User talk:WhatamIdoing

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If you expected a reply on another page and didn't get it, then please feel free to remind me. I've given up on my watchlist. You can also use the magic summoning tool if you remember to link my userpage in the same edit in which you sign the message.

Please add notes to the end of this page. If you notice the page size getting out of control (>100,000 bytes), then please tell me. I'll probably reply here unless you suggest another page for a reply. Thanks, WhatamIdoing

Editing news 2020 #3[edit]

On 16 March 2020, the 50 millionth edit was made using the visual editor on desktop.

Seven years ago this week, the Editing team made the visual editor available by default to all logged-in editors using the desktop site at the English Wikipedia. Here's what happened since its introduction:

  • The 50 millionth edit using the visual editor on desktop was made this year. More than 10 million edits have been made here at the English Wikipedia.
  • More than 2 million new articles have been created in the visual editor. More than 600,000 of these new articles were created during 2019.
  • Almost 5 million edits on the mobile site have been made with the visual editor. Most of these edits have been made since the Editing team started improving the mobile visual editor in 2018.
  • The proportion of all edits made using the visual editor has been increasing every year.
  • Editors have made more than 7 million edits in the 2017 wikitext editor, including starting 600,000 new articles in it. The 2017 wikitext editor is VisualEditor's built-in wikitext mode. You can enable it in your preferences.
  • On 17 November 2019, the first edit from outer space was made in the mobile visual editor.
  • In 2019, 35% of the edits by newcomers, and half of their first edits, were made using the visual editor. This percentage has been increasing every year since the tool became available.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 02:06, 3 July 2020 (UTC)


Hello. There is a discussion at the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard that you may care to join. --Slugger O'Toole (talk) 20:19, 13 July 2020 (UTC)

Precious anniversary[edit]

Cornflower blue Yogo sapphire.jpg
Seven years!

--Gerda Arendt (talk) 13:57, 18 July 2020 (UTC)


Photographer: Tobias Hanf

Hello WhatamIdoing,

As I pointed out in → this last intervention as well as in my TP, I’ve given up on continuing the debate. The main reason for it is that I felt as if I were preaching in the desert. This is a world premiere, since I have been collaborating on the various WP related sites for almost 10 years without having ever faced this sort of interactive impasse.

On the other hand, culturally and sociologically speaking, I almost found flattering to be unexpectedly suspected of COI (?), TE (?) and other unaccustomed onomatopoeias. Truly, I would almost be inclined to regard such allegations as indirect compliments in the sense that their content would then almost tend to prove that I had studied the subject thoroughly enough to give that kind of fictitious impression. In fact, before writing an article or even participating in it, I first of all thoroughly study the subject and, above all, I read a major part of everything that, from near or far, is related to it. This philosophical choice, hopefully, allows me to obtain a somewhat objective as well as contradictory vision in order to try to subscribe as best as possible to the regulatory concept called → WP:V.

This is how, for example, I proceeded for → this article in French which, in 2017, has been labelled as a “good article”. Moreover, you can see that, in this other writing, the subject was definitely not related to the medical field. Actually, I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and my interests are as multiple as they are varied.

That being said, I thank you so much for your particularly eloquent speeches, which seemed to me to be of a quality as exemplary as marked by a commendable concern for objectivity that I share as much as you do. I would like you to know that I particularly appreciated the subtlety of your arguments which, as you will have no doubt understood, I fully endorse.

Just in case, you may be interested in reading the report of this experience expressing my general feelings that I have tried to share via → the following page in order to discuss those past moments more fully in detail with the French-speaking community.

Wishing you all the very best and thanking you for your diligent contributions.

Warmest regards,


euphonie breviary
10:22, 19 July 2020 (UTC)

Thank you for the beautiful flowers, euphonie. I am sorry it's been frustrating. Sometimes our zeal to disparage AltMed causes overreactions. Overall, I think that we mostly get it right, but I suspect that we have not gotten it quite right this time. Perhaps it's best to wait. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:39, 19 July 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, WhatamIdoing, for your kind answer. I’m glad you like those flowers—Lamprocapnos spectabilis—wearing the poetic nickname of “bleeding heart”. It was important to me to symbolically offer you a virtual bouquet as a token of my gratitude and my respect for the accuracy of your interventions, whose intrinsic value I fully appreciated.
I understand the mistrust that the AltMed world can arouse, often rightly so, knowing that these scattered conglomerates sometimes presents incongruities, drifts and flagrant abuses.
Nevertheless, life is punctuated by inevitable incidents. It happens everywhere, even in conventional medicine. To this end, one could almost argue from the premise that “error is an integral part of truth, since it constitutes the antithesis of it.”
In this regard, you rightly remembered the “bone marrow transplants” oddity which was aimed to ”trying to cure breast cancer”, cf. → 968179165. Along the same lines, other tragedies occurred: Benfluorex known in France as Affaire du MediatorThalidomide DisasterL-thyroxine controversies or Lévothyrox → TV reportContaminated infantile milkContaminated haemophilia blood products, etc.
Although this aforesaid non-exhaustive list belongs to some highly regrettable and unfortunate temporal events, conventional medicine is also performing extraordinary feats and saving lives with tireless dedication, as evidenced in particular by the turbulent times the world has recently faced.
I am one of those who believe that the two worlds would benefit from working together because, in my view, they could potentially complement each other. In this sense, it would seem ideal to me that a series of rigorous clinical trials under high protocolary supervision, be carried out on each alternative option in order to, as a British practitioner wrote at the time, be able “to choose between the golden from the dross”.
In other words, as we say in French, « l’union fait la force » (union is strength). Proof of this is the magnificent planetary result generated by the multinational interactive collaboration on this online encyclopedia, to which I remain all the more attached to the founding principles and noble oblative ideals that heaven, in its infinite mercy, allows me from time to time to cross paths with like-minded people like you whose thoughtful writings seem to share the same panoramic philosophical open-mindedness. I give you thanks in this regard.
euphonie breviary
10:30, 10:36, 10:50, 20 July 2020 (UTC)

How to record nationality on Wikidata?[edit]

Hi, there. Based on your contributions to the Nationality article, I thought I would invite your feedback on a property proposal for nationality as a cultural identity over on Wikidata. The proposed property is meant to offer an alternative to "ethnic group" and to nationality as defined by citizenship. Your comments are welcome and needed. Thank you. Qono (talk) 05:19, 21 July 2020 (UTC)

RfC on the article regarding Santa Claus[edit]

Please see: Talk:Santa Claus#RfC about the wording lead section of the article. Félix An (talk) 03:25, 22 July 2020 (UTC)



Hello WhatamIdoing,

Thank you for your kind message in the relevant section.

Indeed, you have perfectly captured the nature of my principled prudence, my scruples and my concern for exhaustive verifiability before injecting any information of a sensitive nature that could engage my legal responsibility in the event of any imprecision, inaccuracy or fragmented confusion.

I therefore continue to pursue my targeted research in order to try to detect other possible occurrences as richly documented as the one recently proposed (by the way, do you also possess, like your colleague, some sort of magic key allowing you to spontaneously access the complete content of an online scientific publication beyond the mere short summary?). For the moment, I have found only one irrefutable and a priori unassailable documentation by virtue of which, in all good conscience, I thus feel completely ready to add the summary at the core of the French-language article we are currently talking about.

You know how much your opinion means to me and how much I value it. That is why I have read your note with all the more recognition and gratitude.

Bless you.

Yours sincerely,

euphonie breviary
09:54, 25 July 2020 (UTC)

You're welcome, euphonie. It is speech that the long-time WPMED folks should be familiar with by now.
Have you tried Wikipedia:The Wikipedia Library? It provides access to some sources. My local public library offers free access to many magazines, but not academic journals. If no one at WT:MED has access to the source, then Wikipedia:WikiProject Resource Exchange/Resource Request is sometimes helpful. And if all of that fails, then it is generally possible to find an e-mail address, and some authors have been remarkably generous in helping us not only get access to the papers, but also in making sure that we are accurately representing them on wiki. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:29, 25 July 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, WhatamIdoing, for your gentle help, your kind guidance and your welcome suggestions. I just read this article on Wired. Now I understand all the more why this talk page specifically dedicated to academic medical science is so demanding and scrutinized, which is quite a good thing. So the advice you have previously given becomes all the more valuable since you wrote above (and I quote) “Perhaps it's best to wait”. Let me wish you all the very best in your life and, most of all, a radiant health. With my heartfelt gratitude. Take good care of yourself. Yours faithfully, — euphonie breviary 19:26, 30 July 2020 (UTC)

"Famous web search engine" listed at Redirects for discussion[edit]

Information.svg A discussion is taking place to address the redirect Famous web search engine. The discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2020 August 25#Famous web search engine until a consensus is reached, and anyone, including you, is welcome to contribute to the discussion. Hog Farm Bacon 02:55, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Winona Ryder[edit]

Hi WhatamIdoing. Thanks for your comments at Talk:Winona Ryder#RfC on ex-boyfriends in infobox. Do you happen to have any basis other than your own opinion that the neutrality issue is "minor" or only "alleged"? Thanks. Sundayclose (talk) 23:39, 27 August 2020 (UTC)

Probably because nobody can figure out why you seem to think it's non-neutral to call a former male romantic partner an ex-boyfriend. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:47, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
I assume, then, that you have no basis for your comments since you provided no actual answer to my question. Sundayclose (talk) 01:04, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
Your stated complaint was "the description of Pirner and Damon as "boyfriends" introduces a bias". You did not explain what bias that might be; you have merely asserted that you believe that one exists. It is my firm opinion that there is nothing non-neutral or biased about calling male romantic partners "boyfriends". There is no significant difference between the words boyfriend and partner; they are used interchangeably in everyday speech. Wiktionary gives "A male partner in an unmarried romantic relationship" as its primary definition of the word boyfriend, but you seem to be saying that they're male partners in unmarried romantic relationships but somehow not actually boyfriends. WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:42, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
So you agree that your comment that the neutrality issue was "minor" and only "alleged" is based only on your opinion. Thanks. Sundayclose (talk) 17:51, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
So long as "what the dictionary says" is what you're calling "my opinion", then I could agree to that. Would you like to explain to me what you think the real problem is? For example, do you believe that "boyfriends" are a completely separate, socially distinct category from "partners"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:36, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't understand what the "dictionary" has to do with my question here. As for my opinions, I stated them in the RfC. Thanks for your responses. Sundayclose (talk) 18:49, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
I didn't see anything there that explains how calling them boyfriends is biased, when the question is whether they should be listed as romantic partners. You asserted that it's biased, but you never explained how it's biased to use what most of the world thinks is a synonym. Did you want her to write "temporary partner" instead? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:02, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
It's perfectly fine for you to have the opinion that calling them "boyfriends" does not bias the RfC. But it is your opinion, just as it is my opinion that it introduces an inherent bias, as I explained in the RfC. So I think this matter may be resolved as long as you agree that your comment was based solely on your opinion. Sundayclose (talk) 23:22, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
I do not agree that my comment is based solely on my opinion. I do not agree that you explained what the alleged "inherent bias" actually is. You wanted to include them. You said "the description of Pirner and Damon as "boyfriends" introduces a bias" [specifically, you are alleging that calling them past romantic partners introduces a bias against including them in a list of past romantic partners]. You did not say what bias was introduced. Maybe you're concerned about ageism, because you would call them "men" instead of "boys"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:40, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
OK, then what besides your opinion was your statement that the neutrality issue is "minor" or only "alleged" based on? I explained my comment about bias in the RfC: "The first RfC description above violates the RfC rule of a neutral opening statement. It describes two people as 'ex-boyfriends' without any reliable evidence that they are any different than any other 'boyfriends'." That is my opinion, and so is your comment unless you can explain what else your comment is based on. Sundayclose (talk) 01:26, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
Is it your contention that they are not actually ex-boyfriends? WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:06, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
It is my contention that they were "partners", and naming them as "ex-boyfriends" inherently biases the RfC. The RfC is about whether they were "partners", so use of any terminology that suggests any different romantic relationship can bias whoever reads the biased statement about the RfC issue. If the issue had been whether they were boyfriends, only that word should have been used. If the issue had been whether they were husbands, only that term should have been use. The opening statement to the RfC should have asked if they were "partners" (which is what I did when I restated it, but it was too late at that point; to make it worse the creator of the RfC canvassed, calling them ex-boyfriends). I'm not trying here to convince you that the RfC wasn't biased, although you are free to reach that conclusion. My point is that my opinion is that the RfC was biased. You stated your opinion that the RfC was not biased because the neutrality issue is "minor" or only "alleged". That is based solely on your opinion unless you can provide some other basis. Sundayclose (talk) 15:51, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
The dictionary says that boyfriend == male partner. As in, the statement does not "suggest any different romantic relationship", because those words are synonyms. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:29, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
With the dictionary definition any boyfriend could be considered a partner. What the dictionary says and what Wikipedia accepts are not necessarily the same. Take a few minutes to look at the history of the dispute, including the article's edit history. The issue is whether the people were "long term" partners (as described in the infobox docs), but Wikipedia does not explain "long term". That generally is the crux of the dispute. Someone can have a "boyfriend" for a month or two. But Damon and Pirner were more than that time period. So the RfC issue is: were they "long term partners". To describe them simply as "boyfriends" in the (supposedly) neutral opening question suggests that they were merely boyfriends and not partners. That introduces bias. That's my opinion. I assume your opinion is that there is little or no distinction between boyfriend and partner, so using the term boyfriend at worst creates bias that is "minor" or only "alleged". That's your opinion. I see nothing more than your opinion to back that up, and that's perfectly OK as long as we understand that my claim is my opinion, and your claim is your opinion, nothing more. Sundayclose (talk) 17:02, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
Also the other way around: with the dictionary definition, any unmarried male partner is a boyfriend, even if it's for decades. You seem to have decided that there's some sort of hierarchy that goes "boyfriend < romantic partner < husband", but the dictionary doesn't agree with you. According to the dictionary (NB: a dictionary definition is more than just my opinion), a male partner is not "merely" a boyfriend; a boyfriend is "exactly the same as" a male partner.
This discussion reminds me of high school girls who tell other teenagers to "stay away from other people's men" and who say things like "all of the students I know are personally very mature" when they're arguing that they should get to watch R-rated movies. A person might personally prefer one term or another, but that doesn't mean that you get to correct people who have the other preference. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:04, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

I'm not trying to correct anyone or create any hierachy. I'm simply saying that what you (or I) "might personally prefer" is our opinions. Ok, then all of her boyfriends are partners according to the "dictionary definition", and that includes Damon and Pirner. We can't have it both ways and say that Damon and Pirner are just boyfriends but they are not partners. My opinion is that using the term boyfriend in the RfC opening suggests that they are not partners when, according to your "dictionary definition" all of them (Damon, Pirner, Depp, and Hahn) are both boyfriends and partners, then that also would bias the RfC. To avoid the bias, the RfC question should be "Should David Pirner and Matt Damon be included in the infobox as partners?" But that's not how it was worded. In my opinion based on the dictionary definition that introduces bias. I assume in your opinion any bias would be "minor" and only "alleged". Either way, it's an opinion based on the dictionary definition. So, it your opinion that the dictionary definition should be used, and thus the question should simply be "are they partners", not "they are boyfriends".

By the way, not all dictionaries use the term "partner": [1], [2]. So once again we using our opinion to decide which dictionary definition to use. I hope you understand, I'm not accusing you of anything. It's not a crime or violation of wiki policy to have an opinion, nor to express that opinion in an RfC. That's what I did, and it's what you did. Sundayclose (talk) 19:56, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

  1. No, what I said was based entirely on the dictionary, which is not my opinion. What you said was based on only your opinion. There's an important difference there.
  2. I agree that we can't say, according to that dictionary definition, that they are boyfriends but not partners. After all, that's why it's inappropriate for you to be quibbling over the use of which interchangeable word got used in which part of the sentence. However, being partners in the real world does not mean that they are partners in the terms intended for that infobox parameter. The discussions in the archives indicate that this parameter was created for couples who have established an apparently permanent joint household for whom the |spouse= parameter would be not too far from the truth except in a legal sense, especially gay people who were legally unable to marry. There's a comment in a long discussion that says "long-term" should be considered in the context of sociocultural expectations, specifically naming the film industry as an example of people whose "long-term" relationships might be shorter than average. It appears that the editors responding to that RFC didn't think that these relationships were appropriate for that parameter.
  3. If you are still concerned about this, then you really should talk to someone else at WT:RFC, instead of continuing to repeat yourself here.
WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:23, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
So the descriptors "minor" and "alleged" are supported by one dictionary's interchanging the words "boyfriend" and "partner", even though what the "real world" considers partner doesn't necessarily sync with what should go in a Wikipedia infobox? We follow a real world dictionary if we want to equate "boyfriend" and "partner" to justify use of "minor" and "alleged", but we don't follow the real world dictionary in deciding what should go in a Wikipedia infobox? No offense but you're talking in inconsistent circles. And that's fine if what you're saying is based on your opinions instead an assumption the the use of "minor" and "alleged" are objective facts. I don't really need to tell anyone else at WT:RFC because I'm not trying to determine if anyone else agrees with your use of the terms "minor" and "alleged"; I'm simply trying to determine the bases for your use of the terms. As I understand it, you see those terms as objective facts (partially at least) based on a dictionary definition that doesn't apply to the infobox and that is not supported by other dictionary definitions. I see them as simply opinion-based, an opinion that you are fully entitled to have and state. Just as my opinion is that the terms "minor" and "alleged" are not accurate based partly on the inconsistent use of "boyfriend" and "partner" in one dictionary and the infobox, as well as the objective fact that other dictionaries don't support use of the terms. Sundayclose (talk) 17:24, 30 August 2020 (UTC)
No, Wikipedia doesn't always follow real-world uses. See, e.g., Wikipedia:Notability, which should be called something like "Already written extensively about-ed-ness" or "Requirements for getting an article on Wikipedia". We have lists of things that only allow a subset of the items to be listed. This parameter is no different from any of the others. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:54, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
Sorry, but that response doesn't make much sense in relation to the issue of your opinion about "minor" and "alleged"?? Could you elaborate a wee bit? Sundayclose (talk) 21:05, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
When an infobox label consists of a single word (e.g., partner), then sometimes the plain-English dictionary definition does not apply. Sometimes a single-word label (e.g., partner) is a shorthand for a concept that doesn't fit easily in the available space (e.g., a significant, long-term adult relationship that is very similar to being married except that the people weren't legally married). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:12, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
And yet you want to use the real world definition (provided by one and only one, so far) dictionary as a justification for using the words "minor" and "alleged" bias? As I said, you can't have it both ways. And that's not to mention the fact that (so far) I haven't found another dictionary that equates "boyfriend" and "partner", which is the crux of you opinion. Sundayclose (talk) 21:21, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
I'm not "having it both ways". I'm saying that the dictionary definition applies to everyday speech (e.g., when asking a plain-English question in a complete sentence), and that specific definitions apply to jargon and labels. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:03, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
To give examples: It is possible for a notable person to not qualify as WP:Notable, and it is possible for a romantic partner to not qualify for inclusion in the |partner= infobox field. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:04, 31 August 2020 (UTC)
And I'm saying that your choice of the "dictionary definition" (and which dictionary to use) as a rationale for your opinion about "minor" and "alleged" bias isn't any more valid than my opinion. We have different opinions, something that's quite acceptable, but they are both opinions. Sundayclose (talk) 22:08, 31 August 2020 (UTC)


Re the Harris TP, I was surprised to see your post. All in all, such awful things are going on right now in the US that I have totally lost interest in that. If I remember correctly, the posts from others that disagreed with me seemed to be very reasonable. Either way, it's no big deal. Right now I'm trying to put something together about the Trump administration's influence on the US CDC and FDA re their recent announcements about how the US should be responding to the pandemic. So many awful things have been going on in the US that that, along with Trump's egregious lies and policies have come to seem just normal, just everyday, just trivia.

As I sit here and type about this and that we are watching the US drift into absolute dictatorship. I am the principal editor of the Trump environmental article. If you want to read a real horror story do read it. Now it needs new information added about Trump's latest efforts to see to it that even if he is not reelected it will be harder to revert the harm he has done. And if he is once again elected we will most surely pass beyond the point of no return on global warming.

Waid, sorry to go on and on. I am of an age where I have needed to stay isolated and I have become somewhat starving for contact. But I am grateful for my WP outlet that lets me feel that I am contributing something to society. And I have come to see the people I know here, some for as long as almost 15 years!, as my extended family and friends. Like you. Face-smile.svg Gandydancer (talk) 01:32, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

Hmmm, or maybe autocracy rather than dictatorship would have been the right choice for the word to use? (That word was used tonight as I watched the PBS commentary on the ongoing Republican convention.) Gandydancer (talk) 04:13, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
I tend to stay away from politics and Wikipedia's political articles, but I was checking all the open RFCs on biographies last night.
I have some hope of good sources appearing for COVID-19 soon. The six-month anniversary of Italy starting its lockdown is coming up soon, and I'm hoping that there will be retrospective-style articles published as a result. It should be possible to replace a lot of WP:PRIMARYNEWS articles with those. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:05, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
Gandydancer, I was reminded of your comment when I read this: "Take the amount of misinformation about masks and COVID-19 that was flying around Facebook and Twitter daily and in turn making its way onto Fox News. Most of the people who appear on air on Fox, Lanier pointed out, are themselves on social media, getting their information or lack thereof. And so disinformation goes from Twitter to Fox to the social media feeds of the president, and the cycle begins anew. Look at how powerful these platforms could be, to the point where “the sway of media is more powerful than the experience of reality—that people can be watching hundreds of thousands die from this virus and yet believe it's a hoax at the same time, and integrate those two things. That's the food for evil,” Lanier said."[3]
I feel like our community sometimes has trouble remembering that the real enemy is ignorance and error, not other editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:43, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

Editing news 2020 #4[edit]

Read this in another languageSubscription list for this newsletter

Reply tool[edit]

The number of comments posted with the Reply Tool from March through June 2020. People used the Reply Tool to post over 7,400 comments with the tool.

The Reply tool has been available as a Beta Feature at the Arabic, Dutch, French and Hungarian Wikipedias since 31 March 2020. The first analysis showed positive results.

  • More than 300 editors used the Reply tool at these four Wikipedias. They posted more than 7,400 replies during the study period.
  • Of the people who posted a comment with the Reply tool, about 70% of them used the tool multiple times. About 60% of them used it on multiple days.
  • Comments from Wikipedia editors are positive. One said, أعتقد أن الأداة تقدم فائدة ملحوظة؛ فهي تختصر الوقت لتقديم رد بدلًا من التنقل بالفأرة إلى وصلة تعديل القسم أو الصفحة، التي تكون بعيدة عن التعليق الأخير في الغالب، ويصل المساهم لصندوق التعديل بسرعة باستخدام الأداة. ("I think the tool has a significant impact; it saves time to reply while the classic way is to move with a mouse to the Edit link to edit the section or the page which is generally far away from the comment. And the user reaches to the edit box so quickly to use the Reply tool.")[4]

The Editing team released the Reply tool as a Beta Feature at eight other Wikipedias in early August. Those Wikipedias are in the Chinese, Czech, Georgian, Serbian, Sorani Kurdish, Swedish, Catalan, and Korean languages. If you would like to use the Reply tool at your wiki, please tell User talk:Whatamidoing (WMF).

The Reply tool is still in active development. Per request from the Dutch Wikipedia and other editors, you will be able to customize the edit summary. (The default edit summary is "Reply".) A "ping" feature is available in the Reply tool's visual editing mode. This feature searches for usernames. Per request from the Arabic Wikipedia, each wiki will be able to set its own preferred symbol for pinging editors. Per request from editors at the Japanese and Hungarian Wikipedias, each wiki can define a preferred signature prefix in the page MediaWiki:Discussiontools-signature-prefix. For example, some languages omit spaces before signatures. Other communities want to add a dash or a non-breaking space.

New requirements for user signatures[edit]

  • The new requirements for custom user signatures began on 6 July 2020. If you try to create a custom signature that does not meet the requirements, you will get an error message.
  • Existing custom signatures that do not meet the new requirements will be unaffected temporarily. Eventually, all custom signatures will need to meet the new requirements. You can check your signature and see lists of active editors whose custom signatures need to be corrected. Volunteers have been contacting editors who need to change their custom signatures. If you need to change your custom signature, then please read the help page.

Next: New discussion tool[edit]

Next, the team will be working on a tool for quickly and easily starting a new discussion section to a talk page. To follow the development of this new tool, please put the New Discussion Tool project page on your watchlist.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:48, 31 August 2020 (UTC)

Thank you![edit]

You took the time and efffort to go to my User page and tell me my edit of the page for heart failure inspired you to create a page on decompensatio cordis. I really appreciated that! Thank you! Korporaal1 (talk) 18:20, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

You're welcome, Korporaal1. I was happy to see the alternative name.
By the way, some of the editors who care about medicine-related articles are at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine. You're welcome to hang out with us if you're interested. It's a great place to ask questions or to get help. I think there are also a couple of Dutch speakers there, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:33, 19 September 2020 (UTC)


See Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_COVID-19#Bubbles in regards to your question. What I'm wondering though is whether you can fill out a digital form (in NZ, ...) in which you write down those contacts (they tend to be quite limited, ie 5 or 10 persons max), for verification purposes ? User:Genetics4good

Genetics4good, I've never heard of any "official" place to record your bubble's members. I'm not sure what the practical value would be. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:22, 29 September 2020 (UTC)
The benefit would be that, when addressed by city officials or police (or even digital systems like CCTV with facial recognition), and when not wearing a facial mask or keeping social distancing near persons in your bubble, you can't be fined regardless -i.e. because the officer doesn't believe you or the machine can't take the bubbles into consideration- (because you can then prove specific people are in your bubble). Without it, it can't be verified (this is also the biggest issue with the bubbles, it lacks verification).
Have you looked a WikiProject_COVID-19#Bubbles ? I mentioned there how to make the support bubble page, and gave refs you can use.
Genetics4good, please sign your comments by typing four tildes (~~~~, so that the software will add the proper links and time.
Is getting addressed by officials a common scenario in your area? Can mistaken fines not be contested, e.g., by telling a judge that the official is wrong, and here's several e-mail messages proving that we set up this bubble well in advance? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:21, 30 September 2020 (UTC)
My keyboard isn't recognised correctly, so I'm having difficulty to type any special letters, including tildes (but I can copy the code, although often that's not convenient unless present on the page, as it is just now, now that you typed those tildes).
Probably best to proceed by making the article page, redirect and add info the the NZ page.
I doubt it is a common scenario at most places, but as I recall, the travel restrictions in France also required a "attestation" so it is something that can indeed occur. Also CCTV with facial recognition systems are being used to prevent COVID-19 spread, to some degree (but I doubt those countries actually use support bubbles at all, so probably haven't integrated such functionality). Copying those tildes now ;)

Genetics4good (talk) 16:53, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

There's also a button in the Javascript toolbar (assuming you haven't turned it off). It should look like an old-fashioned signature.
We'd need a source that talks about the need to document bubbles in some country. I remember that in Italy, you were expected to print a form saying where you were going before you left the house, but I don't remember hearing anything about documenting bubbles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:08, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

the unnameable in children...[edit] idea if PMID 32983255 is any use to you, but just rapidly posting on the off chance. Cheers, (talk) 17:09, 30 September 2020 (UTC)

The article looks interesting, but it's not from a great journal, which makes me think it's at risk of being challenged by anyone who disagreed with its contents. That article needs some serious work.
I'm kind of wondering whether ==Prognosis== should be the next focus. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:21, 11 October 2020 (UTC)
Hum... changing the subject slightly (in more ways than one, perhaps), I feel a tad more confident that you might like PMID 32846157 (IF>30 ;-) (talk) 16:12, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
Oooh, that looks like a fun read. Must get the boring parts of work done first... Thank you for giving me something to look forward to today. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:24, 15 October 2020 (UTC)
I agree (I think :-) that it's a really relevant aspect, which has been largely concealed by all the pan breaking news.
(Fwiw, I've taken a rapid glance at some[5] reviews with a *declared* focus on 'prognosis' (a bit of a tough[6] nut right now, imo), but nothing much I'm thinking you'd be likely to embrace, and a more sensitive search string doesn't seem to throw up much either.) (talk) 16:46, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

...and in adults[edit]

Fyi, re myocarditis (in adults and children): PMID 33306666 (unfortunately not open access). Cheers, (talk) 15:21, 12 December 2020 (UTC)

Thanks! I've recently been weeding out the ==Research== section in the main COVID-19 disease article. We had a lot of outdated and self-contradictory content. If you imagine a section that says something like "Trials of ____ are just now beginning. Their results were announced in June" then you wouldn't be too far wrong. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:46, 14 December 2020 (UTC)

Your policy expertise[edit]

Hey there! I've gotten involved in a discussion at Talk:Pappu#Mentioning Rahul Gandhi and I've run up against what I think are some very wrong interpretations of policy. Perhaps you could lend some of your expertise and inexhaustible typing energy? :)—Neil Shah-Quinn (talk) 06:54, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

I've recommended that you all take this dispute to Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:14, 11 October 2020 (UTC)

Health psychology[edit]

Thank you for your input on the matter of occupational health psychology being related to health psychology. Iss246 (talk) 21:46, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

Could you possibly comment on the Health psych talk page. You have not explained your support for your mate's edit. The statement is not supported by sources. It is synthesized., It is also not discussed in the Main section of the article. So why is it in the lead section? Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section Psyballed (talk) 00:47, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

onus v con[edit]

I didn't want to sidetrack the discussion on Wikipedia Talk:Verifiability, so came here to say I thought your summary of the issue was brilliant. I especially appreciated your description of the differing perspectives of groups of editors. Usually, when someone uses that approach, you can clearly see which side the writer favors, but you used a framing that acknowledged the good-faith and concern for the encyclopedia on both sides. Well done! Schazjmd (talk) 14:53, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to say so. I usually find that established editors who are trying to change the core policies have a bona fide practical problem that they are trying to solve. I often say that Wikipedia:Policy writing is hard, and part of that is because you have to have a broader view than just "your" subject area. What works for WPMED doesn't usually work for people writing about some celebrity's latest boyfriend, and vice versa. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:03, 26 October 2020 (UTC)
+1 It's a tricky business. In articles that have received a lot of continuous attention from a large number of experienced editors, I think we tend to give a lot of weight to longstanding text. But most articles actually haven't gotten very much attention, and they can languish incomplete, inaccurate, or unsourced for years sometimes before one or more editors arrive to do much-needed cleanup. Also, just about all articles about contemporary events benefit from even a year or two of hindsight. Our overriding goal is article improvement. Thanks for your good work. SPECIFICO talk 18:30, 26 October 2020 (UTC)

thanks for your ideas[edit]

those are some good ideas that you provided, re WP:HIST!! you seem to have a wealth of experience and expertise that is a bit more than my own. let's keep this exchange going, if you wish. any ideas you may have are most welcome. thanks!! --Sm8900 (talk) 15:27, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

You're welcome. I hope you'll find an idea in there that works for that group. I think that adding one or two tricks to your repertoire at a time is effective. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:05, 28 October 2020 (UTC)

October harvest[edit]

Apples, Mainz-Finthen.jpg

thank you --Gerda Arendt (talk) 23:28, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

You have reminded me that I haven't made an apple pie yet this season. Thank you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:32, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

"Rough consensus"[edit]

I was reading through WT:Consensus/Archive 12#Start of "rough consensus" section as a result of reviewing WT:TFD#Rough Consensus (because I am a good Wikimedian who searches first and then asks why the concept isn't on the main page if he doesn't find anything ;). What do you think about bringing that up again at WT:CON? --Izno (talk) 17:02, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

@Izno, what do you want to accomplish at WT:CON that isn't already at Wikipedia:ROUGHCONSENSUS or (the failed proposal) at Wikipedia:Rough consensus?
WP:CON (specifically Wikipedia:NOCONSENSUS) already has one dispute going at the moment. If you look at the last couple of months of WT:V, you'll find an editor claiming that the word "inclusion" in WP:ONUS refers to any change to long-standing content, including not just including content, but also removing disputed content, rearranging the page, copyediting, etc. Most of the rest of us aren't buying that story, but he is IMO correct that ONUS isn't the whole story, and that the community believes more strongly in Wikipedia:STATUSQUO than we used to. It looks like there's an RFC open at WP:VPP now; I should go look at it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:35, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
I've been watching that. (I'm not sure if I thanked you for your excellent "two camps" observation but I'm pretty sure I did. Thanks here though!) Short version of the RFC: No-one is buying it. :^)
What I was considering re: rough consensus was predominantly that the notion of ROUGHCONSENSUS currently exists on a deletion related page, when I see it routinely referenced elsewhere (especially RFCs). It was puzzling to me that the discussion of what a rough consensus is and means lives in that context, rather than at WP:Consensus. --Izno (talk) 21:40, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
Izno, I wonder whether the difference is that with deletion, all available choices involve some type of action. You can take the action of deleting the page, or you can take the action of not-deleting the page, but there is no true "do nothing" option. Consequently, taking action on the basis of a rough consensus might be necessary, whereas in other circumstances you could probably do something that looks like inaction if you can't find a consensus. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:56, 1 November 2020 (UTC)
all available choices involve some type of action I'm not sure what that means. I don't associate a keep with a lot of action. No consensus is the actual do nothing option at XFD and most-usually results in keep as well (exceptionally FFD for non-free files). Rough consensus on the other hand is, "enough people agreed that there is a decision here [as you framed it earlier] that this step for the article is the best one, but there were enough other people who said otherwise that it should not be treated as precedent for much at all". So I suppose in that context it's a synonym for weak consensus and could be treated as such at WP:Consensus?... Maybe the rough also indicates not just the weakness of the decision but also the difficulty in decision-making that it can be there given the emotion involved at XFD? Sorry you're the rubber duck today. :^) --Izno (talk) 02:23, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Izno. Now I know what to tell people when I drag them through six different scenarios to figure out what, exactly, they actually want to put into a policy.
Deciding not to delete is a specific, measurable decision that happened at a specific point in time. If you're having a discussion about an article, though, there may be no action. You might postpone indefinitely (not an option at XFD). You might tuck the information into the back of your mind, and think on it for a while. You might wait for more information (e.g., another source, another comment). You might decide to take a small action, but not do everything that was discussed. There are a huge variety of responses.
One possible distinction between a rough consensus and a weak consensus is that you could have a strong consensus to do ____ in general, but no good agreement on the details, or with a variety of different reasons. (I remember someone, probably at WT:V, once saying that he disagreed with everything I'd written on the talk page but supported the actual change that I'd made to the policy.) This is not so complicated in XFD, because there are so few real outcomes, but it might be harder to take an action in other areas when there are many options. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:42, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

Ongoings about consensus and ONUS[edit]

(Continued from WAID's 21:35, 1 November 2020 (UTC) comment in #"Rough consensus")

If you're referring to me, that is not an accurate representation of what I'm arguing at all. Kolya Butternut (talk) 22:51, 1 November 2020 (UTC)

Well, someone over at WT:V was saying 'I think there is consensus' that 'per Masem ONUS "applies to new additions that are challenges, as well as removals of "long-standing" material".' That sentence appears to have your name after it, as do some others at WT:V and WT:CON that express similar views. If you have not been arguing that ONUS applies to both additions and removals, rather than just to the "inclusion" that it explicitly mentions, despite these statements being posted from your account, then I'm sure you can understand why I'm confused on that point.
BTW, an RFC was held earlier this year to restrict ONUS to newly added content (i.e., to not apply to long-standing content). You can read it Wikipedia talk:Verifiability/Archive 69#RfC: WP:ONUS. It failed so quickly that I'd forgotten about it.   WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:07, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
You're citing a comment I made on September 21st where I was discussing the opinions of others. I'm sure you can find a more recent comment of mine. I feel like I've corrected your misrepresentations many times before. Kolya Butternut (talk) 00:17, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
I'm citing you saying that you agree to this view. There was no phrase in that sentence that says something like "He says that ONUS applies to removing long-standing material, but I disagree". WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:27, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
Ok, so you would prefer to keep focussing on a comment from 41 days ago instead of my repeated clarifications.
Anyway, in the RfC you linked to, you referenced the Arbcom case about drug prices.[7] What is your understanding of the result of that case? Is the onus on those who want to retain the disputed information? Kolya Butternut (talk) 00:43, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
I could quote you more recently, if you'd like. You said "I believe the (lowercase) onus applies equally to all changes against content which has achieved consensus" about four days ago. The uppercase ONUS says that "The [lowercase] onus to achieve consensus for inclusion is on those seeking to include disputed content." Your version has a deadline behind it, and if anyone ever gets any garbage in the article for long enough, or puts together a talk-page discussion with several undetected socks to support it, then you say that it's "achieved consensus", and the onus is on you to demonstrate a consensus to remove the garbage.
I understand that most of the disputed drug prices have been removed (and not restored) as a result of WP:MEDMOS2020. I believe that the ArbCom case was started after it appeared that repeated clarifications from the closing admins about the RFC's results were not being heeded by certain parties.
I am sad about the long-term effects of the ArbCom case. Wikipedia has slightly less misleading article content but lost some good editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:30, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
You're still oddly misrepresenting me, when you could have just apologized and asked me to correct you, but I'll let it go.
I'll start with a simple question; did the drug prices remain in place until the March 27th close? Kolya Butternut (talk) 04:43, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
When any drug prices were contested and removed, one editor re-reverted to include them. The point of the RFC was to prevent edit warring. It was already known that there was no consensus to add them in the first place (due to RFCs that predated their addition), and no consensus to keep them in the articles. One of the questions in that dispute was whether "no consensus to add" means "I can add this to hundreds of articles" or "I cannot add this, because there's no consensus to do so". WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:44, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
It sounds like during a dispute over longstanding content that content remained in the articles. Kolya Butternut (talk) 01:46, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
Because of the number of articles involved, we explicitly talked about and agreed on what to do. There were two main possibilities for the eventual outcome: either we remove five-year-old material from hundreds of articles, or we don't. There were two possibilities for the status during the RFC. That means we had four options:
  • Keep the contested material, RFC decides to remove it: Okay, we remove it next month.
  • Keep the contested material, RFC decides to keep it: Okay, no changes were made, and none were needed.
  • Remove the contested material, RFC decides to remove it: Okay, it's already out.
  • Remove the contested material, RFC decides to keep it: That's going to annoy people.
Specifically, if the contested material was removed at the start of the RFC, and then the RFC decided to restore it, we'd be editing hundreds of articles twice (and flooding everyone's watchlists twice) to make no net change. On the other hand, if we left it alone, then the content would get removed once (assuming the decision was to remove it). Since most of it had been present for more than five years, what difference did another month really make?
Most ONUS-related questions don't affect hundreds of articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:05, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
What about:
  • Keep the contested material, RfC finds no consensus on whether drug prices should be included in articles at all. ...
What then? Kolya Butternut (talk) 02:21, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
Then we have the next RFC. This one was supposed to be fairly narrow, to deal with prices sourced to a single, particularly complicated primary source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:48, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
But what happened in this existing scenario, before any subsequent RfCs; did the material stay or go? Kolya Butternut (talk) 03:16, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
As I said (twice now?) we formed a specific, explicit, IAR-style agreement to leave the content in the articles. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:08, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
Maybe I should be clearer: This is not a case that you should look to for precedent. It is not precedent that it's okay to add content against consensus; it is not precedent that it's okay to revert to your own preferred "long-standing" but zero-consensus version; it is not precedent that it's okay to keep disputed content in articles. The ArbCom sanctions for edit warring were against the "side" that did those things. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:16, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
This is one example of how things were done in a dispute. If this is the way that they're usually done it suggests that this is the way they should usually be done. Kolya Butternut (talk) 16:38, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
There was nothing "usual" about this particular dispute.
Also, there is a significant gap between "we usually do ____" and "we should do ____". Evidence-based medicine is dedicated to doing the right thing instead of whatever your teachers told you that their teachers did. I (and IAR, too) think Wikipedia should equally try to do the right thing, rather than the customary thing. In this unusual case, the right thing was to leave the articles alone. In other cases, especially BLPs, the right thing is to blank the disputed content. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:07, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
I think that it makes sense to look at more cases to compare and decide what works best. Kolya Butternut (talk) 18:15, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
In determining what works best, I think it would be useful to consider what minimizes edit warring and what minimizes damage (e.g., contentious matter in BLPs). I'm not convinced that we will end up with a simple rule. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:52, 5 November 2020 (UTC)
It is pretty simple; keep the contested material pending the RfC close unless there are WP:Edit warring#Exemptions; if there is no consensus the material stays. Kolya Butternut (talk) 02:39, 6 November 2020 (UTC)
I thought your rule was to keep the contested material only if versions including it can be described as "long-standing" and versions excluding it can't be described that way. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:35, 6 November 2020 (UTC)

Request for Article Review[edit]

Hello, there is a conversation going on over at Talk:Instacart about a recent Undisclosed paid tag. The article is in need of review by an uninvolved editor to decide if the article has been sufficiently "cleaned up" for the template to be removed. I’m reaching out to you based on your recent involvement in the discussion at Template Talk:Undisclosed paid. Thank you! (talk) 23:59, 4 November 2020 (UTC)

AfD notice[edit]

Hi. Please see this AfD following on from the RfC you commented on. Thanks. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 10:53, 20 November 2020 (UTC)

ArbCom 2020 Elections voter message[edit]

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Help with replacing a redirect with an article[edit]

User:WhatamIdoing, You have been helpful in the past. I write to ask you for help regarding a redirect.

The background is this. Two or three years ago, I started a WP article about a new journal, Occupational Health Science. Because the journal was new when I created the entry, it was not sufficiently notable to qualify as an encyclopedia entry. Other editors insisted on it being taken down. I no longer remember if one of those editors or if I created a redirect from the entry to the sponsoring organization. The redirect is in effect today.

Now that the journal has published four volumes and is indexed in Medline, I would like to replace the redirect with a new article about the journal. I don't know how to do that. I wondered if you could give me some guidance on how to replace the redirect and start an article about the journal. Thank you. Iss246 (talk) 18:50, 25 November 2020 (UTC)

Iss246, I think your best bet is to check in at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Academic Journals. I think you'll get better advice about the journal's notability there. The technical end is easy: go to and click the Edit button. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:40, 25 November 2020 (UTC)
User:WhatamIdoing, thank you very much. I am gathering material about the journal but I am taking a Thanksgiving break. Have a happy and healthy Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Iss246 (talk) 02:59, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. You, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:10, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Iss246 – Just a wee note: another easy way to edit a redirect is to click on the "Redirected from xxxxx" link that appears just below the title line on the article that the redirect goes to. Hope this helps. --NSH001 (talk) 12:11, 26 November 2020 (UTC)
Thank you User:NSH001. Iss246 (talk) 18:26, 28 November 2020 (UTC)

AfD for deaths due to COVID-19 and related RfC[edit]

Hi. Thanks for commenting at the recent AfD for the above list. There is now an ongoing discussion around the best way to split the list, if any, if you wish to comment further. Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 17:35, 29 November 2020 (UTC)

Notice of Dispute resolution noticeboard discussion[edit]


This message is being sent to let you know of a discussion at the Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard regarding a content dispute discussion you may have participated in. Content disputes can hold up article development and make editing difficult. You are not required to participate, but you are both invited and encouraged to help this dispute come to a resolution.

Please join us to help form a consensus. Thank you!

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Justgravy (talkcontribs) 09:56, 9 December 2020 (UTC)


WhatamIdoing, thanks for taking the time to offer a thoughtful reply to my question. To be honest, I'm still not 100% on needing to be MEDRS but I'm tired of the accusations of bad faith regarding content I never added in the first place. That is why I really appreciated your reply. It didn't assume any motives and explained the concerns with the study. I think the gap in my view is only that when the virus may have come to the US can either be seen as simply a historical question or can be seen in context of the epidemiology of the disease. Perhaps if this question was being raised 10 years from now (assuming no new information and assuming the pandemic was clearly in the rear view mirror) it would be easier to see this as only a question of history and not MEDRS. I'm not sure how we would decide when that MEDRS vs historical question transmission occurs. It appears my view that it has already occurred was not shared :D. Regardless, I appreciate that you didn't offer a dismissive answer, rather a considered answer. Springee (talk) 19:03, 15 December 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for your note, Springee. I confess that I did assume a motive for you: I assumed you were interested in what you had been reading and wanted to know more! That's why I tried to give you as much information as I knew about it. I'm so glad you posted to WT:MED. I hope you'll do it again. The fact is, if people don't share the interesting things that they read, then we'd all be a lot worse off.
I agree that the line between "epidemiology" and "historical event" can be fuzzy. I don't think people will agree that any of this is historical until they're all back to their everyday lives. I'm personally hoping that we'll know when the virus was first seen in humans in much less than 10 years. I've read about some decent work with DNA mutation rates that suggests that pre-January infections are likely. The question is both exactly how far back before January, and also where it probably started. The so-called Spanish flu didn't start in Spain, so it's at least theoretically possible that the so-called Chinese virus didn't start in China, either. The early New York infections appear to have come from Europe. Maybe those Italian researchers will turn out to be right after all, even though their study didn't prove it. :-D WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:06, 15 December 2020 (UTC)
Thank you for posting this [[8]]. I was about to ask you about stepping in and I'm happy to see you beat me to it. I had several concerns here. I think an editor who did nothing wrong was bearing the brunt of someone's frustration. The threat of sanctions after an editor raised a good faith question is a problem in my book. The bigger issue is why the admin was frustrated. I can understand the concerns (I hear it in the voice of my family member who has to deal with COVID as part of their job). However, many editors, acting in good faith, are working on articles that don't make it clear they are required to follow MEDRS and even if they, like me, won't always know where the boundaries are and, as I noted with my own questions. If we are going to have so many issues with MEDRS then perhaps the answer is simply to restrict all MEDRS topics to editors who have been approved. Anyway, thanks again for stepping in with a tone that reflects good faith. Springee (talk) 21:05, 16 December 2020 (UTC)
Springee, wrt your last question, I hope you were joking. There is a medical wiki where you have to be approved to edit. It isn't Wikipedia, and last time I checked it had 1.05 active editors. Wrt WP:MEDRS remember it was created by some ignoramus with no higher medical qualification than a Scouts First Aid badge. The boundary between what is medical, science, politics, history, social behaviour, law, and biography is no more tested than on the Covid articles. Please remember that there's more to medicine on Wikipedia than a topic that is making some editors over-stressed. -- Colin°Talk 23:48, 16 December 2020 (UTC)
Well, I have no Scouts badge! Thanks for persisting, Springee, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:28, 17 December 2020 (UTC)
Colin, thanks for the reply. My intent wasn't a joke so much as just a trail balloon. I'm a curious person and sometimes that comes in the form of asking why things are the way they are and if that way actually makes sense. It doesn't always come across that way. This was my first time, not even editing but just commenting in the area of medical information on Wikipedia. Prior to WhatamIdoing's comments I felt like even American Politics was a more forgiving place! I do agree, COVID makes everything harder... even on the internet! Springee (talk) 03:22, 17 December 2020 (UTC)

Occupational burnout[edit]

You insisted that an unpublished article should be used as a reliable source and given very significant weight in the occupational burnout article. However other independent editors are saying your source that you and your friend (who has been repeatedly blocked for edit warring Iss246) desperately want in the article for some unknown reason, just does not meet Wikipedia criteria and should be removed from the article. You slipped away from the civil conversation at the Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard without responding. Can you please explain why you stated it "was published" when it definitely is not. And it cannot be accessed by the public. So it should be removed from our occupational burnout article. No?Coastalalerts (talk) 01:12, 22 December 2020 (UTC)

Your first sentence here is untrue, so I'm not even going to bother reading the rest. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:13, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
No you said "We will need to give it significant weight – not to treat it as the One True™ Answer, but the view needs to be included and treated as a significant view within the field" on the talk page. Everything I just said is true. The article is also a primary source isn't it, not a secondary source as you said. It would be great if you could clarify why you wanted this unpublished, inaccessible to the public article should be included and "We will need to give it significant weight" as you said. Should it not be removed entirely until it actually meets Wikipedia criteria? You say you are very experienced and know best, so you should know?Coastalalerts (talk) 01:24, 22 December 2020 (UTC)
I have not insisted that any unpublished article should be used as a reliable source at all, in this or any article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:17, 22 December 2020 (UTC)

Greetings of the season[edit]

Happy holidays
Dear WAID,

For you and all your loved ones,

"Let there be mercy".

Wishing you health,
peace and happiness
this holiday season and
in the coming year.

SandyGeorgia (Talk) 00:11, 25 December 2020 (UTC)


Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar.png The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
Because you recognize the vital importance of recognition and affirmation. Many people like to think they're tough and independent if they eschew expressions of kindness, although they secretly crave it for themselves. Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) [he/his/him] 20:03, 26 December 2020 (UTC)
Thank you, Mark. I like to remember and acknowledge the good things that happen here. It helps me not get overwhelmed by the problems.
(I wonder where we went wrong as a society, that we so often mis-characterize hard and bitter people as being tough and independent.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:17, 26 December 2020 (UTC)

Would you be willing to co-author a brief article for Wikimedia Research Newsletter?[edit]

It's that article I cited on the WP:MED talk page. I'm also asking Talpedia. The pieces in the Wikimedia Research Newsletter are supposed to be "a couple of paragraphs" although they often seem to be longer. Usually one of the articles is featured in the Signpost. I started a sandbox page to write a draft: User:Markworthen/sandbox/Feminist critique of Wikipedia's epistemology. Thanks! Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) [he/his/him] 22:10, 2 January 2021 (UTC)


Hi WhatamIdoing -- Unfortunately my e-mail access is currently on my deceased laptop -- I assume that you were just offering sympathy rather than eliciting any particular response? Cheers, Espresso Addict (talk) 01:53, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Exactly so, @Espresso Addict. I hope it's reasonable to expect the laptop to be resurrected, or that your backups will be sufficient.
(I should go check the backups. Everybody who sees this note should go check their backups. Back in the pre-pandemic era, I saw a guy at an Apple store who was in shock over the loss of his phone. He sat there by himself for a very long time, saying "Did you ever back up your phone? I never backed it up. It's all gone" every few minutes. Don't end up like that poor guy. At least plug your phone into your laptop today, or make sure that your phone says that your cloud-based backups happened today.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:06, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks! There are hopes of resurrecting the hard drive when travelling for purposes of resurrecting hard drives is permitted; I've managed to retrieve some of my passwords but the current laptop is far from fully set up. I hadn't realised how much I relied on the machine remembering all my passwords! And what is this mobile phone of which you speak? (We live in one of the few remaining black spots in the UK, lumbering slowly into the second half of the 20th century atm...) Cheers, Espresso Addict (talk) 02:15, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Imagine having a passably decent camera, and you can also use it to tell someone that you're lost. It's not a bad invention. I even usually remembered to take it with me a year ago, back in the olden days, when we used to go places without worrying that people would be breathing there.
My phone has been duly backed up, I downloaded the photos (you can see the only one that matters on the left margin at Slovenian potica), and the laptop's backups are ticking along nicely. Thanks for the opportunity to think about data-loss prevention.
I need to get the keyboard replaced on my laptop (some keys don't always notice when I press them), but that will probably wait until we can go places again. I suppose I should start a post-pandemic bucket list: a new keyboard, a new dishwasher, taking this weird light bulb into the store to find one that matches... WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:56, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Imagine being able to walk around in peace without having to worry that the office might call you... ;) Actually tbh I did formerly own one, back in the days when I travelled for business, though I do claim to be the only person in the world never to have texted. (This laptop is lacking in the 'd' epartment, as multiple recent eit summaries of mine can attest (I realise that I proof my contributions far more than my eit summaries)). And, oh, classical concerts! Luckily went to a great one a week or so before the first lockdown, but I'm missing live music a great deal. Espresso Addict (talk) 03:06, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
If the office desperately needs my attention, they've been told to post on this page, where I'm reasonably likely to notice it within a day or so. About five years ago, something was almost that important to them, but apparently never since. The office doesn't have my cell phone number. Why should they? I'm not on one of the emergency call rotations, and I refuse to travel for work. Besides, the ringer on my phone is almost always turned off, so it wouldn't do them any good. (They do have my landline phone number. I'm old, so I still have one of those.)
My husband had almost talked me into traveling for a symphony performance last spring (just a few hours' away), but it got canceled due to the pandemic. The only live music I've heard since mid-March 2020 is the occasional musician playing outdoors when I'm out for a walk. It's usually a duo or a small group playing folk music. They might be thinking of this as a socially distanced practice session. It happened pre-pandemic, too, but now it obviously draws attention. People stop and cluster around them (if you can imagine a cluster in which no household is any closer than 15 feet/5 meters to any other household) and watch them through multiple songs. In the past, we all walked on past, or at least pretended that we weren't really listening and had just accidentally happened to sit down nearby. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:26, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
There's a saying: "There are two kinds of people. Those that do backups, and those that haven't yet lost all their data". I thought I was in the former group, with software regularly backing up my computer onto a NAS. But when a hard disc died, I discovered it hadn't been doing its thing for about a year. It was "set and forget" when really I needed to not forget. I now use commercial backup software that goes to both my local NAS and to the cloud, and gives me regular updates and warnings. The UK police recently lost nearly quarter of a million records. Oops. -- Colin°Talk 16:11, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Oops. I wonder if the police are now discovering this place called "former salt mines" and this technology called "paper". It's what the insurance companies use (most US insurance companies are required to maintain certain records for 100 years).
We've been using a RAID array via Time Machine (macOS), which seems to work. We have had to replace approximately one disk a year, but we've not lost any data yet.
I wonder how many people are using Facebook as their primary backup system for their contacts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:10, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Pointer for tools[edit]

Hi -- I'm guessing you're someone who can point me in the right direction for this question. I've collected data about FAC reviews, nominators, and reviewers from September 2006 to today, and I'd like to be able to put up a tool page where users can put in their name and get information -- how many reviews have they done, how often they supported or opposed, what articles they reviewed, and so on. The data is in SQL at the moment, on a system I have access to. I gather from looking at various pages that editors can get access to the toolserver and create databases and software there. Is there some kind of "getting started" page for doing that? I suspect I'll have to learn whatever infrastructure/language is required; I know SQL very well but haven't learned a new language since Python so I'm probably out of date. Thanks for any help. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 17:55, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Hi, @Mike Christie. I think you should talk to @Scottywong, who has done some similar work with user activity stats for RFA, NPP, and similar areas. In terms of setting it up in WMF Cloud Services, there is some documentation at wikitech:Help:Cloud Services Introduction. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:15, 16 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks; I'll leave a message on their talk page and take a look at that introduction. Mike Christie (talk - contribs - library) 20:15, 16 January 2021 (UTC)

Citation hunt[edit]

Dear WhatamIdoing I really thank you for the suggestion and will surely try to follow. Gardenkur (talk) 06:38, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

Some people really enjoy Wikipedia:Citation Hunt. I hope you'll have fun with it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:25, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

COVID-19 origin investigations[edit]

Thank you for your guidance work there, your experience in this area shows and your advice helpful, —PaleoNeonate – 18:35, 22 January 2021 (UTC)

Editing news 2021 #1[edit]

Read this in another languageSubscription list for this newsletter

Reply tool[edit]

Graph of Reply tool and full-page wikitext edit completion rates
Completion rates for comments made with the Reply tool and full-page wikitext editing. Details and limitations are in this report.

The Reply tool is available at most other Wikipedias.

  • The Reply tool has been deployed as an opt-out preference to all editors at the Arabic, Czech, and Hungarian Wikipedias.
  • It is also available as a Beta Feature at almost all Wikipedias except for the English, Russian, and German-language Wikipedias. If it is not available at your wiki, you can request it by following these simple instructions.

Research notes:

  • As of January 2021, more than 3,500 editors have used the Reply tool to post about 70,000 comments.
  • There is preliminary data from the Arabic, Czech, and Hungarian Wikipedia on the Reply tool. Junior Contributors who use the Reply tool are more likely to publish the comments that they start writing than those who use full-page wikitext editing.[9]
  • The Editing and Parsing teams have significantly reduced the number of edits that affect other parts of the page. About 0.3% of edits did this during the last month.[10] Some of the remaining changes are automatic corrections for Special:LintErrors.
  • Венов дијаграм.svg A large A/B test will start soon.[11] This is part of the process to offer the Reply tool to everyone. During this test, half of all editors at 24 Wikipedias (not including the English Wikipedia) will have the Reply tool automatically enabled, and half will not. Editors at those Wikipeedias can still turn it on or off for their own accounts in Special:Preferences.

New discussion tool[edit]

Screenshot of version 1.0 of the New Discussion Tool prototype.

The new tool for starting new discussions (new sections) will join the Discussion tools in Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-betafeatures at the end of January. You can try the tool for yourself.[12] You can leave feedback in this thread or on the talk page.

Next: Notifications[edit]

White square with question mark.png

During Talk pages consultation 2019, editors said that it should be easier to know about new activity in conversations they are interested in. The Notifications project is just beginning. What would help you become aware of new comments? What's working with the current system? Which pages at your wiki should the team look at? Please post your advice at mw:Talk:Talk pages project/Notifications.

Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 01:02, 23 January 2021 (UTC)


Hi! First thank you for your amazing work!

  1. Love your work on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Council/FAP and would love to translate it to HR will likely be manually as this is only Talk page without main, so I do not know how else to do it. Any advice?
  2. Is WikiProject_Council fixed to EN Wikipedia only or can apply to other Wikipedias or even other WM sister projects?

Zblace (talk) 09:11, 27 January 2021 (UTC)

@Zblace, I doubt that this will be useful to you. The WikiProject system works for Wikipedias that are too large for everyone to know most of the other editors. When you have tens of thousands of editors, some people start splitting up into smaller groups of 50–200 editors by interest area. Those natural groups of people are what we call WikiProjects.
When you have hundreds of these smaller groups, then it makes sense to create a central point for the few interested editors to discuss how to operate the groups. The Croatian Wikipedia only has 650 active editors. You probably shouldn't have any WikiProjects at all, and you definitely don't need a council to coordinate all of the WikiProjects.
Can you tell me what problem you're trying to solve? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:53, 27 January 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing thank you for the fast reply! I had no idea that 'history' of WikiProjects related to size. Is there any text about that argumentation/genealogy? From what I understood (I only reactivated my Wikipedia account in the last year) is that users in small Wikipedias also use WikiProjects as a method of coordinating over thematic, technical or campaign work (from categories work to Women in Red). Maybe working in smaller bubbles also makes sense + creates directed attention/space of coordination on Wikipedia (rather then using other tools/infrastructure, that might compromise anonymity). As for council yes I agree and am sure there is no need for it as a separate project, but I think some documentation (guides and recommendations) would be useful if (new) users would continue to use the concept of WikiProjects. I struggled with Wikimedia jargon and do still, so can imagine that others also do when joining. I am not sure if that qualifies as a problem-to-solve, but likely is to be continuously addressed. Zblace (talk) 06:05, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
UPDATE: I just noticed that it can be a messy situation for other Wikimedians who look for same answer outside of EN Wikipedia. WikiData links only to pages in Indonesian, Korean and Japanese (best), Meta page on Projects dropped out of Handbook...maybe it was not good enough? Zblace (talk) 09:24, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
If people at your home wiki are already forming smaller bubbles, then I'd suggest that you consider a small amount of documentation. Based on the problems we've encountered here, I'd suggest that these are the two key points for what the groups are (with some explanations and examples that don't necessarily need to be in your documentation):
  • A WikiProject is a group of people who work together. Don't start pages for a group unless you already have a group of active editors who are already working together.
    • For example, create Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine when you already have (four? six?) people who are working together on medicine-related articles. You want to start with a few people who are talking to each other on their user talk pages, and when it gets to be too many people to make their own talk pages a convenient forum, then the group can start a central discussion page. WikiProject Women in Red is successful today because they already had a group. Most of the WikiProjects started that same year did not form the group first, and almost all of them failed.
    • Do not create those pages in the hope that if you make the pages, then people will improve medicine-related articles. That never works.
  • A WikiProject is not in charge of any articles. Those groups get no extra authority, no right to set policy, no power to determine what an article says, etc. This should be written down early and repeated often.
    • Here's why: Different WikiProjects (i.e., groups of people) will overlap in their interests, and different WikiProjects will have different views. You don't want the "biography" group to say "All articles must do X" and the "film" group to say "Articles must never do X", and then have the two groups get into a fight over Wikipedia articles about actors. You don't want WikiProject People and WikiProject Films to form a consensus at an article; you want seven individual editors (some of whom might also participate in one or more WikiProject groups) to form that consensus.
And these are IMO the key points for what the groups should do, especially for smaller communities:
  • Try to have the fewest number of WikiProjects possible. Pick the broadest "scope" for each. Don't try to form a group that's interested in antibiotics; don't even pick medication. Pick all of medicine, or even better, pick health or science. If you have a group of people really interested in Bollywood, then encourage them to expand to their vision to the whole film industry, or to all actors, or even the entire entertainment industry. That doesn't mean that they have to stop writing about Bollywood actors; they would only have to accept other editors who want to talk about related subjects.
    • Keeping a broad scope is critical for smaller communities because you don't have enough people to sustain collaboration on narrow subjects. You are more likely to find 10 editors who want to write about people than you are to find three people who want to write specifically about the kings of England. We can work together if I want to write about authors and you want to write about politicians, but there won't be conversations or collaborations when I'm isolate on my "authors" page and you're isolated on your "politicians" page.
    • You might end up with a very short list like this:
      • People (e.g., politicians, authors, celebrities)
      • Natural and applied sciences (e.g., plants, animals, chemistry, math, medicine, technology)
      • Arts and entertainment (e.g., music, paintings, books, films, video games)
      • History and society (e.g., geography, culture, politics)
      • Wikipedia maintenance (e.g., help pages, bots, support for school projects – However, this group may be unnecessary, as these conversations usually happen at a Village pump instead)
  • Make the talk pages of the WikiProject groups be a place where it is safe and helpful to report problems and get answers to questions. If you go to the talk page and say "Help, this article is a mess" or "Is this a good source?" and one of the group members helps you right away, then you will be happy about the group and keep coming back. If you keep coming back, you will also be able to help every now and again, just because you'll have the page on your watchlist and someday a question that you know the answer to. However, if you post your concern or question and nothing happens, or if people are unfriendly, then you won't, and you'll think that WikiProjects are pointless or harmful.
Finally, much of the "WikiProject" technical infrastructure (e.g., tagging and assessing articles) actually belongs to the Wikipedia:Version 1.0 Editorial Team, and I recommend that you don't copy any of that. The banners look nice, but they are really not worth it.
Feel free to keep asking questions here, or to ping me to any discussion at any Wikipedia. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:50, 28 January 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing thank you! This is really extensive and I will get back to you once I digest and compare it to experiences of other, smaller Wikipedias and Wikimedia projects. It could be that there is still no good way for new Wiki contributors to announce their interest and commit to specific collaborations so WikiProjects somewhat work for those cases. Will ask around. Thank you again. Zblace (talk) 14:19, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
@Zblace, I would really appreciate it if you told me what you discover at other small Wikipedias. For example, are there active discussions, or is it more like a ghost town? I will always be interested in hearing about what you learn. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:46, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
@ WhatamIdoing No problem. You can count on it. It just might take a bit of time. Zblace (talk) 21:20, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
I'm patient. I was interested in this subject ten years ago, and I realistically expect to be interested in it ten years from now. Please share whatever you want, whenever you learn it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:53, 29 January 2021 (UTC)

Some good student work[edit]

Hi there Waid, I hope all is well with you. How are you doing in these difficult times? Anyway, I just ran across some work done by a student; the best work I've ever seen. The article is HIV and pregnancy. I went through it and made a few small ce edits and added some suggestions on the tp but I'm sure that you could find other suggestions that are beyond my expertise. This editor would be a great addition to our "staff" and it would be good to let him/her know how collaboration works to make quality articles. Best, Gandy Gandydancer (talk) 18:25, 29 January 2021 (UTC)

Yikes. Besides this, which is not awful, just uncomfortable, there is NOT ADVICE and all sorts of cleanup needs. I would take a much closer look at copyvio if I had the time, and hope someone else has the time to do all the basic cleanup. I would take on the cleanup needs, but am uncomfortable working there until copyvio is cleared. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 22:42, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
I wondered when I went through the article if the new editor had done a lot of copying from sites such as the CDC and WHO thinking that since they are government sites they are OK. I will wait for an answer from Waid who I have worked with on woman-related articles. Gandydancer (talk) 23:34, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, it's not copyvio as much as plagiarism, and some of it could have been there before. But there are considerable MOS cleanup needs that I don't want to take on until the copyvio/plagiarism status is more clear. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:41, 29 January 2021 (UTC)
This new editor clearly worked very hard to attempt to present a good article here and I believe that this editor may be open to learning from an experienced editor the plagiarism problem. In my experience Waid approaches other editors in a welcoming and helpful way and is aware of their need for support. Perhaps she will be helpful in this case. Gandydancer (talk) 00:15, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
Sandy, I looked at the report thinking maybe I could help and can't make heads or tails of it. Skipping the first one, the rest all seem to be gov't sites...? Looking at the first of the gov't site problems listed I am not seeing anything that seems problematic to me. Just sticking to just that vio for now, how does one use this report? Gandydancer (talk) 01:18, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
It's extremely time consuming work, Gandy. First, the Earwig report takes FOR-ever to generate, so you wait and wait. Then you have to remember that it cannot check paywalled sites, so when you are checking new editors for potential copyvio, you would need to review their contribs for any paywalled or offline sources manually. In medical writing, there are often things flagged by Earwig that aren't actually copied, so you have to scroll down through the whole report, for each site, to check. You can access the different comparison reports for different websites by clicking on the "compare" button on the right. For example, on the first site flagged by Earwig, these words are cut-and-paste: "Women who screen positive for HIV should also be tested for these conditions so that they may be adequately treated or controlled during the pregnancy. The comorbidities may have serious adverse effects on the mother and child during pregnancy, so it is extremely important to identify them early during the pregnancy." Relatively speaking, this is not a bad Earwig report (I have seen many 90% likely copyvios.) But ... Even from a public domain website, we need to quote and attribute to avoid plagiarism. To go to the next website compared, click on the second "compare" button on Earwig, and scroll down to see what matches. On the second website, we find snippets of little concern, but see that some of what is copied is NOTADVICE that should be checked. Then what becomes time consuming is, if you uncover anything suspicious, you have to go back and see when that text was added and by whom. I find it much easier to pull up this from the page history, then click on top edits for a given editor, and scroll through to look for their largest additions and just check them for copyvio directly. One would need to go through and make sure no offline or paywalled sources are used, as checking those is harder. When I see text that is too good to be true, I hold off on further corrections, lest a revdel is needed. There is a lot of MOS cleanup needed there, but I don't want to get involved unless the text is clean. Hope this helps, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:48, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
Ah, it's @MastCell's old rule (at least, I think I first saw this from MastCell): if you see a new editor who can write in grammatically correct sentences, check for copyvios. In this case, though, I'm not seeing it. Look at what Earwig's finding and compare the highlighted phrases. It's flagging this text based on common phrases, like "reduce the risk of HIV", which is neither copyvio nor plagiarism.
This is a difficult subject to write about without straying into how-to territory, so I'm inclined to be generous on that point. This seems to be the last day of the class, so I think that MOS work could usefully be postponed for a week. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:49, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
The other thing you have to worry about, when it looks too good to be true, Gandy, is if the structure of the source was copied. When you encounter one cut-and-paste section like the one I highlighted above, that is sometimes an indication that the editor cut-and-pasted the contents into a word processor, and then just juggled the text around, and forgot to fix that one piece. So even one large cut-and-paste can be an indication that you need to take a close look at structure. Also, take care not to spend too much time copyediting a new editor's work until you are sure it is copyvio clean, as your time will be wasted should the text need to be removed. :) When working with students, unfortunately, the first step is a careful copyvio check, before you spend any of your precious time improving the content. Bst, SandyGeorgia (Talk) 01:54, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
Sandy, yes I understand the vio in the first one listed. It's the second one that has me puzzled. All I see is a few headings that are the same and AFAIK not a problem. As for me fixing copy violations, that will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER happen. Perhaps years ago when I was bright eyed and bushy tailed but no longer! Gandydancer (talk) 02:15, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
Agree, nothing of concern in the second ... and on the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, I don't know how I used to manage this kind of work when I was younger, but just can't face it any more :) :) SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:19, 30 January 2021 (UTC)

Question about use of a study in an article[edit]

I need advise. Would this study published in Nature be ok to use at the Infant formula article? It is here: [13] For a quick read of the study you may wish to read this Guardian article: [14]. Thanks. Gandydancer (talk) 21:37, 29 January 2021 (UTC) '

Hello, @Gandydancer. The publisher's great, the journal is okay, the article is primary. To say something worthwhile, you probably want to find another (scientific/medical) source. This article could maybe support a statement like "babies who are fed from plastic bottles may unintentionally ingest microscopic bits of plastic", but you can't really say whether this actually matters, because they didn't study that, and then you've got no easy way to demonstrate that even this sentence is WP:DUE. They didn't even really figure out how much plastic is ingested. Imagine someone saying "Babies are fed somewhere between a half-teaspoon and 3.5 cups of sugar each day, and we highlight an urgent need to assess whether exposure to sugar at these levels poses a risk". We could all agree that the best approach is zero and still tell them that a 300-fold range with no idea how much produces a significant health effect isn't very helpful or informative.
If you want to comment on the safety of plastic baby bottles, then I think you want to look for a recommendation from a major health organization (NHS? American Academy of Pediatrics?), if any exist. If you found a (mainstream) group that said glass is better even though it's heavy and can break and cut people, or that plastic is okay but throw out old ones, or have the baby drink milk cold, or whatever their advice is, then that might be more useful for building an article.
Some sort of compare-and-contrast value would seem helpful. For example, is the amount ingested from a plastic baby bottle more or less than the amount ingested from breastfeeding, from sucking on a pacifier, or from chewing on plastic toys, or from slurping from a sippy cup for several years? A secondary source could place these numbers in context, which would be really helpful for writing the article. Also, if you can get then I think that might be interesting on the general subject of microplastics, even if it doesn't address babies at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:30, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
Very helpful--thanks. It seems that the heat when the bottles are sterilized is the problem--which is not to say that one does wonder about all the hours that babies spend sucking on their pacifier. Well, perhaps the Nature article will draw some attention. I will do a little research on this and related subjects and see what I can find. Switching from plastic to glass would be an easy enough precaution. BTW, the now common skin-to-skin practice for newborns has suddenly progressed with lightening speed--at least compared to how long it usually takes for sound medical advise to be accepted. So maybe we will see more attention paid to this plastic problem as well. Gandydancer (talk) 01:02, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
People still sterilize bottles? I thought that went out of style half a century ago. I'd have assumed that the bigger concern was stuffing them in the microwave to warm up the milk. (I assume that the story about cold milk upsetting baby's delicate tummy still persists.)
I asked my favorite web search engine for green baby bottles, and after I explained to it that I meant eco-friendly rather than colorful bottles, it gave me this blog post, which indicates that stainless steel is also an option. I also saw references to silicone bottles and silicone safety covers for glass bottles. (If silicone turns out to be poisonous, too, then don't tell me yet, because I like my silicone muffin pans.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:28, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
I would not use a metal baby bottle! Face-sad.svg As for glass, I can't imagine a problem. I've been a canner all my life and after hundreds of times washing, etc., glass jars I've never had one break. Well, a little looking and I did find a mild degree of attention to the Nature article but you are right about your suggestion that it would not be appropriate for our article. That said, someone has correctly added it to the microplastic article. It is good to chat with you Waid--I've been really lonely and am so damn sick of being isolated. It's become hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel of late. Gandydancer (talk) 02:03, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
I'll bite, @Gandydancer: What would be wrong with a metal baby bottle? I assume you'd want a stainless steel bottle.
(I know someone who was injured by an exploding quart jar, and I heard a second-hand story about an exploding pressure cooker, but I've done a little canning and never had a problem myself. However, my interest in the messy task of peeling tomatoes is almost non-existent, and my consumption of jam is less than a pint per year, so I haven't done any significant canning for years.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:32, 30 January 2021 (UTC)
I know someone who was injured when they did not follow correct traffic rules while driving their car. If one cans in glass jars according to the directions the jars do not explode. On the other hand, if one takes a hot jar out of the canner and puts in in cold water it may well crack or explode. So that's the scientific reason. The scientific reason for not using metal baby nursing bottles is that it's creepy. Gandydancer (talk) 22:55, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
Since she'd been canning without incident for decades, I suspected that an unnoticed hairline crack in a jar might have been to blame; she wondered whether she'd accidentally tapped the hot jar against the edge of the pressure cooker when she removed it. There are risks in everything, even if you follow all the directions. Risks you incur by deciding to leave the pressure cooker unattended are your own fault. The only thing I can say about that is that at least nobody was in the kitchen when it exploded (because the reason she left it unattended is because she went outside to hang up the laundry).
I figure that it'll be March before I can even sign up for a COVID vaccine appointment, and who knows how long it will be before the actual appointment will happen. But we'll get there. We should be seeing some trees start to bud, and then the wildflowers will start. It's just a matter of hanging in there until then. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:55, 2 February 2021 (UTC)


"Wikipedia for Peace" by Woman on a mission.

"...take a peaceful approach..." (How Wikipedia Works)

Thank you. Tortillovsky (talk) 18:28, 1 February 2021 (UTC)


I was once a longtime editor and since retired. During that time I authored and personally added this movie [[15]], but would now like to delete that movie. Is this something you can help me with as I'm not familiar with the process to do so. You were quite helpful in the past which is why I'm reaching out to you specifically. Thanks in advance for any help! BeneathElmTree (talk) 19:55, 1 February 2021 (UTC)

@BeneathElmTree, I miss you. Getting files deleted can be ...whimsical. The process itself isn't too difficult – go to the page, and click "Nominate for deletion" – but the outcome is hard to predict. Do you think it would fall under the c:Commons:Deletion policy#Courtesy deletions category, or is there another reason? We'll have to give a reason. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:19, 1 February 2021 (UTC)
Thank you for the kind words! Question, would it be easier to pursue having the two usernames edited out from under the video which is my real intent here? I realize they would still potentially show in the page edit history but I am ok with that. BeneathElmTree (talk) 00:02, 2 February 2021 (UTC)
@BeneathElmTree, they need to have a name that is (more or less) associated with you for license/attribution purposes. Your old username appeared in the text of the description page (anyone can fix that; I just did) and in the edit summary (requires a Commons admin for Wikipedia:Revision deletion of the original edit summary). But there has to be some name there, and I'd be very surprised if they accepted the removal of your "current" account name from the Author field on the say-so of your "new" account name. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:15, 2 February 2021 (UTC)

Generating wikilists[edit]

Hi there WhatamIdoing, I'm having a technical issue that I hope you can quickly solve. For these WP:MED backlog lists I'm generating with the newsletter, I'd like to keep using the format of a bulleted list of wikilinks. For the first list, I could swear that PetScan somehow generated that list properly formatted for me. But since then, I can't seem to figure out how. I can paste wikitables from category worklist bot's readouts or from PetScan's output but folks seemed to prefer the list of wiklinks. So my question: am I crazy? Or is there an easy way to generate a bulleted list of wikilinks from PetScan or some other search. Thanks in advance for your time! I hope you're staying well. Ajpolino (talk) 19:28, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

@Ajpolino, I can almost never get PetScan to do anything for me. @Certes solved one PetScan problem for mme; maybe they can solve this one? If I were doing it, I'd probably just use a search-and-replace tool to turn wikitext table markup (e.g., |-) into list markup. The VisualEditor makes it easy to delete columns. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:02, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Ah that's an excellent idea. As it just so happens, Certes and I are presently having a pity party at User_talk:The_Transhumanist/SearchSuite.js#Stopped_working about the other method I had in my pocket for generating lists (well it's a pity party for me; perhaps Certes has the faculties to fix such things). Search-and-replace will suffice for now! Thanks a million! Ajpolino (talk) 21:10, 13 February 2021 (UTC)
Setting PetScan's output format to Wiki produces a wikitable, but not the bullet points you need. I'd just use search and replace, especially if you have a decent programmer's editor that can handle such things smoothly, but I realise it's several more keypresses or clicks for every job. AWB can also produce lists. If you are planning to use only the "Make list" or "List comparer" options then there is no need to register (and I think admins are exempt even if making edits). Certes (talk) 23:48, 13 February 2021 (UTC)

Trade publications[edit]

Hello, I've been reviewing Wikipedia:Notability (organizations and companies) and the related discussion that led to the passage about trade publications being added to the guidelines. I see that you've commented about that passage in the RFC, but it didn't really get a full discussion. As someone who works with film articles a lot, a few major reliable sources we use are Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and ScreenDaily. These sources, especially the first two, have a mix of coverage. They write about films' productions, they review films, they cover how critics and audiences react, they cover controversies, and pertinent to this matter, they cover what film-related organizations are doing. From what I can tell, film-related organizations get the most coverage in these particular publications. Wikipedia is supposed to be a mix of general and specialized encyclopedias, and it seems like trade-focused publications would provide the brunt of specialized content. I'm not sure if it's fair to presume against use of these reliable sources just because they focus on a specific subject matter. However, I am not as familiar with what trade publications in other industries may look like. What do you think? Is this passage worth reassessing? Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 15:48, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

@Erik, I think that the "presumption against" this category of reliable source is due to editors being concerned about trade publications of Dogbert quality. I think if you asked about each one individually, then these same editors would say that they aren't trade publications at all, or at least that they aren't the kind of trade publications that they had in mind. The overall mental model in the CORP area seems to be that every source about any organization is guilty until proven innocent. I find it discouraging and unhelpful.
These days, CORP puts up a long list of reasons to reject articles about organizations: the source isn't independent (sometimes defined in silly ways, such as a newspaper getting last year's sales figures from the organization. What'd you expect them to do, hack the accounting system to make sure that the CEO wasn't lying?). On this basis, I've seen a few editors make really egregious errors in assessing notability. Last year, one of them sent an article to AFD that would have been laughable if it weren't part of an infuriating pattern by this editor. He said that all the coverage was "routine", none of it was "significant coverage" (no matter how long it was), all of it was promotional, none of it was independent, etc.
The subject of the article was one of the largest university-based hospitals in the world. Not only can we not trust editors to figure out that daily newspapers are actually independent sources, we can't even trust them to have a basic sense of the types of subjects that tend to be notable. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:06, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
All this makes sense. Then what is a better way to consider trade publications? To assess them in the context of their respective industries? It seems like WP:NCORP goes further than WP:PROMO and is also rather sweeping. There must be some kind of language to separate the useless coverage from the useful coverage. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 18:13, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
@Erik, I think that assessing them in the context of their industry is reasonable. I have wondered, though, whether the goal at NCORP during the last few years is really about being useful to good-faith volunteers who are trying to build Wikipedia, or if the goal is about having rules that let the COI warriors reject whatever they want. If the goal is to make it easy for me to reject your work, then why would I want to put any extra burden on me, e.g., to actually assess the individual source, instead of just saying 'trade rag, bad'? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:44, 16 February 2021 (UTC)
I get what you're saying, but are there specific actions that you can suggest? I was thinking of something like encouraging to verify that trade publications that cover organizations are fully established as reliable sources, especially WP:USEBYOTHERS. Variety and The Hollywood Reporter would count among these, where something like Media Play News would seem more like "churnalism" in repackaging press releases. I assume that the Bitcoin trade publications aren't in the league of Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 15:03, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
All of the Bitcoin trade rags appear to be held in disfavor by editors. It might be quicker to just say that all websites and periodicals about cryptocurrency are functionally banned.
@Erik, have you actually seen editors rejecting Variety and Hollywood Reporter on the grounds that they're trade publications? WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:13, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
It seems like that is happening at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Eleven Arts. That is what I am trying to wrap my head around since I have not worked on that many organizational articles (most films and some actors and more cultural topics), and I'm wrestling over if WP:NCORP makes sense in these contexts. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 19:39, 17 February 2021 (UTC)
Hi, @Erik. It's very unusual for an AFD to get re-listed twice, so I've left a link for the two most relevant and active WikiProjects. This AFD needs to be resolved one way or the other, and increasing the number of participants is the normal way to get it closed.
Have you heard of Wikipedia:The Heymann Standard before? Trying to adjust the guidelines is ultimately a multi-year process, so it's not going to be useful to you today. Improving the article itself, especially if you do it early in the AFD process, can have a significant effect on the outcome. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:47, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Yes, I've seen WP:HEY mentioned, and I've rescued other topics in the past. But this had more to do with the appropriateness of the very sources I would use if I tried to improve it. As for adjusting the guidelines, it did not seem like anyone discussed the trade-publications passage directly (it was part of a BIG chunk of text that was proposed), so I was considering being bold and trying alternative language like using trade publications that are reliable sources with journalistic integrity. Anyway, appreciate the notifications, though I was trying to steer clear of WT:FILM because I wanted perspective from editors who don't work on film articles. Erik (talk | contrib) (ping me) 18:57, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
There were concerns raised at the time; see, e.g., the reference to Aviation Week & Space Technology at Wikipedia talk:Notability (organizations and companies)/Archive 18#Sourcing. I don't know if trade magazines have been discussed as a standalone subject in the last handful of years. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:43, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

Zoster vaccine[edit]

Thanks for that substantial ce WAID. Any further improvements really welcome! Best, (talk) 19:06, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

You're welcome. I dropped by the page just to see what you'd been doing recently. I really appreciate your efforts there. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:39, 19 February 2021 (UTC)
Hey, thanks WAID! ...just taking a snap break, I guess, from Lightning injury - another page that I felt [16] could do with a little tlc. (talk) 21:19, 19 February 2021 (UTC)

A cup of coffee for you![edit]

Cup-o-coffee-simple.svg Thank you for your thanks. My edit was only to assess pages with WikiProject COVID-19 assessment links, so you really didn't have to thank me, but thank you anyway. Prairie Astronomer Talk 23:46, 21 February 2021 (UTC)
@Prairie Astronomer, I've assessed more than 10,000 articles over the years. Category:Unknown-importance medicine articles contains about 600 articles at the moment, and most of them (=all people and organizations) need to be marked |importance=low|society=yes. I was glad to see that someone else was doing it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:04, 22 February 2021 (UTC)
I couldn't stand the sight of a lot of articles being unassesses, but were marked as WikiProject COVID-19. I don't know if a bot put them in those articles, but I figure somebody should get it done. Prairie Astronomer Talk 01:10, 22 February 2021 (UTC)
@Prairie Astronomer, if you like doing that kind of work, then you might find a script like User:Evad37/rater handy. That one provides suggested ratings, based on mw:ORES scores. Compared to some others, it's a bit awkward to add the |society=yes parameter, but most of the time, you just want quality and importance/priority anyway (and some, such as WikiProject Biography and WikiProject Military history, only do the quality ratings. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:58, 22 February 2021 (UTC)

Thanks for your suggestion[edit]

Toblerone 3362.jpg Chocolate thanks
Thanks for your introduction to Zythème. Glafoululle des Alpes (talk) 21:15, 26 February 2021 (UTC)
You're welcome, and thank you for the chocolate, @Glafoululle des Alpes. I remember the first time that I tasted Toblerone. It is a happy memory. I want to keep you here, but I know that the French Wikipedia needs your help, too. I want to support you in doing what makes Wikipedia a happy experience for you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:34, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

RFC closing[edit]

What is the best way to get a close on the med lead rfc? Do we (you :) post to WP:AN for a neutral closer, or is there another way? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:16, 2 March 2021 (UTC)

I usually advise people who think they are 'winning' an RFC to wait until the full 30 days has passed. Closing summaries can be requested at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure in due course. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:50, 2 March 2021 (UTC)


You are the only one I could think of off the top of my head so sorry, but see [17], it looks like a new user and I am not familiar with the latest WMF op, but perhaps you want to guide them, it seemed a bit odd to me to see WMF tag edit. Thanks. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:36, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Thanks, @Alanscottwalker. I'll take care of it. (It's technically okay to fix formatting, revert vandalism, etc., if you happen to see the problem while you're working, but Legal does worry about creating copyrightable content from the wrong account, and volunteer work is always supposed to be from a non-WMF-labeled account.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:01, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

Please feel free to respond on the RfC on whether to say in the UPE template that the payer isn't necessarily the subject of the article[edit]

The idea is add the words, "The payer for the editing is not necessarily the subject of the article." to what is already there in the template.



The idea came about from the sockpuppet investigation discussed at Wikipedia:Sockpuppet_investigations/VentureKit/Archive in which over 87 articles got the undisclosed paid editing template, and I'm writing to you because you participated in discussion of the removal of that template from the article on Instacart at Talk:Instacart#Undisclosed_payments and so would have some familiarity with the general situation.

My view is that this is just one additional sentence and provides helpful information to readers about what the situation is (based on how editors are using that template, say for example in sockpuppet investigations).

CUPIDICAE💕 has said that it's silly and unnecessary, and may elaborate further on that.

As of this writing nobody else has responded.

Please feel free to offer any thoughts on it at the RfC.

Also, if you aren't inclined to respond there, just feel free to offer any thoughts at all here on this talk page.

Jjjjjjjjjj (talk) 20:51, 16 March 2021 (UTC)

Need Help enabling reference feature for Twi Wikipedia[edit]

Hello @WhatamIdoing:,

My team(meta:Global Open Initiative) and I are planning to run a contest which will begin on April 1. The target Wiki for this contest is Twi Wikipedia. Currently we have a challenge adding references to articles in Twi Wikipedia. And the challenge is that the reference tool allows us to only add a reference link, so we are unable to cite books. Amire80 asked me to contact you. He said you might be able to help us fix the reference feature. I'm looking forward to hearing from you. Best,Celestinesucess (talk) 11:36, 24 March 2021 (UTC)

@Celestinesucess, I'm happy to pass along the request, but the lead time is pretty long, and unfortunately I don't think it will be done by the time your event starts. I'll get the process started though, and maybe it will help for the future. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:51, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing thank you for the response. It is fine with me if it takes long, so far as it gets done, I will be very glad. I will very much appreciate any support you can give, thank you.Celestinesucess (talk) 09:18, 29 March 2021 (UTC)
I'm happy to do it. I've pinged you in phab:T278704; if you have the default e-mail settings there, then you'll automatically get an e-mail message if anyone comments on the task. That might help you find out when the work starts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:42, 29 March 2021 (UTC)


Is this in preparation for a particular article that has had problems of WP:COI or are you preparing for a particular article. It is not 100% clear to me. Thanks in advance sir, and thanks for your hard work! Infinitepeace (talk) 13:53, 27 March 2021 (UTC)


WikiDefender Barnstar Hires.png The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar is awarded to User:WhatamIdoing

. The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar may be awarded to those who have prevented Wikipedia from being used for fraudulent purposes. Thank you for working so tirelessly on Conflict of interests. Infinitepeace (talk) 13:53, 27 March 2021 (UTC)


Hi there Waid, I am involved with an article that is using YouTube as a source. I have looked and looked for the WP position on YouTube but have been unable to find anything. It has been my understanding that we should try to avoid it. Could you direct me to something? Thanks. Gandydancer (talk) 02:37, 3 April 2021 (UTC)

@Gandydancer, the documentation you are looking for is at Wikipedia:External links/Perennial websites. The answer to your question is: You should evaluate the source according to who posted it, not according to which software service they're using. If you're looking at a reputable television news show that happens to have an official channel on YouTube, then it's fine (assuming that it's something you'd cite to that news story by them anyway. We don't really care whether BBC News is posting at or in their channel on YouTube). If it's not the official channel of a traditional publisher, then evaluate it like you would if it was on their own website, e.g., yes to official websites/blogs/videos and no to personal websites/blogs/vlogs/videos uploaded to YouTube. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:49, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
Gandydancer, also see WP:SOCIALMEDIA, and remember the account has to be authenticated (have the little check indicating it does belong to the person or entity it says it belongs to). SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:51, 3 April 2021 (UTC)
Very helpful and thanks to both of you. Gandydancer (talk) 01:29, 5 April 2021 (UTC)

I quickly ran into a problem when I tried to use YouTube as a source. Please see here: [18] where I used the PBS video. I learned of this video on their PBS News Hour evening news and it was mentioned at their website. I added it here [19] and Wukai removed it. Wukai is the best of the best copy editor and I'm always so grateful that we tend to work on the same articles and he improves my writing all the time. So, did I misunderstand your advise or not? Gandydancer (talk) 09:35, 22 April 2021 (UTC) PS~Reading my edit right now I think that you two might cringe at it and think it does not sound very encyclopedic. I did that on purpose--I wanted to introduce a humanness and emotional wording to it because I feel that AOC is that sort of a congresswoman and it it the reason that she became so wildly popular as compared to a bunch of old white men. Plus, I thought that Wukai would come along and make my writing sound more professional--as he always does. Face-smile.svg Gandydancer (talk) 09:49, 22 April 2021 (UTC)

@Gandydancer, did you consider using {{cite news}}? "Cite news from PBS NewsHour" is going to sound more obviously legitimate to a busy or distracted editor than "Cite web to YouTube". WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:25, 23 April 2021 (UTC)

thanks for help[edit]

hi. thanks for all of your helpful messages lately. and thanks for your input. would you like to help me to coordinate WP:HIST? Also, would you like to combine efforts on anything? there are numerous threads on telegram, etc, providing various proposals on wikipedia. please feel free to be in touch any time. thanks! --Sm8900 (talk) 15:45, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

I don't really do off-wiki communication, but I'm sure that we'll keep seeing each other on wiki. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:22, 6 April 2021 (UTC)

Request your support for interaction ban[edit]

Here is the message that I privately sent to you in the past and which you acknowledged.

I perceive you as stalking me and I would like to request that you avoid engaging in places where I am. I am not disturbed by your behavior, but I recognize your behavior as disturbing.

I will not discuss this with you, but I wanted to privately request this of you, in case there is a misunderstanding. Can you please leave me alone?

You contacted me yesterday. I would like to file an Wikipedia:Banning_policy#Interaction_ban to prevent your contact in the future, and I would like for you to agree to it without further discussion. Would you agree to that? Blue Rasberry (talk) 10:58, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Sorry, I'd completely forgotten that you somehow decided last year that I was stalking you. As for yesterday's contact on the Village pump, I pinged everyone in that section, because that's what WP:CANVAS encourages.
I still have absolutely no idea why you think I'm stalking you. I've looked at all the pages that both of us have edited in the last year, and at a glance, it amounts to the Village Pumps, a few WikiProject pages, a few noticeboards, WT:MOS, WT:EL, a couple of high-volume COVID-19 pages, and a couple of user talk pages. In almost no case did we edit the same section of any of these pages, except for Template:Did you know nominations/Clinical trials in India, where I agreed with you and disagreed with the reviewer. Your decision to magnify a single post on one page into a claim that I'm stalking you makes me feel like no good deed goes unpunished. I will not agree to an interaction ban just because you've developed this strange belief. I am not stalking you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:28, 12 April 2021 (UTC)

Feminist critique of Wikipedia's epistemology[edit]

Hi WhatamIdoing! If you have time, please see: User talk:Markworthen/sandbox/Feminist critique of Wikipedia's epistemology/2nd draft. Thanks! Mark D Worthen PsyD (talk) [he/his/him] 01:59, 18 April 2021 (UTC)

Speedy deletion nomination of Carbitral[edit]

A tag has been placed on Carbitral requesting that it be speedily deleted from Wikipedia. This has been done for the following reason:

The title of this redirect is referential to a commercial drug which has never existed. Parke-Davis' combination of pentobarbital and carbromal was sold as Carbrital, rather than "Carbitral" (Physicians' Desk Reference, thirty-third edition, 1979, page 421) and all other online sources speaking of this misspelling are direct replications or derivatives of either this article or Brian_Epstein. For further information, please see my recent edit of the latter page. My proposed deletion criteria are R3 and G1. Thank you!

Under the criteria for speedy deletion, pages that meet certain criteria may be deleted at any time.

If you think this page should not be deleted for this reason, you may contest the nomination by visiting the page and clicking the button labelled "Contest this speedy deletion". This will give you the opportunity to explain why you believe the page should not be deleted. However, be aware that once a page is tagged for speedy deletion, it may be deleted without delay. Please do not remove the speedy deletion tag from the page yourself, but do not hesitate to add information in line with Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. If the page is deleted, and you wish to retrieve the deleted material for future reference or improvement, then please contact the deleting administrator, or if you have already done so, you can place a request here. Interops (talk) 05:05, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

A user possessing a far greater measure of Wikipedia experience than myself has determined that the request does not satisfy the specified criteria. I will make no further attempts to delete your redirect. Interops (talk) 07:38, 19 April 2021 (UTC)
@Interops, I'm not sure why you thought this was a good idea. Redirects are cheap. Deleting them is actually more 'expensive' (editors' discussion time, broken incoming links, extra stuff in the database) than pretending they don't exist. And when the redirect exists because we once had the article at the wrong name (which is the case here), then deleting them means that anyone with an old link or looking at an old version of a Wikipedia article will not end up in the right place. So my question for you is: What is so horrible about that redirect's existence that you want to cause confusion for readers and to damage transparency and traceability for any editors who are trying to figure out what happened to a page for years to come? WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:41, 19 April 2021 (UTC)

Please consider weighing in.[edit]

Hello. You have been involved with a discussion regarding the red link policy text. The current version of the proposal consists of the following change: In general, a red link should be allowed to remain in an article if it links to a title that could plausibly sustain an article, but for which there is no existing article, or article section, under any name.
One editor is blocking this change, even as a temporary test. Would you please review this matter and offer your thoughts on the red link talk page? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 19:35, 24 April 2021 (UTC)

The next step is to find out whether the one editor is the only person who objects. I have asked for that information on the talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:59, 24 April 2021 (UTC)
I appreciate your help. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 05:49, 25 April 2021 (UTC)

WP:CORP hardline style of source analysis for independence[edit]

Hello WAID.

At WT:CORP we started an interesting although sprawling conversation. I think you challenged me on my hard line deductions of independence or not of a source based on the tracing of the source of the information, whether it comes from the subject or the author of the story. I consider Munaf Kapadia to have to meet the WP:CORP stringent standard, he being the CEO of a company, and everything is basically about his company.

Would you mind looking at my analysis of four sources proffered for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Munaf Kapadia? Do you disagree? Would you make different judgements? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:22, 4 May 2021 (UTC)

Hi, @SmokeyJoe, I'd be happy to get back to WT:CORP, but I have other things to do this morning.
I think the hardline approach taken by some editors in that AFD is wrong. More precisely, I think that they are wrong to say that if some (or even most) of the content came from the subject, then it's non-independent. That might make the source primary per WP:LINKSINACHAIN, but it doesn't change the fact that the journalists and the periodicals aren't working for this guy. (What you describe as being "written from a distinct perspective" could make it a secondary source.)
I think the points of analysis are clearer if we change the subject matter from "Googler starts restaurant" to "politician starts project". Instead of saying that he's going to sell samosas, he's going to announce that he's going to save the world. You have labeled the sentence "He decided to host a dining experience at home" as being non-independent because it's something only the subject could know. But if Fox News wrote "Biden decided to meet with the Republicans", or if The New York Times wrote that "Trump decided to fire someone again", then nobody would say that these were non-independent sources. And if we agreed that any source talking about a subject, and using information from the subject, is non-independent, then Social media use by Donald Trump has to be deleted, because it is not actually possible to talk about what Trump said on social media without using information from Trump. It literally cannot be done.
I think the big problem with these discussions is that editors are going line-by-line through sources and deciding which individual sentences or paragraphs they should accept. Independence is much easier than that. You say, "Does Biden own Fox News? Does Biden control Fox News? No? Then Fox News is independent of Biden." Editors need to evaluate the source as a whole, not the individual sentences.
Remember that with notability, we are not really trying to get a perfectly disinterested POV on the facts. We are looking for independence in the context of notability because we are trying to find out whether the subject has "gained sufficiently significant attention by the world at large" (to quote WP:N's nutshell). The act of paying attention, even if that attention comes in the form of talking about what the subject says, is what matters. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:58, 4 May 2021 (UTC)
Hi WIAD. I think we are having a source-analysis or source-typing discussion, probably better located at a source-typing essay talk page than WT:CORP, I am not sure.
So, we disagree about doing hardline source independence analysis? But you have the wrong line, I am not talking about "if some (or even most) of the content came from the subject", but "if some (or even most) ALL of the <secondary-source> content (loosely called "comment") came from the subject". I mean, every adjective of praise and every comparison and every contextualisation came from the subject, or the subject's company, or mother, or employee. Does this clarification of my line change things?
"written from a distinct perspective". I meant "written from a distant perspective". Is the writer of the independent secondary source writing from (a) a long distance, or even time, and the subject doesn't know they are being watched; or (b) from behind the subject's shoulder; or (c) from behind the subjects eyes, meaning the writer knows the subjects thoughts and feelings and motivations and even memories. Case (c) will not be an independent source, and this case contains some linked examples of (c). The Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Munaf Kapadia case is interesting because sources fall on both sides of my line.
Social media use by Donald Trump has to be deleted, because it is not actually possible to talk about what Trump said on social media without using information from Trump. No, that is not GNG hard line. The GNG hard line is that at least two sources contain comment where the source of the comment is the source writer, not the subject. Having achieved that bar, Wikipedia-notability does not limit content. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:13, 5 May 2021 (UTC)
I don't think that, in the English Wikipedia's conception, all forms of 'comment' are always considered a WP:SECONDARY source. If it were, then we'd have almost no primary sources. Consider a source that says "We ran an experiment. The experimental group baked 200 cookies, and the control group baked 150 cookies. The experimental group baked more cookies than the control group". "More" is comparison, but we're still looking at a primary source. It might conceivably be a secondary sentence, but it's still a primary source. I don't think we should be trying to classify individual sentences/facts/adjectives. The GNG is looking at sources as a whole.
Also, you seem to be looking for intellectual independence (e.g., a second human has separately concluded that the experimental group baked more cookies). Notability, on the other hand, is looking primarily for financial/COI independence. Notability does not really care whether the newspaper is credulous enough to believe a politician who says I am not a crook, and it definitely does not care whether the paper repeats such a claim; it primarily cares whether the newspaper is printing the article because the subject is "worthy of notice", vs. printing it because they were paid to.
This conversation feels like the opposite of the usual one, in which AFD participants declare that breaking news reports are obviously secondary because it's such big news. They ought to just say "Using my crystal ball, and more importantly, my experience, I think it's time to invoke IAR for a week", but instead they try to claim that everything they want to write about fits into the rules, and everything they don't want to write about doesn't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:18, 5 May 2021 (UTC)

Tabular response
WAID wrote SJ responds SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:57, 6 May 2021 (UTC) Header text
I don't think that, in the English Wikipedia's conception, all forms of 'comment' are always considered a WP:SECONDARY source. Neither do I. The point is that all secondary sources contain comment, or a more sophisticated creative transformation of information. The point is, for GNG-testing, to find possible secondary source content and discard the definitely primary source content Example
The GNG is looking at sources as a whole Yes. But for a source to be classifiable as a secondary source, it must contain some secondary source content. Frequently, sources are put forward that are not secondary sources, because not a single sentence contains secondary source material. Sometimes, the writer quoting the CEO and PR releases does not introduce even a single adjective of their own. They just prosify the facts and first-person secondary-source material provided to them. In these cases, I call it not an independent secondary source. Example
you seem to be looking for intellectual independence looking for intellectual independence of the secondary source content, yes Example
a second human has separately concluded that the experimental group baked more cookies This will fail on depth. "more" is too trivial. Minimally, I would be looking for a word like "better", a qualitative subjective judgement Example
Notability, on the other hand, is looking primarily for financial/COI independence nitpickingly disagree with your "primarily". Wikipedia-notability demands multiple things in parallel, no one is "primary" over another. Failing any one means the source fails the GNG as a notability-attesting source. Example
Notability does not really care whether the newspaper is credulous enough to believe ... This is a pointless non-statement. Beliefs of newspapers are irrelevant. The question is whether independent others have commented on the subject, in sufficient depth, and in a reliable publication. Newspaper's beliefs might feed into WP:V or WP:RS considerations, or even WP:NPOV. Maybe newspaper unsigned editorials go to beliefs? However, newspaper unsigned editorials easily qualify as secondary sources, and the test goes to the newspaper independence (do they run the company ads?) Core content policy defines "editorials, op-eds, columns, blogs, and other opinion pieces, including (depending on context) reviews and interviews" as primary sources. Therefore, in Wikipedia's context, a newspaper editorial cannot qualify as a secondary source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:18, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
AFD participants declare that breaking news reports are obviously secondary because it's such big news Yeah, that's a poor argument for the winning side. Reporting of facts is a primary source. Commenting on facts is a secondary source. A separate rule of thumb I find to work is: Report implies primary. Story implies secondary. Newspaper reports do not demonstrate notability, but newspaper stories do. "Article" can be either or both. A sign of a report versus a story is that a report makes no comment on what is being reported, no comment, no analysis, no contextualisation, no judgements. In these cases of breaking news reports, I recommend waiting a week or more for follow-up coverage. I recommend against quick AfD-ing big news topics. Example
I think it's time to invoke IAR for a week Agree. WP:N is a good predictor of whether a page will be kept at AfD. Nominating new pages on big news produces loose claims about GNG-meeting sources, and a "keep" result because of new sources at the end of the week, and mistaken impressions of what the GNG says. Example
Example Example Example
Core content policy defines "editorials, op-eds, columns, blogs, and other opinion pieces, including (depending on context) reviews and interviews" as primary sources. Therefore, in Wikipedia's context, a newspaper editorial cannot qualify as a secondary source. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:18, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
That is from WP:NOR. It is very context dependent. It is elaborating on Primary source, to some degree inappropriately. Wikipedia policy should not attempt to redefine real world concepts, such as Primary source. If the article Primary source is in any way inadequate, any of us can fix it.
I disagree that an editorial cannot be used as a secondary source. At AfD, I would definitely take notice of a reliable newspaper editorial that covers the topic being AfD-ed. I would not summarily dismiss it. If the newspaper is independent of the subject, and it discusses the topic, that's a GNG source to me. Appropriate use might require explicit quotation, it being an odd source of information for a borderline notable topic, and then being a source for the quotation that by most measures makes it a primary source, so that might be why the statement was written. Generally, opinion pieces are not written about non-notable topics, so these points are possibly entirely academic. "Blogs" are usually dismissed as not reliable. "Reviews" is hopelessly broad. Interviews (on a paragraph by paragraph basis) are primary sources, but I prefer to dismiss them as non-independent. The article based on the interview well may contain an author-written introduction or follow-up comment, which is not interview, and which makes it a good GNG-attesting source. The critical factor is whether the author generates their own comment. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 04:48, 6 May 2021 (UTC)