Wikipedia editors evaluating sources for fact checking and reliability. It also vividly demonstrates the problems we have with dealing with obscure BLP violations, leading to living people (in this case an organisation rather than an individual) feeling pushed to pay "professionals" to resolve the issues, instead of getting assistance from Wikipedia. Both the organisation and the PR people would have done well to follow the COI guidance, the onus is on us to make sure that policies are fully and properly followed so that smears don't remain on Wikipedia. . . dave souza, talk 11:11, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Comment Jimmy said, "...at the behest of a client who wants to have a better entry". A clearer phrase would be, "at the behest of a client who wants to have a more positive or less negative entry". For most people, "better" is what we're trying to achieve. It often means such things as more balanced, more comprehensive, more fully cited - any number of things. We do want better entries. We do not want PR-spun entries, edited for the benefit of the person rather than the reader. We really do need to be clear on this, as people are generally paid to do the former rather than the latter. However, the payment is not the problem. Who benefits is the problem. 75.59.229.79 (talk) 19:33, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe. It depends on who you talk to I guess. Anyway, following up on my comment re WP:BLP and WP:BLPN, I've posted a more concrete proposal as a possible suggestion for addressing these issues. It it here: Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Proposal: Articles about extant corporations. Herostratus (talk) 18:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Wow. I had no idea anyone would claim "it depends" when the choices are 1) Wikipedia exists for the benefit of its readers, or 2) Wikipedia exists for the benefit of the subjects of its articles. 75.59.229.79 (talk) 20:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Do be clear, I'm with #1. I'm just observing that that's not necessarily always true of everyone, depending on one's definition of "beneficial for its readers". Herostratus (talk) 02:50, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm a paid editor (or paid advocate) and have donated some time to Wikipedia:WikiProject_Cooperation, which was started by Silver to help address these issues of educating PR on best practices, identifying bad actors, etc. It has a Paid Editor Help page, links to relevant documentation and simple instructions for using noticeboards and other tools RE escalation. I also put in some ideas on how to better identify bad actors posting spam, advert, POV pushing or censorship so these can be dealt with at the root cause (people) instead of policing edits after the fact or having things carry on for this long until they explode.
One issue we've discussed on the Talk page is how to make PR people aware of (and use) such a project. Do people think something like this will help? King4057 (talk) 02:45, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

SOPA Blackout

If wikipedia is going to go dark, could the still be a access wikipedia for international users? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.145.244.204 (talk) 19:40, 14 January 2012 (UTC)

It seems likely that the blackout will be geotargetted to the US, on the premise that in general, it is US voters who we want to motivate to take the specific action of contacting their congressional representatives.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:10, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
Update: reviewing the votes, it seems much more likely now that it will be global, not US-only.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:51, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
This is a horrid idea --Shimonnyman (talk) 02:15, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Very negitive idea! Seems Jimmy forgot WP:VOTE? Bidgee (talk) 02:19, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I happen to disagree with you both. I think it's important to observe the potential impacts of this bill on the internet as a whole. None of its powers are limited to the U.S. It can devastate the entire English Wikipedia if implemented. Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 02:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Completely negative idea. You ought to feel completely ashamed of yourself Wales. 16:25, 17 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.182.110.220 (talk)
I had always understood that the blackout would be US only, which is why I took no interest in the debates. I feel betrayed.  An optimist on the run! 17:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't say I feel betrayed, and despite my state of general ignorance I'm pretty sure I support the US blackout, as I did the Italian one which I understood rather more. Actually, I'm proud Wikipedia has been taking such stands. But the idea that the global decision was based on a vote count seems to me methodologically flawed, as I've been arguing down at the Village Pump. More generally, I have substantial concerns about the undesirable and undesired (I think) role of self-selection bias, whether qualitative or quantitative, in consensus discussions on Wikipedia. I think ways are available of making such discussions more representative. Just my 2 cents, MistyMorn (talk) 19:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

SOPA, geo-location and non-voting residents

Jimbo, I suspet you may not have seen my reply to you a few days ago at WP:SOPA before it was reorganised. You've talked about not wishing to "punish" those living outside the US since they cannot vote or influence anything here. Well as a permanent US resident, neither can I, or millions of other foreigners who live in America either legally or illegally. While I'm in support of any action, should we be punished too? What about American voters living outside the country, like yourself? Matthewedwards :  Chat  19:37, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

No targeting can be perfect. A lack of perfect targeting doesn't mean we must do nothing, nor does it mean we shouldn't try targeting. We should do our best.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:17, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I understand that. Will you be editing from the UK on the day? Matthewedwards :  Chat  21:33, 15 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that depends on the exact technical measures in place and what other people are doing. If non-US editors need help stopping/reverting vandalism, then of course I'll pitch in if I can. However, at the same time, it's worth noting that I'm likely going to be pretty swamped on the day of doing press.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:52, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

Mr. Wales, although I can see the logic in making the blackout US specific, the reality is that, should SOPA pass, it will affect all internet users, not just Americans. I love Wikipedia, but I'm more than willing to live without it for 12 hours to get the point across. The web is not simply national, it isn't just a shopping mall; a huge amount of cultural creative work resides on it, as does an enormous wealth of academic content. My thought is that the larger and more widespread the blackout the better. Perhaps it will encourage the governments of other countries to also encourage the US to re-think the SOPA bill. ---- remittancegirl :  Chat  1:23, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

While that's all true to some extent, it ignores, I'm afraid, that citizens of other countries have very very little influence over the US Congress. Other governments have very very little influence over the US Congress. It is extremely unlikely that an outcry by even close and powerful allies like the UK would give rise to any serious diplomatic pressure on the US to drop this, and such diplomatic pressure would not be felt by Congress directly in any case. No, the only thing that is going to have a material and powerful impact here is voters in the US raising hell.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:42, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
What about timing? I mean, 12 hours would seem like enough time to get the word out there. --Radiokid1010 (talk) 16:34, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Getting the word out is only part of the process - and I am getting a level of press interest today that's unlike what I've ever seen before. The real key is motivating people to contact Congress, and so 24 hours is better. (Some people only log in during the day, or during the evenings, etc.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:50, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
Nice sig :) Matthewedwards :  Chat  18:59, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

SOPA shelved

Sopa Resumes in February!!

Sopa Hearing to Resume in February Petersontinam (talk) 00:28, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Can I get an honest input on my suggestion?

Hi Jimbo,

This is the first wiki-correspondence I've ever written you, so hopefully you don't mind talking with a long-time but somewhat generally incommunicative character that edits Wikipedia. Less than 24 hours before the official closing of the SOPA discussion (that banner, by the way, really needs to go for now), I made a proposal at 3.6: Policy dialectic forum. Traditionally Wikipedia is not intended for advocacy, but I'm sure the community has addressed all those details. Essentially, the idea consists of a discussion forum or page that would be embedded within the blackout screen or banner, allowing Wikipedians, members of the public and especially congressional staffers to collaborate on a compromise. Some editors suggested the blocking of all Congress(wo)men, but we've already done that before for vandalism and that seems like an ill-fitting alternative. My suggestion would benefit Wikipedia by allowing editors, who may or may not be prevented from editing (however the final community discussion resulted), to take a break and work together on discussing the future of Wikipedia. Two-fold, this may also allow policymakers to receive useful input from Wikipedia's perspective, as one earlier user suggested we do, whom I've quoted. It's likely that the community has never done anything of this sort before and it would be important to ensure the website is still running with the blackout/protest screen, and doesn't simply crash, which would unnecessarily increase obscurity. By the way, my position on this issue is similar to the WMF's, in accepting whatever the community has decided to do, although if we are to present a petition and/or an information page, it would be a good idea to make it usefully presentable, incorporate dialectic and work towards actual solutions on top of legitimate protest – which I think may be more effective than flooding Congress with calls, though I have little background on the American policy system. I look forward to reading your input.

Thanks. ~AH1 (discuss!) 21:12, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

I love your idea of spending the day (while we aren't editing) discussing the future of Wikipedia. It'll be nice to drop all our usual internal arguments for a day and think about how we might simplify and improve processes, grow the community in a positive direction, etc.  :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to note. I came here to suggest that this "blackout" be optional. But, from what I've read, a few vocal idiots have the ear of Mr. Wales and he doesn't care about editors who have put their time and effort into this project. So, if nearly eight years of my life doesn't mean anything to Wikipedia, I don't see a reason to continue working on and promoting Wikipedia. It now appears to be a little toy that Mr. Wales has decided he can turn on and turn off whenever he likes. -- kainaw 23:45, 16 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry you feel that way but the overwhelming consensus of the community, not just a few people, was to do the blackout. Your contributions are much appreciated, and I view this action as a way to stand up for your rights.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Looking at the discussion on your talk page and the vote at the SOPA Initiative page I think it is charitable to say there was community consensus. At least 10% of the votes for a full blackout came from apparent single-purpose accounts. I believe at least as many were just on the edge of being single-purpose accounts. On your talk page it appears even worse. Almost all of the first thirty or so votes at least were random IP votes with comments on this being either their only or almost their only edits on Wikipedia. Quite a large portion on top of that came from stale accounts or newbies. Certainly there are major established editors who favor a blackout, but there are also a substantial number of major established editors who vigorously oppose a blackout. How can anyone take Wikipedia policy seriously any more if the Foundation can just count heads in a vote and decide they can suspend policy to have the entire site used as a platform for pushing some political agenda? What happens when a flood of editors get angry about the next cause célèbre of the Internet?--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 00:46, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The Foundation didn't count heads. The RfC was closed by volunteer admins, same as usual. I think the community is pretty clear that we should never take action on general political issues, only those that are directly relevant to our mission.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:53, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The volunteer admins who closed it said "We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one". So, even if we discount the single purpose accounts, there is majority support for a global blackout, but clearly, by their estimation, "no consensus" for the blackout to be global.--Scott Mac 22:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Please Consider?

What if: Wikipedia was able to be at the forefront of offering up the solutions to what is wrong with the legislation as it is written. What if: The greatest minds from Wikipedia could spell out to the legislators the unwanted repercussions of their intentions to stop piracy? What if: Wikipedia answered the call for input that was asked for at the "We The People" White House Petition Page We the People? What if: The clout that Wikipedia has, was used to contact the White House and offer collaboration instead of protesting? Whitehouse: "Washington needs to hear your best ideas about how to clamp down on rogue websites and other criminals who make money off the creative efforts of American artists and rights holders. We should all be committed to working with all interested constituencies to develop new legal tools to protect global intellectual property rights without jeopardizing the openness of the Internet. Our hope is that you will bring enthusiasm and know-how to this important challenge." What if: Wikipedia answered that challenge? Before you tell me to get my rose colored glasses off and pull my head out of my behind, just please consider this. I know it sounds pollyanna, but isn't there the slightest chance of being part of the solution? I was always taught that you can only complain/disagree for so long... then it becomes time to offer up alternatives to what you believe is wrong. Petersontinam (talk) 01:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Sounds good to me. Offering positive policy options is certainly a good idea, though it may take a long time to hit upon ideas that are both popular and helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 01:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Start here: Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Ideas. Jehochman Talk 01:46, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Thank You for the SOPA and PIPA protest blackout!

I just saw the announcement on facebook and wanted you to know that you have my support and thanks. This is a crucial stand to take on behalf of internet freedom, and I believe you will draw significant attention to the issue. Again, my thanks and best wishes, sir! Jusdafax 01:25, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I just hope you don't blackout other countries such as Australia. Sorry but you would lose my support if you do so. Bidgee (talk) 01:30, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I concur with Bidgee; I am sympathetic to the cause but will boycott Wikipedia if the UK is hit by the blackout. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 01:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The SOPA has a potentially global effect on internet censorship, so I wholeheartedly support the global blackout to notify everyone on the world that such act is intolerable. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry but the blackout is just as bad as SOPA and PIPA. What a few hundard editors over rule thousands of others? Fine blackout the US since they can have their say but those in other countries don't have a say in the US political arena! Bidgee (talk) 01:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely right. The rest of the world has no say in SOPA or PIPA and a simple notice or banner would suffice for us. Don't punish international editors who can't do anything about it. That is going down absolutely the wrong route. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 01:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Dear fellow Wikipedians, a 24-hour blackout isn't that terrible except for Wikiholics. If the bill was passed, the other countries would likely proposed the similar or even more restrictive act. A banner is definitely not enough because it always gets ignored. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Please quit the BS. Again what can those in other countries do about the bills? Nothing! What will the blackout do? Bidgee (talk) 02:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm very disappointed that although I am a prolific editor (in the top 1000), I have only just heard about this, after it already fait accompli. In what meaningful sense did "the Wikipedia community" decide to do this? StAnselm (talk) 02:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
There was a banner on the top of the site for several days. Other RfC's have been centrally advertised before that. As the RfC closure points out, this discussion received more attention than any previous discussion in WP history. It is a shame that not everyone heard and was able to comment, but the timing made anything longer impossibleQwyrxian (talk) 02:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Really, I never got the banner and I know of a few other editors whom also never seen the so called RfC banner. The whole thing is bullshite. Bidgee (talk) 02:21, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I, like Bidgee, never got a banner. It's your law, you protest it, you deal with it. Just don't black out the rest of the world please. The rest of the world has no say in your laws. You're a free country, do what you should be doing. Lobby your lawmakers, don't drag the rest of us into your fights.  BarkingFish  02:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Relax—have a cup of tea—it will be over before you know it. People are angry and need to protest. Hopefully they can then turn that energy into something constructive afterwards. Jehochman Talk 02:27, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, I never saw the banner, either. And like many people commenting here, I live in Australia. I suspect most of the people who decided this are American. StAnselm (talk) 02:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm Australian, in the most isolated city, aware of the SOPA debates and have been aware of the blackout idea for over a month. I also happen to support it(though I didnt vote!) as US law is what we primarily work under here so it affects all of us. Gnangarra 02:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
And it seems a large number of them were SPAs too. It is an utterly revolting RfC closure. It seems to only way to make our displeasure clear will be to protest the protest with a boycott. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 02:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Press_releases/English_Wikipedia_to_go_dark gives details. To be utterly clear, I support the decision to blackout all of Wikipedia-en. I realize this comes as a shock to some but please, let us keep this high-profile conversation civil. Jusdafax 02:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Which part of we don't have a say on this outside the US can't get through to you? Why should we be affected by what a majority of American editors and SPAs decide? A shock? No, but an utter disgrace, yes most definitely. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 02:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Because if this bill passes, it may affect Wikipedia as a whole just as severely as this protest does. That is why it must be done on a global scale. I really don't understand why 24 hours away from this site is a bother to you. Go outside and toss a ball around. Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 02:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
        • The bill is politically a dead duck. What I do with my time isn't your concern; indeed from my contribution history its plentifully clear that I have no problem taking 24 hours off, having only just returned from 4 months away. It's a matter of principle. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 02:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
          • @Kinaro: If, maybe, possibly, could be.... Americans are the only ones with the say on the bill. I had plans on doing some content improvments but really fuck it, why bother when Wikipedia is over run with Americans. Bidgee (talk) 02:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
            • "Why bother when Wikipedia is over run with Americans"? What exactly is that supposed to mean, hmm? Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 02:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
              • You know what I mean. Americans will do anything to make Wikipedia on how they want it and not allow those whom live in other countries a say. Bidgee (talk) 03:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Protest the protest! Make a statement but by stopping editing and viewing is WRONG.PumpkinSky talk 02:46, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia becomes a politicized entity the second this blackout goes into effect. Horrible. Townlake (talk) 02:52, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Yepper. PumpkinSky talk 02:53, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Nope. Protesting for 24 hours globally was chosen by the community. Jimbo got much support in favor of such a proposition. Not everyone's going to be satisfied, that's the way it is with every issue, but that doesn't mean you need to make overly dramatic statements like that. Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 02:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Typical American statment... And it was hardly a consensus, far from it. Bidgee (talk) 03:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)]
Are you being serious? What does my nationality have to do with my position on this issue? Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 03:06, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
This is a Jimbo decision advancing a Jimbo agenda, pushed along by the same American busybodies who thought Occupy was a great idea. Shameful, this... and bad news for the everyday Wikipedia users who don't even know this site has an administrative backstage where decisions like this are made. Townlake (talk) 03:07, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I've noticed many editors here have used the "I live in Australia" excuse - which actually doesn't cut it. I've been following this SOPA blackout proposal, and the original RfC whn it started on Mr. Wales' talk page. Anyway, barring that, we are all a community here; we have our disputes, our arguments; our best moments; and our worst - but at the end of the day, we are a team. The Wikipedia community. I'm not going stand here and let fellow Wikipedian's hang dry on an issue that may at this time affect them - but in the near future could affect us all. As for Australia, the US is a major influence, and whatever they do, Australia loves to follow. Oh, and for the record, I myself live in Melbourne, Australia. -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 03:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Then I'll make it clear that I haven't used said excuse, because I don't live in Australia. I knew about the RfC but saw it was clearly being overrun once it was opened to SPAs so didn't bother, my vote wouldn't have made a difference anyway. Where one lives outside the US is irrelevant to the argument against an international balckout. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 03:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps it should be made clear to you that if this bill passes you will experience an international blackout indefinitely. We must demonstrate the impact this will have because it affects ALL of us no matter where we hail. What part of that don't you understand? Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 03:12, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Utter tosh. The bill is dead, what part of that isn't clear? Strange Passerby (talkcont) 03:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
But it isn't "tosh," and it isn't "dead." PIPA is still very much alive in the Senate and SOPA was simply "shelved," which means it could very possibly be brought back up in Congress at any time. We must send a message that we want both bills destroyed now and nothing like them ever introduced again. Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 03:17, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
And this "we" is you. Americans, who elect your Senators and Congressmen. Not someone like me sitting in London. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 03:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Hey, don't pin this on me. I didn't vote in these corrupt congresspeople. Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 03:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I, like many other people from other countries didn't vote for them, so don't blackout us on the grounds that "this is what will happen if the Bill passes" since it is a dead bill. Don't blackout those who have no power or control the US policital process. Bidgee (talk) 03:31, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The whole blackout thing is a bunch of buffoonery. And FYI it's not a Yank thing, I am one. Seems a Jimbo thing.
I'm disappointed that Sue's letter claims that the "Wikipedia Community" decided this, through a "consensus decision-making process". I was outvoted, that's fine, but you shouldn't try to make it seem as if everyone agrees to this. Her letter claims to speak for me and my beliefs, when it in fact does not. Please don't put words in my mouth to make it look like this has more support than it does. Buddy431 (talk) 03:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps next year's fundraising appeal will have the integrity to remind would-be donors that Wikipedia is a political organization. Townlake (talk) 03:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Politicizing what should be a neutral encyclopedia is a horrible idea. Now wiki is a political action committee. PumpkinSky talk 03:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't value people's opinions based on how pompous and bombastic they sound, I judge them by evidence. That you would call Wikipedia a PAC over this is way missing the point. We're not talking about protesting in favor of some political entity or general position, we're protesting over something that, if passed, could explicitly affect this website. Whether you like that or not is up to you, as reasonable people can certainly disagree, but lay off the hyperbole and the straw man arguments. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 03:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll say whatever I want. You're the one sounding pompous. PumpkinSky talk 10:51, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, and now the ad hominem part. In my experience with logic, responses like that are borne of not being able to properly defend a position; I fully appreciate those who come to different conclusions based on reasoning, but tossing around buzzwords like "PAC" don't draw me in. I've listened to my Congress and president speak too many times to fall for that. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 11:21, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, now the dismissal of the truth, which I've already stated and you have not apparently read, is that this is politicization of neutral encyclopedia. Yawn to the rest of your drivel.PumpkinSky talk 21:59, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I think you mean your personal opinion of the truth, not the truth. I read what you said, and it didn't sound any more accurate the second or the third time either; you apparently have a deeply flawed understanding of what a PAC is. By standing up for openness on the internet, it's not being any more politicized than it already was. Best not to dig yourself deeper. For the record, though I supported doing this, it's not like I would have been upset if it didn't go through. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 00:19, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Money! Power!

Censorded by Jimbo, the White Knight of the free and open internet, himself! Wow! - Nabla (talk) 15:24, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
You know there is a show/hide link right there, don't you? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 16:11, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Why hide, then?
I am around just about as long and with as with many edits as you. Why do you assume I am stupid? Yes, I am leaving - NOW - not only because of Jimbo's turnig this into a political movement (if not a party at least a lobby) but also because of many-many arrogant idiors around here just like yoiu. And possibly me... - Nabla (talk) 03:24, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Stop! Please!

The nastiness is escalating! The protest is polarizing and splitting parts of this community. However, it seems to be a done deal; As in any family or body of voters, once a decision is made you won't always agree with it...but at least be civil to each other in your arguments. Damn. This is like watching your parents fight, times 1000. Back and forth with personal attacks...getting worse and worse...you are turning on each other! I personally don't agree at all with a blackout, but what is even harder to see is the venom coming out from this. Whatever Nationality, whatever side of the issue, whatever your feelings...just please stop being nasty. I don't think anything can be done to change what will happen with a blackout, but it shouldn't be ripping this place apart. Petersontinam (talk) 03:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Agree. I've learned to walk away from unpleasant people, which seems to be the best we can do at the moment. For understandable reasons, Jimmy's WP talkpage is often a lightning rod for those with a beef. Jusdafax 03:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Frankly I don't see any personal attack from the proponents of the blackout. If that vandalism claim is personal attack, so be it and let them all archived over time. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I frankly think it's better for everyone to vent now. Let the Brits and Australians do their usual whinging about Americans, and let the Americans make the usual comebacks; it fades away after people realize how retarded it all sounds. Soon enough it'll just be a memory and people will be going about their business as usual, for better or for worse. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:11, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Proves why Americans think they over rule other countries. Sorry but the Americans are whinging at a dead bill which isn't going to be passed. Bidgee (talk) 04:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Like I was saying about how it sounds... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 04:16, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
More like political bullshite. Bidgee (talk) 04:21, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Mild venting occurs now. I believe the consequences of abandoning Wikipedia's core mission will be realized later, when Wikipedia attempts to organize its next fundraising drives. Hope Jimbo finds this all worthwhile. (And yes, Blade, this is politics and marketing; Jimbo's Blackout will have no impact on Wikipedia's survival.) Townlake (talk) 04:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
NO, it really isn't about money.--MONGO 04:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
"Abandoning Wikipedia's core mission"? That is a massively naive statement. This issue is about affirming Wikipedia's core mission. It has everything to do with Wikipedia's survival, and nothing to do with money. --Epipelagic (talk) 09:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Why aren't Google and Twitter concerned? Viriditas (talk) 09:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Google and twitter are both very concerned and have come out strongly against these bills. They are working hard on the ground in Washington to lobby Congress.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry if I wasn't clear. What I meant was, why aren't they joining Wikipedia in the blackout? Viriditas (talk) 09:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I would be very surprised if they don't do something to protest. But each organization has to make its own analysis of what they think would be the most effective means of communicating the point. --Philosopher Let us reason together. via alternate account 09:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Considering the number of users reached if all three went down on the same day with a brief informative message, I think that would be the most effective means of getting the point across. Viriditas (talk) 09:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Twitter seems to have backed off,[18] though pulling back from calling it "silly".[19] You'll have seen the Indy's interview. Also nice to see Rupert Murdoch helping out, . dave souza, talk 10:12, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Stop the blackout!

Mr. Wales,

I am contacting you because I cannot find any other open forum to discuss the proposed protest against SOPA and PIPA. I am here to try and persuade you to at least delay, if not stop, the impending blackout. I support the cause whole-heartedly, but such a rash action as has been proposed will undoubtedly have negative consequences. My biggest concern is that people will not see past their frustration of Wikipedia going down and recognize the cause. The Occupy Wall Street movement is my case in point. No one is listening to their calls for change because everyone agrees they are being a public nuisance and an irritant on the national level. In the same way, denying access to a service millions value and require would only place Wikipedia in a negative light. The point we want to make would be disregarded because of the tactics used to make it. In addition, the entire "blackout" idea is a massive violation of WP:POINT. Denial of access to the entire site most certainly constitutes disruption, and we are definitely attempting to make a point by doing it. Once again, I must state that I entirely support the cause, but oppose the extremism about to be carried out in its name. Changing the site's graphic design to primarily black, and sending Wikipedia users through a page explaining the cause before accessing the site would also convey the message, but without the cost of creating enmity with our users. I beg you to prevent the dangerous move Wikipedia is about to make.
Thank you,
Alphateam7911 (talk) 05:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
"Everything in moderation, moderation in everything." -Unknown
This is a very good point about WP:POINT. FWIW, I have posted a userbox at User:StAnselm/SOPA. StAnselm (talk) 05:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Yup. Wikipedia should obviously be pointless. Stands to reason... AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:44, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately, this clear violation of WP:POINT has been sanctioned by the necessary factions of the "Wikipedia community." There's no stopping Jimbo's Blackout. Townlake (talk) 06:11, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Either that, or a law that could easily take down Wikipedia itself is being effectively protested by an unprecedented majority/consensus of the "Wikipedia community." That's how neutral and reliable sources such as the New York Times are also reporting it.[20] Kudos and congratulations to the Wikipedia Community for taking a stand to defend its own existence with this widely reported and supported "Wikipedia Blackout." First Light (talk) 06:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
A majority? Are you kidding? 1,800 users participated in the discussion of the blackout; over 34,000 users edited Wikipedia at least 5 times in December, and many many more visited without editing. A simple sitewide "yes/no" vote could and should have been taken, but nope; Wikipedia's navel-gazing class had numerous unfollowable discussions of the issue in many places, which of course ultimately turned into a vote, and one that excluded the vast majority of the site's users. Terrible form, and the buck stops with Jimbo, who originally sparked this nonsense. Townlake (talk) 07:04, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The NYT article has a link to Wikipedia's debating and votes. Petersontinam (talk) 07:11, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Also, please read comments under the NYT's article. They are mixed and very interesting. Petersontinam (talk) 07:17, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Townlake - compare the number of commentators/etc. who participated in the decision with the numbers for any other Wikipedia discussion. I strongly disagree with this decision to blackout, but I wholeheartedly agree with the discussion closers' "consensus to blackout" close. I may wish there weren't consensus, but ... there is. --Philosopher Let us reason together. via alternate account 09:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Feel free to join me in protesting the blackout by blacking out your userpage, btw. --Philosopher Let uBold texts reason together. via alternate account 09:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Does this mean that policy is pointless? If it can be overridden by agreement between the right people, does it have any power at all? Policy was meant to be binding, so we can't just disregard it because of consensus. Especially in a situation with such far-reaching consequences. Alphateam7911 (talk) 13:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


With all respect, the Community voted on the blackout. There was a chance to discuss it there, and the blackout passed. I would much rather have Wikipedia blocked to show solidarity with the cause than have us carry on regardless. Sometimes, the worst possible action is the best possible choice. doktorb wordsdeeds 09:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I was aware of the discussion, followed it, but did not !vote. I have no way of knowing how many others did likewise, or why. Changing the world has always been political, but has never been less politicized. Off for 24 hours, passive protest, impact (see WP:CRYSTAL). Still coming back to edit. Dru of Id (talk) 10:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
@Doktorbuk The whole community had no chance to discuss it, due to the fact there was no banner/site message pointing to the discussion/vote/poll. I have no issue on having a banner but not locking the whole site down. The blackout will not help Wikipedia's image at all and a lot of the media is just using the PR release by the WMF which in itself is a classic case of POV PR. Bidgee (talk) 11:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
There shouldn't have been a discussion at all. Now that the blackout has been decided on, Wikipedia has lost the right to call itself neutral. Its bordering on disgusting that we're taking sides like this. I won't be donating again and I can barely stand to even be on this website. Wiki is supposed to be a free encyclopaedia, open to all to read or edit. Now we're a campaign group. Does anyone know if Encyclopaedia Britannica is doing a blackout? Pascal (talk) 11:58, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Your melodrama is touching. Wiki has been at the forefront of making information and education available to all. When SOPA comes along to destroy that, why should Wiki sit by and do nothing? You should be proud of Wikipedia for making this stance. I think the whole Foundation stands strong today. If you "can barely stand" to be here, you can't be much of a supporter to begin with. doktorb wordsdeeds 12:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Adding to the comment above, Pascal, do you think not "campaigning", as you say, will simply just make SOPA/PIPA - go away? -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 12:06, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I love Wikipedia, I think its one of the greatest resources on the net. But that's only because the information here is free (or supposed to be free) from people's opinions and beliefs. I am opposed to SOPA, but Wikipedia is certainly not the place to be protesting. What comes next? English libel laws? Chinese political prisoners? Oh, but SOPA is threatening to wikipedia specifically... Well, leave that to WMF's lobbyists. How can we be free info for all if we're blacking out the site? How are any of the editors expected to be neutral in their work here if the site itself isn't neutral? Pascal (talk) 12:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
If you love Wikipedia so much, why do you want it to be crippled by SOPA/PIPA? Do you think the project will be resourceful if we just sit down, do nothing, and let SOPA/PIPA rule the internet? Finally, you won't need to worry about Wikipedia, because if these to disruptive bills (that's what they are) pass, there probably won't be a Wikipedia to worry about - that is why the community is taking these steps. Oh and last but not least, would you rather a policy broken - or the whole encyclopedia to be broken? -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 12:27, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
1) They won't pass. 2) Wikipedia is supposed to be against copyvio anyway. 3) A global blackout for a US law does not represent a worldwide view on the subject. 4) The vote taken was crippled by problems, as mentioned by others above. 5) Its not just a policy that's at stake, it's our entire reputation. Wikipedia is already derided by all for its "inaccuracy", do we really need to be accused of a liberal bias too? Yes, SOPA is a threat, but so are sock puppet accounts and vandals and IP users and a lack of references. I honestly don't think the road we've embarked on as a community will lead anywhere other than a significant dilution of what Wikipedia was originally supposed to be. Wiki is not a campaign group. Wiki is not a protest organisation. Wiki is an encyclopedia, first and foremost, and so it should remain. Pascal (talk) 12:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Pascal is right. A blackout is inconsistent with what WP is. How about taking down the Statue of Liberty for a day, if consensus doesn't like a Supreme Court decision? WP should take the "Jesus" route – if nailed to the cross, forgive them they know not what they do, and rise again. Be consistent! (Sheesh.) Ihardlythinkso (talk) 12:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. If you go to a library and check out a printed encyclopedia, it won't lock itself up because someone wants to put it on the "banned books" list. Wikipedia's primary purpose has always been to provide information, and we need to recognize that that should come above political campaigning of any kind. Alphateam7911 (talk) 13:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
So we will just let 11 years of the encyclopedia, swirl down the drain - all because some editors do not wish to go head to head with one of many policies, that aren't set in stone - or can't save something that some of us, including myself, spend most of our day on. I'd prefer a site that doesn't have restrictions - Than a site basically run by SOPA/PIPA -- any day of the week. My sympathy goes out to the editors who have spent the majority of those eleven years here, building this place of knowledge - that now have a terrible though in their head, about what SOPA/PIPA can potentially do!
This is a drastic time, and with drastic times, drastic measures are called into place. -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 13:53, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Drastic measures like Japanese internment camps (WWII)? You just don't get it. You are deprecating the 11 years you refer to, with the blackout action. This is high hypocrisy on WP's part ("Destroy the village in order to save it."). It's inconsistent with WP founding premises re neutrality. (How can the neutrality of an article on the bill be trusted, if WP takes a stand against it?) If you pass a law so I cannot burn the flag, you are protecting a symbol that stands for freedom of expression, which you've just limited. Why can't you guys see the damage being done? The decision to blackout will be a permanent one – you can't take it back. It will bruise WP's reputation for a long, long time. Ihardlythinkso (talk) 15:19, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I'll just simply echo the majority : SOPA and PIPA will damage the encyclopedia. Yourself and the minority do not understand, that of this is going to harm our encyclopedia - the majority of us are not going to sit down and do nothing. The "damage" made by a 24 hour blackout, won't last. If PIPA and SOPA pass, that is where "permanent damage" comes into play. -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 15:28, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Your statements are based on the assumption that this blackout would make or break the acts' passage. We could do the blackout on every Wiki, every language, every sub-wiki around the world and SOPA and PIPA could still pass. On the other hand, we could just run as normal, or even support them, and they could just as easily fail. What if they pass anyway? We'd have just taken the most drastic, rash, and reckless course for absolutely nothing. And even if they do pass, it does not mean beyond a shadow of a doubt that Wikipedia will be affected. It could be ammended to have no effect on us, or any other number of possibilities. As for the majority agreement, didn't most of Germany support Hitler on his rise to power? We should step back, put this blackout business on pause for a week or so, and logically consider our options. There is still the chance for cool-headedness and reasonability to prevail in this issue. Alphateam7911 (talk) 22:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

WP:POINT is about intentionally causing trouble by following bad rules. Decisions about how to run the site are not covered under WP:POINT. Claiming the blackout is covered under WP:POINT is like claiming that the fundraising banner violates WP:POINT because it confuses people into thinking the portrait in the banner is part of the article (something that has happened quite a bit). Incidentally, I wish we could do away with "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia". I have yet to see it be invoked without being misused. It's supposed to be a summary; it's not supposed to be a rigid rule which says "if something does not meet the definition of what an encyclopedia does, Wikipedia must not do it". I'm astonished that people are invoking it as a rule at all, let alone as such a strict one, but Wikipedia seems to be a magnet for rule literalness. Ken Arromdee (talk) 15:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

How should I contact you?

Dear Mr. Wales I am a reporter with Business & Economy (www.businessandeconomy.com), a business magazine in India. I'm writing a two page feature on the lessons that can be learned by Indian institutions and internet firms from Wikipedia's blackout. As the Indian government too has recently introduced a quite stifling online policy and has started acting unilaterally against leading internet firms in India, I wish to establish through my article why Indian firms also should engage the government more forcefully. In this regard, I wish to interview you. Alternatively, I could send questions through e-mail if you prefer. I'll be grateful for your time as this would really benefit not only the internet audience but also civil society in general in India.

Warm Regards Amir Moin Special Correspondent Business & Economy — Preceding unsigned comment added by AmirMoin (talkcontribs) 10:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

(talk page stalker)User:Jimbo_Wales#Contacting me. ˜danjel [ talk | contribs ] 11:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

A sad day

I would urge you to reconsider this action. It is blatantly unfair against those of us outside the USA (as we have no say in American politics), as well as a violation of WP:POINT and WP:NPOV. At least one administrator has already resigned, and I have decided to withdraw from Wikipedia for at least a week in protest.  An optimist on the run! 12:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

The decision was made by the community, not Jimbo's own. He would never, ever perform any action to override such decision with his Founder right again. Just so you know. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 13:16, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
No - the community (or rather the few who were aware of the debate) made the request. It is the foundation's decision whether to apply it or not (in the same way the the foundation decided recently not to apply the request to prevent non-confirmed users from creating articles).  An optimist on the run! 13:53, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I used to be part of the community until this so-called idiocy took place. It is very clear that the community is a very small group of people who have no comprehension of American politics. If you don't like what Congress is doing, don't re-elect the same guys into Congress. If you haven't voted, get off your lazy ass and vote for someone who will represent you. Sitting a park or turning off Wikipedia is juvenile idiocy. I used to think I was part of a community. My monetary donations, time donations, and intellectual donations have gone to a group of people with kindergarten-level understanding of American politics. -- kainaw 13:57, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
So what's the point of protesting here. Go straight to Meta Wikimedia for RfC or email to the Foundation directly. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 14:00, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
In no way am I comparing the impact of these two events, but didn't we have a holiday in the US just yesterday for someone who helped bring about the Civil Rights movement by doing exactly what you're describing, with sit-ins and closures as protests against segregation laws? The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 14:10, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
If Wikipedia had been around at the time, its job would have been to chronicle the sit-ins, not participate in them. --B (talk) 14:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
If the community makes a really dumb decision, there need to be adults in the room to override that decision. How in the world can Wikipedia claim to be a neutral encyclopedia when it's taking part in a very, very political action? --B (talk) 14:06, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The content is neutral. Wikipedia itself isn't. It very publicly announces that its aim is the free collection and spreading of knowledge. As such, a bill like this one attacks that position directly, it would be wrong for Wikipedia not to react in such a situation that attacks its mission. It's a very common mistake to assume that neutral content means neutral site when it does not. -DJSasso (talk) 14:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
What kind of tree do you get when you plant an apple seed? I am willing to bet that no matter how hard you try, you are going to get an apple tree and not a pear tree. When you sow a seed, that seed governs the fruit that is produced. You are asking us now to believe that we can sow a seed of non-neutrality and produce something neutral from it. I don't believe that's the case. If I may mix a metaphor, once you tear down the fence and open the path to Wikipedia being used for political activism, that fence is gone. This time, it's a blackout for SOPA. Next time, it may be a protest for abortion or tax policy. After that, it might be branding the pages of all Republican candidates with a red X. You've broken down the door - don't complain when something you don't like comes through. --B (talk) 15:04, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
There is a very big difference between protesting something that attacks our very mission and protesting things that are in no way related to the wiki such as abortion or tax policy. -DJSasso (talk) 15:51, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Yep its a sad day but admins delete 100's of copyright violations everyday under SOPA anyone of those violations could see us closed down in the US even though we may have deleted it within moments of being uploaded or posted. Gnangarra 14:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec) re "the few who were aware of the debate" & "is a very small group of people who have no comprehension of American politics" - What!? There was a poll on this very talk page in which a huge number of people participated. There was very clear support for the proposition. Please quit implying there is some kind of cabal orchestrating this action.
SOPA clearly has serious implications for WP, it's entirely appropriate that WP has a serious reaction to its potential passage. NickCT (talk) 14:28, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The decision was finalized over a US holiday weekend when many Americans were off enjoying life rather than using Wikipedia. We now come back to find out -- surprise! -- the site will be shut down in one day. Townlake (talk) 14:49, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Unless you assume that the SOPA discussion was dominated by non-Americans (and several blackout-opponents argue exactly the opposite), or that for some reasons supporters and opponents partake in holidays differentially, I don't see how this effected the outcome of the discussion. If you check WP:300, you can see that participation in the SOPA debate had at least twice as many participants than any previous discussion. Claiming lack of participation is a hard sell. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
People like Jimbo were more likely to be online over the holiday weekend. As Jimbo was.
I'm not claiming lack of participation, I'm claiming lack of opportunities for all types of Wikipedia users to have their voices heard. The power users orchestrated this blackout. Townlake (talk) 15:10, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
By definition you don't get into wp:300 just from the support of the very active. I'm one of the 200 editors with the highest edit counts, so you might term me a "power user" but I didn't vote because this is a US issue and I thought that it needed US editors to take the lead.
@B If there was a move to introduce SOPA in the UK I would be supporting action here, to my mind the boundary is over whether the project is being directly threatened. If we were to start taking a stance on abortion, tax or healthcare then we'd have blown our neutrality. But if politicians support or oppose legislation that would take the site down then it is reasonable for us to communicate that to our supporters. So yes it is sad that this has been forced on us, but charities are entitled, I would say expected, to defend their mission if politicians consider legislation that would impact directly on them. ϢereSpielChequers 15:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Just for what its worth, quite a few of the Supporters of the blackout were non US citizens. Several live in the middle east, Europe and Canada. For whatever thats worth. so the decision to blackout was not driven solely by the US editors. --Kumioko (talk) 15:41, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
To the extent that SOPA is a threat to Wikipedia, it's only because Wikipedia has chosen to coddle copyright violations. If we wanted to be serious about copyrighted content being uploaded here, we could be. We could disallow uploads from users who have not attained a level of trust and require some sort of verified identities to be on file for anyone who provides media that they did not personally create. Instead, we choose to allow anyone to slap a tag on any old thing they found on the internet and claim it as their own and very likely, nobody notices it for years. --B (talk) 15:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── e/c "charities are entitled, I would say expected, to defend their mission if politicians consider legislation that would impact directly on them." Exactly. If a bunch of armed thugs invaded the Wikipedia offices to put WIkipedia out of existence, it wouldn't be a violation of WP:POINT or WP:NPOV to use whatever force necessary to drive them out. If we slanted the content of the articles about those who took part, then it would be a violation. As an aside, I predict we will gain a whole new generation of editors, from all over the world—many, many more than are lost by those retiring to protest the protest. First Light (talk) 15:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

You would lose editors who support neutrality and gain editors interested in political activism. Good plan. --B (talk) 15:53, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
No, we will lose editors who don't understand our mission, and gain editors who do understand it: the sharing of information through an online encyclopedia. A great outcome, even though that wasn't the plan. First Light (talk) 15:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, first of all, it's just one day. Have some perspective people. Not all slopes are slippery and we're not going to be protesting tax policy next. It is, however, a terrible shame if some editors leave over this, and I really hope those editors reconsider. But some editors leave any time there's a significant and contentious policy decision that goes against their personal principles, and there's no helping that. And maybe some editors would have left if the decision had gone the other way. It is too bad though and we'll sorely miss those editors who feel they can't stay with us because of this. Herostratus (talk) 16:04, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the perspective. It would be sad to lose any editors over this issue, even though it does happen now and then with various issues. Some people just need to vent—they should feel free, and are, to do so..... First Light (talk) 16:51, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
This isn't a policy decision analogous to sighted revisions or some such thing - it's a complete abandonment of the core principle of neutrality. --B (talk) 16:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Then go forth and start a Wikipedia's competitor in North Korea or even Saudi Arabia and let us know you can implement the core principle of neutrality irrespective of the legislative framework in which you operate. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 21:52, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly how does someone who disagrees with political activism not understand the mission of Wikipedia? I thought one of the five pillars was that Wikipedia is free content, not crap plagiarized from other sources. Instead, Wikipedia chooses to stand with the serial copyright violators like Youtube. Good show! --B (talk) 16:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
If you think this is about supporting serial copyright violators then you clearly don't understand what is in the bill and the impact it will have on any website, not just sites that are copyright violators. -DJSasso (talk) 16:12, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
e/c Defending our ability to exist is entirely coherent with our core mission to provide a free online encyclopedia. Regarding copyright violations, see WP:Copyclean for all the active efforts to clean up copyright violations here. Can you show me longtime Wikipedia editors and admins who actively support violation of copyrights? First Light (talk) 16:15, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
One of the the five pillars is Wikipedia is free content that anyone can edit, use, modify, and distribute. B, how does that work if we require editors to provide real identities? How do you expect a Chinese dissident or a teenager from Namibia to establish their identity? And yes, this would affect all editors, not just uploaders - I can copy and paste a chapter of Finnegans Wake into the edit window just as easily as I can upload an image of the Eiffel Tower. Or I can use a perfectly fine fair-use image in an article where fair use for that articles does not apply. We do very much care about copyright, but we assume good faith and we don't censor the site proactively. We deal with copyright violations as they are are detected. And, of course, we are quite often the victim of copyright violation, too - to the degree that reports for US Congress committees are plagiarized from Wikipedia without attribution. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:01, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
With some of the more drastic flavors of the proposed copyright enforcement, I see little trouble in someone dragging Wikipedia in costly lawsuits. Some of the WP:CCI investigations have made little progress in a full year. So, depending how someone is willing to spin "serial copyright violators" Wikipedia could easily be painted as one, alongside Youtube. Now prove in Federal court (at your expense) that you're not one. All this wile your site is off the net. Can't happen because it's OMG Wikipedia? Did I mention that a lot of Wikipedia articles link to pages of Google Books, another potential gold mine for copyright lawsuits under expanded legislation? ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 21:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Actually, WP:NPOV is not being violated here, and the case for a violation of WP:POINT is far from clear: see User_talk:Jimbo_Wales#WP:NPOV,_WP:POINT_and_the_blackout below. Geometry guy 22:43, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Thank you! - Thank you! - Thank you!

SOPA is just the tip of the iceberg!

If it can pass in the US, then it can pass everywhere else! The Internet and Mobile communications with its small number of choking points can easily be manipulated, filtered and controlled by the few that could not care less about the many.

This is a direct challenge to democracy and freedom of speech. Piracy is just a great excuse.

A thankful avid user and admirer of Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 173.227.107.2 (talk) 14:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Lights, Camera, BLACKOUT

Although I think that this may influence the government, how many other sites are doing this? Twitter already laughed at Wikipedia for doing this.—cyberpower (Talk to Me)(Contributions) 16:34, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Actually Twitter was commenting on the suggestion that Twitter would do the same as 'laughable', because they are a big commercial company, so lights out would mean 'no income' for them. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
A 24 hour Blackout wouldn't really hurt them but it would get the message through.—cyberpower (Talk to Me)(Contributions) 17:10, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Now that we have generated all this press, why not suspend the blackout, as this will generate a second huge wave of press. We can then carry forward with the blackout next time legislation is put on the calendar, which will generate yet another huge wave of press. Jehochman Talk 17:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The purpose of the blackout is not solely to generate press - it's to wake up average citizens and readers of Wikipedia to call their congressional representatives. We will give them an easy tool to do that tomorrow, and I expect the result to be pretty amazing.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:16, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The SOPA law has atleast made the website of Dutch news agency at least partially due to Wikipedia's black out. As Wikipedia is what the topic title and the first paragraph is about. It then goes on to explain what the law is and the positions of the people against and for it. So if you wanted to bring the law to people's attention, the black out has done so in the Netherlands.94.208.67.65 (talk) 17:21, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Jimmy, you will lose committed editors and admins over this. It's already started happening. The RfC was fundamentally flawed with the acceptance of single-purpose account comments, and is not representative of the "Wikipedia community" as claimed in the closing rationale. I strongly second Jehochman's thoughts here, and those of the IP — if the aim was to get this into the media spotlight globally, it's succeeded. Please don't ruin Wikipedia. Strange Passerby (talkcont) 17:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I support the blackout at the same time I am opposing it. Although it discourages me from Wikipedia, it won't keep me away from it. This is a passion of mine and living in America, I certainly want this to stop SOPA. I just won't be editing tomorrow and that's all. I don't see why it's really that big of a deal.—cyberpower (Talk to Me)(Contributions) 18:06, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec) It is not my thoughts that WP en shouldn't blackout. I was commenting on that this is laughable. As it is has reached the effect that it gotten this law to people's attention, I do feel this action has actual effect. Now whether to actually do the blackout is up to actual WP contributors/ WP community and WMF. I don't feel as outsider it is up to me influence the decision about this94.208.67.65 (talk) 18:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
@Strange Passerby: I'd feel insulted, if I were the founder of an organisation - to have someone in that organisation accuse me of ruining it. Mr. Wales is clearly not doing that. He has the right intentions. Those two bills, are whats dividing the community. Not him.
We may lose "commited" editors, but we will gain many more. It will be unfortunate to see them leave, but it's their decision, left to their discretion. -- MSTR (Chat Me!) 18:11, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't see why editors will stop editing because of 24 hour blackout. There are editors on this very page that are over reacting. Committed editors that stop editing because of this are not committed.—cyberpower (Talk to Me)(Contributions) 19:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm looking forward to a day off... and if it helps the world to actually pick up a newspaper or read about SOPA for their benefit and education, Wikipedia's blackout is doing "the right thing".... The Rambling Man (talk) 22:06, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Checking out now for the next 32 hours as per my talk page.—cyberpower (Chat)(WP Edits: 511,139,074) 22:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I would much rather lose a few editors and admins than lose the entire encyclopedia. --Carnildo (talk) 02:17, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

A source with more clarity would not hurt [21]. Don't forget that the main venue by which businesses can influence legislation is lobbying money. Google and Facebook aren't planning to shut down either. [22] But if instead of a blackout the WMF decided to give a few million bucks to anti-SOPA lobbyists, then imagine the outcry from that! ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 22:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia was mentioned on "The View" today

According to my neighbor we were mentioned on "The View" today as havng a blackout tomorrow. Since I have not noticed any "mental giants" on that show, I cannot conceive of what was said. Does anyone know? Can't watch it online until tomorrow. Mugginsx (talk) 17:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Not sure what all was said, but the explanation of the blackout is here. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 18:09, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, thank you. I already read it but was curious as to what was said on the TV show. Mugginsx (talk) 18:12, 17 January 2012 (UTC)