User talk:John lilburne

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December 2010[edit]

Please do not attack other editors, as you did at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of deaths related to Scientology. Comment on content, not on contributors. Personal attacks damage the community and deter users. Please stay cool and keep this in mind while editing. Thank you. This edit could be construed as a Personal Attack. Please be more careful in your discourse. The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 21:36, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

I take your point but there is only so much sugar coating that one can do. The problem here is that a reliable source for X said Y, is being used as a reliable source for Y is so. I'll rephrase it. John lilburne (talk) 21:55, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree with you point it was "particular redirector has shown... woefully incapable] of understanding causality." part that bothered me and might you into trouble. just a friendly reminder. Please note in addition that I warned him for what he said to you about "Cirtwatch" at the other AFD The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 22:07, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh I have a pretty thick skin. I did notice Cirt doing some time wasting here which should be amusing. John lilburne (talk) 23:35, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmm thats pretty normal. I been watching that too. My advice dont get involved The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 23:37, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Oh I just noticed your listed there hmm. The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 23:40, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Hmmm indeed, and no I'm not getting involved. John lilburne (talk) 00:03, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
And Apparently blocked for what? This is a static IP address in the UK that I've used for the last 10 years. With a slew of USENET posts over the same period all using the same IP and associated NNTP posting host none of which are CoS related. If this is the normal result of CU activity it is severely flawed. John lilburne (talk) 00:13, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
You could clear it up by revealing who your previous user ID's actually were. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 00:16, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
Actually all that needs to be done is to put the IP address of this post into google and it will come up with 10 years of USENET posts that are anti-religion in all its forms.— Preceding unsigned comment added by John lilburne (talkcontribs)
Bugs, why are you here right now? Comments like that are really not helpful. Guilty until proven innocent :/ - Alison 03:20, 24 December 2010 (UTC)
He began here with too much knowledge for a newbie, and with a wise-guy attitude. His comment above pretty much answers the question I asked, so we're good. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 08:11, 24 December 2010 (UTC)


So you know, you've been unblocked. My apologies to you for that; I jumped the gun a bit and misread a comment you made. Sorry. — HelloAnnyong (say whaaat?!) 03:15, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

No harm. You were both handed a poisoned chalice from the outset. Still my use of Hubbardistas ought to have alerted you both to the fact that WP:DUCK did not apply. John lilburne (talk) 09:21, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

David Berlinski[edit]

Many thanks for taking the time to straighten Hrafn out on the published views of David Berlinski. As you may have noted, both Hrafn and Raul645 sought to balete the evidence that I had previously raised to their attention some three years ago, demonstrating that they were publishing blatant falsehoods about David Berlinski, James Tour, and Rosalind Picard (among others). Note also that it has since come to light that User:Odd nature was a sock puppet of FeloniousMonk. —Moulton (talk) 00:06, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I'd rather have my cranks and trolls properly categorized. In any case mislabeling in such a daft way lessens the main argument. I'd only encountered him from that BLP thread and a quick scan of the article led one to think that something wasn't quite right.
Found some of Berlinski's turns of phrase amusing: "rather like the old Studio 54, in which everyone is simultaneously involved with everyone else, frequently in ways no one wishes to know." I don't know who User:Odd nature or the other one is perhaps I'll encounter him at some time. John lilburne (talk) 01:52, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
They would probably be apoplectic if they knew I'd spent this afternoon in three churches. But then where else can you get to photograph Anglo-Saxon and Norman stone work, unearth the works of Victorian stained glass manufacturers, designs by Pugin, and get some shots of a few ECW graves all within a 5 mile radius? Now if I could get the Spencer's to open up that chapel/mausoleum of theirs, guess I'm going to have to try writing to them again. John lilburne (talk) 20:07, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
This is a very biased view of things by Moulton who you will note is a banned user. In general, working with a banned user to evade his ban is not a good idea. (There are problems with the Berlinski article. They can be repaired without the assistance of an extremely disruptive user who apparently can't go a few sentences without attacking other users with his conspiracy theories). JoshuaZ (talk) 03:28, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
In the case of Berlinkski it does not appear that he supports ID that much I gleaned from looking at the sources way before discovering that Moulton had pointed out the exact same thing 2 years or more ago. Whatever the merits of Moulton's conspiracy, and I don't really care about it nor any of the actors, the fact remains that after two years people are still aggressively fighting to label Berlinski as an IDer whilst at the same time knowing full well that he is not. John lilburne (talk) 00:40, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
  • What perplexes me, John, is what the remnants of IDCab have to gain by falsely portraying critics and skeptics of ID as supporters of ID. FeloniousMonk made a career of making meritless accusations against others, and eventually ArbCom smacked him down for it. Now Joshua Zelinsky and Tracy Walker continue in the pattern of abuse that they inherited from Paul Mitchell. Why? What's in it for them? —Moulton 05:09, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
I think it is as pointless to speculate on motives of the above, as it is to speculate on the motives of Berlinski. We can all have our pet theories on both. As I've said before:

If one appropriates the clothes of another, one can hardly complain about being miss identified as that other person.

And that applies to Berlinski. However, I would want some one who had stolen Fred's clothes to be prosecuted for theft, not for being Fred. John lilburne (talk) 11:22, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
  • If left-wingers and right-wingers both criticize the centrist, and both argue that the centrist has it all wrong, how many Wikipedia editors will imagine that the critics on the left and the critics on the right are intimate bedfellows? —Montana Mouse 11:33, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


The subject himself admits he is a Jew. It needs to be added back to his Infobox. We always have the religion listed in infoboxes - Just look at the US Politicians. We need to know how many jews on the Supreme Court, US Congress, etc. The head of the IMF being a Jew is directly relevant. He is a Jew international banker. Why else do we have the Category French Jews - So we know who is one of course. (talk) 20:40, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

It is not part of his notability. You can mention it in the article itself but the info boxes should be used for aspects that are a large part of their notability. Take it to the talk page - there are several section on religion and ethnicity, none of which are in g=favour of adding this to the infobox. John lilburne (talk) 20:56, 18 May 2011 (UTC)


I've added additional sources to the article Temple Emanuel (St. Louis, Missouri), which is the subject of an AfD you are participating in. Best.--Epeefleche (talk) 08:51, 27 June 2011 (UTC)

*sigh* A few miles from where I live is a row of cottages designed by Edwin Lutyens but one wouldn't write an article on 32 Main Street no matter how many references one could find for the fact that Lutens was the Architect. Similarly were there are a 1000 references to the Mike Waterson singing in Bacca Pipes folk club in the 1980s that does not make the Globe pub in Keighley notable. John lilburne (talk) 12:57, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
We consider a subject notable for wp purposes (note -- this differs starkly from the dictionary definition) if it meets wp's notability criteria, as reflected in gng or one of the more specific criteria. If you have personal views that differ from what the criteria say, a good place to discuss that would be on the tp of the respective criteria. But simply saying "one wouldn't write an article" doesn't communicate to me why the row of cottages would or wouldn't meet the criteria. We certainly have many articles on wp that are on buildings, for example. At the end of the day, though, we hue to the objective criteria of the notability requirements, not to the subjective view of any single editor, who says "I don't think that is famous enough, by my internal fame-meter)".--Epeefleche (talk) 17:02, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
An article on the row of cottages might be discussed in relationship to their construction and the architect, but that is not what the Temple Emanuel (St. Louis, Missouri) article is doing, that article is trying to obtain notability for the occupiers of the building. A simple article on the building would be fine if what you are claiming is notability based on construction and the architect. John lilburne (talk) 18:13, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
We have hundreds of articles (perhaps thousands) on houses, with names that parallel your "32 Main Street". See here. We decide notability for those under GNG the same way that we do for organizations (including houses of workship) under GNG -- coverage in RSs. We don't, as you suggest, have your criteria. You may not like the notability guideline, but that's what determines "notability" for wp purposes.--Epeefleche (talk) 18:32, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
They're are nationally significant places. Grade II and above listed buildings, palaces, castles, and such like. My local pub is a Grade II listed building, a few years ago when it burnt down, due to a chimney fire setting light to the thatch, the owners had to rebuild it with 18th century timbers (which were sourced from Holland), none of which makes the landlord notable. John lilburne (talk) 19:12, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Those places vary in terms of indicia of notability, but the key for them to have wp articles is meeting wp guidelines, not "John believes them to be significant" guidelines. In fact, "significance" is not the notability guideline -- being noted is the guideline. As far as pubs are concerned, wp is also full of articles on them. The same applies -- if they meet wp's guidelines, one of which focuses on coverage (being "noticed"), they properly have articles. And indeed, there are a number of such articles on pubs on wp -- just look here.--Epeefleche (talk) 20:39, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
  • shrug* OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. In any case most of those pub articles are focused almost entirely on the building, some go back to the 14th century, others have literary connections. But this particular article isn't about the building, just 60 words are devoted to that. Focus the article on the building and I'll support it. John lilburne (talk) 21:36, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
You, of course, were the one who initially alluded to "otherstuff". That's what spurred this entire string.--Epeefleche (talk) 21:44, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
The problem here, and its not limited to this article by any means, is that page inclusion is being justified simply on the existence of a culmination of local news stories over a 50 year period. Any organisation that has been in existence for any length of time will generate press coverage. I was a founder of a local community group in the West Midlands, we used to arrange to get at least one story into the local paper every month or so. Here we have a bunch of press reports when they opened their new building, then decades of pretty much nothing, then press reports of a 50th anniversary. Each of those flurries are RECENTISMS they are responses to single events, and do not demonstrate that the group is notable. One would expect more from an active community organisation. John lilburne (talk) 22:03, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
First, you haven't explained your dramatic flip-flop in this string, which I point to in my prior post. Second, your above post simply expresses a dislike on your part for GNG, but it is what it is, and editors here are bound to follow wiki guidelines rather than create their own indicia of "wp notability".--Epeefleche (talk) 06:24, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
What are you talking about. You have a building which is perhaps notable in relation to the architect, that is its notability. Unfortunately you are using that notability in order to construct a COATRACK for an article on the community that holds services there, which is not notable under the GNG guidelines. Instance the times of services (which in the article is incorrect), instance the proposed merging (which is a news item). You have nothing there that demonstrates notability of that congregation other than it exists. In this article, which should be a bout a building, you have created a hook that any passing vandal, or antisemite can attack. For perpetuity this article has to be watched and protected, why would you impose that burden on your fellow editors? John lilburne (talk) 06:57, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
This is making less and less sense. You make assertions at the AfD that are incorrect. You cf to "otherstuff" at the beginning of this string, and then protest when I cf to otherstuff. You completely ignore GNG, in lieu of your personal criteria. And you atate that an article that the community overwhelmingly says meets GNG "is not notable under the GNG guidelines". Your comments display little concern for accuracy, guidelines, and community consensus. And then you argue that an article should be deleted because it will be a magnet for vandals -- just because it exists? That's exceedingly peculiar; with that reasoning we should delete the abortion article, and all related -- that's not how wp works. We follow our guidelines, and that is not one of them. BTW -- you are seeming increasingly familiar. Have we perhaps met before, with you editing under a different name?--Epeefleche (talk) 08:05, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
Whatever guideline you think you are following, its application in this instance is wrong. Each article that gets posted is not free, it has associated costs, and when one is dealing with people or communities that cost is maintenance from vandalism, and attacks. The community cannot maintain this article and others like it, the community is not able to keep an eye on 100s or 1000s of articles of this nature, nor will the community be constantly updating them when the Rabbi changes, or the group holds another exhibition, or the times of services change, or if they have a bring-n-buy sale. What we have here is a pile of stuff that editors will forever have to revert crap out of. These are not articles, they are directory listings. Whilst there is merit in having an article on all the Jewish communities of an area, separate articles on small groups within that larger area is unjustifiable, especially when you cannot distinguish any criteria for the difference. John lilburne (talk) 09:55, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
I repeat my above question. And note again that our charge here is to follow guidelines, not seek deletion based on non-consensus POV.--Epeefleche (talk) 16:23, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
What question was that? My position is clear and consistent, there is no significant coverage of that particular community, one would not construct an article on any other group - local charity, village fete committee, or whatever based on such slight evidence. Press coverage of an exhibition in a village hall does not confer notability on the women's institute that regular holds meetings there. The notability of the architecture of a building do not confer notability on its owners. You are not likely to convince me that you are within policy unless you can show me real enduring notability for that community. John lilburne (talk) 19:01, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
  • Given that you continue to ignore my direct questions, and my comments, and to mis-state facts at the AfD, I'm not sure that much profitable can come of this conversation. I would, yet again, suggest that you take to heart the overwhelming consensus rejection of your POV, at the AfD. Best.--Epeefleche (talk) 19:08, 28 June 2011 (UTC)
If you are talking about this Have we perhaps met before, with you editing under a different name? the answer is an emphatic NO. Now tell me why exactly are you here whining? John lilburne (talk) 19:39, 28 June 2011 (UTC)

"santorum" consensus[edit]

John, as you may be aware, I've instituted a process to, hopefully and credibly, NPOV resolve remnant hotbutton issues. As a prior participant in that discussion, I would appreciate any consideration you might care to offer. Any credible resolution will require significant editor input and your observations would be appreciated. Thanks for your consideration. JakeInJoisey (talk) 19:26, 26 July 2011 (UTC)

BLP Comment[edit]

Thanks for your comment John. Is there anything that can be done to clean up these types of BLP's? They seem to be pretty trashy in spots. --BweeB (talk) 19:06, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I think it is the nature of the site to add trivia to the articles after all they all want to add something, and the site rulesa are that they can only paraphrase what someone else has said, thus gossip is a natural source. The BLP noticeboard can sometimes help, and there may be some leverage following the ArbCom discussion, but only time will tell. Too many people have vested a lot of time and energy in making those BLP pages the way they are. John lilburne (talk) 19:31, 2 September 2011 (UTC)


Hi - are you a disclosed alternate account of another editor? I'm honestly confused. Thanks! Hipocrite (talk) 16:56, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. Do I know you? John lilburne (talk) 17:12, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I think you may have accidentally used one of your accounts to comment in a discussion where your other account was already involved. It's possible, also, that I'm totally wrong. Please review your recent contributions under this account and any other account you may have and take whatever actions you feel are necessary. You don't know me. Hipocrite (talk) 17:17, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
You are wrong. John lilburne (talk) 17:19, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
To be direct then - you have no other accounts? Hipocrite (talk) 17:21, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Now you really don't want me to direct with you, but indirectly see here, see here, and see here. Anything else? John lilburne (talk) 17:51, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
This is becoming increasingly difficult. Are you User:Kelly? Thanks! Hipocrite (talk) 17:53, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
If you want a straight answer learn to ask a straight question: No. If you wanna play with Lilburne stick around, otherwise run away now. John lilburne (talk) 18:11, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Nastytroll (talk · contribs) was a previous account of this user before it was suggested that he changed his username. Mathsci (talk) 19:40, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Did you discover that from here, or somewhere else? John lilburne (talk) 20:01, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
All things are possible. Mathsci (talk) 20:18, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
But fewer are probable. John lilburne (talk) 20:32, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Allegedly. Mathsci (talk) 20:35, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I have a some thought experiments. 1) that the recent earthquakes in the Washington DC area were caused by nuclear explosions in secret underground cities of 30,000 people: possible but not probably as you can't keep cities of 30,000 secret. 2) There are 20ft hominids wandering about in British Columbia: possible but not probably not as they'd be unable to walk. There will be an end to the building of settlements in occupied territories of the Middle East ... John lilburne (talk) 20:49, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
  • As John indicates, he did already say in a string above that he did not meet me before, with him editing under a different name. Though, admittedly, my question was a narrower question than the one posed by Hipo.--Epeefleche (talk) 20:29, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Welcome back again. we have quite a gathering to night. John lilburne (talk) 20:32, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Fae RFC[edit]

I've responded to your recent comment there. I urge you to look at the edit history of the image in question. Bear in mind that the History does not show the page the way it actually was, where transclusions (such as images) are concerned. Wnt (talk) 14:25, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

AN & ANI comments[edit]

Please focus on the issue(s) and avoid characterizations of other editors. Nobody Ent 18:31, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Know this - an observation is NOT a personal attack. Now I'd appreciate it if you went back and undid what you did. Thanks. John lilburne (talk) 18:46, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
Please see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/TimidGuy_ban_appeal#Focus_on_the_edits_not_the_editor Nobody Ent 19:12, 5 May 2012 (UTC)
I've seen it and I'll repeat - an observation on what someone is doing is NOT a personal attack. Now I'd appreciate it if you went back and undid what you did. Thanks. John lilburne (talk) 21:44, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

Discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard[edit]

Hello. This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. Unscintillating (talk) 01:05, 21 May 2012 (UTC)


I mentioned you here. Wnt (talk) 21:41, 4 June 2012 (UTC)

I'll point you to the last comment I made in that mess. Least you are still ignorant of the context of those von Gloeden images here is a direct link to a passage translated by an Robert Graves it is unlikely to be unfamiliar to the person you are ostensibly helping (???), especially as he is not completely unfamiliar with Imperial Roman History. Regardless of whether the photo was cropped or not, the image is sexualised and that sexualization is not dependent on the kid being naked below the waist. You should note that at the same time as the images in question was taken Gloeden was also interested in taking faun and pan images. You are at liberty to ferry this communication back into your 'help' too. John lilburne (talk) 23:21, 4 June 2012 (UTC)
I still don't understand how you get from Gloeden's work with the boy and the fish to Tiberius the Roman Emperor. That's not in your source, and believe me, it's not an obvious deduction! Even if Gloeden was referring to Tiberius, I'd expect him to be focusing more on the Roman Empire's tolerance of homosexuality than on the emperor's madness and cruelty. Likewise, I would think faun and pan images would be simply a reference to Paganism, in rejection of the anti-gay interpretation of Christianity popular at that time. But all this doesn't matter - Fae is entitled to have a picture by a gay pioneer on his Web page. One of the most popular Big Lies about homosexuality is that it is something new, which didn't exist before the 60s, when in reality it was at least as common in previous eras. (Actually, I suspect more common, as those with gay genetic background probably have produced fewer children in recent generations than when many were frightened into attempting heterosexual relations) Fae's posting of this image merely highlighted this important and little known history, in accordance with the highest principles Wikipedia seeks to achieve. Wnt (talk) 01:06, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Of course he is entitled to put a von Gloeden image on his page, he had several 100 to chose from, he chose that one. I've no idea what your 60s screed is all about, von Gloeden was dead before then, and his images reference classical history. Those photos are planned, it is not as if von Gloeden was in the fish market, had just bought his supper, just happened to have a naked kid with him, and on the spur of the moment turned to some kid and said "Here hold this and stick your finger in its mouth". In any case von Gloeden had started taking his pan and faun photos in the bay of Naples. But hey you're welcome to discover an alternative reference, that planned image was making, other than to the "tiddlers" of Tiberius. I note the image features prominently on a link here. Whether you chose to accept it or not the photo IS sexualised regardless of the crop. John lilburne (talk) 06:53, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I'll admit, I really don't have that strong an interest in Roman history apart from a few of their physicians, but ... what does a fish have to do with Tiberius? Are you really telling me that the only possible interpretation is that Fae has deliberately chosen a von Gloeden image that specifically encourages "tiddling", based on the data that, it has a fish in it? Wnt (talk) 11:10, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
You are welcome to find another interpretation based on classical history/mythology. On the mythology side you might consider raphael/tobias but that is unlikely. The Tiberius events are very well known, see the film Caligula, and the "sometimes a fish ..." caption would appear to be a wink towards that interpretation. In any case I've not said that Fae encouraged anything. I've said that the image was an example of extremely poor judgement, and the whole thing probably chosen for its NOTCENSORED effect. John lilburne (talk) 11:42, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Caligula doesn't include anything about a fish. Searching around online, I saw one forum post where someone talking about the film mentions Tiberius swimming with little boys "nibbling at him like little fishes". I suppose that must be a line in that film. But for those of us who didn't see the film, is this a true classical reference that can be cited to some (older) source? The thing I found about Tiberius and a fish is a story of his cruelty but has nothing to do with little boys. Now to be sure, Ash seemed to be joking about something with that fish, but I don't know what it is, and to come up with this confident interpretation that it must refer to Tiberius, based on no evidence but looking at the picture and drawing a reference - it's absolutely preposterous. Now I'll admit, sometimes I do the same for a film [1] but I would never expect a second person to have to see the same thing in it, even if sometimes I do wonder if it is really there. Wnt (talk) 14:44, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Way, way, way, way up above second sentence first reply. Least you are still ignorant of the context of those von Gloeden images here is a direct link to a passage translated by an Robert Graves. John lilburne (talk) 17:16, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
I read that, but I don't see anything about a fish.... Wnt (talk) 23:39, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
Oh! John lilburne (talk) 06:19, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

I have mentioned you at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fæ/Evidence#Reply to questions by Fæ. If you wish to comment please take note of the guidelines at the top of the page and either the same page or Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Fæ/Workshop may be suitable. -- (talk) 21:47, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

Go go go![edit]

I went. ;-) Prioryman (talk) 22:19, 24 October 2012 (UTC)

Spiffing. John lilburne (talk) 10:31, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Your Arbitration Committee Election Vote[edit]

Hello John lilburne,

You recently voted in the Arbitration Committee Elections. In accordance to the Request for comment on the election process, you must have made 150 edits in the main article space of Wikipedia before November 1st in order to be eligible to vote. According to a recent count, you did not meet that criterion. If you believe we are in error, or there are other circumstances, such as a number of edits across multiple accounts, please let us know. Reaper Eternal (talk) 20:13, 12 December 2012 (UTC)


good read - thanks for the share. — Ched :  ?  09:41, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

thanks. Some people need to lighten up, least they find the universe is laughing behind their backs (old National Lampoon song). John lilburne (talk) 10:13, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

A barnstar for you![edit]

Socratic Barnstar.png The Socratic Barnstar
For your second comment here, because apparently there isn't a Common Sense barnstar. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 03:03, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Well the WMF really do need to actually step up and deal with problems like this themselves by people properly trained. For example any child protection issues that are reported on flickr get dealt with within 24hrs, usually in under 12 hrs. Though it may take slightly longer of evidence needs to be collected. There is no public debate and inquest over the matter, that sort of thing gets shut down quickly, in fact its delays in dealing with the issue that cause problems. John lilburne (talk) 14:30, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Arbitration enforcement notification[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#Tarc - you are mentioned, although you are not (yet) a direct subject of the request. Prioryman (talk) 19:08, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Yada Yada Yada. John lilburne (talk) 19:12, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

18 USC 2257 compliance[edit]

When I asked Philippe Beaudette to look into issues around 2257 compliance last year, one of the Foundation's legal interns drew up this document in Meta:

It says quite clearly that the legal risk rests with contributors rather than the Foundation, which may be useful info for some.

Note that according to the legislation, every page using such media should itself include an 18 USC 2257 compliance statement, as far as I recall. So it's not just a matter for Commons, but also for Wikipedia and any other Wikimedia projects that use media of this type. I'm glad the issue has been raised again. Andreas JN466 14:25, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

Your point at Talk: Renaissance Books is a good one[edit]

The best response to an ad hominem is seldom another ad hominem. I hope you find my response satisfactory. --Orange Mike | Talk 18:25, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

My view is that often the best people to write about something are those with subject knowledge, regardless as to whether they have a COI or not. That isn't to say that they should be the sole voice on the subject, or that their enthusiasm for the subject may not need toning down. If I look at the page for the company I work, it is pretty bad, but its not just our company, the articles for all our competitors are equally crap. But you will hardly ever see an independent mainstream articles, it will all be trade mag stuff regurgitating company press releases. A whole section of companies that make industry and manufacturing happen, and WP will only ever have scant coverage of them. John lilburne (talk) 19:54, 21 May 2013 (UTC)


(responding here because I don't think Wales' page is a particularly useful forum, frankly)

I've mentioned elsewhere, the sort of keeping up appearances and "grooming" of social network accounts that you characterize (iirc) as "sociopathic" already does go on in an automated fashion. There are more-or-less-legal uses for this, as in the intelligence world (see [2]) but I think the design cues were probably taken from pre-existing spambot software, botnets, and the like. When you say 'noone has time for multiple social networks' i think that ignores these real threats. You can buy thousands of twitter followers for a few hundred bucks.

So, my contention is that the logistics and specific implementation details of any plan to abridge or reduce pseudonymity really would matter quite substantially.

Let's say that we do implement some requirements for social network co-validation. Who will do the approval for that? If it's automated, what will the cutoffs be for how recently the account has been used or created? Or rather, how will we arrive at those cutoffs? These are very similar to questions that governments (for example) spend significant amounts of resources in order to deal with. I tend to assume that as soon as these are implemented, they will be gamed and circumvented.

What I think I hear you saying here is this:

You are willing to substantially cut down on new registrations, and devote already scarce resources to implementing barriers to entry, because your assumption is that most of those kept out will be bad actors. At the same time, you are acknowledging that the more sophisticated bad actors will continue to run roughshod over WP consensus and policy.

I feel like the implications of this is are extremely significant, and will acknowledge that I'm making a number of assumptions here that may be debatable.

If we have a constant rate of good editor attrition, this suggests that it's not enough to simply keep x% of bad actors out. We would actually need to increase the proportion of good actors to bad enough to provide for replacement of editors who leave. There will still be bad actors who are approved, certainly.

This would be easier to do if the percentage of bad incoming editors was quite high. OTOH, if, as I suspect, it's actually fairly low, this becomes a huge problem. If bad actors wind up becoming a greater proportion of approved users, they could more quickly overwhelm the community as it further withers. There is also the problem of encouraging bad actors who maybe hadnt really thought of automating their vandalism to start doing so. I assure you, there is no way you would know from the server records whether I am submitting this via a "real" browser window, or from e.g. a headless phantomJS script. To my knowledge, there is no WP-centric sockpuppet software, but that would be an extremely troubling development, as it would mark the beginning of a very difficult arms race. Every other significant network, social or not, has to contend with this sort of thing already.

There is also the problem of the registration process becoming the bottleneck. This would make the approval of good editors susceptible to denial of service attacks.

In short, I agree that this is a problem that requires some action. I am fairly certain I agree with your underlying goal, which is to reduce the burden of bad editors. I disagree with the method you suggest because based on my experience, it will be ineffective and may make the problem worse. I'm more than willing to listen to criticism, feel free to point out ways in which I may be wrong. I have also suggested potential alternatives in my other posts to Wales' page.

Please feel free also to review or respond to the message I left at Anthonyhcole's talk page.

Interested in your thoughts. -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 07:46, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

just noticed the "software engineer" part of your user page. you doubtless know far more than me about this stuff, so please don't take offense at my over-explaining. -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 08:17, 26 May 2013 (UTC)

From twitter I think it is pretty easy to tell accounts that are spambots. I've had a few make me a contact now and then, you look at the tweets (mostly selling something), the interactions with others (hardly none), the followers 1000s, all part of a network of spam or fake. Facebook accounts that hardly any interactive posts. They are pretty easy to spot and probably easier with experience. I think that there are few really bad actors that would start out to use WP for ill. There are a handful that constantly create accounts to harass people here, they get banned, create a new account harass again, sometimes 3 or 4 times a day. Having to have a working FB account would put a major road block in their way. Mostly, the issues are people on the spur of the moment adding crap to biographies, having the account linked to their social network would make them think twice before doing that, or at least double check the assertions they are making. John lilburne (talk) 10:20, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Alternatives for those who (like me) don't use FB? -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 20:42, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
Anywhere that there is a recognisable community and a de facto engagement with that community. The point being 1) That if you are a good guy on X then you probably won't want it known that you are an arse here. 2) It would be a lot harder to just recreate an account here as you would have to establish yourself elsewhere first. John lilburne (talk) 21:42, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
It seems like the cognitive load of evaluating an application like that might be substantial, and lead to just "waving people through" which would seem to undermine the goal entirely. Do you have any idea how we might counter that? -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 21:51, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
A human can evaluate very quickly. John lilburne (talk) 23:00, 26 May 2013 (UTC)
So this, in your view, would be done by people rather than scripts. Personally I think you are underestimating the labor required, and overestimating its potential effectiveness. If done by people, the quality would also be quite variable, to say nothing of the fact that it would take people away from content creation or dealing with bad actors that were approved by the process. I also don't see how you get around the "waved through" problem.
Just looking at WP:SPI it seems like there are roughly half a dozen to a dozen cases per day. I would imagine many more accounts are registered per day; with 19m accounts registered, even over a 10 year period that is ~5k accounts registered per day. Even if we assume that that will be reduced by 80% (per your suggestion) that is still 1000 or more accounts to approve or deny, per day, every day on average. This is roughly two orders of magnitude more accounts to deal with than the dozen per day SPI cases.
One of my assumptions is that CU/SPI is the most obvious correlate to this approval process. If there is a better comparison you're aware of I'd be interested to hear it. But saying that the decision, by humans, of whether or not to approve a consistent ~1000 accounts per day will be somehow be overall less burdensome than the current SPI workload (factoring in, of course, that some will slip through, and SPI will still need to exist), I just don't see how those numbers add up. It seems like more human effort will be needed to devoted to this, and not just more, but substantially more. If I'm missing something please enlighten me. -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 00:16, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
They are already away from content creation, very few are actually creating content. Most are on vandal patrol. And the extra workload would be no more than implementing pending changes across all BLPs. Also it makes no difference whether some 'slip through' at first. They can always be rechecked later. John lilburne (talk) 08:39, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
To be perfectly honest, I feel like you're dismissing my concerns out of hand. Would you care to address my points more directly? When dealing with potentially thousands of repetitive tasks, a difference of a few seconds can have hours worth of consequences, to say nothing of the burden of repetitiveness. It would be great if you had some numbers to back up your assertions too.-- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 09:36, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
You do know that the vast majority of accounts created never post anything. Then there are a whole bunch that simply fix a spelling mistake, or make a single "X sucks cocks" post. All of which are detectable by bots. So that leaves the minority that are already being given welcome templates by users. John lilburne (talk) 09:59, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Can you explain to me how this makes a difference? Because that would seem to argue for the status quo, to me. My reading of your proposal is that you would like to front-load the verification of hundreds or thousands of accounts, most of which will not meaningfully contribute. If the "X sucks cock" posts can be handled by scripts (and I think they largely are already) then why is the verification step necessary? -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 10:16, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

It would be absurd to check accounts that never post, likewise it would be absurd to check accounts that only make one spelling or punctuation change to an article, or to check an account that is going to be blocked for name violation, or vandalism. The issues are mainly with BLPs and company articles, and in some cases extended SPA edits over a prolonged period. One requires the SN identification, this of itself would block many of the spam and vandal edits. One does the actual checks if and when the account starts to be active in a non-trivial way. With some SN sites it might be possible to automate the checks, but even if not the number of accounts is not as many as you might think. Currently admins are blocking some 6000 accounts a month. I suggest that requiring a SN account ID would reduce that workload considerably. John lilburne (talk) 11:32, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
If one can sign up and make edits without verification, I don't see how thats any different than the system we have now. -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 12:14, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
Because verification can happen the moment one does anything significant. Who cares if there are 20 million unverified accounts that have never edited, or 1O million unverified that have only ever change "teh" to "the"? You need to discard the absolute view that every account the moment it is created MUST be verified somehow. On the work forum we have a policy that anyone can sign up and make post comments. From time to time we get users with pirate copies asking for support, at which point we'll challenge them to provide verification that they are a valid user. What this proposal does is turn it on his head you provide the verification upfront that you are a real user, and it gets checked once you start making substantive edits. John lilburne (talk) 12:39, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm not sure what I'm missing here, but I still struggle to see how this differs at all from the current situation. People make edits, if their edits are significant other editors scrutinize them. -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 12:46, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
If regular users associate an active SN id with their accounts they have an incentive not to do something like adding defamation, or incorrect information to WP pages. Sure those that intend to do such things may create fake SN accounts in order to sign up. But those fake accounts can be detected once they start to make substantive edits. Detection doesn't need to be 100% or immediate, it is enough that it can be detected. Example if Qworty had been challenged in 2010 to provide evidence of an active SN account the COI edits would have either come to attention or he would have been unable to provide such evidence. Example Fasttimes68 would not have been able to provide a active SN account for the LGR account they created after being banned by arbcom. At some point during the next year, given the amount of drama they were involved a check on the SN id would have been made. John lilburne (talk) 13:35, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
6000 accounts a month is much different than 1000 accounts a day. This gets back to my question about specifics. How about you detail your proposed process a little more? -- [ UseTheCommandLine ~/talk ] # _ 12:19, 27 May 2013 (UTC)
All those other ones that post will have had a "welcome template added", and people are ferreting through the signups looking for COI usernames etc. The checking of each account is already being done. John lilburne (talk) 12:39, 27 May 2013 (UTC)

Answer to your question on AN[edit]

I'm uncomfortable with explaining my comments in that forum, so I'll make it brief here. The comment as I read it said something to the effect that "the user is doing inappropriate things with young men and boys off wiki". Which translates to me that he is a homosexual and perhaps a pedophile. As much as I despise pedophiles, those kinds of comments do not help build an encyclopedia and should be stricken in my opinion. I question if this explanation of that interpretation should be stricken as well, and will leave it up to you as to whether or not you want to blank it from your page or request it be revdel/oversighted. Email is enabled for me, so if you want to ask further questions about it, please do so there. Thank you. Technical 13 (talk) 01:28, 4 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry but I don't read anything sexual in the comment at all. KW was saying that they are being manipulated to engage in online drama not they they are being manipulated to get their kit off. Think about it, of the names he mentions is an Arb who is very unlikely to have kept quiet if the manipulation was in any way for sexual purposes. The background there has been KW's contention with Worm that in the past had been manipulated through inexperience. John lilburne (talk) 06:50, 4 June 2013 (UTC)


Internet Barnstar Hires alt.svg The Internet Barnstar
Thank you, John lilburne, for your contributions to the List of Wikipedia controversies! You were tied for second runner-up.

Thanks for all of your hard work! --SB_Johnny | talk✌ 17:24, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Gee Thanks for Thanks[edit]

I wasn't entirely sure what Demiurge1000 had thanked me for, so you, perhaps with an anarchist sense of humor, thanked me for that edit. Were you trying to confuse me, being humorous about humor, or agreeing with my insulting of the trolls? Robert McClenon (talk) 01:13, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

Were you trying to confuse me, being humorous about humor, or agreeing with my insulting of the trolls? You've sorta got it: in the words of Meatloaf "Two out of three aint bad" :) John lilburne (talk) 12:25, 11 November 2013 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon to provide a fuller response on the JW page. Free internet access to wikipedia material does not improve the lot of the poor, who have trouble obtaining pens, pencils, and paper, that is what they need. Indeed travel agents advise taking basics like that to give to kids in developing countries, rather than sweets and other crap. No the free access as provided by these mobile companies addresses the already affluent it extends the gap between rich and poor. The free communications that the poor need is NOT being provided by these deals. Now if you got these companies to agree to putting the money that they get from people access wikipedia into basic educational facilities for the poor that would be something to crow about. Not charging the relatively well off for some mobile access isn't much to write home about at all. John lilburne (talk) 13:04, 11 November 2013 (UTC)

November 2013[edit]

Information icon Hello, I'm Jimbo Wales. Although everyone is welcome to contribute to Wikipedia, it's important to be mindful of the feelings of your fellow editors, who may be frustrated by certain types of interaction. While you probably didn't intend any offense, please do remember that Wikipedia strives to be an inclusive atmosphere. In light of that, it would be greatly appreciated if you could moderate yourself so as not to offend. Thank you. This edit is a personal attack. Accusing people (me?) of wanting to support criminal activities is disgusting and you should not do it again. Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:53, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

Nit police[edit]

When you said, Baseball players are included here simply because they play baseball each week, they are included because they are members of notable teams, and they take part in otherwise notable games., I think you missed a "not". No big deal, I'm sure readers will mentally supply it.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:05, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Thanks. John lilburne (talk) 21:26, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Banned users[edit]

As I suggested over there, I'm responding here to your question. The short answer is that there are a number of banned users that attempt to exert influence in various areas of Wikipedia (not just ArbCom, and not just the user you mentioned). E-mail and sock accounts (some less obvious than others) are some of the methods used. Since not all such attempts at influence are reported, it is difficult to know what the overall effect is. Some banned users like to suggest to others that they have more influence than they actually do (you have to judge for yourself how reliable your source is). The 'taking instructions' bit is hyperbole, but some banned users will at times suggest doing things a certain way and when that is what is done, they will attempt to claim credit for it (when it would have been done that way anyway). Whether all such attempts (they can get quite numerous at times) should be reported (and where), or whether WP:DENY comes into play, are some of the considerations here. That's my impression, based on three years on ArbCom (2009, 2010 and 2013). Other arbitrators may have different views on this. Ironically, the best way to influence the thoughts of some arbitrators is to post sensible things on Wikipedia and Wikipediocracy... (e-mailing arbitrators often just annoys them). Carcharoth (talk) 23:27, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

If WP:DENY comes into play Someone doesn't continue emailing people for 5 years without getting some feedback unless they are seriously deranged. If seriously deranged shouldn't their communications be bozo binned, rather than passed about? John lilburne (talk) 08:50, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
The fact of the matter is they do, and some are seriously obsessive. I've still getting malicious email relating to the Scientology case, and that was five years ago. There are no simplistic solutions to this.  Roger Davies talk 09:10, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
I have no doubt about that. I have someone still bitching and moaning across USENET, forums, and blogs about something that happened 15 years ago. Although in that case there are indeed others that keep the fire burning in his soul. That is the point, how many are responding to Usher? What makes him think that he has any influence, or that his communications are even received? John lilburne (talk) 09:46, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Talking now in generalities, rather than about the individuals you've raised here, some people can create a dialogue out of nothing. ("I saw you wearing a yellow tie today. You remembered our secret symbol"). In a completely different scenario, if, say, ten people (including a couple of banned users) all email us about the same thing - and a three or four arbitrators notice it too - and the committee acts, sooner or later banned users will claim the credit. It kind of validates them, I suppose, in a "I was right about X, so therefore you were wrong to ban me about Y" sort of way. And this happens frequently, with various banned users. The message, I guess, is that human beings are complex.  Roger Davies talk 10:12, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Isn't that always the case, people interpret things in ways to bolster their own importance. As one software company once said "Anyone can download an copy of our software, and we have no control over what people post in the internet." The real issue here is: Are members of the committee in communication with him, other than to deny appeal requests, is he being strung along? Because from what I've seen here and there, there are a few that have long believed that, they'll find a way back, by either doing X or not doing Y for Z months. John lilburne (talk) 12:17, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
I am not aware of either any committee member being in touch or of any offer, conditional or otherwise, ever being made. As a very general observation (because it has risen with half a dozen different banned people in the last year), some banned users firmly believe that if they are persistent enough (and/or obnoxious enough) the committee will eventually cave in and they will get their way. In my experience, this has never been the case and the continuing misconduct simply hardens the committee's position.  Roger Davies talk 10:28, 2 January 2014 (UTC)
Ottava Rima seems to have been communicated with, giving him the impression that an appeal would be successful after a year or so, and he'd be let back. Peter Damian was also offered a deal on talk pages, on mailing lists, and by WMF staff regarding his banned user status. Is it right to be stringing people along, shouldn't people be given unambiguous indication that no such accommodation will ever be made? John lilburne (talk) 09:38, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
I can't comment on specific cases but I think the Committee has made an exceptional effort to not "string" anyone along; I certainly don't want a lot of email in my inbox about entertaining an appeal that has a snowball's chance in hell of actually resulting in an unblock. With serial applicants we generally try to outline the exact issues and ways forward to editing, and reiterate that unless those changes happen constantly retrying is likely to be futile. We've got plenty of chaps that the BASC folks prolly remember by name no one on-wiki does; it's not limited to the "famous" banned users, et al. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs(talk) 14:51, 3 January 2014 (UTC)

Bill Sikes comparison[edit]

You recently compared me, on my talk page, to Bill Sikes - a career criminal and murderer notable for violence and thuggery. I think that's an outrageous thing to say, and not the kind of dialog that leads to a productive resolution of conflict at Wikipedia. I'd like to ask you now to strike the comment with an appropriate retraction.

As for the specific legal question under consideration - which is the only thing that I've commented on - my view is the same as every legal expert that I have read on the subject matter. Let me quote to you from the footnote of the Wikipedia article on the monkey selfie: "To qualify as a work of 'authorship' a work must be created by a human being.... Works that do not satisfy this requirement are not copyrightable. The Office will not register works produced by nature, animals, or plants. The Compendium lists several examples of such ineligible works, including "a photograph taken by a monkey" and "a mural painted by an elephant". That's the position of the US Copyright Office.

Merely noting the current legal consensus is very hardly a good reason to accuse me of being somehow like a violent and murderous thug.

As it happens, I tend to agree with Newyorkbrad's position on the matter, but of course I didn't talk about that at all. There was certainly nothing extra in my commentary that would in any way justify your abusiveness.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 22:25, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

You should understand what a simile and hyperbole are and how they work to make the rhetorical point that your mockery of Slater's situation in London was encouragement to cultural expropriators everywhere, and his subsequent online bullying. Would you rather the comparison to the Queen in a nest of leaf-cutter ants where the worker ants denude the local habit of its vegetation, and masticate the leaves to a glutinous mess to the benefit a fugal growth?
Slater was working with remote releases, tripods, multiple cameras, and had baited the troop of monkeys with food in order to gain their trust in the preceding days. There are photos extent on the web of him surrounded by the monkeys with part of his gear laid out, did the monkey take those group shots, or are they remote release shots that Slater had setup? Irrespective of whether the monkey was taking free shots, the scene had been set by Slater, the lens chosen, along with the f-stop and shutter speed, no different from a standard camera trap setup where the photographer hold copyright.
It is untrue that current legal consensus is on the side of Wikipedia, Law Society for example, Terry Hart, and others too. All of whom point to the established fact that who triggers the shutter release has little to do with who owns the copyright.
In any case the copyright office is talking about this sort of thing, and that you can't copyright "Sunset over Ayers Rock", a stalactite formation, or a termite mound, all completely different from what Slater was doing with Macaques out in Indonesia.Try photographing a child or curious pet at close distance and see how many shots you get without the subject putting its paws on the lens, fogging the lens with its breath, or licking the lens. Yet Slater has a whole bunch of images of his monkey without so much of a blemish. Simply there are far too many of those shots, perfectly focused and exposed, for them to have been taken not under supervision. John lilburne (talk) 23:58, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Wouldn't Fagin be the better comparison? He lives off the poorly compensated labour of others, exploits children, is careful of his reputation and encourages theft. Wales makes his living from the unpaid or poorly paid labour of others including children. Is careful to encourage claims that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia so that he can give lectures where he is overcompensated due to people's misunderstanding of the roles of others including Sanger. And as one of those involved in last year's Wikimania he was responsible for the prominent display of the stolen photograph and had himself photographed pulling a face as a way of taunting Slater. Fagin also consorted with murderers whilst Wales consorts with murderous regimes.-- (talk) 00:36, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd already cast the WMF as Fagin. John lilburne (talk) 00:57, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
So you did. With the Commons "Artful Dodgers". Works for me. Begoontalk 23:51, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
In other words, no apology forthcoming. Please consider yourself permanently asked to stay away from me on Wikipedia, including never again posting to my user talk page.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:01, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
the internet as a whole must not tolerate censorship in response to mere allegations of copyright infringement. As citizens we must stand up for our rights online.. yet one of your drive by admins deems that censorship is fine in the honourable pursuit of saving face.
"it does not mean that we should abandon time-honoured moral and legal principles to allow endless encroachments on our civil liberties in the interests of the moguls of Hollywood." The reality here is that Slater, an small independent photographer, was mocked at the Wikimania event in London 2014. That a poster of his purloined work was paraded through the halls of the Barbican Centre and delegates invited to pose alongside it - you included. John lilburne (talk) 22:26, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The "drive by admin" actually removed your message because it was nothing more than a personal attack. For what it's worth, other editors saw your message and thought the same so it wasn't just me. Your message does qualify for redaction so your revision was deleted. --5 albert square (talk) 22:25, 25 February 2015 (UTC)
Really 'other editors' saw it did they. That is indeed remarkable given that no one has been here in over a year and quite by change 'other editors' are a looking in. But lets leave that to one side. A description of someone's behaviour is hardly a personal attack. Was Slater's work paraded through the Barbican Center? Yes it was. Did someone make a mocking face beside it? Yes they did. Does that amount to disrespect and bully? Well of course it does it is equivalent to flipping him the bird in a very public way. Does it remind one of the dark underbelly of the criminal classes in late Hanoverian London? Yes it does. Is there any sign of remorse? No there isn't? So in that final sense we are perhaps a bit off the mark in our Bill Sikes comparison. John lilburne (talk) 02:18, 26 February 2015 (UTC)