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500 edit requirement for editing Gamergate controversy and Talk:Gamergate controversy[edit]

Hi,

I'm looking to discuss the arbcom decision made here: Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Enforcement#TheRedPenOfDoom.2C_third_filing. I know discussions of an individual page are most commonly found at that respective page's talk page, but until the Talk:Talk: namespace exists that venue isn't open to all to discuss the decision made. The decision was made to restrict the editing of both pages listed above to those editors with both 500 edits and 30 days of age on their account. I don't know if a restriction of this kind has ever been applied to a talk page before; my impression is that such a restriction is exceedingly rare and that it goes against some of the core principles of the Wikipedia project. Rather than dawdling around, let me get into my opinions so those of differing opinions can pick them apart!

-The decision runs counter to the Wikipedia slogan, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit." This is not the first such decision to run afoul of that credo, in my opinion; I'm a sort of absolutist on this, and would rather have a wikipedia with more errors and vandalism than a wikipedia that violates that goal. I understand that most people don't feel that way, and that's okay (though I sort of feel maybe we should get rid of that (maybe change it to "the community-curated free encyclopedia" or something that rolls off the tongue better than that) and stop confusing people, though you could imagine the field day conservatives and others who feel Wikipedia is inherently biased would have with that one!)

-The talk page is an important safety valve re:edit restrictions. The argument goes that vandalism is a problem and therefore limiting access to editing of contentious articles (e.g. 9/11) to users with some degree of vetting is a good way to limit the work for those brave souls who devote hours to reverting vandalism. I don't agree with that argument, but I understand it and sympathize with it and accept that it's the prevailing wisdom on Wikipedia. I'm not arguing that Gamergate controversy should be unprotected. However, I feel that the talk page acts as a balancing factor in the process, allowing those with opinions contrary to the current revision of the article (broadly, what we'd call at 9/11 kooks) to both support/defend their opinion as well as just gripe so as to avoid anger turning to hatred and hatred turning to vandalism (of other/related articles), or simply leaving the project altogether. I also think that a vigorous debate on the talk page of contentious articles helps expose how the sausage is made to those readers interested enough to care. That kind of transparency is important, in my opinion.

-The article as currently written accurately reflects the preponderance of RS reportage on the issue. Pains me to say this because I have some misgivings about some of the reporting on the issue, but I don't have a problem with the article itself, or if I do it's only minor niggles here and there and a general complaint about the schizophrenic quality of the article (inherent in contentious articles under the current system).

-The argument in favor of the restriction seems to be that users were tired of arguing about why the article is written the way it's written. To me, this seems to be the primary purpose of a talk page (at least in a contentious topic): discussing the current iteration of the article and debating on how to improve it in a way that is acceptable to people on both sides of the relevant ideological divide.

In short, I feel that the ban as imposed is unduly limiting to the open discussion of the issue at hand and will server to exacerbate the vitriol rather than soothe it. I'd appreciate comment, criticism, or any other ramblings people may have on the topic. Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 01:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

All I can say is yes, the restriction is unfair to those people who are good-faith new editors who haven't done anything wrong. That unfairness does not necessarily mean the restriction is unjustified. There is never any solution which is perfectly fair to every person in the world, and which also would curb the disruption. --Jayron32 01:41, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, having looked at why the restrictions were placed, coordinated off-site "gaming", they seem reasonable. Alanscottwalker (talk) 02:44, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Where does it say that? Chrisrus (talk) 04:49, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Read the FAQ and the discussion placing the restriction. Alanscottwalker (talk) 09:43, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't disagree with this sanction as a resolution to issues of disruption in theory. However, this restriction was decided upon in an unrelated tangent in an AE case about a disruptive editor who wouldn't have even be affected by this particular sanction.[1] Seems wholly inappropriate to have originated that way. For a certainly unconventional sanction such as this, I would have hoped it would have taken more than the agreement of 3 admins. I am certainly curious to hear more about the thinking of @Zad68: and others about their line of reasoning on deciding that AE case. 108.52.24.214 (talk) 04:11, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I do disagree with the use to resolve disruption, on the grounds that there doesn't seem to have been any significant disruption to resolve. There were no significant problems on the talk page that weren't being handled with semi-protection and hatting, and all this does is cut out what is presumably the majority of current editors (and all new editors) from engaging in discussion, while giving a significant advantage to the current editors on the page. However, I don't think it can be resolved here, so I guess I'll need to take it to WP:ARCA at some point. - Bilby (talk) 04:19, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Unhelpful on-topic reader feedback is not a problem if we react to it properly as we do everywhere else: we just point them to FAQs or give a stock answer or just ignore it and it will age off into the archives in due course. If some of us overreact, the restrictions should be on those of us who don't treat it properly, not shut down reader feedback. Many eyes are on this article and us seeming to freak out and overreact to so much on-topic negative reader feedback is an embarrassment to the project. Chrisrus (talk) 04:49, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Let's not pretend this is "regular" unhelpful on-topic reader feedback like what happens at Muhammad or alt-med articles. There's been a coordinated offwiki effort to drive long term editors off the article [2] using socking and other methods. --NeilN talk to me 05:02, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Despite some truth in their grand and mostly deluded claims of "chipping away" (for instance all the absolutely vile and disgusting things they did to Ryulong), the true monster here has been Wikipedia's culture itself. What finally drove Dreadstar off was a surprisingly vicious dispute over hidden text discussing usage of infoboxes with established featured article writers. Most editors in the area who've been outed (I count 4 out of 5) were either outed first on Wikipediocracy, or likely using information that was available on Wikipediocracy. On the talk page before the Arbcom case established editors were continuously swearing at and insulting each other and this was accepted as part of Wikipedia's culture. Editors who could simply say "read the FAQ" instead went on long insulting rants to users asking questions. Admins have been allowed to call people drama whores while blocking them, or accuse them of being a "motherfucker" with no repercussion (messing with infoboxes on the other hand is an unforgivable sin), and this is for the most part just tolerated with a sort of "admins will be admins," attitude. The Gamergate socks are just a part of this greater culture of Wikipedia shitposting, and they're incredibly ineffectual at it.Bosstopher (talk) 09:27, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I've looked into the given example, the user seems to have been active in the topic areas around "A Voice for Men", "Campus rape" and "Southern Poverty Law Center" and hasn't edited GamerGate or gaming articles once, what exactly are you implying? Was there any specific disruption on the talk page that would have required these extreme measures? The editor that the original Arbitration Request was meant for is entirely unaffected. How did the admin get from the request of penalizing WP:BATTLEGROUND behaviour of a single editor to this sanction? 84.131.64.160 (talk) 09:35, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
It might be because there had been three identical complaints posted to AE about TheRedPenOfDoom within two days, the first by an unknown IP account like yours, the second by an editor who had received a topic ban and violated it to post this complaint (and received a block in exchange) and the third time by a regular editor. It's hard to view a case like this on its merits when it's clear that someone put a target on TRPOD's back and they were going to continue to post this complaint until the editing environment changed.
As one blocked editor said about the GG situation What you don't seem to get is this is asymetric warfare, mostly in the sense that for you all every loss is significant (hai Dreadstar!) - for us "loss" is expected but we can afford it. Every little victory or nuisance makes it just that much less pleasant here, just that one fewer editor/admin - and bit by bit the ratchet clicks. diff
As others have said, though, neither that sock nor the hand that rocks it posted a single byte on Talk:Gamergate controversy. Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 23:06, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Saying that an IP geolocating to Germany, registered to Deutsche Telekom, is "like" an IP geolocating to the NY/NJ area, registered to AT&T, is a bit of a stretch. Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 23:16, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
The editing restrictions, which can be lifted at any time that they are seen as no longer necessary, were created to combat this off-wiki battleground mentality that sees the editing of this article as a war of attrition, where the goal is to bring down the few activist editors on this subject. By the way, TRPOD actually hasn't edited the article talk page since May 10th and last edited Wikipedia on May 12th so this is not a case of where a block would have been preventative, it would be punishment. Liz Read! Talk! 22:25, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
The diffs encompassed more than just that page, unless you are saying that TRPoD was never going to edit a talk page contentiously again, *of course* those blocks would have been preventive. 108.52.24.214 (talk) 19:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
This quote from the sock account that declares an asymmetric warfare is positively retarded. It's clear we are dealing with a teenager trying to act tough(failing hilariously.) I don't believe this Professor Chaos like declaration of war against Wikipedia is something to be worried. In fact the reality of Gamergate talk page is that there were occasional new users once or twice a week. If this is a coordinated attack they have forgotten to set a date on it. Darwinian Ape (talk) 00:21, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The above advice is from an account created in September 2011 but whose first edit was yesterday, making a total of 30 edits, none to articles. The gamergate requirements are intended to avoid the never-ending campaign of ultra-civil contributors who grind down established editors with repetitive commentary such as seen in this section. Johnuniq (talk) 09:29, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't know what is it you are insinuating here but it doesn't sound good, nor does it sound sane. Apparently I am a clairvoyant knowing Gamergate issue will arise one day, so I opened an account in 2011 biding my time, until the day THE GAMERGATE RISE!
Firstly I am not ultra civil, in fact I take that as an insult! Secondly, what does it matter who the advice is coming from. a wise woman once said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." I could have opened this account yesterday, or in 2001, what does it matter?! Hell I could have been writing as an IP, which I was until recently. But my decision to start using my account is exactly because of this attitude.(that and I was trying to make a point[[3]]) When I edited the articles in this project I did so as an IP, for I did not see any benefit to logging in, to be honest I wasn't very active either(though I would be eligible to edit gamergate had I contributed in this account) But I never even had to discuss with other Wikipedians Since my edits were limited to correcting grammar errors or adding minor changes. Then the gamergate happened, I was following it because its internet drama and that's kinda fun. But the fun part is over when it's changing the Wikipedia from "the encyclopedia anyone can edit" to an environment hostile to newcomers, or occasional contributors like myself. I have my opinion of gamergate sure, but that is not why I am writing here, because this is not about gamergate anymore. This is about the project's rules being fundamentally changed and it's deeply troubling. Darwinian Ape (talk) 10:26, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
The Ape clearly has a point. Please, please, please stop breaking Wikipedia to determine the outcome of a content dispute! - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 13:00, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

As far as I can tell Zad68, Bilby & Riffraffselbow you're unbiased on the issue involved. Unfortunately I realized certain individuals were requesting I be "blocked" from the discussion. I'm recognizing the intention of one side to silence opposition of the other; I'm asking if anyone has suggested renaming GamerGate Controversy to the more appropriate GamerGate Harassment Claims(?) - In return, making GamerGate Controversy a topic for Journalistic Ethics(?) That is the main focus of why the Twitter hashtag is so controversial. Let me clarify that with an article from Fast Company by Sarah Kessler that extends the narrative of the 12% findings;

--j0eg0d (talk) 08:37, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Hi J0eg0d, It is an interesting question. I would think that "Gamergate movement" might be a more appropriate title for the topic you have in mind than "Gamergate controversy". That being said, I think it's unlikely to receive much support - for WP:POVFORK reasons as much as anything else.
Apologies again for the "collapse" above; I have explained on your Talknpage, but please let me know if you have any questions. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 01:28, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't mind that you collapsed it, I think it actually draws more attention to it than before, so thank you.--j0eg0d (talk) 02:12, 20 May 2015 (UTC)

The admins applied their discretion as specifically appointed to do by the ArbCom to apply a sanction that has great potential to minimize disruption.-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 01:20, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Perfectly reasonable for any Wikipedia article, TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom as I was here for the Scientology disruptions. I differ on the TALK section limitations. The Arbitration Committee muses reestablishing a fact-based dialogue within the TALK section and/or rename the article to the more appropriate Gamergate Harassment. This reasoning outlined for Zad68 and Bilby in the collapsed post; The initial "controversy" of #gamergate claims this Twitter hashtag is a "corporeal group". The hashtag alone IS an intangible asset used by some 250,000 separate diversities. That's two objectives defending good or bad relations; Such exponents of "all-or-nothing thinking" prompts every WIKI disruption. But considering the earnest demand for further elaboration; Why not adjudicate by segregating the claims? Wikipedia needs one GamerGate article respecting the "harassment" claims, as another GamerGate article structures the "ethics in journalism" narrative. --j0eg0d (talk) 03:31, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
No. We do not consider "demands", earnest or otherwise, from humans trolls or ocean going mammals. We consider what the reliable sources state. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:06, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
->WP:CIVIL --j0eg0d (talk) 02:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
I can't possibly imagine this scenario ever happening. Gamergate is and has been about harassing women. No reliable sources state otherwise.--Jorm (talk) 04:01, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry to impede Jorm, but you're statement avoids the 12% issue by Women of Action Media. Likewise, the acclamations with Fast Company that expands on WAM's findings. Gamergate is a Twitter hashtag, not a physical entity or discernible group. Have you discounted the collapsed thread? I questioned if Editors overlook such events.--j0eg0d (talk) 05:39, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Trust me, I read it. And then I immediately discounted it. One - and seriously we're talking one, a single - primary source (and your interpretation of what that source says is fairly interesting if not inaccurate) (and yes, primary source) - is not going to erase or counterbalance the plethora of secondary sources that say, effectively, "gamergate is about the harassment of women". That's what Gamergate is about: harassment of women, according to a significant percentage of primary sources. You can't wiki-lawyer or whitewash this away. --Jorm (talk) 05:44, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Apologies again, I'm unfamiliar with you. We've never spoken. You dismissed the primary & secondary sources for a conclusion definition, then I understand why further clarifications would be irrelevant to you. You further admit to discounting a factual percentile to favor a popular opinion. Fair enough. To each their own. Although alleging perceived interpretations as a factor in your judgment seems dubious. There are primary and secondary sources regarding the article's links to a group of journalists relating private information & strategy amongst themselves that are agenda specific. This is reason enough to not be so contemptuous towards pertinent communications.--j0eg0d (talk) 06:23, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, snerk snerk snerk, gamergate, milo, breitbart, ethics. I've heard it before. Let's move on.--Jorm (talk) 07:28, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Jorm, may I recommend becoming more familiar with WP:CIVILITY? After all, we are to assume Wikipedia:Assume_good_faith, are we not? Mythiran (talk) 00:00, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
while we begin with an assumption of good faith when the evidence shows such an assumption is no longer valid, we are not obligated to continue to pretend we are living in a fantasy land of lollypops and bunnies where the sea lions have been exterminated. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:23, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
respectfully, j0eg0d, I don't think your source is very good, nor the citation; All it's saying (if I understand you correctly) is that 12% of the harassment complaints reported to WAM in a certain time period were gamergate related. I don't think people are saying that Gamergate is "the only group harassing women on the internet" or anything, barring a few fringe pov sources. It's also not entirely what (to me) should be the topic of discussion over here; that's more appropriate for the talk page. Now obviously, you can't post on the talk page. I disagree with the restriction in part because it's just going to force discussion of sourcing etc onto random editors' talk pages, as well as random venues like WP:VPM; if they think it's annoying having to explain sourcing issues to the alleged "coordinated offwiki effort" under the old rules, imagine waking up and logging on to find a vitriolic debate raging over the legitimacy of e.g. Breitbart as a RS on your own talk page. Obviously, it's nice to be able to delete the discussion from your own talk page (as you are allowed to do), but as you might imagine going down that road will lead to even more frivolous whinging and useless ANI postings. And if you think people are bad at researching previous discussions now, imagine trying to defend "oh, you should have checked the history of User:RandomEditor553 and seen the discussion on this exact issue!" My opinion (as I have already stated, though I guess I'm refining it now) is that allowing discussion on the talk page, even stupid, frivolous, unproductive or even potentially wp:nothere discussion is preferable to scattering it to the wind. Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 15:52, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
I've chosen to avoid circular reasoning in regards to staying on topic. Weighing "good or bad" descriptions is purely subjective, as well (again) it redirects from the original topic. I'm clearly in agreement about WIKI alterations; I'm suggesting ideas to improve the article's TALK page. We can circumvent demarcation through partition between "harassment claims" and the "#gamergate movement". The single comment made towards an amendment on the limitation block has been the word "no". Any fixation on what I source is irrelevant. Popular denigration of a separate affirmation being the "ethics in journalism" statement. Assertions of vexing currently controls the narrative. How can an audience understand what the #gamergate movement claims itself to be, when all we present is a negative opinion? Metaphorically this is the Bill Cosby WIKI dedicated solely to the sexual assault allegations. Bill Cosby and the Gamergate hashtag are larger than the allegations. Yet even in the TALK section, it's a resisted topic. --j0eg0d (talk) 01:11, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I endorse the "500 edit requirement" or virtually any other measure taken to address the disruption at the Gamergate pages. I have only superficially looked over the situation, but Wikipedia is clearly under attack by highly motivated individuals. WP:NOTHERE. Not only is this measure a valid step to protect the article, this step is a valid measure to protect the Community Members who volunteer to work there. I have the deepest sympathies for any responsible generalist editor volunteering to deal with that mess. Alsee (talk) 04:29, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Hello Alsee The underlying bemusements aren't to scrutinize the Main Article's injunctions, but rather the preventive measures of it's TALK section. The consensus of motivation seems genuinely determined to silence a balanced narrative. — Preceding unsigned comment added by J0eg0d (talkcontribs) 07:05, 21 May 2015
WP:BALASPS / WP:VALID we do not strive for a "balanced" narrative. we strive for a narrative that appropriately reflects the mainstream academic perception. We do strive to impede the use of Wikipedia for non encyclopedic purposes .-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:44, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
What this really demonstrates above all is the limitations of Wikipedia; that if a small group is able to control the media narrative running through reliable sources, then it's presented as encyclopedic fact without consideration for the biases of the media. You can find a great deal of information on GamerGate that is not used on the page presenting an entirely different perspective, but either because it's primary source or because it's not a traditional source then it's not considered reliable. The conflict between the article and reality is what's causing this entire problem, and the stricter and stricter measures being taken to control it only demonstrate that fact. It's worth considering that the further you need to go from "the encyclopaedia that anyone can edit" for some particular article, the further you should question your motives for doing so. Mythiran (talk) 00:15, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
No, what this demonstrates is that there is a small group of people who truly believe (or say they believe) that Gamergate is actually about ethics in games and the rest of the world isn't buying that line of malarkey.--Jorm (talk) 00:27, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
e/c WP:V and WP:RS have been core to shaping content for a very long time and have served Wikipedia well. But that is off topic from the heart of the question here which is: Is Wikipedia better served in creating an encyclopedia if herds of sock accounts are forced off the gamergate controversy page for 30 days and forced to invest a more significant bit of time and effort before being allowed to swarm with their ark ark ark ark about decisions that policies and sources have fully rejected multiple times? the answer is clearly: Yes. Good faith new accounts will be more than willing to contribute an additional 20 days elsewhere before wandering into the minefield and having more experience with Wikipedia policy and culture will be better able to productively contribute. Its a Win for Wikipedia, a Win for Goodfaith New Accounts and a Lose for Outside Disruption Campaigns. You can hardly ask for better!-- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 00:54, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
As someone who was essentially "kicked off" the gamergate article and talk page by the new restrictions, I heartily endorse the decision. Even though I don't get to vent my spleen (for a while, anyway!), I think it will result in a better article. And that's the real goal. Dumuzid (talk) 01:01, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
There's so much pessimism in maintaining the harassment article that you're ignoring the structure. For example, Wikipedia doesn't have a page dedicated to the sexual assault allegations made against Bill Cosby; We have a Bill Cosby WIKI that mentions the claims. The same goes for Gamergate. There's a much larger narrative than this small portion of "trolls" that attack women online. --j0eg0d (talk) 01:19, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Let's say, for the sake of argument, we grant that your claims are true. But then what does that have to do with the page restrictions? Dumuzid (talk) 01:25, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If arguendo? The TALK page should be unrestricted in allowance for the encompassing source of information. The recognition of harassment is a footnote of the totality; That singular agendum manipulates structure to the whole. My focus states limiting TALK is blocking both assertions from updating an in-progress issue. --j0eg0d (talk) 02:45, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The "much larger narrative" that's been suppressed by the vast liberal media cabal, right? --NeilN talk to me 03:03, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Why reciprocate with languid retorts? We're here to preserve & advance the topic.--j0eg0d (talk) 03:56, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I guess I don't understand is that why if there's a counter-narrative out there, why you think it is restricted or biased in favor of recent accounts with comparatively little activity? Why doesn't the restriction cut across both viewpoints equally? Dumuzid (talk) 04:42, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The restrictions obstruct new developments; Not only to chronicle persecution claims, but advancements in Gamergate's "ethics in journalism". A movement some editors vehemently deny, even within this very topic. For example: The Federal Trade Commission crediting #gamergate supporters when rewriting FTC policies. Policies concerning Affiliate Link Disclosures. The bias is recognized by ablating or oppressing such information. --j0eg0d (talk) 06:13, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
@J0eg0d: -- Forgive me, but again, I don't follow the logic of your argument. Established editors are perfectly capable of taking note of new developments in the reliable sources, and it's entirely possible for a new editor to be oppressive and deny good information. I still fail to see what this has to do with the restrictions on the gamergate page; I understand your complaint regarding the content thereof, but thus far you've failed to persuade me that the editor restrictions are a bad idea. Dumuzid (talk) 11:46, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm offering suggestions through conference. I'm presenting suggestions to "improve" rather than inhibit. That's the topic. I'm sorry for your confusion, but persuasions aren't an intent. I have neither argued nor deflected proposals or questions. I suspect your perusals are illiberal & disingenuous. I'll note that certain posters here are unreceptive people inducing unpropitious tripe. They're sterile to deliberation; Yet you're scrutinizing my intentions as persuasions in lieu of their ineffectual twaddling. --j0eg0d (talk) 02:02, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Meta: The next two comments, by TRPoD and j0eg0d, had five additional levels of indentation, which left them
loo
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s on the right-hand edge of a smartphone screen. I've cut them down to size. --Thnidu (talk) 01:39, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
"Inhibiting disruption" is an "improvement" to the project of writing an encyclopedia. "enabling" disruption is "inhibiting our goal" of writing an encyclopedia. From a cost benefit analysis, you are way off. The "cost" of this proposal - the chance that a goodfaith new editor who has meaningful contributions to bring to the ggc article decides that they cannot wait 20 days to bring their contribution or find another method of bringing such contribution via another another method such as discussing with a 30+day editor on their talk page - is essentially zero vs the benefit - severely draining the ability of an organized troll campaign whose objective is to disrupt the project and who has been doing so for over 9 months - well you can see the obvious choice. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 11:18, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry I've just now noticed this post. Why reciprocate profusely by emotional responses? To encourage contention of this colloquial is inessential, as you meander confabulations into personal assumptions. I am neither inhibiting speech, suggestions, questions nor answers. I've added concepts to the topic to wit you've interpreted as hostile(?) Furthermore to surmise me as a recent editor(?) based on my number of edits perhaps? To purport novitiations as inane discussion anyway is blindingly autocratic to problem solving. Any conjecture is relevant, unless it be amended or recurrent. --j0eg0d (talk) 00:16, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
That's not very WP:CIVIL of you, J0eg0d. I'd like an apology. PeterTheFourth (talk) 02:10, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It was unnecessary of me to play devil's advocate in light of observable commentary. If I revealed dissimulation thorough observation then you have my apologies PeterTheFourth. Perhaps a more furtive parlance amongst allies can maintain inconspicuousness? --j0eg0d (talk) 03:41, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
@J0eg0d: -- My apologies, I didn't mean to second-guess your intent, something at which you obviously took offense. I just assume everyone who posts in such a forum intends to sway others to his or her position. I'm not sure what it means for my 'perusals' to be illiberal and disingenuous, but I apologize for that too. I understand you have issues with the content of the gamergate article, and I understand you are making suggestions about that subject. More power to you. For what little my opinion is worth, I still believe (to my own detriment!) that the editing restrictions will lead to a better article. But reasonable minds can differ, as they say. Have a nice weekend! Dumuzid (talk) 04:28, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
As a side note: It's amazing to me, as someone new to all this debate, that accusations of sealioning get thrown around so lightly and freely, both here and anywhere else the ggc-debate and meta-ggc-debate and meta-meta-ggc-debate rears its ugly head. Ad Hominems have very little place in rational discourse, at least when the discussion is not regarding the personal character of the person being impugned. Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 20:07, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi Riffraffselbow, I thank you both for noticing this, and for calling it out. I could not agree with you more. - Ryk72 'c.s.n.s.' 21:59, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, the "sealion" accusation is more a comment on debate tactics rather than the person themselves, and while it might be construed as an insult, it is not strictly speaking an 'ad hominem' unless it is used as a logical inference. Sorry, this is just an annoyance of mine! Other than that, I am quite in agreement that it's best when the arguments here (or elsewhere, for that matter!) are not made personal. Dumuzid (talk) 22:50, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
It's hard for me to see "you just don't know when to stop" as much of anything but an insult in all but the rosiest of contexts. Forgive me if I'm not understanding that comic right. Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 23:47, 23 May 2015 (UTC)
That's fair. I think of it as sort of the semantic equivalent of "beating a dead horse," a metaphor enshrined in this very encyclopedia (at WP:DEADHORSE, of course). While I'd grant you neither expression has positive connotations, nor do I think of either as a sort of grave insult. To me, they're both a convenient shorthand for different, but related, phenomena. No one is obligated to agree with me, naturally! Dumuzid (talk) 00:10, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
As an impartial observer; This "sealioning" accusation is unfamiliar. One may not ascertain the reviewer understands "exclusive slang" or believes it to be friendly exchanges. Some terminologies directed on me (I noticed) appealed to prejudice or special interests rather than reasoning. --j0eg0d (talk) 02:21, 24 May 2015 (UTC)
i believe you may have typed the wrong words into your thesaurus if it came out with "impartial observer" for someone who has been deep in the action for several weeks. Do you want to check again? -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 12:43, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
The Thesaurus suggested "nonpartisan". No, I have no idea what this "sealioning" accusation is, and again (as you routinely fall off-topic) the observation was; No one can guess if a reader understands "exclusive slang" or believes it's friendly. Some choice words directed at me seems to belong to an affinity group. Sincerely --j0eg0d (talk) 06:08, 29 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: I have no opinion about the subject of this discussion, but in regards to a 500-edit minimum to be allowed to edit any specific article: the only way to accomplish that accurately and properly is to create a new level of page protection, and that page is this'a'way, and to create a new level user access level that will allow the editor to bypass the protection, which is that'a'way. I don't see the direction of this discussion leading anywhere, regardless of how it is going, unless these basic needs are established. Steel1943 (talk) 02:09, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Some University of Massachusetts Dartmouth-related users don't want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev listed as an alumnus[edit]

Hi! I added Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to the list of alumni at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth alumni. Another user challenged the

What do you think? Do you think this is a fair reason to exclude someone from an alumni list? WhisperToMe (talk) 05:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Of course not. It has no basis in Wikipedia policy. Even if there were a local consensus, it's not a matter for local consensus. You don't even need to ask the question. ―Mandruss  05:47, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) An experienced editor like Denimadept should know far better than to make such a statement. It can be argued that since Tsarnaev didn't graduate he shouldn't be added to the list but arguing what boils down to managing PR for the university is a non-starter. --NeilN talk to me 05:51, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
The no-graduation argument wouldn't last long given the dictionary definition of alumnus. There is also plenty of precedent elsewhere at Wikipedia, if anyone needed it. ―Mandruss  05:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I suspect the dictionary definition would be challenged if there were a way to do it. I'd prefer his and his brother's entire existence be erased, that he be forgotten. - Denimadept (talk) 13:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
What you prefer is irrelevant. See also WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS.

That aside, I would tend to agree that the dictionary definition is somewhat... old. I rarely see/hear of dropouts at the university level described as alumni (WP:TRUTH), and even more rare is it to see particular individuals on the various lists we keep around of alumni of universities who were dropouts. I think the latter practice (rather than the dictionary definition) is more interesting since we should be informed by present article practice (notwithstanding WP:OTHERSTUFF). --Izno (talk) 14:47, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

If UMich's reputation can survive listing the Unabomber and Papa Doc Duvalier as alumni, I think UMass Dartmouth will be OK. Tarc (talk) 15:25, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
While we are at it, I was always grateful that Timothy McVeigh went to Harvard so his connection to the University of Michigan is obscured by the media. And Ivan Boesky from Detroit College of Law]. I went to both of the Michigan schools, and would happily expunge them from the college roster. Nunc pro tunc. But their roots are part of who they are, where they came from, and obviously belongs in the pertinent Wikipedia articles. We don't give our readers an expurgated article because somebody is discomfited. 7&6=thirteen () 17:05, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Why not just preface the list with a specification that it contains graduates from the school? Including this name on the list seems somewhat WP:UNDUE. He was a marine biology major, but we wouldn't put his name on a list of marine biologists; he was born in Kyrgyzstan, but gets no mention in that article. bd2412 T 17:07, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Frankly, most alumni lists in general are WP:UNDUE and are largely vehicles for basking in reflected glory (and in this case, its evil twin cutting off reflected failure). To take another example from the same school, is UMD notable because Pooch Hall is an alumnus? Is Pooch Hall's notability somehow related to UMD? Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 19:06, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Actually, according to the article, "Hall attended the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he got his first taste for acting with the UMass Dartmouth Theatre Company". It is a much stronger argument that Hall's time at Dartmouth was a factor in his acting success than to say that a given criminal having attended a given college lead him to notoriety (in this case, unless Dartmouth also happened to have a bomb-making club or a class on becoming a terrorist). bd2412 T 19:15, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
"What's your major?" "Oh, I'm majoring in Terrorism. My favorite class this semester is Advanced Bomb making."~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving
Psssh, typical liberal education, always stressing theory and knowledge over practice and results. As if you'd ever use any of the things you learn in Advanced Bomb Making in a real-life pressure-cooker-bomb scenario! Riffraffselbow (talk) (contribs) 21:26, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm surprised by this answer, given that nothing says anything about success. Unless I'm radically misreading WP:NOR and WP:SYNTH, the best way to make a strong argument that Pooch Hall's time at UMD was a factor in his acting success is to provide a secondary source that actually states it. Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 19:36, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
At least there is some connection whatsoever between what Pooch Hall did at Dartmouth and what he did later. bd2412 T 19:53, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
I would agree, Orange Suede Sofa, with all of it. Good luck getting consensus to remove them, however. --Izno (talk) 19:22, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
bd, you have cherry-picked one example that supports your argument. Now, for all of the others in the list, please use reliable sources to show the same clear connection between the UMass education and the notability. I'm guessing at least half of the list would have to go, if your new criteria were applied evenly. ―Mandruss  20:45, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Huh? I didn't cherry-pick anything. Read the discussion. Orange Suede Sofa picked that name out and asked: "Is Pooch Hall's notability somehow related to UMD?" I merely answered the question. The burden remains on those trying to pick counter-examples. bd2412 T 20:56, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I assumed it was you based on your comments in article talk, which I read first. You may not have committed the cherry-picking, but you seem to support the argument based on it. Side note: Why are we having parallel discussions on this? Is anyone suggesting that anything resolved here at VP would affect anything but this one article? It wouldn't. Actually this would be a good use of the RfC process, imo, local to the article. ―Mandruss  21:21, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Beats me. I found this one first, and then decided to comment there after saying my piece here. bd2412 T 23:50, 18 May 2015 (UTC)
Ted Bundy is listed as a University of Washington alumni under 'Crime', even though he failed to graduate. Bundy has Tsarnaev beat on mass murder, hands down. Praemonitus (talk) 17:59, 20 May 2015 (UTC)
Contra Izno, a data point about usage of the word "alumnus". St. John's College (Annapolis, Maryland, and Santa Fe, New Mexico) has no problem considering dropouts alumni. I matriculated in the fall of 1965, in the class of 1969. Though I dropped out in my junior year, I have been an alumnus of the college, Class of '69, since my class's graduation day. --Thnidu (talk) 00:25, 27 May 2015 (UTC)
@Thnidu: You and I are separated by over 50 years of time between graduation... Usage of a word can change in that timeframe (some words have changed in definition, some drastically, in just the past half-decade--thanks Internet). --Izno (talk) 14:38, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
@Izno: The usage is current, as Mandruss pointed out above (05:54, 18 May 2015 (UTC)). (Boldface added):
  • St. John's College (requires login):
    • I just checked my college's online alumni directory for class of 1969 from the Annapolis campus. I am listed as "A1969", as are all the others on that page.
  • Merriam-Webster:
    •   a person who has attended or has graduated from a particular school, college, or university ...
  • Oxford Dictionaries, American English
    • noun (plural alumni(-nī -nē))
      A graduate or former student, especially male, of a particular school, college, or university...
  • Oxford Dictionaries, English
    • noun (plural alumni əˈlʌmnʌɪ)
      A male former pupil or student of a particular school, college, or university...
  • MacMillan Dictionary
    • someone who was a student at a particular school, college, or university
I believe these definitions are more reliable than your personal experience ("I rarely see/hear of dropouts at the university level described as alumni (WP:TRUTH)"). --Thnidu (talk) 20:16, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not looking to argue this point; the link to WP:TRUTH on my own part should have signified such. --Izno (talk) 21:21, 28 May 2015 (UTC)
Izno Sorry, that wasn't clear to me. --Thnidu (talk) 04:06, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

It is our consistence long-standing practice to list all alumni in such lists, not just those who graduated. My own primary alma mater includes a President of Peru, a Prime Minister of Israel, and a head of the American Nazi Party; we don't get to pick and choose. ----Orange Mike | Talk 01:13, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

Not to mention Manute Bol who was at the University of Bridgeport for only one year. BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 02:10, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

My absence for the first part of this year[edit]

Hi all - as some of you are aware I wasn't around much for the first part of this year. I had serious physical issues (severe septic shock) coupled with other issues (septic encephalopathy) that meant that when I was here, I wasn't always acting rationally or like myself - and was also a lot more aggressive than I normally am. I know this is an unusual use of WP:AN, but since the extra aggressiveness definitely effected some of my own-wiki actions, I felt like it would be a good idea to let people know about it. I put an explanation here, but I'd be happy to answer any questions anyone has. I know this is pretty odd for a VP post but felt it worth mentioning and couldn't find a better section. Best, Kevin Gorman (talk) 06:41, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Also, I know it's kind of weird to post this here - apologies in advance. An admin termporarily having been mentally compromised seemed worth posting and I wasn't sure where was best. Best, Kevin Gorman (talk) 07:28, 26 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Welcome back, Kevin. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:16, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Inconsistency between English Wikipedia and Wikidata[edit]

Category:Pages using authority control with parameters reveals that there is inconsistency between English Wikipedia and Wikidata. Most of the pages in this category have parameters with different values than it is stored in Wikidata. Any idea of how can we resolve this? -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:51, 27 May 2015 (UTC)

The better maintenance category to tackle which would help to resolve that would be e.g. like the series of categories Category:VIAF different on Wikidata. Then, someone needs to work their way through those lists systematically.

Separately, there should probably be a category of Category:Wikipedia categories tracking Wikidata differences or similar; probably tagged with {{wikipedia category|hidden=yes|container=yes}} since I suspect until full integration we will have lots of these fun categories scattered around.

Template talk:Authority control#Next steps is relevant. --Izno (talk) 14:56, 28 May 2015 (UTC)

Request an account process needs help[edit]

Hello everyone, I'm John F. Lewis, an administrator on Wikipedia's account creation interface. Recently, our project has had an increased backlog in getting accounts for new users. Our numbers are currently over 400 people waiting for accounts on the English Wikipedia. If you could even spare a moment to do a few requests a day to help us clear this backlog, that would go a long way to encouraging new editors to participate with an account. If this interests you and you're willing to help, and you match the following description, then please do apply! Ideal users are:

We have a very friendly team to help you get started, we also have a private IRC channel where you can ask questions or get help with difficult account requests. If you have any questions for us or about the process, feel free to ask at the talk page. If you can help out, we would greatly appreciate it. For the ACC team, John F. Lewis (talk) 18:05, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Hello[edit]

Note that Bruno Pesaola died on 29 may acording to italian wikipedia. Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 109.185.175.84 (talk) 23:49, 29 May 2015 (UTC)

Can we hire this guy as a consultant?[edit]

See [4]

There's actually somebody who copies other people's private (even sexual) Instagram photos, prints them up six feet wide, then sells them at an art gallery for $90,000.

I doubt we can afford whatever witchcraft he works on the customers, but obviously he knows some legal tricks that we should know... yesterday.

Those with an excessive regard for copyright can say that "we need to know how to distinguish our activities from his so that we are not caught up if there is some reactionary legislation passed to target him." Still, we need to know how this works. And I'd love to see us put it to good educational use. (not necessarily Instagram porn, but can we have the freaking Eiffel Tower now?) Wnt (talk) 19:39, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

He appears to be invoking fair use. We ourselves take advantage of that quite a bit. Given Wikipedia's non-profit, educational status, we could likely get away with a lot more under fair use. The en.wp community has long placed restrictions on fair use materials that are much more restrictive than "we can probably get away with this" for various reasons, including a desire to keep most of the project's content freely-licensed and reusable, and a desire to minimize legal risk. Many of the other Wikimedia projects disallow fair use altogether (except, usually, for short quotations, which are their own big grey area). One reason for this is that the U.S., by global standards, has a fairly liberal fair use regime. Projects in other languages tend to give some deference to the laws of countries where the languages are widely spoken, under the logic that most users and re-users of content in a given language will be in said countries. A prominent example of this is the rabbit hole of freedom of panorama, which varies wildly between countries. In this case the U.S. actually is quite restrictive, with the result that local uploads to en.wp of things like images of sculptures will generally get deleted, while Commons may accept them depending on the country in which the image was produced.
It should be noted that a lot of copyright holders would love to have their content on Wikipedia, as long as they could license it only to the WMF under restrictive license terms. In the early years we accepted this, and had a number of takers—and this was when there were fewer Internet users and Wikipedia's popularity was still growing (here's Jimbo's announcing the end of this practice). If we wanted to abandon the whole "free content" thing we would likely be able to license a lot of high-quality stuff under favorable terms, but of course only for use on Wikipedia and possibly other WMF projects. They would not be freely available to anyone wanting to re-use the project's content.
On a side note, Richard Prince has been doing this kind of thing for decades, so, contrary to the tone of some of the media coverage, it's not really some "brave new world of the Internet" issue. A comment in the above Washington Post article brought up sampling, another notable area where many artists have long been using copyrighted material without permission. --108.38.204.15 (talk) 23:19, 31 May 2015 (UTC)

Final Day of WMF Board of Trustees Election[edit]

Just a friendly reminder that WMF Board of Trustees Election will be ending in about 24 hours! So if you want to contribute your opinion on who should be part of the highest level leadership of the WMF, now is the time. Dragons flight (talk) 23:18, 30 May 2015 (UTC)

Other stuff does, or does not, exist[edit]

Where are the essays treating the above subjects? I cannot find them. I am confused, even though I have BeenAroundAWhile (talk) 02:37, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:19, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

How does one edit "authority control"?[edit]

Our Help:Authority control page is particularly unhelpful... while it explains what "authority control" is, it does not tell us how to edit it. To give an example: the "Authority control" for our article on Freemasonry just lists the German "GND" number... I want to add the US Library of congress's "LCCN" number... but can't find out how to do so. Blueboar (talk) 12:09, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

One should go to Wikidata and edit the corresponding field.--Ymblanter (talk) 18:36, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Ah... thanks. We should probably say something about that on our help page. Blueboar (talk) 00:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Default thumbnail size and increasing screen resolutions[edit]

If the default thumbnail size in pixels remains constant as screen resolutions increase, thumbnails will appear to shrink as a percentage of screen size. Has the default been increased along with average resolution? If so, when and by how much? ―Mandruss  19:22, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

It was last increased from 180 to 220px in Feb. 2012. [5]. The next step would be 300px but the dev team seems extremely cautious about this until theres' consensus across all Wikis. Additionally, there is going to be a legal limit here beyond 300px, in terms of non-free images, as it would be difficult to call these "low-resolution" images anymore. Also, considering that the race to pack pixels into monitors has dropped significantly. --MASEM (t) 19:30, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
And I think we're running up against some technological barriers, not to mention the limits of human vision. I was just wondering whether thumbs appeared significantly larger, say, ten years ago. I'm seeing a number of articles oversizing thumbs and wanted some historical perspective on that, wondering if they are trying to get back to how things looked way back when. ―Mandruss  19:37, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
We last discussed it at Enwiki in September 2014, with a frustrating 'no consensus' close.
If I understand/remember correctly, the devs are happy to change the global default to 300px because enough thumbnails at that scale have already been generated by logged-in users with that user-preference; they are not happy to change it to any other size because of the massive strain that would put on the thumbnail-rendering machine(s). (Sidenote: the MediaWiki default is already 300px (just not for the Wikimedia sites) per phab:T69703.)
What we need to change it, is (per phab:T69709) "the support of a substantial number of wikimedia communities and NO, for technical reasons, this is NOT a per project decision." - So I believe essentially someone needs to bring this proposal to m:Wikimedia Forum, after digesting the technical/social/legal/historical details, so that they can explain it all concisely. Quiddity (talk) 23:53, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
As an editor, I've always felt that these are thumbnails and should be used as such; i.e., the reader is expected to click-through to the larger image if they want a good look at it. We aren't creating illustrated books or magazine articles, which lack this advantage of modern technology. I think I'm in a minority in that respect, that most editors (among those who care about image size at all) want to avoid the click-throughs and think like a magazine layout artist. To me, the reason to move to 300 now is that we're going to do it eventually, and the longer we wait, the more oversizing (size > default, upright > 1) will have been done to compensate for the lack of it. Then, when the change is finally made, many thumbs will appear too large, and we'll have to begin a gradual process of returning them to the default. I think we should avoid that unnecessary work by changing it now, but I'm not in a good position to drive that effort. (Btw, I experimented by changing my user pref from 220 to 300, and the difference is remarkable.) ―Mandruss  04:26, 2 June 2015 (UTC)