Wikipedia:Australian Wikipedians' notice board

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22 October:

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Quality watch:

Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey and the much wider problem it raises[edit]

"I will guarantee that interest rates are always going to be lower under a Coalition government"
John Howard, His Wikipedia article (our WikiProject)
"more progressive on the question of Aboriginal rights than the Labor and Greens position"
Tony Abbott, His Wikipedia article (our WikiProject)
Are you kidding me?
I am paying you.

The Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey article is under attack. Some editors will not follow our policy of writing prose in proper English and instead want to emphasise opposition through an embedded list. They are removing key facts from the lead on the basis of duplication or significance and removing referenced sentences explaining support from Christians with false claims that this is explained elsewhere in the article. There is also excessive use of quotations. The same poor editing practices were demonstrated last year on the Safe Schools Coalition Australia article. Please stand up for quality and for following our policies and guidelines. Please defend neutrality on our articles which attract religious fanatics. - Shiftchange (talk) 04:27, 26 August 2017 (UTC)

  • On a related note, Coalition for Marriage (Australia) lede is hopelessly biased and probably needs to be on a few watchlists. Orderinchaos 23:59, 30 August 2017 (UTC)
  • The list issue in Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey is now dealt with, but there continue to be significant breaches of WP:NPOV. In particular, a few editors are heavily biasing parts of the article to 'No' or conservative viewpoints. It would be great to have more experienced WP editors contributing to make it more balanced. Boneymau (talk) 21:35, 31 August 2017 (UTC)
There might be a BLP issue with the reporting of some tweets by Benjamin Law (writer) - more eyes would be helpful. -- (talk) 07:11, 14 September 2017 (UTC)

Could I please get some assistance in the removal off-topic material and trivia from this article? A biased editor is disrupting by inserting trivial news reports. Discussion on the article talk page has achieved little. The issue has not been deal with. Again, I am asking for support on this from my fellow Australian editors. I plan on removing more of the silly insignificant commentary from this article. Please help. - Shiftchange (talk) 00:15, 25 September 2017 (UTC)

This project is failing. It lacks integrity and its such a shame. There are numerous (countless) propaganda statements in our articles for Australian politicians (just for starters). Its an enormous big mess. Why do our articles for former Prime Ministers contain their speech, their political messages, their propaganda and their opinions on their work? Why does our article for our current prime minister state that "Turnbull repeatedly claimed prior to the election that a vote for a Labor, Green or Independent candidate was a vote for "the Labor/Green/Independent alliance"? What has his statements about other political parties and candidates have to do with him? This is what I want to know. Its not just a matter of over-usage of quotations. Something systemic is wrong here. This doesn't seem appropriate, does it? Our policy is no propaganda of any kind. Please don't look the other way. Propaganda is dangerous. Please help me. - Shiftchange (talk) 08:35, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
The first question to ask is "Paid or not"? I would say yes. My bet is probably half of these type of edits are paid for. Join us. - Shiftchange (talk) 09:47, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I wonder if The Guardian can dig into this scandal. They should contact Wikimedia Australia for comment. Someone should investigate this in depth because its not a casual mistake. Running political interference on major internet platforms is big news today. US lawmakers are investigating various campaigns. No porn on youtube and no propaganda on Wikipedia. That is what I say. - Shiftchange (talk) 22:48, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I think that this is a function of the number of editors interested in working on these topics. We're spread very thinly across articles on literally hundreds of active politicians and political issues, so bad edits will go undetected. We also don't have anything like the concentration of editors interested in developing good quality biographies of politicians that have developed articles on key US politicians to a good standard. If you have concerns about particular articles, seeking page protection has in the past been successful in stopping politically-motivated disruption and issues can be raised at WP:COIN. Nick-D (talk) 22:56, 30 September 2017 (UTC)
I hear you. I will continue editing as such and I note your suggestions. I would add that I don't think this is just a wikt:clusterfuck or a wikt:comedy of errors. I have had my say and I pleased to have done so. I will try not annoy anyone about this and to resolve any neutrality issues on talk pages. - Shiftchange (talk) 00:03, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm also not disagreeing with you - there are any number of examples of political staffers editing articles on politicians for their parties for instance. This board and the board for the Australian politics wiki project can also be good locations to seek input to resolve issues. Nick-D (talk) 00:18, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
While I fully agree that Wikipedia is not a place for POV, I disagree that statements like the example given "Turnbull repeatedly claimed prior to the election that a vote for a Labor, Green or Independent candidate was a vote for "the Labor/Green/Independent alliance"" constitute POV. If it had said "in the election, a vote for Labor ..." citing Malcolm Turnbull's comment, then I think it would be POV as we would be presenting his opinions as a fact and implying that Malcolm Turnbull is a reliable source on voting in elections in which he has an obvious conflict of interest. But it seems to me that the original example is NPOV because it is quite explicit that this is Turnbull's opinion (and assuming it's cited in reliable sources that he did indeed say such things), I don't see any problem. By its very nature, politics is almost entirely POV. But when we write about it, we make it NPOV by clearly attributing POV to the person/organisation in a context in which it is clear they are a politician, political party or lobby group or have some conflict of interest in the matter. Kerry (talk) 01:32, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
We banned any kind of propaganda. Expressions of opinion can be propaganda. The point of view presented by such statements is that what Turnball said provides knowledge on the subject. It assumes that what Turnball said is relevant to the election. We don't know that, do we? If it is relevant, then it must be propaganda. We must not present facts selectively. Also I don't care for the name of our Prime Minister, or spelling mistakes. Those can be easily corrected, unlike the mess here. - Shiftchange (talk) 22:52, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
This is not about being a target for culture warriors. It is about paid operatives wrecking the project. Could you explain why you are so keen on keeping propaganda like this in Wikipedia? It seems very odd. Why don't you think its bad for Wikipedia to selectively present Trumball's opinion on things? That is something that a paid editor would advocate for. Kerry do you accept payments for editing Wikipedia articles? - Shiftchange (talk) 00:35, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

What has his statements about other political parties and candidates have to do with Malcolm Turnbull? Kerry could you explain once again why you want this included in the article? I don't understand. Is it because you or someone else was paid to include it? - Shiftchange (talk) 03:23, 19 October 2017 (UTC)

@Shiftchange:, a discussion about the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey seems like a strange place for you to be complaining about Malcolm Turnbull's article including a quote from him leading up to the 2016 election in the section about the 2016 election (especially since you don't seem concerned about the paragraph before it). Kerry has clearly stated her potential conflicts of interest on her user page, including paid employment for the State Library of Queensland, but no employment for a political party. You do yourself no favours in attempting to establish your own credibility by deliberately mis-spelling "Turnbull" and then claiming that other editors are biased about what should be included in the article. --Scott Davis Talk 12:03, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Shovel, dig, hole
What do Trumball's statements about other political parties and candidates have to do with him? Kerry, anyone? Why? Our rule is clear. No propaganda or any kind. If you can't abide by our rules, then leave. The same paid propaganda appeared on Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey and Safe School Coalition Australia. Its all going to wrapped up and removed soon. No paid editing. There is no statement at this page stating that user has not been paid for editing beyond WIR. - Shiftchange (talk) 07:46, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
@Shiftchange: I think you crossed a line with comments about Kerry in this discussion, I suggest you retract them..... as per Scott MT comment during the election are unrelated to this article and therefore irrelevant to this discussion Gnangarra 12:31, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
Which or what comments about Kerry crossed what line? I do not know what you mean. What is far more telling is the lack of response to the propaganda on this noticeboard. What does that mean for Wikipedia? Why look the other way on this matter? Oddles of really bad content against our policy and then crickets, except to counter inquisitive questions in regards to that. Why are you and another editor trying to limit the discussion about the wider problem? What purpose does that serve? - Shiftchange (talk) 07:46, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
You accused User:Kerry Raymond of spreading propaganda and paid editing; many would take that level of personal attack and assumption of bad faith to WP:AN/I. In your lengthy discourse above, I can't find any diffs that explain your attacks, or why readers of this notice board should have to wade through your jeremiad. I strongly agree with User:Gnangarra that you ought to retract what you wrote about Kerry. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 12:51, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

I am with Kerry. Aoziwe (talk) 13:04, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

@Shiftchange: this edit accusing her of paid editing on the Malcolm Turnbull article is the one I'm referring to, unfortunately you broke the sequence and flow of that discussion with your edit at 07:46, 20 October 2017 (UTC), I'll repeat please withdraw your accusation. Gnangarra 13:27, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Which and what accusation did I write? Stop making things up. Paid editors out, now! Follow our policy. No propaganda of any kind. Its not part of the sum of all knowledge. It has to be removed, quick smart, doesn't it? Got it? According to WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a soapbox or means of promotion we have rules. Everyone can see who is ignoring this policy and making every other excuse. Why? Why doesn't this noticeboard support our policy on neutrality, trivia, bias and quotes for political topics? Why an I being attacked for raising these unanswered questions? Wikipedia is failing. There are no sides to the sum of all knowledge. Join me. So Kerry, User:Aoziwe, User:Gnangarra, User:Michael Bednarek, User:ScottDavis, User:Nick-D and User:JarrahTree join me in the removal of propaganda from our political articles. Now. - Shiftchange (talk) 22:46, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Kerry is pretty much the definition of a Wikipedia editor in good standing, not to mention a major contributor to the Wikimedia-related community in Australia. I would also suggest that you apologise for your attack on her. Nick-D (talk) 22:54, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
You can get over the denial in your time. Everyone keeps failing to respond to my questions and instead focuses on the ramifications they are displeased with. Meanwhile I will focus on our goal and keep an eye on the propaganda wrecking Wikipedia. Did the paid editors really think it was going to continue? The error is countless propaganda statements in our articles for Australian politicians. This must be urgently rectified, in my opinion. User:Lankiveil, how about you? Will you support the removal of propaganda according to our policy, or not? When we trim back the articles it makes for a much better read. - Shiftchange (talk) 23:01, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Shiftchange. I agree with you that paid POV material is the antithesis of what Wikipedia is. However, your comment here in relation to Kerry in my view undid the good you were trying to achieve. As you see your self I think, and obviously above, it has seriously distracted people from what we should be focusing on. Regards. Aoziwe (talk) 23:35, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Consider Media manipulation and information warfare. Forget Kerry. I probably know her better than anyone here. I have spent hundreds of hours with her, constantly chatting, over many meals, delivering workshops and on long drives over five years. - 00:15, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@Shiftchange: I was trying to stay out of this, but I have to agree with others here that merely stating what a politician has said isn't propaganda, in the sense that Flat Earth isn't an instance of anti-geocentric propaganda. Sometimes there is a very fine line between "reporting what a person said" and "reporting what a person said as absolute truth'. The latter is propaganda, the former is not. I have to also admit, accusing Kerry of undisclosed paid editing, even if you were only doing it in jest, looks pretty mean spirited. It would probably be best to clarify that remark to get this discussion back onto your original topic. Lankiveil (speak to me) 00:16, 21 October 2017 (UTC).

Back on track ?[edit]

I believe I have presented a politician's POVs in an NPOV manner here? At the risk of opening the box even further - any comment anyone - in the interests of getting this back on track. Cheers. Aoziwe (talk) 02:27, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

I said this at the time, but (even with the most serious original problems having been fixed) it's a bit of a mess - the greatest weight is given to an obscure award for something pretty random, the Great Barrier Reef stuff is a contextless statement of opinion, and it is vague about climate change, while the rest is just statements of positions not tied together in any real way. The Drover's Wife (talk) 05:58, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
Noted but that, putting such aside, was not my point here. It was about POV versus NPOV. Aoziwe (talk) 11:24, 21 October 2017 (UTC)
I have thought this through a bit further and I now suggest your points are very valid here too. Writing about POV in a NPOV is difficult as indicated above by others. We need to rely on RS and these are subject to the systemic bias in the community at large as to what is documented by others. Your point about the "obscure award" on face value might initially be thought to be correct, but if you look at the RS context it received, at least one, possibly two, orders of magnitude more reporting across Australia and even overseas than nearly every other relevant event would indicate I suggest that in this context it is by no means obscure. So what is the balanced POV in this case? As per the wiki approach to value adding editing, if things are vague then add to them, if things lack context then add to them. But just because we do not like something does not mean it is wrong, especially if it is referenced with RS. If the section is a bit of a mess, but it is is RSed correctly, then perhaps it reflects the nature of the subject? And this is where our NPOV may reflect a POV in the subject? Regards. Aoziwe (talk) 22:37, 21 October 2017 (UTC)


I haven't shown my face around the 'pedia for some time, years in fact. I thought I'd pop back in to check the current happenings. Some familiar faces still kicking about which is good to see. I was once very active, kicked off and created WikiProject Australia back in the day, worked a lot on bringing the article classification system to Australian content (which is still in use to this day I notice), among many other things. I'm sure to need a reeducation since this place changes so much, but if I can be of any assistance while I relearn the ropes, feel free to gimme a yell. I'm back. -- Longhair\talk 12:37, 6 October 2017 (UTC)

Welcome back! The Drover's Wife (talk) 21:45, 6 October 2017 (UTC)
One of my favourite all time editors, a true mentor, back in the day. We need you. More than that Wikipedia needs reform. Paid operatives are ruining things, especially our political articles. They are paid to inject political speech and propaganda. Some of them even "retire" from lucrative appointments at universities to pursue editing for payment. They have partners who are network gurus who hide their sockpuppet tracks. As part of a risk management strategy they present as a good, community minded editor. This is a real mess that the community will have to address. - Shiftchange (talk) 00:49, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red/The World Contest[edit]

Hi, I'm running this in November, I've approached WMUK for a £250 reward for producing articles on Oxford and Welsh dictionaries biographies. I wondered if WMAus would be interested in putting up a prize for people who create the most missing ADB entries on women? All Australian wikipedians here are very welcome to sign up as a participant and create during November.♦ Dr. Blofeld 17:05, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Is there nobody from Wikimedia Australia here who'd be interested in supporting the contest with a prize for Australian women? Currently over 100 people signed up.♦ Dr. Blofeld 09:14, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

Please have a look on the internet for Wikimedia Australia for the access to WMAU - this noticeboard is not connected.

For anyone reading this who wonders is what going on here - the Australian Chapter of the Wikimedia organisation is at Sometimes some members do talk here - in most cases on their personal behalf not on behalf of the WMAU chapter. JarrahTree 09:33, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

New South Wales Heritage Register, redux[edit]

I'm not sure where else to raise this, but while it's really exciting that the NSWSHR has gone CC-BY-SA, I'm really not liking the rollout of the articles so far: see, for example, Newcastle City Hall (Australia). The actual SHR listing has a detailed history section and a detailed description which haven't been copied across, but the statement of significance has, despite the fact it's an uneditable block-quote that takes up half the article. When Kerry did the QHR, the statements of significance formed only a part of the material copied across, didn't dominate the articles, and served as a bit of extra explanation at the bottom of those articles. In contrast, the mass addition of only the Statements of Significance as huge blockquotes - at times even dropped into lead sections (!) I think is often making these articles worse. The Drover's Wife (talk) 07:55, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

Although I did think it was a bit of a nit-picking process at the time, I think there was benefit in my approach of writing (ok, generating) a few example articles for the Queensland Heritage Register, getting feedback here, incorporating the feedback and repeating until we'd reached consensus (or exhaustion) on the layout of the QHR article before I started generating them in earnest and rolling them out. As a result of this process, all the QHR articles have 3 main sections:
  • the History section which explains why the property was built and what happened to it or at it over time
  • the Description section which describes the property in architectural terms (lots of parapets and quoins and pilasters)
  • the Heritage listing section which included the significance of the property against certain standard criteria

In the QHR entries, the significance was almost always expressed in terms of things already discussed in the History or Description sections. This allowed me to reduce the significance statements if they were a bit too wordy (as it was usually repetition of information in the History and Description sections).

I think the NSW HR is a bit more wordy than the QHR when it comes to significance statements. But I do notice that the NSW HR entries tend to provide the significance as one big paragraph, which looks even lumpier when displayed as a blockquote. In the QHR, there were sub-headings for the criteria etc which broke down the significance into more bite-sized chunks with more white space, which is easier on the eye. So I think it is a layout issue and a bit of copy-editing more than anything else. While using an article generator (as I did) does save a lot of work, it can't do everything and some things must be tidied up manually (and being older and wiser now for having done it for the last 3 years, there is a lot more that needs doing that you might think at the outset, I learned a lot as I went along). Kerry (talk) 04:49, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

I agree that the block quote stuff is a layout issue, but that doesn't solve the problem of only the one part of the NSWSHR content that people can't edit being copied over en masse. The statements of significance would be far less out of place if they weren't being plopped randomly into otherwise stubby articles left, right and centre and instead sat below the relevant sections as in Queensland, fleshing out those articles in the process. The QHR project would have been bloody awful if you'd left out the history and description sections and just transferred the statements of significance, better formatting aside. The Drover's Wife (talk) 08:09, 16 October 2017 (UTC)


The article ANZUS probably needs more eyes at some stage - some interestying recent edits suggest as such JarrahTree 06:33, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

Need to improve content of Macquarie_Valley_(Shellharbour) page[edit]

Some of the content of seems poorly written.

In particular: (a) "Its first made reference in Council documents, and has since become somewhat of a district within the region" [the latter part also should be sourced]; (b) "... in Illawarra, as the escarpment heads inland forms several hills along with it, thus ..."; (c) "... less populated compared to other areas in the LGA and Illawarra, ..., as compared to other areas in Shellharbour LGA" [needless almost-repetition]. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:47, 17 October 2017 (UTC)

Census 2016 AUS template with the Visual Editor[edit]

I have added the TemplateData for Template:Census 2016 AUS so now users of the Visual Editor and the new wikitext editor will get a nice pop-up box soliciting the fields making it easier to create this template. One question for those of you who use this template a lot. Do you mostly use it with "|quick=on"? It seems to my quick random check of some pages isthat we do normally do so. If so, I can set up the TemplateData to pre-populate that field as "on" (the user can override it if they want). This saves work when creating a census citation (at the expense of making more work for the person who doesn't want it "on"). By the way, if you haven't haven't heard of it, the new wikitext editor is where you edit the source (as you are accustomed to) but you get the Visual Editor toolbar and its more useful tools - enable it at Preferences > Beta features > New wikitext mode). Kerry (talk) 01:28, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Open Access week - University of Notre Dame Australia[edit]

see Wikipedia:Meetup/Perth/UNDA 251017 for details, in short I'm giving a talk from 13:30 until 15:30 at the University of Notre Dame Australia Fremantle campus then heading over to Little creatures Next Door from 16:30, all are welcome the talk is free you just need to register details on the meetup page. Gnangarra 11:38, 18 October 2017 (UTC)

Possible lack of Australian editors here at Wikipedia[edit]

Hi, A quick look at statistics displays something I find to be worthy of mention. There are just over 740 (including all registered accounts, active or not), yet there are nearly 184,000 articles on Wikiproject Australia. Divided the amount of articles by the amount of Australia-based Wikipedians and you get about 250.

That, to me at least, makes it seem that there are a lack of editors. Maybe bots could do more work, or templates could encourage readers to make one-time edits on under-invested or commonly vandalised articles?

I suspect, however, there might be a flaw in the statistics I used. It doesn't include IP editors or bots, so there is the chance. Please let me know.

Thanks, trainsandtech (talk) 07:26, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

I'd suspect that the majority of Australian editors (including all people who edit without an account, casually or otherwise) aren't members of this Wikiproject. From what I've seen, Australian articles aren't particularly likely to be poorly maintained though they are typically less well developed than equivalent articles covering, for example, the UK or US. Nick-D (talk) 07:40, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
I definitely agree. There are only actually about 370 Wikipedians registered on Wikiproject Australia, leaving a good amount of Wikipedians residing in Australia (including me) not included as a member there. Regards, trainsandtech (talk) 10:20, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Not easy - some editors do not even self identify as Australian or for that matter what state they abide in...

Most statistics derived from checking superficial self identifying editors are fraught with a range of issues... Many projects on wikipedia have editors who do not register with projects - they simply edit in areas they are drawn to. Some of the million plus editors based elsewhere have left their mark and subsequently skew stats very very easily... The way that projects either maintain or sustain themselves over time do not necessarily need or use bots - it is the attitude at the talk pages of many projects that reflect a sense of the editing community - some people have a sense of purpose or common well being for the project - while many insist on a very isolated solitary go it alone style...

And many have never ventured to edit talk pages in the projects of the areas of interest either...

It is not possible to ascertain information about Australian editors or Australian subjects as the very structure of the information is not available/recoverable. I would caution strongly making any assessment about a project from such a superficial analysis - There is nothing to let anyone know - it is the same in all country based projects - it is a voluntary activity, and many people come and go - to do a snapshot at any one time will be simply a very simplistic analysis. If you want to help the project, please join in... JarrahTree 09:20, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

Thanks. I didn't really mean it as a deep analysis, but the statistics initially seemed a bit questioning. Generally, I think articles regarding Australian topics, including transport topics, seem to not be 100% updated to current events. That is the most relevant thing, but I don't think it's that much of an issue. Thanks, trainsandtech (talk) 10:18, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
Many parts of wikipedia have black holes - (where links to where issues about lack of currency across whole projects and subject areas have delayed maintenance and delayed updating could be made) - a lot depends on the attitude of contributing editors - and their intensity of editing - my opinion is that down to the work of a few hard working editors there are many parts of the Australian project that have been both updated and maintained well. JarrahTree 10:26, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

This is a problem all through Wikipedia - not enough editors to go round. If we take "extended autoconfirmed" as the benchmark for serious Wikipedians, that's 37,000 editors for 5.5 million articles - 150 articles per editor. StAnselm (talk) 11:43, 20 October 2017 (UTC)

I see. I would imagine that, as JarrahTree said, the contributions of the fewer but harder-working editors balances it somewhat more. Thanks, trainsandtech (talk) 21:08, 20 October 2017 (UTC)
The top 10,000 Wikipedians are responsible for one-third of the edits. The top thousand are responsible for 14%. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 00:16, 21 October 2017 (UTC)

Talk:Tanya Plibersek#Michael Coutts-Trotter[edit]

More participants would be appreciated here. Frickeg (talk) 22:05, 21 October 2017 (UTC)