Wikipedia:Village pump (miscellaneous)

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The miscellaneous section of the village pump is used to post messages that do not fit into any other category. Please post on the policy, technical, or proposals sections when appropriate, or at the help desk for assistance. For general knowledge questions, please use the reference desk.
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Important pages hidden from search engines[edit]

Some time ago, following this short discussion someone added {{NOINDEX}} to {{Undisclosed paid}}. As a result, pages on important topics such as Simon & Schuster, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, and Swansea University are currently excluded from Google search results (and, in the latter case, has been for a quarter of a year); despite no significant issues with the article content being identified on their talk pages. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:56, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Update: Simon & Schuster tag removed. Apparently, the offending content was removed some time ago... Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:06, 3 December 2018 (UTC)

Technical issues[edit]

I thought NOINDEX had no effect in mainspace? Wikipedia:Controlling search engine indexing#Indexing of articles ("mainspace")xenotalk 14:27, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
The articles named above do not appear in page 1 of Google results for their exact titles (though our categories, and non-English Wikipedia articles, do). The page you link to says {{NOINDEX}} "has no effect in the main (article) namespace unless the article is less than 90 days old", but its not clear whether that is 90 days since creation, or last edit. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:39, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
Hmm, my impression was that NOINDEX did not work on any article older than 90 days (from creation)..but articles with the {{paid}} template do indeed seem excluded from search results (but not knowledge graph). I'd ask WP:VPT, because I don't think that is supposed to happen. Galobtter (pingó mió) 14:57, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
I've pinged VPT requesting an answer, here, about the technical issue. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:36, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
  • A look at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for example shows were ARE directing: <meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow"/>. — xaosflux Talk 15:46, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
    The '90 day' expiration was supposed to be fixed in phab:T166852 - I suggest someone open a phab ticket to investigate this further. — xaosflux Talk 15:49, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
    @Kaldari: can you take a peek at this? — xaosflux Talk 15:51, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
    Seems to be a glitch, that we should solve ASAP. –xenotalk 18:17, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
      • @Xeno, Xaosflux, and Pigsonthewing: In theory, none of those articles (if they are older than 90 days) should be noindexed. It does appear, however, that they are being noindexed and excluded from Google. I'll file a bug to get this resolved ASAP. In the meantime, I would recommend removing the NOINDEX template from {{Undisclosed paid}}. Kaldari (talk) 18:52, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
  • @Xeno, Xaosflux, and Galobtter: The bug has been fixed in master and should be fixed on English Wikipedia next Thursday afternoon PST. Kaldari (talk) 02:56, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

Policy issues[edit]

  • Our drive-by tag-bombing process is not precise enough, or peer-reviewed enough, to use it to drive the deindexing process like this. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:02, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
    • Quite. Should the tag be noindexing by default? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:06, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
    • If people didn't want the articles about their companies taken out of the searches, they shouldn't have edited them. I'm sympathetic towards removing the template from articles where it is misapplied, but if an article has clearly been edited under a COI, and no one has sanitized it, tough noogies. I do partially agree with you, we should be doing a better job of using the tag appropriately, but insofar as such a tag is appropriately applied, it has the intended effect of discouraging paid COI editing. --Jayron32 16:08, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
      • "If people didn't want the articles about their companies taken out of the searches, they shouldn't have edited them." And what about the cases where there is no evidence that they have edited them? Or where the editor does have a COI, but there is nothing actually wrong the the content? Not to mention the fact that anyone can apparently have their competitors article removed from Google's index of Wikipedia by creating a throw-away account in their name. Or indeed the one about themselves, if they deem it too negative. Do we really want to give them that capability? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:17, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
        • Sorry, when I said "we should be doing a better job of using the tag appropriately" what I meant was actually "we should be doing a better job of using the tag appropriately". Also, when I said "I'm sympathetic towards removing the template from articles where it is misapplied" what I really meant was "I'm sympathetic towards removing the template from articles where it is misapplied". Sorry for the confusion. --Jayron32 16:21, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
          • Your sarcasm is unwarranted. In the cases I've highlighted, people would argue (and have previously done) that tags like this are correctly and appropriately applied. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:24, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
            • People will argue for or against any number of things. It doesn't mean that consensus is on their side. --Jayron32 13:23, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
    I agree; there's a reason why noindexing of mainspace pages is not supposed to be allowed (except within 90 days) - and I assume it is because it would be too prone to abuse, and it definitely shouldn't be up to unilateral editor action to do so; anything that isn't supposed to be viewed should be deleted. Galobtter (pingó mió) 19:05, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
My thought is that no, we should not be NOINDEXing mainspace pages, and the discussion on a page watched by only 180 editors was not sufficiently advertised to enact this change (though I think there could be technical issues at work, and the NOINDEX should be denied in the software). Is the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act also hidden from internet search? If an article is inappropriate due to paid editing, merely sweeping it under the carpet is not the appropriate response. –xenotalk 17:47, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
Yes, Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act was hidden from search bots (and so was not in Google results); I've removed the tag from the page, as it was added in September 2017, with no explanation on the talk page of what was supposedly amiss. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:00, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
  • I'm finding it hard to think of a case when we should NOINDEX a mainspace page (at least as anything more than temporarily), without deleting it altogether. If there's such a problem, and we've clearly and reliably identified it, why isn't it either fixed, pruned or deleted altogether? Andy Dingley (talk) 00:44, 4 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Consider this example: Special:Diff/868597398. Tag added by an IP, with no supporting information, nothing noted on talk page. (I've removed it) –xenotalk 18:16, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
    • Like I said above, that would be a good technique for a comany's rivals (or other bad actor) to deploy. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:02, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
      • Indeed. It seems that the implementation was not working as intended. Great job bringing this for wider attention and hopefully this is fixed in short order. –xenotalk 22:07, 3 December 2018 (UTC)
  • I am minded to agree that putting NOINDEX into the "undisclosed paid" template was a bad move. Quite aside from the potential for abuse mentioned above, an "Undisclosed paid" template merely means that someone somewhere thinks that an article was written for pay, but without proof. I also notice that {{BLP sources}}, {{Copyvio}} and {{Medical citations needed}} don't NOINDEX a page even though they all indicate problems far more severe than paid editing (and the first two are also in the TOS). Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 08:42, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Very long pages[edit]

Our longest pages are, presently:

  1. ‎List of giant squid specimens and sightings [732,759 bytes]
  2. ‎List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach [720,509 bytes]
  3. ‎List of compositions by Franz Schubert [715,917 bytes]
  4. ‎List of Australian treaties [705,033 bytes]
  5. ‎2016–17 Coupe de France Preliminary Rounds [690,244 bytes]
  6. ‎List of members of the Lok Sabha (1952–present) [670,419 bytes]
  7. ‎List of International Organization for Standardization standards [659,272 bytes]
  8. ‎List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States [656,613 bytes]
  9. ‎Opinion polling for the United Kingdom general election, 2015 [656,161 bytes]
  10. ‎2017–18 Coupe de France Preliminary Rounds [655,564 bytes]
  11. ‎2018–19 Coupe de France Preliminary Rounds [652,633 bytes]
  12. ‎List of third party performances in United States elections [652,538 bytes]
  13. ‎1919 Birthday Honours [650,631 bytes]
  14. ‎List of BMTC routes [644,099 bytes]
  15. ‎Roush Fenway Racing [643,491 bytes]
  16. ‎2017 in American television [639,597 bytes]
  17. ‎Battle of Mosul (2016–2017) [637,308 bytes]
  18. ‎List of unnumbered trans-Neptunian objects [636,764 bytes]
  19. ‎Food Paradise [630,967 bytes]
  20. ‎2018 in American television [621,078 bytes]

and we have more than 500 articles that are over 300,000 bytes. That is far too big.

I have started discussion on the talk pages of some of those listed above, as have others, so far mostly to little avail. What is to be done? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:10, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

In general they should be split up but to suggest anything at all risks replies such as "I think the only solution to this article is to delete it, per WP:TNT, and start over.[1] (But that editor later developed a more constructive approach). Our notability guidelines can be very unhelpful. If you split the topic of an article or list into subtopics you run the real risk of people saying the subtopic is not in itself notable and it cannot inherit its notability from its parent. People far too often take WP:INHERITED as a one-line rule when it was actually intended as nuanced advice. Thincat (talk) 16:38, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
" People far too often take <insert policy or guideline or essay> as a one-line rule when it was actually intended as nuanced advice. " is broadly true for every single piece of editing guidance at Wikipedia. --Jayron32 15:28, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
WP:INHERITED should be refactored because it is too broadly used. It is an essay not even a guideline. And it concerns "arguments to avoid in AfD discussions". That is all it is. Most of the time it is not applied that way rather as an actual rule for Wikipedia content. -- GreenC 18:40, 7 December 2018 (UTC)
I tried to add a caution to this essay, but was reverted because the essay is a "defacto guideline" (according to them). They then link to some NOTE guidelines of the special kind while ignoring other guidelines that contradict those and allow for inheritance. This essay is meant as an AfD discussion caution, not as a guideline for content. -- GreenC 01:15, 8 December 2018 (UTC)

Some current discussions, where there is resistance to splitting long pages, include: Talk:List of compositions by Johann Sebastian Bach#Problems with using this page and Talk:List of compositions by Franz Schubert#This article is far too long. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:45, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

Also Talk:List of United States Senate elections#Very/too long?; Talk:Opinion polling for the United Kingdom general election, 2015#Splitting and Talk:List of Confederate monuments and memorials#Ways to possibly shorten article. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 00:24, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
And Talk:Timeline of the presidency of Bill Clinton#Splitting proposal. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:32, 11 December 2018 (UTC)
And Talk:List of 2017 albums#Proposed: Splitting the List of 2017 albums into two articles; and Talk:Sub-national opinion polling for the 2015 Spanish general election#Page size. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:28, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

I think the above examples are ample evidence that we have an issue when it comes to gaining consensus to split over-long artciles. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:28, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

Experiment: Eliciting New Editor Interests (Update)[edit]

Hi all. An update about the experiment for eliciting new editor interests mentioned here earlier. documented, the first design of the experiment did not result in enough responses in the second stage. We have iterated on it based on the learnings and designed a new one which has significantly reduced the steps and cognitive load which was required in the first trial. In the coming 48 hours, we will start reaching out to those who registered on enwiki in September 2018 or later to encourage them to participate in the new design of the experiment. We do not expect this test to have impact on experienced editors. If you do observe an issue, please ping me here or on the project's talk page. Thank you! --LZia (WMF) (talk) 23:27, 10 December 2018 (UTC)

What is being able to edit Wikipedia worth to you?[edit]

I'm working to measure the value of Wikipedia in economic terms. I want to ask you some questions about how you value being able to edit Wikipedia using a 10-15 minute survey.

I hope that you will enjoy it and find the questions interesting. All answers will be kept strictly confidential and will be anonymized before the aggregate results are published. Regretfully, my team and I can only accept responses from people who live in the US due to restrictions in our grant-based funding.

As a reward for your participation, we will randomly pick 1 out of every 5 participants and give them $25 worth of goods of their choice from the Wikipedia store (e.g. Wikipedia themed t-shirts).

--avi_gan Researcher, MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy ~~~~~

Page move request[edit]

Files Go has been renamed to Files by Google, please move Files Go to Files by Google (please keep the original page as a redirect page). Thanks. --XL-028 (talk) 03:13, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

XL-028, done; just noting that WP:RMTR is the page for requesting moves to be done that you cannot complete for technical reasons. Galobtter (pingó mió) 05:37, 11 December 2018 (UTC)

Wikipedia and Voyager[edit]

As a thought experiment as it has been announced that Voyager 2 has entered interstellar space.

If there was an equivalent probe launched, with a modern version of the Voyager Golden Record, and Wikipedia was invited to contribute, what pages in particular should be included or created as showing what can be done? Jackiespeel (talk) 17:52, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

I'm not sure why the entire thing couldn't be included; a similar size and weight hard drive could probably hold as much or more information as all of Wikipedia. As of 2014, all of Wikimedia's wikis were about 23 TB according to Wikipedia:Size of Wikipedia. There are 30 terrabyte solid state storage devices [2] that you can hold in your hand. Though they are cutting edge and stupid expensive, they will, as all such things, come down in price and become more available in a few years. --Jayron32 18:26, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
Is there a more modern figure for 'the size of Wikipedia'? Material that could be created might include a slideshow-equivalent of the Main Pages, the evolution of a topic from 'first stub' to a Wikiproject etc.
Anyone wishing to create Wikipedia-Voyager and Wikipedia-Timecapsule should bear in mind the practical issues faced by the BBC Domesday Project. Jackiespeel (talk) 19:07, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
@Jayron32 Hauling that thing into space will cost way more than the SDD is worth, but I don't think a flash SSD is going to last 30,000 years of cosmic radiation to hit the next star system. Also, do you know whether the aliens talk SATA or NVMe? --Zac67 (talk) 20:25, 12 December 2018 (UTC)
So what could be included in WikipediaTimeCapsule(s) - terrestrial or piggybacking to some other place in the solar system other than 'a current snapshot'? Could a Wikipedia/wikiverse equivalent of the Library of Ashurbanipal be created?
The concept is a minor amusement/exercise in the practicalities - but it might have its uses (including getting round the theoretical 2038 problem etc). Jackiespeel (talk) 00:27, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

Heads-up: problematic survey research ongoing on English Wikipedia[edit]

There is currently an research survey being conducted by researchers at Dalian University of Technology. You can read about the research on Meta. The research involves asking Wikipedia editors for personal information, and then associating that personal information with their editing behaviors in order to construct personality profiles. EpochFail and I have asked the researchers a series of questions and urged them to follow best practices for responsible Wikipedia research, and to offer some basic documentation (e.g. data collection and retention, institutional review) demonstrating that this research will be conducted in an ethical fashion. The researchers have not responded adequately to our stated concerns. I am concerned that participating in this study will expose editors to risk, and recommend that editors not fill out this survey. Regards, J-Mo 20:14, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

They should have posted notification to the Village Pump anyway per WP:NOTLAB. GMGtalk 20:26, 12 December 2018 (UTC)

No free equivalent, but what is equivalent?[edit]

On The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt I had replaced File:Witcher 3 cover art.jpg with File:The Witcher 3 - Standard Edition Unboxing (Official Trailer) cover.jpg. I thought this was right because Wikipedia:Non-free content#Meeting the no free equivalent criterion says: "Non-free content cannot be used in cases where a free content equivalent, with an acceptable quality sufficient to serve the encyclopedic purpose, is available or could be created."

But it was rolled back by The1337gamer without comment.

When asked, The1337gamer said "Blurry, miscoloured, PEGI rating and says "PROVISIONAL" in the bottom left. Objectively inferior quality to the non-free version."

Uh yeah no argument there (though I don't think it's miscoloured), but the replacement is "an acceptable quality sufficient to serve the encyclopedic purpose" imho? But it isn't? I'm not sure I understand. - Alexis Jazz 11:36, 13 December 2018 (UTC)

Yeah no. Being somewhat higher quality is not a valid reason to prefer a non-free image over a free one. If this was the case we would be replacing scores of thousands of images with somewhat higher quality non-free versions. They're both versions of the official cover art, and so we have to go with the free one (though I'm not sure they really thought through the implications of releasing that video on youtube under a free license, but so long as it's official, that's not really our problem to second guess their corporate decisions). GMGtalk 11:42, 13 December 2018 (UTC)
@GreenMeansGo: Agreed. They release many videos with Creative Commons btw, also with gameplay. Their trademarks remain intact and in the end their business is selling games, not videos or covers. It greatly enhances their appearance on Wikipedia, which is surely worth something. - Alexis Jazz 11:29, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
Many you say? Makes me wish Video2Commons had a similar functionality to Flickr2Commons, where you could batch upload so long as the license checks out. At any rate, we should upload all the things. I'm sure Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games would be grateful to have these available for use in articles. GMGtalk 11:43, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
@GreenMeansGo: c:Category:Videos by Bandai Namco Face-smile.svg (I don't know how much there is we didn't import) - Alexis Jazz 11:46, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, I was poking around on Commons and just saw that. I'll drop a note for WP:VG. GMGtalk 11:49, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
Someone needs to seriously reconsider this. BANDAI NAMCO does NOT own the Witcher IP or it's video games, nor to they develope or publish it. They handle physical distribution of the retail copies only. CD Projekt owns the copyrights. This is probably invalid licensing and someone should look really hard at this before they rush to use these images. -- ferret (talk) 13:24, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm going to echo ferret on this one. In this particular case, there is no free equivalent because the purported "free" image is not actually free. Wikipedia has an imperative to hold itself to a higher liability standard to avoid legal action. Some PR rep accidentally releasing something they don't own on a CC license does not give us free reign to take it. Axem Titanium (talk) 19:31, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
@Axem Titanium: Are we not protected from liability for reasonably relying on the actions of an agent of the owner, with the worst case being that we have to remove the image if they decide to revoke (if that's even legally possible)? —[AlanM1(talk)]— 22:46, 14 December 2018 (UTC)
That reasoning only works when it's done from a position of genuine ignorance, as an innocent mistake. Here, we are fully aware that there has been a licensing mishap. To persist now is to knowingly commit a crime. Axem Titanium (talk) 02:12, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Pitch competition[edit]

Pitch competition (currently a redlink) seems widely used on WP and elsewhere, apparently referring to a competition in which participants pitch an idea to a group, which then decides which idea (if any) is best. A redirect to sales presentation seems off-target for competitions that are more like debates or persuasion than sales proposals, like research projects and Wikipedia policies. New article or a better target? —[AlanM1(talk)]— 02:20, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

@AlanM1: when searching for "pitch competition" or "pitch contest" I find things like Startups pitching in a competition for investor money and/or some prize. Sort of like Shark Tank, but they compete directly against each other. On Wiktionary it would probably be deleted as SoP. - Alexis Jazz 11:44, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

No enwiki TROLL page?[edit]

Why does enwiki not have a WP:TROLL page? Just when I needed it! It only links to mw and so. -DePiep (talk) 03:16, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Internet troll maybe?--SamHolt6 (talk) 03:39, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

Help to choose more appropriate title[edit]

There is an article named Student Day (Iran) as the anniversary of the murder of three students of University of Tehran on December 7, 1953 (16 Azar 1332 in the Iranian calendar), here the student refers to people who study courses in university, in other hand it is seen another anniversary about demonstrations of students to show their objection of Pahlavi on November 4, 1978 (13 Aban 1357), here the student refers to people who study courses in (elementary, secondary or high) school. By the way, I am going to collect some material relevant to 13 Aban anniversary as a paragraph into Student Day (Iran) or creating the new article, but I face with a problem for naming. How is it made difference between students who study in university and school? I exactly discuss the title.Saff V. (talk) 07:20, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

  • The English language does not have separate words for students in school vs students in college/university... all are “students”. In the US, when English speakers have to make the education level clear, they specify by adding the level: “grade school student”, “high school student”, “college student” (the same is true in UK English, but the terms added for the various education levels are different). Hope that helps. Blueboar (talk) 12:20, 15 December 2018 (UTC)
  • If the article is about a (quasi?) official memorial day, the infobox seems out of place, as it's about the events that are being memorialized. Also, the rest of the article is more about those events, so maybe the article(s) should be about the events, not the memorial day?

    I'll note that "college" or "post-secondary" (in the U.S. at least) is sometimes further divided by "under-graduate" (or "under-grad") and "graduate", distinguishing between students that are studying for a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) and those that have completed a Bachelor's and are studying for higher degrees, respectively; all with or without hyphens. Not that any of those would be right for the article title, which, I think, should be named per a "standard" translation of the Farsi name (which appears to be the current name, "Student Day", right?), if it is to remain named for the memorial day. I.e. we can't rename the memorial day even though we think it might be ambiguously named Face-smile.svg. —[AlanM1(talk)]— 15:02, 15 December 2018 (UTC)

@Blueboar: Thanks for making it clear.@AlanM1:, the term of graduate usually is used for university students but one of the memorial days refers to high school students. In addition, memorial days are more notable than the events and based on "standard" translation we have to use "college student day (Iran)" and "high school student day (Iran)". Also, I will check that they were “grade school student” or “high school student”.Saff V. (talk) 11:18, 16 December 2018 (UTC)


Has there ever been a content dispute that was impossible to resolve?

I know that there are dispute resolution mechanisms, but is it possible for those to fail at establishing consensus?

ArbCom doesn't deal with content disputes, per se, so is there some other last resort for content disputes that has the final say?

Are there any issues where the community is pretty much evenly split?

Benjamin (talk) 19:09, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

Why bother with autoconfirmed?[edit]

Does the 10 edits and 4 days autoconfirmation have any value at all? The spammers just create accounts by the truckload, do 10 random edits to get them autoconfirmed, then warehouse the account until the next time they need to create an article. Has this really done us any good? -- RoySmith (talk) 22:51, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

The results of the ACTRIAL were positive, hence ACPERM recieving such wide support. Cesdeva (talk) 13:45, 18 December 2018 (UTC)
@RoySmith: That, and most people never intentionally "autoconfirmed grind", we usually stop them fast enough. SemiHypercube 13:50, 18 December 2018 (UTC)