Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss proposed policies and guidelines and changes to existing policies and guidelines.
If you want to propose something new that is not a policy or guideline, use Village pump (proposals).
If you have a question about how to apply an existing policy or guideline, try one of the many Wikipedia:Noticeboards.
This is not the place to resolve disputes over how a policy should be implemented. Please see Wikipedia:Dispute resolution for how to proceed in such cases.

Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequently rejected or ignored proposals.

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Are policies being used to the detriment of Wikipedia?[edit]

Okay, continuing to drag this discussion on is not appropriate. OP has been pointed to the places that he needs to change guideline/policy. --Izno (talk) 15:09, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I would like to continue a discussion I started earlier, see Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 152#Are policies being used to the detriment of Wikipedia?. Recently I worked several hours to add some recent research on Parkinson's disease to the article on it. Immediately it was reverted by one of the guys whom I complained about earlier, a group of editors who put watch-points on huge numbers of articles and whenever anybody edits those articles they immediately check to see whether, in their opinion, it conforms to the rules of Wikipedia. So in this case, it was reverted on the grounds that the references were either primary or "predatory". "Primary" means they were research articles in peer-reviewed journals, and "predatory" means that they come from those scurilous popular science magazines like (in this case) New Scientist. I am told (on Talk:Parkinson's disease) that we have to wait until someone publishes a review article (not a research article) in a peer-reviewed journal! The policy cited is Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine). So if that policy really means that we cannot put the exciting research of the last year into the article, well then, I think the policy should be changed. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:21, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

I would recommend you pursue any further discussion about a discrete guideline at that guideline's talk page, in this case WT:MEDRS. I would further comment that you will need to have better rationale than you have provided here and previously for any change in this regard, and you will need specific changes that you would like to make to specific sections of that guideline. Good luck. --Izno (talk) 17:35, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I do believe that policy is meant to stop exciting research of the last year being added. It's on purpose and for what many consider good reasons. One is that exciting research of the last year is often at least partly wrong. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:35, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
As noted by Izno, this is not the right forum to pursue these questions. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:30, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
this is absolutely the correct forum to pursue these questions. That’s what the village pump is for. I’m amazed that you’d say it isn’t.
Please carry on with this topic. —Sm8900 (talk) 10:59, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
This is a generally correct place to discuss this topic, but guideline change, unless you are starting a request for comments, is almost always better discussed at the talk page of the guideline in question. It is a correct forum, but only minimally so. --Izno (talk) 15:58, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
if you need to cover information that is not covered in a journal, try looking to see if it is covered in major newspapers, rather than just online publications like Live Science. -Sm8900 (talk) 11:07, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Major newspapers are often not considered good enough per WP:MEDRS either, but context matters. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:45, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

I prefer to have a discussion here rather than on the talk page of the policy about "reliable medical sources". I want the input of the general public, not some clique of guys who made that policy! Now, concerning what user Gråbergs Gråa Sång has written above, it may be that some things reported in the last year turn out to be partially wrong, but we can still report the research! If we were to exclude everything from Wikipedia about which there is any shadow of doubt, then there wouldn't be much left. Our readers deserve to know what's goin' on in a field, not just the established, conventional wisdom. And Sm8900, the popular science source I used is not "Live Science", it's New Scientist, which is a print magazine that has been going for more than sixty years. It is "the world's most popular weekly science and technology magazine" (see [1]). Eric Kvaalen (talk) 05:45, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Didn't ping Gråbergs Gråa Sång and Sm8900. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 11:42, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
hi. Thanks for the reply! That’s good to know. Sm8900 (talk) 19:51, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen: Concerning the "predatory" bit, this is not because you have used New Scientist for a source (which would fail being a WP:MEDRS-compliant source), but rather because you used MDPI and Frontiers journals, which have various problems. Calling them predatory is a bit too extreme (Zefr has a propensity to do that), but they are not reputable venues, and again, do not satisfy WP:MEDRS. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:03, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

@Headbomb and Gråbergs Gråa Sång: Thanks for the explanation of "predatory". But I still don't know what journals that I cited are considered suspect. And in any case, I disagree with this idea that someone can come along and delete all my work just because he thinks that some of the journals referenced are "predatory" and some are "primary". We want our readers to have up-to-date information on the research that has been done. Or more to the point, our readers want that! Right? I don't think that Zefr considered each statement that I made and referenced, and decided that each one was too doubtful to tell the readers. I think he just hit Undo. Either these guys, like Zefr, are enforcing incorrect interpretations of the policies, or the policies need to be changed. (I'm not pinging Zefr, because this is not meant to be an argument just about what he did in this case. It's a general problem, with several guys doing it.) Eric Kvaalen (talk) 05:33, 28 January 2020 (UTC)

@Eric Kvaalen: Several people are tackling several different problems in several different ways, some with more tact than others, some with poorer arguments than others. So unless you give us other situations, it is hard for anyone to generalize anything and give you broader advice. However, one thing that should be clear is that WP:MEDRS has to be followed when WP:MEDRS-covered claims are being made, and that Frontiers Media and MDPI journals generally don't qualify as WP:MEDRS-compliant sources, regardless of if one considers those journals and publishers to be fully predatory like the garbage from OMICS Publishing Group, or merely 'questionable/unreputable'. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 06:10, 28 January 2020 (UTC)
@Headbomb: But what I've been trying to say is that I don't think the "MEDRS" (medical reliable source) policy is good, if it excludes putting in the research that I put into that article. I'm not asking for advice. I'm asking people to think about what kind of articles we want in Wikipedia. If you would like more examples of the same sort of problem (not just with medical articles), see the older thread that I mentioned at the beginning. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 17:05, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
@Eric Kvaalen: "If it excludes putting in the research that I put into that article." That's exactly what the policy is designed for, see WP:WHYMEDRS. We don't want such research featured in Wikipedia, because it is too early, too erratic, and too unreliable in the evidence chain for Wikipedia. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:29, 2 February 2020 (UTC)
@Headbomb: Yeah, well, that's your opinion. The question is, does the reading public agree with you? I doubt it. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 16:47, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
What the reading public wants is irrelevant. This is what the community wants. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:15, 10 February 2020 (UTC)
Let's avoid making assertions about what "the community" wants. We don't all the same opinions about everything, and it appears from this discussion that at least some part of "the community" also wants to take the suspected preferences of the reading public into account.
Eric, I'm not going to say that we're perfect, or that we don't go overboard sometimes. Some of us would really like to exclude anything except solid Evidence-based medicine (which sounds fine until you realize that's about 50% of regular, conventional medicine, that there's more to medicine and medical conditions than objective facts, and that "the community" rejected the proposal to elevate the scientific point(s) of view over all of the non-scientific [that word means "arts and humanities and law and business and stuff", not nonsense] POVs years ago).
In general, it's my experience that mentioning a big media sensation in an article, in a very small way, is not an unreasonable way to reduce edit warring and get a compromise that editors can live with until the media hype dies down. But in other cases, I think it's easier just to play the game their way. So they don't want you to cite a "primary" peer-reviewed research paper on whether having an appendectomy reduces the risk of Parkinson's? Fine: cite PMID 31713092, which is a review article instead. You can do this by finding the paper you'd like to cite at PubMed – and then looking for the box on the side that tells you some other papers that are citing it. Start with anything in that list that's tagged with a blue "review" label and see what they say. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:54, 11 February 2020 (UTC)
@Headbomb: The policy specifically says that newspapers are valid, depending on circumstances. allowing mainstream media is one way to make sure we are expanding as a genuine resource. --Sm8900 (talk) 16:52, 9 February 2020 (UTC)
@Sm8900: the policy specifically warns against using newspapers to make WP:MEDRS claims or determine the WP:DUE-ness of scientific coverage. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:05, 10 February 2020 (UTC)

@WhatamIdoing: Thanks for the suggestion! @Headbomb: I'm amazed that you say that what the reading public wants is irrelevant, and that the only thing that matters is what "the community" wants! Who is this community anyway? Those who managed to get their opinions cemented into Wikipedia policy? We're not editing Wikipedia just for ourselves, or just for the pleasure of enforcing the rules. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 08:42, 18 February 2020 (UTC)

Eric Kvaalen, it seems to me that the opinions of the reading public can readily be discounted when that population does not intersect with the one participating and forming consensus on Wikimedia projects. This is why: because Wikipedia is "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit" and therefore any sufficiently interested reader of Wikipedia can become an editor of Wikipedia with little effort. If anyone in "the reading public" feels strongly about a point of policy on Wikipedia and wishes to effect change, then the way to do this is to become editors and have their voices heard. Otherwise, the opinions and tastes of the nebulous, amorphous, "reading public" can never be known well enough for us to form policies and guidelines in the first place. That's why it doesn't matter, because it's too difficult to measure and it's easy enough to become an editor, and therefore, part of the community. Elizium23 (talk) 08:49, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
Not only that, but if you made a poll that asked the scientifically illiterate general public questions about science, you will end up with answers that don't reflect the opinions that matter. If I asked people "Should legislators make laws mandating that doctors warn parents against the dangers of mercury in vaccines and their links to autism prior to vaccination", I would get "Oh yes, I don't want my child to get autism!" from a significant portions of them. So yes, what readers "want" is irrelevant here. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:51, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
Eric wrote: We're not editing Wikipedia just for ourselves, or just for the pleasure of enforcing the rules.
Some of us are. I'm not saying that's a good thing, but, for better or worse, it's a true thing. Not everyone is as selfless and idealistic as you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:52, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
@Elizium23: Of course theoretically anyone can become an editor of Wikipedia. But there are milliards of people who just use Wikipedia as a reference. When they want to know about Parkinson's disease, they go to the Wikipedia article on Parkinson's and read. They're not gonna start arguing on the policy pages in favor of putting the latest research results. In fact, they will have no idea that the latest research results have been deleted from the article because of some policy about not using primary sources! (Or "predatory sources".) But they would certainly be offended if they knew. And Headbomb, I'm not advocating putting in nonsense about vaccines or whatever. I'm talking about the latest scientific research. WhatamIdoing, thanks for the compliment! Eric Kvaalen (talk) 12:39, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Unless the latest scientific research has been vetted through reviews and meta-analysis, it is not ready to be featured in encyclopedias, because primary research−, especially in biological sciences, is not reliable. Again, see WP:WHYMEDRS Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:15, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
Headbomb, I just don't agree with that policy. Wikipedia is not meant to be a place where only iron-clad truths are mentioned, like the Pythagorean theorem (in Euclidean space!). We can and should tell people what the latest research in medical fields is. And I also don't agree that just because some research has been published as a primary source it should be considered unreliable! Of course, the researcher may be lying, or something like that. But let's not be ridiculous. Even if it's not a primary source we can't be absolutely sure that it's true. So why should we make a rule saying that primary sources are out and secondary sources are in? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 20:51, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
See WP:1AM#When you know that the consensus is against you. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:54, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
@Headbomb: I don't know that the consensus is against me. We have a couple people here, like you, who think I'm wrong, but that's certainly not a representative sammple of what you call "the community", nor of course of what the public wants. Really, whom is Wikipedia for? Just for people like you? Eric Kvaalen (talk) 05:59, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedia is for everyone, edited by everyone, and governed by consensus and policies like WP:DUE and WP:MEDRS. It is not a specialist's encyclopedia aiming to document every individual single paper ever published, every research dead end, and every piece of science by press conference/press release. See WP:WHYMEDRS for details, for the eleventy billionth time. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 06:59, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
We do sometimes go a bit overboard, though. We've seen editors try to remove all mention of common treatments for medical conditions on the grounds that there isn't sufficient scientific evidence behind them. It's still an encyclopedic fact that these things get used, even if they're under-researched. Only about half of conventional medical treatment is currently backed by decent scientific evidence. We should have all of medicine in Wikipedia, not just they've finished researching. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:28, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
We should have all of medicine that has undergone a scientific review, not simply all of medicine that was ever published or been the subject of one-off research. In 2019 a vaccine against cancer based on Protein X was studied by Smith et al.<ref>Primary source</ref> types of claims is exactly what we don't want. What we want is a critical evaluation of the research, ideally systematic reviews, that discuss what was studied and places it in a proper context. That is Multiple studies have investigated Protein X as a possible vaccine for cancer. As of 2019, results have been inconclusive due to poor control and methodology.<ref>Independent review</ref> is what we want. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:58, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
We really do need to have some way of reporting research that has been accepted by reputable bodies such as the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Cancer Research UK or the (UK) Medical Research Council but not yet accepted by WP as sufficiently reviewed. Quoting WP:MEDASSESS or WP:NOTADVICE may enable WP to protect itself against negligence suits, but it doesn't help non-medics trying to understand the often obscure jargon of professionals. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 18:55, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • WP:IGNORE exists for a reason. This is one of those situations where there may be a reason to adhere to it. Also, if they are using policy to inhibit the improvement Wikipedia, that should not be tolerated as that is disruptive editing. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 19:20, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
@Kirbanzo: I agree and I've opened an RfC that deals with this issue here, with discussion that happened here. I invite you to take a look and comment. إيان (talk) 03:58, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
If my above comment would considered canvassing, please ignore. This is my first RfC and I'm trying to publicize it. إيان (talk) 04:47, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
Ian, I think the other guy in your discussion is very unfriendly and bossy (as is typical), but in the part I redd (the discussion is very long!) I think I would have to agree with him that your addition was not 100% sure, based on the source you gave. Maybe it could have been reworded to be acceptable. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 12:31, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Kirbanzo, it would be nice to just "ignore the rules", but you know, they'll just revert that if you do! Even if it just breaks their interpretation of the rules. Eric Kvaalen (talk) 12:31, 21 March 2020 (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.

Let me bring in another example pertaining to the question "Are policies being used to the detriment of Wikipedia?". A friend of mine who doesn't believe in Evolution sent me a link to a YouTube video of a discussion with three scientists or philosophers. I wanted to know more about one of them, Stephen C. Meyer, so I looked to see whether there was something on him in Wikipedia, and there was. The second sentence said, "He is an advocate of the pseudoscientific principle of intelligent design." I thought it was entirely gratuitous to "inform" our dear readers that "Intelligent Design" is pseudoscientific, and I saw that the talk page consisted of long arguments about the presence of that word. So I took the word out. I ask you, which version is better, for an encyclopedia, "He is an advocate of the pseudoscientific principle of intelligent design", or "He is an advocate of the principle of intelligent design"?

Well, within about an hour a user with a pseudonym something like "Eagle Eye Jack", who obviously had a Watchpoint set on this article, revertted what I had done and wrote a pleasant note on my talk page, "Information icon Please refrain from making unconstructive edits to Wikipedia, as you did at Stephen C. Meyer. Your edits appear to constitute vandalism and have been reverted. If you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. Repeated vandalism may result in the loss of editing privileges. Thank you."

Now, I was considering reverting his revert, and then doing it again after he reverts that, after which he wouldn't be able to revert without breaking the Three Revert Rule! But that would still be "edit warring", which is against the rules. So the article stands as it is, with the staus quo protected by rules. Someone wrote a comment in the text saying <!--Do not change or remove the word "pseudoscientific" without reaching consensus on the talk page first-->. Well, why should one side get its way if there's no consensus? The other side could just as well say that you can't add the word "pseudoscientific" until there's a consensus!

When I do "Show preview" of this edit, I see that Izno has closed the discussion. What gives him the right to do that? He's a partisan in the discussion.

Eric Kvaalen (talk) 06:53, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

Rethinking draft space[edit]

So, after a recent RfA, I began thinking about whether rethinking the use of draft space at all is something that we should consider. I've personally come to the conclusion that draft space is a failure, and for the most part is something that is used as a holding ground for G13 since the majority of the content is unsalvageable.

While I'm not proposing anything formally yet, I'd be curious at getting the community's thoughts on ways forward, whether it be disabling draft space completely or some other reforms. The current system isn't working, and thinking about ways to change it so we don't have to waste volunteer time maintaining a broken concept would be ideal. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:03, 15 February 2020 (UTC)

  • I think it's doing exactly what it should be doing being a graveyard for crap that would otherwise get into mainspace. And also acts as a place for WP:AFC to do its role when people aren't submitting crap. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:13, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
    If you submit non-crap, the odds of it being found in AfC to be published in time for you to want to continue contributing approximate zero. The ideal here is that people should be able to create content that is notable and others improve it. Draft space hinders that goal, and does not help it. AfC could easily go back to the user subpage model for anyone who really wants to use it. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:22, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
    If your solution is to resume putting new submissions into mainspace, then you're basically accepting all the G13 nonsense that is there to die the slow death it deserves. If you want to make sure the good stuff gets in, then the solution here is to improve the AFC process. One thing that could be done is to tag the talk pages of drafts, so they get put in the various WP:AALERTS notice of Wikiprojects. It works pretty well at WP:JOURNALS and WP:WPWIR and other involved projects. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:56, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't see what benefit the current use of draft space brings to the encyclopedia. The whole point of a wiki is that content should be developed collaboratively, but in draft space nobody finds the content that needs improving. Rather than move things to draft just for them to be deleted six months later under WP:G13 people should use the existing deletion procedures where articles should be deleted, and let articles that should not be deleted be developed in main space where they belong. The use for draft space that I would support is very different from the way that it is currently used. Because Wikinews has been a failure it would be a good place for things that are in the news, so are covered by primary sources, but have not yet been covered by proper secondary sources, but it seems that enough people come out in support of having Wikipedia articles about anything covered by newspapers to preclude this. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:53, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I remember being excited about draftspace early on, because it offered a place to find and collaborate on drafts that weren't quite ready for mainspace. There were two problems, though: 1) We don't have great tools for finding drafts, or even for notifying people creating articles that there's already an extant draft (an easily missed line before you start editing a page with exactly the same title as a draft is as close as we get). So nobody really uses it for collaboration/discovery. 2) After a series of RfCs and other discussions, the function of draftspace is the same as userspace but with a countdown to deletion for newbies who don't know any better. I don't know, maybe it's useful to have a bin for pages that don't need to be deleted yet, but don't make sense for any one particular user's userspace. I'd be interested to see some statistics about its usage. Admittedly, I have a specific perspective in this. I'm disappointed that draftspace is useless for experienced editors, and of the many, many new users I engage with, the vast majority of them are through off-wiki programs (courses, edit-a-thons, etc.) -- and perhaps draftspace is really just for those newbies that come to Wikipedia with no help. If that's the purpose, we should be clear about that, though. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 20:38, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
    TonyBallioni, the problem is that Draft space has been used as a holding ground for articles that should be in Category:Articles needing additional references, but that already has 387,516 articles in it, and it's pretty obvious that if a new page patroller adds that category in stead of draftifying it, nothing will happen. So they get dumped in Draft space where they await a slow death. Somehow we should find a way to get more eyes on those articles, rather than less. Vexations (talk) 20:55, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I think that realistically, there is always going to be more input than manpower available to maintain it. The Weibull distribution probably doesn't strictly apply here but I suspect that the vast majority of drafts are not going to be edited collaboratively. So if you let all these things go into articlespace you get a flood of poor articles. If you put them in draftspace, a lot will be picked out by G13. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk) 21:01, 15 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I am personally of the opinion an article in draft space is one that is open for people to collaborate on; whereas in userspace its more for personal development without interference (and I would expect to be able to cut/paste at article to mainspace if necessary). And I do use it that way myself with 20 drafts on my watchlist currently, fettling the drafts every 4 months or so(10 new; 10 ex-Afd; expect 5 to be in mainspace this year). But I agree an article to effective in draft space it needs to be in one or more peoples stewardship(watchlist) (not necessarily the creator) or its almost certainly a G13 goner. Its likely pointless putting a long established article with an inactive author to draftspace unless someone shows interest it. For new newspace entries a point to "help - my articles been draftified what do a do about it". I'd like to see a two week pre-G13 banner notice that could trigger people's watchlist interest if necessary to try to minimize G13/Refunds. We need to minimize admin manual work and have good process pathways. HEADBOMB's article alert suggestions may have some value. Its my bedtime so I'm probably talking dribble.Djm-leighpark (talk) 01:20, 16 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Draft space is a repeat of ideas that failed before, including the Incubator and Nupedia. Wikipedia succeeded where the perfectionist Nupedia failed because of its Wiki approach which is inherently quick and dirty. Even after 20 years, 99% of Wikipedia's content is less than good and every page has a disclaimer to warn readers that the content is not reliable. Our processes are built around this fundamental understanding and acceptance that our content is flawed and always will be. New content should be put alongside old content so that they can be read and processed together by everyone, not just an inadequate handful of inspectors. Draft space should be disabled and marked as yet another failed experiment. Andrew🐉(talk) 01:22, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't try and interpret what the original ideas or thoughts belonged to the people behind the creation of the draftspace. I will however comment on its current function. There is no denying that there are more articles created then editors watching and fixing them. I work mainly in TV and film areas and check almost daily the articles alerts for these pages. There are a lot of pages that come from either non-English speaking countries or countries such as India where an article is created about some TV or web series that has a few lines, zero sources and is usually also badly written and ignores each and every MoS section it can. I personally do not have time to go over each one and fix them. I also do not have any intention of going to AfD for everyone as I find places like AfD and MfD to be bureaucracy filled places where the most horrible garbage can usually find supports to keep it. In most cases I've seen, these articles creators also never return. So what we are left with is horrible articles, with questionable notability and even more questionable unsupported statements. There is absolutely nothing to gain in keeping Wikipedia "mediocre" as one nom above me is arguing, and having these articles in article space does exactly that. To comment on the argument that drafts don't get worked on by others, I'd argue that the same articles won't get worked on even if they were in article space except from simple gnoming which doesn't make the article any better. On the other hand, articles which would have been worked together in article space, do get worked on together in draft space. There are many examples of MCU, Arrowverse, Star Wars and other notable TV series (and their seasons) that are actively worked on while being drafts. tl/dr - with the current overall system in place on Wikipedia, draftspace works and does what it needs to. --Gonnym (talk) 09:32, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Don't go looking for problems where there aren't any. Getting rid of Draftspace would be a disaster which I would oppose in the strongest possible way. Just leave it alone – it's working: some articles that merit attention do get that, and those that don't generally die the deaths they deserve. --IJBall (contribstalk) 13:39, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • The core issue here is that we have no meaningful way to sort and find content in draft space. But I'm not sure that burning down the house to catch the mouse is necessarily the correct way to respond to that. GMGtalk 14:01, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • All removing the draft space would do is massively increase the number of CSD and PROD and AFD tags being added to inappropriate new articles. If the draft space is serving no other purpose than acting as a holding area for stuff to keep it out of the article space, it's doing enough. Please don't get rid of it. --Jayron32 15:27, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Here's what usually happens with draft articles:
    1. A new user creates an article in mainspace / creates a draft and submits it to WP:AFC.
    2. A reviewer thinks it's undersourced and moves it to draft space / declines the draft.
    3. By now, the new user has probably left Wikipedia (either they left when they created their page or they left because their work was rejected).
    4. Nobody else notices the page and so 6 months later, an admin deletes the draft per WP:G13.
    It's not the new user's fault that they don't know how to meet the toughest reviewer's sourcing requirements. Reviewers don't bother looking for sources to improve articles, they just draftify/decline and move on to the next "problem", and neither do admins who see a valid G13 (and thus press the delete button as it only takes 1 click). Getting rid of draftspace isn't the solution as it stop new users from creating articles altogether. Making it easier to find drafts won't fix the problem either if nobody wants to work on them. The only solutions I see are to stop draftifying articles without a proper discussion and to get rid of G13. Why is there even a deadline for draft space? IffyChat -- 18:45, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
    Iffy, Reviewers don't bother looking for sources. They do if they're doing page patrol correctly. Look at the NPP flowchart. There is no way you a reviewer could reasonably arrive at draftify without meeting at least WP:BEFORE. I get your point about new users disappearing though. That is a problem, and it has to do with the size of the backlog. It takes too long to get feedback on an article. Vexations (talk) 22:55, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
    I've seen reviewers decline articles on the grounds that the citations were listed in the article but weren't formatted in the WP:REFB style. I've seen an article declined because the sources were WP:NONENG, even though that's allowed. We shouldn't design processes that only produce acceptable results if each reviewer knows dozens and dozens of rules and follows them all perfectly every time. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:32, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
    WhatamIdoing, NPP folks or AfC? I've seen the behaviour you describe at AfC, and worse, but not by draftifying NPPers. The expectations of New Page Patrollers are that such mistakes should never happen, or very rarely. I don't think there's a problem with having a process that requires that the people doing the processing have extensive policy knowledge. Vexations (talk) 23:43, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
    WhatamIdoing, I think you are referring to AfC reviewers, NPP reviewers would pretty quickly get crucified for this behaviour and is against the process (see the aforementioned NPP flowchart). If you do have such examples, please pass them to me so that I can hand out admonishments. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 03:08, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Even though I think the Draft namespace, and the whole system for dealing with new content, is nowadays functioning a bit better than say about two years ago, I still believe it is fundamentally not fit for purpose. A lot of junk is created that can't get immediately cleared out and a fair amount of easily improvable content on notable topics is relegated to silent deletion because it doesn't fit some reviewer's idea of what an exemplary article should be like. I'm beginning to think that the system of the pre-WP:ACTRIAL days was better: any registered user could create an article immediately available in mainspace, the loads of garbage could be quickly whisked away, the content with potential made immediately available for others to further improve, and the borderline cases decided on by the deliberative process. – Uanfala (talk) 23:44, 17 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree with others above that the Draft namespace is not working well, and obstructs the proper functioning of the wiki. The original case for draftspace was persuasive and exciting, but it doesn't seem to have worked out very well in practice. It's ended up being less like an incubator and more like Limbo. I keep coming across decent starter articles on encyclopedic topics that were draftified/declined (and often subsequently deleted as "abandoned") because someone found them wanting on seemingly arbitrary grounds. One example that currently sticks in my craw is an article about a prominent African-American newspaper that a novice contributor submitted to AfC; one reviewer correctly identified it as "ready to go" but the article subsequently sat in limbo for four months before someone else decided it wasn't good enough and declined the submission. (I discovered and un-draftified it because I was in the process of creating such an article myself, and it would have been ridiculous and anti-wiki to pass up the opportunity to build on the original contributor's work.) While it may be true that Drafts help to filter out bad articles as well, the absence of one good article does more long-term harm to the project than the presence of a hundred bad ones. When we are treating our most dedicated new contributors this way, it's a wonder we have any contributors at all. I'll humbly submit, however, that at least half of the problem here is that we are currently tricking novice users into submitting through the optional AfC bureaucracy rather than inviting them to participate directly in the wiki as we should. Biting the newcomers is bad, but fencing them out as we currently do is much worse. -- Visviva (talk) 06:46, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Looking into the history, I was a bit surprised to realize that draftspace didn't become a thing until 2013. That forces me to reconsider some of my assumptions about the feature's negative impacts, since Wikipedia's ongoing slump was already well under way by 2013. But the recency of that date also makes it a bit difficult to take any of the above prognostications of doom seriously. It's hard to think of any standard by which the Wikipedia of 2013 was an "unmitigated disaster" but the Wikipedia of 2020 is not. Thus it seems highly unlikely that returning to the draftspace-free status quo ante would have any particularly disastrous effects. -- Visviva (talk) 07:12, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Idea: make draft space only for articles with a plausible COI concern. It's pretty clear that we're not doing new editors any favors by fencing them off from AfD, but we need a way to keep bad faith editors from soaking up our time and effort. signed, Rosguill talk 07:15, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
    Rosguill, So much of the content submitted these days has a plausible COI that this wouldn't really help much unfortunately. and would make false flags even worse; who wants to work at AfC if ALL the articles are COIs? — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 03:11, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I sadly have to agree, even drafts that have a shot at making it into mainspace often end up subject to G13. However, I think that they could be fixed, possibly using Headbomb's suggestion of making drafts in particular subjects get a tag so that people that may be interested in them actually see them.
    However, I also think there should be a way to get junk cleared out faster, because at the end of the day the majority of drafts that fall to G13 are junk. I patrol recent changes, primarily userspace and draft space, and I believe this to be true based on what i've seen: lots of unrecoverable junk, an occasional good draft that's COI, and very little else. —moonythedwarf (Braden N.) 17:18, 18 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Do we have any metrics for measuring the impact that 7 years of draftspace has had on the wiki? Are there less deletions from mainspace now than before? Fewer AfDs? Less promo? More articles? Better articles? Levivich (lulz) 02:35, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
  • My position to keep aligns closely with IJBall, Rosguill, and Vexations. WhatamIdoing, the actions by the NPPers you described are what needs review rather than the process, although I do understand the process is not perfect. Perhaps the WMF can conduct the necessary research and provide answers to the questions asked by Levivich? Kudpung has been one of the most active in getting NPP the tools needed to do the job, and he may have some insight as to resolving some of the issues we're facing now. Atsme Talk 📧 13:30, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
    • Research was done when the draftspace was fairly new, and the conclusion was that the draftspace is where articles go to die. See m:Research:Wikipedia article creation and m:Research:AfC processes and productivity. It's not primarily about the speed of the initial response. I think it might be more about the parable that User:Iridescent told me a couple of years ago. The incentives are set up so that nobody wants to be the "bad" reviewer that lets an unwanted article into the mainspace, with the result that both bad articles and borderline articles get suppressed, rather than just the bad ones. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:59, 25 February 2020 (UTC)
      • WhatamIdoing, that research appears to have been rather one sided and mainly the work and opinion of one WMF staff member. Unless I am seriously missing something, it failed to bring into the statistics the numbers of totally justified rejections of articles that are in no way fit or appropriate for an encyclopedia. Please correct me if I am wrong. This reinforces the notion that the the Foundation was interested in one thing only: the total number of creations, irrespective of their quality, and still is. Such research is probably best outsourced to a neutral consulting body, even if it costs some money. I firmly believe that such matters should be devolved to the community itself, leaving the WMF soley as the instiution that manages legal and financial matters on the Community's behalf, under the Community's instructions.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 01:11, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
        • Oh, I'm willing to believe that one of the research projects might have some bias involved. After all, the WMF staffer who originally proposed the creation of the Draft: space is listed as one of the contributors. I suppose the fact that the draftspace was created by the WMF and that this research involved its main proponent sort of undercuts your opinion that the research project was probably biased against the draftspace. If we had devolved everything to the community, then we wouldn't be having this discussion, because the draftspace wouldn't exist.
          I also don't see the research claiming that any decision is objectively wrong. It shows that draftspace standards are significantly higher than mainspace standards. It does not judge whether the problem is draftspace being "too high" or mainspace being "too low", or a combination of the two. That judgment, after all, is about people's values, and different people have different values. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:05, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • I can understand TonyBallioni's motivation for starting this discussion, and I'm only here because I was pinged and I think DGG as a major contributor to these elements should be invited to comment.
A lot of things on Wikipedia are a 'broken concept', including AfC, NPP, AfD, and also the way users are encouraged, their behaviour is processed, or their qualities recognised, indeed, the Founder once said that RfA is a horrible and broken process.
The problem is that no one could have known when it was created that Wikipedia would become such a hugely successful and important collection of knowledge despite (or because of) its crowdsourced content. Many editors in that crowd may well be topic specific experts, professionals, or academics, but many are not, especially when it comes to creating new content, but those who patrol the new contributions are not necessarily schooled in real life either for the tasks that lay before them as Wikipedia backroom people. The main issues are that there is 1) a vast disparity in the way NPP and AfC reviewers go about their work and apply Wikipedia rules, regulations, guidelines, and policies, and 2) simply not enough active reviewers available for both systems (and in the absence of metrics, there is the possibility that some of the ~650 NPPers might be (or were) hat collectors, and 3) but perhaps less important, the cultural dichotomies among the different English speaking users who work in maintenance areas.
But this topic is not strictly about NPP/AfC, it's about the draft namespace which is nevertheless a major part of the mechanism fo maintaining the integrity of of the public part of the encyclopedia corpus. I welcomed the advent of the draft and the deprecation of the incubator, and I fought long and hard to bring about ACTRIAL and its permanent adoption and to create what I hoped would be a competent component to review new articles. I still believe that while 'the encyclopedia anyone can edit' is still an important founding principle, it does not exclude the possibility of introducing required controls as the project continues to grow organically - as demonstrated by the very reason why AfC was created in the first place, and the resounding consensus for ACPERM. Personally, I do not believe that ACPERM went far enough (but it was as much as we dared ask the community for at the time), and recent developments, such as the increase in paid editing and possible abuse of the Autopatrolled and NPP flags give me pause.
What we should probably be looking at is not to immediately deprecate the draft namespace, but to take a very long and serious look at the entire system of management of new content and that would begin with a proper system that informs potential new article creators just what they can and cannot create, and I firmly maintain that that is something that should be at least funded by the WMF even if they claim they do not have the developer capacity to do it. Tony's issue(s) therefore only scratches the surface, what is needed now after 18 years is a holistic approach, and less talk from the WMF about their big ideas lined up for the movement in 30 years hence (for one thing, I and possibly a lot of the users won't be around then unless we live to be a 100, and those of us who have been influential in the past may be seeking to reduce their activity as I have done over the past 2 years on NPP but we wouldn't want to think our efforts have been wasted). A good place to start perhaps, is at Wikipedia:The future of NPP and AfC, and extract some stats and metrics and until that is done, per Headbomb, WhatamIdoing/Iridescent, Atsme, Jayron32,  IJBall, Jo-Jo Eumerus, not be too hasty to condemn the draft namespace. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 07:56, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
I find myself agreeing with Kudpung. Allowing the GFOO stream to go directly to mainspace would create an unimaginably huge mess, there simply must be a "holding pen" of some sort to enable at least basic triage.
Now hold onto your hats as I'm going to make a radical (and maybe crazy) suggestion... As I see it the problem is not the existence of draftspace, it's the way drafts are created. There are simply not enough competent reviewers to handle the stream of incoming GFOO, which consists overwelmingly of crap with a light sprinkling of legitimate draft articles. The status of new article creation needs to be drastically downgraded, it should be one of the least significant things a Wikipedian does. In fact the vast majority of draft/article creators are not "true Wikipedians" as all they do is drop one article and leave, many have an obvious COI too. They are the least desirable type of contributor (except for vandals of course). If we really want to reduce the draft overload we should find a way to force users to do substantial "gnome edits" before being allowed to create even a draft - autoconfirmed is a ridiculously trivial barrier. If a newbie had to do several hundred edits to existing mainspace articles before being allowed to create any new pages outside of their own userspace we would basically eliminate spammers and SPAs, as only people interested in working on WP for the sake of WP would be willing to do it. Anyone can edit, but only committed Wikipedians should be allowed to create articles. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 08:36, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Roger (Dodger67): completely agree with you. At 6M articles, if a newcomer wants to immediately create a new article, that's because it's some kind of their pet project (ranging from innocent article on one's primary school to COI spam). Many prolific users I know (myself included) started off with some type of "gnome edit" -- quick fix a typo or a mistake and then somehow you get hooked. These are the type of editors that we need to recruit -- the one's that care about information, not about their pet project. Renata (talk) 19:35, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • While some good comes out of draftspace, I believe it is draftspace is net negative to the project due to the way it burns wide eyed newcomers. A better approach would be to discourage newcomers from writing new pages until after they have found their editing legs by improving existing content. Other standard criticism is: in draftspace, drafters have virtually no contact with the mainspace editing community; & when they do submit, they receive patronising, top-of-draft templated comments, dissimilar to how mainspace works with talk on talk pages. The most valid reasons for draftspace is forcing AfC and draftspace processes on COI editors, and proponents of AfD-deleted pages who thing they can improve them, however, for both cases userspace could be used. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 13:47, 26 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Well, Draftspace is a problem because it does what it sets out to do very badly (help new editors). It delays good faith editors with months of waiting before inevitably getting a 'not ready' negative review (they are after all, new editors that don't know how to write articles). It is also used as a holding pen for COI editors' creations, but even for that it doesn't work well! Because those COI editors can just re-create the same article in mainspace again, and the New Page Patroller then has to pursue other means anyway (AfD, PROD, CSD). I think the draft space being a failure is simply a result of the fundamental problem with all the new page processes on wikipedia. We don't have enough reviewers, and we never will. The result of this short-handedness is that we do triage instead of holistic care. This is a necessity, but it results in fundamentally broken processes if you don't accept the fact of it on its face. New Page Patrol KNOWS that it is triage, and it bills itself as such. It doesn't pretend to be a welcoming place, it doesn't pretend to be a bunch of people that are there to help the newbies to write new articles. No, we sort the wheat from the chaff and we move on. AfC and the draftspace are fundamentally broken because they WANT to be something that they CANT be, because they simply don't have the manpower; and they never will. The result is something that ends up as a wild west; with some reviewers trying to help, and others just trying to keep AfC's head above water by pressing yes/no as quickly as possible (and even then the wait times are INSANE). The result is that as someone that submits to AfC, you are guaranteed to have a bad time; first you will wait for months, then, you'll get a decline and some semi-helpful tips (if you are lucky). The reviewers don't have time to help you write your articles, but that's what would be required in a lot of cases simply because not all new editors are capable of the competence required to write new articles on Wikipedia. Should Draft space be gotten rid of? YES. It is a drain on already strained reviewing manpower, and we simply won't ever have the manpower to make it work as intended. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 03:36, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
    • Insertcleverphrasehere I agree entirely with every you said here - except the last two sentences. What do you do if you got rid of it? AfC as a project would disappear into the horizon on a hot day, leaving simply thousands of NPP permatagged articles that people are not going to pick up and improve. As you most correctly and emphatically spelled out, NPR is triage, the New Page Patrollers aren't going to do more than they do and they're not expected to - the backlog is already ridiculously long again. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 08:58, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
      • I don't think that everyone agrees with you that having "thousands of NPP permatagged articles that people are not going to pick up and improve" is a big problem. Editors have quite a diversity of views on this subject, and the folks at NPP and AFC do not seem to be representative of the whole community's views. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:15, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
      Kudpung, What WhatamIdoing said. I don't find this a significant issue. If the topic is notable, but it's content is problematic, then it can be stubified with a couple sources and tagged for improvement. I think this is highly preferable to the current "move it to draft so that nobody sees how horrible it looks" (or keep it in draft). This is often even done when all that is needed are formatting fixes, and then the drafts end up deleted G13. If draft space didn't exist then stubifying articlles that need notability guidelines but fail content guidelines would become the new gold standard. Paid and COI editing would still be a problem, but as I said above, the draft space isn't really a solution to that anyway. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 18:04, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • One thing I have noticed in draft space is that users will spend considerable amounts of time creating very long articles that they think are masterpieces, but which will likely never be published for any number of reasons. It strikes me that limiting the size of drafts for new users might go some ways towards reducing disappointment, and letting us catch poor efforts before they go on for too long. Conversely, any page reviewer can tell when a short draft that is well sourced is notable enough, and can promote it to main space. I'm not sure how it would work, but something like "You can create a draft up to 5K in size using the best sourcing you can find" might be helpful. This is a clunky idea as I have described it, but the gist of it is to avoid huge long spam articles.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 16:40, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Removing draft space would flood mainspace with the worst articles particularly attack pages, copyvios and spam which would stay for longer due to the NPP backlog which would be signifiantly increased by this proposal. There are a number of editors who do improve and publish drafts including abandoned drafts and the AFC process can work to significantly improve articles for mainspace that if posted there would be quickly deleted in their original condition, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 19:51, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • It's no secret that I think the current deployment of draft space – with overwhelmed & overpicky Articles for Creation reviewers, one-click draftify to "incubate" (the most ironic automated edit summary in the 'pedia) and semi-automated G13 deletion – is one of the most negative changes ever made to Wikipedia. I tend to advise good-faith newbies to accumulate enough edits to create articles directly in mainspace because they get far more attention there -- sometimes a swift death, but not the inexorable slide to deletion of G13. There is a place for drafting articles collaboratively, it's called mainspace. Espresso Addict (talk) 06:17, 7 March 2020 (UTC)

An example[edit]

Yesterday I came across the newly created article Bob Chapek, with a very strong indication of importance and a reliable but not independent source. Nine minutes after creation it was moved to Draft:Bob Chapek by a new-page patroller following the instructions. From the histories and talk pages of those two pages you can see what a mess this has produced, with people misunderstanding speedy deletion templates and developing them in parallel. If the original article had simply been left alone to be developed in mainspace the normal wiki process would have been followed and people wouldn't have to waste their time trying to deal with the situation. Phil Bridger (talk) 12:35, 26 February 2020 (UTC)

The backlog at NPP is unacceptable. Not the monumental 22,00o it was 3 years ago, but constantly hovering around five to eight thousand makes it still totally unacceptable. If every active New Page Reviewer stopped to do a full service to every page in the queue that backlog would be immense. This therefore does not, IMO, exemplify any typical issues with the draft namespace system. I don't think Willbb234 did anything unusual in moving the IP's creation to draft - it was pretty much what any current active New Page Reviewer , including me, would probably do with such a page particularly as it was a BLP. In fact there followed a flurry of activity which resulted in a mainspace ready article very quickly, one way or another, so under the current processes available no one really wasted their time dealing with it. AFAICS, the draftification process did its job. Arjunpat, an autoconfirmed user (with albeit a low edit count ) created an appropriate article in good faith, was not really doing anything wrong but was almost certainly not aware that they may have been doing something that was nevertheless not quite right., i.e. creating a page in mainspace that was not ready for it; they were most likely not aware of other options such as creating it offline first, or in their user space, or as recommended, in draft space.
If every user who registers an account was informed immediately of what they can and can't do on Wikipedia, then a 'mess' would not be produced, articles would not be produced that would cause a mess, and time and energy would be saved all round - ball back in the WMF court. Nobody is being criticised here, but perhaps as a pure exercise in interest, after reading the main thread here, the contributing editors and BigRed606, Spshu, might like to chime in here with their thoughts. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:57, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Probably time for a backlog drive. And also tag them with WikiProject banners so they show up in WP:AALERTS. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:17, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Headbomb, Yeah, When we lost Onel a month or so back, things have started spiraling downhill. We are still treading water, but only just. I'm working on a methodology for inviting new people to join NPP, but running a drive might also be due. Really busy at work at the moment personally, so mostly just been dropping an average of a few reviews a day myself, as I don't really have the time for more. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 03:43, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
If you look at the history and the talk page of the mainspace redirect that was left behind by this move, and was later moved to Draft:Move Bob Chapek (admins only by now), you will see that this move to draft did cause considerable confusion and meant that experienced editors who understood what was happening had to spend time putting things right. We had editors adding content to the redirect, claiming that they had "fixed" things, and contesting speedy deletion. I purposely didn't name the editor who performed this move to draft because, as you say, most new page patrollers would have done the same. Phil Bridger (talk) 09:38, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Perhaps the main problem is that different editors have different ideas about what constitutes "a mainspace ready article", especially as measured nine minutes after creation. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:49, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Here's one: AQUILA HOTELS & RESORTS. I found it at main space. The creator has a COI, but is probably good faith (but biased in a way that limits thier ability to write an article. The topic looks notable, but as written it is just jammed with promotionalism and way too many refs. It looks notable, but it's a company and its going to take an hour to strip out all the garbage refs from this article down to what is salvageable and fix all the formatting errors. No one wants to waste the time, so it ends up in draft space. Where it will likely die unless somebody takes pity on it. I posted on coin but I doubt anything would happen. Would it get CSDed if we didn't have draft space? I don't think so (it isn't exclusively promotional). Would it get AfDed? No, AfD isn't cleanup, and the topic does look notable. Our only option would be to stubify it and nuke most of the bad content. This would be preferable to it just getting shunted to draft space. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 04:02, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Aaaaaaand, its gone. — Insertcleverphrasehere (or here)(click me!) 18:07, 27 February 2020 (UTC

Another example[edit]

Today I got a notice that a draft I created, Draft:Sandra Pinel was up for G13 deletion, and indeed was both notified on my talk and deleted while I was in the middle of leaving a lengthy message elsewhere. I don't believe I would have spontaneously had an idea to create this article, so I must have responded to a noticeboard thread or something to create it in draft, but I'm blowed if I can remember what. I've restored it (as policy states any user can get a G13 refunded on request I don't consider myself WP:INVOLVED to just do it myself), but most people won't even think of doing this, and if I don't get any ideas or assistance, it'll get deleted again, a year after creation. Update: I've worked out it's because I was patrolling CAT:CSD on 12 July 2019 and saw Sandra Pinel tagged for A7, searched for sources as a triage and moved it to draft with the idea of blowing it up and starting over. Obviously I didn't get very far! In the meantime the article was re-created in mainspace by the original creator, tagged for G11, AfDed at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Sandra Pinel and deleted, and the creator indefinitely blocked. GAME OVER.

A long time ago, I wrote on Wikipedia:WikiSpeak that Articles for Creation was "A place where articles don't get created, but sit languishing in purgatory". There is good stuff in draftspace to pull out, but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Essentially, we have the following conflicting requirements:

  • Creating articles is hard. Reviewing them properly is harder
  • As a corollary to the above, we don't have enough reviewers to cope with incoming work, and never will
  • Because experienced and knowledgeable reviewers are more likely to pause and pass on difficult or contentious new pages, new pages (both in mainspace and draft) are more likely to be dealt by less conscientious reviewers who will not do this
  • As a corollary to the above, all things being equal, a new page is more likely to dealt with by a "cookie cutter" message rather than anything with thought and knowledge, putting off genuine newcomers
  • Spammers looking to create COI topics should not be allowed to start articles AT ALL

Is it even possible to come up with a solution that handles the above? I'm not sure. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 18:20, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Ritchie333, I think there are some ways to handle at least most of the above, but it means making Wikipedia less useful to readers. For example, a rule that says "No new articles about living people, businesses, or products (including pop culture products such as books, films, websites, etc.) less than 50 years old" would knock out a lot of COI and spam pages. But the cost, measured in terms of harm to the reason we're here, would be significant. I don't think the community would agree to that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:13, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

Yet another example[edit]

The article Narayanrao Uttamrao Deshmukh had a cast-iron source that confirmed that it passed WP:POLITICIAN, but was moved to draft and then rejected twice at AfC. We seem to be giving new page patrollers and AfC reviewers, who have not been given deletion powers via WP:RFA, the power to remove things from main space. This is very clearly a use of draft space as a backdoor route to deletion, as it is not supposed to be. Phil Bridger (talk) 20:23, 6 March 2020 (UTC)

This is not the best example: IMHO the AFC reviewers both acted properly. During the first review, the page was totally unsourced. During the 2nd review, the source was a dead link. Neither reviewer would have any evidence that the claims in the article were true unless they took the time to research the subject themselves. Their only choices were to not review, to decline and give the submitter useful feedback, or to halt their AFC reviews and start editing the page as if they were an editor rather than a reviewer. Another editor moved the page to the main encyclopedia. I found a suitable replacement source and removed the top-of-page sources-needed template. There is still some unsourced material but it's no longer a major BLP issue. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:30, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
The AfC people might've done the right thing, but these unilateral and process-free moves to draft space to circumvent deletion processes need to be reined the hell in already. The Drover's Wife (talk) 22:44, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
(after edit conflict) Sorry, but that's far from an acceptable answer. Sources do not have to be online, but, in this case, I can certainly read the original source online without the archive link. Phil Bridger (talk) 22:47, 6 March 2020 (UTC) (the original source) works for me, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:33, 12 March 2020 (UTC)

A counter-example[edit]

I have over 1,400 draft pages underway for U.S. state supreme court justices. Every few days, I pick one out and finish it. Sometimes I find a source covering several and make improvements across the covered group. Every few weeks, someone else comes along and finishes a draft or two, usually in connection with a specific state. In this way, over 600 articles have been created and moved to mainspace from this list (which initially had over 2,000 entries). This, I think, is an example of draftspace working as it should - with drafts for specific topics connected to specific projects, from which appropriate attention can be drawn. Perhaps what is needed is a better way to connect drafts with the projects that should be concerned about them. BD2412 T 03:37, 27 February 2020 (UTC)

The same tools that help improve articles could be used to help improve drafts. Would something similar to Random article but for drafts help? El Millo (talk) 03:59, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
I think order would present a better tool than randomness, in this space. BD2412 T 04:15, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
@BD2412: Order? Do you mean order from less to more complete? El Millo (talk) 04:47, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
I mean as in tying drafts to projects and to potentially interested editors. Every draft has some family of articles or topics that are the closest things to it, and a good step would be to bring the attention of contributors to those related topics to those drafts. One way might be to find some way to notify editors (or projects) when a link is made from a draft to a particular mainspace article. BD2412 T 05:00, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Why not do both? PJvanMill (talk) 21:44, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
I just discovered, by reading more discussion below, that this already exists: Special:Random/Draft. PJvanMill (talk) 21:59, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
It might be possible to get Wikipedia:List of Wikipedians by article count run for the current contents of the draftspace. (I don't think it could tell you which pages began in the draftspace.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:46, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
It could also be useful to have them automatically transcluded at the top of relevant wikiproject talkpages (similar to tracking pages like Wikipedia:WikiProject_Genetics/Article alerts). Over at WP:Molbio we typically rely on people from AfC and NPP manually dropping my to let us know there's a relevant draft in need of attention. T.Shafee(Evo&Evo)talk 09:23, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Arbitrary break after the examples[edit]

  • Having higher standards to move something out of draftspace than to delete it at AfD has been the case for so long that it seems normal to us, but to everyone else it's crazy. I'd love to know what percentage of Declined drafts end up being deleted (Whatamidoing (WMF), do you know if this data exists?) as opposed to being improved to the point of acceptance. If we do keep draftspace, search capabilities should be improved so that people from the Wikiprojects can search for keywords among drafts that have reached at least the "Submitted" stage, and assess articles themselves. Wikiproject participants would likely still have higher standards to "accept" than to "not delete" - I believe that's unfotunately human nature - but at least the reviewing would be done by people who are interested in the topic area.
With ad-hoc and infrequent perusing of draft space, I've found and rescued some wonderful articles that were declined, including Marine heatwave. The way we use draftspace might be the biggest biter of newbies we've ever created. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 19:03, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree that it's a big biter of newbies, not least because we tell people that it's best to create articles in draft space but they then take months to get reviewed and then, when they do, the reviewer quite often has less of an idea about what belongs in an encyclopedia than the article creator. Also if usage of moving to draft space by new page patrollers remains as it is then we should abandon the pretence that moving to draft is not a backdoor route to deletion. It is very clearly used in that way. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:26, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
Clayoquot, I don't know the percentage of deletions. The last research I saw on this was shortly after the creation of WP:G13, which really changed the numbers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:40, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
  • The problems of Draft space are inseparable form COI spam problems. Until we find a way to fix COI, Draft will remain broken. Renata (talk) 19:38, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
    • That reminds me of another question I have for Whatamidoing (WMF) ;) : What percentage of articles in Draft space are about people, organizations, or products, vs. everything else (this presumably can't be detected programmatically but maybe someone could do it by sampling)? Articles such as Webbed foot and Psychology of climate change denial seem to me to be obviously unrelated to our COI spam problem. Both of these were created at AfC by newbies who probably thought it was the only way to create an article, and Declined at AfC. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 19:55, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
      • mw:ORES/Draft topic could answer your question, but I don't think it's actually been implemented. In lieu of real answers, I clicked Special:Random/Draft ten times. I found three drafts about living people, one had no article (the title was mathematics-related), one was a (worse) article on a subject that's had an article for years and years, one is a geographical place (the contents were only an infobox), two were for pop culture (more or less comic books), one was a building, and one was about computer science. One of the goals for ORES is to be able to tell us (i.e., WP:MED) when medicine-related articles are in the draftspace. Right now, editors leave notes at WT:MED when they find something to look at. (Forgive me for not bothering to clock in to reply to your interesting questions. Right now, I'm sitting outside and looking at blue skies and wispy clouds, and thinking that all I really need is a bowl of good strawberries and a power cord.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:40, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
      • Clayoquot: I did a quick sample of 50 drafts (selected via Special:Random/Draft so only 2 of them are not pending a review). Obviously, did not dig into notability and judged it at first glance. Details here.
13 pure garbage CSD
1 draft working on improving mainspace article (Draft:Michigan–Penn State Football Rivalry)
4 drafts from the project about US judges by BD2412
4 clearly notable topics (but will probably die in Draft)
5 clearly not notable topics
23 (effectively 50% of sample) in the notability grey zone -- which is the labor-intensive & frustrating zone of promo, COI, etc., of these:
2 are pending review
6 are rejected drafts
8 have neither references nor proper format
3 imho ready for mainspace
2 imho are borderline
2 imho are not ready for mainspace Renata (talk) 00:34, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Personally, I'll only !vote for the deletion of draftspace if one of the following are done:
  1. An alternative is created to decrease the chances of a new user having to experience an article deletion. Also, disclosing any conflicts of interest are made easier.
  2. Research is done that indicates that blocking for undisclosed paid editing/using an account only to advertise or article deletion wasn't diminished after ACPERM.
If the only thing draftspace is doing is keeping junk out of mainspace, it's doing enough good that it needs to be kept around so we can discuss how it can do better. Frankly, I'd be less enthused to NPP again without a draftspace. It's not out of the purview of new editors to become upset when the article they created is nominated for deletion; I've even received a lawsuit threat or two. They aren't quite as upset when I decline their draft. Whenever I get a message about a decline, even if there is an underlying upset, there is also curiosity on how to do better. You don't get that with a deletion nomination. Therefore, having a draftspace is less bite-y than not having one. I dream of horses (talk) (contribs) Remember to {{ping}} me after replying off my talk page 21:49, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
The options aren't "draftspace or nothing". For example, we used to move pages to userspace. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:40, 27 February 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing, which posed the issue that G13 was created to fix; userspace drafts would sometimes languish in userspace, untouched for years, completely and totally forgotten. Nowadays we'd probably G13 old userspace drafts, but userfying articles would still cause a lot of the problems draftspace has, but without the little formality draftspace has. I dream of horses (talk) (contribs) Remember to {{ping}} me after replying off my talk page 19:45, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
I agree that there is no system that forces any WP:VOLUNTEER to finish articles that someone else started. The #Is it acceptable to blank userspace sandboxes of long-term/established, but inactive editors? discussion above suggests to me that not everyone thinks that it's actually a problem to have drafts "languish[ing] in userspace, untouched for years, completely and totally forgotten". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:47, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
I would like to register my objection to moving either my WP:USCJ drafts or my WP:DABCONCEPT drafts to userspace. They do get worked on in draftspace by various editors from time to time, and it is my experience that having them in userspace would discourage those kinds of improvements. Also, @Renata3: what was the condition of the judge drafts that you saw in your review? BD2412 T 22:11, 28 February 2020 (UTC)
BD2412, If one of those Drafts was about to be deleted under G13, would you appreciate having the option to userfy it? Blueboar (talk) 23:50, 28 February 2020 (UTC)

WhatamIdoing, nowadays people can, if an editor is inactive (as in "hasn't edited for years") and has userfied drafts that have languished for years without being touched, have those drafts moved to draftspace. Also, BD2412 has an interesting objection; I have seen draftspace drafts gnomed quite frequently, but I doubt userspace drafts get that.

Since userfying articles is what we did before draftspace, and you've yet to offer any other option despite having a lot of time, I'm unconvinced that it's not "draftspace or nothing". Going back to the way things were before draftspace is "nothing", in my mind. If draftspace is unacceptable, we need to come up with an alternative to both that and userfying articles.

Blueboar, not speaking for BD2412, but there is a template one can use for drafts that are technically G13able but "have potential". I think that's the sort of draft he is working on. I dream of horses (talk) (contribs) Remember to {{ping}} me after replying off my talk page 13:59, 29 February 2020 (UTC)

Yes, a draft in Userspace CAN be moved to Draftspace... However, nothing requires drafts in Userspace to be moved. It is OK to leave material in Userspace, indefinitely. Also, I see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to go in the other direction as well, and move a draft from Draftspace over to Userspace.
The two spaces have different purposes, and so have different rules that govern them, but BOTH can be used to work on potential articles. The primary difference is that one (Draftspace) is for communal work, while the other (Userspace) is more for solo work. The point is... we have options. Blueboar (talk) 14:58, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
Obviously this is not an option of everyone, but if one of my drafts gets deleted pursuant to G13, I undelete it. BD2412 T 15:29, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
There are the different namespaces as we're using them today (mainspace, draftspace, userspace), but we could be using other approaches entirely. We might be able to hide them with Wikipedia:Pending changes. We might be able to put them in projectspace as subpages for a relevant (and active) WikiProject (if any). We could put them in draftspace, but make them easier for everyone to find (e.g., searching draftspace by default).
We could also change the incentives. Pages in draftspace are supposed to be proto-articles that would not survive WP:AFD. The NPPers have made a big deal here about saying that they follow AFD's WP:BEFORE process before moving a page to the draftspace, and then they turned around and defended their move of a minutes-old stub about the new CEO of Disney to draftspace, even though there is approximately a snowball's chance in Hell of that article ever being deleted at AFD. So maybe a random sample of AFC-declined/NPP-draftified articles should be sent to AFD, and if we find that any individual editor is using draftspace to store pages that have a high likelihood of surviving AFD (as evidenced by them actually surviving AFD), then maybe that editor is told to mend his ways or get banned from that process.
I am not particularly recommending any of these options. My point is only that there are a lot of options, once you start thinking about what we need to do instead of focusing on which namespace the page should be in. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:39, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

I agree there are lots of options. One thing that could change the incentives would be to require admin rights to move a page from mainspace to draft space or to userspace, so it would be subject to scrutiny and like other admin actions. We could use a noticeboard or category to process cases in which, say, the creator of an article published it accidentally and wants to keep working on it privately. In most cases, draftifying an article is functionally equivalent to deleting it, but with a lot less accountability. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 22:05, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

Getting rid of the draftspace means that we would lose out on useful incubtion for articles before they make it into the mainspace. I don't see how dleting this step willl reduce the amount of 'bad' articles. >>BEANS X2t 14:41, 7 March 2020 (UTC)

Comments from a Reviewer[edit]

I will respond to the comments of User:TonyBallioni about draft space being a failure. I am one of the more active AFC reviewers of drafts, and I think that I am qualified to comment on drafts in general. I mostly agree that draft space has not resulted in the benefits that some editors thought would come from it. If it is judged based on some of the optimistic thoughts that it would result in new collaboration, or in improvements in the quality of new articles, I agree that it has not succeeded. I think that any such expectations were unrealistic. The real question however should be whether it should be abandoned as a failure, replaced with something else, or retained for lack of a viable alternative. If draft space is abandoned as a failure, then the question must further be asked what is to be done with the documents that currently go into draft space. So what currently goes into draft space?

The documents in draft space are primarily: (1) proposed articles created by very new users, not yet autoconfirmed, who are not allowed to create new articles; (2) proposed articles created by other users who choose to use draft space, rather than using user space or putting the articles directly into article space; (3) proposed articles originally in user space that have been submitted for review, and are moved by AFC reviewers into draft space; (4) articles that are undersourced or have notability issues that have been draftified by New Page reviewers. If draft space is to be abandoned as a failure, we should consider what to do with those four current uses of draft space. The first use of draft space is by very new users. Are we proposing to reverse the requirement of auto-confirmation for new articles? I hope not. So are we proposing that they be submitted for review in their user space? Does that have any material benefit? The second use of draft space is by some content creators who go through the review process. It is true that they could skip the review process, or rely on WikiProjects for review. Dissolving draft space would be neither harmful nor useful for them. The third use of draft space is for AFC reviewers to move drafts into draft space from user space. Presumably reviewers would simply no longer do that, and would instead review drafts in user space. Nothing would really be gained by dissolving draft space. The fourth use of draft space is for moving articles into, as a side-door quasi-deletion. Eliminating draft space would presumably mean that these articles would instead be proposed for deletion or nominated for deletion. I would not mind seeing more questionable articles nominated for deletion, but I think that most editors would prefer not to increase the number of deletion debates. So, based on listing the uses of draft space, I fail to see any benefit to eliminating draft space.

As a reviewer, I think that drafts fall into four quality classes: (1) good; (2) possible; (3) not ready; (4) no good. The first should normally be accepted, although there may be an issue to be resolved or a question to be answered first. The second require a careful review by a reviewer who is patient and willing to spend the time on the review. The third are declined, and the reviewer does not need to worry much about whether it may be resubmitted later. The choices of the reviewer for the fourth class of drafts are to decline the draft (not worrying much about whether it may be resubmitted), to reject the draft, or to tag the draft for speedy deletion, sometimes as G11, G3, or G10. If draft space were to be dissolved, it is the second and third classes that would need to go somewhere other than draft space. The first will go into article space, and it doesn't matter what bit bucket to put the fourth in.

My conclusion is that draft space has indeed been a failure if we expected it to result in improved collaboration. Collaboration is done in article space. However, I haven't seen an alternative that would be any better than draft space. Robert McClenon (talk) 02:11, 1 March 2020 (UTC)

Robert McClenon, add me as someone who does not want more deletion nominations. It causes quite a bit of upset when that happens, particularly with newer editors. With a draft rejection, there's often still upset, but I think there's also often more understanding of why it happened.
And yeah, I agree with your last sentence. If we get rid of draftspace, we need to replace it with something else. To add to that point, at least we know what to expect from draftspace now. Better the devil you know than the devil you don't know. I dream of horses (talk) (contribs) Remember to {{ping}} me after replying off my talk page 02:46, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
I came back to indent my comment, which I forgot to do the first time, and to also ping TonyBallioni for Robert. I dream of horses (talk) (contribs) Remember to {{ping}} me after replying off my talk page 02:48, 1 March 2020 (UTC)
@Robert McClenon: I would slightly disagree with certain phrasing above. I create articles in draft space with no intention of going through the review process, but merely to have a place to assemble them that is not user space, so that other editors feel comfortable working on them. In many cases, these drafts are made in groups and start out as a collection of scraps and notes that are in no way suitable for introduction to article space, but which show promise for future development into an article. BD2412 T 00:57, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
User:BD2412 - Okay. That is still within my second category of draft space, but the explanation of why is different. You are creating the draft in draft space for possible collaboration prior to moving it into article space. If draft space were dissolved, you would presumably use user space. I don't think that changes the conclusion. Robert McClenon (talk) 03:47, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
@BD2412: That kind of collaboration could potentially be done in the project space of a relevant wikiproject. Espresso Addict (talk) 04:40, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
It could, yes. I suppose issues would arise as to which project space to use for subjects falling under multiple topic headings, but that is a minor concern. Draft space offers the utility of making it clear that the content being worked on there is nothing else but a draft. Unless and until we have a specific "Wikiproject:" namespace, all of these pages would be in project space, along with message boards and policy pages and the like. BD2412 T 04:54, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
BD2412, I think you are the first experienced editor I've met to use draftspace in the way it was originally sold to the community – ie for collaborative editing with other experienced editors – rather than an alternative to userspace for personal article development (rather less useful with the G13 clock ticking) or a place to hand-hold new editors through their early articles. I'd be interested in whether this is actually more common than I'd thought. Espresso Addict (talk) 05:17, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
I can't say that I know of any other experienced editors who use it this way - certainly not to the same scale. BD2412 T 05:24, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
Maybe this is the wrong place for this comment. But I don't know where else to put it.
I think it would be sad to lose draft space. Draft space is where I do most to cooperate with other editors. Usually this happens when a new editor is trying to create an article about a topic I believe is notable, but needs the help of a more experienced editor. Sometimes they've created the article in draft space, sometimes it's in their userspace and I persuade them to move it to draft space. Then we can cooperate, with them providing knowledge of the subject and sources, and me doing the formatting and explaining WP policies. Disabling this opportunity for cooperation would be a loss. Maproom (talk) 11:02, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Ten random declined drafts[edit]

I clicked Special:Random/Draft until I found ten drafts that had been Declined (I clicked through about as many drafts that had not been submitted). I'm posting them here so we can have some data to collectively analyze questions such as "To what extent are the drafts that we decline at AfC acceptable to the community by the standards of AfD?", "How often are articles improved after they are declined?" and perhaps other questions too.

  1. Draft:Cherokee Files (series of classified correspondences between various representatives of the United States Government and the Republic of Korea)
  2. Draft:Vision Bus (company)
  3. Draft:Florida Crime and Intelligence Analyst Association (organization)
  4. Draft:DMCA Sans Serif (free font)
  5. Draft:Sartaj Singh Pannu (filmmaker)
  6. Draft:Gallery A (art gallery)
  7. Draft:Veidehi Gite (entrepreneur and "influencer")
  8. Draft:Stevie Tennet (musician)
  9. Draft:Subjectivity (journal) (academic journal)
  10. Draft:Sickle Cell Disease in the Caribbean (medical issue)

Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 17:21, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

Here's my analysis: 1) Cherokee files should have been accepted. AfC is not for stylistic concerns, it should only be concerned with "Would this survive the AFD". There's no reason to think this article would have been deleted from the main space. There's some MOS issues, and a few very minor tone issues, but that's a decent start to an article that normal editing should fix. 2) Vision Bus: Borderline notability, probably a good decline. 3) Florida Crime and Intelligence Analyst Association: Not clearly notable, no independent sources. Good decline. 4) Good decline, maybe suited for a redirect. No independent sourcing. 5) Sartaj Singh Pannu: Borderline; I would have probably leaned accept given the sourcing already in the article, but its a close one, and I won't begrudge a decline here. He's clearly a director of notable films, and as such there is likely to be good information out there on his bio, even if it isn't already cited. 6) Gallery A: Should have been accepted. Article directly cites one source, but the "Further reading" section indicates there's PLENTY of information available. There's clearly enough there to have avoided AFD if the article had gone that route. 7) Veidehi Gite: Probably a good decline, but there's not nothing there. I think I agree with the reviewer, but I also would not have tried to delete it if I ran across it in the wild. Hard call for me. 8) Stevie Tennet looks like it could have been accepted. The sourcing looks to pass WP:GNG to me. 9) Subjectivity (journal) is a good decline. Borderline A7 even. 10) Sickle Cell Disease in the Caribbean: Probably a good decline, though the information is good this is essentially a fork from other articles on Sickle Cell disease, and most of the novel information could be added to existing articles at Wikipedia without overwhelming them. My final count: 3 bad declines, 5 good declines, 2 borderline cases. --Jayron32 17:47, 2 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm working on Draft:Gallery A, so it has changed significantly since being mentioned above.ThatMontrealIP (talk) 20:03, 4 March 2020 (UTC)
Draft:Cherokee Files is entirely referenced by primary documents on a random person's website (which I'm not clicking through to--but all evidence suggests they're primary). The draft looks like one person is really interested in this bit of classified history and is summarizing the content of primary sources themselves. I see some brief mentions of this topic within Google Books ("Cherokee, Cyrus Vance") but nothing to hang an article on. There could be historians that discuss this enough to justify an article, but the Draft writer didn't show that. Outriggr (talk) 08:16, 5 March 2020 (UTC)

The real problem is biographies and lack of classification[edit]

If those could be sidelined into a different 'processing' workflow, it would free up pretty much everything else which have a much better chance of being worthwhile. Biographies created through AFC/Draftspace are by far and large WP:COI/WP:AUTOBIO stuff. If for instance, the drafter was asked in the WP:WIZARD what topics, broadly speaking, the article was about, it would also allowed WikiProjects to be notified of new drafts in their scope. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:25, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

I've proposed this before. It would be ideal if submitters could be persuaded to do some of the sorting work via a suitable wizard, and it could also be used to give them tailored advice and links to specific notability guidelines. Espresso Addict (talk) 05:35, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
The main issue is that someone needs to code this into wizard and update the relevant scripts. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 06:34, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
I love all of the above ideas. The articles I most hate to lose are the ones that take a lot of time and subject matter expertise to write. Clayoquot (talk | contribs) 16:13, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
I've added an "Improving your odds of a speedy review" section to {{AFC submission}}, which should hopefully help. See discussion. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 08:44, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
User:EpochFail, is there any chance of mw:ORES/Draft topic being able to do this soon-ish? WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:48, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes! The topic model is ready and can be applied to any article or draft on Wikipedia. What we're missing is some useful integrations between the models that make the predictions and tools for Wikipedia editors. Let me give an example. Let's look at the first version of the article for Alan Turing -- this roughly represents a draft. rev_id:234785. We can ask ORES what the general topics are using a query: ORES tells us that this draft article is probably relevant to: "Culture.Biography.Biography*", "STEM.Computing", "STEM.Mathematics", "STEM.STEM*". These can be used to route reviews of article drafts by subject expertise/interest/notability guidelines. Right now, we're working on some integrations by they aren't targeting new page review or AFC. E.g. you can use the search box to explore intersections of these topics. E.g. if you type: "articletopic:women articletopic:stem" into the search box [2], you'll get a list of topics that are probably relevant to WikiProject Women Scientists. This doesn't currently work for drafts, but it could. See Phab:T218132 for a task I filed regarding integration with NewPagesFeed. Topic routing was deemed to be of lower importance. I'd like to see this integrated with Special:Recentchanges too. In the meantime, a bot is a good option for producing lists of articles for WikiProjects and other groups of subject experts to review. In the past, I reached out to User:SQL about putting something together but I'm not sure if that got anywhere. --EpochFail (talkcontribs) 17:18, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
@EpochFail: Note that this is already being done - User:SD0001/AfC sorting -- a listing of submitted AfC drafts sorted by ORES-predicted topics. That's only a prototype report, but I'm still working on converting that to a periodically updated report -- this is being discussed at WT:WPAFC#Pending_AfC_drafts_sorted_by_subject -- the initial comments were highly favourable.
As far as sorting of declined submissions are concerned, I am thinking it would be better to use categories - because of the large number of declined submissions. This would need to be discussed first. SD0001 (talk) 15:14, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I was going to chime in with how great draft space is for developing articles collaboratively within a WikiProject. But then I remembered how inactive most WikiProjects are. This is a dual problem. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:03, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
Possibly useful data point is reviewing my own contribs noted at User:Bri/Created#January 2019, a total of nineteen articles. Two were first drafts for at least two months: Draft:BMW R1250GS, tagged for collab at WP:WikiProject Motorcycling; and Draft:Pritchard Park. Neither attracted input from other editors. ☆ Bri (talk) 16:55, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

More collaborative editing in draftspace[edit]

A few months ago I learned how to use AWB to check across draftspace as well as mainapsce, since then I have fixed a lot of typos in draftspace and had lots of thanks, mostly from newbies ( my last 500 draftspace edits go back to Oct 2019, but I'm hoping in that time some got moved to mainspace). It is fiddly and not the default, and timewasting even if you skip past a bunch of articles that would be obvious A1, A3 or A7 in mainspace. But if we changed AWB and some other tools to default to including draftspace within article space we could easily increase collaborative editing in draftspace. Similarly with categories. Currently you are not supposed to add mainspace categories to drafts, but what if we changed the software so that the category system ignored categories in draftspace unless an editor had opted in to seeing them? That way categories could be added, and editors who look for new things categorised in "their" area would likely do more collaborative editing in draftspace. ϢereSpielChequers 15:46, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

A? deletion of week old drafts[edit]

One reason why draft space doesn't work is that it protects for 6 months a bunch of articles that in mainspace would be deleted A1, A3 or A7. So one simple reform would be to allow all types of speedy deletion to apply to relevant drafts that were a week old. If a week is thought too harsh, a month would still enable us to sieve out a lot of crud. It should be fairly easy to create a "week old draft pages feed" to enable such sifting. ϢereSpielChequers 15:46, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

Support either a week or a month. 6 months is too long to wait for G13 deletion. This would get rid of a lot of crap. buidhe 09:43, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
A week is way too short. A month of inactivity would be the bare minimum. We do want people to be able to return to their drafts and improve them to standards. With obvious provision that a submitted draft that doesn't get reviewed is exempt. Maybe we should consider WP:CSD#D criteria which apply after a month of inactivity. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:37, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Six months seems fine. Anything shorter will introduce a perverse incentive: an editor who knows his draft is not ready, but has a heavy work period, new baby, etc. coming up, will protect it by submitting it for review, increasing the load on the already overworked reviewers. Maproom (talk) 17:51, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

30/500 for new page creation[edit]

I've been an AFC reviewer for a while and I have a somewhat radical proposal: Restrict new page creation to those who achieved the extended-confirmed status. That would largely eliminate the need for draft space since the more experienced editors would hopefully create articles that more or less belongs in mainspace. This move would also discourage SPAs, sock/paid editing rings, and PROMO violations. --K.e.coffman (talk) 20:56, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

@K.e.coffman: I'd think that if you made it harder for people to create a page in (main), it would increase the use of Draft:, not decrease it - where else would these people (~38.5 million registered editors) propose their new pages? — xaosflux Talk 22:24, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
I support this proposal for the same reasons, but it would certainly increase draft, not reduce it; also, there would be more need for AfC reviewers. buidhe 09:42, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
  • One would first need to start extracting some stats Xaosflux. As I mentioned somewhere above, ACPERM was a very strong consensus, as ACTRIAL always was throughout the many years of battle with the WMF for the Community to prove them (once again) wrong. We got what we wanted and it was as much as we dared to ask for - perhaps we should have proposed more, such as what K.e.coffman is suggesting now. AFAIK, neither during the trial nor since, has it been demonstrated that the new rule has increased the number of drafts. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 20:57, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
    @Kudpung: agree, more stats would be useful, I was only referring to that concept that additional article restrictions are unlikely to reduce the number of drafts being created or alleviate the need for the namespace, likely the opposite. — xaosflux Talk 21:37, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose If you tell people that they have to make 500 edits before they can create an article then either they will give up altogether or they will run around making 500 pro-forma edits. And this would further complicate the many editathons where we specifically recruit new editors and encourage them to create new articles. Perfectionists who don't like Wikipedia's open door policy should go work on a more elitist project such as Scholarpedia. That published just 6 articles in 2019 and none yet in 2020. Is that slow enough for you? Andrew🐉(talk) 10:07, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
    • I would like us to move the editathon model away from creating new articles and more towards improving existing ones. ϢereSpielChequers 10:31, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Meh I would be surprised if the WMF accepted this, it would be an overly simplistic approach that would be hugely offputting to the 25% of newbies who want to start by creating an article that we are missing. But perhaps we could do something re probable spam articles? Perhaps a page creation process that includes the phrase "I understand that if my article looks like an advertisement it will be deleted on sight" with a tick box that people have to tick to confirm they have read that. ϢereSpielChequers 10:33, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Oppose no evidence that autoconfirmed creation in mainspace needs to be curbstomped in this manner. NPP is sufficient there. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 10:39, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

G5 - an alternative approach?[edit]

Recently I've been made aware of the distaste with which many editors view G5 speedy deletion despite recognising its necessity. G5 is necessary to WP:DENY sockpuppets. Without it there is no way of enforcing blocks or enforcing the wiki's policies. It's not been my experience that there is much good content lost. Most sock-created articles are spam or UPE repeatedly created by sock-farms who plough on like moths at a light bulb. But there's clearly a regret at the loss of good content and an alternative for that situation is desired.

Deryck Chan reminded me of a G5 last year where RHaworth deleted the article, then restored just those revisions which were not contributed by the sock. It struck me at the time as a neat way of squaring the circle. This approach to G5, where the contents are worth perserving, looks to satisfy all the requirements, that sockpuppets are denied and yet the content is preserved. Thoughts? Cabayi (talk) 15:05, 3 March 2020 (UTC)

  • I agree with this approach. Where other editors have edited a page after it was created by a banned editor, we should endeavour to enforce G5 by revdel / deleting and restoring only edits not made by the banned person, as long as there are no attribution concerns. Deryck C. 15:16, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
    I should probably add some context: this issue mainly concerns redirects. In the G5 discussion last year that Cabayi talked about, he opined that a redirect, by its nature, whether created directly or as the consequence of a page move, wouldn't contain "substantial edits by others" to exempt it from G5. I personally disagree with this interpretation because this leaves us with no way for another editor to "claim responsibility" for a redirect. If at some point in future, the creator were found to be a sockpuppet of a banned editor, the redirect must be deleted. The solution proposed here is a good compromise: if a redirect was found to be created in contravention of a ban but another non-bot editor has subsequently tagged a redirect or changed its target, we should revdel / delete+recreate the redirect as if the next editor had created the redirect. This both satisfies WP:DENY and preserves the editorial intentions of editors who worked on a page / redirect that was originally created by someone who should've been punished per G5.
    We can amend WP:G5 thus: Where the creation is a redirect that was subsequently edited by another user, consider using revision deletion to remove only the revisions made by the blocked or banned editor. --Deryck C. 15:45, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I think that the approach is both reasonable and not mandatory. The important thing to remember about all of these tools is that these are things that are available to the community to fix problems as they happen, but we should not be tied to these tools insofar as no admin should feel forced to enact any solution they don't feel is necessary or useful. One may do these things. One should never must do them. --Jayron32 15:22, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I support this, but mind that removing contributions in this way may violate attribution. If any of the sock's material is kept in the article, we have to keep the history. I've done this only once, for a page that was edited by multiple accounts of the same banned hoaxer, and only otherwise edited by editors reverting them, for a period of several years. There were zero constructive contributions in that time; I checked every diff. The history was absolute garbage. I did that as a G6, though, not G5, and in response to a specific request on the article's talk page. I'm not going to say which article it was (WP:DENY; the deleted history was moved somewhere else anyway) but if you've been around SPI much in the last couple years you probably already know which case it is. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 15:55, 3 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I was originally confused by this, but if it's pertaining to redirects, that seems fine. Nosebagbear (talk) 12:11, 6 March 2020 (UTC)
  • It's been over a week and we seem to agree on the approach proposed here. I have added the sentence I proposed above to WP:G5. If anyone feels we should work the attribution requirements into the policy page they should go ahead and do that too. Deryck C. 12:46, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I disagree somewhat. Quietly reverting all of a banned (or blocked or whatever) editor's edits since the ban/block is enough of a denial, and hiding the banned edits from general view, even when they are not actually harmful to the project, may create attribution problems (as mentioned). Glades12 (talk) 05:30, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Does an article that is made by a sockpuppet of a blocked editor and was removed per G5 have copyright? If it was recreated should it be attributed to the blocked editor when it is recreated with the same content? because if we should attribute then there is no reason to delete it. If we need to enforce the block on blocked editor we should not give them any copyright of any content they create. If a blocked editor made an article through a sockpuppet, then that article content can be recreated with the same content and without attribution.--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 19:55, 24 March 2020 (UTC)
It's not a question of whether we can give them copyright. By entering the material here--by publishing it on the web in any manner--they own the copyright. What you are arguing is that we should not respect their copyright. I can see the practical advantages of doing this, but I think it goes against one of the fundamental principles of the encyclopedia . DGG ( talk ) 20:14, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
  • If I were a trolling sock, I'd be absolutely delighted that I can make experienced and esteemed wikipedians bend over backwards in order to expunge any trace of my name. G5 is there to help deal with non-constructive creations by editors we've given up assuming good faith in. It's not a weapon of mass descruction against the socking enemies. If a sock's creation is bad – G5 is there to spare us the trouble of going to the deletion venues. If it's good keep it and move on. We can't keep the content but erase the attribution, because copyright law, and if the whole issue is just to do with redirects (which should not be subject to copyright), then why bother? Redirects are too insignificant for anyone to care about. Revdeling the creation of a redirect could potentially act as a deterrent for the small minority of socks who are socking out of narcissism, but it won't do anything for the rest, and it will make the redirect's history confusing – in perpetuity – for every good faith editor who will look upon it. – Uanfala (talk) 22:28, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
    @Uanfala: I don't understand why you felt the need to revert my edit to WP:G5 - none of the new comments relate to redirects? Deryck C. 12:49, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
    The new comments were expressing general disagreement, though you're right that they did not specifically say anything about redirects. But any addition to the policies will need some sort of explicit consensus, and I'm not seeing that here. And my own opinion – which I've expressed above – is squarely against that addition: the action recommended there is at best an instance of pointless busywork that will do nothing to deter most socks, and under a less generous view it's positively harmful in obfuscating histories. – Uanfala (talk) 13:01, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Calls for political action in geonotices/watchlist notices[edit]

Are geonotices such as this one (requested by EllenCT, added by Deryck Chan, full request here) appropriate? It requests users to "Please send email asking the US government to require open access to federally supported research." My opinion is that no, it is not okay to use Wikipedia for political activism, regardless of how noble the cause. I've asked for removal, but I doubt the geonotice request page gets much traffic, so in the mean time, I think this is probably worth bringing up here to get some wider input. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 13:49, 11 March 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure "making stuff free" is really a political position. I mean, if the government of Montenegro announced that it was considering releasing all it's official works into the public domain, I think that would normally be a pretty uncontroversial thing we could probably get behind. GMGtalk 13:54, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Asking users to urge their government to implement any kind of policy is exactly political. This is something that reasonable people might disagree with. And it's an extremely slippery slope that you're saying it's okay to start down. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:00, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Well, I'm not a particular fan of slippery slope arguments, and I've not exactly made it a secret that I personally and publicly disagree. GMGtalk 14:05, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
This isn't about what you think the WMF should or shouldn't do. This is about specifically urging editors, on their watchlists, to carry out political action – action that some of those editors probably disagree with. That you happen to agree with it doesn't make it okay to do. I'm pretty firmly against the death penalty, but I'd be appalled at a watchlist notice that urged me to email my senator about an upcoming vote to abolish it. –Deacon Vorbis (carbon • videos) 14:12, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
Yes, and we're not a project working to abolish the death penalty. We are a project working to make knowledge more free and more easily available to the public. GMGtalk 14:22, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I’ve removed it. Political notices (and anything writing to the government is political) have historically been controversial and should not be added without clear consensus in a widely visited discussion forum. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:18, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Hi. Thanks Deacon Vorbis for opening the discussion and Tony for unloading the geonotice. I do think the combination of the prior discussions (WLN discussion, CENT discussion, GN discussion) have established consensus (at the time) that a geonotice about this OA for US publicly funded research issue was an appropriate course for action. However, I appreciate Deacon and Tony's objection. I believe we ought to address two issues in this discussion: (Ping other users who participated in the previous discussions about this geonotice: @Visviva, Xaosflux, Redrose64, Ymblanter, Trialpears, SnowFire, L235, and SD0001: Deryck C. 14:57, 11 March 2020 (UTC))
    1. Should watchlist notices imploring editors to take part in off-wiki advocacy be forbidden in general? (Let's avoid the terms "political" and "government", too vague and overloaded)
    2. If the answer to (1) is that some advocacy messages may be allowed, should we post a geonotice about the message in question (a US-targeted geonotice advocating editors to campaign for an Open Access policy for US state-funded research)? Deryck C. 14:40, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
      On (1): I don't think such notices should be permissible unless we're talking about serious threats to the project's continued functioning. --Yair rand (talk) 17:56, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
I have noted Yair's objections[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] and consider them to be utterly without merit. EllenCT (talk) 11:02, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • My response to 1 is simple: yes, off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden. Blueboar (talk) 14:47, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • As far as WLN's go - I'd say we would need a very strong consensus to do something like that, less then say a sitenotice, but more then cursory support. — xaosflux Talk 15:17, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Our editors from e.g. Elsevier can just as easily dissent. This is something the movement has been trying to achieve since the 1980s, so I've asked Jimmy Wales for his leadership on this. EllenCT (talk) 16:03, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
    • If it is something that the movement (read: the WMF) want, they have the means to use their meta headers to do that themselves, which they've done in the past. Its just that for the community and related to the geonotices, my impress is that the collective group of editors is not considered part of that movement. Unless it is something that is fundamentally going to alter how we would interact with (the SOPA/PIPA blackouts, and even then that was a bit of teeth-pulling to get the community to go through), the community is generally far too broad to use that for political directives. --Masem (t) 16:14, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
      • "The movement" can't mean the WMF, or anything Wikipedia-related, because Wikipedia (and even the world wide web) didn't exist in the 1980s. I am at a total loss to understand what movement this is that I am supposed to have signed up to. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:20, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
      • Yeah, I was referring to the union of the community and the Foundation, not the Foundation, which seems like a wet noodle politically these days. EllenCT (talk) 16:27, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
        • But "the community", if you mean by that the community of Wikipedia editors, also did not exist in the 1980s. What are you talking about? Phil Bridger (talk) 16:36, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
          • There was a large movement of people dedicated to the ideals of free knowledge before Wikipedia ever existed, you know. I'm not sure having a coherent rallying point has helped them advance principles (even as practice is orders of magnitude beyond what anyone had hoped) as this discussion shows. EllenCT (talk) 16:43, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
            • You are making a category error here. This is an encyclopedia, not a rallying point. Phil Bridger (talk) 16:47, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
              • And the Bastille was just a building? The point I am trying to make is that so many of the idealists have been caught up by the success of Wikipedia and in focusing on it, which is spectacular, they in many cases have lost sight of and the ability to act on broader movement goals, which is shameful, disappointing, and cause for pessimism. EllenCT (talk) 17:46, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
                • I can't speak for anyone else, but I'm not here to be part of a grand movement on free knowledge. I'm just here to build an encyclopedia. creffpublic a creffett franchise (talk to the boss) 20:37, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
                  • Why not both? EllenCT (talk) 20:50, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
                    • There is certainly a subset of editors at that would consider themselves part of the free/open source movement, no question, but it is certainly no true that all editors of consider themselves part of this, and that's why we as the body of editors have to be careful about politicizing on the open source movement. The WMF as a body is in that position - promoting the open source stance is 100% within their mission, and so if they feel this is appropriate to push to all wikiproject, they can do that. There are ways to make sure that interested editors on WP see this potential to comment and petition for open access to federally funded research papers, such as through the Signpost and the Village pumps, and you should certainly post there. But, I do know from several past watchlist notices that editors on absolutely do not like it when politized issues are forced on them via this mechanism within --Masem (t) 01:13, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
                      • There are currently four days remaining in the response deadline, Masem. Which venue do you consider most appropriate? EllenCT (talk) 11:04, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
                        Any venue off Wikipedia. Try Twitter. Blueboar (talk) 14:39, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
                        • With time short, WP:VPM is likely the most appropriate for making people aware to take action. Signpost would be too slow. --Masem (t) 14:02, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree with the removal of the notice. Promoting political advocacy on Wikipedia (with "political" meaning the normal definition of "relating to government policy, legislation, or electoral activities") should be avoided except when dealing with very serious direct threats. --Yair rand (talk) 17:56, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I don't have any problem with geonotices being used for political action calls (it's certainly a better fit than using WP:CENT, since no discussion is really being asked for, nor would Wikipedia internal dicsussion matter anyway). And I entirely agree with GreenMeansGo that more government-funded work should be unequivocally and unilaterally be placed in the public domain with no qualifications and no need to research on a case-by-case basis. My main worry for this specific proposal is what I brought up at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(miscellaneous)#Request_for_Information: Public_Access_to_Peer-Reviewed_Scholarly_Publications - I'm not sure this call to action will be effective, and if it is effective, its impact may not be what proponents expect. I would much prefer it if there was some way to make clear that the Wikipedia community's position is to support making more data publicly available in a positive and "we'll help out" manner, but not to be a negative bludgeon to be used as an excuse to defund or refuse to fund projects. (Since the exact nature of "make your data public" is inherently squishy and will vary project to project, it is exceptionally easy for a biased administrator to simply declare that a project isn't open enough if it's in a field the approver finds distasteful, or they don't like the proposer, or anything.) Of course, per my linked comments, even if only erudite emails supporting the "good" use case were sent, it will be easy enough to use such emails as an excuse for the commission to do whatever it wants, and Wikipedia is an inadvertent accessory to it. Or to ignore them completely. BUT: even if it's decided to hold off on this geonotice, I hope this won't be taken as "precedent" to never do this, as there are lots of open-access to information causes that a geonotice would be a good & valid case for. SnowFire (talk) 20:29, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment: because the OSTP solicitation does not limit comments to US citizens, nationals, or residents, I have opened meta:Requests for comment/Ask the US government to require open access to federally sponsored research. EllenCT (talk) 21:41, 11 March 2020 (UTC)
  • The idea that Wikipedia is, should be, or even could be wholly apolitical doesn't parse for me, so I don't understand the broader objections here. I do find SnowFire's reservations fairly persuasive, however; this a bit different from a notice-and-comment rulemaking situation where there is a specific policy proposal on the table, and it's not clear that contributor time would be very well spent on this. But beyond the specific matter at hand, I hope this might serve as a catalyst for thinking about how the project and its people might best engage with these kinds of policy issues generally (to the extent people find it worthwhile to do so). In particular, it would be nice to be able to leverage the wiki process to draft extensive, collaborative comments that individual editors could then sign on to (or fork) if they see fit. Perhaps some kind of quasi-Wikiproject would provide a suitable workspace, or perhaps Meta would be preferable. In any event, there is probably some nontrivial thinking that needs to be done about what form this sort of thing should (and shouldn't) take. -- Visviva (talk) 06:40, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • My opinion is that advocacy (see direct calls to action) notices visible to readers need to address topics that directly threaten the Wikimedia movement and open knowledge in general, like the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market Article 13. Watchlist notices, visible to logged in editors, have a lower threshold, and but should generally be informational (e.g. The US Government is soliciting comments concerning about Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications, Data and Code Resulting From Federally Funded Research. The commenting period will close on March 16.) rather than beg editors to take specific actions (Please email them taking position X). Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:29, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • RFCing as any results from this discussion would have sitewide impact. Kirbanzo (userpage - talk - contribs) 18:37, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Political lobbying is inappropriate There are some that confuse their personal political aims with whatever they think is good for this website. They don't speak for me and have no business using the aggregate here as leverage to change gov't policy. The spaces we use to coordinate our encyclopedic efforts are not bulletin-boards for the open source movement. If you want to advocate here, write an op-ed for The Signpost. Chris Troutman (talk) 20:25, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden. Cavalryman (talk) 23:07, 12 March 2020 (UTC).
  • Off-wiki advocacy is dangerous to the reputation of Wikipedia. It crosses WP:NOTADVOCACY. Where is advertised in a targeted way, eg geopolitical targeting on user-secret watchlists, not transparent to the casual user, that is especially dangerous. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:23, 12 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @SmokeyJoe: I struggle to understand this viewpoint. Compare if World Book or National Geographic put out a notice that they were considering releasing all of their content under CCBYSA 4.0. Is that political? Does it make it political that it's a government agency rather than a private company or a non-profit? Do we care? Is there some way where more knowledge more free for more people can somehow not align with our mission? GMGtalk 00:20, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • User:GreenMeansGo. World Book or National Geographic releasing all of their content under CCBYSA 4.0 is a matter for them, and that would be a perfectly normal notice. That is not remotely on par with enticing your volunteers, through a secret notice to them, to write to politicians. Wikipedia or WMF getting involved with knowledge-related public matters via public notices, with official authorization, would always be OK. A watchlist notice, not officially signed off, enticing to volunteers to advocate externally, not OK. {{User:GreenMeansGo/wmf-pd-userbox}} is good, it is a user statement, it is publicly posted. A hidden, co-ordinated, timed, campaign to recruit editors to write to politicians is not remotely the same thing. The Wikimedia Foundation should actively lobby regional and national governments to release their official works into the public domain, sure, but openly, not by using hidden Wikipedia features to fake a grassroots campaign. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:12, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • @SmokeyJoe: Wikipedia is a grassroots campaign, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy are not politicians, they are career public service bureaucrats and scientists. GMGtalk 01:50, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • No. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia. A grassroots campaign is when unaffiliated individuals individually become motivated, before the coalesce. A fake grassroots campaign is like this was, hidden messages to an audience rallying them into a secretly co-ordinated, but ostensibly spontaneous action. Astroturfing. Co-ordinated targeting of a message to government's bureaucrats is undeclared lobbying. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:13, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Totally inappropriate, and Tony was completely right to remove it. I'm genuinely baffled that at least some normally sensible people could possibly have thought this would ever have been appropriate. ‑ Iridescent 02:11, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Endorse removal Off-wiki advocacy for geonotices is unacceptable unless it's a direct threat like arguably SOPA was. – John M Wolfson (talkcontribs) 02:52, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Remove to be on the safe side. May not be a problem now in its current form, but could cause problems later if we allow it. (Sorry!) >>BEANS X3t 13:33, 13 March 2020 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by BEANS X3 (talkcontribs)
  • "Political" doesn't mean anything, or equally, everything is political. We're on a mission to make a great deal of knowledge free and openly accessible to everyone on the planet—an expressly political goal which some governments oppose (Censorship of Wikipedia) and others are maybe more supportive of. To that end, things which aid our goal can be acceptable (Wikipedia blackout anyone?), but of course this doesn't mean that anything political is acceptable. I'm worried about the framing of this issue, not with the particular notice's removal, which I endorse. The opening statement's sentence it is not okay to use Wikipedia for political activism, regardless of how noble the cause is simply false because Wikipedia is political activism. — Bilorv (talk) 21:05, 13 March 2020 (UTC)
    @Bilorv: Supposing that we use the word "political" with the normal definition of "relating to government policy, legislation, or electoral activities" (because, you know, that's what it means)... Surely you would agree that it is at least not the sole purpose of Wikipedia to deliberately influence such things one way or another? I don't quite understand how to interpret "Wikipedia is political activism", regardless of one's position on this. In practice, we have in the past conducted political advocacy in response to serious direct threats to Wikipedia, but not in any other situations. Would you agree that Wikipedia's primary purpose is not to sway an election or influence government policy or legislation? --Yair rand (talk) 18:39, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
    Your definition of political excludes many political ideas e.g. libertarianism or anarchism (where there may not be a government at all). As for "not sway[ing] an election", well, it's simply not a concern of Wikipedia. If we point out the science on climate change then we may be swaying electoral opinion on a climate denying politician. I'd agree that our primary purpose isn't to directly swing elections, but I don't believe I ever said that it was; rather, I said above that I don't support the banner that was added in this particular case. — Bilorv (talk) 20:23, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Endorse removal. Seems silly to have to !vote on this imo. Using Wikipedia for political activism is inappropriate, plain and simple. -FASTILY 04:44, 14 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden Wikipedia should stay away from political dispute unless they're a direct threat. --RaiderAspect (talk) 10:41, 15 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Not dire enough to be permitted - I have backed advocacy efforts (including being on the losing side), such as joining it-wiki on blacking out over the EU's most recent copyright (et al) law changes. I, however, am in line with RaiderAspect above - we have a limited amount of impact, and we do better if we reserve it for avoiding major negatives rather than gaining smaller positives. Nosebagbear (talk) 19:52, 17 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Endorse removal. It's "just" a watchlist notice, not a sitewide banner, but it's still at least a watchlist notice. The page is fully protected to prevent misuse, and this was misuse for a political cause. ~ ToBeFree (talk) 20:28, 18 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment. To me, the general idea is simple: we must not get involved in "political party politics"; we must get involved in spreading knowledge and that is "politics in general". There is a wide gray area in between, great care should be take. Stuff as "write to you Congressman abou X" are generally not be done. Because it is most like "party" politics, and because this is not the USA's encyclopedia - Nabla (talk) 09:52, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Remark. The rationale for this call expired on March 16. EllenCT (talk) 04:21, 22 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support advocacy. At its highest aspirations, Wikimedia is a global movement whose mission is to bring free educational content to the world. Wikipedia is inherently part of this project, and to say that it is not the community's place to participate in politics because it's "just" an encyclopedia is blatantly forgoing our mission.
Regarding the need to appear unbiased, if users think we're biased in favor of open access, so be it. We are. We should not let trying to create an impossible appearance of impartiality get in the way of our core mission. Wikipedia is among the most-read texts in English; as a collective, we have considerable power — we might as well use it to further our cause. Not using it, upholding the status quo, is as much of a political statement as using it.
Consider the extreme. If a bill to delete Wikipedia was under consideration, I'm sure the reader would have no qualms in Wikipedia taking political action. Beyond legislature explicitly saying it is intended to delete Wikipedia, whose to say if political doings will have a positive or negative effect on the project? Whose to say if the potential effect is significant enough to warrant action? It ought to be the community. There is precedent for this in the protests against SOPA and PIPA. As Wikipedia has taken major action for major political causes, it should also take minor action for minor political causes. The determination of whether or not political advocacy is important enough to the project that Wikipedia should take action ought to lay in the hands of the community. userdude 08:39, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Support advocacy. Wikipedia exists in the real world and is not unaffected by politics, and its existence is in many ways inherently political. A blanket ban on advocacy would be illogical. Regarding the scope of such advocacy, I would support some amount of advocacy for causes that benefit Wikipedia as a whole (for example, it could be arguable that broader internet access is clearly in Wikipedia's interests), although going as far as supporting specific election campaigns and such would obviously be unprecedented and likely untenable barring extroadinary circumstances. That said, it would probably be difficult to create and legitimize a process for such advocacy (given that there have only been a few instances of it in the past), and the consensus here seems to be in the opposite direction anyway. Jc86035 (talk) 17:10, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden. Notwithstanding the objections on the basis of neutrality, I completely disagree with the position being advocated here. This is a terrible idea. It will jeopardize the interests of research institutions as well as research that's not considered in the political interests of whichever government is in power.--WaltCip (talk) 11:45, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden; this was wholly inappropriate, and Tony was quite right to remove it. Setting aside the slippery slope argument (which is, in fact, valid in this case and in many cases), WP:SOAP controls: "This [policy] applies to usernames, articles, draftspace, categories, files, talk page discussions, templates, and user pages." I would advise all editors to write "geonotices" into this, too. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 21:06, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden. As above. Use the notices when appropriate to inform select readers of the encyclopedia, but not to push political agendas. — MrDolomite • Talk 15:04, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden - I have never been a fan of Wikipedia and the WMF promoting political viewpoints on-site (particularly during the European copyright thing a few years back), and while I understand that some here feel strongly for doing so, personally I feel that it goes against Wikipedia's purpose and mission of being a free, open, and neutral knowledge resource for all. Promoting any form of advocacy here just doesn't seem neutral enough for me and in an article sense would violate NPOV. If the WMF wants to push for its causes, then they have alternative outlets to do so including their own blog. I just don't think Wikipedia itself should be used for such purposes. Narutolovehinata5 tccsdnew 23:40, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Off-wiki advocacy should be forbidden. I'm shocked that anyone would even suggest such a banner, let alone add it without strong consensus. Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia, not a free content advocacy organisation. Regardless of how worthy a particular cause is, Wikipedia should not be used for any purpose except building an encyclopaedia. Mobilising users for off-wiki activism is wildly inappropriate. Modest Genius talk 12:46, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

RfC for perceived WP:OR and misrepresentation of sources[edit]

Hello, I've opened an RfC, for a dispute in which @M.Bitton: has accused me of WP:OR and misrepresenting sources. We've been discussing it here. I adjusted my contribution in an attempt to make is more policy-compliant and address this user's concerns, but this user continued to revert my edits, and we have not been able to reach consensus. This is an issue that I believe affects WP:Systemic bias, Wikipedia:SBEXTERNAL, WP:Ignore, and other topics. I invite you to take a look and comment, and refer other editors who might be able to advise. Thank you. إيان (talk) 04:25, 18 March 2020 (UTC)

How do I make sure only policy-based arguments count?[edit]

I am currently participating in a discussion where most participants put forward arguments not based on Wikipedia policies (they are based on their convictions, their understanding of facts, but have no relation to the policy). In the past, I have been in these situations, when a closer would just go with the majority. How do I generally avoid this? I personally find the situation ridiculous, right now it is 3 non-policy based voters against two policy-based.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:47, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

@Ymblanter: could you link to the discussion? El Millo (talk) 19:12, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I could, but would'nt it be canvassing?--Ymblanter (talk) 19:16, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Depends on the discussion, depends on the argument. And WP:IAR is also a policy. All in all, see WP:1Q and go from there. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 19:21, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, but if I start following WP:1Q I should probably completely retire from the Wikipedia and Talk namespaces.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:54, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I would have thought that you have enough experience to know this, but if what you fear happens then discuss things with the closer, and only then, if you still think that the discussion has been closed incorrectly, raise the issue with the wider community. Why are you asking about something that will probably not happen? Phil Bridger (talk) 19:51, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
It happened to me in the past, and to be honest discussions where arguments are not policy-based are really tiring.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:54, 20 March 2020 (UTC)
I can only give my personal perspective as an editor who does NAC's occasionally. I've certainly seen discussions with internal comments on argument quality. If I see an editor replying to every opposing !vote to state why those !votes should be discarded, I have a couple of reactions. First of all, I tend to suspect the multi-replying editor of WP:BLUDGEON but then I try to put that aside and look at the !votes they've highlighted more closely. Both parts of that reaction can be counter-productive from the POV of the multi-replier and may actually strengthen the side they oppose. Instead of doing that, a general note somewhere towards the top of the discussion (just underneath the RfC question, perhaps) may be a better approach. It should be neutral and not personalize the discussion. E.G.: "Although all comments here on this question are welcome, opinions on the RfC that clearly identify applicable policies or cite supporting reliable sources are more helpful than ones which merely express personal preference." There is ample support for such a statement in our policies about talk pages, RfC's and closing discussions. It also signals to the closer and any subsequent participants the direction of the discussion. If that isn't proactively helpful then discussing the issue with the closer after its over is the next best idea. I hope this helps. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 15:49, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, a good advise in general, however, in the discussion I had in mind I was already accused in harassment and obviously had to stop responding. I will wait for a closer.--Ymblanter (talk) 20:24, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Ymblanter, I'm pretty sure that arguments based on (verifiable) facts would be policy-based arguments. However, it appears that the discussion deals with disputed facts. Were you around for the Gdansk/Danzig naming war? (See Talk:Gdańsk/Vote and approximately every other discussion in the talk page archives from the creation of Wikipedia until at least the end of 2005.) It might be useful to settle a broad rule, e.g., that the names of all places in Ukraine will always follow a specified standard (e.g., always what a particular atlas or government agency uses). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:14, 23 March 2020 (UTC)
Thank you. No, I have not been around in 2005, and never come across the discussions - I thought I would go and read it before replying, but at the time it does not look realistic (some people get free time because of this COVID situation, but we actually have to work more - and not that I was completely free before it all started). Here we have established - well, not a policy but at list a manual, and the discussion refers to it. The problem is that this is the area where there are a lot of driveby editors - who just know the TRUTH and do not really care about our policies as soon as they are not align with the TRUTH. They are much more numerous that people who established the manual, and some of them are perfectly reasonable Wikipedia editors in other areas, but immediately stop being reasonable as soon as they enter these ethnic battles. This is of course a general problem (we just recently had Poland being highlighted by an arbcom case and a number of blocks and bans), exaggerated here by the fact that very few editors care at all - and those who are policy-driven are a small minority.--Ymblanter (talk) 19:38, 26 March 2020 (UTC)

On some (rare) occasions, my comment has been "Note to closer" rather than "keep" or "delete". In the note, I make the point out that one side has the clear policy advantage, and it's not a vote. I did this recently, and it worked! The closer applied BLP to delete the article alth0 the large "vote" was pretty much a tie (which usually defaults to no decision). This is pretty rare tho. Usually if policy -- V, RS, BLP, NPOV -- prescribes or proscribes something, that carries the day anyway. Herostratus (talk) 02:26, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

thanks, a good tip--Ymblanter (talk) 17:36, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

oh boy-- Japanese name order[edit]

Did anyone else see ? Think we are about to start a new era, ha. -CoronaEditor (talk) 23:47, 23 March 2020 (UTC)

You may be interested in the recent efforts to replace surname clarification hatnotes with footnotes. It's currently off the ground for Chinese, Korean, and Spanish names, but we still need someone to implement it for Japanese names. Sdkb (talk) 10:46, 24 March 2020 (UTC)

Dates in maintenance templates[edit]

Hi there, currently (and apparently for thousands of articles) @Dawnseeker2000: has been changing the dates on maintenance templates in articles. For example. Another example. I was under the impression that original dates are retained in maintenance templates so we can tell at-a-glance how long the article has been thusly tagged. It also seemed to me that "updating" the date to the current will lose information and falsify this history with an artificially younger date. Correct me if I'm wrong here. I attempted to modify these dates back to the original ones but I am being reverted. Other editors have been by his talk page with the same issue before, so I am not getting anywhere. Comments? Thoughts? Elizium23 (talk) 07:23, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

That is standard, albeit rather confusing. The meaning of the date in {{Use dmy dates|date=March 2020}} is that all the dates in the article were checked and found to comply with dmy in March 2020. Someone looking at the article in April would not bother checking the dates again, but in a year they might. There have been discussions on that, and suggestions that some name other than date should be used, but the complexity has not been welcomed. Johnuniq (talk) 08:20, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
Johnuniq, that makes perfect sense to me, so if Dawnseeker2000 had brought that up, I might have believed him already. Thank you. Elizium23 (talk) 08:27, 25 March 2020 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense. Where it doesn't make sense is when that's done (and it is done) in citation needed articles. Doug Weller talk 05:32, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Moving articles to draft space[edit]

When should articles be moved from main space to draft space?

I regularly see this being done, for a variety of reasons, often for clearly notable subjects, and am concerned that it is, in effect, "deletion by stealth" - it removes the content from our category system, breaks inbound links, and causes the content to be de-indexed by search engines. If no-one notices, then the content is later speedily deleted without community review.

There are no notifications (other than possibly via watchlists) to the initial author or other contributors, no discussion and no prior warning; and no guidance to new editors on how to appeal such actions. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:24, 30 March 2020 (UTC)

Just as a note, when I move an article to draft space, it is either pursuant to a deletion discussion (which is reasonable notice to the community), or I have left a note on the author's talk page telling them what needs to be fixed for it to be restored to mainspace. I think that should be the standard. BD2412 T 13:31, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I would only move an article to draftspace after an AFD discussion takes place, and consensus supports doing so. Are there other situations when people are doing so? Blueboar (talk) 13:41, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree that unilateral draftification is essentially stealth deletion. Maybe what we need is a process similar to WP:PROD, which at least gives some level of review. If it happens as part of NPP, I'm not so worried, because at least in that case you're pretty much guaranteed the original author is still around and paying attention. -- RoySmith (talk) 18:28, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Are you sure about that? I would like to see some evidence that new article creators actually hang around and pay attention long enough to see their articles through new page patrol. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:43, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
    • A generalization, but accurate methinks. Serious editors do, UPE editors may, but usually switch accounts after acceptance, PAID editors always do. John from Idegon (talk) 02:06, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

Pre-RfC: introducing factual errors regarding coronavirus closures.[edit]

I am preparing an RfC, and would like advice of the wording and where best to post it. Let me describe the problem and ask for suggestions as to what solution, if any, I should propose. I would also be open to suggestions as to how to solve the problem without an RfC.

The problem:

We have been having a productive discussion at Talk:Knott's Berry Farm#Status during Covid-19 which convinced me that a prior consensus exists to not add infobox entries to the pages of major amusement parks closed due to the pandemic. Alas, that prior consensus has led some editors to deliberately introduce factual errors into Wikipedia as seen at this edit[11] changing "closed" to "operating" despite the fact that it says right at the top of] "Six Flags Over St. Louis is CLOSED until mid-May.".

So, how do we solve this problem?

Pinging User:Ms784, User:GoneIn60, User:Epicgenius, User:JlACEer. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:22, 31 March 2020 (UTC)

Personally, I think this boils down to whether temporary service disruptions or closures, for any reason, should be mentioned at all, not just in amusement parks but in general. If an RFC is indeed created (which in my view would help solve a lot of these ambiguities), it would have to deal with whether WP:NOTNEWS applies in these cases, and also whether WP:LOCALCONSENSUS can be used to override an individual policy.
The specific problem, in the case of many amusement park articles, is that many amusement parks are closed during the weekdays/closed altogether outside of their regular operating season. One may argue that a month-long closure may be notable enough to include if it is sourced, but one may also argue that per NOTNEWS, we shouldn't even be including minor incidents at all. Any potential RFC would have to take into account all of these potential arguments, since this seems to be covered by existing policy, though the extent to which it's covered is not too clear. epicgenius (talk) 23:32, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
How would you address the problem of factual errors being introduced as I documented above? Let Wikipedia contain information we know to be false (Six Flags St. Louis is still wrongly listed as operating instead of closed)? That can't be the answer. --Guy Macon (talk) 23:55, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Wikivoyage exists, and would be a much more suitable place for things like parks being closed iirc Upsidedown Keyboard (talk) 23:49, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
Guy Macon, let's look at it from another perspective. When a seasonal park is closed for the season, or even for a weekday, we do not also change the status to "closed". Otherwise we would change the status every time a seasonal opening is delayed, or the park has to be closed for some emergency. I think that if an RFC is held to discuss the status of an amusement park in the infobox, it should be held at the page of WikiProject Amusement Parks. Otherwise, an RFC somewhere else would be ramming a consensus down the throat of a wikiproject that doesn't agree with the decision. epicgenius (talk) 00:09, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
I agree. I also wonder if WP:NOTDIRECTORY applies for changing that status for temporary, seasonal, other closings. I think it boils down to is the location permanently closed or is it open for business.ms784 (talk) 00:31, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Should this become an RfC (not clear yet whether it should) I would oppose posting the RfC in WikiProject Amusement Parks, but instead would post a prominent notice there to wherever we post it (possibly Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Infoboxes). Ramming a consensus of the Wikipedia community as a whole down the throat of a wikiproject that doesn't agree with the decision is often the point of posting an RfC. See WP:LOCALCONSENSUS. Now it may very well be that the arguments made by the Wikiproject members prevail -- as I said before, I personally find them to be compelling -- but as it stands a consensus that appears to have been arrived at on the WikiProject Amusement Parks pages is being used to violate our WP:V policy on the Six Flags St. Louis page. That sort of thing needs to stop, but there are several other ways to fix it, such as simply not mentioning open/closed status in the infobox. --Guy Macon (talk) 01:35, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Guy Macon, I think not mentioning the open status in park infoboxes is a good idea, and it seems to already have a rough consensus. If a park is permanently closed, it will be marked as such in the lead. If not, then there is no problem with a temporary/seasonal closure. epicgenius (talk) 22:47, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment – First, a disclaimer. While I have worked extensively on amusement park articles, I'm not strongly tied to any particular WikiProject. I'm probably just as active at WP:FILM as I am anywhere else. As for where the RfC is housed, that shouldn't matter. By its very nature, we are soliciting opinions from across the entire Wikipedia community. The result is the result regardless of where it's documented.
    The status parameter in the infobox is misleading. It is meant to represent a long-term designation only. If a park or ride is closed for an entire season (or for several months beyond what is expected), we would update the status accordingly. Same if the status change was permanent. Maintenance and seasonal closures wouldn't be tracked. The COVID-19 situation affects everything, and therefore in my opinion, the closures would not fall into the classification of "beyond what is expected". We would simply leave it alone.
    The problem, of course, is that inexperienced editors or even veterans unaware of how that parameter is typically treated, would see "Operational" as a field that needs updated. After all, it's not technically active. It's a battle we've been having long before the pandemic. After years of trying to tweak it and educate others, I've come to the conclusion that editors simply don't agree on what is considered "long-term". Either that or the drive-bys don't stick around long enough to discuss. It may be time for us to bring this in line with {{Infobox company}}, where instead of tracking all the active statuses, we only track when something is "defunct". The dates of opening and closing are already parameters that can be entered, so truthfully saying something is opened or closed in a separate status field is essentially redundant. It would definitely simplify things and avoid confusion with newer editors. Just a thought. --GoneIn60 (talk) 03:40, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment - I have also considered that the status parameter might be more trouble than it is worth. I would not be opposed to removing it from the infobox. The long-term status should be apparent in the introductory paragraph if it lists a park or attraction in the past, present or future tense.JlACEer (talk) 03:47, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, JlACEer. I was just about to amend my comment by saying that the status should be apparent in the opening paragraph of the lead, usually in the first line. --GoneIn60 (talk) 03:49, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
@JlACEer and GoneIn60: that would actually be a great idea: not including the status when the park is still operating and not defunct. If a closure is notable enough for the lead, it will be in the lead. If not, then we are not misleading our readers but we aren't also violating NOTNEWS. epicgenius (talk) 04:19, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Side note – I'm going to ping Ahecht as well to this discussion. He has been instrumental in tweaking the infobox code. If we propose something that isn't really feasible, I'm sure he'd let us know! For example, there may be situations where the opening or closing year is "Unknown". We might have left that blank and simply relied on the status parameter. If status goes away, however, can we insert "Unknown" into the opened or closed fields? Is there an issue with supplying a non-numeric value? I know some of those values tie directly into category creation. For example, Son of Beast is in the Amusement rides that closed in 2009 category, but that category isn't explicitly listed in the article. The year in the closed parameter is auto-populating the article into that respective category. --GoneIn60 (talk) 04:09, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm fine with listing the theme parks and attractions as operating while closed for the pandemic. The status field is generally not for temporary closures, and we don't update the infoboxes of amusement parks when they are closed during the offseason. To use the example above, Six Flags St Louis was closed January 1st through March 27th anyway, but we didn't update the infobox to say "closed" then. The park is physically there, the company is still in business, they have just suspended their operating season temporarily (see also WP:NOTTRAVEL). If anything, just update the "Operating season" field to indicate the planned reopening date.
I'm not sure removing the field is the best idea. That will just push the temporary closures problem to the "Closing date" field, not eliminate it. There is also a small technical hurdle to removing the "Status" field, as it's currently used for categorization. I think a better solution would be to just hide the status field if the ride is listed as "Operating", making it less of an attractive nuisance. --Ahecht (TALK
) 14:45, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
Yes, it's possible that the issue migrates from status to closed, but we could look at renaming the closed parameter to "Defunct" or something similar that makes it obvious this is for permanent closure only. So at least on a revert, we don't have to point to an infobox template for an explanation; it's self-explanatory. --GoneIn60 (talk) 20:25, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

RfC about edit warring and vandalism on the yearly April Fools page[edit]

Hello, I created a RfC for the edit warring and vandalism that has been occuring on the individual yearly April Fools documentation pages since 2017 and have gotten way too out of hand in the past two years. (talk) 10:11, 1 April 2020 (UTC)


I took a look, and found that if you want to do self-harm, you will be blocked. What if we give them the suicide help number to help em, and don't Block them? New3400 (talk) 16:21, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

The thing to do is described at Wikipedia:Responding to threats of harm. Doing so will get the person helped. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:35, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
I see that WP:ZT did not link to that page where a reader could be expected to find the link. I have fixed that. Phil Bridger (talk) 07:54, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

Famous people editing Wikipedia?[edit]

Back in November 2019, a YouTuber by the name of JackSucksAtLife made a video where he edited Wikipedia. The edits were not constructive and were reverted, but a horde of fans rushed to keep the edit on the page, semi-protecting the article and other pages involved. (following video, also note his talk page which have also been slightly touched by fans)

Should there be a policy on famous people editing Wikipedia (outside of the usual editing policy)? Please note that most famous people that come to edit Wikipedia (does not include Wikipedians that have articles on themselves, as most of them are established editors) have no clue about the policies or guidelines when editing.

Thoughts appreciated! dibbydib (💬) 07:14, 2 April 2020 (UTC)

What would you propose should be different about policy for famous editors (leaving aside the question of whether JackSucksAtLife is famous) from that that applies to other editors? Phil Bridger (talk) 07:25, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
In this case, Jack doxed himself by accidentally revealing his IP address in the first video (the edit is still online, I found it earlier which prompted me to propose this). I suggest an oversight of the edits made public by the famous person (in their uploaded media), regardless of exposed IP or not (waves of fans). Pages shown in media uploaded by the famous person should also be semi-protected for 1 month due to the waves of fans. This should probably not interfere with the vandalism and blocking policy.
The main focus of this policy should not be about the famous person themselves, rather their fans. The way Wikipedia handled the situation on Jack was generally very good, and this should most likely be the standard for situations like these. dibbydib (💬) no idea what i'm doing 07:43, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
I don't see how this has anything to do with being famous, or even the individual. What the issue was, is that someone edited wikipedia publically, and thus gave away who it was who made the edit (which would have also been true if logged in). We shouldn't treat any editor differently, regardless of who they are. If Jay-Z was to edit wikipedia, should we do anything differently? No. If he was to put it in a music video, and his username was found in the song - would this be a problem? Probably. This is a reactive issue, and not something a policy would be able to fix. What's more, we shouldn't be assuming any IP of an editor is likely to be any worse, simply because someone with fans edited a page. If there's vandalism, we fix and protect. This cart should rarely come before the horse (our articles on coronavirus notwithstanding). Best Wishes, Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 08:07, 2 April 2020 (UTC)