Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)

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The miscellaneous section of the village pump is used to post messages that do not fit into any other category. Please post on the policy, technical, or proposals pages, or – for assistance – at the help desk, rather than here, if at all appropriate. For general knowledge questions, please use the reference desk.
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Are notice tags demotivating?[edit]

There are a lot of notice tags in Wikipedia article space that have been around for many years. I'm starting to suspect that they may actually be demotivating the correction of articles. For example, suppose an anonymous editor makes a correction to address a tag. Do they know whether they can remove the notice? Will they get slammed for removing it? The safer route may be to just leave it alone. Anonymous editors may actually feel less threatened about editing an article that has no warning notices.

Perhaps a statistical study would help? It could be helpful to know the percentage of useful non-bot edits to articles with tags, vs. those without. Another parameter that may be useful is the half-life for the various tags—what is the average duration for the pool of tags set in a given month to be reduced in half? Are some warning notices more likely to be addressed than others? Should we do away with some types of notices because they are not constructive? Praemonitus (talk) 19:50, 26 January 2016 (UTC)

@Praemonitus: Interesting thoughts! If someone were to be able to measure the "percentage of useful non-bot edits to articles with tags, vs. those without", would it be correct to infer that the tags are influencing behavior? Or would it be showing something else, such as topic popularity? Thanks! GoingBatty (talk) 21:43, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes, perhaps a more thorough study would need to track other potentially correlating factors such as the rate of edits, size of the articles, average number of visits, &c. But with a sufficiently large sample population, hopefully some of those other factors would tend to average out. Or else robust statistics could be used, such as the median score. It might be an interesting project for somebody with a statistics background, if the data were available. Praemonitus (talk) 22:39, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
Maybe instead of a study, we should just take action on the idea that whether this exists or not, we suspect that tags don't do a great job of encouraging people to actually address the issue or of providing instructions on removal of the tag (which, itself, may deter some people from editing to fix the issue in the first place), but that this can be easily addressed with model language we can draft together, to be added to a wide variety of maintenance tags. This is just my preliminary thoughts, but I'm thinking something not unlike:

If you have the ability, please boldly assist Wikipedia by editing this page to remedy the flagged issue! All problems are fixed by the efforts of volunteers. If you've read the link provided explaining the problem, and have thoroughly fixed it, you may simply remove this maintenance template.

--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:09, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
Good point, although doing so may further inflate the size of the notice tage. Praemonitus (talk) 02:06, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Excellent idea, Fuhghettaboutit! In my time on the Wikipedia IRC help channel, I have run into many new users for whom the current system is unintuitive. A common question is "I fixed the issue. Why is the tag still there?" It does not seem like it's obvious to new users that tags are added and removed manually. To keep it from getting wordy, maybe a link to a page explaining how to fix common issues and how to remove the tag? Howicus (Did I mess up?) 19:24, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
@Howicus: Great. I've run with your suggestion and created Help:Maintenance template removal. Please let me know what you think and make any obvious improvements. As provided at that page, I am suggesting it be placed in maintenance templates through a link labeled: "Learn how and when to remove this template".--02:18, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
@Fuhghettaboutit: Good idea, that. I was thinking it might be better to have a longer page that deals briefly with how to fix the more common types of templates. Howicus (Did I mess up?) 20:11, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

I would be interested to know if the issue relates to certain specific tags, but not others. I suspect that some tagged issues get addressed quickly, whole others may sit there never being fixed. Blueboar (talk) 23:37, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

True. One I find particularly nebulous is {{More footnotes}}. There is no criteria for removing it, and it could easily be placed on 90% of the articles here. Praemonitus (talk) 02:06, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
@Praemonitus: I would remove {{More footnotes}} if all of the references were inline citations and there were no external links that would be better as inline citations. GoingBatty (talk) 03:36, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
it could easily be placed on 90% of the articles here - So we should eliminate the most visible thing telling editors that we need more inline citations? It may be wishful thinking, but I have to believe that tag is having some significant beneficial effect, enough to make it a net positive. Not only in the individual articles, but toward evangelization of inline citations in general. ―Mandruss  05:25, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, but as far as I can see this is purely wishful thinking. We have no evidence one way or another. It may simply function as nuisance graphics, or even deter useful updates. Praemonitus (talk) 20:20, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

How about an experiment[edit]

Here's a proposed experiment - Pick four of five maintenance tags and edit them so they place the article in the category but aren't visible on the page; do this for thirty days. Afterwards, restore the template to what it was before, and again, do this for 30 days. Monitor the categories and see how many IPs and new editors resolve the issues (which, I concede, is the hard part). Oiyarbepsy (talk) 02:01, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

That's good but I'd make a proposal first and make sure people know what's going on. I know that would bias the test but there's also WP:POINTy issues with just changing the tags for the purpose of testing the tagging system. I'd propose that we revise the tagging system entirely. Instead of tagging the front of a page, we should be tagging the talk page, and in particular the talk page section that allegedly discusses most concerns (POV, lack of sources maybe, BLP, COI, etc.). Most of those tags were added without any actual discussion on the page I often find. -- Ricky81682 (talk) 02:42, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of tagging the talk page instead of the article page. For one, it might serve to "hide" article issues from view. Many readers, though they may not know how to fix a tag, do know that a tag means "don't trust this page as much as you would others". And more importantly to me, following the blue links on maintenance tags provided me with my first look at the editing side of Wikipedia. Those visible tags are a big part of why I'm here today. That said, I would support something that encourages or requires an explanation for the less-straightforward tags (like NPOV tags, for example). Maybe a prompt upon tagging with a tool? Howicus (Did I mess up?) 20:19, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
How hard would A/B testing be? Hide the tags (only on display; leave them in the code when people go to edit) for a certain percentage of page hits (maybe with an opt-out somewhere) and measure whether that has an effect on what percentage of hits convert into "edit" button clicks or completed edits? (talk) 23:48, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Accusation - I accuse an editor of being a bot[edit]

Please forgive me - I am about to ignore all rules and do a personal attack on another editor. I am unable to assume good faith.

I accuse PCruiser of being a robot. I have not seen another bot like this -Special:Contributions/PCruiser. It knows some specific Wikipedia functions and has pushed odd buttons to do things. It makes an almost reasonable effort in a lot of cases, and actually writes better nonsense than some human contributors, but it is a cold kind of weird and not the usual sort. This bot has wasted volunteer time by making nonsense requests and comments.

Please forgive me in the event that I have accused a real human of talking like a robot.

Has anyone seen other contributors like this one? What do we do with these? Blue Rasberry (talk) 16:11, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

I don't see any bot behavior here doing a spot check on their contributions. Can you provide links?—cyberpowerChat:Limited Access 17:20, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks--PCruiser (talk) 21:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
C678 Seriously - look again at any of it. You choose anything they have done and confirm that it looks human. Please you share a link to something human. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:35, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Here is a typical contribution. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:39, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I just spot checked some more and as a botop, I'm not seeing any signs of bot activity. The edits are not periodic, nor consistent, nor do they have any patterns, or consistent editing behavior. I'm just seeing a user here making a bunch of different edits. I'm not seeing anything bot like. Just inappropriate edits.—cyberpowerChat:Limited Access 17:48, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Draft:Dispersion and Draft:United States Trustees are computer generated, right? It seems like copied text published piece-wise, or otherwise notes not connecting together. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:42, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Not that I'm seeing it, but so what if it is? It's not against policy to use scripts that assist editing. I'm using a bunch myself. That doesn't mean I'm a bot, nor does it make this user. The user seems to be guilty of persistent copy and pasting.—cyberpowerChat:Limited Access 17:48, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
C678 You are right - there is no problem here. This is a good start to articles and seems to be a work in progress. This is a human editing and I should not have said that it was a bot. This will be the last time I say such a thing. I am glad this person is checking out Wikipedia and would help them in the future if they request. They should keep exploring. Blue Rasberry (talk) 18:12, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
It looks like this editor has passed the Turing test. Congratulations. Praemonitus (talk) 20:16, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
The more I look at PCruiser's edits and edit summaries, the more I think that the original poster here is correct. This editor's contributions appear more like the output of some sort of computer algorithm than like the output of a human editor. I am trying to AGF here, but these edits do not pass the Turing test, or at least the competence test, for me. They are just glued-together nonsense.
Examples: this, this, this (edit summary is nonsensical), this (looks like straightforward vandalism or test editing, but look at the edit summary)
I suppose this editor may be a human whose brain does not work like mine, but I see no evidence of competence. It worries me. – Jonesey95 (talk) 03:03, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
Those examples almost have me believing they're at least entirely written with a script: point it at a source, rearranges and scans, and puts out those messes. This looks like machine translation, except the vocabulary is advanced. Other stuff mixes up concepts from law, science, and philosophy in ways that indicate the user needs to stay as far away from those as possible. In particular, ref seven of that page has me going "no, there was no human reading of that source, a machine saw the fragment 'determin-' in it and used that."
Still, he's closer to coherent when interacting with people (though using vocabulary that makes me suspect an ESL user who is using machine translation that favors words that score higher on the IELTS test over accuracy).
While there may be a human user hitting "save page," a machine is at least partially responsible for the writing.
@PCruiser: Please explain why your article material reads like bad machine translation. If English is not your first language, that's OK. If you are using a computer script to write, let us know that you will stop using it. Ian.thomson (talk) 03:44, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
  • The question of machine translation ought to be easily solved: user:PCruiser, please tell us what your native language is. I will select just one phrase from user:PCruiser/sandbox2: "competency is not acquired at the expense of subterfuges incomparableness". Please tell us in your native language what this means. If your native language is not English, we will find someone to translate it.
But competence is the key word and I fear that eventually the only solution will be to block you on the grounds of incompetence. Indeed, I am tempted to block you immediately simply because you have done zero useful edits. — RHaworth (talk · contribs) 16:23, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
I suggest that the user's deleted contribs be examined. Disclosure: I deleted some myself, I placed {{db}} templates on some others. --Redrose64 (talk) 23:34, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

Wikipedia not in the top 10 US digital media properties[edit]

According to this post, Wikipedia is not in the top 10 US digital media properties for October 2015, which surprised me. So how far down is Wikipedia? GoingBatty (talk) 20:05, 3 February 2016 (UTC)

Is Wikipedia actually a "media property"? The term is typical marketing jargon, so seeing as we never carry advertising they wouldn't even look at us as a "property". Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 21:23, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
That page is ranking based on number users. How many does Wikipedia have? I looked at Special:ListUsers, but it doesn't say how many there are. RudolfRed (talk) 21:26, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
Sounds like you want Special:Statistics. -- (talk) 22:04, 3 February 2016 (UTC)
The Foundation is based in San Francisco, but the editor community is worldwide.
Wikimedia used to have 500 billion unique visitors. --NaBUru38 (talk) 17:23, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Which is about 70 times the number of humans on the planet. Is "separate visits per year" a fair translation of that jargon? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:26, 12 February 2016 (UTC)


Died somebody on february 7? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:52, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

Quite a few people did, unfortunately. The Quixotic Potato (talk) 13:30, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
Deaths in 2016 lists 7 people who did. And many non-notable people undoubtedly also died on that day. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 19:37, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Pays, ville et circonstances[edit]

Green Citroen 2CV.jpg
Brun Scarabee Citroen DS23 Pallas.JPG


My English is too bad for writing in this language.

Est-ce que cette photo a été prise " in vehicle meetings in North America " ?

Pouvez-vous indiquer dans quel état américain, dans quelle ville et à quelle occasion ? In California ? In Los Angeles ?

Merci d'avance. (LaVoiture-balai (talk) 20:49, 9 February 2016 (UTC))

Rough translation: Was this photograph taken in "Vehicle meetings in North America"? Would you indicate in what American State, what city, and what occasion? In California? In Los Angeles? Thank you in advance.
1955 Citroen 2CV.jpg

:::@PLawrence99cx: You are the one who took the photo; can you please answer this person's questions? LaVoiture Je suis désolé, mais je ne sais pas où la photo a été prise. Je l'ai demandé au photographe de répondre ici. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 13:01, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

PLawrence99cx seems to be "in holidays". Another contributor has found the other photo of the same photograph with indications of CA and LA. A Californian could "certify" it and gave details of the occasion of this vehicle meeting. (LaVoiture-balai (talk) 18:05, 10 February 2016 (UTC))

I've asked WikiProject Automobiles and WikiProject California for their assistance. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:59, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
Please ask them about this one as well, (Closer shot of the third vehicule in first image). Thanks--DDupard (talk) 17:52, 11 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not an expert, but California requires license plates front and back, and most of these don't have license plates on the front (although one does, and it's a California plate). There might be a special rule for older cars, but my first guess is that this isn't in California). WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:30, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

I found one of the images posted on a gallery of the Citroën Car Club of Southern California ( 7 of 10). But it gives no background or source, and is mixed in with photos that are obviously vintage and promotional. But I think this is the organization that put on the car show in the picture. I'm still looking Oiyarbepsy (talk) 07:27, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

I think this Flicker album is from the same event as the photos here - Citroën Rendezvous in Saratoga Springs, NY, on June 19, 2010. I don't see the any of the same cars, but this was clearly a very large gathering, and the scenery all looks the same. What do you think? (En Français (mal): Peut etre le Citroën Rendezvous en Saratoga Springs, NY, 19 Juni 2010?) Oiyarbepsy (talk) 07:45, 13 February 2016 (UTC)

@LaVoiture-balai:Je pense que c'est le Citroën Rendezvous en Saratoga Springs, New York, en été 2009 ou 2010. Oiyarbepsy (talk) 08:02, 13 February 2016 (UTC)


What do u people think of cannabis? I think it should be legalized. — Preceding unsigned comment added by NeoBlitz (talkcontribs) 08:54, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Please read Wikipedia:What_Wikipedia_is_not#FORUM. I don't know where you live but over here weed is semi-legal. The Quixotic Potato (talk) 09:08, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Unusual file types[edit]

Special:MediaStatistics lists some file types that are banned on Commons. I took my wrong extension query and found these files:

Thoughts? — Dispenser 14:02, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

I don't understand several of those extensions, and what is the deal with "gif (application/x-php)"? However, assuming there is a technical explanation that these things could conceivably exploit the user's computer, they should all be deleted. One of the xls files I glanced at is from a very trustworthy user, but it is inherently impossible to trust xls given the astonishing number of vulnerabilities that have been found, and Wikipedia should not host such stuff. I guess the argument about mp3 relates to patents/free, and not exploits? Johnuniq (talk) 23:17, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Tara (Drina)[edit]

Article Tara (Drina) should renamed in Tara (river), a article Tara River (Russia) in Tara (river in Russia). ..There and a river with the same name in Italy (article about her will be called Tara (river in Italy) — see: Tara#Rivers).
This article should be called only Tara (river) because river runs through two states (Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina) and because what river passes through the largest canyon (Tara River Canyon) in Europe which is was named after her —— MilanKovacevic (talk) 15:00, 13 February 2016 (UTC)
I would tend to disagree, unless you can show that the common topic in English-language sources use this name; however, I just listed it at Talk:Tara (Drina)#Requested move 13 February 2016, where it will get more attention from users who tend to understand this topic better than me. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 19:07, 13 February 2016 (UTC)