Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)

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New proposals are discussed here. Before submitting:

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Contents

Encyclopedias for Deletion banner campaign for EU Copyright/Article 13[edit]

While this is a few days short of being 30 days, there is a clear consensus in just about every possible way to not implement this banner. -- Amanda (aka DQ) 05:40, 13 March 2019 (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.

This Encyclopedias for Deletion banner campaign for EU Copyright/Article 13 was originally Requested at Talk:Main Page#Please include banner in EU locales ("Regarding [1] please display https://saveyourinternet.eu/act/ prominently as a noticebox warning as above for readers in Europe. Thank you.") Please conduct the RFC discussion here. EllenCT (talk) 05:21, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

  • This request is specifically about using the main page. ~ R.T.G 17:41, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Only in the European locales. EllenCT (talk) 21:22, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Background information: Dimitrov, Dimitar; Davenport, Allison. "Problems remain with the EU's copyright reform". wikimediafoundation.org. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 7 February 2019. EllenCT (talk) 22:08, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

  • Further background information, this time from an independent source because I don't like the pointiness above - BBC News. - Sitush (talk) 08:54, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Survey: EfD banner[edit]

  • Oppose any use of the encyclopedia for political advocacy, even if a majority of a tiny subset of editors agree on a position. ―Mandruss  10:14, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per my thoughts at User:Mz7/Avoid political banners. Taking a side in a political debate necessarily jeopardizes Wikipedia's ability to maintain a perception of neutrality with respect to that issue. Neutrality is one of our most fundamental principles as a project, and it's not really something that's supposed to be negotiable. Additionally, as editors point out below, the proposed legislation makes an explicit exception for online encyclopedias, so I fear that a big banner that says that Wikipedia is proposed for deletion is sensationalizing it quite a bit. Mz7 (talk) 10:37, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the reasons I stated earlier today in what is now the Discussion section of this RfC (it was not an RfC at the time). - Sitush (talk) 10:42, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support. Neutrality is not a suicide pact, and Article 13 would destroy Wikipedia as we know it. It may be exempt from Article 13 as an encyclopedia, but the sister projects such as Commons and Wikidata are not and Wikipedia heavily relies upon them for content. However, we should not allow our interpretation of the law dictate whether a banner is worth putting out. Here's an article from the Wikimedia blog: "How the EU copyright proposal will hurt the web and Wikipedia". If we don't want to promote a third-party website because we don't trust it, we can link to the fastest-growing petition on change.org, and change.org is appropriate. Inaction is a slippery slope; when they start going after Wikipedia, it will be too late. wumbolo ^^^ 11:06, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, You are allowed to have political opinions and biases, you just aren't allowed to taint the content with them or canvas. Try you and stop someone declaring they are republican or democrat either on their own talk pages or on other talk pages. You want people to declare their biases. You try and stop people declaring they are nationalists or anti-nationalists. It's just an enlarged version of a userbox. ~ R.T.G 12:09, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
    It's just an enlarged version of a userbox. Um, no. This is not about individual expression. ―Mandruss  12:15, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
It is precisely a request for the individual to express themselves. What was your statement trying to explain? ~ R.T.G 16:49, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose no advocacy for political reasons.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 12:26, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia should make a political statement in this way if and only if there's an existential threat to the encyclopedia that has a serious chance of being enacted. No informed opinion on whether this meets that standard. Tazerdadog (talk) 13:01, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this banner, SUPPORT Wikipedia taking action. This proposal seems designed to fail -- it can be called inaccurate (since Wikipedia, last I heard, would have a narrow exemption), it uses an in-joke meme that sounds flippant to insiders and incomprehensible to outsiders. We need a banner but it must link to high quality information about the scope of the legislation and updated analysis of how it DOES affect our activities. Wnt (talk) 14:06, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose because this is technically a form of fake news. Tgeorgescu (talk) 15:30, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support as proposer. EllenCT (talk) 15:37, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mz7. We don’t get involved with politics. TonyBallioni (talk) 16:52, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per what Mz7 said. We should also get something about this written on WP:PERENNIAL since it comes up fairly often now. Killiondude (talk) 17:28, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mz7. Whatever other suggestions for banners are made below would be the same thing as well. Natureium (talk) 17:35, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support The Wikimedia Movement takes political advocacy positions and seeks to influence law, government, and legislation on matters which affect the right of the Wikimedia platform and routine Wikimedia engagement to exist and be legal. For example, we advocate that accessing and editing Wikimedia projects is legal everywhere. I agree that we need more policy in place - such as to determine which government policies affect Wikimedia platforms, and how we prioritize our attention - but in the absence of community developed policy, I think that that by default our standard for taking positions in the name of the community should be rather low. Wikimedia public policy is a perennial issue and eventually we have to address it. Some documentation of the last big related controversy on which the WMF board took a position is at meta:EU policy/2018 European Parliament vote, and see the related talk page. I dismiss all oppose votes that imagine that Wikimedia projects should accept local law and government without seeking to assert Wikimedia community interests. Editing wiki is not a crime, and anyone who tries to legislate the criminality of wiki is in error! Blue Rasberry (talk) 19:03, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Nothing to stop the WMF advocating, and I'm sure they have been in discussions about it, per notes elsewhere. That doesn't mean they can splash a political banner on every project. IIRC, even with the SOPA blackout thing they sought consensus of the community. - Sitush (talk) 19:12, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Right, the Wikimedia Foundation is free to organize advocacy that aligns with the movement, and individual Wikipedia editors are free to express their support of such advocacy. The relevant distinction is between this and making a statement as the collective editorial community of Wikipedia. We are not the editorial board of a newspaper; unlike other publications, Wikipedia specifically has a mission to create a neutral encyclopedia. Political banners like these take the somewhat hypocritical step of disregarding our mission in order to protect it. I'm fine with the WMF lobbying governments on our behalf, but I'm opposed in principle to holding any kind of discussion to determine whether we as a community endorse any kind of political issue. Mz7 (talk) 03:30, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose dropping an external link on the main page with a banner whose wording I find tacky at best - that the external link says nothing about Wikipedia at all doesn't help our readers either. — xaosflux Talk 19:08, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
    To summarize some of my other comments - I'm only opposed to us editorially adding this - if the WMF thinks this is a serious threat they should just do another Central Notice (and likely targeting readers that are constituents of the lawmakers involved) like last time. — xaosflux Talk 19:42, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose -The alleged effects on Wikipedia appear to be vastly exaggerated. This is not a threat to the encyclopedia or supporting projects at all. The requirement to provide "effective and proportionate measures" to prevent access to unlicenced material is what we claim to do anyway.Nigel Ish (talk) 19:18, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per exactly what Nigel Ish said. Wikipedia shouldn't be engaging in political activism at any time, and certainly shouldn't be adopting an fringe position based on the wild exaggerations of a handful of ultra-libertarian activists. ‑ Iridescent 19:29, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
@Iridescent: I am not a libertarian, let alone ultra. EllenCT (talk) 22:55, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
@Iridescent: I'm a social democrat. Do you believe me? EllenCT (talk) 06:43, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Wikipedia should not engage in political advocacy on any topic... nothing more to be said. Blueboar (talk) 19:55, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose using the main page for political advocacy in general, though I'd support some exceptions, this isn't one, because online encyclopedias are exempt. "Free to use" is a promise worth keeping, "free to reuse" enriches for-profit publishers. Strong oppose to using this particular banner (or linking to that particular website) because we shouldn't link to propaganda. Levivich 22:48, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this proposal but support another neutrally-worded one like what we did in July. I’m all for inside jokes, but this is too important when you think about what effect this would have on Wikimedia. We should put up a banner that gets the message across but isn’t too heavy-handed about it. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 23:21, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as I always do when it comes to getting involved in political matters here. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 03:32, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this banner, but support the intent. A central notice/banner like last July would be fine. Wikipedia should be apolitical in matters that are unrelated to Wikipedia. This isn't one. This jeopardizes our core mission, and we cannot be silent on the issue thinking this is similar to taking position on whether or not the 2019 Canadian Food Guide should be endorsed or rejected. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:14, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • 'Support using Wikipedia for freedom of the internet-related political causes. Oppose the suggested banner per Wnt. —Kusma (t·c) 11:51, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment for the votes that oppose this on political grounds, what was the PIPA/SOPA blackout about again? Dax Bane 13:36, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    Comment Once I have made a mistake, I am not forced to make the same mistake forever. I am allowed to avoid that mistake again, am I not? I am allowed to improve and become a better human, am I not? --Jayron32 16:09, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Jayron32: are you saying the choice to continue to exist is a mistake? EllenCT (talk) 06:00, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
    I'm actually saying that Chicken Little is not a life coach. --Jayron32 13:16, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
    Put differently, if Wikipedia can be killed that easily, it's valued far less by the world than we think. If that's the case it needs to be killed. I strongly doubt that's the case; rather, any legislation that proved to threaten Wikipedia's existence would be amended in short order to prevent that from happening. The global public would see to it. Advocacy like this isn't just inappropriate; it's entirely unnecessary. ―Mandruss  13:33, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mandruss. --Jayron32 16:09, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Not wikipedias job to do political activism. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:20, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose: While I am against the EU copyright directive, slapping a banner on the main page is a violation of Wikipedia's neutral point of view on the subject. However, another blackout (as some people have mentioned in some other places) over it is the Wikimedia Foundation's choice, not ours. Kirbanzo (talk) 16:49, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Sure. Sounds good to me. Enterprisey (talk!) 03:39, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. So I can look Uncle Fritz square in the monocle and say, "Nein!" Lugnuts Fire Walk with Me 08:03, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Personally I would maybe support a banner or something related but I cannot support the proposed banner (which IMHO is awful). –Davey2010Talk 12:21, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - this banner is misleading because saying Wikipedia could not continue on the internet if Article 13 is approved is exaggeration. While I might support a banner similar to the previous banners that received consensus, I am strongly opposed to the ones that have so far been proposed because they all read as sensationalistic propaganda to me. Ca2james (talk) 17:47, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support the core sentiment, but oppose this specific message. This would affect the ability to access Wikipedia from the EU (but access from everywhere else would remain untouched, I guess). However, I do agree the banner should be toned down a bit. This should definitely be a neutral/informational advisory, not a deletion-style warning to "Vote Against Article 13 Or Else Wikipedia Will Die". Because as I said, access to Wikipedia from everywhere else, like the US, wouldn't be affected by Article 13. epicgenius (talk) 18:56, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Mandruss. I don't care which governments pass laws limiting Wikipedia. I did not give anyone permission to perform political advocacy here, especially in Wikipedia's name. Chris Troutman (talk) 23:35, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, just like with other advocacy-on-the-Main-Page proposals, like the SOPA situation some years ago. Individuals may express opinions privately, e.g. in messages to each other or with userboxes, but placing political advocacy of any sort on the Main Page, or on normal articles, is throwing one's toys out of one's pram. Nyttend (talk) 00:40, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support While I generally agree that Wikipedia shouldn't engage in political advocacy, I think an important exception needs to be made for issues that threaten the very function of the project itself. Benjamin (talk) 23:04, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, per Mz7, Sitush, and xaosflux. Wikipedia is not a platform for political or social advocacy or activism, and this proposal is simply a sensationalist reaction. If they must, as owners of the encyclopedia projects, the WMF can go ahead ad do what they like - on their web site. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:14, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Wikipedia is an exemption from Article 13. I am happy with us having banners which take a stance on political events that could affect the existence of or a fundamental principle of Wikipedia, but this is not such an event. Bilorv(c)(talk) 03:19, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose I do not feel that Wikipedia is a place to take any type of political stance. -- Dolotta (talk) 18:45, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in theory, without the hyperbole. WP has a long history of opposing "our brains are falling out on the floor" legislation that would harm freedom of online expression. However, "Encyclopedias for Deletion" is a silly name, and in-joke only some people will get, and claims like "interfere with the ability of Wikipedia to continue on the internet" are nonsensical. Lay out the facts dispassionately and without hyperbolic activism antics. (I say all this as a former professional activist, so I know it when I see it.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  05:29, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose anywhere. It may be appropriate on a userpage, but even there, political campaigning doesn't really belong. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support for the idea of a banner or a blackout or another kind of message to encourage readers to take action, I don't know what the right form should be. John Cummings (talk) 09:58, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support even if indeed Wikimedia projects are only slightly impacted, this is still a threat and a slippery slope for copyright law that will endanger Wikipedia even more. Cheers, VIGNERON * discut. 14:08, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support Silence in the face of something that poses a threat to our ability to create an encyclopædia is not only a position being taken in itself, but it's also a position in direct opposition to the Wikimedia Foundation's mission. — OwenBlacker (talk; please {{ping}} me in replies) 09:00, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Suppport a banner, the exact look and wording doesn't matter too much to me — While the proposed directive has definitely improved since the vote in 2018, it is still problematic in a number of ways. I strenuously object to the notion that the encyclopedia carveout (which, by the way, doesn't definitively prevent copyright lawyers from attempting to claim that CC-BY-SA content isn't non-profit) is enough to protect the general free knowledge infrastructure that Wikipedia is a part of. In other words: The Wikimedia projects might weather the storm, but they and the free knowledge movement will be worse off. I already explained why I think the "no political advocacy" argument is bogus (mutatis mutandis for the new wording of the directive, of course) and won't bother to do so again. Sincerely, InsaneHacker (💬) 15:10, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Free access to knowledge is itself a political act. While its content should be neutral and apolitical, it's hopelessly naive to insist that Wikipedia itself is not political. Gamaliel (talk) 15:45, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Gamaliel: I never understand this argument. Free access to knowledge can't be done unless it's with the aim of influencing legislation or government policy? Or is this a different definition of "political", that inherently lumps together building encyclopedias and changing laws? --Yair rand (talk) 23:14, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, with preferences for plain non-insidery phrasing as per pythoncoder above. There are a few topics for which Wikipedia should take an advocacy position, and open free use of the Web is one. Alternative 1, below, suits me better. econterms (talk) 20:30, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose in all proposed forms, as per WP:NOTPROPAGANDA. MrClog (talk) 23:33, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Alternative 1: Please don't let Europe take your freedom[edit]

In response to Wnt's valid concerns, I will in one week ask for expedited closure considering this alternative:

If there is anyone in support of the original who is not in support of this alternative, please say so. EllenCT (talk) 16:47, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

EllenCT will you please clarify matters because I and several other people think you are asking for a banner to be displayed on the main page but RTG, and seemingly RTG alone, thinks you are just promoting the fact that the banner exists. Obviously, if someone objected to the banner existing then the correct venue for discussion would be WP:TFD. And promoting it in the hope that more contributors will put it on their own pages does not require an RfC. - Sitush (talk) 17:02, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
I am asking for a non-template banner such as either proposed alternative to be displayed on the Main Page, and have announced my intentions to ask for expedited closure due to the existential threat to the freedoms we have been promising re-users since the start of the project. If there are serious plans to try to accommodate the proposed EU legislation, then it is incumbent upon those opposing advocacy to prepare a series of RFCs on changes to all of the wikipedias' content licenses and associated policies and guidelines. EllenCT (talk) 17:16, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Thank you. Hopefully RTG sees your reply because they're spouting nonsense all over this thread due to getting the wrong end of the stick. - Sitush (talk) 17:21, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose for almost the same reason as in the above section, if the WMF considers this to be an existential threat they should put up a CentralNotice as the server owners. Targeting only the English Wikipedia, and targeting it to readers that are not constituents of nations that have no vote in this proposal is wasteful as well. — xaosflux Talk 19:11, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm fine with a Main Page banner; I'm not sold on the specific phrasing and link target used here. In these regrettable times, Wikipedia is political, just because it tries to be factual. We shouldn't pretend that we are "above" politics just because our mission has, in principle, no partisan alignment. We might dodge Article 13 based on the particular exemptions they decide to carve out, but Article 11 is enough to leave a massive amount of our reference work in legal limbo. If the Wikimedia Foundation is gravely concerned, a banner on the Main Page is the least we can do. I suggest re-using the banner from last summer (with the date updated appropriately). XOR'easter (talk) 19:18, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
    @XOR'easter: if the WMF thinks this is a grave issue, they can just put up a CentralNotice - it doesn't need to be an editorial decision from the enwiki community. — xaosflux Talk 19:37, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • A CentralNotice would be even better. The Foundation is unlikely to be able to obtain the necessary community agreement to relicense existing already-contributed content, to comply with the law as currently proposed in Europe. That is certainly an existential threat to a vast portion of Foundation pageviews. EllenCT (talk) 21:27, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per my previous comment; Wikipedia shouldn't be engaging in political activism, and certainly shouldn't be engaging in political activism based on the lies and exaggerations of the unholy alliance of the ultra-libertarian lunatic fringe and the anti-European nationalist hardliners. ‑ Iridescent 19:32, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • There is no point in proposing “alternatives”... Wikipedia does not and should not engage in political advocacy... even on (or even especially on) issues that might affect Wikipedia itself. Blueboar (talk) 20:00, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Apart from concerns about whether Wikipedia should engage in activism, the link in this banner does not explain in any way how this proposal would damage Wikipedia, but simply invites people to sign a petition. I do not agree that we should do anything at all, but, if we were to do anything, it should link to something that actually explains what is going on rather than invite people to oppose it blindly. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:43, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. EllenCT, that would be me. I preferred the original and would not support this banner. Thank you for all you do! :D ―Matthew J. Long -Talk- 20:59, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Aww, thank you! I'm waiting to see what Jimbo proposes before I commit to specifics. EllenCT (talk) 21:25, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Please don't do that. Jimmy Wales's opinion should count for no more that anyone else's. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:36, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
He might be our best liason to the Foundation, sitting as he does on both the Board of Trustees and the Advocacy Working Group, and having dealt with existential threats in the past. EllenCT (talk) 21:38, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
There have been no existential threats in the past, and I don't believe that this one is either. Nobody in this discussion has linked to any neutral explanation of what the proposals actually say, but only to sensationalised interpretations of what they imagine they might lead to. Phil Bridger (talk) 22:00, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Good point; here is some background information: Dimitrov, Dimitar; Davenport, Allison. "Problems remain with the EU's copyright reform". wikimediafoundation.org. Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 7 February 2019. EllenCT (talk) 22:08, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Yet again, that not neutral background information, but something produced by the Wikimedia Foundation to justify why so much money should be spent on peripheral issues such as employing people to write drivel rather than what should be their central purpose of providing infrastructure. Surely it's not beyond the human wit to actually say what the proposals are rather than offer links that tell us what's wrong with them without actually saying what they are? Phil Bridger (talk) 22:22, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
@Phil Bridger: are you looking for [2] and [3]? I like this part: Online services are means of providing wider access to cultural and creative works and offer great opportunities for cultural and creative industries to develop new business models. However, although they allow for diversity and ease of access to content, they also generate challenges when copyright protected content is uploaded without prior authorisation from rightholders. Legal uncertainty exists as to whether such services engage in copyright relevant acts and need to obtain authorisations from rightholders for the content uploaded by their users who do not hold the relevant rights in the uploaded content, without prejudice to the application of exceptions and limitations provided for in Union Law. This uncertainty affects rightholders' possibilities to determine whether, and under which conditions, their works and other subject-matter are used as well as their possibilities to get an appropriate remuneration for it. EllenCT (talk) 06:56, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Without wanting to sound too sarcastic, if you seriously think that the Pirate Party are a neutral source on matters of copyright you should probably withdraw not just from this discussion but from any discussion regarding copyrights. ‑ Iridescent 08:48, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I posted this BBC story here earlier today. Is that any use? And, fwiw, I too am not happy with the appeal to Jimmy, nor the excitable tone being used in the templates. - Sitush (talk) 22:28, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Sitush, and sorry for missing that before. That link confirms that there's nothing for Wikipedia to worry about, as we don't rely on users uploading copyright-violating content, which is the target of that proposal, in the way that YouTube and similar services do. I'm sure that Google can afford to do its own lobbying without unpaid help from us volunteers. Phil Bridger (talk) 08:16, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Iri and my comment above. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:10, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Note I replaced "free content" with "freely licensed content" in this proposal after the above comments. EllenCT (talk) 22:46, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment I could support this initiative if it were highlighting a Wikipedia article on the topic, but I can't support it with the external link. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 22:49, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per my !vote above; oppose anything linking to that website. Levivich 22:50, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose mostly per above. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 23:22, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as I always do when it comes to political advocacy here. — Godsy (TALKCONT) 03:33, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose any use of the encyclopedia for political advocacy, even if a majority of a tiny subset of editors agree on a position. ―Mandruss  11:03, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Mainly per Iri above. Political activism when its directly affecting ENWP is one thing, at least that might be justifiable (although I would still object). Political activism based on disinformation and in some cases, what I would consider active misrepresentation by people (including wikipedians) who certainly know better? No thanks. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:18, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Not that much better than the one above. –Davey2010Talk 12:24, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose this is worse than the previous suggestion because it's even more misleading than the first one. While I might support a banner similar to the previous banners that received consensus, I am strongly opposed to the ones that have so far been proposed because they all read as sensationalistic propaganda to me. Ca2james (talk) 17:47, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose, again for the same reasons: per Mz7, Sitush, and xaosflux. Wikipedia is not a platform for political or social advocacy or activism, and this proposal is simply a sensationalist reaction. If they must, as owners of the encyclopedia projects, the WMF can go ahead ad do what they like - on their web site.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:20, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose anywhere. It may be appropriate on a userpage, but even there, political campaigning doesn't really belong. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Alternative 2: Wnt's text linking to EFF[edit]

Regarding [4] I am copying Wnt's suggestion here:

Proposed EU legislation would damage the ability of Wikipedians to research and generate content that is freely reusable. Current and historical news coverage would be severely impacted. See EFF's analysis for further information.

My current thinking is to ask Foundation officials to use some combination of Wnt's and my proposals in a Europe-geolocated CentralNotice, and study the institution of a double-blind editorial bonus award system based on need times contribution. EllenCT (talk) 15:29, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

You should check out meta:CentralNotice/Request where these are handled. — xaosflux Talk 16:06, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
Thank you kindly. EllenCT (talk) 06:02, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose any use of the encyclopedia for political advocacy, even if a majority of a tiny subset of editors agree on a position. ―Mandruss  16:14, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Good grief, you're not going to stop flogging this dead horse are you? Oppose for the third time. ‑ Iridescent 17:15, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Still Opposed - tweak this any which way you want... it still isn’t appropriate. Wikipedia is not the right venue for it. Take the political advocacy off wiki. It is verging on being disruptive. Blueboar (talk) 00:39, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Sigh. I did not propose this for a vote here because as I said in the text this was taken from I think WMF can arrange with the ALA for a better landing link, and doubtless better text, if it desires. But to call freedom of expression "political advocacy" is wrong, because what is the alternative? The position of banning freedom of expression leaves no room for advocacy! You people are complaining about bias when the position being advanced is one where in the EU, in China, in Russia, in Australia, wherever, the story is always the same, that people are only allowed to hear what robots allow them to hear, programmed by private unaccountable billionaire companies to comply with idiotic public officials' written and unwritten demands! Who will fight "bias" then? You will be whitewashing every last detail that might support some position you once actually agreed with, pretending that by doing so you will gain some concession from implacable machines bent only on your enslavement, and still it will not be enough! Wnt (talk) 00:47, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Take it elsewhere... see WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS. Blueboar (talk) 00:51, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose This one is better than the other three because it is more factual and less sensationalistic. However, it does not actually ask anyone to do anything (so there's no clear point to the banner) and I oppose links to external organizations. Ca2james (talk) 17:47, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Needs action, otherwise good - in a similar vein to Ca2james, it's a much better phrasing, but could use more of a suggestion of what to do if you agreed with the point. Nosebagbear (talk) 19:02, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose because the first sentence is accurate, the second sentence is not accurate, and the third sentence contains a better link than the last ones, but still a link to one particular organization, and we shouldn't endorse organizations in banners or engage in political advocacy (per the second pillar). Levivich 19:26, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
@Levivich: Would the UN be acceptable to you? Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: [5]. Wnt (talk) 01:47, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
@Wnt: Yes, changing the link to a link to that UN report would satisfy my concern about the link; that's a neutral reputable source. It wouldn't change my !vote, however, or my general feeling about a banner on this subject, because, as noted in the UN report: The following entities are excluded from this definition: Non-profit “online encyclopaedias,”.... As I understand it, the proposed law would not restrict WP, but would only restrict people's ability to re-use WP content, and that, in my opinion, isn't something WP should be advocating for/against. Levivich 02:07, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm actually more concerned about interference with our ability to obtain information. Use of news aggregators is a routine part of making articles about relatively recent events. Having a comprehensive listing of sources and long headlines to scan through is essential for spotting the articles that aren't carbon copies from large syndicates, allowing us to broaden the number of independent reliable sources, hence document notability and reduce POV bias. Wnt (talk) 09:54, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose again for the same reasons: per Mz7, Sitush, and xaosflux. Wikipedia is not a platform for political or social advocacy or activism, and this proposal is simply a sensationalist reaction. If they must, as owners of the encyclopedia projects, the WMF can go ahead ad do what they like - on their web site. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:22, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose anywhere. It may be appropriate on a userpage, but even there, political campaigning doesn't really belong. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Alternative 3: Proposer's draft CentralNotice request[edit]

Here is the meta:CentralNotice/Request I am presently planning to ask of the Foundation upon closure of this RFC:

As above, I also intend to ask the Foundation to study a more equitable double-blind bonus system for the best editors scaled by their need. EllenCT (talk) 06:25, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

  • Oppose any use of the encyclopedia for political advocacy, even if a majority of a tiny subset of editors agree on a position. ―Mandruss  11:52, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Still opposed - per all the arguments (repeatedly) made above. Blueboar (talk) 12:17, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Modest support. I don't see much obviously wrong with this, though the second link is not strictly necessary. It would be better to have WMF guidance, coordinated action with the ALA, etc., and I'm not sure I like the visual format, but at least it's a tenable starting point. Wnt (talk) 15:23, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The first sentence is about Article 11, which does not affect Wikipedia in the same way as Article 13, and the second is about Article 13; putting them together the way they have been conflates the two and is misleading. Also note that links outside of Wikimedia do not meet the meta:CentralNotice/Usage_guidelines. While I might support a banner similar to the previous banners that received consensus, I am strongly opposed to the ones that have so far been proposed because they all read as sensationalistic propaganda to me. Ca2james (talk) 17:35, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as Article 11 - Article 11 is pretty irrelevant to us. I once again agree with @Ca2james: on each point. The prior ones (esp opt 1) were better. I actually am in favour of vastly more attention - I'd actually support another SOPA-style blacking out, but once we've caught people's attention, we need text that doesn't make us look like we're frothing at the mouth. Jimbo did say 5 days ago he was chatting over what actions to take with the WMF (they've asked him not to communicate publically atm) - we'll see what comes from that aspect, but until then we can at least work on the message that works better. Nosebagbear (talk) 19:11, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Still strongly oppose – this is less accurate than Alternative #2, and doesn't address any of the problems with Alternative #1 or the original proposed banner. Also oppose more proposals until consensus is gauged as to whether we should have any banner at all. Levivich 19:29, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: have you spoken with the owners of the website to which you are linked to find out if they're capable of managing the potentially massive hit (and accompanying hosting service cost) of people clicking that link? Aside from that, this is not appropriate and is highly biased. Risker (talk) 05:13, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Still Oppose, per Mz7, Sitush, and xaosflux. Wikipedia is not a platform for political or social advocacy or activism, and this proposal is simply a sensationalist reaction. If they must, as owners of the encyclopedia projects, the WMF can go ahead and do what they like - on their web site. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 09:23, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Still oppose. Posting the same lie a dozen times is not going to make it the truth. ‑ Iridescent 21:16, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose anywhere. It may be appropriate on a userpage, but even there, political campaigning doesn't really belong. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Focusing on article 11 is an improvement, because Wikipedia is clearly affected by it (not to mention Wikinews, Wikidata and Wikiquote). Nemo 09:11, 9 March 2019 (UTC)

Alternative 4: The crux of the issue[edit]

Restrictions placed upon access to knowledge is evil. Nocturnalnow (talk) 05:14, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

What is the political campaign you reference? Nocturnalnow (talk) 15:46, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
@Nocturnalnow: yours, here at Wikipedia. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 19:17, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Not that I know of. This is, as you say, not a productive place for a political campaign. It is, hopefully, a good place for discussing the effectiveness and content of an encyclopedia and how best to promote said effectiveness and content and protect said effectiveness and content. Perhaps my banner is too assertive/aggressive/non-passive or maybe some just don't like it, but its the type of banner that would get my attention, interest and spur me to action; now maybe you think any sort of action is political, but I don't believe that. Anyway, you are opposed, and I accept that, I just still fail to see the political campaign nature of my banner. Nocturnalnow (talk) 20:16, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Nocturnalnow, your banner contains your personal political interpretation ("will inhibit"), and it asks people to "act today" by clicking an external link to a political petition website. Your proposal to introduce this banner to Wikipedia, anywhere, is a political campaign for your suggested action and your personal political opinion. The bludgeoning shown here also makes me question your "acceptance" of the opposes. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 21:02, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose polemical and inflammatory statements on any topic are evil. --Jayron32 18:49, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Which part of my "statement" is polemical or inflammatory? Nocturnalnow (talk) 15:46, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
Every part. It starts with a blatant appeal to emotion by referring to someone who died a few years ago, then goes on to present opinion as fact, and finishes by linking to an advocacy site that contains no explanation of what these proposals actually say. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:51, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with emotion, the absence of emotion is a problem, and Aaron Swartz didn't just die, he was hounded to death by the same type of control freaks we are up against in this matter; and that's a fact, not an opinion. Nocturnalnow (talk) 03:44, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose any use of the encyclopedia for political advocacy, even if a majority of a tiny subset of editors agree on a position. (Sorry for the repetitiveness, but it seems procedurally necessary.)Mandruss  15:53, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Yet another oppose. Can someone please close this? This shoot-till-you-win game the handful of supporters are playing is now well into WP:IDHT territory. ‑ Iridescent 20:24, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Quite. There seem to be some people who believe that Wikipedia is part of some campaign to abolish all copyright laws, whereas in fact we are very strong supporters of copyright, both in regards to copying other people's intellectual property and to repecting the copyright of our contributors. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:33, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Discussions[edit]

Discussion: EfD banner[edit]

We do not spread fake news. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:40, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
A story on the BBC News website in the last week said that online encyclopaedias were specifically exempted from Article 13. Is that not correct? - Sitush (talk) 04:51, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
It is true, but that provision does not allow us to keep our licenses' promise of reusable content, for both commercial and noncommercial entities. EllenCT (talk) 04:54, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
That is the reuser's problem, not ours. - Sitush (talk) 04:58, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Do we place any faith in our own promises? Our terms and conditions of service? Those promises are woven deep into the fabric of the encyclopedia's policies. If you deny this is an existential threat, then it is your burden to propose changes to those policies. Are we as good as our word? EllenCT (talk) 05:01, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
No, we are not as good as our word. I get fed up of reporting copyvio here and at Commons. - Sitush (talk) 05:04, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
That is not a solution. It's an end. It's just a pouring out. You shouldn't make a decision without checking that attitude is present. Maximum copyright will not make it more difficult to pretend there was no copyright. It will make it harder only for those who are honest. ~ R.T.G 16:46, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Why? If someone uploads a copyrighted photo to Commons it could take many years till the violation gets discovered, so assuming that the photos from Commons are free is a legally unsafe assumption anyway. Same applies to plagiarized text. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:59, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
I appreciate that we are plagued by plagiarists, but that doesn't mean we should break the promises made by non-plagiarist editors, or that the Foundation can break those promises without permission from the volunteer community in the form of replacing our licenses with a claw-back of permission from those to whom we have promised free commercial and noncommercial use. EllenCT (talk) 05:25, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
I, for one, would be quite happy if we scrapped that promise. It is unworkable anyway. But it is a different discussion. - Sitush (talk) 05:34, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
We still tell reusers to review all media provided on WP for reuse within their country, even media from Commons. There are some obscure copyright rules that even our commons media cannot be reused there but are fine in the bulk of the rest of the world. Our disclaims have this warning. --Masem (t) 05:39, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Just because we equivocate such that we can does not mean that we should break the promises woven so deeply into our policy. EllenCT (talk) 05:44, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Regardless of what other users here have said so far, I still think it is a nice thought. ―Matthew J. Long -Talk- 07:10, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
?? Chocolate cake is nice but no-one suggests we put up a banner advocating it. - Sitush (talk) 08:11, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
If your chocolate cake is under threat, put a banner up. Interested? Child labour in cocoa production. ~ R.T.G 15:47, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

@Wumbolo: regarding your support !vote, if Article 13 really is such a big deal for Commons then merge it into a WP project so it becomes part of the encyclopaedia or, hey, abandon it because it is half-broken already. As for WikiData, well, that's had five years or so to get going from a relatively high start base in terms of experience in policy formulation etc and it is a pretty much a disaster. Certainly won't be any loss to WP. - Sitush (talk) 11:27, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

BOO! Argument from ignorance. False. Search results for "commons is a failure"... 7 hits. How many of the seven are about Wikipedia? They are all listed here with this post. ~ R.T.G 12:09, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
Where did I use the word "failure"? Talk about ignorance! AS for the notion in your !vote that it is just a "large version of a userbox", well, it isn't: main page does not have userboxes and it represents all of us, not one person. - Sitush (talk) 12:12, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
If broken is not failure... Extreme copyright prevents the emergence of living artists on the grounds of uniqueness. Today is a renaissance of art. Ultra-extreme copyright makes that a narrow path through a desert. Talk about ignorance rather than simply using the word as a form of attack/defense. I didn't talk about ignorance, I linked an article about reason and debate. If you haven't read it yet or understood it, by the definition of ignorance... I am sorry, but this request is not for use on the main page, is it? It's a request for you to use it your self in user space. Argument from ignorance. ~ R.T.G 15:44, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
As far as I can work out, the request was for it to be used on the main page. That's what other people thought also., and it was certainly the original request. If people were arguing whether the thing should exist or not then that would be a matter for WP:TFD. Nothing to do with my ability to reason, I think, but rather your ability to understand the purpose of this RfC. And, no, "broken" is not a synonym for "failure", nor did I say it was "broken". You think you're dealing with an idiot here but, I assure you, you are not. - Sitush (talk) 16:12, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
I didn't mention your ability to reason, but I said quite clearly that you haven't bothered. You are responding that my disagreement in terms is a claim to your idiocy. You say that a thing which is broken has not failed. Sheesh. What sort of reasoning is that? It's fighting talk. How do you know, if you reasoned with me, and your reasoning was true, that I wouldn't accept it even though I still hold my personal wishes? Well, you don't. ~ R.T.G 16:30, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
You are now trolling and deliberately missing the point. End of. - Sitush (talk) 16:34, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
You don't have to use personal attack to avoid admitting you have no debate. ~ R.T.G 16:43, 18 February 2019 (UTC)
No. You said a lot more than how you feel about the main page. Sorry. ~ R.T.G 17:38, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

@Mandruss: Political advocacy is actually an express mission of the WMF, like it or not. Benjamin (talk) 23:03, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

@Benjaminikuta: WMF owns the place and they are free to do what they want. They either care what editors think about the matter, and I'm strongly opposed, or they don't, and this entire discussion is an irrelevant waste of everybody's time. ―Mandruss  23:37, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
So you fundamentally oppose the mission of the WMF? But anyway, votes are judged on the merits of the argument, and you didn't really make an argument. Benjamin (talk) 08:26, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
Using the encyclopedia as a delivery vehicle for political advocacy, using a single voice to represent all Wikipedia editors, when there is absolutely no reason to believe that even a simple majority of the editing population support the message, is not the only means available to WMF to pursue that mission. Wikipedia is fundamentally a group of volunteer editors and their work product, not the face of the WMF. I'm sorry you don't think I've made an argument. ―Mandruss  12:41, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
Quite. The Foundation is perfectly entitled to get into bed with the likes of UKIP, PiS and the Lega Nord in defending the right of corporations like Google and Facebook to dominate the Internet by riding roughshod over less powerful people's intellectual property rights, but it should not use a volunteer-written encyclopedia as a vehicle to do so. Phil Bridger (talk) 13:18, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
Noting that my position has nothing to do with the specific political issue at hand, which is why I haven't addressed it any of my comments. To my mind it's beside the point. ―Mandruss  15:40, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I didn't mean to imply that anyone who takes the same position as I do on the issue of a banner necessarily shares my opinion on the EU proposal, and apologise if I seemed to make that implication. One of the reasons why we shouldn't have a banner is that Wikipedia editors do not have a uniform opinion on this or any other matter. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:06, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
You claim getting rid of Google and Microsoft will be like some sort of big step, for humankind. But you have no expectation of what will come afterwards though do you. Where have all the homeless come from? "And the bull ran little races, and capered sportively around the child; so that she quite forgot how big and strong he was, and, from the gentleness and playfulness of his actions, soon came to consider him as innocent a creature as a pet lamb." Your government doesn't care what the name of the corporation is. This is not a divorce from the corporation or a step against them. Scatter Youtube today and piracy will come back to life before the weekend is out. Freedom is based on restriction. Copyright should be suitably restricted to culture a healthy society, just like everything else is. Once they raise corporate bars they never go back, no matter how tricked you feel later, they allocate the money. When someone comes along and says, we want to change back this corporate decision, they say, can you replace the revenue? Cognition#Metacognition. ~ R.T.G 18:09, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
This just underlines my comment elsewhere in this discussion that this seems more like a 1970s student union meeting than a mature discussion on an encyclopedia. I remember one person (the sole representative at my university of some Trotskyist splinter group) who would, whatever the issue, make a completely incoherent speech against it and finish with, "this issue is totally irrelevant to the one important task: let's all go away and prepare for the revolution!", and then he would walk out expecting everyone to follow him. You remind me of him. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:26, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I said, this isn't aimed at what you are hollering it is. This is not part of the revolution against the corporation. I said, the reality is quite the opposite. ~ R.T.G 18:54, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: That is false. The WMF Mission remains "to empower and engage people around the world to collect and develop educational content under a free license or in the public domain, and to disseminate it effectively and globally", and that's it, regardless of what certain individuals within the WMF would like it to be. Wikimedia is not about advocacy, and does not accept advocacy except in very limited circumstances, if that. The WMF maintains strict guidelines for when advocacy may be acceptable. --Yair rand (talk) 21:21, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
The Wikimedia Foundation will not associate with or endorse policy, political actions, or political associations, unless the community, Meta, or the Foundation staff recommends they do so. They are very strict about that, and only eager towards politics that challenges the WP missions.
There is no guaranteed public domain release, and copyright has exhibited an endless upward crawl of mission creep since almost 40 years.
About the methodology behind copyright today. If you are an artist from an early age, and you lose your life before you are a teenager, there's 70 years off your copyright and that can only prop up super-uber-mega-conglomo-corporat... It's not for the artists, even if they think they might get something, get that!
Creators and performers do not need absolute copyright. They just need some. What they need is buyers. They need you to want the art and performances. Like philosophy, art is behind everything civilised that humans do in todays world. There is art in all human creation and activity. Yet desire to be an artist, in this "western world", is supposed to be a joke. The same people calling artists a joke are saying that life+70 on reimagining old work is going, to make things easy, for creativeness.
The word artisan is become archaic in the "western world". On one hand you make a joke of them, while on the other you believe in the strictest laws upon them. What did artists and performers ever do to you, except set you free? Like so many problems in todays world, it's not just the law, but the buyers who have no interest in the product, leaving a swinging door to profiteering. ~ R.T.G 23:02, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
@Yair rand: Wikimedia Foundation: "Another main objective of the Wikimedia Foundation is political advocacy." Benjamin (talk) 00:18, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: The WMF's objectives are not, in fact, set by an incorrect Wikipedia article or a mistaken statement by the Guardian. --Yair rand (talk) 00:44, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@Yair rand: Are you sure that they're incorrect? https://wikimediafoundation.org/advocacy/ https://policy.wikimedia.org/ Benjamin (talk) 00:49, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@Benjaminikuta: Yes. The WMF Mission remains the actual WMF mission. The WMF takes certain limited stances in order to avoid interference against the Wikimedia projects, so that we can continue our work here, but it is not an advocacy organization. To quote a rather important message from the Executive Director to the Board:
What is not the core work of the Wikimedia Foundation?

The Wikimedia Foundation is not a think tank or a research institute. We're not an advocacy organization or a lobbyist, and our core mission isn't to keep the internet free and open. We are not a general educational non-profit. (We are a website, or set of sites, and everything we do needs to be understood through that lens.) We don't just reactively "support the community"—responding to requests from editors and doing what they ask us to do. Our purpose isn't to provide MediaWiki support for third parties (but it's in our interest to ensure that a healthy third party ecosystem develops around MediaWiki). We're not, ourselves, content creators. Our purpose is not to ensure the chapters grow and develop, nor is it to support the chapters in their growth and development: rather, chapters are our partners in supporting editors and other content creators.

The Wikimedia Foundation is not the only fish in the sea of free knowledge; not everything that needs to be done must be done by the Wikimedia Foundation, and it's not our job to do work that other individuals or entities are better positioned or mandated to do, however important that work may be. When we try to do work that more properly belongs to other individuals or groups, we imperil our ability to get our own core work done, and we arguably make it less possible for other entities to do what they're supposed to be doing.

— then-Executive Director Sue Gardner
--Yair rand (talk) 03:28, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Notice of possible intent to withdraw proposals[edit]

I am considering withdrawing these proposals, and replacing them with a request that the Foundation, "institute a copyright royalty distribution program designed to compensate editors in proportion to their needs times their likely future contributions." EllenCT (talk) 05:17, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

There is no contradiction between gratis and copyrighted. I may release my text under copyleft because I own the copyright. See? No contradiction. I am an adult and decide for myself to volunteer. Tgeorgescu (talk) 05:30, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
I am also an adult and find your use of the "fake news" epithet along with the claim on your profile page that you report computer hacking to Moscow charming. You'll fit in great around here. EllenCT (talk) 06:38, 19 February 2019 (UTC)
For details see https://www.kaspersky.com/blog/kaspersky-in-the-shitstorm/19794/ Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:21, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
This sounds like someone throwing a tantrum, EllenCT. Was that your intent? Are you seriously suggesting some peculiar form of paid editing? Your repeated links to Jimbo and his talk page add nothing and read like an argument to authority ... but Jimbo has no substantive authority and, in the eyes of a fair number of people, isn't even a half-decent editor. - Sitush (talk) 07:42, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Okay. Attacks opened and ignored, makes further ones, difficult to intercept, and perceive. Get up off Ellen and Jimbo. Ellen is just trying to make an interpretation of something which may affect the site. This topic doesn't even affect you and you are spitting attack. You give no reason, just opinion laced with personalised attacks. It's bitter. She is making an argument to authority. We are only free on equal terms. No personal attacks. I don't care how important you think you are. NO PERSONALISED ATTACKS IN ANY FORM. "Would you like to know more?" ~ R.T.G 13:23, 19 February 2019 (UTC)


I think consensus is clear[edit]

Should this be Snow closed? Blueboar (talk) 18:42, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

I am strongly reminded of Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)/Indefinitely_semiprotecting_the_refdesk, in which a "landslide" of votes for deleting the Refdesk was marshalled in a short time, yet that was not the consensus in the long term. The specific wordings advanced (even my own, which I did not put for vote here) were not ready for prime time, because this is a developing news story, but I want to be clear that any rapid voting on this issue is at most a rejection of those specific proposals and not in any way evidence of meaningful consensus against having a banner or taking other action in general. If you want to claim that kind of consensus you at least have to propose such a general statement and line up convincing support for it. Wnt (talk) 00:59, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
The mere fact of a large majority in opposition, after less than 48 hours, does not warrant a SNOW close in my opinion. I was about to respond that it's too early to close because the proposals are not clearly and objectively inconsistent with some Wikipedia policy or principle. In the process of checking myself, I ran across this at Pillar 2: We avoid advocacy.... On that basis I think a SNOW close is in order. If editors wish to propose that Pillar 2 be modified to say, "We avoid advocacy except in cases that some editors believe are existential", they are free to do so separately, but for now we are in violation of a "fundamental principle of Wikipedia" and the discussion lacks legitimacy. ―Mandruss  01:11, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
That is talking about articles, not notices to editors. Does Wikipedia commit "advocacy" by collecting images from museums, or in trying not to be banned from collecting images from museums? Wnt (talk) 01:28, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the image issue you refer to, so I can't respond to that. Did it involve a banner that encouraged editors to support one side of a political issue with the aim of influencing pending legislation? ―Mandruss  01:35, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia has WP:GLAM that works to put people in with museums all over the world and get permissions to improve public access to materials in their collections. Why should we not urge viewers to retain our access to things like news aggregators, scholarly reviews, and public forums where free-licensed photos of events may be posted -- if fear of unlimited liability and the excesses of corporate censorbots do not stop them from ever being made available to us? Wnt (talk) 02:03, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Museums and other institutions and collectors have already donated millions of digital copies of public domain images for the sake of Wikipedia. If one museum were to be given a powerful copyright effect, and hold ransom, that could destroy the other museums for joining in the change of the world, as instigated by Wikipedia. If a government were to decide they wanted to enact copyright across the board on images of museums artifacts, because they couldn't or didn't want to work on getting the public into the museums to experience the effect of a fine gallery, or were just greedy for the maximum (eating cake and dropping crumbs), wouldn't they be asking to close Wikipedia down? I have here an old news sheet on Commons about a suffragette who killed herself upon the kings horse. The servant children are running after the royalties because they might throw some pennies. Why did Emily kill herself on the kings horse? Was she hurt? Abused? Or was she just oppressed and bored, her enjoyment of life, even in wealth, having ended long ago, after the age of running after pennies? You cannot have (piped)something from nothing, and Wikipedia depends on people appreciating that, or else it will be somewhere far off in the future and take perhaps even more than twenty years to rebuild, we will all be dead before it comes back if it is tried again shut down by an international convention such as copyright. ~ R.T.G 02:19, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
False equivalence. Editors and readers don't see that unless they specifically seek it. But I'll admit my pillar/SNOW argument isn't as airtight as I first thought, and I'm prepared to let these proposals fail for lack of consensus.
There will forever be strong opposition to allowing a relative handful of editors to speak for all Wikipedia editors, in a space visible to all editors and readers in the normal course of editing and reading, on any political issue. I don't think anybody would support including a disclosure like "62% of 0.13% of active Wikipedia editors support this statement.", but such a notice would be highly misleading and highly inappropriate without that. ―Mandruss  02:24, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
I must apologise, my statement there does beg for the point. When they make these harshly restrictive decisions they hark back the attitudes of Emily Davidsons day, when a harsh life was promoted as a good thing. When beating and breaking people was said to give them character. Fear is what it gave them, and suicide was the response because in those days if you simply protested in a group of men you were likely to feel this--> File:Edinburgh police truncheons (19thC).JPG or worse, (deadly when used the knock out protesters). These harshly restrictive decisions hark back to a time of attitude that we don't understand any more and should fear. Pretending the world is perfect to accept harsh restrictions because the world is modern, and you are superficially safe, also calls back those days. You can't have freedom without restriction, but you must have some freedom or what have you. I hate talking aganst copyright because copyright is a good thing, but life+70 so that you can pave the immortalisation of corporations? That doesn't "encourage" anything! That's more of a sentence than a decree. ~ R.T.G 05:32, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
No, there's not a chance this should be snow closed as there is both clear support and clear opposition here, and a WP:TROUT upon you for suggesting it.
Personally, I'm disappointed in the extremely vocal minority here who blindly oppose any sort of banner on the basis of "the rest of the free content world might burn, but they wrote in an exception for Wikipedia so we'll certainly be entirely unaffected (never mind those contrary experts) and must not do anything", or "this only directly affects the EU and not the rest of the world", or "our policy of NPOV in articles must be blindly applied to all communication". Or worse, those who seem to be opposing even if it would destroy Wikipedia.
Yes, the specific proposals here are not very well done and EllenCT is doing themself no favors by flooding the discussion with slightly modified alternatives that seem to be fatiguing everyone except the blind opposers, but these people are taking it to the opposite extreme. Anomie 13:29, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Anomie, exactly what i was thinking and exactly why i simple didnt bother participating here. Btw julia reda just confirmed, that its not like we are exempt from article11 either. Seems lik a nice courtcase waiting to happen for us to waste our doner money on, and possibly will require excluding the EU from distribution. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 17:19, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Oh, please, do we really take a twitter post from an MEP from a fringe, childish, party as gospel here? Is this an encyclopedia or a 1970s student union meeting (of which I unfortunately have experience)? Phil Bridger (talk) 21:03, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Twaddle to SNOW - I suspect know from the former discussions, plus Jimbo's page (where he isn't participating for now due to a WMF request), there is a deluge of individuals who would support some variant. At this point, I suspect a firmer point/some method of gathering attention could probably manage it. I've said that in a bit more detail in option 3, but I wanted to specifically note my unhappiness to consider SNOW closing this topic so soon. Nosebagbear (talk) 19:14, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
    @Nosebagbear and Mandruss: A week later, do you feel SNOW closure is inappropriate? (I note it's near-unanimous opposition to every proposal here.) Levivich 03:53, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
    I think SNOW is misapplied when it's used for cases of !voting greatly leaning one direction; see Wikipedia:Snowball clause#A cautionary note. This is not in the category of "bureaucratic discussions over things that are foregone conclusions from the start."—if this had been foregone from the start, it would have SNOW closed in the first day or two.
    But that's semantics. We can close any discussion when we judge that it has received enough discussion, when all stated arguments and viewpoints have been sufficiently discussed and the likelihood of any significant new arguments or viewpoints is deemed to approach zero. That includes RfCs. I have no opinion on whether it's time to close; only that I think we're well past the window for SNOW. ―Mandruss  04:14, 27 February 2019 (UTC)


I despair[edit]

I checked this page again today, and, amazingly, find that people are still pushing versions of this proposal. The whole basis is flawed, because neutral sources, rather than opinion pieces written by fringe groups such as the Pirate Party and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, confirm that there is no threat to Wikipedia or its reusers from these proposals.

If people want to defend the right of those cuddly little underdogs from Google and Facebook to make billions of euros/pounds/dollars on Youtube and Instagram on the back of practically unenforceable copyright violations of the work of those grasping capitalist producers of music, videos, etc., against the evil Illuminati lizards who control the European Union and the rest of the New World Order, then they have a right to do so. Just please don't try to drag Wikipedia and its editors into it.

I always thought that Lenin had a good name for such people, who consider themselves to be good right-on liberals, but from reading our article on the phrase it seems that he never used it himself. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:32, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

Yep. I, too, suspect that at least some people haven't got to grips with what is being proposed and its actual effect on Wikipedia. Outrage from US-based institutions who can appeal to the First Amendment and similar "freedoms" doesn't really wash and, for the umpteenth time, I will remind people that the proposals specifically exempt non-profit online encyclopaedias.
I also think that even approaching meta for a central notification that applies just to Europe has problems that some may not have considered. Our projects are language-based, not country-based and, obviously, the English WP has a much wider audience than just English-speaking areas of Europe. I would imagine that the same applies to the French WP and perhaps also Spanish. Certainly, linking to online petitions in such circumstances is likely to turn off politicians etc, who will recognise that potentially a big chunk of those signing up are not even within the European constituency (let alone the EU constituency, which is even smaller). There is also a massive political problem in Europe regarding the general role of Facebook, Google and the like, whom the politicians are quite happy to kick for all sorts of reasons, notably privacy and tax avoidance. (I agree with them on that issue, fwiw, but most politicians are opportunists anyway and if they see a chance to give a kicking to a bogeyman, they'll do it.) - Sitush (talk) 22:07, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
CentralNotice messages can be configured to only display in certain countries. I'm not endorsing such a message in this case (I don't really have a strong opinion either way) but just want to clarify that it would be possible to show one only to visitors within the EU. the wub "?!" 00:00, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
OK, that's good. Thanks for letting me know. - Sitush (talk) 19:52, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Oh, and a point specifically relating to the UK: the UK chapter is a registered charity for the purposes of education. Political campaigning by charities is a very dodgy area in law and they could be tainted by association. As I understand it, WMUK struggled to even get registered in the first place, so although I am not involved with them I should think they would like to avoid the possibility of their status being challenged. - Sitush (talk) 22:22, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
WMUK is absolutely NOT a registered charity for the purposes of education; applications on this basis were refused because we do not test or award certificates etc as required according to this appeal judgement against the Charity Commission. A reapplication under a different heading was successful. Yes, charities need to be careful about anything that approaches political campaigning, but lobbying and activism to enable the the charity to fulfill its non-political charitable purposes is not uncommon. They know where to get specialist advice, and don't need it from those who clearly know very little about their situation. Johnbod (talk) 22:56, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Ok, sorry. I stand corrected on that point. It is a while since I looked into it. I believe the Institute of Economic Affairs are being investigated, and would have thought they knew what they were doing. - Sitush (talk) 23:28, 20 February 2019 (UTC)
Many would argue their entire purpose is political, and that is always going to be tricky. Our article begins: "The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) describes itself as a "free-market think-tank" dedicated to "analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems".[1] It has been described by others as a "right-wing think tank".[2]"
  1. ^ "About Us". Institute of Economic Affairs. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  2. ^ Ashley Cowburn (10 July 2018). "Labour demands investigation into right-wing think tank over accusations it 'offered access to ministers'". The Independent. Retrieved 20 February 2019.

Johnbod (talk) 01:21, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

I see references for some side-track here, and links to "useful idiots", but where is this neutral commentary that reassures us that a wave of massive censorship isn't really going to cause us any trouble?
The apparently unsourced argument that Wikipedia has a narrow exemption doesn't really hold water. The problem is that somebody has to write articles. How do people write articles if not just Google News but any other kind of news aggregation is banned? Do you suppose there are still microfiche readers in the library to read through all the hardcopy? And how long do you suppose Wikipedia's little exemption is going to last if we are really the one place that people can go to get a broad, comprehensive look at all the developments leading to an event of political relevance, when all the others are banned? and when non-serious editors are coming here to try to upload and share things that censor-robots find seconds faster on any other site? And most fundamentally, if the EU and China and a lot of countries in between have decided that the way to deal with "expression" is to force companies to run automated censorware on everything ... how long can the concept of an encyclopedia anyone can access, or of making information of any kind free to anyone, continue to exist at all? Wnt (talk) 02:57, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
Once again you are believing the far-right conpiracy theorists rather than looking at what this proposal actually does. Part of the problem here is that only those who believe that the European Union is an evil empire controlled by New World Order Illuminati are particularly vocal about this subject, because more level-headed mainstream opinion is that there is no great problem with these proposals, apart from for the companies that make billions out of advertising on copyright-violating content. The statements that "not just Google News but any other kind of news aggregation [will be] banned" and that this will "force companies to run automated censorware on everything" are totally ridiculous hyperbole. Maybe you should read an encyclopedia article about the subject rather than believe what you are told by the lunatic fringe on the Internet. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:40, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
@Phil Bridger: Yeah, lunatic fringe on the Internet. Like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, for example. Obvious nutcases, probable terrorists, ought to be held in a camp sucking off an electric cattle prod and really will be once the EU makes their next big set of reforms, no doubt. Not good people, clearly. Wnt (talk) 22:59, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

Deference to the text, not links, of the prior proposals achieving consensus[edit]

Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)/Archive_151#Proposals for wording of a neutral banner recently came to my attention on JimboTalk. The wording of all of the proposals there which achieved consensus are, in the opinion of this RFC proposer, better than the wording all four of the proposals here. However, I will refrain from asking for expedited close until next week (as I said I would above) to allow for further discussion and link mix-and-match updating, as I feel the SaveYourInternet.EU/act and EFF links are both superior to the links in the CentralNotice proposals in the archive. And I do think this is important enough to deserve some kind of an exclamation mark on the Main Page, for Europe only. EllenCT (talk) 20:02, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

How are links to fringe advocacy web sites better than a link to a neutral explanation of what these proposals actually are, which is not what you think they are? Once again, you are believing the conspiracy theories about evil scaly Illuminati running the European Union and the rest of the New World Order rather than the facts, which are that the EU proposal attempts to rein in the ability of Google and Facebook to make billions of whatever currency you use out of copyright violations of work produced by musicians, filmmakers, etc. And, if you want to be taken seriously here, please stop referring to Jimmy Wales and his talk page. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:19, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Reptiles, idiots, and children? Your attacks are mostly based on insult. You seem almost, to have something to say, but it is really about stopping others saying things. If you want to talk about it, read this and this. If you simply want to express the severity of your emotions, then we can discuss the expression of the severity of your emotions, while this is neither the time nor the place for that, @Phil Bridger:. ~ R.T.G 13:53, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
There's no need to remove attacking speech as it comes up. It stifles debate but, well you know, reptiles and stuff. And anything that reminds you of children well, sheesh, right Phil? ~ R.T.G 13:56, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
Billions. Billions, I tell you! But not Jimmy Wales though. Where does he think he gets off, giving advice on train stations!? ~ R.T.G 16:00, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I'm perfectly happy with Jimmy Wales expressing his support for having a station at Aylesbury, or wherever it was, on HS2. At least while he's doing that he's not supporting far-right conspiracy theorists on Wikipedia. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:14, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
There is nothing far-right about suspicion of maximised law. Copyright law is directly significant to Wikipedia. Jimbo didn't support conspiracy theories, but Wikipedia theories. I don't get it. This is about copyright law in Europe. Copyright law directly affects Wikipedia. ~ R.T.G 23:05, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Good Faith Question.[edit]

Extended content

How do the users in this discussion who oppose any perceived form of political advocacy feel about Wikipedia:SOPA initiative? Was doing the blackout a mistake? ―Matthew J. Long -Talk- 05:28, 22 February 2019 (UTC)

A similar question was asked previously, and Jayron32's response was good enough for me. I would have opposed that blackout had I not been otherwise occupied at the time. ―Mandruss  05:43, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
My feelings have shifted over time on this. It's been a long time, and I think I may have actually supported SOPA back in the day, but if the same vote came up today, I would be against it. This is for a couple of reasons 1) I tend to think that the "existential threats" that this sort of legislation people say will occur is probably overblown, it's a Chicken Little sort of problem: the sky is not falling. It may be raining a little bit, but these things tend to shake out on their own, if it causes some changes to the way Wikipedia operates, we'll adapt. Though I don't really think it will, much. Still, that's what the WMF has lawyers for. 2) People, as individuals, if they have feelings about this, SHOULD be advocating outside of Wikipedia. Contact their MEPs, or encourage their European friends to contact their MEPs and let them know why they don't like the legislation. 3) I'm generally opposed to organizational influence on legislation, and especially a diverse organization such as Wikipedia which brings together a wide range of political and cultural perspectives and for which we may not be speaking with one voice. 4) Also, there's the issue of an American organization trying to influence European legislation. Yes, it is a connected world, but if we have any respect for sovereignty, we really need to be wary of the optics of that. Outside influence over the political process is a big story in several countries now, and even if we think we have the best intentions, it really isn't the place of an American organization to try to influence European legislation. 5) I am uncomfortable with an organization which has a cornerstone value of neutrality taking a political position on anything. So, in summation, yes, Europeans should be involved in their own political process as individuals, whatever their feelings are on either side of this issue. No, Wikipedia or the WMF, as an organization should not. --Jayron32 13:27, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
You point out that the WMF has lawyers, but you seem quick to ignore them when they say that something actually would be a problem.

You also seem quick to conflate the encyclopedia itself, the community that creates the encyclopedia, and the Wikimedia Foundation. The encyclopedia is the thing that has neutral point of view as one of its cornerstones. The community has many points of view, and while it's unlikely that we'll ever be entirely unanimous I suspect that we're generally opposed to government censorship and supportive of the public domain and open and free content. Neither the encyclopedia nor the community are by any stretch just an American thing. As for the WMF, that could be considered an American organization, but you seem to deny that an organization located in one country can have a global mission, and I see nothing about point of view in the WMF's vision, mission, bylaws, or 2018–20 strategy.

I also note that the EU has in several cases taken the position that anything on the Internet accessible from the EU is under their jurisdiction, which would seem to invite anyone and any organization on the Internet to have a position on those EU laws. Anomie 01:59, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

I didn't conflate anything. I told the individual people with individual concerns to contact their individual MEPs and express those concerns. That's how the community can leverage its influence on the legislation. If the WMF specifically has a position, they are free to argue that position in whatever forum they deem necessary. --Jayron32 16:16, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
Also, I didn't ignore that statement by the general counsel in any way. Indeed, it informed my statement I made fully already, but let me elaborate: The WMF has lawyers. They can do their job in dealing with this, without this small subset of the community making a grand, but futile, political statement. As I said, if pressure wants to be made on the EU to stop this legislation, then people can contact their MEPs and make it known they want it stopped. If the lawyers have a problem with the legislation, let the lawyers do lawyer things. We have no role in that. --Jayron32 18:53, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
You dismiss the lawyers' statements with but these things tend to shake out on their own, if it causes some changes to the way Wikipedia operates, we'll adapt. Though I don't really think it will, much. The conflation is when you claim that the English Wikipedia community making a statement on the English Wikipedia is somehow an American organization trying to influence European legislation, and/or when you claim the WMF and/or the English Wikipedia community (versus the encyclopedia itself) has a cornerstone value of neutrality, and/or when you're being sloppy with the referent of the word "organization" by using it to refer to different things within the same paragraph without clear transition. Anomie 21:59, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Anomie, I thought Jayron32's answer was rather comprehensive. It certainly addressed my specific concerns. ―MattLongCT -Talk- 19:26, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Notes[edit]

I just refactored the threads. Previously, the whole thing looked like this wherein things went (A)Proposal, (B)Survey, (C)Discussion, (D)Alternative, (E)Notice, (D)Alternative, (F)Conversation, (D)Alternative, (D)Alternative, (F)Conversation, (G)Question. I found that format unworkable and confusing since conversations did not correlate directly with the previous alternative above. This should help with closing unneeded threads, I hope. (Non-administrator comment)MJLTalk 17:19, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

I have also put in a request to close any alternative proposal sufficiently opposed per WP:SNOW. –MJLTalk 17:35, 11 March 2019 (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.

Hiatus on mass creation of Portals[edit]

There is overwhelming support here for a hiatus on the creation of portals using semi-automated tools.
Some editors support mass deletion of the semi-automated portals created so far, but that proposal is being discussed at WP:AN#Proposal_4:_Provide_for_CSD_criterion_X3, so i will not try to evaluate the consensus for it here.
It is less clear whether that moratorium extends to all creations of new portals, or when and how that moratorium should end, but it is clear that there is no existing guideline which codifies the consensus here for a radical change of approach.
So I urge that editors refrain from testing boundaries of community consensus by creating only those new portals which appear to them to be acceptable. Instead, all interested editors should conduct a new RFC to establish guidelines for what portals (if any) are appropriate. There is likely to be a wide range of views, so to facilitate discussion I recommend a collaborative process to design the RFC, as was done at WT:Naming conventions (Macedonia)#Draft_RFC in preparation for the substantive discussion at WP:Naming conventions (Macedonia)/2019 RFC. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 07:57, 15 March 2019 (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.

Proposed That mass creation of Portals using semi-automated tools be paused until clearer community consensus is established.

Discussion After seeing the discussion at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion#Portal:E (mathematical_constant), I was surprised to see a single good faith user had created over 500 new portals in the last 2 months, and there may be other mass creators beyond that one user; it seems like the unstated objective is to create a Portal corresponding to every navbox template on Wikipedia. This seemed to me to be contrary to two sentences from Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines: "Do not expect other editors to maintain a portal you create" and "the portal should be associated with a WikiProject" (parenthetical comment: for clarity, that should read "...with an active WikiProject"). Accordingly, I make the above proposal. UnitedStatesian (talk) 14:32, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@UnitedStatesian: Please clarify what you mean by "mass creation"; the figure provided above is less than 10 new pages per day per editor, which has never been considered mass creation by any WP standard. Also, please clarify what you mean by "semi-automated", since all software programs, including Wikipedia's internal text editor, may be considered semi-automated. Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   19:25, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Inserted: TheTranshumanist described his process as "semi-automated methods of construction" and the next step being "an alpha-version script in development that speeds the process further. It's how I've been able to create 3500+ portals" [7] Legacypac (talk) 12:16, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
@Transhumanist: You are trying my good faith assumption, as I think you know what you have done, and how you have done it: instead, why don't you explain both IN DETAIL to all of us: how you choose what new portals to create, what templates are subst-ed, what automated .js or other code you run, etc.? Creation of 500 Portals in two months, which is a ~10% expansion of the portal space in that period, is what I would count as mass creation, regardless of how the term has been used in the past to apply to the article space (where the equivalent would be half a million new articles in that time). UnitedStatesian (talk) 19:38, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@UnitedStatesian: No, I'm not testing you, so please bear with me... I would like to know how many portals and by what methods we will be allowed to create portals per this proposal if it does pass. Because, if it does pass, I wouldn't want to violate it, and for that it needs to be clear (otherwise, it would be subject to pure discretion after-the-fact, which is a recipe for a block). For example, what would you consider non-mass creation using semi-automated tools? And what would you consider mass creation using non-semi-automated tools? Both of those are not covered in your proposal above, but it isn't clear what would qualify. Thus, discussing this is the civil way to clarify things, which is what we are doing. All in good faith. Based on your answer, you provided 500 in 2 months as an example, but not as a definite limit: you also provided a percentage, which would be a bigger number as the number of total portals increased. I look forward to your reply. Sincerely,    — The Transhumanist   20:26, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Like Potter Stewart w/r/t obscenity, I know it when I see it, as will presumably any administrators in the unlikely (and against everyone's intention) event it gets to WP:ANI. That's all I am going to say. Apparently every other supporting and opposing editor is also able to draw their conclusion without having any specific limits in the proposal. UnitedStatesian (talk) 20:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@UnitedStatesian: In that case, I'll ask you a specific question: if I created 8 portals per day, would that be considered mass creation under this proposal? I'd like to know, before I actually do it. It is the editors who need to know what they can and cannot do. If only the opposers/admins know, and it's their personal preference, and that's the rule being proposed, then it's surreptitious. Editors need to know in advance of creating portals how many are against your no creation rule.    — The Transhumanist   21:23, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
What part of "That's all I am going to say" is not clear? UnitedStatesian (talk) 21:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Your proposal is not clear. You haven't defined what rate of portal creation is acceptable or unacceptable. How will an editor know how many portals he or she can create or not create in a given amount of time?    — The Transhumanist   08:12, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
UnitedStatesian. The Transhumanist asked a fair question. Your ability to know it when you see it does not translate well into a universally comprehensible guideline. You and others are objecting to an undefined rate of "too much". It is necessary to define what is too much and why it is too much, for it to be consistently applicable. It is a bit like saying Mozart's music has too many notes. It is also possibly unenforceable.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:22, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
On the other hand, it does not really matter who makes the first suggestion for a limit, as long as they are willing to give a reasonable explanation based on policy and logic of why they think that limit should be applied.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:22, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
@The Transhumanist: related to the bot policy semi-automated tasks are generally a series of edits executed in a batch, the operator needs to provide an input and request a batch start, but does not monitor each related edit in the batch, once the batch ends it will not start again without human intervention. — xaosflux Talk 19:32, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
If I understand correctly, and it is possible I have this wrong, each portal is personally visually checked in preview for obvious errors by the creator before publishing. I think this may disqualify it as semi-automated, but I have not done this myself, and am reporting what was explained to me when I asked some time ago. I have created a small number of portals using the same method but individually instead of in batches. The procedure gets faster with practice, but some errors do not manifest immediately as they depend on details which differ between articles. There are several that have been picked up, reported and debugged. I have no doubt that there will be others as that is normal for new software, and the new model portals are largely new software. The actual portal page is mainly calls to a number of templates and modules to display existing content. There is almost no new content in them, they are a systen to display existing content in a different way. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 14:00, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Absolutely - long overdue. Johnbod (talk) 14:39, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, very much overdue. These mechanically-created pseudo-portals are a plague and the person who keeps creating them needs to be banned. We should treat portals created by User:The Transhumanist like redirects created by Neelix, unless there's clear evidence there's both a substantial editor community interested in actively maintaining them, and a measurable external reader base. Fut.Perf. 14:52, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    • I like the idea of handling these portals via CSD, but I doubt The Transhumanist is the only editor creating useless portals. Perhaps WP:P2 could be expanded to cover these portals? As of now, it's not a useful enough criterion if not even Portal:E (mathematical constant) qualifies. -- Tavix (talk) 15:23, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    • If I remember correctly, there is a current request for data on this from WMF. The results are not available yet. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 16:39, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
      • @Pbsouthwood and Future Perfect at Sunrise: That would be T205681. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 03:01, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
      • Thanks for the link. Not quite sure though why you need a special Phabricator request for that. Why not just use simple pageview stats? It's not difficult to find out that the huge majority of the newly created "portals" have less than an average of two pageclicks a day – i.e., essentially no readership at all. Fut.Perf. 05:53, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
        • @Future Perfect at Sunrise: Because, as is noted in the phab ticket, we want access to more detailed metrics than what pageviews alone can provide us. Also portals (and most other namespaces) have always had way less traffic than articles - in some cases, by several orders of magnitude - which is why pageviews alone has never been a valid statistic to use in a notability discussion. We wanted to find answers to what traits make a portal more successful, so that we could use that to improve upon future generations of portals. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 03:26, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support per Fut.Per: this is a form of spam. Internal spam, but still spam, creating a mass of pages which clog a watchlist one minute, only never to be touched again. ——SerialNumber54129 14:55, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support There appears to be more activity, like creating portals, that implies work for other editors than basic work on articles themselves. Rhadow (talk) 15:07, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: I created some of the software behind new portals but I am surprised to see it being used so widely. Here is a list of the 4200+ portals created in the past year. (The "Page properties" tab accepts other date ranges.) Whilst I'm reluctant to support a formal ban, we do need community consensus on what topics merit portals. Previous discussions include WT:WikiProject Portals/Archive 8 and WT:PORTG. Certes (talk) 15:42, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose as stated. The newly created portals do not require manual maintenance, therefore the reason stated is invalid. I agree with Certes that a wider consensus is desirable, but based on facts, policy, and widely accepted guidelines. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 16:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    • That is not correct. For instance, Portal:E (mathematical_constant) calls the template {{E (mathematical constant)}}. What if that template is deleted as a result of WP:TFD? Guess what, now the Portal needs manual maintenance. UnitedStatesian (talk) 16:27, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
      UnitedStatesian, the portal is then deleted. Portals without articles are easily detected and deleted. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 16:35, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
      • (ec) The new portals do not need active maintenance. The e portal does not use the e template directly. Instead, it transcludes an excerpt from the article E (mathematical constant), which in turn happens to use the template. If the template is withdrawn, the article will need to be edited suitably whether it has a portal or not; this will automatically update the portal without anyone having to edit the portal. Certes (talk) 16:38, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
      • It may be possible to automatically delete portals which rely on navboxes if the navbox is deleted, though this may not be worth the trouble, as it seems that substantial navboxes do not get deleted often. Most of the ones used for portal frameworks seem to have been around for some time. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 16:46, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
      • You're missing the point, for which I gave only one example: your "do not require manual maintenance" statement is patently false. Article moves necessitate manual edits like this one; changes to the portal category structure necessitate recategorization, or the many, many other examples that you obviously have not thought of. UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:00, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
        • You're right that, when renaming a category, the portal namespace may add a few pages to the bot's list of systematic updates. Certes (talk) 17:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
      • I do seem to be missing something. The edit you linked to appears to be a bot edit.
        It is quite possible that I have not thought of several things, could you list a few of the obvious ones that you have thought of so we can all be enlightened? When we know what the problems are we can try to address them.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:17, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
        • Sorry, one earlier, it was the Portal move edit, here. And again, missing the point: the way to address them is to stop creating these portals. UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
          • That one makes more sense. Stopping creating portals would eliminate that problem, but so would tasking a bot, or to take it to the extreme, closing down Wikipedia. There may be a whole lot of other ways too. I have not thought of them all. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:57, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support we have been misled. Many editors wanted to close the Portal space. When some of us tried to delete the worst ones we were told by TheTransHuminist that they would be trimming the number of Portals as they worked through them and to wait. Now they created hundreds more useless portals that get spam linked onto articles. I support mass removal and a ban on the creation of any new Portals until the community can revisit the rules of what needs a portal. Legacypac (talk) 16:56, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    • If you inspect that RfC you will find that many more editors did not want to close the Portal space.
      Could you link to where The Transhumanist made the allegedly misleading statement you claim above? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:10, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    • Would you agree that a portal that is not linked from any articles is pointless? · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:10, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
      • Don't worry, the portal team has built an automated process (executed by User:Dreamy Jazz Bot: contributions) that adds EVERY portal to a see also section of its corresponding article. There are no unlinked portals. UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:13, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
We don't need spam links to Portal Land on every article. Was this Bot approved to do this at BAG? Can we stop it somehow? Legacypac (talk) 17:50, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
It's not every article, just every article with a corresponding portal (about 5,500). UnitedStatesian (talk) 17:52, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
UnitedStatesian, is that bot configured to avoid adding the same portal to the same page repeatedly, if the link has been removed by human editors in the meantime? If I should ever find that bot edit-warring against human editors, I'll block it without further warning. Fut.Perf. 19:48, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Don't know, pinging @Dreamy Jazz: to see if they can answer. UnitedStatesian (talk) 20:25, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Future Perfect at Sunrise, the bot does not edit war. It only checks to see if the page links to the portal when it checks a portal. The bot was approved to run on all portals every month, so if the link is removed the bot will add the link again and it is unreasonable to assume that it has to know if it is edit warring per WP:CONTEXTBOT (The link could have been removed by a vandal or by mistake). Also these links that the bot added were only to directly related pages (root articles, categories shown on the portal as categorytrees or as [[:Category: category links and navboxes that the portal relies on). The bot only links articles and categories, but outputs a list of unlinked navboxes. In response to others this has been approved at BRFA by a member of the BAG, with 2 other BAG members being involved and there was also consensus in the project to allow a bot to do this. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 15:06, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
If the bot reverts human editors, then it is edit-warring, no matter if you want to call it that or not, and it will be blocked for it. It's not up to the bot to decide whether any preceding removal was "by a vandal or by mistake"; the bot needs to assume that any such removal was a deliberate editorial choice. Bots must never be used to enforce their bot owner's personal preferences against conceivable editorial disagreement. In the present case, it should not be difficult for the bot to keep a list of portals/pages it has already processed, and make sure it touches each of them only once. I highly recommend doing that. Fut.Perf. 15:19, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
Future Perfect at Sunrise, the bot will only process new portals now. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 17:55, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
so edit wars will not be possible. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 18:01, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, that's good to know. Fut.Perf. 18:03, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
I am trying to work out what "spam linked" is intended to mean, besides the somewhat obvious point that the user does not like it. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:41, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support and likely support mass deletion of those recent portals too, with the occasional exception. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:05, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • For example it looks like a goal is to create a Portal for every District in every state of India. Portal:Beed_district being a random one I picked from a long list of Indian District created in rapid succession. There are a LOT of Districts in India. Then Portal:Burger King which does nothing the article Burger King does not do. Legacypac (talk) 17:13, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose in part whilst I do support a discussion and perhaps a stop on mass creation, I think for this to go anywhere real discussions need to happen about creation criteria. The problems which editors who support this are citing are too many too narrow scoped portals. However, I oppose because I can see this going towards "delete all mass created portals", which I oppose. Before any deletions occur, discussions need to be held about criteria for creation/deletion so that all editors understand what is acceptable. The Transhumainst has created these portals because they think they are useful. The community needs to decide whether they are useful and then once that is decided then the lines have been set in the sand. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 17:25, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Respectfully oppose – First, I would like to thank UnitedStatesian for acknowledging my good faith efforts to improve the encyclopedia. Thank you. I in turn acknowledge UnitedStatesian's good faith efforts and concern for quality control. Thank you, again. Now, I will address UnitedStatesian's arguments: I have no expectation of others maintaining the portals, as the portals are self-maintaining, or automatically maintained. The clause in the portals guideline was referring to manually maintained portals, and was written when the vast majority of portals were manually maintained. The new portals are not of the manually maintained variety. Each excerpt displayed in the new portals are transclusions of article leads, or portions of article leads, and therefore always match them and never go stale or fork. In addition to this, the selection of excerpts displayed is dynamic, and automatically updates, because they are pulled off of a corresponding resource page, usually a navigation footer template. So, as the coverage in the nav templates expand, so does the coverage of the corresponding portal. Each portal has conditional sections as well, that appear only when there is content to display. For example, if there is ever news on a portal's subject, a news section automatically appears. Once the news is 45 days old, and there is no other news to report, the news section disappears. Another conditional section is Did you know. (Continued...
(...continued) Concerning, WikiProject association, all subjects fall under one WikiProject or another. Meanwhile, all portals are also associated with the Portals WikiProject, that has a very talented and active team involved in the improvement of all portals and further development of portal design itself. As time goes on, portals will continue to improve. (Continued...)
(...continued) Some editors above do not like portals (comparing them to a plague), but they do not state why portals should not exist, in terms of Wikipedia's policies and guidelines. One mentioned traffic (readership), and that has never been a criteria for deletion or creation of a page. If it were, half the encyclopedia would be subject to deletion. The strongest feature of Wikipedia is its breadth of knowledge, covering pretty much everything under the sun and beyond, waiting for you when you need it. This makes Wikipedia one of the first stops for information. With so much information, a means of navigating it is needed. While search provides most navigation needs, Wikipedia also provides link-based or click-based means of navigation as well, to assist in situations where search is inadequate, like when a user doesn't know what he or she is looking for exactly, or when they just want to see what articles Wikipedia has on a particular subject. For those times, Wikipedia provides its navigation subsystems: outlines, indexes, categories, navigation templates, and portals. Portals have some features that the other navigation subsystems do not, including slideshows to provide excerpts to browse, and a compilation of link resources from around Wikipedia, including from other navigation systems, bringing these resources together on a single convenient page. (Continued...)
(...continued) Since Wikipedia's navigation subsystems are internal navigation systems, they do not receive much external traffic from google, duck duck go, etc., like articles do. And so none of the navigation pages (except those posted on the Main Page, and a few other very high-traffic subjects) will ever get a high volume of visits. But, that is not their purpose. Their purpose is to be there when needed to help users find their way around the encyclopedia. And the navigation pages, including portals, do that quite well.    — The Transhumanist   18:01, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
"Before any deletions occur, discussions need to be held about criteria for creation/deletion so that all editors understand what is acceptable." This is the same story again and the core problem. Mass creation without any guidelines on what is useful. Stop creation. Draft your guidelines. Run it past Villiage Pump with an RFC. Delete anything that does not meet the approved guidelines. Then you can think about creating new Portals. Legacypac (talk) 18:14, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Legacypac, hello. I have started a conversation about this over at Wikipedia_talk:Portal_guidelines#Portal_creation_and_deletion_criteria. Input is welcome. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 18:44, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - per Serial and Legacypac. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:01, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - What we need is a policy that says: don’t mass-anything. Don’t mass create, don’t mass delete, don’t mass move, don’t mass edit... etc. Blueboar (talk) 19:18, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    ... without prior consensus, of course. And unfortunately, one editor's "mass" is another editors "hard work." UnitedStatesian (talk) 19:21, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    Agree in principle, but you'd have to define "mass". Devil's in the details, as always. Speaking generally about mass changes of all types, I think the policy should be: Upon the first challenge, stop, self-revert everything, seek community consensus. If you wish to avoid the possibility of all that self-reverting, seek community consensus first. ―Mandruss  19:24, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@UnitedStatesian and Blueboar: Currently, the bot policy says regarding mass creation that The community has decided that any large-scale automated or semi-automated article creation task must be approved at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval - maybe this should be extended to namespaces other than articles? It also applies to non-hidden categories, but not to portals --DannyS712 (talk) 19:25, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Probably poor wording choice on my part, as these are not bot-created portals, so are not covered by WP:MASSCREATION. It was not my intention to use a WP-specific term of art. UnitedStatesian (talk) 19:38, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
That still would allow for the number of portals the proposal above would disallow, as the bot department's policy pertains to a specific threshold per editing session. Ten articles at a time, or even twenty, isn't considered mass-creation, for example. The proposal above is (unintentionally) using the proposal page to set policy. (What if this proposal passes, and no consensus is ever reached on the topic, as intended in the proposal? Then it becomes the default policy. That is an inappropriate use of this page.)    — The Transhumanist   19:42, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

@The Transhumanist:, I believe it should be a no-brainer that now that you know there is substantial opposition to your mass-creations, you should, as a matter of course, deist from further creations until a community consensus in their favour has formed – rather than insisting on your "right" to continue creating those pages until any such community discussion has concluded against them. Please answer me this with a clear yes or no: Are you willing to make such a commitment here and now? No more new portals until a clear guideline for what is and isn't acceptable has been agreed on? Fut.Perf. 19:53, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

UnitedStatesian was concerned with the rate. Being an opponent of portals in general, you are obviously trying to conflate that to mean any new portals at all. I'm not buying into that. I'll patiently await US's response. Thank you.    — The Transhumanist   21:14, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support, but I think that this may not be the right forum, that perhaps we need to be at WP:AN because we may need to impose a topic-ban. It should have been clear from the discussion three months ago that there was substantial opposition to the large-scale creation of new portals, but it appears that we now have hundreds of them. Yuck. Robert McClenon (talk) 22:39, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Bold is making a few changes to a few pages. Mass creation of pages without clear prior consensus is disruption. A topic ban is probably the best long-term solution. Johnuniq (talk) 22:48, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Just so people are aware, in the month preceding 23:00, 26 February 2019 (UTC), the Transhumanist personally created 263 portals (not including redirects). XTools reports that, in total, they created 3,774 still-live portals. --DannyS712 (talk) 23:00, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    Since July 1st (after WP:ENDPORTALS was over), over 4500 portals, excluding redirects, have been created (quarry:query/33793); the Transhumanist created more than 3500 (quarry:query/33795); of those, at least 561 were created with a summary along the lines of Started portal, in tab batch save, after batch was inspected: image slideshow minimum 2 pics, no empty sections. No visible formatting or Lua errors upon save, but there may be intermittent errors; report such bugs at WT:WPPORTD so that they can be fixed. Thank you. (quarry:query/33794). Just a note --DannyS712 (talk) 04:42, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - We do not need a portal for everything and anything that has ever existed. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 00:36, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support My watchlist is full of Portal spam. ―Susmuffin Talk 03:46, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Portals like Portal:Burger King show that human-created portals are actually better, and we don't need portals for things that don't have an editor base behind them. Would not oppose deletion of all portals that only have edits by TTH/bots. —Kusma (t·c) 09:54, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

 Note: the community may be interested in taking a look at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Dreamy Jazz Bot 2 and Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/Dreamy Jazz Bot 3 --DannyS712 (talk) 10:01, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

  • Support – This unilateral creation of hundreds of useless portals must stop. RGloucester 14:16, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support especially in mathematics, and in areas where there is an active wiki project. In mathematics, no portal should be created without a WP:Consensus of project members. The lack of discussion in the wiki project has several damageable consequences: 1/ In the selected articles, formulas are awfully rendered (colons displayed before displayed formulas, html formulas not displayed if they contain {{=}}, ... 2/ the selected articles and selected figures are often unrelated with the subject of the template, or so weakly related that a professional mathematician must think a while for imagining the relationship. There are probably other flaws, but this would need some time to find them, time that would better spent for improving math articles. Moreover, although, I do not like inboxes in mathematics, they are generally much more useful and much less confusing that automatically creates portals. D.Lazard (talk) 15:32, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: Portals should be created only after careful consideration and deliberation. Jonathunder (talk) 15:35, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Experience shows that after the first flush of enthusiasm, portals are maintained if, and only if, there's an active and knowledgeable set of editors supporting them. Generally, this means that they need consensus within an active Wikiproject. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:49, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
Peter coxhead, portals are automatically kept upto date with selected articles, news, DYKs and images, and changes to content shown will be shown immediately. Portals, as long as they rely on the single page automatically updating design, will requires nominal maintenance compared to what they used to need. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 17:25, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
@Dreamy Jazz: consider Portal:Spiders, which was never agreed by WP:SPIDERS. Yes, some of it will be kept up-to-date automatically (e.g. the categories), but who agreed the subtopics? If a major new topic is added, who will update this section? It uses {{Spider nav}}. Since 2010, only two editors I recognize as active in editing spider articles have edited this template (one of them being me). So how will this be automatically kept up to date? Sorry, but this claim is nonsense. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:46, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • support not too long we've debated the potential mass deletion of largely inactive umaintained portals and now we moved on to bot supported mass creation of those? Portals usually should only be created individually with couple of editors interested in maintaining them (and supported or at least not objected by associated projects).--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:00, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
    Kmhkmh, portals are automatically updated. The effort needed to keep them fully working is nominal compared to what it used to be. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 17:22, 27 February 2019 (UTC) striked by dreamy jazz. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 18:48, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
    Every page should have some watchers at a minimum to guard against vandalism. It's unreasonable to expect one editor to watch over hundreds of portal pages; the only scaleable approach is to ensure the work is spread out to those who are interested in the topic area. Having portal creation go through active WikiProjects is one way to do this. isaacl (talk) 17:34, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
(ec) Being automatically updated does not mean that they do not need maintenance. See my above comment about math formulas rendering. Also, what when the automatic process insert errors or misleading information? Should the experts of the subject be also expert of the automatic process for being able fixing such issues? Are you sufficiently competent in the subjects of the portals you have created for being sure that the automatic process works correctly? You will certainly argue that if categories, inboxes, ... are correct, the process works correctly. The problem is that Wikipedia is never finished, and you cannot hope that all articles are correctly categorized. D.Lazard (talk) 17:44, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
Being automatically updated would make for a decent argument if it wasn't for the fact that automatically created portals are automatically of bad quality. An automated process simply cannot select articles that are actually interesting, news that are actually pertinent, or images and image captions that are actually informative when viewed outside the context of the articles where human editors originally placed them. Automatically created portals are no better than automatically written articles; they simply don't work. (See Portal:Greek alphabet for a particularly ugly example.) Portals that only consist of re-jumbled snippets of their nominal "main article", as many of the manually created ones have been, are already a bad idea in themselves; portals that take that same useless design principle to its automated extreme are almost invariably even worse than that. Fut.Perf. 18:00, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Dreamy Jazz Imho there is no such thing as an automated portal maintenance. Yes you can have automation to reduce simple manual labour aspects of maintenance. But portals require more than that, they need to designed and supervised by editors knowledgeable in the portal's subject, hence automatic portal maintenance or creation is no-go (short of major AI breakthroughs).--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:13, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support topic bans preventing all those involved from creating new portals, and a mass deletion of all the Portal:Blueberries and Portal:Nudity dross. I'd concur with using the same "unless anyone other than the spammers can give a legitimate reason for keeping, it's deleted" CSD process we used for Neelix. ‑ Iridescent 21:11, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support a hiatus. I like the idea of Portals, and have been an enthusiastic editor of them in the past. However we don't need them for every single topic. the wub "?!" 23:26, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. These portals add nothing to the encyclopedia and are making me reconsider my "neutral" vote on the portals RfC. — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 00:20, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment - Many portals have been created, but a greater number of portals subpages have been deleted, I believe in a reorganization process more than a "mass creation of Portals".Guilherme Burn (talk) 01:36, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
One estimate is 4500 new portals on top of the 1700 portals that existed when the Portal RFC tried to shut down the space. 360% more. Have the subpages really been deleted? Legacypac (talk) 02:51, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
@Legacypac: Take a peek at WT:WPPORT/T where there are regular postings of obsolete subpages for deletion due to old school portals being upgraded to our single page model. We have admins periodically review them and run a d-batch once they are verified as obsolete. The total number of pages in the portal namespace is indeed being reduced as we aim for converting most of them (excepting ones that are manually maintained) to the single page model with most of our new automation built in. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 03:41, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
13,000 portal pages have been deleted in the past year: count by month. Certes (talk) 12:31, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
Were the affected WikiProjects notified before their portals were "upgraded" to the single-page model and the subpages speedy-deleted? UnitedStatesian (talk) 13:45, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
@Legacypac: Certainly more subpages were excluded than created portals. And I think thousands of automated portals are far better than thousands of forgotten and unreferenced subpages.Guilherme Burn (talk) 13:40, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong support MfD is being filled with tons of useless portals. Would support deleting portals entirely if there ever was another discussion for it. CoolSkittle (talk) 03:31, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support seems almost point-y and I agree with LegacyPac and Iridescent. I first noticed this with the India geographic stuff that LegacyPac mentioned and, frankly, I don't think I've ever seen an India-related portal that is maintained for any significant length of time. (Cue someone now demonstrating the exception to the rule but the same also applies to Outlines pages, which TTH also avidly supports.) - Sitush (talk) 03:52, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment Just wanted to clarify that portal creation at the current rate doesn't require any form of semi-automated tooling to accomplish. Due to their single-page nature, most portals can be created in a few edits from {{Basic portal start page}} and tweaked to taste. This essentially enables a higher creation rate due to the largely automated nature of the portal content, which require little modification, once set up. If the community wishes to reduce the creation rate to allow better time to review them, that is understandable. We also welcome comments on WT:PORTG where we are aiming to iron out the kinks in the portal guidelines so that there is a clear definition of what criteria a portal must meet in order to exist. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 03:57, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support: WikiProject Portals should use this hiatus to come up with a set of portal notability guidelines that the rest of the community can accept. Failing that, I think another RfC on whether we should have portals at all is in order. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 05:53, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
    • @Finnusertop: Those discussions are still cooking over at WT:PORTG if you'd like to drop by and participate. Face-smile.svg — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 03:33, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  • ONLY as a hiatus - The strict meaning of the proposal is fine - let's avoid creating any portal that is not unambiously suitable until some set of criteria have been agreed at Wikipedia talk:Portal guidelines - there's currently a bunch of discussions, so I've not linked to any in particular. I want to state that maintenance arguments etc are unfair - the new set-up by the portal guys is much better and dodges many of the problems. I remain staunchly in favour of their retention and even expansion - once we've agreed on the latter. Nosebagbear (talk) 11:46, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
But it doesn't dodge the key problem, which is that manual maintenance is still required, and portals should not be created unless and until it is clear that there is an active group of editors who will maintain them. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:38, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • ONE QUESTION - "That mass creation of Portals using semi-automated tools be paused until clearer community consensus is established. " But when will this consensus of the community be established? Otherwise this proposal can be interpreted as a ban on the creation of new portals for an indefinite period.Guilherme Burn (talk) 13:30, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
That's not what the proposal says; it specifically refers to mass creation and using semi-automated tools. Nothing prevents, for example, a WikiProject agreeing to create a portal for which there is a consensus and which they will maintain. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:38, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
Exactly... new portals can continue to be individually created. The proposal is simply to halt the MASS creation of portals (using automated tools). Blueboar (talk) 13:53, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
Green tickY - Understood, thanks.Guilherme Burn (talk) 14:11, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose - while I do think that much of the recently created portals are not of much use, right now we aren't discussing any sort of limit or rule, so this RfC is pretty much pointless until we define an actual proposal. L293D ( • ) 14:03, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support; and it is then up to those wanting to create such portals to get consensus for them (first deciding on a set of rules or guidelines, and then probably an RfC to see if they are allowed to restart creation under these new guidelines). Requesting that those opposing the creations as they happened until now need to come up with a proposal is the wrong way round. Fram (talk) 14:47, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support the blind and arbitrary mass creation of portals with no intention of actively maintaining and updating each needs to be discouraged. Individual users or Wikiprojects who wish to actively maintain portals related to their domains should be encouraged to do so, but simply blindly creating a whole mess of them with the expectation that someone maybe in the future might perhaps take care of them seems like a bad idea. --Jayron32 15:35, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support because 5,000 portals is fucking insane. Levivich 22:52, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Seems they're just being created arbitrarily sans any objectively-outlined criteria. –Ammarpad (talk) 05:41, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. I would also support the mass deletion of all the recently created portals. These are not serving an encyclopedic purpose, they are just adding junk to the collective maintenance burden. Kaldari (talk) 17:09, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support The creation of portals on Indian districts was especially silly. Galobtter (pingó mió) 17:42, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Do we really need a portal on kinglets? WP:BIRD don't even manage to maintain the bird portal itself. I don't even know how to figure out the other new bird portals we aren't even aware of. They aren't tagged in any way for us to track. Sabine's Sunbird talk 04:15, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. This Neelix-like flooding with robot created portals with no added value, and increased maintenance burden should not only be stopped, but should be reverted en masse. When facing Neelix-like problems, then Neelix-like solutions are to be applied. Pldx1 (talk) 15:17, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support taking off and nuking them from orbit. Its the only way to be sure. (Also, no new portals.) Only in death does duty end (talk) 15:58, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • @Only in death, a blanket "no new portals" is probably not appropriate (unless we're specifically talking about a restriction for TTH). As long as we still have portals, there will be very occasional legitimate grounds for new ones (e.g. if Trump loses the 2020 election, there will almost certainly be enough interest in his successor to sustain one, while I'm sure if I thought there was a demand for it I could put together Portal:Islamic State without much difficulty). "No new portals unless the relevant WikiProject holds an RFC in which its members both agree that a portal would be desirable, and undertake to maintain it on the understanding that if it's not maintained it will be summarily deleted" is something I could certainly get behind. ‑ Iridescent 16:19, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Well I actually meant 'no new' in the sense of the specific question above rather than a complete ban. Although as it stands at the recent RFC I couldnt find any credible reason the useful functions of those portals that are actually maintained couldnt be handled by other means. Only in death does duty end (talk) 16:35, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Rather than ban creation, let's address the specific problems, which I see as:
  1. Portals are being created on narrow topics. We're already working on criteria to determine which topics merit a portal.
  2. Existing good portals are being replaced with automated ones. This can be a good thing if the old portal had decayed. The portals project has attempted to identify and leave alone maintained portals, but clearly this has not always worked.
  3. A small proportion of portals have script errors. Unfortunately these tend to be high-level portals, because the most common error is a timeout caused by attempting to feature too many articles, and errors can be transient, because inclusion is random. We have a list of errors and are working on it.
  4. A small proportion of scripts have inappropriate content, such as Richmond Spiders baseball in Portal:Spiders. Again, this can occur unexpectedly when random selections or underlying articles change. We need to emphasise that new portals must be previewed by actual human eyes, even if this delays their creation by a few seconds.
Any other problems? Certes (talk) 17:03, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Question About Portals as Experiments[edit]

In other discussions of portals, TTH is arguing that portals are needed for experimentation in innovation and navigation. I would like to know what sorts of innovations will be tested by the use of portals, and who will be doing the testing. If the purpose of the portals is testing, then we should have a coordinated group of test volunteers with some plan for what features are to be tested and how the testing will be done. Creating hundreds or thousands of portals will scatter any test effort to the point where there will not be useful test results. Can User:The Transhumanist please explain what functionality will be tested using portals? Can they also explain what their methodology is for deciding what portals should be created? Robert McClenon (talk) 07:31, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Portal scope (creation eligibility) is covered in Wikipedia:Portal/Guidelines#Article selection. Innovations on portals are discussed at WT:WPPORTD and can be read about there and in its archives. The innovations (portal components) are "tested" as any template or module on Wikipedia is, by using it and fixing bugs as they are found; first, by the developer, then released per Template:Template rating and Template:Module rating. See also Wikipedia:Lua#Unit_testing. For more details on template and module development, Evad37/Certes/FR30799386 would be able to give more definitive answers.      — The Transhumanist   11:44, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
That is a very long page already and you are suggesting we need to read the archives as well! Can you summarise what innovations you're proposing to develop, and why you need such a massive number of portals for testing/developing the innovations. Intrinsically it seems to me a few hundred should be more than enough to test whatever is is you want to test. Especially since, as others have mentioned, AFAICT it's unclear how even a few hundred will be maintained. Nil Einne (talk) 05:14, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
The current feature requests are posted at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Portals/Design#Discussions about possible cool new features, and you can see the list of their titles in that page's TOC at the top of the page. Of those, the link placer has been completed in the form of User:Dreamy Jazz Bot. So far a couple tools for the auto reporting of errors are available at Wikipedia:WikiProject Portals#Check portals for errors and bugs.
I'm not currently proposing any further innovations at this time, due to these proceedings.
There are enough new features in portals to get feedback on for now. We are discovering a lot of glitches that we might not have discovered with a smaller sample of subjects/topics, and the project's programmers fix the bugs as they are reported.
For example, the Did you know' section is powered by a lua module that mines the DYK archives for entries; pattern matching in the DYK section has a glitch, pointed out elsewhere by Legacypac, that the entries were written in the context of being displayed on the Main Page, and do not always fit portals. For example, some include time references, like "last month", which no longer apply when accessed and displayed by a portal a couple years later.
Legacypac's approach is to recommend deletion of the new type of portal due to design flaws such as this. The portal project's approach is to fix these as they are reported. The project's programmers are quite adept, and could probably filter most of the contextual problems out of DYK or perhaps even adjust them. But I just learned of this type of glitch myself, and have not conveyed this information to the programmers yet. With Legacypac and others actively nominating the new portals for deletion at MfD, our opportunities for improving them and discovering and fixing design flaws are diminishing quickly.
The new features of portals are covered at Wikipedia:Portal#Features of portals, which is in the process of being written. The features not yet described there are:
  1. Excerpts are selectively transcluded so that they do not go stale. Unlike copy/pasted excerpts, they always match their source, and do not fork.
  2. The slideshow components are powered by templates/modules that present excerpts or images from designated sources in a slideshow interface (the slideshow gizmo itself was developed elsewhere in the community)
  3. The subcategories section presents a Special:CategoryTree. It is expandable/collapsible, and is configured to show categories only.
  4. The subtopics section displays a navigation template, automatically reformatted to blend into the page's format. If there isn't one available, the editor can change the parameter to one that does exist, or provide links manually.
  5. Recognized content sections are maintained by User:JL-Bot, which keeps an updated list of relevant featured and good articles there, and featured lists, if any. The bot has been around for years, and is very well tested. This section is conditional, and only shows up if there are entries to display.
  6. The associated Wikimedia section displays the {{Wikimedia for portals}} template and links to sister projects with a search query matching the portal's title.
If you have further questions, please feel free to ask.    — The Transhumanist   13:49, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
@The Transhumanist: I don't see a good explanation for why you need so many portals and so fast to find these "errors". It seems to be either choosing a more diverse range of portals, but still limiting the number of each type, or simply waiting longer would uncover these errors. At the very least limiting the rate so the errors are quickly uncovered and fixed before a large number of pages are involved. It's also quite concerning that you seem to be think it's okay to expect others who didn't commit to this project to find these errors for you. Those who are interest in the project should be the ones finding most of the errors. If they aren't able to, then they either lack the resources or they lack the knowledge or both to undertake this project. They need to find people who do have these to join them before starting the project, and especially before making such a large number of portals. If others are the ones who are finding many of these errors and they aren't happy about it, it seems likely the project has already failed, and we have even more reason to shut it down. Nil Einne (talk) 07:48, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Actually I just read above you said something about Wikiproject Portals. Can outline roughly how many active members there are of this Wikiproject and confirm that they're on board with you tests and importantly, fully willing to commit their time for the necessary maintenance, based on the assumption these will need at least as much maintenance as normal portals since AFAICT, you haven't yet demonstrated your idea of semi-automated maintenance is going to reduce the workload. Actually, it could easily increase it if your ideas don't pan out. The fact that these portals are associated with the wikiproject doesn't tell us if they're actually committing to the effort you experiment may require of them. Nil Einne (talk) 05:24, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
There are around 80 listed participants, most of whom are listed as maintaining specific portals, presumably monitoring them via their watchlist. Currently, those (and others) who have actually made edits recently can be found on this automatically maintained list: Wikipedia:WikiProject Directory/Description/WikiProject Portals. Most of portal maintenance is automated, and can be further augmented with manual editing of parameters in some sections and with manually written content in others. The automation is handled by templates and lua modules. Participants of the project wrote most of the automated portal components, in the form of templates and modules according to discussions on WT:WPPORTD.    — The Transhumanist   13:49, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
@Nil Einne: The Portals WikiProject is aware of the current portal creation efforts, and has been driving the new developments since the reboot. We find ourselves fully capable of handling the new portals. A significant portion (indeed, the majority) of the Project's initial efforts after reorganizing was to develop a suite of templates and modules to automate many of the sections used in portals. This has reduced the maintenance requirement significantly (by an order of magnitude, in some cases) over what their traditional counterparts would require. Most of the changes we've had to make to the new generation of portals have been bugfixes and other technical changes, which need to happen less often now that our tools have matured. If at some point we find ourselves in over our heads, we'd reassess our current direction and take measures to return the workload to a manageable level. We don't want to see the Portal namespace fall into disrepair due to negligence any more than anyone else does. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 07:32, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
@AfroThundr3007730 and The Transhumanist: Unfortunately you're not giving me any real confidence you actually are capable of handling the the work load, as you seem to believe that these automated tools are going to simplify the maintenance of these portals, but there doesn't seem to be any real evidence of this as most of the portals are less than a year old. As I said in my first comments, any assumption that it will be the case without very strong evidence is not likely to be enough to convince the community. You need to commit to maintenance of these portals with the assumption the workload will be at least as high, and probably higher than it currently is for standard portals. (For example, the transcluded text may never get outdated, but the articles that should be transcluded in a portal may change. This includes stuff which it's unlikely can ever be easily automated at least not without very sophisticated code that even Google is only just perfecting i.e. guessing whether new articles would fit into a portal and getting it right 99.9% of the time (which let's be clear, even if you only have 1000 portals, still means you somehow have to find the 10 errors in these 1000 portals by yourselves in good time). And the more complicated code you add to deal with various things like article name changes, article deletions which could perhaps be semi-automated, the more you risk break things which may affect a significant number of portals and which therefore needs to be fixed ASAP.) Anything else is fool hardy. As I understand it, there is always concern that existing portals are not sufficiently maintained, so frankly, I'm even less convinced the project is able to commit the necessary resources for maintenance. Nil Einne (talk) 07:48, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
P.S. While I agree with what LegacyPac said below in general (I haven't looked at the details), this still doesn't means that you couldn't have used existing portals as part of the test bed. The way to do so would surely have been to find more obscure portals where no one was maintaining them and they were outdated, perhaps double checking any project or editors associated with them and if you got the go ahead used them for the test. Again being careful to check everything to make sure it worked okay and not relying on others to find errors for you, and remembering that you taking over that portal now means you 'own' it for a lack of better word, and need to be maintaining it after your changes, without excessive assumptions about how well your automated maintenance is going to work. Obviously the new portals being clearly better than the old ones would help assure people a great deal. Nil Einne (talk) 08:01, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm still not sure why you think that the new generation of portals would require more maintenance than the older ones, particularly since a significant portion of our efforts went into ensuring the opposite. At least in a one to one comparison, the new portals are much less in need of constant attention. Most of the maintenance required of the old portals revolved around updating the article excerpts included on the portal, updating the "Did you know" and "In the news" section, and other selected content sections, along with maintaining the nest of subpages necessary to support them. Each of these components has an automated equivalent which eliminates the need for constant updating. Updating which articles make the selected list needs to happen much less frequently than updating the contents of those excerpts used to require.
The new portals should still be reviewed periodically to see if any changes or additions need to be made, but as was said before, it requires much less interaction than the older model portals. We're still ironing out process for periodic review, and part of that would involve our usual method of populating tracking categories for portals not reviewed since X days/weeks/etc. We could then systematically go through them and review each portal to ensure they are fully functional and up to date. Some of the basic checks could even be handled by bots or userscripts, which are in development. If you have questions about particular components, I'd be happy to help explain them. I agree that automation doesn't solve everything, but it can certainly do the lion's share of the work. We are well aware of how easily software can break, so we try to track as much as possible with maintenance templates, tracking categories, and bot patrolling. Humans will handle the rest of it.
As for upgrading existing portals, care is taken to ensure that portals with active maintainers who wish to maintain the older design won't be converted. Part of the maintenance tracking involves recording any active maintainers and portals to leave unconverted. We also try to take care with high traffic or former Featured Portals to ensure they perform just as well, if not better than before, in the cases where they were converted. Since these new portals are anything but static, and the templates and modules that they depend on are tweaked and updated constantly, sometimes a bug will slip through that may escape our notice due to a myriad of reasons. We try to combat that with extensive testing as Certes mentioned below with Module:Excerpt, and follow up with spot checks. That won't get 100% namespace coverage at all times though, unless we have a bot run through the namespace weekly and purge every portal page to look for error messages in the rendered HTML (which might not be a bad idea, actually). My main point in this is that in the end, the readers will likely still find things that slip through our scrutiny, and we will rely on them reporting these errors to the project so that they can be fixed and we can learn from them. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 08:49, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
What I don't understand is why do you want the portals wikiproject to be fully capable of handling all portals? Since the helper templates used to generate the portal content is dependent on the navigation boxes and articles they draw from, I think the best sustainable long-term approach is for portals to be maintained by the same persons interested in maintaining the underlying content. It makes a lot more sense to me for those with portal expertise to partner with the subject matter experts for a given topic and ensure jointly that the corresponding portal is as useful as possible. This includes working together to decide what are the most suitable entry point topics for which a portal should be created, rather than trying to come up with criteria based on some fixed numeric standard. isaacl (talk) 22:24, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
@Isaacl: I would of course love for other WikiProjects and editors to take over maintainership for the portals that they like. That is the end goal of this project. My point is that until that happens, WPPORT is capable of maintaining the current portal network. I'm attempting to explain why the current set of ~3500 additional portals created since the project reboot aren't the huge burden that some are making it out to be. Even less so, as we start culling some of the micro portals and such that don't meet the guidelines (which are still being discussed). — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 23:06, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't see this as a one-or-the-other situation; I think the initiative would be best served by teaming up with subject matter experts now. There is a much better chance for long-term success with this as an immediate goal, rather than an end goal. (I know there is a discussion on guidelines, and you know my opinion on that already, too.) isaacl (talk) 23:17, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
I wrote most of Module:Excerpt, which contains some of the Lua code behind semi-automated portals. I also wrote trivial templates through which portals access that module. The module displays a configurable portion of an article, typically its lead and first free image, on another page, typically a portal. Previously, this text had been copied and pasted and often became an outdated fork. The text now updates automatically when an article is edited, which significantly reduces the portal maintenance burden. A large part of the code deals with identifying images as free or non-free to prevent the latter from being replicated in portals.
The module has had many fixes and enhancements to address specific changes, mainly to deal with obscure templates and unusual wikitext. Typical recent changes were an enhancement to the treatment of {{Nihongo foot}}, which translates text in a footnote, and to fix a bug in handling bold text within a piped link within a image caption within an infobox. The module does not use the unit test mechanism but has an extensive set of test pages which we use for regression testing and to add new edge cases. It will never be perfect, but it works a lot better than {{#lst:}} in this situation. Certes (talk) 12:59, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Can you explain the thought process that lead to replacing handcrafted Portal:History, Portal:Geography (both linked from the front page) and Portal:English (at Portal:English language) with automated junk that displays red link errors? Legacypac (talk) 16:38, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

The usual reason for converting an old-model portal to a new model portal has been that the old-model portal had no-one willing to maintain it, and was therefore usually out of date and unmaintained prior to the restructuring to the new system, where in spite of occaisional bugs, the portal generally contains state of the encyclopaedia content, crappy as that sometimes may be. To the best of my knowledge, no properly maintained old model portals with self-nominated maintainers have been converted, or if they were, were reverted as soon as a person volunteered to maintain them manully and requested a revert. If you know of a counterexample, please let me know.· · · Peter Southwood (talk): 17:52, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Portal:Cannabis but yes old line portals were poorly maintained in most cases. Legacypac (talk) 21:22, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
@Legacypac: Subpages /Categories and /WikiProjects are redlinked in the restored version and may need to be undeleted. Certes (talk) 21:45, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
I have made a WP:REFUND request on the deleteing admin's talk page. UnitedStatesian (talk) 22:04, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
The request on my talk page was to undelete all the portal subpages I deleted, which is a lot and not something I'm likely to fulfill immediately. But I did just restore the two specific pages mentioned above, and I don't object to any admin restoring specific pages that are needed for particular portals. FWIW, I maintain the Theatre portal and I mostly kept it out of the conversion to the new model. But I did adopt a few of the new approaches where the old subpages didn't seem to add any value, and I would not want to see those changes reverted without a specific reason. Not sure if that's true for any others. --RL0919 (talk) 23:02, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
Courtesy link to Portal:Theatre added here. Very good looking Portal, I might add, exactly the opposite of what the rote-created ones are. UnitedStatesian (talk) 02:17, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Pending at AN[edit]

I have initiated a discussion at the administrators' noticeboard, in particular to topic-ban TTH from the creation of portals for three months, since it appears that there is a consensus here, but that discussion here is non-binding. I welcome any alternative ideas concerning portals. Robert McClenon (talk) 07:26, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Closure requested[edit]

Request for closure of this discussion posted on the administrators noticeboard. UnitedStatesian (talk) 20:12, 14 March 2019 (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.

Notability (scientific subjects)[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
☒N The drafts in their entirety have been rejected by a near unanimous consensus of the participants. It's pretty clear that these needs an overall revamp to be even considered by the community for a discussion and ideas about such revamp is best suited for their respective t/p(s). Thanks, WBGconverse 09:30, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

I have created draft notability guidelines for two types of scientific subjects, both of which I am suggesting should be considered Ipso facto notable. They are chemical substances with CAS numbers and biological taxa. The draft guidelines are at Wikipedia:Notability (chemicals) and Wikipedia:Notability (taxons). In each case there is already a mechanism, external to Wikipedia, that ensures that the number or name is only assigned after publication by a reliable source. I welcome improvements to these draft guidelines, which are in their start stage. The guideline on taxa is meant to apply both to traditional rank-based taxon names at any of the levels (including sub- and super-) and to cladistic names. After expansion and improvement, a Request for Comments can be used to upgrade these draft guidelines to the status of notability guidelines. Robert McClenon (talk) 07:36, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

I'm kinda-sorta OK with these, except that it seems a bit too much like WP:CREEP to me. On the one hand, this is pretty much just documenting existing practice (I've never seen a successful AFD for a taxa, even more so, I'm not sure I've ever seen an unsucessful one, for example), so this is already consensus practice. On the other hand, if people aren't trying to delete these articles, why do we need a guideline to say "don't delete them". The elephant in the room behind WP:N is that it is mainly a tool designed to stop people from promoting their personal interests on Wikipedia. Subjects which are immune from promotionalism (I can't think of any reason, for example, that a biological taxon would be used as a promotional vehicle) generally tend to skate by WP:N concerns without much issue. Even for taxa or for compounds for which little more is known except some basic statistics, I'm generally OK with Wikipedia having an article about them. So what am I saying? I guess I'm a strong neutral on this. On the one hand, I don't really object to writing these guidelines explicitly to formalize existing practice, but on the other hand, I don't see the need to do so given that I've never seen any issues or problems needing clarifying by such guidelines. --Jayron32 14:57, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
I am a strong oppose on basing our notability on CAS numbers. That is a deeply flawed proposal for many reasons:
  1. This seems to bypass WP:GNG. Substances need a non-zero amount of prose that can be written about them to have an article.
  2. CAS is non-free and numbers can be difficult to verify without a subscription.
  3. There is not a one-to-one correlation between chemical substances and CAS numbers. shoy (reactions) 21:27, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
CAS numbers are created to help researchers fine papers that are about chemicals. If that's not evidence of sourcing, I don't know what is. --Masem (t) 19:47, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
I more-or-less oppose any further SNGs. The current ones mostly cause us enough headache already. --Izno (talk) 02:12, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Note: there is some existing discussion of these proposals for SNGs at Wikipedia talk:Notability#Notability Guidelines for Scientific Subjects. —David Eppstein (talk) 07:04, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
I am in favor of any rational SNG, and I would certainly be very inclusive in these areas, but I suggest that in many cases it will be more rational to use combination articles. Most chemicals have been reported only once in the literature, and often as one of many chemicals briefly mentioned in a single patent or paper. Mana taxa have also been reported only once, and at least in the beginning they too can start out being listed in combination articles. In both cases, they will be of interest only to specialists, and including the names and the literature reference in list format is sufficient. There will always the ability to write at least some prose--a chemical can not be named unless there is some evidence for its structure, and a taxon requires a knowledge of the properties that distinguish it. And I do think that WP has a special role to play in presenting information that requires verification in the paid literature, because it makes at least the basic information freely available. DGG ( talk ) 06:27, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Re taxa: practice on that one appears so bomb-proof that there's probably no reason to bother with codification, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. Echo Jayron32's "strong neutral". No opinion (i.e. knowledge) on the chemicals. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 19:27, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Support but would even go farther: just as WP is a gazetteer and allows articles on any geographic location that can be documented in national recorders, we should be positively a reasonable chemical database where a CAS number exists, and a sufficiently high-level taxonomic database (for perhaps all Families and levels above). We has very few inclusion guidelines but both cases are the types that I think WP can better itself from. --Masem (t) 19:47, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
FWIW, I once tried to have a new article deleted because it was a species that had no sources and I didn't see anything online about, and was rejected and told that we don't delete species. Natureium (talk) 20:47, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Indeed. User:Masem, what you say you support is not what the taxon draft actually says - that would extend WP:INHERENT to all species. How do you feel about that? Johnbod (talk) 15:14, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm aware its a different proposal; I should add that if this is just passed as notability subject-specific guidelines, that's just fine. And while this looks like inherited notability, I am again putting it as we do with known locations and the consensus that WP does serve as a gazetteer; that is presently the only area where "notability is not inherited" is overlooked. But I also note that I said this would be limited to documented Families or higher (based on File:Biological_classification_L_Pengo_vflip.svg). Clearly not every species. --Masem (t) 15:34, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - just in case someone writes a program to do them all: "The registry maintained by CAS is an authoritative collection of disclosed chemical substance information. It currently identifies more than 144 million unique organic and inorganic substances and 67 million protein and DNA sequences,[3] plus additional information about each substance. It is updated with around 15,000 additional new substances daily." No thanks. Johnbod (talk) 20:43, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Yeah, this is probably perfectly fine for Wikidata, but just because something is assigned a unique identifier doesn't necessarily mean there are sufficient sources with which to write an article. GMGtalk 20:47, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose and delete the very mention of them. "Any defined chemical element or compound that has been assigned a CAS number is considered to have received non-trivial coverage in a reliable source, the journal in which the material was described, and by the assignment of the CAS number" is simply a false statement. A CAS number is very much trivial coverage, and compounds are not necessary described in detail in published journals, and even then that fails GNG's requirement of multiple independent sources. There is already a Wikispecies to list every taxon: these should not all be copied to Wikipedia without multiple substantive sources. Here they should be merged to the relevant taxon either higher or lower in the hierarchy if there is not content that can be written about them separately. Existence is not notability and I oppose any SNG that undermines the GNG. Reywas92Talk 07:29, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Johnbod perfectly demonstrates the perils of WP:INHERENT. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 14:51, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
    Thanks! I didn't address the taxon side of the question above, but I also oppose that. For all the physically larger genera, I don't believe anything needs fixing, although most species (especially plants) don't actually have their own article, which is probably best. But if anyone writes them, I don't believe they are objected to. When it comes to insects and micro-organisms, grouping these by genus or whatever is very often the most appropriate. Johnbod (talk) 15:07, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment: I support going more in-depth, writing specific guidelines based on WP:GNG that summarize consensus on notability of certain topics from involved WikiProjects. For example, there could be more sections similar to one I wrote in Wikipedia:Notability (chemicals) about undiscovered chemical elements. Per the reasoning above, though, I strongly oppose determining notability based solely on CAS numbers; it ignores several key points of GNG and would lead to the creation of millions of weak stubs for non-notable topics. ComplexRational (talk) 21:44, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I think the community view is pretty clear now - even Masem above doesn't actually support the proposal as drafted. I see the two drafts are just at Wikipedia:Notability (chemicals) and Wikipedia:Notability (taxons) with nothing to show their draft status, let alone their firm rejection by the community. This should be changed, probably by page moves & a template I think we have for such failed proposals. Back to user space? Johnbod (talk) 18:01, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Inherent notability is a dangerous concept. I fear that such guidelines would inevitably result in the mass creation of thousands (millions?) of orphaned and unmaintained articles generated by bots. A huge number of higher-level taxa, for example, are created and forgotten about, and although they may be completely obsolete (reflecting taxonomic ideas from hundreds of years ago), no one has officially bothered to refute or synonymize them. They are just unused and forgotten. Polluting Wikipedia with all of them would be counter-productive and confusing. I would support inherent notability for species, but not all taxa. Kaldari (talk) 23:42, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Hell No... err... I mean Oppose. CAS lists over 148 million substances.[8] that would multiply the number of articles in Wikipedia by almost 30 times. 97% of the articles in Wikipedia would be CAS substances. A CAS number does not remotely warrant a presumption that multiple independent reliable sources exist, each providing substantial discussion of the topic. A table of chemical properties does not constitute discussion, much less substantial discussion. Wikipedia is not an indiscriminate collection of information, and should not become one. If someone is searching for CAS info they should be searching the CAS database! Regarding the taxon proposal, that is maybe better, but I seriously doubt it warrants a presumption that the kind of sourcing we need exists. If someone is searching for the one (or few) obscure science paper describing a taxon, they should be searching a database of science papers. Alsee (talk) 04:04, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Allow users to remove their own user groups[edit]

I propose that users be granted the technical ability to remove themselves from any groups they are in. Doing so is a clearly non-controversial action: no one could seriously argue that a user should have a right they don't want to have, and therefore there is no reason an admin should need to step in. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 01:11, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

Just to be clear: the coding already exists for this as $wgGroupsRemoveFromSelf, so this is just a request for a config change. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 01:14, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
Meh, there's never a backlog on this. It shouldn't be much of an issue if we want to deal with this, but suggest not allowing it for "confirmed", "extendedconfirmed" (because this will just lead to people breaking themselves and wasting admin time) or any of the functionary groups (like admin, checkuser, etc) where there is usually something bigger going on. I really don't care if pagemovers or the like ungroup themselves too much - so long as they don't clog up PERM asking for access back. — xaosflux Talk 01:25, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

(edit conflict)When one is proposing a change or a new rule, it is always helpful to identify what problem is being solved by the proposal. Users being forced to retain user rights they don't want isn't and hasn't ever been a problem that I'm aware of. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:26, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

You must not be very creative if you haven't saddled an editor you are annoyed with with pending changes. Natureium (talk) 01:48, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
I think there are too many ramifications if CU/OS are included in this proposal (the stewards do need to know when the rights are removed). Including admin/crat in this proposal is not a great idea either, as this could lead to more hasty ragequits. --Rschen7754 01:38, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - Proposal seems entirely reasonable and it should be easy enough (technically) to accomplish. I agree that it should only apply to permissions which an admin can grant., and I believe it should include the ability to reinstate oneself into a group which they had removed themselves from (perhaps inadvertently)?--John Cline (talk) 01:49, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) @John Cline: That latter thing isn't possible with the current code. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 01:56, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    That's also a bad idea: 1) User messes up, removes permission to avoid scrutiny/ANI/etc. 2) User regrants it to themself later. ~ Amory (utc) 01:58, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Meh seems like a pointless feature in most cases. If I'm a filemover, and stop wanted to be involved with filemoving, I can just... you know... not move files anymore. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:53, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    You have a valid point that users can just stop using their rights, but regardless of that it does sometimes happen that users request that an admin remove them from certain groups (See User_talk:Swarm#Hello, would you be able to remove my templateeditor rights. for one example), so it isn't entirely pointless. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 01:58, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Also meh. We don't regularly remove perms from blocked or banned or inactive users without a reason, so there's no harm. It's not like there's a flood of users requesting removal. ~ Amory (utc) 02:02, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Triple meh. It only takes a couple mins to post on the talk page of an admin asking them to remove a perm. Some admins are even friendly. Natureium (talk) 02:05, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • May I ask everyone exactly why applying this to admins and crats is somehow a worse idea than applying it to lower-permission groups. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 02:22, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Could there be a problem with groups that editors are added to for the community's benefit rather than their own? The only one I can think of is autopatrolled. Certes (talk) 03:03, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Certes: sysop :D thank you, thank you, I'm here all week. — xaosflux Talk 03:29, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    You're quite right, and that applies to many other bits too! Perhaps "modify the community's interaction with Wikipedia rather than the editor's" would have been more accurate. Certes (talk) 11:33, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The log comment for removal is on occasion useful. ("ExampleUser (talk | contribs | block) changed group membership for ExampleUser from extended confirmed user, rollbacker to extended confirmed user (completely voluntary temporary relinquishment, not under any sort of cloud at all, not faced with any sort of torches or WP:PITCHFORKS for edit warring, nothing to worry about when I ask for it back in a month)). Granted, one could find a sufficiently-gullible admin to remove sans comment, though I'd hope they'd at least glance at the requester's talk page first. —Cryptic 03:20, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support if and only if it's made explicit that anyone removing a bit in this fashion is banned from re-requesting it for a significant period, to prevent frivolous requests. I can see no obvious benefit to this—the security issues that lead some people to temporarily relinquish CU or admin status when they're on vacation don't apply to event coordinator, rollbacker etc—and I can certainly see backlogs shooting upwards as people have minor tantrums, strip themselves of filemover or whatever, and then change their mind and ask for it back three days later. It's not as if we have an enormous queue of people lining up to hand in their New Page Reviewer bit that's taking too much time to deal with by normal means. ‑ Iridescent 15:13, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
    In that case, it's clear we don't really need this. As the only thing certain here is; there would be more requests for regaining the rights after accidental/testing/just for fun/ragequit removals. Making it "explicit" (even in 'frightening capital letters') can never be as effective as the technical limitation. I have not yet seen the benefit of this. –Ammarpad (talk) 16:57, 3 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Solution in search of a problem - it really is beyond me why we'd need to solve how to do this. It also might come with some potential negatives (mentioned above) without countermanding positives. Nosebagbear (talk) 14:04, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now No reason has been given as to why anyone would want to do this, or why existing processes can't handle it. Anomie 02:33, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Implications of this are unclear. Needs further experimenting in Test Wikipedia. –MJLTalk 02:39, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
    What, exactly, needs to be tested? The implementation of $wgGroupsRemoveFromSelf? Nope, that config variable is already in use at Wikidata, so it's already been tested. The social effects of this change? I don't see how that can be tested at testwiki? {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 02:42, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support in principle but in reality, is an epidemic of editors seeking to remove their userrights that are being prevented from doing so because they don't have the ability? More importantly, are editors hampered in their editing without the ability to remove userrights? --Blackmane (talk) 02:47, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose What's the purpose of this? How is what we have now currently broken? Nihlus 02:50, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Meh, pretty much per Headbomb - If you don't wanna filemove or rollback or anything else then simply.... don't ...., A solution looking for a problem IMHO. –Davey2010Talk 19:51, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
    This may not serve an obvious and pressing need, but the end effect, if implemented with forethought and insightful clue, is better project administration; there should always be an above baseline appeal for doing things smarter and better when the bottom line is exactly such a choice. Aside that: the monkey wrench in retaining a right you don't and won't often use is that it almost exactly fits the implied definition of hat collecting which is an aspersion capable of hindering an admin hopeful's one day chance of succeeding an RfA. That's a very real consequence one should fully consider before blindly following Headbomb's tongue in cheek advice to simply stop editing in such manner that the permission would otherwise allow.--John Cline (talk) 16:35, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There is no need to create the possibility for additional concerns at WP:ANI or WP:PERM, for example, if one accidentally or removes their user rights without due consideration (per Ammarpad). I don't see how enabling this would be an improvement over voluntarily resigning user rights or simply not using them. ComplexRational (talk) 03:01, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • There is one situation that might warrant this. There is a browser extension that when activated on a given page, will open up every link in a new tab. It is not a good idea to use this when viewing your watchlist if you have the rollback right (it has happened), so it would be sensible to self-revoke rollback before using that extension. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 12:12, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • If someone knows enough about the consequences to remove the rollback right from themselves then they know enough to disable such an extension when viewing their watchlist. I haven't counted (it would take too long) but I would guess that that such an action would open at least a thousand tabs for me, which would cause me lots of problems even without rollback. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:05, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Support for all permissions below sysop, and all those granted automatically, because why not? It won't hurt anything, and there are at least a couple of valid use cases identified in this discussion. But if the userright is one that is granted (or not) based on individual community discussions, or is one that stewards need to keep track of, it is a bad idea to let users disable those permissions on their own. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 13:26, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Just thinking about it some more, users should be able to suspend their userrights if they want to, for testing or whatever else, and maybe this should go for admins too; if so then rights suspensions should be separately logged. If a user's rights are removed, they should not be able to restore them. I don't know if that's compatible with the software. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 14:53, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose drama fuel for those who want to make unnecessary noise of their retirement. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 14:48, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
    @Finnusertop: Silently removing one's own group instead of publicly requesting removal by an admin or bureaucrat is increasing noise? ~ ToBeFree (talk) 01:16, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
    @ToBeFree: I doubt everyone will use this "silently" without any accompanying drama. I don't think we need to see rants like "I'm gonna remove all my permissions", "See, I just removed all my permissions" etc. Especially when it's instant and you don't need to pause, take a deep breath, and craft a politely worded message to an admin or bureaucrat. – Finnusertop (talkcontribs) 13:31, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Not needed. If users wish to resign permissions, a sysop or bureaucrat would be happy to do so. --Jayron32 15:02, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Meh. One does not necessary need to use their user rights and one can always ask Admin to remove perms. There is nothing to fix as there is nothing broken. CASSIOPEIA(talk) 15:24, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Meh leaning Oppose as a solution in search of a problem. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 14:59, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose Programming resource is scarce, there are a bunch of useful things that we can't get the Foundation to do, we shouldn't give them any excuse to do things that have no benefit when they could do useful things like autosigning on talkpages or reducing edit conflicts. Plus there are userrights such as Autopatrolled that are useful for the community to have appropriate editors have. ϢereSpielChequers 20:54, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    This doesn't require any programming, it's just a config change, the code already exists. {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 20:55, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • There was a recent case of a user asking for rights to be removed on their account at WP:AN and it was dealt with in a matter of minutes,[9] so I'm still unclear on what problem would be solved by making this change. I can see needless problems arising from it, but I can't see what actual benefit to the project there is here. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:53, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. People can simply stop using advanced permissions if they don't want to, and, if they must have them removed, that's not an urgent issue. I can see there being much more work for admins in restoring permissions to people who change their minds than would be saved by this change. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:05, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Finnusertop, especially for users with more-advanced normal rights, e.g. filemover, as someone might use a Bismarck-style resignation threat to get his way. ("If you don't stop doing X, I'll resign my filemover right and you'll have to do all the work yourself!") If you're forced to get admin assistance, you'll give the other party a chance to demonstrate your bad faith, or you'll demonstrate it yourself. Nyttend (talk) 02:45, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia's 20th birthday[edit]

As it is less than 700 days away (and there is a Presidential inauguration a few days after) - is it time to start planning yet? Jackiespeel (talk) 19:39, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

General Comment. This is one for Jimbo Wales, Wikipedia is almost as old as me. That's a scary thought. Oh, yeah, it's never too early to start planning if we wanna do something special. What do you propose? — Preceding unsigned comment added by MJL (talkcontribs)
Well, Wikipedia will be less than a third of my age, and 700 days seems seems a long time even for me. Sorry to be too much of a party-pooper, but I think the best way to celebrate would be to improve our articles, rather than to be too self-congratulatory. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:02, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Mainly to start things going - but a quick calculation shows that with only 267ish new articles a day the 6 millionth article could be created on 15th January 2021. What else could be encouraged? Jackiespeel (talk) 21:01, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
We could replace the main page with a copy from the Wayback Machine. Oldest. "We have over 6,000 articles. We want to make over 100,000". Are we there yet? -- GreenC 21:03, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
@GreenC: We have over 6,000,000 articles. We want to make 100,000,000. Are we there yet? {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 00:10, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Nah, I think we should go ahead and restore the first edit to the main page, and the first edit to Wikipedia. What could possibly go wrong? — pythoncoder  (talk | contribs) 21:38, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I think the celebration should be spontaneous. Trying to plan it would ruin the fun. Blueboar (talk) 21:59, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Having 'something' planned out (for one or several days) and making people aware of the forthcoming anniversary so that they can do whatever seems best are not incompatible.
Pass on to other language WPs so they can consider the matter. Jackiespeel (talk) 00:06, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I quite like a variant of @GreenC:'s idea. Perhaps the Main Page should have a few historical jewels - spending 1 day of Main Page to be about ourselves doesn't seem unreasonable. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:21, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
I have no particular preference - just thought it appropriate that there was some celebration and that some things require some planning/getting people's attention.
Another suggestion - have the '1 April 2021 MP event' continue the 'Number 20' theme - after which we can forget about the matter until '25th/30th etc anniversary celebrations anyone?' a year or two before the relevant dates. Jackiespeel (talk) 11:31, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • A large dinner party in San Francisco with invited guests to speak (scientists, major film figures, computer giants like Bill Gates, media and recording stars, and other prominent people to "endorse the ongoing legacy" of the established project), fireworks over the bay, and much more! Celebrating Wikipedia is not celebrating ourselves as much as honoring and promoting the fact that this unworkable concept has been proven to work, which shows that the human race's inner nature is one of sharing, goodness, and ability to collaborate on a massive world-wide scale. Randy Kryn (talk) 20:53, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
  • It is already begun. There is already a custom of celebrating WP:Wikipedia Day. Wikipedia's birthday is 15 January 2001, which is the same day and year that Creative Commons registered creativecommons.org. 1 January is Commons:Commons:Public Domain Day, so the trend is to celebrate Wikipedia and Creative Commons' birthdays around 15 January and also to connect both to Public Domain Day. Joseph Reagle is planning a Wikipedia at 20 book. I requested funds from the WMF to start getting ready for this; I got a rejection, but regardless, I am still going to develop Wikipedia Day / Creative Commons Day / Public Domain Day in partnership with others as I have in the past. I am enthusiastic about this and I speak out but others actually take leadership roles in doing things. There are maybe 400 Wikipedia community members in the United States who participate in celebrations every year, so already this is a major occurrence. My regret in this is that like many Wikimedia community programs, much of this fails to leave a footprint.
The Reagle book is a good idea; its limit is that I think the intent is to publish about 15 stories when actually the wiki community has 100s. I think it would be a good idea to collect oral histories of "what is the origin of this Wikimedia community project" or "what is any individual's story" and publish them all for the 20 year party. Blue Rasberry (talk) 21:16, 6 March 2019 (UTC)
Bluerasberry, Excellent ideas! S Philbrick(Talk) 18:10, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

How about we just write happy 20th birthday Wikipedia on the main page Abote2 (talk) 01:06, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

Perhaps there could be occasional messages suggesting ways to celebrate WP's 20th birthday by improving the site (and arranging for 'significant number events' - articles, edits etc - in various languages (and even the 500th language WP) to occur at roughly that time. Jackiespeel (talk) 23:17, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
How about we just write happy 20th birthday Wikipedia on the main page –MJLTalk 20:25, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Why just one day under the circumstances - and why not encourage people to celebrate by developing WP? Now that the topic has been mentioned can probably wait until this time next year before raising it again.
Just consider what the 'WP at 50' and 'Happy Centenary Wikipedia' events will be like. Jackiespeel (talk) 00:35, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Jackiespeel, I was just kind of being silly. However, I do feel like we should be encouraging people to develop wikipedia every day! :D –MJLTalk 00:55, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
What about deleting the whole thing and starting over again ... that way new people could have a turn creating the popular articles (that have already been written). Blueboar (talk) 00:43, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
Blueboar, you jest but check this comment out by Nettrom. The popular articles aren't always the most well written. –MJLTalk 00:55, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
There is no contradiction between 'using Wikipedia according to your needs, and contributing according to your abilities (and whatever obscure factoid you have just found and wish to pass on) on the one hand and 'doing something special for WP-at-20' - just look at the entertainment people are getting out of contributing to this discussion. Jackiespeel (talk) 10:54, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Namespace shortcut indexes[edit]

According to WP:Namespace#Pseudo-namespaces, links to pseudo-namespaces are actually located within the main namespace. How come we don't have other "real" namespace shortcut indexes like WP: for Wikipedia:, for instance W: (= Wikipedia:) (instead of the longer WP:), U: (= User:), T: (= Template:), or H: (= Help:)?--Hildeoc (talk) 20:01, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

@Hildeoc: among other reasons, because T could be talk pages --DannyS712 (talk) 20:29, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Create shortcut namespace aliases for various namespaces {{3x|p}}ery (talk) 20:30, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
@DannyS712 and Pppery: Thank you both very much! I see there is no real consensus on this matter, as well as some potential for confusion implied in introducing further namespace shortcuts. Just out of curiosity: Wouldn't there be a possibility and reasonable chance of success to include at least some more shortcuts (e. g. U: for the user namespace) in the search function?--Hildeoc (talk) 21:37, 8 March 2019 (UTC)
@Hildeoc: I don't know, sorry --DannyS712 (talk) 02:17, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
The search function already has a namespace selector on it, you don't need to prefix anything. — xaosflux Talk 14:45, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: I'm sorry for my inaccuracy: I actually meant that for typing into the search box, the software – and particularly the autocomplete – should identify some more indexes. Wouldn't that be a reasonable, practicable compromise?--Hildeoc (talk) 16:46, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
@Hildeoc: does your suggestion match that of phab:T114403? — xaosflux Talk 16:54, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Thank you for pointing out that pertinent phab thread. Yes, it very much seems so as if this is very much addressing my concern here – though, for instance, the prefix U: for "user" is not considered afaics, right? What happened to that task, after all?--Hildeoc (talk) 17:29, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
One thing is that the more shortcut you have, the more clashes you have with legitimate titles. For instead, someone could make a song named "U:2", and then you couldn't create it at that title, because that would be a shortcut for User:2. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:38, 9 March 2019 (UTC)
@Hildeoc, Xaosflux, and Headbomb: technically, its fairly straight forward to create new "real" shortcuts ([10]). While I am not proposing that we create W, U, T, or H, I think there may be some benefit to creating CAT: as a real shortcut. Thoughts? --DannyS712 (talk) 22:33, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
CAT:X instead of Category:X? I don't think that would be useful. Writing "Category" is not difficult and introducing new jargon does not seem worthwhile. Johnuniq (talk) 23:03, 17 March 2019 (UTC)
I don't think this is very useful. We do have a few XNSR's for CAT already but I can't see readers needing this. — xaosflux Talk 00:07, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

that the cactus wren (pictured) builds football-sized nests in spiny cholla and saguaro cactus but, despite this protection, the coachwhip snake still preys on chicks?[edit]

Not an issue for Village pump (proposals). Referred elsewhere: This is in no way a proposal and was already dealt with at the appropriate forum. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:58, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

is that a real football or an American football bal? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 62.195.43.74 (talkcontribs) 13:05, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Presumably this is a reference to an American football, given that 1) the citation is to the National Audubon Society, which is a US organization, 2) something that is "football shaped" actually has a distinctive shape, while something that is "futbol shaped" is just ball shaped, 3) because a "football" has "a side", and 4) it's shaped like a football. But yes, someone at WP:ERRORS could probably be bothered to clarify the DYK in that regard. GMGtalk 13:17, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
GreenMeansGo, I suspect you are right, but it says "football-sized", not "football-shaped". I think the sizes are close enough that no clarification is needed. A futbol is somewhat larger than an America football, but I doubt the reference meant to be that specific. S Philbrick(Talk) 18:07, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Actually, while the DYK hook did say size, the source and the article both said shape. But all this got fixed at ERRORS a little while ago. GMGtalk 18:08, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Descriptive IP Welcomes[edit]

Hello all, I'd like to copy the 'problem user welcome templates' in twinkle and make versions that can be used for IP users as they're quite limited.

Does anyone have any ideas or want to help on them?

I'd start by copying the user ones to my sandbox then add the needed information about creating accounts etc.

Pinging @Amorymeltzer: so you can advise on adding them to Twinkle. Thanks, RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 18:30, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

  • RhinosF1, funny you mention that because I literally just created one last night for this exact reason. –MJLTalk 20:24, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    MJL, I'm happy for anyone to but at some point (tommorow), I'll create a list of welcome templates for users that we have and compare it to IP ones. If you want to start the use User:RhinosF1/Welcome/list to create it. RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 20:27, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I've started a project page at User:RhinosF1/Welcome RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 20:33, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    plus Added to page. –MJLTalk 21:26, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    MJL - I've changed to a Templateable so we can track templates easier that need to be done. RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 21:34, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I'm sure that any such welcome message, whether to a registered or unregistered editor, would be much more likely to have its desired effect if it was actually written by a human being addressing the particular concerns about the edit in question rather than done by template. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:02, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    There's some truth there but a template also contains carefully crafted prose which convey a message better than I have the time or skill to do every time I use it. Often I expand the template then customise its output to get the best of both worlds. Could we do anything to make that process easier and more attractive? Certes (talk) 21:19, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
    WP:TW allows use to add custom messages at the end Certes. RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 21:23, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

I've now looked through the templates, I'd appreciate if anyone offered to help out with them. There's 2 Registered user ones missing and 8 IP ones to create and there's also 8 templates that exisit but are not in twinkle per my list RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 16:40, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Hello, When creating User:RhinosF1/Welcome/list for the above thread, I noticed an inconsistency in naming formats for the registered user welcome templates. Which format is preferred? How should they be capitalised? - answer poll using both letter and number RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 17:04, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

  • A) all one word no spaces - Example: welcomelaws
  • B) Dashes between words -Example: welcome-laws
  • C) Spaces in between words- Example: welcome laws
  • 1) Capital at start
  • 2) Each Word Capitalised
  • 3) all lowercase

Poll[edit]

  • B and 1 - To match anon ones and seems to be most used. Excluding for abbreviations (like COI) where they should remain capitalised. RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 17:09, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • D and 4 - allow all. There is no need for consistency. It’s the links that matter, not the style in which they are formatted. Blueboar (talk) 18:57, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    Blueboar, I'm mainly suggesting this so they're easy to remember and find. RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 19:03, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose We do not need to vote on this. Natureium (talk) 20:32, 12 March 2019 (UTC)
    Natureium, As I said above having consistency will make it easier to locate templates. RhinosF1(chat)(status)(contribs) 20:57, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Discussion (Descriptive IP Welcomes)[edit]

Why do we need separate templates for IP editors and registered users? Couldn't the template code itself detect where it is being used? Let's not create a copy of each template if there is a more elegant solution. Updating copies of essentially the same content is tedious and error-prone. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 02:52, 17 March 2019 (UTC)

RfC: Future of the Regional notice boards[edit]

Should the remaining Regional notice boards be marked historical and closed for good? –MJLTalk 19:59, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Details[edit]

There is a lot of inconsistency here, but in the below table I did my best to collect and sort all of them. For the purposes of this RfC, "Unclear" means that it should be an internal WikiProject discussion on what should specifically happen with it. –MJLTalk 19:59, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Table of WP:RNB's
Name Shortcuts Current Status Proposal
Africa-related regional notice board WP:AFRICA Transitioning/Unclear Mark Historical and Merge with Africa WikiProject and WikiProject African diaspora
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject African diaspora WT:AFRO Active Remove from Template:RWNBs
Wikipedia:Albanian Wikipedians' notice board WP:ALBBOARD and WP:SQ Inactive Mark Historical
Algerian Wikipedians' notice board WP:AWNB2 Inactive Mark Historical
Arabic-speaking Wikipedian's Notice Board WP:ASWN Never active Redirect to WT:WikiProject Arab world or Delete
Regional notice board for Argentina WP:ARNB Semi-Active Mark Historical
WikiProject Armenia/Notice board None Inactive Mark historical
Australian Wikipedians' notice board WP:AWNB Active Move to WikiProject Australia/Noticeboard
Portal:Azerbaijan/Azerbaijan-related Wikipedia notice board None Inactive Active Mark Historical
Baltic States notice board WP:BALTIC and WP:BSNB Barely Active Convert to Inter-WikiProject
Notice board for Bangladesh-related topics WP:BDWNB and WP:BDB Unclear Unclear
Canadian Wikipedians' notice board WP:CWNB and WP:CANBOARD Semi-Active/Unclear Unsure
Caribbean Wikipedians' notice board WP:CaribNB Inactive Mark Historical
Chile-related regional notice board WP:CLNB Inactive Mark Historical
Croatian Wikipedians' notice board None Inactive Mark Historical
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Czech Republic WT:CZ Active with quirks Clean up
Danish Wikipedians' notice board WP:DKNB Inactive Mark Historical
Dravidian Wikipedians' notice board WP:DRAVCIVNB Inactive/Unused Userfy to Wiki Raja, Mark Historical, or Delete
Eastern European Wikipedians' notice board None Inactive Mark Historical
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject England WT:ENGLAND Active Remove from Template:Regional Wikipedian notice boards
Faroese Wikipedians' notice board WP:FONB Inactive/Unused Mark Historical or Redirect to WikiProject Faroe Islands
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject France WT:FR, WT:FRA, and WT:FRANCE Active Remove France Notice Board
German-speaking Wikipedians' notice board WP:GSWN Semi-active Mark Historical
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Greece WP:GREECE, and WT:HOG Active Remove Greece Notice Board
Haiti-related regional notice board WP:HTNB Inactive Mark Historical
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Hong Kong WT:HK Active Remove Hong Kong Notice Board
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Hungary WT:HUN Active Remove Hungary Notice Board
Icelandic Wikipedians' notice board WP:ISNB Marked Historical (Superseded) No Change
India noticeboard WP:IN and WP:INB Inactive Active Mark Historical UnsurePer below
Iranian Wikipedians' notice board None Partially active Mark Historical
Irish Wikipedians' notice board WP:IWNB Semi-Active Depreciate and Eventually mark historical
Notice board for Israel-related topics WP:WNBI Marked Historical No Change
Italian Wikipedians' notice board WP:IWNB Inactive Mark Historical
Japan-related topics notice board WP:JTNB Marked Inactive Mark Historical and display this notice
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Kerala WT:INKL Active Remove Kerala Notice Board
Korea-related topics notice board None Automatically maintained Unsure
Kurdish Wikipedians' notice board None Inactive Mark Historical or Merge with WikiProject Kurdistan
Macedonian Wikipedians' notice board WP:MWNB Marked Historical No change
Malaysia-related topics notice board WP:MYNB Inactive Mark Historical or Merge with WikiProject Malaysia
Maldivian Wikipedians' notice board WP:MVWNB Inactive/Effectively superseded Mark Historical
Malta-related topics notice board WP:MALTA Inactive Mark Historical
Mauritian Wikipedians' notice board WP:MU, WP:MRU, and WP:MAURITIUS Inactive Remove from WikiProject Mauritius's page banner
WikiProject Mexico: Community Noticeboard WP:MX/Community Inactive Mark Historical
Notice board for Nepal-related topics None Inactive Mark Historical
Dutch Wikipedian's notice board WP:NBDW and WP:NLWNB Inactive Mark Historical
New Zealand Wikipedians' notice board WP:NZN, WT:NZ, WT:WPNZ, WP:NZNB, and WP:NZWNB Active Unclear
Northern Irish Wikipedians' notice board WP:NIWNB Inactive Mark Historical
Norway-related topics notice board WP:NONB Inactive Mark Historical
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Odisha WT:Odisha Semi-active Remove from Odisha Notice Board
Ossetian Wikipedians' notice board WP:OWNB Unused Redirect to WikiProject Ossetia (inactive)
Wikipedia:Pakistani Wikipedians' notice board None Inactive/Unused Redirect to WikiProject Pakistan
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Palestine WT:PPAL and WT:PALESTINE Active Palestine Notice Board
Wikipedia:Tambayan Philippines WP:TAMBAY and WP:PINOY Semi-Active Convert to WikiProject and Rename Tambayan Philippines/NoticeBoard
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Poland WT:WPPL and WT:POLAND Active Remove Poland Notice Board
Portuguese-speaking Wikipedians' notice board None Marked Historical No change
Punjabi Wikipedians' notice board WP:PANBOARD and WP:PBWNB Inactive Mark Historical and Move WT:PANBOARD to WT:WikiProject Punjab
Quebec Wikipedians' notice board WP:QWNB Inactive Unclear
Notice board for Romani-related topics WP:NBR Inactive Mark historical
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Russia WT:RUSSIA Active Remove Russia Notice Board
Scottish Wikipedians' notice board WP:SCOWNB Inactive (WT:Scottish Wikipedians' notice board marked Historical) Mark Historical
Serbian Wikipedians' notice board None Inactive Mark Historical
SGpedians' notice board WP:SGN and WP:SGNB Unclear/Semi-Active Unclear
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Slovakia WT:SVK Semi-Active Remove Slovakia Notice Board
Slovene Wikipedians' notice board WP:SLWN Inactive Mark historical
Sri Lankan Wikipedians' notice board None Inactive Mark historical
Suvadivian Wikipedians' notice board WP:MVWNB Inactive Mark historical
Swedish Wikipedians' notice board WP:SWNB and WP:SWE Partially active Unclear / Possible merge with WikiProject Sweden
Taiwan-related topics notice board None Inactive Mark Historical or Redirect to WikiProject Tamil Nadu
Notice board for Tamil-related topics None Unused
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Thailand None Active Remove Thailand Notice Board
Trinidad and Tobago Wikipedians' notice board WP:TTNB, WP:TTWNB, and WP:TTBOARD Inactive Mark historical
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Turkey WT:TURKEY Active Remove Turkey Notice Board
Portal:Ukraine/Ukraine-related Wikipedia notice board None Inactive Move to Ukraine-related Wikipedia notice board and Mark historical
UK Wikipedians' notice board WP:UKWNB Semi-active Unclear
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject United States WT:USA and WT:WPUSA Active Remove United States Notice Board
Venezuela-related regional notice board WP:VRNB Bot-maintained/Inactive Mark historical
Portal:Vermont/Vermont-related Wikipedia notice board WP:PRWNB, WP:WNBP, and WP:PWNB Inactive Move to WP:Vermont Wikipedians' notice board and Mark historical
Welsh Wikipedians' notice board WP:WWNB Mostly inactive Unclear
Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Zimbabwe None Semi-active Remove Zimbabwe Notice Board

Survey[edit]

  • Support, as proposer. A few of these will have to be discussed as individual cases, but I think broadly we should be considering retiring the regional noticeboard system. –MJLTalk 23:05, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose per the bit about India below. We shouldn't close everything if there's a single good example. I think it's perfectly fine to establish criteria and then close down everything that meets those criteria, but closing everything would be harmful. Nyttend (talk) 02:36, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

Discussion (Future of the Regional notice boards)[edit]

I'm not sure I see how it was determined that Wikipedia:Noticeboard for India-related topics was inactive. The page is more or less a frontend for the automated article alerts, and the talk page is quite active, with on average half a dozen posts per month and the occasional large-scale RfC. Actually, it is the only India-related project talk page as Wikipedia talk:WikiProject India redirects to it. – Uanfala (talk) 15:51, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Uanfala, good point! For some reason it transcluded Portal:India/wikiprojects which was marked inactive. I saw that and read it that the entire page was inactive. You have my apologies, and it's now fixed. –MJLTalk 15:33, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
  • And if such a proposal is ever to pass, then the noticeboards whose dissolution is the subject of the proposal will need to have been notified of this discussion and given the chance to participate. That's one way to test whether they're indeed inactive: if you tell them you're closing them down, and if within the course of a month no-one shows up to object, then that would be a pretty strong argument for. – Uanfala (talk) 03:52, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

You may now become 'Wikipedia — A Wikipedia project'[edit]

Hello proposals volunteers :-)

According to this discussion at Meta, Wikimedia Foundation is considering rebranding. This means for you, that rather than Wikipedia being a Wikimedia project, it would become a Wikipedia project. Other sister wikis would become 'a Wikipedia Project' instead of 'a Wikimedia project'. In other words, you would effectively become an umbrella.

The proposed changes also include

  • Providing clearer connections to the sister projects from Wikipedia to drive increased awareness, usage and contributions to all movement projects.
  • Possibly renaming Wikimedia Chapters (Wikimedia Brazil, Wikimedia UK and that sort of thing)

Thoughts[edit]

1) What do you think? Gryllida (talk) 19:55, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Confusion[edit]

2) In my opinion based on observations from village pumps from different projects (linked here), some sister projects oppose this change, as they find Wikipedians may often underappreciate the differences in policies and content policies between Wikipedia and the sister project; such Wikipedians expect Wikipedia's notability policy to apply in sister projects as well.

Do you think that would be confusing? Gryllida (talk) 19:55, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Alternative brands[edit]

3) Would you like to participate in the brainstorming section to suggest alternative brands including the option to keep your own? Gryllida (talk) 19:55, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Foundation of the Wiki Federation! ~^\\\.rTG'{~ 10:23, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Target audience[edit]

4) Wikimedia may be concerned the above is only an opinion of a small set of people, the active editors. Would you like to use a Site Notice to draw attention of the general public to that discussion to help with choosing an appropriate brand?

If that page is difficult for non-editors to use, would you like to program a survey in which users are presented with brand names at random and asked which one they find (a) more catchy (b) more familiar (c) more suitable for the umbrella name? If you describe what such a survey should do, I would be willing to program it for you. Gryllida (talk) 19:55, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

How to make it stand out[edit]

5) There is also a question of how to make the name (whether it is 'Wikimedia', or something else) more visible to readers and editors. I added a secton about it here.

Please participate in the discussion at your earliest convenience, and please translate this message to other languages and add it to other wikis. Gryllida (talk) 19:55, 16 March 2019 (UTC)

Twinkle available to new and unregistered users[edit]

Impossible Legacypac (talk) 18:00, 19 March 2019 (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.

Is it a good idea? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Brainiac245 (talkcontribs) 03:37, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

@Brainiac245: unregistered users don't have account preferences to enable Twinkle, so unless you are proposing that it be enabled by default that wouldn't work. As for unregistered users, I don't think it is a good idea to use Twinkle at the beginning - honestly I would have been totally overwhelmed. What does (AGF) mean in "rollback"? What is "CSD"? "DI"? "PROD"? "ARV"? etc. --DannyS712 (talk) 03:40, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
No they need an acct to activate twinkle. That is a good thing. Twinkle abuse would be easy and is best tracked with an account. Legacypac (talk) 04:01, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
There are enough socks, etc. blocked each day that it'd just be a vector for disruption. ~ Amory (utc) 10:40, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
Hell no. There is enough mindless editing done with automated tools by experienced editors, without us adding to that number. My particular bugbear at the moment, that I have seen several times in the last few weeks, is with people adding {{underlinked}} to articles where there is only one additional link possible. If you simply edit the article then it is just as easy to add "[[" and "]]" as it is to tag it, but because only the latter can be done with automated tools many people prefer to do that and put the article on someone else's list to fix rather than make a simple fix themselves. I would prefer it if the access to such tools was restricted further rather than opened up. Phil Bridger (talk) 14:05, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose - It doesnt benefit the project as a whole. For most new users, the learning curve is steep on how to navigate within Wikipedia, let alone on how to use the tools appropriately and the guidelines that come with them. Giving tools to new unregistered users who abuse of them would just not only disruptive but adding unnecessary work load. CASSIOPEIA(talk) 11:17, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose god no When I think back to first using wikipedia I had to learn what you are supposed to do and how to do it properly, which takes a bit of time and effort and getting things wrong and being corrected. Automated processes are great when you know what they are for. Mramoeba (talk) 15:55, 19 March 2019 (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.

12 hour time setting for Wikipedia[edit]

I think there should be an option for 12 hour time to display instead of 24 hour. Brainiac245 (talk) 21:51, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

@Brainiac245: A request has been open for over a decade on this: phab:T7649. You could try User:Bility/convert24hourtime but it isn't being actively maintained. — xaosflux Talk 11:57, 19 March 2019 (UTC)
@Brainiac245: There is a gadget that accomplishes this that you can turn on in Preferences > Gadgets > Appearance > "Change UTC-based times and dates, such as those used in signatures, to be relative to local time (documentation)". Good luck! Qono (talk) 16:23, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

Mandatory edit summaries[edit]

I'm getting a little tired of dealing with people who can't be bothered to use edit summaries. It's a little understandable from newcomers, but the people I'm seeing issues from are veteran editors or editors who have been actively around here long enough to know. Many tensions today could probably be avoided if people would use edit summaries to communicate effectively so other editors don't have to try to figure out why they made the change that they did. We can't read minds. When it's something like changing "the boy carries it's their toy" to "the boy carries its his toy", it's easy to figure out why that edit was made since it's a correction, but hardly any edits without summaries are actually like that. As such, I think we should have mandatory edit summaries. It's not 100% foolproof as I'm sure we'll have people who may just put a period in there so you can post something, but it'll definitely help. It's one thing not to use edit summaries when you're replying to someone on your talk page or when you're working on pages within your own sandbox, it's another not to use them on live articles. Amaury (talk | contribs) 16:21, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

<pedantry>Changing "the boy carries it's toy" to "the boy carries its toy" isn't a correction, it's just a different mistake; "the boy carries his toy" is a correction.</pedantry> Cabayi (talk) 18:56, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
@Cabayi: Bad example that I didn't realize then, but my point should still be understood. I've changed it above. Amaury (talk | contribs) 19:00, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I wouldn't go so far as to make it mandatory but I try to use edit summaries and I appreciate it when others do so. I've turned on Preferences → Editing → Prompt me when entering a blank edit summary. Should that setting become the default for new editors and/or mandatory for IPs? Certes (talk) 17:02, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps pointing out the preferences setting in the welcome messages would go some way to encouraging its use? (sorry about the pedantry) Cabayi (talk) 19:08, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Making it mandatory won't make any difference. They'll just type a dot, or some random letters like "bgvvjkjh" and we'll be none the wiser. Some users have "Add two new dropdown boxes below the edit summary box with some useful default summaries" enabled and we still get hundreds of edits with an ES of "fixed typo" when clearly it wasn't anything of the kind. If they don't want to add a valid edit summary, there's not much that we can do to make them. BTW does anybody know what Big universe (talk · contribs) means when they put "(NS)" in an edit summary? It's not in WP:ESL. "No summary", perhaps? That's just as bad as a blank. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:43, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
"No steganography"? (Look at their deleted contribs. WTF?) —Cryptic 14:59, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Redrose64 is correct. The editors who put just a dot would be almost exactly the same as those who omit editsums today—and they would resent being forced to type that dot. For newer editors, who may not be aware of the need for edit summaries, we can post {{uw-editsummary}} on their UTPs and hope they form the habit early. We can also add a userbox like this one to our user pages. ―Mandruss  03:52, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Something isn't necessarily any better than nothing, either. Edit summaries like "→‎Mandatory edit summaries: Reply" don't tell me any more than "→‎Mandatory edit summaries" does, and the "Replying to [username] [ad]" that reply-link's been plastering everywhere is barely better than that. —Cryptic 14:56, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Reviving WP:LOBU[edit]

Maybe this isn't the right place to post this, if it isn't, please direct me to somewhere better, but my request for a speedy deletion review in Wikipedia:Deletion_review/Log/2019_March_19 spawned an interesting discussion about whether or not we should consider overturning (or at least recreating in some form) WP:LOBU. I wasn't very active on Wikipedia back when the page was removed, and I understand the main concern about it was that essentially it just served to antagonize the banned users or act as a way to punish people outside of simply denying them. There was also a concern that the page only encouraged people to be banned and thus become "part of Wikipedia history".

While I do have a personal attachment to the page: I spent a large amount of time in high school reading it while on the bus while I was headed to school (I was an odd child), the primary reason I want it to come back is that there have been times that I've seen that users have been banned, and I have no clue why. It is really frustrating when that happens and the only way to figure out why is happened would be to scour Wikipedia for the discussion which led to the banning. On the other hand, the page was definitely too heavily editorialized. Opinions about the severity of someone's actions which ultimately resulted in a ban should not be expressed on the Project Namespace.

Therefore, my proposal is to revive WP:LOBU, but not to provide a ban reason. Rather, only list the date the ban was enacted, and a link to the discussion in the Administrator's Noticeboard, Arbitration Committee decision, or Wikimedia Foundation decision which resulted in the ban decision. Nothing more. In addition, I think the list should only include bans in the past three years, in order to prevent memorializing users who have been banned. For users who prove to be a disruption for more than three years, they should have an article in the Long Term Abuse page anyway. Rockstonetalk to me! 21:58, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Maintaining a list of banned users might satisfy a few curious passers-by but not really. Only complex cases result in a ban and a link to one page would generally not be sufficient to explain the background. A likely result is that people would start good-faith discussions like this one which have nothing to do with improving the encyclopedia or the community. People would want to ask questions about ancient cases and would decorate entries with commentaries, while others would revert them to reduce the glorification, giving more drama. Ultimately, WP:DENY is the only tool available and reverting, blocking and ignoring is best. Johnuniq (talk) 23:38, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
@Johnuniq: -- Thank you for assuming good faith! That's kind of what happened back when WP:LOBU was still around, but I don't think there was any policy about what the ban reason should say. If the article specifically said as a heading "ONLY link to the page that ultimately resulted in the user's banning. Do NOT enter any more information" I think it'd be good enough to prevent them. As far as asking questions about ancient cases and such, maybe limit the list to being only bans in the past year. Rockstonetalk to me! 00:26, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
@Rockstone35: I suggest looking through Category:Banned Wikipedia users - usually, there is a message on talk pages about why they are banned. --DannyS712 (talk) 23:46, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
@DannyS712: -- I've done that, but I notice that a lot of times they don't have anything explaining the ban reason, usually it's just "This user is banned", and nothing more, unless you crawl through the talk page history of the user and investigate further, and even then sometimes nothing is found. Rockstonetalk to me! 00:26, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Article Peeking[edit]

I tried searching for such a proposal, but I didn't find one.

I'm an avid reader and occasional editor of Wikipedia. My two native languages are Albanian and Italian, but I am fluent in English and prefer reading every article in the "international language". Nonetheless, I stumble upon Italian articles now and then and I couldn't avoid noticing a great feature the Italian Wikipedia has and the English one does not. Article Peeking, for lack of a better name, means hovering with your mouse on a linked article to read a preview of that article. It works flawlessly and it always satisfies my need to know more about a specific word I read in an article, without distracting myself and starting to read a new article every few minutes without finishing the previous one.

I found a Firefox add-on that promises to do just that. It's called Wikipedia Peek and has good reviews but I'd prefer taking care of my privacy, and this add-on does not guarantee that. I don't want it to "Access my data for all websites" and "Access browser activity during navigation", among other things. I'd really love if the Wikipedia programmers added this feature natively to our beloved English Wikipedia.

Perhaps, this proposal has already been added with a different name/term and that's the reason why I couldn't find it. I'd love to know more about your opinions on this proposal.

Take care.

-OrangeRaver — Preceding unsigned comment added by OrangeRaver (talkcontribs) 00:22, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

@OrangeRaver: Enable "page previews" at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rendering§Reading preferences or "Navigation popups" at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-gadgets. —Cryptic 00:29, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Anonymous readers have this on by default, amusingly. For logged in users, you need to opt in. See Cryptic's comment. See also mediawikiwiki:Page Previews. --Izno (talk) 01:03, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Remove "suspected perpetrator" field in Template:Infobox civilian attack[edit]

(Discussion moved from Template talk:Infobox civilian attack#Suspected perpetrator field? on recommendation to gain full consensus.) I struggle to see the benefit of listing a "suspected perpetrator" in an infobox, especially when a suspect is part of an ongoing case and will be either removed or moved to "perpetrator" when that is complete. Looking at Christchurch mosque shootings and the contention over how prolific suspect Brenton Tarrant's name should be (see ongoing RfC about keeping suspect's/suspects' name in lead), I don't think his name in an infobox offers any encyclopedic value (officially and legally, as little doubt as there is over his guilt, it has not been proved yet) and if anything only unduly promotes his name which we should also avoid. When a suspect is proven to be a perpetrator, they become part of the historical/encyclopedic record of the attack rather than the subject of a current matter/desire for notoriety. Christchurch is one particular case, but I don't think it's unique in this regard. I suggest this field be removed. U-Mos (talk) 03:28, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

(Comment copied from original discussion) I concur. There's no reason for this parameter to exist – when the identity is known and certain, the appropriate parameter is "perpetrator", and when it is not, it doesn't belong in the infobox at all to begin with. TompaDompa (talk) 08:17, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree. This gets into NOTNEWS territory. We have to be aware that a reported “suspect” can be falsely accused (for example: the reports that Richard Jewell was a suspect in the bombing that took place during the Atlanta olympics). At a minimum, we need to wait until a “suspect” is actually charged with the crime before we report names. Blueboar (talk) 12:59, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I also agree. If suspects are to be named in the article then we can word things to make it clear that they are only suspects, and to say whether they have been charged or prosecuted, but an infobox entry is too blunt an instrument for such sensitive content. Phil Bridger (talk) 13:33, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
  • The idea makes sense, but I know from how less experienced editors see infobox fields and if you took out the suspected perp field, they will want to fill the name in on the actual perp field because they feel it would complete the infobox (unaware of the implications of this towards BLPCRIME). --Masem (t) 13:36, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Well, that gets us into the murkier question of what fields should be included in an infobox in the first place. Perhaps we shouldn’t even have a “perpetrator” field. Indeed, when it comes to this sort of topic, we probably need to question whether an infobox is aporopriate at all. Is an infobox an appropriate method for conveying information in an article about a mass killing? Blueboar (talk) 13:55, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Arguably yes, it just shouldn't be filled in until after conviction. (Contrast that to a religon= field in the BLP infobox ) Its that well-intentioned editors unaware of why the field is blank will think to fix it blindly. --Masem (t) 14:09, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Deprecate |perpetrator= and add |convicted_perpetrator=. --Izno (talk) 14:15, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
That would of course mean that when the perpetrator dies and there is no trial, there is nowhere to add them. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. TompaDompa (talk) 17:28, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
I think we should find a way to identify the perpetrator in some such cases, for example if there is a mass shooting that ends with the perpetrator killing himself (it's nearly always a "him"). The best way to deal with this whole issue would be for Wikipedia to stop trying to be a news service and only to have articles about events when good secondary sources (which breaking news reports are not) exist, but people putting forward that point of view always seem to get shouted down by people saying, "of course it's notable, it's front-page headlines in all the newspapers." Phil Bridger (talk) 17:50, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
And in cases where the perpetrator dies and there is no trial I believe that there's a difference between jurisdictions. In some places an inquest into the death of a victim will name in its verdict the person who caused the death, and in others it will not. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:54, 22 March 2019 (UTC)