User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 95

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


This is what you call "Even Steven" Reporting

Atlantic Wire Perfectly symmetrical regarding "for" and "against" what is happening here. Good article. Petersontinam (talk) 17:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

New Host

What's to stop someone else from hosting Wikipedia? All you'd need is some knowhow and some servers, right? Isn't it already mirrored in lots of places?

Just wondering,

Chrisrus (talk) 17:54, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Anyone can fork the content any time they please, but a new site wouldn't magically acquire Wikipedia's hoards of users. Various competing efforts have failed or are, at least, less than stunning successes. Citizendium and Wikinfo see a tiny fraction of Wikipedia's editing traffic. Veropedia doesn't exist any more. Wikipedia's pole position is not remotely threatened. --B (talk) 18:05, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
You are right. But then again, he never flipped the switch before. Chrisrus (talk) 18:10, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Erm, there would be copyright concerns in calling the new site 'Wikipedia'. The Wikipedia logo is trademarked. I assume this hypothetical new site would care about such things... AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:21, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I see. But they could call it something else, there's nothing he could do? Chrisrus (talk) 18:31, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course. The right to fork is inherent in the way material is licensed. A mirror with now new editors would rapidly become dated though, and given the overwhelming support for the blackout, I doubt that many editors would switch to the fork. How are they going to fund it, anyway? AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

All UK residents may be interested in... suggestion of an "official" UK petition here. Great to get your thoughts, if only "Are you CRAZY?!?" :D Seriously though, it would be a very useful sanity check. Thanks, - Jarry1250 [Deliberation needed] 18:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

That is extremely interesting, is that true? As an American, I think a UK petition would be a great idea. Mugginsx (talk) 18:40, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Imgur Going Dark

Where Sopa Pipa Stand Now Petersontinam (talk) 18:50, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm a bit disturbed by Twitter's dismissal of SOPA blackouts as an appropriate tactic. While that's certainly their perogative not to make that sacrifice, I don't think they fully appreciate the impact this will have on their many users abroad. Dcoetzee 19:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
As above, the twit later clarified [1] that his comment was not meant to be read as a "value judgement" about other organisations involvement in the action. While Murdoch has tweetled "So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery." Surprised Murdoch hasn't put it behind a paywall. . . dave souza, talk 21:03, 17 January 2012 (UTC)


Non-Legislative Solutions

The White House believes that online piracy isn’t just a matter to be dealt with in Congress. Instead, it feels that content creators and Internet businesses should figure out methods to deal with the problem on their own.

“We expect and encourage,” said the post, “all private parties, including both content creators and Internet platform providers working together, to adopt voluntary measures and best practices to reduce online piracy.”

What “voluntary measures” and “best practices,” exactly? That’s left up to those with a stake in the issue to decide amongst themselves.

Into The Future

The White House rounds out the post by calling for public and open dialogue between the public and Congress on the issue of digital piracy. They invited the organizer of the petition and a few of its signees to a conference about online piracy.

“Rather than just look at how legislation can be stopped, ask yourself: Where do we go from here? Don’t limit your opinion to what’s the wrong thing to do, ask yourself what’s right.” And later in the post, “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.”

The administration also calls for any future legislation to have vast bipartisan support.

In other words...After the blackout, where does Wikipedia sit with contribution to legislation? Petersontinam (talk) 19:00, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Here's a better question - why should people in England or Australia be blocked from accessing Wikipedia, when they have no say in deciding what AMERICAN politicians get elected? That's just punishing them for no reason.--19:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Max84928492 (talkcontribs)
Because the legislation will affect them too. Many people from both those countries also voted to take this action. People in those countries do have a way to influence what happens by contacting their foreign affairs department who in turn if enough people make a noise contact the US and voice its countries displeasure with the bill. -DJSasso (talk) 19:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Max..Look, I have no idea if any continued "protest of the protest" will stop the blackout. I was not in favor of a total blackout, but I have resigned myself to the fact that it seems to be happening. But come Thursday...The protest is over and then what? Many lawmakers, including Harry Reid, say that some form of legislation is being brought to the floor in the near future. Combine that with the White House and Office of Science and Technolgy asking for is the perfect time for Wikipedia to offer up some solutions to bad legislation.
In other words: "We are gonna lock you up for your safety, if you are smart, give some tips on how you would prefer to be locked up." It's exactly this condescending tone that irks me even more. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 20:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe, or it just may be as simple as this... Washington: "We really screwed up here, we don't have a clue. We hear you and ask that you (the ones that this legislation devastates) point us in the right direction." Petersontinam (talk) 20:44, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Ideas Petersontinam (talk) 20:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Media coverage of the Wiki Blackout

Just heard about our blackout on BBC news. Very well stated as always is at the BBC News.

That's two announcements I have heard today from two different sources. Mugginsx (talk) 21:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

And a Canadian Press report on how even Canadian websites are joining, and why. Resolute 21:24, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Some of the media coverage is surprisingly aware of the issues here, though they don't always get the details straight. Here are two from mainstream news sites:
First Light (talk) 21:25, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I am actually old enough to remember when US News was informationally (I lnow that's not a word but it should be) correct and unbiased. Too bad. Now I only listen to the BBC. Got my neighbor to do the same. If I want unbiased information I usually go to Wikipedia where the majority of the editors just want to get it right and they don't even get paid for it. I love Wikipedia. Be back Thursday. Mugginsx (talk) 21:48, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Democracy Now devoted its first two segments to the issues and is available to watch online [2] (great show). It was also mentioned during the first half hour of the Today show this morning. Gandydancer (talk) 21:47, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The en.wp blackout is covered in Hong Kong by Cable TV (Hong Kong) news today (I watched it on the train while riding to office). This is by far the first time the SOPA and PIPA are being reported in Hong Kong TV channel and that really made my day. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 01:08, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Fox news just named briefly WP's blackout.--Neo139 (talk) 01:25, 18 January 2012 (UTC)


It's one day. Get over it kids. (talk) 21:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I know! Read the Bread and Roses Strike for crying out loud. Grrr! Gandydancer (talk) 21:38, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I am supporting the blackout. It's just one of those things that one has to do; this is about freedom of speech and writing not politicising Wikipedia. Sometimes one has to realsie that there is a bigger picture. Giacomo Returned 22:11, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I honestly hope the site takes a huge nose dive after this. I have poured countless hours across years of my life helping to build this project, and now I get to watch us make a childish point over legislation that may not even pass. Knee jerk political statements to events that are far less significant than countless issues Wikipedia routinely remains silent on do not lead to the greatest compendium of knowledge in human history. Hiberniantears (talk) 23:08, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Your hoping for a "huge nose dive" is not very impressive, Hiberniantears. If you would read the analysis by the Foundation's attorneys, you would know that this is not a "childish" issue. A company like Google would not protest if this was a "childish" issue. The reason that SOPA and PIPA "may not even pass" is exactly because of the opposition organized by many websites including Wikipedia. Most analysts were predicting an easy victory of SOPA and PIPA just a few weeks ago. The fight is far from over - Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, now head of MPAA, issued a defiant statement ridiculing the Internet community today. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:29, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you 100%. It is our reaction that is childish, short sighted, and wholly hypocritical. We are a laughing stock. Hiberniantears (talk) 02:28, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Not in the real world. In the real world, this blackout has been a complete success—before it has even begun. Sometimes it is best to think about things outside your own head for perspective. BTW, you should turn in your tools. For an admin, a trusted member of the community, to say "I honestly hope the site takes a huge nose dive after this" tells me you aren't suited for the position. Viriditas (talk) 03:11, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

WP:NPOV, WP:POINT and the blackout

There are many opinions on the forthcoming blackout (for instance, I think it goes way too far), but it is evident from many posts that a lack of clarity about some basic issues is impeding mutual understanding. Here is my attempt to spell out some of the distinctions.

  1. The blackout does not violate WP:NPOV for multiple reasons.
    • Wikipedia (the encyclopedia project) is not neutral. It is instead a rather radical vision to bring the sum of all human knowledge to everyone on the planet. Many people and cultures oppose such freely available knowledge, and action is being taken here because (rightly or wrongly) editors believe that Wikipedia's mission is threatened by the proposed legislation.
    • WP:NPOV means that Wikipedia articles should be written from an editorially neutral standpoint (representing all other significant viewpoints fairly and without bias). The principle that articles should be written in such a way is itself a point of view. It is a point of view that Wikipedians may share, but again, there are many people and cultures that oppose this free approach to the presentation of knowledge.
    • Thus NPOV has little to do with the blackout because (a) it concerns Wikipedia articles, not the Wikipedia project; and (b) NPOV is not the same as "neutral" anyway.
  2. Political actions taken by Wikipedia may be harmful to its reputation, and criticism of such actions is entirely legitimate. The distinctions between neutrality and NPOV, Wikipedia (the project) and Wikipedia (the collection of articles) are sufficiently subtle that many do not notice them, journalists are likely to conflate them, and critics may deliberately confuse them.
  3. WP:POINT is entitled "Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point", but it is a behavioral guideline about editing Wikipedia ("best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply" as with all guidelines). It primarily concerns attempts to "prove" a point by editing disruptively (read it!). It could be argued that all editors promoting the blackout have broken WP:POINT, but it isn't an easy case to make, and even if it is made, the large support for action strongly suggests it may be an "occasional exception".
  4. WMF (the non-profit organization) and Wikipedia (the project) are not the same thing. WMF may own the trademark and host the servers, but: (a) Wikipedia (the content) is freely licensed and mirrored elsewhere; (b) Wikipedia (the project) is driven by volunteer editors, not WMF employees; and (c) Wikipedia policies and guidelines do not apply to the WMF. In particular, the WMF can withdraw its service whenever it likes: this does not violate WP:POINT, because the WMF is not a Wikipedia editor.
  5. Nevertheless, it is entirely legitimate to criticize the WMF for its choice to implement the blackout. It had no obligation to do so, and history will judge whether the choice was wise.

Geometry guy 22:13, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Indeed, good points. But there is a difference between simply criticising them and sending messages explicitly demanding that they don't do it and expecting them to go against the clear consensus to do this.. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 23:09, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

"Political actions taken by Wikipedia may be harmful to its reputation". That is POV fearmongering. It may be more harmful to its reputation to do nothing. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 23:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec replies) I agree, it may be more harmful to Wikipedia's reputation to do nothing: we will only ever see the outcome of the choice made, so we will never know for sure. Concerning the WMF, they have no obligation to follow onwiki consensus (but I hope they will always respect it, and take it very seriously), and I fully support the right of individuals to protest to the WMF that they should not (have) take(n) action. I would not do that myself, and am surprised (but not unpleasantly so!) that the first responses to my comments come from a pro-action perspective. Geometry guy 23:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Don't kill the messenger, OK? But I was afraid that this slant would be thrown back at Wikipedia: Chris Dodd Possibly some additional statements from Wikipedia should be made to combat this kind of accusation? Petersontinam (talk) 23:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
It's obvious they won't make an offical statement because they aren't really gonna care what those people think and are stubborn. I'm not trying to be mean about it but I really think that this is the closest to any official statement. And I'm not sure it's fear mongering even though it is somewhat blunt. But then again, criticism can help. I already did it and I'm getting a lot of helpful reaction
--Thebirdlover (talk) 23:26, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I would politely suggest that SunCreator strikes his criticism of "fearmongering", as such emotive words do not promote good dialogue. Geometry guy 23:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

CBS Evening News

CBS just reported: "Wikipedia is conducting a blackout tomorrow to protest legislation which would prevent websites from linking to copyrighted information like Wikipedia". That is what they said! This is why I watch BBC World News for America. Mugginsx (talk) 00:05, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
CBS is normally considered a reliable source though, so this is verifiable fact which I expect to see reflected in the relevant articles as soon as possible. --FormerIP (talk) 00:14, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm afraid you've misinterpreted verifiability, not truth. Viriditas (talk) 02:42, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

And then there is this:

Sopa to resume in February Not Dead, not shelved. Petersontinam (talk) 00:12, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Quoting Smith from PC World, "To enact legislation that protects consumers, businesses and jobs from foreign thieves who steal America's intellectual property," the transparent nationalism, and transparency of the position against free-as-in-speaky-beer and free-as-in-beery-speak intellectual productions, the attempt to enclose the commons of thought, and the claim that America does not share in the common intellectual heritage of thousands of years of human culture; but, owns it outright. Much, so much, of Smith's position is fundamentally opposed to the free encyclopaedic project. Thankfully, the community is sensible enough to only take action against this when and as it threatens our project of a free encyclopaedia. Fifelfoo (talk) 00:24, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Apparently, somewhere in that batch of news, Google has decided to protest with a banner. [3] [4] ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 00:57, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh, and someone seems to gently hint towards Conservapedia maybe?

Mark Twain

[5] Testimony before Congress.

What is the excuse? It is that the author who produced that book has had the profit of it long enough, and therefore the Government takes a profit which does not belong to it and generously gives it to the 88,000,000 of people. But it doesn't do anything of the kind. It merely takes the author's property, takes his children's bread, and gives the publisher double profit. He goes on publishing the book and as many of his confederates as choose to go into the conspiracy do so, and they rear families in affluence. So if, as that gentleman said, a book does consist solely of ideas, that is the best argument in the world that it is property, and should not be under any limitation at all. We don't ask for that.

--Collect (talk) 00:30, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

That was a treat to read the whole thing... Petersontinam (talk) 00:57, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

[6] Hunting for H - - - .

There are more fools in the world than you would think for. When our Geographical Society met last we found that we had got hold of one. This was the new member. So I just set it down as a maxim, then, that if fools can work their way into even a Geographical Society, there isn't any place that's safe against them. However, that's neither here nor there; I simply mention it in passing; it hasn't anything do with what I started out to tell you about.

--AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:39, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

About tonight

I just wanted to personally send a thank you for what your doing to get your point across about SOPA and PIPA. Thank you for supporting the exchange of free information and taking a stand, not being afraid to ruffle feathers and honestly gaining mine and many others respect for your values. I have donated many times and I feel proud to have supported a company willing to stand up for the people and the information you offer. Thank you

Please forward this to the appropriate party.

Regards, Robert Lavell — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

On the amusing side

[7] ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 01:38, 18 January 2012 (UTC)


Anybody who really needs to edit tomorrow can visit and do some good there. Jehochman Talk 02:57, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I agree. That is a good idea. Thank you for your advice. Selery (talk) 04:08, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Blackout a success before it is even underway

An argument that some people - whether Wikipedia users and readers, or commenters on other websites - have missed or skimmed over up to this point is that the goal of the blackout is to raise awareness of the potential ramifications of SOPA and PIPA to the general public; that is to say, not just the people behind Google, Wikipedia, and the multitude of social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter) and what we could perhaps term the internet culture that supports them, but the people who spend a minority of their time online and who would otherwise be unaware of the bills in question. In short, the purpose in blacking out Wikipedia for a limited duration is to inform ordinary citizens, both Americans and worldwide, of how SOPA and PIPA will affect the freedom of the internet.

As of the time that I write this, with just over three hours yet to go before the blackout is enacted, the Wikipedia blackout is among the top news items on Google News, BBC News, National Post, CNN, CBC News, The Guardian, and The Telegraph, among an almost uncountable multitude of others. Indeed, a simple Google News search for 'Wikipedia blackout' shows nearly 3000 recent articles on the subject. This cursory internet search does not, of course, factor in news reports broadcast over other mediums, such as television broadcasts and radio reports. Additional sections above note reports broadcast in nations where English is not a primary language. In this regard the driving goal behind the enacting of a global blackout, to increase awareness of SOPA and PIPA to the citizens of the world, appears to have been successfully achieved before it is even underway. Melicans (talk, contributions) 02:59, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Indeed. I support the blackout, but now I wouldn't care if it was retracted for whatever reason. The potential damage by SOPA and PIPA truly reaches greater public we had hoped. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 03:06, 18 January 2012 (UTC)


Please see Wikipedia_talk:SOPA_initiative#Timing. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 03:10, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Safe from vandals?

All this talk of people still being able to access by disabling scripts has me worried. Does that mean we are vulnerable to mass vandalism by oppositional critters? If we are, of course don't mention it here... Petersontinam (talk) 03:46, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Regardless of this, there's still tools like WP:Huggle around. Calabe1992 03:48, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Write access is securely disabled: that is, no one at all will be able to edit. sonia♫ 03:56, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
  • If you can stop your browser from redirecting the page, then use URL option "&action=history" to see if vandals attacked the page before the blackout, and use URL option "&action=edit" to "View source" to see if vandals put any hacks in the text. -Wikid77 (talk) 04:55, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

media organizations to fill wikipedia void

The Washington Post, The Guardian and NPR are going to team up to help answer people's questions over twitter - or at least create a hashtag/blog so that other people can provide answers. Clever idea. [8] GabrielF (talk) 03:48, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Hilarious trawling for traffic ... anyone who needs Wikipedia tomorrow can always use the Google cache (or one of the numerous mirrors, or, supposedly, if I read the discussion right, turn off their javascript). --B (talk) 04:41, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
The fact that these media organizations are implementing these types of programs simply shows how important Wikipedia is to the culture now, and how much impact this blackout will have. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:44, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Entering blackout with articles 3,849,379

The final article count was near 3,849,379 at blackout. -Wikid77 (talk) 04:59, 18 January 2012 (UTC)


For all those who are here with arguments about the blackout idiocy, I suggest we Legal Threat Redacted. We have donated time, content, and money to this project. The agreement was clear. This was a free and open encyclopedia. It is not longer free and open. A very small minority has stolen it and is using it for a political toy. I demand a full refund of all monetary donations I've made and a complete removal of all content I've donated. I suggest all others demand the same. -- kainaw 14:04, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I suggest per No Legal Threats that you don't do that. Any threat of legal action, whether against a specific user or WP/WMF as a whole is still a legal threat. For your own good, I think you should strike your comment.  BarkingFish  14:36, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
You don't think that's an overreaction? Relax, you'll live. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:09, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The community could relax and live without the blackout. -- kainaw 14:32, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Even though 501(c)(3) prohibits any political activity of the registered organization, the blackout itself is hardly "political action", I suppose. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 14:14, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
To prove a class action lawsuit you most be able to show significant damages - something that translates into significant money damages -either health, injury, loss of business, reputation, etc. It would never work for Wikipedia. You would also wind up spending in legal expenses much more than the 5% (I think?) that Jimbo stated was the limit for 501c3 Mugginsx (talk) 14:28, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Erm, WP:NLT anyone? Seriously, Kainaw, that is a ridiculous suggestion, based on a gross mischaracterisation. It also has no legal merit whatsoever. As you should be well aware, as far as Wikipedia is concerned, you have two rights only: the right to fork, and the right to leave. Both options are open to you, should you chose to take them. If it was the case that a 'very small minority' had taken over Wikipedia, one would assume that the 'large majority' opposed to this would support such a fork. If you actually believe what you are saying, this would be the logical course to follow, so are you going to give it a try? AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The WMF's lawyer is involved and believes the action will not fall foul of any restrictions on the WMF by the code they are registered under. Nil Einne (talk) 16:41, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Not withstanding the over-the-top legal threat, you have no right to demand removal of your contributions either. You agreed to irrevocably release them GFDL or CC-BY-SA. Resolute 16:42, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Might be advisable to leave this as is now guys, I've referred Kainaw to WP:ANI since this is an unresolved legal threat, which has not been retracted.  BarkingFish  17:51, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Get with the program. No Legal Threats refers to conversations within Wikipedia ARTICLE talk pages. ANI? What a colossal waste of time in this case. Mugginsx (talk) 18:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I suggest you are the one who needs to "get with the program", Mugginsx - Have you read the policy? It states, since you appear not to have read it, or if you have - not understood it - "If your issue involves Wikipedia itself, you should contact Wikipedia's parent organization, the Wikimedia Foundation. Do not issue legal threats on Wikipedia pages. If you make legal threats or take legal action over a Wikipedia dispute, you may be blocked from editing so that the matter is not exacerbated through other channels. Users who make legal threats will typically be blocked from editing while legal threats are outstanding. Legal threats should be reported to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents or an administrator." I have followed the policy to the letter, Mugginsx.  BarkingFish  18:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Calm down. I answered on the ANI - if his threats were just what he stated here that is one thing, if, as is now claimed, that he threatened to create vandalism software and to use it on Wikipedia, that is an entirely different story and I am with you. I asked you to please show me where he said that because I did not see it. Chill. Mugginsx (talk) 19:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
According to Wolfram Alpha, you've been a member for 2784 days. If you've donated $1,000 that works out to about $0.36 for each day. Maybe we can all pitch in and write you a check for 36 cents to compensate you for your inability to use Wikipedia tomorrow? GabrielF (talk) 18:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
You misunderstand the point, Gabriel. The point is that if a group of us built something over years, making regular contributions, and then someone jumps on top of it in order to ride it to Congress, those of us who felt that no person and no thing should use it as a vehicle are going to feel that our historical contributions should be refunded. Do you realize how much Jimbo would have had to pay to BUY a lobbying effort of this magnitude? That's market value created in part by us.--Brian Dell (talk) 09:55, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
While the idea of a refund of an unconditional donation is silly, the point here is NOT to compensate for a loss of opportunity to use Wikipedia. Rather, it is taking issue with Wikipedia now being overtly used for political activism. It borders on high comedy that an organization that just spent months with a banner begging for spare change so that we could give the gift knowledge to the unlearned masses around the world now is no longer interested in the unlearned masses, but instead is focused on making a political statement. I like to give to charitable organizations - I don't like to give to political organizations. --B (talk) 19:17, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
The exact reason for this move is to protect the ability to get to that knowledge by the "unlearned masses". In doing this we are seeking to protect exactly that which we asked people to donate towards. This bill has the potential to cut off that which people donated to support. -DJSasso (talk) 19:20, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
It's very common for non-profits to engage in political activism, either by hiring lobbyists directly or by paying membership dues to a trade association that lobbies for them. A lot of the time that lobbying is directed at obtaining grants, but influencing legislation that affects your mission is very common. Its very rare for a charity to tell you that a portion of your donation is going towards overhead, whether lobbying or other administrative costs, but that's just the reality. (My college once sent me a mailer with a pitch to give to the annual fund so that they could pay for lightbulbs, but that's highly unusual - I've written plenty of solicitation letters and the standard practice is that you emphasize your cause and you don't bother to mention that you also need to pay the development office, the fundraising department, the accountants and, yes, the lobbyist) You can find out the percentage of any organization's funding that goes towards implementing its mission by looking at the public form 990 reports to the IRS on Nowhere is it 100%. Compared to, say, The American Cancer Society, I'm sure that the percentage of money that WMF spends on political activity, blackout included, is miniscule.GabrielF (talk) 19:33, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia will be blacked out to protest SOPA and PIPA

Please note: In less than 11 hours, the English Wikipedia will be blacked out globally to protest SOPA and PIPA.

So much for Wikipedia having a "neutral point of view". You can't claim the website is neutral when you're actively using it to push a political agenda.

Oh and yes, I read the ridiculous disclaimer on the page regarding this "blackout", about how Wikipedia's content is neutral but it's "mission" isn't. That's an oxymoron, especially since this idiotic decision was promoted by Wikipedia admins and community members. You can't expect neutral decisions to come non-neutral individuals. Nor should you let a minority of vocal wack-tivists decide to take away Wikipedia from the billions of people who use it daily. Why should for example, people in Britain who use the English Wikipedia lose access to it when they have no say in electing the politicians who passed this bill?

Plus this protest is nothing but fearmongering - like something you'd hear on Alex Jones' website - whether or not anyone agrees with the Bills or not - the idea that the passing of this bill is going to lead to the entire internet being censored by some "Big Brother" is just a slippery slope.

So how long is this stupid blackout going to be in effect anyway? Or are you shutting it down for good and is this whole thing really just a ruse for the real reason it's being shut down (ex. lack of donation money)? I'd really love to know.--Max84928492 (talk) 19:41, 17 January 2012 (UTC)Max84928492 (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

That is a valid question. Is it 24 hours or what? HOW LONG IS THE BLACKOUT GOING TO BE FOR? There, maybe someone will see it and answer it. Face-grin.svg
OK, I will answer it myself. TWENTY-FOUR HOURS. Mugginsx (talk) 20:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

To Jimbo Wales, and the Wikimedia Foundation.

I am Thebirdlover, a user of your site for one year and a rollbacker since December. I am normally one of your biggest supporters and have recommended Wikipedia even when people have said your encyclopedia was unencyclopedic and have protected this wiki from vandals many, many times. But I am very opposed to the blackout. I think that this is a unwarranted politically motivated protest that violates NPOV and Do not disrupt to make a point. If this protest actually goes through, there may be unintended consequences that may violate the spirit of our wiki and will hurt the basis that it was founded on such as stuff like this happening again. Although some of Jimbo's statements such as the mission vs. purpose one stated above could clearly indicated contridictions are already being started up even now. At one time I loved this site and thought this was one of the best reference sources ever. Now I am afraid that I may be starting to agree with the dissidents in some ways. I just hope that you all change your minds and that my opinion matters like it would have if I was here a few years ago.

From, --Thebirdlover (talk) 20:45, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

PS: Also note the fact, that there is no website that is a mirror wikipedia information later than 2007 due to your mirror censorship. This means that no one will have up to date information on obscure subjects in cases where it would be helpful to them. This of course, is hypocritical to the boundaries stated.

How arrogant must you be to think Jimbo is going to back down against the consensus because you don't like it.. If you cut the pedantic bullshit you'd realise that it is a bill which could potentially put an end to the freedom of wikipedia, its very existence and the freedom of knowledge, and anything which threatens that must be stopped regardless of "rules". Or would you rather wikipedia kept being sued and eventually might have to be forced to shutdown permanently? Put things in perspective and stop whining, please.♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:10, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
There isn't any call to be so rude to someone because they disagree with you, Blofeld. I'm pretty sure you could have responded by noting the risks and your own personal opinion without being such a jackass. Resolute 21:15, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
Ha! Well said, Resolute. --JaGatalk 22:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)
I understand the concerns stated but I think the purpose as a free neutural encyclopedic source discourages anything that could be remotely considered political bias and that doing that will be really damaging to our reputation. As well as the fact that this will really inconvenience people across the world.
--Thebirdlover (talk) 21:29, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't exactly think the situation is ideal myself but understand TheBirdlover if the bill passes it could put an end to the encyclopedia you love so dearly. Anything which threatens the way it functions and its existence in my opinion must be stopped even if technically it goes against NPOV and Do not disrupt to make a point. Sure we are trying to produce a free neutral encyclopedia with no stance on anything but imagine this. The bill passes. Wikipedia did not do all it could in its power to try to prevent it. We suddenly face multiple lawsuits to the point we can no longer host BLP content because of the fear of being sued. Is that what you want? The way I see it is that if the actual function of wikipedia is threatened we must do all we can to defend ourselves. @Resolute. I'm tired of people moaning about it. Its only 24 hours.. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:37, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

"Support. I thought about NPOV, but realized that NPOV won't matter if Wikipedia becomes too much of a liability to exist anyway. " Says it all..♦ Dr. Blofeld 21:51, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

I am offering support for the safety of Wikipedia only. I am still concerned about the credibility of the site though and still think my points are valid. --Thebirdlover (talk) 22:18, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Dr Blofeld, firstly it is not arrogant of Thebirdlover to ask for Jimbo to reconsider. He is only adding his voice to many of us who have the same concern. Secondly, do you really think that even if the bill goes through, this will bring down Wikipedia? It may cause us to have to tighten our grip on copyvios (a good thing), but no politician (not even an American one) is going to be dumb enough to commit political suicide by attempting to ban one of the largest and most educational websites in the world. I can still listen to Tchaikovsky [9]An optimist on the run! 22:19, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the defence. While I think the law isn't the best way to combat piracy, the way people are trying to destroy the law is not good either. I personally doubt that Congress would go after Wikipedia but other unexpected stuff have happened before. --Thebirdlover (talk) 22:28, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

There are legitimate disagreements here, and no need for forceful language or ad hominem arguments. My concern with this thread (or two?), is that some editors are applying policies and guidelines outside of their domain of validity, and hence hitting a brick wall. I have started a separate thread below on this. Geometry guy 22:35, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

@Birdlover. I think SOPA is a serious enough of a threat to make wikipedia a liability that could lead to countless legal disputes and a whole lot of nastiness which could profundly affect the future of wikipedia to the point it would deeply trouble us and threaten to future of knowledge and wikipedia's function, absolutely. I saw the comment Rupert Murdoch said about it and "ludicrous" Jimmy is something of an understatement! Wikipedia is a not for profit charity, answer that one Mr. Murdoch. I think its too early yet though to be throwing a party even if we got the mass coverage very successfully. Let's wait and see what happens and both proposals are dropped.. ♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:44, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Chris Dodd is defiant

Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, now head of the Motion Picture Association of America and leading advocate for SOPA and PIPA, issued a defiant statement saying we are "corporate pawns", calling the blackout a "stunt", an "abuse of power" and a "dangerous and troubling development". Such extreme rhetoric shows that the pro-SOPA/PIPA forces have been badly hurt by our protest. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:42, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Or it might possibly be what he thinks is the truth. Amazingly enough, that can happen in this world. Collect (talk) 01:44, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
If you think that this is just Chris Dodd's disinterested, objective opinion unrelated to his employment by the motion picture industry, and is not a desperate tactic in a bitter political battle to push through SOPA/PIPA, then I have to disagree with you. But you are welcome to judge Dodd's amazing statement any way you wish. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 01:49, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to suggest that it is both. Dodd genuinely believes these comments to be true; but, Dodd's conceptual apparatus is so limited by his own beliefs that politics is a "stunt" "abuse of power" and dominated by "corporate pawns" (if only it were corporate prawns!), that he is incapable of believing that people organise in economically and politically different ways to hierarchical corporate power structures, for instance, as volunteer consensus based collectives. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:01, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I was wondering why Senators Blumenthal and Lieberman were cosponsors of PIPA and Congressman Larson was a cosponsor of SOPA given that there aren't that many media companies in Connecticut (ESPN being a notable exception). Now I understand. I am sad to see that a guy who gets paid to lobby for giant media companies sees volunteer wikipedia editors as "corporate pawns". The Dodd family has a history of public service dating from the time Chris Dodd's father served as a prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials. I think Chris Dodd is failing to live up to that legacy. GabrielF (talk) 02:02, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I live in Connecticut and have hired a lobbyist to work on behalf of our search industry group. So far I have appointments with the staff of Reps Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney. Wikipedia being down tomorrow will suck because I need it to compile materials for these meetings. Jehochman Talk 02:09, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I had a favorable impression of Chris Dodd for many years, but now have severe doubts. Looking at it from another direction, he is just aggressively doing his job. His interests are contrary to ours, at least when it comes to freedom of information online. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 02:14, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Best of luck with your meetings. If I still lived in CT I would have loved to join you. I've met Murphy and found him to have a sophisticated take on complex issues, although he probably has a lot of ESPN employees in his district. Haven't met Courtney. GabrielF (talk) 02:22, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
As a Connecticut resident, I wholeheartedly share all the sentiments above. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:26, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Dodd is himself a corporate pawn. And Wikipedia has been pressed into service for political activism. Both realities are deplorable. Writegeist (talk) 02:29, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia has interests and needs to protect them. Democracy can be ugly. If you can't stand it, look away. Jehochman Talk 02:35, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
One patronizing little homily deserves another: if you can't understand, look inside. Writegeist (talk) 03:47, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
I wasn't patronizing you. And if somebody is rude, don't be rude back. I don't buy this argument that Wikipedia has to stand mute on matters of great importance to its continued operation. Jehochman Talk 03:49, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes you did. You weren't rude to me, I wasn't rude to you. And I don't appreciate you giving orders. Writegeist (talk) 04:16, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Anybody in Murphy's or Courtney's districts are welcome to attend if space permits. We are also trying to set up a meeting with Blumenthal's people. Jehochman Talk 02:33, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
    I'm further southwest (Himes, though I'd rather have Shays back), so good luck. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 02:46, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Up above Gabriel mentioned Lieberman as a co-sponsor of the bill. It's worth noting that in a Senate hearing a few years ago, Lieberman compared me to Benjamin Franklin in a frankly embarrassing bit of excess praise. I think it is important to realize that many legislators can't be simply characterized as being in the pocket of Hollywood, etc., but that they are sincerely trying to find solutions to complex issues. (As well as, of course, trying to balance the interests of their benefactors and constituents, not always in a way that we should be happy about!) It's complicated.
Chris Dodd's statements, on the other hand, were just purely the politics of soundbites. Unfortunately his soundbite is pretty weak. If a citizen uprising on the Internet is an "abuse of power" you really have to question what conception of democracy he has.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
As long as Dodd and Murdoch are the self-appointed industry spokespeople pro-SOPA, they'll have a pretty tough sell to the general public. Face-smile.svg ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 23:16, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Colour me shocked! A corporate shill is shilling on behalf of the corporation paying him... – ukexpat (talk) 15:59, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Talking points

I tried explaining to my grandmother what was wrong with SOPA . It was harder than I thought. She was very receptive to the idea that piracy is bad and therefore SOPA is good. So, I came up with some talking points; next time I'll be better prepared:

Piracy is a problem, but frankly the internet is a much more vital asset than the entertainment industry. SOPA further erodes safe harbor provisions. It includes circumvention prohibitions that would criminalize tools which protect privacy and empower activists and dissidents. It institutes DNS blocking that emulates repressive regimes and breaks basic infrastructure and security. It targets websites through intermediaries without robust due process. It contains overly broad and vague language, and overly harsh penalties. It gives rights-holders excessive power. It gives the attorney general unchecked regulatory authority. It threatens vital entrepreneurship, collaboration, and productivity. It raises costs for pioneering technology innovators. It is biased towards old media which has failed to successfully adapt to modern business models. It was written by music and movie lobbyists without input from the internet community and technology experts. It opens the door to censorship and limitations on free speech. It doesn't even accomplish its goal of effectively cutting off piracy, and is easily circumvented. It is vulnerable to abuse, threatening non-infringing sites and users. It encourages preemptive censorship to avoid liability. It punishes innocent users, and is ineffective against those dedicated to piracy.

If I missed anything, let me know and I'll add it to my rant when I call my representative tomorrow. Cheers, Ocaasi t | c01:50, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

I heard this analogy today, not sure what the original sources is, but banning the internet because it might be used to facilitate copyright pirating is like banning cars because they might be used in the commission of a bank robbery.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 02:58, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
One approach that I have found resonates well with reporters and others I have spoken with: to characterize this debate as pro-piracy versus anti-piracy misses the point of the opposition. Whatever one's views on piracy, I think it is easy to see that everyone agrees that measures taken to combat it should be effective and as minimally disruptive to the free flow of information on the Internet as possible. The problem in this regard with SOPA/PIPA is that it is not going to be effective, and will be very disruptive to the free flow of information on the Internet. There is an old joke: "We must do something. This is something. Therefore we must do this." An obvious logical fallacy. What we are asking is that we go back to the drawing board, look at the issue in a new light, and seek solutions to whatever real problems exist (and let's not forget how badly Hollywood exaggerates this issue routinely) that don't involve setting up the infrastructure of censorship.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:05, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
There really is no evidence that "piracy" is significantly hurting the entertainment industry. Lobbyists are using that as propaganda.
I am so tired of hearing about movie companies being ruined by piracy, when movies continue to rake in billions of dollars and so many pointless sequels continue to be made. Angel Cupid (talk) 13:03, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
What's ruining the film and music industry is an endless waste stream of crappy films and terrible music. Viriditas (talk) 20:28, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

CNN interview

[10] Hurricanefan25 (talk · contribs) 01:58, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

The blackout is ON TOP OF GOOGLE NEWS :o [11] (perma-view: [12])Hurricanefan25 (talk · contribs) 01:59, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
👍 Like I think the interview was pretty good. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 04:56, 18 January 2012 (UTC)
Well I thought it misleading. In fact that's whole PR exercise ending up spreading more misinformation than information, as I detail in a blogpost.--Brian Dell (talk) 05:12, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

How to access Wikipedia during the blackout

Disable JavaScript

Since “Wikipedia” blackout implementation uses javascript, it’s so simple to get it back. Just turn of/Disable javascript in your browser and Wikipedia will be accessible again during blackout.

Here is how to disable Javascript in Firefox:

* go to options and then content and uncheck “Enable Javascript”.

For Chrome:

* In settings, Go to “Under the bonnet” then click “content settings” and disable Javascript.

Cheers! Stubbleboy 02:57, 18 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh, and btw..I supported the blackout. Sure, I could access the content, and I'm sure there were a few others as well...but regardless I believe we got our message across to the people who mattered most! Stubbleboy 13:08, 19 January 2012 (UTC)


Congratulations to you, Jimmy, and to the entire Wikipedia community, for an extremely effective protest. I think we can all be proud of the results. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:05, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Congrats, I think it worked great. Was very interesting to witness firsthand. – Connormah (talk) 05:07, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
The results of the Wikipedia blackout, and all the other blackouts and awareness generated, were amazing...apparently over 13 senators announced their opposition for PIPA yesterday. We've got a lot to be proud of. ~SuperHamster Talk Contribs 05:08, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Big Congratulations. Very effective protest, with some senators and representatives already turning against both bills. Many of the hundreds of articles on the blackout led with "Wikipedia", which shows just how much of a voice we had. First Light (talk) 05:08, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Incredible results, but we can't let our guard down. Chris Dodd and the MPAA will be looking for any opportunity to slip something through if we aren't vigilant. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:11, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Congratulations? I had to go edit on the Dutch wiki 'cause my hands were shaking so bad. Drmies (talk) 05:12, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Yup. Seems to have caught the media's attention at least. And the sky appears not to have fallen in, despite the predictions of some. Time will tell of course as to whether we've achieved anything. Or maybe it won't - if the bills just fade gently away (as seems possible) nobody will admit to being influenced by blackouts etc. And if they don't, we'll no doubt be having more lively debates on what we do next. Interesting times... AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:13, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, keep your guard up on this particular set of bills. I support it happening again at a later time if something drastic was to happen in the course of them revising or trying to push it through. — Moe ε 05:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
The sad look on Jon Stewart's face when doing the "Wikipedia is blacked out" story was priceless. - Dravecky (talk) 05:15, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Jimmy you are and will be the voice of Wikipedia especially in hard times and I don't think this is the last battle. CNN wanted you today in the afternoon. I thought I was gonna see you then. Either way congratulations for giving the project a face. --Camilo Sanchez (talk) 05:19, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
I managed to sneak in one restoration of a bad revdel, but other than that I just made a few comments at meta and watched the news reports pile up. Very satisfying. Now if only we could get that much credit for our editors' article work... The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:24, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Blade, our credit is the tens of millions of unique visitors who come to us for information and knowledge every single day (except the last day). Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:29, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
It was only half-serious. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 05:39, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
We've got Obama's veto pen on our side. Now, I believe Congress won't be able to over-ride that promised veto. Congrads. GoodDay (talk) 05:23, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Congrats and thanks again to you and the WMF for your leadership on this crucial issue! Jusdafax 05:26, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Don't break your arms patting yourselves on the back for the media coverage garnered by this publicity stunt. It was as brilliant as chaining the doors of a library or burning books to protest against perceived threats of censorship. Shutting down Wikipedia in an attempt to influence legislation set a horrible precedent. BnBH (talk) 05:41, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
      • How's the weather on the lofty heights of your soapbox, BnBH? AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:45, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
        • This is a serious issue. Many content creators are accusing Wikipedia of spreading misinformation and frankly I agree. I would go into detail but my chronicle become so long I put it off-wiki.--Brian Dell (talk) 06:41, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Sincere thanks, Brian Dell, for setting the dismally crooked record straight. Writegeist (talk) 07:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
        • Libraries also close down from time to time and are well-known to protest against book banning. And nothing got burned - Wikipedia is back and I just read an excellent new article added just a few minutes ago. So retrain your rhetoric just a bit, please. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:47, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
          • Wikipedia's protest was either the lead story or part of the lead story of every mainstream media outlet in the first hour it occurred. It doesn't get any better than that. Viriditas (talk) 06:55, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Influence legislation? I think it was more to raise awareness than anything and it seemed to be effective. – Connormah (talk) 05:49, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    • As a Brit, I may not understand the finer points of the US political system, but aren't people allowed to 'influence legislation' there? AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:52, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
      • U.S. non profits, called 501(c)(3) organizations, can try to influence legislation as long as they spend less than 5% of their budgets doing so. At least, that is my understanding - I am not an attorney. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 06:19, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Reality check for BnBH and anyone else suffering from reality impairment: the blackout was, by all accounts, one of the most successful online protests in history to date. Perhaps BnBH means "dangerous" in a mocking, TopGun, SNL sort of way? Viriditas (talk) 06:54, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
        • May be very new here, but I felt a lot of pride today. I wasn't in favor of a blackout originally and was worried about denying access, attacks on neutrality, etc. Well, guess what? I was very wrong. Overwhelmingly, the response was successful and positive. The support out there, the contacting of was beyond anything that could be imagined. I contacted all three of mine right at blackout time, and received a response from my Michigan Congressman early this morning voicing opposition to both SOPA and PIPA. I spent the whole day stalking news outlets, reading comments (The UK was especially supportive of the protest), and posting comments when I thought it would be helpful. I posted to my Facebook page. I even received an email from a online Cosmetics company that said though it never usually talks politics, it wanted to make its customers aware of SOPA and PIPA's impact. Imagine! Yesterday, we witnessed the greatest technical minds orchestrate the pages to be seen in the blackout, and the obviously successful linking to readers' representatives. People who had never heard of this legislation before now knew. High profile proponents of SOPA and PIPA could not do anything but throw out weak accusations of "publicity stunt" as they watched Democrat and Rebublican supporters (even co-sponsors) take a step back. Representatives that took to their facebook pages and twitter accounts (ironically) stated that it was better to do this up right, instead of fast and wrong. Again, imagine! I don't know what the future holds, but for once it felt like Washington listened to the people. I hope that they extend an invitation to the Internet and Technology communities for a roundtable discussion on re-crafting SOPA and PIPA. I am happily eating crow, loving every bite. Petersontinam (talk) 08:15, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Wales. I am still new and inexperienced here, but would like to congratulate you and all of Wikipedia for yesterday's demonstration. Like a public library, Wikipedia tries to provide free information in a neutral environment. Also like a public library, Wikipedia must speak out when forces threaten its purpose for existence. Congratulations to you and all of Wikipedia for making this statement. Hanna Barberian (talk) 20:48, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

question about the decision-making process

I'm a pretty active editor here, and yet I was not aware that a discussion was taking place regarding the idea of a blackout, until after it was decided. Where and how was the fact that this discussion was going on announced or disseminated? Did I miss something akin to the announcements of elections that appear on the top of pages from time to time? Thanks for any illumination. Tvoz/talk 05:37, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I saw plenty of banners. Were the banners displayed in the U.S. only? Are you in another country, Tvoz? On the other hand, editors all over the world chimed in, and the debate was no secret. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:42, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
One of the places that it was advertised was on Template:Centralized discussion.[13] I cannot remember where else it was off hand, but I do not think it was ever posted as one of the announcements on the watchlist details header. Zzyzx11 (talk) 05:45, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Every time I logged in for three days, I saw a banner about the debate. Is it possible that some editors toggle off banners and then complain that they haven't been informed? Cullen328 Let's discuss it 05:58, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, as a matter of fact it was displayed on the main meta:Special:CentralNotice banner system. Of course, that is where all the Wikimedia Foundation's fundraising banners are also posted, and I've heard that some Wikipedians usually use some sort of CSS hack to hide it. Zzyzx11 (talk) 06:07, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Of course, anybody who has Jimbo's talk page on his or watchlist (and that numbers in the several thousands) would have noticed him posting this initial straw poll here last month. And thus all the subsequent discussions would have also gone by word-of-mouth. Zzyzx11 (talk) 06:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

← I wasn't complaining, Cullen, I was asking. I am in the US and I don't have headlines toggled or hacked off. Although I do have this talk page watchlisted, it's one of thousands and I don't check it regularly. I usually notice election watchlist banners, so I'm surprised that I missed these if they were there, but apparently I did - although if they were only there for three days I might not have checked my watchlist in those days. Didn't notice it in Signpost either, but I don't read that religiously - was it there too? Obviously lots of people knew the discussion was going on, and I'm sorry I did not - this was an important matter that I likely would have commented on had it been brought to my attention. I guess my point is obvious - wider dissemination of the fact that a discussion was going on would have been welcome and should be considered in the future. Tvoz/talk 07:22, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I think this was at or exceeded the normal standards, but at the same time, I think it's always a good thing for important decisions to be given wide publicity. I also wish we had a tool for situations like this to automatically be able to analyze votes easily, breaking them down into several categories like: admins, active editors, very active editors, new accounts, etc. That might be useful in terms of getting a deeper insight into patterns of support.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:00, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
The blackout was on Signpost a couple of days ago. I think I also saw the blackout mentioned briefly in a watchlist message. Johnuniq (talk) 08:27, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Jimbo and John - yes, once the decision was made it was very widely disseminated, including in that Signpost, John, and of course I knew about it - after the decision was made. I'm talking about notifying editors that a discussion of something of this magnitude was taking place, while it was happening, so more folks could weigh in about whether we should do it. The fact that 1800 editors participated shows it was hardly a secret, but on the other hand 1800 editors is a drop in the bucket of active editors, and shutting down the encyclopedia is a big deal that warrants wide discussion. In any case, it certainly does seem to have had a positive effect on the public discourse, and that's something we all can be proud of. Tvoz/talk 01:26, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Specially privileged spamming recent changes with nonsense

This seems to have been resolved and actually no big deal at all. A handful of things were done during the blackout, of no major consequence--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:57, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

One thing I noted throughout the blackout period was the fact that certain editors, including stewards and various administrators, were editing during the 24-hour period simply because they could, often altering user rights and spamming the recent changes board with related messages. In a true blackout, shouldn't everyone be denied access? Why were administrators still able to carry out these tasks? Kinaro(say hello) (what's been done) 05:49, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

There is a discussion analysing edits made during the blackout at WP:AN. Fifelfoo (talk) 05:59, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Risk of last-minute vandalism requires some editing: Because all pages were viewable to users who had disabled their browser's Javascript (or never enabled it), then any last-minute vandalism (or rewrites as attack-pages) which slipped into articles, during the final hours before blackout, would need to be corrected (by admins) to deter the potential bad publicity. In fact the total of all articles in English Wikipedia (then 3,849,377) dropped by at least 4 or 5 pages during the blackout, although a few new articles might have been added to offset other deleted articles. Perhaps a better plan would be to activate an anti-vandalism squad during the final day before a system-banner action, because many editors would be distracted by the banner and less likely to correct the endless onslaught of hourly vandalism during such events, even if other editors were allowed to edit during the event. -Wikid77 06:18, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
    • This has already been discussed at WP:AN, four edits "normal" edits were accidentally made during the blackout. No new content pages were created. If you'd like to contribute to the analysis, WP:AN is probably a better venue than this editor's talk page. Fifelfoo (talk) 06:51, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
      • And before this gets archived, my apologies. I was the one who deleted 5 pages during the blackout, the reason the article count dropped. Wifione Message 06:52, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Main Page stats

FYI, we had a huge spike of usage on the Main Page yesterday - 17,535,733 page views, compared with 4,873,388 on the previous day [14]. The blackout has obviously caused a tremendous amount of people to come to the Main Page to see what was happening. Prioryman (talk) 08:31, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I wonder if the top banner should be a more noticeable color...something that really stands out to still lead people to the information, stats, and contacting their representatives? Petersontinam (talk) 10:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Worst Blackout

I'm sorry I'm reiterating this but, the method Wikipedia approached the blackout may have cost 500,000 voices. If anybody knew how to manipulate their web browsers, they could've easily let the page load and hit the abort load (ESC) button to prevent the black overlay from loading. I for one knew how to do that and was able to use Wikipedia yesterday. The black overlay was the first thing that should've loaded to avoid this problem. The other people who know how to do this may have seen this as an annoyance.—cyberpower (Chat)(WP Edits: 511,232,334) 09:00, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

The blackout screen had one link to "learn more". During the blackout, this "learn more" version was displayed and it included a "Is it still possible to access Wikipedia in any way?" section which mentioned how to view Wikipedia as normal. Johnuniq (talk) 09:18, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure what the concern is. It would have been easy to prevent all access to Wikipedia, absolutely, but that wasn't the point. If a handful of people really needed to read something and disabled javascript or used more arcane measures, that's not a problem at all!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 09:20, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)The technically adept weren't really the people to whom the blackout was targeted. They already know (and mostly already object) to SOPA and PIPA and don't really need to be told much more.
As noted by the section above this, the main page scored 3 times as many hits as usual. There was a massive media blitz on the issue, even here in Australia (despite the waah-fest that a couple of Australian editors engaged in prior to the blackout) and I think that we have genuinely done a great job of informing people about the issue. While the similar censorship plans are shelved here in Australia, hopefully it'll make people a little more aware. I even scored 2 e-mails from my students asking why wikipedia was "dead" (and they're both fairly politically active kids too, so it generated some interesting discussion). ˜danjel [ talk | contribs ] 09:22, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Oh. I didn't see that section. Since it seems that this was their intention, I take everything back.—cyberpower (Chat)(WP Edits: 511,238,319) 09:46, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

It was actually way less complicated to circumvent the blackout than disabling Javascript or anything "arcane" like that:

All anyone had to do is click the "stop loading page" button from their browser just before the screen changed to black, and they could still view Wikipedia pages.--Max84928492 (talk) 11:26, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

That was what I was doing.—cyberpower (Chat)(WP Edits: 511,266,067) 13:04, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

NetCoalition to Host Media Event Thursday, January 19

NetCoalition Page "PIPA is the new SOPA." 9:30am EST, Capitol Hill Visitor's Center, Room SVC200 Petersontinam (talk) 09:49, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia blackout

Thank you so much for the Wikipedia blackout.

That Wikipedia took such action sends a powerful message about how dangerous these laws are.

I'm amazed by how warped and one-sided the arguments of the supporters of this law are.

Most people have no idea how greedy and selfish these big media corporations are.

To quote Richard Stallman:

Governments must never put the publishers' interests on a par with the public's freedom. Angel Cupid (talk) 10:25, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

No, the ones who are greedy and selfish are those like you who think they're entitled to someone else's property for free just because you're to cheap or unmotivated to pay for it. You want to reap the rewards of someone else's labor, but don't want to give anything back in return. Your socialist ideas are way more materialistic and evil than any "big media corporation".--Max84928492 (talk) 11:29, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm assuming that you'd be fine with an individual from India or Sudan walking into your house and stealing your computer - since compared to them you effectively are a millionare - and that automatically makes you "greedy" and "evil" just for owning a computer, while millions around the world can barely even afford to eat, right?--Max84928492 (talk) 11:40, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Absolutely, if someone stole my computer, I would be upset about it. However, if someone copied it, I would think it was great.
And I would wonder how they were able to duplicate my computer, without depriving me of it.
Here's some news for you: Copyright infringement and theft are two completely different and unrelated things.
And once you've released something to the public, you no longer own it.
For example, you don't own your contributions on Wikipedia.
And nothing makes me greedy or selfish or evil; I don't expect to recieve "compensation" for every single copy of every digital work of mine that's ever made. And I'm not trying to take away the rights of the American people just to maximize my profits. Angel Cupid (talk) 12:24, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not a right, it's something you wish was a right. I've got news for you - if everyone thought like that, there wouldn't be any music, movies, video games, etc.--Max84928492 (talk) 13:22, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
I must disagree with you on that last bit, music has existed since the dawn of time--so I don't think we could kill it off even if we tried. Mark Arsten (talk) 16:42, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
As Richard Stallman explained in that article, it is a natural right. Governments must never take it away except in the public's best interest.
And if you think I never pay for content, you're thinking wrong. Angel Cupid (talk) 21:40, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Safe until after US presidential elections

Good work by everyone. I think we are safe until after the elections. No politician running for president, including the standing president wants to lose California. A lot of electoral votes there. (Silicon Valley for non-Americans.) Mugginsx (talk) 10:33, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

But what happens after the elections?
Maybe we should be careful who we vote for. Not that we have a whole lot of choice. Angel Cupid (talk) 10:40, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
It would be improper for me to say who anyone should vote for. At this time, everyone running is saying the same or similar things. We would have to get assurances from whomever we would vote for and assurances from a US politican is as good as a promise from a drug addict that he will stop if you only give him money for the next fix. Mugginsx (talk) 10:43, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Good point. Remember what happened with the tax cuts. Angel Cupid (talk) 10:52, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Mugginsx (talk) 10:54, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

A success

The blackout was a success and I congratulate all those Wikipedia editors who supported it. The legislation is SOPAthetic, we can work to kill it off for good. doktorb wordsdeeds 11:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Message should explain whay "we're done done yet"

The "thank you" message should mention the Senate cloture vote on January 24th. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 17:09, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Barnstar for your efforts

WikiDefender Barnstar.png

The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
For standing up to defend not just Wikipedia but the entire user-created Web. Prioryman (talk) 22:04, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Hit Counter Analysis for the Stop Online Piracy Act entry

Hi Jimbo, here's a posting from Talk:Stop Online Piracy Act#Ongoing Discussion, which I thought you and your lurkers might find interesting as a summary. The topic also has a discussion going about how best to structure/split the page, and new perspectives are always great, if free time is had.

SOPA Hit Counter
The legislation was introduced on October 26, 2011, and five people are recorded to have searched in Wikipedia for the non-existent topic that month. This rudimentary version first appeared on November 3, 2011. On November 16 (the day of the first hearing) the page jumped from a few hundred average daily views to 63,000. The next day it hit 110k, and looked like this. After a week it tapered off to a steady 10k. Then on December 15th (the day of the second hearing) it jumped again to 150k, and after hovering around 100k for a week, dropped to zero for the holidays. After Christmas it hovered around 40k for a few weeks. On January 17 (when the 2012 Wikipedia blackout was announced to the community), views jumped from 100k to 600k. On the 18th SOPA was one of two viewable main Wikipedia articles along with PIPA, and had 1.8 million views that day alone. Sloggerbum (talk) 20:38, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Just goes to show that:
  • (a) people have a finely-tuned political sense of the dangers of infringement of their personal liberty in the internet.
  • (b) people would rather read anything on wikipedia than read nothing.
  • (c) people were desperate to try and answer that deep encyclopedic conundrum "omg, why has Wikipedia crashed?!"
? (talk) 00:01, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
In regards to (b), besides reading, do they prefer believing anything rather than nothing? Gravitoweak (talk) 00:14, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

List of legislators who support SOPA or PIPA up for deletion

How do you feel about this article being on Wikipedia? List of legislators who support SOPA or PIPA Some are trying to delete it. I pointed out that Wikipedia has a banner up top which if clicked on asks for your zip code then tells you who your politicians are and how to contact them. List of organizations with official stances on the Stop Online Piracy Act closed as keep recently after its AFD. I'm thinking the banner could show people who is for or against it, since there is no reason to flood an elected official with messages about something they are already against. Dream Focus 11:23, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

So you're okay with Wikipedia being used to generate spam emails in opposition to a political subject?--Max84928492 (talk) 11:35, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
As long as its something I agree with. ;) Seriously, different situation here. We want Wikipedia to remain, then we need to use it to get the word out, otherwise it won't be around for long. Dream Focus 12:14, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
...and the instant we use the article space for such purposes, we cross the line. As Sue said, the project is neutral - but the organization is not. That works both ways. If the subject has merit on its own, and can be shown to be notable, great. But I'm not sure that's the case here. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 13:38, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
What line? There is no big moral line there. WP:IAR and common sense apply here. There is nothing wrong with the Wikipedia having something to help insure its own survival. They aren't promoting any other agenda here. Dream Focus 16:19, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
See WP:Canvassing, a behavioral guideline which says not to try and draw partisans to a discussion such as AFD. Was your message text neutral? I think not. BnBH (talk) 01:21, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
He runs Wikipedia, and I had a Wikipedia related question for the guy. I was certainly not canvassing. I also mentioned how that information could be useful for the banner everyone on Wikipedia sees. Dream Focus 07:59, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Why not call our reps when they are doing something right? I called Chellie Pingree yesterday to say thanks...and when I saw Al Franken's name in this article, as a former Minnesotaian I called his office too. We laughed and chatted about the weather and I said that I had Al's name in Wikipedia to tell about Al's Minnesota Hotdish contest. I also told him to tell Al to read the details of the bill - just to be sure he really knew what he was voting for, don't cha know... Gandydancer (talk) 17:10, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
As long as the article is a balanced showing of support/oppose, which it is, I see no reason to delete it. Where you can contact your representative, it could say something like.."See where your representative stands". A suggestion for the article: In "see also", it might show a copy of the letter of the 5 Senators to Harry Reid? Petersontinam (talk) 21:46, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Agh, a list where most of the entries are unsourced, and most of the rest are based on facebook comments and tweets..... What happened to gathering secondary sources that analyzed the whole picture and explained the reasons behind the supports/opposes, and how this affected the process? --Enric Naval (talk) 15:50, 20 January 2012 (UTC)


As an early author of the article, please believe me that its existence is NOT a sign of advocacy for or against any position. The article existed before Wikipedia's blackout did-- it's not like the article was created just in response to the blackout. The article is just a sober attempt to report what the legislature is saying in verifiable sources. Coverage is NOT advocacy, article space truly is just intended to be article space. Please don't think the article is a 'statement'-- it's not. --HectorMoffet (talk) 06:28, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

A few Questions I have

Just a curiosity Mr. Wales. I am not at all in favor of the proposed bills, and have notified my representative of such, but that raises an external question. Wikipedia has had a long standing policy against disruption to make a point, yet Wikipedia seemingly threw mud on that policy by doing the blackout. It disrupted itself for 24 hours in protest, which was to make a point. I realize that other sites were blacking out in protest, was a blackout chosen instead of a more useful protest like a petition such as the one Google used, simply because that would make Wikipedia and Wikimedia seem more "hip" and current because several other popular sites were doing blackouts?

Furthermore, how does this work in relation with the 'NPOV' that Wikipedia requires. Now that Wikipedia is going to be dabbling in politics, there are people like me with legitimate concerns about neutrality. As founder, what do you think about Wikipedia injecting itself into politics rather than remaining neutral and just reporting the facts?

Additionally, why was the vote to do the blackout so hard to find for the average reader (whom this truly impacted. The editors were impacted surely, but it was the reader, seeking knowledge, who took the punishment) to locate and participate. I only found out about any such vote well after the powers-that-be had already swung the mighty vote and decided it for me. Would it have killed anyone to make a banner on every page, like the one informing that in___ hours, Wiki was going dark, letting us know that we have as much a right to vote as the insiders. To be frank, it seems wrong to me to affect readers without any thought whatsoever for what they think.

I do feel that, as I am asking you question, I should clarify my stance. I am against the proposed bills, but if given the chance to vote on the blackout, I would have voted strongly opposed. Wikipedia, had, and has, absolutely no business injecting itself into the political arena. Much like a newspaper, I like sources of information to try and stay out of their own news (this is in reference to the almost instantaneous inclusion of a page concerning the blackout appearing on the Current Events page.)

To be frank, Sir, I have heard what you said, but what do you say? That is, I've not heard anything but second-hand information about your stance. I'd love to see you address the above concerns that I have posed.

I understand that, to some, I haven't any right to be asking anything as I am not an editor with a half-million edits, but I am a reader, and I'd like to know, as I feel it is relevant to my own interests as a reader. Editors are important, but without readers, it's just a spitting competition.

Thanks. Rookie Rover (talk) 01:44, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

This was the biggest every invocation of Wikipedia:Ignore all rules.Jasper Deng (talk) 02:15, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think the "soft-petition" like the Google's one would have a very substantial effect on delivering our voices. The blackout did draw media attention globally even before the blackout which means it's kinda successful despite some (no implication of its scale) negative editorial opinions. The blackout protest was not meant to punish the readers. It was no secret that you could still read the articles by using mobile unit or disabling the JavaScript of your browser. These methods have been available publicly in Meta Wikimedia before the blackout. The ones who were truly affected are the English Wikipedia editors themselves since editing was hard-banned during the blackout. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 02:35, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

It may have been no secret, but I sure didn't know about that. No smart phone, and I didn't see that I could easily override the blackout. Sorry for my post then, it just seemed like Wikipedia had essentially ignored most of its own rules. I stand corrected. Rookie Rover (talk) 03:47, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Only some users had a blackout: I will leave space for Jimbo to answer, above, but I am sorry User:Rookie_Rover experienced a real total "blackout" which many readers did not see. The many users, who did not enable Javascript, could read the pages, just as before, and others could click the browser "Stop" button to read their articles. In fact, when I watched the U.S. national news, I kept seeing news reporters show the blackout screen, and then I enabled my Javascript so I would not "miss" the whole event. Perhaps others have already noted that Jimbo (and many of us) thought the blackout would have a "U.S. click-thru banner" so that all users could continue reading their chosen articles, but 1 day before the event, the plan became a "global blackout". Fortunately, many users were still not affected, but I do regret that User:Rookie_Rover and some others thought they could not read articles at all. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:02, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm sorry that some users weren't affected by the black out and that there were advertised work arounds to the black out. But to address Rover's comments above. First, there was a banner seeking input into the discussion. I saw it several days before the actual black out and it was changed the day before to the coutn down. Second, there is another policy---IAR. Ignore All Rules. It is one of the primary policies on Wikipedia, and the community (whether right or wrong) that this was a situation where we could ignore the rules to enforce this block out.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 04:25, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Stats confirm pageviews continued 90% during blackout

The pageview stats, such as for "aardvark" (stats) or "Hope Diamond" (stats), revealed that most readers (on 18 January 2012) continued to view their chosen articles as usual, despite the "blackout" tactic during the 24 hours. I myself, using the default settings for the Firefox browser (no Javascript), was able to read any page. However, as noted above, the SOPA-related pages received 60x-110x more pageviews. Plus, the "Main page" (stats) was viewed 5x more, and "help" (stats) was asked by 9,100 users, 30x times more than on other days. Fortunately, many users continued reading their chosen articles, such as "shipwreck" (stats) or "Costa Concordia" (stats). Only the pageviews for very rare articles dropped to 50%, such as for "Ruddy shelduck" (stats) or "Eureka Diamond" (stats). On the following day (19 January), the general pageview stats returned to average levels, although SOPA-related pageviews dropped to 40% of blackout levels (stats for SOPA, stats for Stop Online...), as then 20x-40x times higher than the prior week. -Wikid77 (talk) 15:52, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

But does that really matter? No, what is important is the press coverage that this "blackout" and other similar protests garnered. And that seems to be overwhelmingly positive.  – ukexpat (talk) 15:55, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
During blackout page loaded and then went to blackout page. So stats during blackout are not page views, but temporary page loads. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 16:08, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Exactly. Because of the way the blackout was implemented (a post load javascript), page viewing stats will count displays of the blackout banner. henriktalk 17:45, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
not only that, but people would try to load specific pages multiple times because they couldn't see the pages in question... or were trying to "escape" out of the auto redirect (a trick mentioned on several news articles) but only worked some of the time.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 04:18, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Pageviews dropped 50% for rare pages but rose for popular articles: I was just noting the patterns in the viewing of pages, rather than pushing for "good" or "bad". Common pages were viewed around 90% (75%-110%), so note the difference in relative pageviews:
• "The House on the Strand" (stats) was viewed 35%, but "The House of the Seven Gables" (stats) was 85%;
• "The Time Tunnel" (stats) was viewed 74% but "The_Time_Machine" (stats) was 113%.
Hence, the common articles were viewed near 90% of typical levels, while rare pages dropped below 50%. For some very popular pages, the pageviews soared higher, such as "wiki" (stats) and article "Wikipedia" (stats) being requested 6x-8x times higher on 18 January 2012 than typical. -Wikid77 03:37, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
That's really interesting. The SOPA blackout was a natural experiment in which users could still reach (though not access) articles through external means (Google etc), but not through internal means (navboxes, in-prose wikilinks, etc). Pageview stats during the blackout will thus disproportionately represent the pages at which users tend to arrive at Wikipedia. Given that articles on broader topics tend to be more popular, the stats you present are consistent with a model whereby users tend to arrive at broad Wikipedia articles via external search engines, then reach more focused, less popular articles via internal links. This may be of interest to the folks at WT:LINKS and WT:CLN. Adrian J. Hunter(talkcontribs) 04:58, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Anti Piracy Bill put on Hold

Lawmakers say that they are putting legislation on hold to take a better look at it. Friday afternoon, Petersontinam (talk) 17:17, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

PIPA , SOPA put on hold Congress puts SOPA and PIPA on Hold Petersontinam (talk) 17:26, 20 January 2012 (UTC)"Update

  • "(11:15 a.m. EST): In Congress's lower chamber, Rep. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which activists have opposed along with PIPA, said he would also halt consideration of the bill. 'I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products,' he said in a statement in response to Reid's announcement that he would delay a vote on PIPA. So now progress on passing both bills has been arrested indefinitely." from The Atlantic Wire article. Petersontinam (talk) 17:32, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
  • "Reid said the Senate had made "good progress" through its discussions on the bill in recent weeks and that he's optimistic that the Senate can reach a compromise. He stressed that counterfeiting and piracy are serious problems that hurt major industries, including the movie industry, which supports 2.2 million jobs alone." kxlh news Hmmm, Walmart employs about 2 million employees also Walmart...Does that mean that lawmakers will enact legislation to protect their jobs/income also? Petersontinam (talk) 17:49, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

I had doubts about the blackout previously, but now I can see that the blackout was worth it. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 23:39, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Nice Interview

Just want to say I think you did a terrific job explaining the issues here [15]. ATren (talk) 17:29, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Yes. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 19:54, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

See how bad SOPA really is

This video really encapsulates how bad this thing is: [16]. Maybe this post would be illegal under SOPA for all I know?? --Bill Reid | (talk) 18:04, 20 January 2012 (UTC)


Okay I'm still trying to figure out how SOPA and PIPA will cause Wikipedia to have to shut down. Unless 90% of Wikipedia's content is plagiarized, then I fail to see how this would be the case. Even if individuals insert infringing URLs into articles, these can be easily removed and blacklisted if notified by a company of copyright infringement. Unless Wikipedia engages in outright defiance, then they shouldn't worry about having to be shut down. I don't understand what all the hype is about - at worst all I can see is it requiring more diligence from administrators.--Max84928492 (talk) 11:38, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

The current system says once contacted about a copyright violation they have to remove it. The new system would mean that if even one person out there decided to be a jerk about it, they could shut down the entire Wikipedia, and prevent Google or other search engines from linking to them. It doesn't just block those who deliberately have copyright violations, the sites that keep hosting pirated software, movies, music, comic books, etc, but instead lets anyone for little reason block any site they don't like. Dream Focus 12:13, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia, as it is US-based, would have had no such problems with the proposed law as currently existing. SOPA would only apply to foreign based sites. Ad blocking of those sites would be done through the domain reistration system in any case. The issue here appears to have been a campaign to demonstrate that Wikipedia is "opposed to any Internet censorship" which is more Jell-o than substance. And reasoning with the legislators would have had mre profound results than the posturing ever could IMO. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:25, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
There are several different versions of SOPA. The current version seems to define "foreign" and "domestic" by domain name registration only. Thus, is a "foreign" site, as is or No, ad blocking is not supposed to be done via the domain registration system - breaking DNS is a separate and independent measure under SOPA. Finally, you seem to think that "reasoning" and "protesting" (assuming that's what you mean when you write "posturing") are opposing choices, when, in fact, they are highly complementary. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:50, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

In a letter I wrote: "Our concerns with SOPA and PIPA stem from the genesis of these proposed laws. They were written by the movie, recording, and television industries, and are being pushed by extremely powerful lobbying groups. These players have no particular expertise in technology, and they represent only their own interests. We should thank them for raising the issue, and for putting a first draft on the table, but input is needed from the technology industry before Congress can pass a law that will provide the intended benefits without an unacceptable risk of adverse consequences." Moreover, "Excessive burdens should not be placed upon Website operators. It is unreasonable to require a Website operator to personally verify that each comment, review, picture, or movie uploaded by a user is fully compliant with the law. Such a requirement would be physically impossible and force a huge number of sites to close..." Jehochman Talk 14:06, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

A more principled opposition is given by Laurence Tribe, professor for constitutional law at Harvard, who, after careful analysis, deems SOPA to violate the First Amendment to the US constitution. He has a 23 page letter on the issue here. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:20, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
Adding to Jehochman- Here is statement from SOPA supporters: "SOPA supporters counter that the ITC doesn't have the resources for digital enforcement, and that giving it those resources would be too expensive." What they are in essence saying is that they want the cost and responsibility on what they mandate in SOPA to fall on the Companies affected. They see it as a huge burden for themselves, yet care not at all what the consequences of that burden is on Sites like Wikipedia..Not cool. They are admitting that SOPA causes an online entity a huge financial hardship. Max, you've really got to read the legislation and Jehochman's letter. Kudos to Jehochman for his organized, intelligent leadership in raising awareness to the flaws of SOPA and PIPA. Petersontinam (talk) 22:18, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
"Copyright law" however is not subservient to "freedom of the press" as it is also governed by international treaty, as well as being specificaly established in the US Constitution as well - it is anyone's guess as to which argument the SCOTUS would give higher weight to. [17], etc. A interesting issue, but one quite ill-suited to user talk page elucidation. The historical precedents for the SCOTUS show a predilection for ruling in favour of copyrights. Collect (talk) 15:41, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
But the question is not (only) if SOPA is constitutional (or will be found so - not the same thing). The question is if its a good law. And the same problems that Tribe thinks make it unconstitutional at least in my view also make it a very bad law - no matter if the boundary of constitutionality is crossed or not. And the SCOTUS has also repeatedly decided against prior restraint. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:04, 19 January 2012 (UTC)
My response was specifically on point re Tribe's analysis which you presented. Few laws are intriniscally "good " or "evil" unless one considers all the "unintended consequences" thereof. Also note that "prior restraint" is not the issue at hand - the law does not say "shut down sites you think could possibly violate the law at some crystal ball point in the future, but requires that violations have already occurred on that site - a vast difference). Again my position has been and remains that making noise is fun, but accomplishes a great deal less than talking with those drafting proposed legislation, and making them aware of the "unintended consequences" which you see in the current wording. Collect (talk) 14:13, 21 January 2012 (UTC)


While the Wikimedia servers are physically based in the USA and the WMF is registered there, Wikimedia remains a global endeavour. What about media that pertain to a certain Wikipedia edition, say the German or Norwegian edition? Just as the English edition may host media that are not present on Wikimedia Commons, as they pertain specifically to US copyright law, the same applies for non-US editions. What about material that is perfectly legal in Germany and Norway and present in these editions, but violates US copyright law? That's one of SOPA/PIPA's many pitfalls. Asav | Talk 00:06, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

World IPv6 Deployment Day

Is Wikipedia going to participate in World IPv6 Deployment Day? I know it missed World IPv6 Day because schema changes to the db were required, but would it be ready this time around?Jasper Deng (talk) 20:41, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm afraid I have no idea. I recommend asking someone more closely involved with the tech end of things than I am these days.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:20, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Please endorse public campaign finance initiative

Hey Jimbo, please support this Post-blackout activities and initiatives statement initially directed at publishers and broadcasters:

"Public campaign finance is the only way to get lobbying money out of Congress and restore its integrity. Congresspeople have to spend 85% of their time fundraising, up from 70% before Citizens United v. FEC because the candidate spending the most money wins 94% of the time. So please ask your CEO, [publisher,] and board to support appropriating e.g. $10 million campaign funds to the top two contenders six months before federal elections. The resulting campaign advertisements will directly benefit your company and indirectly benefit everyone."

More discussion is at Wikipedia:Reference desk/Humanities#Best way to get lobbying money out of Congress? Your bully pulpit could really help pull this together. Selery (talk) 14:02, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

An absolutely incredible suggestion. Collect (talk) 14:05, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Unlike SOPA / PIPA, this isn't a threat to Wikipedia. This isn't any of Wikipedia's business. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 14:25, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I consider such a statement to be highly controversial. Speaking only for myself, I am not in favor of public campaign finance particularly if it comes with restrictions on the freedom of speech. But I'm not really interested in debating nuances of public policy within Wikipedia, so let's not go into my views on campaign finance! I'm not running for office. :-) My point is really that I think it would be wrong of us to work to get consensus within the community on political statements that are so far outside the very narrow scope of our mission.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:24, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you think that the worsening fundraising demands on congresspeople's time is the cause of greater lobbyist influence which allows bills like SOPA/PIPA to gain so much traction? "MPAA Directly & Publicly Threatens Politicians Who Aren't Corrupt Enough To Stay Bought" (Techdirt) This proposal, unlike the several constitutional amendments recently proposed in response to Citizens United, would not limit freedom of speech in any way. It would simply eliminate the necessity for candidates to spend so much time fundraising. Selery (talk) 15:52, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, as I say, my personal views on campaign finance aren't really of particular interest here. My point is that the issue is complex and has many different parameters and many people of good faith can come down on many sides of that issue. It isn't core to our mission, so I think that we as a community would not be able to find consensus on the question, nor should we even try.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:20, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Every thing is connected to everything else. Sometimes the connections are direct, sometimes more tenuous. There's no question that SOPA was a direct threat to Wikipedia, but even then, many editors were not happy to see Wikipedia involved in the public policy debate as Wikipedia. We must avoid the slippery slope. I hope every single editor weighs in on the subject of public financing, but as individuals; it would not be proper for Wikipedia to be weighing in as an organization, even if some connection can be argued.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 15:55, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Fair enough. It's worth pointing out that very successful democracies like Canada, Germany, and many other industrialized nations do essentially the same thing. Selery (talk) 17:03, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
A very interesting debate, but not one that I'm interested in having in the context of Wikipedia. Among the many reasons for me personally not to do so is the fact that many journalists monitor this talk page and there would be a risk of the misconception that my views are those of the Wikimedia community, etc. It's just not central to what we do, so I think we should avoid getting into it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 17:20, 21 January 2012 (UTC)


Original Barnstar.png The Original Barnstar
This barnstar is awarded to everyone who - whatever their opinion - contributed to the discussion about Wikipedia and SOPA. Thank you for being a part of the discussion. Presented by the Wikimedia Foundation.
The barnstars would have been cooler if somebody had actually created a special one for SOPA... instead the most generic of generic barnstar... which should say "good work" instead devalues the barnstar because it now says, "since making a post."---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 04:52, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Brilliant Idea Barnstar Hires.png The Brilliant Idea Barnstar
I hereby award you this Barnstar for seminal contributions to Wikipedia. JohnChrysostom (talk) 12:34, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright education for Wikipedians

Wikipedians can become more knowledgeable about copyright issues by studying the contents of Category:Wikipedia copyright and the contents of Category:Copyright law.
Wavelength (talk) 23:44, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Talking about copyright, what happens if the Men in Black decide to look at the thousands of copyright-violating slices of content embedded on this site? Do they smash the volunteer editors, or do they go after the founder and the staff which takes care of the servers? Gravitoweak (talk) 00:16, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Do you have any examples that you think are problematic?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 00:26, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
A couple of examples are commons:Category:Nude_standing_girls and commons:Category:Nude_standing_boys. It's unlikely parents would agree to having pictures of their kids displayed in that manner, considering how some splinter groups at Wikia formed a site related to spanking which included some of those pictures. Gravitoweak (talk) 14:45, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I just checked the first, and most of the images seem to be historical PD, artwork, and figurines. There are some recent photographs, but they have proper copyright tags. While there may be problems with personality rights for some of them, I saw no indication of copyright problems. As far as I know, parental assent has no influence on copyrights, though it may affect in other ways how images can be used in some jurisdictions. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:08, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Until and unless SOPA/PIPA passes, the same thing that always happens: we clean up the violations as soon as somebody draws them to our attention; we police the violators closely; and we continue building a world-class encyclopedia. --Orange Mike | Talk 00:27, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Slightly rose-tinted. WP:CCI has a large backlog. --JN466 15:31, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
The Wikipedia project as bounded by the oversight of the Wikimedia foundation has imo from my experience and investigations, masses of copyright violating uploads and cut and copy paste content currently hosted on its servers. - Good faith is a consideration here in regards to SOPA - The foundation and its tentacles are in no way promoting or encouraging the uploading and sharing of copyrighted content, although an objective position imo would suggest a raised request for evidence of file ownership prior to upload would be a protective position, and although there are copyright investigations opened - they are not well actioned and can take months and even over a year to action. Raising the profiles of these issues would further protect the project from litigation resulting from any more restrictive legislation, as also would the restriction of unconfirmed accounts from the ability to publish via wikimedia servers, more than limited content additions without any review. Pending protection although rejected at a en wikipedia poll would have been beneficial in this regard. Youreallycan 00:55, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
I just re-state what I said many times before: anyone who violates copyright regulations needs to be warned once, after that blocked without possibility of appeal, apologies not accepted. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:08, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes I agree with that position also, actually a bit stronger - but during the SOPA vote the foundation encouraged the counting of any unconfirmed vote as equal in value to an experienced wikipedia contributor and such a broad unconfirmed stance is in itself a vocal position of a rejection of any editorial control and as such a silent complicit responsibility for those hosted violations. Youreallycan 01:24, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
The difference is that whom we let vote is our internal matter, just like whether or not we let people insult and scream the shit out of each other is for us to decide. Letting people break the law isn't, or at least shouldn't be. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 01:31, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of whom we let vote, I was absolutely surprised by the number of redlink editors and editors with single-digit or double-digit edit counts who voted in favour of the blackout. By the time I noticed the poll, it was closed and decided. --JN466 15:38, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Philippe Beaudette, Wikimedia Foundation clarified that the foundation was allowing equal weight to any vote, IP addresses - sockpuppets (I added this as the wide open aspect of the vote meant that there was no control in regard to multiple voting at all) drive by anti sopa activists, unconfirmed accounts, people that had never previously edited en wikipedia, and last but not least regular en wikipedia editors - all were given the same weight in the vote by the foundation. I expected the process to be as usual and as per your comment in the interview quoted below, who voted for this? wikipedia editors, the wikipedia community. I was reported to the ANI for tagging the new users and IP addresses as WP:SPA in the voting section as we usually do in such discussion and AFD discussions, well, all such discussion really, the discussion is here Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/IncidentArchive736#SPA Tagging at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Action Youreallycan 18:07, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Gee. --JN466 18:50, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
That declared position from Philippe (WMF) seems incompatible with what Jimmy told CNN in an interview on the 17th Jan - CNN: Who voted exactly? - Wales: The Wikipedia community. These are people who are editors of the website. - Jimmy, your comment to CNN about the the wikipedia community being the voters seems at odds with that declared by the foundation (and followed) - did you know the foundations position as to who was allowed to , encouraged to join in the vote? As it turned out, such users that are not counted in a discussion to delete a single article were counted in a vote to close the whole project for 24 hours.Youreallycan 17:43, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
As anyone who cares to read can see, the discussion was closed by two experienced Wikipedia Admins and one Arb, and Pillip only accepted the result determined by them. The WMF did not determine consensus. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:28, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
They did set the guidelines of who should be allowed to vote - User talk:Philippe (WMF)#SPAs at SOPA/action - Youreallycan 19:32, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
It's not a vote, and the WMF has no mandate to determine who can and cannot participate. Phillipe can certainly, just like any editor, volunteer his opinion on how this should be handled. But it's just that unless he explicitly invokes WP:OFFICE (which, in this case, would be incompatible with policy). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:48, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Readers of wikipedia articles were encouraged to vote and were included in the closing consensus. That they could do that was a foundation assertion. Phillipe's comments were taken and used as if a foundation statement. This position was expounded in a template that all readers saw on every article. Youreallycan 20:00, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
Any chance of an answer to my question Jimmy? Youreallycan 19:49, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, could you please answer the question? Cla68 (talk) 03:46, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to see an answer to that question as well. Gravitoweak (talk) 12:46, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Curiosity: Did the Blackout bring new editors?

This graph of database updates over the past week suggests that editing levels have not been affected by the blackout. Selery (talk) 16:44, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Is there any way to tell if the blackout, and the spike in hits here, brought new editors that eventually stayed on to become a part of Wikipedia? Petersontinam (talk) 14:51, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Too soon to tell? AndyTheGrump (talk) 16:34, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know about new editors, but I have seen comments on various forums from people claiming to make new donations. Resolute 16:55, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
I'd like to see the income statistics, too. There's no real trend indicated in the donation server traffic. Selery (talk) 17:18, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

Is that time scale UTC? ALso, how were there so many edits over the blackout period? Was it AWB etc.? Chaosdruid (talk) 17:10, 21 January 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure but if I had to make a guess I would say its either database lag not posting the changes right away or possible some action on the toolserver. I know that in my case I did a big push to get some in before the cutoff and I had a pill that I ran at midnightish as soon as the ban was lifted so it didn't affect the number of edits I do in a week/month it just shifted them to a different day. --Kumioko (talk) 17:15, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there are a number of application and database processes which result in SQL updates long after the edits which caused them happened. They occur in a low priority queue so as not to slow peak periods of editing. Most of them have to do with template inclusion. Selery (talk) 17:27, 21 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Perhaps +100 frequent December editors from blackout talk: The December usage counts are being logged, and for the first time in 5 years (since 2006), the number of frequent editors (edits>100) in December has increased (rather than drop or hold constant), with an increase of "149" from 3354 to 3503 frequent editors (+4% increase: Gt100-table). It is too soon to see if those editors will remain, to show relatively high numbers in January, or if the typical January increase will simply reflect editors returning from the yearly November/December wikibreaks. Unfortunately, the unusual blackout enthusiasm has clouded the collection of the monthly data, but at least, the December data indicates that the supposed scary "freefall" exit of editors has ended for the frequent editors (>100 edits), as well as for the active editors (>5 edits) each month. In general, in October and November, the data had already indicated that frequent editors had reached a minimum core level of 3,500 busy editors who were not leaving (or had returned), despite all the talk of "abusive" POV-pushing or "no easy articles" left, and nearly 900 new articles continue to be added every day. -Wikid77 22:31, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
That's one way of reading the figures, but note that this supposed "minimum core level of 3,500 busy editors" was only attained in 5/12 months of 2011. The concentration of content activity on new articles is, I would suggest, part of the problem rather than the solution, and we should stop boasting about it. Johnbod (talk) 14:00, 23 January 2012 (UTC)


Could you, at a whim, pull the plug on the whole thing at any moment? Chrisrus (talk) 17:23, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

No, I could not. Wikipedia is owned by the Wikimedia Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with 10 independent board members, of whom I am only one. I am also not the CEO of the Foundation. I do have a special role (which I'm working to reduce over time) in the governance structure of English Wikipedia, and I do a lot of work with the Foundation communications staff to carry messages to the media. But what I don't have, and don't want, is the authority to shut Wikipedia down. For any one person to have that kind of power would be a very bad idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:44, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Public dumps are working great these days, and plenty of people have downloaded them including several commercial mirrors which you can find online on the internet today. There's a good infrastructure in place now for internal backups, too, in case of disaster or sabotage at the data centers. I think it is unlikely that the Foundation Board or management would agree to any similar action without clear community support. Selery (talk) 17:48, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Does that mean "no"? Chrisrus (talk) 18:00, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
It's a yes that Jimbo could pull the plug, but Wikipedia would not die because allmuch of the content is available for anyone else to restart based on the 'public dumps'. Why do you ask? Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:05, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
I understand you to be saying, "Effectively? No, because it would quickly be up again somewhere else and we'd go on without him." Do I seem to understand you well? Chrisrus (talk) 18:14, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes, you understand. Regards, SunCreator (talk) 18:17, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you. To answer your question from before, I suppose I was just "whatiffing" during the blackout. I was wondering how long he could get away with something like that. As it was just 24 hours, nothing happened. But they couldn't do that for much longer, it seems, and they effectively couldn't do it very often. If they tried that for a week, or did that very often, after a short time they'd have to turn it back on or they'd lose control. So that's why we don't have to wonder what would happen if JW lost his mind or freaked out or something, or that anyone will ever be able to shut us down for very much longer than that. Chrisrus (talk) 18:45, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
SunCreator's answers were wrong. In reference to this blackout, I think I can claim credit for having the original idea and proposing it to the community. But the decision was of the community, not me, and the Foundation agreed. I can't shut down Wikipedia myself, not legally, not practically, not at all!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 18:48, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, not without those nine others, anyway; you seem to be saying. You above seem to be saying that SunCreator was wrong to say that you can do it without these nine others, because by law you'd need all nine others to do that. But you don't seem to be disagreeing with him that, if you, with them, did pull the plug for much longer than 24 hours, or much more frequently than just this once, the entire thing would simply move somewhere else, so therefore you effectively could not do it at all. Chrisrus (talk) 04:37, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

History in the making.

Jimbo, in yesterdays Financial Times they heralded the success of the blackout as a triumph for techs over media companies, suspending a Bill that had looked certain to pass Congress only weeks before. Other journalists have paid Wikipedians a high complement by suggesting we have an affinity of spirit with the world shaking Occupy movement.

Theres a third reason why your support for the blackout was perhaps the most important thing you've done since founding this encyclopaedia. By taking a major action that's directly contrary to Policy, you've shown that our guidelines need no longer be an oppressive straightjacket. As you know, meta studies by the Foundation have found that across all languages, a similar lifecycle prevails where increasingly repressive guidelines are developed, coupled with a rise of deletionism and impersonal, intolerant "enforcer" type behaviour. Inclusive, friendliness and diversity suffer – the number of active editors begins to decline, as does the amount of constructive work. Some senior foundation staffers even reject the idea that repressive guidelines even help quality.

Its often said that our guidelines are a distillation of the communities will. This is a dangerous fabrication. Guidelines reflect the crystallised will of a tiny minority who have the time and inclination to engage in endless argumentation. They also represent a "complete ethical code" – something Hayeck warned of in Chpt 5 of Road to Serfdom as an essential tool of a repressive central authority. In relation to this encyclopaedia, Policy as its now evolved is effectively an embodiment of such repressive authority, enabling a small central core of authoritarian personalities to assert themselves over the millions of newbies who would rather the encyclopaedia be more inclusive. Hayek himself warned against laissez faire, and this perhaps suggests a solution. Wikepedia could be forked, with one version keeping the existing model, and the other having policy reset to something close to your original inclusive and unrestrictive model. But this time with the inclusive, friendly and tolerant values hard coded into the starting Policy and so not subject to change. Hayek himself argued that liberalism depends on a small set of fixed rules. The blackout has shown that when sampling of opinion is made more representative by encouraging wide participation and supported by yourself, policy can easily be overridden. So thanks to you, the achievement of a truly Libertarian encyclopaedia, inclusive enough to achieve our vision , is now a real possibility not just a dream. Thank you! FeydHuxtable (talk) 17:33, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

You may be interested in the WP:IAR policy and these Hayek quotes: [18], [19]. Selery (talk) 17:52, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
"By taking a major action that's directly contrary to Policy". False. Action taken was according to policy. WP:IAR and WP:CONSENSUS Regards, SunCreator (talk) 17:55, 22 January 2012 (UTC)
"Oh sweet, imagine a world where we can put anything we like into Wikipedia and no one will be able to say anything ..." not on my watch, nor on the thousands of others who realise that guidelines are necessary to stop Wiki degenerating into a worthless pile of tripe. Yes, occasionally there may be problems with overzealous adhering to guidelines, often when they are treated as implicit rules with imagined interpretations, but it would be impossible to make anything worthwhile without them. Chaosdruid (talk) 03:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

CBC news interview

Hi Jimbo, I'm not able to find a video clip, nor do I see it listed in various places, but I'm pretty sure it happened - on the day of the blackout, CBC evening (television) national news had an interview with you, where you were speaking from the BBC news room (their banner was in the background). Leaving aside my opinions on the blackout, right near the end you said (approx.) "we're proud of the way we handle copyright problems". Did you say that, and can I quote you on it? I'm speaking in the context of someone who does get involved in these problems and thinks we do a fair-decent job of addressing them. Thanks! Franamax (talk) 20:39, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't know if I said those exact words. I do think we do a fair-decent job of addressing these problems, and I think the key point is that we take pride in the idea that *we made it ourselves*. It's not just about obeying the law, although we want to do that too, it's about taking pride in creation.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:28, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Good for all of Wikipedia!

History Wikipedia English SOPA 2012 Blackout2.jpg The Anti-SOPA Award
SOPA and PIPA would have destroyed Wikipedia - good to see you doing your part to stop them! Whoop whoop pull up Bitching Betty | Averted crashes 21:27, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Primary sources

This is an example of the misuse of "no primary sources, only secondary sources" reasoning. Most readers would expect a link to the official report, which is here. It's a 1997 report, so hardly hot off the presses. This misinterpretation needs to be straightened out, or Wikipedia's going to be known for providing nothing but tittle-tattle from the news media while ignoring the actual supporting documents. That article has had an incredible number of updates over the last few days, all carefully avoiding "official" references. (talk) 23:01, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

Has someone actually argued that we can't link to the original report? I do think it would be dangerous to engage in novel analysis based on reading the report, but linking to the report so the reader can do further investigations for themselves if they want - that's seem blatantly obviously necessary.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:30, 22 January 2012 (UTC)

SOPA/PIPA backlash

Hmmm... it seems that there is a large amount of fallout being generated nonetheless - I think on balance we did a good thing. Unfortunately I am not from the USA, and so am unable to sign this Whitehouse petition, a damned shame. I don't know if posting the link here is ok, so if not please remove it forthwith :¬) Whitehouse petition. If someone would like to sign it for me... cookies will follow Chaosdruid (talk) 03:42, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Verifiability and truth in swearing

You might not want to get involved in discussing the Italian word "cazzo" but the incident with the cruiseship Costa Concordia helps to explain why truth is more than WP:V. The exact Italian phrase the coastal officer said on the phone to the ship's captain is quoted as, "Vada a bordo, cazzo!". So far, people tend to agree the verb "Vada" is an imperative form of "to go", so the translation becomes the command, "Get on board, cazzo!". However, the Italian word "cazzo" (similar to "prick") has multiple meanings, depending on the context. Experts note that Italian swearing is based more on body parts, rather than scatological terms or curses. Hence, there are some cases where "cazzo" can mean "damn it" or "hell" or "sh*t" (frustration) or "f*ck" (anger) or idiot "dick" (d*ckhead: testa di cazzo). So, some people want to translate the word as the angry meaning, but the problem remains that the word has a wide range of multiple meanings (including double entendre), as depending on the mindset/intent of the officer who said it. It is similar to using English words "shoot" or "frigit" which can range from "shoot darn" to "friggin'" to "". So, as a matter of verifiability-and-truth, I think the word should remain untranslated as still "cazzo" with a footnote that briefly explains the word has many multiple meanings. No one can know the truth about what the speaker intended, at the time of that phone call. So even though he could claim later, he was just saying, "Oh gosh darn" (a possible meaning), the word could still be interpreted as a implied form of "wikt:testa di cazzo" (as he paused and uttered "cazzo"). Hence, if there were a verifiability-and-truth guideline, the word would remain literally untranslated (due to having many multiple meanings), and the phrase would be merely, "Get on board, cazzo!" plus footnote. There are some issues where the truth is unknown or unknowable, and all that can be done is echo the facts, where no interpretation (or translation) can presume to know the truth of people's full intentions about vague words at the time. Hence, WP:V&T. Anyway, you might not want to discuss this issue yet. -Wikid77 (talk) 13:24, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

If the speaker has clarified his meaning later in a reliable source, I think that should be what we give. I'm not sure this is a good example of verifiability and truth. A better hypothetical example would be if the entire English press were reporting that the word means something, but Italian native speakers (we have many of them in Italian Wikipedia to ask) were telling is that the press is getting it wrong. In such a case, I think it would be mandatory for us to report the truth, even if it had not yet appeared in reliable sources.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:28, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Addendum: I read the discussion. It's really interesting. Thank you for directing me to it. I think it is, after all, a pretty good example of 'verifiability and truth' in action - that is to say, the community is looking there at various sources (linguistics blogs, news reports, the original audio, personal experience of Italian speakers, etc.) to try to make sure what Wikipedia says is actually true. The easy and wrong thing to do in a case like this would be to parrot 'verifiability, not truth' and cite the nearest decent newspaper unthinkingly. Fortunately, because 'verifiability, not truth' is not what we do here, despite a vocal minority blocking progress on policy documents, we're doing something better and more interesting.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:40, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
[Slightly OT: I was amused to hear that in their translation of the audio tapes the BBC seemed to render "cazzo!" idiomatically as "Christ!" Many Italians would actually find the latter more offensive.] MistyMorn (talk) 14:50, 23 January 2012 (UTC)


FYI. I came across this while looking at SchmuckyTheCat's contribs: [20]. BeCritical 03:10, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

$1 million from Vkontakte

I see that Pavel Durov of VKontakte has donated $1 million to the WMF.[21] Good to see that the Russian business communuity is coming on board with WMF projects. I am sure that WMRU would be loving to get big chunks of this funding in order to pursue numerous projects that they have in the works, and to expand WM outreach and the like in Russia. Anyway, great to see, and look forward to hearing how this large donation is going to be spent and distributed. Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 13:48, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Correction: not 'has donated' already but 'promised to donate if Jimmy will agree' :) --Infovarius (talk) 14:50, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Correction: Put your hand up if anyone sees anyone (Jimmy included) knocking back a million bucks. Just think how many lattes at Starbucks WMF HQ could buy with such a sum of money. Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 15:42, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
There is no even the article Pavel Durov! And the Russian article is very short. Pavel is truly generous. GreyHood Talk 15:49, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
What do you think Greyhood? Perhaps Jimmy better make sure that the offer came in person, and not via Pavel's VK page. It would be like the Stratfor hacking in which Anonymous racked up thousands of donations on people's credits card. Trolling on a truly Russian scale possibly? Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 16:10, 24 January 2012 (UTC)


Wikipedia must make this aware, Sopa and Pipa have been schemes to hide the most dangerous bill of all, ACTA. If ACTA passes, all internet freedom will be gone and they will restrict and monitor all aspects of life. We must take a stand now before it is too late! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:05, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

One key is that anything we do should be maximally effective. We saw a way to stop SOPA/PIPA by acting at a particular moment in time, and this seems to have been massively successful. With ACTA, things are much more complex. It's worth noting that the European parliament has final say over ACTA (for Europe), and "On 10 March 2010, the European Parliament adopted a resolution[72] criticizing the ACTA with 663 in favor of the resolution and 13 against, arguing that "in order to respect fundamental rights, such as the right to freedom of expression and the right to privacy" certain changes in the ACTA content and the process should be made." So when it comes up for a vote at the European Parliament, I think we are already on good grounds.

In terms of ACTA in the US, the US has signed it, but that doesn't mean very much, since the administration hasn't taken it to the Senate for ratification.

My point is to respond to this question with a cautious 'yes'. I think it possible that we may need to protest against ACTA, but it is too early right now to do so. (Except perhaps in individual European countries who are in the process of approving it.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:24, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

The European Parliament can kill it outright for the whole of the EU. This is where we must focus our attention, for now. Plus, the EP has been quite critical of the whole ACTA process. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 13:29, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
It's pretty easy to be critical of it. Everything done in secret for alleged national security reasons? I'm at least glad that there will be little or no Europe versus America tension here since both sides of the pond seem to be equally guilty of a completely ludicrous and undemocratic process on ACTA.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:35, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
The national security argument is completely specious. The US (and possibly Japan, I can't quite remember) were the ones pushing for total secrecy. There is no valid reason for the process being kept secret; it's because it's completely disproportional and unpopular and the negotiators wanted to present it as a fait accomplis. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 14:33, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
We live in a world in which Christopher Dodd can rant about politicians not staying properly bought and saying that our asking citizens to call their representatives is an 'abuse of power'. So not much surprises me anymore.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:39, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, I feel this way as well. This policy laundering gets tiring, as we have to win every single time. They only have to win once to bring our rights crashing down around us. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 16:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Fortunately, Jimbo, you can do something about Chris Dodd and his buying of politicians. Here's a pretty petition:!/petition/investigate-chris-dodd-and-mpaa-bribery-after-he-publicly-admited-bribing-politicans-pass/DffX0YQv It's crying out for your signature. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:47, 23 January 2012 (UTC)!/petition/end-acta-and-protect-our-right-privacy-internet/MwfSVNBK – There's a petition. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:20, 23 January 2012 (UTC)!/petition/reduce-term-copyrights-maximum-56-years/MnXrd3xG – And another copyright-related petition. The people really want the government to hear them now. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 16:30, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps you should start a centralized page for all these call to arms - WP:Political petitions - WP:POLPET - perhaps a subsection of the WP:User activism portal - Youreallycan 16:53, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Have you changed your mind or are you being sarcastic? Do you think that the MPAA/RIAA will run out of lobbying funds and ideas for power grabs which will endanger the project? People have added a UK petition at Wikipedia:SOPA initiative/Post-blackout activities and initiatives and there was a failed UN petition proposal there, too. I think it is appropriate to organize to defend the project. Selery (talk) 17:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Not being sarcastic, more like helpful. I didn't realize you already had a page for such issues. I don't support any kind of activism but consensus is against my position. I don't think Wikipedia is under attack, so organizing the troops to defend it is a bit undue imo and turns the project into some kind of battle force. Activists are good at signing petitions but will they write NPOV encyclopedic articles and revert silly vandalism, we can only watch and see how it unfolds. One day I might have some local petition I can get Wikipedia behind, so never say never. Youreallycan 18:09, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Good grief

I sure am tired of reading about all this political stuff. How about reading an article on Roly-Polyies instead? Aren't they amazing little creatures? Quinn CLOUDY 06:50, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

  • Increased views of Soap and Soup and Sop: In recent days, the pageviews of article "Soap" (stats) have increased 4-fold, while views of "Detergent" (stats) or "hand soap" have not. Also, pageviews of "Soup" (stats) increased 3-fold, whereas "Broth" (stats) did not. However, pageviews of both "Sop" (stats) and "Toast" (stats) each increased over 3-fold. Meanwhile, neither "Sap" (stats) nor "Resin" (stats) have increased in views, unlike "Sop" and "Toast" which both tripled in views on 18 January 2012. Yet undaunted, "roly poly" (stats) views remained unchanged, but "Pill bug" (stats) fell to 50% views on that day, as did many other rare articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 10:11, 23 January 2012 (UTC)


Hey, Don't you think that maybe we work more on wikiversity. On the main page of wikiversity the main page was last modified in Oct 2011. Maybe we can help wikiversity by either ending it (no one really uses it) or make some new pages to it. I would also (if possible) like to become an admin on wikiversity. Just so it can have new articles and stuff. Algamicagrat (talk) 17:11, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

The best way to improve Wikiversity is to unblock its chief visionary User:Abd. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 17:19, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
I want all of the Wikimedia wikis (including Wikiversity) to continue existing, to continue improving, and to continue expanding.
Wavelength (talk) 20:06, 23 January 2012 (UTC)
Yeah but no one is really contibuting to it. And the main page was last updated at Oct 19 2011. So maybe we can update it more or something like that. It would really help Wikiversity. (And who is Abd?) Algamicagrat (talk) 16:25, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Senator Leahy with some critical words of Wikipedia and others

Leahy: Senate Should Focus On Stopping Online Theft That Undercuts Economic Recovery January 23, 2012

[WASHINGTON (Jan. 23, 2012) – U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) spoke Monday on the Senate floor about the critical need for legislation to address online theft of copyrighted and trademarked goods. Since Leahy first announced in June 2010 his intention to introduce legislation to address online theft by foreign, rogue websites, he worked with Senators, stakeholders, and other interested parties to craft bipartisan legislation to increase the tools law enforcement and rights holders have available to them to protect American intellectual property from foreign criminals.]

  • Who are these stakeholders and "other interested parties" he has diligently worked with to craft legislation? Is the same or different Input happening now in the retooling process? Petersontinam (talk) 02:48, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

"My hope is that after a brief delay, we will, together, confront this problem. Everyone says they want to stop the Internet piracy. Everyone says that they recognize that stealing and counterfeiting are criminal and serious matters. This is the opportunity for those who want changes in the bill to come forward, join with us and work with us. This is the time to suggest improvements that will better achieve our goals. The PROTECT IP Act is a measure that has been years in the making, and which has been twice reported unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee to better enforce American intellectual property rights and protect American consumers. It has been awaiting Senate action since last May. Today the rogue foreign websites based in Russia that are stealing Americans’ property are delighted to continue their operations and counterfeiting sweatshops in China are the beneficiaries of Senate delay.

People need to understand that the PROTECT IP Act would only affect websites that have been judged by a federal court to have no significant use other than engaging in theft – whether through stolen content or the selling of counterfeits. It is narrowly targeted at the worst-of-the-worst. Websites that have some infringing content on their sites but have uses other than profiting from infringement are not covered by the legislation. Websites like Wikipedia and YouTube that have obvious and significant uses are among those that would not be subject to the provisions of the bill. That Wikipedia and some other websites decided to “go dark” on January 18 was their choice, self imposed and was not caused by the legislation and could not be.

It was disappointing that sites linked to descriptions of this legislation that were misleading and one-sided. The Internet should be a place for discussion, for all to be heard and for different points of view to be expressed. That is how truth emerges and democracy is served. Last week, however, many were subjected to false and incendiary charges and sloganeering designed to inflame emotions.

  • "Sloganeering?"

I am concerned that while critics of this legislation engage in hyperbole about what the bill plainly does not do, organized crime elements in Russia, in China, and elsewhere who do nothing but peddle in counterfeit products and stolen American content are laughing at their good fortune that congressional action is being delayed."

  • Wouldn't saying that China and Russia are laughing be using hyperbole?

I know, I know...Wikipedia is not a forum. But I expressed my opinion to Senator Leahy via his contact page because I don't think he understands one bit what actually happened last Wednesday. And I am concerned more than I ever have been on any recent legislation, that these same minds will duplicate SOPA and PIPA without input. For Leahy to come out and claim that information on their flaws was wrong and hyperbole, means to me that he does not believe there was a problem as they were written. Petersontinam (talk) 02:48, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I for one have no doubt that the Senator believes that the bill as written was as he explained above however it was so broadly written and vague that it was left open to interpretation and would (not could but would) lead to abuse and or political molestation of the internet, internet websites and to E-Commerce in general. In addition, it doesn't really fix the problem. If they close a website all they have to do is rename and in a day or 2 their up and running again...unless they plan on large scale IP blocks of entire countries or IP groups which amounts many computer companies were concerned about...censorship. --Kumioko (talk) 03:02, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The Senator happens to be exactly right. Instead of linking to alternative "descriptions of this legislation" so that the community could draw its own conclusions, after WMF general counsel Geoff Brigham gave his description of the legislation he linked to... Daily Kos. Not that Mr Brigham should be singled out when he's surrounded by people who can't seem to stick to their knitting. I see Jimbo is now calling for Chris Dodd to be fired, etc. In January 2005 we were told "The board would like to indicate that it does not wish the Wikimedia Foundation to support activism generally, particularly activism not directly related to Wikimedia's work. Any involvement, such as the signature of a petition, should be carefully assessed and done only with the overwhelming support of the community." Merely signing a petition was too much back then.--Brian Dell (talk) 01:49, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Copyright education from other Wikimedia wikis

Wikimedians can learn about copyright matters from other Wikimedia projects.

Wavelength (talk) 20:31, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Looks like you just wrote Portal:Copyright. Selery (talk) 23:17, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
The members of Wikipedia:WikiProject Copyright Cleanup or those of Wikipedia:WikiProject Law are welcome to use those links in constructing a portal and then to categorize it in Category:Law portals.
Wavelength (talk) 00:10, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Sure, maybe you should put a copy on their talk pages. Selery (talk) 00:48, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
They might also consider two links which I mentioned in my original post to a previous discussion (User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 95#Copyright education for Wikipedians), namely, Category:Wikipedia copyright and Category:Copyright law.
Wavelength (talk) 06:34, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Popcorn for You!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Rosalina2427 (talkcontribs) 03:49, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Jon Friedman's mea culpa about the blackout

Hi Jimbo: you and the watchers here will find this article interesting:
Wikipedia and SOPA: I blew it—Commentary: In hindsight, the blackout was certainly a smart move
[22] by Jon Friedman. - First Light (talk) 06:29, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Although his "mea culpa" seems to primarily involve the words he used to express his criticism of the blackout, and not the fact that he criticized it. He wishes he had called it "selfish" or "unfair" rather than "stupid." Neutron (talk) 18:06, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
And that the blackout, as he now realizes, "was certainly a smart move" and "The Wikipedia gambit was anything but stupid, as things turned out. Wikipedia accomplished its goal and drew wide sympathy to its cause." First Light (talk) 18:27, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Special Barnstar Hires.png The Special Barnstar
I have absorbed a lot of my knowledge about life from wikipedia, and i thank you for creating such a beautiful website. Wikipedia is probably superior to most because it actually helps our brains grow. Cheers Pass a Method talk 16:57, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Could you ask ArbCom to respond to my question?

I am apparently about to be site-banned for a year on grounds that are barely credible. In fact, it seems that banning me is likely to be the only significant finding about that entire conflict over the images on Muhammad. Would you kindly ask the committee members to make a collective, explicit response to the question I asked about the grounds on which they are making this decision? I know they are busy, but I'd prefer not to be banned on what amounts to innuendo and slander, and if they are going to take this kind of action there ought to be some transparency to it so that it is clear what is happening. Otherwise it seems far too much like a lynching.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not concerned about the ban itself. If it happens, it happens: Wikipedia has a long history of driving editors who try to be rational about certain issues off the project, I recognized that trend and gambled that ArbCom would be more inclined towards respecting reasoned argument about project principles than editors in the normal sysop drama-fest. Apparently I lost that bet. Face-grin.svg. However, getting the committee to come clean about why they are banning me will be a first (small) step in the direction of correcting the glaring systemic problems that run through the project.

Wikipedia is a nice idea, Jimbo, but it's abominably implemented. I have a ton of social scientific training, skills, and resources to draw on, and I couldn't make a dent in the obtuseness of this system (though it did allow me first-hand experience with a nearly completely degraded political system, something one never sees in the greater world; the project is a marvelous petri dish for seeing how consensus systems go wrong). It's going to have to be fixed sooner or later - you know that as well as I do - and apparently it's going to have to be later. If you or the board want me to suggest ways to make a rational, functional consensus system, email me (I likely won't be able to respond to this thread).

Either way, do please ask the committee to explain their actions. They're not responding to me, but they may respond to you. thanks. --Ludwigs2 19:12, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I think ArbCom with its very long discussions on the topic likely has a grasp of the issues involved. I doubt Jimbo will want to wade through all of it, but if he does, he is unlikely to command ArbCom to do very much at all. Cheers. Collect (talk) 19:43, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I believe Ludwigs is asking that he be told what the suggested site ban is for. No editor should have to go to Jimbo Wales to ask for information on an arbitration. I'm assuming the arbitration committee will answer Ludwig's question. That would be the humane and kind thing to do would it not.(olive (talk) 20:05, 24 January 2012 (UTC))
Don't be too sure of that. In an unrelated matter, ArbCom conducted a secret trial with secret evidence against a productive editor with 2 years and 13,000 edits, a clean record and indefinitely site-banned him.[23] A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 20:15, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I just followed your link, wondering if this was real or whether it was one of the zillions of complaints that trolls and abusive users make:
It was real, and I'm shocked.
I'd go to Jimbo's page and ask him what he thinks of it, except I'm already on Jimbo's page. Ken Arromdee (talk) 21:24, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
No, it's all too real. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 04:21, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
What he doesn't realize is that he's already on double secret probation---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 20:34, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
(ec) That's a very different matter. There are no comparable concerns in connection with Ludwigs2. Ludwigs2's main fault has consistently been playing with open cards and assuming good faith in situations in which it was inopportune to do so. I agree with Ludwigs2 that the situation is absurd, and my impression that Arbcom is site-banning a mobbing victim for no good reason is certainly going to play a role in my current re-evaluation of my activity in this project.
I am now waiting for the outcome of the civility enforcement case. The current public inactivity suggests to me that there is a battle going on privately among arbitrators. Let's see if the Arbitration Committee will finally get around to supporting openly the view that I expressed in 2008 and elevate Randy retention to the most important principle. Hans Adler 20:38, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Olive for conscientiously summarizing Ludwigs2's request. As for Mr. Wales "commanding" ArbCom, nowhere does Ludwigs make that request. The inference that he did is a misrepresentation (inadvertent, no doubt!) of Ludwigs2's reasonable, understandable and very clearly stated requests ("Would you kindly ask...?" "Do please ask...") that could hardly be more misleading, and it should be disregarded. ("Command" is an antonym of "ask", not a synonym.) I trust ArbCom will now meet Ludwigs2's need for clarity about the grounds for their decision. And if they don't, I hope Mr. Wales will make the request on Ludwigs2's behalf. Writegeist (talk) 20:50, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Yes Hans, nothing screams "good faith" like arguing people who disagree with him do so as a result of bigotry. Resolute 20:57, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Resolute. I knew a guy from Georgia in undergrad (a really great guy, all things considered), who when I first met him had the habit of referring to blacks as n**ers. He wasn't a bigot; that's just the way people in his home town talked, and he didn't really see a problem with it. I explained to him that the word was not really polite - it made him look bigoted, even though he didn't mean it that way - and he stopped using it.
He didn't take the observation personally: he had the sense and grace to accommodate the fact that the word annoyed people, even though he didn't understand why. I do not know why you and your cohort find that same level of grace so challenging. However, that is not my problem except that you collectively became so enraged by the fact that I pointed it out that you turned the discussion into an administrative hell hole. And I suppose that's not really your fault: Wikipedia indulges that kind of nonsense. Why would anyone discuss anything troubling when they can solve all their editing problems by mobbing others into administrative sanctions? Sad state of affairs... --Ludwigs2 22:02, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Oddly enough, I just left a rather wordy critique of you on the proposed decision talk page that can also serve as a rebuttal to this comment. But, in short: You are here on Jimbo's talk page behaving like a man with the noose around his neck praying the Governor will deign to offer clemency. Surely there must come a point - hopefully before the platform gives way - that you realize that it isn't everyone else who has gotten you into this situation, but that you did it to yourself. Resolute 00:11, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
That comment reflects more on you than on me. now why don't you just shut up. thanks. --Ludwigs2 03:50, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the sentiments offered by User:Resolute, and I believe I expressed similar words to you several months ago, with the same reaction. Your anecdote above about your racist friend who didn't understand the hurtfulness of his words sounds too contrived and frankly, unbelievable. Considering that the current scientific evidence shows that we are all from Africa, your friend was discriminating solely based on the color of someone's skin, which clearly made him a racist. Viriditas (talk) 04:03, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, it's actually a true story, but whether or not you believe it is irrelevant. The problem on the Muhammad article is that multiple editors insist that Muslim perspectives are disallowed on the page, a perspective which (I think we all recognize) is not all that impartial. Maybe there's a valid reason for it, maybe not (a few editors have offered weak arguments in support of it), but editors like Resolute simply refuse to acknowledge that the position even sounds biased. unfortunately, that refusal to acknowledge that there's an appearance of bias does nothing except make the appearance of bias stronger. If I remember correctly, Tarc even pulled out the old "Some of my friends are Muslim, so..." line.
As for the rest of Resolute's comment: I specifically said all I wanted was for Jimbo to get ArbCom to make a clear explanation. I did not ask him to intervene (not that he would anyway), and I'm not really all that concerned about getting banned. So, resolute's "behaving like a man with the noose around his neck praying the Governor" is just Resolute being a complete dick, as is his wont. --Ludwigs2 20:36, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Why do we even need arbcom for non-admins? Indefinite community bans happen all the time on ANI these days. Selery (talk) 23:15, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I think you just answered your own question, Selery. --Ludwigs2 23:28, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't know. It's probably far more legitimate for groups than individuals. The disfunction relative to Betacommand and your case seems to show that fairly clearly. I remember the good old days when I was an IP editor and arbcom was primarily trying to solve geopolitical and religious conflicts. It made good reading back then. These days, in these cases against individuals, seems too much like Salem. Selery (talk) 00:47, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
The long and short of it is that Wikipedia has gotten too big for this kind of loosely structured governance. the same thing is happening to Wikipedia that happened to usenet: it was fine so long as it was a smallish group of more or less like-minded people, but as soon as it grew to a certain size and certain level of diversity all the bad elements of human nature started coming to the fore. unlike usenet, wikipedia is striated - there are admins who can rain hellfire down from on high - and so there's this ragged political machine geared towards convincing admins to smite those who are (for whatever reason) on the outs. that actually makes things worse. on usenet, people would have vicious arguments, but aside from occasional flames they were relatively civil; there was no advantage to smearing other people except for the emotional gratification. here smear tactics have a distinct political advantage, and so the first thing established editors do in any dispute is attack character. very sad. --Ludwigs2 20:46, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Selery, if you'll look back to the ancient history of ArbCom, you'll see that there used to be tons of cases that were far simpler than the ones we have today. Now, if we have 20 cases in a year, that's going to be a lot. Why? Because the cases we do take are the complex ones that rely on off-wiki evidence, admin misconduct that's not so blatant it can be handled by motion, or long-term feuds where two sides have failed dispute resolution. The community has stepped up and taken over the larger volume of simpler cases, handling them essentially by motion, which frees ArbCom to tackle the thornier disputes in a structured manner. Jclemens (talk) 08:25, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
As I keep saying, Wikipedia needs to develop a body of rational, systematic, stable procedures. that would cut the workload of these cases by an order of magnitude and go a long way to preventing the process from being gamed or warped. I don't know why everyone is so resistant to that idea. --Ludwigs2 08:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

"War of the Triple Alliance" a confusing title to English speakers?

Jimbo, As a native English speaker, does the term "War of the Triple Alliance" confuse you? In the article's talk page (Talk:Paraguayan War), this seems to be an issue raised by Brazilian/Portuguese wikipedians (they seem to all be from either place). I am not a native English speaker either, and so perhaps you might have a better perspective on the matter? I don't even know if their argument is even relevant to the move discussion. Best of wishes.--MarshalN20 | Talk 20:08, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I am not Jimbo, but I think the phrase Triple Alliance is confusing (or at least ambiguous) for anyone, regardless of what language they speak. When I first saw this heading I thought I was going to be reading a comment about World War I, because the "Triple Alliance" that I knew about was the alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy leading into that war. (See Triple Alliance (1882).) It turns out there are a long list of "Triple Alliance"s listed at the disambiguation page, Triple Alliance. But the guideline (or policy whatever it is) is that if "War of the Triple Alliance" is the most common name (in English-language sources) for the war you are talking about, that is what we use for the title, and if there is more than one of those, we have to disambiguate. Neutron (talk) 17:04, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
"War of the Triple Alliance" was how the subject was titled in a history course on the History of Latin America I took as an undergraduate in US. I don't think there's anything intrinsically "confusing" about it. Wars quite often have idiosyncratic and somewhat colorful names, but these are still their names as used in sources. For example, I think the name "Football War" is confusing (also sort of hooky, in that it makes you want to read about it). Or "War of Jenkins' Ear", or "War of the Sicilian Vespers". etc. "Confusing" ([according to whom?]?) is irrelevant here. What's matters is how English language sources refer to it.VolunteerMarek 18:08, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
The context in which the term is used may play a bigger role than language? Just a random thought.--MarshalN20 | Talk 02:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Unfair block on the German Wikipedia

I was apparently blocked on the German Wikipedia for reasons that are totally unclear to me, and as far as I can see, there was not explanation given.

I tried to remove several highly POV statements in a few articles, although they were reverted. A helpful user who gave productive suggestions long before the bad-faith admin got involved said that the edits were reverted because I didn't have good enough grammer. I also made suggestions on talk pages for that reason. There was no reason for getting blocked, since even if I had done anything wrong, another user already had it under control by explaining the situation and offering advice. The questionable admin deleted everything on my talk page, left a notice without any useful information, and then deleted my user page that was empty except for a brief comment about how I am German-Russian. Would you be able to unblock me?


Anonyma Mädel (talk) 23:31, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Interesting, your English seems to be considerably better than your German. The block was clearly for edits relating to Naziism and the Holocaust that are hard to see anything other than either trolling or incompetence to edit Wikipedia. Looie496 (talk) 01:19, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Please be aware that your description completely ignores the context that I was attempting to remove incorrect and potentially Nazi apologist information. I assume good faith and assume that was simply an oversight; please be aware.
And how exactly am I trolling or totally incompetent? Please apologize for both of your personal attacks.
Also, please read the deleted content on my talk page where a more helpful user explained to me that I should slow down and be more careful when writing.
Anonyma Mädel (talk) 02:27, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
It looks like admins in German wikipedia are lot less tolerant than admins here.
One big problem you appeared to have is that you didn't rely in reliable sources. [24] was not based on reliable sources, you could have said that the article gives too much weight to one source, when most sources say that nothing happened. Here[25] you rely on personal testimony from someone, but wikipedia is not based on personal testimony, wikipedia is based on reliable sources. --Enric Naval (talk) 12:44, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
This guy just deleted my question here when I asked him about it. I can't see how any of that requires a permanent block, without some sort of explanation of policy, or like the one you gave. At this point I'm over 90% sure this was racially motivated.
Anonyma Mädel (talk) 13:30, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't edit over at de: often, so I'm not very familiar with their processes. However, I checked your contributions and the block message. The later translates as "Not willing or able to contribute to (lit: tinker with) the encyclopedia". You seem to have very strong opinions and express them in, sorry, very bad, and hence unclear, German, and without providing any sources. I see no element of racism there, although I personally would show more patience. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 13:57, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Looks like German wikipedia treats incompetent and POV pushing people the way they're supposed to be treated. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 14:21, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
So you don't want there to be any new contributors. Good to know that about you.
Let's not forget that the policy about this is WP:BITE, and that a user was already making a more productive solution. Additionally, I can always make comments on talk pages, and someone with more experience can make the necessary changes. Let's also not forget the fact that this guy deleted my user page which included facts about how I am an abomination of Nazi racial theory; not that I actually phased it that way.
Anonyma Mädel (talk) 20:44, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The Daily Mail "overtakes The New York Times as the most visited online newspaper"

The Daily Mail is today trumpeting that it has overtaken The New York Times as the world's most visited online newspaper, according to December 2011 figures released by comScore. (Mail BBC Guardian coverage). This is quite a feat for a UK newspaper up against the big American newspapers, although stories like this one, which curiously fail to mention that the Mail published hoax allegations about Philip Mould's private life that were subsequently removed from its website, show why caution is needed when using it as a source. Archived discussion here.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:29, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

"Newspaper"? Citation needed... AndyTheGrump (talk) 08:32, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
If you want to find out what Kim Kardashian did yesterday, or learn that all paedophiles should be executed, The Mail is undoubtedly the place to go.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:37, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
If I ever show the slightest interest in what "Kim Kardashian did yesterday", you have my permission to whack me around the head repeatedly with whatever blunt object comes to hand. AndyTheGrump (talk) 08:50, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I think you're secretly sweet on this Kim Kurdashi girl, whoever she is. Admit it Grump! Anyways, what's this got to do with Jimbo's page? The world is as it should be: Daily Mail>>New York Times and Wikipedia>>real encyclopedias. The kids have won.VolunteerMarek 09:00, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • I thought that Jimbo might like to see this latest news coverage, given his previous comments in Archive 75: "The circulation levels and length of publication of this trashy unreliable paper is irrelevant. It's still trashy and unreliable and should treated with grave caution in all cases - and generally discouraged as a source. Political or editorial stance is irrelevant, too. It's about the quality - which is too low for encyclopedic work."--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 09:10, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
BTW, here is the Mail's Kardashian story du jour, and here is the "Why oh why don't we execute paedophiles?" story. It is hard to tell the different days of the Mail front page apart, it is so predictable.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:58, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Click here for today's Mail headline. Click it again for tomorrow's, etc. etc. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:36, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Everything is "subsequently removed from its website" because they are too mean to pay for server space to hold all their stories, and recycle the id numbers every couple of years. Another very good reason not to use them as a source. Johnbod (talk) 11:50, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia routinely lists circulation numbers for publications, and if the information is reliably sourced, it is relevant to the publication. Remarks about the publication do not affect whether the circulation figures are reliably sourced. Web viewership is shown similarly for many websites with articles on Wikipedia. If a reliable source publishes web viewership, that it is routinely used in Wikipedia articles (though I dislike the use of up and down arrows for Alexa rankings on a monthly basis as being of insufficient long-term value to the article). As for asserting that the site is not a "reliable source" because they remove old stories or, as is very common, paywall the heck out of material - that has been settled on Wikipedia in the past - as long as it was publiched, there is no requirement that sources be readable online. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:40, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

The Daily Mail does not WP:PAYWALL its stories and has a reasonably good archive (if in doubt you can always use WebCite). However, the Mail does tend to have a lot of gaudy banner adverts compared to some newspapers.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 14:14, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!

Resilient Barnstar Hires.png The Resilient Barnstar
terrific page!!
Oscar45596524 (talk) 11:48, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Not sure if you've been following this...

I have a bad feeling about this]... - Jack Sebastian (talk) 15:53, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

I don't see a problem with that specific statement. I think you have misinterpreted it; "compromising Wikipedia" means "compromising Wikipedia's security", not "compromosing Wikipedia's principles".
But I hope Jimbo is reading the whole thing because it left a bad taste in my mouth. As I said above, if I hadn't found out about it here I'd have asked him about it here. It's Kafkaesque. Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:55, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Maybe I am misinterpreting the statement, Ken. That still leaves the problem of how the process of weeding out apparent - since I haven't seen the "evidence", I cannot estimate its value - endangers Wikipedia's security. Our processes need to be be transparent in order to have any value whatsoever. After the Scibaby, Orangemarlin and other debacles, we need some sort of public oversight, like a random experienced user or two to offer some sanity in what is increasingly appearing to be an insulated environment. ARBCOM is making closed door decisions which affect the lives of others without offering a shred of proof. That's entirely unsatisfactory. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:06, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
I have looked into the ScottyBerg situation briefly (after it was mentioned here yesterday). I read through the ArbCom archives on the topic. As there is no appeal before me, there is not really much for me to actually do. At this stage, all I can say is that if I count in any way as a credible source and "random experienced user", the conclusion that the ArbCom came to here was not capricious, and it was based on perfectly routine evidence. There is a lot of rhetoric being thrown around about "secret trial" that I think isn't really apt - there are issues here of courtesy to the user that mean a bit of discretion is the compassionate course. If he wants to fully waive all rights to privacy, I can say more, but i doubt if he will want to make that choice. (If you are imagining exciting revelations, though, you'll be sorely disappointed.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:19, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm not expecting exciting revelations, I'm imagining "if this happened to me, what could I do?" To which the answer of course is "nothing". If Arbcom chose to kick you off of Wikipedia (and you didn't use your influence as Jimbo, of course) you couldn't prove your innocence, see or rebut evidence, appeal, or even return in six months, because the procedure makes it impossible for the accused user to do so.
I also don't see why the user should have to waive his rights to privacy for the evidence to be presented to himself, giving him a chance to examine and rebut it. Ken Arromdee (talk) 09:32, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
@Jimbo: Of course, this was a secret trial with secret evidence. The accused didn't even know they were on trial for Pete's sake. Even the appeal was conducted secretly. Nobody knows what's going on. Please, this isn't rhetoric; it's the plain and simple truth. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 15:26, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Are you aware of the fact that the user appealed his block to the ArbCom? Of course he knew about it. He's well aware of the evidence (checkuser data and a consistent pattern of behavior that exceeds our normal threshold for a sockpuppet investigation), and well aware of how to rebut it. If he appeals to me, then I'll assist him as best I can with that process, including sharing with him any information that I rely upon to make my decision.
Look, it is really really really super easy for him to prove his innocence. I'll make the same offer to him that I made to him years ago: if you aren't who the evidence strongly suggests you are, then all you have to do is hop on skype with me and have a chat about it. There are pictures of the person in question on the web, and I can just see for myself. When I made this offer years ago, he got very belligerent with me. I made the offer at that time in a fun way because I thought he was being unjustly persecuted and his protestations of innocence to me rang very true. I thought it'd be a great thing for him to disprove the allegations. (Even offered to meet him for coffee in New York, as I recall...) His unpleasant reaction to the suggestion in the past, and the preponderance of the evidence in the current case, suggests that he won't want to do that because it's actually true, he's a sockpuppet of that banned user.
I think the more interesting question in this case is not about whether ArbCom has done the right thing or not. (That's always interesting of course, but I am talking about what is MORE interesting.) The more interesting question is whether or not we can construct a good protocol by which someone in this situation can "come in from the cold". He's made a lot of perfectly decent edits, some that were questionable, but on the whole in this incarnation (as far as I am aware) he's a mostly ok editor. I would personally be supportive of the community having a discussion to approve him to edit as long as he stops with the sockpuppeting and just edits under his real name.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:41, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I appreciate this nuanced opinion. But in one case you fall into the same trap. You assume that he has been rightly identified as a sock master, and suggest you would support letting him back in to edit "under his real name". There are two problems with that. First, we don't require real names as a rule. You and I are identifiable by choice, but many others, including Arbs, are not identifiable to normal editors. But the second problem is more problematic. What I and Ken and (I think) several others are concerned with is the small, but non-negligible chance that the editor is not, in fact, the sock-puppet he is taken for. In that case, the editor is in a classical Catch-22. What I want to see is some way to get editors out of this situation. Your proposal, up to (but excluding) "and just edits under his real name" would do that. With that sentence, we're back to square one. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:02, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Letting him prove his innocence by hopping on Skype would answer my complaint and I agree that refusing to do so looks suspicious. From reading the talk page, however, he was never given a chance to do such a thing. (Someone suggested faxing in a copy of his driver's license, but I don't think that was an arbitrator.) The answer to the question "what can I do to prove my innocence" was "nothing" (or no answer at all), not "well, you could go on Skype or send a copy of your driver's license". Ken Arromdee (talk) 16:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
Out of curiosity, did ScottyBerg actually ask that question? alanyst 19:57, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I think it's clear that (at least from what he said) he didn't know what to do to exonerate himself, even if he didn't explicitly ask it as a question, and Arbcom was utterly uninterested in telling him. If they had said "sure, go on Skype so we can see you're not Mantanmoreland", that would be different. (Assuming, of course, that Arbcom then accepted the results of the Skype session. It's always possible to say "well, maybe he got a friend to go on Skype for him".) And someone did suggest the driver's license, and Arbcom was silent on that. Ken Arromdee (talk) 22:46, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't see in his comments a general ignorance of how to exonerate himself, but rather a narrower complaint that Arbcom would not "engage" him in dialogue by giving him details of the evidence against him. Someone who has been on the "prosecution" side of multiple SPIs ([26]) could reasonably be expected to know the general nature of checkuser and behavioral evidence used in such investigations, to understand what information could not be disclosed, and to take up sensible ideas (like videoconferencing or providing official identification) for how to verify their real-life identity to an arbitrator. But ScottyBerg rejected even the idea of emailing a copy of his driver's license to a sympathetic third party ([27]) and did not reply (at least not on-wiki) to AGK's specific request for him to email exonerating evidence to the committee, just a few comments and a few hours after Hans Adler's suggestion about faxing a driver's license to the Foundation. I think it's erroneous to say that Arbcom was silent or that ScottyBerg was wholly defenseless. He simply seems not to have used the avenues open to him, though I hasten to acknowledge that he may have privately taken AGK up on his offer. alanyst 00:06, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I left some updated clarifications at ScottyBerg's need to repeat them here. Also, Jimbo...whatever harm Mantanmoreland did, it hardly compares to the Wordbomb character. ScottyBerg made a few edits to a certain bio, triggering this Wikipedia Review based witch hunt. Since ScottyBerg has 12,000 edits and demonstrated no malicious intent in his editing history (generally avoiding Mantanmoreland's old haunts), I think had ScottyBerg simply vowwed to continue to avoid Mantanmorelands areas, the ban could have been lifted under arbcom supervision or similar.MONGO 21:16, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

The off-wiki activity on this case has been a matter of concern. I sent some evidence to ArbCom on the issue, though it is not clear to me if the arbs are discussing the matter much, if at all. Perhaps you could look at the evidence.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 05:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo do you think its correct that the Allison after consulting the arbs blocked scotty then the Arbs hear the appeal turn it down and basically say unless he admits guilt then then no further appeal to them will work thats basically judge jury and executioner. Its clear thats in cases like this the Arbs cannot impartially hear a further appeal when they were part of the original block and first appeal. In cases like this its clear there needs to be a further route of appeal i.e. to the WMF. Also can you clarify How long arbs are allowed to keep check user data for and how securely they store it and what is done to protect that data.Edinburgh Wanderer 21:35, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia, not an exercise in human rights or systems of governance. No one has been imprisoned or fined. Very reasonable explanations have been given, and very reasonable offers have been made—we cannot expect perfection with complete satisfaction for all concerned. Johnuniq (talk) 22:44, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Hardly reasonable offers for someone who insists there not guilty and the arbs just try and protect themselves in these cases another impartial body needs to look at. Especially when the arbs have been involved form the first block which means subsequent appeals are hardly impartial.Edinburgh Wanderer 02:06, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I suggest that we edit the Five Pillars to remove the statement "Wikipedia is an encyclopedia", or at least to add a disclaimer "This statement may not be invoked for or against any policy". It is almost always misused in discussions about how to run an encyclopedia.
It's as if the US Constitution had a clause "this is a country" and whenever anyone argued against the President's policies they were told "you're arguing for something that a country doesn't do". All that is is "I don't like it", stated in a fancier way.
(While we're at it we can go into IAR and remove the clause "to improve the encyclopedia". I can't count the number of times measures to strengthen BLP were opposed on the grounds that helping to prevent harm to a BLP subject doesn't improve the encyclopedia). Ken Arromdee (talk) 21:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Given the apparent lack of response after bringing this to the attention of ArbCom nearly two weeks ago I will leave the evidence of off-wiki coordination here. User:Cookiehead, who appears to frequent the site of Wikipedia Review where many active and banned editors have been discussing User:ScottyBerg as a sock of Mantan, makes the following edit to the Gary Weiss article: [28]. What is rather telling is that the edit summary has a comical feel to it and the use of quotations around the phrase "weight-loss surgery" as well suggests this was never meant as a serious edit. Sure enough, as soon as Scotty reverts the edit Cookie goes to WR to announce his success: [29]. It appears this was the inciting incident that led to the block, all apparently prompted by the discussion on WR.

However, the most unsettling thing is what happens next. Following several acts of vandalism the article was put under protection. At that point User:Cla68 leaves a post on the WR thread suggesting ways to "smoke out" Mantan socks in the future: [30]. Providing advice about how to use edits to a BLP as a way to provoke someone into an action that will lead to a block is a clear-cut case of disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. Should an editor be making positive contributions to the site and only fail to do so as a consequence of baiting by a group of individuals editing in bad faith, I believe the latter should be the subject of greater concern than the former.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 02:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

No More Blackouts

I have heard about Twitter's blackout in the result of the SOPA bill and I just want to say that it would be foolish to consider another copycat blackout if this is ever considered. We did this once and it disrupted and screwed up the Wiki. I still think that the means outweighed the ends and that we violated the trust of our community by doing this. Even though I'm not actually sure your doing this now, Could you still please heed the advice in case some other turn in events happens or some other website tries to put pressure on you? --Thebirdlover (talk) 05:50, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Don't worry, as there is no serious discussion of another blackout any time soon. The first one was highly effective by any objective measure, and the principled point has been made and will be remembered. It worked - let's move on. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 07:17, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Twitter should have done this when everyone else did. Blacking out now just looks a bit foolish. Tarc (talk) 16:00, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't really understand what this conversation is about. Twitter did not blackout due to SOPA and as far as I know has no plans to do so. Some people are protesting against twitter today due to their decision to censor tweets in some countries; I don't yet have enough information to have a strong opinion about that. It is impossible for "some other websites" to put pressure on me; I am not even sure what that means. But in any event, putting pressure on me personally wouldn't be very useful to anyone, since this is a community of very thoughtful and independent people!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:18, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry. I kinda associated that decision of people on Twitter to be a attempt to form a web blackout. I should have gotten more context before I asked about that.
--Thebirdlover (talk) 21:45, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

media clip

i have been trying to inset a media clip, please can you tell me how on my talk page Oscar45596524 (talk) 12:05, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I've responded to this.  Chzz  ►  11:02, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

White House petitions

Hi Jimbo, two of the White House petitions recently posted here on your talk page very quickly attained the 25,000 necessary signatures. I don't know whether you or your readers were responsible, but I thought you might want to know about some others that should interest you:

I hope you approve of these, whether you feel it prudent to say so or not. (talk) 15:13, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I absolutely agree with the first one (56 years is still too long to suit me, but it would be a good step). I don't know enough about the second one to comment at this moment. Will look into it on Monday.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:18, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Great! Here's a very quick read about common sense prevailing in Switzerland too, which should help with media questions. (talk) 00:25, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

A Barnstar For You!!

Human Rights Barnstar Hires.png The Barnstar of Liberty
Tough decisions, amazing outcome! Petersontinam (talk) 08:44, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

I would just like to take the time to say that I've been a long time Wikipedia fan and that I'm happy to help maintain Wikipedia as a useful resource. Thank you. Mr. Anon515 18:30, 28 January 2012 (UTC)=

Silly season redux

"Genealogical" claims have been made at Mitt Romney and at Pratt-Romney family which are unsourced, improperly sourced (source does not say what the claim says the source says) or which are not RS sources in the first place. There are, by the way, zero reliable sources using the term "Pratt-Romney" and the entire 50K screed seems UNDUE, SYN and OR as a minimum. Zero news sources. Zero books (other than Wikipedia article "reprints.") Read it and see <g>. Silly season is with us with a vengeance, indeed. Also see the discussions about "santorum" and the "frothy mixture" POV-ers seeking to get "spreading....." listed as many times on Wikipedia as humanly possible. Cheers - Wikipedia dang well should do something about the shear viciousness being exemplified in some articles. Collect (talk) 14:34, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Make up your mind, Collect - is it a frothy mixture or a viscous one you're concerned about? Prioryman (talk) 15:41, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Cute, but not affecting my post. Typo fixed. Cheers. Collect (talk) 17:06, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Pratt–Romney family. There are sources for the "Pratt family" and "Romney family", and sources connecting them, so the article is not that silly. No need to overreact Collect, a split would seem wise with appropriate references in each article to the other. Fences&Windows 18:19, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
IOW synthesis to make the two groups a single "political family"? Sorry - I find synthesis and original research to be a teensy bit improper, especially when the article has BLP connections. And much of the "material" is from non-reliable sources (not better than the quadrennial "presidential genealogy" puff pastries found in magazines). And the "family tree" is absolutely synthesis. Do you really feel [31] is a "reliable source" for anything? Or [32]? Or [33]? The entire article is pretty much fully unsourced by Wikipedia standards. I think you likely should remove all the non-RS material and see just how little is left there. Cheers. Collect (talk) 18:52, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Note The Romney family at The Political Graveyard; Anna Amelia (Pratt) Romney (1876-1926) was the mother of Michigan Governor George Wilcken Romney (1907-1995). Dru of Id (talk) 20:23, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Does any reliable source at all create a "Pratt-Romney family"? Or list an extensive "genealogy" thereof? Thanks. Collect (talk) 21:05, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Request to make Warning

Hello, Jimmy. Vandalism governs at several pages and in the relation of IPs. Not clever user JamesBWatson makes blocking of IPs illegaly and acts like real vandal. Please, stop him (warning also). Thank you! - (talk) 21:42, 29 January 2012 (UTC).

  1. Making requests in big font is not going to make the request any more important, so please stop.
  2. As we told you for the umpteenth time, we are not going to allow your copyright violation links here, so please stop.
--MuZemike 21:56, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
  • NOTE: I have taken it upon myself to delete an additional needlessly hostile and similar big font comment by another first-time IP editor who would appear to be the same person. Jusdafax 01:24, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I smell a couple of fresh socks from our Beatles copyvio obsessive. --Orange Mike | Talk 15:03, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Discouraging behavior from Admin


I guess it's all about some cute game. I guess this was basicly saying we could care less about the process. I bring this to you only because I am taking this to the foundation as well. Thanks.--Amadscientist (talk) 23:42, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

The animated gif file of a man mastrubating is in a public domain. Do we need it in public domain?

Discussion winding down
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

I had to write to you because of the conversation on wikimedia-commons irc this Tuesday. You can read it. The people involved consented for the conversation to be made public. I am natbrown. Natkabrown (talk) 19:28, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

I was working on this page of my wiki I had to find different images for Russian verbs of motion, so I was searching for "roll over" etc. That's how I found the file. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Natkabrown (talkcontribs) 19:32, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

Collapsing for readability

[10:31]natbrown has joined #wikimedia-commons
[10:33] <natbrown> Hi, I found some very unpleasant photos
[10:33] <natbrown> There is a video attached as well
[10:33] <Funfood> What is your problem with these files?
[10:34] <natbrown> There is a whole category
[10:34] <Funfood> there it belongs to, yes
[10:34] <natbrown> I am a woman. I find this very offencive. I don't want to see it.
[10:35] <Funfood> you don't need to open them, neither the files or the category
[10:35] <natbrown> Should this be in Wikipedia? Aren't there enough sites dedicated to these techniques?
[10:35] <Nickname1> you'll get over it
[10:36] <Funfood> commons is not wikipedia, but there are, of course a lot of discussions about those files
[10:36] <natbrown> I found them by searching for "roll over
[10:36] <Funfood> I for my part don't think that human body parts are disgusting somehow
[10:37] <Funfood> but your opinion may vary
[10:37] <natbrown> Very often I work with my granddaughter by my site. She is 8 now. Would you like your daughter or your mother to see those files?
[10:38] <Funfood> If they appear by accident on the screen, it is a good time to explain children something about the internet
[10:38] <Funfood> and my mother has surely seen a penis before ;)
[10:39] <natbrown> It is pornography
[10:39] <natbrown> There should be no pornography on Wikimedia. It isn't educational.
[10:40] <Funfood> pornography
[10:40] <AsimovBot> [1]
[10:40] <Funfood> the first lines are the important ones ;)
[10:41] <natbrown> There is a page there about child pornography as well. Thank God no pictures!
[10:41] <Funfood> they would be deleted at once and the uploaders will have a hard time afterwards
[10:41] <natbrown> The children are exploited all around the world.
[10:45] <Funfood> nudity
[10:45] <AsimovBot> [2]
[10:47] <natbrown> I was shocked to discover those files. I thought that Wikimedia had no videos of mustrubation. What can I do?
[10:48] <natbrown> They are very offencive to any woman. I feel like someone has been mustubating in front of me.
[10:49] <Funfood> you can do what everybody can do: start a deletion request fpr the file. But you can be shure it will be rejected.
[10:50] <natbrown> I can't believe that you all have no those feelings. Are you all frigthen that if you lose those files peple wouldn't know where to find them?
[10:50] <Funfood> Sexual content does not mean it is bad
[10:51] == Snowolf_ [snowolf@wikimedia/Snowolf] has joined #wikimedia-commons
[10:53] <natbrown> I will start a page on a facebook "Stop pornography on Wikipedia". The fact that it's only on wikimedia has no relevance. All files from wikimedia can be added with one click to Wikipedia. Lots of people donated to Wikipedia. Did they all know that there are such files there?
[10:54] <Nickname1> okay have fun
[10:54] <Funfood> by creating this facebook page you can be sure that more people will come to commons just to see these files :)
[10:55] <natbrown> Do you really think that this is what the world need?
[10:57] <Funfood> I think that the world needs less censorship and more open minded people
[11:01] <Snowolf> natbrown: Wikipedia is not censored. See for the English Wikipedia's Content Disclaimer, as an example. See also for some idea of what is and isn't within the scope of Wikimedia Commons
[11:01] <natbrown> They say that Wikipedia is doing what they can to delete phorn. The video that is attached is porn.
[11:04] <natbrown> If I meet some man that I don't know they don't do those things in front of me. Why they should do it online? Why you should provide a space for it? Is it where the donations are going?
[11:07] <Funfood> so why just don't delete the whole internet? There's porn in it (I heard)
[11:07] <Snowolf> Oh the Young Turks; that is from over a year ago, and child pornography is taken seriously. But otherwise the projects are not censored.
[11:08] <Funfood> the file you linked has definitively educational content, even if it is sexual content
[11:10] <natbrown> Funfood: are you admin? For how many years are you on mediawiki?
[11:10] <Snowolf> Different things may be offensive to different people, in different countries. There is no worldwide sensitivity on things, and even if there was, who would have ot make the call. It just doesn't work that way, Wikimedia strives not to be censored as much as possible.
[11:10] <Funfood> no, I am no admin and I am here for just some months
[11:11] <natbrown> Are there any admins here?
[11:11] <Funfood> but I don't know how this should influence my opinion
[11:11] <Snowolf> There are some people to which the existence of images depicting Prophet Muhammad is offensive, as you're probably aware; to others, sexually explicit images are a problem.
[11:13] <Snowolf> In the end, you end up making everybody unhappy. Now I am sorry that an image like that bothered you, each one of us has a different sensitivity, and there may be/is content on Wikimedia projects I might find objectionable too
[11:14] <Snowolf> But we don't censor things. Could things be improved? Always. Is it easy? No, striving a balance between removing images of no education value (because Wikimedia Commons is not a free host for images akin to imageshack and the like) and censorship of useful images is not easy, but it is important to err on the side of caution.
[11:15] <Funfood> well said
[11:15] <Snowolf> Some user more involved than me in the Commons project could give you a better answer in any case, just trying to offer my perspective and understanding of it.
[11:17] <natbrown> If you have been on this irc for some time, they you should know the feelings of other users of this channel. Does everyone think so?
[11:18] <Snowolf> natbrown: I have been on irc for some years yes, but other users could tell you better than me the consensus onwiki, which is where it really matters. IRC is but a small spectrum of the opinions onwiki discussion can offer. I don't think it is ever the case that everybody thinks one way, once enough persons are involved
[11:19] <Snowolf> This case is no different
[11:19] <natbrown> Where do I find them?
[11:19] <Snowolf> nadar: I will try and look for the discussion that happened
[11:20] <natbrown> Thanks.
[11:20] <Snowolf> natbrown: I believe the most recent proposal on this matter was the
[11:21] <Snowolf> the results of it are on
[11:21] <Snowolf> This was a Wikimedia-wide proposal
[11:21] <Snowolf> But this was just a filter to hide such content from view
[11:21] <Funfood> oh the link I gave was wrong, i meant this
[11:23] <Snowolf> natbrown: that page Funfood just linked details how Wikimedia Commons deals with nudity and sexually explicit images and offers links to both policies and two proposed guidelines that failed, where you can find the discussion
[11:31] <natbrown> I know of the schools that allow children to go to Wikipedia, I don't think that they know of those files. They are very damaging to the kids. They don't need to see it.
[11:33] <Funfood> in which way damaging?
[11:37] <Nickname1> because the human body is sinful and if they see pictures of it they'll go to hell
[11:38] <Funfood> Ah, heard of this concept
[11:46] <natbrown> Is there anyone there who thinks the same as me?
[11:47] <natbrown> Am I the only one who is horrified?
[12:00] <natbrown> OK, it looks there is no one to answer :( I have opened the page there is a photo of my granddaughter there. I am doing it for her.
[12:01] <natbrown> I will copy and paste this conversation, so people know why I have opened the group.
[12:02] <natbrown> !admin@commons
[12:03] <Snowolf> You cannot copypaste this conversation without the permission of all involved
[12:03] <Snowolf> Otherwise you would be in violation of copyright.
[12:03] <Snowolf> Personally, I have no issues with what I said being reproduced.
[12:04] <natbrown> I don't care, I feel like my soul is being torn apart. Do you know the feeling?
[12:05] <natbrown> I do it and those who want can object it. I will answer them for what I have done.
[12:07] <natbrown> I will delete ip addresses to keep people privacy.
[12:08] <Snowolf> You are free to reproduce all that I've said, however you really shouldn't reproduce what other have said without their permission. It is automatically copyrighted in a good chunk of countries, including the United States
[12:10] <Snowolf> In any case, you are now aware of the issue. Please try to keep in mind that each of us has a point of view, and sometimes we should take a step back and try to see everybody else's
[12:10] <nickname2> it's not really a copyright issue
[12:10] <Snowolf> Sensibilities are really different in different parts of the world
[12:10] <nickname2> but rather a privacy issue
[12:10] <nickname2> even if the channel is public, the channels logs are not ought to be public
[12:11] <Snowolf> nickname2: that's another matter, which stems from freenode and channel rules
[12:11] <Snowolf> In any case, I feel I've tried to explain what I could :)
[12:14] <natbrown> Can you refer me to the policy that I can't make this conversation public?
[12:17] <natbrown> Funfood: Are you against of what being said to be reproduces publicly?
[12:18] <natbrown> Snowolf: Do you want me to change your nickname?
[12:19] <Snowolf> natbrown: as I stated before, I have no issues with what I said being reproduced at all.
[12:19] <natbrown> Shall I leave you name as Snowolf:
[12:20] <Snowolf> Sure :)
[12:20] <Snowolf> this is some detail on the issues of releasing logs, but in any case I would just ask Funfood about it
[12:21] <natbrown> I can change it. I only want to explain the issue to other people. I don't need to have name. Fundood is not answering.
[12:26] <natbrown> Snowolf: Thank you for allowing to publish the conversation.
[12:27] <Funfood> I have no problems if you let my opinions there
[12:31] <natbrown> Funfood: Thanks. I have to open the page on Facebook since I can't find anyone who supports my opinion here. I think that the matter is very important for general public.

I have opened the group I have invited Sue Gardner to join it. Can you join it? I don't know what else can I do.

I know that you are a charity. A charity in the UK must be for public benefit I don't know too much about the USA. I fail to see any public benefit in public masturbation. It hurts. Please do something about it!— Preceding unsigned comment added by Natbrown (talkcontribs) 19:26, 27 January 2012

Have a look at this as well The best answer to this question: "Does any one know how to complain to wikipedia? I am very disappointed by their service, who would i email/write to?" is:

  • Did your child see some naughty image you wish they hadn't? Just add Wikipedia to the list of blocked sites on your net filter and have a talk with your child.

Is it what you want people to do? 60% voted for this answer. Natkabrown (talk) 08:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored. – ukexpat (talk) 19:37, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
A more expanded answer would be better than just linking to a page. Kinda rude just doing that. SilverserenC 19:44, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
What the heck is rude about that? That page explains the issue so no point re-inventing the wheel here. – ukexpat (talk) 20:36, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
It's rude for a newbie to complain before reading the policies. -- (talk) 06:31, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
When I masturbate in public, I don't really feel any different than when I do it in private; can you possibly tell us why when you masturbate in public, it hurts? Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 19:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Additionally Natbrown, funny that you were looking for Russian words for "motion". Tatu have a song called "Простые движения", which translates as "Simple Motions". There's even a music video for it. Take a look; it's got simulated masturbation, although by looking how good she seems to be feeling, perhaps it is real, but it certainly doesn't seem to be hurting her. Not at all. Y u no be Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 19:48, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Youtube is not a charity, they can do whatever they want. Natkabrown (talk) 08:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Sir or Ma'am, information on sexual topics in included in Wikipedia in an educational manner, as they indeed educational (and often academic) topics. In order to discuss these topics, often an illustration is needed for clarification. The illustrations chosen are those deemed to be educationally descriptive. So, yes, there are images of nudity and sexuality on Wikipedia, in the proper areas. If your daughter searches for those topics, then she will find them, but they will be described in an educational, informative manner. It would be far better for her to learn about these topics, if she has to, from Wikipedia, than from performing a Google search on such words.
If the main issue is that an innocuous word search on Commons led to sexual images, then that is something that needs to be fixed in their category system and something we can do. But if your issue is that sexual issues are discussed at all, i'm afraid there's nothing we can do about that, as these are topics that are encyclopedically covered, pornography included. SilverserenC 19:44, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
There is luck of other sites on internet that can "educate" on the matter; I believe that Wikipedia must be different. Parents should have right to choose to educate a child on the matter themselves first. Natkabrown (talk) 08:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that it can be fixes in the "category system", they should be on a separate site, you may call it "Sexual Education Wikipedia", but it should be separate. I think that I have been harmed by the immages. I am over 50! What about a small child, a young girl or boy? I write for them, they can't write yet :) Some people who are very hurt can't write English at all, I can write in bad English, so I write for them ;) Natkabrown (talk) 09:55, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
"they will be described in an educational, informative manner": Patently untrue, SilverSeren. Unless you classify descriptions like "Hairy pussy", "Vagina Pussy" and "POV sex picture from behind with tip of finger inside her arse, nice and wet FEELS GREAT!" (cache) as "educational, informative". --JN466 05:21, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
It should also be noted that we don't have a masturbation video in Commons. We have dozens and dozens and dozens, spread out over several different categories, including
That's along with 1,000+ still images of penises (all Caucasian, and not counting the 1000s of mobile phone camera images of penises that have been deleted). The question whether this material serves primarily educational or primarily exhibitionistic / titillating purposes seems to be as old as Commons.
For those interested, there is a category for nudity and sexuality-related deletion request in Commons: --JN466 09:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I think that I these images shouldn't be in a different database. It's adult content. What should a school teacher do if a child in school will find such an image? What if this child is 8-9 years old and his parents had no chance to speak to him about the matter? We should give a chance to the parents to speak to the child first. Don't take this chance from the parents. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Natkabrown (talkcontribs) 08:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
We already know that Commons has a preponderance of such material. But I hope you are not suggesting, as Natkabrown is, that we should remove all sexual-related material altogether from it? I think a better method would be to remove all sexual images that are not currently being used in an article on one of the language Wikipedias. The upload of an image in Commons, in general in my opinion, should be predicated on using it somewhere, whether it being in an article or an article gallery or something to that effect. There's no use for Commons if unused images just sit there, especially when you're talking about sexual images. SilverserenC 19:03, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
The Commons community generally takes the view that Commons serves public-domain media to the entire world, and not just to other Wikimedia projects. Even if this were not so, any unused image may become used tomorrow in one of the projects. If you are looking for an image in Commons to illustrate an article, it happens quite often that the best image you find is one that is presently unused; if all unused images were deleted, it would be a real loss. --JN466 06:08, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Then what exactly do you mean in terms of sexual images? SilverserenC 06:24, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Personally, I believe we keep sexual material that is unlikely to be of any educational use. Some of it is truly embarrassing – stuff like this (permalink). Secondly, there should be a filter. If I am searching Commons for "drinking", the first search result should not be a photograph of a porn performer drinking her urine. If I search Commons for images of a toothbrush, my third search result should not be one of a toothbrush used for masturbating. --JN466 08:26, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
This media is necessary to illustrate directly related topics, such as masturbation, and in that sense serves to benefit the public. If you do not want to learn about these topics, do not read those articles. If you want to read just the textual part of the articles, you may disable images in your browser. See Help:Options to not see an image. (Edit: after noting above that this image was stumbled upon during a search for relevant media, I will only note that any comprehensive, full-text search of Commons will naturally turn up sexual images unexpectedly, since ordinary terms are needed to describe them. The same is true of Google Images and any other media search resource - I have run across porn on Google Images searching for things as innocent as "clowns" or "Homer Simpson". Filtering to remove these images would be error-prone and damage the quality and comprehensiveness of the search.) Dcoetzee 19:46, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Seconded. Education about sexual topics is education, too. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:51, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
But guys, simply avoiding sexual topics, or using a simple software plug-in to block images, or maybe monitoring one's child's internet activity, instead of insisting that no one else can use educational resources on the matter would require not being a prude. That's just an unreasonable demand. Ian.thomson (talk) 19:56, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
OMG! I just found NUDITY on the internet! How revolting! I had better spend the next several hours browsing this awful content for, uh, research purposes! Resolute 20:20, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree about Goolge and other sites. They can host whatever they want. They are not a charity, so they don't have to work for public benefit. I wonder if UK Charity Commission will agree with you all about the matter. They clearly state on their site that we have to inform them of "serious harm to beneficiaries and, in particular, vulnerable beneficiaries". I believe that it what is happening here. My obligation is to inform them and let them think about it. Natkabrown (talk) 08:58, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Time could be better spent informing yourself about what Wikipedia is and what it isn't... -- (talk) 06:31, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Google does a pretty good job of filtering out adult material (unless you specifically indicate that you want adult search results as well). People searching Commons have no way of doing that. If you search Google for images of a jumping ball, this is what you get. If you search Commons, the top search result is yet another masturbatory image. Are you really telling me that if users have the ability to filter such images out, to say "No thank you" to images of masturbation, that this damages the quality and comprehensiveness of the search? --JN466 10:19, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I know that the ordinary teachers in the schools are not so computer literate. Many schools allow children to use Wikipedia at school. Facebook is banned. Youtube is banned. Shall Wikipedia be banned as well? When teachers work with the kids they have a lot to think about. They have to think more about kid’s welfare and not to be frightened that some images from Wikipedia would hurt the kids. I didn’t know that Wikipedia hosts such images, neither my husband did. He was as appalled about it as me, if not to say more. He couldn’t look at them; he can’t even speak about it. My case is that a lot of people even don’t know about it. So some teachers at schools think that Wikipedia is safe. As I can see now it’s not. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Natkabrown (talkcontribs) 10:55, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia, as the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit, inherently cannot be "safe" in the sense you use it. Anybody can put surprising, unpleasant, or taboo information or media into any article. That said, most kids seem be harmed a lot less by contact with a wide variety of ideas than their parents (or even unrelated moralists) want to assume. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:38, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Commons should have a search filter that makes it so that you have to check a sexual box to allow sexual images through. That seems self evident to me. Search filters are easy to set up too. SilverserenC 19:05, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Actually this isn't such an easy thing and an overly simplistic solution puts us at the start of a slippery slope. Different people will have very different ideas as to where to draw the boundary between what should be in such a filter and what shouldn't. So if we are going to do such a thing we need a complex system that allows for the fact that what offends mainstream public morality in Jeddah, London, and the US Bible Belt is going to differ. There are ways in which we could introduce such an image filter, but there are also ways that we have rightly ruled out. In particular we need to avoid systems that use our existing category system or that put the onus of tagging for "offensiveness" on the uploaders or other volunteers. If we were a site focussed on one particular culture we could endorse that culture's values and require all uploaders to mark any of their future uploads as "offensive" or otherwise (though we'd have a 12 million sized backlog of existing images, and we'd be scuppering our GLAM program). But we are a global site with an explicitly global remit, and that rules out any simple solution based on one culture's morality. Yes when I upload images I could respond to a tick box that asked me if I found an image offensive, or even one that asked me if I thought an image might be considered offensive by most people in the country I live in. But I couldn't be expected to know what would be offensive to cultures that I'm unfamiliar with, and while there are some concerns that I might share or regard as reasonable, there might be others that I would reject. So if we introduce a filter we need a complex solution that works for many different cultures, but doesn't require any of our volunteers to understand all those global cultures. For example a proposal I drafted at meta:Controversial content/Brainstorming/personal private filters ϢereSpielChequers 22:24, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I said a search filter, not an image filter. And one geared specifically toward sexual images. I think you'd be able to tell if asked when uploading, "Is this image showcasing sexual acts", and give a positive or negative answer to that question. SilverserenC 02:10, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
But that would not, indeed, put the issue to rest. What about simple nudity? And why only sex? I find File:TrangBang.jpg and File:AbuGhraibAbuse-standing-on-box.jpg and File:Dead man and child from the My Lai massacre.jpg and File:Bundesarchiv Bild 192-208, KZ Mauthausen, Sowjetische Kriegsgefangene.jpg at least as damaging for children as File:Wiki-cowgirl.png. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 04:08, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
The same issues about our existing category system apply in an image filter and a search filter. But if we had an image filter that wasn't based on our categories it would apply when you were searching. ϢereSpielChequers 09:27, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Image filter

Jimbo, what is the current status on the image filter? I recall Sue saying that selection and implementation of one of the proposals in Meta would begin this month. Can you provide us with an update, or should I post to Foundation-l? --JN466 09:11, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for listening ;) Natkabrown (talk) 10:14, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

I think they're still trying to deal with the fact that communities (German Wikipedia) and a number of users in other communities, including here, are opposed to the image filter as proposed. Not to mention that that poll thing they did was biased and the results are, thus, completely useless. SilverserenC 19:06, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
The image filter is on the agenda for this week's board meeting so rather than speak about it now, it'd be best if I speak about it after I've gotten the latest updates in San Francisco.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 19:33, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Thank you, I am happy about the fact that you are going to have a board meeting about it. I wish you to have a very good meeting.
Someone has rightly pointed out that I am a "rude newbie and I complain before reading the policies". If that is the case, then your policies don't reflect what general public expects from Wikipedia. I may not know what all your policies are about, I might not know all the English words you use to discribe your laws, but the image shows it all, you don't need to know so much words to understand it.
  • I was personally hurt by Wikipedia's images. I didn't expect Wikipedia to have these kind of images. I was working on a lesson for a Russian students and was confronted by an "educational" video of a man masturbating. As you are surely aware children are able to use computers at a very early age, is this the type of "educational" material that Wikipedia wants them to be confronted by?
  • Wikipedia is a charity and is supposed to work for public benefit. I think that those images can make serious harm to your most vulnerable beneficiaries i.e. children and this is without question a very serious matter. I don't believe that these images are in any way for the public benefit and to say they educational is extraordinary. It could be argued that a porn site is educational but is that what Wikipedia hopes to become? I expected Wikipedia to have more integrity.
I will wait for the outcome of your meeting and if the outcome is not satisfactory, I feel it my duty to contact both and about the matter. Natkabrown (talk) 21:14, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Just to reiterate, since you keep repeating this: Wikipedia is not a charity. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 19:03, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
I think he is referring to Wikimedia UK's legal status:  – ukexpat (talk) 22:10, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

The way this whole thread was handled shows poor judgement; just screaming "censorship!" isn't going to win us any friends. There are regular people out there in the world who just use their common sense and common decency. Maybe we should listen to them every now and then instead of stubbornly insisting on some jerk-off video just so someone can be proud of presenting their cock to the world. And the fact that a dick is slightly bouncing when it's yanked out and slapped onto the edge of a table isn't groundbreaking educational news either. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:00, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

"Your policies don't reflect what general public expects from Wikipedia" is not what most German Wikipedia users think of. From the discussion of the image filter last year on Meta-Wiki, they show great discontent of any kind of founder-run filtering engine, threatening to leave Wikipedia once it had been implemented. You have to realize that there are always people with different expectation or standard than yours and they're not necessarily the "minority". Not to mention that Wikipedia is a global project, it serves users/readers from different cultures. -- Sameboat - 同舟 (talk) 09:03, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Yeah... that's always the utterly dumb and brainless "argument" that has been brought forth in this whole saga. "Different cultures." Ridiculous. Name one human culture on this planet where it is regular common practice to be jerking off in public for everyone to see without any restrictions. Just one. Name it. Choyoołʼįįhí:Seb az86556 > haneʼ 09:09, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

I have posted it on the Village pump (policy) on the advice of Sameboat - 同舟 :) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Natkabrown (talkcontribs) 11:26, 31 January 2012 (UTC)