Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)

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Animals don't adapt.[edit]

Animals don't adapt. A lot of articles just matter-of-factedly state things like "animals can adapt to [...]". It's just plain wrong. Animals don't adapt, animals are adapted. These errors should really be seen to. UtherPendrogn (talk) 19:48, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Please provide scholarly sources which say so. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:48, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
And especially don't make edits like this:[1][2] without citation to scholarly sources which back up your rather *cough* unusual opinions about whether species adapt to environmental changes. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:00, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Without a specific context a general context for your comment must be assumed. And in a general context, your comment is false. Animals can adapt. Animals adapt (i.e., change their behavior) all the time to suit the current environment. I suspect you are referring to "adapt" in terms of evolutionary change of species and in that regard you have a point but without specific examples, I'm be unwilling make any general statement like it's always incorrect to say "Animals adapt". Language has a surprisingly large amount of flexibility. I can perfectly well imagine sentences where somebody writes "Animals adapt" and they are using the word "animal" as a direct synonym for "species" and saying "species adapt" is surely not objectionable. There's lots of play here possible with the semantics, especially if the word "animal" is referring to an individual or a species. Your proposal doesn't seem fleshed out enough for serious consideration. Anyway, I can't imagine that there are so many instances that you cannot tackle this as a personal issue. WP:Be Bold and fix it. Jason Quinn (talk) 18:09, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
They shouldn't be so bold as to "fix it" without strong cited source support. Obvious enough to you and me, apparently not so obvious to the OP. ―Mandruss  19:25, 8 October 2016 (UTC)
Adapted by whom, one wonders? Chuntuk (talk) 13:24, 10 October 2016 (UTC)
It is usually best to avoid the passive tense unless the subject of the sentence is implicit. For example do not say "animals were adapted," say "x adapted the animals." Which raises the question, who or what adapted the animals? TFD (talk) 03:18, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
The passive should be used when the subject is unknown, unknowable or irrelevant. Consider: "the starting gun was fired and the runners surged forward...", no one cares or knows who fired the gun. Using a dislike of the passive to try to imply that a conciousness is required to drive evolution is a poor bit of rhetoric. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 08:59, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
It is explicit that the person firing the gun is a race official, because of the reaction of the unnamed runners. Compare your wording with "a gun was fired and the people fled in terror..." In that case we expect that at some point the writer will explain something about the identity of the gunman. TFD (talk) 08:16, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
err, that should be IMplicit. In your example there is no reason to assume that within the sentence the identity will be revealed. Indeed, perhaps the identity cannot be known, all that is important is the stampede occurred. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 09:50, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Please see Adaptation. -- (talk) 17:13, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Require consensus for candidate article edits through the election.[edit]

We're in the midst of the silly season, where people imagine they can influence the outcomes of various elections by editing the Wikipedia articles of the candidates. This leads to a tremendous amount of edits attempting to add or remove content believed to be helpful or harmful - whether this material is poorly sourced or not sourced at all, non-notable, overly newsy, presented incompletely, etc. I therefore propose that until the conclusion of the voting which these edits seek to influence, all edits to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Mike Pence, Tim Kaine, and, frankly, any other political candidate likely to be subject to this sort of treatment should require consensus for inclusion before any edit is made to the article on that subject. I would remind editors that we are writing a long term project, not an election flyer. I would further note that our articles on these subjects are alreday very well-developed and informative, so there is no rush to repair real deficiencies. bd2412 T 23:40, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

I think first we should try to address the root of the problem. News media for better or worse has portrayed Clinton in a better light than her competitors - Sanders, Trump, Johnson and Stein, and therefore we should expect that the relevant articles do as well, per neutrality. But some supporters of Clinton's opponents think we should redress what they see as media bias, which is against policy. Similarly, some Clinton supporters think we should remove negative information covered in the media because they do not think it is "relevant." Is there any way we can ensure that policies are followed in editing these articles? TFD (talk) 00:22, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Discretionary sanctions are in place at all articles mentioned. I haven't visited others in a while, but the DS appear to be working adequately at Trump. If they fail to work adequately, it can only be because they are not being adequately enforced. ―Mandruss  00:26, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Some of the candidate articles are not under the same restrictions as other candidate articles. --Elvey(tc) 06:21, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Thanks, but Oppose any prior restraint. If people have to get advance consent before any article edits then article improvement would grind completely to a halt, if it hasn't already. Might as well just edit protect all the articles. I think a little more vigilance is in order for tendentious edits: editors must obtain consensus before any significant edit they know or ought to know to be disputed. If they keep doing it, then warnings and sanctions apply. Also, clarify that whereas BRD are okay, BRRD is not. - Wikidemon (talk) 00:37, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I do genuinely appreciate the spirit behind the proposal, but discretionary sanctions + a rigorous adherence to BLP, RS, V, and BRD should be sufficient here. In other words, we should rigorously enforce the content policies we already have. I also find "all edits" to be very broad - what about ref fixes, general copy edits, typo fixes, adding wikilinks, and so forth? Neutralitytalk 01:51, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose- I can only speak for editing patterns at the Donald Trump article. Not needed. Sanctions and watchful editors are in place. Buster Seven Talk 02:49, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose There is no need for this. Semi-protection eliminates most of the silly stuff; discretionary sanctions (eventually) take care of POV warring. The articles I am active at (mostly Trump related) are closely watched and they seem to be operating fairly civilly, with the talk page in use for anything controversial. Routine editing, updating, correcting etc. is being done responsibly. A few timely topic bans have also been helpful. A look at the Clinton article suggests it is a little more problematic, but people seem to be dealing with the problems efficiently. --MelanieN (talk) 03:03, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Our typical WP:BRD process works fine here, and why turn away potential new editors when they could learn something and begin to edit productively? I created an account over a year ago because I saw a TfD notice within the infobox of a random comedian article and I disagreed with it at the time. It wouldn't be that weird for someone to come here for political reasons and choose to stick around productively. ~ Rob13Talk 03:14, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose — I have been watching the Donald Trump article and his campaign article for months and there have been only minor problems. There is no reason to hamper editors who are trying to make legitimate edits.--Jack Upland (talk) 04:42, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I appreciate the user's frustration, but I quite often make a series of changes to improve the Mike Pence article, all during within a few minutes of each other, and it would be harmful to the project to have to wait between them. So far, none of my changes have been reverted. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 17:41, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Mixed support. How many subjects with $125M in brand value at stake have made a point of showing how (overly?) litigious they are? True, the project doesn't worry about editors "influencing the outcomes of elections" -- nor should it -- but it does worry about editors accidentally influencing a subject's brand value. Let's start with the infobox. Citing Forbes, it says Trump's net worth decreased last year. Bloomberg says it increased. If people vote based on what they read here, that's their problem; what if they invest based on it? Can I propose a friendly amendment? --Dervorguilla (talk) 08:05, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
[Supplement]: A (modest) majority of editors at Donald Trump do appear to agree with TFD that the article should proportionately represent views published by the media they trust. Only a minority would appear to discount views published by objectively disreputable or non-mainstream media. To illustrate: BBC, WSJ, ABC, USA Today, and Economist have been shown to be reputable and ideologically mainstream; New Yorker, Guardian, HuffPo, Politico, and Fox have been shown to be neither. Donald Trump lists 51 references from the first group, 54 from the second (25 from Politico alone). The article may be tagged for verifiability.
[Proposed friendly amendment]: That all questionable claims in the lead sections of these four articles be sourced and vetted, for the duration. --Dervorguilla (talk) 23:52, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
@Dervorguilla: How does that differ from WP:V? ―Mandruss  07:24, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
@Mandruss: I'm proposing that we (and others) tag or remove material that fails WP:V because the source isn't a respected mainstream publication. We could conveniently start with the known nonmainstream sources listed above. --Dervorguilla (talk) 10:12, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
@Dervorguilla: - Interesting concept, but I don't know how much agreement there is on the definition of "mainstream". I'm an old guy so "mainstream" is pretty much a synonym for "traditional, old school, establishment, plus the big three cable news channels". Someone half my age might feel very differently about that, and some solid journalism is occurring on the web. I have my strong opinions about Fox, but I've never actually seen anyone challenge them as a reliable source. But I'm all for tightening up sourcing requirements in principle. ―Mandruss  10:30, 13 October 2016 (UTC)
@Mandruss: Actually, the current WP:V sourcing requirements already seem rather tight:
"Editors may use material from reliable non-academic sources, particularly if it appears in respected mainstream publications. [Such] other reliable sources include: ... * Mainstream newspapers". (WP:SOURCE.)
"Red flags that should prompt extra caution include: * ... apparently important claims not covered by multiple mainstream sources." (WP:REDFLAG.)
"The label "Mainstream media" [is] generally applied to publications, such as newspapers and magazines, that contain the highest readership among the public." (Mainstream.)
"mainstream. Used or accepted broadly rather than by small portions of a population or market." Wiktionary.
If you look up "Trust Levels of News Sources by Ideological Group", in Political Polarization and Media Habits, you can actually confirm which of these are mainstream: WSJ, TheBlaze, Guardian, or Politico. --Dervorguilla (talk) 02:09, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose The best analog is an article on breaking news, like the Sandy Hook shooting. I've actually worked the talk page for those kinds of articles, which are arguably more intense but for just a week or two. What I've found is that the non-admin do a pretty good job of policing the page and working together so the article only needs a little admin oversight to use the tools when consensus is being ignored. If it gets overwhelmed with problematic edits, we can always temporarily full protect and have an admin copy over from the talk page to the main page, after a consensus is found. Forcing a verbal consensus is a burden and will mean uncontentious and worthwhile edits will get left out. Dennis Brown - 22:19, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support I PROPOSE: uniform protection on (i.e. edit notices on) all candidate articles. (In particular Basic discretionary sanctions + 1RR.) Oppose the BD proposal; we already have people deleting good stuff based on WP:IDONTLIKEIT, and it staying deleted because gaming is so common. --Elvey(tc) 06:21, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Our standard way of doing things has worked for many other contentious topics. I see no reason to create more bureaucracy for this particular one. agtx 23:35, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Proposal: Amend page title element to remove "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia"[edit]

Change implemented, but still under discussion: See Special:Diff/743970452 by MSGJ (talk · contribs). Mz7 (talk) 02:19, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

A discussion on VPP [3] notes that when a wikipedia page is saved, the default filename, derived from the page's <title></title> value, will be in the form Article Name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The suggestion is that this is a bit of a pain, and that Article Name - Wikipedia would better suffice.

This proposal is to amend MediaWiki:Pagetitle such that Wikipedia pagenames are amended as follows:

  • from: Article Name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • to: Article Name - Wikipedia

Please indicate support/opposition below and/or discuss. thanks --Tagishsimon (talk) 00:01, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Strong Support. We already have "Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia" on every page (look at the globe at the upper left). Adding it to other places feels sort of spammy. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:15, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • ...and keep the hyphen as being standard ASCII and thus more friendly to operating systems and screen readers for the blind. --Guy Macon (talk) 22:25, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support - for conciseness, and because most of the world already knows by now that Wikipedia is the (a?) free encyclopedia. ―Mandruss  05:02, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Strong Support. - and not only for conciseness, but also for consistency -- Wikipedia articles in most other languages manage well without the extra-long tag. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 08:39, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support These titles end up in browser tabs. Short titles are much more workable. The free encyclopedia doesn't really add information, so no need to repeat it in every tab title. Jahoe (talk) 11:03, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, but change the hyphen - to an en dash as well. (Hyphen is stylistically inappropriate here.) Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
    to reply to me
    11:26, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Jc86035 — en-dashes are not allowed in file-names on a number of operating systems, so we cannot do that. Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 13:47, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
@CFCF: French Wikipedia uses an em dash Article — Wikipédia… In addition, there are quite a number of articles which already use en- or em-dashes in their titles. How is en-dashes not being allowed in filenames an issue? Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
13:53, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
Well, one of the rationales is based on the user saving a page to their computer. I'm generally not in favor of fixing one thing and simultaneously breaking another... Wouldn't a comma be even more stylistically accurate? Carl Fredrik 💌 📧 13:59, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
A comma makes it sound like a place name… I guess if it's really that problematic (are there that many people who download Wikipedia articles?), it's probably better to just keep the hyphen until Windows XP dies. Jc86035 (talk) Use {{re|Jc86035}}
to reply to me
14:08, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, and keep the hyphen. Ideally file names should be basic 7-bit ASCII for portability and long term storage. Keep the typographically correct fancy formatting for inside the articles. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 14:23, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support in general. Indifferent to the hyphen. It's an annoyance I've encountered and I'm glad someone thought to propose an actionable change. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 18:12, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. As stylistically redundant. GenQuest "Talk to Me" 23:31, 11 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. - my "devil's advocate" failed to find any solid reason for the longer version. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:46, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. It's unlikely that any reader of citations would not know what Wikipedia is. S a g a C i t y (talk) 06:23, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Based on the unanimous support shown here, I have made the change — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:11, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Definitely not trying to change the decision already made, but I wanted to offer some additional information, for those of you interested. After deep research with potential readers in Mexico, India, and Nigeria, we learned that there's a huge lack of awareness/understanding of Wikipedia (for example, 75% of respondents in India had never heard of Wikipedia). This means that people are reading Wikipedia content without knowing where it came from - a great use of the content, but it doesn't let them distinguish the value of neutral POV, un-commercially biased content from the rest of the internet. And people who don't know Wikipedia have no ability or opportunity to become editors. We also know that most of our traffic in these countries (particularly in Nigeria and India) are in English because of the lack of local language content on the internet (not just Wikipedia). I don't think the old page title had much to contribute to this, but figured you might want to know. AGomez (WMF) (talk) 21:26, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support The portion "the free encyclopedia" is what Wikipedia is, saving a page only need tell you what the article is and where it came from. The full tag isn't helpful for saved pages. Dennis Brown - 22:09, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Current form is redundant. Couldn't care less about the dash v hyphen debate. -Ad Orientem (talk) 22:20, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment – Has the change already been made? I notice that when I hover my cursor over Wikipedia tabs, they now just display "Wikipedia" instead of "Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Dustin (talk) 22:42, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
    Ah, I see that my question has already been answered above. The change has indeed already been made. Dustin (talk) 22:44, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
@MSGJ: A consensus in a day? Since when we just close a discussion that lasts 24 hours when it affects every page? I question that this is an adequate decision and any requirement for a SNOW call or a speedy close. <sigh> There is a courtesy that should be extended to the general populace to allow opinion to be expressed. — billinghurst sDrewth 03:56, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
You honestly think that leaving it open would have resulted in a different outcome? --Guy Macon (talk) 06:04, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
It would have given time to examine some more potential issues. This discussion is all about saved filenames and browser tabs (with some votes possibly being made on the assumption that this would only affect filenames), and doesn't explicitly touch on search engine results, which is a huge part of how Wikipedia fits into the web. A link titled Goldfish - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia makes it clear to an uninformed searcher that this clicks through to an encyclopedia article, but Goldfish - Wikipedia doesn't. I don't know how much we can safely assume that everyone searching for information on the web will know what Wikipedia is, but as User:AGomez (WMF) observes, "75% of respondents in India had never heard of Wikipedia". --McGeddon (talk) 07:56, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree with this. The discussion was not open long enough for enough people to get a say on something that everyone will notice. I've had to find this thread after seeing the title change because I want to oppose it, but I can't because that tiny discussion period is apparently adequate. As such I would ask that the change is undone for now and this matter is opened to the wider community as an RfC. Rcsprinter123 (face) 12:06, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
You are free to erect an RfC, Rcsprinter. There doesn't seem a good reason for the change to be undone whilst you're about that. On you go. --Tagishsimon (talk) 12:13, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
I think the fact that the discussion was snowballed before touching on the serious topic of how Wikipedia appears in inbound links is big enough that the discussion should continue here. We certainly have a snowball consensus for the new title being, as proposed, an easy fix for how saving articles as HTML can be "a bit of a pain", but there's been no discussion of whether it's a good or bad idea for Wikipedia links to stop describing themselves as being from "the free encyclopedia" in search engine results and social media shares. --McGeddon (talk) 18:34, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree that there wasn't sufficient time for people to comment on this before it was implemented. I'd second the issues brought up above, and another annoying outcome of this change is that people who like to save copies of web pages they find useful in preparation for them disappearing or being destructively changed in the future suddenly find that when they save an updated version of any Wikipedia page, it no longer overwrites the old copy and they have to go manually delete the old one to prevent confusion and avoid wasting disk space. --Dan Harkless (talk) 11:37, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Now that the change has been made, changing it back would cause copies to no longer overwrite the old copy if the old copy was saved after the change. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:08, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment: Having the words "the free encyclopedia" in incoming links is unnecessary and a bit spammy (as in "that which low quality sites that are desperate to get high rankings in the search engines tend to do"). Even if someone doesn't know what Wikipedia is, the link takes them to a page with a cute little globe that says "Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia" under it. When a non-spammer cites something (here or on other sites) that comes from the NYT, they make the text of the link "The New York Times", not "The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia". Links to Reddit should say "Reddit" or perhaps "", not "reddit: the front page of the internet". (examples taken from the actual page titles of those two sites). Simpler is better. --Guy "when you want help from someone with a three letter name that starts with 'G' but don't want to bother any actual deities" Macon (talk) 01:36, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
Somebody looking at a page of ten "Title - Website" results is unlikely to click through every result to see how each website describes itself before deciding which one to read - they're just going to pick one based on what they can see of it. And sure, Wikipedia is probably fine here in most cases because it'll be the top result and have an encyclopedia-toned snippet. It just seems reckless that we've changed this across the entire site apparently on the grounds that saved filenames are "a bit of a pain", with only two editors (yourself and the proposer) explicitly saying at any point that they think the new title is okay in search engine results, social media shares and any other external contexts that use a site's <title> tag. --McGeddon (talk) 09:30, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Tagishsimon, Mandruss, Jahoe, Jc86035, CFCF, Martin of Sheffield, Rhododendrites, GenQuest, Staszek Lem, Saga City, AGomez (WMF), Dennis Brown, Ad Orientem, Dustin V. S., billinghurst: would you mind looking at McGeddon's comments above and confirming whether you still support this change? It is possible you commented without realising the full impact of this change. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:04, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

"Wikipedia" is a household word for most of the Internet-enabled world, becoming more so every day, and I don't think it needs to be clarified in this manner. Similarly, page titles at YouTube show the title of the video followed by "- YouTube", not by "- YouTube, the most popular video upload site". ―Mandruss  10:13, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Based on my own experiences in my region (United States), I would agree with you. However, AGomez (WMF)'s note above is a little concerning. If it is true that a significant portion of potential readers in Mexico, India, and Nigeria aren't aware what Wikipedia is (i.e. a free online encyclopedia), it likely isn't such a household term everywhere in the world. I'm not entirely convinced by the argument that the tagline "the free encyclopedia" is spammy, because in search engine results, it truly is the first thing that a potential reader sees that gives any clue to the reader what "Wikipedia" is, assuming they don't figure out the "-pedia" ending. Mz7 (talk) 22:07, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
  • My opinion is the same as previously posted. The reason we are listed in the top spots is due to relevance and Google's obvious choice to weigh all content here more heavily, not a tag in the title. Continuing the discussion here is probably a good idea regardless. Dennis Brown - 10:33, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
    • Wikipedia title tag as an autocomplete
      The concern raised isn't that Wikipedia might slip down the Google rankings, more that readers seeking information online without knowing what Wikipedia is might (in cases where Wikipedia is the second or lower result, or when their smartphone browser suggests "Pluto - Wikipedia" in its autocomplete suggestions) not realise that it's an encyclopedia and click something else. The title tag has been static for eleven years prior to this change, and we need to think about how it's being used by other sites and software. --McGeddon (talk) 10:37, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
  • same. Yes, good re-open. Let's consider this an A/B test to see if name recognition improves as a result of cutting the promotional tagline from search-engine results. --Tagishsimon (talk) 11:14, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia articles should have an additional expert-reviewed form, that would be "locked" from editing and updated periodically[edit]

Irrespective of all of the effort and good-will that goes into creating Wikipedia, one aspect of its use that seems to me an insurmountable problem is that whenever one reads something on Wikipedia, he or she - because of the anyone-can-edit feature of its method of assembling knowledge - can never be sure that what he or she "learned" is actually true. That is, even if the information is well-sourced and was perhaps prepared by putting earnest effort into it, it is still something that cannot insure one that what one learns on Wikipedia is something that one can have trust in and, for example, tell others without fear of misleading them. It might seem far-fetched, but I don't think it is impossible to imagine some large scale drive of humanity getting together and creating an unsurpassed in terms of its scope compendium of all of human knowledge that would also be reliable. But I do not see how that could be achieved without some form of expert review. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Curve-angle (talkcontribs) 21:25, 16 October 2016 (UTC)Curve-angle (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

Odd that this is not already listed at Wikipedia:Perennial proposals. Whatever; I've seen many discussions of expert review over the years, and I recall that was the direction that Citizendium went in, to no good effect. Expert review is welcome, and there is a mechanism for supporting this. But freezing articles, or freezing the article which is displayed, has never had much support. Articles are edited on a daily basis. Experts are few and far between. The proposal, even were it possible, which I highly doubt, is largely unworkable. And there are other mechanisms, not least continual review by editors, to assure quality. Anticipating a sufficiency of experts is magic-wand thinking. Finally, it would be as well to try to encourage readers to be critical readers, and to evaluate and use the references. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:27, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
And, less that's all too TL;DR, Citizendium has about 17,000 articles, of which 160 have been expert reviewed as of August 2016, despite this being their alleged modus operandii, and Wikipedia has 5M+ articles in English alone. So someone who really really tried hard to get that approach to work failed: now you suggest we implement the failed model on an article base 2 orders of magnitude greater. --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:32, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I cannot help but think that the only way to deal with the problem of the fact that Wikipedia's current way of assembling knowledge leads to it being something that is such that if one uses it, one can never be sure that what one "learns" is actually true, and - unfortunately, but not impossibly-to-deal-with - something which, at the same time, is something in which an amount of knowledge with which no other initiative of a similar nature can compete is stored, cannot be dealt other than by rethinking and implementing some new form of knowledge processing and presentation, which is also something that I don't - realistically - know in what other way could it be achieved than by making the new method of knowledge creation dependent on pre-review by experts and establishing a new form of articles which would stay in their expert-reviewed form and be updated only periodically - every, say, 6 months. They could exist side by side with the editable by anyone articles - the old Wikipedia could, in fact, remain as it is - and part of their creation would rest on an appraisal and use (unless the editing was scarce or of low quality) of the contributions by users accumulated over that time. The experts could also - as Iazyges mentioned - be external to Wikipedia, although the precise nature of the organisation of this could take many forms - it could be people who do not work in universities or other educational institutions, it could be people from such institutions (such as, say, any given worker "adopting" an article or set of articles and being, perhaps in collaboration with an editor or other experts, responsible for it), it could be partnerships with institutions as wholes and not with individual people, or it could be something run by a coordinating organisation outside of the Wikimedia foundation (I do not want to claim credit for invoking the idea of outside partnerships - this goes to Iazyges, since he or she first mentioned it, but I am writing out what I think since I have too thought of this a bit). If an initiative of this scope - which I recognise, would not necessarily be something very easy to actually start implementing - became such that it gained sufficient traction, it could, (a) provide a relatively large number of people with an opportunity to contribute to something very much needed, in my opinion, by others - a free and reliable online encyclopaedia on any topic, and, (b) lead to a kind of new stage in Wikipedia's - and, perhaps, although to a smaller extent - humanity's development. I do not agree with your statement that there would be a lack of people who could edit it - especially in departments of fields such as psychology or sociology there are many people whose chief focus is to study things like "urban landscapes of dissent" or "identities" or to make up all kinds of clever sounding words which do not have much meaning beyond generic ones that already exist (such as calling analysis "deconstruction"). The measures that you have suggested - continual review by non-expert editors and encouragement of readers to be critical with regard to what they read - cannot address the problem of Wikipedia's inability to assure one that what one "learns" on it is something that one can have confidence in as being true.
Thanks also for mentioning Citizendium - it is not something I knew existed, although since I cannot look at it now I still do not have a good understanding - beyond what you mentioned - of what it is. There are not many things to which I want to commit to a 100%, so if I think I have a duty of a greater or lesser, but less than 100% extent, I cannot express this without sounding awkward, but what I want to say is that there is a high probability that I will look at what Citizendium is later :-).Curve-angle (talk) 15:39, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
What if we created a process known as expert review? It would be much like GA or FA but with external groups, perhaps universities who would review it? The danger in this is the risk of "handing over control" for lack of a better word. Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 22:51, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
We have employed expert review in the past - not that I can find traces of it right now - but in the form of an expert doing a review - like GA or FA - and submitting a report on which editors do or do not act. So that differs from the OP's proposal in that we don't have the expert edit the article, nor do we 'lock' the article to the most recently reviewed version. And iirc it all worked well enough; reviews were done in good faith, results were acted on in good faith. There was no handing over of control. I'd be happy to see more of this done (and wikipedia is large enough that for all I know it still is going on_. --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:57, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
@Tagishsimon: Wikipedia:Expert review is a failed proposal. Experts are always welcome to give their opinions on a matter but since on the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog and there is no way to verify "experts" are who they say they are, expert opinions are treated the same way any other editor's opinion is. --Majora (talk) 01:02, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
I believe the medical editors are looking into something along these lines. I support the concept, but think it should be done as a pilot in a very limited way, and medical articles seem like a good candidate. I haven't checked recently, so I do not know whether the initiative is still being explored.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:46, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing and Doc James: probably have details. I know at least one Wikipedia article was submitted and accepted into some journal or another. --Izno (talk) 12:03, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
The article was dengue fever. Can be seen on pubmed here.
The WikiJournal of Medicine on Wikiversity is accepting submissions.[4]
If you are making an important decision you should never base it off a single source. If you spend enough time reading the medical literature you will find "errors" in journal article (including the Lancet), medical textbooks, and government websites. Wikipedia is no exception. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:55, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
@Majora: Did you read what is written on the page and the related pages to which it links before linking to it? From that what is written on some of those pages (I did not read everything that is there, but did, in my opinion, read a sufficient amount to form an opinion) it seems that what the person or persons who wrote it are saying is that the references on which information in Wikipedia articles is based should be reviewed by experts. This does not have anything to do with what I'm proposing.Curve-angle (talk) 15:39, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
There are many other things I have to do at the moment, so my reply is not as appropriate time-wise as it perhaps could be desired, but I am already exerting quite a lot of effort. I just want to say that part of what S Philbrick said seems to me right - that, initially, at least, it would be a good idea only to attempt to implement such an initiative in a limited way. This could take the form of selecting, based on criteria such as (I, by the way, do not support the proposal that it should be medical articles that should be chosen first, but this is not something I want to get into on this talk page) to what extent does the article deal with knowledge that has entered the scientific or scholarly community and broader society as something well-known and widely accepted or the need to include equal numbers of articles for distinct fields of study, a set of initially chosen articles and then adding to that if the initiative is able to successfully move ahead.
With regard to Doc James's comment - it is not the case that experts' work is infallible, but it is something the nature of which is such that, if one uses it and is mislead, one can justify oneself better than if what one used were descriptions of facts, laws, theories and conceptions which were submitted into a system which does not require those, who want to submit, to disclose their identities and creates opportunities for falsifying them, and which is also such that the level of social significance of the sanctions that it can impose on those whose behaviour is in some way inappropriate cannot compare, meaningfully, to the significance that sanctions like having to justify oneself to one's colleagues or some university committee or being fired from a university have.Curve-angle (talk) 02:05, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Define "expert". Then prove you are one. Then convince me that experts are less prone to edit warring and problematic behavior. Perennial proposal full of problems. Dennis Brown - 10:39, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
    There's no evidence that they are more likely to eat bananas either. This needs to be investigated. Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:55, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
  • I jotted down some ideas a while ago about something like this. Basically have a separate 'shell' on a separate domain, that allows people to discuss/review wikipedia content and flag versions of articles etc. People on there would have to connect with verified identities and connect their profiles to their research etc. The idea is to bring 'experts' and 'amateurs' together, by keeping them separate, but giving them communication channels. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 11:44, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
    • Half of our core medical editor community are health care professionals. We have a good number of experts here already. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 17:56, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
      • On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog. I have no doubt that medical experts are editing Wikipedia right now, to great benefit. The difference between saying that and proving that a particular editor is an expert is the problem; such certification processes would be rife with problems, including creating a "super class" of editors whose actions would be open to less scrutiny and who would have special privileges. We ALREADY use experts. It's called WP:RS and WP:V. Since we don't write original content, there's no real fear so long as people can read and summarize properly anyways. You don't need to be an expert to do that. Also see Essjay controversy, which is why many old-time Wikipedia editors (such as myself) are generally against expert certification. --Jayron32 18:26, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
        Wouldn't a proper certification system have prevented the Essjay scandal? Hawkeye7 (talk) 20:35, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
        Probably yes, but false credentials (which was the root of paparazzi hype) was not supposed to be a damage for wikipedia content, because from the very beginning, as wikipedia critics (starting from Larry Sanger) state it, "wikipedia is hostile towards experts" (in fact, wikipedia has no piety towards experts). IMO all drastic actions towards Essjay were under public pressure rather than because of actual harm Essjay brought to wikipedia content. In a way, IMO Essjay was a scapegoat to cover up wikipedians' gullibility in the times when everybody knows that nobody knows you're a dog. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:00, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
      • Izno, I believe that User:Anthonyhcole has done the most work on this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:59, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

All kinds of reviewing should be processes to improve pages. -- (talk) 17:19, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

While having designated experts edit Wikipedia articles could be implemented, I believe that due to drawbacks in the nature of expertise this would end up being a bigger mess than a help. On the one hand, designating someone as an expert is possible (in general, it would be based on a publication & employment history; people will squabble over what "publication history" & "employment history" actually should mean), then providing that person with an account that identifies them as that person (since Twitter can do it, the Wikimedia Foundation should be capable of doing it). On the other hand, when it comes down to identifying experts in a given field, one finds that number to be surprisingly small. For example, when I was working on articles related to the history of the Empire of Trebizond, it soon became obvious that the number of living people who were publishing papers in all languages on that topic were not more than half a dozen -- & of whom only 2 or 3 could be expected to be proficient enough in English to edit the English language Wikipedia. While it could be said any expert in Byzantine -- or Turkish -- history could be qualified an expert, their knowledge of this chapter of Byzantine/Turkish history would not be that much better than an experienced Wikipedian who decided to devote a year of their spare time learning about the subject. And then there is the issue that if only one or two experts exist who could review a given group of articles, what's to prevent them from intentionally or unintentionally introducing errors or biases of their own? Wikipedia simply doesn't have the quality control system of, say, the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which was structured to deal with the issue of having, in essence, one person write & own an article. Maybe someday Wikipedia will need to look at this option, but it doesn't help the project today. -- llywrch (talk) 21:22, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Just going more off of this, what exactly qualifies a person as an "expert" in a field? I consider myself an expert in DNA since that is my job and I deal with it on a daily basis (minus weekends). I'm not published though. I have no peer reviewed articles that can prove my expertise. I am an expert by practice and experience. How would we deal with situations like that? Who decides who is an expert and in what field they are an expert in? I don't expect people to submit resumes/CVs in order to be qualified as an expert on Wikipedia. Where would they sent it to anyways? The WMF? That isn't going to happen. The Foundation doesn't generally intervene in project level affairs unless it is a legal matter. OTRS? Good luck with that one. We are swamped as it is with what we have. An expert noticeboard? That isn't going to work. Information that would show expertise is generally private information and I doubt many people would disclose such things on a public forum just to get an "expert check mark". Then there is one of the founding principles of Wikipedia that every editor is equal. Minus some of the user level implementations that has pretty much remained constant since the beginning. Qualified experts in a field would not be any more "correct" in a dispute than any other editor. They wouldn't get special privileges since that is not what Wikipedia is. There are just far too many problems with any expert qualification system. I just don't see this as gaining any actual traction. --Majora (talk) 20:40, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
And when they violate our policies and guidelines because they don't know them? Who's going to train them? And I don't know how you get over the fact that in fields where there are disputes between experts, how would we deal with this? Take a look at Earthquake prediction which is at WP:COIN right now. Doug Weller talk 20:42, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Filter languages[edit]

Don't know if this is the right forum, but Is it possible to choose which languages appear under "Languages" in the left-hand menu bar? This in order to eliminate the need to scroll up/down when switching between languages that are alphabetically far from each other. Vesaraisanen (talk) 14:53, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

There is: Compact Language Links. You can turn it on in the Beta preferences tab. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 15:01, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
If you turn this on, then it will first 'guess' which languages you might want (based on location and the language you start at). After that, it will 'learn' which languages you want by seeing what other Wikipedia languages you visit the most often. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 20:43, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

Collapse refrences[edit]

proposal lapsed with the blocking of the OP --Tagishsimon (talk) 22:12, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I am proposing a way to collapse long reference sections — Preceding unsigned comment added by Marfyman (talkcontribs) 21:05, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

What the user is doing currently is using discussion-collapse templates ({{hat}} and {{hab}}) to collapse the reference section. Since that leaves a message about the discussion being closed, that is absolutely an inappropriate way to collapse the reference sections. —C.Fred (talk) 21:12, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Marfyman, can you point me to anywhere where you have got consensus for collapsing reference sections? Or are you doing this simply because you don't value reference sections? More importantly, can you tell me, does the reference system survive your collpsing. If I click on a reference-number in the text, am I taken to an uncollapsed reference? --Tagishsimon (talk) 21:17, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Collapsing references sections is a bad idea, and there is consensus for not doing so, as documented here. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 21:27, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree that it is a bad idea. It should be noted that the OP also started this thread Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Refrence hatting and reverts. MarnetteD|Talk 21:31, 19 October 2016 (UTC)
Update: Marfyman is now blocked so this can be closed unless anyone sees need for further discussion. MarnetteD|Talk 22:06, 19 October 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What would be nice - and no consensus is needed for this - is for some user script that will do this. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 18:06, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Since the suggestion goes against MOS:DONTHIDE it looks like consensus would be needed.MarnetteD|Talk 18:22, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
I came out of the other side of that double-take, realising the OP means a script which users can voluntarily inflict upon themselves. --Tagishsimon (talk) 18:26, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
DONTHIDE applies to the content shown to the general public, not to scripts which individual users use only because they personally want to. If I want to have content hidden for me, while I'm logged in, I'm permitted to use a script to do this. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 19:38, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
The OP (of the closed thread) is Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/ItsLassieTime whose latest socks have taken to collapsing reference sections in articles. That content is, most definitely, shown to the general public. Individual scripts (which your first post makes no mention of) have nothing to do with the matter at hand. However, and by all means, if you want something that works for you why not ask at the VPT as someone there can probably whip up what you need. MarnetteD|Talk 16:42, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

Limit auto-confirmation edit counter to content space edits, not userspace.[edit]

Auto-confirmation is a good idea, but largely useless as 10 edits is nothing. Additionally, the experienced sockmaster (see Special:Contributions/Rockypeter for today's latest) gets round this by jabbering away unnoticed in their user sandbox, then blanking it, and then proceeding to mischief through page moves.

Pages moves should not be available to a user who has done nothing outside their userspace.

A limit of "a small number" of mainspace edits (possibly categories too) is a good idea for autoconfirmation status. However this is being abused and ought to be tightened. Maybe more than 10. IMHO definitely requiring content space work, rather than just self-editing in userspace. This makes trollery slightly harder work, slightly more obvious to spot (most of our trolls are such monomaniacs) and if all they do is fix a handful of real typos in mainspace, then at least we've had those typos fixed. Andy Dingley (talk) 14:03, 23 October 2016 (UTC)

  • Support. Edits counted for determining an editor's capacity to handle additional capabilities should be edits that matter to the project, and are unlikely to be out of sight. bd2412 T 14:14, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
Seems optimistic to think that trolls would turn their hands to honestly fixing typos, if forced to make their ten edits in mainspace - any arbitrary punctuation or lazy synonyms would do, at best making no difference to an article and more likely reducing its quality. If someone's only here to become autoconfirmed, do their regular vandal routine and get blocked, then the fewer edits they make to Wikipedia articles in the process (particularly since their autoconfirmed sprinkles will be four days deep in edit histories when they get blocked), the better. --McGeddon (talk) 17:02, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
  • Has anyone looked in to the technical support for this (e.g. is it something developers will support?) Most of the other wikis with more complex systems are doing it via the flavors of flagged revisions that has had a contentious past here. — xaosflux Talk 17:33, 23 October 2016 (UTC)
    You'd need to write new code in MediaWiki, I believe. And McGeddon's argument is difficult to counter. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 18:16, 23 October 2016 (UTC)