User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 97

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Please help decide what to do

If you go right now to the Albany Times Union website, you see that they plan to run yet another exposé on NXIVM and Keith Raniere tomorrow, Sunday, 12 Feb 1212. It is one of many that they have run, not to mention those in many other publications including Forbes, Vanity Fair, the Village Voice and many, many more. When it comes out, will you please read it and decide whether we should leave that article's information out of our articles? As you may remember, you recomended that I not edit the article because I have had a subscription to the local paper and have been reading articles about him and it there for decades, leaving me with the emotions any person with such a background would have, including great concern or alarm. As I've said before, all we want is for someone to transfer the important information from the WP:RSes to the articles so that people will know what the sorces say instead of cherry picking a few facts here and there that and letting the fans spin the articles as they wish. Everything we need is just sitting there on the talk page, ready to go or get ready quickly. Others think this is a bad idea in this case, seemingly you. When the new information comes out, what should we do with it? They basically own both articles now and have been "getting away with murder" so to speak if you know the common English expression, since I stopped editing it. Chrisrus (talk) 05:31, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Chrisrus, I never said that you should not edit the article because you "have had a subscription to the local paper" etc. That's a total misrepresentation. Who are the "they" whom you think "own both articles"? Can you name specific editors who have exhibited problematic anti-NPOV editing tendencies?
What I want here is the only thing that I ever want: a good, solid, well-sourced NPOV article. I haven't reviewed these articles in some time, but I will try to do so in a few days. Please post a link here to the news story when it comes out, I'll gladly read it.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 05:37, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
No, you are right, you never said I shouldn't edit it simply because I read the paper. That'd've been absurd. You said I probably shouldn't because I have such negative feelings about him and it. But those are the feelings that come with reading the local paper, not to mention all the other WP:RSes on the talk page of his article. They cause negative impressions, and I have no other sources of information. So I feel the way I do, and you've said people with such feelings rarely write good articles. I think that's a direct quote, I can check. If you familiarize yourself with the WP:RS sources, you will have a similar impression unless you have some other sourse of information.
What you want and what I want is the same thing: good, solid, well-sourced NPOV articles about him and it. I want out of it, and you wouldn't mind that so much I think, if someone else would get involved. What we have are articles largely controlled by a series of increasingly sophisticated similar editors who are clearly getting their information and impressions from something other thant the WP:RS collection on the talk page of his article, not to metion the sources used to cite the article as it stands. I named several of these users here User_talk:Newyorkbrad/Archive/2011/Oct#Checkuser_request_for_all_Keith_Raniere_and_NXIVM_editors and the latest and most elaborate is named "Questionable Pulse". You'll notice that when "GoCubs" disappeared QP appeared, just as scholar88 and U21980 before her or him.
I will do as you asked when the article comes out on Sunday. Thank you very much for you kind attention to this matter, I would love to leave this in capable hands. Chrisrus (talk) 07:04, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I hope you will also do as I asked and stop editing these two articles. Someone who has self-identified as a "hater" and made it very clear on multiple occasions that he has passionately negative feelings about the guy really should steer clear. Your editing history sadly reflects that you really should not be editing in this area. Now that you've posted here on my talk page about it, I am sure many good editors will take a look at it. Once you give me the link to the article when it comes out tomorrow, I'll also post on WP:BLPN where there are many good people who work a lot with difficult biographies. I haven't studied the accounts you are talking about yet, but presumably they should be banned if they are sockpuppets, or just as warned as you are if they are single purpose accounts or obvious POV pushers.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:13, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
[Addendum] - after poking around a bit, I found enough reason to at least run a checkuser. I'm not the most proficient user of the tool, but I found enough additional evidence that at least puzzles me such that I am going to pass this along to the checkuser mailing list for someone more experienced to look at.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:35, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
[Second addendum] - It is also strange and wrong that the Keith Raniere article at the present time contains absolutely no material about criticisms or controversies.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:58, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Understood and agreed, but I strongly deny that my "editing history sadly reflects that (I) really should not be editing in this area". I have done nothing in this area that wasn't fair and good, and my editing has been exemplary and within all rules and guidelines. Nevertheless, as I have said, I understand and agree not to edit anything in the NXIVM complex of articles, although I reserve the right to continue work on the WP:RS collections, on his talk page and to point out on talk pages when the articles don't match the sources if it seems necessary. Also, if very egregious things like the current implied threat on NXIVM to bankrupt "apostates" are allowed to stand so long that it becomes clear to me that if I don't act, nothing will be done, I may have to very carefully act if I can't get you all to do so. First of all, Beca Friedman ( is not the only "apostate" that does not seem to have been financially or emotionally destroyed for leaving the group but is very happily back with her family; and even if Barbara Bouchey ( and others have been emotionally and financially destroyed, "Other former members have similarly faced bankruptcy due to litigation after apostasy" seems to me to be a case of them using us to threaten their memebers into not leaving, which is just wrong I am sure you will agree and something will be done about it by others soon enough so there's no need for me to worry that it will be allowed to stand, so thanks again for your kind attention to this matter. I trust you and the others to do the right thing. Over and out. Chrisrus (talk) 18:36, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

As per your request:

This turns out to be a series, the rest of which will come out next weekend. See here:

  1. Sunday, Feb. 12: An overview of Raniere and his unusual life.
  2. Thursday, Feb. 16: Relentless litigation wrought against NXIVM defectors.
  3. Friday, Feb. 17: Raniere’s multilevel-marketing mind.
  4. Sunday, Feb. 19: A history of Raniere’s sexual conquests.

Here is today's article:

Here is a timeline that goes with it:

These are collected here with some other articles that have been last updated today: Chrisrus (talk) 06:48, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for your contribution to this matter, but please don't forget to ask around for someone to help write the article(s). As it stands, they're happy with it and will probably stonewall your comment on the talk page and it will just stay the way it is. The implied threat to their "apostates" is really unacceptable and something must be done about that soon. Please help. If you have not moved on and are at work behind the scenes I'm sorry to prod you to find an appropriate author/editor, and ignore this message. Chrisrus (talk) 16:07, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Deborah Tannen on interpersonal communication

Deborah Tannen has authored several books on interpersonal communication. (This is related to the topic of the previous section, but I decided that it deserved its own section.)
Wavelength (talk) 16:24, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

and Elinor Ochs has written a lot about interpersonal communication particularly as it pertains to autism spectrum disorders.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:32, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Plenty of people have written plenty of things, but try getting it straight from the horse's mouth. Sometimes primary sources do some good. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:51, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Elinor Ochs is really good - and certainly not in the "peoria" department - her work is solid ethnograhy based on years of data. More than any anthropologist she has worked to make neurotypicals more understanding of ASD. (note I didn't know of Grandin's work - but it looks great, I'll definitely read that)·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:54, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Grandin is amazing. Pesky (talk) 20:24, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Paper Wikipedia, Video Wikipedia

Dear Mr. Wales,

Some people have been discussing the idea of a Paper Wikipedia over at Meta. That being said, I think it might be useful to release paper versions of articles because not everyone has Internet access, particularly those living in third-world countries. I have several great design ideas:

  • The articles would be divided into categories, each managed by a WikiProject. For example, the Mathematics volume of Wikipedia would be managed and compiled by WikiProject Mathematics.
  • The cover would consist of a semi-3D Wikipedia globe surrounded by a special high-resolution graphic or featured image from Commons. For the Earth volume, the globe would itself be a cutaway of Earth (possibly with gold "W" letters).

I have also proposed a WikiProject that aims to create video versions of Wikipedia articles here. (The videos might actually be hosted on YouTube, and as such, anyone can create said videos.)


Anonymous user (talk) 23:45, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Books and PediaPress.
Wavelength (talk) 01:11, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I see. That still isn't accessible w/o internet connection. And you haven't acknowledged the videos idea yet. (talk) 02:19, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
P.S. It could be a 25th anniversary thing, with the cool cover pages and stuff. Added 02:23, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia CD Selection and Directmedia Publishing. Readers without Internet service can print from a compact disc.
(There is a simultaneous post below.)
Wavelength (talk) 05:44, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
See Wikipedia:Videos and Let's Get Video on Wikipedia.
Wavelength (talk) 02:28, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Great. But those don't include conventions for video-izing an article (that is, doing the entire article in video format). (talk) 02:46, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Besides, an entire article in video format would probably exceed 100 MB and would have to be linked from here to YouTube. (talk) 02:53, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
See the following resources. Wikipedia can link to external educational videos.
(There is a simultaneous post above.)
Wavelength (talk) 05:44, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Rankings of areas of knowledge in Wikipedia

How do the various areas of knowledge rank—(1) in quality of information, and (2) in quantity of information—in Wikipedia articles? I am seeking more-precise information than what is provided at Wikipedia:Systemic bias. This two-part question can be answered according to any (one or more) of these classifications.

Wavelength (talk) 01:28, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Hi Jimbo,

I wanted to invite you to share your message about PR never directly editing an article on a blog post going up on PR-Squared tomorrow morning. It's one of the most influential PR blogs and a good place to communicate directly to the PR community.

I authored the post and encouraged readers to use edit requests, noticeboards and so on, but there will almost assuredly be some advocates for direct editing in the comment string. A statement from you would go a long way in making the path forward crystal clear.

King4057 (talk) 01:40, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Civility Squad - an idea for improving the culture at wikipedia (and editor retention!)

Hi Jimbo, after reading some of the threads here about editor retention and their embedded links, I just posted an idea for a Civility Squad at the VP Idea Lab. Comments very welcome! NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 07:44, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

The main page and good taste

Within the past few months, both The Human Centipede (First Sequence) and Cartman Gets an Anal Probe (today's featured article) have appeared on the main page. In my view, these sorts of choices make Wikipedia look like it is run by a bunch of obnoxious teenage boys. I think the Main Page should be curated to put our best foot forward to readers of all backgrounds, and that not everything that becomes a featured article is necessarily a good choice for the Main Page. (And to the extent that evolution/Islam/whatever could also be controversial, I say give me a break/use common sense/educational value trumps controversy.) Thoughts? Calliopejen1 (talk) 05:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree, and rather than focussing on these examples, I'm more interested to know what is wrong with the process.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:34, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Main Page should match readership: I wish the process were more responsive to our readers, such as instead of promoting "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" why not balance (and protect) an article of Captain "Francesco Schettino" (of similar pageviews) with whatever WP:RS sources can be found to state he had been captain of the Costa Concordia since the maiden voyage in 2006, and could he face "2,500 years" in prison or can we get a better legal source? However, why not promote articles about novel The Hunger Games, which readers have viewed 40,000 times per day in January, as 151x times more than the Cartman episode. Even the film article "The Hunger Games (film)" had 14,100 daily pageviews, before the upcoming March release. I am not saying the Main Page should be all news, but just match the recent readership trends even more. -Wikid77 21:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
While some caution about an "anal probe" cartoon on the main page is sensible, the previous section (#Seriously?) is far more concerning, although I could understand a reluctance to engage the Commons crowd. The main page featured article is fine, and including it on the main page is a reasonable acknowledgment of the broad range of material on Wikipedia, and the broad range of interests among readers. Johnuniq (talk) 10:49, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
It is not the most pressing concern. However, it is a result of the drop in regular editors? If the only articles being worked on to a great degree are films, cartoons and the like, we're going to have more of this, not less. We need to get more editors back on a regular basis working on more suitable topics. doktorb wordsdeeds 10:55, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:NOTCENSORED - end of discussion. GiantSnowman 12:19, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I think that's the worst argument I've seen on my talk page in the past few months.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. Lets face the facts here. Virtually nobody complaining about this article have actually read it. They simply got offended by the words "anal probe" and flipped out. This is a classic case of "don't highlight words/speech I don't like". Resolute 14:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think that's an accurate description. You know what? I fucking love motherfucking South Park. I think that episode in particular is one of the funniest things I've ever seen. I'm not even remotely offended by it. And I think it's a really really lame thing to put on the front page of Wikipedia. From the very beginning, people who are objecting to this have said that they aren't talking about censorship. When people parrot "WP:NOTCENSORED" as if it means something in every possible context, they prevent themselves from hearing what is really being said.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:23, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
This isn't the first time a South Park episode as run as TFA, so it is not the show itself that is the problem. When I read the TFA blurb today, I don't see anything that would particularly upset anyone, save the words "anal probe". Change it to "Cartman gets a kitten", and I doubt you see even a single complaint. Putting that aside, however, what is it about this selection that makes it "lame"? Resolute 15:34, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)What's "lame" about it? That's it's low culture? That's nothing but snobbery. We need to reflect as much knowledge as possible - and yes, that will include TV shows and naughty things and even, shock horror, a combination of the two as we have here. GiantSnowman 15:35, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
With respect, Jimbo, judging by many of the opposing comments at the Talk:Main Page it is a censorship issue. People are saying it shouldn't be there because it's potentially offensive and that kids might read it. What are those if not pro-censorship arguments? ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 16:13, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Those are arguments about editorial judgment, not censorship. Confusing the two is seldom a good idea.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:19, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
"kids might read it" is an editorial judgement? — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 21:50, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 13:40, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Good point ASCIIn2Bme, I'd also like to point out that anticipating the potential that this could be offensive doesn't take a rocket scientist either. Simply refer to the lead of the article itself where it states in clear FA prose: "South Park is deliberately offensive." The point is, it's poor editorial judgement to be deliberately offensive. My76Strat (talk) 14:05, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
"This is a failed proposal." That's from POLA. Citing it as a policy won't help the argument. It is an issue of censorship, some things are shocking to some people, and those people shouldn't use Internet, must less go on any wiki where people are told to be bold about additions and development of the project. MW projects have already bent over backwards enough to accommodate every possible state organisation which doesn't like something, if we will start caving in to "somebody think of the children" crowd we might as well close the project. VolodyA! V Anarhist User:Beta_M (converse) 11:07, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Some very valid points being made. At any rate, is Wikipedia meant to be a source of factual, verified information or a forum for 'good taste'? I was under the impression taste is bias. (talk) 14:57, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

"Not the kind we want"

Jimbo, am I nuts here or is this argument ridiculous? I know your role here is not that of an admin but your opinion is important. Would you mind weighing in? If this is canvassing or severely in the wrong here I'll accept the block, I think this is an emergency. Noformation Talk 12:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Can you help me find where the original discussion of this article going on the main page was held?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
See Today's featured article. "The articles appearing on the main page are scheduled by Raul654, who was ratified in 2004 as featured article director, or his delegate Dabomb87". This article was listed inclusion for all to see on 26 January. The Rambling Man (talk) 13:13, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Re: doktorb's concern: isn't a demonstration that Wikipedia (where appropriate) can educate and inform about popular culture in fact likely to attract new editors? ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 12:33, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm sure it will attract new editors. Not the kind we want, though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
When you say "not the kind [of editors] we want", do you refer to vandals or people interested (in good faith) in creating articles relating to "low culture" (as some might see the South Park article)? ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 14:33, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
(e/c) When you say "not the kind we want", do you mean those who may be interested in reading or writing high quality, balanced, professional-standard articles about pop culture for this encyclopedia, or do you mean some other category of editors? The Rambling Man (talk) 14:38, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
So much for "the encyclopedia anybody can edit. Sounds like the tagline should become "the encyclopedia only the editors who are welcome can edit". Perhaps it's about time inroads into getting experts here instead of making them unwelcome by Randy from Boise. It's no wonder prospective editors are confused as to whether or not they should be editing. If Wikipedia were silver it would be so very, very tarnished. :The Hedonist (talk) 18:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
For Jimbo, re "not the kind we want". It seems to me that your statement is in direct contrast to student recruiting efforts made by the WMF, via the WP:USEP, particularly in light of User:Wadewitz's statement about this article that she wrote and her university students. If you're not aware, Wadewitz was formerly Awadewit, she's a professor and English PhD, and if you attend Wikimania events, you may know her personally. Perhaps you can explain to her, in light of her comment, why we don't want her students, at the same time you can help me understand why WMF wants to recruit students to butcher medical articles? If we don't want Awadewit's literature students and the topics that interest them, why is it that we want psych students making poor edits and spreading inaccurate medical information (a problem that is huge on Wikipedia now because of WMF initiatives like USEP)? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:33, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
The reality is that the WMF has been sending out mixed signals for quite a while now. They would like to have a free labor force that produces the encyclopedia they (the WMF) think would attract most donations by appealing to the largest audience including avoiding as much as possible anything remotely controversial. Alas, many editors who are willing to volunteer their time do so because they care deeply about some topic area, and might also be EFF fans rather WSJ-types who expect monetary compensation for their 100% mainstream, customer-driven, businesslike endeavors. Quick test: how many of the FAs on Business and Economics topics would be core topics at a university? I see mostly oddities there: [1]. TANSTAAFL. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 14:12, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
it's an emergency? Ok, my first response when I saw the article was, "Wow, I wasn't expecting to see anal proble on the main page." My second response was, "Ok, it's not what I expected to see, but there are other issues that others do not expect to see." I mean seriously, it's gonna be there for a day... less than that now. Next week we might have an article on a serial killer, the week after that a controversial author, the week after that a saint. Are some offended? Yeah, but guess what we can't stop somebody from being offended. If we limited it to only articles that were devoid of being able to offend, then we'd be in serious trouble.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 21:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Okay, Jimbo, now the dust has settled, could you respond the queries please, in particular with reference to your "not the kind we want" statement? Thanks. The Rambling Man (talk) 12:14, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Both cited works are essentially forms of trolling. They might be entertaining to some people, but probably they are not really good choices for the main page. We should feature topics of broad interest. A topic that 50% of people like, and 50% of people find offensive is probably not a good candidate for the home page. There is also a question of giving undue weight to pop culture in general and troll memes in specific. Probably there should be a discussion around main page content policy and setting some targets for how often (if ever) we want to feature troll memes, and how often we want to feature pop culture. Jehochman Talk 14:10, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
These are good points, and it's good to see sensible comments regarding this issue. Nevertheless, how many articles like the cartoon appear on the main page in a year? Wikipedia is a sitting duck for puerility, but a small amount of dubious material is surely not a problem? A case could be made that the anal probe cartoon provides a service to society by mocking the "I was abducted by aliens" crowd, although some find the treatment puerile and offensive. However, Southpark is seen in many countries of the world, so a brief exposure on the main page seems due. Johnuniq (talk) 22:47, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Sorry, that doesn't really answer the question (perhaps neither of you read the text?), and I wanted to hear from Jimbo directly. We have a top-notch featured article which is very well written about a niche subject and Jimbo says it will attract editors of the "not the kind we want" type. I want to understand what type of editors Jimbo does want here – ones that just write the traditional paper encyclopaedia articles or ones that embrace all manner of genres? Perhaps I've missed the point of this encyclopaedia? ... Still waiting for a response to this. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:05, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Would still appreciate an explanation to this. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:40, 12 February 2012 (UTC)


Puerility is a substantial problem on Wikipedia. And this is yet more evidence thereof. Collect (talk) 13:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Nonsense. Wikipedia has broad coverage, including popular culture. South Park is a significant cultural influence. Of course, we should not only have articles on such topics, but looking at Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 2012, I see three historical biographies, one geography article, one astronomy article, one sports article, one historical article, and two that are popular culture (Cartman and a computer game article) . Wikipedia:Today's featured article/January 2012 seems to have an even more "traditional" mix. If we have a bias, it's towards dead white males, not towards "puerile" pop-culture articles. "A few months" gives us room for ~100-200 featured articles, and any reasonably diverse mix will have a few article someone finds objectionable. WP:NOTCENSORED is indeed a concern here. If it has to have any value, it has to mean that we do not only tolerate a wide variety of topics, but we give it adequate prominence, too. "No, gays are not banned from the pub. They can go and into the small dark room in the basement to drink their beer." --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I would suggest the article, as a whole, is notable as the pilot to the entire series (award-winning, watched by kids [hopefully in its censored version] and adults alone), and is well-descriptive of the subject. The show is a mockery of so many things in "human life", that it actually has "lessons" applicable to kids, adults, etc - if you choose to hear them. Yes, South Park has occasionally run afoul of the censors ... and to be honest, I would rather see Janet Jackson's boob on TV than Cartman. However, Janet's boob was an international TV incident; South Park is just TV. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 14:28, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Janet was two incidents - one in the US, where the prudes slow-motioned every square millimeter of breast forwards and back to extract the maximum amount of righteous titillationindignation, and a separate one in the rest of the world, commenting on the weirdness of the US reaction. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:39, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh please, Stefan I respect your intelligence, but not, I beg you, another Americans are all prudes statement. I'm from LA, California (home of the rich, flashy movie star) and if you happened to encounter me when I'm in a good humour my vocabulary would likely shock you as it typically does all the sophisticated Europeans who are lucky enough to receive an earful. When I'm in a foul mood....ah, better not get into that. I will say, however, that in many countries where a tiresome procession of bare titties, pubic hair, and floppy cocks regularly appear on television screens, you will often find that women and gays experience a higher rate of repression and physical violence than in puritan USA.--Jeanne Boleyn (talk) 15:03, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I didn't say that Americans are all prudes, only that the Superbowl incident was lovingly expatiated by (some) American prudes. No comment on the second half of your statement - I've not looked at any such studies, and I suspect there are more complex connections than a simple correlation of bare skin on TV and bigoted behavior on the street. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:14, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Speaking of the Superbowl and the curious things people overreact to, this image is oddly appropriate right now. (Parental advisory: Image is M.I.A. related) Resolute 15:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Was the statement that "South Park is a significant cultural influence" meant to disprove Collect's statement that "Puerility is a substantial problem on Wikipedia"? --JN466 15:30, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedia should be the people's encyclopedia, accurately reflecting all of society - the puerile, the erudite, the noble and the reprehensible, each neatly filed away with enough explanation to provide a useful guide to the researchers of present and future generations. Wnt (talk) 01:15, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
IOW, the Weekly World News. I do not think that is something to emulate. Collect (talk) 21:57, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
But I'm glad we have an article about it. And I'm proud we have an article Bat Boy (character) -yes, it is sourced to the Weekly World News! Anthropology is too important to leave to the anthropologists; everything can be a source when it is used for the right purpose. Wnt (talk) 00:20, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Not censored

I am going to stay out of debating whether it was sensible to mainpage this particular article, but I will point out that treating "WP:NOTCENSORED" as the be-all and end-all of a discussion on the issue, as a couple of commenters in this thread have done, is very poor reasoning. As I observed in a recent arbitration decision:

"The principle that "Wikipedia is not censored" is properly invoked in resisting attempts to control the content of Wikipedia articles based on factors other than our editors' informed and mature collective editorial judgments. In controversial instances, reminding fellow editors that 'Wikipedia is not censored' will often be the beginning, not the end, of a well-informed analysis regarding inclusion or exclusion of content.... A consensus for inclusion or exclusion should be sought based on the community's collective editorial judgment, well-informed by knowledge of the relevant subject matter and, where applicable, by Wikipedia's policies and guidelines." Newyorkbrad (talk) 15:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Maybe y'all who dislike Cartman and his anal probe could work on a more serious and academic topic, such as anal cancer, and get that featured on the main page. The featured article coordinator needs material to work with: every featured article gets it's day in the sunshine. Generate other types of featured articles if you don't like South Park. Jehochman Talk 15:26, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

As long as it's anal, eh? --JN466 15:32, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikipedians are famously anal retentive. Jehochman Talk 15:42, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
... and I have reviewed enough unblock requests that forcefully suggest that Admins are "assholes", so, meh. (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 16:22, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

TFAR is that-a-way

  • Focusing on the Main Page selection process: Should the process be changed to link more articles which better reflect the pageviews of the readership, rather than whatever article has been made ready at the time? As I note above, interest in "The Hunger Games" has been very high. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

For gosh sakes, as always on Wikipedia, talk is cheap, and facts are in short supply. WP:TFA/R is where mainpage TFA requests are made. Raul set it up and turned it over to the community, and has given increasingly greater control to the community in choosing TFAs. What has the community done with that increasing responsibility? Ignored it, misused it, not updated it, not cared, not submitted requests, not looked at the page, not followed instructions, you name it. Oh yes, complaining on the mainpage is more fun that actually going over there and lodging a request, or helping keep the page updated. What do you mean, Wikid, "should the process be changed"? How about, "should those editors lodging complaints start actually using the process"? If no request is made, Raul chooses. Most dates are never requested. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 21:43, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

The discussion of the last controversial mainpage FA (Human Caterpillar) was closed with a comment that future potentially offensive choices should/would be called to the attention of the broader community besides TFA/R before appearing (don't remember what the link is, but it's resurfaced somewhere in the south park-related discussions - can someone find it?). Clearly this was not done. I'm not sure where the process failure was. Calliopejen1 (talk) 22:41, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
There is no process failure. There is an entire community that doesn't avail itself of the page where TFA requests are made, and then whines after doing nothing to help in the choices. And you assume that The Human Centipede equates to SouthPark? Those are individual standards. It's also astounding that one of Wikipedia's finest literature editors is the person with the most edits to that article, and she is being so disrespected in these discussions. Anyone aware of how much Wadewitz (talk · contribs) has done on the Wiki? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:50, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Most editors do not have time to watch every process page in the entire encyclopedia. How is it so outrageous to request that potentially problematic choices be more widely publicized? I even had watchlisted TFA/R, but I ended up unwatching it as it was generally quiet and I believed--given the outcome of the Human Centipede discussion--that I would come across any other potentially problematic articles in another forum. I also did not say this article and Human Centipede were equivalent. I think that Human Centipede was a worse choice, but it's pretty common-sense that anything involving an "ass probe" might cause trouble. (And I have said absolutely nothing with regard to the quality of the article itself, so I don't know how I could have maligned its principal editor. I'm just saying that not all articles are necessarily appropriate choices for the main page--wholly apart from their intrinsic quality in terms of the featured article criteria. The editor is totally irrelevant to this discussion.) Calliopejen1 (talk) 00:02, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Apparently your "common sense" is at odds with A Wadewitz's PhD in literature, and her contributions to the Project, not limited to mulitple literature FAs. Go figure! Some "pop culture" debacle, huh? Awadewit has written more than 30 FAs, but because some editors can't be bothered to avail themselves of the page where TFAs are chosen, we're not supposed to highlight her work because some parents who don't supervise the time their children spend on the internet might be offended, when this Project hosts massive amounts of porn that is offensive to even adults? Please, perspective. Any parent whose child is on Wikipedia needs a talking-to by an adult. Cartman is not offensive. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:08, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
SandyGeorgia nobody wants to disrespect Wadewitz or you or any of the other editors who do all this fine work. All we're asking is that if there's an article that's portentially problematical or controversial could we please have a well-advertised RfC on it before it appears on the main page?
I understand that you are feeling defensive right now and that's understandable, but I'd like to get clear answer to this is question: in future, before a potentially problematical article is made the main page featured article, will we first have a well-advertised RfC, or not?. A simple Yes or No will clarify. Which is it, Yes or No? Herostratus (talk) 04:49, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Defensive? Please explain; what connection have I to TFA? (Hint: none.) "Potentially problematical article" defined by whom? You? I never would have known that Cartman might offend, so who is going to call for that RFC? My example of what I consider the most disgusting article we ever put on the mainpage was when we ran a missing/dead girl's article on her birthday, containing unnecessary offensive remarks about her mother (the main author said he would change the date away from her birthday, I backed down, then he didn't change the date-- in my version, TFA was tricked-- the author disagrees, but I digress). IMO, it was tasteless to do that to the girl's mother on her missing/dead daughter's 21st birthday. Far more tasteless than anything related to SouthPark. Sure, you want an RFC on something that every editor is offended by, good luck defining that, since everyone's level of offense is different, and that dead girl's article would have been included according to my judgment, and many other editors I know. Who draws the line? Who makes the call? Who asks for the RFC? Who knows what will offend you, me, or the next guy? Particularly when the community has a forum for choosing TFAs (WP:TFAR) which it ignores in droves.

Furthermore, Cartman was scheduled on Jan 26-- folks had almost a full two weeks to speak up if they had an issue! SandyGeorgia (Talk) 06:19, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Exactly. Editor says "potentially problematical article" - - - > it clearly translates as "I think this article is offensive to someone" - - - > editor is pointed to WP:NOTCENSORED. If people want wikipedia to censor offensive content, they have to start by changing basic policy.
Also, what Newyorkbrad and Jehochman say in the previous section. --Enric Naval (talk) 17:24, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
You are conflating good taste with censorship. It is poor taste, I think, speaking as someone who's only read the lede, to put The Human Centipede (First Sequence) on the front page. Avoiding that sort of thing is not censorship. It is good taste. WP:NOTCENSORED does not compel us to abandon good taste.
There is nothing wrong with Cartman Gets an Anal Probe appearing on the main page. It is an excellent account of an important cultural event, and I congratulate those responsible. As for the suggestion that controversial articles should go through RfC before appearing on the main page, no. I see no evidence of a systemic problem; and without such evidence this would be an insult to the hard-working editors at WP:TFA/R. If you think your view isn't being represented in the choices made there, put it on your watchlist. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 06:01, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I also would like to note, just for the discussion about process, that this was never listed at TFA/R. (It was simply scheduled.) The only way anyone interested would have seen this would be to monitor every upcoming FA blurb. In my view, it would be a big improvement if this were more transparent and centralized (if there is a page that just lists all the schedulings/proposals in one place as they occur, please let me know and I will watchlist it). And I don't think that a full-blown RFC for every single thing like this is necessarily called for, but it would be nice for there to be the possibility of discussion before it's already TFA and a foregone conclusion because it's not bad enough to pull. Calliopejen1 (talk) 00:32, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree there should be a page where all scheduled TFAs are listed. The obvious place seems to be Wikipedia:Today's featured article where tomorrow's FA is detailed. The schedule is listed on Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 2012 but that will fall off watchlists on March 1. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 10:17, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
As I have opined elsewhere: I support having these articles on the main page. Regardless of the vulgarity of the topics, they are there because they're examples of our finest work. The very concept of a "featured" article which can never actually be featured would undercut the incentives that support the improvement of these articles. Moreover, I believe popular culture topics like these are just as important and relevant to society as more traditional academic topics, often having a remarkably widespread influence on politics and the arts; Cartman Gets an Anal Probe, for example, launched a series that redefined adult animated programming and has been in the news dozens of times. Dcoetzee 01:33, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

While the "vote" is currently running about 10 to 1 against a shake-up of the current Today's Featured Article selection process, today we've had two FAs on the Main Page, the first one partly plagiarized and the second one with dead links. This after Tuesday's "anal probe" article was selected without any prior input from the community re its suitability for the Main Page. Why so many are interested in preserving the selection prerogatives of someone who within the past week accused Wiki bureaucrat Matthew Bisanz of being a party to some sort of ArbCom conspiracy is unclear to me.--Brian Dell (talk) 18:56, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

And the person believed responsible for that plagiarism is part of that "1". Just sayin'. Nikkimaria (talk) 02:27, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I second SandyGeorgia here. I was going to propose something like TFAR in that vote ... until I found out it exists! Maybe what you need to publicize isn't "controversial" articles, but TFAR? What that last comment demonstrates is that there are worse things we can have on Wikipedia than the (horrors!) titles of cable TV shows. It is true that NOTCENSORED doesn't apply when editors freely make decisions of taste among worthy candidates to showcase on the Main Page; people have the right to prefer whatever article they want for TFA according to their own aesthetic choices and values. (Much as racial and religious civil rights don't protect Presidential candidates) But I truly hope that the overall balance of editors will favor a Wikipedia that is not ashamed of the common man and his entertainments. Wnt (talk) 14:40, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe the entertainments of the "common man" of wikipedia doesn't match those of the common (hu)man of the rest of the world. Consider that perhaps the percentage of the worlds population that finds Cartman's anal probes to be entertaining may no be as great as that topics representation on wikipedia suggests. The frontpage is for the world - not just for wikipedia editors.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:45, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
Alas we have no way of knowing what "the world" thinks of this TFA choice unless the WMF conducts a proper readership survey. What we do know is that some editors think the BSA standards should apply to Wikipedia. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 18:27, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
The tabloids you'll find at the supermarket checkout are the least "ashamed of the of the common man and his entertainments" but why should Wikipedia cater to this market in particular?--Brian Dell (talk) 17:53, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
It's entirely possible to have an article about tabloids based on academic sources. That's not the same as Wikipedia being a tabloid. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 05:04, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, you know, look. If there's an question about material, whether it's promoting an article to the main page or adding a source or external link or other material to an article, or whatever, there's a couple attitudes one can take:
  • I don't think that this material is a problem for me.
  • I don't think that this material is a problem for anyone. I an not capable of understanding why a sane person could have a problem with this material.
If it's the latter, all I can say is, you had better be right, because the Wikipedia is a collaborative enterprise. But if a bunch of people contest the material, then that's probably a pretty good sign that you're not right. So this is useful information, and a good opportunity to refine your understanding of what sane people do and do not find troublesome. This is a useful skill that can carry over into your future editing and into real life as well. But if this makes no impression on you, and you're not able to learn any criteria beyond "it's OK with me" then this is not a good sign. And that's all I'm saying. I asked that the posting of potentially problematical articles on the main page be opened to wider discussion. The reply from several editors was basically "No". Whether this is just wilfulness or indicates a lack the ability to understand what other people might find potentially problematical I'm not sure, but in either case it's troubling, and if it represents the stance of the people actually responsible for what goes on the main page, that's not good. Herostratus (talk) 06:52, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I said "no" because your proposal seemed to be missing a step. At the moment there is, to my limited understanding, no page that we can put on out watchlists to keep an eye on what's scheduled for the front page. The schedule is listed on Wikipedia:Today's featured article/February 2012 but that will fall off watchlists on March 1st. If Raul or someone could arrange for scheduled TFAs to be listed at Wikipedia:Today's featured article as they're scheduled, interested editors could put that on their watchlist and the current schedule would then stay on their watchlists. Perhaps there could be a "discuss?" link from that list to WP:TFA/R.
Any issues with scheduled articles that are not resolved by discussion at WP:TFA/R could of course be put to an RfC. But the first thing would be to have more eyes on what's coming up, and that involves having one permanent page listing upcoming TFAs. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 09:25, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
This worked when I tested it in my sandbox, so I guess you could just put this at some WP:xxx as a quick, dirty stopgap, unless there's a simpler way:
{{Wikipedia:Today's featured article/{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTYEAR}}}}
Begoontalk 15:58, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
doh - no good - it'll work as a permanent link but I don't think it'll trigger watchlists - not 100% sure. Sorry. We return you to your regular thread... Begoontalk 16:07, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Silly Season redux

Latest victim? Rick Santorum with an edit indicating he espouses yse of steroids.

There he represented the World Wrestling Federation, arguing that professional wrestling should be exempt from federal anabolic steroid regulations because it was entertainment, not an actual sport.

And some genuine editors here are supporting inclusiion in the BLP because "From what I see it is verifiable, and a single sentence doesn't qualify as undue weight" and "It looks like you're deleting sourced material. That's unhelpful. Have you read all of the sources?" And my favourite: There are many available sources. If that's the basis for the oppostion I'll go ahead and restore it, using those as well. (Also, how do we know that source is biased? personal opinion?)

Isn't it time for WMF to actually put its foot down on this sort of puerile playing with BLPs? Collect (talk) 01:00, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Why the appeal to Jimbo? have you discussed it at other venues? Or do you expect a deus ex machina to help you to win an argument? Note that I have no opinion on this subject. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 01:03, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
That's disingenuous, Collect. The material was stable in the article long before Santorum declared his candidacy.[2] If anyone is guilty of election-related editing, it's those who are suddenly anxious to delete it. (anonymous?)
I do not recall that WP:BLP grandfathers in any material which is not otherwise allowed by WP:BLP -- night you show me that clause? Collect (talk) 01:12, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
No one has alleged that the lawsuit is a BLP violation. It's a well-reported fact, and the material was short and neutral. It has been in there for years without complaint. It's incorrect to assert that adding the material is due to the "silly season" meme.   Will Beback  talk  04:04, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
The main cite is from an article by Molly Ball in The Atlantic. I consider the use of language which is seen by editors as strongly implying that he personally approves of steroid use as having BLP implications, and as an implicit contentious claim requires something far more than a single client's position to establish. Cheers. Now you have the issue laid out clearly. And last I checked WP:BLP does not say if no one ever objects, it becomes a permanent part of an article - can you show me that bit in any wording at all? Collect (talk) 12:52, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Jimbo and I have discussed this on this particular page at least four times in the past (likely more). It is not an "appeal to Jimbo." He knows my opinion on "silly season" edits on all political pages and BLPs, and he has, in the past, been highly welcoming of polite notices pertaining thereto. He also knows my opinions on all BLPs in general. Is there a reason why you would find this improper, by the way? Cheers. Collect (talk) 01:12, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Why do I find this improper? Because you're asking Jimbo to jump in and resolve a dispute in your favor, instead of following standard dispute resolution steps. The Mark of the Beast (talk) 01:19, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
If Jimbo finds it "improper" he is fully capable of saying so - but he has, in fact, welcomed such posts on the same general topic in the past, and not just from me but editors in general. And I have no "favour" here - other than a weird belief that WP:BLP is a strong policy which ought not be abrogated. Of the "favour" is that WP:BLP be policy, then I suppose I am asking that - but would you demur? Cheers. Collect (talk) 01:43, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

It's being discussed at Wikipedia:BLPN#Rick_Santorum. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:00, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Jimbo has made clear that people are welcome to raise issues here, so that's not a problem. As for the other issues, I just clicked back through some random versions of the article and the sentence in question has been in the article at least as far back as 2008, which is after Rick Santorum was out of the Senate and long before he was running for anything else. As Collect correctly states, that "longevity" does not, in and of itself, excuse a BLP violation, if that is what it is. (I do not think it is.) The problem is that by using the words "silly season edits" and "latest victim," Collect implies that this is a recent edit made by someone for the purposes of the campaign in which Santorum is currently involved -- and that's not the case. The "longevity" of the edit is relevant to this discussion only because it contradicts what Collect has attempted to imply. Neutron (talk) 15:19, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

If, on the other hand, you noted that I have repeatedly used this same section name in the past here, then you might not be as judgemental. And the reversions made to include the, IMO; questionable edits are, in fact, recent. BTW to others - this is not a matter of me pushing any political point of view at all-- as Jimbo knows I have the exact same opinion about such edits for any person (see Chris Huhne, Alex Sink and around 5000other biographical articles etc. for other examples). Collect (talk) 15:29, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Most of the debate here seems irrelevant. As I have said many times, it is never a violation of WP:FORUMSHOP to talk to me here, and I find it unfortunate when people are given feedback amounting to discouraging them from keeping me informed. So let's please try to dispense with that sort of argument here.

Next, it seems to me that we have a problem with both 'silly season' edits (or reversions) and more longstanding BLP issues. To some extent, these issues will always be with us. Even in an ideal world, people of good faith will have some disagreements about what should be included in a biography, and it will often be the case that people feel that those on the other side are engaging in political electioneering in one direction or another. We should try to avoid this as much as possible, and to treat each other with respect, and to focus on the issue at hand, seeking quality and compromise, but of course there is no magic bullet.

Finally, to respond to Collect - I essentially agree with you, as is common, on the content issue. But I'm unclear on what it would look like, in your view, for the WMF to "put its foot down". See, even though I agree with you on the content issue, it does strike me as one that might be legitimately debatable. (I could give more reasons for this, and my own views on why we should or should not care when a politician made some argument on behalf of a client as a lawyer, but that's not really relevant here.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:11, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Would a WMF internal task force on BLPs (covering all foundation projects) be well out of order? `Collect (talk) 20:23, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Silly season was when NASA [3], CERN, DTRA, MIT, the Navy [4], SRI International, and Mitt Romney (audio) all came out against arbcom's discretionary censorship article sanctions — and the article in question didn't pick up any of those sources! (talk) 05:39, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Just in case nobody else sends you a valentine

Loves Messenger Stillman DAM.jpg Happy Valentine's Day
Only the best for one of Wikipedia's best!

(Feel free to send this to your other Valentines)
Smallbones (talk) 22:11, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

A cookie for you!

Choco chip cookie.png Happy Valentines Day TucsonDavidU.S.A. 03:59, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Speedy deletion

All of a sudden Ive become a bother. But, an important project WP:WEaPOn (about Paid Operatives) I have initiated is up for speedy. Can you assist? I want to play by the rules but they seem stacked against an honest effort to record a history of an event as it happens. Some advice from you would be appreciated. TY. ```Buster Seven Talk 06:34, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

No need. An admin has already removed the speedy tag and restored the page. [5], [6] . Writegeist (talk) 06:45, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
I see that Buster7 once again left messages on a thousand talk pages at the first sign of trouble: [7], [8], [9], [10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15], [16], [17], [18], [19], [20]. --Michaeldsuarez (talk) 12:50, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
... I've warned Buster about WP:CANVASS (so much for him wanting to play by the rules), and I expect an MFD on that poorly thought-out "project" very shortly (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:05, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Wilhelmina Will (talk) 10:20, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Hey, I think I may have hit on something interesting and explanatory!

If a group of researchers had been tasked to create a working / hobby environment specifically designed to attract high-functioning autistics, it's hard to see how they could have come up with anything better than Wikipedia! If anyone's curiosity is piqued by this idea, do this test! "normal" people score generally under 20, people with high-level math functions often score in the 20-30 range ... and remember, the autism spectrum isn't a threshold, it's a continuum. As with many things, high-functioning autism isn't a "disorder", it's a difference in thought-methods.

I am personally Wiki-acquainted with at least three people (including myself) who definitely come into this category of thought-processing, and I strongly suspect that a fair few others that I "know" here are in with us. (What one has, one tends to recognise in others.) This, alone, could very well explain some of the dysfunctionality that Wikipedia encounters in the areas of inter-personal, social and communication interactions. I think this is worth considering, and if an anonymous survey could be done on active editors, and it turned out that we do, indeed, have way more than the global-population-normal percentage of high-functioning autistics, that could be mentioned on a page or three for people to bear in mind while they're in here. HFA's can no more help being HFA than tone-deafers or colour-blinders can help it, or change it, but it might be possible to educate the entire community in ways of working around it, to be more tolerant of some kinds of conflict. Kinda "Remember the person you're talking to could quite possibly be an autism-spectrum genius, and therefore a bit different from most people you'd meet at school or the pub. Try hard not to discriminate against them for something they maybe can't do much about." Pesky (talkstalk!) 10:52, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Yes, and more generally is it trite (or perhaps pompously convoluted) to suggest remembering that other users are indeed human beings, and as such may have a wide variety of personality traits, including autistic features? My 2 thenth, MistyMorn (talk) 11:43, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
It's a very sensible comment; we're all human, with all our human fallibilities and strengths and weaknesses, and feelings, too. Sometimes we expect people to be consistently better-than-human, instead of just "species-normal". Pesky (talkstalk!) 13:45, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Pesky may well have something here. My concern is that, if there is a high preponderance of autistic editors, we may have created a social environment that excludes, or under-values the needs of, neurotypical editors, and may be shaping the content in ways that neurotypical readers find disaffecting. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:46, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I think that is absolutely a valid line of thought. Pesky, when you say "it might be possible to educate the entire community in ways of working around it" I think that's valid, but it's also worth keeping in mind that "to be tolerant of some kinds of conflict" might not be the right or only way to "work around it".
Because this is a spectrum issue, rather than an either/or issue, it's also important for us to recognize that we, the "entire community", tend on average to be the kind of people who have difficulty recognizing social cues. That is to say, it isn't necessarily just that neuro-typicals just need to get more comfortable working with HFA colleagues. It's that we need to design our processes and procedures with a recognition that our current distribution of users is atypical, and editor diversity may mean a need to change some of the features of the work environment.
It's a complicated matter! But as I say, this is absolutely a valid line of thought.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 15:05, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Having worked professionally with autism spectrum disorders in the past I must say that the same thought has crossed my mind as well (there is a reason the Hurricane project produces more FA's than any other range of topics).·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:15, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
My sister has also worked professionally with autism-spectrum disorders. I'm sure Jimbo is right here, in that we need to take into account that we have an atypical sample of the global population. In the past, when I've put together teams to work on something, I've actually found that having autism-spectrum people onboard makes for a heck of an effective team, provided that other team members can take into account that HFA's do think differently. But if we have a team that can make best use of the high-level skills and talents available here (as well as the kind of obsession and tight focus that can make us HFA's happy to spend hours on end, unpaid, patrolling new pages by the hundreds .... lol!) then we really do have something. To use one of those awful think-positive phrases, but to try and use it realistically, although it may appear to be a challenge, let's not lose sight of the opportunities here. If newbies (and some oldies) just need to know that "The room you've just walked into contains some people who may be a bit weird, but their value outweighs their oddities" in order to be able to work reasonably comfortably alongside us, then we'll have cracked it. 'Nother thing to bear in mind, speaking as an HFA myself, is that we tend to read and hear things in huge details and very literally; sometimes the huge details bogs us down, and sometimes the literalness means we understand things in other ways. Worth while bearing this one in mind when writing policy pages; they have to be written in a way which is piece-of-cake easy for all our editors. Pesky (talk) 18:10, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Count me also as someone on the spectrum (though I don't even fit in among autistics; I'm PDD-NOS), and it's incredibly obvious that there are a high concentration of us here. I'm not cursed with the literal thinking issues most others on the spectrum are, but I definitely fall into the less socially skilled category. Many of us pursue knowledge for its own sake, so here is a great place to unburden our intellect. Here, people welcome it instead of telling us to fuck off and giving us weird looks on the way out (though most other ASD people wouldn't notice those anyways) when we want to read and write about (to use me as an example) Ainu and Burmese history. Of course, autism also produced this little creep, so it's important to remember it's called a spectrum for a reason; I tried to mentor one aspie a while ago, and she ended up rightly blocked per WP:CIR. So if we want to try getting more ASD types here, it could do a lot of good, but it comes with its fair share of headaches. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:46, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I am thinking that perhaps one thing that could be done as well could be a page where for ASD identified persons could receive social advice, or get policies explained in ways that take their difficulties into account. Sort of like an FAQ on how to succeed as an aspie on wikipedia using input from other ASD identified editors. Then we could also make an effort to educate neurotypicals on how to handle interpersonal communication with ASD people. I am a linguistic anthropologist by profession now and as I mentioned have some professional experience with both ends of the spectrum - I'd be happy to help in any way I can.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 19:52, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Likewise; I facilitate a support group for people on the spectrum, so I'm all in. Advice from all sides would be a great idea. I'm sure plenty of people would eagerly help. The Blade of the Northern Lights (話して下さい) 19:55, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I'd be all in on that one, too; I've been (among other things) a professional instructor in my time, and on the whole I find I get on OK with most people online now (doesn't apply in Real Life, where I'm either detach-isolated and looking snobbishly aloof, or over-compensating and being very intense and not noticing when the other person doesn't happen to have an overwhelming interest in some obscure subject that's temporarily taken over my wiring, lol!) A page where any ASD editor, HFA's, the whole lot, could both help others (specially ASD newbies), and pick up help, and where neurotypicals could learn how best to deal with us, too – that would be cool. Ohhh, and don;t knock the literal-thinking stuff – there's endless humour to be found in it! Consider, for example labelling cheese as "suitable for vegetarians packaged in a protective atmosphere" (no punctuation); a draught-excluder that says it "stops rattles and seals" (spot the marauding seals), or the billboard which says "part-time people wanted" (HFA interpretations is "hehehe! Werewolves, eh?") Ach, yes, and visual things ... neurotypicals often miss out on such a lot, poor things! Here's one which is absolutely guaranteed to make HFAs roll on the floor laughing themselves to death ;P Pesky (talk) 20:22, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Pesky, I think you're raising a worthwhile issue, but I agree with Jimbo that "being tolerant of some kinds of conflict" is not necessarily a good response to the (IMO) very obvious fact that we have many editors with ASD. To the contrary, I think that the things that benefit people with HF ASD are often the same things that benefit everyone. WP would be a better place for all of us if editors showed each other greater civility and charity, but I think editors with ASD are likely to be more disadvantaged by an environment where those things are absent.
I think the idea of providing a support area with WP could be a good one. Maybe (Jimbo) an autism charity or similar could be recruited to help with that. --FormerIP (talk) 22:12, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
While definitely agreeing that the idea of tuning the processes is an intriguing one, I also think that fostering awareness may not be altogether banal. In the physical world there are plenty of signals that ASD people tend to find hard to interpret. Online the signals are mainly confined to words the screen, and many of us are masking our identities anyway for privacy reasons. So perhaps we all risk operating a bit more AS-ishishishly than usual. To me at least, keeping an open mind about what may be behind the 'mask' can have a calming effect. (And sometimes, actually finding out is a perspective shifter.) My too insistent too cents, MistyMorn (talk) 23:56, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Not "too insistent" at all, these are very good points. I'm sure some of our online little spats and tiffs arise from pure misunderstandings; I had a total crossed-wires one with Wikidemon over at ArbCom (the civility enforcement case), and it was purely because we each read opposite sides of an ambiguous wossname. But we got it sorted out ok, which was good. I reckon this happens a huge amount on WP; where both "sides" are absolutely right from their own reading of what they were looking at. Just got different readings from it. It would explain such a lot. An online environment makes everyone both a bit more touchy, a bit less inhibited (no risk of a broken bottle in the face!), and lacking in non-verbal cues (important one, that). But once we know what we're likely to be looking at, in the WikiPopulation, we can tweak t hings around to make it all work better for everyone. Pesky (talk) 07:51, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
P.S. One of the things I learned when I was training to be an instructor, and having to teach people with various developmental differences, was always to remember "The other person may not have meant quite what you thought they meant. What else could they have meant? Could you just be misunderstanding each other?" That one really helps neurotypicals and autism-spectrum people to get on better. Loads of auties get on much, much better with animals than they do with people, for the simple reason that animals never, ever say one thing and mean another. Their communication is always absolutely clear and unambiguous, once you know how that species "communicates". Auties can read something into your words which was never there; miss the finer points which you thought were really clear, and neurotypicals often "read between the lines" of auties when the only thing there is the actual lines themselves. Knowing this kind of stuff helps both types interact better. Pesky (talk) 08:02, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Well you encourage me to waffle some more. Blindingly obvious again perhaps: Any taskforce would do well to include representation for Anthonyhcole's "neurotypicals" perspective (above). Personally, I tend to feel that the autism spectrum issue is one relevant factor among several interconnected issues which could be looked at together to try to tweak the processes for the better. Complex though. MistyMorn (talk) 19:51, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Complex, yes, but far from impossible and ultimately very well worth doing. Ideally such a central point would have a number of established Wikipedians who are somewhere on the ASD/PDD spectrum; a number of people who've worked with such people in real life, and a number of (nice, patient, understanding!) average-Joe neurotypicals who'd be happy to inhabit the place and (if necessary!) act as translators! This is worth doing. Pesky (talk) 20:02, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I suppose one question that might just be worth exploring is whether an "ASD model" (if I can call it that) could conceivably be of broader relevance in an environment where everyone is relatively deprived of many of the usual social cues. And if that sounds like gibberish, it's probably better to keep it that way. MistyMorn (talk) 08:36, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
I think it still does make a difference whether one is actually on the ASD spectrum or not, though the differences are clearly not as great as in real life; as you've said above, to a certain extent all onliners have some restrictions here which make us ASD-ishishish compared to face-to-face communication. That said, although ASDers can probably function much better online than in real-life social situations, as everybody else is that little bit closer to the same online, there's still the glitch of dealing with ambiguities and "reading between the lines" of what other people have written to try to assess actual mood, and the counter-glitch that non-ASDers will always seek to read between the lines of the ASDers posts and very often read things which just aren't there. An ASDer who's going out of their way to be really, really nice and gentle is very likely to be mis-read as being condescending and patronising (it's happened to me, and I was fried over it, and intensely distressed to the point that I seriously considered quitting Wikipedia altogether). It's very easy for non-ASDers to misread, and badly misread, what an ASDer has said, even online. Pesky (talk) 08:46, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, there's a very specific primary issue here which, imo, certainly deserves close attention (!support). At the same time, I'm also just wondering whether lessons learnt (or half learnt) from the "reading between the lines" issues might additionally help address some of our other dysfunctional community traits that don't necessarily have any direct relation to ASD individuals. MistyMorn (talk) 10:26, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Yes; approached really well, this can't help but address many similar issues with communication glitches of all sorts, between editors of all sorts. Anything that helps to iron out the worst wrinkles will also iron out the little ones. Pesky (talk) 11:56, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Specific issues at the 'individual level' can be very unpleasant. IMO, perhaps there are also related issues at a 'community level' of unnecessary background attrition, which can turn nasty for individuals and be wasteful too. I doubt all the good editors gone missing in conflict are high on the ASD spectrum. But generalized dysfunctional communication may in some cases have played a role nevertheless. Or at least, that seems to me to be one possible perspective on the broader problem. Maybe there's something useful to be learnt there, maybe not. MistyMorn (talk) 12:46, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Ewww, unpleasant, yes; been there, done that! Heh! I wonder how many Wikipedians were the nerdy loner who got picked on at school, even if they weren't in the ASD range! (Hands up, nobody's really looking ....). So — where do we start with working on some solution stuff; who wants to fire it off? (not me, though I'm happy to join in as and when I can, Real Life Issues permitting). How can we let people know the need for both on-spectrum and off-spectrum volunteers; who can we drag in who has experience with dealing with these things on a professional basis; [insert a dozen other useful questions here!] Pesky (talk) 18:30, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Pesky, I've been here six years and it didn't take me long to figure out that I was in the company of males, almost exclusively. Then after a while I started to guess that a lot of the males also seemed to have what I figured to be "high level Asperger's syndrome", though looking that up today it seems to be the same thing, just different terminology. I have a background in psychology and working with groups, and that may be the reason that I was fairly quick to catch on.
I believe that your suggestion would be extremely helpful for people like me too (I scored a 9). Do you think it would work to set up on-going "classes" for people that are interested in learning how to better communicate/work with others? Perhaps you could set up an exploratory class that a group of us could participate in to see how it goes? Gandydancer (talk) 19:49, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Ahhh, but I wonder how many of those that "come across" as males actually aren't; I'm not, I'm a granny! But, interestingly, one theory on ASD's is that it may be a case of "ultra-male brain". Food for thought. As for setting anything up, I;m commitment-averse ;P (or at least that's my excuse; could be just plain lazy, I guess!) I think what we need is more of a "Translator Central" area; a drop-in, informal, pick-up-tips, ask-for-help corner, which should have more the atmosphere of a safe-haven and sanctuary than a class. Somewhere people can walk in, heave a sigh of relief, and relax, whilst bearing in mind that many of the other inhabitants are also looking for a safe haven, and so it's important to be extra-understanding of personal differences in style. Pesky (talk) 19:54, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
There are certainly many "high on the spectrum" on WP they are a tremendous boon to the project in general, some choose to have userboxes, some are probably not aware, some would rather not mention it. I'm not sure, though, what we can do with that knowledge, except "know our audience". One big problem is the tendency of Wikipedians to say "But it's the rules!" and not really seem to care that enforcing "the rules" is going to break a load of stuff. Perhaps we need an IAR noticeboard... Rich Farmbrough, 00:06, 15 February 2012 (UTC).
I think the single biggest thing is to stress, and stress, and stress again the importance of assuming good faith. It covers such a lot of things; in every case I look at where civility has gone out of the window, good faith went first. And if someone clearly hasn't understood one of our policy pages well, don't just point them to it again, or quote directly from it, try explaining it in different words. Mostly - and this applies to all of us, dealing with all of us, try really hard not to get frustrated! Generally nothing's on fire, we can afford to wait half an hour, or a day, before responding (hopefully in a calmer mood!), or someone else will pick up and respond for us. Patience, patience and more patience. Pesky (talk) 05:30, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I feel an unassuming approach may be relevant here. Not making assumptions about other editors helps foster patience, imo. Acknowledging that one doesn't know the full story may make it easier to keep an open mind (whereas simply fighting to keep one's patience may mean losing it). MistyMorn (talk) 13:43, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
RE The "But it's the rules!" issue raised by Rich Farmbrough above: Does Wikipedia have an essay (or some other tool) specifically aimed at helping people concerned with literal readings come to grips with the day-to-day implications of WP:BURO? Like when you find yourself tunneling through one of Wikipedia's internal contradictions... If so, perhaps it would be worth giving it a bit more visibility. MistyMorn (talk) 13:22, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Not that I know of, off-hand. If there is one, maybe someone else can point us to it? Pesky (talk) 22:41, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Maybe there ain't none... MistyMorn (talk) 08:58, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Here's a current situation where it could be fixed before it goes wrong. This is the kind of place where it's important to make use of our HFA-&-Co. editors. We very rarely see things which aren't there; conversely, we very often see things which other people haven't noticed. Pesky (talk) 11:14, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Adding: I think this is at the root of a lot of Aspie/Autie frustration with other people; it's the "How can you possibly not see this? Especially when I've just pointed it out? How big does it have to be before you do see it?" Pesky (talk) 11:40, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Pesky, I found that link very interesting. It's hard for me to grasp the broader context and implications of the debate going on there. However, I find the sort of concerns you're raising about the way certain statements are open to serious misinterpretation quite apposite, irrespective of the specific context. And Wehwalt's 'interjection' (Each editor is reminded that the words that you so eagerly jump on come from another human being, capable of hurt. Consider what you say, and how you would feel if your retort was being said to you. Don't hurt other people or act to drive them away from the project.) is quite different from an abstract rap across the knuckles. It shifts to an altogether more human plane. MistyMorn (talk) 17:34, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
RE the feeling of How can you possibly not see this? Especially when I've just pointed it out? How big does it have to be before you do see it?. That can be seriously alienating, especially in the long term (a possible cause of attrition...). Is it not a rather common experience, irrespective of ASD? Particularly perhaps when dialoguing with people from different background/s who aren't willing to review their assumptions (or the ways in which they express their viewpoints)? I guess so-called 'neurotypicals' will, on average, find it easier to back off. But if a contributor is convinced of having a valid viewpoint, or has invested a vast amount of effort in developing something in a certain way, that may not always be the case. Just 2 rather hazy cents MistyMorn (talk) 20:29, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
As seems to be the case so often, what you perceive as "rather hazy" seems to me to be right on the nail! Wehwalt's point is excellent; outstanding. Sometimes I think we forget that it's real, live people we're dealing with, who have real, live feelings, too. Pesky (talk) 09:19, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree that Wehwalt's point is a game changer... Something that almost everyone can relate to on a shared human level, without the need to reach for a glossary to check on and isolate the exact, wikically correct definition of the term. Imo, a particular advantage of that approach is that it encourages contributors, of all types, to make the sort of mental adjustments needed to compensate for the lack of face-to-face interaction in an internet forum environment. MistyMorn (talk) 11:59, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

A wierd question?

Mr. Wales I had a cool idea i was wondering if you might considering licensing your image for a T-Shirt even if not you can use this idea for a fundraiser. I'd take a shirt print your image and have it say Do You Edit with Jimbo? I just think it would be cool to have a shirt like that I'd buy one. please respond on my talk. TucsonDavidU.S.A. 23:02, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

If the Foundation asked me, I'd say yes to them. I doubt if such a shirt would sell well, though!--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:04, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo's image is already licensed for use on a t-shirt or anything else you might want to produce: [21]. --FormerIP (talk) 23:07, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually, no, that isn't right. Copyright permissions don't cover personality rights. You can't use my image to sell products without my permission.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:18, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Interesting. Sounds plausible. There is no mention of Personality rights at Wikipedia:Copyrights, or at Derivative work. Is this something than needs fixing?. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:36, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Personality rights are distinct from copyright. Copyright belongs to the creator. Personality rights are vested in the subject depicted. They are guided by very different principles. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:01, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Mr. Wales Would grant permission for me to make ! shirt for personal use, i would not make any for sale. just for me with your tentative permission I could make up a sample of what it would look like and submit it for your approval? If not I understand. TucsonDavidU.S.A. 23:54, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, ok. Just make one. :)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:56, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Jimbo, if you're still thinking your t-shirts won't sell, I've got this for you. If that's not enough, could you consider wearing a baret for your next fundraiser picture? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 01:56, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Thank You very much Mr. Wales is this image ok to use If not maybe you can suggest a image? TucsonDavidU.S.A. 00:03, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

We need Jimbo masks. Imagine the Guy Fawkes mask from V for Vendetta only with a beard more awe-inspiring than Chuck Norris's. Those would sell by the million, I guaranteeya. ŞůṜīΣĻ¹98¹Speak 19:12, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps with big "Citation Needed" signs as well. You've created a thing, it seems. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 16:00, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Damn I was Going to walk around the mall wearing this User Talk:Willdude123 17:15, 14 February 2012 (UTC)


Wikipedia is over ten years old. During this time the world of website design has continually moved forward while wikipedia has remained quite stagnant in its features. Are there any plans on updating? I don't mean glitter, but increased userface ease for both editors and readers.

For editors, there is a dire need for a table maker, currently it is still terrible. It takes a fair amount of time to learn how to make tables, and certain edits to tables can be hell. Imagine having to update these tables or adding a new nation in at spot #90. A WYSIWYG table would be much easier and allow many more casual editors to actually edit them. Adding colour is needlessly difficult, why can't I just choose from a colour wheel to find the colour ID I want rather than having to search for the ID code elsewhere.

For readers, the image userface should be improved. Rather than having to open a new tab for each photo one should also have the option of opening the image to a, say, 2/3rds screen size ontop and within their current tab such as is done on facebook et al. If a user, like myself, enjoys pictures when I go to an article such as Railway stations in the Netherlands I will likely look at each picture. Why must I open a new tab for each photo? I wish I could simply click a small arrow that would take me to the next photo on the page. Also, bring the caption with the photo! Why they are separated when one half zooms in is beyond me.

I bring this here and not to its appropriate place because nothing gets done elsewhere (I did try once), probably due to the fact it could require money, knowledge, and work, so above wikipedia editors powers.

Thoughts? Or should I expect wikipedia to still have the same medium difficulty userface in 2020? (talk) 05:40, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

The WMF is actually working on a WYSIWYG editor. Here's a preview of it. elektrikSHOOS (talk) 05:51, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I seem to remember hearing about that over a year ago. I suggested it for making tables easier, a function I do not see at the link. Tables take too much work and are far too often not written to their full potential. But still, there are many other userface issues which are lagging behind the majority of other major websites.
Two more ideas, how about a spellchecker (visible while editing only) to help reduce the large number of mistakes, especially to help non-native english speakers and lower the amount of double edits, and for talkpages do what the french do [22] using faint lines to make it easier to see who is saying what. (talk) 09:24, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Another area that may already have been looked at: Ways to help navigate long long pages... For instance, the ability to call up the 'Contents' box while scrolling through a long page without having to move away from the part of the page you're currently consulting. In other words, something to allow you either to flip back and forth through the various parts of the page, or to help locate a particular section that can then be opened in a new tab or perhaps even in the new 'split page' view. Btw, I realize this is the wrong forum for this sort of request, but since we're here... thanks for listening. MistyMorn (talk) 10:47, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

It would be cool if they got rid of needing http:// on links, very very minor thing tho Help talk:URL#HTTPS_changes

I totally agree with need for a WYSIWYG editor, plenty of people can write but don't want to touch codelooking stuff, that's a big reason why I think the Humanities parts of Wikipedia are so empty, I like both but at the same time I recognise that I am not exactly the norm ;)

Another random idea: Let people write stuff in Word or Openoffice with their tables etc whcih are dead easy to do and download articles/re-upload files to Wikipedia, kinda like what Google Docs lets you do Face-smile.svg --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 16:39, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Beyond a WYSIWYG table editor we have an invention called WP:Help: If there is any (repeat: any) specific editing problem which you wish to get solved quickly, please contact WP:Help_desk (after checking WP:FAQ frequent questions and Help:Table examples) and the related notice boards. Asking there can be so much faster than learning to navigate and orchestrate changes using a WYSIWYG page-editor. In fact, after asking a question, it is not even necessary to wait for the screen to update. Just post a question, and often times, the solution or edits will be done while you are away, and will be instantly available to other readers. It's almost like magic: just ask a clear request, and often times, it will be done while you are enjoying other activities. Try it a few times, and you will see how quickly the results come, if the requested page is not edit-protected. One person can "do the work" of hundreds, after learning how to work together. It is not a case of person versus the computer interface here. Just ask for help. -Wikid77 (talk) 17:40, revised 21:43, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
    • Personally, I've made many tables and have fixed other's tables including critical failures. I just don't see why it must be so hard and time consuming. I like the ideas MistyMorn and Selina, both I would expect to be very do-able. Alas, we need the support of WMF to get these features, Jimbo, you there? (talk) 18:03, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • There are several quick alternatives, now. Those are interesting points to discuss. For example, to view the table-of-contents and scroll the page at the same time, just copy the article window into a new browser window and view, or edit, in side-by-side mode. (see WP:Advanced article editing.) Even a WYSIWYG editor will not replace the need for side-by-side editing, or previewing formatted text alongside a window of the diff-changes. The side-by-side view also allows looking at the references, while viewing the cited text higher on the page, in side-by-side mode. When editing, run preview-changes in the first window, then copy as a 2nd window, and continue editing in the first window. It can be amazing how many hundreds of details can be changed without forgetting each detail, when editing in side-by-side mode. That is how I am able to make 150 or 450 changes in a single edit, but not forget which recent 20 changes I had noticed. By contrast, actual changes to a WYSIWYG window can cause broad, instant reformatting of the whole page, which will then lose the spot where some details were once noticed to fix. It is analogous to wanting a special tool to string barbed wire; instead, use 2 claw hammers: one hammer to stretch the wire tight at a fence post, then the 2nd hammer to nail the wire, and then tap the first hammer (with the 2nd hammer) to release it from the tightened wire. Always consider using 2 simple tools, in tandem, rather than creating a complex multi-tool. Think of what editing 2 windows, side-by-side, could accomplish. Just be careful not to forget which window is which, nor release the hammer holding the unnailed wire! As you might can tell, I've written text-editing and graphics-editing software for many years. -Wikid77 19:45, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Re: wanting a special tool to string barbed wire. There are special tools for stringing barbed wire, they go back to at least 1915, and if you string enough barbed wire with two hammers, you probably won't get it consistently tight and the stock will get out. Or you will have an unpleasant experience with the pointy bits of the stuff. There's something to be said for using the right tool for the job. --John Nagle (talk) 00:35, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, perhaps the best "special tool" to string barbed wire is a pickup truck dragging 5 wires at once :-) but be careful! However, some barbed-wire tools are much larger than hammers, and 2 hammers can be used to string wire through some dense brush where a larger tool would not fit. Plus, if a hammer breaks, then it would be easier to replace (ready spare) than replacing a special tool, which might not be readily available as hammers. As you can tell, I have worked with these tool issues for many years! For editing Wikipedia pages, perhaps what people really need is a "smart browser" which could run a spell check or grammar-checking program and pre-scan the edited page for common typos. Of course, a smart browser would also know not to wrap "2 eggs" as split onto 2 lines, unless the lines were very short. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:38, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

IMHO, ease of editing should be a priority for Wikipedia. And this sort of project needs to be developed with appropriate care to allow a smooth changeover (non-compulsory?) to a more user friendly interface. I'm no expert, but to me the preview environment looks good: no eye candy, just functional stuff with a nice, easy, familiar feel. But clearly there's still some way still to go... I was slightly dismayed to find that the editor who posted the link to the current mock up is feeling wiki-stressed out, and to see that the anonymous IP user who started this thread may be looking for funds to develop useful features. I really hope this sort of project receives the support and funding it deserves. As well as the necessary community feedback for successful testing. Best, MistyMorn (talk) 20:36, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

  • The user-interface is a top priority at WMF: However, many people imagine somehow a new interface will solve "all their problems" but I am a highly experienced software developer and must warn that it just does not work that way. I have found that "Every silver lining has a dark cloud" or "Every golden egg will tarnish quickly". We have thousands of articles with dozens of spelling errors, grammar glitches, and awkward phrases, and a WYSIWYG editing-interface is unlikely to solve those problems any faster. I think a major problem is that few people want to actually read an entire article with over 1,000 words and check for errors all the way to the end of the huge pages. Many of the grammar errors are related to very long sentences or perhaps a feeling of "singular they" (putting "they is") plus problems of English variants where British English uses "colour" or "honour" and those spelling errors are tedious to detect along with all other issues, especially if the "use British English" has not been noted for the article. Anyway, I agree that editing is tedious, so perhaps we need to organize more people to focus on all helping to edit and clean-up more articles. -Wikid77 (talk) 21:43, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't pretend that any single intervention (or even any combination of the smartest interventions possible) could hope to solve all the problems on Wikipedia. Like every complex developing organism, Wikipedia is always going to have manifest imperfections and problems to address. That's a fact of life, imo. Still, I'm rooting for the new interface, hoping it can be accomplished as painlessly as possible. Without moving stuff around for the sake of it.... Then it should be that little bit easier for everyone to edit and copyedit. FWIW, MistyMorn (talk) 23:06, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Wikid77, I am only saying that small changes will help alleviate some problems. You see [[23]] it's a useful tool which has made a tiny positive difference. We have ideas for more useful tools which will bring small positive differences, but these ideas can not be done ourselves but require WMF help.
P.S. I hope you are aware of and follow WP:RETAIN. (talk) 02:14, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

I think we're missing the forest for the trees. With Apple using Wolfram Alpha to answer questions posed to Siri, the future of computing lies more in the direction of location aware devices used for question answering by both humans and machines in a ubiquitous computing environment. The desktop model is dead and we need to stop designing for it. Viriditas (talk) 06:03, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is the brick on the left. Some may want to move to the right but that might not solve all of our humanity-machine philosophical problems so we had better not. <(-'.'-<) (>-'.'-)><(-'.'-<) (>-'.'-)>
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:09, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
The siri model is so going to fade and die, it's ridiculous and wasteful to work on anything pre-instant omnipotence at birth. It also makes no sense that humans didn't go from stone wheels to 100 spokes daytons in one step. I hope you see the fallacy. Effort:benefit is easily in favour of these suggested changes. (talk) 08:23, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Ah, Canadian humor typed from the keypad of a RIM device, no doubt. This isn't about Apple or Siri, it's about the evolution of human-computer interaction. Sitting down at a computer to view the screen and type on a keyboard was interesting for a few decades, but it's done. I shouldn't have to type on to a plastic keyboard to express any of this. I should be able to say it, think it, or just type into the air—all while I'm hiking down the side of a cliff above the ocean. Are you getting it yet? Technology was intended to free humanity, not just from the shackles of ignorance, but from drudgery and work best left to the machines. This means not being a slave to your desktop machine, confined in a room for hours at a time, but rejoining the community of minds in the world of human civilization as part of nature, with more free time to create, to reflect, and ultimately, to contemplate. If humanity does not have the free time to stop and think about free knowledge, what use is it? Viriditas (talk) 08:53, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Please don't anyone expect me to edit Wikipedia from a smartphone. It's not going to happen. And maybe I'm not the only one... MistyMorn (talk) 11:08, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I added the photo, the subject is irrelevant to the point I was trying to make, being that so long as the effort to benefit ratio is positive, small changes should and do occur and that we should not wait for the perfect solution as Viriditas suggests. (talk) 11:52, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Don't necessarily have to type hehe, Category:Brain-computer interfacing is being tested, may be sooner than we might think Face-smile.svg --Mistress Selina Kyle (Α⇔Ω ¦ ⇒✉) 13:31, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Rats! Obsolete already.... MistyMorn (talk) 20:32, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
  • So the next generation is thought-computing: Remember the joke: "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what I said is not what I meant!"  Beyond "cloud computing" we will have thought-driven "cloudy computing". There are reasons why people warn: "Get it in writing". Text is there so it can be read and re-read, even in a noisy place. Meanwhile, people should think about improving the many thousands of articles linked under the WP:BACKLOG, for requested difficult changes. -Wikid77 (talk) 23:42, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
You're missing the point. The user interface should not be focused on GUI input/output. That's part of an older, dying paradigm. The use of natural language voice interfaces is increasing, and we will probably see virtual assistants and even teachers in the next decade. The question at hand isn't how we can improve the user interface, but how we can improve human-machine interaction with the goal of transparency. In this new computing environment, our focus on physical contact with hardware disappears and we expect to be able to not only access Wikipedia with simple commands and queries, but also to create articles and manipulate content—without ever coming into contact with a GUI. For example, when I'm taking a relaxing bath and I get an idea for a new article, I should not have to get out of the bath. I should just be able to say, in my best Patrick Stewart voice, "Computer, create new biography article with the title John Q. Smith. Compose the following text..." Viriditas (talk) 10:12, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I do not object to having a voice interface for some users to dictate content. However, when updating an article by voice, which parts do you re-state to resolve an edit-conflict? Obviously, the solution would be to listen carefully to the other editors' voices, compare to what you had said, and then you can re-combine their voices with yours. However, it would be much easier to just copy/paste some new text into the latest version of a text file, rather than comparing voice instructions. That is why GUI copy/paste interfaces remain popular. -Wikid77 06:10, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
That's not how it would be used. Using voice commands to query the database is the primary use. Creating new articles is secondary. Do you use Siri? Viriditas (talk) 04:37, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually, not to be a bummer here, but I'm fine with the current interface. WP may be the brick 1990s (1980s?) phone, but it would do a better job at slower computers than the "better" interfaces (I presume, because I'm not a computer expert). Even if there's no difference, there are people who hate change (Remember the YouTube format change?), and the WYSIWYG editing formats will probably meet heavy resistance. Just my opinion. (However, making and editing tables should be easier. Doing so in the current format feels like Chuck Norris punching me in the face. Over and over again.) Agent 78787 talk 03:55, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
The actual comment, accredited to Alan Greenspan (per Google, second listed [24] ) is .... "I know you think you understand what you thought I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!" ```Buster Seven Talk 05:28, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

(od) Also attributed variously to S. I. Hiyakawa, Robert McCloskey (attributed by Marvin Kald in 1984 to a Vietnam War briefing), and others -- but far older as it is in a 1978 book [25]. By 1987 it was called "in common usage" in [26]. [27] shows it "in common usage" in 1971. In short, likely a fully anonymous saying of substantial age, possibly going back to ancient Greece AFAICT. Collect (talk) 13:25, 18 February 2012 (UTC) (appending as one editor may seem to think I did not know anything until I Googled it - I had heard my Psych professor use the line when he explained that this was the precise phenomenon being studies scientifically by his department circa 1965). Collect (talk) 21:50, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Perhaps a "Table wizard" might be easiest, where the table could be edited by inserting a new column down the middle, or even moving, or swapping columns. Then whole columns could be shifted by a single command. Afterward, the Table wizard would generate the wiki-markup to be placed into the existing article. The use of a separate Table wizard would avoid the complexity of trying to maintain an exact look-and-feel of the precise page format, but instead, just offer the ability to insert or move columns, even if the wizard-table spacing was only roughly similar to the live article. Once the generated table markup is placed back into the article, then the exact spacing can be adjusted. The key concept is the need for "vertical copy/paste" which is easier as columns, rather than as character locations or pixel coordinates on the screen. Also, I think few people realize that a WYSIWYG editor will be criticized, often, because the show-preview will sometimes differ slightly from the saved results, and be slower than the alternative of making 15 changes in the text-markup, followed by a "Show-preview" of all 15 changes at once. Another common misconception is the idea of "needing to see the exact results" one-by-one (not really needed), where instead, when a person changes 17 instances of "can't" into "cannot" then there is little need to view all 17 corrections in the final page. However, it is good to discuss these issues beforehand, to better understand the severe disappointments when people discover which new problems arise with WYSIWYG editing. -Wikid77 06:10, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Ideally, I would just like the right forum to post this question, but I don't know where that would be...

First of all, I'll just say, I'm not sure this is the right place to ask this, and I do so reluctantly. This could be a very brief section if someone could just point me to the "right" place to ask this question (maybe this *is* it?). Please and thank you. We had a situation with an article about Prem Rawat, when the website hosting the source material we were discussing had its domain expire, I went and looked up the domain ownership info and got this info back:

The Prem Rawat Foundation
1223 Wilshire Blvd, ste 464
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Administrative Contact:
Fresco, Jossi
1223 Wilshire Blvd, ste 464
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Technical Contact:
Master, Host
9725 Datapoint Dr
Ste 100
San Antonio, TX 78229
Record expires on 06-Feb-2012.
Record created on 06-Feb-2011.

Since Jossi Fresco is not allowed to edit here (banned from Wikipedia for gaming the system that allowed him to impose his strong bias on these articles), and he is the admin for that site, wouldn't posting information from that site be only one step removed from just letting him edit directly? Anyway, I really just want to know where I should ask that question, although opinions would be of interest as well. Please and thank you again, and I apologize is this if the wrong place entirely to ask this question. -- Maelefique (talk) 16:26, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Think the best place would be WP:RSN. Not sure if the fact that the webmaster is banned here means much, though. If the information on the site is reliable, then it is reliable. It looks like it may count as WP:SELFPUB, though. if so, it should only be used for statements about Prem Rewat which are not unduly self-serving. --FormerIP (talk) 16:35, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Forgive my self-indulgence here, but when I posted a WHOIS record, it was called "about as serious a breach of privacy as it's possible to get, short of physically stalking an editor" by User:Prioryman. Now, I understand that the circumstances here are different (for one thing, I posted it off-wiki), but either a terrible thing has just happened and this WHOIS information should be oversighted immediately, or the furor over what I did was unwarranted. I'll leave it to others to decide. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:46, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I would have to think that the furor over what you did (assuming it was exactly the same) was unwarranted. WHOIS info is completely public information, and you can request that a domain is held privately if you don't want your info to show up on a WHOIS request (it's as simple as ticking a box when you register a domain). However, if it's not wiki-OK to post that info, please remove it. (That last part is for someone who can actually do that) -- Maelefique(and Charles!)(talk) 06:11, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:OUTING does appear to prohibit posting other editors' e-mail addresses and phone numbers. On the other hand, if this person is truly banned from editing, is he still counted as an editor? In any case the response to this information should be the same as the response should have been to Fae's information, namely, to ignore it as FormerIP said. Wnt (talk) 08:05, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
LOL. WP:BAN (or even better, the account sign-up page) should say clearly: if you're banned from Wikipedia, your address and phone number will be displayed on the site for purpose of encouraging swatting. Welcome the Anonymous Wikipedia! We already have a "RfC/U" on WMF's Meta-wiki that turned out to be an "improved" copy of material previously posted on Encyclopedia Dramatica and MyWikiBiz. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 08:10, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, is it your opinion then that Wikimedia editors should have more protection on Wikimedia sites than members of the general public? In other words, do you feel that certain types of behaviour ought to result in sanctions if the other party is an active editor, but should go without sanction if the other person isn't an active editor? --JN466 13:38, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I just said what I see reading the policy; I wasn't stating my opinion. It is possible that following Jimbo's suggestion below and (apparently) repealing WP:OUTING would be beneficial rather than harmful, as it would merely shift discussion of such things here from Wikipedia Review. Allowing editors more freedom of speech is generally something I count as a good thing. It is true that free speech brings responsibility (a phrase very often misinterpreted) - if we allow editors to "out" one another, then we have the responsibility to learn to ignore this information entirely when it is irrelevant. What I would object to is keeping the policy but applying it based on personal like or dislike for the outer or the outed. Wnt (talk) 16:35, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
If WP:OUTING says this is wrong, then WP:OUTING needs to be changed.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:52, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
And indeed it would be wrong. However just as you can't out User:Jossifresco (or indeed User:Rich Farmbrough or User:Jimbo Wales) by posting whois records, you can out "User:Pseudonym". And this is precisely what User:Delicious carbuncle has repeatedly attempted to do, most recently on the Administrators Noticeboards, and under a mis-certified RFC/User. User:Delicious carbuncle has been sailing very close to the wind, and characterising his actions under a flag of "Now look what you made me do". I will say no more than that at this time. Rich Farmbrough, 18:59, 16 February 2012 (UTC).
FWIW, the address above is the business address of the organization to whom the domain belongs, not a home address of an individual.   Will Beback  talk  19:05, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
For what it is worth, I do not know if the address on the WHOIS I posted was a home address, a business address, a post office box, or something else. Nevertheless, posting it was an oversight on my part and something I would not have done had I stopped to think about it. As far as outing, Rich Farmbrough is already aware that the editor in question self-identified both here and on Commons, so it is the user themselves that must take any blame for disclosing their real-life identity. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 02:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Jimmy, you have a public identity. Many editors who edit Wikipedia do not. You also have very strong feelings--stronger than those embodied in community consensus--about editors with conflicts of interest. Your comments about WP:OUTING suggest that you do not understand the concerns of anonymous (pseudonymous, really) editors about how their ideological opponents can use assertions of conflict of interest in an attempt to gain control of a topic area by implicitly or explicitly threatening to disclose those editors' identities. While I understand you still get complaints on all sorts of things emailed your way, I suspect you see a far different view of this than those of us who've been handling OTRS and Arbcom requests on a regular basis. One of the things you'll see in the Will Beback/TimidGuy case proposed decision (which has been postponed at Will's request) is ArbCom's attempt to balance such concerns of the harassment policy (including OUTING) vs. the COI guideline. I hope you find it instructive reading, and feel free to continue the dialogue about it. Cheers, Jclemens (talk) 20:53, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't think you understand my position very well, then. I think I'm far more concerns about anonymous and pseudonymous editors than either ArbCom or the community at large. I think that if I'm out of step with the community and Arbcom, it is in precisely the opposite direction that you suggest. I think that outing is a very serious issue, that privacy is very important. I further think that it is undermined by idiotic policies that suggest that posting information that's publicly available is somehow a privacy violation. That approach undermines the ethical case for privacy in a very damaging way.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:37, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
I suggest that it is Jclemens' views on conflict of interest and pseudonymity that are out of step with the community. Several days ago Jclemens compared paid editors to Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement.[28] This comparison has direct bearing on the Timidguy case, where it has been obvious for some time that the final decision will revoke a paid editor's ban and desysop the admin who provided evidence for the ban. Skinwalker (talk) 23:36, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll save my commentary until the decision is posted and voted upon, Skinwalker. Jclemens (talk) 00:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
(to Jimbo) The reason there is a bright line rule--it's not kosher unless it's posted on-wiki by the editor himself--is that implications and associations create an environment ripe for witch-hunts and other abuse. Yes, DNS records are public. So are Google results. So are the results of any of a number of personal data aggregation sites. Which ones should be acceptable for one editor to try and establish another editor's real-life identity? The answer according to WP:OUTING is entirely straightforward and bright-line: none of it. Right now, the establishment of real-life identities for sanctioned users is reactive, done by functionaries who have identified to the WMF, done only when problems with the editor merit it, and maintained in confidence to the greatest extent reasonable. Jclemens (talk) 00:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
In the case of Jossi -- IIRC, the ArbCom actually directly identified the person in a case, thus further "outing" of the person is impossible here? Also, the RfA self-identifies the name as "Jossi Fresco". Thus "identification by name" is not the issue. Where a corporation lists an address on a formal resistration form, it is generally accepted that the addresses are the legal addresses for the corporation or its designated agent. No "personal information" is given. Thus the case at hand does not fall into the "outing" category ab initio. In short - this section has a lot of theoretical discourse not actually applicable to the case at hand. Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:52, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
I think that in this case you may be generally right. However, I see nothing in WP:OUTING which allows the work phone of a person to be posted on Wikipedia. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 14:52, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

New ArbCom PD

I wonder if you have any comments about the PD just posted, in light of the above discussion. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 15:41, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Justice in

Hi dear Jimbo, I need admin permissions in to do justice because many users have created a tyranny on Wikipedia, and only someone as good as I can stop them. Answer me here. Regards. -- (talk) 19:26, 15 February 2012 (UTC) PD: I am conducting a series of tests to multiple users to test their willingness to help Wikipedia. [29]

Hi, Im Afraid You will need to go through a RFA ( As Per Policy ),you also seem to be currently banned and only have a few edits, you may want to contact an admin on ES wikipedia.I will try to find an admin native in Spanish of whom I can contact.I think there may be someone of better standing to help you with the issue on Spanish wikipedia. User Talk:Willdude123 19:21, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

as per your request, the latest. We get more this weekend — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chrisrus (talkcontribs) 07:11, 16 February 2012 (UTC) The above seem updated since yesterday.

Here's today's, so far: Chrisrus (talk) 08:02, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

And the TU series ends today. I assume you can navigate there yourself by now.

Please work out an edit along these lines with me. Instead of just saying nothing in his article and "has been called a cult-like organization by some news reports" and such on the page about it, let's have it just say this:

"...has been described as a "cult" or "cult-like organization" in [[New York Magazine]] <ref>[]</ref>, the [[New York Observer]] <ref>] </ref>, [[Forbes Magazine]] <ref> [ |] </ref> , [[Metroland]]<ref> [ </ref>, The [[Village Voice]]<ref> [] </ref> , [[The Times Union]] <ref>Albany Times Union 21.November 3, 2005 Ex-aide calls Nxivm `extremely dangerous' </ref>, the [[Daily Gazette]], <ref> [] </ref>, [[Macleans]] <ref>[] </ref>, [[Vanity Fair]] <ref> [] </ref>, and [[The Buffalo News]] <ref>[|</ref>.<ref name=Odato /><ref name=Tkacik>{{cite web|last=Tkacik|first=Maureen|title=Poor Little Rich Girls: The Ballad of Sara and Clare Bronfman|url=|work=The New York Observer}}</ref>"

Is that not reasonable? And at the moment I'm only asking for this to be on the article about it, not him. Chrisrus (talk) 14:53, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Allegations of biased editing by political party

might be worth investigating :

Not sure what observers the National Post is referring to, first time I've heard of the NDP editing Wikipedia. Someone with more technical knowledge than me might be able to pinpoint the IP(s), its range is supposed to be It would be worth a look. CharlieEchoTango (contact) 10:05, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Remember that the Post is one very conservative and's the Post. Edits regularly come from buildings like the US house of representatives, the house of commons and I've even seen Rideau Hall editing political articles. If there was a problem we would have dealt with it regardless of their location. But I'll be nice because I imagine you really would like to snoop their edits...[30]
I looked through many edits, 0 sign of any POV pushing at all. He even cuts out damaging info from conservative pages such as [31] and often just spell checks[32] or updates. (talk) 12:08, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Looking at some of the edits from this address, I tend to agree. The edits I looked at aimed to be neutral (aside from the occasional inappropriate use of a subject's first name rather than last) and aimed to be neutral across all parties (I also found instances of cleaning up POV wrt Conservative bios). I'm not finding the National Post's complaint credible. Resolute 18:06, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Cool, thanks 99.235 and Resolute. I also found no problems with, and, which seem to be the only other active addresses in the range. Wondering what the NP was referring to... CharlieEchoTango (contact) 18:53, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Also note that the IP in question is apparently (from discussion I've seen on this debate this morning) one of the two gateways through which all House of Commons traffic originates, so it's not likely to be pinned down to a single user anyhow. Tony Fox (arf!) 17:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, I've sent an email to the original newspaper asking for proof of their allegations. They probably won't be helpful, but... (talk) 01:21, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Where's Hari Seldon when you need him?

Don't mean to sound ominous or cryptic here...but I don't know any other way to express this. Something different is going on here (across the Wiki) in the last few weeks. It is broad and hard to put my finger on, but I get a disconcerting feeling when checking in on the the compass is spinning. Something is just off. Maybe it's just me. Quinn RAIN 05:31, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, when things go wrong, you just blame them on the Second Wikipedia! I hear it is on a server at the opposite end of the Galaxy (i.e., Tampa).--Wehwalt (talk) 09:08, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
And the Mule? I think we should be told his identity, if you've discovered it. More seriously, I agree with the OP to a degree. I had a little break for a few months and returned to editing and there are certainly differences in what I can only describe as the ambience. Not easy to put your finger on, but kind of like the atmosphere in a big company that is evolving in a way some of the long serving staff aren't sure about, with mutterings at many water coolers. Maybe it was always like that and I just notice it more now. Begoontalk 00:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Please advise

Please see [33]. Needless to say, I'm not to thrilled with being discussed by a blogger and an editor while on Wikipedia. Can't they discuss me off-line somewhere? They may not BE personal attacks but they sure feel like it. When I contacted you about Paid operatives a while back, I really wasn't completely sure about why I forsaw a problem. Now I'm beginning to know why. I'm chastised [34] ("Don't do it Again". Nice way to talk to a 4 yr. volunteer veteran) for so-called canvassing to a discussion, here, on your talk pages and in the meantime I'm demonized and attacked [35]. I suppose next I'll be accussed of placing the Crown of Thorns on His head. BTW, I thought you were monitoring User DeSantis' page. I guess not. Ive seen alot of problems get handled on this page. It's a good source for a solution. Thats what I'm looking for. A solution. ```Buster Seven Talk 06:24, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Strange - you then posted that "attack" on a large number of pages, including those of admins etc. and here. I wonder what that is called? Cheers. Collect (talk) 12:40, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
@ Collect...I posted the attack so that the 3 admins would see the vile nature of it without having to diff. That is called..."showing a pile of shit that you found on the floor to your superiors in the hopes that they will respond in haste." The advice I got from all 3 was to step back. BUT>>>I then had to smell the "shit" everywhere I I omitted it. Why should I advertise User Kenatipo's insensitivity. BTW...whenever I ask for advice at Jimbo's page, thats what I would like...advice from Jimbo or some impartial editor or admin. Not a comment from an editor that has been hounding me for years. I know you will say you haven't, but that would be a lie. Now that we are "in the cornfield" and off thread topic, I will await Jimbo, or a respected admins response. I will not get into a misleading diversionary discussion with you. ```Buster Seven Talk 12:59, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
You were very gently "chastised" by me for breaking a core policy on canvassing that, as a longstanding respected editor, you should have known better. You quite clearly broke it, and I simply wanted to remind you not to. Nothing evil, political, or even related to the conflict you appear to be having with another editor. Let's not introduce red-herrings, or even suggest you're being martyred all over the place here (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
(ec to B7) If you wish to ignore my posts, ignore them. Your iterated posts that you will boycott threads once I have made them somehow impure is tiresome. And I have no preoccupation with you - I regularly post here, so your cavils here don't work. Once you have gotten the exact same advice from multiple admins and on multiple noticeboards and talk pages I think you have reached WP:DEADHORSE. Ignore this if you do not like the advice, but I suspect that others will iterate the exact same advice. Cheers. Collect (talk) 13:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
And others may not. When I went to sleep last night, I KNEW you would be the first to respond. I'm either psyhic or psychotic but I knew, in spite of my repeated requests, that you couldn't resist. @Bwikins..A thread intitled "Don't do it again" is not a gentle chastisement. And it was canvassing in your opinion, not Jimbos. ```Buster Seven Talk 13:22, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
It was canvassing, plain and simple. 1 simple post in the right place would have fixed the problem. The "notification" sure was meant by me to be gentle, and your horrific lack of WP:AGF is disturbing. I'm not your enemy, and never have been (talk→ BWilkins ←track) 13:27, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Well. "Don't do it again" is what I might say to my 6 year old grandson or the kids playing on my lawn. It's certainly not the way I would speak to an adult. But, I would like to get back to my original request for advice from Jimbo. ```Buster Seven Talk 13:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Buster7, exactly what solution are you requesting from Jimbo here? --Kenatipo speak! 16:58, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Kenatipo...I am requesting advice from Jimbo. I don't understand your question. Until he answers how will I know what solution I am requesting from him? If I knew the answer to my question, I wouldn't ask it! ```Buster Seven Talk 17:32, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
If I were Jimbo, I would advise you that when you bring Wiki etiquette charges against another editor, it's good manners to advise that editor of it. --Kenatipo speak! 21:59, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


Does anyone know if there is anyone at WMF who is effectual that I may contact about improving wikipedia? I've been waiting days for Jimbo to reply to my above thread [36], but alas, no reply. Though I guess that is to be expected as the problem, a serious lack of progression, would require an ineffectual and disinterested leader to have been in power. I don't mean to be insulting, just speaking honestly. (talk) 23:01, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Your question was capably answered by others. You aren't "just speaking honestly" you are behaving badly and should be ashamed of yourself.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 06:12, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
My point exactly Jimbo, thank you. A leader who could move the project forward, past its initial beginnings would need to be open to new ideas, seek new ideas from any source, and be able to think critically about one's self and project. Instead you falsely claim the discussion is over and meets insult with insult. Wikipedia may need a new leader or maybe the editors need a giant move to a new home. (talk) 20:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Beware Geeks bearing gifts/products: Every time I hear the combination, "Stagnant Wikipedia needs updating" and "WMF should increase funding" then I wonder, "computer salesman?"... but when they repeatedly insult you, I realize, "That 'salesman' won't get far with the Foundation's money"! Anyway, perhaps we do need an essay, "WP:Wikipedia changed and the users changed it back" so that more people would understand how when some prior users return to Wikipedia after 2 years, they can still edit as before, without missing a beat. Meanwhile, 350,000 articles are in rework for major changes, see: WP:BACKLOG. -Wikid77 11:59, revised 13:24, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I have nothing to sell, I know nothing about programming/web design. I just wish that wikipedia won't grow stagnant. (talk) 20:01, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
There seems to be a lot of discussion about improved editing. That purpose is served by the various add-on/bolt-on tools which make editing simpler. A wiki is meant to do one thing (collaboration) well. It is not a layout tool. PЄTЄRS J V TALK 02:25, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
But if editors don't have the skills to collaborate, how can it work? Shouldn't we be spending more effort on bringing new users up to speed and training experienced users to help out and mentor, rather than relying on technological fixes to our problems? We've seen a great deal of users obtain admin rights and then focus on fairly esoteric aspects of the site that really don't benefit anyone. makes a great point about our interface, but we need people who can really think outside the box on this one, and that's unlikely to happen with people who are in the middle of it all. You have to come from outside interface design, from outside the field itself, to get some really good ideas. It is not a coincidence that almost every great idea in history comes from a field other than the one in which it is eventually used. That's what it makes it a great idea. We're grateful that Jimbo wasn't a computer scientist because he wouldn't have been able to think outside that paradigm and help create a crowd sourced encyclopedia. When the w3 was unveiled in the early 1990s, some of the biggest opposition to it came from people in compsci. Viriditas (talk) 02:36, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Scientific endeavor is a natural whole: Wait, Jimbo knew a lot about computers before founding Wikipedia. Plus, the w3 in the early 1990s was disliked because it actually was very poor, for scientists and everyone else. Yes, Tim Berners-Lee was a physicist, not a computer scientist, so there were 4 pitiful "font sizes" (1/2/3/4), but today there are Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and we have "12 pt" fonts. Back then, the famous college dropout said, "The Internet is a passing fad," but he later explained he was just trying to push Windows 95 at that time, and the Information Superhighway was distracting the potential customers. However, real science was clarified when Einstein wrote, "For scientific endeavor is a natural whole the parts of which mutually support one another in a way which, to be sure, no one can anticipate." (Out of My Later Years). Thus the educated scientist knows to collaborate with others, in many languages. The opposition to progress is typically political or financial, rather than purely a "scientific" matter. Please remember, for all the brilliance attributed to Einstein's ideas, he wrote mainly in German, not English; hence, German Wikipedia. -Wikid77 13:24, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I never said Jimbo didn't know computers. He obviously worked with them quite a bit in finance, which was way ahead of almost every other sector when it came to early adoption, for obvious reasons. As for Gates, his comment about the Internet was mirrored in the halls of most of the compsci departments at the time, and Microsoft was way, way late to getting a web presence (I would be interested in how late, if anyone recalls, but I seem to remember it was almost a year late). The point of all this, is that you can't look to behemoths for innovation, you have to look to some guy nobody has ever heard of who is tinkering around during his break and is willing to take risks, not because he's getting paid but because he loves what he's doing. That's where the good stuff comes from, and it always will. It isn't just collaboration that's important, it's getting out of your comfort zone and achieving success in something you know nothing about because you're curious and want to know more. Feynman exemplified this practice. Viriditas (talk) 13:57, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Why hello. :-) I do actually completely agree on the interface question, I find tables impenetrable and templates tedious at best. I believe it's up to the community to develop a proper WYSIWYG interface, there's no reason that can't be done as an open source project. I'm getting too old for coding myself. VєсrumЬа TALK 04:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
It is an open source project: mw:Extension:VisualEditor. You can find information about how to contribute at --Yair rand (talk) 04:22, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Quality of an argument

Here is an article about the quality of an argument.

Wavelength (talk) 17:50, 20 February 2012 (UTC) and 20:30, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

"Not the kind we want" to attract

Rambling Man asked me up above, in a thread that will likely be archived soon, what I meant by a comment I made about the use of the featured article to attract new readerseditors. I wanted to answer the question here, in a separate thread, because it is an issue of more general issue than the topic under discussion there.

If one believes, as Rambling Man and others seem to agree, that at least one criterion we might usefully use to judge whether or not a particular article should be included as a featured article on the home page is the potential impact on helping to attract good editors, then we might ask ourselves: "what kinds of editors do we most need to attract?" I should hasten to add that I am among those who think that we should be doing lots of things to attract new editors, and that it is one (but not the only) factor that should inform our decisions about the editorial content of the home page.

(And, to pre-answer one potential objection, NPOV does not require that we select home page articles randomly. We can and should use editorial judgment based on a number of factors. NPOV can inform that process, but does not drive forward any simplistic rules about it.)

We know that our community is not well-balanced in some interesting ways. We are predominantly male. We are predominantly tech-geeky. We know, too, that this drives some unevenness in content. Topics popular with tech-geek males (like, for example, South Park, a topic about which we have, I believe, over 200 pages) are very well covered.

Having these articles is not a cause for shame or distaste. It's a good thing.

But at the same time, we know that it is not where we should be focusing our new-editor and editor-retention efforts.

The day that Cartman Gets an Anal Probe appeared on the front page of the site, it also happened to be the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens. If I've done my counting correctly, then in Category:Charles_Dickens_characters we have 49 characters from 6 works of Dickens. There exist hundreds, many of them not likely worthy of an entry, but many of them must be regarded as holes in our efforts to date.

My point is that if we wish to use the home page as, in part, and as we should I think, a tool of editor recruitment and retention, then we should focus our efforts not on where we are already incredibly strong (i.e. pop culture, technology, history of war, etc.) but on areas where we are weak.

Some who were asking me this question seemed to be girding themselves for a battle on the "worthiness" of South Park as a topic. I'll decline to have that argument. It isn't about worthiness as a topic, it's about what we should be focussed on when focussing on recruitment.

If you are a baseball team with the 3 best pitchers in the history of the game, but no one who can hit the ball, you don't recruit more pitchers. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:57, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

You do if you're the Seattle Mariners. Albacore (talk) 21:09, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, a point of information. You said above "I'm sure it will attract new editors. Not the kind we want, though.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)", yet you start this thread with "the use of the featured article to attract new readers". It's subtle but it's really important that you actually make this distinction clear and I would hate for people to think you'd misled them with your current response which seems to be a response to a different question, one which wasn't discussed or asked.
(Inline correction from Jimbo: Fixed - my apologies for that and thanks for bringing it to my attention!)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 21:55, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Secondly, Jimbo, I appreciate you answering my request for you to comment. While I don't agree with what you say necessarily, your comments lend some weight to the ongoing discussion over the role of the FA director. You now know the the article was listed to be included on the main page for about two weeks. No-one complained. Yes, Dickens would have been ideal, but Dickens and his sub-articles aren't featured articles (unlike Cartman) so lack the quality to be included on the main page. Yes, Dickens etc should be featured, but they're not, and as such, right now we have WP:FA as a list of articles which can be included on main page. We are not incredibly strong on featuring pop culture on the main page, the stats reflect that. We actually seem to bias in favour of non-pop-culture articles on our main page. You seem intent on insulting and denigrating the work done by editors on more niche, less traditional articles, which actually will serve to just drive them away with your throw-away comments. Once in a while it's a good thing to show the eclecticism of this encyclopaedia. Yes "anal probe" is upsetting to some group of people who have never undergone or understand basic medical procedures or who do not use correct medical terms for things that go up your bum, but is it really a moment in time to suggest that it will encourage editors of "not the kind we want to attract"? Don't we want to attract "all kinds" of editors? Those who can write about Tourettes, or Black Swans, or Lunar eclipses, or Top Cat, or 19 inch rack mounting? If we're a baseball team, right now we don't have any pitchers, so attracting one would be good. One who could pitch well would be advantageous. Turning pitchers away because they chew gum but throw well is plain stupid. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:13, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I am not sure I'd agree that the front page is a good place to recruit. Would putting a Dickens article on the front page recruit more editors with an interest in Victorian writers? I think it would be interesting to research how effective the page is at bringing in new editors; my suspicion is that it is more of a consumer/reader portal. Which is fine, our primary goal is to disseminate information. I think there are more effective avenues of recruitment. (One that springs to mind is to utilise the classification system we already have so that when you are on a page of, say, B Class or below an invitation to edit is displayed - "This article needs some work, can you help?"). Maybe we could do a better job of curating the front page, but I don't think there is much utility in trying to gain new editors that way (unless we pick topics we are weak in and chuck a "Can you help" notice up there somewhere). (FWIW I think we do quite well with the broadness of the featured content on the main page; that some of it is controversial is a good thing, those holding up as standard fare, though, I think are incorrect) --Errant (chat!) 21:17, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I think this is a respectable position. The truth is, we don't know whether what is in the FA slot has an impact on editor recruitment and retention. My point in this discussion is just that if we think it matters, then we should think about how to optimize it for the results that we need to achieve.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 23:00, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
While I understand the idea you are promoting, Jimbo, I think you need to be more aware of insulting the editors you do have. You have just told those who do work on pop culture topics that you don't want them around. Ask yourself how that improves Wikipedia. Beyond that, I have two points: First, looking at an article in isolation as a means of "attracting readers" (or editors) is pointless. South Park is probably no more more less likely to attract a reader or editor than Charles Dickens is. But, over the course of time, the variety of topics we bring to the main page is what can draw in both. I would suggest looking over the last few months archives of TFAs. You might be surprised. Second, editors who start on "trivial" topics can move onto others. Most of my wikicareer has been spent on hockey articles. Trivial to most, no doubt. But over time I've been moving onto Canadian history topics, perhaps more significant. Now, who is to say the editor inspired to begin editing because of a South Park article might not become the one who writes that Dickens article? The truth is, we want editors of all kinds, just just specific types. Resolute 21:37, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
A note on a much more minor issue: Jimbo does not "have editors", Wikipedia does. It may be a grammatical point, but such wording colors discussion on this page, and may encourage unreasonable expectations of Jimbo in his contributions to the discussion, and discussion is what matters. Geometry guy 22:37, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Resolute, I'll thank you for not misrepresenting me. I did not say, nor did anything I said imply or hint at that I have "just told those who do work on pop culture topics that I don't want them around". I did precisely the opposite. Indeed, I compared our pop culture author's contribution to the Wikipedia "baseball team" to "having the three best pitchers in the history of the game". I said, unambiguously, that having such great coverage of pop culture topics is "a good thing". And it is. I even went on to say that some people seem to be girding themselves for a battle about the worthiness of such topics - and that I decline to have that fight. My point is that to argue about that is wrong, because it totally misunderstands and misrepresents my position, and additionally obscures what I think is the much more interesting point that I am making.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:03, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not someone who holds back from criticising you Jimbo, but I think that on this you are right. I have nothing against pop culture articles. However, the demographics of Wikipedia mean that content in traditional "serious" encyclopedic areas is rather thin in comparison to that of pop culture and that which appeals to geeky types. It's unfortunate that someone who is currently defending the proliferation of the donkey punch picture across projects holds admin positions on several of these projects whilst I can think of experts on early 19th century poetry and medieval philosophy who are banned from the English Wikipedia and are currently amongst those most vocal on Wikipedia Review. (Okay one of these people has got banned from several other WM projects and his ability to post on WR has been restricted the admins there.) But the question arises whether the content of WP is suffering from an inability to work with prickly individuals and the effective exile of those who are alienated by positions of authority being given to those who use WP:NOTCENSORED to promote distasteful content because they like to shock people they see as prudes.--Peter cohen (talk) 12:48, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
For kicks, the primary author of "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" is female, (I am also female. Many of the participants at FA are female and I do not believe women are underrepresented there.) and usually concentrates on 17th and 18th century women's and children's literature in the majority of her FA topics.
I wrote the articles for To Kill a Mockingbird and Harvey Milk, among others (including FAs related to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which is a topic worthy of the dozens of books written about it). None of my articles got as many hits as Museum of Bad Art on April Fool's Day 2009. It's difficult to fault Wikipedians or FA writers for providing gimmicks when that's exactly what people respond to. Barnum noted that somewhere, more laconically I bet. I recall I stated that opinion in one format when Gropecunt Lane was on the main page. --Moni3 (talk) 22:21, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
It is of course true that many of our best authors are also diverse authors; that's a good thing. Nothing here is an absolute. It is possible that someone inspired by "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe" will start editing Wikipedia and become an important contributor to our entries on the History of Kazakhstan or Medieval cuisine or just about anything!
The question is: given that we are already unquestionably and historically very strong in some areas, what is the best way to attract contributors in other areas, where we are in need of help. This is really an empirical question, and as the Foundation progresses with work on better tracking tools related to editor retention, we may in the future have data-driven ways to answer the question. But for today, I think a perfectly sensible first-degree approximation is that if we want more editors in a certain area, or of a certain profile, then thinking about how to feature the best content in those areas is a good approach.
To respond directly to one point you raised, a very good one. It is absolutely true that if we measure success by raw hits to an entry while it is on the front page (a perfectly fine factor to consider, out of many factors to consider), then we should run shocking / sexy / outrageous things on the front page every day. That's pretty obvious. It's also pretty obviously not what we really want to be.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:41, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Your question is how do we best recruit new contributors. The answer is simple: to get readers writing. If my main exposure to Wikipedia is via the Main Page, what's driving me to contribute? I love the site, and enjoy most of the content, but from where I'm sat the site seems more or less finished. Even experienced Wikipedians would struggle to find something to add to a random featured article, let alone a first-time or occasional reader.

I would suggest that when people click on WP:Today's featured article or WP:Today's featured list, the article features a banner attempting to entice them to contribute to a related stub. "If you enjoyed reading this food list, perhaps you could help us improve another one?". —WFC— 18:29, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I think your assertion that "Even experienced Wikipedians would struggle to find something to add to a random featured article, let alone a first-time or occasional reader" is completely untrue. I don't think I've ever seen an article that couldn't be improved, even FAs, many of which hitting the main page are rather tired, and certainly pretty much every randomly selected article is in desperate need of work. Malleus Fatuorum 03:02, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

What this whole discussion fails to address is who is going to make the effort to get a particular article up to Featured status. If somebody who feels that Cartman gets an anal probe is inappropriate for the front page, they won't even try to take the time and make the effort. But that same person may not be the kind of person who has the knowledge and desire to work on, for example, a Dickens-related article. So what you wind up with is no featured article, not "one of our kind" (and that very phrase gives me willies). If somebody had the knowledge and inclination to get a Charles Dickens article up to Featured status, wouldn't they already be working on it? The Mark of the Beast (talk) 01:07, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

We...ell, how about this as an idea of who/how to convert readers inta writers? Casliber (talk · contribs) 04:58, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

That's fine. If you want Charles Dickens articles for the anniversary, you are entirely reliant on the goodwill of people spending their own time, and very likely money, getting the articles there. As I have pointed out, our ancestors found agriculture an immense improvement on gathering up windfalls. A request for $98/year by me to provide me with JSTOR (I am not poor and could get it myself, but I think there's a principle here) has been languishing at WMF for over two months. If you ask FA editors who do not have access to JSTOR to write on such topics, they will say no, they do not have access to the scholarship and don't want to bring articles without it to FA. Jimbo, I know we've differed, but this is the straight truth: if you and WMF don't expend resources towards aiding editors in research, you have to take what comes in. And no, I am not volunteering to write on Dickens, it's not my field. While I could make do without it, it would be a help in my and Coemgenus's efforts to get William McKinley, a prominent, high-hits article of importance, to FA. If that's not feasible, then what you are more likely to get out of me is two bits.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:40, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that's a respectable position, and one that I tend to agree with. Mechanisms for providing editor support in a way that is fair, transparent, and not too bureaucratic is a serious challenge, although one that I think can be overcome.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:15, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks.--Wehwalt (talk) 20:16, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Mr. Wales, it is good to see you principally agree with Wehwalt's astute regards. I believe some measure of capitol resource partitioned for use by and within the volunteer community would undoubtedly be a wise investment; correctly done. Best - My76Strat (talk) 01:13, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

I suggest that on the account creation screen, we first add a question on why someone wants to be an editor, what kind of articles initially attracts him or her. If he or she responds "pop culture" (or "South Park" or ...), we will present them with a message stating that sadly, we have more than enough similar editors and his kind is not the kind of editors Jimbo Wales wants anymore. Or of course, we could start from the strength of Wikipedia, which is the idea that all non-vandal editors are welcome, and that many of them may start with one topic and then branch out to other topics as well, but that it is much easier to lure them with familiar topics than with more erudite, scholarly, or esoteric ones. We don't have enough or more than enough editors of any kind, in any topic, although the problems of lack of knowledgeable or enthusiastic editors are even larger in other areas (and no, something like Dickens isn't a problem area either, the history and culture of non-English speaking countries is much more sparsely populated). Fram (talk) 09:29, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Jimbo, without wishing to state the obvious, the main reason Wikipedia's coverage of English (as in the country, not the language) literature is so poor is because an angry mob—inspired, if not actively led, by you—drove the two most prolific contributors in this area, off the project, owing to a dispute driven mainly (especially in the latter case) by your personal dislike of the editors in question. Yes, they behaved appallingly towards the end and probably left no alternative but a siteban, but a large part of that ill-feeling was originally caused by constant baiting and sniping from yourself and various WMF staff and Wikipedia admins and arbitrators. If you honestly want to consider why Wikipedia's quality control is so patchy in some areas, you might want to look closely at the organizational culture in which significantly productive contributors such as Mattisse and Ottava Rima remain banned with no realistic chance of appeal, whilst there is a genuine (although thankfully failed) attempt to unblock serial sockpuppeteer, troll and plagiarist-on-an-industrial-scale Rlevse just because he happens to have friends in high places. Wikipedia is far better than its critics claim, but the community which create and maintain it is ripping itself apart and quite frankly, the WMF don't seem to care in the least as long as the donations keep rolling in. (talk) 22:15, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Back to the topic of attracting editors for a wider range of topics: Would it be possible to rework the main page to "feature" multiple articles concurrently (say one from each of the major Wikiprojects) daily? More types of bait might lure more types of editors. • Astynax talk 03:46, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Meta-wiki again

There's a discussion on WP:AN which I feel like the WMF in general should be aware of: Wikipedia:AN#Update on the meta-wiki RfC. As far as I now, Meta-wiki is the only WMF wiki whose admins feel they have the mission to host reviews of conduct of users from other wikis there as a matter of course. Given the level of dysfunction recently outlined in the operations of meta-wiki, I wonder if this has become a matter where the WMF should involve itself, perhaps by the means of a board resolution, if nothing else. Thank you. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 14:43, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Hey, Jimbo. I'm a bit concerned about some of the admin behavior related to this case -- especially this attempt to close an RfD as outside policy, followed by this re-closure, claiming "uninvolved (as in non-voting) administrator" status.--SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:27, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
This clarification has been made elsewhere, but it is worth making here again: Meta does not generally host reviews of conduct of users, certainly not as a matter of course. And it does not review the conduct of users on other wikis unless there is cross-wiki interaction involved. It was clear early on that no action would be taken as a reslt of the RfC in question; the debate has been over whether it should be deleted rather than courtesy-blanked.
Since Meta is much more inclusionist than en:wp, the default responses of the two communities differed. (Similarly, Meta is less bureaucratic than en:wp, and interpretation of policy more often a discussion than a game of nomic, leading to similarly mismatched expectations of how quickly and on what grounds a poor policy interpretation will be overturned.) – SJ + 02:40, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

A neutral place to discuss the closure or reform of meta-wiki?

m:Proposals for closing projects/Closure of meta-wiki was closed within the hour by meta-wiki admins, despite the fact that it was a fairly reasonable one, detailing the devolvement of functions. Obviously we have a who watches the watchmen problem here. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 19:22, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't know that there is a 'watchmen watching' problem here -- one can start any sort of essay or discussion on Meta, without fear that it will be removed or deleted.
The request you cite was not a normal request for closure - any more than the annual calls for some major Wikipedia to be closed by people who had policy disputes on them - and was phrased in part for shock value. But it had points worth discussing. So create a page on m:reform of Meta, develop as much detail as you like; organize a vote on it; link to it from other discussions and essays about the purpose of the projects, or of Meta, or of the fundamental principles of friendly coordination. If after serious discussion that leads to a proposal that includes closing meta, you can file the technical request to carry out such closure at the page above -- but you would presumably have to first sort out all of the logistical problems involved. – SJ + 02:40, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Sj, it is absolutely infuriating that you refuse to be everywhere at once :/. ;-). --SB_Johnny | talk 01:04, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

What's the extent of our ethical duty to our readers re. political articles?

This is addressed to you personally, Mr. Wales. It is a request for you to express your personal views in this public forum. I respectfully request others here to resist the urge to preëmpt your reply - even though it has been said that your talk page is the equivalent of the Village Pump - and to engage in discussion only after you have made your comments, if any.

As you know, Joe DeSantis - paid by Newt Gingrich to direct communications on his behalf - has ceased editing Gingrich-related articles here directly and now posts his desired inclusions and deletions at the article talk pages and at the talk pages of editors he selects to act as his proxy. As you appreciate, this is entirely within policy and guidelines. Furthermore DeSantis voluntarily appends Communications Director, Gingrich 2012 to his WP signature. You have applauded him for the transparency of these practices and cited him as an example to other paid political operatives.

My concern now is more for our readers than our editors. Readers who don't check out the talk pages will be unaware that the Gingrich articles are edited (now indirectly) by a communications professional employed by Gingrich to help persuade Americans that he should be their next president. (Templated notices of DeSantis's engagement with the articles are confined to the articles' talk pages; and a warning of "increased risk of biased editing" during Gingrich's run for office is only displayed on his personal article's talk page.)

Information - its persuasive presentation, control, manipulation and interpretation - is arguably the most powerful weapon in the armory of a political campaign. It goes almost without saying that there will be other paid political operatives who, unlike DeSantis, assiduously attend to their paymasters' articles without disclosing their affiliation. We know you would like to see them emulate DeSantis's transparency. Do you think the ethical duty of transparency extends to informing our readers that all articles that have to do with politicians running for office, and with their campaigns, are very likely to be edited, both directly and indirectly (where editors act as proxies), by users who are employed to do so by the individuals and entities concerned?

Is your concern limited entirely to WP:COI? Or do you feel we have a duty of transparency and disclosure to our readers that goes beyond COI, and also beyond templated notices on articles talk pages (which many readers may never see)? If the latter, what do you think about including notices on the article pages? Or do you have any other suggestions? Writegeist (talk) 20:22, 20 February 2012 (UTC) Adding: So Messrs. Collect, Vecrumba and Maelefique (below) couldn't honour my simple request to wait for Mr. Wales's comments before they chimed in. Perhaps I was naive to hope for that modicum of consideration - willfully inconsiderate behaviour is widespread throughout the project. No less predictable, perhaps, is the ploy to shut down discussion before it's even begun by confounding the particular issue raised here with other issues in other discussions about paid operatives. Writegeist (talk) 05:43, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Um -- this how now been on this page quite a few times already - with the same result every time. I wonder if this time you will get a different answer than has been the prior result? Somehow I doubt it. See WP:DEADHORSE. Cheers. Collect (talk) 21:00, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I second that emotion. Moreover, if readers can't make out political propaganda, then they believe the propaganda, in which case any disclaimers or notices are a moot point. VєсrumЬа TALK 22:00, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
+1. -- Maelefique(and Charles!)(talk) 00:23, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Um squared! A fellow editor requested the following simple request: a request that was very easy to allow to happen.... I respectfully request others here to resist the urge to preëmpt your reply - even though it has been said that your talk page is the equivalent of the Village Pump -and to engage in discussion only after you have made your comments, if any. If Mr. Wales, once again, does not provide a response, so be it. @Collect: Your participation in threads often affects the quality of discourse on a page. I may be wrong, but my guess is that Editors Writegeists request was specifically intended for you. Too bad you didn't have the Good Faith to honor it. @User:Vecrumba...Political propoganda can be very subtle and hidden. Not all readers/visitors can discern it. Our commitment is to disperse knowledge not hide it behind the curtain. ```Buster Seven Talk 04:53, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
While waiting for Jimbo to respond..or not.. I offer that "paid editing" of many types is far from a DEADHORSE. The issues of paid advocacy, paid political operatives, PR personnel, paid editing, etc. are wild stallions that are sweeping Wikipedia, the Internet, blogs, CNN and other mainstream media. Far from dead, it is quite important as the US general election approaches. The conversation should begin now before the floodgates open without anyones finger available. ```Buster Seven Talk 08:44, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

When only two editors seem to iterate their distaste for a specific editor, or iterate the same arguments, there is a remote possibility that it is they who are "marching to a different drummer" than the other editors on Wikipedia. Collect (talk) 12:19, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

First you speak for Jimbo, and now the other editors on Wikipedia. Persistence has its own reward. There can be more than just disinterest as the reason Jimbo does not respond.```Buster Seven Talk 13:53, 21 February 2012 (UTC) Adding, I have no distaste for the User in question and have said so repeatedly here and in the media. ```Buster Seven Talk 14:44, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
A non-response from Jimbo is a response. "It can be very subtle and hidden. Not all obsessive editors can discern it. Our commitment is to disperse a non-response, not hide it behind the curtain." Face-smile.svg --Kenatipo speak! 16:08, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia maps evidence in Egypt trial of democracy groups

There's been a bit of a controversy recently over the Egyptian government's arrest of members of groups such as Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and others. The charges are that these groups have been working to destabilize Egypt on behalf of the CIA, Israel, Jewish lobbyists, and the other usual suspects. The NYTimes has a story about the case the Egyptian prosecutors have built and it has this sentence in paragraph two: "The case, for example, cites documents seized in December from one group, the International Republican Institute, that included Wikipedia maps of Egypt showing the country divided into four parts."[37]. As this story develops further, I'd be very curious to learn more about how the Egyptian authorities interpreted material from Wikipedia as evidence of an American plot against the country. We as Wikipedians see ourselves as the furthest thing from a US-government entity (particularly in light of the recent SOPA protest), but I wonder if there are people in the third world who see Wikipedia as some sort of American mouthpiece. GabrielF (talk) 23:05, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Gabriel, I'm not sure the story in the NYT implicates Wikipedia. People download maps from the Internet all the time. Sometimes it's because they are going on holiday, sometimes it is because they are plotting a coup. --FormerIP (talk) 23:14, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
You have to paste that link into a Google search and follow the link from there to access the article. (the link I followed from there is [38] but I doubt it'll work from here...) It really doesn't say much though. At a glance through Commons I don't see maps of Egypt in four parts, unless you count something like File:Egypt_under_Muhammad_Ali_Dynasty_map_en.png. That makes me think that the IRI drew out some sort of sectors on a map of Egypt. The problem is, in a country with no freedom of expression and association, such a minor gesture as that could be a "crime"; maybe it means that people planned to conduct some sort of survey or campaign in all four sectors? But if so our role is nothing more than a place to get a free map. Wnt (talk) 02:37, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
I am not sure there's anything to do here. The times has a definite POV in this dispute, as, I suspect does GabrielF, noting the "usual suspects" line and the way he lists "Freedom House" first, after all, who could be against freedom? I daresay we would be rather uncool about a well-financed PRC group come here to "help" us with our elections, Perhaps Egyptians aren't too happy about the US doing the same. What is it you want Jimbo to do?--Wehwalt (talk) 08:57, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Admin issues on Meta

It seems from this thread that there is literally no recourse if Meta admins act inappropriately. Is that really true? What can be done? (See also this) -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:27, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

That is, as you may already have seen, not true. Standard recourse involves a m:Babel discussion. Deadminship can be requested directly on the RfA page, but that may be considered inflammatory as a first step. – SJ + 02:57, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
Already being discussed above and you should check the archives here as well. I think Jimbo's opinion is now basically codified in WP:IGNOREMETA. ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 23:34, 20 February 2012 (UTC)


Back in 2005 when you said that "...instead encourage people to adopt an attitude of 'Here we are Wikipedians, out there we are advocates'. The point is, we don't act in Wikipedia as a Democrat, a Republican, a pro-Lifer, a pro-Choicer, or whatever. Here we are Wikipedians, which means: thoughtful, loving, neutral" - Were you considering situations where a law or bill could threaten the operations of the foundation?

At User:Scott_MacDonald#Discussion_.28if_you_must.29 I argued that Wikipedia can call itself "non-partisan" while the foundation still takes "partisan" action on issues that directly threaten the foundation, because those actions are a reasonable actions and are excusable exceptions to otherwise non-partisanship. Would you agree with this reasoning? WhisperToMe (talk) 22:45, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Editor recruitment saturation question

Jimbo, did you see this study of UK academics' use of web 2.0 tools? On page 20 it states that 36% post "slides, text, videos, etc. publicly" often or occasionally, and 18% contribute to Wikipedia. The average research group size is just over five people, though, isn't it? Doesn't that mean that most every research group has a member who is editing Wikipedia occasionally? Weltoners (talk) 14:22, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Very interesting. I don't think that statistically you can draw the conclusion that you've drawn. I suspect it is more likely that there are a lot of research groups where everyone edits, and a lot where no one edits. I doubt if the editors are evenly distributed. We know that people from technical fields (computer science for example) are more comfortable editing and do so more often than people from fields like literature.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:30, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Solving the Commons problem

Since WMF is notoriously unresponsive to email about anything, I'll make use of this back channel with a statement and a suggestion. Commons is out of control. Wikimedia Foundation needs to shut the mother down and to host all images through the various language Wikipedias, even if that means duplication of files. Procedures for file-sharing can be developed. Carrite (talk) 18:21, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

They have been indeed solved a while back. See content-addressable storage for example. (Ok, you may want to look for actual information on that somewhere else. That Wikipedia article is nearly incomprehensible.) ASCIIn2Bme (talk) 20:53, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like someone had a little meltdown here. Wikipedia Review is laughing at us because of their ability to violate WP:CANVASS with impunity. I am so very tired of a group of people demanding deletions across multiple projects in the name of overwrought "ethics", even when people from the same pool of deletionists is busy trashing Fae in a manner so unspeakable I don't even want to cite it here.
Fortunately the Spanish project has resisted the moral crusade, with the truly beautiful edit summary "Quitas información referenciada". Imagine it - a throwback to a time when keeping sourced information was more important than somebody's opinions about what is "wrong" to show people!
This distinction is no accident. Wikipedia pages have been put together by people who love the information - who love references and sources and data and self-made illustrations for their own sake. But en.wikipedia has gotten so valuable, and has so much bureaucratic potential for central control, that we're seeing Leninistic purges as people try to rope it in like a wild horse and break it to their personal will. This is a general vulnerability of communism in all its forms, and for Wikipedia to survive it must overcome it. The beginning, but not the end of what is needed for this, is a resolute stance against censorship. Wnt (talk) 02:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Ummm, first I don't think Carrite can really be described as WR regular. I think he has posted there before but more or less in the same way that say, current and former Arbs post there, mostly to disagree with people there and criticize them. They tend to pick on him when he posts there too. Second, yes, WR is laughing at the proverbial "you" (in this case Commons) because "you" (i.e. Commons) are so obviously getting trolled by ED folks and are too thick to realize it. Funny how WR is actually trying to improve Wikimedia projects (including Wikipedia) while those projects... well, *some* people, on these projects, are just gung ho set on shooting themselves in the foot. Topsy-turvy world, ain't it? This is one of those instances where I think the view point of many on WR and many on Wikipedia (judging by Jimbo's previous interventions on Commons vis a vis pron, etc., included) are aligned a lot closer than with the view of folks like you.VolunteerMarek 02:56, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
And honestly all those accusations of "Leninistic" (sic) purges... seriously?VolunteerMarek 02:56, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
By analogy to the persecution by Lenin of anarchists and the Socialist-Revolutionary Party in 1918. The initial revolutionary fervor of creating a massive public encyclopedia is followed by efforts by a more rigid element to exert control over it. I suspect that the domination and ultimately the corruption of collaborative projects - when they become useful enough to be worth owning, that is - may well be the major limiting factor of the free culture movement in general. Wnt (talk) 03:38, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Ok dude.VolunteerMarek 03:42, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, let's not have any control over the Wikipedia – like checking sources and verifying whether they actually say what the article says. As usual, Wnt, your demagoguery is divorced from the facts. This was my edit, reverted by a Spanish admin whom I don't know from Adam, but who was eager to tell me in her first edit on my talk page that she didn't want an image filter. What a brilliant reason to revert an edit! So I "removed sourced info", did I? Let's see: I removed the animation, which was most definitely unsourced. (In fact we now know it was uploaded by a troll.) I made clear in the lead sentences that we are primarily talking about an urban legend, and not a bona fide part of human sexuality. (That too is in line with the cited sources.) I added some subheaders (shock!). The only "sourced content" I deleted was this, that the donkey punch is "generally executed during or just before the orgasm of the male" ("... por lo general en el momento del orgasmo o inmediatamente antes de este"), cited to "Patrice Oneal Explains Donkey-Punching On Fox News". Gawker. Retrieved 2008-12-08.  As you say that "Wikipedia pages have been put together by people who love the information - who love references and sources and data", let's look at the source for that info, in that spirit, shall we, my dear friend? First of all, this clip from a Fox talk show hosted on Gawker isn't a reliable source for sexological information, is it. Have you listened to it? If not, please do. You'll find they were talking about rape jokes. Not about real-world sexual behaviour. And no one in that clip actually says or implies that "When used, the donkey punch is almost exclusively executed during or just before the orgasm of the male", do they? I've already asked you on the article talk page whether you defend that kind of "sourcing". Your only reply was vague handwaving – no surprise there, because I generally only ever see you spouting slogans about the demise of the wiki, rather than improving or sourcing content, or, God forbid, deleting unsourced and erroneous content. The latter seems to be a big crime with you, for unfathomable reasons. You seem to regard removing unsourced and erroneous content as some kind of mutilation of your own body, while the thought of women being hit over the head for nothing seems to leave you cold. Beats me. That shite about the donkey punch being "almost exclusively executed during or just before the orgasm of the male" was in the English article for three years, based on Fox/Gawker, and was read by over half a million people. So you really think it is good that the same nonsense is now back in the Spanish article? You think it is swell that the Spanish article once more starts out by describing this as a genuine sexual practice "generally executed during or just before the orgasm of the male"? You think it is good that it does so against the weight of the sources describing this as a sex act that only exists, as Dan Savage put it, "in the imaginations of adolescent boys"? Ah yes, must be that love of sources and information and references. --JN466 10:59, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Hi, as you call me I'm here. As I tell you lot of times, the picture was there 2 years without any problem. If picture has problem in others wikipedias or even in Commons, is not reason to deleted in es:WP. In this edition you change a word (euphemism) per another (urban legend) without change the existing reference. If is an urban legend or reality, is not a problem. If you want to improve the article with references, do it. But first you delete the picture saying "-img (peligroso y realmente una leyenda urbana, según las fuentes fiables -- Dangerous and trully an urban legend as reliable sources". Well, that has nothing to do with an article has or not a picture, and is not reason to delete. Then you came to mi TP and said "Probably will be deleted in Commons". Again, does not a reason for deleted. Every day bots deleted lots of pictures in all wikipedia when are deleted in Commons. Respect to my statement of be against filter, is not only true, but Spanish WP reject the filter as de:WP and fr:WP, but does is not related with this picture in particular. In the present conditions, I see no solid reason to delet an illustrative image of an article. If the article is so bad, ask an deletion request and propose community to give its opinion about it. But the article was there without any problems before all this matter begins, funnily because of you. And I´ve seen your comment up and some in Commons like "because Wikipedia editors were actually stupid enough to ask for an image on the talk page", wich in my opinion lack polite and are to close of WP:EQ. Obviously, different WP different rules, even when yours seems to be very permissive. More, believe that I restore the image only because I´m against filter, only shows lack of good faith from my job. If you don´t agree with my decision, also there is a right form and even a better one. Cheers. --Andreateletrabajo (talk) 13:04, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, hello. First, have you read the cited references? I have, because I have worked on the English article, and the Spanish article is a translation of an old version of the English article. I can therefore tell you that the Spanish article, which begins by presenting this as a genuine sexual technique (!), is not in line with the reliable English sources already cited, which are in broad agreement that this is a male fantasy, or an urban legend, rather than something people do in their bedrooms (at least, more than once). So next time, before you complain that I changed the text without changing the references, and revert me, kindly read the cited sources and check whether the text that was there before, and which you now blindly reverted back into the article, actually matches the cited sources (it does not). That would be very kind. ;) Next, here is what I wrote to you. Where exactly am I supposed to have said "Probably will be deleted in Commons", please? Isn't it in fact true that I did not mention Commons at all? You did. So I guess you have me mixed up with someone else who told you.
As far as the article is concerned, you did not read the sources and know nothing about the subject, but you revert the changes and tell me on my talk page, unprompted, about your opposition to the image filter, which has absolutely nothing to do with this article. Great! I deleted the image because it is factually inaccurate, and was uploaded by a troll. And I'm really not interested in jumping through administrative hoops on Spanish Wikipedia to tidy up your substandard article. I have explained to you several times what the problems are, and you won't listen. And by the way, Dirty Sanchez's Guide to Buck Nasty Sex, cited in your article, is not a reliable source. It is a book of (rather poor) humour. The same goes for The Complete A**hole's Guide to Handling Chicks. Neither is this (also cited in your article) a reliable source: it is mostly recycled material from Wikipedia [39], so you have circular sourcing. So half your sources are poppycock, and the good sources that are there are misrepresented. Now, do you care enough to do something about it? Because your Spanish is a lot better than mine. Regards. --JN466 15:09, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
JN, I still don't understand what so troubles you about that orgasm quote. So far as I understand the myth, the point is to create some kind of last-moment sensation. That seems consistent with the clips you referenced. That source may not be serious, but it's not a serious matter - it's alright to reference a comedian for a joke. It may not be a very good source, but are you really saying the underlying fact about the myth is wrong?
As for "the thought of women being beaten over the head leaves you cold", that's not true at all. Actually, there's some content about the treatment of one of the actresses involved which, if true, is quite shocking - I'd thought such a thing would be about as real as a Star Trek fistfight. But, the thing is, I don't believe that Wikipedia having an article about a thing, or having a complete article, makes it any worse. I think that sometimes there's been a slightly plausible argument that news coverage of school shootings could cause more school shootings, etc. - but that has been poorly documented indeed, and if it were true then I would blame it on the foolish decision of society to place control over communication in the radio spectrum in the hands of a corporate oligopoly, stifling competition and thrusting "the" news on people who would by nature read something else. Here, people only look up "Donkey punch" if they already have some germ of the idea in mind. I fully believe that for every person who reads such an article and persuades himself to do something that stupid as a result, there are many others who read it and are persuaded out of it, or who learn from the experience to take some future urban legend with a bigger grain of salt. I believe this would be true even for the most credulous and misogynistic version of the article you could imagine, but is far more true of a reasoned and well-researched version. Wnt (talk) 14:36, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
The problem is with the assertion that "the donkey punch is almost exclusively executed during or just before the orgasm of the male" or, as it is in Spanish, "is generally executed ...". The problem is that the cited sources say it isn't executed at all because it is nothing but a stupid male fantasy dreamt up by some idiot roughly 15 years ago. My heart bleeds for your compassion for that actress, Wnt. But I note your compassion doesn't stop you from wanting to add that scene from the porn movie she complains about to the article, as a fair-use illustration, thereby making Wikipedia the prime vector for its propagation (as the film itself flopped and has long been withdrawn by the makers). So excuse me if I take your professed compassion for the actress with a bit of salt, Wnt. As John Vandenberg has shown, it is quite likely that if this Wikipedia article had never existed – one of the Dan Savage sources was actually solicited by Wikipedians – this quirky male fantasy would have died a quiet death, like other playground jokes about sex. --JN466 15:26, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
If you think it's wrong to propagate that scene, why did you just link to it from a widely-read forum? Somehow even you recognize that showing people something in order to make them more able to evaluate it critically is a good thing. That's what I've proposed also. Now I'm not at all sure I want to take the time to wade through the film and commentary to expand the article properly in this direction, but doing so would be quite worthwhile. Because if I'd seen that scene before reading her commentary, no way would I ever imagine she was getting hurt by it. (Though her commentary says there are several scenes in that film with "donkey punches", and I'm not actually sure that scene is indeed the one she was referring to) Wnt (talk) 16:10, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
LOL. These words I am typing here are read by maybe 5 people, 20 at most. The donkey punch article got 129,000 views in one day. --JN466 13:47, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
It has nothing to do witha an abstract "freedom of expression" but there would not be any need to link here or there the mentioned image if it was not published at all. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 14:16, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

There is no back channel to getting Commons shut down, so there is no point in lobbying Jimmy for anything to be done. There is only one channel, and that is meta:Closing projects policy. If you feel so strongly about having Commons shut down, then follow the procedures in the policy as outlined on Meta, and the issue can then be discussed by the entire community. Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 02:37, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Commons isn't going to be changed internally, it's going to have to have its head chopped off by WMF. They can't intervene to control content, but they can blow up the "content provider" that they fund and we'll see how many of those arrogant pricks they call administrators last five days at en-WP. (Wow, I'm starting to sound like Malleus.) As for WR, I'm a glass-half-full critic of WP and view WR as a glass-three-quarters-empty. The jihadists there don't like me because I'm a Wikipedian and that's fine. I think the WR view of the out-of-control situation at Commons and WMF's is probably quite similar. And yes, the answer is the Foundation pulling their plug and setting the porn hobbyists and professionals adrift. I'm also quite cirtain that WP is being played by ED, which is a new discovery of mine today and quite annoying in its own right. Out. Carrite (talk) 09:23, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
If anything is going to get the WMF in a lot of trouble, whether it be legal, ethics, or perception, or all three, then it's going to be images or animation files. Commons' administration is notoriously disfunctional. I know some of the WMF staff watch this page. My advice to them is early intervention rather than waiting for a crisis. It will save you a lot of trouble and headache in the long run. Cla68 (talk) 12:56, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Carrite, I can tell you that this is not the way to positively engage the Commons community. Neither are the comments about "arrogant pricks". In fact, you are coming across as no better than the WR trolls, and hence anything you say is being lost amongst your own generated noise. Consider being more constructive in future, then people may be willing to listen to what you have to say, because at the moment it is just blah. Russavia ლ(ಠ益ಠლ) 14:00, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Isn't that choice?!?! "Wikipedia is not censored" and god knows that Divine Principle applies to each and every image on Commons without regard to actual educational merit — but don't you dare use bad words about Commons or the administrrrrrrrrrrrative toughies there will delete your page! HILARIOUS!!! Carrite (talk) 03:55, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, if it makes you feel any better I don't agree with that action. Removing words from the user page only to immortalize them inside a pink box on a deletion notice is kind of silly. What annoys me is that I linked to the page to mock the opposition, but by this action the Commons admin has instead ennobled it. Wnt (talk) 20:58, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Since we're talking about Commons and how broken it is, I'll just draw people's attention to this thread on the Commons administrators noticeboard entitled "What does a guy have to do to get a blatant copyvio deleted around here?". Apparently it took almost 24 hours for an obvious copyright violation to be deleted after being tagged for "speedy deletion" by an OTRS agent responding to a complaint by the copyright owner. It has never made sense to me that images are not vetted for copyright violation or other criteria before being publicly available. This seems like an obvious shortcoming, which I have noted before. If the WMF were serious about copyright, they could do a lot for themselves by making this single change to Commons. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 13:43, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

I think that this conversation might prove to be useful in distinguishing whether deletionists just want to "make articles better" by removing a bit of fluff, or whether they actually want to destroy everything Wiki without limitation. Wikipedia grew because it was free, Commons grew because it was free, and free works. Responding to informal requests in 24 hours when the DMCA allows 48 hours works. Making articles about silly sex myths that 500,000 people want to read also works, if you count 500,000 people getting the information they want as working. Putting Commons under a central bureaucracy to dictate taste, "vetting" images before anyone can see them, first for copyright, then for pornography, eventually I suppose for BLP violations and liberal bias - that doesn't work. Wnt (talk) 14:11, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
"It has never made sense to me that images are not vetted for copyright violation or other criteria before being publicly available" - Sounds exactly like the proponents of SOPA want. Imagine if all user-generated content on the Internet hd to be screened first. Nothing would ever get done. This argument has been regurgitated ad infinitum and is completely ridiculous. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 15:16, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
I think sites like this do a far more professional job than Commons. So it's not like it can't be done. But then, they pay their contributors, and their stuff isn't free. On the other hand, they do offer a guarantee that their files don't infringe anyone's rights. --JN466 15:44, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
M2Ys4U, I'm not sure what your imaginary SOPA bill says but I don't believe there was anything in the actual bill about vetting images. On the other hand, you should have no trouble finding statements from Jimmy Wales about copyright and Wikipedia. Guess what? The WMF says it does not want or allow copyrighted material on Wikipedia or Commons. This has absolutely nothing to do with SOPA, which is a dead issue anyway. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 04:03, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
SOPA doesn't explicitly call for pre-vetting of content, but that is what sites would've had to do so they didn't get unilaterally shut down. I'm well aware of the WMF's stance on copyright infringement; Infringement is unacceptable. This doesn't mean that all content has to be pre-vetted. That would kill most UCG sites, WMF or no WMF. Simply removing content after it is found to be infringing is enough. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 18:11, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
You say it would kill Commons to vet content before it is publicly available, but you don't offer even a hint of why that would be. You say that removing content after the fact is enough, but you don't say what it is "enough" for. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:44, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Because that takes up way too much time which could be used more productively by Commons users on achieving the aims of WMF projects. It is not always trivial to know what is an infringing file or not. Not to mention potential liability issues for pre-vetting. This is why there are Safe Harbour provisions in laws like the DMCA. As for "enough": it is enough to satisfy the law (e.g. DMCA) and it is efficient for the type of project. -- M2Ys4U (talk) 14:14, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I figure I can vet about ten images an hour to SOPA levels of certainty. Most images are easy, but the occasional "maybe copyvio" that requires half an hour of Google searches, hunting down license pages, investingating author lifespans, and figuring out what was uploaded when brings the average down fast. For comparison, Commons had about 8500 images uploaded yesterday. There are two ways of dealing with this: either hire about 150 people to do nothing but vet uploads, or to simply delete anything where there's any sort of copyright question. --Carnildo (talk) 02:57, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
I have no idea what you mean by "SOPA levels of certainty" but since SOPA is a failed proposal, not a law, it doesn't sound like a relevant measure. How did you arrive at the figure of 8500 images uploaded yesterday? Does that include images which have already been deleted, or would those increase this number? Phrasing your comment another way, we could say that 8500 images were uploaded yesterday, any or all of which could be copyright violations, since no attempt is made to vet them. The WMF has made no effort to prevent uploading of copyrighted images, and volunteers such as yourself and M2Ys4U indicate that doing so would is unfeasible in the current system. I think you would agree that those are true statements even if you disagree with my fundamental argument. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 03:11, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
In defence of Commons admins, most copyvios I have tagged have been deleted within a couple hours. HJ Mitchell's frustration at a 20-hour wait on an OTRS-related issue is certainly understandable, but it is possible that this situation may have also been an outlier. As to the OP's assertion, there is little doubt that Commons is not operating optimally. But deleting it is, frankly, a ridiculous and counterproductive suggestion that only hurts all Wikimedia projects. Resolute 20:26, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oh, look, yet another discussion that is essentially a canvassing effort to delete the donkey punch image. Not surprising. SilverserenC 15:19, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I am writing up an essay with ethical considerations that may be of interest.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 15:32, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
If I still do not understand the wiki-encyclopedic reason for including that image, at any rate I indeed find supefluous, unuseful and counterproductive to spread that image. And I do agree with Jayen that the es:WP article is also missrepresenting the few reliable sources. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 19:17, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
  • When we have reason to suspect that some image or piece of information is introduced to "make a point" in favor of them who would like to see freedom of expression muffled, what do we do? Do we sit passively back cowering at their mention of "free knowledge" and "no censorship"? Surely a defense by drawing rigid lines would serve them best, but no defense at all is no way either. This is why being critical is important and should not be brushed away lightly. The one image discussed above may or may not be part of such a ploy, but many others may quite definitely be, and this one might be used as a precedent. I love freedom of expression, so it would be good to make sure we don't lose it. Hoverfish Talk 14:02, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
The point I try to make in my ethics essay is that freedom always comes with responsibility - also freedom of expression. When we exercise those freedoms we have to be cnscious of the possible consequences for others.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 14:24, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
If a so called "freedom of expression" harms and even kills (e.g. each racist or sexit propaganda, etc.) then it lacks every reason to be defended such a "freedom". If the one image does not kill at least it does mislead and one could reasonable argue that misleading minds contributes with brutalization which is indeed noxious and harmful. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 14:46, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
A line is crossed somewhere. Maybe someone more experienced than me could define where exactly. If we depict waterboarding in an article about methods of torturing detainees or prisoners, I think this gives a strong awareness of what is going on and may be a useful piece information within this context. But, for example, to depict how one can near-strangle someone as sexual foreplay is highly suggestive (especially in animated gif format), it could even cause some people to try it and I think that its inclusion in an article would be a serious argument against wikipedia. Brutality exists. Vandalism exists. We do have guidelines for discouraging vandals. We could also have some kind of guidelines for discouraging (but not silencing) brutality. Hoverfish Talk 16:56, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Freedom of expression does not kill, not even for racists and fascists. In the 1930s, the U.S. had a far uglier history of racism than Germany. We allowed Nazis to rally and speak their minds; the Germans banned it. But the Nazis, by being allowed to express themselves here, were effectively forced to do so in order to be taken seriously; and in so doing, they alienated the American public (see German_American_Bund#Zenith). By contrast, Hitler himself rose to power from the position of a political infiltrator monitoring a "dangerous" worker's movement, sort of like COINTELPRO. Clearly that sort of political control didn't work out so well for the Germans, not even the aristocratic far right. Wnt (talk) 20:45, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
And hereby the thread ends.·ʍaunus·snunɐw· 00:07, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
The relation between racist propaganda inciting to violence and massive murder is indeed a well stablished fact even punished by law and well documented; it does not matter if anyone euphemistically call it "freedom of expression". If indeed there exists a (mind)control over people and against people, it also includes the use of the so called "freedom of expression" as a weapon against the own people, for instance to manipulate and to incite parts of the people against other parts of the people, take for example each speech by any Adenoid Hynkel at any time at any place, inciting violence against those people in whom those little puppets reflected their own fears and obssesions, and you surely can also find even better (or worst?) examples. And if this superfluous image is indeed so redundant, then it is not unusual that redundancy is a raw material of noxiousness. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 03:59, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
A well established fact? Then why is it that the U.S. has gone from segregated toilets to a black President in 50 years without ever banning the "N-word", while European countries with their bans on hate propaganda have seen an ensuing resurgence of racist groups and sentiments, even formal bans on burqas and minarets and laws targeted against Roma and so forth? Suppressing dialogue means suppressing thought, and suppressing thought supports the politics of stupidity. Wnt (talk) 11:36, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
If racism and fascism are not solely re-emerging on Europe but indeed they are also a still existing shame in the U.$. despite of every so called "freedom", and if indeed the racist-higienic propaganda and laws emerged and were implemented firstly at the U.$. and then they were imported into Europe, at any rate: yes, it is a fact that words and speeches are used to incite violence and indeed they lead to other forms of violence, including murder even massive. For the second question: the last mentioned fact does not change that it is not the "freedom" to incite violence what empowers people, but it is the resistance and struggle of the own affected people, precisely against every form of violence including violence by means of words and speeches. It is simply an example of euphemism to call incitement to violence a "dialogue" and I hope that at least you are not including the resistence and struggle against violence as a matter of "stupidity", for it would be an ignominy. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 13:21, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Wnt, you have noticed, haven't you, that the N-word has become kind of rare in print, and in politicians' speeches; right? Do you consider that progress? I am not sure, because according to your way of arguing, its rarity today would be a fatal flaw, suppressing dialogue and so on. Are you proposing the word make a comeback? --JN466 13:43, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Such decisions expressing sensitivity toward minorities are like sex - done voluntarily, as a sign of solidarity or compassion, they are indeed wonderful; but when imposed by force they are nothing of the kind.
I do not deny the central role of minorities in standing up for their own rights ("animal rights" groups annoy me by failing to recognize this). But nothing gets people to stand up for their rights more than a couple of dozen pathetic Klansmen waving their flags around in the public square. The ACLU defends such protests, correctly, not merely out of ideological fervor for free speech in the abstract, but also I think out of the awareness of their importance in maintaining public awareness. Wnt (talk) 20:52, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Summary: to stop the incitement to violence, fascism, racism or sexism even when camouflaged under the euphemistic guise of "freedom of expression", it is not contradictory nor opposite with supporting and encouraging legitimate use of printing and speeches as means of people's legitimate struggle. --ClaudioSantos¿? 22:06, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
To try another analogy: picture a pressure gauge on some coolant tank at a nuclear reactor. Clearly it is best for it to be in the green. But if it reads too high, bending the needle back into the green is not the answer. It might be convenient to do for some shift worker who wants to go home on time, but it would greatly increase the risk of an accident. To avoid such actions, by accident or stupidity, we cover gauges with glass to protect them from interference. That's the same rough idea as freedom of speech. Concealing the expression of racism does not mean that there won't be lynchings and other acts of isolated and systematic terror - it just prevents people from knowing about the sentiments in circulation. Wnt (talk) 02:44, 19 February 2012 (UTC)
Nothing, not even the silence, can be real and also absolutely innocuous and silent, any cause has to materialize and express its effects. To expose the real existing noxious secrets, there is no need to potentiate and spread each false expression, up to let them poison and kill, solely to realize and warn that they exist and they are indeed noxious and lethal. And certainly there is absolutely no need to repeat each falsehood trance which we have already learned enough. Struggle to silence every expression of violence and racism in everybody and everywhere, instead of looking for pretexts and excuses to coexist with them, that is the crucial point, which may be applicable also for the nuclear-crap. We all need also new challenges to overcome instead of repeat ourselves as clones. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 03:48, 19 February 2012 (UTC)PD: For example and analogy: once we have realized that there are still sexists then why to keep such superfluous gif?
I was speaking in response to your general statement; in this specific instance, I don't see the gif as sexist. It shows a man hitting a woman, yes, but it doesn't say she deserved it! You can interpret it however you like. The idea of a "donkey punch", in a heterosexual setting, may indeed be sexist; but where that is concerned each reader comes to it anew - there is no "we have realized" possible. Wnt (talk) 16:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I haven't realized that for you hitting someone is wrong solely when he or she deserved it or when it is interpreted as a wrong hit. And of course, it is a matter of private thinking, it means, a matter of idiotism produced by a society based on private property, to think that everybody has to experience in his/her body everything, in order to realize and learn. Despite of each effort to divide et impera, the collective, even the collective conscience, no matter how mutilated and impaired it be, at any rate it is a matter of indeed existing fact. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 03:47, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
That's not what I said. When we diagram an urban legend, we are not saying that it should be done, that it's right, that she deserved it, that the world should go out and do that. All we're saying is, this is what the sources are talking about. That's not the same thing. Wnt (talk) 23:16, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
To be objective, and one should be objective: none publicity, none advertising is a matter of free choice but a matter of incitement, brain washing and manipulation, specially when the target is a public forcibly uneducated and brutalized. Those working with marketing, but also each politician and each physician-doctor knows and exploits this very well. Although the gif was already removed due copyright concerns, at any rate the gif did not represent accurately the issue and I truly think that if objectivity and accuracy are lacking then one can not speak about choices nor decisions at all. This applies for this more or less inocuos matter but also for the most urgent and serious questions. And at any rate one may justly question if there is a real inocuous matter under the existing reality where illness is a common undeniable fact for everybody. -- ClaudioSantos¿? 01:33, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment - I am sorry the overworked administrative staff at Commons are unable to take care of OTRS-tagged copyvios for 20 hours. Fortunately Commons administrator Mattbuck has had sufficient time to review and tag an old file of mine and make a snarky comment about other upload descriptions (an urgent Agenda Item since I posted on this page, it would seem). So Commons remains in good hands with priorities intact. We can all rest safe. I would urge others at en-WP to join me by making copious use of the { {keep local} } template on future file uploads. Carrite (talk) 04:46, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
That's a pretty useful template, I've been looking for something like that for awhile. Although actually I would rather have something like { keep local ONLY} } template, where I can upload my files to en-wiki WITHOUT having them being dragged over to the cesspool that is commons. While I think wikipedia is dysfunctional, broken and all that, there's is (maybe) still some hope for it. On the other hand, every time I look over at commons it's... just depressing in so many way. I don't want to be associated with that place. Is there a license I could put on my images along the lines of "the creator of this work releases the image into public domain EXCEPT for it being uploaded to Commons"?VolunteerMarek 05:32, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
Can someone please explain for me what all the fuss is about? The donkey punch image was deleted at commons:Commons:Deletion requests/File:DCNG-levrette.jpg because it was likely a derivative work of an unknown photo (Rama has a history of such copyvios). It's a purely legal issue and has nothing to do with scope. We have a strict rule that any image in use by a project is in scope, so this image was never at risk of deletion for that reason. Dcoetzee 00:00, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
We need a definition of "educational" that has more real-life relevance than "was inserted into a Wikipedia article by a troll and then kept under WP:NOTCENSORED". --JN466 17:06, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Commons does not exist to override the editorial decisions of other projects. If you want it taken down and it's legal and in use, the first place to go is to the projects where it is used to persuade them to remove it. Then it can be removed from Commons. Dcoetzee 18:26, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
More a case of "edit-troll" decisions rather than "editorial" decisions, I'd say. So what about all the other drawings by Rama, the editor with, as you say, "a history of such copyvios"? John Vandenberg pointed out in the deletion discussion you linked to that this would apply equally to a whole host of other images by Rama. They are all still on Commons, as far as I can tell. Why? --JN466 15:13, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
Dcoetzee, that might sound like a reasonable position, but it is based on the fiction that there are "editorial decisions of other projects". As far as Commons is concerned, there is no difference between a consensus result achieved through a project-wide referendum and a single editor making a decision on their own - the image is still "in use". In addition, that blanket condition does not prevent a user from adding an image to other projects in an effort to forestall or prevent deletion. A recent case in point was the now-deleted File:"Donkey punch" (animated).gif which user:Cirt added to several projects after the deletion discussion began. Delicious carbuncle (talk) 15:29, 23 February 2012 (UTC)
@Jayen466: Although I agree that many of Rama's other drawings are probably copyvios, without access to their original sources, I think it'd be an uphill battle to convince others they should all be deleted based solely on a loss of trust for Rama. It seems entirely possible some of them may be only loosely derived from sources and not derivative works.
@Delicious carbuncle: It's always been a difficult question where the use of an image is solely to prevent deletion, and where it actually serves a purpose. On an active project like enwiki, irrelevant or inferior/cluttery images tend to get removed fairly quickly. On the other hand if it's being spammed to unrelated unwatched articles on Latin Wikipedia, or onto MYSPACEy user subpages, I think Commoners will have common sense to still ask for its deletion. Dcoetzee 19:18, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
There's just as much doubt about these images as there was about DCNG-levrette.jpg. In that case too we did not have access to the original source. We just had the uncomfortable situation that the uploader wasn't prepared to assert that his images were not photo derivatives. The same applies to all these other images as well. They are just as likely to be "derivative works of an unknown photo". In summary, it does not seem particularly consistent for you to say that the donkey punch image had to be deleted for copyright reasons, but all the other images (not just sexual ones) should somehow still be fine.
By the way, Fox are on Commons' case again: "Why is Wikipedia still doling out porn?". --JN466 03:10, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
I'm not saying they're fine - I would !vote to delete them, under precautionary principle. I just fear they would be contentious, which is why I'm reluctant to nominate them myself. You're welcome to nominate them of course. Dcoetzee 03:43, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
You're an admin there; I am not. But you would like to push me to the front line to take the flak? Cute. I've done my bit of taking flak, mate. --JN466 04:17, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
You're right, these images did need to be deleted and I'm in the best position to issue the mass deletion request. Please leave your opinion at commons:Commons:Deletion requests/All images in Category:Sex drawings by User:Rama. Dcoetzee 13:15, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, the 2010 report on controversial content pointed the way here:

"...Commons has a double mission: to act as a resource from which other Wikimedia projects may find suitable images, as well as to be a freely-licensed source of educational images for anyone seeking such images, for the world, in effect. is our belief that these two goals are increasingly at odds with each other, contradictory to each other in some fundamental ways, and that as Commons matures and goes forward, these contradictions will become more apparent, and may potentially be a liability... Commons, we believe, will begin, more and more to be seen primarily... as an image bank for the world. ... If the goal of Commons is to collect all freely-licensed images, with the implication that an image is "educational" by its very nature of representing some facet of human experience, any other more tightly-restricted definition of educational, will inevitably be eroded on the project. ... the mission to become an image bank for the world is centripetal – focused toward the collection of a wide mass of images, where limits are unnecessary, perhaps even counter-productive, and totality is a goal. ... Even if there is agreement that such a universal, "big-bucket" image bank is desirable, where the collection of every image of everything becomes a goal, there is a second question of whether the Wikimedia Foundation is the appropriate institution on the Internet to host such an archive. If Wikimedia’s goal is to be educational, thus, in some way selective of information, perhaps this is a project that fits more appropriately outside of the Foundation’s ambit."

Well, that certainly made my ears prick up, since it's quite probably the correct solution. So how about it, Jimbo? When are we going to see some movement on this front?

(By the way, another problem with Commons is that it's just really hard to run a well-functioning production organization which is truly international. Yes the Foundation is international and so is Metawiki, but these are oversight entities and don't produce content directly.)

There doesn't need to be hard feelings involved, at all. It should be a velvet divorce, and with plenty of scope for gradual hand-offs of management, technical, and funding operations. I'm confident that Commons will do fine, and should have no trouble raising donations to cover their costs. Heck, maybe they'll do better and have better funding for their needs, so win-win! Let's do it Jimbo! Herostratus (talk) 06:46, 25 February 2012 (UTC)